Writers Writers Everywhere …

This has been a literary and artistic weekend. On Friday night, I went with my friend to a reading he was participating in. There were
stories and poems, some better some not. I went in with editing brain, as I’d
been working on my blog pitch for Saturday’s event, so I was perhaps a little
more attuned to exact wording and working than I might have been. But it
whetted my appetite. I could taste the lead of the pencil, slicing lines,
words, structure. I remembered I know how to do this.
Saturday, I went to the writing conference, with panels
about publishing and teaching, and then had to leave to go get platelets at the
ER (normal and expected, just always shitty timing on the weekends). But,
getting the call from my doctor telling me I had to be there asap, I pulled
aside the agent I was going to meet with, and sat with him as he ate lunch.
Basically, he said he liked my writing, but not my project.
And honestly, I was relieved. I don’t want to change this blog. I like this blog. I was starting to get concerned about
having to change it to make it more marketable or take it down if there was a
book based on it. He said I could use it as raw material, but he more liked when
I was talking about the content aspect of the “Failure to Launch” generation that we
30somethings are – a sort of “burden of potential” generation. He said
that could be a worthy project, I could be a “voice of your
Well, who knows. I don’t really have much more to say on
it, except that I am it. He asked
what I’d write after a book was sold, what would be my next project. I said,
Uh… I’d just keep blogging, I guess. Which I would. This is a mainstay for me,
and whatever else I decide to do, I want to be here.
I was inspired to
look at my poetry again. To submit things to literary magazines, etc. I mean, I
have a lot of work – it must belong
Today, I spent some time searching through my hard drive for my poems
around sex. I realized, a little while ago now, that I’ve been writing about
issues of sex and intimacy for years.
I’ve been writing about the oscillation between wanting and rejecting, having
and withdrawing. Most of my work, in fact, is about this. When I look at it.
So? What’s there? Maybe there’s a collection. Maybe a few of
the poems have a place with a journal or magazine. Maybe it’s time to look at
them objectively, and see if there’s an answer that I’ve been pointing toward,
like some deus ex machina that will “solve the problem” of being serially
single. … Maybe not. But the work is worth looking at again. Stitching it
together to see what comes – if these patches may become a quilt.
Plus, one of the literary agents I met was cute. So there’s
that 😉
And then, this morning. I spent breakfast with a disparate
group of Oaklandites (Oaklanders?), each with a creative bent, and we talked
craft and marketing and drive and practice and verve and projects and invites
to each others’ events and theater and gallery trips.
There was something to this morning – an underlining of the
world of art and artists I belong in.
And, there was something to yesterday morning as well – an
underlining of the world I
don’t belong in.
I had a very strange few minutes, trying to listen to the
panel talk about adjunct teaching and lesson planning, and the thought kept
intruding creating sound-canceling headphones: I have had cancer, and you have
I felt apart from for a good little while, seeing old
classmates who compliment the hair cut, not knowing it fell out from chemo. I
felt like they and their plans and designs are so damn small compared to what
just happened.
And then. Luckily, I got over it, over myself, over the
separation. Each of us has “stuff.” I read in a memoir the other day (divorce,
not cancer memoir, cuz you gotta mix it up) the woman tell another that all our pain
weighs the same. There isn’t a pain contest so, Ha ha, I win.
I was reading Caroline Myss’s book before I returned it
overdue, and she talked about not identifying with our trauma. Not overidentifying with it. Not using it as a weapon or a
shield. Not having to tell people why my hair is short. Not having to back away
from your joy or the markings of others’ “normal” lives using cancer as
deflection from connecting.
Connection is really what all this weekend boils down to. I
got to feel connected to my writing again, to my eye as a writer again. I got
to feel connected to the writing community at the reading and the artist
community at breakfast – and that “community” is composed of my friends. I feel like I am coming to establish a familiarity
in the creative world … and I. Want. More.

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