Sunday, March 08, 2015

It occurs to me that this month marks the 10 year anniversary of this here old blog. I came to online journaling in 2002 (at the dearly departed Xanga) after more than a decade of keeping my journals in written form--a series of marble composition books spanning from 1994-2001, seven years in which I chronicled college and grad school and those transitional years thereafter. Mostly, I was spurred to keep a journal as I'd pretty much always kept a journal (I have a couple diaries from adolescence, though they are really just a lot of nonsense.)  A desire to document important things, how I spent my days, to sew seeds for writing, to just write.  But there was the very public aspect of it that was unfamiliar, and as I was learning in the early days of Social Media for Writers 101, it was good to have a blog component to one's website.  So suddenly, what had once been a very private space became a very public one (well, provided anyone was actually reading then--or hell, even really reading now..)

In 2005, mostly, it was more of the usual writing & submission related talk, some MFA program rants & raves --I was at the tail end of my second, and in hindsight, my most productive year.  It followed year in which one asshole wrote "Could you please write a new poem?"  Followed the year when I used to take my journal acceptance letters (some of which were highly complimentary) printed out and tucked in my notebook to fortify myself during workshops. (Things got infinitely better with new people in subsequent years or I probably wouldn't have finished the program).  I was 30, and on the verge of some very fortunate and amazing things (I'd won a biggesh $$$ prize the previous year and my first book would be accepted in the fall.)  I was taking a workshop with Stephanie Strickland (who was sadly just visiting), which was my best workshop experience hands down (in a world where workshopping is usually not all that helpful with all those damn fingers in my poems) . There are poems drafts in there too--the things I was working on that spring--pieces for my errata projects, other poems that would go into my second book, the seeds of the Resurrection Mary poems.  Also some pieces, like this and this, sold for scrap.  I was also working on a pretty big collage/book art project, the book of red, for a Womanmade Gallery exhibit, putting out the first full-on year of dgp chaps, putting up new issues of wicked alice, doing alot of readings in Chicago.

I think what strikes me most if how much piss and vinegar I used to have, all these long discussion/rants on poetry related things (craft and publishing mostly) because *someone was wrong on the internet* that now I am much more *whatever floats your boat* on.  Maybe it's a lack of time to be arguing about things, or maybe I've just mellowed in my forties.  Maybe now I just roll my eyes and hold my tongue more.  Where I once ranted on the awesomeness of chapbooks when someone dissed them, I spend more time, you know, making chapbooks with no time to argue.  I also used to talk much more specifically about the trials and tribulations of submitting wor--where I was sending, rejections/acceptances. Also my grappling with the "legitimacy" question, which as someone who at that point was doing alot of DIY distribution of my work, was on my mind.

I spent alot of time that summer working on the "megascript" aka the fever almanac, which I was meticulously going over poem by poem (which paid off in November when it was taken by Ghost Road.)  I was still trying to forge a way forward and figure out this world of po-piz and how to maneuver within it.  There were moments of self-doubt, questions fo whether I would "get it", that indefinable quality of good work. (I have no idea if I've answered these questions somehow or I just realized the frivolity of asking them. )

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