Monday, March 26, 2012

Life Gets In The Way

One can so easily forget the blog when life gets in the way. Between health issues and essay writing, it was easy to get sidetracked, pulled away from the memoir and get lost down primrose paths and dark bottomless holes.

I learned this week it is possible to write so much "show" that it can overshadow "tell"! I learned that polliwogs sing, that the night temps determine when they stop and start, and that Venus and Jupiter, hanging in the night sky all this month are good for another few days if the skies are clear. There is something mystical and magical about them. They have a presence, no doubt about it as they stand firm in the black velvet. Every clear evening sends me the front door where they make their appearance. I am bummed if it is overcast. Venus, because that planet is closer, dwarfs Jupiter which I know to be the largest planet, but so much farther away. astronomy is not my strong suit, nor is it much of my interest, but I am quite enamored of these two planets so visible this month.

The memoir suffers in the moment. Until my plate is cleared I can't concentrate on it. Polishing is done. Weaving is not. I mean to say I must do the work of making it flow so that you page turners will....turn the page! There is no doubt that the story is a gooder. No doubt that it is well told. No doubt that I have captured my mother, the eraser, negator, rubber out par excellence! But I have.... And memoir writing can get you there...discovered brokenness and pain in my antagonist that, had I understood her tragedies, I would have recovered sooner.perhaps we withhold our ability to see until we can bear seeing.

I can say, though, in my most frightened moments, I wanted my mother. But you see, I always wanted my mother. She did not want me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Post writers conference

Yikes. Cold, cold, cold! There I was in Arizona's high desert, wher the sun was brilliant and the blowing breeze was COLD! Got up to oh, maybe 50 during the day and down to 33 at night. Sitting around a blazing bonfire meant the front of me was steaming and the back of me was frigid. Getting there and back was arduous and ended here in a snow storm. But enough complaining.

There is nothing that a room full of writers can't overcome. The lectures were informative, the instructors were full of good stuff all writers need to know, and sharing ideas about how to do the deed were plentiful. There were a lot of poets this time, good poets who excel at their craft. What was lovely was the level of shared information by writers who have managed to be published...I am in awe...and what was devastating was the ongoing conversation about the pretty well broken publishing business, and how many countless avenues have been spawned. So many it's hard to figure where the fit is. Seems perhaps the correct road is to ePublish through Amazon, and a fave person also suggested iuniverse. When it is time, I'll do the wise thing and consult Jack Heffernan, a publisher available to us at conference and happy to advise any writer who asks. a number of writers there are published and willing to direct me to small presses, and apparently out there somewhere are still people who will pick upnthe marketing piece that is so daunting. I could focus forever and not get it right; my marketing skills are zero. I will need someone who will be good at that and worth their fee.

The whole idea of self publishing is daunting to me, and yet I think I see that for today's writer, that could be attractive. Someone suggested that I place at least sone parts of my memoir out here for others to read. That might make sense if I had a clue there was an audience. My reading a particular essay while at conference got a good reception. I might place it out here just to see what might happen.

It stuns me to see how this seems to work. A ballerina is expected to dance and do it dance well enough to attract an audience. She is not expected to produce the ballet, nor to design the set, or build the stage. She is to dance. That is what she does. You see my point. IT remains to be seen the direction I take. But for now, I will be resting up from a long trip of real distance, remembering the fun part of the workshop, and not the perils of today's travel.