February 06, 2002

It's February, a time of rest and preparation, according to the wise and wonderful Nathan Whiting.

I'm lost in the dark,
lost in many colors.
Confusion grabs
a searchlight's phantom flashes.
Lost in blue
a bat would scream
and measure dotted answers.
A silent owl slips
through maples
without bottom. Who searches?
Whatever I am
won't find a way easy.
I turn again.
Insects scatter. Days disrobe
and fall dead,
but remain a map without rest"

wow, Nathan has a web presence (but not computer).
"Poet Nathan Whiting (This Slave Dreads Her Work As If She Were A Lamb Commanded to be A Musician, Hanging Loose Press, 1980) also simplifies the submission process by numbering his poem groupings, with the titles of all the poems in a group listed under a corresponding number. He keeps this list of numbers in the same notebook that contains the original, handwritten versions of the poems, where there is little chance it will get lost. Each time he sends a group poems to a magazine, he records the magazine's name next to the appropriate number.

Whiting tends to send out five or six poems at a time. If a magazine accepts one or two poems, he'll sometimes simply add one or two new poems to the grouping. If magazine accepts several poems from a group, he's likely to merge the rejected poems with a few unaccepted poems from another group.

Whiting lists the magazines again on a second sheet where he records the date sent, group number, date returned, comments, and an approximate date to send to that magazine again (or he could enter "never" here). This process makes resubmitting to magazines almost automatic, because editors often give a clue as to when they'd like to see work again. If he gets an encouraging note from an editor, he'll want to resubmit sooner. For other magazines he'll enter a question mark. Going through this list periodically, he can spot what magazines are due for new poems. He's also developed a color-coded process to spot things more easily: if a magazine rejects all poems, he puts a black pencil line through the entry; if a magazine accepts one of his poems, he puts a red line through the entry and if magazine is not currently reading manuscripts, he puts a blue line through. He places a purple check next to the entry if he's saved an editor's note in a separate correspondence file."

as for me, I think I'd best stop putting the cart before the horse. it is time to clean my flat, take yoga, shred outdated lists, and act with clear intent. I have some computer and website maintenance to do and also a new freelance assignment. I need to return some letters, make some phone calls, polish some writing, and focus. Preparation, for Nathan, is not acting (also dovetails with merc retrograde in capricorn. this week, merc will go direct just as Saturn goes direct and the chinese new year follows. all of these symbols reinforce one another; proceed slowly, with integrity, attend to unfinished business, and clear a space for the new.) Preparation is a pause, a gathering, a combination of organization and intuition heightened by practice (preparation is dance class, as opposed to applying for a gig).

And, also from nathan:: More pride, less ego.

February 01, 2002

In the spirit of not posting only demanding text, I offer the following relaxing links:
Feminist Stripper, recommended by Lily Burana, whose writing I like and who turns out to be a character from my past.
Satire wire's Mo Bettah Evil Axes, um, satire
While I liked the list of (odd) results I got on google when I typed spiral jetty salt shower coin, I was looking for this page, part of Temporama, a travel project documentation site. I like the sensibility, curiosity, and the fact that the writer auctioned off all his/her belongings on eBay as a conceptual art project. Then he went around and visited the winning bidders and took pictures of them with his former objects.
So this woman posts to the knitlist that we can check out her scifi novella, and I do, and it's actually really really good. I was engrossed. And I really dislike science fiction.
The halfbakery project is subtly designed. (carpe demi haha) A good place for those game show ideas you never got around to becoming a tv exec so that you could produce.
In Passing, an overheard conversation site. Has anyone made a directory yet of the found text/ found artifact/ found images sites online?
Before I got into weblogging, I was an obsessive chathead. And one of the truly funniest people in chat (who I later met) is an old hippie turned web designer. And I stopped in sometime in October and ended up saving a few of her comments. Copyright her, and she rocks::

Bunni V: I think we should give citizenship and a free plane ticket here to any Afgan woman who brings a dead husband to the ticket counter

on anthrax: Bunni V: I"ll die if I get it for sure cause I'd cut it into lines

And, finally, an essay on proximity and community, which was a segue, but due to low audience participation, polling is now closed. Thanks to the gracious and generous Ruthie's Double who presented me with a seven point path to personal fulfillment. Votes were 4-0 against taking the writing workshop, 2 said votes being virtual and 2 from real-life friends.