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Archive for April, 2009

STRUCTURE

When writing my self critique about my poetry portfolio:

I realized I remember nothing about structure.

Well.
Fuck.

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Amelie Song: Justin Arawjo’s Befrday Mix
Joy!: Justin Arawjo’s Befrday Mix
Don’t stay: Tara Toms Justin Arawjo’s Befrday Mix
The Purple Bottle: Animal Collective Feels
i’m always in love: Wilco summerteeth
Talk On Indolence: The Avett Brothers The Avett Brothers Mix
Crooked Teeth: Death Cab For Cutie Plans
The Soil and the Seed: Justin Arawjo with Tara Toms Ghostless Limbs
Something by Anathallo: Justin Arawjo’s Befrday Mix
Will You Return: The Avett Brothers Emotionalism
My Oh My Oh: Joshua Dean 3 Y.O. Quilt
I’ll Believe In Anything: Wolf Parade Apologies to the Queen Mary
Grass: Animal Collective Feels Noise

I like that I know a lot of people on this list.

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“During the in-class reading of the manuscripts, our group, as well as the fiction group, was making fun of quite a few of the manuscripts.   While I think this might have been slightly unprofessional I do not think it was wrong.  First, we were not attacking the person who wrote the pieces—the submissions were blind, after all—but the words themselves.  Sometimes, poems are funny, regardless of the intent.  Second, I think that it is very stiff to only ever take writing seriously.  That is not to say that it is a job that should be taken lightly, but if writers only ever focused on the truth and seriousness of literature, they would miss a lot of what literature is about, because they would only have one perspective.  Third, Ally Harris once asked a group of us at the Summer Writer’s Workshop if we were making fun of a story that was going to be discussed later.  We told her yes, our heads hung.  ‘Good,’ she said, ‘That’s what real writing majors do.’  I respect Ally Harris, and if she says that it is okay, I am willing to say that it is too.”

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RC launch last night.  VERY successful!  I’m so proud of Dani and Sarah, and Nadia and Joe and Mellissa.  BEAUTIFUL!  I couldn’t be more pleased!

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

Clemtine Divine!  I'm right next to Mellissa on this page and that makes me very happy.

Clemtine Divine! I'm right next to Mellissa on this page and that makes me very happy.

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Hand Screend

Hand Screened

I screened 110 (10 extra for good measure) of covers for Shane’s chapbook for editing and publishing.  It was glorious and only took two hours! I’m SO proud!

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So I’m starting to realize that I’m one of the few writers that (despite my bitiching) seriously considers themselves writers in all of the main genres (fiction, poetry, and non-fiction [ok, so I haven’t written non fiction recently, but I will]).  One thing that really bothers me is when people stand ground in their genre like it’s the best ever.  Bailey always says that fiction is the hardest to write, thus making it the best.  So far, I, personally, have found this to be true, but I also know these two things 1} I wrote poetry first (like…since I was 9) 2} Someone like Ryan Rickrode could never write poetry. Sorry, Ryan, but you know it as well as I do.
Nevertheless, an interesting battle came up in my editing and publishing class.  We were voting on which manuscripts we wanted to win a chapbook contest.  There would one prose chapbook and one poetry.  We had two issues to deal with:

1) Some of the work had been previously published in RiverCraft.  It was not being published this year, which we had already decided not to include, but had been published the year before.  Poetry didn’t have a problem publishing one tiny poem that had been published before but did have a problem with publishing a story that was a third of one of the prose manuscripts (I did not have a problem with this latter one, but my group did).

2) One of the manuscripts (the one that won) was very narrative while the other was more “traditionally” poetic–whatever that means.  The prose board was arguing for accesibility.  They said that the traditional manuscript was not accessible.  We said that they both were.

Now, here’s where I get to my quandry.  The prose board started arguing these two things:

1) Why should a poem (and not a large story) be allowed in just because it’s small?  Isn’t each poem supposed to be equal in weight to each story?

2) If “I” didn’t understand this poetry, why should anyone else who reads fiction?  Shouldn’t we want them to understand what’s going on?

So basically, this is where I realized later I should have argued.  Stories, especially long ones, take awhile to read.  Let’s say a half hour.  A poem–which according to the fiction board IS equal to a story–takes about 2 minutes to read.  Why won’t the fiction-minded take the same time to work with a poem that they will with a story?  Obviously this isn’t every fiction-minded person’s point of view, but that’s just how it came up in the class.

And like I said, I have NO idea why it was a problem to re-publish things anyway.  OKAY, so don’t publish something getting published this year in RiverCraft so as not to tread on their territory–we all agreed on that.  But chapbooks are often (if not mostly) comprised of many many single works that were previously published in literary journals.

Honestly, I was pleased with the results of the contest, but I was slightly disapointed because I felt like the one manuscript won for the wrong reason.

Oh well.

All my affections,

Liz

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So my workshop for the naked pictures story went really well.  Bailey called it a “breakthrough” story for me which essentially equalled “Hey Liz! Guess what? You CAN still write fiction!”

As a note, that piddley 12 page draft ended up being a solid 19 pages, which I was very proud of.  Now I just need to cut half of it and learn about how boners work in old men. My research was from a different generation.

The problem is that I still haven’t done a thing for my first story, the grandfather story. I started re-writing it today in third person (kill me) and have all of three sentences.

I wish it were warmer outside so I could enjoy the sun.

All my affections,

Liz

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