Trapped

This is one of those boring posts where I don’t really have anything to say but write a blog post anyway to spew forth the crap in my head and maybe lessen the load on my sinuses a little. I’m spending the last few minutes of my workday avoiding work because I’m at that point in my workload where I feel trapped and know I can’t finish any projects so I don’t want to start on any of them because what’s the point I can’t finish any of them anyway. So I’ll just blog and pretend like I don’t have too much shit to do and not enough time to do it in. So here’s what’s up in my world.

I’m planning on going over to the Green Rice Gallery in NoDa tomorrow night for a reading hosted by the good folks at Iodine and the Main Street Rag. There’s an open mic afterwards (why people insist upon calling it an open mike when there’s never been a “k” in microphone confuses me) and I’ll probably read something and pimp my book a little. Good/bad news on that front – I’m down to only a couple dozen out of the initial print run of 100 copies, so the books have moved a bit. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I probably gave away two dozen over Christmas to family, so I’m still not 100% sure if I lost money on the deal or not. The other downer is that to continue promoting my work, I’ll have to order more, and I’m kinda broke right now, so I need to figure that out.

And the reason I’ll need more copies is that I booked another reading, this one in late March/early April at the Literary Bookpost in Salisbury. They have a Saturday Salon series, and I sent them an electronic copy of my book to look over. They responded affirmatively, so now we just need to settle on a date. That, along with my stuff at Story Slam and an appearance in the February edition of Just Do It at Theatre Charlotte will keep me pretty bust for the foreseeable future. I think we’ll do another Carolina Writer’s Showcase at Story Slam in March, and I have another couple of ideas that I’ve been cogitating on that I wanted to get some feedback on.

Do you think it’s worth $5 to attend an open mic reader’s night? I think there should be enough momentum among people to put one of these together monthly. Everybody, even the folks reading, pay $5 to get in. That covers the cost of running the building. If we get a good crowd, we make enough to keep it going. Otherwise, it’s hard to justify the cost of the lights.

The other idea I had is a poetry contest. Not like a poetry slam, where things have to be memorized, but a contest for the best poetry. I was thinking $10 to enter and there would be two prizes each month – an audience prize and a judges’ prize. There would be three judges – one from the venue, one from the audience, and one from a previous month’s winner. The entry fees would be split between the two prizes, and it would be possible for one person to win both, so either two people win $50 each, or one person wins $100. So do you think people would participate, and do you think people would pay $10 to watch it?

Those are ideas that I’m kicking around, in addition to writing new material and submitting like mad. I’ve sent submissions out to seven different journals, online and print, this month, and gotten one acceptance (The Dead Mule) and one rejection (Camroc). The rest I haven’t heard from, but it’s too soon for most of them. I’ve spent some time this week poring over The Poet’s Market, and am starting to develop a real sense of attitude for places that don’t accept electronic submissions. I mean, damn people, it’s the future, why waste stamps? So my new submission policy is to focus on places that accept electronic submissions, because that makes life easier on all of us. If it’s a really respected journal, then I’ll go for a mailed sub, but since a lot of those places also don’t accept simultaneous submissions, they aren’t necessarily the best venue for an unknown poet anyway.

And here I go getting locked into the paradigm I was complaining about not all that long ago. Before you know it I’ll be running off to get my MFA and start life as an English professor with a tenure-track gig just so that I can write more. I already have a jacket with leather patches on the elbows. Look, there’s nothing wrong with an MFA. There’s nothing wrong with being a teacher. But there is something wrong with the lack of relevance of poetry (and theatre, and real music) in today’s world. The more we look for the newest Twitter, or Facebook, or Farmville, or iPad, or whatever, the more we’re ignoring each other and the immediacy with which people are supposed to live life. So I’ll spend a little more time trying to buck the system and figure out how to get poets and poetry noticed, and maybe less time submitting to journals published by universities who don’t care about the world outside their ivory towers anyway.

(steps down off soapbox)

So now I’ve spewed the better part of 1,000 words without a coherent theme, so I’ll direct you to two awesome women who you should read EVERY DAY. But especially the linked posts, because they are teh awesome. Amanda Fucking Palmer and The Bloggess. Both of the linked posts moved me, one in a stand up and throw a fist in the air in solidarity kind of way, and another in a nod your head with tears dripping into your beard because you’ve been there and have the scars to prove it kind of way. I think you’re all smart enough to figure out which is which.

Now my workday is done, my Farmville strawberries are ready for harvest, and I’m gonna take my fat ass home for dinner. See ya around.

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3 thoughts on “Trapped

  1. You realize that your cool factor just increased exponentially due to the comment from Jenny, right?

    Anyway, I was going to comment about AFP. I had never heard of her, actually. Apparently I live in the same sort of bubble she does in that I don’t know or recognize a lot of famous people. She writes too much for me to include her on my Google Reader, but I respect her attitude on life.

    Thanks for the links.

    -DrC

    PS. Still on the fence about Mastodon Weekend. You gonna be there?

  2. Main Street tried to host some events at their building with prizes and people still did show up – so FYI on that!

    There are a lot of great open mike’s in the area and I doubt many people would pay to attend. The 11th at 8pm is one of my favorite’s at Jackson’s Java. Hosted by Iodine.

    As an MFAer, I’ll tell ya, I did it for the writing so I could focus and be around other writers. The job market for teaching is so difficult right now and pretty thankless unless you have numerous books and awards under your belt.

    Let’s see what else in the rant? Sorry to hear about the rejection. I had three this week myself! Do you know about Duotrope? Another great resource for submitting.

    🙂

    I doubt I’ll make it to Green Rice tonight but it definitely is still on my radar of possibilities!

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