Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Confession Tuesday

Time to "Poet Up," as Bruno Mars says. Time for confessions.


This artwork is from an exhibit at the ICA Boston. Recognize the phrase?


I don't know how I'm going to get through inauguration week. 

This morning I went on Facebook and finally read this article on what books President Obama reads. Ugh. Then the tears came. Maybe it's dawning on me that our eight years with the Obama family are ending, and that the sense of optimism about where the country was going culturally and economically is gone. I don't hear anyone cheering, especially on the conservative side. 

I'm saddened that we're losing a president who really cares about books. 

And if you care about books, then I have to believe you have an expanded and open world view. You believe we can't get by on the backs of others. You can think critically. You believe in reason and science. 

Trump doesn't get it. 

As an educator starting classes this week, I worry that we will slide backwards as a nation. All of the progress we've made with Women's Rights, LGBTQ issues, people with disabilities, immigration--you name it, it's all going away. For me, that's translated to a certain degree of stability in the classroom. When I stand in front of my students to say everything will be OK, I'm lying. 


The week after Trump was elected, kids in my son's middle school told him and his friend (who is Filipino) that they will be deported. So don't tell me that things aren't changing,


I'm ready to #resist, but I do so while grieving the loss of the current administration. Don't even get me started on Michelle Obama. I'll save that for tomorrow. 



Courage before comfort. #resist

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Poetry Action Plan 2017

Creating a Poetry Action Plan (PAP) is simple:

  • Define your goals
  • Be realistic about what can be achieved
  • Track your progress
  • Prepare for setbacks BUT be open to opportunities

Unfortunately, my 2016 plan went up in flames.

Even though nothing went according to plan, I swear by this way of thinking. I’m a goal-oriented person. The older I get, the more intentional I am about how I spend my time. More important, none of us knows what will happen with the new administration. I have to stay connected to what's important to me.

I don’t have any idea how artists will be called upon. I worry about federal funding sources for creatives drying up. I worry about poets, writers, artists, and adjuncts—those of us who don’t make a ton of money—losing out on vital services and resources. I’m holding onto the idea, however, that taking care of myself and my writing life will help bolster me in all parts of my life. If I can balance my energy and resources, I should have enough for the people in my life and my community to do whatever I am called on to do.

That being said, here’s how I did in 2016:

This exercise forced me to take a good hard look at what I accomplisheded in 2016, and what I hope to do for the New Year.

In 2016, I ...

  1. Found a home for my next book. CavanKerry Press will publish Rewilding in 2018!
  2. Publish in journals and magazines regularly. Mixed success.
  3. Continue to support Misery Islands. I guess I did this. Even through my most difficult time, I continues to do readings and take on projects.
  4. Take up yoga. Yoga? What's that?

I’m being too hard on myself because I did go to The White House.


In 2017, I will:

  1. Write a poem a week. I’ve written four. So far, so good.
  2. Send out a submission once a week. Haven’t sent out anything yet.
  3. Only take on writing projects that have meaning for me. I am trying to be more selective about how I spend my time.
  4. Yoga!

Here are my past plans for 2015 and 2016.

Good luck creating your Poetry Action Plan for 2017!

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Confession Tuesday

If it's Tuesday in 2017, then it's time to confess.

Thought I would start with a picture of the kids.

Alex is now 13 and Ella is 11. This photos was taken outside of the World of Coke in Atlanta. Yes, there's a World of Coca-Cola. It's delicious. We especially like the tasting room where you can try Coke products from around the world. And yes, Beverly from Italy still takes like fizzy nail polish remover. Never ceases to amaze ...


The kids are back at school, which mean my vacation starts today! WOO HOO!


Public journaling--specifically, blogging--forces me to think about what I will say or do next. What am I teeing up for tomorrow? Where will I put my energy? What is worth sharing? That's what I missed in most of 2016. Maybe it has to do with energy and the lack thereof, but I just wasn't looking ahead beyond the next set of tasks. By December, everything felt like an obligation. Everything was due; therefore, nothing was important.

So blogging is an attempt to gain some perspective and figure out what excites me. Where do I want to put my energy next?

Today, the answer to that question is writing poem #2 for the year.


I'm hopeful that I'll continue to blog regularly, but I can be fickle.


Right now, I'm sitting in Starbucks on a rainy morning, and listening to "Cloudbusting" by Kate Bush.


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