if you have any short stories, prose, non-fiction, essays, etc, even remotely ready for publication, I would really enjoy having more submissions to pick from. and i know you would really enjoy being published. send em to email@example.com NOW, final decisions are TOMORROW.
I think the moment my query letters started working is the moment when I stopped writing about my book series like someone who gave birth to a beautiful child and started writing about it like a store associate on commission trying to get someone to buy something like a refrigerator or new shoes.
Just write. Just write for fun. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing. Let it become a source of joy for you.
Take apart the works of your favorite poets, short story writers, essayists, and novelists. Tinker with them. See how they work. Create something with their parts.
Don’t be afraid to finish things. Don’t let yourself amass only beginnings of things. You learn the most from endings and endings get you whole works.
Take great amounts of time and effort to connect with your favorite writers. Make the writers your friends. But still steal from the writing. The writing should mean more to you than the writer.
Give yourself assignments. If you’re going to read books on writing, actually do the exercises. This is how you can create your own creative writing class: one student and one teacher, and only the best reading and writing assignments.
Learn to work hardest when you don’t want to work at all. Think continuously about what makes you want to write. Never let that passion go, even when you feel consumed by self-hate and self-doubt. Write as a way to connect with yourself, with others, with the whole universe. Do it today. Just write.
We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the “ideas” with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.
Or at least we do for a while.”
Joan Didion, The White Album
I just reread this essay, and I think it’s an important one for writers to read—not to be better writers, I think, but to be better humans outside of our writing. I definitely fall victim to the need to narrativize things that happen in my life, to want to say x happened because of y because of z. And yes, life is a series of chains reactions, of “fate” or whatever you want to call it splitting off like branches on a tree because of the decisions we make. But it doesn’t all have to make sense; it doesn’t have to tie up neatly. If there’s a gun on the mantle in the proverbial first act of my life, it doesn’t have to go off in the third.
I’m having a hard time believing this right now, granted how certain negative past actions of mine are resurfacing in what seems like a karmic rage, but we need to remember that life is fucking random. Dwelling on the past events that lead to our current situation is, a lot of the time, useless. I know it sounds trite at this point, but if life is a non-narrative, there’s only moving forward.
"The Hack Scribbler" by Daniel Toumine is now available in hardcopy thanks to 89plus and the LUMA Foundation. The book is currently a part of the "Poetry Will Be Made By All" exhibit in Zurich, CH. If you’re in the area, the exhibit will be up until March 30th. If you can’t make it in person, you can download a copy of "The Hack Scribbler for free, or buy a hardcopy, here.
Teach me a foreign
that I may articulate
these feelings into words
the weight of my thoughts
For these stanzas appear
so pallid upon the page;
stagnant script that
fails to speak the
burning in my fingertips
The music resounding
in the marrow of my bones
stains this stage so silently;
regardless of style and
Am I bound by endless
Poets paint their passions
their wounds bleed beauty
..Mine is a repertoire
of recyled renditions—
I cannot weave these
into works of art
I cannot write of you
the way I wish I could..
Page one hundred and sixty-three out of two hundred and four.
Computer pages, single-spaced in twelve point Times New Roman.
Fifteen years in the newspaper business and I recognize things like that now, my days spent with Cheltham Bold, Franklin Gothic, headlines and deadlines. I’ve written for the paper and laid out its pages, grown to love the place. It taught me a trade after all. Worked in it still drunk from the night before and raised glasses with co-workers on New Year’s Eve and when Obama was elected.
Most of my life has had to do with the written word in one way or another.
The novel is in its fifth edit in four, maybe five years. It now feels like a book. The stack of pages on my right is now larger than the one on my left.
There is an agent waiting to read it, though she does not represent me yet, she’s done well my a couple friends of mine.
When I’ve finished going through the line-by-line I’ll go back and add two crucial scenes. I can see the sign posts and the world of it around me. As long as I listen to the bird in my chest I think I’ll be alright. He has a better view of the land after all, wings have their advantages.
Welcome back to This Poetry Does Not Exist, Brendon here again with a last small little bit of info for the day. There’s three announcements I want to make to all of my followers. But keeping with my format I’ll break it into threes parts.
Part 1: Attic Lights
Back in January I started work on a little side project. I would try to write 12 poems in a weekend from Friday to Sunday. I was successful, but instead of breaking them apart and posting them on a span of 12 Saturdays I decided I would give the complete project for free. There will be a page put up once the project is ready to distribute on the blog under “These Free Downloads Do Not Exist” You’ll be able to get it there. But that’s not all!
Part 2: Songs For James
In the beginning of February I decided to be more personal. I had an album’s worth of lyrics titled “Songs For James” sadly for me, I never got to actually working on or recording any of the songs, BUT gladly for all of you I will also be giving Songs For James out for free! BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!
Part 3: MY FRIEND FLORIS
If you thought that was not enough! There will be another project going up for free! Since January up until now, I’ve been working on a book titled “My Friend Floris” Now this is an actual poetry book not just 12. This book will be available soon, as soon as March 9th, I hope you can all download it and enjoy it by then.
- Attic Lights a 12 Poem project for FREE! (Release Date: TBA)
- Songs For James: 10 Lyric Project for FREE! (Release Date: TBA)
- MY FRIEND FLORIS: Full Poetry Book For Free (Release Date: March 9th)
I hope you’re all as excited as I am, I hope you all enjoy these little extra projects.
This Writer Does Not Exist
I think it’s intoxicating when somebody is so unapologetically who they are - Don Cheadle
This quote above is very fitting for the wonderful woman I’m about to write about. I had the pleasure of meeting Queen Sheba back in August 2013 at the Marquis Slam in Fayetteville, NC. She was a feature at that slam. She’s a firecracker and she keeps it real. And that reflects in her work.
Long Story Short: from foster care to fame is a book of poetry and short stories that she defines as too big for the stage. She covers a variety to topics - family, friends, relationships, God, roaches (I’m serious about the last one. Did you watch the link I shared about her yesterday?). She has her own way with words. She paints really interesting pictures. I think her work pushes you to open your mind and think broadly. I found myself sitting and thinking after a few of her poems and stories. What does it really mean to her? Because I’ll never really know and what does it mean to me? I think we all can appreciate work that makes us stop and think.
Her line breaks are more suited for speaking (reading out loud or performing), but it’s not too distracting for reading. A lot of the poems in here are free verse, but she has some haikus that serve as section dividers. Those are good and interesting as well. Some of my favorite pieces are off-beat-i-tis, a short story about the awkwardness and struggle of dancing off beat; cardinal, a poem; civil rights comes to pizza hut, one of the moments she’s encountered racism being a person of color adopted into a white family; the woods, a poem about taking a trip with her family; roach motel on central drive, about roaches and the company you keep; espn: extra special poets network, this poem is a really interesting dissection of spoken word artists; haiku for all wing clippers, and dear God, it’s me sheba, a letter to God. I realized I liked a lot more poems and stories, but I wanted to keep the list short.
It’s a really good book. It’s eclectic. I like the idea of short stories and poems going together. That definitely inspires me to maybe put a book with a mix of those two things since I write both. Please go buy it! It’s $17 in her etsy shop. She also has some spoken word CDs and some other books for sell there.
Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook. She’s really cool. Oh, she probably thought I was weird because at one point, I was kind of staring at her, but it’s because I was trying to figure out if she was the same poet that was featured on Verses and Flow and she was. She’s also gorgeous and has neat tattoos so I couldn’t help myself lol. Check her out! Buy her stuff! You won’t be disappointed.
happy vday friends, here is a short book of surreal love poems i wrote a while back called ‘i had a dream about the end of the world and you weren’t in it’, i hope you enjoy it today!!