A Saturday Meme

January has posted a meme on her blog, and it’s been quite a long while since I’ve done one of these, so here I go..

1. What’s the last thing you wrote?  Believe it or not, I am secretary for our faculty senate on campus — so I just typed the minutes from the last meeting in May.  The last creative thing?  I’m working on a poem about a graffiti artist who stumbles into a western Pennsylvania small town.

2. Is it any good? The faculty minutes? They are a masterpiece! 🙂 No, seriously, I think my new poem has some promising lines, but am a bit worried that I have included some stereotypes.

3. What’s the first thing you ever wrote that you still have? I still have some book reports I wrote when I was in fourth grade.  (Let’s not talk about how long ago that was…) On the more creative side, I have a story I wrote when I was in 8th grade about a young girl who stumbles into a deserted and haunted jailhouse.  Not exactly Stephen King material, but I did have a line that said something like this:  blood oozed between cracks in the brick wall like the filling of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 

 

4. Favorite genre of writing? Poetry, of course!  But I also enjoy nature writing, memoirs and history.  As I noted in my last blog post, I have recently (re)discovered the short story.

5. How often do you get writer’s block? I don’t know if I believe in writer’s block, but I do suffer from something I call writer’s funk — where I seem to be writing the same poem over and over and over again.  I’m going through that right now. 

6. How do you fix it? In order to fix this issue (which happens a few times a year), I try to read poets’ writing that is most unlike my own work.

7. Do you save everything you write? Yes.  Well, almost everything. 

8. How do you feel about revision? There are some days I like revision; other days, I don’t.  I’m one of those people who tends to “write herself out of a good poem.” 

9. What’s your favorite thing that you’ve written? Poetry wise?  I have a poem titled “Eating Watermelons” that makes me smile when I read it.  It’s one of the few poems I have written where I am a bit more playful with language and theme.

I do a lot of book reviews, and some are better than others.  I believe that the best review I have ever written was a review of Paula Bohince’s Incident at the Edge of Bayonet Woods published in Green Mountains Review.

10. What’s everyone else’s favorite thing that you’ve written? A lot of people like “Eating Watermelons” — listed above.  However, I’ve had complete strangers email me about my poem, “Beauty Tips from the Girls on Third Shift” which was published in Anti.

11. What writing projects are you working on right now? Oy.  It was a poetry manuscript.  Now, it’s more like another chapbook.  I also am finishing up several book reviews.

12. What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will? A play.  Dialogue is tricky for me. 

13. Do you write for a living?  It depends on what one means by writing for a living.  I teach at a small rural community college, and of course, that job does include a lot of writing besides lesson plans.  I find that I am often involved in writing letters of recommendations and grant proposals.

14. Quote something you’ve written, the first thing to pop into your mind. “She pins down a child’s secret with a pine needle, police sirens with old thumb tacks” from my poem “The Girl Who Could Catch Echoes”

4 Comments »

  1. January Said:

    Great answers. Personally, I think it’s OK to write the same poem over and over (Sharon Olds’ father poems come to mind). That’s part of the struggle. But I like your remedy of reading writers who are unlike you.

  2. Judging by the different answers to this meme, playwriting, and dialogue, seem to be a shared struggle!

  3. Christine Said:

    This meme is cool. And I have the same problem with writing the same poem over and over. Nice to know I’m not the only one. Thanks for sharing.


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