Blog, Poetry, Psychology, School, Writing

Anything but This Thing

So, updating this blog is clearly not a strong area of mine.  I even have it set as a reminder in my task management software, but compared to all the other things I have scheduled, it always seems the easiest to bump to another day.  With so many generative balls in the area lately, one that is summary-ish really doesn’t feel like it comes in first place.  However, the truism about the preponderance of excuses and their relative aroma remains, and so I’m going to make more of an effort.


In the middle of my summer break from school and it is hard to believe that by this time next year my degree will be completed.  Considering it took over 20 years to complete my bachelor’s, getting my graduate degree feels like a whirlwind.  There’s also pressure building to have that translate into a more clear sense of “what’s next.”  In some ways, I still feel like a confused kid who has no idea what the path before them is, but that excuse will definitely not play.  I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t something simmering to find a doctoral program to apply to, just to further stave off the inevitable.  That aside, I’ve been stuffing my time off with a host of things that – upon reflection it makes sense – a summer break is perfect for.

I’ve lined up a part-time job that’ll be starting next month.  Nothing too outside my wheelhouse, and all remote, so that comfort is there.  Also, submitting poems for publication like crazy.  Perhaps a little bit indiscriminately, but I feel like when you’re in the early stages of this process, throwing a handful of noodles at the wall to see where they stick is as viable a strategy as a meticulously targeted one.  While in the trenches, it doesn’t feel like it is going well.  30+ separate publications have rejected me (and at generally 3-5 poems each, that feels like a LOT of rejection), but on the other hand, I’ve also had three acceptances.


My first submission was sent out in April, and my first rejection came in May.  In about three months, I’ve had three acceptances, regardless of how many rejections went along with that.  That honestly feels like something to be proud of and like an above the curve rate.  While it seems like peers in my MFA program are sporting acceptances every week, I must not compare in that way.  I know and accept that my work is more tailored to a specific audience, and that is going to lower the rate of places that choose to publish it.  If only I were writing about the challenges of a modern woman in a modern world, I’d be fighting off the publishers with a stick!  (I kid.)  ((Yet, I’m kinda serious…))  Most of the rejections I’m taking in stride, especially knowing that I’m casting a wide net of things that might fit what they’re looking for.  Though some are rough, obviously.  When it is an LGBTQ+ publication or something with a theme that I felt very strongly about (not that either is a guarantee), that’s more disappointing.  I also find the rejections that have a lot of “it isn’t your work” language to be really patronizing and somewhat insulting.  These are the things we all know if we have read anything about the process, and including these placations feel somewhat infantilizing.  Probably that’s a me thing, rather than a them problem, though.

I will certainly be back here when the two pieces I haven’t been able to brag much about go live!

I’ve also been putting a lot of work into getting my first chapbook organized and polished before this break is over.  I absolutely want to submit it to at least one place before classes start again (I have my eye on you, Palette Poetry!).  I feel strongly about this collection, and think it has a lot of potential.  It is the core of a collection idea I’ve been working on for over a year, and I want that seed to germinate in the world!  My plan is for my MFA thesis work to expand on this chapbook into a full-length collection, so I need it to be the best it can be (and if it were also selected for publication, that would be a HUGE help) before I get to that next year, where I can use this as a springboard, rather than a crutch.

You may have also noticed that the spring and summer brought some updates and streamlining to the website.  Thanks to the help of the fantastic Kerry, I was able to take a site that was created beyond what it could sustain and bring it down to the core.  And hopefully one that I’ll be able to navigate updates of in the future (this blog procrastination notwithstanding).  I have some stretch visions for it, too, but one thing at a time.


Most importantly, I got to spend a week with my best friend.  We’re far enough apart that generally we only the the chance to see each other once or twice a year, so we try to make the most of it.  A number of events conjoined in confluence this time.  I needed to be in his neck of the woods for some formalities around the new job I’m starting, and our favorite performer, P!nk, was playing in my neck of the woods.

I made the drive down and crashed with his family for a few days while I paperworked, then we road tripped back north together.  Having previously infected him with a love for Portsmouth, NH, and planted the seeds for the University of New Hampshire being the ideal goal employer and lifestyle, we came even farther north and I got to give him a campus tour.  I think that hook is firmly placed.


Then a few days in Boston to see P!nk soaring above Fenway Park. We had a great time getting our bestie mojo back on, working on my chapbook, mocking Housewives, and getting political.  The next time is already too far away.

Unsure what the next couple of weeks will have in store besides more of the same rinse and repeat daily doldrums that have been taking up most of my (non-fun) time.  I should be able to come back and promote my next publication on or shortly after Friday, August 18, so hopefully it won’t be nearly so long between missives.

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