catch up, daily miscellany

non-digital life

It’s been hard for me to blog about real things lately, which is why I’ve been resorting to posting pictures and videos from Teh Interwebs. I’m not sure lately what I want to say. The recent spate of really horrible happenings in the world (like the attacks in India and the ongoing war) and the standard level of frustration that I carry with me (concerning a variety of topics that you can learn about in a number of posts found here or here or here) has my head sort of a mess. I feel like I should be writing about this stuff in my poetry, and yet I don’t have a voice for it. And writing about it on the blog all day every day is the kind of exhausting work I’m not emotionally capable of right now.

So I guess I should offer some sort of update. Hm.

In August, I told the members of my poetry group that I was planning on leaving the group. There wasn’t much surprise, although I think there was some skepticism – I have talked about leaving the group in the past, but never actually done it. But this year marked five years with the QNDs, and I was tired. Although I never really liked the idea that I was the “president” of the group, it’s more or less true – I did a large portion of the organizing for that 5-year period, and it was exhausting. I haven’t been to a meeting or workshopped a poem since August, and while it sounds selfish, I have to say I’m loving the break. The submissions period for the journal is in full swing right now, and I don’t miss it at all.

There were a number of reasons beyond my mental exhaustion that made the exit seem like a good plan, and I chose not to elaborate them to anyone. I still choose that – with one exception. Something I think I didn’t understand until fairly recently is that I’m pretty tired of workshopping. I know there’s value in having other people give me their thoughts on what I’m writing, but I’m less interested now in circulating my poem to a group of people and letting them shred it. I am certainly no Marie Howe, but I’ve come to understand the basics of poetry. I’m confident that my poems are stronger and clearer than before, and I’ve found that I don’t rely on workshopping as strongly as I used to.

Donna articulated very clearly the other day – she said, “I’m tired of workshopping. I’m ready to collaborate.” That’s pretty much how I feel. I’ve been jealous for a long time of the ability of musicians to jam as a group – and I want to develop something like that in poetry, or across disciplines. I’m not sure how to do that, but I’m intent on figuring it out.

I have some ideas brewing that could change a lot of things for me, both in terms of work and writing.

Jacob is still wonderful, funny and frustrating at once. He was moved out of his Pre1st program, in which he was excelling, into the regular 1st grade. He is ecstatic and proud, and is doing really well.

Work is what it always has been.

I have deleted my MySpace account, and will be likely getting rid of the Twitter too – reducing my online presence feels like the right thing to do right now. MySpace was just gross and annoying, and I don’t see any need for 24/7 updates on Twitter. Facebook is still active, though, and it’s much less frustrating to use.

And that, my friends, is all. I don’t know when real posts will be coming again – maybe tonight, maybe next week. Maybe in January. But if you see a bunch of LOLCats in the next few weeks, don’t be mad. Just enjoy the cuteness.

16 thoughts on “non-digital life”

  1. When you figure out how to collaborate poetically, please enlighten me. I’d like to know. BTW, you are missed. *Sniff*

    – knife

  2. When you figure out how to collaborate poetically, please enlighten me. I’d like to know. BTW, you are missed. *Sniff*

    – knife

  3. I’m less interested now in circulating my poem to a group of people and letting them shred it. I am certainly no Marie Howe, but I’ve come to understand the basics of poetry. I’m confident that my poems are stronger and clearer than before, and I’ve found that I don’t rely on workshopping as strongly as I used to.

    This is a perfectly normal step in the growth of an individual writer; most maturing writers reach this point. Frankly, it’s the main reason that the upper level forums at PFFA are not very active these days; those who had posted there regularly have passed beyond the need for them.

  4. I’m less interested now in circulating my poem to a group of people and letting them shred it. I am certainly no Marie Howe, but I’ve come to understand the basics of poetry. I’m confident that my poems are stronger and clearer than before, and I’ve found that I don’t rely on workshopping as strongly as I used to.

    This is a perfectly normal step in the growth of an individual writer; most maturing writers reach this point. Frankly, it’s the main reason that the upper level forums at PFFA are not very active these days; those who had posted there regularly have passed beyond the need for them.

  5. I’ve been thinking about deleting much of my online presence as well, but alas – no can do. Work requires it. I suppose I don’t need a MySpace account for Real Estate purposes, but we are always thinking of ways to connect with people, so I guess it will have to stay, for now. As for workshopping – I hear ya. That’s all I’m sayin’

  6. I’ve been thinking about deleting much of my online presence as well, but alas – no can do. Work requires it. I suppose I don’t need a MySpace account for Real Estate purposes, but we are always thinking of ways to connect with people, so I guess it will have to stay, for now. As for workshopping – I hear ya. That’s all I’m sayin’

  7. Hi! I followed you here from Feministe.

    I’ve been jealous for a long time of the ability of musicians to jam as a group – and I want to develop something like that in poetry, or across disciplines. I’m not sure how to do that, but I’m intent on figuring it out.

    You know, I’ve long wanted to find or build a story game that structures narration as poetry rather than prose. It seems like such a game might be difficult, but it might also be awesome. And games of that sort are the closest thing I can think of to a jam session.

  8. Hi! I followed you here from Feministe.

    I’ve been jealous for a long time of the ability of musicians to jam as a group – and I want to develop something like that in poetry, or across disciplines. I’m not sure how to do that, but I’m intent on figuring it out.

    You know, I’ve long wanted to find or build a story game that structures narration as poetry rather than prose. It seems like such a game might be difficult, but it might also be awesome. And games of that sort are the closest thing I can think of to a jam session.

  9. Hi Violet – thanks for following me over here.

    I’m not sure exactly what you mean – I clicked on your link, and was over my head in RPG lingo in about five seconds flat. Would you indulge me a little?

  10. Hi Violet – thanks for following me over here.

    I’m not sure exactly what you mean – I clicked on your link, and was over my head in RPG lingo in about five seconds flat. Would you indulge me a little?

  11. Sorry! Sometimes I forget about how impenetrable that stuff can be.

    The short of it is that these games (here’s a simple one, and here’s another) are structured to get people to sit together and tell a story. Which you can do without rules, of course, but the rules help in structuring what you do to make that more likely / more interesting.

    I’ve never seen a game that tries to poetically structure the words themselves, though, but that would be fantastically cool.

    (It’s also possible that I’m taking the jam band metaphor a little too literally. Of course, you can play these kinds of collaboration games online, too.)

  12. Sorry! Sometimes I forget about how impenetrable that stuff can be.

    The short of it is that these games (here’s a simple one, and here’s another) are structured to get people to sit together and tell a story. Which you can do without rules, of course, but the rules help in structuring what you do to make that more likely / more interesting.

    I’ve never seen a game that tries to poetically structure the words themselves, though, but that would be fantastically cool.

    (It’s also possible that I’m taking the jam band metaphor a little too literally. Of course, you can play these kinds of collaboration games online, too.)

  13. Well, there are definitely times when I need a shred for a poem. And at those times, I’ll turn to the people I most trust for some good, old fashioned workshopping.

    But I’m no longer interested in group workshopping, really. Perhaps I’m jaded, but I’ve spent too many years group-workshopping with the same people, and listening to the awkward silence is really frustrating.

    It’s also really frustrating that often, what should have been a critique of my poem has turned into a lesson on “how to critique” for some of the workshop members.

  14. Well, there are definitely times when I need a shred for a poem. And at those times, I’ll turn to the people I most trust for some good, old fashioned workshopping.

    But I’m no longer interested in group workshopping, really. Perhaps I’m jaded, but I’ve spent too many years group-workshopping with the same people, and listening to the awkward silence is really frustrating.

    It’s also really frustrating that often, what should have been a critique of my poem has turned into a lesson on “how to critique” for some of the workshop members.

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