Ok, so a couple cool things happened this week.
1. I finished reordering the manuscript, and when I say “finished reordering the manuscript,” I mean “I put it into a brand-spanking-new document on my Mac and it’s now saved as A Door Opens At Night Version 2.docx and it’s ready to be released to the world.” And when I say “released” I mean “picked up by an amazing press that is very cool to its authors and wants to give me a small amount of prize money for working so hard on this.” And when I say “small amount of money” I mean “more than $1 and probably less than $1 million.” And when I say “probably” I mean “most definitely.”
Anyway, it feels good to be done. I’m happy with the state of it for now, though if others’ experiences are any indication, there might be more revision in my future. But for now, it’s good. It’s strong. I believe that it has legs and will learn to run in the right directions. And I’m going to start aiming it in the next few weeks.
2. I went to see Joan Larkin read at Drew University on Wednesday. She was fantastic. I was really impressed by her reading style–she is calm and engaging, and absolutely adorable. She confessed to getting a little nervous at readings, and even acknowledged a slight stumbling in a poem. My only complaint is that she didn’t read nearly long enough. I could have listened to her all night.
After the reading, I had a nice chat with Patrick Rosal, a NJ poet whose work I have loved since I first read it back in 2007. Pat, who has been incredibly encouraging of my own work, took a moment to introduce me to Ross Gay, another poet whose book really affected me. Standing there, talking to two poets whose work I truly respect and admire, and who appear to be wonderfully kind and generous people, it became very, very clear to me that I need to stop messing around in the corporate world and get into the poet’s life. This simple exchange was probably the most powerful of the night for me:
Me: I have a job that interferes with the rest of my life.
Pat: That’s so refreshing to hear, because most people think that their lives interfere with their jobs.
What am I doing here?
So. In the next week, I am committing to accomplish a few things. I need to make changes, and I will not be happy with the changes unless they ultimately lead to me doing something more substantial with writing.
I’m going to do it right. 2011 is going to be my year.