Word Perv
(noun): One who takes delight and is skilled at constructing, writing or saying naughty phrases or dialogue.
June 30, 2016

Promotion

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First: head on over to Quail Bell Magazine and read my poems – they’ve published four of them and I’m really excited about it!

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About two months ago I was promoted at work. It didn’t result in a massive pay raise (of course not), but it did result in adding the word Senior to my title and getting a better cubicle. I now have the coveted cubicle that backs up to floor-to-ceiling windows. I can turn around and gaze out at the pond that’s outside my building. While I usually only see geese and ducks in the pond, occasionally I’ll see one of the bald eagles that nests nearby and let’s be honest – bald eagles are fucking awesome and majestic and whenever one visits the pond everyone rushes to the window to watch them. So yeah, my office space is pretty great.

But while the addition of Senior to my the front of my title and the new office space are great there is one downfall – my desk now sits below the vents that blow cold air nonstop. I’ve taken to drinking cup after cup of hot water in order to maintain a reasonable body temp. In addition to drinking endless cups of hot water, I have a pair of fingerless gloves I wear in the office. They’re hand knit using super soft alpaca yarn; I bought them when I went to Peru a few years ago and am finally getting good use out of them.

 

Wearing fingerless gloves in the office!

Wearing fingerless gloves in the office!

 

And of course I wrote a poem about it – because this is what I do, use everything as an opportunity to write!

Promotion

I sit with hands wrapped

around the steaming mug.

My new office is freezing,

my desk just below the vents

that blow cold air regardless

of the outside temperature.

I sit and sip hot water –

not tea or coffee, just water.

Just the mug to warm my hands

the liquid to warm my throat.

Only men have inhabited this space

and I knew it would be cold

but the requirement of layers

and a lined bra seemed a worthy trade-off

for authority and power.

I celebrate by ordering new business cards

with my new title printed on them.

Tomorrow I’ll wear an unlined bra into the office

and I’ll let my erect nipples

walk into the room before me –

guns blazing.

 

June 6, 2016

Up Next

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Even though my chapbook All in the Family is forthcoming from Bottlecap Press, that doesn’t mean I’m sitting around just waiting for it to be published. Oh no, I’m doing edits on it and polishing it till it’s shiny. Because that’s what you do as a writer – it’s not just the writing of the poems (if only!), it’s also the editing and rewriting and reworking. And it’s also the continuous process of submitting poems.

Another poet once asked me how I get my poems published. The short answer: I send out a lot of submissions. I average about 3 hours a week, just submitting poems to various journals, magazines, and websites. In addition to sending out submissions, I spend several more hours writing, rewriting, and editing my poems. Every week I spend a total of 8-10 hours on my poems and poetry. And while that’s a lot of time it pays off. I have several poems being published in upcoming journals. Recently, my poem Trigger was published in SHE Zine. (Click here to get your copy, my poem is in SHE Zine #2 and it’s $4.)

SHE Zine - great with coffee or wine!

SHE Zine – great with coffee or wine!

 

And I just finished assembling my full length manuscript. After much editing and rearranging, I’m finally happy with the end result and have sent the manuscript off to several publishers.

Manuscript planning!

Manuscript planning!

 

There’s no fast and easy way to get published, the key to writing and publishing is to keep at it. Keep sending in submissions. There will be a lot of rejections, but there will also be some acceptances. And those are the golden nuggets that keep me writing and submitting.

May 30, 2016

Jumping Up & Down

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In January, on New Year’s Day, I got word my chapbook All the Bright Stars had not been selected as a finalist in Wicked Banshee’s chapbook competition. I was sad and dejected and I allowed myself an extra glass of wine while I wallowed in self-pity. Then I pulled on my big girl pants and got back to writing.

I compiled a chapbook of poems titled All in the Family. As you likely guessed, these poems center around my family and my relationship with them. I started sending it out to publishers and started getting rejections. Yes, rejection sucks but Stephen King got rejected a lot too before he found success as a writer so I a know rejections are part of the process.

A few weeks ago I logged into my email and read the following words

Hello, I’m Brendan with Bottlecap Press and I’m very happy to announce we’ve accepted All in the Family!

 

I literally started jumping up and down and yelling. I scared my dog, my husband, and perhaps the neighbors. But I didn’t care, I was ecstatic!

The chapbook will come out late 2016/early 2017 – exact details are still to be determined. But I am happy and excited to be a part of the Bottlecap Press family and cannot wait to share my newest chapbook with you!

Earlier this week I received two bits of poetry in the mail. The first was from Brain Mill Press – a book of poetry (Tanka & Me) and its coordinating artwork. This was my prize for being chosen as their Editor’s Pick during National Poetry Month – my poem Unsolicited Advice to My Younger Self was featured during week three.

Tanka & Me by Kaethe Schwehn

Tanka & Me by Kaethe Schwehn

 

The second bit of poetry I received was the spring edition of SLAB Literary Magazine.

FullSizeRender (2)

 

My poem Mother is published there. You can order a copy of the magazine, which is more like book than a magazine, by emailing the SLAB staff (slabstaff (at) gmail.com) and they’ll send you a link for payment. My poem isn’t featured on their website but you should check out the contest winner’s poem Should, it’s a great read.

Tonight, I’ll be featured in the Skelter reading and launch party. Come out tonight to hear me, and others, read our poetry and writing!

Skelter

May 1, 2016

Traveling & Writing

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I am fortunate I get to travel for my job. I work long hours and my job is very demanding, but it sends me all over the world and that is certainly a perk. In January I was in Australia for twelve days. In the beginning of April I went to Tunisia for a week. Now, I’m in the Philippines. Before you think I’m just jet-setting around the world you should also know I tend to work seven days a week when I’m on travel, and am up at all hours of the day and night so I can make phone calls and answer emails to colleagues in time zones around the world. So it’s glamorous but also very gritty.

Whenever I travel I bring my Kindle loaded with at least ten books (I’m a very fast reader) and at least one book of poetry. The poetry is always a printed book as I prefer to read my poetry this way – to be able to highlight passages I love and make notes in the margins.

While I was in Tunisia I brought Jeanann Verlee’s first book of poetry, Racing Hummingbirds. If you haven’t read this book yet I suggest you do, it’s amazing. As I read the book it inspired me to write my own poems. Her poem 40 Love Letters inspired a similar poem I wrote titled 24 Love Letters. Here’s a picture of the rough draft. Yeah, it’s one of those poems that comes out in waves and requires a bit of editing to come together.

24 Love Letters

24 Love Letters

 

While in Tunisia I got to see and do a few new things, include seeing El Jem, the world’s third largest colosseum and riding a camel. (This is the glamorous part of work.)

Riding a camel in front of El Jem

Riding a camel in front of El Jem

the streets of Sidi BouSaid

the streets of Sidi BouSaid

 

While in Tunisia I also read Jeanann Verlee’s poem Unsolicited Advice to Adolescent Girls With Crooked Teeth and Pink HairThat poem prompted me to write my own titled Unsolicited Advice to My Younger Self. It was published last week by Brainmill Press, you can read it here. Two weeks after I returned from Tunisia I met Jeanann Verlee in person at the Split This Rock 2016 Poetry Festival and she’s wonderful and kind and I totally have a girl crush on her.

Now I’m in the Philippines for a week and I brought Jeanann Verlee’s second book, Said the Manic to the Muse, as my weekly poetry read. I started it last night, after nearly 24-hours of travel. Five minutes later, I’d written my first poem.

Newest poem with my newest muse

Newest poem with my newest muse

 

I think I’ve found my newest muse.