It seems like forever since I’ve had one of these, huh? But I am pleased to announce that my poem, ‘In the Whisper’ has been selected for publication in the July/August 2016 issue of devozine. This will be the third time I have been published in The Upper Room’s devotional magazine for youth, and I couldn’t feel more honored.
After thinking through some things, I have decided that I will now be posting on a bi-weekly basis, so every other Sunday. Pray that I will be able to keep up with this schedule.
So to start this off, have a fresh new poem written by yours truly. This was written way back in December 2014, on the Feast of Holy Innocents, which happened to also share a Sunday with the Feast of the Holy Family. This poem is a reflection of that juxtaposition of the suffering of innocent children with the impending suffering of the Holy Infant, as I was captivated by a young child in the pews in front of me at Mass.
I’d been doing so good with my resolution to post twice a month. On the one hand, I’m proud that I made it at least five months without slipping, but on the other, I’m a tad disappointed with myself for letting that just go.
Ah, well. Life goes on. And how. I’ve moved back to Highlands Ranch fully now. Settling back in to a living rhythm with my parents, college-aged little brother and younger sister has been a bit of a struggle, but the kinks are starting to work themselves out now. I started my first full-time job nannying for two small children Monday through Friday, at the beginning of this month which is both a challenge and amazing. Overall I’m proud of this day-job, and feel blessed to be able to make a living doing something that I’m good at, that makes me feel affirmed and valuable and every-day, and surrounds me with love and support instead of hard deadlines and constant belittlement from peers (it helps that if my boss gets cranky at me, I can just put him down for a nap!). I’m also super excited to be getting more involved with my church community, as I have committed myself to being a core team leader for a local high school youth ministry where an old youth group friend of mine was recently hired as the youth director.
In this time of settling in and setting up, I think I’ve written a grand total of one new poem. On the writing front, I’ve been itching to finish my latest full-length fiction manuscript (around 130K words), and I’ve been reading in most of my spare time to try to get rejuvenated with how I’m feeling with my poetic ability. With all of these new experiences in my future, I have a feeling that I will soon have more to write about- but after graduating and moving back, I’ve found that I’ve lost a majority of the writing community that used to keep pushing me to write a new poem a day and I’m most certainly suffering the effects of that. I’m still waiting for a couple of poems to be published before I can send off my next poetry manuscript, but I need to set a goal to get back into submitting poems.
I’ve been entertaining the idea of posting more of my poems directly on my blog rather than submitting them to journals, but I’m torn down the middle on that one. I want to be able to continue to be published as I have been being published, on the one hand, but on the other it would easier and less time consuming for me to post poems directly to my blog on a regular basis (once a month, perhaps?). I might consider doing so with some of my poems which are too specifically worded for most poetry publications, and I might do so with poems that have now been published for long enough that I can re-post them without there being any conflict of interest between myself and the publishers. My question with that would be: which would you rather see, these poems in a text format, or these poems in graphic format? Or should I publish them as both? I will most likely make them as both, seeing as it is easier for some of my media outlets for me to post in graphic rather than text format…
Either way, now that I’m finishing with my latest fiction project I want to get myself back into the swing of being able to balance my poetry side with my fiction side, which means more work and more dedication to both sides of the writing art that I have committed to. I would very much appreciate any prayers or good thoughts that you could spare!
(Also, if you have any requests for a specific kind of poem that you would like me to post, or a poem you’d like me to do a video reading for, don’t hesitate to let me know!)
Something that I’ve gotten slightly addicted to in the past couple of years is thrift shopping. No, it did not start with Macklemore (thank goodness). I had actually really disliked thrifting when I was younger- my mother would always ask if I would want to come along, and I would always say no (she now makes fun of me for this). I thought that thrift stores had nothing that I wanted, that they were for old people, that the clothes would all be out of style and the other items just plain outdated.
In college, I went thrifting to help my friends build up pieces for their costumes in the school musical (which at the time was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat). While they were off looking for their go-go outfits and sparkly headbands, I wandered off and used my time actually looking around. I ended up finding three dresses, several cowgirl-esque button ups for my weekly dance nights at the Grizzly Rose, and a couple of sweaters. Most of the items were also half off the already ridiculously low ticket prices, which means I bought all of those items for less than one blouse at a department store. As a poor college kid, you can imagine how much this appealed to me. I was already a huge fan of shopping at places like TJMaxx and Kohls, but this whole ‘thrifting’ thing let me go one step further with saving money.
Thrifting soon became my go-to shopping experience. Instead of hanging out at malls, like I had done in high school, I started finding all of the thrift stores that I could- comparing their inventories, seeing what new things were in that week. Soon enough I was dragging my boyfriend with me, where he too picked up an appreciation for thrifting (he likes the cheap electronics and the fact that he can get outfits I like without spending too much money on them!)
It’s only recently that I recognized the potential for my thrifting outside of getting cheap clothing. On a thrifting outing that was more focused on finding my boyfriend a DVD recorder, I decided for once not to look at the clothing, and instead look through the DVD and book sections that I so often skipped over. Turns out, the Arc stores that I so dearly love (and favor very highly over other thrift stores) have expansive book sections- even having a neat little section for poetry and classics. Since this was a 50% off Saturday, most of these books were even cheaper than normal- though they were in perfectly good condition. I ended up with a collection of Pablo Neruda’s love poems, which I have always been meaning to reading, three or four poetry anthologies (one 365-poem collection, one around-the-world collection, one with love poems by women, another with love poems to God from different traditions), a large, beautiful copy of Robert Frost’s complete poems, and a small collection written by a woman who lives here locally (I ended up liking her poetry so much that I sat down on my kitchen floor with that collection and read it straight through without stopping). I also picked up a couple of novels that I’ve been meaning to read, such as The Jane Austen Book Club and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, and religious items like a collection of thoughts and prayers by Mother Theresa and Between Heaven and Mirth. All of these books for the price of one!
Now I really believe in supporting authors and artists through purchasing full-priced copies, preferably from independent bookstores when I can. However, as a fledgling writer currently working two jobs as a nanny just to pay rent and help buy a car for my little brother, I don’t often have much ‘book money’ to spare anymore. Thrifting for books is a great way to keep up your book collection and your love of reading when times are tougher (and they are books that you know you’d want to keep- otherwise, local libraries are the best resource for ‘trying out’ books before you buy them).
It’s also, surprisingly enough, a good way to get cheap local lit (if you look for it hard enough, and come on a lucky day- as it is with most thrifting). I know that might seem a bit like a cop-out with supporting local authors- but I know that at least in my own experience I’m much more likely to try something if it’s got less risks, aka less costs. One way that I’ve done this in the past is enter copious amounts of Goodreads giveaways, looking for independent artists to win review copies from. Now I can go thrifting and look for local artist’s work, try it out, leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads, and then see if there’s anything else they have out for sale! It makes supporting local authors a little more risk-free, and works for everyone all around.
Well this sure has been a huge year for me- besides graduating from college this month, all year long I’ve been breaking my own goals for writing and taking the first several leaps that I need to become serious about this whole being a poet-and-author thing.
This year alone, I have:
-Been published in thirteen journals
-Had twenty-three poems published
-Participated in my first 48-hour Film Festival as a writer and associate director
-Published a thesis through my college (Lumen Metaphoram: The use of metaphorical reality theory to evangelize in the modern Roman Catholic Church)
-Have fifteen poems already acquired for the year 2014 in seven journals
Which brings my career total to:
27 unique journals publishing my work
59 poems currently published
15 poems acquired and awaiting publication
Not too shabby! Let’s see if I can break that total in the coming year!
Can you believe it’s almost been a full year since I first announced the publication of my first poetry collection, Drunk Dialing the Divine? I sure can’t!
To celebrate, I’m running an anniversary giveaway through Goodreads from now until December 7th- the anniversary date for the collection’s original publication date. Through this, I’ll be giving away five free, signed copies of the collection, which will get to you just in time for the holiday season! So go on, enter to win (or, if you don’t want to take your chances, you can get your copy securely through the publisher– when you buy the paperback, you get an e-copy as well!)
Good luck to all my entrants!
My poem, ‘Sacred Memory’, detailing the lived faith experience of my beloved Grandma Carol, has been chosen to be published in Windhover: A Journal of Christian Literature in February of 2014!
As part of that, I have also been invited to read at the Windhover’s Writers Festival in February, which takes place in Belton, TX. I’ll be checking my schedule to see if I’ll be able to make the trip!
Here we are at the end of this book blog tour- I want to deeply thank all of the wonderful bloggers who have hosted me this month, whether it be an interview, an excerpt, a guest post, or an exclusive poem. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to examine myself and my writing even further with everyone, and I hoped you all enjoyed the little insights as well!
To end the Book Blog Tour, I have the winners of the signed copies of Drunk Dialing the Divine-
Congratulations, and thank you for participating in this giveaway! I will be e-mailing you all to get your addresses so I can get your copies to you soon.
Remember, for a limited time you can e-mail me directly and order a signed copy of Drunk Dialing the Divine from me for yourself, or if you purchase the paperback from my publisher directly, eLectio publishing, you get both the paperback AND electronic versions.
If you ever want to revisit the posts from this blog tour, they have all been categorized under ‘Book Blog Tour: June 2013’. We will be back to our regularly scheduled postings starting the first week of July!
At the end of the month, I’ll be announcing who won the signed copies of Drunk Dialing the Divine as well as finally trying to get back in to compiling my next manuscript. I know I keep saying that I’m starting that, but with all of the work I’ve been doing this summer its been getting really hard just to find the time to sit down and organize everything I’ve written. Or to justify printing it all out. I’ve only written maybe a total of four poems so far, and they aren’t at all ready for any kind of submissions (in consequent, I’ve also not been submitting half as much as I was at my peak). So this is a picture of how I feel pretty much all the time right now. I can’t wait until I graduate and I at least don’t need to spend my time after work writing papers that I’m not really excited about anymore. I just want to spend my free time writing and editing things that are of utmost importance to me, and its frustrating when I can’t. Again, I’m privileged to be so busy but… it’s not always easy to remember that. I’m honestly just waiting for this summer to be over.
More chances to enter in the giveaway on M.L. Anderson’s blog about writing as a ministry. In this guest post, I talk about how the seeming death of one dream lead to my realization that I wasn’t being open enough in my own sense of vocation. Only one week to win a signed copy of Drunk Dialing the Divine, my debut poetry collection from eLectio publishing!