Thursday, June 30, 2011

I read Mark Strand has quit poetry to focus on his artwork and memoir pieces.

I am awake at 3-4 a.m. and my mother has just told me to go back to bed. But I can't sleep. I'm wide awake! She is upset with me because I am drinking coffee. :( I'm an odd bird to her, but it is not time to sleep. I am antsy.


In the end, one must hold true to his/her work. My uncle, a painter, said to me tonight something to the effect that he is now confident in his work, that criticisms of it no longer bother him. His paintings are his creations, so how can another judge them? I would like to have more security re: my work.

Pleasure in creation. That's where the joy is. It is in the act of creation. So much else is irrelevant.

I am terribly worried about the second manuscript. It is quite painful. I just need to move on and write new work. Maybe I'll get some positive feedback. I guess everyone suffers from self-doubt, from insecurity? No, my uncle's words about people leaving a concert or a movie complaining about it, that they really have no right as it was not a part of them, of their own creativity. Ugh, I can't explain what he said right, but I do hope that he can do the cover of my next book. He is right, and he said it took him 35 years to believe confidently in his work.

My step-father, adoptive father was terribly abusive, and I have until this day, too much fear and worry. I often get jealous due to the fact that my twin siblings were unabashedly favored. There's a lot to write about, a lot to recover from. And so I will revisit my uncle's philosophy, that no one can really criticize his work in a way that effects him, because it's his/her creation. Is it then an extension of the self, the self that so many mock? Individuality is mocked now in poetry??!!


P says that part of the problem is that I wasn't raised in that upper middle class academic background, that I am not comfortable in it. I am coming more and more to acceptance, to a place of peace, and I feel the third time is the charm. It's okay that I am where I am.

I go to Canto Mundo soon, and will hopefully find community not mere self-promotion. In the end, I have to find a place of work, of action, of creativity. It's the only way. I look forward to seeing a few folks who are a reflection of this philosophy of my uncles, people who revel in the act of writing. One such fellow, told me once that he didn't care if he ever published. He ended up winning the Walt Whitman award.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My mom loves this song. She gave me a small painting to take back to Denver. It feels so good to be home!!! The violence in Juarez has touched the women who take care of my grandmother, along with my mother. I think I'll be in Denver for some time, but El Paso will always be close to my heart. I love this city!!! I love my dysfunctional, crazy family too!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I'm on my way! I feel it too! Listening to Paquita del Barrio with my 98 year old grandmother. She claps at the end of each song ;) I feel very good at this time in my life, even though I can't work. Especially, I can't teach now. Too difficult. I admire people who can do it, but some in academia are real assholes. You know it's true. Assholes. But there are assholes everywhere. It's a good thing I don't have to be around any now!!! Yay!!! I'm free!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

It will probably be 3 months before I hear back from the press and reviewers, maybe longer. I'm relieved I sent it because I can get some feedback from the readers. I feel good. The manuscript is raw in that it deals with sexual abuse, loss and forgetting, but it is in the end about recovery, and I realize I wrote this not so much to be a poet, but because it had to be written. Some people like it less than Pity and two women say it's better. Interesting diverse reactions. All in all, I feel good about it in that I spent over a month tightening it up. I spent 4-5 years on it I believe and expect at least another year of polishing might occur, maybe two.

These distinctions we draw. I'm not any better. The thing is I hope to get back to writing some more now. I felt the manuscript was/is a weight that had to come off my back. Now I'm headed to Texas feeling pretty darn good! I'm at a hotel resting and New Mexico is certainly more hot than Colorado. Whew!

Yes, I have this much extra time on my hands. Life is finally good!!!! I am resting!!! I am celebrating!!! I am going to write some new stuff!!!! I feel good. I don't live with my mom, but I am living on the edge and it feels okay to not have money. I'm tired of the rat race to nowhere. Be free!!!

Chuck those societal standards and judgements. Life is to short. Success is in the moment. I feel it finally. The sky is spectacular. The trees are spectacular. The sun is best of all, even though it be hot.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I've been sick today, but I'm feeling better. I'm heading to Texas on Friday!

I think if they like the manuscript, I'm assigned an editor or something according to a fiction-writing friend. Friends that know me are pleasantly surprised I sent the manuscript out, but I'm glad I did. There's time to make changes still, and I needed to get that monkey off my back. I'm trying not to think negatively, to view the positive in the situation. There's still plenty of time to make changes. I am ready to start writing some new and different poems.

I went to an art show yesterday where a friend sold 10 copies of his chapbook, as he read when the piano player took a break. It was great fun, and I've decided to enter some artwork in it next year. It's for a good cause. I mostly draw stuff with pencils and pastels, and though I'm not very good, I am improving. So, I think next year I won't cut in on this friend's good deal with the poetry, but I'll try to do some paintings, which some say the one's I've done are okay. My brother has one hanging in his house. I'm really looking forward to continuing my artwork. I'm most definitely a beginner, but I enjoy it very much, and I felt some of my drawings were/are just as good as some displayed. Some, not so much! hahaha

Monday, June 20, 2011

I sent two hard copies of the manuscript and a cd of it to the University of Arizona Press today.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

An early version of "Watching the Wheels"! It's neat to listen to and hear his creative process, knowing what ended up being cut and changed.

Back from camping, and I'm physically exhausted, just pooped. It was fun, though my roommate didn't make it and ended up in the hospital. She's okay, gets out tomorrow.

In any case, camping in the wind and rain is a lot of work. That's all I'll say about that, but it's fun. Crazy fun!

I leave for Texas on Friday, first to El Paso, then Big Spring to visit the bro, then Austin for Canto Mundo, then Dallas to visit the sister and kids. I'm sure the whole trip will exhaust me, but if I'm going to Texas, I'm going to see everyone.

I'm mailing the manuscript to U. of Arizona Press on Monday.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm getting ready to go camping in Grandby, Colorado! I'm really looking forward to heading up to the mountains! Yay!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Interview Snapshot with Aztlan Libre Press

Here's an interview I did with Anisa Onofre of Aztlan Libre Press.

The sun is shining nice and warm today. I have very good feelings about today and the future! I feel really good. I haven't felt so good in years. Back to the manuscript today, and then out for a walk when it cools down a bit.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'm feeling better than I have in years!!!! I am feeling pretty darn good!

The manuscript is ready. I will be mailing it in a couple of weeks. Of course I will go over it one more time with a fine tooth comb.

It's a beautiful day here in Colorado, and the sun is coming out, baby!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Tomorrow I go to DBT group, then the library. Wasn't sure I should blog tonight, but someone said this song was how I was feeling.

I am feeling free, wanting to be free.

Apparently someone doesn't get the song on facebook.

Oh well.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

I love this song. I love the sentiment. Today I didn't walk, rain clouds and thunder and lightening came in. Worked on the manuscript a bit and realize I am very burned out on it, but I got some help with it. Will get it in format around the 21st or 22nd and send it to the press on the 23rd or so before I leave for Texas. Can't wait to see my family. I am for the first time in my life feeling a sense of peace, but I have a long ways to go. I have a lot of work to do in terms of self-esteem. Sometimes people dismiss people like myself who have experienced trauma and may be shy or etc. (People who don't meet shallow societal standards of what is successful.) But I think through healing one gains a sense of her power. And art transcends such things in the end. It's about hustling on the page, not being too self-assured. A certain amount of doubt, and a willingness to live in uncertainty surely seem a part of this. But mostly I am at peace in enjoying moments. They are brief in the end. It's all we have. I am most certainly going to work on confidence, but moreso I desire freedom. I don't want to be in bondage to societal expectations which are essentially shallow and well, over-Americanized in terms of workaholism etc. This puts me on the outside. I can't believe all the academics running around claiming they are aesthetically on the outside. If you have a good teaching job, you are most certainly on the inside. I suppose if you are out in the boondocks, you might argue with me, but I still say you met some kind of expectation about what is wanted in academia. I tend to think that this is a someone who is often overly confident and misses nuances about his/her own frailty in face of a universe of indifference. But this is only true some of the time. And what does it mean to be on the outside? Is it really such a great thing? I don't know, but I do know society has these expectations that one work and many work themselves to death trying to meet these unreal standards. I may also have a disability which requires treatment. That's not to say I won't get better, but for now I am a penultimate outsider as I am receiving state disability. I am seeking to be an insider some day possibly, but for now I am on the outside, most definitely.

Having new time to write now, makes me okay with this, and I think starting a new project, one not fraught with the emotionally charged subjects I wrote the second manuscript on will be good for me.

Monday, June 06, 2011

I didn't get a chance to walk today. Earlier, I wanted to post about the gender gap in Latino/a poetry, but I've decided it's best to enjoy my day. I haven't walked for the last two days, and it gets me kind of in a funk when I can't or won't walk. It was really hot and our air conditioner isn't working. The sunset here is beautiful!!!
I'll walk in the morning.

I will walk in the morning. I could walk in the morning. But I won't say I should.

I want to learn the names of trees, particularly a yellow leafed tree here in Colorado in the spring. It's beautifully odd. The manuscript is moving along with more detail about birds of prey etc. I am feeling much better about it as each day passes!!!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Tightening and trimming the manuscript today.


List of things to do is growing and growing.


Oh, geez. What can I say? I'm a fool. I don't know. In any case, today I get started on the tail end of the manuscript.


A perfect morning.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Drawing all night long, obsessively.

Today, again I walked and sketched a bit. I went to DBT group this morning, and it was good in that I am learning more and more about being mindful. I most certainly messed things up in 2008, to the level that some won't even speak to me anymore, but that's okay. I have to give them space, and I have to be responsible for my own behavior, which, has been in the past, very,very impulsive. I was hurt, and usually anger is because we perceive some need of ours is not being met. I felt Francisco was interested in promoting Francisco, because that's how I felt in 2005. But that's a long, long time ago.

Basically, I was a mess, and I felt unsupported etc. I talk about trauma and I realize the magnitude of such things is lost on most, and I suspect the second collection, if ever published will attest to such things. I believe we are often unwilling to believe the traumas that some of us go through, and of course, are likely to dismiss such things as silly excuses, but these things made me who I am today, and of course, this can be both good and bad.

In any case, today I plan on doing some more drawing and relaxing. I went on a great walk, ever so slowly and enjoyed squirrels, black birds, bugs, and the buzzing prairie. It felt so good. I am so glad to be walking finally. I hope to keep it up as I am prone to be sedentary.


The manuscript sits until Saturday when I have a meeting with BR, the red pen of doom! Then Sunday I will work on getting it in format with P and hopefully just trim and polish until the end of June, when I plan on sending it back. We'll see. I have flip-flopped on the title at least five times as it is now back to Seven despite the cries from the red pen of doom :0


I tried reading Annie Proulx's THE SHIPPING NEWS and just couldn't finish it, so next I will try Junot Diaz's THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO. My inability to finish Proulx is more a fault of my ADD than Proulx's prose which is unique and I was willing to steal an image, just one. ;)

I also have a book by Mary Karr called CHERRY. I love THE LIAR'S CLUB so suspect this one will be good too, but alas, ADD and trouble focusing makes reading longer novels difficult for me, but I have to say I breezed through THE GLASS CASTLE by Jeanette Walls. That's a really good book! It's about a dysfunctional family and neglectful parents. I highly recommend reading it.

I'm off to go outside now.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

My faith is weak to nil, but I absolutely love this song. Today, once again, no poetry, only sketching, drawing, listening to music and walking. I will get back to the manuscript on Sunday. I will trim it some more possibly and then P will help me get it into the right formatting structure with a table of contents page etc. Then I will continue to trim it and mail it out in a few weeks before I leave for Canto Mundo. We will see if the friend with the red pen of doom will ever get back to me. Saturday is your last chance!

The agony of writing the second "book" or "manuscript" has been heartfelt. I have been in agony over this for a number of years. It is not anything like the first book, some disapprove of it I think, but it's time to have some confidence in myself. The fact of the matter is that a lot of people might not be able to relate to the poems, though some women find it more finished than male readers.
The manuscript is about abuse, depression, anger and loss. I wrote it during a very difficult rough patch in my life, the worst so far and hopefully the last.