I have been filling out an application for the 2012 Leadership Academy run by the Colorado Mental Wellness network. I am very excited about applying and will re-apply next year if necessary. It is my hope to become a peer-specialist down the line and to possibly teach a poetry/creative writing class tied to wellness and recovery. If my application is accepted Jefferson Center for mental health will sponsor me so I won't have to pay anything to attend.
I will be revising my acknowledgements page by adding specific poem titles, not just the magazines they appeared. I have to look online and in journals received to see what mags published what poem(s). I also need to look over some more photos, paintings and sculptures for the cover of my forthcoming collection. Overall I'm very excited and happier than I've been in years.
I am however worried about my sister. It's almost surreal to finally find happiness only to be so concerned about a loved one.
Currently deciding on a cover for my new collection. I think I see three things I'm feeling okay with at this time. First,a photograph a woman on a horse holding some wings-- which seems to fit with the seven sins and charities, and the lost innocence and vulnerability that comes with abuse or trauma, although I didn't much like the wings initially. Second, a painting which is a montage of objects which seem to represent various themes in the book such as the biblical stuff (much of it questioning with a slant, I'd like to think). There's a bible, a cross, medicine and a bandage which for me represent healing and the seven sins/charities. Finally there's a sculpture I like which is the figure of a woman, minus her head, or signifying her head is in the clouds. Ha!
So I'm deciding on that and rather or not I'll have blurbs. Advice from friends is going both ways. I'm leaning towards not having any blurbs. I might post something on facebook regarding this question today.
Going to get back to the writing soon after a camping trip. I've been writing drafts longhand which is a change for me. A few times I've typed stuff up and then gone to the notebook to revise and pick and choose lines which seem most compelling. I plan on re-typing them and giving them another go-round with the revisions. Feeling great these days minus some illness in my family. Trying hard to pray with sincerity though it is difficult for me to be honest.
I've often, in the past hopefully, been too concerned with what I perceive as the commodification of poetry. But today I feel free. I feel that it's not the number of books one puts out, but rather the quality that truly matters in the end. It's not the number of readings one has at universities, or how many connections one has, but rather it is the joy in the process of writing, sharing and discovering poetry that matters. I do believe! I believe it!!! Now if I can live it!!!
Back to Cat Stevens as he helps me live. I am getting ready to read HOLDING COMPANY by Major Jackson. I'm looking forward to it.
I've written something like 52 drafts of new poems. I recognize in some ways the language is prosaic, but that's how the poems came. I think they came as a real relief after working on the emotionally difficult poems in my forthcoming collection SEVEN. I think also the new stuff is very, very fresh. Somehow it just poured out of me. It still deals with trauma, but I think there's a strong sense of wonder for the natural world and our fragmented yet whole existence in the universe. They often swing from idea to idea, image to disjointed image. I seem to really like them, which didn't happen in the writing of SEVEN. I've struggled with writing the last seven years ironically.
The poems are coming. I needed to get through the work SEVEN because it dealt with some difficult issues regarding abuse and trauma. I wrote 3 drafts the night I found out my sister has breast cancer. I stayed up all night writing out of necessity. In any case, I feel that the writing is finally more balanced with the rest of life these days. I am walking and enjoying every day.
I suppose I still blog to very very few if any because it helps me move from plateau to plateau with the poetry. Every time I think there isn't another poem in me, something like this happens. Also I think it was a means to helping me recover. I'm still in the process of recovery and healing and poetry helps me with that a lot.
I got some really bad news today regarding a loved one. So I am going to pray. Sent final version of manuscript today to 3: A Taos Press, which is run by the greatest editors! Seriously, I've never been so encouraged. In any case, the fragility of life is always flying in my face, and as I get older people seem to be ill with cancer or dying or dead. I don't like it. But there's not a lot we can do other than live in the moment and try to love, or no, to love. No try.