Friday, May 27, 2016

"The Memory of Masks" in Polu Texni

Final week of school has meant not sitting down once at the computer until now... Which is why this poem came out on Monday, yet I'm only posting it today.

"The Memory of Masks" is a free verse poem inspired by a scientific article about uncovering new texts that had been repurposed into death masks in Ancient Egypt. Serendipitously, the editor of Polu Texni, Dawn Albright had recently commissioned a mask from the artist Eric Bornstein. So the posts this whole month have been focused on masks, which led her to pull my poem forward from when it had originally been slated to appear to this week instead. I love when there's a convergence of things like that, when various types of art can cross-pollinate or meet in a new place.

So read the poem, and check out all the mask-related posts this month.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

"To Be Continued..."


One of my favorite things to see at the end of a TV episode when I was growing up were the three words "To Be Continued." Some people, I realize, hated that, but it always got me even more excited to find out what would happen next.

Sure, you had a moment of feeling cheated of an ending—what would MacGyver invent next? would Scrooge McDuck ever get his lucky dime back? could Magnum get out of the predicament he was in?—and a lingering worry that you'd miss the following week (sometimes difficult to remember how chancy that was in those days). But I always knew that I'd liked those multi-part episodes the best in the past, so the anticipation would build up as I waited for part two.

So this week's episode honors those memories, a part 1 that will be continued next week—same time, same channel...or anytime. I hope the anticipation builds and makes the pay-off even better!

Sunday, May 01, 2016

April, a month for poetry...

...and fittingly, since it's National Poetry Month, cruel or not.

It began with the publication of two of my poems (as well as one short story). The middle included the sale of two more poems. And then to close out the month, I sold a novelette called "The Poetics of Defiance" to GigaNotoSaurus, which is about a partnership between an alchemist and a poet--and the story includes snippets of the magic-infused poetic lines he crafts to get them out of trouble. It's a story I love, and I'm thrilled that people will have a chance to read it.

But wait, there's more. I also set myself a goal at the start of the month to write a poem every day. Thirty poems later, it's now May. The poems ranged from haiku to sonnet to pseudo, in-secondary-world epic fragments, but most of them were free verse, probably in the 20- to 40-line range (I haven't gone back to analyze specifics). And they ranged from straight-up science poetry to SF, fantasy, horror (there was a strong undercurrent of horror in the poems early in the month, for some reason).

I'd had the idea to do this some April for a number of years now--the last two years I did a compromise goal of one poem every week, and that led to several that have been published, including the "Seasons in a Moon Ocean," which is nominated for a Rhysling--but each time the month came around I told myself it wasn't a good year to try. Honestly, I could have made that argument this year as well, even more than other years, but with the way February's novella-writing challenge went, I decided to give it a go anyway.

What I find when I'm writing poetry is that I'm very open to things I see, hear, read, notice sparking some further thought. So it's a great spur to creativity of all kinds (not to mention, in my opinion, a healthy mindset in general). And the poems themselves? Some will probably not be worth submitting, when I get back to give them another look, but I suspect most will be very worth the effort. And many of them you'll see popping up in magazines and anthologies (and chapbooks? collections?) in the coming year or two.