Saturday, September 6, 2014

Hop On Board!

I was recently asked by my friend Lisa to join a blog tour that she is a part of.  I was excited to be asked but was even more excited when I found out what it was.  This activity would force me to look at my own writing life with the added bonus of meeting other bloggers along the way.  Before you get started, you should check out Lisa's blog and see what she's up to.

Below you will find my answers to some questions about my writing and below that you will find links to some awesome sauce blogs that I love.  I will be adding more blogs later this week.  So, hop on board the blog tour and have some fun.

What am I currently working on?
I am currently working on a mish mash of poems that are all over the place.  I am trying to put together a small chapbook so that I can start submitting my work.  I currently have poems about picking cherries in Northern Michigan with a man who looked like Garrison Keillor, having a crush on a co-op volunteer, eating lunch with my ninety-seven-year-old friend, and men with nice arms.

How does my work differ from others in my genre?
I think my work differs from others based solely on style and content.  I tend to be a writer who focuses on the "everyday" aspects of life and I sometimes (always) worry that my writing is boring or too bland.  I always write in free verse and usually in a narrative style.  I've been forcing myself to read poets whose writing is completely different from me in order to challenge myself.  I never want to get stuck in a style of writing that no longer works for me. I'm always telling myself that my work is never good enough.  This is a trait I need to get over.

Why do I write what I do?
I write about normal life because I find it so inspiring and interesting.  I love listening to conversations people have at the grocery store or local bar.  I think normal people lead such extraordinary lives if we just listen a little.  I like people and I like trying to figure them out.

How does my writing process work?
My writing process feels like a clusterfuck of words, neurosis, self-doubt and clarity.  My challenge for the rest of the year is to form a more organized schedule for writing.  I normally write on my lunch break, in-between classes and on weekends.  It's not that this process doesn't work for me but I feel like it isn't enough.  In order for me to get back into the groove I need to set aside specific times to write.  My process is in a bit of a flux right now but I am trying to balance it out.  Too often I get stressed out about my work, home, relationship and pet responsibilities that I push writing to the side. That is scary!  If I don't write, who am I?  Trying to figure my "writing self" and my "personal self" is going to take time but I will get there.  I will, won't I?

Below you will find the friends I visited on my blog tour. Enjoy!

Blast Furnace Press:
Pittsburgh native Rebecca Clever is founder, editor and publisher of Blast Furnace.

Over the past two decades she has served as a reporter, newspaper editor, columnist, promotional and technical writer, and book editor/designer. Her poetry, non-fiction and interviews have been published in various newspapers, literary journals and anthologies.

In addition to receiving a Pushcart Prize nomination, she is the first recipient of the Laurie Mansell Reich poetry award, co-sponsored by the Academy of American Poets and Chatham University, was a quarter-finalist for the Nimrod Literary Awards Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, and a past nominee for the AWP Intro Journals Project. In 2014, she was offered a partial scholarship to the Vermont Studio Center.Rebecca received her MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham in 2011, where she was a finalist for best thesis.

What's So Clever:
Beck is a bespectacled, salt & pepper-crowned, tall drink of [fill in your favorite beverage here], Christ-seeking gay woman. A daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a girlfriend & friend to some mammoth-hearted people. A seasoned professional writer, raw musician, slightly advanced amateur photographer, and a failed perfectionist. She’s handy with names of movies, composers, performers and other trivia. Back in the era of VH-1 Rock & Rock Jeopardy, she’d have been champ if she'd entered the competition. Reckless behind the wheel, Beck adores travel and has a heart for mission work. She is currently renting her sixth apartment in nine years. Every now and then, if she really pays attention, she experiences the extraordinary and when she does, she'll be sure to post about it here.