Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Confession Tuesday - The Groundhog Edition



It's Groundhog Day.


Dear Reader, January almost ate me alive. I overscheduled, overbook, overextended, overworked, overcommitted myself in almost every way I could. I'm not complaining. Some of the things I had planned were fun. Really fun. (Two writing days with friends in a row). Some were quite fulfilling (teaching at Whidbey Island Writers MFA program). Just a lot. Too much. Maybe not for some, but for me. I am granola and yogurt type of girl. This month felt like a large dinner party that wouldn't end.

So these last two days I have written "Writing Days" on the calendars and locked myself inside. I am not answering the phone. I am hiding under my desk if anyone knocks at the door. Tomorrow I have my violin lessons and a short lunch with a friend. Plus, I'm working on another poet's manuscript (he's a wonderful writer, so this is a joy to do) and working with another poet on her poems (another joy).

I'm doing this and making an appointment for a cleaning at the dentist. This and crossing things off my to-do list. This and making a dinner of salmon and peppers with a caper vinaigrette (thank you Real Simple magazine for teaching me how to cook and not feel bad about myself). I will also walk the dog, write a poem, and hopefully submit a poem. I said hopefully.

I confess submitting is on the end of my to-do list.

I confess I have done so much work for Crab Creek Review lately, I completely understand why editors don't always get back to you in a timely manner.

There is always something. January was archiving the year, new folders, and our yearly taxes due. It was renewing our non-profit status, our business license, taxes for employees we don't have, which was zero $ since we're all volunteers, but still another form. It was a good meeting about our next two issues. It was an interview with David Guterson (which is awesome-- his answers, not my questions) and a folder of short stories to read. It was poem acceptances and leaving folders of poems in my shed to pass off to Annette. It was getting books into stores (or gas stations).

But I confess ultimately, I love our journal and we are looking for ways to support writers more (oh, if only we had that giant grant that the Poetry Foundation received, there would be cash in your pocket!) Annette & I have a five year goal of raising money so we can give it to poets and writers who we think are doing good work (no strings attached). This is our dream. Along with maybe publishing someone's chapbook, we want to help poets and writers in the world however we can.

I confess, that is what I love about independent journals, we are free to do whatever pleases us.

I confess the next issue of Crab Creek Review will have cover art by Rowland Salley (the guitarist for Chris Isaak). He's a trained artist besides being a Grammy-winning song writer. You (besides our Crab Creek team) are the first I've shared this with. I might go back and delete this, just to keep it a secret for a little longer, as there is a part of me that loves secrets...but there you go. Issue 1: 2010 which will come out in Spring will have some good things in it.

I would say at this point, let's get to the confessions, but I'm already confessing it seems.

And I've confessed a lot, even told you a secret. Where do I go from here? Gaga? Yes, Gaga...

I confess there's been a lot of talk/hype over Lady Gaga, but when I watch her, I truly see in inner writer that wants to tell a story. Here's a clip from her at the Grammy's performing with Mr. Wonderful to me (Elton John). When I watch her, I think, "How could we do this with poetry readings?!"

I confess I was NOT surprised to learn that Gaga was raised in a strict Catholic family. I was also not surprised to learn she's been playing the piano since age 4.

And since it's Groundhog day, I confess I'm allergic to Timothy Hay. If you do not know what this is, (and think this is a who), you may have never had guinea pigs. This is what they eat (and I love the name), but I am so allergic to it. I know groundhog to guinea pig is a bit of a stretch, but our guinea pig Chica is pretty plump. And they both start with G.

Happy Guinea Pig, I mean Groundhog Day. I'm confessed out.

It's Groundhog Day.
It's Groundhog Day.
It's Groundhog Day.

It's Groundhog Day.

It's Groundhog Day. . .

4 comments:

January said...

I confess that every time I read the word January I think people are talking about me?

Our months were very similar--I felt I was overscheduled, which is exactly what I've been trying to avoid.

Crab Creek is a terrific publication. Hope you can get funding someday, and more help for the short term.

Enjoy your "me" time.

Kells said...

January, what's funny is when I reread it, I thought of you and was going to add "The month of January..." but forgot to!

You have made my birthday month a person! I like that!

Lyle Daggett said...

During the past month I've been reading Dear Editor: A History of Poetry in Letters edited by Joseph Parisi and Stephen Young, a gathering of letters written to the editors of Poetry magazine (the long-running famous one in Chicago) from the first fifty years of the magazine, 1912 to 1962.

It gives a wonderful portrait of the poetry world during those years, the great generosity of poets and editors with each other, and also the sometimes pettiness and blood feuds that developed. The editors of the book have included quite a bit of commentary scattered through the book to give historical background to the letters.

One of the things that's struck me, reading the book, is that the editors of Poetry struggled constantly with keeping the magazine going, finding funding, and the zillion practical and logistical details, that every other poetry magazine has had to contend with. (Now that Poetry has received the grant of all time, I imagine their concerns are of a slightly different nature these days, though the book doesn't cover the more recent years of the magazine.)

*

Once when I was a kid, when we were visiting relatives in Iowa (of which I have untold dozens), my great-aunt told about some other family member who was in the habit of calling Groundhog Day "Pork Sausage Day."

Get it -- pork sausage -- "ground hog"...?

Writer Bug said...

I confess that I love love love hearing about Crab Creek Review. I've always been on the opposite side of the literary journal table, so it's so cool to get a clue as to what's going on that other side, which often feels a million miles away.

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