From my very first post I wanted to pay homage to the speech which inspired the title of my blog, Ain't I a Woman? by Sojourner Truth. Such a beautiful speech, such a beautiful name, such a beautiful woman. It is one of my favorite pieces. I strive to emulate this style in my own work. Poetic and powerful. Honest and unafraid. Memorable. And I like brevity. It too is beautiful. This is the standard I wish to be held to as I explore the question with you ~ ain't I a writer?
"Obliged to you for hearing me, and I do have a few things more to say..."

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Working Weekend

      Check out this link to a NYT article that has many messages for the struggling writer within, and a wonderful local link that makes me smile; http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/19/books/19harding.html?pagewanted=1.
     The Writer's Day conference that I attended on Saturday was inspiring. I met writer Nicholson Baker and bought a copy of his latest book which I am anxious to read. It too has lots of local references and connections to my own life. Right on page two he mentions a guy I've been smitten with for years. It's charming. This is it;


     The biggest lesson I think I took from the day was that I am not submitting enough. One of my instructors said something to the effect of ~ you'd have to live to be at least 300 years old to justify sending things out to one publisher at a time, and that is what I have been doing, while patiently waiting for the reject letter to come. Instead we should be sending things out in batches, with a 'first response gets it' attitude. So I am going to try to adopt this overtly aggressive strategy, and have already sent something out this morning.
     I also attended a poetry workshop where we engaged in a fun little writing exercise that resulted in the following untitled poem;

Back when the world was divided
between the haves and have nots I fell
to Earth like a burnt martyr
volcanic ash disrupting flight.
I slept for years in an antique-white bassinette
before I woke to the the voice of Janis Joplin.
For years now I've been singing myself to sleep
with this refrain;
     I'd trade all my tomorrows
     for one single yesterday
     to be holding Bobby's body close to mine.
I am a cat between nine and five, and a racoon
for the rest of the day. Rabies on the rise.
What can I say as long as that music plays in my head.
My viens were filled with sangria before I fell to Earth.
It takes a long time to grow young. My future
has already occured and I'm here to live it as planned,
so passionately blind.
Give me a sword to write on the ground.
I make this promise to the world;
before the end of my tomorrows
I will sing every song that driver knew.

TJT

    I also went out of town all of Sunday afternoon to participate in a poetry reading to raise money for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk. I was one of four featured poets performing in a little coffee shop where $433. was raised. Very rewarding.

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