Summer is almost over, which means soon I will have less writing time because I’ll be busy teaching. I plan to continue the blog, but I may post less often, or write shorter posts. This blog has been my writing success of the summer. To date, the blog has had 800 page views in the last eleven weeks. I know that’s not much compared to some professional and popular blogs, but I’m proud of that achievement and grateful all of you have kept reading. For a poet, having an audience of 800 is unheard of, even if I had given twenty readings (the number of blog posts I’ve done). That’s an average of forty page views per post; while I have given a few poetry readings with an audience that large, those usually included other performers in the program. Most poetry readings, especially for a single poet, have smaller audiences. I appreciate having readers, so thanks for your interest.
I had several writing goals this summer, including integrating writing into my daily life more often, and the blog has helped me achieve that. While I am training myself to be creative and in a writerly state of mind for ten to fifteen minute intervals during my day, it hasn’t been easy to finish writing anything when someone is always asking for a snack or needs help finding a toy (read more here). I’m hoping this recent writing momentum will continue; last semester, I revised and wrote poetry and an essay once per week fairly regularly. Maybe I’ll get to twice per week on occasion this coming semester.
I’m also glad that I’ve been able to write posts that educate and encourage conversation about healthy living, since it’s something I’m so passionate about. One of my friends recently told me how much the blog has helped her have confidence in her efforts to provide a healthy living environment and healthy food for her family in the midst of criticism from others. I hope this blog is also helping you, readers, and I hope you’ll leave some comments about that.
Of course, I had hoped to write some poetry this summer, too. I did complete a draft of my second chapbook at the end of May, which I promptly sent off to my publisher for review. Since then, I have worked on a few poems, but I have not yet returned to the revising and reorganization of my full length manuscript; that shall have to wait until I have finished reorganizing my class syllabus (my current urgent project). I did draft a couple of new poems, and thinking about them has given me the urge to go look at them now. Be right back!
Back. Yes, I just revised two poems; yeah! A teaser: one of them is about my family’s experience during hurricane Ike (it’s not what you think) and the other is about why poets are not impossible (even if an Italian-American literary critic says they are). Maybe you’ll hear me read them at my next poetry event; see my Upcoming Events page for more details. On that page, you’ll also see my latest bit of writing good news: a reading panel I am a part of has been accepted by the Associated Writing Programs 2012 Conference, the pre-eminent annual literary gathering in North America. Nearly everyone who writes, translates, or publishes literature in this country will be there. I haven’t attended this conference in ten years, and I’ve never presented there, so this is an important sign that my writing career is moving again.
In fact, this has been a good year for my writing career, especially compared to the last eight years or so. When I married, I put my writing career on hold to start my family, so I haven’t done many readings, written many poems, or published much in that time. But, this year alone, I have revised and read my essay about raising bilingual children at a local conference that was themed “Borders Revisited,” I read poems for a monthly poetry reading series sponsored by the Houston Public Library, I read poems live on the air for a local radio program, I recorded my poems for Houston Taping for the Blind (see the My Publications page for a link to listen to this program), and as mentioned earlier, I completed a chapbook manuscript and starting writing this blog.
A few months ago, I reflected on all this activity and I realized that even though I decided to put family first, my writing career is still going to advance, and I am confident that I made the right decision. I feel fortunate that I have made some important connections during my years as a writer; even though I have not nurtured my career much lately, these connections continue to provide me with opportunities and for that I am grateful.
Just to give you a realistic picture, I have experienced some disappointments this year too. As I mentioned earlier, I have not worked on my full length manuscript. I was not accepted to write a proposed essay for an anthology on motherhood and literacy, I did not receive a grant for writers with families that I applied for, and I have not sent out any of my poems to journals for publication consideration. But, since the year is not yet over, I can still aim to work on the manuscript and send poems to journals. And, I am waiting to hear about my submission to another anthology as well as news about my chapbook manuscript from my publisher. I’ll update you on my writing news again in a few months, hopefully with more good news.
Reminder: you can enter a raffle to win a signed copy of my chapbook until August 31; see my last post for details.