Do You Strambotto?

Woman Walking in an Exotic Forest (Femme se promenant dans une forêt exotique)

I stepped outside to see the evening birdsong,
and hear the lilacs fill the air with purple
and white aroma, and to drown before long
in maybe-May. Falling beyond the circle
of probability, defying lifelong
perceptions of what’s real, the twilight sparkled
with myriads of realms. Mind–proven all wrong–
accepted its defeat, joyfully humbled.

 

Prompted by Poetic Asides Strambotto Poetic Form Challenge.

Image: Henri Rousseau. Woman Walking in an Exotic Forest (Femme se promenant dans une forêt exotique), 1905. Oil on canvas, Overall: 39 3/8 x 31 3/4 in. (100 x 80.6 cm). BF388. Public Domain.

 

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Is Professional Writing Doomed?

Tarring the Boat (Le Bateau goudronné)

  • Is there future in freelance writing?

Freelance copy/content writing that has to do with selling or marketing is a different story. But what about writing (produced by writers to make a living) that aims at informing, or merely entertaining?

Magazine articles and newspaper articles fall under this category, but so do short stories, novels, books of poetry, etc.

“There is so much wonderful writing on the internet, which is free. Eventually, writing will be like musical recordings. Everyone will have access to everything. … The world is changing–has changed–considerably. Many excellent writers give away 200-page books for free–really excellent. Digitization is creating an entire new world.” — RK, Bob Bly‘s Facebook friend

  • Is the internet killing professional writing?

Back in 2008 Bob Bly interviewed writer Harlan Ellison, and the latter blamed the internet for making life a lot harder for professional writers. Mr. Ellison criticized the “slovenliness of thinking” on the web as well as the “slacker-gen philosophy and belief today that everything should be free.”

“With all the sites publishing articles and short stories for
which authors are not paid, and which readers don’t pay to read —
well, what would you expect?”

  • Do success stories still happen?

Notwithstanding (or in part thanks to?) the changes and challenges brought on by the internet, Kindle, etc. — yes, success stories still happen.

“Last month, Lara Prescott was preparing to graduate from her three-year creative writing fellowship at the University of Texas. Two weeks later, she is sitting on book deals worth at least $2m (£1.5m), after publishers on both sides of the Atlantic battled to get their hands on her first novel.”

Will you write for the love of writing, in other words be an amateur? Will you hold on to your dream of writing for a living? Will you be the next success story?

Enjoyed the post? Share it, like it — thank you.

Image: Édouard Manet. Tarring the Boat (Le Bateau goudronné), July–August 1873. Oil on canvas, Overall: 19 11/16 x 24 1/8 in. (50 x 61.2 cm). BF166. Public Domain.

On April Poem-A-Day Challenge & Free Speech for All, Including Poets

Poetic Asides Blog by Robert Lee Brewer

Got any plans for April?

2018  April Poem-A-Day (PAD) Challenge will be here before you know it.

Check out the guidelines,  and note the interaction that took place in the comments. Here’s an excerpt from it:

Kateland
March 6, 2018 at 12:47 pm
“Well, there are very wide interpretations of “hateful” nowadays. …
Perhaps a set of rules on what themes are considered “hateful” or “intolerable”…

Robert Lee Brewer Post author
March 7, 2018 at 12:50 pm
“I believe in diversity as far as the form and content of poems–expressing a wide range of opinions. As long as it is done respectfully.

I know for a fact that we have poets from around the world, of various faiths, of various political parties and slants, genders, ages, etc.”

Now, if you’re new to the challenge, Poetic Asides is not a political forum — it’s a poetry blog. However, it’s very refreshing to see its commitment to remain a place of free expression. We should not be afraid to voice our opinions.

Write poetry, be respectful while exercising free speech, don’t be a troll — that’s what PA is about. So, flex your poetry muscles!

Have you participated in PAD challenges? Are you in for the poem-a-day this April? Share in the comments.

If you’ve enjoyed the post, press “like” and “share” buttons — thank you.

 

Poetry Business: Free Poetic Challenges & the Hidden Value of Comments

Autumn Landscape (Paysage d'automne)

In the Mind’s Eye

Sometimes we see
Things that will be —
A memory
Of tomorrow

Sometimes we find
It warm and kind
Sometimes our mind
Fills with sorrow

So some sweet day
In June or May
Bathed in sunrays
We remember

How you and I
Share burnt good-byes
Beneath the skies
Of November

Sasha A. Palmer

  • The above poem’s written in response to WD rhupunt challenge. There’s still time to enter: Deadline 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on February 28, 2018. WD Poetic Form challenges are free, and the winning poems (sometimes including a runner-up or two) are featured in Writer’s Digest magazine as part of the Poetic Asides column.

It often pays off to read comments to posts. Thinking of submitting your poetry to journals? Not crazy about submission fees? Check out this list of “younger, hungrier” journals provided by Joe Cottonwood in a comment thread on The Passive Voice site:

  • “Allegro, Ink Sweat & Tears, Literary Nest, MOON magazine, Nature Writing, Peacock Journal, Plum Tree Tavern, Poetry Breakfast, Rat’s A** Review, Red Eft Review, Roanoke Review, Snapdragon, Third Wednesday, Verse Virtual, San Pedro River Review, Pure Slush, Freshwater, Stoneboat, Muddy River Poetry Review, Red River Review, Gyroscope, Uppagus, Halfway Down the Stairs, Forage, Potomac Review, Slipstream, Picaroon… All these journals require no submission fee; all have some excellent undiscovered poets (and a few clunkers, but then so does the New Yorker).”

Got a name or two to add to this list? Share in the comments.

Happy writing, submitting, and getting published.

If you enjoyed this post, do press “like” and “share” buttons — thank you.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Autumn Landscape (Paysage d’automne), c. 1884. Oil on canvas (later mounted to fiberboard), Painting: 25 9/16 x 21 1/4 in. (65 x 54 cm) Overall (with secondary support): 26 1/4 x 22 3/8 in. (66.7 x 56.8 cm). BF933. Public Domain.

Ouch! The Real Cost of Poetry Book Contests

Young Man and Skull (Jeune homme à la tête de mort)

“Everyone, including aspiring poets, including even those stuck in the MFA system, would be better off if the contest system were abolished, and publishers once again took responsibility for promoting individual strong aesthetics, rather than outsourcing the decision at every stage, and supporting safe conformist meeting-room-style outcomes.”

“Numerous contest finals and wins validated my work. Indeed, I ultimately found my agent and publisher through contests.” — Kristin Bartley Lenz

So, how do you feel about contests? Share in the comments.

  • In case you feel like entering a free poetry contest, try the rhupunt challenge for a chance to get published in Writer’s Digest.

If you like this post, press the “like” and “share” buttons — thank you.

 

Image credit: Paul Cézanne. Young Man and Skull (Jeune homme à la tête de mort), 1896–1898. Oil on canvas, Overall: 51 3/16 x 38 3/8 in. (130 x 97.5 cm). BF929. Public Domain.

 

 

 

 

 

On Nino’s Art, Star Wars, & the Power of Persistence

Treat yourself to the magic of Nino Chakvetadze, and have a wonderful 2018.

geotv.ge

“Netflix might show them (science fiction and fantasy) together, but two genres couldn’t be more different.” Is Star Wars sci-fi? Can you add fantasy elements to a sci-fi story? Figure it out with WD help. 

(While you’re at it, read this NBC News article on the same topic.)

“Remember that rejections are a badge of honor. It means you are in the game; people in the industry are reading your work. … And, most importantly, there is no such thing as overnight success. To move forward in this business (or in any business), you must constantly learn, grow, and improve. Work hard and don’t ever give up.” –Kristin Nelson, The Power of Persistence 

 

 

 

On $20K for a 100 Words, Flash, & Milkweed Editions

he César Egido Serrano Foundation has launched the V International Flash Fiction Competition. An overall first prize of $20K will be awarded for the best 100-word story in any of the languages authorized in the contest: Spanish, English, Arabic or Hebrew. Read the competition rules.

“Flash-write a portion of your book,” advise Jody Rein and Michael Larsen. Find out how, and why.

Milkweed Editions is open to single-author collections of poetry. Submissions will close when the editors receive 800 manuscripts, or on October 31, 2017 (whichever comes first). Manuscripts must be at least 60 pages long. Read the guidelines, and submit.

 

On Marketing, Short Fiction Awards, & Roundelay

Jane Friedman on marketing for authors, “You’ll be stronger if you have a multi-faceted approach.” Find out what she means.

University of Iowa Press is giving two awards for first collections of short fiction. No entry fee. Deadline: September 30. Check the guidelines, and submit.

A new poetic form challenge from Writer’s Digest. Join the roundelay fun.

Here’s my contribution:

“A Simple Song”

The shore is kind, horizon — wide
A tender breeze so gently blows
Come, take your vessel for a ride
Those swift white caps are not your foes
Our happiness — an ocean tide
That comes and goes, that comes and goes…

Come, take your vessel for a ride
Those swift white caps are not your foes
You would not hold time if you tried
Gold specks of sand between your toes
Our happiness — an ocean tide
That comes and goes, that comes and goes…

You would not hold time if you tried
Gold specks of sand between your toes
Come, sail while dazzling seas abide
The day, the hour — nobody knows
Our happiness — an ocean tide
That comes and goes, that comes and goes…

Come, sail while dazzling seas abide
The day, the hour — nobody knows
Fragile sandcastles builds a child
The setting sun so softly glows
Our happiness — an ocean tide
That comes and goes, that comes and goes…

© 2017 Sasha A. Palmer (aka Happy)