Happy 2018! A new year and a new start. I started this website in 2014 and have been a complete failure as a blogger. But I’m starting over. Inspired by The 2018 Poet Bloggers Revival Tour, I am pledging to post here at least once a week, or at least one poetry-related post a month. I’ll also try to post occasionally about my reading and writing life, and I have a lot of plans for both of those areas for the coming year.
I’ll post my 2018 goals at a later time when they’re more clearly articulated. They pertain largely to writing and publishing projects. And I always have a goal of reading 100 books a year — all kinds of books. I have very eclectic reading tastes, including contemporary and classic fiction, memoir, poetry and poetry criticism, and many areas of science. I usually have more than one book going at a time (though usually in different genres), as well as an audiobook or two. I was motivated by Chris Wolak (of the Book Cougars podcast), to make Willa Cather’s My Ántonia my first novel of 2018. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read it, even though that’s my name and my mother (whose middle name is Antonia) always told me to read it.
My first goal, though, is to get this website up and running again. . . . so away we go.
I read Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love in November. I thought it was absolutely stunning. So complex and multilayered. The fascinating plot is one thing that kept me reading (and sometimes going back to reread to be sure I had things straight). The characters of Leo and Alma Singer won me over completely. I don’t know when I’ve loved a character as much as Leo. But it’s Krauss’s intricate weaving of all the threads and themes that make this book a real standout — and that, for me, contain the real story.
Nicole Krauss, The History of Love, W. W. Norton & Company, 2006
You may be familiar with NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month (in November) and NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Writing Month (in April). At The Waters, the online poetry forum that I co-administer, we also have NoPoWriMo, November Poetry Writing Month. That is, as if writing a poem a day weren’t hard enough in April, we do it in November as well.
This means 30 new poem drafts twice a year. It’s true that not all of them are keepers. Some need a little work, others lots of work, and some just get scrapped. If I’m lucky, I salvage something from each draft — if only a good idea or image or turn of phrase.
Now that November’s over, it’s time to get busy on revisions and submissions!