Thursday’s Post-Publication Post: Partying with the Poets

As many of you know, although I “trained” as a prose writer, poetry has become an increasingly important part of my writing practice over the past several years. And even more recently–for the past several weeks–I’ve been joining in the weekly “Poet Party” on Twitter.

Every Sunday evening, at 9 p.m. (U.S. Eastern), poets gather on Twitter to chat. Founded by @32Poems, the Poet Party addresses all kinds of poetry-related topics. Chats unfold with the assistance of a hashtag, #PoetParty, which participants append to each relevant tweet. Last week, we “talked” mainly about contests, but other topics came up, too.

Including this one, which sprang from the keyboard of yours truly. You see, Sundays are also #StorySunday on Twitter. Everyone is encouraged to share a link to someone else’s short story online and append the hashtag #storysunday to help the thread take shape.

And at some point during last Sunday evening’s chat, it occurred to me that the #PoetParty provides the perfect opportunity to do something similar for poetry. Especially, perhaps, as we say good-bye at the end of the hour. I said as much, and pretty soon the poet-partyers had posted a whole slew of links to excellent work that wasn’t their own.

So whether next week’s announced topic appeals to you or not–as I write this post, I don’t know if it has been announced yet–maybe you’ll want to drop in near the end and check out the recommended poems. See you there?

Thursday’s Post-Publication Post: Another Item Crossed Off My To-Do List

Remember that to-do list from the beginning of the summer? I am delighted to report that I can now cross off that list the very first item under the category of “quality of writing life.”

That’s right. Last Friday, armed with research and primed with questions, I set out for my local Apple store. (I’ve never purchased a non-Mac computer, and I’m not about to change that habit now.)

So I’m typing this blog post from my lovely, light new laptop: a MacBook Air. Even better, I’m no longer chained to my home desk, because I also purchased, at long last, an AirPort Express router. And, with a little help from some kindly tech folks on the phone, I managed to create a working wireless network of my own!

There’s a learning curve, of course. I’m still getting used to the “Pages” word processing program that the salesman encouraged me to try–for a mere $20–instead of plunking down several multiples of that some for an updated Microsoft Office. But these are productive lessons. And I love my new Mac!

How are your lists doing? Please feel free to share your updates and progress!

Thursday’s Post-Publication Post: Help Me Find a Home for My Essay

Last week, I wrote about this odd phase post-publication in which the promotional work is quieting down, but the new work–the future, in other words–is still only on “simmer.” I’ll stay with that theme for now, because I do have a few things to share (and a favor to ask).

To share: Progress on the summer to-do list front. I have managed to complete a residency application (and both of my wonderful recommenders have submitted their letters, too). I have finished a short story and begun sending it out. And I’m happy to report that Quiet Americans is now available for all of you who prefer to read on the Nook!

I’ve also been tweaking something I’ll go ahead and call an essay. And here’s where I’d love your help.

The piece I’m working on is not a conventional essay. In some ways, it resembles a blog post. Think “5 Reasons I’ll [Do Something Social-Media Related].”

And frankly, it’s not all that “nice.” It’s more like a rant.  Which brings up a whole slew of other issues. Such as: Do I want to risk alienating and/or offending people?

But for the moment, I’d like you to focus on this salient fact: The piece runs 500 words. So it’s too long to qualify as an official “rant” submission for Mslexia, which was the first place I thought to send it.

Can you think of other venues (preferably paying ones) that might be interested in something like this? I know, I’m supposed to be a semi-expert on this sort of thing, but for day job-related and other reasons, my brain is already working overtime right now. So I’d love to hear your suggestions. Thanks in advance!

Thursday’s Post-Publication Post: Six Months Later

We passed a milestone this week, my friends: Tuesday, July 19, marked the six-month birthday of my short-story collection, Quiet Americans, which was released on January 19. So it seems appropriate to pause and consider a few things–including the future of “Thursday’s Post-Publication Posts.”

As my friend and fellow author Ellen Meeropol–whose debut novel, House Arrest, was similarly released last winter–recently suggested, there comes a time when the promotional work recedes (or should recede), and the generation of new work takes precedence. I didn’t necessarily intend it, but I am, at this time, becoming increasingly forward-looking, too.

I’m by no means ready to abandon my precious Quiet Americans (more about that in a moment), but various forces are motivating me to think that these Thursday posts should gain a new focus (and some new titles). I welcome your thoughts about this. I will say that I’ve noticed that several writers-who-blog incorporate regular “Confession” posts, and that’s tempting (for two examples, albeit material that posts regularly on Tuesdays, see the blogs by Kelli Russell Agodon and January Gill O’Neil). But I blogged before I had a daily post “theme,” and I can do so again.

Things to think about!

Meantime, as I said, I am by no means ready to part ways with my beloved Quiet Americans! I’m still arranging events, I’m still doing interviews (please see the latest one over on The Story Prize blog), and–this is very important–I am still available to call in and join your book clubs for conversation!

Less publicly, I continue to receive lovely, always-to-be-cherished messages from readers. Which reminds me: It’s never too late for you fans to post your glowing words on Amazon, Goodreads, or any other review venue you may choose.

Six months in, it’s been a great ride. And for that, I am exceedingly grateful. Thank you.

Thursday’s Post-Publication Post: One Writer’s Summer To-Do List, Three Weeks In

Today marks three weeks since I posted my summer to-do list. What sort of progress have I made? I’ll share that below, in an updated reprint of the post.

North of the equator, we’ve just begun summer. Although I’m still going to be working 40 hours a week in my day job, still running the usual errands, still partaking in the same family responsibilities (and joys), I’m also hoping to accomplish certain writing-related goals before we merge into fall.

After all, for six weeks this summer, my 40 hours at the office will be recalibrated: heavier on Mondays-Thursdays with “summer Fridays” off. I hope to use those Fridays wisely. And I hope that I can use the general light and energy of the summer to help infuse some projects under way and others that I hope to start.

Herewith, items on my list of writerly hopes, plans, ambitions, and commitments for the season.