Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Video Killed the Radio Star

The process of acclimating to a new place is always complicated. I don't even think I was entirely acclimated to the last apartment, but here I am again, in the process of learning all those little details: how to turn on the shower, where the light switches are, where the buses go from here...and, of course, trying to remember what I used to do before wifi.

I know that I did things. I was born into the digital age, but I have certainly not always had access. I spent a few formative years a little off the beaten path. However...it has been quite a long time, and while I spend this week waiting to be reconnected to the wired world (and I am not very patient as my currently in a coffee shop status will indicate), I've gotten to think a lot about that.

I use the internet for a great deal: keeping up with current events, checking the weather, communicating with my friends, my colleagues, my employers...making sure the bus is on time, preliminary novel research, trip planning. I suppose it might be safe to say the internet is more than a little deeply ingrained into my life.

Not to mention how that effects being a librarian nowadays. Several months ago, a nice gentleman came in, wandered about confused for a moment or two and asked me in a concerned voice, "where is the card catalogue?"

Vividly, I remember the little typeset cards. There isn't anything like that in our library anymore. It really hits me with a wave of nostalgia. I love old things like those little typeset cards, but I'm not going to say the digital age is evil. As I've already established, I benefit a fair bit from it as well. Plenty has been written decrying it (for example: an article, I personally found more than a little elitist, but perhaps that is just my perception.), but as with all things...I suppose it just takes a little balance.

Speaking of which, the process of hand-printing my first chapbook will begin next week. After I have wifi so that I can look up a few things from home.

Current Reading: Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"And she wrote the whole novel via e-mail"

She sits at the local coffee shop all day, sipping subtly on a cup of Earl Grey, hoping that the management doesn't see fit to kick her out as she scribbles her dreams onto the most handy surface: napkins.

My secret writing shame is that I am (in the most cliché way possible) completely enamored with the idea of writing on napkins. Probably because I've never actually done it. While I have written poetry on the back of receipts (to be later revised, of course, but sometimes those flashes of imagery don't stay with you long!), I could never actually bring myself to write on napkins. The preservation specialist in me gasps in horror at the mere thought. I am more:

  • Typing away at the keyboard at my desk, drinking coffee!coffee!coffee! and being endlessly distracted by the barn swallow that perches on my window and attempts non-harmonious communication.

Even when writing with real pen and ink, I like to have little notebooks with me at all times, even if I didn't (in times when receipt writing has to occur)...I wouldn't reach for a napkin. They tend to rip when you put a pen to them.

Nevertheless, I am intrigued by the romantic image conjured up by the idea of napkin writing. There's something of the classic Cinderella archetype in it, especially when you hear the "J.K. Rowling did it" anecdote, which. incidentally, she has refuted, despite the fact that I am sure magic napkins wouldn't rip when you put a pen to them.

I've never actually heard of any real writer who did this. I have however heard of a novel written via text messaging on a cell-phone. The modern day equivalent of napkin writing, perhaps?

Something to consider when my commute balloons to an hour and a half next week.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Most Lovely Words...

Sometimes, I think the six most hideous words in the English language are "Thank you for your interest in." I've certainly heard them often enough in my life, and I'm certain that every single one of us has at least three times. The hard part about them is the fact that they are usually followed by words that go something like this: "There were many qualified applicants. You weren't one." [That's paraphrasing, but that's certainly what it feels like they are saying.]

When I decided to write, I generally accepted that those six utterly -vile- words would be part of my life for the rest of my existence.

Yesterday, however, they were followed by some lovely words, "selected to appear."

Two pieces of my poetry have been "selected to appear" (seriously, that phrase is like the Hallelujah Chorus echoing through my brain) in The Ambassor Poetry Project .

The project in general is something I'm really excited about as someone who is really coming to see this area as far more artistically profound than most people give it credit for, so even if I wasn't going to be in it I'd say to check it out.

As for me, I'm on cloud fifteen.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Making My Way Back to Cleveland...

The other night, I watched my beloved baseball team play another away game here in my new home. I have done this twice and have been lucky enough to see them win both times. It always makes me very nostalgic for Cleveland to see them play. I know that's something you don't read often: Nostalgic for Cleveland.

Honestly though, I think both my old and new homes just have tiny (and by tiny I mean small giant sized) self-esteem problems.

As a young girl I always dreamed of living in New York. As an adult, while I still love the vibranacy that I feel when I visit the Big Apple, I feel my talents are more suited to the Midwestern metropoli that I've grown up among. It suprises me, actually, to see how regionalist my writing truly is. Personally, I don't see this as a bad thing. Ohio and Michigan are both much more than the media represents them to be (a.k.a. boring brain-traps from which there is no return) and they both deserve good literature written about them. These areas are most certainly -not- culturally dead.

It makes me feel like a true artist to be here. Because true artists get in on the ground floor.

If only I could separate my poetry about the locales from baseball metaphor. There's only so many times you can reference League Park and keep it fresh.