On finishing

I just finished a poem I’ve been working on for the past month – at least, I think I finished it, because you never know. I might want to tweak it. I might get brilliant comments from someone that make me want to change it.

But soon it’ll have to be ready, because I mean to submit it to Interfictions tomorrow. HA.

It was wonderful to work on it today – to write, and to have written. I’ve been writing very, very little during the past couple of weeks, because I’ve been suffering from a nasty prolonged flu that flared into an ear infection last week. I’m on antibiotics now, though, and feeling much better. Fingers crossed that the flu doesn’t sneak up on me again. I’ve had enough of being sick and not getting to go to dance class, thanks very much!

But, poetry! Words again! Feels good. And feels especially good to have pretty much finished a long poem project – possibly my longest ever so far, and with my self, my soul, my history crafted into it. No matter if I never get it published anywhere; for me, this was an important thing to write.

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Sunday recs: sf/f poetry and discussion

I was down with the flu most of last week, so I’ve been too tired and braindead to work on any of my writing projects. Sad. Hopefully the coming week will be better in that respect!

I should post here more than just for Sunday recs. But on weekdays, after work + writing/socialising/dance class/insert other activity here, I’m rarely coherent enough to make sensible posts. Perhaps one day!

Anyway, now for some links.

Goblin Fruit’s winter issue is out! I haven’t had time to read any of the poems yet, but Goblin Fruit is a lovely publication and pretty much all their issues have fantastic stuff. So go there for your fairytale-flavoured poem fix!

Speaking of speculative poetry: Paul Cook writes about why sf poetry is “embarrassingly bad”. Dear readers, I’ll admit I huffed and rolled my eyes while reading this piece. Needless to say, I disagree intensely with Cook. The sample of science fiction poetry that he uses in his piece is hardly representative of the sf poetry genre as a whole! To me it feels like Cook’s just saying “I found a couple of science fiction poems that are bad; hence all sf poetry is bad.” Not very sound reasoning. I’ve read quite a bit of speculative poetry, and while some of it is bad – obviously! Sturgeon’s Law and all that – there are also absolute gems to be found. There are writers who pay attention to the sounds and words and hidden meanings, just like in any other genre of poetry!

F. J. Bergmann has written a response to Cook’s disparaging piece; Bergmann manages to articulate a lot of the things that occurred to me when reading Cook’s piece, so I recommend checking her response out.

And now for some more poetry links. Here are a couple of poems from Goblin Fruit’s archives:
Huldre by Joshua Gage (a lush, Norse-inspired image)
All the Mari’s Parties by Mat Joiner (about one of the creepiest creatures in Welsh folklore, the Mari Lwyd)
Kingdom by Rachel Dacus (a shout of joy).

And finally, in defence of sf poetry: here are some examples of science fiction poems that I think are utterly wonderful. I’ll let them speak for themselves.
Postcards from Mars by C. S. E. Cooney
The Curator Speaks in the Department of Dead Languages by Megan Arkenberg
Asteres Planetai by Amal El-Mohtar.

Happy reading! Speaking of which, I just started reading The Lord of the Rings again. For the I’ve-no-idea-how-manyeth time (I used to reread it at least once a year from around age 11 to 17), but this time it’s been almost a decade since I last read it, so it’s a bit of a different experience. And yet not. I absorbed that book so deeply when I was a teenager that each sentence is like coming back home.

Sunday recs: Sf with a dash of fairytale

Happy Sunday, everyone. It’s a grey, mushy one over here, with something unpleasant falling from the sky (ugh, sleet, whyyyy) and the lovely snow turning to slush. I have to go out in a moment, into that mess, but before that – here are some recs again.

First, the fairytale: Houdini’s Sister by Christine Hamm. A lovely prose poem, a praise of fairytale heroines.

Now for the science fiction.

Dysphonia in D Minor by Damien Walters Grintalis. A bittersweet love story about people who sing bridges and buildings into being. I really enjoyed this, especially the structure.

And then, oh, then. Gravity by Erzebet Yellowboy. Earth is covered in ice; a group of people set off towards the sun. This story made me ache so much by the end. Gorgeous, devastating. And such language! Of Mercury: “A dead god has scrawled its name there in a language we have forgotten.” And: “We become Ouroboros in twenty-five days, when the head of our orbit eats its tail.” Brilliant stuff.

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I edited 10 pages of an old novelette yesterday and did sundry other useful things. Today’s mostly for social activities. Which is lovely, but oh, I just wish I had more time! I have so many things I want to write – stories, poems, an academic article – but time slips through my grasping fingers and February rushes onwards.

I really need to finish one poem project soon, though, because submissions to Interfictions end on the 28th. Will have to set aside time for that.

Sunday recs: anagrams etc.

Here’s a sundry bevy of recs:

If Poets Wrote Poems Whose Titles Were Anagrams of Their Names. Some more here and here. I especially enjoyed Eliot, Dickinson, and William Carlos Williams. The WCW parody made me giggle out loud. :D

Here are a couple of my favourite poems from February’s Snakeskin. Fat by Beccy Pert: such luscious language. And House without Windows by Grace Andreacchi is absolutely gorgeous!

A story: Hwang’s Billion Brilliant Daughters by Alice Sola Kim. A different kind of time travel.

ETA: And some nonfiction too: Eleanor Arnason writes about authenticity, cultural appropriation, and writing outside your own experiences in sf/f.

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Also, today I sat down to write an all-new short story and actually finished the first draft in one go! First prose piece of the year, incidentally. And wonder of wonders, it’s actually short, too. My stories have the tendency to expand, but this one stayed at around 2000 words. Huzzah! It’s about an alchemist bartender, and I rather like it. Perhaps at some point it will be time to submit stories too, not just poems. :)

First publication of the year!

I woke up with aches and pains: it seems my neck and back did not appreciate yesterday’s shenanigans. But checking my email brought some lovely news:

My poem Kinds of Truth is now online in the February issue (#193) of Snakeskin.

It’s quite a recent poem, written in mid-December in the wee hours of the night.

Plans for this weekend:
– I should clean, get through the Mount Doom of dishes, and other housework… (sigh)
– Even though the weather isn’t that great, I want to go for a walk or few, for the sake of my jammed neck as well as for inspiration.
– I’m working on a long-ish poem (mentioned in my previous post); I need to continue with that.
– I want to get some prose written.
– I will also knuckle down to some academic writing. *happyface*
– I think a few episodes of Farscape might make their way into my plans, too.

Have a great weekend, dear readers!