Camp Nanowrimo success

Long time no post (not even Sunday recs – sorry about that). This month has been ridic busy. So much work, so many other things I’ve been taking care of… I think I haven’t even mentioned that I decided to do Camp Nanowrimo this month. Anyway, I did! :D

Because of all the busy and the stress, I had times when I thought I’d just give up on my Camp Nanowrimo goal of writing 10,000 words for the novel (let’s call it Beast). Well, last weekend I finally came up with some things that turned the plot around and made me excited for the project (yay!). Yesterday I finally had time to actually knuckle down to writing some scenes. Unfortunately, I was feeling exhausted and a bit flu-ish, so it was all rather painful… but I managed a lot of words. And today, I sprinted 4,851 words, bringing my word count total beyond 10k! Including worldbuilding notes and such – but that was within my parameters for Camp Nano. Around 7k is actual novel text, anyway. Written in two days.

So: MUCH CAMP NANOWRIMO SUCCESS. Also: I love Scrivener. I bought it at last, and it’s working out so well. Am thinking of trying it out for PhD stuff too.

Now I can just keep on improving the outline for Beast and writing more scenes. Note to self: it’s allowed to be zero-draft level text even if this novel is based on a previous novel draft of mine. After all, a lot of things are different both plot- and character-wise.

In addition to continuing Beast, I have a few stories I want to write and submit for various things. And May will be super busy PhD-wise. I’ll have to be mindful of self-care as well: I don’t want to collapse just because I’m doing too many interesting things.

Still, writing-busy on top of work-busy is worth it, after all – because sometimes there are moments like today, when writing makes me lose all sense of time and the words hurtle out. When I want to write even when my ears are blocked and ringing, when my body is aching for rest.

But now I’ll go and engage in some self-care. To sleep, perchance to dream!

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The art of interpretation

At my writing group meeting last Friday, we had a pretty cool poetry exercise: using literal English translations of poetry originally written in other languages, we had to transform the translations into our own poetry, or make the literal translation more “poetic”. Since I’m rather pleased with what I came up with, I thought I’d share my efforts here.

The literal translation I worked with is based on the Romanian poet Nichita Stănescu’s poem “Emoţie de toamnă”, translated by our Romanian group member as “Emotion in autumn”. (ETA: the group member in question is Marlena Bontas, who, among other things, writes awesome poetry.) Here is the original poem in Romanian. Even though I know French, Spanish and a bit of Latin, it’s not enough to open up the Romanian for me – so the poem below is based entirely on the literal English translation we had at our meeting. It’s pretty close to the translation, but I’ve put my own spin on it. It turned out quite a “me” poem in the end, methinks.

***

Autumn Tremors

Autumn’s arrived –
draw a veil over my heart,
send a tree’s shadow to cover me,
or send your shadow.

Sometimes I’m afraid I won’t recognise you,
that I’ll grow bat’s wings and take to the sky,
that you will hide in a stranger’s eye
which will close, lidded by a wormwood leaf.

But then I reach the standing stones
and fear leaves me, speech leaves me.
I take these words and drown them in the sea.
Newborn, wordless, I whistle to the moon,
transform it into a crescent of love.

***

Poem sale to Goblin Fruit

Some lovely news I’ve quite forgotten to share – my poem “Village Woman” is going to appear in the Winter 2015 issue of Goblin Fruit!

So happy to get that poem out, and to be included in GF again. I lovelovelove that magazine.

Poem up in The Stare’s Nest

My poem “The World in Springtime” is now up in The Stare’s Nest. Yay!

Here is the direct link to the poem.

It’s still not very spring-like here – it’s rainy and grey today. I wrote this poem in late April 2013, though, so there’s always hope that in about three weeks’ time even Finland will have some proper spring action going on. I think it’s so unfair that here in Helsinki we had an unsatisfying winter with way too little snow, but now the weather isn’t even compensating with a warm, lovely early spring. Bah, I say!

The crocuses in my apartment block’s yard seem to be ready to burst into bloom though, so we may have hope yet. :)

Easter recs

Other people have written wiser words than me on the Hugo debacle, so I’ll leave that for now (suffice it to say I’m disgusted; here’s a pretty good summary of it).

Instead, let’s escape into beautiful words! Three poems for this Easter Sunday:

Seeds” by M Sereno (in Strange Horizons): Oh, this poem calls to be read aloud. The words flow with such delicious force, like a drenching storm. Powerful stuff, very grounded in place.

The Nagini’s Night Song” by Shveta Thakrar (in Mythic Delirium): More word-strength and beauty. The voice is so intriguing here and the story is achingly beautiful.

Long Shadow” by Rose Lemberg (in Strange Horizons): A long poem utterly worth the reading. Several voices and interesting structures, word-magic and marsh-magic.

Three short poems in Snakeskin!

Three of my poems are included in April’s Short Poems issue of Snakeskin:

Read “Pomeranian”, “Lauttasaari Bridge”, and “Human Nature” here!

“Pomeranian” is part of a silly series of dog poems I’ve been writing occasionally, with an emphasis on cuteness and word-play. I really like other people’s dogs (would not have the time or inclination of one of my own). I’m glad to see this little doglet-poem see publication! Also, I absolutely adore the Pom picture that the editor George Simmers has added. :D SO CUTE.

“Lauttasaari Bridge” is one of my Helsinki poems, written last summer while – surprise – I was biking across Lauttasaari Bridge, near-ish my home. The sunset was incredible, and thus, I poemed.

“Human Nature” was written in January 2013. I was upset about news of some sort, desperately needed comfort that wasn’t available at that moment.