Scary Good News

Sometimes good news jangles as much enlivens us. That’s the kind of news I got a few days ago. A publisher to whom I had submitted a poetry manuscript gave me feedback suggesting some changes and asking me to resubmit. It took me about a week to calm my nerves. But today I am doing exactly as she suggested, making changes, retitling and I plan to resubmit after running the manuscript by a a few friends. It’s scar, because this has always been one of my goals, to publish in fiction and poetry and nonfiction. (Why narrow my dreams?) Oddly, my first writings and my initial publications were in poetry, so it’s strange to me that I first published a novel rather than poems in book form, but, hey, writing is a wild journey, and often unpredictable. One thing I have learned, though, is that when an editor asks you to resubmit, you do it, whatever else you have going on. So here goes. Wish me luck. And what are you doing to get your voice out there?

Study Hall, Tuesday February 15: My Book Shelf

What’s on your imaginary bookshelf?

Connie May Fowler has several volumes on my Inspiration Shelf.

I have several special bookshelves in my office. One holds my inspiration books, volumes by writers I admire, whom I turn to now and then to figure out a writing issue or to get ginned up on words in preparation for a writing marathon. Another special shelf holds all the lit mags and anthologies where my work has been published. One very special shelf is part reality, part imaginary—the place where my own books, those I’ve already written and published, and those I hope to publish in the future, reside. However, all those volumes have names:

My book shelf:

Eve’s Garden

Sa-co-in-ge/blue smoke: Poems from the Southern Appalachians

Bird Talk

Chocolate and Roses (also known as The Man Who Loved Chocolate)

The Fruit of Queens


A Journey of Moths

Weed Sugar and Other Stories

A Gypsy Poet Walked into a Coffeeshop

Mountain Girls Play Jazz

They’re not wholly imaginary. The first three are reality, already in print. Each of the others have at least an outline, while the last two are collections of poems ive published separately over the years, for which I’m now seeking a publisher. Weed Sugar is, similarly, a collection of short stories and hybrid forms.

I really want to know what’s on your bookshelves. Do you also keep an inspiration shelf? What’s on your future dream shelf?

This one’s a reality.

What I’m Reading Now

Very excited about this new book from one of the most inventive and insightful poets I know:


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