Dia De Los Muertos BONUS POST
I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post that I won a costume contest for my Geek Girl ensemble. SO, yeah, that was exciting. I used the funds (cash money!) on some car repairs (my trunk now works!) and basked in the affirmations awarded to my handiwork.*
As promised, I am linking to an essay of mine, “Break-,” which was published over the past weekend in Sleet, an online magazine started by a fellow Hamline alum. I’m thrilled to have my piece published alongside so much wonderful writing. There’s an interview with Mark Doty plus a previously unpublished poem of his, as well as several other gems worth checking out. Click the link above to land directly on my piece, then peruse the others. Or you can type www.sleetmagazine.com into your browser if you’re link-leery** and scroll down to my name in the CNF section. I’ve also added this to the “Where You Can Find Me Elsewhere” page. And I updated “What I’m Reading,” “What I’m Writing,” and “Other Blogs Worth Checking Out.”
Speaking of blogs worth checking out, my friend Gail has a wonderful blog that explores her feelings about the impending emptying of her nest–you should take a peek regardless if you have kids (especially grown kids) or not. On Tuesday she wrote about her feelings after reading my piece, which has an overarching theme of loss. The link and address to Gail’s blog entry are here: http://gailmilstein.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/sophstitute/
I wrote “Break-” almost four years ago in a lyric essay class for graduate school. The piece evolved through classroom workshopping and instructor feedback, notes from my critique group, and further editing suggestions made by the CNF editor at Sleet (and a friend of mine), Pam Schmid, all of which strengthened the essay and confirmed for me that writing is not a singular action. My thanks to those who helped shape this piece.
It’s weird having something published several years after the events to which it refers (the burglary I reference in the piece happened four years ago this October). The break-up described is one that, in hindsight, was very minor when compared with my most recent break-up. In fact, the feelings described for that break-up are probably more fitting in relation to the newest one, but that’s how life works, isn’t it? The worst*** thing that’s ever happened to you can only be determined at the end of everything. I had initially submitted “Break-” to a few places, but when it got rejected, I tucked it away and got busy writing other things.
The Day of the Dead is about remembering people who are no longer here, about meditating on loss, about reviving memories. Bringing things back from the dead, if you will. Fitting, then, that I have an older piece published at this time. Those of you who have writing you’ve set aside or forgotten about (maybe because the timing wasn’t right, or the writing wasn’t, or you got a few rejections), I encourage you to pull that work out and give it another glance. You might have the right words to finish it now, or a journal might be looking for that very thing. You can only publish your work if you submit it.****
Today is also the first day of National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo,***** for those “in the know”). I’m not going to write a novel this month, but I am using this month’s writing theme as motivation to finish that second book I’ve been working on. I had a goal of finishing it this summer and that didn’t happen, so I feel like if I follow the NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 new words by December 1, I’ll be good. So, I’d better get writing!
**A webgetarian, perhaps? (Web vegetarian…think about it.)
***Or best. I’m trying to be more positive.
****I have to remind myself this, too.