The Writing Life:”Darker” Days
- The Writing Life
- The Writing Life: The Beginning
- The Writing Life: Getting Down to Business
- The Writing Life: Lessons Learned
- The Writing Life: A New Millennium
- The Writing Life: A Blessing in Disguise
- The Writing Life: Finally!
- The Writing Life:”Darker” Days
- The Writing Life: Struggling For a New Idea
- The Writing Life: The Last Straw
- The Writing Life: Floundering
- The Writing Life: Opportunities and New Lessons Learned
- The Writing Life: Turning Point
- The Writing Life: Opening Doors
As the actual new Millennium began (2001) I was pretty much hard at work with my little press. I was still trying to get my literary zine together, publishing chapbooks and broadsides for various poets, and I even took to writing some book reviews (all small press stuff) for a zine out in Colorado. I was having a great time but I wasn’t really concentrating too much on my own work as much as I should have. I wrote a couple of poems here and there but the output was getting increasingly less. It was then I decided to kill the zine. It was just too time consuming and most importantly becoming way too expensive to do. I decided that I would focus on chapbooks and broadsides instead, this way, I didn’t have to worry about getting the zine out every three months (not that it ever did stay on the intended schedule). I could publish the writers I liked and take my time with it. So as I waited for submissions to come in, I decided to release another chapbook of my own, just to get things rolling.
This book, “Scrape That Violin More Darkly and Hover Like Smoke In The Air” (2001) turned out to be the best thing for me to do at that time. I cobbled together a group of heavy, dark, existential poems and printed up a little more than 100 copies and made the rounds sending it out to the small press zines for review and sending the word out to those who had bought my previous chapbooks. I sold a few but this one didn’t sell out and the reviews I had gotten from some of the zines ranged from good to perplexed. It was a very dark collection of poems, after all, mostly stream of consciousness, surrealistic things. Not the kind of thing one would read to get themselves into a good mood. But I liked it: from the stripped down cover to the “feel” of the poems inside. The remaining books I had lying around I didn’t bother to try to sell. I simply sent them out to the zines for them to possibly review it. Not many of them did.
Naturally, I went back to the novel, getting a better idea about how I wanted to write it now. Still, it was a struggle. Still, it just wasn’t coming together. The good news was that by that time I had about 270 odd pages written. The bad news was,nothing was happening and the “story”, what little there was of one, wasn’t goinganywhere. Once again, I put it aside, went back to the poems. It was the only thing I could do, really. I also read more, “studied” more writers, got introduced to a whole slew of authors I never heard of or read before (thanks to the many recommendations from my small press pals), and continuously thought about how I would proceed.
The submissions also started coming in and I got busy making a schedule for the forthcoming chapbooks I wanted to release on my tiny little press. I had done 3 or 4 already at that point, done a number of broadsides, etc and was thrilled at the prospect of putting out these little poetry books from all this unknown talent floating around the country. In the meantime, I continued to submit more of my poems to the zines and journals, following the same random method I had done before. Some were accepted, but a great many came straight back to me, again with hardly anything but the standard rejection slips. So I just got on with my life, writing as much as I could, publishing the chapbooks when I could afford to and generally just getting on with “life stuff”.
I was also still very active in music again at this point, having wound up in another band almost by accident. It wasn’t planned but it just happened that way. My love for music was still great (and still is) so I knew I couldn’t stay away from it for long. The new band was playing out very regularly and good things were starting to happen on that front too: lots of travel, lots of gigs, lots of fun.
By 2002, I wanted to put out another chapbook of my poems but this time I didn’t want to release it myself. I wanted someone else to do it this time. I put together another manuscript of about 25 poems and began sending it out everywhere I could. There weren’t any takers at all but some of the feedback I got was encouraging. I set it aside for the time being, went back to work on the novel for a bit, still struggling to make it into something, continued with my little publishing venture. The rest of that year was pretty much spent doing that and playing out with the band, which was starting to get much busier all of a sudden, with shows coming in quite frequently; recording, trying to push the CD we released in 2001, etc, making the usual rounds.
In early 2003 I spent some time in Barcelona, which was a much needed trip, a week and a half of amazing sites, amazing people, amazing food, amazing music and amazing sangria. It was an inspiring trip as well, producing a couple of poems which would make their way into the set aside poetry manuscript I was sending around. When I got home, the shit started to hit the fan with regard to the publishing venture. Having no one interested in my latest chapbook, I released it myself. This little book, “Existential Labyrinths” (2003) basically died on inception.
I did the usual 100 or so press run, sold only a few and only got one review out of it, which was more of a puzzled curiosity than anything else. Not much of a “review” really. Too bad, because I liked this little book too; but I suppose the poetry within it wasn’t really many people’s cup of tea. They were getting increasingly far out, less coherent and more experimental. I tried, that’s all I can say.
Tags: broadsides, chapbook, chapbooks, collection of poems, existential poems, good mood, having a great time, literary zine, new millennium, novel, poets, scrape, stream of consciousness, submissions, violin, zines