Friday, October 30, 2015

Life Decisions, 2015

There are a lot of topics and events I want to blog about. Some are current, while others are recurring. The one that really left me thinking is a short exchange at The Lamb's Loom (I find such spiritual refuge at the place, I must tell you more about it—soon).

The exchange, in no realistic order began with my loud exclamation:

"Go to Sopphey dot com!"

"Sopphey dot com, is that for real?"

"Yes, yes. But remember to spell it S O PP H E don't want to get any surprises. OK now click on 'crochet,' See!"

If you click on 'crochet,' you'll see mentions of the yarn ministries I contribute to. Which is super exciting because I spend A LOT of resources on yarn. And in no realistic fashion, this exchange continued by another with a slight tilt of the head and a lowered, but not quite, confession:

"Sopphey, I love your blog."

A quizzical expression translated to, 'you've seen my blog?'

"You shared it on Facebook."

And, of course, I don't know many people that read my blog once I share it. Of course there are metrics and analytics. Of course.

A tinge of pink painted itself on my fuzzy cheeks translated to, 'thank you. You've seen my blog!'

Thank you, YOU RIGHT NOW, for reading! This whole exchange stayed with me as I skimmed through 700 or so posts on my previous blog, Sopphey Says. I went way back in the archives to June 2010 when I asked myself: am I a writer or a publisher?

Header for Sopphey Says
As a publisher, I founded and ran my own literary magazine for four years. I have edited, designed, and published 11 magazines and sat on the editorial staff for many others. I helped two friends start their literary dreams. Oh, and a network of writing related magazines and websites. I've done alright as a publisher.

As a writer, I was a founding member of an online writing community. I've had my poetry and fiction published in various websites, zines, magazines, and anthologies. I wrote poetry chapbooks. I've done well.

But am I a writer or a publisher? The answer is writer. Writing is my heart and soul. And how does one come to a decision like this? You must really examine both options. Maybe give them a trial run. Ultimately, you take a step back from both.

The choice that keeps calling your name right before your mind wanders into sleep. And not just calls you one day, and forgets about you for a month. But consistently whispers, screams, weeps, and quietly waits for you—that's the choice you make.

Decisions are difficult for some people, but what about you? How do you make decisions?

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Quiet Moments

Ever lay awake at night, sobbing in a panic, wondering why you can't feed all the hungry people who can't feed themselves? And wondering how you could tell the difference? Just in case, you don't feed those who can take care of their own.

Or if it's really necessary to carry band aids to protest.

These examples are my own, but you know those moments, the quiet ones, where you get all the answers to all the questions.

I've grown to dislike quiet moments. They are always taxing and overwhelming. If the sobbing isn't physically exhausting, the poor sleep is debilitating. These moments are so transparent, like a close encounter with God and the universe. Perhaps tipping the scales and slightly touching heaven.

But maybe, these moments have really moved me into a better path. A place where I can sleep easily knowing answers and having assurance that answers do exist.

The answer is feed everyone whether they can provide for themselves or not. Carry first aid. Emergencies are real.

Do you ever have quiet moments? What are your experience with them?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Perhaps a Disadvantage

I'm working on grad school applications again. It's a bit fun. I don't exactly remember my undergraduate application process much. I remember having a time frame of six months to get all applications filled, financial aid forms filled, and essays. I remember lots of applications for scholarships and writing multiple drafts of essays.

It's not the first time I've worked on grad school applications, though. The latest round had an application full of essays. Many essays, and I remember being stumped by all the different ideas I wanted to present. I wanted full exposure, an essay with smooth styling that would declare every point beautifully and concisely. Well, let's just admit that I didn't finish my essays and the university changed their policies and processes and they're not accepting any more students into their program. That was nice.

This whole time though, I've waited. Rewrote thousands of narratives in my head that could satisfy more applications. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of editing and rewriting. But perhaps, all this refocusing on my writing (any piece of writing) goes to far. Perhaps, I should be adventurous and just pick the first 15 poems in my repertoire and call it day. Hit submit, and go. If only I listened to my great ideas.

I'm going to take an even bolder step. I'm going to pick 7 lucky poems from my files and organize them into a small theme. I've edited chapbooks and magazines before, this is just the same except more personal.  This more personal theme will be the new essays I rehearsed. They will be accompanied by new poems, sort of like high lights and low lights in an image. And then, perhaps my overthinking, over editing, and over rewriting won't be such a huge disadvantage after all.

What do you think? How do you choose which poems to submit to be published? Do you create themes? Or how else would you select the poems to represent you?