Thursday, November 17, 2011

An Unexpected Birthday Present & a New Blog Mission

This blog is dying. This is my first post in almost two months! It’s time to make some changes, and what better time than a birthday to start over? Birthdays, like New Year’s, are a time for reevaluation, and significant birthdays that much more soI’m going to be 39! No, it’s not the big 4-0, but it’s in a weird way even more of a milestone: the last of the birthdays beginning with 3. Goodbye, thirties. I feel that compared to 39, 40 will be some kind of arrival, some kind of welcome arrival. Didn’t much enjoy my thirties, for all that they’re supposed to be “the new twenties.” Maybe my forties will be what my thirties were supposed to have been, maybe once I’m there I’ll be able to reinvent myself, or at least this blog. 

The issue that I’m having is staying true to the blog’s description, “A blog for beginning writers about the basics of writing creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.” As you can see above, I’m adding “and other musings about teaching, writing, and living with words.” Less specific, perhaps, but that’s the point. The main reason why I haven’t been posting regularly is simply the lack of time, but there are also other thoughts where writing about writing should be. I only get to teach creative writing in the spring, and when I’m busy I do much less writing of my own, which means that I have much less to say about writing. On the other hand, there are lots of topics I would like to have a chance to write about that don’t fit the original blog description. For a while, I contemplated starting another, more personal blog, but that just seems irrationalif I don’t have time to keep one blog going, what’s the logic in starting another? Besides, according to fellow poet-blogger Ann E. Michael, this blog has always, apparently, been about more than I thought. According to her, my “posts include cultural commentary, books, movies, education, feminism, and tips on writing.” Sometimes it takes someone else to point out the obvious!

So, expect to see more posts about all that other stuff, as well as the usual posts on craft, which continues to be the main emphasis of this blog as I see it. Hopefully a little more wiggle room in terms of what I allow myself to write about will give me the necessary push to save Writing with Celia.

Meantime, check this out: they’re celebrating MY BIRTHDAY in New York! Oh, this is sweeeeeet! My jaw dropped when I got the Google alert. What a nice thing to do. My thanks go out to Roxanne Hoffman of Poets Wear Prada, who is hosting the event, in which five local poets, David Joel Friedman, author of The Welcome (National Poetry Series, University of Illinois Press. 2006), Erik La Prade (Chelsea), George Held (Greenwich Village), Maria Lisella (Astoria), and Juanita Torrence-Thompson (Flushing), will be reading from their own work and that of the November birthday poets, Stephen Crane (11/1), Marianne Moore (11/15), J.P. Dancing Bear (11/17), Sharon Olds (11/19), Paul Celan (11/20), William Blake (11/28), and myself. My thanks too to Left Bank Books, and to Andrew Christ, who included me in his November poet birthdays list, and, of course, hugs and kisses to the participating poets. If you are anywhere near NY tomorrow night, please go to this event, and comment below! The reading will take place tomorrow, Friday, November 18, 2011, at 8:00 p.m. Left Bank Books is located in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan between Bank and West 12th Streets at No. 17 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10014. For more information, see the Poet’s Wear Prada post on this event.

I can’t tell you how mind-blowing it is to know that my poems are in a city I’ve never been in, in the hands of people I’ve never met. I feel just like Sally Field, who was doing pretty well when she was 39:

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