Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Residency Week 1: Accomplishments

Today marks one week since I returned to Las Vegas and started my own personal writers residency. Let's take a look at what I have achieved:
  • One (1) erasure of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper"
  • Seven (7) poems (including the poem that appears at the bottom of this post)
  • Three (3) flash fiction pieces
  • Over 2,000 new words written in my novel
  • Substantial editing/rewriting of the first five chapters of the novel
It honestly seems like I should have accomplished more. Of course, I also worked out every day, and ran errands when I needed to. Furthermore, I've read part of "Paradise Lost," part of The Master and Margarita, and some of the works of various postmodern American poets. I have barely watched any mindless television--only when eating, and not every day at that.

Sometimes I forget that writing can be quite a slog. It seems like you should be able to write faster than you actually can. Even when you feel like you've written a lot, spent hours writing, it turns out you're written far less than you think.

Oh well. Ultimately I think I've done a decent job. Over the next few weeks, as my fellow MFA-ers join me in Sin City, I imagine that my social life will re-emerge to a certain extent. Nevertheless, I am still determined to make January 2014 one of the most productive months of my life thus far.

Yesterday I went to see Disney's Frozen, because so many of my friends recommended it. (Don't worry--I stayed up writing until almost 2 a.m. to make up for lost time.) I was not as charmed as everyone else seems to be! The message was good (Hey little girls--remember how we said that Prince Charming would just suddenly appear and that he'd sweep you off your feet and you'd immediately get married? Yeah, we were lying. Let's make up for that!), and the animation was gorgeous. However, Elsa's story was grossly underdeveloped. I wanted to see more of her struggle to control her powers. It seemed like she simply existed as a reason for the town to be frozen, so Anna could learn some stuff about life. And so she could sing a blatant "Defying Gravity" rip-off. And when it comes to the score, why was it so inconsistent? Some of the songs sound like broadway, some of them sound like old-fashioned Disney songs, some of them sound like bad pop songs, some of them sound vaguely tribal, some of them sound vaguely tropical, some of them sound vaguely Scottish, some of them are completely forgettable, and why--as Gena pointed out--did they stop entirely in the middle of the film? I guess all the high praise for the film made my expectations too high.

I loved the barely-hidden dick joke, though. Way to go, Disney writers.

In other news, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation used a screenshot of one of my tweets in an article about Alex Trebek rapping "Jeopardy!" clues. So, yeah. That's a thing that happened.

Okay, onto today's poem. I must confess, I wasn't trying very hard when I wrote this one. I wanted to move on to writing more of my novel, and I was afraid I'd be too intellectually exhausted afterwards to write the poem, so I banged it out pretty quickly. It's more mesostics. It's based on yesterday's grocery list. Click the link below for the Google Doc. Enjoy.



  1. I agree on the Elsa part - she was WAY more interesting than Anna.

    I like your mesotic poems - the form seems very much in tune with your style and how your brain works.

    1. I don't know if they're in tune with how my brain works, but at least I like how they look on the page. I wrote a villanelle for tomorrow, so...yeah.


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