Jewels

by Tulasi-Priya on Friday 18 May 2012

That's 22K, baby. Maybe even 23.I just saw that Tin House is accepting applications for their 2012 writing workshop. I see that fiction and poetry are filled, but Nonfiction/Memoir is not. What does that mean, I wonder? Is the memoir trend waning? I thought I’d give it a look, but it’s a little beyond my means, and besides, I don’t really have anything I’d want to submit right now (though I suppose I could crank out 20 pages in no time—if I were on crank).

It also occurred to me that I don’t really know much about Tin House, that I really ought to get better acquainted, not only with them, but with other writing workshops, lit magazines, and writing and publishing websites. I have a long list of my own (and I’ll put up the links soon, I promise), but I’m curious about where the rest of y’all visit when not hanging around Betsy’s place. We have a saying in my tribe: association is everything in spiritual life. It can make or break you. I’m pretty sure the same holds true for writers.

So tell me: who, as a writer, do you associate with? Online and off, please. Or is this like asking someone about their bank balance? Do you keep your jewels tucked away?

p.s. Books are also an especially potent form of association. My go-to gal for great reading lists is Shanna Mahin. Truly a jewel. Check out her list of hard-to-categorize (but wonderful) books at her Pen USA blog. Now I know what my summer reading list is.

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Averil May 28, 2012 at 9:41 am

All my friendships are online–well, except now for Suzy, and that one lovely day on the beach with Teri. I don’t think I could do an actual critique group or workshop; though I go back and forth on this, I really think my work is better when I hammer it out on my own and let people in at the end to give me feedback after I’ve got it as good as it can be.

And by people, I mean August. He’s the one person I trust to tell me whether my work is shit or my idea untenable. Because I know he’ll give me the bad news, I can believe him when the news is good.

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Tulasi-Priya May 28, 2012 at 11:23 am

You struck gold with August, Averil, and now you’re mining it. Hm, which reminds me, of how Annie Dillard (Auggie hates her, or maybe just something she wrote once) described writing:

When you write, you lay out a line of words. The line of words is a miner’s pick, a wood carver’s gouge, a surgeon’s probe. You wield it, and it digs a path you follow. Soon you find yourself deep in new territory. Is it a dead end, or have you located the real subject? You will know tomorrow, or this time next year.

It’s funny, I’ve read that so many times, it’s lost its fascination for me, but at the same time, it has become a part of me: the imagery, the rhythm, the euphony of the prose, maybe even the real meaning. And the way you’ve been talking, musing, agonizing about your writing reminds me very much of what Dillard describes. Glad August could provide a light in the darkness.

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Sparks In Shadow June 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm

I was looking for a post that caught my eye in June, but I can’t find it.

My friends and the writers I know are online, too. Some tell me what they think I want to hear, some keep quiet because I don’t always keep my disappointment in check, some say the difficult things I need to hear. In the end I’d rather hear the difficult things because they give me the chances to make my writing better and to decide what that means to me specifically.

(I loved that man in the sweaters. He made me feel better no matter where I was or what I’d been doing.)

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Tulasi-Priya June 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm

I took the Mr. Rogers post down and postponed posting it (tongue-twister, that) until tomorrow morning, because nobody seems to read (or respond to) blogs on the weekends except me! It’ll be up again tomorrow morning. Hope you don’t mind waiting.

Thanks for checking in, Ré. I’m getting myself organized and revved up for a very focused writing period over the next few months. Blogging will be part of it, as well as checking in regularly with my blog friends. I’ve been too scattered, not visiting my friends blogs, when I so appreciate all the writerly chitchat we have.

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