A few years ago, after re-entry into the world of writing, I would have searched out the conference sessions that dealt with finding an agent, writing query letters, and publishing ideas. But I have had a turning point, an epiphany if you will: I am not even close to being ready for such things, a point validated by Sarah Cortez, http://poetacortez.com/ who defines a beginning writer as, “Someone who has been crafting for 10 years or less.” Yes, I fall into that category having been back in the realm within the past three years. Even if it hadn't been suggested I should attend all the sessions that focused on craft, as Meg Files strongly encouraged those of us seeking credit to do, I shied away from those sessions like a well-disciplined and neophyte author/student.
I was especially motivated to work on a new poem prompted by Diane Glancy’s session. http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=diane+glancy&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8. She led us on a “Gathering Ceremony” from the lines of readings searching for ideas and images, fragments we could lift out and transform into writing of our own. You can find a draft of a piece I have started on my personal blog, DdiamondD1.com. It needs a bit more polishing. Glancy might agree that some of it needs to go into the “discard pile” to find what is lurking behind what's left, the shadows of truth.
I fell in love with the poem "In The Community Garden" by Mark Doty. His commentary on the sunflower, speaks to my love for the giant beauties. You can read it in his book fire to fire, http://www.amazon.com/Fire-New-Selected-Poems/dp/0060752513.
The author of The Sentimentalist and This Will Be Difficult To Explain, http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=johanna+skibsrud&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8, Johanna Skibsrud, provided commentary on a current piece I am developing. She gave me hope stating my work is “full of imagery, with clear language, and a captivating story.” Thank you again, Johanna. I shall write on!
The event concluded with a contest for the worst writing. Contestants were to describe in a one page fictitious narrative the time they met their favorite celebrity crush. A quartet of women wrote their tributes: two to Justin Beiber, which resulted in a third place tie, one used a litany of James Taylor's own song titles quarreling over a piece of fruit at their fortuitous meeting, and the first place was awarded to an unidentified heartthrob. Oh, the irony of it all! Pink princess pens, a mango, and a giant cupcake treat were awarded to the worst writers of the day.
I highly suggest you mark you calendars for next year’s workshops. I know I will!