Wednesday, April 11, 2007

And about that whining…

I know that I do it. I'll apologize right now and probably again and again.

I'll keep sending out work, the rejections will keep coming (oops—where's that positive attitude?), and I will sometimes whine.

But I try not to mope and complain—at least, not too much, and I have some history behind this. Back in 1985, I was taking a poetry workshop in New York, and the teacher would spend much of the class time complaining about how unsupportive her friends and acquaintances and the world all were of poets and their work writing poetry. (This amid a flock of earnest poets and a haze of cigarette smoke.)

Okay, she was probably right—but I was struggling to be a Famous Modern Dancer and all of my friends were telling me that I should probably write poetry instead. I was lucky to have such supportive friends, although I still wanted to be the Next Great Choreographer. Finally, in the middle of class, I couldn't take it any longer, and I walked out. It was out of character. It was my protest (sort of cutting off my nose to spite my face—but at the time it seemed like a good idea or at least a relief). I didn't go back. (I'm shy enough that I would not have had the guts to return the following week.)

Now when I start to wallow, I do remember that class as a cautionary tale. I slip—as you can tell—but I try to keep it to a minimum and work on that positive attitude. I'm sure it's here somewhere.

On another note…

The Cranky chapbook contest deadline is Saturday, April 15th. For more information, see

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