I've decided that to keep blogging for at least once a month, I will write a monthly round up of my writing life. I will do it in the first week of every month, to give myself the opportunity to experience the previous month in its entirety (you never know what could happen at 11:58 PM on the last day of the month).
During April, I participated in the 30 poems in 30 days challenge. I've been a part of the challenge for five years. I was disappointed in myself last year when I didn't finish the 2012 challenge. It became a challenge when my part time temp job became a full time temp job with the opportunity to become permanent. Sometimes survival comes before creativity, but that didn't mean that I forgave myself easily for not finishing.
I was determined to finish this year. I saw opportunity in Instagram. Sometimes I didn't have time to write eloquent 40 line poems (did I even write a 40 line poem? ::ponders::). Instagram gave me the opportunity to jazz up smaller pieces, using original or found pictures and making a haiku a stronger image. Plus it gave me a new audience to introduce my writing to. I know that I gained new followers on Instagram, though I'm still trying to determine blog readership.
It was really fun and I found that even when I was posting late, that a pile of poems were building up because I was incorporating images and taking the time to find the right image for each poem. Sometimes I found a image, but had no poem. It gave me the motivation to write more. In a seemingly visual society, I found that my writing was a little more appreciated when the majority of my work was image based. I may have to rethink my approach on writing!
Overall it was a great challenge.
In relation to the 30/30 challenge, I had a whirlwind publication opportunity! My Day Five poem has been published in an anthology called "Old Hollywood". The poem was a part of a contest by Lady Chaos Press, a fairly new press by the lovely Shannon Lynette. I submitted my poem five days before the contest ended, which was on April 5th. By April 24th, she was already announcing that the book was out! I must remember to ask her (or simply interview her on the blog - how about it Shannon?) what her secret is to putting together a book so fast is.
After the 45 minutes, we go around and read our pieces, offering constructive criticism to improve the pieces and to rave about what we love about it. I'm often speechless because these ladies are amazing. Their input and encouragement to my work, even when I don't like the piece, puts things into perspective. Their own pieces make me want to throw my pen away because they have written masterpieces. I am blessed to be a part of this group.