Monday, March 4, 2013

Published In Madrid

     When I write, I always write with the intention of producing something good. Now, I need to clarify a couple of things. By writing, I mean writing songs, poetry, and music. This blog, while I have every intention to make it a good read, does not undergo the same process as my songs, poetry, and music. And I realize that 'good' might very well be subjective. So by good, I mean something which passes my standards of good art, and if I can help it, pass the even higher standards of what Katie believes is good art. But always, I write for myself, in order to produce something of which I will approve.
     There are times when I not only write with this purpose, but also with an additional purpose which doesn't conflict with my main intention. That is to publicize and publish my work. This carries a third purpose, which I will get to later. But now, to the publishing bit. Over the past few weeks, I have had three poems published in a local online literary journal based here in Madrid. The journal, called Toast Madrid, was started by a Chicago native who also owns a café of the same name. He hosts poetry nights, and invited me to go last week to read a couple of my poems. It was a great time, and nice to meet some people with at least one common interest. I also told him I played music, and he told me to send him my music, and now wants me to play a show at the café later this month. This is good.
     So, the poems— the subject matter deals with Retiro park here in Madrid, which I frequent. In January, I was finding it difficult to write, and Katie suggested I do a study on something specific in order to set some boundaries for my writing, which sometimes helps with focusing and producing more frequent successes. Well, like usual, she was right. So the three poems published were inspired by the park, and I am continuing with my study. The three poems are called "Slices," "Creates The Air," and "Two Women Talking." You can find them all HERE, or click on the individual poems.
     But you don't get poems published unless you submit them. So there must be a reason why all of a sudden I submitted some poetry. And there is. And this reason also does not conflict with my foremost purpose of writing, but is designed to enable more writing. Oddly, if you want to go to school in the States, you have to apply darn near a year in advance. I am thinking about doing a Masters in poetry— not this Fall, but the next one, which means I will need to submit an application at the end of this year. These programs are highly competitive, and not too many offer full scholarships and stipends. The main criteria for being accepted (so I'm told) is the work you submit. But apart from that, they look at other things, including if you have been published, how many times, etc. And so I am doing my best not only to write a lot, but also to publish. Having these poems published is encouraging, and lets potential universities know that other people think your work is good enough for others to see. I am planning on submitting poems in the next week to many journals in hopes of more good news.
     Of course, I can't be sure I want to do an M.F.A. in poetry, but it seems pretty good to me. And I know some people will say I am avoiding "real" work, and maybe for some people I am, but the thing is, this is real work for me. Just because I don't want to work a 9 to 5 office job doesn't mean I don't want to work 9 to 5 on something (ex: writing). And so, I continue trying to make the most of my time here, and hopefully I will come away with much more than memories.

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