Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Inner Life of the Disney Princess and Other Inspirations

Let me record a few poem ideas before they slip away.  In ordinary time, I'd jot these ideas down on scraps of paper--now I have no paper near by, no pens, no light to see by.  And even if I did, those scraps of paper might be lost in these days of renovation.

Of course, even in ordinary time, those scraps get lost.  I came across a sticky note with an idea for a poem, which I recognized from World Labyrinth Day, but I couldn't remember what I thought would make a good poem.  I went back to blog posts and Facebook conversations from that day, but the poem inspiration hasn't come back.

So, some inspirations:

--This morning, I write on a laptop with my sleeping spouse in the bed behind me.  The kitchen is just a few steps away.  I thought of all the reasons why people move their bedrooms, all the ways our sleeping patterns change during our lifetimes.  I thought of all the people in the D.C. area who live in townhomes, who have to move the bed to the living room area as one partner ages and can't manage the stairs.  I think of us, sleeping in the dining room during floor restoration.  I am thinking of bohemian apartments I have known/seen, apartments carved out of once-grand houses.

--This summer, as I've watched Facebook posts that are pictures of children posing with Disney princesses at theme parks.  I've thought of writing about the inner life of the Disney princess, especially the people who show up to inhabit the costumes at the theme park.  Or maybe it would be more interesting to explore the woman who wishes she was at a park working as a Disney princess, but instead she has a boring job at a desk or a library.

--The other night these lines drifted through my head:  Once I saw the world as full of opportunities / now I see the trip hazards.

On to other aspects of writing life.  Yesterday I got an acceptance from a journal that hasn't accepted my work before, TAB.  And even better, they took not one, but two poems.

As I always do when work is accepted, I went through my submission log; happily those poems aren't under consideration at too many other journals.  As I made my way through the log, I thought about how long they've been looking for a home.  I thought about long ago, when I read a poet who said that after 10 rejections, she assumes the poem still needs work and does a revision.  But I know that the odds of acceptance are cheap--there are lots of poems out there, circulating, looking for a home.

Yesterday's acceptance is a good reminder that progress can be made in a writing life, even if one has only scraps of time.  In past years, in days of paper submissions and postage, I'd have already created packets of poems ready to be mailed at the first moment that literary journals opened for submissions in September.  These days, I try to remember to send out several submissions a week, which during busy weeks, turns into only several submissions a month--which is still better than nothing.

Some journals have just opened for submissions again as of August 15--let me remember to make a few submissions this week and next!

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