happy holidays 2016, and how revision happens when you least expect it

Happy holidays, and may your writing and reading be wonderful this new year. Here is my Lego dreidel project to help me celebrate the holidays. It goes with our Christmas tree, as we are a multi-faith family.  I found the plans online and modified them. Sarah, my wonderful partner, made a trip to https://bricksandminifigs.com  across the river in Louisville to get me the bottom corner pieces I needed.

“And also…” as the kid likes to walk up to us and say without any previous words happening, what’s the Internet without a cat picture, and what’s the holidays without a cat-in-a-wreath.

“Meeeowpy Holidays” from Naomi the once timid new cat and now large pet dog terrorizer and queen of all she surveys.

So this post is about revising suddenly and unexpectedly. I have no problem with revising poetry. It doesn’t make me feel like this:   or this:. I actually do a lot of revising sitting in the audience at poetry readings when waiting to go up to the mic. It’s how I burn off restless energy. The other day, I ended up revising in one of my favorite ways, sitting on the couch across from Sarah, reading over my work.

I thought I was actually happy with the latest version of “Thank God for Bad Marriages.” So much so I let it be published (two revisions ago, by accident) in an anthology that some fellow Spalding MFA grads and I put together called Fresh Brews.

Spalding Brewhouse Poets’ anthology

We call ourselves the Spalding Brewhouse Poets. Sometimes we read as a group and sometimes I also play guitar and sing.

(If you want to book us – contact me!)

Anyway, going through my manuscript of How the Rain (that was going to be published this spring, but I turned down the publishing contract (long story – and although Molly Peacock told me it was ready, Joan Larkin told me it wasn’t ready and I decided to go with the more difficult decision, so back to working on it) I flipped to that page, read it to Sarah (one of her favorites) and suddenly this poem I thought was done for more than two years just seemed so undone!

Half-hour later, and reading over and over again to Sarah sitting next to me on the couch, I have (I hope) a much stronger poem. She may need some editing credit. I guess what I teach is correct – poetry revision is never done!

Closing out this note with a picture of me and the kid. We’re a reading family, as you can see. Though some of us seem to be used as a reading table.   – That’s all for today. Wish me luck publishing the book and I wish you luck with your writing!

All the best,

– Michael

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