Erin Dorney

Blogging life & librarianship

Posts Tagged ‘writing

Poem “January 26, 2011” published in Birdfeast Magazine

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birdfeast

At the beginning of September I learned that my poem “January 26, 2011” was accepted for publication in issue four of Birdfeast Magazine. Birdfeast is published quarterly and features a “feast” of 10-20 poems in each issue. They publish “…your loudest pieces, and your quietest ones. Your strangest and your most gentle.” I absolutely love the way Birdfeast presents itself electronically in terms of its site design. It was one of the things that made me want to submit there. If you submit work, you probably know exactly what I mean when I say there are some online journals out there that look absolutely horrendous. I know that literary journals (including ejournals) are a labor of love, but come on now people. Birdfeast is where it’s at in terms of minimalist design & great use of color/images. It allows the work to take front stage.

Another reason I decided to submit to Birdfeast is because Duotrope (y’all know about Duotrope, right? If not, get on that!) has this nice feature where you can look up a particular journal title and then see:

  • Work submitted here was also submitted to…
  • Users accepted here also had work accepted by…

When my poem was accepted at Curio, I checked Duotrope for other places work by Curio authors was accepted. Lo and behold, Birdfeast was on the list. It’s an easy way to learn about new journals to read and places that might mesh with your particular style for submissions.

This poem is particularly meaningful to me because it’s about my friend’s mother who has since passed away. I have incredibly fond memories of growing up and playing in their house when I was younger (all the way through high school). The last time I got to see her, in winter of 2011, she still beat my ass in a game of Skip Bo! The poem is short, possibly my shortest ever. I think it’s a good parallel to the brief lives we lead.

Thanks to Jessica Poli (Founder and Editor-in-Chief) for selecting my work for inclusion in Birdfeast.

Written by Erin Dorney

November 26, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Keeping Track of Ideas

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notebook

Last March I blogged about a Computers in Libraries session on capturing, sharing, and acting on ideas (presented by Adam Shambaugh and Jill Luedke from Temple University). Since then, I’ve been thinking about the different tools I use to record my ideas:

On my phone:

  • Voice Recorder App – Mostly I use this to capture ideas while driving. Six-hour trips between Pennsylvania and New York equal lots of time for creative reflection. I try to be as safe as possible (open the app before I leave, keep the phone on my lap, one tap to record and pause, etc). On my last drive I recorded all the billboard messages I saw, transcribed them and am now working on a hybrid found/erasure poem using the messages as my text.
  • Notes App – I’ve been known to jot a line or two down in my iPhone notes. I usually do this when it’s the only available option—if I’m in the middle of attending a lecture or something. Eventually I transcribe these into one of my writing notebooks.
  • Camera – I like to take pictures of things like really great or really awful signage or businesses practices that I think might translate well to libraries.

On my computer:

  • Bookmarks – Yup, I still bookmark a TON of stuff in Firefox. And they’re not synced between my work and personal computers. I know there are more robust bookmarking tools out there, but bookmarking usually comes into play when I see something random (after clicking along from five different blogs/websites) that I’m not sure I’ll be able to find again. This results in a huge mess of unsorted bookmarks on both my work and personal machines. About once every month or two I go through them all and either organize them (if it’s a place I’ll want to visit multiple times), read the article/post and delete the bookmark, move the information somewhere else, or buy the item.

In the cloud:

  • TeuxDeux – I’ve blogged about this tool before, but can’t resist sharing it again. TeuxDeux is browser based which allows me to add “home” do-to items while at work and vice versa without syncing headaches. I also purchased the iPhone app, so my lists are available there as well. Yes, this is more of a to-do list tool than a place to capture ideas. However, in addition to a weekly calendar, there is a “someday bucket” which I use to record opportunities I want to look into at a later date. It helps me keep those opportunities fresh in my mind because I see them whenever I look at my daily to-do lists.
  • Google Docs – I recently received an email from Google notifying me that my 894 files stored in Google Docs are now in Google Drive. Eight hundred and ninety four files! I have Google Docs for everything—work projects, creative writing, papers, research projects, presentations, conference notes, lists of things to do, and more. I have a shared doc called “Fishbowl of Awesomeness” where my colleague Melissa and I put snippets of ideas we have for research and publication projects. Google Docs is also where I collect my blog ideas and outline them before drafting them in WordPress.

Tangibly:

  • Notebooks – While I do a lot of my work and writing digitally, I still love paper notebooks. I usually have a few going at once—right now there are three: a Moleskine in my purse/work bag at all times (for anything); a hand-bound journal next to my bed (mostly journaling and book notes); and a spiral bound notebook (reserved for poem crafting).

In the past I’ve collected ideas on sicky notes, large pieces of paper (mind mapping kinda stuff), Evernote on my iPad, and whiteboards. Having a great idea—the perfect line for a poem or topic for a post—and not having a way to record it is a terrible feeling. This usually seems to happen to me when I’m in the shower, just about to fall asleep, or somewhere in public where it would be awkward to pull my notebook out. I repeat the idea over and over in my head, convinced that there’s no way I could forget such a beautiful phrase or thought, but inevitably, the idea is lost if I don’t record it.

How do you keep track of your ideas? Any tips or tricks? Do you keep work ideas and personal ideas separate?

Image CC BY 2.0 courtesy of seanmcgrath on Flickr

Written by Erin Dorney

November 12, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Poem “Kitchen Drawer” published in Curio Poetry

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Curio screenshot

I found out early last week that my poem “Kitchen Drawer” was accepted for publication in issue 7 of Curio Poetry! Curio is a (newish) online journal that highlights “the world at a micro-level: tiny spaces, instants, individual objects, scraps of dreams and memories, et cetera.” I decided to submit to this journal after seeing three poems published in issue 2 by M.J. Iuppa. I studied under Iuppa as an undergrad at St. John Fisher College, and her instruction deeply influenced my craft development.

“Kitchen Drawer” was initially composed during an in-class writing exercise for one of my workshops with Kim Bridgford at West Chester University. The poem underwent a bunch of revisions after that, but if you’re interested, here are some similar prompts you could start from:

  • List the items in your junk drawer and write about how the items in a person’s junk drawer can tell a lot about that person.
  • Write a poem about the clutter in your emotional junk drawer.

Thanks to M.J. for introducing me to Curio, Kim for the prompt, and Joseph Harker and Tessa Racht (Curio editor and assistant editor, respectively) for giving me the opportunity to publish this poem next to all of the other amazing work in issue 7.

Written by Erin Dorney

June 11, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Sips Card Project

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A few months ago I came across the fabulous work of mixed media artist Kristen Solecki, out of Charleston, SC. There’s just something about her use of color that really draws me to her prints and paintings. I ended up purchasing some of her owl prints to give away as gifts and they were gorgeous in really simple Ikea frames.

Kristen contacted me a few weeks later to let me know about a new publication that she and partner Tim LeVan Miller are embarking on. Enter Sips Card:

sipscard

“Sips Card brings independent fiction and local coffee shop/bar venues together. Customers can find Sips Cards at participating coffee shop-like venues. Each card contains a QR code, loaded with a short story from an independent writer meant to last as long as their drink. The cards are venue specific and include their business information as well as that issue’s author, story title, and website.”

Um, amazing. I immediately loved this project because it’s the perfect combination: coffee, good writing, and technology. Plus, it’s an example of QR codes that actually makes a lot of sense (rather than randomly slapping the darn things on every piece of paper in sight). Also, this would be a really fun activity for a library. I could totally see an academic library partnering up with their student-run literary magazine and in-house coffee shop to do a project like this. Maybe even team up with Sips Card to do a limited-series offshoot event of some kind. FUN!

Check out the Sips Card website or Facebook page to learn more about the project. Submissions of poetry and short stories will be accepted April 16 – May 31 for Issue 2. Writers, get a move on! Hope to see some of your best work featured on a Sips Card.

Written by Erin Dorney

April 4, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Posted in Life

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