I’m hooked on writing. I carry a Moleskine (the literary equivalent of a pocket notebook) everywhere I go, just in case inspiration strikes while I’m waiting at the deli. Some people do crosswords for fun; I write American Sentences, a 17-syllable variation on haiku created by Allen Ginsberg. An American Sentence is part story, part poem. Here’s one Ginsberg wrote in 1987: “Four skinheads stand in the streetlight rain chatting under an umbrella.” And one of mine: Smelly tractor trailers hauling pigs up the road, tomorrow’s bacon. Try one!
I’m so hooked on writing, that I went back to school. I’ll graduate next spring from Butler University with an MFA in Creative Writing. (If you’re interested, you can read some of my stories at SubtleFiction.com and Luna Station Quarterly.)
What does the library offer geeks like me?
Books, books, more books, and magazines. When I’m seeking inspiration, I turn to Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. It’s a 12-week workbook with exercises designed to help you get your creative juices flowing. When I want humorous advice on the craft of writing, I reread my old favorite, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. I write fiction, so when I want to find out what critics consider “good,” I check out the latest in the series: Best American Short Stories: Selected from U.S. and Canadian Magazines. (The Library also carries Best American Poems, Best American Essays, and Best American Nonrequired Reading.)
Online you’ll find still more resources. If you’re ready to submit one of your pieces to a magazine, I recommend visiting Duotrope.com, an online database of literary journals, which lists both acceptance rates and average response times. Other online resources include NewPages.com and Poets & Writers.
Last but not least, during October, the Library is highlighting books on writing, so come in and check them out.