a person’s "books to read" list can be the most revealing thing about them

books i’m hoping to read this year:

The Circle Maker: Praying Circles around your biggest dreams and greatest fears by Mark Batterson

Grace for the Good girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life by Emily P Freeman

She’s Got Issues: seriously good news for stressed-out, secretly scared control freaks like us by Nicole Unice

The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot

Beyond Bathtime: Embracing Motherhood as a Sacred Role by Erin Davis

The Mission of Motherhood: touching your child’s heart for eternity by Sally Clarkson

Breastfeeding, Take Two: Successful breastfeeding the second time around by Stephanie Casemore

The Faith of a Writer: Life, Craft, Art by Joyce Carol Oates

Imago Dei: Poems from Christianity and Literature edited by Jill Baumgaertner

The Empty House poems by Faith Shearin

{and others i want to read ..here.. }

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have y’all read any of these and liked or disliked them?

and i don’t have many poetry books on my list–suggestions are welcome!

tired of poetry

writing has been difficult lately. 

earlier this fall my writing was going well; i got a lot of work done on my manuscript, wrote new poems i’m happy with, published in places i was excited to publish with.

then november came and december, and i’ve not written but two lackluster poems in this time and sent out my work hardly at all. writing has been on the backburner, and its been difficult to muster up the passion necessary to get back to it.

this past week i’ve started reading poetry regularly again, in hopes that it will spark something, but i feel like i’ve just been slogging through it. reading literary magazines i’ve started to feel like my aesthetic is irrelevant. all these modern trendy poems.  i don’t think my poetry is really “cool” enough. well and news like graywolf press, which i respect(ed?), publishing james franco’s poetry collection just makes me feel like what is the point?

so after hitting such a high point this fall, i feel disillusioned, without inspiration, and tired. i’m not sure if this is something i should just push through–keep reading, keep writing–maybe return to reading through some of my old favorites or try some writing exercises or a writing challenge?–or if i should take the opposite route, take a break from writing, and if so, how long? a week, a month, a couple of months? and of course there’s that little voice in the back of my mind that says wouldn’t it just be easier to Not be a writer?

have any of you faced these feelings with your writing, and if so, what did you do or what would you advise?

time to write

i have a new poem up at Stirring — “It Is Well

also poems forthcoming at 2River (“The Escape” and “Rebecca”)

and, surprisingly enough, a short story forthcoming in Relief! I don’t publish outside my genre very often, so I’m particularly excited about that one.

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don’t let the string of publications fool you–i have been extremely slackerly in the writing department the past month. between the holiday rush, sicknesses, traveling, grading, end of semester craziness, and early pregnancy morning sickness / fatigue, i’ve only written i think maybe one poem in the past month and read one poetry book

my grading is all but one paper short of complete, and, besides graduation, i have a break from school until january. my plans over the break are to take an online class on online teaching (which so far doesn’t look to be an extreme time commitment), travel a bit to see family, and finish my confessional poetry class lessons. i will admit some of my writing time the past month has been eaten up by essay writing–i’ve really been enjoying researching and writing the essays on confessional poetry that i’ll use for my class.

now that school is all but over though i plan on getting back to my writing in earnest. even with all the trials of the past month, i know that part of the reason that i haven’t written is that i didn’t commit myself to write. i’m not going to make any hard and fast goals for myself over the break–i’m putting relaxation and time with family as a top priority–but i do plan on setting aside time to write at least once a week, and time to dig into the huge stack of poetry books i’ve yet to read. after all, a lot has happened in the past month–i think i have some things to write about.