Monday, January 09, 2006

So, you think you CanWrite!

That's the title of the Canadian Authors Association's 2006 conference short story contest. It's pretty catchy, huh? But, of course we think we can write, right?

I'm still recovering from co-chairing the 2005 version of the conference, so it will be pleasant to go the next conference solely as a registrant. No responsibilities! The location is Peterborough, in July, and you can get more info at the Canadian Authors Association website. (I should tell you that M@ is responsible for the conference's moniker "CanWrite!" That guy's pretty witty, huh? What a way with words!).

The deadline for the contest (winners get free registration, cash, and the top ten stories are published in an anthology) is February 28. You can find out more at

Anyway, the conference wasn't my original reason for writing this posting. I was thinking about proofreading.... At the last writer's circle, I ran a story by the group for the contest - it was quite polished in the sense it's been through the group for feedback a few times before - and sure enough, the DT clan found a couple of typos, and made a few suggestions that improved the story immensely and were really simple to make. The story went off into the mail this morning...

I'm writing this blog post because proofreading and contests are on my mind for another reason. I recently placed second in a poetry contest run by Craigleigh Press, and the award ceremony was this past weekend. I read the poem and received a chapbook with the poem in it. It was a delightful afternoon spent with fellow poets. Anyway, the judge came to chat with me. The poem she had chosen for second had been part of a numbered series of three poems. She really liked the series, but her preferred poem wasn't the one that had placed second - it was another one she had to "throw out" of the judging because of a typo! Write/right in the first line!!! Lol! So you think you can write, huh, Marianne? My eye never picked that up, although I had been very careful with that submission. The submission was sent away in the summer - when our group doesn't meet....

Dear editing circle, those Thursday night sessions are invaluable - no matter how polished a story is. So thank you! (Oh, btw, the judge also preferred another poem in the series of three, but it was a bit too "provocative" for the publication. Now I've got your attention, huh?).


Anonymous said...

Tagging on to the previous Blog - Who is this Gary guy?

Not only that! WHO is LOST VIRTUE?

As far as a poem being too provactive - what is meant by that? Another mystery?

Dang - So many mysteries and so little time.

Anonymous said...

Must have been the little naked glass women with their nipples painted blue... You think? (Talk about lost virtue, huh?).

Anonymous said...

Horrors, a typo? How could that happen? Makes our editing circle seem all the more valuable, all right. But I too want to know what poem was TOO PROVOCATIVE for the Craigleigh people... please tell us!

Anonymous said...

glassworks #3

the artist sits hunched
behind the viewing glass
manipulates thin rods
with a small blow torch
like God shaped Eve from a rib
just another male
man-ipulating women
what’s new

with deft motions
he twists tiny women
into being
and when their bodies cool
paints their nipples blue
sometimes red

later i spot
the glass ladies for sale
high-priced hookers
hanging out on the street corners
of the art gallery gift shop
a thousand dollars and more
to take them home.

Anonymous said...

Here's the one that placed second -I actually like the imagery better. Okay, that's it from me with this string of poems...

glassworks #2

further down in the belly
of the building
young men sweat art
hoist long poles
into the blazing furnaces
a masculine grace
and athleticism
to their motions
a feel of factory too working men
shoveling coal into furnaces
who would have thought
the making of glass
was an act of men

young louis armstrongs
on trumpet cheeks puffed
they blow sweet notes
of jazz-glass
music made solid
into goblets and glass bubbles
the basement steaming
like a southern summer’s afternoon

old men puzzle over cold
art deliberate and
static and stained

Larry Keiler said...

Hard to believe that in 2006 painted nipples on glass women is provocative. (then again, just thinking about it makes Larry horny...oops did he write that out loud?)

Parisians rioted at the premiere of Stravinsky's Rites of Spring. They weren't too thrilled, apparently, by Nijinsky's portrayal of a randy faun either. Now these are classics.

$1000 dollars? Glass women. Blue nipples, sometimes red. Where does Larry sign up?

Larry Keiler said...

A late addition:
Seems to Larry that it's not Louis who puffs his cheeks, but Dizzy Gillespie. Still, that's a nice image you've made there...

Hmm...southern glass belles...painted ladies...the veneer of sophistication...a patina glowing like the crust of wild thing's pottery

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm dizzy from the correction- thanks - ANOTHER reason for editing circles!

"Provocative" was my word - but the rules did state something to that effect - I figure judges will work it for themselves and don't worry too much about rules except for the quantitative ones like word length. It's all not that important anyway - I see it as an opportunity to put what one writes "out there" into the greater world, or rather bigger world.

What else? Oh yeah, the three poems were written as a result of a trip to Lousiville, Kentucky (with Anna Banana), where I visited the Glassworks, a gallery where artists are actually working with glass in various forms while you walk about and watch... and yeah, to me, these little women looked like something I might have seen in Woolworths when I was a kid - except not the blue nipples and naked ladies, but little glass figurines... for 99 cents. Not hundreds and hundreds of dollars. But hey, what do I know about art? Or art-e-facts?

Anonymous said...

Oh man, what has this BLOG become? Wild thing? Hot Thing? and statues with Nipples? LOST VIRTUE?

Where is the decorum?

Now I know where virtue was lost...

Right here in Grand River city!

My innocent eyes
by BB (who ain't a poet)

For the little poet inside
A tiny voice that doth hide
Bold words from you guys
Blinding my innocent eyes

(And Now ya NOET)

Larry Keiler said...

Larry sez:

Well, either you're closing your eyes
To a situation you do not wish to acknowledge
Or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated
By the presence of a pool table in your community.
Ya got trouble, my friend, right here,
I say, trouble right here in (Grand) River City.
Why sure I'm a billiard player,
Certainly mighty proud I say
I'm always mighty proud to say it.
I consider that the hours I spend
With a cue in my hand are golden.
Help you cultivate horse sense
And a cool head and a keen eye.
Never take and try to give
An iron-clad leave to yourself
From a three-reail billiard shot?
But just as I say,
It takes judgement, brains, and maturity to score
In a balkline game,
I say that any boob kin take
And shove a ball in a pocket.
And they call that sloth.
The first big step on the road
To the depths of deg-ra-Day--
I say, first, medicinal wine from a teaspoon,
Then beer from a bottle.
An' the next thing ya know,
Your son is playin' for money
In a pinch-back suit.
And list'nin to some big out-a-town Jasper
Hearin' him tell about horse-race gamblin'.
Not a wholesome trottin' race, no!
But a race where they set down right on the horse!
Like to see some stuck-up jockey'boy
Sittin' on Dan Patch? Make your blood boil?
Well, I should say.
Friends, lemme tell you what I mean.
Ya got one, two, three, four, five, six pockets in a table.
Pockets that mark the diff'rence
Between a gentlemen and a bum,
With a capital "B,"
And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!
And all week long your (Grand) River City
Youth'll be frittern away,
I say your young men'll be frittern!
Frittern away their noontime, suppertime, choretime too!
Get the ball in the pocket,
Never mind gittin' Dandelions pulled
Or the screen door patched or the beefsteak pounded.
Never mind pumpin' any water
'Til your parents are caught with the Cistern empty
On a Saturday night and that's trouble,
Oh, yes we got lots and lots a' trouble.
I'm thinkin' of the kids in the knickerbockers,
Shirt-tail young ones, peekin' in the pool
Hall window after school, look, folks!
Right here in (Grand) River City.
Trouble with a capital "T"
And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!
Now, I know all you folks are the right kinda parents.
I'm gonna be perfectly frank.
Would ya like to know what kinda conversation goes
On while they're loafin' around that Hall?
They're tryin' out Bevo, tryin' out cubebs,
Tryin' out Tailor Mades like Cigarette Feends!
And braggin' all about
How they're gonna cover up a tell-tale breath with Sen-Sen.
One fine night, they leave the pool hall,
Headin' for the dance at the Arm'ry!
Libertine men and Scarlet women!
And Rag-time, shameless music
That'll grab your son and your daughter
With the arms of a jungle animal instink!
Friends, the idle brain is the devil's playground!


Trouble, oh we got trouble,
Right here in (Grand) River City!
With a capital "T"
That rhymes with "P"
And that stands for Pool,
That stands for pool.
We've surely got trouble!
Right here in (Grand) River City,
Right here!
Gotta figger out a way
To keep the young ones moral after school!
Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble...

Larry sez:

Mothers of (Grand) River City!
Heed the warning before it's too late!
Watch for the tell-tale sign of corruption!
The moment your son leaves the house,
Does he rebuckle his knickerbockers below the knee?
Is there a nicotine stain on his index finger?
A dime novel hidden in the corn crib?
Is he starting to memorize jokes from Capt.
Billy's Whiz Bang?
Are certain words creeping into his conversation?
Words like 'swell?"
And 'so's your old man?"
Well, if so my friends,
Ya got trouble,
Right here in (Grand) River city!
With a capital "T"
And that rhymes with "P"
And that stands for Pool.
We've surely got trouble!
Right here in (Grand) River City!
Remember the Maine, Plymouth Rock and the Golden Rule!
Oh, we've got trouble.
We're in terrible, terrible trouble.
That game with the fifteen numbered balls is a devil's tool!
Oh yes we got trouble, trouble, trouble!
With a "T"! Gotta rhyme it with "P"!
And that stands for Pool!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey the only trouble I see around here comes from staying up real late blogging... now THAT's trouble, with a capital T, rhymes with B, blogging.

Larry, you ever gonna send your friend, you-know-who, to the Thursday Night writers' group again????

Or is he your friend? Maybe he's just Trouble with a capital T...

Anonymous said...

lost virtues

glass women
red and blue nipples
playing pool

sticks rising
balls to holes

stoking fire
on hot coles

look at louis
arms strong
hold his saxophone
and drool

all will meet
in Hades
cross the river styx oops
not the styx the grand you fool

Anonymous said...

ohhhhh I liked poem that...beautiful amusing and funny

I liked the play with Louis arm strong nice but surely it was a trumpet..

and of course the grand..smiles

Anonymous said...

I should know by now to go always with my first impulses. I had trumpet and thinking brought me to sax. Oh well. Even a school teacher once begged me to stop thinking. Thanks bb