Continue writing about Long Grass Books on the blog.
Cease to pay attention to things that fritter and are devoid of meaning. Live the larger and more radiant life of art; give up what shrinks and darkens the spirit.
Clean up the dratted post-earthquake writing room.
Preserve your humility in the face of art.
Zephyr has floated by and asked that I amplify number 4. What does that mean to me, humility in the face of art?
Here goes, at the risk of sounding like an utter ninny...
It means this: despite our civilization’s current turn away from words and away from beauty, the vocation of artist still exists; that it is a vocation of rightness, a calling that matters; that a vocation is not a thing to rest easy in; that making the beautiful is tied to labor and readiness and willingness to explore beyond what has become comfortable. Most of all, humility before art means acknowledging the great mysteries of life and death and striving with no thought of self—in fact, with loss of self in the striving—to make a thing that radiates life and beauty.
Of course, thousands of artists of all sorts have devoted their lives to this work and have passed away as though they had never been. Yet the striving itself was an assault on death and meaninglessness that affirmed that life can have meaning and that people can live brighter, bigger lives.
Bother to send out some poems—don’t sit around waiting for requests.
Post more pieces about younger or beginning writers.
Apply some ingenuity: think about filling all fiction requests, even if they’re “wrong” for you; that is, bend the request into a bow that fits the arrows in your sheaf.
Don’t waste so much time. Listen. That’s time’s winged chariot you hear…
Don’t expect other people to do anything for you, but be sure and thank them if they do.
Grow more chitininous armor, yet grow more tender within.
Don’t wait for someone, something...
And don't fret.
Fantasy Magazine has been conducting a poll for best stories of the year, but unfortunately "The Comb" was left off. It's now up, third from the bottom; if you're a reader, feel free to go read and vote. "Seven Crooked Tinies" is also on the list. New Year's Day marked the anthology reprint of "The Comb" in Rich Horton's Fantasy: Best of the Year (Prime Books, 2008).
Photograph credit, "Winter 1": I'd be tempted to call this one after the poem, "The Road Not Taken," and say that this is Frost's "yellow wood" when winter comes, as it always must. This trace through a winter forest is courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/ and Peter Hellebrand of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. "I shall be telling this with a sigh / Somewhere ages and ages hence / Two roads diverged in a wood / And I took the one less traveled by / And that has made all the difference"