friday roundup: an app for that, nothing to say, and all those who go unnamed

Barred owl

public domain from wikimedia

Here it is, Friday again. Friday, how do you do it? You’re here, and then you’re gone, and then you’re here again, lickety-split. And thus, the roundup:

an app for that This week’s word of the week at my desk is unwieldy. That is, “not easily managed, handled, or used (as because of bulk, weight, complexity, or awkwardness).” Unwieldy describes my submissions spreadsheet and my electronic filing system for all bazillion of my writing files. The other night, I said to Husband, “Husband, can you build me a software program that’ll track my submissions for me?” Reader, he said yes (happy sigh. I’m in love.)! Then I got to thinking, there should already be an application for that, no? And it appears that there are some apps for that — desktop, not iPhone/Pad — but that none of them run on a Mac(!). I’ve also been looking for software that will help organize all my writing files: the many drafts and revisions, the research and notes for each poem, critiques from po-friends, etc. I’ve downloaded a free trial copy of Scrivener, which looks like it could be the answer to my prayers, although I’m still learning how it works. It seems to have been built with prose writing in mind, and yet, I can see it working for poetry, too. Meanwhile, I wonder, fellow writers: is your spreadsheet and/or filing system unwieldy too? What tools and strategies have you used to make things easier to manage? I would love to know.

nothing to say  I sat down at my desk this morning thinking of this Todd Boss poem: “Today It Seemed I had Nothing to Say // that hadn’t been said already — / my head full of moldy / hay and feelings / of futility –”  I love that the barred owl makes an appearance (or, technically, fails to appear) in this poem. Did you know the barred owl’s call goes like this: “Who? Who? Who cooks for you?” (listen here). I think it’s pretty fascinating that we human beings put our words into birds’ mouths. My other favorite is the call for the indigo bunting: “Fire! Fire! Where? Where? Here! Here! See it? See it?”

all those who go unnamed This week, I finished up Sandra Beasley’s fantastic book, I Was the Jukebox (more on this here), and turned to Smith Blue by Camille T. Dungy. As a reader, I have a thing for the acknowledgements page(s). I always read that first. Look at what Camille Dungy wrote at the end of her acknowledgements page:

And to all those who go unnamed, the spinners of linen, the keepers of trees, the pressers of paper, the tenders of my body, the bearers of my food, ashe, selah, thank you.

This might be the nicest thing I’ve ever seen on an acknowledgements page. Such gratitude! Such awareness. I’m looking forward to digging into the poems.

That’s it for the roundup today. I know last week I said I was going to try a shoebox poem. I filled the shoebox, but didn’t draft the poem (yet). I’ll let you know how it goes when I do. Until then, happy weekend everyone!

6 thoughts on “friday roundup: an app for that, nothing to say, and all those who go unnamed

    • Duotrope’s not bad, but the software programs I looked at were very slick — not only did they track submissions, they compiled them, generated cover letters, and let everything reside within the application. Also allowed for custom searches and reports (well, Duotrope does this, too, I guess).

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