May 29, 2009

Just some talk about poetry.

I've been very quiet on the blog this month, and my post totals for May are going to stay low because we've only got a few days left.

I got my first acceptance on the 18th, from Crab Creek Review. I'm pretty excited because a) it's my first acceptance (duh!) and b) they've published some amazing poets over the years, and I'm glad that I'm going to be a part of their next issue.

I guess this is what happens when you write write write like crazy for one month and then break out of that habit: you can't write a single darned thing afterwards. (No, actually, I've written three poems in May, but two of them are junk. Like in-the-trash-and-I'm-never-gonna-see-you-again junk.)

I'm wondering if I should set up my own poem-a-day challenge for myself just for, say, a week. I really need some new material to work with and submit, because journals won't accept my NPWM poems (previously published and all that). NaPoWriMo was fun and I did it mainly for the experience and to prep for next year, when I won't be publishing my April poems online.

If you know of any good poetry-prompt sites, I'd love to know. I use Read Write Poem already, and I pull inspiration from the online journals ouroboros review and qarrtsiluni, but if there are any places that you've found particularly helpful, do share them.

May 26, 2009

Confession Tuesday

I haven't done confessions in so long, so I'm jumping back on the train.

I've been kind of sicky/tired/feeling awful these past two weeks so I had to skip school camp this week -- in other words, it means that I'm off till Monday. While I can't say I'll be up and about the whole time, this virus shouldn't stop me from putting together submissions and the beginnings of a manuscript.

I searched journals on the web that accept electronic submissions using that list that's been going around (I can't find the url now, but it's very helpful) and there are two that look really good. Unfortunately their reading periods end June 1st and I doubt I'm going to have enough work to submit to those two. Unless I can turn this week into "cram time" and writewritewrite and submitsubmitsubmit. I need to pick up on my submitting so badly.

I've been trying to spend less and less time online since I'm a computer junkie, but it's kind of hard to break old habits. Unfortunately, being on the computer doesn't exactly translate to much productivity.

What I have been doing on the comp is preparing for a December layout change. I switched layouts every few days in February and March, so I've decided that I'm going to change the look annually. I'm really pleased with the template and once I've finished some more tweaking I'll be done with it. I can't wait for the end of the year.

We've been having some gorgeous warm weather here and I got to wake up every morning during the long weekend to sunshine through the blinds. Sweetens every day. It has been so darn warm and pretty that it's actually kind of depressing when we get the old clouds again. They're family friends. We've seen them too many times.

And then, on a completely random note, I discovered my addiction to cucumbers and lettuce. I've always loved them, but when you don't have them for a while you realize how much you adore them.

This is probably my longest confession ever. It's babbly, but I guess confessions are sometimes of that nature anyway.

May 24, 2009


I'm excited to present cuileann, the girl behind the super-popular blog eating a tangerine. She draws in so many visitors and writes astoundingly beautiful and raw poetry. Her blog is such a treat to read; exploring her archives and her latest posts is like a walk through the prettiest places on Earth. It's cozy, warm, and welcoming.

And even her answers are perfect and phrased just right. Here she is.

1. How did you get into blogging? Did you ever think your blog would become as popular as it is today?

I started blogging when I was fourteen, but I only stuck with it for a few months. Then about a year and a half ago I resurrected my old blog. Both times I started blogging, it was because I had circles of friends who were blogging - the first time, "real life" friends, and the second time, some of the fearsome and awesome Shan-fans of Little Red Reading Hood. To be honest, I wasn't even too aware until last year that blogs were things that had varying degrees of popularity; I just hoped I would start getting more comments, heh.

2. Would you encourage people to get into flickr, tumblr, Goodreads, etc?

Of the ones you mentioned, Tumblr is WONDERFUL for people who collect photos, quotes, and the like from the internet and want to keep track of where they found them. Much nicer than saving them to your computer. There's a lot of beautiful photography on flickr; following photographers there is definitely worthwhile. As for Goodreads, I find it handy, but it's not very much fun if you don't have friends with accounts.

It kind of depends on the person, though. There are so many different places around the internet to spectate or get involved; you just need to figure out what each one offers to you and what you want to get out of it so that a site doesn't turn out to be just a timesuck for you.

3. You flew solo to Iceland last year, as you told us on your blog. What was the experience like? Do you think it has changed the way you look at the world, having traveled to such a beautiful place (as we learned from your photos)?

Oh my, I do like an opportunity to talk about going to Iceland. That trip was one of the best things I've done. Parts of it were hard - for example, being on my own and only having planned the trip a few days in advance, I had to make everything happen on my own. Even small things like, if I wanted to have people to hang out with some of the time, I would have to spot the people and approach them and strike up a conversation. Most of what was hard was hard in a good way, though.

My experience of the country was more wonderful than I can say. I loved everything I saw - Iceland is stunningly beautiful, and her people are some of the kindest I've ever met. And I was there as I was beginning to consider leaving my college, at a point when having a lot of time for reflection and having to rely on myself were exactly what I needed.

Yes, I would say the trip changed the way I look at the world. It was a good and very timely reminder that I can make my life what I want it to be, and take care of myself, and make wonderful things happen for myself. It was also proof for me that there are more beautiful places where I am happier, that when I'm fantasizing about distant places, it's not necessarily just my romantic tendencies making me believe that the grass is greener on the other side!

4. Have Internet friends changed you at all? What are the good and the bad things about having friends whom -- in most cases -- you've never seen?

The people I've gotten to know online have been very much a blessing to me. I wouldn't hesitate to call them friends without distinguishing them from "real life" friends, and I have gotten quite close to some of them. Aside from the ordinary lovelinesses of friendships, I think they have probably made me more comfortable with my personality and my interests, just because many of them are more similar to me than my in-person friends.

The good things about online friends: you really choose each other, so they're more likely to be people who you can really relate to and who inspire you. Plus, they're with you wherever you have internet access, as much when you're in another country or at a relative's house as when you're at home. Bad: you can't hug them when they're upset, or hang out with them offline.

5. A handful of your favorite blogs and/or flickr photostreams?

Difficult, difficult. I'm going to restrict myself to ones that I think you might not know to make it easier for myself.

Flickr photostreams: Ültra, razbarabanilo,schweet_rice, シャッターBUG,sweet distin, Susannah B, and *Cinnamon.

Blogs: a handful of stones, Iceland Eyes, simply breakfast, Marya Hornbacher's blog, Writing to Reach You, and Generación Y.

6. You've said that you love baking and cooking. What are some of your favorite things to bake/cook and eat?

Cupcakes, of course -- they're so cute and leave room for creativity. I love stir frying because I can throw in tons of vegetables, and only the ones I like. Anything with lentils, anything with pine nuts (PESTO!), and any kind of vegetarian curry. Also any kind of bread, but especially breads that fill the kitchen with that amazing yeast smell.

May 19, 2009

My SBBT interview: check it out!

Here's my interview at Miss Erin as part of SBBT. I'm SO excited about it because she's done wonders with the layout and introduction, and her legion of visitors has had a ton of nice things to say about me. It's brilliant.

(And, if you missed it, here's the interview I did with her in March.)

May 17, 2009

Head over to Chasing Ray

The fabulous Colleen Mondor at Chasing Ray has the SBBT (Summer Blog Blast Tour) schedule up at her site -- and I'm an interviewee on Tuesday! I'm so psyched to be interviewed by the ever-amazing Miss Erin (whom I interviewed on my blog in March, actually).

May 16, 2009

Four-year-old me

My very first poem...I thought you might like to read it. (Do not reprint without permission, please!)

Mixed-Up Figures

I see a shadow,
Could it be a figure?
I don't know!
Could you take a look?
I know a shiver is
crawling up my spine!!
I am very scared!
Are you?
Seems to be a friendly
figure, is it?
Horses always look like
this, but is this a mummy?
Looks like one from a
It's just me!!
It's my look from
a black mirror! :)


Now I wish I hadn't put in those double-exclamations, but whatever -- it's out there now.

May 15, 2009

somewhere inside

chasing cherries
under this yellow-white-gray sky

wind swaying hips
tugging on strings
(who knows where)

and i know somewhere else
girls are dancing
and i'm just
finding red

copyright Maya Ganesan 2009

Disclaimer: this is unedited, so it'll go through revision later. Just a first draft...

And the strings in the second stanza are a reference to the string theory.

May 14, 2009

Hello, again

-This made me smile today.

-For me, the two things that would probably never intersect in my mind are Twitter and poetry. Surprise surprise -- they already have. Check out Twitter's "build-a-poem" interface, called "Twitter Magnets," and it's pretty much a collection of words that you put together to prompt a poem or put one together. For a new selection of words, you just hit "swap words" and it gives you new words to add to your poem. What does Twitter call it? "A delicate push."

-Can you wait for this book to be out? I know I can't.

-I realized yesterday that I don't like Jason Mraz.

-I'm the runner-up in this contest. I'm perfectly happy with being a runner-up because I love the prize and am completely excited about getting that galley in my mailbox. :)

-And the Idol finale next week has me excited. So does chocolate.

May 11, 2009


for my grandfather

i celebrate
your ocean heart,
born a secret gleam
your days left spinning in
and velv
et angels
of breezy voice,
a quilt of sacred laughs
from morning
yesterday's quiet sister ghost
still small and fleeting
some quiet song

Here's my tribute to him -- the sweetest and most caring person I've had the privilege to meet.

May 07, 2009

A Tribute

My grandfather died this morning around five thirty a.m. after surviving for two days without life support (he was expected to survive for mere hours). He was the most selfless man, always caring about everyone else even if he was suffering. Through the last one and a half years of his life, he suffered of kidney failure, yet he was always so kind and generous, wanting to help, and making sure that my sister and I -- and the rest of the family -- were always okay.

He has lived with my sister and me for every day of our lives except for a span of about seven months. It was such a long time, but I am so grateful for every moment of it -- he was the greatest grandfather anyone could hope for. He was always worrying about us two, feeding us, taking us on walks...I have such good memories of him playing with us and being the most patient man in the world. As everyone does when a loved one dies, I wish he had stayed around longer, had not been plagued by the failure of one of the most valuable organs (he had never been to a doctor before his kidney failed), and had continued to be the amazing, brilliant person he was for so much longer.

But when anyone comes into this world, we know that person must die eventually. I just wish that the time for my grandfather hadn't come so soon; but I know it wasn't in my hands, and though his death feels like a huge gaping hole in the house, I'm glad I spent more time with him the last month or so of his life and that his endless suffering is finally over. Near the end of his life he had been begging God to let him go; I'm also glad that his wish has finally come true, and that he got to fill himself on happiness, sunshine, and sweets during his last days (he had a blast despite his chronic pains). He's gone now and the only thing we can do is move forward, holding him dear to our hearts like we have always done.

in loving memory of
K.A. Ramamurty
February 10, 1928 - May 7, 2009
He was larger-than-life and I am extremely blessed to have gotten to know him and spend time with him and have him as my grandfather.

May 04, 2009

blog hiatus

I will be away from the blog for a while due to a severe personal loss. My grandfather is expected to pass away tomorrow; I don't know how long I will be gone from the blogosphere but I'll try to return as soon as possible. This would have been a busy week for me anyway.

May 02, 2009


So I know there's a lot of this going around since we've just finished poeming for April and are looking for places to submit. I've been hunting and looking through others' posts about this and I've only found one journal that interests me.

Are there any lit mags/journals that you would recommend? (Preferably w/o a submission fee...and email submission is preferred but I'll do hardcopy submitting too.)

Final recap, NaPoWriMo 2009

This fun little meme from January...

1. Number of poems written in April:

2. Number of poems you'll keep and revise:
I'm not sure about this. I'd love to keep lots, but frankly I've written so many that are beyond repair; they were just cranked out in a hurry to fulfill my poem a day. I'm guessing about 10.

3. List the titles of your top three NaPoWriMo poems.
I've taken all three off the blog, but they're "What's Mine is Missing," "Pulling," and "December Skirts."

4. List your three least favorite NaPoWriMo poems.
"Autobiography" (it was really shaky), "Without Wings" (an absolute disaster), "I Have Finally Found the Hole-Puncher, and it's Black" (another extremely shaky one).

5. Favorite line from one of your NaPoWriMo poems.
"Slices of steam whisper their way / out of my cup, dreaming of / white Spanish skirts in Panama,/ a place I've only been to in old / photos."

6. Notice any patterns?
I'd write some good ones, and then I'd have a stream of not-so-good ones, and then another good one, and then another few bad ones, and that's pretty much how April went. Some people pointed out that at times, I'd produce a handful of sad poems, so I made an effort to write happier ones.

7. What surprised you most about writing a poem a day?
That I had enough discipline to make myself do it -- and I never thought I actually would finish it, but I did. It seemed a bit intimidating at first, but it wasn't that bad most of the time. Some days I hated myself for thinking I could do it. (And that's where I got the sad and awful poems, I guess.)

8. Now that you have momentum, what's next?
Revising and submitting and organizing all the material I've got. I'm going to end up not using so many of my NaPoWriMo poems, I know, so I've lots of writing ahead of me as well. I'm not going to worry about manuscripts just yet; I'd like to submit first and then, in a month or two, I'll see where I am and what my next move should be.

I'm taking the summer to work on my poems and a "summer project," which, at the moment, is prose. I'll probably begin putting poems together for a manuscript in the summer, but I'm not positive about that.

I'm glad I did NaPoWriMo now, because even though I can't say it was the best month of my life, it certainly gave me new material to play with.

May 01, 2009

Poetry Friday roundup here

I'm beyond excited to be hosting Poetry Friday here today. Leave your links in the comments and I'll update the post.

Here's one of my favorite poems:

Theories of Time and Space

You can get there from here, though
there’s no going home.

Everywhere you go will be somewhere
you’ve never been. Try this:

head south on Mississippi 49, one-
by-one mile markers ticking off

another minute of your life. Follow this
to its natural conclusion – dead end

at the coast, the pier at Gulfport where
riggings of shrimp boats are loose stitches

in a sky threatening rain. Cross over
the man-made beach, 26 miles of sand

dumped on a mangrove swamp – buried
terrain of the past. Bring only

what you must carry – tome of memory
its random blank pages. On the dock

where you board the boat for Ship Island,
someone will take your picture:

the photograph – who you were –
will be waiting when you return

Natasha Trethewey

Susan Taylor Brown shares California native plant haiku. And she fills in for Laura Salas with a handful of 15 Words or Less poems.

Mary Lee Hahn pitches in with "Earbud," by Bill Holm.

Sally Murphy celebrates Poetry Friday with the release of her verse novel, Pearl Verses the World.

Andromeda Jazmon has a tritina, "when maple flowers cover the picnic table."

Janet at Across the Page shares dandelion poems (perfect for spring!).

Author Amok posted 9th grader Isaiah DuPree's poem, "Declaration."

Sara Lewis Holmes has "What Bee Did," by Julie Larios, as well as her last Poetry Quote of the Day for National Poetry Month.

Jama's got a handful of spring poems to ease us into May.

Karen has "Leisure," by W.H. Davies, a thoughtful poem that incorporates some of the spring-ness we're just beginning to see.

Shelf Elf shares a sweet (and so true!) poem, "Laundry" by Ruth Moose.

Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect takes us back to the good ole classics with an excerpt from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Linda's in with an original pantoum, "Closure."

Diane shares her thoughts on "The Cuckoo's Haiku and Other Birding Poems," a new book by Michael J. Rosen.

Barbara H. has an original poem, "Ode to Hay Fever" (to the tune of The Beatles' "Yesterday"). If you've got allergies this time of year, you'll wholeheartedly relate to this one.

Neverending Story also pitches in with a poem using the 15 Words or Less prompt.

Elaine Magliaro's got letter poems at Wild Rose Reader and a video of Naomi Shihab Nye reading her found poem, "One Boy Told Me" at Blue Rose Girls. At Political Verses, she's got Bye-Bye, Bybee and Extended Engagement by J. Patrick Lewis.

Kelly Polark posted an original poem about dancing called "Family Secret."

Susan has "Fertile Ground," an original poem using a PAD prompt from April.

Kelly Fineman relays the announcement of Carol Ann Duffy as the first-ever female poet laureate of Great Britain. Check it out. She's definitely one interesting (and unique) poet.

David Elzey has twitku (haiku written on Twitter) up at Fomagrams.

Lectitans shares more of Virgil's Aeneid.

More laundry poetry from Emily Ruth at AyeCaptain Reviews, who has "On a Windy Wash Day Morn" by Brenda Seabrooke.

At Bildungsroman, Little Willow posted "Success" by Bessie Anderson.

Angela Cerrito's got a review of "Paws, Claws, Hands and Feet," a book of children's poetry by Kim Hutmacher.

Gregory K. wraps up 30 Poets/30 Days over at GottaBook.

Heidi Mordhorst shares a dogwood poem written by kindergarteners (!). It's sweet and oh so lovely. Don't miss this spectacular contribution.

Tiel Aisha Ansari has poems by Winifred Welles up at Knocking from Inside.

Sylvia Vardell participates with a quirky poem from a 9-year-old Polish boy.

Verse novelist Lorie Ann Grover jumps in with "Little Robin Redbreast" at readertotz and "Red Glass" at On Point.

The Stenhouse Blog has "The Whale" by Douglas Florian.

Jone's got color poems written by a third-grade class.

Jules from Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast pitches in with poems by Ellen Steinbaum.

Ruth links to some of the winners of the Poetry in the Wild contest over at There is no such thing as a God-foresaken town.

Julie Larios has an original poem called "Here's How" and "The Shirt," by Robert Pinsky. (She also had some really nice things to say about me. You are so sweet!)

Amanda reviews "Red Sings from Treetops," a book of illustrated children's poems by Joyce Sidman, over at A Patchwork of Books.

Jennie has The Ballad of Mulan up, as well as a review of "Wild Orchid" by Cameron Dokey (a book based off the ballad).

Tracie Zimmer posted "Peace," an original verse, up at her blog.

At Into the Wardrobe, Tarie interviewed Joyce Lee Wong (author of "Seeing Emily," a novel in verse).

Carol has poems from Shel Silverstein, including the beloved classic "Jimmy Jett and his TV Set."

Cheryl posted a YouTube video of the Cookie Monster and Kermit demonstrating Poetry.

And who can forget the remarkable Miss Erin? She's got a poem that wows me with its simplicity and perfectness. I'll never get over how lovely it is. Here's Erin with untitled.