Tag Archives: poetry manuscript

Remember My Poetry Manuscript?

Won’t you join me for some virtual champagne (or sparkling juice) today?

I know I’ve been chatting about my current project, the memoir I’m writing, a LOT lately. But this is about another project close to my heart: my poetry manuscript Doll God.

Well . . .

In 2015, my first book, Doll God, is being published by Aldrich Press.

Did I mention I’m so excited that I have a tummy ache? Or is that the champagne?

Next year looks like a good one!

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Filed under Books, Doll God, Poetry, Poetry book, Writing, Writing goals

The Historical Factor of Dolls

I wasn’t going to post until next week because I’m trying to concentrate on my manuscripts.  But I just got a notification from WordPress that it’s the one year anniversary of this blog. So I thought I’d pop on here for a moment to say Happy Anniversary to me, um, Writer Site.

While I’m on here, I thought I’d make a few more points about dolls. This time it’s history, not creepiness.

  • The word doll may come from the Greek word for idol: eidolon. This reminds us that one of the purposes of early dolls was in religion.
  • Most ancient and modern cultures have had dolls, although they were not always children’s toys.
  • Dolls have been made from every material you can imagine.
  • No dolls have survived from prehistoric times, but there are museum examples from the major ancient cultures, such as Egyptian, Greek, etc.
  • Any model of a human being can be viewed as a doll of sorts.
  • Technically, stuffed animals are not dolls, but when I realized that Koko the Gorilla views stuffed gorillas as dolls, I saw how human-centric our thinking is.
  • Dolls look as different from each other as people do from each other.
  • Here’s a link to a basic history of dolls.

Ming Ming by the Quan Quan Company

Mattel’s Ken and wardrobe in Ken doll case

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Filed under Books, Creative Nonfiction, Dolls, Essay, Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing

The Creep Factor of Dolls

Since I was very young, dolls have fascinated me. And I don’t mean that in a creepy I’ll-rip-your-head-off-pretty-dolly kind of way. I was one of those good kids who put clothes on their dolls. I felt uncomfortable if my doll wore a dress and had no underpants underneath.

I have a very large and fairly traditional doll collection, and I store them in my guest room. Many guests are completely creeped out by dolls.  You should see the looks they give me when I show them the bed they have to sleep on–with a big wall of dolls staring at them all night long!  For me, though, most of them are beautiful and not so very creepy.

But as an adult I realize that dolls have a lot more potential than I had credited them with before. They can mean all kinds of things to us: good, bad, creative, destructive.

My poetry manuscript contains a surprising amount of poems about dolls. I wrote one and then I wrote another and then the doll voices and stories kept coming at me. Through writing the poems I’ve uncovered a lot I didn’t know about dolls. As I wrote the poems, I began to realize the creep factor of dolls, as well as all the different ways dolls speak to me.  It’s impossible, though, to sum up here what is shown with more vividness in the poems.

Since I’m working on the manuscript now and in honor of Halloween, I’ll share a few creepy doll images with you.

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A few years ago I found this wonderful doll art on the internet. They apparently were created by Kelley Richardson. Her out-of-date blog is found here.

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One of those doll dioramas is the subject of a poem I am including in my manuscript. Can you guess which doll/shadowbox I wrote about?

The other day, one of my Facebook friends shared a collection of creepy doll photos which spoke volumes about how dolls can get under your skin.creepydolls8_0 (1)

Here is the link or just click the photo above.

As a nod to tradition, here is a photo taken by my grandfather’s uncle over 100 years ago of some children, presumed to be relatives. The two girls are clutching their dolls.

I guess it’s a little creepy to realize the dolls might have outlasted the girls.

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Filed under Books, Creative Nonfiction, Dolls, Essay, Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing

Help Wanted: Reading Ideas

I’ve started pulling together poems to create a poetry manuscript. If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it with bravado, if not confidence, so I won’t talk about how I feel about this event.

But I will venture into my worries about reading my poetry aloud. If I have to read someone else’s words aloud, I am an excellent reader. I rarely make a mistake, and my voice delivers the goods with correct expression and a pleasing sound.

Unfortunately, I just can’t get it right when I read my work. Part of the problem is I hate the “typical” cadence many poets adopt when reading their work aloud. It’s very fashionable, but I think it’s boring. Sometimes I approximate that style without succumbing entirely. Sometimes I try to read as I feel the material. What I can’t get down at all is reading like an actor, which is what I would like to do.

Here is one poem in a reading I did in Los Angeles in 2010. This was my heartfelt style, and I got a lot of compliments for the reading that night, though I can see much room for improvement.

And here are a couple of audio versions I recorded this year for the literary magazine A Clean Well-Lighted Place: “Calculating Loss” and “From Both Sides.” Here I tried to compromise, but I’m very unsatisfied.

https://soundcloud.com/lightedplace/sets/volume-iv

The other poets in this magazine do a much better job reading their poems.

Practice doesn’t seem to work for me because I feel as if I am floundering about how to read aloud.

So should I go back to my heartfelt style? Or is there a 3rd and better way of reading? Any ideas on what I can do to improve my reading?  I’m hoping you have some fabulous ways to decide how to read and then how to go about doing so.

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Filed under Essay, Nonfiction, Poetry, Research and prep for writing