Are You Writing a Book? Seeking Blog Hop Participants

Hello, friends, followers, likers, and lurkers …

The fabulous poet and blogger Jennifer Bullis, whom I “met” during last year’s NaPoWriMo, recently tagged me for a project called Blog Hop: The Next Big Thing. This is intended for those of us who have books we’re working on, shopping around, or getting ready to publish. It’s open to writers of poetry and prose, and chapbooks count — that’s what I’ll be highlighting in my own Next Big Thing post, on February 12.

In addition to answering a few interview questions, each participant is supposed to tag three to five writers to participate as well. That’s where you come in.

I know that many or most of you with whom I cross paths in the blogosphere, and especially through Open Link Night, are writers. What I don’t know is which of you have a book in the works. If that’s you, please let me know in the comments here.

Also, here’s a little “honor system” request: I believe the spirit of the exercise is that we’re calling attention to writers with whom we’ve had some interaction so that we’re saying, “Here are these great writers I know, and they’re going to tell you what they’re working on.” So I’d like to prioritize people with whom I’ve exchanged comments in the past — or at least, mutual “likes.”

I think everything should be pretty clear from Jennifer’s post (thanks again for tagging me, Jennifer!), but I can answer any questions you might have.

If I end up with more than five potential “taggees,” I’ll think of another way to highlight the writers I’m not able to include in this project.

OK … Tag — you’re it?

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Sofia Elena, Driver, Nissan Altima

My mother told me it is cold here.
I thought Ohio is near West Virginia
and West Virginia is near Virginia,
and this is in the south of the country.
But now there is snow. I have called
the woman at the real estate office,
the woman who showed me the
apartment in the fall. I have said
that I don’t know how to drive
in the snow, and also that I
do not have the clothes
for cold weather.

She has told me nothing,
this woman. I think that she
and I will not be friends. Her
voice says to me, Why did not
my husband get this job? Why
are you coming here? Her voice
laughs at me because of
these questions.

I think that this is not my fault,
that the company believes
an engineering degree is
necessary in order to
schedule the workers.
I have this degree.

If I am not coming here, I am
working at the dam in Brasil. 
My mother prefers that. It is
closer. She thinks that I will
fall in love, stay here, even
when eight months is over.

I do not see anything to love.
I know there is shale under the
snow, and gas inside the shale,
and money to keep me here
for eight months.

That is all.

 

 

For Open Link Night at dVerse Poets.

 

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Shawna, Driver, Toyota Corolla

I’ve been thinking a lot about how everything is connected.
One time in geometry class, we had a sub who talked to us
about Fibonacci numbers, fractals. A lot of people were like,
whatever, but I took notes, looked it all up later, at home.
Sometimes I talk about it with Ben, on the way to and from
school. That’s one reason I rescued him from the bus—
because I knew he was someone I could talk to like that.
I know things about Ben that he doesn’t even know yet,
because he’s younger than me, but also because that’s
how I am. It’s not always so great, because I can’t
turn it off, and there are times when I would like to.
It would be nice to just go to the football game
like everyone else, you know? Not think so much.
Just be a kid, I guess. I don’t know what I am now;
I just turned 18, and a couple girls in my class have
babies already, and I swear, one of them has like
a 5-year-old. But do I feel like I could move out today,
get a job, be a real person yet? Probably not. It’s hard
to imagine being somewhere else next year, either
a couple of hours away or more like seven. We’ll see
how it all works out. My mom is still pushing hard for
Belmont Tech or OU-Zanesville, living at home, how
So-and-So found that they saved a ton of money,
it still felt like being at college, and then they didn’t
have all those loans. She and I both know that’s
not going to be me. I do think about Ben, what will
happen when I’m not here to give him rides, keep him
from getting picked on. But at least there’s Skype, or
we both got iPads for Christmas—still not sure how we
managed that—so now we have FaceTime, too. I think,
even though it’s not like we’ll ever get married or anything
(we don’t like each other like that), that Ben and I will
always be in touch somehow. It’s like how I’ve read that
in the ground, under all the rock and stuff, there are
secret rivers, and that’s where our water comes from.
We’re like that. Two secret rivers, side by side.

 

 

For Open Link Night at dVerse Poets. (Please sample some of the other fine poems, too.)

 

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Nancy, Driver, Toyota Avalon

I used to carry a paper bag
with me, to breathe into.
It’s true. I kept it right here
beside me, and I used it
at red lights, to keep
the panic down. I had

a whole system of
back roads and no
left turns, or at least
none without arrows.

I was hypnotized a few times,
laid out in a recliner, told that
my car was a sanctuary, a place
of great peace. I drifted along

on that idea, and then
went back to back roads
and paper bags. One day,

I got on this interstate, I-70,
by accident, merged onto it
while I was thinking about
something else. And that’s

what did it, I guess. No bag
since then, and I can pretty much
drive anywhere, make left turns
whenever I want. Sometimes

I imagine we’re all white blood cells,
platelets, I don’t know—something
in the blood—moved by a great

muscle, a heart I can’t see
but can feel. Shift into drive,
foot on the gas, breathe once,
drop into the bloodstream.

Go.

 

For Open Link Night at dVerse Poets.

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Joan, Front Seat Passenger, Honda Civic

I don’t know why we have to go to Gratiot
to visit his mother. She doesn’t even know us
anymore—and when she did, she never liked
me, or even the children. It’s all about him.
Always. The number one son, quarterback,
love of her life, because Donny never
amounted to anything, left her—

after he died—in a broken house
clinging to a broken mountainside.
Everything here will collapse
sooner or later. That’s what will come
of all this fracking, though everyone
is so happy, now, to get that check.
Mineral rights. Trucks outside
the Super 8, new motels
going up every day.

New money. New everything,
where everything used to be

so old.

I can’t even see the trees anymore,
snow-covered and sheltering
horses, or cows, some
warm-blooded thing that
has no need to know
the score, no notion

of who’s winning
or what’s on the line.

 

For Open Link Night at dVerse Poets

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