Creativity, Fiction, WIPpets

“There is nothing new under the sun.” An opportunity to practice pathological optimism. And also…wah.

This week, I’m living it up with my toddlers as the stay-at-home parent and that means frequent trips to the parks and libraries. And guess what happened? During the most random meandering down an aisle while chasing around my two year old, I found my series idea, fully fleshed out and published in its entirety from the 1980s.

Apparently, Ben M. Baglio and Shelagh McNicholas rocked this idea to the max. I caught my breath at the proximity of my chosen titles… Dolphins in the Driftwood. Cats in the Cathedral. You see my quandary?  Damn. 

But it got me to thinking about the beautiful simplicity of this little series, which still gets 5 star reviews, 30 years later.

In truth, our ideas are totally different. This series appears firmly rooted in “real life.” Mine verges on fantasy. I don’t see any cathedrals or shipwrecks in these titles.

This did help me appreciate, however, that my overriding purpose and concept behind the series is not well-honed. My audience of one, as I joke–my 9-year-old, who has been hearing my stories aloud and loves them all–does not care much about whatever “point” the book may be trying to make. But do I have one? How can I not?

What’s the point of it all, anyway?

(insert existential crisis here)

I resolve to NOT plagiarize the 80’s awesomeness of the Animal Ark series (Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins forever!); and I also resolve to get more clarity in my brain about why I’m writing this series, so that it has a cohesive purpose, even if my 9-year-old couldn’t care less and just wants to read about dolphins.

Peace out.

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Creativity, Fiction, Life, Poetry, Self-Care, WIPpets

July update: High aspirations

Greetings, readers. I have several projects underway to share with you all.

One of them is a lofty goal I set, despite of my crazy busy life as a nurse and mother and grad student.

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. 

Stephen King

I feel fortunate to be connected to several strong, productive online communities that help me to improve my writing process and stay accountable. Some of us made a commitment to write 100,000 words during the month of July.

It’s July 5th; I’ve accomplished 5% of the goal, with a little more than 5,000 words written thus far.

I’m well below the daily average I need to come anywhere close to achieving 100,000 words this month. But I’m still thrilled to have written 5,000 words that otherwise may not have been written. I am also finding new ways to write in order to better utilize my time–for instance, dictating into the voice recorder of my phone and uploading it to transcription software.

One of the projects that has been percolating in my brain for at least a year is a series of books for middle-schoolers centering around animals, especially with my 9 year old daughter in mind. I finally decided to apply myself to this project in a more intentional way.

Her enthusiasm is infectious; she has fallen in love with the characters and is constantly hounding me to find out what happens next. I suspect these books will be around 20,000-30,000 words each; I could feasibly finish drafts of three of these in a month. The first one is called Dolphins in the Driftwood.

I suspect there may be purists out there reading this who question whether a word count goal is beneficial to the creative process, and feel it somehow takes away from the creative power and purpose of writing.

But I’m learning so much. For instance:

  1. Fiction is my weakest writing style; by writing more of it, I improve. I know I am improving, as I am finding the process and the output to be more enjoyable to create and read. The only way that will continue to happen is to produce more of it.
  2. Planning the work is vital and good. In the past, I have minimally planned my fiction because it struck me as boring and unnecessarily time-consuming to outline something intended to be creative. Consequently, my fiction was boring, without any real plot or intentional sequence of events to move it along. To meet a daily writing goal of a high quantity, especially for someone like me with such a weak creative imagination, I have found that I have to plan. And when I plan, the writing happens quickly and easily.
  3. A first draft is only that: a first draft. So a high quantity of output is destined to be largely a diamond in the rough (if that…maybe just an ugly piece of coal), with a few glimmers of excellence. Regardless, it has to be created first before it can be refined

Another writing goal I set for this month is to write a poem a day. And guess what? I’ve already failed at this goal as well, but I still have three new poems thus far in July that otherwise might not exist. This September, I’m excited to release The Latent Tale of Conception, my first volume of poetry. A second volume is planned for release in 2018 entitled The Discovery & Consumption of Fruit.

tapestry

The poetic brain at work…pure joy in this process…a sense of being wholly present, seated in the fullness of an experience.

I’m scared to death about this series for middle-schoolers. I always envisioned, in all my writerly arrogance (thankfully confined largely to my twenties), that I’d someday publish a novel of epic proportions that fiercely impacts the reader or at least goes down as a great read posthumously.

In the meantime, I’m writing about dolphins and shipwrecks and hoping I don’t get laughed offstage by the grown-ups in the room. I confess that, while secretly hoping my heart still harbors a childlike place that can compellingly connect with that age group.

I have it on good authority that a certain 9-year-old loves the story, so my audience of one is pleased. Win!

Take care, everyone. Please share this blog with people you know who may be interested.

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Life, Parenting, Poetry

Apology (a poem)

Reluctant baby

I’m sorry to motherhood
for all the doting
I can’t find energy
to accomplish
you grueling taskmaster
spilling out
screaming and yawning creatures
from between my legs
asking a continuous effort
of excellent nurture,
diet, education, and activity,
my abdominal skin
rippling and shifting
like the record
of a tossed stone
stretching and breaking
then sinking
into dark and watery
obscurity
my body
utilized and exited
then poked and grasped
and slapped
and kissed.

 

Copyright 2017 Mindy Goorchenko All Rights Reserved

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Feedback, Poetry

American Sentence

allen-ginsberg-poet-america-how-can-i-write-a-holy-litany-in-your

Beat poet Allen Ginsburg proposed a 17-syllable poem without line length requirements as a more appropriate version of the haiku for English writers. I decided to try my hand at these in response to a prompt, creating a poem comprised of several American sentences, along with a play on words for the title. In light of current events, the sharing is timely.

Your feedback is welcome, as this is a very different type of piece for me to write. Much of my work focuses on personal interactions between humans, with more artistic language and thematic layers. “American Sentence” is stark and straightforward. What do you think?

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American Sentence

You are blessed here
whether you know it or not:
American health care.

Poverty an opportunity
to overcome
the devil’s curse,

our health care
innovative and complex.
It can’t be for everyone.

Think of the studies.
The new and expensive drugs.
You should be grateful.

Barriers to care:
a made-up controversy.
The ER says yes.

Bankruptcy the worst case.
A payment plan will fix this.
Think of your pride.

Relationship status:
It’s complicated.
Think of others for once.

You are blessed here
whether you know it or not,
and you should be grateful.

___

Copyright 2017 Mindy Goorchenko All rights reserved

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Creativity, Life, Poetry, Writing

Book cover is ready!

Hi, everyone. For many weeks, I’ve been working with Ana Grigoriu-Voicu to collaborate on a cover design which captures the content of my upcoming collection, The Latent Talent of Conception. I’m very grateful for all her work and am pleased to share the fruits of that labor here. Thanks for coming over and taking a look!

Cover Final

I also have a release date:

September 1, 2017

cupcake

If you would like to see some online poetry readings of my work, as well as commentary about my creative process, click here. Some typed pieces on my blog are available here and here.

Thank you so much for your support and encouragement during this process. I’ve heard from a lot of you and every correspondence blesses me. Be well, everyone.

 

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Coffee House, Poetry

Coffee House: 4/9/2017

Hello, everyone. Here is a new edition of Coffee House for you with a poem called “Empires.”

In this edition, I share my recent exciting news, as well as inside information about my upcoming collection entitled The Latent Talent of Conception. Find out who my book is dedicated to and why, and how I describe my book in just a couple handfuls of words.

Thank you for your support. xo

 

P.S. By the way, I mention my aunt and her book in this video but fail to name her. Her name is Lauri Taylor and her book, The Accidental Truth, can be found by clicking on the link.

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