Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Friday, April 13, 2007

The right person at the right time

Since I decided to make poetry my theme for the April issue of the BTMO E-zine, I grabbed an appropriate article of mine from my inventory, warned everyone around me "I'm going in!" and set to work on fixing it up. After some snipping here, rewriting there and reorganizing there, I decided the article needed just one more thing: Quotes. On its own, it was fine, but as a reader I always appreciate seeing quotes in articles, quotes that either back up what the writer is saying or offer advice/siggestions. After some thought, I decided to contact Tracey Smith, one of the writers I interviewed for BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL: How We Survive as Writing Parents (http://www.booklocker.com/books/1743.html), who is based in the UK. Since the E-zine was inspired by this book, and since its number one purpose is to promote the book AND the writers included in it, I knew I needed an interviewee from the book, and Tracey turned out to be just the right person to interview, because her bio in the book DOES include poetry credits.

But, as it turned out, she REALLY became the RIGHT person to interview for this article, because she happened to mention she was now a part of a grassroots campaign on downshifting (http://www.downshiftingweek.com/). I checked out her site and was elated to see that National Downshifting Week hadn't come and gone just yet. Actually, it was due up on April 21st to the 27th. PERFECT! I was practically bouncing in my seat when I realized how nicely that would fit into the E-zine. It would give readers a chance to participate, as well! And I do have readers based in the UK; they might be able to do something even more, like contacting Tracey or promoting NDW in their part of the country. Tracey has not been able to get NDW going in the U.S. just yet, but she still has faith -- and so do I!

I'm happy I found out about her eco-friendly campaign. I'm all for doing something good for the environment. Plus, it's one of those things where we take a good hard look at what we have, and comparing it to what we REALLY have (and what we REALLY need). I'm not one for materialistic living, and I believe in living in harmony with the planet. So I'm happy to put her banner on my site and spread the word about her campaign. Just as happy to include her, and her information, in the April E-zine, as well.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Poetry and taxes

The Ben Franklin saying that there are two things certain in life being "death and taxes" can be changed (with apologies to Mr. Franklin) to "poetry and taxes." Exactly how are these two things certain? Well, for one thing, it's true; poetry will never go away. But, for another thing, the reason why it can offer some importance is for the E-zine publisher trying to decide on what theme the April issue should be.

That's pretty much my case here. The April issue of my E-zine is late because I couldn't think of a theme. This usually comes easily to me, but this time, it wasn't so easy. What theme could I get away with using that I haven't JUST finished using as of recently? What's a theme I haven't touched on for a while?

As I was working on incomplete/old articles this morning, one article's title caught my eye and it hit me: Poetry. Yes, poetry. I haven't done a poetry-themed issue for some time, and what better time to run it than in April, which is National Poetry Month?

True, April ALSO means it's tax time, and while I HAVE done a tax-themed issue, I didn't have anything for another one this year. And since it would already be nearly April 15th by the time it came out, I knew it was too late to try my hand at it again, anyway.

So, the decision was obvious: Out of poetry and taxes, I had to choose poetry. Not a bad theme for a poetry-loving month -- or, really, any old month, because poetry has been around for thousands of years, and it won't be going anywhere in the near future, either.