A Native

This place, this now, you can see it

you can see what it is too, beside

the quiet border you trace around it

this is a home town too, among other things

among everything else. I was born here, 

in this empty lot, that was a hospital

in a room with one rectangular window 

packed with people I would never see again,

including my mother. Cities are cruel that way

but not all together so, there is a mother here

in the rubble and the dust, and as far 

as I ever got I came back to it, 

I learned to love it

to love myself in it. 

The west was won in a saloon

over a poker hand 

and a screaming slot machine. 

This place remembers even the drinks that were spilled 

the out turned pockets, and moment before 

the wheel stopped turning and any number 

was a winner, you had to pick one was all, 

and you did, because the charm was ammonia 

on a weary life. There was beauty in it, and I 

can remember coming home over the valley to 

an oasis of light. The stars were false

but the city was true, I felt it then, a fortune 

of gaudy joy, be this city, it said to me, 

and I was, suddenly and always a native. 
–ECW

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NaNoWriMo – Worth It?

I am first and foremost a poet.

But this also makes me a memoirist.

Not all poets write their own stories in their work, but often I do, making the leap to actual memoir a pretty manageable one. November is one of those dreaded months for a writer, where there is all this obligation: what will I write? How will this matter in the long run… and the big question:

Is it better to write something poor quickly or write something rich over a longer span of time.

And again, I am a poet. So the thought of 50,000 words extinguishes me. At the library where I work, we are doing a small outreach program to welcome writers and I thought it would be valuable to participate and reach writers through that avenue. But again… is it worth the time.

For many of us in school (getting our masters) this is crunch time for projects and catching up on readings. For this reason I was never really involved before. For those of us with family it is turkey time, and who has extra hours when there’s baking to be done?

So I’ll write a novel… or half of a novel… with this in mind.

50,000 words is their goal, not mine. The NaNoWriMo challenge is made for novelists who want to write mysteries and thrillers; romance novels and sci-fi. For those of us in different genres, there are other constraints on what we can and cannot accomplish.

My memoir may only be 40K words, and that’s OK with me.

The important part is writing, community, inspiration and deadline. I want to write every day, but there’s so much good television on Netflix… maybe I need something like this to break the ice on this “writer’s block” – and maybe I’ll get 2 days in and think: no, I am a slow-burn kind of writer.

I won’t know unless I try!

To those of you writing: Best of luck. To those of you choosing to abstain: May your long-term projects be the fruit of your lives.

For now, I’m just getting my feet wet with longer-forms… I’ll keep you posted!
–Keep Writing
–ECW

LIBR 200: Blog-Writer Information Community

Information Community: Self Published Blog Writers & Poets

This week we are choosing the groups we will be delving into for our large assignment in LIBR 200. In a definition compiled by Fisher and Durance in Encyclopedia of community: From the village to the virtual world, Information Communities are characterized by their use of information and technology to bridge gaps in communities.

I am interested in looking into the Information Community of writers (poets and fiction specifically) who make their work available for free on blogging sites like WordPress (like my own) and Blogger.

Information Communities are:

collaborative groups which immerse themselves in technology to share content, break boundaries, congregate around a need and facilitate connection to a larger community of people participating in the information they care about. Content is linked and made relevant through hypertext and shared widely via opt-in subscriptions.

According to Fisher and Durance (2003) these groups have not been studied specifically because the data is new and the social aspect of technology now is just getting to the point where we can easily see the connectivity between groups, especially those that are geographically challenged. In their introduction they name the internet maybe “an information community’s only communication medium” siting chats and mailing lists as a means to connect with others of a shared interest. Today the chat rooms are comments and the mailing lists are email subscriptions, but the blog-writer community thrives with technology as its only connector.

I have not met many of you and yet we are connected by a shared interest in writing (in my case poetry) and the connectivity is our mini websites (blogs) which keep us updated on the broader picture (tagged posts) that apply to our needs. We are part of a living breathing network of writers who look to technology to broaden our scope of the world.

I know without this website I would still be filling notebooks and sharing a few lines at a time. My work may not be anthology-worthy yet but it exists as part of a larger conversation (a literary conversation with centuries of content in the making just now being digitizes and shared among interested groups) and therefore what we all share is valuable and worthy of existing in the ether.

I am very excited to look into this group (of which I am a contributing member!) and find the webbing between all of us!

Keep Writing!

–ECW

(or for LIBR 200, Emilee Wirshing)

Read On:

Fisher, K., & Durrance, J. (2003). Information communities. In K. Christensen, & D. Levinson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of community: From the village to the virtual world. (pp. 658-661). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.