Choose the words that you use;
treat your fear as a muse.
Taking my own advice from my recent poem on “Befriending Fear”, I am taking a leap! After hanging out on the edge of my self-constructed cliff for years (decades?), looking over the edge to measure myself up against WHAT will be IF or WHEN I finally jump, at last, I am jumping! And it feels like it’s happening in slow motion, but I am in motion now!!
Update on My Social Media Presence:
I am starting a public Facebook Page (Margota, Poetess and Writer) and an Instagram account (@margota.ca), for starters, adding to my semi-secret website*, www.maggiesway.ca (also accessed through www.margota.ca).
*Some of my website posts remain under lock & key for various privacy and contest publication reasons—thank you for understanding!
With all that, and my impending publications, I am trialling a pseudonym / pen name / nom de plume: Margota. A dear friend who helped me rediscover the poetess inside me, calls me by this name, and I love it. It combines the letters from the myriad of versions of my first name, in my native Polish and my chosen English varieties, and includes letters from my surname. Although I like my existing names: Maggie / Margaret / Malgorzata Wojtarowicz, they are a mouthful to pronounce and are complicated to remember for my publication purposes. Simply Maggie works for me as well, but it isn’t very original for readers to recognise this Maggie and for anyone promoting my writing to be specific enough. Margota is unique!
Update on My Publications:
I am thrilled to announce that my first literary nonfiction story has been accepted for publication in the Boobs anthology, by Caitlin Press. It is expected to come out this Spring 2016. I drafted this story, originally entitled “My Vampire Boobs” and edited into “Reclaiming My Thorns”, during my first bike writing retreat to Galiano Island last Summer. I’ll be publishing this story under my full name while my nom de plume gets trialled out on social media. I would love for anyone interested, to join me at the book launch in Vancouver this Spring and any other celebrations I organize for it! I feel so grateful to my friends, nearby and from across the continents: A.K., B.S., C.L., G.F., M.C., M.F., M.L., N.P., S.M., S.M., and V.K., for helping me shape my story through the first 5 of the eventual 10 drafts and for creating the space for me to draft it.
Update on My Readings:
I have now given three readings of my poetry during Pandora’s Collective open mic part of their Twisted Poets Literary Salons (how appropriately named!). I had so much fun at the last one after a great brainstorming session with the amazing SFU’s Writer In Residence and Poet, Jordan Scott (so creative in his poetry and presentation!). We chatted about strategies to help me reduce my voice-restricting anxieties and to help audience members understand my own words better. It was so wonderful to receive such great feedback from the audience during and after my performance. I was so touched by one man’s teary eyes as he professed that seeing me read my poetry that night has motivated him to do something more with his life. Wow!
A few days later, a new friend from the Kitsilano Poetry Group in which I participate, has similarly shared with me that my poetry presentations at our group meetings have inspired a poem from him. He dedicated his poem, entitled “teach me to whisper”, to me on his Philosopher/Poet website.
Update on My Submissions to Writing Competitions:
I continue to make my poetry contest submissions, having submitted to the following Writing Competitions since my last update:
My latest submission was super fun: the 2016 Postcard Story Contest by Geist Literary Magazine out of Vancouver. I created my own poem postcard, as I am trialling this idea of sharing my poetry as a source of income (possibly to sell on Etsy.com website marketplace), and I wrote my “Seeking Life” story to accompany my poem (by the same title) about this darling hummingbird that got trapped in my apartment.
About This Week’s Poem:
And with my first poem of the week for 2016, I will give thanks for all these wonderful literary happenings and for all the people who have contributed to making them possible. I wrote my poem, entitled “Ceremonies”, on a sunny afternoon while I sat on a rock in the middle of a river surrounded by terraced rice fields during my self-directed healing retreat in Bali last Fall 2015. It was inspired by the daily rituals of the Balinese people to offer gratitude for absolutely anything and everything (sometimes it seemed that they were making up reasons to celebrate–which felt rather familiar!).
(Please CLICK on the image for a larger version.)