#203: The Editor

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When I was in college, I spent some time as an editor of a literary magazine, called Montage. Quinnipiac isn’t exactly known for having a robust liberal arts program, but the professors and students work together to make the most with what they have, producing great content regardless. I had some amazing, incredible English professors in my college years, professors whose knowledge of various subjects inspired me to achieve more. Looking back, my desire to eventually get my PhD in English comes from having had such a fulfilling experience with the professors I had at Quinnipiac.

Being a Quinnipiac student afforded me the opportunity to be the poetry editor of the literary magazine, though, and I’m grateful for that. From this experience, I was able to grow as a leader and as a thinker of other people’s writing. I learned to give feedback in a constructive way, and I had fun having conversations with my peers about other people’s writing, particularly some of the stories and poems that were sent in over time.

Being an editor means looking with a critical eye. It means reading for content, reading for quality, and reading for enjoyment at the same time, or separately over multiple readings of the same stories and poems.

The work that the editor-in-chief put in far outweighed whatever I was able to muster, though. She had to construct the magazine from scratch in a program on her Mac, and I went back afterwards and offered feedback on everything. I looked to make sure the margins were correct, the paragraphs were spaced evenly and equally, and no words or grammatical mistakes made it into the final copy of the magazine. Sometimes, people’s writing towed the line between grammatically correct and artistically interesting. You have to make do with what you have, though.

#184: The Other Streak

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Awhile ago, approximately 72 blogs and 72 days ago, I wrote a blog post titled “The Streak.” It was about my then-long Duolingo streak, which I’ve since taken a leave of absence in doing. I haven’t been on Duolingo in ages since then, and I really wish I would motivate myself to get back into it, but alas the time hasn’t come for that yet.

Instead of discussing Duolingo, this blog is about the “other” streak of note. Today, sitting at a 123-day streak, is my streak of blog posts on this here website. I’m not sure what happened 123 days ago, because I’ve been writing blogs for longer than that (believe it or not) but that’s the number for now. By the time this blog goes live, it’ll be around 134 days. To think when this first started that I’d be penning blogs for this long is a bit surreal. I can’t say for certain that I’ve become a better writer in my time since starting these blogs, but I’ve definitely become a more consistent writer, something that feels valuable to me in and of itself. In my years of grad school learning about the benefits of reading, writing, and literacy, I never had the inclination to take those lessons and apply them to myself.

One of my friends from college told me about her plan to write 300 words a day as part of her goal to get herself writing more. This friend was the editor-in-chief of Montage, the literary magazine at Quinnipiac, while I was the poetry editor, so we had a pretty good friendship. That’s mostly what inspired myself to write all these blogs; I wanted to bring writing back into my life, and I wanted to use this blog in a productive, meaningful capacity. I’ve had this blog for years now, literally, and to have it sit around without any meaningful use is a bit of a shame.

An Apology for Inactivity

Hello everyone!

Lately, a nasty viral case of the cold has stricken me, and so I’ve been unable to write for this blog. While I always intend to post once per day, it has been difficult to concentrate on reading, writing, and blogging activities while under a fever.

Enough talk of sickness, ailments, and such. I am not making this post to harbor your sympathy and pity; I want to engage in creating a feasible schedule for my upcoming posts for as soon as I recover from being sick.

Firstly, my Story of the Week series ran short this week for reasons already explained. This is my first priority.

Secondly, my experience reading my poetry to alumni and English faculty here has yet to be documented and discussed.

And lastly, I have not had the opportunity to read much of my followers’ works in the meantime! I have missed out on so many potentially-great works to be read from my blogging friends. I miss that the most.

I have reached 100 followers on my blog, now. I never imagined obtaining this achievement, but here it is! I’m so glad that 100 people–with a few bots in between, I imagine–find my work so intriguing that you’d like to see more of it. I hope that my small leave of absence has not deterred nor disappointed my followers, especially after reaching this rather small but meaningful milestone.

Donald Hall Poetry Prize–Honorable Mention

Hello everyone,

This is going to be a short blog update that I hope you get the opportunity to read.

I’m not very punctual, am I? About two weeks ago, I received an email from the creative writing professor here at Quinnipiac. He had congratulated all of the poets who placed in the Donald Hall Poetry Prize, which I had submitted to on a whim. I was unsure whether I would place at all, but receiving an honorable mention pleasantly surprised and humbled me. I am elated that I managed to rank among the top five of the people who submitted to the contest.

Recently, my placing in the contest has won me many opportunities, despite it only being an honorable mention. In early April, I get to read some of my poetry (including the winning poem) at an annual convention at Quinnipiac that allows me to reach a much, much larger audience than I had ever thought possible. On the QU English department website, my poetry is shown. On an e-sign in our grand library, the poetry is displayed, too. Next Thursday, I have the opportunity to share lunch with my professor, the fellow winners, and Desmond Egan, a renowned and respected Irish poet who I have read from. All of this came as a great big surprise that I had never had expected beforehand.

I can certainly say that being celebrated for what you love to do always seems to come as a surprise, honor, and pleasure. The greatest pleasure comes from the process, from enjoying writing and poetry more than anything else.

Almost all of the poetry posted on this blog, other than the poem that won the award, have been written in the small time that I’ve had this blog online. I do not consider “Homeward Bound,” the poem which won the award, to be my best. However, I am not one to judge my own work. If you missed it when I first started this blog, I’ll post it here:

Homeward Bound.

Thank you for reading, and thank you all for supporting my endeavors in poetry and literature. I appreciate it all. And here’s to hopefully more poetry to come!