Thursday, January 30, 2020

Tobi Alfier - Right Hand, Left Hand

I don’t know if anyone else is having this challenge, but Windows 7 is no longer being supported on my somewhat old computer. I keep getting a message to update to Windows 10. I keep telling it to remind me later.

We have successfully completed the download on our Surface Pro, the computer we take with us when traveling. Jeff has not been so lucky with his laptop and is going back to Windows 7. I’m not doing a thing until this issue of San Pedro River Review is done – our window is open now.

We build the issue on Publisher. We’ve heard rumors that old Publisher and new Publisher do not play together nicely. Welcome to frustrating January 2020. I hope you are not having computer issues as well.

I’ve been getting “Poets & Writers” magazine for ages. I do like the articles, and I like the submission opportunities at the back. This issue, the “Inspiration” issue, has the oddest combination of articles in it. It makes me wonder if anyone reads the entire thing before it went to press.

On page 25, there’s a very good article by Sarah Ruhl on Writer’s Block. She claims there is no such thing, that it is a “self-inflicted wound”. Sarah’s five-page article lists thirteen different categories of excuses and cures for them. It’s especially interesting to me because the LinkedIn group I moderate is having this exact discussion right now (Poetry Editors and Poets – you’re all invited to join).

Then, on Page 46 there’s an article by Dana Isokawa entitled “Poetic Lenses”. It’s the special Inspiration section, where ten debut poets are interviewed. They’re asked how they began writing, their inspiration, and any advice they have for new poets. EVERY SINGLE INTERVIEW asks what they do to combat writer’s block!

In all the years I’ve read this magazine, I have never seen such a “Right Hand, Left Hand” issue like this. The debut poets article doesn’t ask “how do you combat your self-inflicted wound?” It says “Writer’s Block Remedy”. Interestingly enough, a lot of the information is the same in both articles. It just seems odd.

How are you all doing? I don’t know if it’s the weather, the New Year, the danged computer or what, but I haven‘t felt much like writing, I don’t know about you. And then we have 96-year-old Simon Perchik, who even while out of town, writes every day. Bless his heart. Well, I do NOT have writer’s block! I do NOT have a “self-inflicted wound”.  I think for me, I would please, please, please like to hear from a few editors. I have a lot of poems submitted; I’d like to hear about some of them. Funny, that wasn’t in either of the Poets & Writers articles!

I’m glad to see that Susan Abbott is back from her trip, and I’m glad that she and Cynthia Anderson were featured last Sunday at Space Cowboy Books. I hope it wasn’t too cold for all you lucky people who got to hear them and read in the open mic.

You may be more computer literate than we are, but Jeff was successful putting his computer back to Windows 7. To sort of quote Scarlett O’Hara, we’ll worry about it tomorrow.


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Tobi Alfier's most recent collection of poetry is Slices Of Alice. She is also co-editor with Jeff Alfier of the San Pedro River Review. Don't miss Tobi's columns on the craft of poetry: insert your email address in the "Follow By Email" box to the right of this article and you'll be notified every time a new article appears.

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