I've got a new article over at Medium.com on working with a freelance editor. Over my four years of editing, I've come to learn that many writers don't understand what it means to work with a freelance editor. Working with an editor can be a big boost to your writing career, especially if you want to publish your work. I'm glad to share my experience, and if you have questions, please feel free to email me or leave them in the comments!
Over at Medium, I'm sharing five writing tips that I'm carrying into 2019. It's a bit of a "Here's what I learned" mixed with "Here's what I still need."
Y'all, writing is hard. It's constant work. It's a balancing act. You're never really done. I wanted to recap some things that I'm keeping with me for 2019, but I know I'm still learning.
What did you learn about your writing last year?
I have a new poem up today at Kaleidotrope - "All the Glory of Her Earthly Shell." Big thanks to Fred for publishing this one. It's very personal to me, so I'm glad it found a home at Kaleidotrope.
I was delighted to get to do a fun and quirky interview over at Riddled with Arrows literary journal. Riddled with Arrows publishes metafiction/ars poetica, one of my favorite genres of writing.
When did you first meet poetry?
HLW: I was maybe fourteen, sitting outside the crappy pizza joint across from my high school, where I often went to wait for my mom to pick me up after school. I think I was scribbling in my journal, you know, the kind of dreams and chapstick-scented hopes at that age. Maybe I was in love, or maybe just as lonely as only a teenager can be, when poetry came up to me. She had this lopsided grin on her face and she was wearing a cloak made of stars. Her face was cracked and two-toned like a faded map you might find rolled up in a scroll, hidden under the porch stairs in a dusty box buried in the dirt . . .
Read the full interview here . . .
Greg Bem over at Yellow Rabbits has posted a review of Glimmerglass Girl. Thanks Greg for reading my work with such care!
"The chapbook Glimmerglass Girl, while a whorl of selected moments, contains a collective and collective energy that has the potential to awe and influence. It is a feminist work as much as it is a work of an independent, confident poet. There is a general outburst of energy here, one that indicates journey and trial and achievement. It is a landscape of learning and knowledge, wisdom even, attained through the process of living out womanhood. These are poems that, as a collection, field experiential memory and meditative spaces of raw emotion. The book, both narrative and lyrical, lends itself to a harmony of reflection and gracious internalization. The poems are short and brief, and ultimately find their strongest qualities through Holly Lyn Walrath’s overarching voice when the book has been read and the covers finally closed. . . "
Read the full review here . . .
Feature in the Houston Chronicle: Looking through Houston poet Holly Lyn Walrath’s ‘Glimmerglass Girl’
Sometimes being a writer can be a little surreal. Yesterday, I went out to the Houston Museum of Natural Science to take pictures with the butterflies, today I get to share with you this Houston Chronicle feature about my writing.
Poems have always been there for me. I've had a whirlwind of personal life stuff lately. Putting out a new chapbook. Moving to a new house. A death in the family. But I can always come back to poems.
Thanks to everyone who has come with me on this journey and to those who've always supported my writing. It's lovely to know all of you. I'm grateful to get to share my words with the world.
"Walrath’s “Glimmerglass Girl” is an intense collection of poetry that speaks out from the first page. Not for the faint of heart, it’s open, but sharp as Walrath doesn’t shy away from letting her readers see the blood, even if she lets it drip across flowers and suburban kitchen countertops.
The female experience is a large part of Walrath’s poetry. Much of the work does match her interest in the speculative. The spirits of nature and the wonder of fairytales are common themes across her verses. However, like fairytales there is something dark and primal underneath the resemblance to children’s literature."
Read more at the Houston Chronicle . . .
Fellow poet and SFPA member Matt Betts asked me to do a "poetry post-mortem" for his blog! This is basically a behind-the-scenes of one of my poems, how it came to me, what inspired it, and why I wrote it. I chose "Two Hundred Fifty-Seven," a poem from my new chapbook Glimmerglass Girl.
Read the poem and its post-mortem here . . .
I have a new prose poem up today at Terse Journal: What it Feels Like to Play Video Games as a Woman.
Read the full poem here . . .
My tarot-inspired story "Tarot of the Animal Lords" is now available on Amazon in the Shards Noblebright anthology by Spring Song Press. This story is about a woman trying to find her way out of a dystopian future where a mysterious illness has devastated the countryside. Along the way, she reconnects with her wild roots and the boyfriend she left behind.
Get your copy today:
I have a new poem, "Erasure" (after Ralph Waldo Emerson) - in ARTHouston Magazine Issue#7 (September 2018)
those souls / in the pictures /
breathe / memory /
in danger of forgetting /
that they had their origin /
in wax / and / paint / in the narrow lodging /
of a thought which pours itself /
color and form / barbaric pearl and gold /
I was to see / with eyes / pierced
/ with / salt water, to find that which was perfect /
in the chambers of / the earth
I got to share some fun pics of my bookshelves over at The Coil Magazine as part of their #Shelfie series.
As I'm moving, books have been on my mind because my current shelves are bursting at the seams. I finally convinced my spouse to get me yet another bookshelf for the new house. (We now have 6?) But there's something magical about your whole house feeling like a library. Books are a safe harbor in the storm. Check out my copies of Jane Eyre, The Eyes of the Dragon, and of course, now I get to add my own chapbook Glimmerglass Girl.
Read the article here . . .
I have a new poem up today at Liminality: A Magazine of Speculative Poetry. It's called "Dead-Eye Girl" and it's nice and creepy for the upcoming month of October!
I am seeking you in the blood on my tongue
in the rims of shattered bottles under bridges
in the blossoms of storm clouds in summertime
in the songs of cicadas swarming.
Read the full poem here . . .
The Coil Magazine has five poems from my chapbook Glimmerglass Girl up today! It's really cool to see these poems out in the world.
Read them here . . .
I wrote a little creative nonfiction piece over at Cotton Xenomorph today on my secret food love: sweet pickles! Yes, I am a Southern girl and I love these little sweet nuggets of goodness. I am ashamed/not ashamed.
Read the full essay here. . .
Interview with Andrea Blythe: Poet Spotlight: Holly Lyn Walrath on hybrid writing and the idea of femininity
I had the pleasure of chatting with fellow Finishing Line Press poet Andrea Blythe about what it means to be a weird writer, how Melville's poems are way better than that whale book, and refusing to cater to genre rules.
Read the Interview here!
New Subscriber-Only Post on Curious Fictions: Creating an Environment Where You Have License to Try New Things
Today I've got a new post up at Curious Fictions for subscribers about creating an environment in your life where you give yourself license to try new things. As a writer, this is so important to my process, but I think it applies to other places in your life too.
Today I have an interview up with Katie Lewington, a UK-based poet and book blogger! Katie and I chatted about my upcoming projects (Spoiler: Space Pirates!), how I balance writing/life (Spoiler: I suck at it.) and what poetry means to me.
"Edward Hirsch, one of my favorite poets, says that “Reading poetry is an adventure in renewal, a creative act, a perpetual beginning, a rebirth of wonder.” He talks about how the poem has to journey a very long way to get to the reader—all the way from inside my weird mind to the page, where I just hope that the right reader will find it . . ."
Read the full interview here.
I'm excited to share that my story "Tarot of the Animal Lords" will appear in the Shards anthology edited by C.J. Brightley. This is a story that I worked very hard on and always hoped would get picked up for publication. It's got a unique structure based on tarot cards. I hope you pick up your copy!
Pre-order a copy on Amazon!
My story "After the First Comes the Last" is up at Daily Science Fiction today.
Read it here.
This piece was written in a flash fiction class by the queen of flash, Kathy Fish. I really would suggest anyone wanting to generate some new flash to take one of her online classes, which sell out very fast. (ba-dum-cha.) When I wrote this piece, I was playing with the prompt of "firsts and lasts". Somehow, that got to be the question of "What if a witch only had a limited amount of spells in her lifetime? How would she use them?" It's a personal story for me. Someone in the DSF Facebook page has already called it a #MeToo story, but I think if we think in terms of that it limits how we view the world. This isn't just a today story.
When I wrote it, I was thinking of Haruka Weiser, a freshman at UT who was raped, strangled, and killed, her body left in Waller Creek. I went to UT back in 2003-2007. The campus holds a very special place to me. It was one of the few places I felt safe and comfortable. I felt like the trees were my friends and that the other students were people I could talk to and relate to. I'd never had that experience in a school before. Waller Creek, for those of you that don't know, is a beautiful creek that runs below campus (Most of the paths are built above it.) For my Victorian lit class, we went down to Waller and looked at the footprints of dinosaurs that are preserved there, and wrote while sitting on the rocks. It's like a hidden world. So I was devastated to learn of a student's death and assault in that sacred place. I was even more devastated to learn that the person arrested was a homeless man with mental illness. There are no easy solutions to these problems. When I went to UT, the homeless population was everywhere. I never would have thought to be afraid, but I never walked the campus at night because I lived off-campus. Every so often when parent's weekend came, the police would round up the homeless population and get them off the streets for a while, for show. But they never seemed to care about finding a solution that worked in a human, caring way.
For me, we can make big choices and try to change things on a larger scale, but it all starts small. With tiny choices. Tiny actions that reverberate. We are humans living in this place together. How we help each other can mean more sometimes than the stalled work of congress. I really believe that by helping one person you can make a big difference.
Anywho, I've gotten off topic, but I hope you read my story and enjoy it.
I've got a new post for subscribers up at Curious Fictions on how art can be an entry point for writing. Curious Fictions is a platform similar to Patreon where you can subscribe to receive updates from me including reprinted short stories and writing-related exclusive posts, previews of upcoming projects and early releases!
Subscribe today for just $2/month...
Glimmerglass Girl was reviewed by Stefani Cox and here's what she had to say about it:
"There are meditations on heart and soul, with a tender probing of loneliness underneath. Many of the poems have a mirrored and echoing quality—they seem to come from the borderlands of the psyche, where who we know we are meets the subconscious and mysterious currents below."
Read the whole review . . .
Glimmerglass Girl was reviewed at The Coil Magazine. Here's what reviewer Laura McKenzie had to say about it:
"The notion of the “instapoet” is one that looms over the work of any contemporary female poet, and parodies of poems by writers such as Rupi Kaur often have a punchline that frames poetry as nonsense that teenaged girls scrawl in diaries. But Walrath’s collection suggests an intelligence that retaliates through showing the beauty, complexity, and tragedy of modern womanhood — a butterfly that can haul 40 times its own weight seems an apt metaphor for the unifying strength and delicacy of femininity we still struggle with. As visceral and violent as certain moments are, Walrath’s poetic voice is never dwindling. Glimmerglass Girl flitters seamlessly between the abstract and the digital age, undeniably placed in 2018 while feeling timeless. She gives into the “act of self-interrogation” not in her reflection but in her selfies, asking “is this what I look like to him.” Of course, anyone could tell you that no selfie is an accurate portrait, but then, does that stop any of us from trying?"
Read the full review here . . .
Today I am featured on the NetGalley Insights blog, where I was interviewed about #GlimmerglassGirl being a top-requested book in poetry. I love getting to share some behind the scenes info on how I market my book for new poets who might be looking for tips and tricks. And of course, I'm blown away by the response to my book and the kindness of reviewers on Goodreads and NetGalley!
Read the whole interview...
I was interviewed at South Florida Poetry Journal in their "Interview with a Poet" series about my favorite books on writing, what I'm reading right now, and whether poems have ever made me cry.
"One of my favorite books is Edward Hirsch’s How to Read a Poem. Hirsch says “These poems have come from a great distance to find you.” He talks about how poems are a message in a bottle. As a writer, I send out my work into the world because I want the one person who needs it to find it. The distance between the poet and the reader is a great gulf, crashing in the darkness, and I get to shine a light into the crevices and weird places of the world with my words. This is why my work is so often speculative in nature—because it’s the undiscovered country that excites me."
Read the full interview here...
I have two new poems up at Isacoustic - "When Darkness Leaves" (after Mark Strand) and "Diary Outside of April" (after Sylvia Plath). These are both poems which reference other poets and if you can pay attention closely you might be able to figure out where the inspiration comes from! They are what I call "mirror" poems where I replace each word from another poet's work with an opposite word, eventually compiling my own poem.
Read them here...
Holly Lyn Walrath is a freelance editor and author of poetry, flash fiction, and short fiction. Find her on Twitter @HollyLynWalrath
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Holly Walrath's books on Goodreads
ratings: 19 (avg rating 4.21)
Our Space: Shorts & Poetry from the Houston Community
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.25)
In Medias Res: Stories from the In-Between
ratings: 2 (avg rating 4.50)
The 2017 Rhysling Anthology: The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Poetry of 2016 Selected by the Science Fiction Poetry Association
ratings: 16 (avg rating 4.31)
ratings: 9 (avg rating 4.67)