Blogging has been sparse of late, primarily due to the press of real life demands cutting into my 'virtual' time. Our eldest son had his Bar Mitzvah last Saturday and managing the endless details of a life cycle event like that and its attendant festivities was both more work and even more joyous than I had anticipated.
And in the aftermath of attending my second Dodge Poetry Festival, I am deep into self-assessment mode with my writing. I have written next to nothing since I came home.
This isn't surprising. The same thing happened the last Dodge. I think I get so 'filled' by poetry and learning that it takes some time to integrate the new knowledge into the old. It's less writer's block than writer's glut and I know my writing will take on new dimensions as a result.
But onto 'virtual life'.
It is certainly an internet cliche that meeting someone in real life that one has cultivated a friendship with on the 'net can lead to disillusionment or even personal danger. (As a friend commented, she watches too many CSI/Without a trace/Law and Order reruns to think otherwise.)
My experience has been quite different and perhaps it is because those I have met have been writers and poets, rather than people trying to construct an alternate and artificial life for themselves.
Two years ago at Dodge, I met Laurie Byro, a poet from New Jersey whose work I had admired at Wild Poetry Forum for many years. She is lovely and gracious and is not an ax murderer or a 60 year old man with a beer belly pretending to be a poet. :)
This year at Dodge, I met Russ Bowden. He compiles the wonderful resource "Poetry and Poets in Rags" each week for the benefit of the writing community. He lives scant miles from me in the Boston area, but finally met 6+ hours away in NJ. We had actually been at the same local poetry event, but didn't realize it until after the fact as we hadn't met at that point. He's not an ax murderer either.
I've invited fellow poet Chuck Levenstein to a poetry reading and recently met him for coffee in Newton. He is a fascinating conversationalist and I saw neither ax nor chainsaw in his briefcase. He was kind enough to gift me with his latest poetry collection though. :)
Yesterday, I had lunch with Jim Doss. He was in Boston for business and we arranged to meet downtown for an hour or so. He was one of my co-editors for Poets Gone Wild, which we worked on through the technological advantages of cyberspace--email and chat. We have both posted our poetry on 'Wild' for many years and have critiqued each other's work with honesty and respect. I think I embarrassed him, asking him to sign his book for me.
How could we fail to have enjoyed one another's company? We are both poets, both married with school age kids, and both have pet rats. :) And I felt fairly certain that he couldn't have smuggled his ax on the airplane from Maryland.
So my track record thus far--4 internet poets (one internet fiction writer that I had the pleasure to meet last year) and not a single person with evil theme music.
Lisa: 5, Ax murderers: 0
So far, so good.