This kernel of an idea has become an earworm today. It is an experience I had standing in line for lunch at the Las Vegas Writing Conference this weekend. I’ve been overwhelmed by the huge, receptive opportunities at this conference. Everyone is friendly to listen to ideas and keen for submissions. I even was intrigued by a literary magazine here in Vegas called Helen. They are eager for submissions of short stories and poetry with the Vegas spirit. Those are typically hard sells. So my ears perked up, and I took the information from the representative to file for later.
What especially caught my attention was their call for haikus that they want to place on poker chips to advertise their magazine. If they except the haiku, they will pay $25. Considering how obsessed I am with Vegas as a setting for my stories, I relished the opportunity to explore this idea. I don’t normally write poetry. But to say I have a haiku being used to promote a literary magazine would be awesome.
So, I found myself standing in line for lunch. I started a conversation with the person behind me to try to network. She mentioned she was a poet, and was just starting out. I mentioned the poetry submission opportunity with Helen Literary Magazine.
I told her enthusiastically, “They really need haiku’s to put on poker chips to promote their magazine. It pays $25.”
She answered me. “Oh, I don’t write that kind of poetry.”
Wow, I thought. The conversation was interrupted by someone talking to her from behind, and I moved up in line to get some lunch. But I kept thinking, what a way to close off your writing opportunity. I’ve always tried to unlimit my writing. A sell to a magazine is a sell. It sounds good to say you’ve sold to a lit. magazine too. Why close yourself off from that opportunity? Any opportunity?
It even brought up in my mind the phrase used a lot in improv. When someone is doing a scene, you’ve got to say, “YES, And…” A scene dies if a person pretends to be in a huge running marathon, and their partner comes in and says, “I don’t want to do a marathon. Let’s do a swimming contest instead.”
Save every morsel of opportunity. I like to keep my mind open to every type of writing. Take the information to heart that you learn or hear, and save it for later. You never know when you might be able to use that option. Don’t put the breaks on your writing. That’s just putting the stops on something that could have been your best story or poem yet. Unlimit your writing by thinking, I don’t usually write poetry, or haiku, but I could try it.
And yes, I write romance. But right now, my brain is working on a Vegas spirit capturing haiku that could make itself onto a poker chip. I write with no limits.
UPDATE: So, I did send in 2 poems to Helen Literary Magazine, and was given a polite rejection letter for my poems. But again, it was worth a try, and I’m glad I took up the opportunity. I may not be a poet, but it doesn’t hurt to try. 😉