Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Poet Too? Maybe.

I've had a lovely week (what day is it today?) travelling around with J, from London to Cambridge, cross country to Cornwall and the gorgeous and organic Bangors B&B which ticked every "perfect B&B" box, from the views to the food, the fabulously friendly proprietors to the 3-week old kittens (missing them terribly). We are now in the Brecon Beacons, which is absolutely stunning, and a surprise is planned for tonight, can't tell you anything about that yet.

Internet access has been sporadic and brief, snatches here and there, but to my delight when I logged on a few days ago, I have had a poem accepted by Contrary magazine, a (paying) online literary journal I greatly admire. This is an enormous thrill, mainly because I have only been writing poetry for a few months and frankly had no idea if I was being utterly presumptious in calling it "poetry" at all. An acceptance by a poetry editor tells me that maybe I am allowed to call it that!

So, a problem. On my website, my tagline is:
"Tania Hershman. I write. Stories."
Well, umm, I have also adapted two of my stories into short plays and one into a radio play. And now... poetry. So, what do I put?
"Tania Hershman. I write. Stories. Poems. Plays adapted from stories."
Not quite so snappy. And if I just put
"Tania Hershman. I write."
it's too general, the easily-distracted surfer visiting sites for a micro-second (yes, I mean me too) might not take the time to find out what it is that I write.

Suggestions please! It's lovely to have this kind of existential dilemma, I never imagined myself writing anything other than short stories. I am really enjoying poetry: I have stopped writing flash fiction in an attempt to wean myself off the instant gratification that comes from writing a complete story in 20 minutes and allowing me to work on longer pieces, but poetry is different, lovely, allowing for something odd to emerge, but not, it appears, interfering with my story-writing in the way that flash did. It's as if I have it in a different compartment, it is a seperate thing. Anyone else feel like this?


SueG said...

You have hit on my problem, and one which I haven't really found a solution to yet. Namely, I write in whatever form feels "right" for the piece, so there are stories, poems, novels, plays. I wonder if I could just settle on one maybe I'd be really really good at that one, but...maybe it doesn't matter, though. All I say is, I write fiction, poetry and plays -- which one I put first depends on who I'm addressing :-)

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

How wonderful Tania! It's funny I blog about a similar thing yesterday; how we shouldn't put ourselves in boxes as they limit avenues for success.

I have nothing to offer regarding your tag line. I have a feeling you've earned the reputation to be Tania Hershman (only).

Tania Hershman said...

Sue, that's a good point, it depends who you're talking to, right? Hmmm, I guess it's a nice dilemma - many writers wrote and write across many forms, nothing wrong with that, eh?

Lauri - exactly, no boxes. Will check out your blog. And thanks re (only) Tania Hershman, I am not so sure about that!

pierre l said...

I though I recognised the name "Contrary" from somewhere. I recently discovered Shaindel Beers as part of the Salt BuyOneBook campaign and she is very near the top of my TBR pile (as well as being someone I follow on Twitter) -- actually, this was after I read about her book on your Twitter page.
Well done on the acceptance, and I shall definitely subscribe to Contrary.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Being Pollyannaish, I think... that until we have a goodly few meaningful publications in the different types, we are still mainly short story writers.

Many many congrats on the poetry acceptance, and may it be followed with many more! And then it will be Tania Hershman, poet, short story writer, playwright. And general good egg.

Ad Lad said...

Oooh a marketing challenge.

If you were a company and these different forms different products, I'd see what they all had in common and brand you accordingly.

Off the top of my head, I'd say one obvious thing poetry, plays, short stories etc all share is the power to create pictures in your head. So how about.

Cue drum roll....

Tania Hershman. I write mind movies.

Where should I send my invoice? ..s

Tania Hershman said...

Hi Pierre,
it's a fabulous magazine, no subscription necessary, all online!

V - I know I am certainly not a poet! But I think a large part of it is what I call myself in my head. As probably was the case for many of us, it took a long time for me to call myself a writer, let alone say to anyone "I am a writer". What am I doing with poetry? No idea. I am just playing, I guess, with these concepts...!

Ad Lad, how great to have your input, I love it! "Mind movies." Brilliant! Unfortunately, not sure the casual surfer, if I get any of those, will have the faintest idea what it means. Intriguing, though! Ah, the invoice... hmmm....