Thursday, October 22, 2009

I am a walking stereotype

Today I interviewed at Borders for a position. A poet who works at a bookstore/coffee shop. I can't wait to hear back from them. Cough.

But money has never been more tight, I don't think. Which is a shame, because this will be my second job, if I get it (my first starts the 26th) and next month is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), something I'd like very much to participate in. And I may still, but man that's going to be one hell of a month. I already have a little bit of a novel written, and some outline done, so maybe it won't be so bad. Yeah.

But even the prospect of writing a novel brings about a certain amount of unease which poetry doesn't bring me. For instance, what I have written is potentially humorous, and would probably be classified in fantasy, though not high fantasy. And I'm already wondering, were I to sell the book to a publisher, would I want to use a pen name. There's that kind of a prejudice for genre fiction. I know it's stupid, and stupider (ha!) to worry about what I'm going to do when I break big on the novel I plan on writing in 30 days. But poets are daydreamers, when they aren't around a pen, aren't they?

In other news, I went to a reading by Frank X. Walker yesterday, and had to stand in the hallway to listen in. There is something very heart-warming even in seeing someone else get that kind of reception for poetry. At one point, someone asked Frank what kind of prejudice had he received as an African-American poet (people love that question, don't they? I think everyone revels, a little, in our struggle. haha) and he answered something along the lines that he didn't get a lot of prejudice for being black, but sometimes quite a bit from fiction writers. Anyone who is a poet will know why I think that's hilarious.

Onward, into more writing, more reading, more studying, more working, more applying for jobs. Always more, and seemingly, always for less money.


  1. Oh, hang in there!!

    I very much relate to your employment struggles (as I voiced before). Maybe you'll make some great contacts at ready with your business card! :)

    Good luck, and remember--you have something valuable to offer employers (especially as a writer). As Suze Ormond would say, "You are not on sale!" I know it's cheesy, but it was helpful for me to remember to stop undervaluing my work (I still do it, as do many, many writers).

  2. Good luck, Keith. I'm rooting for you, which sounds odd, because we don't know each other. But it hearts my heart to see anybody out of work. I am there...ha! I laughed out loud at your Borders' cough. I guess it's better than McDonald's.

    Maybe you could show us some excerpts from your novel when you feel like it. I'd love to read it. I enjoy your poetry very much.

  3. Oh shoot..I was looking online for telecommuting work and I saw this for Kentucky residents only. Just passing it along

  4. Thanks for the well wishes everyone!

    Julie, I hadn't even considered posting any of my novel here. I wonder why I think of anything non-poetry as a whole different unrelated world. I'll definitely think about it (I have no idea how well that would work. Although I suppose I have seen novel excerpts used well).

    JayTee. Thanks! I am wary of work-from-home jobs, but this appears as if it might actually be legit. haha. If I end up getting this as a job, I'll have to owe you one.

  5. Frank X. Walker was interviewed for the article, "Photo Exhibit Showcases Black Poets." Please read it at