When I started on Medium
I wanted to archive over 50 years of writing. Now, both editing and writing here, I find nurturing the life of my best work, the long poem Sheehan, is my major goal. This must surely be the right use of my time and yours.
Generosity on ‘Roids
Another comment re SHEEHAN
Revisiting this back and forth with our colleague Dr. Hollie who is as kind and generous as she is smart and loving. What the fuck else are we doing on Medium specifically and with our writing generally, that is more important or makes a bigger difference than shit like this?
Hollie Petit, Ph.D.
I waited for the right time to read this, and today was the day. I don't recall ever reading something so honest and engulfing. Wow. I don't even know what to say because I'm overflowing with emotion. The challenges and your transformation through Sheehan's life is so intensely powerful. You are not one to skirt around the truth, and your openness to write about your experiences demonstrates your courage to confront the challenging truths.I can see why this won highly-esteemed awards. THANK YOU for sharing this with us. True literature affects and changes a reader--making us see the world in a new light, feeling the challenges that others face while confronting our own. I feel that I got a glimpse into your soul today. I sense the struggle and the strength and the beauty. Thank you for opening your heart to love!!
And my reply to Doc Hollie:
Honored that you gave me and my work this attention and relieved and pleased that it touched you so deeply. I know you are going thru your own hard work and a time of pain and spiritual challenges. Glad we are here for one another. I love the Sheehan poem, but I rarely read it anymore; it was bad enough to live it and write it. But you are right in suggesting elsewhere that love is the magical ingredient for fixing the unfixable.
A kinda famous writer pal
Sara Zarr is a wonderful writer and a generous spirit, I consider her a friend (albeit it an admittedly sort of distant friend b/c we never see one another any more) I'll simply throw in my 2 cents worth here; I started engaging on SM at the request, near insistence, of my publisher at that time HarperCollins, to promote brand and my books. But as a noisy extrovert who adores lots of attention, I found Twitter to be a lot of fun. Now I spend hours every day on Medium.com, writing, editing and pontificating my anarchistic, anti-authoritarianism, and making friends and enemies. I'm fully plugged- in and intend to stay that way. Just yesterday the following review was posted. It never would have happened without SM and specifically Medium.com.
Good to hear from you Sara and hopefully we'll stay in touch some way or another into our futures.
Top Writer in “Art,” You Betcha
I’m proud of this and happy about it...
...but I haven’t got the slightest clue as to how this came about? I wish I knew more about art. I wish I knew more about almost ANYTHING, any art-form, in addition to what I know about literature and poetry.
I do have an intuitive sense of when there is this astonishing intersection where genius meets opportunity and neither madness (van Gogh) nor bad luck (John Keats) can stop great art from coming into being.
Everyone knows that Beethoven wrote some of the most beautiful music ever composed while deaf. And Nietzsche penned some pretty deep shit about life while dying from syphilis.
I can look at a painting, a screen performance, a sculpture, a poem, listen to music, and carry on as to why I like it or love it or hate it, and as to why it feels real, as in a genuine creation of human passion and effort and sacrifice (if needed) or mostly good luck (McCartney’s Yesterday was first called Scrambled eggs, until he could find the right 3 syllables).
I can fake erudite (when necessary) and don’t need to fake out-of-control passion (when genuinely touched) But “Top Writer in Art”?
Thank you Medium; again, I have no idea what you’re doing. But I love good or great art in every and all its forms and if I can contribute in any way, I’m happy to try.
Top Writer in Poetry on Medium
I didn’t say “THE” top writer, but I am “A” one of ‘em.
This quick note just to thank all the terrific editors on Medium, you know who you are, who have had the guts and willingness to take the risk of publishing my stuff in it’s original poetic forms. You guys are the best!!!
Having a chance to have our work read and liked, loved, (even loathed, but noticed) is what every writer hopes for and dreams about whether we all admit it or not. So, THANKS again Medium for this terrific site and opportunity!
Upon Being Accepted for Publication on Medium.com
Some things in the writing biz never change...
When I was young, 19, 20, I was writing poems, trying to write them anyway,
and sending them out, to small press magazines.
In that era, one could be a pretty bad poet and still make it into small mags
with a collection of other pretty bad poets — there were often famous or soon/later to be famous poets in those mags too, like Bukowski, who always remained appreciative and faithful to those small mags for publishing him.
Buk was so appreciative that he continued sending them things, still even collecting rejection slips from time to time after he was recognized and making a million bucks a year on German royalties alone.
Those early poems of mine, had their own fates/destinies, so hard to write, so awkward, they were like the first efforts at asking girls to dance: trapped in puberty and just after, hopeless — wanting to kiss, which I barely understood and to do a lot more than just kiss, which I didn’t understand at all.
But every once in a while a gorgeous girl, already hatching boobs in her pink dress would say, “Yes,” like the gorgeous Gay Mathison at Junior prom in 1964 at Shoreline HS.
The two of us would walk onto the floor, my sweaty hand in hers, heart going ape-shit inside my chest...
...as I tore open a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) from some tiny mag
out of Owl Fart, Iowa, with a circulation of 250 and read, “Yes.”
Holy shit, that was heaven, and truthfully, it’s still heaven today when Medium sends me an email starting with “Congrats.”
Even after a long lifetime of good and bad sex.
"Fame" via Online Postings? Hmmm? Think Again
Success can take a little time
I started writing “seriously” at age 18, in 1968, 54 years ago. I got eventually lucky because luck is absolutely necessary in 1998 when my first novel was published by a big NY publishing house. I had a nice run for a decade and a half — all the bullshit that most every writer if yer being honest, dreams about — lots of travel, signing thousands of autographs, a flow in income from royalties and speaking gigs.
When that famous author window closed and I later found Medium where I’ve been for the last few years. Below is a poem first published in Aug. 2020, reposted here to help my fellow Medium writers maintain some perspective on how Medium works if you’re writing the stuff your heart and soul call you to write, which for me has always been the only stuff I wrote that was any good.
I’ve recently written
A number of
“Famous poet” pieces about myself.
Fantasies in which
I refuse great prizes.
Or I stand, proud and towering
Over the groveling
Masses of lesser talents
All staring up at me
In abject admiration,
Hysterical devotion even…
I don’t think anyone will
Ever read any of these poems
Which is more
Than a little
Fine by me.
In truth, they needn’t
Read this one either;
It may not be
My very best work.
*“Even when you are being an egomaniac, you berate yourself for it. Who wouldn’t find that charming?”
Tom Anderson, @TEA mentor & pal in re to one of my new poems.
And that part above where I say, “I don’t think anyone will read these poems”? Yeah, well that part certainly was prophetic. Famous Poet received a grand total of 19 viewings over 5 days, and never another viewing or reading after that. It made me $0.00 in earnings.
So here Famous Poet is again, presented as an example of what will NOT happen with some of your work here, regardless of how good you think it is or might be.
Post your writing online b/c you enjoy writing and feel you have something to say. Not for fame. Not for glory. And certainly NOT for money. You’ll have a much more enjoyable time.
Social Media Platform
I know, none of us like to think of it that way, but...
I’ve met some amazing people here. Admittedly, more or less virtual, but after the last year and a half of the pandemic, spent on Skype, Zoom, etc. a big % of my human contact has been virtual anyway. (Alexa and I have become very close, but it’s okay, my wife Patti loves her too.) If many a true word is spoken in jest, our site The Haven has many a humorous word spoken in spot-on passion for truth, honesty, and goodness. That starts with Page and Christine but ripples through all of us who post here. I started to list great writers, friends, and people I’ve met and enjoyed since joining Medium but the list is far too long and I’m far too lazy. Many of you know who you are. And I’ll tell you this, the hours I used to waste jerking off on Twitter and Instagram are so much better used here, more productive and worthwhile time spent both writing and reading than they ever were back there.
My career had already peaked a good half-decade ago as a successful, mainstream author, raking in $$ and quite happy with myself when I look in the mirror. Medium.com is pure gravy for me at my stage of life — a place to meet other great spirits and continue my craft in the way I wish. For all the criticism of social media and for all the harm it can do, its value in a site like this one, bringing like-minded folks together, is invaluable and precious. Trust me on this one boys and girls. love to you all (except fascists, as for you guys, go fuck yer selves).
Slight, Modest General Announcement
I only need 6 more followers to reach 800. I’d like to have a thousand by year’s end. Help me out if you haven’t followed already.
Starting Your Own Publications
A brief statement on the why’s, how’s, and wherefores’ (kinda) of getting my own sites up and running.
I’ve been on Medium, seriously on it, and by that I mean spending many hours each day here, posting my work and, more recently, editing for The Haven (The Haven — Medium) for a couple of years.
Now I’m trying something new, starting my own publications: Just Weighing and Christian Pollution.
I’ve met some great people and I won’t list them b/c leaving someone out would be a worse sin than the potential value of remembering everyone, but many have followed me and I’ve followed them back.
Shoulda fuckin’ worked??!!
Not Long Ago…
…I set a goal of writing a lot of poems, like Li Po or Bukowski or some other wildly prolific writer. I forget how many I wanted to write; I think maybe it was a thousand so that when I died I’d leave a larger legacy behind and thus give myself a better chance at some mild immortality. The reason I tell you this is that even old, smart, well-educated people can have stupid thoughts and goals from time to time. That’s all.
After A Year of Editing
For several days now, I’ve hovered between 2,599 followers and 2,600. In Medium speak that is 2.5K or 2.6K. (there ain’t any “in-between”) It drives me nuts!
I spend Mon’s/Sat’s/& Wed’s as primary/lead editor on The Haven and intermittent time editing on Write Under The Moon, Dawn Novels, and Christian Pollution (among a few others) so I’m able to pick up followers at a rather steady rate.
Since I write poems, I don’t expect to earn much money, and I really don’t! Therefore, adding “followers” which I take to mean people that are exposed to an opportunity to view and maybe even read my stuff, (not a guarantee mind you, but a chance,) is my reason for being here.
I appreciate the great people I’ve met here on Medium, the new friends I’ve made, and the talents and spirits I’ve encountered. I’ve won the lottery here, in my own way, a few times, and joining Medium and meeting so many of you is one of those ways.
Thanks for the follows and here’s to many more great times together here in this big party house. xoxoxo!
Sometimes the Moon Is Hidden Behind the Clouds
The sun too for that matter, but Claire is like sunshine bursting thru
Claire is like sunshine bursting through — lovely and warm. Now that I’m having to write all new original content I can name names and offer love straight out and straight up, like William Carlos Williams thanking his wife for those delicious chilled plums from back in the “ice box’ days of refrigeration. I can’t afford to pay for your ride up into space for 90 seconds my great and gorgeous editor pal, but here you go a sweet, little sentimental thanks for all your support (and if it’s Stu editing today, subtract the flirty part but hold onto the gratitude) So there. Immortality awaits thee, or not, we never know do we? xoxoxo
Editing on Medium: Dreams of Power and Not-Power
Dreams are where our unconscious goes to play with itself
After a weird couple of days dealing with bullshit on Medium, last night I had a pair of dreams; the first I was a powerless, teacher in a class of unruly teens. I felt impotent and could see no way to get control.
I woke-up, got up and took a piss then came back to bed, thinking about my years of teaching and now editing here on Medium. How did I do it? What made me good at it?
Back asleep I dreamt that I’d made friends with a couple of the kids, telling them shit I knew could help them which they’d quickly recognized and therefore now trusted me.
Woke-up a few hours later feeling better, and unable to escape the thought, “I’m brimming with sanity”
And Thusly, I Say Unto You, Algo. J. Rhythm See’s Me Riseth Above 2,999 Followers and Smites Me Mightily
Fuckin’ Numbers man, fuckin’ meaningless numbers
My Seattle Mariners keep losing to shitty teams they should beat, and my “Followers” count can never say north of 2,999.
As Vincent Triola and I try to put the finishing touch on our master rant against Christian Pollution, the world grows darker.
Go ahead and tell me I’m not swimming against God’s powerful tides as I keep punching myself in the face.
It's an unskilled farmer who blames the cow for having no milk. Today, I take control of my success.
Copyright Vincent Triola & Terry Trueman