Stoney Moss

dabble and whatnot, mostly poetry

Confession Tuesday (deb)

The week in review…what went not so well, as well as a few good things:

~The puppy and I had a fine weekend. I was exhausted by the time Mark came home Sunday evening, but it was a (mostly) good exhaustion. If I could keep this up – walking Sport 2-3 times a day – I might just lose a few pounds.

~ “Mostly”, because I lost my patience with the puppy when he peed in the house again. It is my fault. He had whined the tiniest little bit, and I had not taken him right outside. He is a subtle talker…not real chatty. And I have to be completely focused on him. And I get lost in my own world, a lot, ask my husband, Mark.

~ I wasn’t going to tell Mark. That I got mad at the puppy. I didn’t kick him or be cruel. But I was mad and impatient and realized there was no way I could have ever been a mom…that it really is a good thing I decided not to have children. It showed a deep wisdom about my interior state at an early age. But I confessed to Mark within 30 minutes of him getting home. Of course, he understood. And said he felt the same way at times. Imagine how guilty I would have felt for 12-15 years (Sport’s life expectancy) had I choked it down? Now I feel like I am only normal. (Although I am still glad about the kid part, and admire and think you moms and dads are crazy.)

~Sophie (our corgi who died in December) made me into a dog person. But Sport has sent me over the edge. I get how cool it is to have a being so responsive to you. (Read my Mark Doty post to find a book that explains that really, really well.)

~No poetry for me last week. I got my writing group’s comments back on my fireworks piece. Most (90%) everyone liked it. I even got kudos for some nice descriptions. One gentleman, a retired English teacher, said my description of fireworks going off in the night sky was the best he’d ever read (blush) and everyone liked my beginning about my small-town growing up experiences around celebrating the Fourth. But one person is definitely not my reader. Out of close to 300 lines, she chopped our paragraph after paragraph, leaving only 50 lines. It was uncomfortable sitting at the table, reading my words aloud, hearing her scratching pen carve away at my work. The good news: while I appreciate her work, and give her good feedback on it, I realize she is not a good reader, especially for me. She reads and critiques as if a piece was her own, and so, since my essays are not stories, she doesn’t like them. The good news: I get that she is not my reader. I got through the scratching out, just fine. And my teacher said, “Let me see what ____ took out”, meaning she didn’t agree with her. I won’t be everybody’s writer. But it won’t stop me from writing.

~I had a couple of “water” pieces that I wanted to revise for qarrtsiluni. But just didn’t get to them in time. Saturday night, when Sport was finally crated and quiet I took them out, but just didn’t have the energy for the deep revision they needed. And I am obsessed with water…kind of like I am with fireworks. But there will be, perhaps, another place to set that obsession.

~I spoke to a friend on the phone. I’d been wanting to call her for ages, but hadn’t. It was sweet to catch up. Reconnect. (She’d moved away a year ago, into a good circumstance that I was, still, not comfortable calling the house line to. She’s settled now, and I feel comfortable calling. I am so glad.)

~ While I didn’t write much this weekend, I did update my submission log. There are four places I have not heard back from: M Review (Marylhurst’s online journal), Bellingham Review (out of WWU), Arts & Letters (out of GCSU), and VoiceCatcher (a publication of Portland women authors). The nice thing about it having been so long (I submitted these in January and March) is that I am only mildly curious about their state of being. There is no overwhelming desire to know. Perhaps this is a condition of acceptance for probable rejection. It doesn’t matter. It feels peaceful.

This is Carolee’s last week in the confession booth’s line-up, but January is all over it.


  1. I think a prerequisite for good criticism is that you have to like the *kind* of writing that you’re reading. Otherwise the criticism is just going to boil down to, “I don’t like this: it’s the wrong kind.” And writers will be sensitive enough to mistake it for a comment on their own work, when really it’s just a comment on the genre.

  2. it’s wonderful that you recognize who’s your reader and who’s not. i wonder if you’d be able to just shred her version/remarks without even bothering to read them. truly let it go.

    and i know how bad it feels to get mad at puppy. i’ve been really really angry at least two different times with ours in their lives and i felt horrible yelling like i did. i knew instantly it had more to do with me than what the dog had done. something about pets crystallizes that even more than kids. (kids deserve it. hee hee.)

  3. Puppies ARE KIDS! Make no mistake! The same parenting skills you use with your pup, you would probably use on your kids, for exampe: I spend alot of my time making sure my son does not pee on the floor. I taught him to “fetch” me the remote. When I arrive home, they just jump all over me. You have to say, “No Jump!” See? It’s the same!

  4. Yeah, what Kristi said. Well, I haven’t taught my kids how to fetch, but you do spend a lot of time with kids and dogs teaching them to behave the way you want.

    As for criticism, sometimes negative criticism can be an OK thing. But you have to take it in stride. And don’t be afraid to speak up for your work in a workshop setting.

  5. Geeze, that one lady in your group sounds rude. Sorry, but I’d have sent her a teeny little look. I love reading your confessions and your poems, and I look forward to some CNF here, deb. Have you already posted some and I’ve missed it?

    I’ve gotten mad at pets and kids. It happens, you’re not a saint. Or maybe you are, and that’s why it made you feel so bad. Dogs are so forgiving. So are kids.

    I think there’s a poem in that story, a great one.