Ephemera Newsletter Iss July.4
(Creativity and Motivation Weekly)
Welcome to the Ephemera Newsletter, mga higala! (Cebuano for “friends”).
It’s the end of the month and we’re asking free subscribers to upgrade to paid. Please help make our newsletter a success! We are a user supported endeavor and we have a few perks to the monthly and yearly subscription options. All paid subscribers receive the full version each week (no paywalls). For the writers, we permit monthly and yearly subscribers to submit to our Poetry at Ephemera program for free each month. Also, yearly subscribers can submit to our 2 grant/remote residencies for free. We’re working on developing other perks and products and will continue to try to add value for our newsletter subscribers as well as for the community.
To everyone already contributing at the paid subscription level, thank you so much! We hit a major best seller milestone because of your interest and generosity. Our next goal is to reach 150 paid subscribers. We’re 45 subscriptions away!
We’ll continue to deliver our literary letter with art, music, mini-essays, magazine and award and book recs and other useful literary ephemera on a weekly basis. Thank you for hearing our pitch! On to the letter…
Check out last week’s letter if you missed it. And here are some reminders:
Call For Submissions: If you are a paid subscriber to Ephemera, you can submit to poetry @ Ephemera for free as a membership perk! Free subscribers and anyone else can submit, too, with the reading fee and can submit up to 10 poems. Paying the reading fee will grant you 1-month paid access. Now accepting submissions for the August issue.
In Brief…this week’s features:
Thoughts on Music from the late Pharoah Sanders, extraordinary saxophonist and multi-talented musician (Who was featured with Floating Points last week).
Thoughts on art from Kathleen Ryan, a sculptor of disgusting beautiful fruits.
July’s poet Heidi Kasa and her final poem “The Bullet Gives Away.”
Our weekly lists:
3 magazines with open calls
3 recent job listings for editors and writers.
More ephemera: check out an Interesante selection on how technology addicts our dopamine pathways in the same way as cocaine; Book recs, bonus content, and our mini-essays to start!
Merci. Danke. Kiitos. 고마워 Go-ma-wo. Cảm ơn. Xiè xiè.
Our 15 year-old air-conditioning broke down this week during the throes of one of the hottest moments this summer, maybe in several summers past. Boil it all! And in that heat, because of the weight of the tumid air and the dissipation of motivation (how weak we can be when we’re met with the unexpected), we turned to our phones and TVs, those addiction currying technologies that deliver hit after hit of easy dopamine. Dollop upon dollop, and in two days time we’re suddenly 2 hours into an Instagram binge, Netflixing until 2 AM, finding ourselves turning to the phone rather than turning the page on our current book too long in progress. Contemporary problems! Problems that writers and creatives must be aware of in order to fully ward off these trespasses against our creative energy and time. Hopefully this isn’t trite advice. We mean it, these techs are vicious and designed to be so to keep us using. Read this week’s Interesante Article and check out our book recommendation for a jaunt into the science and data. There’s no question that we’re being bio-hacked in a way. And, apart from simple health reasons, we want to encourage our readership to be self-aware as a means to guard our limited creative time and creative thoughts. It’s important to know the mechanisms by which Big tech and the sell-sell-sell imperative (maybe even big brother) work to hijack our decision-making processes. Resist! Your writing needs you.
“From a neuroscientific perspective, it’s not unreasonable to draw parallels between addictive tech and cocaine. …the underlying neural circuitry is essentially the same, and in both situations, the catalyst is…dopamine.”
—From a Gizmodo Article (see below)
Thwart addiction! Resist phone-scrolling holes—we can’t get back those hours upon hours. Replace dopamine circuits with satisfaction-building hobbies, exercise (writers need physical activity, too), planned sleep and wake times, routine, dynamic conversations (nod to last week’s letter), and, as an occasional treat, baked-in routine-breaking. This writing thing is difficult. We squirrel away mornings for an hour or two and an interruption is lethal to focus, particularly for larger projects. Some of us come to writing easily, early on, and we respect those folks and congratulate them. Many more of us struggle with focus and with time, even when we’re in our seats calling upon the muses to deliver. Ultimately, while writing wants to be a joy, for some it’s a goal, an aspiration, a hill in the distance to which we’re presently trudging (moving in circles is a death knell). To an extent, there’s always another hill to approach, even when you’ve published or thrived, and the following works for late, mid, and early career the same: writing requires sacrifices and a tuning of the self to it, not so much the other way around. We must become writing, the writer. Tiny thrills of dopamine, connecting with pop-culture (unless it’s for research), particularly via platforms who parasitically want our mind’s eye, want to be kept to a minimum, acknowledged as a type of junk, brain food. Be healthy! Maintain productive, writing-oriented dopamine reward behaviors. We want everyone to thrive. We want you on the best path. We want you conscious and deliberate. Go wild, utilize your sub-conscious for your words and creations. Let completion be your high.
~We’re so happy you’re here!~
Poetry by Heidi Kasa
The Bullet Gives Away
“a bullet doesn’t ask to be given back”
-K-Ming Chang, Bestiary
The bullet asks to be a continued dream, a mere figment of your imagination. To be a gift.
The bullet asks to be a prosthetic hand or an umbrella. To prop up the hospital bed, asking nothing of others. The bullet wants to be a buckle or a bucket, to hold itself up and to fill itself. To mutate into a music stand or perhaps a whistle. To draw worlds of shapes as a half-used pencil.
The bullet asks to be a near-miss, a lost love, a never-has-been. A camera. To see the stranger you can turn your back on. To measure the tides of the sea. To magnetize itself to itself.
The bullet longs to be a question mark. To dissolve like an ice cube and ignore all its own boundaries. To be less decisive.
The bullet asks for a halo and angel wings, but only so it can give them away.