Emily Vieweg, MFA is a poet and playwright originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Her work has been published in Foliate Oak, The Voices Project, Northern Eclecta, Red Weather Literary Magazine, Soundings Review, Art Young's Good Morning, and more.
Her one-act play Atomic Lounge was performed in Chicago at The 25th Annual Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Theatre Festival in 2013.
Emily's debut chapbook Look Where She Points is available from Plan B Press.
She lives in Fargo, North Dakota where she is a mother of two, pet parent, data processor and adjunct English instructor.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Today I am not writing prose.
Today I am not writing scripts.
Today I am venting.
I am venting about turning 40 next April because sometimes I still feel 20.
I am venting about my son's acne because it bothers me more than it does him.
I am venting about my daughter's daddy because he just doesn't get it sometimes.
I am venting about singleton socks because they're hiding.
I am venting about my missing tank tops and my weight gain.
I am venting about being an adult daughter in my parents' home.
I am venting about student loans coming due at Christmas.
I am venting about gasping for breath so I don't burst into tears.
I am venting that I want a day off and feel guilty about it.
I am venting that being poor is expensive in America.
I am venting that I am tired of being strong and wish I had a soft place to fall.
Maybe today I am writing poetry.
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Not Another Empty Table
Since You Asked--
He Said to Me / The One I Never Slept With
The Notebook / Grassroots Women's Project
Thoughts on an Appalachian Waltz
Nun in the Pink Habit
I am truly humbled to know that my work is getting out there and saying something to editors and other artists. I am always writing and polishing and looking for ways to get thoughts out into the world.
Thank you for supporting my dreams and aspirations.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Yes, I'm On My Way (respectfully borrowed from Disney's lyrics from Brother Bear)
Friday, October 2, 2015
Day 2 - Setting writing goals - this one's going to be interesting, because not only do I need to consider writing goals, but also family and financial needs.
This is about writing, though, so I will do my best to set the goals:
1. Short Term Goals. Writing goals that I can attain within the next twelve months... Twelve months is a long time to plan for, I can hardly plan for the next two weeks. Long-term planning is not an asset of mine, though I do my best to stick to plans.
Short Term A: get that chapbook published! It's been accepted, but now I just wait for the publisher to do their thing. Waiting is the worst. Submitted, accepted, now wait for published.... And we wait.
Short Term B: get one of those fellowships I applied for. I've applied to several fellowships that would grant me access to some well-respected writers and writing programs. What a thrill to travel and learn and teach. Glorious!
Short Term C: write more. This is a daily goal - WRITE MORE. I've found that since I've participated in two poetry readings, the ideas for new works are flowing more easily, thanks to others' spoken words. Beautiful inspiration.
2. Long Term Goals. I'd love to travel the country as a published author. I want to teach students how to share their voices and perform in front of packed houses that are there to see me. I want to be well-known as an author and poet and performer. This is the selfish performer in me - I want attention, I want people to listen to what I'm saying and respond. I want people to laugh at my funny stories and cry with me recouting painful events. I want to tell the truth so people who do not share my beliefs to hear me. (That's a tough one, I know...)
Are these goals realistic? For the most part - most of the short term goals are already in process - and we're in the waiting game.
Ultimate long-term goal - I want to make a living as a writer. Teaching others how to express themselves is a passion of mine - and teaching people that poetry doesn't have to be frightening. Find the words and arrange them in a way that creates music.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
I receive a litany of writing prompt emails, "make your work better" emails, some "writing workshop" emails and most (due to of lack of funds and lack of free time) wind up in the virtual wastebasket. When I received this email, though, and questioned myself as a writer and what exactly does that mean in my life (professional and personal)? I opened the email.
As with most challenges, there are guidelines - I am more interested in doing the writing than winning anything, because the writing is the ultimate goal, right? Kudos to those who write well enough or are lucky enough to win something - but the writing, the actual writing and typing and formulating a new work (or editing an older one) - that's the ultimate goal.
Then I saw today's challenge: Day 1. Define Yourself as a Writer.
What? I read on:
For the first day of this challenge, I want everyone to take a step back and define yourself as a writer. Don’t worry about where you want to be. Instead, focus on who you are, what you’ve done, what you’re currently doing, etc.
Okay, so following the format I did it:
Name (as used in byline): Emily Vieweg
Position(s): Data Processor, NDSU; Adjunct Instructor, NDSCS-Fargo; Published author as poet; Published author as Flash Fiction Writer; Published author as Creative Nonfiction Essay Writer; Published author as Playwright; Blogger; Actor; Theatre Enthusiast; Parent of teen with Autism, Parent of toddler with Chromosomal microdeletion.
I stopped here for a while. Look at that list. First, I indicate that my position is my full-time job at NDSU in the Registration office. I am a Data Processor. I look at a transcript, enter the information, and move on to the next transcript. That is my full time job. It is the job that takes up most of my daily life, it is the job that I spend the most time on during the work week. It is the job that pays most of my bills.
Second, I listed my adjunct teaching position. I teach one 1-credit section of a Composition Lab course at the Fargo campus of NDSCS, a nearby tech and community college. I suppose since I earn an income from this second position, however meager the income is, I do earn a regular income from this position - therefore, I list it second.
My writing positions did not begin until number three. Why am I unable to list my writing positions first? I have been published in print and online for several years, yet I am still not able to list my writing credentials first in my list of positions. Why not? Is my writing not good enough? Do I consider myself less than a good writer because I am not famous like JK Rowling, Saul Williams or Billy Collins?
Shame on me!
I hereby reclaim myself as a writer.
Name: Emily Vieweg, MFA
Position: Published author of Poetry, Playscripts, Flash Fiction and Creative Nonfiction.
Additional professional positions: Data Processor, Adjunct Instructor
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
I am excited to make TWO announcements.
1 - I have accepted an adjunct teaching position at one of the local community colleges for the Fall 2015 term - and I am thrilled! I'm going to be teaching Composition Lab, a lab writing course for students who may need a little extra help with composition for English 110 (English Comp I).
2 - I just received a notification that my creative nonfiction piece, Nun in the Pink Habit, will be published in the Winter 2016 publication of Soundings Review.
I am so excited for all of these ventures, it seems like positive thinking and hard work really do pay off. Hopefully I'll be able to get all the over-excitement out of my system before i start teaching, because the last thing I want to be is annoying.
However, I will continue to be my eccentric self, just honed in a little bit.
Thanks so much for the support, and like my new Emily Vieweg Writer Facebook page! :)
Sunday, July 26, 2015
I thought taking a little time off would be healthy - unfortunately, I have fallen into poor patterns. I've written one new piece and haven't edited anything recently, which means that I don't feel that I've accomplished much the last couple weeks.
But I have accomplished something.
I have experienced moments of glee with Riley as she discovered her singing voice and new words.
I have learned that Colin's new voice, with some vocal training, could be honed into one of those sultry baritone or bass soloist positions in the choir (if he chooses to follow that path).
I realized that over the past couple months, my relationships have revolved around me and my needs, instead of what my family needs. I realize this sacrifice was necessary to complete the degree, but occasionally I find myself in a state of "now what?"
Now I need to write on my own, and edit on my own, and get my writing out there.
So I am submitting, and submitting, and applying and submitting, and every day I am learning something new about this "real world" in writing.
I have applied for a grant, I have applied for adjunct positions, and I have submitted a short book of poetry for hopeful publication. For these three things, I must wait.
And now I must write.
Friday, June 26, 2015
My degree will post to my official record as of June 30, 2015, and as such, my new signature will be:
Emily Vieweg, MFA
Today I don't have many words of my own, I am over the moon with excitement and joy, so thrilled to have completed this journey, and now ready for a couple months rest before tackling the next big challenge: Teaching my teenager to drive!!!
Thank you to my family and friends who have supported me through this journey, for sacrificing time and energy, for poking me with a stick when I really deserved a cattle-prod, and for hugging me when I didn't want one but needed it.
Here's to the future, to following my dream and earning a degree that will allow me to teach students how to love the creative word.
Friday, June 19, 2015
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
I feel that I have something important to say, and hopefully that came across in my introduction, and in my creative works.
I received an email from my adviser this morning, stating that she will get back to me with an acceptance or with a list of required edits by 6/26. So that means I must wait up to ten days for a decision to be made. In that time I will focus the rest of my energy on completing the assignments for my Manuscript Preparation course, and then my MFA will be complete.
I just have a little bit left to go, and then I will have my Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing. I will be able to teach at the college level and also update my business cards at work.
I am excited to announce that I have been accepted into a Graduate Certificate program for teaching English Language Learners. I feel that if I am going to teach, I would like to learn how to teach before attacking that particular position. I realize that I do not need an education degree to teach at the college level, but I feel in order to be fully present and helpful to my future students, I not only need to know what I am talking about (i.e., English Composition), I also need to know how to communicate it.
There are professors out there who are brilliant in their knowledge of a subject but are dumber than a box of rocks when it comes to communicating that information to students. I do not want to be a box of rocks, so until I feel more comfortable in my teaching skin, I will take a class here and there to get my feet wet and learn how to teach what I love to do.
Once this degree is complete I will take time off from school. At least two months I will take off, playing with my kids, reconnecting with my husband, and finding something else to do with my evenings.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
I said yes. I decided to play with my daughter. Five minutes of fun, silly tickles and turning upside down before heading to daycare wouldn’t be a big deal. Five minutes of silly tickles and kisses and “Uh Moh” upside down time.
Thursday, June 4, 2015
I am sitting at my desk wondering where the last eight weeks have gone. Have I done enough? How many pages have I written? How many new pieces have I produced? When will I know for sure if this is what I am meant to do?
Of course writing is what I am meant to do. If I were paralyzed from the nose down and had to communicate by typing with my eyelashes, I would make it happen. I have something to say, and whether or not someone likes it, I am going to say it.
When I was a kid our family took summer vacations to my dad's side of the family in Massachusetts. I loved Gramma and Grampa Vieweg because we were always loved. This family cherished its members, we never had to worry about disappointing anyone (although Grampa yelled at me once when I was twelve - I wasn't embarrassed at what I did, only that he yelled. Dad scolded him after I ran upstairs). I hated being the center of attention, I didn't like eyes being on me, expected to perform at the drop of a hat (at piano lessons, even). I was very shy and very meek... but so loved.
Gramma and Grampa have been gone for several years now, but I still remember that house - my sister and I in the yellow bedroom with the fan in the window (no air conditioning), we yearned for the swimming pool and loved the drive up to Keene, New Hampshire. I remember there were lots of little yellow worms floating in the air like newborn spiders, looking for a new home. They were gross, but it's a memory I cannot escape. Teeny tiny worms - strange the things we remember.
We didn't go in the cellar without a grown-up, even into our teens. I still don't know why - the house used to be the Carriage House in the 1700s, so the cellar was rock and dirt - what was the kitchen had once been the hay loft, I think.
I am remembering Gramma and Grampa today because my Uncle Frank passed away suddenly this week. Frank was my dad's brother-in-law, and he was always fun. I didn't realize that he was drunk most of the time, because Mom and Dad shielded us from that information. Looking back, I don't think I ever saw him without a beer in his hand and a cigarette gently dangling from his bottom lip. Thin as a rail, he was. I remember his voice - strong, stern, loving to us - perhaps I painted his memory in a way that I paint most - with the prettiest colors and most flattering angles - because remember people should be pleasant, not difficult.
Uncle Frank was the fun uncle, Justin and Aaron are my cousins, they're closest in age to myself and my sister, so maybe that's why I felt so close to them growing up - I don't know. I haven't see that side of the family since my cousin Clayton's wedding, I feel like I've missed out on so much - and now I can't go to say goodbye.
So I'll remember the laughs and smiling times, the voice that said, "Do ya know what we saw outta that window? A Moose!" with that wicked-smaht Massachusetts accent. Wicked Smaht...
Sunday, May 24, 2015
I turned in my 50-page portfolio for my midterm reader, I have many more pieces in the early stages and should be good-to-go for creative work within the next three weeks. That will give me three more weeks to edit and edit again, format and edit a little more.
I also need to write my 5-page introductory essay, which will most likely focus on my writing and editing styles, as well as critiquing my own work.
Short entry today - just an update.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Well it's taken a bit of time but I am settling in to the habit of writing every single day. Whether it's listening to music or following a prompt, I am writing every day. I am also reading a lot. Reading about where Writer's Block comes from, the brain chemistry behind it, and how to really understand it and work through it.
While writing my Thesis I am also taking a Manuscript Preparation class. Learning all about how to best advertise my work to publishers. Understanding the best letters to write, the best language to use and how to get someone to actually read my work.
A few pieces of mine have been published, and a few more are working their way through the Submittable app. Most literary magazines use this submission application now, for a nominal fee. I have a couple of small manuscripts in for contests, but I don't submit to many of those. I will submit to a magazine's contest if I believe in the magazine - River Styx is one of my favorites. I attended the River Styx Writer's Conference in 2014, and it was amazing. I met some wonderful writers, editors and rubbed elbows with some *gulp* famous people! I am a silly star-struck when it comes to meeting published poets, writers, playwrights and actors. I even get a little "ohmigosh it's you!" to local tv news anchors. It's the kid in me, I guess.
Back to the matter at hand.
I have 12 pieces completed, 10 poems and 2 pieces of creative nonfiction. I may include my two pieces of micro-fiction as well, but I'm not sure yet.
I have ten pieces in the "editing" phase, so that brings my page count to 26 completed pages, with another twelve in the works. That means I am at about 40 pages.
My goal is to write two pages per day, and twice per week to edit down the writings into pieces of poetry. Also using my prompts from "NaPoWriMo" has been helpful. I've written a few new pieces already and have put them in my "Thesis Writings" page in my files.
All the best, and onward we go.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
I am in the middle of week 2, I have 9 weeks left. I will walk in Commencement on May 15, just a few weeks away, but will not complete my thesis until June. Needless to say, this makes me nervous. For most of my life I have dreamed of becoming a writer. I have felt that my voice is important; that I have something to say, that maybe a story I make up or an experience I have can help someone else figure something out about themselves. I don't know, I've just always had the desire to express myself. Even when I was a very shy kindergartener, when I didn't speak in class the first half of the year, I am certain I had things I wanted to say - I just didn't know how. I was afraid.
Well guess what, life happened and now my voice is developing into a bullhorn. Maybe that's not the best analogy... The point is, my voice is important. What I have to say is important. Since screaming doesn't allow anyone to hear a message, hopefully the written word will make it easier. Perhaps someone will read the words and say "Hey, that makes sense."
We'll see where the thesis wants to go. I have several poems ready to sort into three sections - I haven't titled them yet, but for the most part, they'll be focused aroudn the process of letting go of something - a memory, a person, an idea, a comfort; and moving towards acceptance of the possibility of uncertainty of the future - but remembering that it's just a THING we let go of - that actually, we carry all of that "stuff" within us to help us survive the future.
Something like that.
I won't be publishing all the pieces on the blog, as that is considered "Published" to many literary magazines - so if a piece is published elsewhere, I will post it here with publishing credits.