Well, it looks like I'm starting to accomplish my dream of inspiring other people to write. My buddy Grant, who helps me set-up all my music shows and comes to all my poetry readings and best of all believes in my cause, sent me a few really cool poems he wrote. Then, I got an e-mail from one of the mothers of a boy who was in one of my sessions during the middle school conference and he was wanting the website to Newpages.com, after I showed them how easy it was to use and how there is an entire page dedicated to young adult writers. His mom said he was finishing a few poems he wrote about Japan and was looking for pictures for them. I met so many great young writers at that conference, I hope they all submit their stuff.
Then, I started a small writing group, mainly to motivate each other to keep submitting our materials, cuz let's face it, writing is a lonely biz, and who doesn't want someone to share a little success with? So, in this writing group I convinced this amazing non-fiction writer to start putting his work out there and submitting to some journals, and he finally did it. Then he says "Felt good to send something off. We'll see what happens."
Then, there was the guy in Afghanistan. That's right, Afghanistan. Talk about a random occurrence. My buddy T.J. went to do his change over with the battalion that was there, and he just casually mentioned his Iraq experience and said, "Yeah, my corpsman out there was Doc Mena, patched me up when I got all burned. He does poetry now or some shit." And the guy says, "Tony Mena? I've heard of him. He won last year's war poetry contest at Winningwriters." That just boggles my mind how small this world is. Anyways, he told T.J. that myself and the second place guy motivated him to submit some poetry to the contest this year. He said it was nice to see some vets place in the contest.
And lastly, I made my first music video to my song, "I Felt the Earth Spin Today" using some photos and live footage of a few shows and the family. I sent it to The Nashville Review to go along with the songs they accepted and they took it. And then the editor was sooooo cool he sent me a response saying that "your music made me cry. And that's a good thing."
So yeah, my dream of becoming an inspiration to others is slowly beginning to come true. I have a long ways to go if I want to make a career from writing, but I think I'm on the right track.