Tuesday, October 16, 2018

very serious things

Autumn, the thick of it, always makes me nostalgic and backward looking.  Last week I found myself looking forward to getting some Thai Food and maybe watching some Buffy and realized this was pure late 90's ritual for me..Every Tuesday night when the show was on, sometimes with my sister, I would order takeout (usually pad thai but sometimes pizza) and throw ourselves down the futon and floor or my tiny Lincoln Park studio to watch the show.  In some ways it made me think that my existence is not so different from then, my life not so strange to that 24 year old self.  Sure, my apartment is bigger, and I traded grad school classes for library work, but that was the first fall where I felt like poetry was at the center of things. the fall where I plunged into writing and for the first time, it was actually promising.  When I fell in love with the Wasteland in a lit seminar and it opened a door for me that changed everything. When I began writing the poems that would go into that very first forgotten, horrible, book manuscript I vowed to finish before 25.

I had come out of a weird depressive funk the first couple months of the year, having begun to realize teaching was not for me, but with no clue of any future direction that did not include that fall back plan I'd always held in place. I was untethered for a while, but in the fall, began to feel a bit more anchored by the writing process.  The hours I spent not in class, I was working on poems.  I would kill to have that sort of free time these days, that sort of impulsive energy.  The words came fast and furious that fall, some of which would wind up in my first chapbook from Moon Journal and other online publications a couple years later.  (though none made into my first book.)  Perhaps this is why fall always seems like a very serious time to write very serious things--moreso than other seasons. When I want to hide among stacks of books and do research for projects that are just beginning to take shape.

There is something about the drawing in, the waning daylight, that makes me want to hunker down with projects.   I am still working catch as catch can through taurus, but I need to spend some time on the weekend rearranging and sorting the newer pieces into something like coherence.  It's running a little longer than I intended, so seems a little vast and unruly, which needs a little work.   I think I am scheduled to work Sunday, so maybe I'll get a little time in then to arrange.

Monday, October 15, 2018

assorted writing newsiness

1.  It being the season of profound witchiness, I have a witchy new piece (from the ordinary planet series) in the latest issue of Grimoire. This is the very first of the series to see light of day (with some more coming later on in Rust & Moth) It's my strange little gothic steam punk apocalypse series, and look!  actual line poems, which I suspected I'd forgotten how to write with all the prosiness happening the past couple of years.

2. Stirring also recently dropped the first of the slender man series, necessary violence. Some more will be coming in the Mansion anthology next spring, and then later as an online collab project with my text pieces and visuals from my sister next summer.

3.  You can still get in on some subscription series action for both EXQUISITE DAMAGE (totally free and available via Tiny Letter) and TAURUS,(which  progressing along at Chanillo, where you an subscribe to unlimited series for only $5 a month.)

4.  I'll be starting to post more of the Poets Zodiac pieces on instagram, as well as collages, which will eventually be some sort of larger artist book project.

5. You can also still get in on the subscription plan for this year and get your hands on all sorts of goodness, including /slash/, how to write a love poem in a time of war, the honey machine, the science of impossible objects, as well as more zines, prints, and poets zodiac scrolls.

6.  If you happen to be on campus, stop by the CCC Library to check out our Beautiful Monstrosities exhibit, which contains a spread of the /slash/ project in one of the display cases.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

poet magic in the real world

Yesterday brought some fortuitous news regarding something rather mundane but necessary I'd written a few months back that had to do with a job classification audit (I'm bored out of my mind even typing those words.)  It was a union thing, and there was an appeal process that I penned the department's response to, and we actually got exactly the rating we wanted, even better than we expected, which bodes well for supporting some of the restructuring and title re-imaginings afoot that will hopefully bear fruit as a pay increase.

It got me thinking of how odd it always feels when my writing abilities actually manifest as real life consequences..not that poetry life is not real life, but it rarely does it impact the daily life of jobs and bills and affording groceries (or dresses.).   It's terrible that real world gains only signify financials in my mind, but it's sadly true..I can't pay my rent in poems.  I can't really buy dresses with poems.  My day job is another weird place where my writing abilities are called upon seldomly, and the majority of people haven't a clue that I'm a writer, much less a rather good one.Especially since libraries often have weird power structures that privilege the MLS degreed librarians over "support staff" who really have far more responsibilities for the daily functioning & maintenance of the library.  Especially for me. since I have two graduate degrees, but neither is in library science.

That writing magic has manifested at least a couple times in the past few years, most noticeably the winning ACRL award application, which while I did a lot of compiling existing info, I did do quite a lot of writing in terms of intros and transitions, and organizing and outlining the final product   Our win was likely a combination of various programming efforts, amazing illustrations by a student artist,  and my writing/design/editing skills. But rarely does my experteise have much to do with that other, more practical life.   It's gotten better with all of the other things I do in the library, committee work for A of R and such, but those aren't nested in my more mundane job description duties and what I'm technically being paid for --well, at least YET (see above).   That award pursuit itself was in the works for awhile, at least two other committees (all degreed librarians part of the Ref / Instruction Department) had written previous year's applications, and we were sort of left-fielding it from the Access Department spurred on by all we'd been doing with A of R programming.   Our then-Dean of the Library joked that it took a poet to win the damn thing.   And yes, I would think, poets can do a lot things where others have failed.

(I ended that paragraph with a wish that poets could change the mind of the American people and make real change, but this flashed in my mind, so maybe they can (maybe not a poet, but songsters are sometimes as close as we can get in the American imagination..so I'll take it..)

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

crypto zine fun

In honor of the upcoming Little Indie Press Fest, I put some effort into getting a new Chicago Cryptozoological  Society zine up and about and ready for it's very own little table Friday. The crypto zines went over really well at Zine Fest back in the spring and hopefully will catch some interest this week. While I still find it disheartening that fun little 20 minute creations capture the public imagination far more than lit/art zines that took years or months to manifest, I still find them fun to do (and the cryptotaxonmy project was a little of both--serious artwork, but a fast little zine creation.)

Monday, October 08, 2018

I will be on hand with lots of dancing girl press  and Chicago Crytozoological goodies at the latest incarnation of the Little Indie Press Festival during the Columbia Arts Crawl this Friday. It's the 4th Year of the fest and looking to be one of our best yet..there will be art, books, zinemaking and more!


Columbia College Library and The Aesthetics of Research Project, which is dedicated to exploring the role libraries play in the creative process, announces its annual Little Indie Press Festival on Friday, October 12, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. (during the Columbia Weekend Crawl).

Participating artists/presses/orgs include:
Valerie von rubio
Jennifer Sauzer
Sarah Suzanne Noble Artist/Writer
Zach Bartz
Bleh the Buddha
Another Chicago Magazine
Lya Finston
dancing girl press & studio
JJ McLuckie
The Publishing Lab
The Chicago Crytozoological Society
The Cluster Project
& more...

Featuring many manifestations of independent publishing, including indie literature, comics, zines, visual and book arts, the festival seeks to bring together all manner of publishers artists, & orgs. under one roof to celebrate the spirit of independent publishing, including a publisher’s showcase, word games, readings, zine making, and more.

notes & things | 10/8/2018

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Another week under wraps and another about to begin.  I spent this weekend resting up and getting ready to charge into this weeks Little Indie Press Fest preparations.   Saturday, I zoned out and did some work on a longer blog post about personal style for next Friday, but not much else but watching AHS: Asylum and sleeping til well after noon. Yesterday was a little writing and some blurbage for someone else's forthcoming book, and a post about the newest zine offering, but otherwise a slow day.  I meant to work on some paintings, but wasn't quite feeling it yet.  Next weekend, I'll be in Rockford for a party and some belated family b-day celebrations, and am probably set to pick up some weekend shifts, so my free weekends may be numbered.

The exhibit hanging and Beautiful Monstrosities discussion panel went off swimmingly, with some good discussion on whether or not it's necessary that female monsters be likeable in some way--which I hope to pick up again in our film panel at the end of the month. Next week is our mask-making workshop, followed by trivia night the following one, and converging the last week with that panel and the  Halloween Public Domainia screening to round out the month.  I know I will blink and it will be over, and who knows how November will feel, how I will handle things mentally, that unsettling month every year all my life for no real reason and now this new terrible anniversary.

I am pre-self-medicating my mood with some more shopping--some leopard ballet flats, a buttery soft flannel for layering, a new plaid fur-collared coat spotted in the window of Forever 21. But all it just leaves me is poorer and with lots  things I love, but don't really need, which maybe is enough (and probably better for me than eating my feelings, which was happening for a bit there earlier in the year). There is always the ability to drown myself in work and it helps--my writing and the press, things for the library.  But sometimes even those things feel a little smothering. Fall is always like this as the days get shorter, but I worry about this year in particular more than others past. 

Sunday, October 07, 2018

the science of impossible objects

I've been planning for the past couple of weeks to write a few notes on the new zine project.   They began with an idea for a future project scrawled in my notebook after I stumbled on a funny pinterest board--a woman with a  remarkably stylish imaginary daughter.  It was pure comedic genius. It took me a while to actually sit down with it in earnest, but this past April during NAPOWRIMO, I tuned my attention specifically to that project and began making some progress, particularly since I intended those to be included in a longer mss. I was working on about mothers and daughters, something that was finally taking shape after losing my own mother (and includes the hunger palace and plump pieces)

"Sometimes you have to call it what it is, blind luck. that what tethers the body never took.  Never shook itself free of the tree."

As for real kids, I had long ago made the decision I wouldn't be a slave to biology, that if, in my 20's, I didn't want them, there was always time to adopt or foster if I was too old by the time I had anything like the stability (romantic, fiscal, mental, career) necessary to do it well. By the time I hit my late thirties, I pretty much decided child-rearing wasn't for me.  Perhaps I had too good of a childhood and never felt like I, in turn, could provide someone else what my parents had provided me.   Also that I wasn't prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to the endeavor.  It wasn't a hard choice, and there was a bit of waiting for signs (getting accidently pregnant would have been a big one..lol..) to see if I was being too hasty, but none came. By the time I reached 40, people stopped expecting any of the usual things from me like traditional marriage and kids, and kinda stopped asking.  

Despite my intentions to delve into what it means to be a intentionally childless woman in a world that finds this anomaly, it actually wound up being less about that and more about creativity and what little control we have over things we make,kind of like kids once they are out in the world.  I often joke that my books are my children, and this project gave some tangibility to that without me even setting out to do that at first. So in a way it became much more meta than intended and I liked it even more for that. 

I really wasn't thinking about visual elements when it was written, or even if there would be any. but in early May, I started a series of collages that somehow developed into what would accompany the text pieces and a zine project was born. Somehow, they were perfect--a little creepy, a little haunting.Probably just like any child I would have--real or imagined.

(to get a sampling of the poems, check out this issue of Occulum, where a chunk appeared or the White Stag editor's issue)

Friday, October 05, 2018

friday obsessions | I came, I saw, I bought

This week marked a little more bank account cushioning in the week since I've avoided eating out since the semester began  (barring coffee and my usual breakfast--my one allowance.)  A rare feat since I inevitably cave to pizza and tacos at least once a week or wind up going on an occasional Friday.  But as such, and since money burns a hole in my pocket pretty quickly, I chose to hit up my other vice and pick up a few things I'd been wanting.  Ever since I finished re-watching the last season of Sex in the City, I'd been obsessed with Carrie's stripey Paris outfit, and though I have a couple more summery tees sporting stripes, I wanted some sort of sweater or cardigan and a short sleeve tee for layering, both of which I hunted up on ebay and got for a combined under $30.


In my hunt for stripes, I stumbled across this shirt, and since I've been listening exclusively to Stevie in the studio for the past couple of weeks (and in honor of AHS) I of course had to buy it. (also because it will look amazing with the velvet green jacket I bought a couple of years ago that barely goes with anything else, but I love it madly. ) It's also art nouveaux-ish Stevie, so it was extra enticing...

Image result for stevie nicks t-shirt torrid

I was lying in bed another morning and thumbing through Pinterest and spotted this dress which I had been watching since summer and praying it would go on sale, and realized it had, almost by like half, and amazingly was still available in my size.  I have three of this style from Modcloth and love them (a polkadot, a black, and a berry-colored one.)  I've learned that if I love a dress and it's flattering, to buy as many colors as I can since it eliminates the fashion error rate.