Sunday, January 25, 2015

sunday exploits



a sneak peak at some paintings that will be serving as the base for some collages..



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Thursday, January 22, 2015

This week, while we're almost at the end of it, has been better in weather and less achiness, smoother in terms of productivity.  I'm plowing through library tasks and gearing up for the new semester that starts Monday.  I'm getting closer to being caught up on orders and author copies.   I'm  feeling calmer and less overwhelmed. (Though productivity comes at a cost of creativity, so while I've put the writing and art on hold momentarily til the weekend, I've been indulging my artsiness via design projects for work and cover art for forthcoming books.)  This works for awhile, but then I start to get itchy.

I was watching the episode of Friends tonight while folding books and it was the episode where they all freak out over turning 30, which got me thinking about decades and spans of your life and whether your feel like your really an adult, like you've really accomplished the things you feel you should have at any given age. I've always considered my twenties as a time period I was laying a lot of groundwork..college, my first apartment out on my own, grad school, my first real job (well then my second real job that was much better.) I was also sort of laying the foundations of what I guess could be considered "voice" in my writing, or at least moving toward a range of voice.  While I completed that first rather awful manuscript  at 25 (in a rush, mostly because I felt like I needed to get that done before I hit that particular age) by the time I hit 30, things were beginning to happen--publications, prizes, finishing up what would become my first book, the fever almanac.  I was enrolled in the first year of my MFA program, was just starting the press, was just starting the poems that would become in the bird museum. Given all that, I was not all that fazed by that particular birthday, mostly becuase I felt like I had accomplished alot in my twenties and was pretty much doing exactly what I wanted with my life.  My thirties were definitely more of the same, more writing, more books, the wild and amazing success of the press and how its grown. Building on the groundwork I'd laid in my 20's and really coming into my own. Granted, my focus was on various things at various times---sometimes more on visual arts and crafty things, sometimes on the press, sometimes on my own writing.  I also feel like the last few years I've gotten more comfortable in my skin, in my sense of self, in articulating the things I want and value most.

While I've been 40 for nearly a year and am staring down 41, I'm both excited and terrified at what the next decade brings..I don't quite feel all mid-life crisis-y, but I feel like what I want more is balance, to not being careening from one thing to another, always that need to be more organized, more able to be in the moment and not be racing, both mentally and physically. To enjoy things and not being ticking off checkmarks on a list and allowing the unchecked to impede my enjoyment of the thing I am doing right now.  I still plan to work just a hard and do all the things, but to luxuriate in all the things I love much more than I have in the past.



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Thursday, January 15, 2015



Despite my ever persistent grumpiness, I have been quite productive this week, finishing up preparation for chaps from Lori Lamothe, Danielle Pieratti, and Alessandra Bava, which we all be out by early next week.  I've also been chopping away at spring reserves, feeling out programming and content for the Aesthetics of Research project, and doing some early prep work for AWP, including the above postcard design.  I've also been whittling away on a new shop layout that will be unveiled in February, as well as all sorts of new art & crafty goodness (all the things I bought supplies for making for the open studio I had to cancel when I was laid up in December--new jewelry, japanese paper flasks, cufflinks, paperweights, & more...)

Incidently the artwork above is part of the strange machine series, the poems for which I am humming along on (well, I call two writing days humming along).  The collages, along with the finalized text, will eventually be a zine eventually.  In other zine news, I am also proofing dreams about houses and bees which will be under construction soon. Stay tuned...


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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

parenthetically yours....



On and off achiness, plus winter blues has me feeling mean and sharp and hating nearly everyone I encounter. I'm mostly functional (it's about fucking time, after 2 months of hobbling), but terribly grumpy. It gets worse as the day goes on, both the ache and my mood, so it's best to catch me early in the day (and ideally before I go to work, which about 1-2 hours of good mood & semi-productivity.) But raspberry margaritas and Mexican food are on the horizon Friday, and a weekend which seems just a little lighter on the workload (which will hopefully allow me some poem-time and crafty goodness. ) Also, I finished drafting a poem today --the first of the year--(it's quieter at work, all my friends out for one reason or another, so everyone else just leaves me alone, which makes me more productive, sort of like the kid that gets moved to the corner of the classroom.) But then again, the lack of the usual comic relief seems to have made me even more grumpy about work things.

 I do realize there are too many parenthetical remarks in the paragraph above. Too much grumpiness. I spent last night staring at sundresses and summer ginghams on pinterest and while I can't afford to buy any (nor do I have room in my closet for them), they made me feel much better for a while. I also booked my hotel room for AWP, and it's actually a double and all they had left, so I will likely be looking for a roomie to split the cost if I can find one. Nothing fancy, and I'll be rocking it Holiday Inn style, but it looked clean and is like a block from the conference center, so I'm calling it a win. Train tickets are next and call me crazy after that whole avalanche/delay business last spring, but I like the train and am looking forward to it.


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Sunday, January 11, 2015

So, its Sunday, and despite the mercury climbing just a little bit, I am hibernating inside complete with mushroom pan pizza, a chenille throw, and all the episodes of Friends on Netflix. Yesterday, I put in some time at the studio still playing catch-up, which feels like it will be happening until just about forever. And of course, as soon as I get some of that under wraps, there is so much to do to get ready for AWP (which blissfully is a bit later this year). Not only will it give me more time, but the only place that winter could possibly seem more depressing than Chicago would be Minneapolis (though maybe Detroit gets that honor.) By April, things will be thawed and lovely and winter all but behind us. As, I am definitely moving a bit more on the spry side as well and may be up for some social action by the end of the week in the form of desperately needed margaritas.
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Thursday, January 08, 2015

It's cold.  Cold enough for morning raspberry hot chocolates and tights + knee socks + leggings.  Cold enough that I really would rather just stay on the warm bus all day and ride around rather than get off.  Cold enough I've been ordering sandwiches to be delivered rather than brave the elements to walk a couple blocks (even with my leg/back being relatively better than even a week ago.).

I realized how cranky I was this morning and feeling disjointed, and yes, part of it is the weather, and my back, and how goddamned difficult everything seems lately. But also that I haven't really been focusing on any writing projects since I returned from Christmas and that stuckness makes me frustrated (granted, I've been very busy playing catchup and just surviving.)  I start to get resentful of wasted time, of time doing things I don't want to do, dealing with people I don't want to deal with.   I start to get incredibly hermit-like and anti-social (well moreso than usual.)  A writing Kristy is a happy Kristy. Not-writing Kristy will bite your head off (especially if it happens to be winter and it's later in the day when her leg starts to ache).  Winter is another one of those things where the only way out is through, but I feel like I'm barely hanging on. I feel like I need to clear some mental space and  dig deep into a project and maybe emerge somewhere around March.  I just might do it.
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Tuesday, January 06, 2015

So Tuesday and I already I feel under the bus wheels of the week, a week which has so far included too much snow, too much cold, and pain in smaller increments than before but still there in bits and pieces.  Walking too much causes a dull ache that wears me out, as does sitting in chairs that are not the usual ones.  Bending & stairs, still shakey, but better than before.  I am pushing full steam ahead on getting the rest of the mid-December orders out and some author copies of the newest books, plus a couple of bigger orders.  I have a handful of  new titles all set to go after a couple tweaks, and then I'll be starting the last round of the layouts for 2014 books (and then after the layouts for the first titles of 2015 (one of which, Danielle Susi's The Month In Which We Were Born,  has already debuted on New Years Day.)   I also plan to send out my next bundle of zines to subscribers, which will include ghost landscapes and dreams about houses and bees and if I can get it done, a little something else...

I am trying to get back to feeling like I'm somewhat in control of my life and it's slow going, but hopefully I am getting there.  I felt like things were slipping out from under me all the latter half of the year, even before the health issues, so it may be a long road back to any sense of calm or order, to escape that pervading sense of panic..

Meanwhile I try to organize things with detailed tasks on postage notes that get moved around from day to day (I sort of adopted a new way of doing to-do lists early in November, and it was working til everything went to hell.)  I'll share pics and more details soon in another entry, though, because, despite losing a lot of time in November/December and moving through the tasks much more slowly, it really works rather well in keeping me at least semi-organized (or feeling semi organized)...



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