Monday, September 08, 2014

With my return to my regular evening library schedule and my slightly more ample hours in the studio, I have been much more organized and productive the past week than the entirety of summer.  I don't dare say I am caught up, but the state of "caught up" is a little brighter a chimerae on the horizon than the past few months.  As such, with book stuff more on the orderly side of disorderly, I can turn back to both my own projects (laying out ghost landscapes, getting salvage ready for submission,  preliminary designs on the next zine project dreams about houses and bees.) Also, all those new crafty things I continually mean to get to, but that keep getting piled under the deluge of book and other business.

There are also library/curatorial things afoot that bring some of our CC alumni/dgp authors into the spotlight, which will have us be throwing up some work by Abigail Zimmer, M Forajter, and Jessi Lee Narducci for the impending manifestation of the Aesthetics of Research Series, along with an ample list of their inspirations, research materials, and the general muck from which creation springs.  (We'll be doing more of this in the future, as well as featuring some other alumni, faculty & other CC community folks with various writing projects, both in the arts series and as part of a future blog interview series.)

The weather is turning, and promising a cooler weekend (during which I will be catching some paternal family reunion action in Rockford complete with cookouts and fire pits and s'mores aplenty..(this is the local-bound version of the usual Wisconsin trip, which didn't quite happen this year, so we're staying close to home.) I've already done the wardrobe switch from sundress to sweater dresses (and corduroy!  corduroy!) and am actually looking forward to some autumnalness.





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Monday, September 01, 2014




September already, and I am ready for the dive back into the real world.  I am trying to stave off the inevitable panic, which should have me all aflutter for at least a few days.  To sort of just relax into things rather than too much fretting and futter.  In the studio, there are still some new author copies to get out and a bunch of orders to get packed up.  There are manuscripts to read and things to submit and plans for new paper goods to get underway (including the above postcard from my unusual creatures series and a bunch of new notecard designs .) In the library, there are no doubt stacks of new textbook orders and reserve requests and general new semester busyness.  At home, grocery orders and fall cleaning and putting away summer clothes (there will be another major switchout in early October, but I like to get the really summer stuff put away after I stop wearing them--September is usually still warm enough for a lot of summery dresses to get one last wear...)

September and I still get excited about back to school and treated myself to new nailpolish and legal pads and scented gel pens in the spirit. (also some new clothes--plaids and fall florals and sweater dresses, oh my!)   A couple days back,  also hit up my favorite apple orchard for cider donuts and raspberry salsa and spotting some adorable baby goats.  Though it was still technically summer and not many apple varieties yet picked, it was rainy, clouded over, and autumn-like.  Yesterday, the annual family Labor Day fish fry , and while I don't really eat fish, there were burgers and taco dip and the giant pitcher of hurricanes.  (hurricanes I may have sampled a little much of and that left me rum-drunk and a little drowsy.) But while we say goodbye to summer, sometimes I have to wonder where it went.



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Saturday, August 30, 2014

poetry odds & ends

*   We're reaching the final couple days in dgp's open submission period and already there is so much goodness in my inbox, but there is always room for more (particulary for strange little books).  I've already made it into June and accepted a few things for early next year, but I plan to dig in as soon as I am back in the city to flesh out the rest of the year.  I'm hoping to have all responses out by the end of the month.

*  A piece from girl show was featured over at Verse Daily earlier in the week--actually the title poem and the first piece I wrote for the collection, so it seems especially fitting. It was the piece that set the tone and the intention, and while it took a bit for the book in it's entirety to reach it's fruition, it's sort of the core of it.

*In other book news, just last week I sent a finalized version of major characters in minor films off to Sundress to work their magic on..the book is due out in December, which I realize will be here before we know it.  This books release feels a bit different than the others, mostly because perhaps it's a little more autobiographical, a little uncomfortably close to home (which is odd since it's my fifth full-length, and you would think by now that I'd already have written that sort of book, but really, I haven't.) the fever almanac maybe comes closest, but still, that was more about creating stories, which is what I have done with every book since.  I've eagerly put all my books in everyone I knows hands without batting an eyelash, but MCMF makes me feel a bit more vulnerable and a little more reluctant to have people I know in real life knowing that much about me.  But then "Everyone has a secret life, even you James Franco.." so really I should just get over it.

*In other, still miasmic and less formed book news, salvage is almost ready to go out into submission to couple places.  There is a lot more me in this book in places, but also a fair bit of storytelling depending on which section you happen to wander into, but there are mermaids and towns at the bottoms of lakes and surreal rural landscapes and strange illnesses. This is perhaps my most "midwestern" book, moreso than even the fever almanac, or maybe more that this book goes deeper into the things that surface in that first book, draws them out and digs around in them. The other nearly formed mss...good girls guide to the end of the world is whole other beastie of a different persuasion, but I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the year.







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Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I find myself in the midst of a vacation that has so far included much weekend boozy revelry in Iowa, some bargain cheese & dessert shopping in Wisconsin, and some napping and used book procuring in Rockford (mostly trashy mysteries I intend on reading during the rest of my week off.)  I left the city in a swirl of paper and staples and will return there Tuesday (and also to the first day of classes and no doubt a mile high stack of new ordered titles for reserves, but I am taking it easy while I can.  The week still promises some more napping, a trip to the apple orchard, some lunch/shopping plans with my aunts, and some cookout action for Labor Day.  I am trying to hold onto this last bit of summer, even if it has been rather gross and humid.  I've already noticed the increasing yellowness at the tops of trees, the change in light, my overwhelming urge for fall clothing aquisitions and new shiny pens and notebooks.


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Monday, August 18, 2014


This week will be all about finishing up a boatload of work, shipping off chaps & orders & various library-related minutiae.  Also, preparing the final version of major characters in minor films for Sundress. Also vet visits for Ezra and packing for a week away and saying farewell to summer (I won't be back in the city til after Labor Day when classes begin.)   I've been fighting off feelings of anxiety, mostly just general ARGH! feelings, so am happy to be getting away just a little bit.  Once I am back, I'll be plunged back into a busy library and my blissful evening schedule and hopefully that serious, productive fall attitude toward my writing. I've been submitting a little, but there's still the new full-length I want to send off, the other full-length to finish up.  Also, a couple of zine projects that are basically ready to go in terms of text and image, but I just need to design the actual format of them (one is a book of postcards, the other more just a regular stapled zine.) Plus the usual plans for paintings and new crafty things.


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Monday, August 11, 2014


So the moon is big, big tonight and so are my ambitions for the week, including making a huge batch of books for one of our authors, finishing a couple of layout and cover designs and assembling a substantial number of orders.  But it's rather serendipitous that I also, finally, finished the moon project, which is available here if you're not a subscriber to the zine series and would like to snag one.  There are only 25 of these lovelies, so they may go pretty fast.

In the shop, we also have our new sale option, handpicked selections from our list available for a limited time and comprised of books that complement each other in some way--thematically, voice, writer commonalities.  This month we're all about mermaids...It's a perfect chance to sample a wide span of what we publish and have published in previous years.  I have all sorts of ideas for further bundles, including vispo and sci-fi and fairytales and so much more...

I am still making my way through the submissions for next year and excitedly taking on a few more mss. for early next year.  We still have many more to read and a couple more weeks left in the open reading period.  As a teaser, I will tell you that we have at least a couple of new issues from past dgp-ers, including a collab manuscript by Kristina Marie Darling and Carol Guess (plus Kelly Magee) and a new offering from Melissa Eleftherion, so that alone should tell you the awesomeness coming your way.

It is still summer, and this week looks to be a tumultuous, but mildish week, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking a little forward to fall..


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Wednesday, August 06, 2014


 
 
In a recent interview I was doing, I was asked about the benefits of editing/running a press when it came to my own writing, and as I've been hitting the dgp submission pile and choosing the things I like, passing on the things I don't, I've been thinking how much working in a curatorial capacity has helped me articulate exactly what it is that a) I am looking to read and b) what I am looking to write. There are definitely certain sort of manuscripts, certain voices, certain tones of voice and authority that appeal to me as a reader.  They are other things that just don't do it for me.  Probably if you ask me HOW these things succeed with me and how they do not, I might not be able to tell you, but maybe moreso show you.

It's been  a busy week, though yesterday, many things seemed to thwart me in terms of poetry life (in this case my reading at Powell's, that I wasn't able to make) and the friction between poet things and  work/everyday life.  I was pissed all yesterday afternoon at certain circumstances, but I've been medicating with peach cobbler and raspberry salsa procured at the downtown farmers market yesterday. Also, with some cover designs that are under way for upcoming books.  We're in that downslide part of August now, especially with the milder, cooler, weather, where my mind start to turn to fall and back to schoolness.   I'll be taking some more time off work and making some days trips around and about and grasping that last bit of warmth before we hit labor day. 

Meanwhile, though, I am also up to my ears in library course reserves and general related busywork (pulling books and ordering things and coding my little colored coded spreadsheets) so I may be a little more silent here than usual since blog time is usually library downtime (and late August/early September is woefully bereft of downtime. )  This weekend, I am determined to get to the beach perhaps at least for a little while...



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