Friday, August 31, 2007

whine enough and ye shall recieve...

I had an awful morning,…was blasted out of bed after only five hours of sleep with a nasty headache. Spent nearly two hours in a hellish holiday weekend commute on the bus, most of it on Lake Shore Drive, which sort of looked something like a parking lot. I was almost an hour late to work so was starving and had no time to grab some breakfast thus was blood sugar cranky and listless.

BUT, lo and behold, I opened up my e-mail a while ago and Ghost Road wants to publish girl show. I had sent it to a couple of contests I didn't win in the spring, and recently the Four Way open reading period (which I had to withdraw it from this afternoon), but I was really sort of hoping Ghost Road would like it since they completely rock and did such an awesome job with my first book. So I'm totally blown out of the water at my good fortune, despite my crappy morning. It will be out sometime in 2009, which is a good timeline since I'll be hawking my Dusie Book most of next year (it's due out December abouts..).

I was whining ridiculously to everybody just yesterday that it seemed nearly all the poems (all but 6) had appeared somewhere, and now I only had to worry about the book as a whole. It is nice that it was my thesis mss, sort of puts closure on the whole process of working on it for the last year, grinding my teeth, spending a good part of the fall and spring endlessly re-ordering and tweaking. It's assured it's place out there in the world at some point now and I'm, except for maybe some minor fine tuning, finished with messing with it endlessly....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Finally got my hands on the article and am pleased to no end to be among such awesome company as Big Game, Noemi, Tarpaulin Sky, and others. Of course I always, with interviews, have that "Did I actually say sounds really lame.." reflex, but it's not so bad. So far, I was wondering whether the appearance would have an impact on submissions (side note: reading period ends tomorrow, so all you gals who are holding out better get cracking!) or on sales somehow. But sales have been pretty good lately anyway, and we're still averaging about 1-2 subs per day. What I have noticed is a handful of fiction and novel queries by people, men and women, who apparently don't read guidelines at all. WTF? I responded politely to the first couple, but now I'm just hitting the delete button. Maybe I'm being a hardass, but if they can't pay attention enough to know we only publish poetry, I can't pay attention enough to read their query. So there.

In other, nicer news, the weather here is gorgeous, and cool and clear after being so yukky earlier this week. I've blissfully had acceptances from La Petite Zine and Past Simple in my inbox the past few days and am waiting on word from a few other places on the last of the girl show poems (now if someone would only take the whole book..). My weekend plans include moving my cool weather clothes to the front of the bedroom closet and clearing out all the crap in the entryway closet to make room for some press supplies and stuff that's in the way out here. Tonight, I need to assemble some chaps I'm running low on, and fill some orders (if I owe you something, it hould be on it's way tomorrow, or at the latest Monday.)

I am also in the midst of a Dark Shadows marathon (the early 90's version), which I remember obsessing over as a teenager. Not exactly high quality television, but fun nevertheless. It reminds me of laying on the living room floor at 16 in front of the tv, struggling through my AP bio homework while trying to watch it. (At some point, it kept being pre-empted by news coverage after some Republican dumbass decided to get us into a war nobody really wanted....ahem...) and was nixed. I was trying to figure out where I'd seen one of the actresses (the first women to get killed/ turned into a vampire) on DS and realized she also played a character on one of my more recent trashy television habits, Port Charles, which I was hooked on in 2002-2003 right before it was canceled. Also very bad, but also about vampires, so there you go...

Monday, August 27, 2007

press odds & ends and cats out of bags

1)This week, Kristina Marie Darling's The Traffic in Women is featured at Sharkforum. Last week so was Erin Bertram's Alluvium. (Thanks Simone!)

2) There are now boatloads of new things in the etsy shop, including new postcards, gift boxes and buttons. go see here. All proceeds go toward supporting next year's ever growing list of titles, so they're not only fun, but for a good cause.

3) Also, I'm finally ecstatic to report dgp is featured in the latest Poets & Writers in their section on small presses, seriously the sort of attention I never even imagined our tiny little handmade operation getting. While I suddenly feel the need to straighten our skirts and hide the beer bottles now that everyone is looking this way, this is such great exposure for our titles, our authors, the press in general, that I'm beside myself. I answered Kevin Larimer's questions a couple months ago, but wanted to keep a lid on it til I was sure we'd make the issue. I haven't yet got my hands on it --my copy usually arrives about a week later than everyone else's, but I might sneak off to a bookstore and grab a few tomorrow. Of course, I realize greater exposure will most likely compound my situation below, but I can take it. Bring it on.


I have been poring through the latest dgp submissions since I got back and it's tough. So much good stuff. So many hard decisions. I have about 4-5 slots left and about 15 manuscripts at the top of my list, any of which I would love to publish. Probably another 20 that, completely engaging, competent and publishable, that I would take in a heartbeat if given unlimited resources. Add in another 70 or so that didn't make the first cut here, and it's chaos.

Today, I'm amazed by the bulk of work flowing my way from people who's writing I've never encountered before. I usually don't solicit much in the form of manuscripts, except maybe locally, but I've had the luck this year of three poets I don't even know who I WOULD solicit out of the blue sending stuff.
We don't tend to get a lot of junk, which is good since I don't have to wade through it to find the good stuff, but bad because it's easy to say no to something awful than to waver endlessly over manuscripts I can't fit in, yet want to publish nevertheless.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wisconsin was pretty much rain, rain, and more rain. I thus spent most of my time lounging around the hotel room and the indoor pool rather listlessly, watching bad tv (endless eipsodes of What Not to Wear )and reading. Then there were a couple days in Rockford with much the same weather, an early Labor Day cookout yesterday, and finally, I'm back and settled in at home. Of course, from the looks of the numerous downed trees along LSD, the city took quite a beating a couple of days ago. Out near my parent's house and all the way in, lots of swollen rivers and flooding. Plus, everything has that overripe feeling that it always does in August, all weedy, buggy, and grown over. I'm ready for fall.

No doubt this week at work things will start picking up--an increase of traffic and people getting ready for classes starting next Tuesday. I'm tremendouly relieved to not be joining them for the first time in a few years, though the past few nights I've still been having those recurring dreams where you know you're registered for classes you haven't been attending at all, and even worse, don't remember where or when they take place. These always leave me feeling sort of panicky and out of control.


There's a poem up this past week at Sharkforum from Erin Bertram's Alluvium.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I'll be here for the next few days, land of pine trees, beautiful lakes, and apparently, plagues of madness.

Be good.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Today, a grey stormy day. I played hooky from work, got into a little delightful scandalous behavior in the afternoon with R. Still, I'm feeling that anxiety I always do right around the time I have to leave my apartment for awhile. I'm a terrible homebody most of the time--like to have constant access to things I might need--supplies, books, notebooks. Of course, one of the pleasures I guess of vacation is leaving all this and their inherent stress behind. Who knew I'd need a vacation more from my fun pursuits than from my actual job. I'm afraid I've become a bit of a workaholic at times. I always sneer at the corporate crowd and their crackberries and gadgets they can't seem to let go of on vacation, but is it really any worse than the person whose always writing, always plotting new ideas. Always notebook in hand, or glued to the laptop. Who puts off hanging out with friends (or good god even SEX) because of writing/editing-related things. Who sometimes can't sleep because of the excitement, the racing thoughts and plans and poems.


I do need a break. I suppose working 40 hours a week, putting out a chap a month for dgp, editing wicked alice, finishing the MFA, and on average, about a book a year when it comes to my own writing can kind of make a girl a little manic. Not that I want or intend to stop doing all those things, I just need to SLOW DOWN a little and stop making so many infernal lists and getting frustrated when plans are thwarted.

Case in point, I am still waiting for delivery on a couple things for the gift boxes and the postcards, it looks the etsy update may have to wait until I get back into town. I was stressing over this earlier, for no reason other than my self-imposed deadlines, and finally jut had to let it go. I did finish the new andromedas this evening so now there are plenty. Of course when I get back into town there will be things to be laid out, submissions to read, projects to be tended to. It's exhausting to think about. I just need to trick myself into NOT thinking about it for a week or so.

Monday, August 13, 2007


I realized as I was filling orders for dgp that I was down to my last four andromedas, and now have only two remaining that are available (one of which is stuck in a display case until September). Not to fret, however, because luckily I initially had materials for up 100, so I'm planning at least another 20 (#'s 61-80.) I started stamping envelopes and sorting postcards this morning, and tonight will get to printing stuff out. The most time consuming thing will be covering the matchbooks and cutting. It's very cool that they've been moving at such a good rate, though.

I managed to finish almost all of the latest chaps over the weekend, so that's done. Also the boxes are pretty much done until I update the shop later this week. I'm waiting on some new postcards of the Aviary Series and some envelopes. Tonight I really need to see to the laundry and the general mess. Really I just want to crawl into bed. I was wide-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning at 6:30 AM. Even made it out the door early and took the scenic route walking downtown.. But now I'm seriously dragging.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

sneak peak

One of the things I've been working on for etsy unveiling in next couple weeks are these poet/writer gift boxes (see more here). Each (depending on the size of the box) contains an assortment of postcards and notecards, a mini-journal, poet pins (here Sexton, Plath, Millay, but I also have HD, Stein, and Loy.) Plus various other supplies (pencils, clips) and surprises. I was initially going to collage the cigar boxes, but they're just too pretty as they are, so I'm leaving them as/is. They will probably go for around $15-20.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I've been rather busy this week trying to get as much done as I'm heading out of town next weekend and next week, since I'm back to working 9-5, I'll no doubt be cranky and zombie-like. Have been finishing up edits on Alphabet, trying to figure out the logistics of the broadside idea, making new things for etsy, and arranging readings. Plans are in the works for a dgp/Switchback Books shindig in February to celebrate all the new releases. Plus something in November for the broadsides and Kristy O's chap I think. Stay tuned for details.

Otherwise, I've been doing some actual work work (the horror!) at work to get ahead of schedule for when I'm gone, and mostly watching movies at night. A documentary of Slasher films, Going to Pieces, and Kamikaze Girls, which was a fun little Japanese movie. I went to The Cafe on Tuesday, and read some poems in the open-mic segment, new stuff sort of chosen on the fly, all of which felt odd coming out of my mouth, which does make the newer poems feel different somehow...

This weekend is printing and folding and making buttons (I still have an uneasy peace with the button-maker. One in five winds up botched) I actually want to get all the new stuff done before I head out (I initially said September, but I'm impatient.)

Monday, August 06, 2007

I have been awash in fun ideas the last week or so for the press and the etsy shop, including little handmade journals, new postcards, and a few other surprises coming in September. Also I've been thinking, since I've been on a designing binge, maybe it's time for some broadsides of local women poets. You can't seem to swing a stick without hitting one these days (a poet that is) and I feel like I could do more somehow than just the few chapbooks we manage to publish by local authors. Maybe in sets of three once or twice a year. Some nice paper, maybe some woodblock printing or linocuts. Oh, the hotness.

In other news, speaking of hotness, it's ridiculously so outside. It's supposed to last the week I hate to say it, but I'm getting antsy for September and October. As much as I pine for summer all winter and spring, when it gets muggy like this, I start wanting fall. Of course I hate November and the ensuing five more months of winter, but what can you do?

I am waiting for edits on Alphabet for M and plan to print them over the weekend if all goes well. This weekend was spent making journals, some collaging ,cleaning and organizing the kitchen and studio, and dying some more slips a lovely pink and dark brown, which are I'm convinced the most comfy thing to sleep in these days with the heat.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Now not only is my printer on occasion being difficult, but now it's trying to kill me.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

I’ve always loved the pink building that’s just a few blocks from my apartment. Apparently, it is the only remainder of an entire pink lake front resort that used to cater to the rich and famous back in the days when it was actually..well…on the lake. Nowadays, LSD cuts it off from the water, but everytime I pass it, I can’t help but think it’s a little bit Miami or LA amidst the hulking grey shoulders of it’s neighbors and it makes me happy, especially in the winter. I’d never been inside until yesterday when we stopped in for lunch at the old style soda fountain/florist/gift shop on the corner. Now it’s all condos upstairs, but they rehabbed the stucco a few years ago back to its original shade of pink that had faded from the orginal. The building's story was one of the first bits of neighborhood history I leaned on PBS when I moved here, along with the weird creepy story of the girl who was abducted from one of the mansions a couple block south and her body chopped up and found in the sewers that run between Winthrop and Kenmore, ie. right behind my building.

As always I am a fount of useless and disturbing information.

Friday, August 03, 2007

coyotes of lake shore drive

I've considered this as possible poem title before, but this was the first time I actually saw one on my way to work. Just casual as can be trodding along the road through the open field just north of Diversey Harbor. Apparently, they're trying to catch them these days, since they're getting to be a rather common sight in LP. (See here , here, and here.) Aww so cute, but apparently not quite so cuddly.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

three good things

1. Low-budget horror movies. After a slew of bad zombie movies that looked as if they'd been filmed in a film student's backyard (including one that featured Ron Jeremy), I've actually come upon some rather good horror the last week or so. The Plague, which is sort of a zombie movie, but not quite (think zombies meet Village of the Damned), was surprisingly good considering it was a straight to dvd offering. It's somehow affiliated with Clive Barker, which might explain it. Tuesday night I watched Dead Silence and Population / 436. The first, given my ordinary heebie jeebies when it comes to ventriloquists dummies, was already scary in it's premise, but excellent in its execution, (decent script, acting, visuals) and sadly unlike a lot of horror films I watched, managed to nail its ending dead-on. This I watched with my hands ready to cover my eyes through a good deal of the movie, and I'm pretty jaded about these sort of things. The second, after the first, was a little bit anti-climactic, but reminded me of a better version of The Wicker Man and/or The Village. Last night's offering was Venom, again zombies, but this time voodoo zombies.

2. I just ordered a copy of Eireann Lorsung's Music for Landing Planes By, but I saw a sampling from this book on Verse Daily a couple days ago and can't wait to get my hot little hands on it. Not only do the poems look wonderful and it has one of the most beautiful covers I've seen, but the author has a blog and a rather scrumptious etsy shop. Oh my, the skirts.

3. How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine Ever. Got this in the mail a couple days ago. I admit I came to Sassy sort of late in the game, not really until late 1991 when the magazine had been around for a couple years already. When I worked on the highschool paper, there were three of us in the editorial pages staff and we like to model our style and content on Sassy's, lots of ripping on banal teen culture, editorial self-referencing, pseudo-intellectual posturing, but occasional serious stuff..(I had a tendency to write overzealous environmental pieces, another girl first amendement exposes.) It was all terrible, glorious fun. Occasionally we got into trouble for something or other we'd written, but the English department was great about backing us up.

This book sort of posits Sassy as the anti-Seventeen, but actually I read both in tandem at least as far in as my first year of college. (I used to eagerly await and then drool over the thicker back to school issue of the latter every August..) Of course I also secretly watched "90210" (and subsequently "Melrose Place") religiously--very uncool. I would say, however, that the Sassy aesthetic, the culture it espoused was pretty influential on the sort of music I started listening to, the clothes I started wearing, other random bits of culture that informed my life, especially that last year of highschool and first couple of years of college. My sister, four years younger than me, was probably influenced moreso. This was the early nineties, pre-internet and the culture available was pretty much mall and pop song driven, especially if you were in the midwest, which always seems to be at least two years behind the rest of the country. I was also one of those kids tragically without cable most of my teen years, no MTV (probably why one of my guilty pleasures these days is watching old videos on YouTube.) I went through a bad hair-band phase at about 15, but then sort of flailed until more indie music started infiltrating mainstream culture, which hits it's peak with the grunge thing. You know what was out there beyond what was on the radio station, you had to know what to look for, and Sassy was excellent for providing an alternate version of teen life that wasn't so much focused on boys and clothes as Seventeen

But then really, who are we kidding, it was sort of still all about boys and clothes. We are talking teenagers after all. Just with Sassy cool scruffy musician boys and vintage-inspired clothes, but alongside more serious topics regarding feminism and sexuality. I think it was the first place I encountered women who weren't afraid to label themselves the F word. Weren't afraid to be smart and interested in things beyond, or at least in addition to boys and clothes.