Thursday, May 31, 2012
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Today there is technological related crankiness, but also a new poem and a couple of titles for future poems. Also, a rejection (for beautiful, sinister individual pieces) on the heels of a gleeful acceptance for the JF series (more on this as I know it.) Also lattes and blueberry muffins and hard boiled eggs for lunch. We have been speculating over zombies at work, because what else do people who work in libraries do in the summer when there are no students and a limited number of things to do? Perhaps we are just waiting for an apocalypse that will make all those zombie movies incredibly useful research and not just a fun diversion. All day, I have been annoyed by having to wear a sundress with a navy background with a black cardigan. I am annoyed that this is a problem that a) seems at all significant when the apocalypse may be nigh, or b) that I feel a need to voice it. But there it is.
Monday, May 28, 2012
I also used to carry around a big envelope box with all my drafts and writing stuff, which I would take outside and pore over magazines deciding where to submit really crappy work (of course, I was 20, so I thought everything I was writing, mostly slender little social message poems, were absolute genius.) This was pre-internet, mostly pre-e-mail, not to mention all of my drafts were typewritten on the electric machine I bought with my h.s. graduation money, every page clotted with dabs of correction fluid from my shoddy typing skills. It was basically that way every summer during high school and college. Luckily, my undergrad years were pretty much paid for, so besides some departmental work during the year and helping my mom out with chores in the summer, I had a little spending money and never had to get an actual job, so summers were like these wide swathes of free time during which I read and wrote, slept til noon and stayed up all night. I was spoiled completely, and of course, I miss those days sometimes, that time and freedom from responsibility.
Even my Depaul years, when I was living off loans and credit cards for 2 years, I remember lots of anxiety over never having enough money during the summer and spending alot of it in the country with my parents. Even my first job for the school district, though the pay was awful, allowed me the summers off. Ever since, I've worked year round and definitely wish I'd been more productive during all those summers. Now as I rush from job to studio, to home, then back again, trying to write and create and edit in the hours between, I love taking my vacations in the summer and pretending, for a little while, that I have these endless stretches of time even if they are finite.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Another blissful three day weekend, and one that kicked off with a couple of awesome nights out with friends, one to celebrate graduations in the archives department, another the usual every other Friday night margarita outing, this time out on the rooftop deck at Cesar's, which made it really feel like summer (well it was a little chilly, but eating outside to me equals summer nevertheless.) It was a weird week at work, full of college-wide administrative bullshit, and I was glad to end it on an upnote. This weekend again I plan to do much of nothing, maybe some writing and perhaps some more little organization projects, maybe some reading. I am getting groceries tomorrow, so perhaps a little cooking (I've been looking to make penne rosa again, but never have all the ingredients.) We will be open til 7 again in the library this week so I'll be a bit more back to normal in terms of schedule. Otherwise, there are books to lay out, readings to plan, and manuscripts to read, and my own work to fiddle with. I'm hoping to finish off the current series, the house and bee poems before the end of June and submit it somewhere, also perhaps another short project that is forming at the back of my head. Stay tuned...
Thursday, May 24, 2012
I've been working on scanning some of the second batch of shipwreck collages, determining the order of the text pieces and how to best mix them with the visual pieces, getting ready to start laying them out. I'm still hoping to have them ready for Printers Row the second week of June, at which we'll be holding down a half table in the City of Chicago's tent with all sorts of other small presses. We will have the usual chaps, zine things, art prints, paper goods, and hopefully maybe a few other little bookish lovelies (our postage stamp pendants always go over really well every year). The book fair always feels like the official kick-off for summer, so hopefully there will be lots of sunshine and not so much rain (the anathema to all things papery, but rain seems to come every year..)
As for new poemy projects, I've turned my attentions back to dreams about houses and bees series and submitting things--(the JF poems, pieces and the entirety of beautiful, sinister). I'd like to make it a point to submit something somewhere at least once a week, and when I'm submitting regularly, I always seem to be driven to write more, so we'll see how that goes.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Monday, May 21, 2012
This weekend I had a little time to think about the larger manuscript that may turn out to be book #4 and what goes into it. I'm still at work on the final section which will probably be a chap as well long before the full length is pulled together and published, but it was the havoc poems that caught my attention and which I kept coming back to.
I try, at least somewhat, to make each series of poems different in subject matter or style from the ones that precede it, as much as I can, which is difficult when my obsessions and issues are working themselves out poem by poem and piece by piece. I feel like the first three longer books were working those issues out more indirectly and through the lens of narrative or I guess, conventions, but havoc is probably the first book I could say really captures a certain period of my life from say 2006-2010, a time when I was finishing my MFA, had some non-serious, but rather draining & persistant health problems (mono, followed by a string of various viruses that basically made me sick for a whole year), and as the book covers, some unfortunately bad relationships (well one main one in particular but it gets mixed up with some other minor flings).
Everytime I read the havoc poems straight through, I'm like "geesh..that's fucked up.." but then I remember all of the really good things that happened in those years--actually finishing my MFA (despite basically sleeping through my Chaucer lit class beause of the mono that last semester). Also, my first and then my second book coming out, all sorts of smaller projects. dgp finally getting on it's feet, flourishing, and moving into the studio space. It was a whirlwind of a period of time and it felt good to put these poems into world over the winter, even though I was probably writing a bit less during that period than the years before.
I was also more guarded about this work than I had ever been before, more reluctant to send them out or read them aloud. At the time I boiled it down to post-MFA exhaustion and feeling like there'd been too many people in my head and mucking about in my poems the previous four years. Except in a couple of cases, I pretty much only submitted them when solicited, but they still wound up in a lot of great publications. As a whole, they were this unrully mess of prose and verse and so very, I guess, raw that I was a little embarassed by them. It took a while before that awkwardness eased and I could figure out what I wanted to do with them.
I was also trying to decide how I wanted to bridge the gap between creation and readership and how I wanted that to look for my work, whether traditional publishing structures satisfied my needs anymore in getting work in the hands of readers. (especally after Ghost Road, who published my first book pretty much folded and canceled my contract for girl show.) Luckily the latter found a good home with BLP, but I still very much want to issue my own work, at least when it comes to chaps and smaller book objects. Maybe not everything, but some things. There is this great excitement in seeing something through from conception to writing to designing to creating that I love very much, and that is what happened with havoc and no doubt will be the same with the shipwrecks project, which I am also very exited about (and which are a whole other set of obsessions and boy drama though not so fucked up this time.)
Friday, May 18, 2012
*organize bookshelves and art supplies in my dining room.
* sleep until noon every single day
*make raspberry thumbprint scones and lemon cupcakes
* read The Monstrumologist
* watch more episodes of Drop Dead Diva on Netflix
*drink peach and lychee iced tea
*go on a second date six months after the first date (long story)
* remaining load of laundry
* trim Max's claws lest I be bludgeoned by overly playful kitten
* walk over to the beach
* write some new poems for the house/bee project.
* check out out a couple thrift/antique stores that are new in my neighborhood
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Monday, May 14, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
I have been slowly pushing through this week despite the wonky schedule I'm working during the summer break and general exhaustion. I do have a bit more time to finish things at the studio in the evening, which is nice, but that still means I am getting home close to 11pm most nights, to bed maybe by 2, and then up again at 7am. With the extra time, I have managed to close up the backlog of orders that have been slamming me lately, as well as have been working steadily on new titles that should have been out a couple months ago. Also, some lingering projects of my own, including the mini-print sets for botanica automata, which have been sitting uncut by my paper trimmer for months unfinished. There is still the fashion postcards, for which I am still searching for some cool packaging, and after that, I will probably be focusing on the shipwreck book, which is both text and art, and for which I am securing the most gorgeous midnight blue cardstock. I'm still hoping to have it ready for Printers Row, as well as another event the following weekend I am still working on setting up (we have some poets who will be ambling into town that weekend.)
Thursday, May 03, 2012
Tuesday, May 01, 2012