Thursday, July 26, 2012

productivity, or something like it

I've always noticed that I get far more done productivity wise when I actually have more to do.  Not only that I have more to do, but that I know that my time is far more limited and I have to push on through regardless of what else might be beckoning. 

Case in point, we are down a couple people at work and I've taken on a load of more responsibilities at least until we hire a replacement.  Right now, it's adding about 2 hours per day of work work (it won't always, but it's crunch time before the semester starts on course reserves).  As such, I have less time to tinker around with poetry/press related work while I'm officially on the clock.  But damn if I'm not moving at a slightly brisker pace on these things since I know I have really only about an hour after lunch to do them daily (not counting my evenings in the studio, which is mostly printing, assembling, and processing orders anyway.) I made a huge dent in reading manuscripts on Tuesday, dealing with wicked alice submissions, and will be finishing a couple layouts tomorrow afternoon.  I feel spare and organized and less overwhelmed.  I even managed to get mostly through everything I planned to do in the studio this week.  Of course, I sometimes hit a critical mass point and freak out and then get nothing done, but I'm trying to stave it off by scheduling my tasks on an hourly basis.

I am, however, really liking the way the new format at wicked alice allows me to accept work on a more rolling basis and not in huge chunks.  Since were updating constantly, it also probably gives us a little more room (I never liked issues that were too large, though we sometimes wound up doing them).  Plus I can keep up with submissions more readily than waiting to do them all at once like I usually wound up doing no matter how I planned otherwise.

I even managed to submit some more work from the dreams about houses and bees project and am considering the format and length of the project since I'm writing sort of aimlessly and erratically thus far on it.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


It has been an eventful week amidst the usual press and library work, including a whirlyball outing(basically a basketball/lacrosse hybrid played in bumper cars) that made me feel like a kid again and today's reading at WomanMade, which went off well, introduced me to a awesome poet I had never met before, and allowed me to share some of the work from the shipwrecks project, most of which I hadn't ever read from previously. Otherwise, there are several books in production, getting ready to load more content onto wicked alice, and some plotting in terms of the anatomy project. I am also looking forward to some more time away and a trip to Wisconsin the first couple weeks of August, but getting there is still a couple weeks away, alas...

Monday, July 16, 2012

oh, summer

There are a few things I need more of in my life every summer, not limited to, but including:

beach going. Every year I vow to go to the beach more often and actually stay there for a sustained period of time. Besides a couple cookouts every summer, I barely even ever get over to the lake, which is ridiculous since I live a block and a half from it. I'm thinking of investing in a giant portable umbrella to solve the baking sun/fair skin issue, so I hope that changes.

fair and carnivals. I've been promised a trip to the Wisconsin State Fair for the last couple of years and it never pans out. We would go almost every year when I was a kid, and I'd come home exhausted and filled with corn dogs and salt water taffy and leaden with cheap drinkets and blow up animals. It was great. I've determined though that it's much more fun to go at night and also to be slightly inebriated from drinking giant hurricanes in flourescent pink glasses, at which point the pressing crowds barely faze me at all.

outdoor movies I used to love the Chicago Film festival that went on every summer in Grant Park, but it was axed due to city budget cuts. The movies in the parks still happen every year, and that would do just fine if I ever managed to get to one, but I will eventually wrangle someone with a car into taking me to one of those very rare existing actual drive-ins if it kills me.

mini-golf. Though I've never been much of an actual golfer in any way, shap, or form, in highschool I was pretty much an ace at putting. No doubt, years out of practice I've lost my touch, but once I get back into it, by the 6th or so hole, I'm actually pretty good at it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


It's been a busy one until today. A friday night bon voyage fete for a friend at Fountainhead with too much beer (and a remarkably delicious ham, apple slices, and brie sandwich) And then yesterday, most of the afternoon in the studio finishing up the broadside (see above pic). Today I am determined to do nothing but hang out with the much neglected kitties, wait for my groceries to be delivered, eat more hummus, read a bit more of the semi-trashy Stephen King book I'm working on, and plan out the course of the week in things I need to get done. So far the fans have been fending off the heat and bringing coolish air inside, so it's actually decently cool here in the living room (thank god for big windows, northern exposures and lake breezes.)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I am doing my annual clearing out of old artwork to make room for new...all individual collages are only $10-$15 now through the end of July, including several of the flight series and the dictionary pieces.

things that are happening, happening things

*wicked alice's new bloggish format is now live and features new poems by Kristin Lueke and a link to a great discussion about the work of Francesca Woodman. Keep your eye out for upcoming work by Sarah Kearns and Karen Terry, as well as all sorts of other goodness there in the week to come. *A week from Sunday, I will be reading with some other fine and well organized ladies at WomanMade Gallery for the Poets Who Open Doors reading , probably reading a bit from shipwrecks of lake michigan and maybe some of the houses and bees poems. WomanMade is one of my favorite places to read, so that whould undoubtably be fun. *I am still working on the Printer's Ball broadside, which will feature a piece from J Hope Stein's from [Talking Doll:], and since it's a project about science and historical inventions, I thought it might be a good fit for the Ball's Time Warp theme. New books are also due out very soon from Natasha Marin and Tzyna Pinchback, so stay tuned for those. *I have made a slight dent in the houses and bees project this week and plan to start submitting them in earnest on Friday (which is my day designated for focusing on business related to my own work--which in my new daily organizational structure, I'd ideally call it something fancy and alliterative, but I have nothing.) I also keep losing the little lists of new journals I want to send things to, so it remains to be seen how well that will actually work out.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

10 bad habits I am in the process of kicking

getting involved in lukewarm relationships that are more about habit and familiarity than affection.

regular soda, which you realize you are far too addicted to when you wake up to 6 empty cans of Dr. Pepper you do not remember drinking lined up on the desk.

developing sad and hopeless crushes on friends and co-workers.

that moment where you are faced with too much to do that you can't possibly fit into the time allowed and so instead wind up surfing the net or hanging out on facebook instead of actually accomplishing anything.

drinking too much and too expensively in bars, not because you are really having fun, which is good and fair reason to get sloshed , but because you are trying to forget about abovementioned hopeless crushes while they talk about their current relationships, which are, alas, not with you.

Coming home and throwing clothes on the bedroom floor, over chairs and benches and the top of the door instead of hanging them up or putting them in the hamper.

reading too much into things men say or don't say.

reading too much into what anyone says and being suspicious of motives and slightly paranoid about people trying to secretly undermind you.

spending too much money on fancy coffee during the day and delivery food at night because you are too tired to cook something.

drunk dailing / texting / emailing exes after being rejected by anyone or anything. Otherwise known as tipping over into the darkside where chaos and the Id reigns and consequences be damned.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

There is the usual chaos of re-entry, the unpacking, the arranging, the trying to sort out the triage of tasks that have piled up in my absence. Yesterday was mostly a wash concentration-wise, but I am a little closer to getting wicked alice on its way (you can see my editorial entry here, and poems & such will be landing there Thursday or Friday this week). I decided to go with the tumblr format, which seems to be on the rise. It also makes it easier to follow for updates and such, reblog, etc.

I've also been working on the freebie broadside I am doing for Printers Ball, which is rushing up faster than I anticipated. the design is finished and I just need to decide on the paper stock. Otherwise, there is good news in the way of acceptances for poems and good press for the press at the Harriet Blog, which reposted a recent interview.

Tuesday are the days I've determined "Editorial Tuesdays" as opposed to "Marketing Mondays" and "Design Wednesdays" (the alliteration doesn't work for everything sadly.) Which is to say I will be delving into dgp submissions this afternoon.

Yesterday, there was such much gorgeous chicory growing alongside the backroads we were taking coming back to the city I nearly wanted my dad to stop the car to pick some. Today, I am obsessed with that blue lavender shade that borders on periwinkle.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

While the heat seems to have broken completely in Chicago, it has only somewhat here, and not with the thunderous calamity I was really hoping for. I love watching storms move in across the flatness here, the clouds building on the horizon, the wind that picks up crazy fast. How it smells afterward. In the city, they just sort of appear over the buildings and usually move on out over the lake pretty quickly. Because it's really been too warm to spend much time outside or even have so much as a window open, I'm getting that same cabin-fevery unrest I get in winter and am anxious to get home and back to my routines. I have been working a little on books that need to be done and shipped Monday as soon as I get back, but not nearly as ambitiously as I'd planned. And distracting myself otherwise with 80's movies and internet diversions. But tonight, we got to sit outside for awhile and dinner was filled with perfect summer foods like bratwursts, lemonade, sweet corn, pasta salad and rootbeer floats for dessert, all the sort of stuff I never make myself and miss about home. There's little to nothing happening in the writing arena this week, mostly since my head feels full of other things (wistful lingering boy drama, press business, to do lists, etc.) If only I could switch my brain over to vacation mode every once in a while.

(I also took a round of pics in my mom's garden, and was amazingly able to get a good shot of a fluttering target we noticed near the driveway.)

Friday, July 06, 2012

Shipwrecks of Lake Michigan, aka the mermaid text/image project is finally ready to make it's way out into the world properly. There are octopi and seahorses and dysfunctional relationships. It is a small edition of only 50, so get one while the getting is good.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

It's hot. The sort of apocolyptic hot where even the a/c here at my parent's house does a faulty job of keeping us cool. Last night, the yard in the outside lights were foggy like a sauna and the moon was huge and orange and possibly on fire. We spent the day outside at my aunts, the usual chicken and potato salad and margarita based fun. When I was a kid, there was still a pool, which would have definitely come in handy on days like this. Today, I'll be spending inside drinking iced tea, eating leftovers, and making some books now that the printer has arrived. Right now, my old room is filled with stack of covers and envelopes and trimmers. Tomorrow, some outdoor party fun with my cousins, another couple days here, and then heading back to the city on Monday. I'll have another couple weeks of real vacation in August, though, in which I intend to do nothing but take a weekend jaunt to Wisconsin and maybe some writing. But then again, doing nothing at all sounds so very tempting.

Monday, July 02, 2012

So far, my vacation kick-off has been splendid, beginning with slightly drunken poolside boardgames in the city Friday night with friends, followed by flea market combing yesterday (though the weather had us moving rather quickly through the outdoor vendors, I did get a nice straw picnic basket/tote that will come in handy for lakeside outings.) Today, a trip to Wisconsin to hit up the Swiss Colony outlet for chocolates and cheese and a really good liquor store in Monroe that offers all sorts of mix & match microbrews. Since it's sort of ridiculously hot, I've spent more time indoors than I'd like, however, and hope at least the humidity wears off later in the week for some more outdoorsy related fun.

I had planned to have the new format launched for wicked alice before I left, but it looks like it won't be happening till I get back next week. There are also some new books that will be dropping later in the week. Stay tuned....