Saturday, March 28, 2009

bits & peices

* I am slowly catching up on press work, even though my new printer is giving me problems in terms of ink quality (my black covers are not streaky anymore, but smeary..). Luckily, I still have the Epson, but it needs a black ink cartridge, which I can hopefully get this week. Twice I have nearly hoisted all three of the bastards from the 9th floor studio window, so if you are downtown, you should watch out. I get paid this week, so am thinking I may just invest in something a little pricier that can do everything. Until then I am making do.

*at home the past couple of days I have been playing with soap and lip balm, the results of which are actually turning out better than I expected and not nearly as messy and chaotic as I'd feared. Lip balm is actually messier than the soap, and everything, the entire apartment, is extra delicious smelling. I've already tried a bar of the gardenia scented soap and plan to try the rosewater next...(which I also whipped up some bath salts for.) I am still working on packaging ideas for everything and plan to iron them out this week. It's actually alot of fun, and since I've always been such a bath product whore, it's cool to actually have a hand in making some.

* This show is making me very happy. Since I dont have tv reception and no cable, I have to wait until they put the episodes online, but last week's was awesome, and this weeks as so Buffyesque I loved it...Since it's Fox and will probably be canceled any moment now, you should check it out..

*Today it's awful outside, cloudy, rainy, the wind howling outside my windows. I went to grab my mail from the vestibule and nearly was blown outside when the door opened. I slept in pretty late today and I am determined to spentd the rest of the weekend holed up with the kitties and soap and maybe some poems. I am especially resting up since I'll be working Saturdays for the next month or so. April will be busy with lots of readings and events, so hopefully I will make it through my birthday at the end of it.

*I'm also planning a few press and shop related giveways in mid-April, so stay tuned.

Monday, March 23, 2009

new things in the shop

Sunday, March 22, 2009

17 things I am loving

bbq chicken pizza
evil little twin orange marmelade cats
old broken pocket watches
long hot showers
design blogs
The Bodyfeel Lexicon by Jessica Bozek
air mail envelopes
mary janes
twinkle lights
lemon tarts
making bath salts
stacks of clean, white paper
men with Irish accents
down comforters
used bookstores

Saturday, March 21, 2009


schoolgirl chic
schoolgirl chic - by wickedpen on

"perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are so dangerously close to wanting nothing."

-sylvia plath

Thursday, March 19, 2009

why I can't write fiction

I was talking to someone recently about why I don't write fiction even though narrative always seems to be something I'm striving for (or running away from) in my work. It's partly an endurance thing. Probably I'm sort of just lazy, the thought of writing that many words seems sort of exhausting. Or maybe not even the writing of them, but having to maintain control over that many words makes me nervous. Poems have to be so tight there's no room for things to go awry (though things occasionally do but I'm better at controlling them these days and knowing when NOT to control them). But in a short story, or god forbid a novel, there's all sorts of room for chaos, anarchy. Things that don't belong. Redundancy. Triteness or cliche. God forbid, predictability.

While one of the coolest things about poetry for me is the ability to twist language in all sorts of ways, fiction depends far too much on meaning, on conveyance, to allow too much twisting or prodding before you lose your reader. Even in my own reading exploits, the point from which I enter a piece of fiction is entirely different from the state of mind in which I enter a poem. Anything can happen in a poem, jumps of logic, of image, of meaning, and I'm totally along for the ride. The same things that work for me in a poem probably just give me a headache in fiction. Poetry allows for a certain scattershot approch that I wouldn't allow in fictions point A to point B approach.

There are of course exceptions, and I've gotten very adept at reading more hybrid poetry/prose based works (and even my new longer project is something of the sort..moreso a novel in short prose poems--if that makes sense), but things like this (I'm thing Selah Saterstrom as a good example in particular) force me to put on my poetry specs and read accordingly. Maybe it's just that I like my fiction to be easy and straightforward (and apparently sometimes a little trashy).

And I did once try writing fiction, but I found myself two wrapped up in the single sentence, the single line. I had, as my undergrad fiction writing instructor said, a serious case of Faulkner-itis--long rambling sentences in which you found yourself lost in and unable to glean meaning. Very bad, unless you are, of course William Faulkner..(who I still harbor a love of to this day.) He said he was sure I was a closet poet masquerading as a fiction writer. I thought he was an asshole. In the end, not a terribly productive semester, but it did swear me off writing fiction, for a while anyway. After I finished grad school the first time around, was jobless, and wallowing in self pity, I breifly tried my hand at it again, but really only because there was a possibility that it would actually earn me some money where poetry did not. I filled about four notebooks by hand with vapid short stories that summer, but it was very lackluster and half-hearted. It was almost a relief to give it up and go back to doing what I wanted to do.

Still there is the problem of narrative. The story. It's always there, even in the shortest of poems, though as a poet, I can choose how much to reveal. And maybe this is also true of fiction, though the aperture is just much bigger, what they tell vs. what they don't tell. In that way, maybe poetry is a bit more like playwrighting, how we know what happens onstage and off..

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

collage fun

A month or so back, I made a small series of square collages for the Winter Art of the Library Exhibition, now in it's snazzy new exhibition space in the new annex. The unifying element across all four and my favorite part is the green and blue scrapbooking floral paper bottom left. If I could paper my walls with it, I totally would..

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

poetry and the apocalypse

Last night I had a dream about a reading, but one that turned into a dream about terrorists. It was in my neighborhood, a series I'd read at before, but the coffee shop was different, bigger, and there was much gossiping, and worrying about where to put my bag so no one could steal my keys and whether or not I had the money to buy a muffin. When the reading started the room was full and the hostess was going to read some of her fiction, but there was this awful feedback from the mike that drowned her out entirely at a slow hum. One of the sound guys (who is also someone I work with IRL) was trying to fix it, but in doing so, somehow managed to make it even louder, ear splitting to the point where the audience was beginning to get up and leave. I turned toward the windows to see that the light outside was odd, greenish and hazy. People were running past the windows and there was smoke coming from the building across the street. As we emptied out onto the sidewalk, it became obvious that there was some sort of attack going on, and that the mic feedback was not mic feedback at all, but some kind of high frequency sonar weapon. The tops of the buildings were smoking. The el tracks were on fire. As I walked east I could see that there were buildings somehow across the lake missing pieces. Someone pointed at a plane in the sky and it's bottom opened and dropped a shiny white something into the air as we all scrambled for cover inside a building with unlocked doors and tiny, bunker like windows where we watched everything flying around, slow motion, for a moment before it was safe to file back out onto the sidewalk. My alarm must have gone off then, but I couldn't shake the unease all morning. It reminded me of my bad dreams after 9/11 which lasted for months, and since I have a pedilection for plane crashes in my dreams irregardless of that, sometimes things get a little scary. At least I don't dream about tornados anymore...

Monday, March 16, 2009


*This morning I mailed off a copy in the bird museum for the annual PSH Exchange, which is always great fun. What was really cool is the book I got was LaDonna Witmer’s The Secrets of Falling, whose very cool cinepoems I discovered through a link from the exchange a few years ago, so I was happy to get this copy of her latest, which looks to be a lovely melding of the visual and the written.

*I am still working on getting the web pages up for the three latest chaps in the next day or so after our printer malfunction.. I am also in the midst of laying out about four others which will soon be on their way to their authors , with another two almost set to go. I have to keep telling myself they will get done when they are done, but already I feel that slippage of control when I am behind schedule that I hate think I’m badly just in need of another couple hours in the day, another day in the week, another week in the month, and so on. *sigh* And of course, when I start feeling overwhelmed, all those nasty control freak tendencies start rearing their heads.

*I have taken to bribing myself with doing fun things in exchange for un-fun things when I am at home. If I do the laundry, I can work on some new earrings. If I straighten up the continual mess that is my dining room table I can sit down and write that letter to R. If I wash the dishes before they are all gross in the sink, I can shop for supplies. If I sweep the kitchen, I can work on a poem. I feel like I am continually bartering the unpleasant for the pleasant.

*The day job feels especially soul-sucking lately and I have very little patience for some of the patrons who seem to be constantly trying to get away with anything and everything. We've caught at least three thieves in the past week, stealing everything from non-circ books to magazines. Plus, there's a higher than usual slate of the clueless and/or overly needy, the gloriously self-entitled, and the occasional irate faculty member. On the plus side, Starbucks next door has a rather delicious lemon tart (and I like, you know, paying my rent and all), so I endure.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


grey - by wickedpen on

The open studio last night went well, but I was exhausted after spending all day there moving things around, straightening, cleaning, packaging, adding pricetags, etc..The end result was nice though, (here are some pics beforehand..)I am hiding out today watching bad 90's tv shows on netflix and working on some new little floral brooches and hairclips. Otherwise, I'm just waiting for spring...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

spring subscription steal

Now through April, get all of our 2009 titles delivered to your doorstep quarterly for a mere $100 dollars, including work by Susan Slaviero, Kristen Orser, Dawn Lonsinger, Stephanie Anderson, Talia Reed, Kate Durbin, Jen Blair, Sarah Den Boer, Rachel Webster, Julie Strand, Sarah Gardner, Brooklyn Copeland, Erika Wright, Jaqueline Lyons, Dierdre Dore, Erin Elizabeth Smith, Elizabeth Barbato, Shelly Taylor, Sara Tracey, Nava Fader, Leah Browning, Katie Capello, Laura Madeline Wiseman, Stephanie Goehring, Melinda Wilson, Cindy St. John, Renee Angle, Eva Schlesinger, and Jessica Bozek.

Plus, a couple of surprises TBA..

go here for details

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.

--Anais Nin

Monday, March 09, 2009


I am going to try to participate in the FAB's Second Fridays over the next few months and open up the doors of our little studio to the public. I have alot of new artwork that will be on display and for sale, plus the usual poetry books, accessories, paper lovelies, etc. Since I won't likely be getting out to as many craft fairs this year, I'm hoping these will function in a similar way. Stop by if you're in the neighborhood. There will, of course, be snacks..

Saturday, March 07, 2009


quand il pleut
quand il pleut - by wickedpen on

I have definitely calmed down mentally a bit from midweek. I think it's just time contraints that make me crazy. The weather is also better slightly, and that helps somehow. I was enormously productive yesterday, working on new art, filling a large order for earrings for 14 bridesmaids, (my sister is overwhelmed with 3, so I can I can only imagine the chaos of 14). Also, some new flasks. I should have a pretty shiny new printer coming either today or Monday to get back to work on the books. AND, amazingly, I wrote two new poems this morning, (largely by forcing myself to not get distracted by e-mails and blogs and various junk.) I dont think I've wrtten two poems in one day since about ten years ago. It felt good (though I will tell you if they are crap when I look again at them tomorrow..)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Today is one of those days when I have so many things flying around in my head that absolutely nothing gets done or accomplished at all. It's like too many birds flitting and flying and none will come to rest on a branch. What's odd is I slept really well and for a very long time, one of those dead sleeps where my body wakes up hurting from not moving, so it can't be tireness or exhaustion. I think at some point I reach a certain critical mass in terms of projects underway and can't take on or concieve anymore, and even basic tasks become impossible. Even straightening up the kitchen, or putting away the groceries that have been sitting out (except for the fridge/freezer stuff) since Sunday seems like a mountainous task. Even the laundry is still sitting in the cart ever since I took it out of the dryer Monday night.

There is much to be done in the next week or so, including getting things ready for the open studio, artwork to be matted, furniture to be assembled. I'm also, at long last, getting the kissing disease ready to send out in time for a March 15th contest deadline.. and of course, always, chaps to be proofed and laid out little papery things to be made. I feel like a dull pencil lately, serviceable, but not all that sharp.

Monday, March 02, 2009

art or something like it

This is one of the doll parts projects I've been working on. See more here..They are also available in the shop for purchase.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

To love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying. To hope is to risk despair. To try is to risk failure. But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.