Thursday, April 29, 2010

Last night I dreamed that I had been asked to return to my college theatre to stage manage a play opening night that I had neither read, seen, or been to any of the rehearsals up to that point. Not only was it a musical, but also took place in a swimming pool. After spending hours trying to read a damp mimeographed copy of the play. I was finally taken upstairs, where my next task was meticulously pouring colored glitter into small vials that would be used as makeup but also involved some sort of complicated circuitry that would trigger the spotlights, which would display each characters aura while they were singing. The vials kept spilling and I kept wondering why they had wanted me to do this.

I have similar theatre related dreams sometimes, odd since I haven't set foot backstage in over 12 years. Stage managing was always both a control freaks dream and nightmare at the same time, insanely stressful sometimes, and eventually I let all that go in favor of more solitary control freakiness. Even though I didn't do much acting past high school, I also still occasionally have dreams where I haven't read the play/have forgotten all my lines, and the feeling is very similar to the readings I dream about where I've forgotten my poems and am expected to recite them from memory verbatim. Both induce a similar feeling of panic..

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I had an excellent birthday weekend (zombie pub crawl, birthday dinner & cake, awesome presents) with only a couple of bumpy patches (CTA drama, a dead and lifeless laptop). I had intended for the past year to spend it on a beach in SC, but have decided I will need that vacation much more next winter than now when everything is warmer and blooming (well, theoretically anyway.) Also, theoretically I am older, but still feel very much in a sort of suspended adolescence--mind you a fun one, but I wonder if I should be acting like a "grown up" at this point, and what the hell is a "grown up" anyway? The first half of my thirties did not quite niggle me so much as this particular birthday, the tipping point on that slide toward 40, mostly because I do not feel as old as I seem to inevitably be becoming. I would say I am very much still the same girl at 36 as I was at 26, and sometimes I think at 16, only with a little bit more experience under her belt, a few more passions, and a lot more cynicim. I am always a little creeped out when I see people my age preoccupied with certain things, pensions, 401K's, home ownership, families, keeping up with the Jones, all of which seem like things that people like my parents deal with and not me.

I admit, I do live in my little artsy/craftsy bubble most of the time and don't fret much about the "real" world except when I absolutely have to. Sure, I am decently responsible and can pay my own bills. I am even incredibly organized and ambitious when it comes to certain pursuits--all of which I suppose are hallmarks of being a grown up--a certain amount of artistic/writerly achievement, a good (if a bit overdone) education, running my own business, etc. But I realized long ago that I'm not sure I want many of the things in like that I'm continually told I'm supposed to want--that little American dream--the husband, the kids, the mini-van and the soccer practice, all things which just never seemed right to me, or at least FOR me. But somehow, since everyone else seems to be doing them, they feel like very grown up things to be dealing with, and I get the impression there is something wrong, something fundamentally stunted, for NOT wanting those things. Of course, that doesn't make me any more inclined toward them, in fact, I still sort of want to run the other way. Truthfully, I'm not even sure if I believe in marriage, and definitely am sure monogamy does not work for me. I am more happily inclined to long-term open-ended non-monogamous relationships of late (of course I need to work more on WHO they are with *ahem*). Also, I've always lacked that biological urge to have children, and figured if at some point if I found myself both wanting and financially stable enought to raise a child, I would adopt. I've accepted my square peggishness in regard to these things, but sometimes I get the impression that it goes much further than that.

I have always been very much about living my life as true as I possibly can to the things that I want, the things that I value--creativity, passion, knowledge, but those things seem so very at odds with what everyone else values--stability, financial gain, ownership, consumerism. I feel this tension less in Chicago, where everyone around me is of similar mindset, but moreso whenever I go home or visit family. Perhaps it's a certain hyper self-awareness. Or hyper self-consciousness about my choices, that don't really seem like choices at all, but moreso just who I am and what I'm about.

Friday, April 23, 2010

2010 dgp subscriptions now available

details here

We are offering for a limited time, complete 2010 subscriptions for dgp for a special low price that's nearly 50% off the list price if you were to buy them separately. That's over 30 titles for a mere $100, including books by Mary Ann Samyn, Jessica Bozek, Cati Porter, Britanny Ober, Nicole Steinberg, Rachel Mallino, and so many more..

fashion friday: april weekend

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I have been having interior design dreams again. The other night, I was fighting with a woman who made costumes over my desire to be a zombie while she insisted on making me a werewolf, and finally just a wolf. I told her I did not, in fact want to be a wolf, but maybe a zombie Little Red Riding Hood after she'd crawled out of the belly of the beast. And to make it a sexy Red Riding hood and not little girlish. Meanwhile, in the background my mother was frantically rearranging the living room furniture to incorporate a rather rather smallish and tacky loveseat into the decor. I kept trying to tell her that it was too small in scale to go with the other furniture, that it was hideous, that there was already way too much furniture in the living room anyway, but she kept putting it in different places and arguing with me.

Last night, I dreamed that the maitenance guys had decided to come into my apartment and redecorate my kitchen rather horribly with generic wood cabinets and paint splatter patterned countertops. Understandably, I was horrified.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

not really a review, but a good one

I was prepared to not like this. Given the typical record of entertainers who decide they are poets (Jewel, Billy Corgan), I was prepared to read a couple of poems, laugh outloud, and toss it aside. Of course, this got me thinking how unfair my predisposition toward such books was, and why shouldn't an actor or musician also be able to write poetry any less than a doctor, or lawyer, or librarian, who pursue other career paths to make a living. I myself would never identify myself as solely a poet, moreso as someone who does alot of creative things, of which poetry is the dominant form (at sometimes more than others)...So why should poet/entertainers make me roll my eyes so much? Granted, it's usually pretty bad. Jewel's book sounded like my 14 year old diary broken into lines, and badly at that. Corgan's Blinking with Fists sounded like he was trying to impersonate Robert Burns, despite his skill as a lyricist for Smashing Pumpkins. Both were published by pretty fancy high profile presses as well (HarperCollins and Faber & Faber), which of course added insult to injury, especially since neither of these publish all that much contemporary poetry anyway--and apparently, if you were famous enough, they would publish even your crappiest book. But in this case, I will readily admit I was wrong. This book was actually pretty freaking good. There were a few rough patches, as with any first book, and it tended to be a bit more traditional than innovative in it's aesthetic, but there was quite a bit to love in there. Unlike my two examples above, Tamblyn actually appears to, you know, READ contemporary poetry, and it shows. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

touched (innapropriately) by the muse

I recently told someone that I am quite regularly falling in and out of love with poetry. Or maybe it’s just my poetry. Or maybe just “being a poet” whatever that entails. I’m always in love with the work I publish with dancing girl, and always in love with reading poetry itself. I think my occasional lapses have to do with my own work, or how I see my own work. And granted, I get distracted by shinier objects than writing—art projects, crafty things, old music videos on youtube, personal drama, randomness. Last weekend, I was spring cleaning my apartment and listening to a lot of my older CD’s from the 90’s, mostly chick bands and girls with guitars, and I may have gotten some of my mojo back that was sadly missing the last couple of months. Suddenly I’m writing again and it’s easier (or it seems easier, though that might be deceptive) I am less steady at producing work than I was a few years ago, but tend to work in spurts, and seem to be in the midst of another one. I’ve never been that big of a music person. Heck, I haven’t bought a CD or even downloaded a song to my dusty cheap MP3 player in a few years (I’m actually not sure where it is at the moment). If I want music, I will usually just play stuff off my little online player (down to your right) or search that site for songs when I’m online. (and most of that is 90’s music, or sometimes old country songs). Commutes, I’m either daydreaming or reading and don’t really like not being fully aware of what’s going on in my surroundings. But music has always been something that inspires me, along with visual art, and maybe I just need more of it in my life.

Friday, April 16, 2010

spring chapbook sale!!

In honor of spring and National Poetry Month, we think it might be time for our one of our 5 books / $20 deals. Stock up, buy some for your friends, catch up on all our newest titles, including new books from Mary Ann Samyn, Laura Madeline Wiseman, Melinda Wilson, and many, many more..

{click here for details}

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

mid-week round up

This week I am abuzz with brewing creative projects (yay!) and boy drama (boo!) Of course I start to miss the drama when it’s not around so I am torn, as always, over how to handle it. Meanwhile, I am waiting to begin work on all those purses I picked up over Easter and I’ve secured a huge bag of vintage earrings to make into new hair clips, so look for those in the coming week or so. And there are always new flasks --I have some gorgeous new papers from Paper Mojo I’ve yet to cut into. I feel like I’ve been searching endlessly for economically priced chiyogami since one of my suppliers went AWOL) but they are more expensive than I would like and I’ve yet to re-find some of the designs I was using over the winter. I also have a huge wholesale notecard order and all that soap I made last weekend to package, so I need to fit that all in around working both days this weekend at the library. Creatively I feel like I am moving through molasses, though, in terms of getting projects actually finished. I’m also sleeping entirely too much, which will hopefully change as the weather gets warmer, and crawling out of that comfy bed won’t be quite so traumatic. If anything getting older has made me less able to withstand surviving on less sleep. I used to stay up all night on occasion and still be able to function, and am naturally a night owl anyway, but lately at some point I hit a wall and everything-even my eyes-start to hurt. The last few times I thought I might start hallucinating, have a panic attack, or just curl up and die somewhere.(I think the last time was the first day of AWP last year when I stayed up making books all night--anyone who ran into me that day probably found me alternating between loopy and despondent) ) As I move further into my thirties I imagine this will only get worse.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

9 things I am loving

hot air balloons
blackberry sage shampoo
fainting couches
gilt mirrors
dreamy faded polaroids
peasant dresses
raspberry lemonade
salads with croutons & feta

Friday, April 09, 2010

fashion friday: springtime hazards

end of week to-do list

1. Submit poems to a journal and an anthology that solicited work.

2.Process paperwork & labels for several etsy and website orders for chapbooks that I will be packing tonight.

3.Ready EMUseum for printing (which I will also do tonight if the open studio is not too busy.)

4. Re-send new business card file that was too small to printers.

5.Make final corrections on the galley for mesmer and be ready to print next week.

6. Begin laying out The Doll Studies chap.

7. Thin out wicked alice submissions and begin planning the Spring Issue.

8. Hopefully make some extra cash tonight at said open studio, then go home and collapse in exhaustion.

9. Make a bunch of soap, work on poems, and do some spring cleaning whilst enjoying the last fully non-committed weekend I will have for the next month or so where I'm not busy or working.

10.rinse, repeat

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

dgp news & notes

{some of these are a little late, but still highly readable...}

**All the way back in March (Small Press Month), dgp was profiled by Amy Guth for the Printers Row Blog. Check it out.

**Poets Quarterly, now on it's third issue, features an interview with Kate Durbin (Fragments Found in a 1937 Aviator's Boot, 2009). The second issue also contains a review of Dawn Lonsinger's The Nested Object.

**In issue 7 of Make/Shift magazine, Juliet Cook talks about small feminist presses, including dgp. You can get an issue here.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

this friday night

Sadly, we will be missing out on this year's AWP in Denver, but you'll likely find our authors all over the place at other events (I am trying to compile a list to post in the next day or so.) I always feel like it takes me weeks to recover in terms of work/assembly anyway, and general mental/social exhaustion afterwards, so I'm sort of glad to be sitting this year's out...I will miss the sheer bounty of the bookfair, though, since it would be nice to track down more easily some titles I've been meaning to buy. I can't say much about the rest of the conference since mostly the last two times I went I hid behind the book fair table the entire time, which usually prevents the vertigo I seem to suffer from when confronted with too many poetry conversations.

Today has been the longest day, which started with a drive back from my parents, quick drop offs at home and then the studio and then to work until tonight. I can tell when I get cranky and overtired since every single thing has the power to piss me off immensely. I really just need a night in my own bed where I'm not waking up every hour or so. On the plus side, I did some serious scoring in the thriftstore shopping expeditions Monday, including a ton of vintage purses and some slips to revamp, as well as a giant gorgeous gilt mirror and a rose hued velvety chair, which I decided to keep for the apartment and not the studio after all. Otherwise, the last couple days of lightning and deluge has made the grass a rich green and brought a sudden profusion of buds on the trees. I was sad to see the city went with a lot of red and yellow tulips and less pink in the beds along Michigan Avenue, but I will get over it I suppose. On the way back into the city, there was a man selling strawberries off a truck almost in the middle of a busy intersection. I really wish I'd bought some..

Sunday, April 04, 2010

fashion friday: rabbit, rabbit

I am in Rockford this weekend for a bit of easter festivities and my mother's birthday, so there is much in the way of chocolate bunnies and pastel colored eggs. Today, I braved strip mall hell, hitting the craft store for some pretty papers and then went searching for dresses and found a whole lot of nothing. I'd been hoping to get a couple I had seen online at the actual stores and save shipping, but they apparently do not have them in stock--or, in one case, any dresses at all.. Of course, no one seems to wear dresses in Rockford, a a city where "casual" apparently means an unusual number of purple sweatpants. How stupid of me..

Thursday, April 01, 2010

april fool

Easter Kitty is Coming
Originally uploaded by jciv
Spring seems to have finally arrived and I am already craving a summer full of flip flops, zoo outings, iced tea and gelato, getting off the bus early to walk along the lake, vacations in the boonies, and enough sundresses to fill my closet (and it's a big closet). Just a little warmer weather and I'm smitten with Chicago once again. I'm such a push over..