Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vacations are always a bit treacherous for me. On one hand I feel as if I am burning valuable daylight while more and more tasks are slowly piling up at the door, all awaiting me when I return to the studio. In some ways, time off creates more stress, more work than just continuing on uninterrupted. I tend to get into a nice little groove and every sojourn seems to break it. I feel like there is only so much I can do from where I am, and sometimes wonder whether I should just go completely incommuncado during time off to avoid emails, decisions, general worries about things. I get frustrated with the time wastage while I should be enjoying the quiet.

I do still like taking most of my vacation time in the summer to allow for occasional Wisconsin jaunts and general enjoyment of good weather (roadtrips, outdoor lounging, campfires, flea market/thriftstore prowling and numerous dinners al fresco) which usually keeps me reasonably occupied. It's the downtime that makes me feel unproductive and stuck, while also offering to much free time to worry and obsess. Next week, of course, I will return and be immediately plunged into the fall semester. While I am not ready for it by any stretch of the imagination, it does mean free mornings to get stuff done while my head is stil fresh and unmuddled and therefore much more productive.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

new from dancing girl press

The Market is A Parasite that Looks Like a Nest by Susan Briante | Poems for Business Travelers by AE Loveridge | Signs Point to Yes by Lindsay Bell | Edith & Aurelia: A Romantic Tragedy in Five Acts by Trisia Eddy | Orthorexia by Kristin Sanders | Excuse me while I wring this long swim out of my hair by Sarah J. Sloat

thriftstore junkie

Whenever I'm in Rockford, I am liable to find much more interesting things than I am in Chicago, where like-minded souls have already got the jump on me most times, today's treasures included some gold and aluminum frames and some 1950's/60's reading textbooks stamped inside by the Rockford Board of Education, which will be absolutely perfect for collage and altered book stuff..

Sunday, August 28, 2011

mix tape: hair band fever

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Since I am in Rockford this week, it seems highly appropos to go with the hair bands. When I was younger, I had most of these albums on cassette tapes and may have even went to a couple of concerts, ahem... (the Rockford MetroCentre was always (and still is) big on the hair bands). I had a friend in elementary school who papered her room with Motley Crue posters and inadvertently saved my wrist from breaking at Skateland courtesy of her borrowed studded leather wrist band. It only got worse in highschool, where I was addicted to the power ballad. There are actually a couple of duplicates because of my own indecision (and my secret sustained love of Def Leppard)..

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


This is one of those weeks that doesn't feel quite like my own. I'm already all discombobulated working 9-5, so add in an unusual number of library-related meetings, etc. (particularly early morning meetings-ugh..) and I start to miss my nice little routines. I terribly like starting my days slow, drinking tea, checking up on facebook, mosying into down to the studio or to work, easing into things I need to do, easing into dealing with people as well, since too much socialization sends my little introvert heart into a tailspin. This week, I'm a tornado from the time I get up til I fall into bed. At least, because I get off work so early, I get a few extra hours in the studio most days. I do have a couple more dgp books on the rails which will be appearing shortly. A flurry of new releases usually brings about an unusual surge of orders, a good thing to be sure, but an exhausting one sometimes. I am also getting ready for a big shop update after the first of September. (I've been taking a little break from making things most of this summer since my energies have been devoted entirely to books lately...) So there is lots of folding and stapling abreast, lots of to-do list obsessing, but also lots of strawberry sundaes and trying to hold on to what's left of summer. I am slowly reading through dgp submissions for late next year's lineup and and am psyched about those possibilities, plus working on getting up the 10th anniversary issue of wicked alice before I leave. I'll be out of town the last week before classes begin over Labor Day, so when I get back it will officially be fall and I'll still be trying to figure out where the last three months vanished to. It happens every year...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

musee d'histoire naturelle

A couple years ago, I got into my head that I might want to do some ACEOS and ATCs. Of course as is the way with all projects they got waylaid in favor of other more pressing ones, but I found these the other day and decided to scan them. There were initially ten in the series, and I think I gave one (#2) away to someone at some point, but I managed to get scans of the remainders. The actual cards will be in the shop when I do the big fall update of new stuff, but here is what the series looks like as a whole. I have a couple other projects that might manifest as ACEO's soon as well, so stay tuned.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

confessions of a clothes-a-holic

I think one of my earliest memories at all has to be loving this dress. The photo is sort of old and has bad coloring, but it was a pale blue smock, a really lightweight, almost poplin fabric. I wanted to wear it all the time, but of course, being three, my mother had more say than I. Apparently this was around the time when she would occasionally find me in my bedroom, every single article of clothing torn out of my dresser and strewn across the floor, trying to choose something. I was also very much about matching, and rumor has it, I wouldn't wear certain items unless I had the socks to match. It only got worse as I got older. I remember distinctly every single first day of school outfit I ever wore, down to how it felt to wear it, how well it went over in the world of grade school fashion (or did not*). I loved dresses, but I do remember occasional of pants as well, jeans, cordouroys, overalls. My favorite first grade outfit was a skirt/top set in butterscotch, with a tiered skirt and a peasant blouse. Second grade was a red and plaid number. During 3rd and 4th grade, mini dropwaisted skirts were popular, and I remember begging my mother for the jersey fabriced matched sets. In pure eighties style, my favorite had bowling balls and a checker motif. Another was the softed brushed cotton and bright pink. By the time I was 10 or so, the trends had shifted toward pants--dresses and skirts were only really for special occasions, plus you had to worry about the boys pulling them up on the playground (this sort of irks me now, but back then apparently sexual harassment among kids didn't phase us all that much).

It was around then when I seem to have lost my passion though, around the time I became super-body conscious . I was perpetually at war with my mother, over sizes, over prices. Through junior high, it was pretty much a uniform of big shirt (button-down, sweatshirt, x-large T) over black leggings. Later, jeans and sweatshits. Pretty much anything to hide the curves. Shopping around then was this awful anxious thing, and pretty much stayed that way the next 10 years. What I wanted either didn't fit or we couldn't afford it. There was always this panic in the store, a sense of dread when I had to settle on SOMETHING lest I leave with nothing, but didn't really want anything. (this is all pre-internet mind you, nowadays I just keep clicking til I find what I want, but then I was limited to what was available at K-mart of Sears.) And admittedly, plus size clothes always sucked back then. I so longed for clothes with a regular sizing cut that just happened to be slightly larger, but apparently designers went with the oversized tent philosophy (usually populated with hideous florals). For many years as a teen, I just bought my tees and sweatshirts in the men's department, which seemed a little less traumatic. In college, I did get a little more daring with the occasional peasant skirt, but it was pretty much jeans and leggings once again. Since I spent a good amount of time crawling around the paint splattered scenery studio, I reserved the long skirts for non-poduction class days. It was still hard to find things I wanted though, limited to what was in the stores (I had expanded to the irregular treasures at TJ Maxx and Marshalls, but still without the internet, I was stuck with what Rockford had to offer.

By the time I got to grad school, I had settled on wearing long skirts pretty much all the time with occasional jeans. It was very much the first time I was starting to feel comfortable with my body, or had any idea of having a sense of style of my own. I could walk into a store and decide immediately what would work and what wouldn't, what went with what. I've finessed this alot in the intervening years, now I can tell you what colors look good, what doesn't, what cuts and fabrics will work well, which won't (not that I don't occasionally make mistakes.) The internet has been a godsend, especially in the last few years when I switched to a predilection for dresses, which alot of stores don't carry very many of.) Rockford's selection, in general, is still pretty abysmal. I've joked that formal in Rockford is your best purple sweatpants (the ones without the stains and holes). But I've noticed as I find and buy more things, I've become more obsessed with fashiony things in general to the point where I occasionally erupt in girly glee over the cut of a dress, the color of a sweater. I've also learned to like my body more, and there isn't this perpetual war between what I want to wear and whatever I happen to be able to find.

*most notably my fantastic animal print leggings circa 8th grade, paired with a peach over-sized tee and slouchy outfit which was made fun of by a girl for "stealing " her seat from the morning route (it was open seating), and who then proceeded to call me all sorts of names on the ride home, made fun of my pants, my shoes, the size of my ass, my hair, my totebag (I wouldn't wish the wrath of a 13 year old girl on anyone). I do still take some smug comfort in the fact she got knocked up in high school, dropped out, and now probably has a sad little miserable existence watching reality tv, breeding a passel of illegitimate children, wearing purple sweatpants and hating her life.. (but that's the 13 year old girl inside me talking.)

Monday, August 08, 2011

monday mix-tape: north carolina

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At one time I was a starry-eyed 18 year old who had it in her head she wanted to be a marine biologist, and thus set forth to UNCW before she got her head on straight and decided to be an English major. It was only a few months, but this is pretty much the soundtrack to my freshman year (or part of it..) It's a little idiosyncratic, mixing together the sort of top 40 stuff I was coming out of and the more alternative stuff I was moving into. Some of my friends were from the East coast, and all seemed light years ahead in musical tastes from the midwest.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

erase / rewind

I've written before about erasure, about that weird sort of elimination of people from your world. It's odd to me..people you've been involved with in anyway, liked them enough to give them a place in it, can be be removed so expeditiously by deleting numbers, e-mail messages, photos, texts. In this case, it was a weird train wreck from the start last fall, but I was willing to keep giving it another go (some of this was vanity, trying to figure my own things out, convenience. It was also something that resurfaced around the time the whole R situation crashed and burned, so even though I was reluctant I needed some rebound action.) It was definitely a more casual thing, and between two busy people, that's all either of us could do (he was also quite a bit younger, which might explain some of the problems). But when the bad begins to out number the good, lately exponentially, it's time to cut bait and go. Every time we were together I spent a couple hours afterwords convincing myself that it was good to keep moving forward, and then after the last 24 hours, it became nigh impossible. My point is that hopefully, even though it's easy to erase people from your life, perhaps something good may come from it all...a poem, some greater insight into what I DO want, who knows?

Thursday, August 04, 2011

ordering havoc

Somehow in the last 5-10 years I became more of a creative person that tends to think in terms of projects, something which applies both in terms of writing and art. When I was putting togther my first couple of chapbooks, then the fever almanac, I had no idea where I was going til I was almost there and realized most of the poems were about memory, language, and the body. Pretty much every manuscript since has a tighter focus and an aiming point in mind from the very beginning. in the bird museum was an almagamation of several smaller projects put together, all built around the tension between knowledge, transgression, and danger. girl show was focused big project, as was brief history of a girl as match, the first a all about transformation and transcendance, the second about the conflict between women as the subject and object of art, as muse vs. artist.

As I've been finishing up havoc, and shaving off alot of stuff that I think may be another project all together, I realize how much for the first time, these poems feel a little closer to home than anything I've written, or at least more semi-autobiographical (I say semi, becuase there is a little blurring of details, merging of various people into composites, etc.) I always said I most loved how books of poems create their own little worlds. I feel finally now, after writing with a more historical bent for my last few projects, that havoc is rooted firmly in the present, ie there's alot of pop culture in them, media, a little bit of kitch. I've been debating over an extended version or a chapbook version and I think I have finally decided on the shorter, since I kind of want to go with the immediacy fervor and get them out in the world in the next few months (as opposed to possibly years from now), so I'm thinking maybe October. The ones that remain in there are the ones that align with the books themes of containment and chaos, a female containment/chaos in particular, or the "girl-shaped world" in the first poem of the book, I guess.

Monday, August 01, 2011