Friday, November 30, 2012

happy friday

My camera is finally back in working order, so I thought I'd share some snaps of new projects and new shop offerings...
Rebecca Dunham's Fascicle


new prints in the shop, including octopi, roaming pears, and wee balloon girls..

Otherwise, I will be spending some time in the studio getting out some orders on Saturday and much of the rest of the weekend working on some more jar candles (honey almond pear and cranberry orange.) I think I am forgoing the tree decorating this year due to Maximillian and his tendency for chaos (I forget sometimes he's barely out of the kitten stage since he's HUGE, but given the gingers tipped the tree a couple years ago, I'm thinking I'm safer just not putting it up till he's a little calmer..)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

So I am back in the saddle after my Rockford sojourn and trying to stay productive and organized, despite prep for the open studio and the pop-up bookfair in a couple of weeks, a largeish library order, and several batches of author copies I have to get out this week. The last few days were filled with more holiday related festivities, some more thrifting (I scored a huge number of old wood & gilded frames for the unusual creatures project), and general napping and loafing. Today I've plunged in with final edits on some mid-process books by Caroline Cabrera and Alison Armstrong-Webber, and will begin laying out another batch tomorrow. This afternoon, as I worked, I was amazed, yet again, by the awesomeness of the work we get to put out into the world on a reglar basis. We have so many new titles coming out after the new year (and actually before, as well) that will knock your socks off. stay tuned...

Friday, November 23, 2012

I have been feeling strange and contemplative the past couple of days, mostly due to weird chance elevator encounter from the not so distant past and a note slipped under my door (or a note that was supposed to be slipped under the door but instead wound up in my hands.) It would be sweet if it weren't quite so bittersweet, but it was also also bad timing, muddling up my thoughts as I was rushing about like mad right before leaving town. I don't know what it means, or what my thoughtful reaction to it means, but it's been on my mind a lot since Wednesday. Otherwise, there has been turkey and ridiculous amounts of stuffing, and today, a little thriftstore perusing (though the big, new place, yielded a whole lot of nothing.)

Monday, November 19, 2012

So it is back to the grind after a good weekend full of great readings, gorgeous weddings, and lots and lots of glorious sleep. Not much accomplished in the way of press or shop stuff, but I am pulling doubletime over the early half of this week to get orders out and supplies ordered and readied for when I get back to the city mid next week.

I have some new dgp books set to release very soon and also at least one wicked alice update on it's way over the next couple of days. Otherwise, I am just waiting out the workweek, which ends Wednesday, and then it's off to Rockford for a few days. Despite all that's going one (not one but two TG dinners, belated family birthday dinners, thrifting excusions, trashy Vampire Diaries viewing with my Mom), I'm hoping to put the finishing touch on a writing series I've been playing around with a little for awhile and keep abandoning in favor of other things (well there's actually a few things like that), plus get some more new words down on paper.

I'm not liking the dark though. Riding out to Elmhurst on Saturday night for a friends wedding, I was reminded how depressing the landscape really is this time of year and how dark it gets so early. I think I forget it in the city, where every street and window is so well lit, especially now that the holiday lights are appearing strung on all the fences and trees. The suburbs, though, are filled with these random dark patches that are downright spooky when driving. And I don't even want to think about that creepy country road darkness. I get sort of lost this time of year, those hours between when the sun sets and when it's really feels like night (roughly 4-8pm.) Like I don't quite know what to do with myself. Like it's still technically the afternoon and I'm not really ready to do night sort of things (watching movies, writing, reading, going to bed.)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tonight I am reading at the Book Cellar for the Fifth Wednesday release, the recent issue of which contains a couple pieces from beautiful, sinister. I'm finding it hard to decide which additional pieces to read from the project, though, since it is predominantly narrative and harder to excerpt, but I'm sure I'll decide on something before I leave work at 5pm. Meanwhile, I am sneaking glances at the latest kitten cam and loosely plotting a paper puppet project of some sort. This weekend is busy, but I'm thankfully not headed out of town til Wednesday night, which gives me some time to finish up some things early next week before I'm basically out of commission for a week in Rockford. I do hope to get some writing done perhaps, but not much else beyond that except eating leftovers and watching trashy tv.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mid-November and I have finally made it through the last of the dgp submissions an entire week earlier than I expected (there were 500+ considered, but I broke them up into bits and pieces throughout the summer and fall, so this reading period was actually a little more manageable than past ones.) There was lots of mint tea, some handwringing, some quick budget projections, and some twitchy eyelid stress. But there is also so much goodness scheduled for the coming year, including some second books from past dgp-ers like Emily Lindemann, Brandi Homan, Cati Porter, Leah Browning, Eva Schlesinger, Sarah Sloat, Lisa Cole, Erika Lutzner, and Erin Bertram. And indeed so many books by new authors, all of whom we will be previewing over on the dgp facebook page over the next few months so watch that space.

I once again took on so many books we will probably always be slighty behind schedule (lately, I aim for about a book releasing a week, but it usually happens more in clusters of two or three, with some short breaks to recoup). But then a deluge of amazing manuscripts is not exactly a real problem to have. I still have some titles coming in before the new year from this past season mixed with the new books (see above comment about always being behind) but business is brisk, books are selling faster than I can get them out the door, and things are good in our little corner of the small press world.

Which of course means that I am progressing slower on other things, but trying to be more diciplined about working on projects. No actual writing yet this week, though, and it looks like any creative ventures on my own will have to wait til I head off for Thanksgiving and maybe sneak some time in among the turkey comas and holiday hustle bustle. Again, so many ideas and plans. Again, not a bad problem to have.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A few images from the unusual creatures series will be hitting the walls in the Art of the Library series here at Columbia which opens on Thursday. You however, can get a glimpse of them here...

Today was a rather productive day filled with rain and coffee and bookmaking and all other sorts of press and shop related tasks. In the studio, I also managed to reoganize some shelves, take inventory of supplies, and figure out my pre-holiday soap and candle making strategy--what I need to order, what scents I have and want to try, etc...Right now I have a batch of delicious smelling apricot goats milk underway with some leftover base from last winter. I am trying to start early in preparation for the big December open studio night, which has been pretty successful in past years. Since leaving etsy, the b&b sales have slowed down a bit from a couple years ago (I'd say this is good since I like to make soap when I want to, not like an assembly line wholesaler, which is sort of what it was blossoming into circa 2010) but this event moves more soap and cadles than anything else, even more than paper goods. I'm working on some new jewelry as well, new papery things, possibly some other lovelies. It always catches me unprepared it seems, so I want to be ready.

This is my last open weekend before things get crazy with readings and weddings and Thanksgiving plans and then we are sliding crazy fast toward the new year...

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

As I'm getting ready to fill the shop with all sorts of new things for the holiday season, I'm marking down some of the older lovelies to make room for the new. All of our hand-dyed vintage slip dresses are currently 30% off the usual price, perfect if you're feeling a little Cat on A Hot Tin Roof...

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

a sneak peak at the unusual creatures series pieces in their frames..

to book or not to book

Among the melee, I've been glancing occasionally toward what is (or was) intended to be full-length book #4, which brings together most of what I've written in the past 5 years. There are certain things that make it book-like no doubt, certain threads and themes that bind everything from the havoc poems to the brief history poems to the random newer pieces and possibly even the JF poems.

But then I really sort of do like the idea of the poems existing only in their own little chap projects and wonder if I shouldn't just leave them there and not try to corral them into something longer and, I've been feeling lately, somewhat redundant. Full-lengths seem to lend themselves to more longevity than chaps historically, but I've been thinking a bit of making some pdf's available on my website of out of print things (this has expecially been the case since I know that the fever almanac is now officially out of print, and beyond a small stash of copies I have, sorta hard to get.) That way, things like the andromeda poems and maybe even older work would have a second, digital life. (there's even been rumblings about Dusie e-book versions of in the bird museum at some point.)

This also ties in with what I've been thinking about the career necessity of full-length books, the emphasis and weight placed on them in terms of that whole ridiculous "legitimacy" issue (and po-biz in general that mostly just makes me yawn.) I love my full-length books, but there are actually chapbook projects, even self-published chapbooks, that I am infinitely more proud of in terms of the actual work.) And since I'm not really in the market for teaching positions or grants/awards and such nonsense (thank god), I have a bit more freedom to do what I like in terms of distributing work however I see fit. (Heck the JF poems, by virtue of being available for free online, were probably read by more people than either of my book books, which makes that probably my most successful project to date).

I've also been working on a lot of projects that don't lend themselves to traditional book format really, stuff like shipwrecks of lake michigan (images/text), radio ocularia (diagrammatic and pop-up poems), and unusual creatures (writing in the form of letters, ephemera, and diaries). I feel like traditional books and traditional publishing have become less and less useful to me as someone who just wants to write and make things and go on about the business of doing so.

Monday, November 05, 2012


With the time change, the dark is a little darker this week. Lately, my mondays are all crankiness, mellowing out midweek, and today is no different. Mostly, my tasks for this week are wrapping up the submission inbox, a bunch of orders, and finishing up some layouts for books by Alison Armstrong-Webber, Caroline Cabrera, and Cat Jones. I am also planning on getting some photos of recent studio doings (new chaps, the box project, some new art pieces) as soon as I get some batteries for my camera. With the moon mss. out of the way, I am trying decide whether to delve back into the older project or start something new writing-wise. I keep stalling out and then treading water on things for what seems like forever.