Saturday, December 29, 2012


was a year filled with art & design endeavors and new poems and all manner of related goodness--readings, open studios, panels, art shows and book fairs. A year of black and white kitties, Friday night margaritas, mermaid poems, zine projects, trashy Stephen King novels, nightly walks, strawberries, submission reading, paper flowers, sundresses, bittersweet impossible relationships, ballet flats, chapbook printing marathons, raspberry lattes and and bacon and egg sandwiches aplenty. I turned 38. I finished four small writing manscripts and one larger one (all but one of which has either been published already or found a good home.) I took to cooking more and eating more fruit and salads and gave up regular soda, which has dropped me a few dress sizes and no doubt gotten me much healthier. (Though, b/c I spend less on takeout, I've spent more money on dresses and shoes and sweaters to the point where closet space is becoming a problem again.)

In 2013, my resolutions are the usual ones: Be productive. Be healthy (or healthi-ER anyway). Be fearless. Be in the moment more. Lets hope every year I get a little closer to fulfilling them...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

As usual, it was a holiday filled with too much booze, too much fudge, and all sorts of awesome presents, including some art supplies, lots of household goods, and a whole bunch of yummy bath products. Meanwhile I am trudging through that last week of December and trying to keep in mind that even now, the days are on their way to getting longer. There is a fair amount of napping and catching up on sleep, a little mss. editing and fine tuning, which I am hoping to polish off and get started on something new in the next couple of days. I'll be headed back to the city on the 1st and plunging back into a great number of things, new projects, new books, and my annual attempts at January massive housecleaning and organization. I'll be back in a day or so, though with the yearly round up and some new writing and art related resolutions, so stay tuned...

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Pretty much everything about today is that pallette, from the light outside the library windows (what there is of it), to the churny waves on lake michigan, to the color of my dress and my desk (though that is actually more beigish than greyish). The day started out with chocolate, progressed through some library tasks, some quick shopping for gift cards for the more difficult giftees, and landed with buying a (yes, grey) vintage embroidered Italian bedspread off of ebay for under $50 (an amazing and completely chance find in itself--I went looking for snow boot possibilities). I will be heading to my parents' house tomorrow after all, so will be doing most of my shopping there I plan to hit the B&N for books for the little ones (yes, I am that relative..) Tonight, I have to finish up author copies on one book and the last few days of orders and then I'm outta here til January (or indefinitely if the world ends, whichever comes first.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Today, there are strange candy canes, strawberry cream cheese slathered bagels, and finalizing several projects I'd like to get under wraps before I head out on Saturday. Last night, I was working on the above image in the studio for one of the January books, Margaret Hanshaw's Yellow Ripe. I am amazing well-prepared for the start of the new year in terms of the press and it's schedule. I have a couple of stragglers, but we're primed to go for 2013. I will also be turning my attention, book-wise, toward radio oculari, and perhaps sending some visual/text pieces out both for a journal and an upcoming art show. I'd love to have it done in January, but we'll see how it goes. There is apparently bad weather on the way, which of course, hits right about the time I was thinking of starting my Christmas shopping efforts, which means I might have to wait til the weekend to actually get any of it done..(yay for last minute procrastination!)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

giving it away for free

In honor of releasing our 200th chapbook title in the dancing girl press series, Caroline Klocksiem's Circumstances of the House and Moon, we are doing a giveaway drawing...visit the dgp facebook page for details..

Monday, December 17, 2012

This is one of those awful waking up at pre-dawn weeks in which I am cursed into working 9-5, which not only means I have to spend half my day comatose and unproductive (or hell, most of my day) but also have to commute with the herds (aka the great sheeple migration) As such, I am cranky and unfocused and am only now starting to wake up at 1pm.. I have dinner plans later with one of my favorite poetry people later though, and afterward am hoping to squeeze a couple hours in at the studio, but I’m not sure exactly how productive I’ll be. Not to mention I have to go home to get to bed so I can get up and do it all over again tomorrow (I’m not sure how early risers do this everyday without offing themselves in some grisly way.) And of course, this week will be lllloooonnnnggg with the break looming at the end of it. I’m headed to Rockford on Saturday for the usual cookie baking, last minute gift wrapping, and pre-holiday frenzy. I’ve bought absolutely nothing in the gift arena so I should probably get started on that (it’s just not Christmas if I don’t leave everything to the last possible moment, right?)There are still lots of things to do this week, including sending out some author copies, releasing a couple more 2012 titles (books from Alison Armstrong-Webber, Caroline Klocksiem, and Mary Stone Dockery), and finishing up work on some stuff that will be coming out that first week of January (books from Margaret Hanshaw, Lisa Marie Basile, and Ashley Inguanta). There are a handful of stragglers, but mostly we will be beginning the year pretty much on schedule for the new books (which almost never happens..)It's going to be an awesome year though in terms of getting my own work out and about, with 3 different projects scheduled for release from other presses along with a couple more image-laden projects I'll be releasing myself (radio ocularia and unusual creatures.) The new Noctuary press will be publishing the shared properties of water and stars early in the year, followed by Maverick Duck's release of beautiful, sinisterover the summer, and then, of course, girl show in the fall. I'll probably be doing alot of readings and promotion type stuff this year so it will be a busy one. I've been much better about sending out manuscripts this year, but am still sort of lax on individual poems (which are necessary if I actually want to get people interested in my work, so I need to make more of an effort there in 2013.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

the best things

about last night's open studio:

meeting one of our future authors, Megan Burbank (who's chap Notes on Lee Miller will be out next spring) as well as some other new poets I encouraged to submit to the next reading period and wicked alice.

The woman who asked me what I though the of the poems in havoc in an offhand way not knowing it was my book (I was waiting for her to tell me she hated them and they weren't her thing..her tone was completely unreadable.)but then she said, she really thinked she liked them but didn't know anything about poetry.

giving an impromptu demonstration of chapbook construction at the very end of the night to a guy who had made saddle stapled menu's for his restaurant before, but had no idea you could do such things with literature..I'm pretty sure I was trying to convince him to take workshops at the Book & Paper Center by the time they left.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Join us on friday evening for our annual holiday open studio, part of the A Night at the Fine Arts event, which includes stuff going on in every corner of this awesome building. We will have all sorts of things, old and new, including a big selection of chapbooks & book projects, zines, original art, prints, paper goods, accessories, soap, candles & more.

That strange little houses and dreams and bees project (which has actually been retitled since I ditched the bees entirely as the shared properties of water and stars) has been occupying my time of late and has, as of this afternoon, been met with some good news regarding its publication. In many ways, it's a narrative thing like beautiful, sinister, and like that project, more prose than poetry. The writing of it seemed alot like that manuscript, though this feels more fairytale-like, more allegorical and less novelesque. The characters don't have real names. There is an ambiguity between reality and fantasy. There's are alot of riddles and twisty braidedness to the narrative. I found myself struggling between opaqueness and clarity (deliberate opaqueness hopefully) I feel perhaps like it's a lot rougher, a lot less "cooked" as someone once described a certain piece of work I had written. I had been invited to send it to a new little press venture and the edtor liked it, thankfully. It feels good to find it a home since it's been shoved aside so much over the last couple of years while I worked on other projects (the moon letters, the JF thing). It's looking like it will be coming out at some point in 2013, so watch for details.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Alas, it looks like I was getting sick after all and had to miss the book fair, which sucks since the money I would have made might have been good to by some last minute supplies for things I'd like to finish up by Friday. On the plus side I was stuck inside all day and made some progress on the new book project. I hate December, I really do--it always feels like the ass end of the year and it starts getting dark a little after 4, which means there is only about 10 hours of daylight. January is just as bad, but at least that feels like the beginning of something new and not the end of something all used up.

I spent yesterday in the studio working on some packaging for various things, so am in better shape for Friday's shindig, with only some jewelry stuff to finish and some paper odds and ends. I do have Friday off, so can hopefully avoid the major rush when it comes to pricing and tagging things since I will have some time beforehand that day. It gets a little too crazy that night with a steady stream of people in and out to actually finish anything once it's happening. I still never have everything made that I originally plan out or would like to have. We've been funneling alot of proceeds back into new titles, so my budget for new ventures things is a bit more limited in favor of the tried and true. Of course, I've been spending my own money frivolously on clothes and shoes and such that could have been earmarked for creative things, but ah well..If a pretty new sweater dress keeps me from feeling sad on these dark, dark days, then so be it..the same goes for good coffee and a bit of daily chocolate.

Despite my winter funk,however, I am counting down the days til holiday break, which seems all too short this year at only a week and a half. There is much betwixt me and that time off however, including our semesterly deluge of returns and some slow 9-5 days next week once classes end. I am getting some new ILL training and plan on having the new reserve books at least on order to get them in January before we leave (ideally by this Friday actually, but the list is slow going).

Friday, December 07, 2012

As I mentioned, this Sunday we are taking the dgp show on the road. I'm hoping to have as many of the new titles as I can carry along with my portable table. I'm happy to be back to my old craft fair stomping grounds (Handmade Market still is happening, this Saturday actually, but I lost my helper when B moved back to Rockford, so we haven't been participating for a couple years.) There will be booze and bands and books of all persuasions, though, so if you're local, you should check it out...

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The weather turned colder again and with it, a downturn in my mood. I also feel off and feverish and could possibly be getting sick (given that I haven't even had so much as a cold in about a year-very rare). There are weird tensions at work and ickiness (not necessarily mine, but a general unease making things less fun.) I've been holding to the rails and beginning to work on the reserve textbook list for spring and getting ready for the yearly December deluge of returned items. As for press-doings, I think I'm about ready for the book fair this weekend, but for the open studio next Friday, not so much. I've learned I'll never be really ready for such things, so I just need to relax. I'm also trying to clean up a manuscript I promised a prospective editor, but it's slow going amid the general chaos.

There are 5 books set to release in the next couple weeks (books by Alison Armstrong-Webber, Jen Tynes, Caroline Klocksiem, Mary Stone Dockery, and S. Whitney Holmes, and possibly a couple more if things fall together as I like. If so, I will pretty much be caught up, a mystical idea not unlike a unicorn, so I'm not quite ready to believe it's going to happen. We are, however, quite close to releasing the 200th official dgp title, which will necessitate some sort of celebration book giveaway on the FB page, so keep an eye out there for that. I do admit, I was surprised we'd issued so many titles in just 8 years (and we seem to be moving even faster lately since I've upgraded our production means (the double sided printer and the format flexibilities, the new guillotine trimmer.)I've streamlined the workflow for each chap as well and the system seems to be working well. Today, I was able to assemble and trim about 50 chaps in just under an hour, now only if I had more hours(admittedly I'd probably been moving even faster if I hadn't been scrolling through facebook and a couple articles simultaneously.)

Meanwhile I'm feeling very Joni Mitchell about Christmas this year, wishing for rivers and awayness sometimes..

Monday, December 03, 2012

Another week, and already biting into December. I spent the weekend, as planned, in the studio assembling books and packaging, and at home, making jar candles and working my way through the amazingness that is American Horror Story. I feel like the next two weeks are tightening up with obligations and I'm trailing a finger along panic mode but determined to keep hold. I do have some new papers and dresses on their way, as well as some more soap base (I'd like to make another couple batches of the fruity varieties--blackberry and maybe pomegranate)...Today, I spent some time trying to take an author photo for the back of the Black Lawrence book, one which doesn't look too old style authory but not too artsy/hipsterish (and also one that doesn't look like I took it myself, even though I did.) We're getting inside of a year, and already the book has an ISBN, some blurbage, and an awesome cover design. It's exhausting thinking about what needs to happen in the next year in terms of promotions and setting up readings and releases and all that stuff.