Tuesday, December 31, 2013

sayonara 2013

You were a year of watercolor experiments and household organization. Of tiki bar expeditions and lunchtime margaritas. Of writing apocalypse poems and devouring semi trashy YA novels.   Of new book releases and readings in bookstores, bars, and breweries.  Of turning 39 along the Mississippi coast. Of rabbit dresses and manuscript reading for dgp.  Of daily ice cream and August trips to the wilds of the Wisconsin north woods. Of journal submissions and new projects.  Of apple orchards and anniversary fetes.  Of early snow and perfecting my chicken soup recipe. While not hardly a perfect year,  prone to kitty losses and both romantic and technical malfunction of various persuasions, you were still a productive year, a good writing year,a somewhat healthy year (well healthi-ER anyway),  and far more good than bad...

Today, I celebrated the beginning of NYE by waiting for my groceries to be delivered and re-organzing/color coordinating my cardigan collection (Saturday's thrifting expedition went well and I scored more sweaters than could fit in my drawer as/was.)    As for the rest, I may do some painting or writing or read the last of the submissions for the typewriter anthology. I may work on some jewelry or watch SyFy channel shows or read. I may finish unpacking my holiday gift haul or I may just nap all day. There will probably be take-out and some boy-time much later after said boy gets off work, but I am determined not to leave the apartment if humanly possible.  I did get a good chunk of studio time in yesterday after I got back into town, and plan to head back later this week for a full day, and I am not library-bound til Monday, so mostly I am just relaxing.

As for 2014, lets hope it's a good one.  See you on the flip side...

Friday, December 27, 2013

In what I like to call "holiday decompression" I get to feeling a little cagey this time of year.  Some of it may most definitely be the weather, a little cabin fever, a little bit of sadness once the sparkle of the holidays wears off and all we have left is snowy bleakness til March.  From here on in, it's all dark, long, frigid nights and less celebrations to distract one from them.  Not much is happening but sleeping cats and leftovers and even the decorations start to seem a little dull and depressing.  A little less bright and shiny.   I often wonder if one could escape the feeling simply by re-locating to another climate, and that might this week be the best time to fly to some sandy beach filled island.  (Not that once could usually afford such things right after the holidays, but it could probably be done.)  So I make do with internet distractions, netflixing horror movies with my parents (even my mother who we seem to have finally brought round to our way of thinking.)  With new dresses bought with Christmas money, with peppermint bark and deciding whether or not I want to go blonde (my natural color, or something close to it.)

Monday I'll be back in the city and working in the groove and routines that keep me sane, back to some possible outings with friends and errands to run and all the usual things that distract me from the winter nasties...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas.  The one time of year when it is completely appropriate to eat chocolates and tea for breakfast. Overall,  I had an amazingly lovely time, full of so much good food, booze, and family.  My gift haul included the aforementioned fancy tea and chocolates, but also books and delicious lotions and nail polishes.  A new cotton bathrobe and various fancy kitchenwares, plus a gift card to feed my caffeine addiction and some good alcohol. We had the usual round of places to visit on Christmas Eve, and then a big dinner and some dvd's yesterday.  There's still another holiday shindig over the weekend with some of my mother's friends, but things are winding down. Today, I've mostly been working on some press plans and making a list of supplies to order for when I get back.  I've been watching the cats freak out over the birds outside the bedroom window (closer and more numerous in number than they ever see from our third floor abode in the city).    I've been thinking about new years resolutions (to be more creative, more social, more organized.)

Next week, I plan to spend a significant chunk of time in the studio getting ready for AWP (this will probably be the biggest block of solid  time I can muster over the next few weeks since I'll be working the J-Term schedule through January and February will probably fly by.  It would be nice to head into the year organized and caught up rather than my usual last-minute chaos.  In addition to books and new titles that will be debuting, I have some crafty things all set to go (mostly things I ran out of time to finish before the open studio--flasks, jewelry, some sewing projects.)  We''re planning another event in February if things are not to chaotic pre-conference.  I am already working on gathering supplies for the first zine I'll be releasing, radio ocularia, which involves transparency paper and vellum, and contains both poems and anatomical collages.  I'll likely make a few copies available outside the subscription plan, but I'm still working on the details.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I have already arrived in Rockford for the holiday, and have already been to one family gathering involving too much wine and lasagna and a gift exchange in which I scored a copy of Dickinson's The Gorgeous Nothings.  The weather since I left the city (where it was actually not horrid and a little rainy) has been icy and treacherous, the trees glistening and a thick crust of ice on the snow.  I still have some shopping to do, but yesterday, we made cookies, watched bad cable christmas movies and it finally feels a little more like the holidays after the chaos of last minute-things I've been immersed in finishing up before I left.

I am hoping to get some writing done this week if I can sneak up on it, perhaps some more ghost landscapes..  It would be nice to get into a nice concentration friendly state amidst all the ribbons and wrapping paper.  I've cleared off the desk in my old room and robbed the dining room of a comfy chair and have barricaded myself in my room with tea and oranges and the cats, so we'll see how it goes.  

Friday, December 20, 2013

dgp 2013

We're reaching the end of another great year for the dancing girl press chapbook series with so much on the horizon in 2014. At the end of February,  we'll be taking AWP Seattle by storm with a book fair table slot, some author signings,  a panel on publishing women authors, and a reading with some other great indie presses (Sundress, Noctuary, Hyacinth Girl)l. We'll also be producing a whole new slew of chaps starting in January (including some stragglers left over from this year), publishing our awesome typewriter anthology project [carriage return], and embarking the new zine subscription series.  As with every year, we are so amazed and delighted by the  quality and breadth work we get to publish each year and humbled by the support of our authors and readers. 

Many discussions have been afoot recently regarding the trials of women authors in a sadly, in places, still male dominated literary community, and we hope that with each new dancing girl press series title, we are adding yet another woman's voice to the conversation that is American (and sometimes overseas) poetry, and by doing so, helping to close that gap.

It's our ten year anniversary as well, so plan for lots of giveaways and celebratory hijinks.. Until then...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It was an early morning this morning, mostly because I went to bed very early last night and was awake long before dawn.  But there was some sun for awhile before it clouded over, and walking down Michigan, I really just wanted to curl up in the light like a cat and take a nap.  This time of year, good daylight seems far too scarce to be wasted. I am mostly in the process of last minute things before the holiday, book orders to go out, layouts to be finalized, ways to have things ready to go when I arrive back in town.  I would have loved to be caught up on books going into the new year, but there are a handful of stragglers that will debut in January in addition to some new ones.  Before I leave, I need to write a review I promised, make decisions on the typewriter anthology pieces, and queue up the winter wicked alice updates for the next couple of weeks. 

I've been excited all week by my good book news re; major characters in minor films, which was accepted by Sundress Publications and will be out in early 2015.  It's a mix of verse and prose poems, about 50/50 and contains stuff written as early as 2006 and as late as 2012, so it's a big span.  It also feels very full-circle, what with Sundress' cornerstone journal, Stirring, being one of the first litzines to publish my work way back in 2001.  In other news, things are still plugging along on the landscape poems, though I may be cheating on them just a little with a new, sexier, series of poems (they are, in fact, poems about sex ).  They might be just a fun little thing, but I also have some plans underway for a hybrid manuscript I've been meaning to get to, so it'll be nice to have some time off work to really dig in. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Today, snow and more snow.  I'll admit, it's sort of pretty, but only when I get to stay inside and safely warm and dry and not outside navgating in it.  The early dark, though, is getting to me. 4:30 and nearly completely night out there because of the clouds. As I've mentioned in years past, I never know quite what to do with myself during these hours, especially when I'm home and not working on anything in particular.  It's too early for dinner and movie watching, but too late to feel like I can do anything crafty with the afternoon.

But we've reached the end of another semester, dark or no, and this week will be filled with some goodbye festivities for co-workers, some holiday shopping, last minute press business before I'm gone for a week or so.  Last night's open studio was a success, crazy planning aside, and I'm always amazed at how many people come through (and some actually buy things!!)  We made enough to cover some paper and ink supplies for the AWP stock up I'll be doing come January, and possibly some travel money.  I'm always fretful and nervous and anxious beforehand, but it went swimmingly.

I also got some most excellent writing news last night involving the major characters in minor films mss, which I'll be sharing soon.  So stay tuned..

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

dear december,

This is always the time of year when I feel least mentally prepared to deal with things, even the slightest things that go wrong like leaky pipes and jammed printers.  It's also usually a busy time, a ragged, loose-around-the -edges time where I feel like I'm hurtling toward the new year and will only survive if I get there more or less intact. Part of it has to do with retail rushes and the open studio, but also the gift giving season and  general holiday season business that always demands energies when I have the least amount of them to give.  I've always joked that I wish certain holiday events happened in the summer when I am generally feeling content and able to take on the world, rather than now when I am most likely to be found huddling under the covers and hiding from it.  Even January seems less wearing than December, but by then, we're hitting that winter lull that drags and drags, but usually is at least, mercifully, uneventful.

Yesterday I was making my way through a number of book orders and realized I was experiencing the worst sort of rising panic that I needed to be getting more things finished up for Friday and that I couldn't possibly get everything finished up before then, and good god, could these covers print any fucking faster? And of course, the more frenzied I get, the more things seem to go wrong--crooked staples, empty tape dispensers, messy folds. It's inevitable.  It's times like these when I feel the least capable of being in the moment and enjoying things And I hate it, this feeling that I am basically constantly rushing from one place to another, one project to another.  It's not always like that, but in those moments, it often feels like that's exactly the case, which is not always a bad thing, and in my better moments, I love the productivity and the energy.  But in my worst, I get frustrated.  I have limits and am in good in not moving past them, but I am also woefully over ambitious, which sets me up for chaos.  It's pretty much like this with everything--writing, editing, my personal life...I've learned to live with it, but I sometimes think I just need to slow down and enjoy things more, or at least enjoy the process of things, rather than pushing so hard for the result.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

2013: the writing year in review

Every year toward the end of it, I get sort of contemplative in terms of what I've accomplished writing-wise and what I need to do in the new year and to set some some goals.  I'm realizing as I go through my records, that this year has been a busier year than the few previous in terms of publications and productivity. In 2012 I barely submitted anything (outside of solicited work) and only published two sets of poems, one text-heavy zine project, and one e-chap. In  2013, however, I submitted to 14 journals and had 8 acceptances, released two chapbooks (one print, one electronic) and one full-length projects (well, as soon as girl show is out it will be two.) There was one anthology, four interviews, one round table, five local readings, and a smattering of reviews.  I finished several short series of work, put together a new longer manuscript, and started a couple of new poem projects that I plan on finishing in 2014.

While it seemed chaotic as it was happening, surprsingly his last year has seemed a good balance of writing-focused work and po-biz work, two things which perpetually feel at odds (ie when I'm writing I find I can't get my shit together to submit anything and when I'm gung-ho on submissions, it's usually because I'm looking for distractions while the ink isn't flowing.) There are years that have weighed heavier one way of the other. It seems my ambitions seem to take two separate paths that I have a hard time straying from one into the other.

I'm thinking the zine project series will keep me along the creative path permanently (hopefully, at least), so my submissions and business-of-writing work, may take a backseat, so I'm looking into making a list of journals the next couple of weeks so I can just look at it and send things rather than doing all the research further down the road.  With a couple of my favorite print journals aside that I love having/would love to have work in, I'm mostly interested in online venues and feel like they suit my needs a little bit more.  (bigger audiences, linkability, etc.)  I've been bookmarking journals on my laptop all afternoon through about four cups of tea and think I have a good list, so watch out 2014, I'm coming for you.

Thursday, December 05, 2013


Today is the first day that was even slightly sunny since the beginning of the week and it appears to have clouded over as soon as I noticed.  It's been a week mired in romantic drama (always) and various pre-open studio busyness, complete with library break room makeshift barbecues and boring stuff like laundry.  There are cool writing things afoot, including the e-chap release (see below) and this interview over at Prick of the Spindle with other Noctuary Press folk.  I also managed to pull together details on the zine subscription I'll be offering in 2014, which I am excited about, particularly since I've hatched a few more ideas for projects for later in the year (both visual and written.) Poems are once again flowing on the ghost landscapes front, as well, after a too long hiatus, as well as on another little series that might wind up being part of next year's subscription plan. I'll be posting teasers and promos after the beginning of the year (you will be able to subscribe at any time along the way if something strikes your fancy & individual projects will probably also be available in limited quantities.).

The final details are also coming together for girl show's release, and the final proofs have been approved from the designer and December 10th is the official release date.  I think you may still be able to get the pre-order sales rate through the weekend if you'd like to. More soon...

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

apocalypse theory: a reader

Check out The Poetry Center at SFSU’s chapbook exchange, where you will find my little chapbook, APOCALYPSE THEORY:  A READER along with some awesome projects from a whole host of other participants…

Sunday, December 01, 2013

So another Thanksgiving put to bed, and the usual beautiful gluttony of too much family, turkey, wine, and pie.  Today, I've been watching the squirrels outside my old bedroom window along with the cats, and in my head, contemplating a new zine-a-month project in an effort to wrap up and get underway some midstride text and image projects, including radio ocularia, ghost landscapes, and erasure project and some others I have been hatching in my brain.  Something that would be available at a discount to subscribers who would be interested in getting a whole years worth, mostly text and image projects, ala  shipwrecks of lake michigan or the Cornell project.  I'm not sure of the pricing, but it would kick in toward funding some of the fancier, more involved, ventures which are not always feasible using the usual budget of dgp projects.  Ideally, by the end of the year, it would include the box project, unusual creatures, as well, which is a bit more ambitious.  So often I carry these things from year to year, unfinished and uncertain of their release, and I'd like to make this year different with deadlines and accountability of some sort.  While this year has been all about books from other presses (Maverick Duck, Black Lawrence, Noctuary) 2014 doesn't have any releases in the works (though there may be some bigger projects on the horizon/in submission for 2015 possibilities),  so it makes a perfect year to focus on smaller limited edition things in the coming year.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Woke up to another cold, cold morning, and spent some time lounging about until panic-mode struck regarding preparations for the big holiday open studio in a few weeks, which I am in no way prepared for in the least.  But then again, I never am.  So I baked a pie to warm up the apartment (pretty much the only reason I'd bake a pie), and then sat down with some tea to silently freak about about everything I have to do to get ready for it.  Luckily, I think I'm still pretty good in terms of soap supply and have quite a few candles.  I need to restock books, paper goods, and some jewelry things, though.  I have a list of some new things I've been working towards, but I don't know if I have time/money to pull them off.   

Otherwise, this week has been busy with lots of hours in the studio catching up from the big sale and getting author copies out on the new titles.   November is slipping away and next weekend, I'll be in Rockford and then it will be December when I come back, and then that brisk downhill slide into the new year, a year that will bring all sorts of press happenings and cross country train trips and milestone birthdays.  Poetry-wise, I'll be finishing some smaller projects and perhaps releasing them, and perhaps sending out a couple larger things in submission to presses (Major Characters in Minor Films and the manuscript I am calling Salvage). 

I'll be doing a round up soon, though of all the good writing related things that have happened this year and an evaluation/goal setting session of what needs to happen next, so more soon.. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013


So today, much storminess wooshing its way across Chicagoland, and I'm afraid I slept through most of it. I woke up at one point and thought the thunder was just this long, continuous sound and noticed that it was raining in the window I'd cracked before I went to bed.  When I got up after 2pm, I barely made it to the market before it started in again, but despite my dress blowing up around my waist a couple times, I made it home in one piece.   Pretty much all the trees have shaken off / been shaken of their leaves, so it looks a little too much like winter out there for my liking, even though the air, though blustery, has been warmer than earlier in the week. I never like this barrenness, this early dark, so I'm trying to fixate on indoor pursuits and buying boots and sweaters and plaid dresses much to the unhappiness of my wallet.  I seem to be hemoraging money anyway on hot chocolate and lunchtime margaritas and mexican food, so I suppose I should start saving for christmas gifts about now if I'm actually going to buy any.

Otherwise, there is mushroom pizza to be made later and some general housecleaning, and maybe if I'm lucky, some painting later on.  I started a potential series with a cover design for a book earlier this year, and would like to see if I can continue it.  In most cases, deciding WHAT to paint is the sticking point, which is always counterbalanced with what I can paint that doesn't look like a grade school art project.  I am well aware I am still skirting / not working on ghost landscapes but I'm still having trouble with deciding the direction. I did send off some other pieces Friday to a journal, which is more than I accomplish most weeks, so this is a win.  I've gotten incredibly lazy about sending out work unless I'm asked for it and sometimes even if I am.  I think at one time I had a pretty good grasp on what journals would be amenable to my work, and so much shifts and changes and new things crop up that I'm sort of lost these days.  I'm pretty much only interested in online journals, but so many spring up and go under in a year, it's overwhelming.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

plan B, or how to find library books during a zombie apocalypse

We are finally back in full swing in the studio with the new laptop (the chomebook was a nice temporary solution, but it was insane difficult to actually print from and manage, so I've now secured a nice Acer Aspire (the same model I had at home before I accidently ruined it) and it's humming along nicely.  There is a lot of catch up from the past couple of weeks to get underway, so I'm in early tomorrow--labels to print and ship, books to make and assemble.  It's a used one, but no older than the one I had before, so we should be good for a few years. I've spent so much on printers and computers the past two months, it's ridiculous, but it feels like every once in a while, all the technology in my life that can goes haywire.  

Back in the spring around the time I lost Sophie, the mother board went out on my work computer. In the span of two weeks, two buses I was on stalled out, my printer went kaput, and my modem at home malfunctioned (this was temporary, sadly not before I'd already invested in a new one).  This is probably why I will never get on a plane, or rely solely on e-books or GPS-- shit breaks.  And around me, it breaks a lot.  A train may break down or derail, there may be a car accident due to a blown out tire or faulty breaks, and I would probably not be surprised, but at least I'd hopefully live through it.   If your plane breaks down, you're pretty much a goner.

I guess I don't have a lot of all or nothing faith in mechanics or technology.  There have been a few times when the system has been down at work, and in a library that pretty much depends entirely on a catalogue to even know where to begin to look for something, it's always helped to know your dewey decimal system, just a little.  But with so many thousands of books, it seems to be a slender little thread of zeros and ones, chips and wires that holds it all together.   The giant, hulking card catalog seemed more solid, more permanent and immutable, but I can't even begin to conceive of the size that would be needed to hold a collection the size we have. 

When I worked at the elementary school library, my job before this, it was in those weird late 90's days when most libraries were in transition (or at least underfunded public school libraries were)  There was a still a card catalog, but it wasn't updated, so all of the new records were searchable, but on the measly two pc's that were available (and it was a temperamental  black screen system, not web-based.)  It was a job that was seriously underpaid (and a bit stressful), so there was a lot of turnover before I took the job (and a lot of turnover after I imagine.).  When I arrived, they were still charging out books old school, each student filling out their name on the cards, which were filed carefully in a wooden box by class, alphabetically, on the corner of the librarian's desk.  There was something rather re-assuring about it, the same way I'd checked out books as a grade schooler, all those copies of Beverly Cleary and Judy Bloom books. The battle over the Shel Silversteins (a battle that was still raging in 1999.)  Writing your name carefully on the card, a certain seriousness to being able to take a book HOME with you, to possess it even for a while.   I'm a library geek, probably why I ended up where I am today. We transitioned to having barcodes for the students and installing them on all the books (luckily the district did all of it's cataloguing, so it was a matter of just linking everything up and using the system).  By far it was infinitely more efficient, but it took some of my bookish joy away.  By the time I abandoned it for a liveable wage and the city I needed to return to, we were mostly digital. 

As someone who basks in the technological amenities quite often (the internet, e-mail, Netflix), I always take comfort in the back up plan..the stack of books that line my apartment, my rather archaic never-used landline, my weirdly accurate and extensive knowledge of Dewey. I always have a plan B (zombies or no).

Monday, November 11, 2013

So it happened.  The first snow and I'm not sure how I feel about it.  It was pretty for a second until I realized it was actually sticking to the ground and might stay there for a while.  It's just a dusting, but with temps in the 30's the next couple of days, it will no doubt take a while to melt.   I , of course, celebrated with some hazelnut hot chocolate (or soothed my discontent, however you look at it.)  Regardless I spent the afternoon working on some layouts for books from Jessica Ankeny and Lesley Jenike, and then some more time wading through the tangled mess that is the inbox.  Having gotten all the 2014 submission business squared away, I'll be turning next to the typewriter anthology submissions and some more wicked alice updates.  I'm also in the in the planning stages some holiday shop additions, possibly calendars and some new flasks and necklaces which will be debuting right around thanksgiving and in time for the big holiday open studio. Stay tuned...

Saturday, November 09, 2013

on submissions and slushpiles and chaos

I have been working the last couple of days to make final decisions and get out the last of the dgp responses from the summer's open reading period.  It's both wonderful and frightening (and a little exhausting) how many manuscripts we get that are so in line with our aesthetic --the slush pile for WA is ever so much slushier, but perhaps the more word of mouth orientation on the press front makes for a stronger, better pool of submissions.  I know am doing something right when I see submissions, completely unsolicited, in the mailbox from some of the poets whose work I've admired elsewhere.  I also know it's good when so many new voices, poets I've never heard from send me the most amazing things (especially when those poets are very much unknown and have been publishing very little so far, and usually this is their first chapbook.)  Every year, even if we don't take everything, I am introduced to so many authors whose work I want to become more acquainted with.

 Of over 500, there were probably only 200 that were definite "no"s on first glance, another 100 that were sound, but more traditionally lyric and not for us,  another 100 that were "maybe-- but with some edits or changes", and another 100 that could have been "yesses" in an ideal world,  but that I had to choose my 50 odd favorites from amongst.  This year it was actually closer to 70 since we will be pushing into 2015. The nice thing is that we've gotten to a point in the past few years where we are financially sound, so each book pretty much pays for the titles following it and helps with the overhead (printer maitenance, studio rent, etc..)  We have slower moving books, and faster ones, but it all pretty much balances out.

The stumbling point, is of course, time.  We are still a long way from making any sort of money that would allow a living from it, so it becomes a crazy juggle of the day job obligations, my own creative work, errands and commuting and general time suckers. I typically put about 4-5 hours a work in daily in the form of mornings and late nights  on the press business, so we can publish as many titles as I want to, but there's a definite tipping point I try to avoid between "busy" and "overwhelmed".  I am pretty good about time management, but things still happen and we fall behind, machinery malfunctions, personal dramas.   I always vow to be better about allowing myself writing time daily, but it usually ends up being more like a weekly block of time. I am still way to much of a control freak and solitude-lover to bring in any sort of help, so I find ways to make it work. Way to shave time off of things.  Ways to multi-task and remove unecessary obligations.

Despite the juggle and the sometimes freak outs over technical malfunctions it's still making me enormously happy to be doing this.  I am excited about our upcoming 10 year anniversary, our trip to AWP, all the good things that will be happening in 2014. Just you wait and see...

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

So, another week and another to-do list.  Another set of awesome new poems for wicked alice.  Another batch of cover designs, involving things like moon jellies and maritime schematics.  Maybe some submissions to go out, of which I have made up a list of (mostly web) journals I'd like to send to.  I've also re-assembled major characters in minor films after having disassembled it and am plotting places to mail to off to.  I feel out of the game in submitting full-length projects from scratch, or submitting manuscript projects at all I guess . It feels good to have it all neatly printed out and so large and solid and substantial (it's a whole 61 pages, which feels heavy by poetry book standards, or my poetry book standards). I feel like I've finished something. Something big (or at least a big collection of small things.)  I plan on giving it a final comb through this evening at home.  

Of course, futzing with that manuscript is making me feel less anxious about the ghost landscapes poems, the  project I am not finishing that I hoped I would be done with by the time November rolled around.  I keep pushing quality time with them til the end of the day when my brain is fried and should be doing just the exact opposite.  I rarely use my mornings for writing since it seems the best time of day to get more practical things don e, but perhaps writing would, in fact, be the most practical and sound thing I could be doing then. 

Sunday, November 03, 2013

fall color and other distractions

(warning:  frivolous girly girl post)

While I still love my blacks and greys, this fall, I seem to be more attracted to color (or maybe it's this year, since I found myself eyeling alot of yellow and orange over the summer as well)...I've been playing a bit more over at Polyvore with color combos and these are my favorites (well, I have cheaper approximates of most of these outfits, but it helps me determine what goes with what and what looks crappy together..)...The pumpkin orange and navy is a fave so far, and I've tried it with the denim dress I bought this summer, as well as a blue polkadot shirtdress and a steel grey/blue one.  I tend to go gravitate more back toward neutrals over the winter and then maybe pastels in the spring.  I am actually missing all my summer dresses already at this point, which have been packed away in suitcases to get them out of my way.

Saturday, November 02, 2013


So lately, I'm all about it.  Last night I convinced myself that if I went to the studio and got out some more orders, I could buy the black lace up boots I'd been wanting.  Later, I talked myself out of ordering my food for the week via peapod (which cost double for the same things I can get myself at Aldi) by promising myself I'd order about 80 dollars worth of tights today, which should last me all winter. Earlier, I made myself go get a bag of cat litter by bribing myself with coffee and a croissant.  Later, if I finish drafting three pieces of ghost landscapes, I can binge watch all the episodes of my trashy tv show favorite.  I plan to clean apartment tomorrow, so who knows what trouble I'll get into.  So it goes...

I am having a hard time prying the lid back open on the manuscript, or maybe more, finding the voice of it, the tenor.  The pieces so far are similar, but I'm still waffling on what exactly is happening.  Usually I just close my eyes and point and whatever direction it goes, I follow.  But this seems reluctant to get out of the gate.  But nothing gets done by blogging.  I am happy to finally have a more portable laptop, which means I can bring it home.  I guess I hadn't realized how much my process has evolved in terms of what is handwritten and what is typed.  I'm heavier on the latter compared to ten years ago or so and more likely to get something to take shape on the screen. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Though my green dress/ grey cardigan combination today resembles (a little too closely) the library's décor scheme, it's been a good day so far, with some galley editing and manuscript reading this morning in the studio (still waiting on my laptop, so I am paper bound on some final decisions).  Also chocolates and submission plans (like to actually send some out).   The weather was as grey as my sweater and a little drizzly, but November is peeking over the horizon, so it's to be expected.  In terms of the months, it's sort of always my least favorite--the darkening, dragging lull between Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Second only to March, which is the impatient dregs of winter (unless it's oddly warm and an early spring).

But Halloween costume plans are nevertheless afoot (no party this year or contests, but I'm dressing up for work anyway.) I am also turning my attention towards AWP travel plans and getting my train tickets squared away and  starting to make some sort of schedule.  It looks like the panel I'm on happens Thursday afternoon, and I'll be reading for one press that evening, and possibly another TBD.  Since it's been moved back another month to December, girl show will still be fairly new then, so there will be much to celebrate.

Monday, October 28, 2013

I am oft convinced, that if I am unable to make a decision for myself, fate will usually step in and make it for me.  In this case, the home laptop I have been waffling over whether to purchase has been sped up by the studio laptop's apparent demise (she lasted a good long 6 years in my possession and was actually older and refurbed when I got her.)  This means I have no choice and had to order a new one as soon I as I got to a computer today at work.  I should have a nice little Acer Chromebook sometime this week.(I still have to either buy a Netbook for home or a regular PC for the studio, but I still have some more time before I can afford to buy either.)

 This means chap printing is out of commission for a couple days, but I still have a load of books printed and not yet assembled that I finished up before I left town (author copies of the last couple of releases), so I can still finish those.  It is especially pissing me off since I just got the new Epson before I left town and planned to dive back into work at the studio tomorrow morning.  Still, even with no computer access outside the library, there is much to do--blurbs to write for past authors with new full-lengths, wicked alice submissions to read, new content to queue up for the next week or so. . Also,  new book to release (Eireann Lorsung's Sweetbriar which I still plan to start printing Friday,) and the final decisions on the 2014 series, of which decisions are proving more difficult than I'd hoped.  I'm still aiming to have all responses out by November 1st, so if you haven't heard from me, you will be shortly. 

The party went off splendidly yesterday afternoon, and the weekend was, as always filled with way too much food and a considerable amount of alcohol. I am back at the library and still knee deep in chaos that always comes with a week away--e-mails to answer, things piled on my desk to deal with.  I am hoping to make a path through it and turn to some press work later after the dust settles.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Today, a rather epic grocery shopping trip in preparation for Sunday's festivities--a cart filled with yummy things, but still the usual grocery-store uneasiness and confusion.  I've gotten used to my neighborhood store, and I pretty much can breeze through in under 5 minutes, mostly because I rarely vary from the usual list as I wind through the store--bread, tortillas, salad, chicken, turkey sausage, pasta, hummus, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes. Tick. Tick. Tick.  Sometimes cheese and croutons and salad dressing.  (I get cat food/litter and cleaning/household stuff delivered monthly) I'm a creature of habit and pretty much eat the same things every week.  But put me with a list in unknown terrain and I'm completely lost as to where to start. Endless shiny  rows of choices and always money worries and uncertainty.  I am far from the domestic goddess who intuitively knows which mustard is best, which sour cream, which type of sandwich bun. Nevertheless, we are stocked up and ready with plenty of food and wine and red frosting-ed cupcakes. (40 is the ruby anniverary, though we opted for expanding to a more fall-ish color palate including the red.)

Already I am making a mental list of what needs to happen Monday when I get back. Author copies to finish assembling that I ran out of time for last week. Orders to get out. Stocking the shop for the holidays once November hits. I try to consider it in small bits or it becomes this overwhelming thing I want to run from. to drown myself in distractions from. Autumn is always this slide downhill and I struggle to find an opening in it or a foothold, especially in light (or lack thereof) of the impending time change.  I will no doubt self-medicate with chocolate and shopping (which prove both fattening and expensive, but what can you do?). This week I found a lovely teal corduroy coat and a pair of crimson mary janes that are making me very excited...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

oh, nostalgia

So much of Rockford is forever the same, like I've stepped back into my childhood routines effortlessly. And yet, so much changes--a huge addition to my elementary school, rampant build outs on certain thoroughfares, entire new neighborhoods filled with identical houses in various shades of beige.  I'm still convinced my junior high has the exact same worn out blinds hanging in the band room that hung there in 1987 (my mother says they may be the same blinds that hung there in the early 60s when she went there.) Am convinced that the ghost of my child self is still walking down into the woods closer the river to catch the school bus every morning and every afternoon walking the winding road back out of those same woods.  Am convinced that if I knocked on any door in the neighborhood, the kids that used to live their would answer. (kids who I'd lost touch with before we even left high school, some to rehab and reform schools)

Summer is about different memories, and so are spring and winter, but fall (and especially the pre-Halloween season) reminds me of yards thick and deep with damp leaves, the rich smell they gave off, especially when the temp dropped.  Pumpkins ruined by early frost. Leaf collections and haunted houses in stripmalls and fire stations and abandoned grade schools. How dark the street was trick or treating (the sole light is actually at the park entrance across the street from the house, so it's entirely black the rest of the length of it. (and actually, my dad would usually drive us to a close-by subdivision since there are only a handful of houses on the street and  my parents were wary of sending us down into 'the glen', the wooded area of ramshackle houses and trailers in the woods at the bottom, where it was equally dark populated by god-knows-who.) Even still, it's a neighborhood populated by people my mother grew up with (the land was my grandmother's and split among my mother's siblings.) People grow up and grow old, but then their children move in, move away, and more take over the houses or build bigger ones.  I am not sure I would live here, (Rockford in general is gross and I love Chicago) but sometimes I think about it, about roots and land and a sense of place and how tethered I feel sometimes.

We drove out to the orchard for donuts and apples on Monday, and then back through the state park we spent many a summer camping or fishing in tents and pickup campers.  The same state park where I trekked around the lake for a girl scout badge in 1984.  The same state park that's still a landscape filled with beautiful autumn trees. It's all about nostalgia lately, so I bide my time watching horror movies with my dad like old times, eating mallowcreme tiny pumpkins, sleeping well and deep in my childhood room with the closet door I busted , the nightstand that belonged to my grandmother, the view out over the horse paddock next door (actually, there haven't been horses in years.)  It makes the ghost child of me happy n a way the child-me never would have been (I was moody and difficult and demanding in those years..)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

writerly bits

*  Lisa Cole shares an awesome review of the shared properties of water and stars this week on her blog.

*Verse Daily was kind enough to give a nod to some pieces from the apocalypse series over at their weekly web feature..

* My bookshelves at home get little face time over at the Sundress Blog..

Sunday, October 20, 2013

a month of sundays

There is something very comforting about a chilly grey fall afternoon, all cozy inside with dinner cooking and smelling all wonderful (in this case, pot roast) and nothing absolutely to do but nap intermittently and read. Particularly if it's my parents house and I'm looking at a week off work.  It makes me nostalgic for those long Sunday afternoons of childhood & adolesence.  As a grown up, my Sundays are usually filled with errands and housework and sometimes even work.  Usually, it's the only day I'm not at the library or in the studio.  But here, outside of some emails to send, I'm obligation free and it feels incredibly nice.  Nicer to be an adult and revel in these things (rather than a cranky teenager, I guess, who felt like I was always at war with something (my mother, my body, my own identity).

It feels more like autumn here, even, moreso than the city. The lake always has a slowing effect on seasons, whatever they are --warmer in the cold weather, cooler in the heat--)  Here it is cold enough to crank up the heat and very, very dark at night.  I usually don't get home this time of year until Thanksgiving, so sometimes I miss the real thick of fall entirely.  By then, it's verging on winter and the trees already  leafless. But now, some are just turning and others piled on the ground.

Next week, I'll be back in the middle of the storm and adrift in projects and editing and chapbooks to make, but this week, it's quiet...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I am spending some time this afternoon determining what to read for tonight, and have decided that I'll probably go with some shared properties... segments, some apocalypse poems, and end with some from IHATEYOUJAMESFRANCO . I'd initially though I might trot out some girl show pieces, but I'm feeling in a sillier, less "serious"  mood (and no doubt as soon as it's out, I'll probably be reading mostly from that for a while.)

So far today, there has been dreariness, rain, and a morning hard to pull myself from the cozy bed. But there has also been some hazelnut hot chocolate and some Panera soup, so I'm full and happy, and though I'm technically working, I'm not really getting anything done. Tonight, the brewery reading, and then probably home to bed early since I want to get some serious studio time in the morning before I have to go to work, then I leave for Rockford tomorrow night.

 Me and my sister have been working on some surprises afoot for the anniversary party, including a 1973 mix CD as a take home favor (luckily my mother never reads my blog).  Granted 1973--not a great year for music (and my mother's taste falls a bit on the cheesier side anyway) but it ain't half bad (there is also a longer, broader, more rock laden mix for during the party itself.) 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Amidst the pre-vacation chaos, there is a little space to breathe and thus a little time to blog. I don't tend to it well enough (the blog), or often enough, but there are so many things this is probably true of.  Good things happening in real space, including amazing apple pie from the Hilton next door  with cinnamon sprinkled ice cream.  The other night, listening to some 20 years olds talk excitedly about Anna Karenina (granted there is a recent movie but apparently all is not lost on/with these millennials.)  I have never been a Tolstoy fan (not the Russians in general, but Chekhov is another story altogether)  But it's a good sign that we are not doomed.  I have more and more moments where I feel very old indeed, and perhaps I am, which is very odd considering how mentally, I feel stuck somewhere in my mid-twenties (which is probably why I make such disastrous choices like dating people ACTUALLY in their mid-twenties.  Or worse, mid-twenty-somethings that have serious alcohol problems and post-college career issues..)

But onward and upward. It's dropped into the fifties this week, which means thicker sweaters and knee socks and maybe some boot wearing.  I kind of like the dreary days (though I will be sick of them by the end of this month.) It makes me crave apple and pumpkin-related things--pie and cobblers and donuts (which I should be partaking in at some point next week.)  It makes me want to roll around in a pile of leaves (probably unwise, due to dampness & mold.)  It makes me want to read and write VERY SERIOUS THINGS with a lot of seriousness.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

dgp news and notes

New releases this week include Lisa Cole's sophomore chap with dgp, The Bodyscape, and Nissa Holtkamp's minima and maxima (incidently, I'll be reading with Nissa at Revolution Brewery Thursday night if you happen to be in the Chicago area this week).  We also have new books from Andrea Spofford, (Everything Combustible) and a dance experiment inspired series from Kristin Fitzsimmons titled all these bone bowls.  We are at the height of our catch-up before the year is over, so we'll be releasing books at a pretty steady clip the remainder of the year, so there will be more new releases this coming week and next. We will be getting a new printer as well (well, another new printer) and we will probably wear the poor thing out by Christmas if all goes well.

We are also having one of our seasonal sales, 3 books for a mere $10, which is more than 50 percent off the regular price and a good opportunity to stock up on your favorite authors.  The funds will also go toward helping fund our trip to AWP in 2014.  We've already been making travel plans and setting up some book signings at our table (we'll be joined by Nicole Steinberg, Sophia Kartsonis, and Yu-Han Chao, all of whom will have second books hot off the presses after the new year.)

wicked alice is once again on a roll and updating regularly after our mini-hiatus.  Rumor has it, we'll be doing some mini reviews and books to watch out for lists very soon, so look for those.  Meanwhile, we have new poems up from Andrea Quinlan, Jillian Mukavetz and J. Gay, and amazing flash fiction from Audrey Colombe.

We are  also making our way through the very last of the submissions from the summer open reading period and getting started on the submissions for the typewriter anthology.  (check out announcements regarding upcoming authors at our facebook page or on twitter.)  It's really settled into fall around here and we're excited about all that will be happening in 2014.

Monday, October 14, 2013

While I feel that slight dryness at the back of my throat that usually precedes a cold, I am just ignoring it and hoping it will go away.  There is no time for sickness, not when there is so very much that has to be done before the weekend when I head out of town. The weekend went as planned.  Saturday. most of the day in the studio, printing covers and hating the Epson, which has gotten even worse in it's jamming behavior (the HP and it's booklet issues we won't even talk about..it's pretty much good only for it's scanner/copier and basic printing).  So I ordered a new Epson (same model, new printer), which will render me broker than usual this week, but I'll survive and be able to work faster.  I've been struggling through since May when I replaced Frankenprinter, but this one has a sticky duplexer. I'm so tired of printer issues and technological mishaps and the things which foil me at every turn.

Nevertheless, I made some progress on covers (and hopefully the insides will follow this week.)  I am working through a couple other titles just about ready for release as well.)  Sunday, I made more soup and bought groceries for the week, hemmed a dress (though sometimes I think I do better by hand than on the machine.), cleaned the apartment, played with the cats (Zelda is getting bigger and crazier all the time.)  All I really managed to accomplish in the evening was finishing off the latest season of Supernatural on Netflix.  Not much creative work, but I still blame order muppet mode.  The net that holds everything so tightly in place doesn't allow for much freedom or imagination.  I seem to be able to be both extremely productive and extremely creative, but rarely these two things at the same time.

Today, however, I am wearing the violet dress and feeling rather out of control, so there may be some poems in me yet...

Friday, October 11, 2013

It feels like I've been working straight for two weeks without a break, and yes, dear reader, I guess I actually have, but I'm also studio-bound at least tomorrow to finish up some things, so I am planning on being lazy on Sunday (which of course means that I plan to do some writing then, since that's as close as I get to downtime these days).  I also stumbled upon some lip balm base I hadn't even opened and think I may make a batch of that (I'm planning to do a bunch more soap and candle making, both for gifts and for the shop/open studio in November.)

Tonight, there are some beercade hijinks afoot for a friend's birthday, so who knows how late my day may start tomorrow, but I intend to get  the author copies on their way for this week's new releases and have a few books wrapping up and almost ready.  I am on a mission to actually be on schedule by year's end, which is always a noble undertaking, but rarely happens. Aready there are a couple book designs underway for early 2014 titles, not to mention more AWP planning happenings, reading for the typewriter anthology project, and the last of the submissions to wade through.

This week brings readings and work lunches and the usual pre-vacation panic mode. Next weekend, I am off to Rockford for some fall respite and party preparations, which has been promised to be rife with fall festivities and apple orchards and home-cooked meals. Since we are forgoing our usual Detroit trip this year, Halloween celebrating is still up in the air, but I do have a couple costume ideas should some plans materialize.  More soon on that..

Sunday, October 06, 2013

So far, it's been a Sunday morning of delightful discoveries...a book with an amazingly lovely cover in the return drop called The Collector by John Fowles, "hailed as the first modern psychological thriller" according to the back cover and which sounds right up my alley.  Glorious weather, sunny and cool and clear after a couple rainy, muggy, schizophrenic days.  The discovery that the Trib has apparently been publishing little fiction supplements as chapbooks (someone dumped a bunch on the free table).  Also, the discovery that Zelda apparently thinks she's a mermaid and has decided that frolicking in the bathtub is a fun and not terrifying thing. The other cats, however, were horrified at the sight.

I've been destined for my last library shift this weekend, , but it's a little more bearable and less tedious than usual..  Yesterday, we were testing some games for a future library-sponsored game night, so the day went much faster. Today, I am determined to get through the end of the submissions and wind up some more layouts.  Even though I was headed downtown, I managed to indulge my new Sunday routine which involves a stop for café au lait and an almond croissant from Metropolis ( the first I've found that even approaches the ones they used to sell at my lost, beloved Rain Dog cafe.)  So I am caffeinated, sugared up, and ready to work (well, as soon as I stop wasting time on this blog.)

There are some more writerly bits, though, including this feature at Omniverse about Noctuary  Press, which includes an audio file at the end of me reading briefly from the shared properties of water and stars. (I now have a microphone, which I didn't, so I might get to be annoying with the number of recordings in the future.  I am also trying to figure out how to make book trailers.)  Also a review of that book at Poet Hound and one of the I*HATE*YOU*JAMES *FRANCO pieces in amongst some awesome offerings of Poetry Crush's feature on celebrity crushes. 

I am also planning this week to upload a pdf version of my archer avenue chap just in time for Halloween, which has been out of print for a long while (there were only 50 of them originally and most were just given away/ traded with other poets).. It's one of my favorite projects as far as process--all ghosties and chicago history bits. As me and a co-worker at the library have been working on a exhibition about creative research, I've been remembering how much fun I had working on those poems back in the fall of 2005--the researching, the ghost tours, the fun of not only immersing oneself in legend and folklore, but in some ways, through art, making it and adding to it. girl show was similar in it's research, and I've always loved that element of what I do.  I'd have made a poor academic since the part I loved was the research part and not the dog and pony show of writing it up into a boring essay.(and yes, even with graduate degrees during which I wrote a lifetime's worth of essays, I pretty much hated every second of it.)

Saturday, October 05, 2013

dgp news & notes

Much has been happening behind the scenes as we prepare to launch a slew of chapbooks this month (fall offerings and some stragglers from summer) including books currently underway from Lisa Marie Cole, Nissa Holtkamp ,Kristin Fitzsimmons, Eireanne Lorsung, JSA Lowe, Amber Nelson,  and Leia Wilson.  November has quite a few others coming as well we've yet to start working on just yet but will very soon. And then of course, we're nearing the end of the year and onward to 2014, our big 10th Anniversary year.  I'm still making my way through the final batch of submissions and making final decisions from the summer reading period, but I promise you what we have taken is all sorts of awesome I'm continuing to offer sneak previews at the Facebook page.). Submissions also just closed for the typewriter anthology [carriage return], so I'm looking forward to delving into those in the next few weeks.

Recent releases since our last update included Shanita Bigelow's artwork-accompanied Whatever Clarity is Necessary, as well as Kate Falvey's What the Sea Washes Up, which featured a beautiful cover design courtesy of Michael Kellner.  We also launched two books by Tuscaloosa entrenched poets (I've found that there seems to be really exciting stuff coming out of that MFA program in particular)  Katie Berger and Laura Kochman.  We also have a new chapbook courtesy of Abigail Waltrausen, In Memory of Category,  who describes her series as:

" a collection of poems about tools and viewfinders, the mind’s ways of interpreting the world by tailoring nature and industry around each other. The mind is a master curator, and the objects that inhabit these poems orbit universal preoccupations: sex, commerce, sights, apocalypses. My project is to find these themes in the fading and obsolete object. The antiquated tools for cataloguing and experiencing the world, things from claude glasses to stereographs to gunter’s chains to astrolabes, inspire from their places in cabinets of curiosity and museums of early Americana. Just as these places accumulate objects, I map the euphony of verbal "artifacts" from my reading in my long-time practice of keeping a commonplace book where I copy striking images and sounds. I write both with William Carlos William’s words "no Ideas but in things" ringing in my ears and with an abiding love of early explicators of all "things" -- the metaphysical poets. "


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

bits & pieces

1.  The other night I dreamed that my mother was washing dishes in an overflowing sink, but also that she would occasionally shift dimensions or down and just disappear.  We were distraught, but also knew that this sort of thing happened occasionally and not to panic.  In fact, people in general could just shift dimensions and time at will and no one was really all that concerned. It may have had something to do with my wish for time travel vacations, like say if you wanted to visit Vegas in the brat pack days or Chicago in the 20's..

2. There is a rather lovely awesome review of the shared properties of water and stars up at Heavy Feather Review.  I always get this lovely sort of vertigo when I hear people talk about my work as if I'm not in the room (well and I suppose it would be rather different if it were bad things they were saying, but in this case, its favorable.) It almost feels like a real things that is entirely independent of me and my sense of self, like some strange little child that goes gallivanting out there in the world occasionally without me and is actually doing things.

3. There is still some time to get the pre-sale price on girl show, which will also be galivanting out there in the world in a few short weeks. This feels like the little book that took forever to come into being, so I'm definitely feeling both relieved and excited. You can read a little about it here, and see some poems from it here and here.

4.  I've been invited to take part in a digital chapbook archive project and have decided to use the apocalypse series of poems as my contribution.  I'll have more details as it evolves and am working on the cover and layout as we speak. I've also been thinking of digitizing some other chaps and making them available on my website, maybe archer avenue and errata, the cornell poems, various out-of-print projects.  Some of the early stuff in the first three chaps has better versions in the full-length books, but I would like to have errata, which was truncated a bit for in the bird museum, to be available in its entirety. Eventually even havoc and shipwrecks of lake michigan after they've sold out the limited run. I loved how people responded to the JF poems in an e-chap in an immediate way that print doesn't always allow.

4. I am starting to get excited about a reading mid-month, which features some of my very favorite poetry ladies.  I don't think gs will be in hand by then, so I might read some other things instead...There might be another one in the works in December, provided I get cracking and finish up the ghost landscapes poems..which is what I should be doing now instead of blogging, but we've reached the Tuesday fall-out point where I do amazing things out of the gate on Monday and get super-lazy before rebounding Weds.  Happens every week...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Today is that point in the month, in every month, where I suddenly look at a calendar and realize it is half over.  That we are almost bridging into October and from then, it is a short brisk ride downhill into winter.  Or maybe it's less riding and more flailing uncontrollably.  Nevertheless, I started thinking earlier today about things I need to start planning in terms of holiday shop offerings.  Christmas is much less crazy since we left etsy behind, but there is a an uptick in sales of non-book items and the awesome insanity that is the holiday open studio.  And then, AWP not far behind, which means I will have to start early on beefing up general book inventory as well (plus wrapping up some other projects--a couple of my own art/text things, the typewriter anthology, a bunch of early 2014 titles I'd like to have available).

But for now, I am just trying to get a little bit done each day..orders printed and assembled, things finalized and laid out, covers designed.  I have to put in another ink and cardstock order over the weekend, and have some neighborhood art festival plans Sunday, but otherwise, I plan on getting to some writing.  I feel closed off from it and like a need a chisel to pry the lid back open on the ghost landscape pieces.I'm getting that antsy, testy, disconnected feeling when I put off my own projects too long because of other things--editing, work, day to day trivia.  It's no good and eventually I start freaking out...

The news is that girl show is ever more nigh..the pre-sale is still going on for a few more weeks and the book should be out mid-month or so.  Since I turned in the final proofs a while back, I've barely looked at it (mostly an attempt not to be sick to death of it around the time I have to start reading from it.)  I also had the good news that the shared properties of water and stars sold out it's first run in the first month  (I'm ridiculously grateful that so many people bought a copy and that Noctuary does such an awesome job of getting it out in the world.).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

So midweek, and my days thus far have been filled mostly with book assembly in the studio and plotting of future projects, including a rather awesome library related exhibit/venture afoot dealing with finished work and creative bibliographies (the rest of my time there has been devoted to reserve usage and departmental stats, so I take my fun where I can get it.)

 Once again, I find I put forth my best efforts Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday slips into mad scramble and slacking off.  I do have several galleys out to authors and a couple covers underway (see above, the illustration we'll be using for Katie Berger's Time Travel:  Theory and Practice.)  I should be releasing a new group of chaps starting later in the week.  Lately dgp releases seem to happening in spurts, and we've fallen a month or so behind schedule, which is, by no means as bad as we have past years, but there are still some stragglers I'd like to get under wraps.  wicked alice has also re-emerged after a brief summer hibernation, and I already have work lined up for the next two months and much in the inbox waiting to be read.

Otherwise, my week has been more chapbook submissions, trashy teen novels (courtesy of a free bookstore abandoned proof copy), some more rarified and serious reading, but sadly no actual writing, which I hope to get cracking on over the weekend. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

So, it's a working weekend, which means I'm chained and bound to the library circ desk both days, during which I plan to finish a few layouts on upcoming books and work my way through the remaining queue of submissions for next year (ideally I would love to be done by the end of September.) We are really feeling fall now.  I've hauled out the heavy blanket for my bed and put away my flip flops *sniff*.

I'm enjoying the lull before the October blitz, which involves planning for my parent's 40th anniversary shindig, some reading action towards the end of the month, the release of girl show, Halloween plans, and other fall merrymaking.   But I know my moods are tenuous this time of year, so I'm trying to get as much done while things are good as I can. Which also means I'm in order muppet mode lately, so of course, my to-do list is organized and color coded, but there isn't much happening in the writing department.  I blame the library and the endless shelves of course reserves, but things are starting to quiet down even there.

ghost landscapes, while I did manage to get all of the images scanned last week, is not much further along in the text department than it was a couple weeks ago.  My prime writing time (weekends) have been a little overscheduled, so I'm hoping next week to remedy that.  But fall always makes me want to write after being lazy all summer.  It's probably that back to school vibe, but suddenly I feel a need to be more serious about things in general. Or maybe it's just the warm beverages after a summer of icy ones. Suddenly I start downing hot coffee and I feel a need to have a pen in my hand.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

strange machines

I have some collages form a new series, strange machines, being exhibited on the 3rd floor of the Library.  The opening shindig is part of the Wabash Arts Corridor Crawl, so if you're in the neighborhood, stop by and check it out...

Monday, September 16, 2013

So it's been a longer time away than expected, due to all sorts of things, not only broken laptops and press business, but also the worst allergy onset and about three miserable days early last week.  While I was  gone, Zelda happened (see above) so I am now back at cat capacity (like we all knew that wasn't going to happen sooner than later.)  But there were also other things...the start of the semester, a cool down in weather, poems in journals, a good review of my latest, new fall clothes, a tiny green finch rescued from the sidewalk.    
Otherwise, it was a quiet end to an otherwise quiet weekend, lots of rain, cinnamon rolls, some homemade soup, and some horror movie watching. (This is my one of my last quiet weekends since I'm working all of next and October is going to be a bear.)

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

radio silence

Since my laptop at home had a rather unfortunate run-in with bath gel in my tote bag on the way back from Mississippi, it's been on the slow and steady decline every since, so I found myself rendered computer-less over the bulk of the weekend, which was nice in terms of productivity (how else do I explain color coding my drawer of cardigans). 

While I can no doubt entertain myself with Netflix via the Roku box and an apartment full of books and reading material, what I missed most was not being able to tell everyone whenever something interesting/funny happened.  Like how I was convinced that there was a badly behaving (but adorable) demon child on the bus who I'm convinced made it break down on LSD, or that because of that,  I walked a couple block through the park to the Sheridan bus, and past the most heavenly smelling garden just south of the Nature Museum. 

Or that I actually spent Sunday morning eating s'mores for breakfast and paging through old stacks of décor porn (Elle Décor, Real Simple, Domino).  Or how excited I still get right before school starts even though I haven't been in class for years, plotting out my first day outfit (my new awesome green wrap dress, ivory sweater) contemplating a new sketch book, perhaps some new gel pens, some watercolor paper.

Nevertheless, I survived and will probably get a new laptop in the next few weeks (it might be later rather than sooner since I'm having duplex printer problems with my Epson and kicked in for a new b&w HP for the studio to do text blocks.) I'd much rather deal with a laptopless apartment (or haul the studio one home) than deal with only being able to print 20 books before it starts sticking...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I hereby declare this very last week of technical summer (well at least according to the meterologic calendar and the college's academic calendar) to be one of ice cream and sundresses and beach going.  Of trashy novel reading and eating everything outside on patios.  Of eyeing fall suspiciously and burying my head in the sand.


Last week was a busy one though, spent battling new internet installation in the studio, making a gazillion chapbooks (or so it seemed), and just a general sense of frenzy.  But there were delights, including copies of the shared properties of water and stars arriving at my door all slender and blue and wonderful, as well as collage making (there's a sneak peak below at one of them from the new series, strange machine) Friday also included a visit to the Chicago History museum for a work field trip and then a pretty damned good monte cristo at the pancake house across the street.

These last few gloriously weathered days seem wonderful, but even though September is pretty mild and probably my second favorite month of the year after May, it' still rather bittersweet.  Already the trees are tinged a little with yellow and some are surreptitiously dropping a leaf every now and then. 

But I am more or les ready for autumn with all sort of plans and projects and new sweaters and shoes.  Bring it on...