Tuesday, December 31, 2019

sayonara 2019



Though I did a recap post on the past 10 years earlier this month, I feel like NYE requires a brief round up of this particular last year, though it was at times highly enjoyable and at times slowly terrifying.  According to this blog, as in most years, I published some poems, released a few book projects, made some art.  I wrote some things (good and bad). I failed both napowrimo and my 100 rejections project but am totally okay with it.  I watched GOT and mulled over the idea of a tattoo. I turned 45 and did not get said tattoo. I fell in love with the lilac bushes in the park and hosted some really great discussions on small presses and strange little girls in popular culture (not in the same panel, but that would be cool).  I taught workshops on bookwrecking, paper flowers, and paper quilling.   I ate lots of things, including  many things covered in raspberry jam (toast, English muffins, frozen waffles.)  I procured two demon siamese kittens who are just too much in their cuteness and firmly cemented my cat lady status.  I,  at times,  questioned my commitment to sparkle magic.  I watched some really good movies whilst high in theatres, including Midsommar, which informs my current theory on sad bear boys. I went to karaoke, which is one of my love's favorite things, but did not sing.  In July, I got a little too drunk on tequila and too little food and may have thrown up, college girl style, in the front yard at my dad's house. I presented at a couple different library conferences (on zines, on curated learning) and won a pretty cool award for creativity in libraries.   I finished my 9th full-length manuscript and began sending it out. I published my first piece of creative nonfiction in The Journal. I had a financial panic episode in September and made the decision to leave the free-flowing drain of the studio if I was going to right the ship.    I over-scheduled October and barely made it out alive. I read at the Field Museum and wrote a bunch of poems for it that are very good.   I moved out of the studio and then discovered it was probably the best decision I've ever made. (due the fact I can now make chapbooks in my pajamas while watching try-ons & closet organization videos on youtube and this makes me very happy.  Also money..I occasionally have it. )  I watched a lot of trashy holiday romances pre-Christmas and received grown up presents like crock-pots and cold brew pitchers, but also tequila liqueurs and witchy oracle cards. I am ringing in the New Year organizing the mess of the new studio set up in my dining room and making pizza--all good things.  So peace out, 2019.  You were probably more goodness than white knuckles, but only in retrospect.  Bring on 2020....

Sunday, December 29, 2019

love & fear



As we inch closer to 2020, we also inch closer to the impending release of sex & violence from Black Lawrence and some attendant festivities..I am determined to make a book trailer in the next few weeks, and get a start on planning some sort of release party in early summer. I've talked a bit about the genesis and nature of the entire book before here, where I wrote:

It was on the heels of some weird and troubling times for women in general, during which I’d been working on some prose poem series centered on some of my favorite things—Plath, horror movies, the work of Salvador Dali, while also working on a series of pieces about relationships and how difficult it is to reconcile love as a straight woman with male privilege and violence. I started to notice threads of ideas connecting all these disparate bits and suddenly had a manuscript that made sense thematically as an encapsulation of all sorts of anxieties that I foster as a woman in the world-about love, about violence and fear, about artmaking itself.   

And it's true---so much of this book and pulling it together was shaped by a few things that were coinciding in 2017 as I was finishing it-- our visit to the Death Museum in New Orleans (very much a church to the terrible things men do (usually to women), the Me Too movement, mass shootings, my own relationship and anxieties (all of these explored in the how to write a love poem in a time of war pieces).  The dirty blonde section, which is older,  is about uncomfortableness with female sexuality and agency.  The Plath centos in honey machine are about domestic routine and the idea of "the wife." The Dali poems are told from the point of view largely of Dali's wife in the guise of the ghostly little blue dog.

What results is hopefully an amalgamation of what it feels like to be a woman (or at least a mostly straight woman) who has to love a gender that she should probably really be afraid of given statistics--maybe not even just physical violence, but different types of agression, gaslighting, and erasure that plagues women in all settings.

You can get your hands on a copy by pre-ordering here...


Sunday, December 22, 2019

art and productivity | 2019

Today, I repeated the same ritual as last year.  Foraging through google docs and running blog entries, through dropbox folders and random files,  to assemble and print out the year's writing output.  Closing up the year, I was well aware I was not as productive in my exploits as 2018, when I finished the year with around 150 new pieces spread across various projects--and the better half of two different book manuscripts. While last year, sometimes the only things that kept me going through grief was that daily writing. So maybe I needed it less this year. so it didn't always happen. I would chug away on a project sometimes then drift away--get busy with other things at the start of my day. All the while, I kept telling myself it was okay to not be producing so much and that it'd be better served by slowing down.  Though occasionally the panic of that lack of production would set in, as it always did during fallow periods. Especially in light of many half-finished projects and ideas that sit idling for years sometimes (this is true of visual art as well.)

When I printed them all out this afternoon, I found close to 80 pieces written this year, across  5 different series--nothing to scoff at to be sure, and certainly more than I was tallying in my head. This also did not include the last batch of zodiac poems I can never keep track of, so probably approaching 100 more likely. Poems about changelings and body image, about serial killers and mass extinctions. With so much in flux this past year, and the niggling feeling I am doing so much, but only a little bit well, I am happy to see something solid and good to show for it, especially since my visual exploits have been more stagnant outside of cover designs.  I've never been much for numbers for the sake of numbers, but I'm aware that the higher number of things you write in a year, the better for the actual quality--like running laps or situps--even the less inspiring ones make you stronger.

I will do another beginning of the year post with what's on par creatively for 2020 (though looking at last year's, I barely scratched a lot of surfaces.)  I hope to continue my latest string of daily writing in January (though I am taking some time off while I am on vacation to turn to some editing & compiling these next two weeks.) Publication-wise, there is the release of Sex & Violence to look forward to in April, as well as some fragments from unusual creatures that will turn up in the next Tupelo Quarterly. (and that project itself a squirrely mass that needs to be tended to when I can concentrate on it.)

Saturday, December 21, 2019

courting darkness




I was reading something recently that talked about the lost monsters of Christmas, at least in the US, where we are much less likely to celebrate the Krampus or Black Pete in favor of reindeer and Santa Claus.  Christmas being a season of light rather than dark, though today's solstice tells us otherwise.. I am not a Christian, but the holiday to me has always been a cultural one--a holiday of family gatherings and gift-giving at this coldest, darkest time of the year, and therefore probably much more pagan in it's impulse.

Though I knew A Christmas Carol was a ghost story, imagine my shiver of delight in a grad school victorian novel class that in Dickens' time, it was far more appropriate to tell ghost stories whilst roasting chestnuts round the fire than not.  Things are scarier in the dark, and these are the darkest days of the year. Of course, we fill them with monsters and ghosts.   I also can't help think of the opposite the summer solstice, and it's weird magic and lore..the fairies that will abduct you if you fall asleep in the wrong spot.  The in-between-ness, that seems similar to Halloween in the thin-ness of veils. Then, there is too much light, and afternoons become far more treacherous than midnights.

I am awaiting a grocery delivery and getting ready to make some cookies when I have the ingredients, but I think I'll settle in with some scarier holiday themed fare tonight than the past couple of weekends Lifetime/Hallmark romances.  Black Christnas,  Krampus. Silent Night, Deadly Night.  It will be pitch black by 4:30 and a long, long night since I slept rather late today, the first official day of my winter vacation.  I also will have ingredients for chicken soup, which seems appropriate solstice fare, though lately anything is an occasion for soup (mostly since I can just throw everything in the pot and work on other things while it's cooking.) I have a bunch of books I am finishing to ship out Monday before I leave town, so I'll be working on those as I watch movies and drink my way through this new box of mint hot chocolate.  I also have a shiny new sketchbook/planner to move everything into to get ready for the new year. I am so ready for 2020.

Friday, December 20, 2019

stories and poem-making



In the past, I've occasionally mentioned one of the most (and perhaps one of the only truly useful) moments in my MFA workshop days.  We were heading toward the second half of the semester, and the instructor made us go around the room and talk about WHY we wrote the poems we'd brought--or perhaps why we wrote poems at all. The answers were various--self-expression, capturing a moment, making a point.  But I think I was the only one that said I wanted to tell a story--and several people seemed surprised by this. Not only surprised, but confused.  We quickly moved around the room and then ran out of time for more discussion before we had to turn to that week's slew of poems up for critique, but I found it to be a fascinating indicator of what we should expect from any given poem.  Not only what we value as writers of any given piece, but also what we value as readers (or even what we want our readers to value.)

Maybe it's my beginnings.  I was a fiction reader long before I read a lick of poetry.  My 11 year old self in love with horror novels no doubt very much informs my poet self.  The first thing I every tried to write creatively was a haunted house story for a district-wide creative writing book contest in junior high.  I distinctly remember fiddling in a notebook for it for weeks until I struggled and caved, turning in a simple counting book instead for the assignment.  When another girl in my class placed in the contest with some variety of teen story, I was insanely jealous and regretful that I hadn't seen it through. I discovered poems my freshman year of high school and subsequently filled my diary pages with them--poems about kittens, the moon, and unrequited love, . A poem was short--less pressure, less endurance, and according to my teacher, I was pretty good at writing them (this opinion based on a killer poem about flamingos I believe.) 

I was good at writing in general--five paragraph essays, papers on aliens and the u.s government, essays about the first amendment, articles about the environment for a Seventeen contest. .  Such things respectively won me good grades, an American Government class award, $300 from the Illinois Bar Association, and a big bag of free Noxema products. I would go on to write long winded editorials in my highschool paper about things like sea mammal rescues and animal testing (I was at that point, planning to go into marine biology upon graduation.). I didn't return to poems until my first year of college, and by then, they were slender and minimlist and more about societal ills than furry animals or love.   Amid lit and theatre classes, in  second spring in college, I enrolled in my first creative writing class--short fiction--and while I enjoyed writing the  stories, the teacher told me my sentences were too long--too lush and filled with commas, and that perhaps I'd be better suited as a poet. He talked about the Hemingways vs. the Faulkners of the writing world--and I was definitely one of the latter and this was trickier to wield well in the world of short fiction, where I mostly just ended up confusing and exasperating my reader.

In poetry, all bets were off. But the urge to tell stories did not go away. Some projects are obviously more narrative driven than others, but then you could probably say they all have this as a driving force behind them.   Even my first book, the fever almanac, hiding behind it's lyricism, propels itself on the story of women whose journeys mirror my own in many ways. Sometimes the stories are my stories, sometimes less so. But the point is the stories usually--especially in those projects that combine visual elements. Over the break, I'm hoping to start compiling and ordering the dark country manuscript, and this is especially true here--where certain more narrative projects --the taurus poems, the slenderman pieces, and beautiful sinister, are combined with the more lyric-essay-ish  exquisite damage. But even the latter is a story--a more personal story about growing up in the midwest amid kidnappings and horror movies and the darkness that hides under the surface of shopping malls and parking lots.


Thursday, December 12, 2019

taking stock of the 2010's



Around ten years ago, according to this very blog, I was marveling what a decade can do. How much happens in the span of ten years--mostly good things, but also some sad things.   As 2010 began, I was 35. I close this decade solidly in my mid-40's.  Since it my head, I am perpetually around 26, this fact always takes me aback.  Once in a while I will tell a story and say "A couple years ago" and realize it was in fact, more like seven.   Sometime in my mid-twenties, I blinked and 20 years passed.  But they were a good and prosperous two decades, the last of which was less about way finding and more about developing and flourishing.  So much has changed and yet so much has really not changed at all in the intervening decade.

In terms of library work, I am still in the same job, but also not in the same job at all--some duties having remained, but many added and developed.  I was still in the years of " keep quiet and collect the paycheck" but the last decade, particularly the latter half, have boasted many promising and fun developments with our AofR programming, and exciting new job title and raise coming around the corner, new things with chairing the Programming, Events & Promotion committee, a large amount of library related writing projects, conference participation, and such. All of which make my time there more engaging and interesting than it was a decade ago.

In terms of creative work, I feel like I am much better at writing more regularly.  I was still in a dry period as we came into the decade, and it wasn't until about a year later that I was able to break the ice on new work. I also settled into working equally in text & image--with a larger number of projects incorporating both. The decade has bought over 25 artist books & zine projects (more if you count little randoms I make for zine nights and Crypto Society that aren't available online and only through the zine exchange in small numbers.)

When it comes to writing, I've published 4 full-length (the shared properties of water and stars, girl show, major characters in minor films, and salvage), 3 of which were written in this time frame, with another two due out in the coming year (little apocalypse and sex & violence). Another 3 new longer collections compiled and in various stages of finalization (feed, dark country, and animal, vegetable. monster). Another about half done (automagic). Around 60 journal publications and a handful of anthologies. And so much great attention to my work in terms of reviews and interviews, so many reading invitations to series and events.  Including the Field Museum, which was the absolute end-cap to an excellent decade. I feel much happier in my writing skin nowadays and more focused in my work and what it's actually trying to do as whole.


As an artist, I picked up a hell of a lot more skills and techniques, many developed through actually having to teach them in the library--printmaking, ink painting, bookwrecking.  I love monotypes and hope to do another round of them over the break. I also have so much planned  I've barely scratched the surface on (including my virgin Cri-cut machine that is now securely back in my possession.)    I want to do more with the tactile pleasure of books, more box projects & such.


In terms of the press, we've grown so much in the decade, from just a handful of releases per year, to over 50 on the schedule (and sometimes even more.) Along the way, I have gotten to work with so many amazing authors and artists and get to know so many of our readers.  The publishing arm was smaller and the art/craft larger, but we've done a complete reversal, though I still like to make things on occasion for the shop (look for more as I settle into my home studio after the new year and get the dgp orders under control.) More prints, more paper goods, new flasks, totebags, tattoos, etc.  I am working through the submissions and acceptances for next year and they are the usual delight, so keep an eye out for those.


Personally, the losses outnumber the gains.  My mother.  My aunt. Three older cats (though they have been replaced by six (!) new ones somehow) Probably around four relationships (at least two that needed desperately to be done)  The studio space I really should have moved out of  much earlier. At least 3 phones, a few laptops/tablets, a half dozen printers,  A 20+ year old apartment key that snapped off in my hand a couple weeks back. Around 70 lbs. A couple umbrellas.  At least one really toxic "friend".  The gains however, are pretty great--the first healthy relationship in a longtime.  A renewed sense of what is really important and more importantly, what is not.  A better relationship with eating and my body.  Better ability to shop and find what I like in terms of clothes and just about everything.  An appreciation of Taylor Swift (begrudging), Lana del Rey (less begruding), and Marin Morris (not at all begrudging). An ongoing appreciation for guacamole (see that earlier link above) and a newer love of tequila  (and other soon-to-be-not-so- illicit substances I didn't really try til the past 5 years.) Overall, all good additions.





Wednesday, December 11, 2019

on tradition and loss



Until the past couple of years, I'd always approached the holidays with a certain level of excitement. Excitement for festivities, for presents, for family gatherings. I never wanted to rush it--relishing that after Thanksgiving, up went the tree and decor and thus began the shopping expeditions.  (Somehow for all that shopping, I was, and still am, a last minute gift shopper, even online.)  So much of Christmas was tradition--when we put the tree up, when we went to look at lights (this happened less as we got older, but it still occasionally happened as adults.)  You take a fundamental person out of these equations and the whole thing tips sideways.  Things change, entire family dynamics shift.  As such, I find myself trying to fake it til I make it terms of holiday joy, and it's a little exhausting sometimes.

And yet, new traditions take the place of old ones. For a while I try to set aside a day for my apartment decking out, though, some years are more spare than others (my tastes are changing toward more simple, minimalist decor (not to mention the hazards of two demon siamese.)  This year, I have a tiny tree with lights, some window snowflake decals, and a eucalyptus wreath on my apartment door. While I put everything up, I started watching terrible Hallmark-ish holiday romances and kept up the marathon through the rest of the weekend--while I cleaned, while I made books.  I've done this for the past few years, even before we lost my mother, so it's oddly comforting and something I look forward to.

Now, since my Dad's side of the family celebrates earlier in the month, we spend Christmas Eve with my sister--last year that included a trip to the Chinese Buffet and then presents & dessert at their place. And my Dad will cook for whoever is around on the holiday proper. It's not at all the same as it used to be, but mostly enjoyable if you can get around the hole that opens in the fabric sometimes and swallows you.  It doesn't look at all like it used to, which casts a wide shadow, yet you muddle through.   There are gatherings and parties that lead up, some of which I actually get out to--work stuff, Jonathan and I celebrate around the new year when I'm back in the city, all things to look forward to. But it's hard at the same time to approach it as eagerly as I once did.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

daily writing successes and fails



I am trying, now that things have settle down a bit, to get back to my daily writing.  I've been picking away at some poems meant to accompany my series of collages, eleanor and the tiny machines, and they are going well, but at the same time, I also have no idea where they are actually going, like what I'm actually doing, what story I am trying to tell.  Often I can fake it until I make it--when the thread that ties everything together becomes apparent enough that I can take hold of it and pull it together. There are only a dozen or so and I am still adrift a bit, and looking for the thread, but I suppose it's important to keep going until I have it.

I have not been overall as productive in 2019 as I was last year, when I finished the year with a big stack of poems and the better part if two book manuscripts.  This year, I worked unsteadily through the sping and early summer on various smaller things (including the summer house and licorice, laudanunm), then dug in on the extinction event series for a few months.  By then it was October and life was much in the way of chaos, so only in the last month, have I gotten back to even trying to write daily.  I am pretty much okay with that, but getting back into the habit always seems harder after you stray.  Especially since there are so many things that seem to need more attention than writing--like work and the press, which involve commitments to the college and to other people vs writing, which mostly benefits no one but me.

Even still my output for the year, when taken as a whole, is not too shabby.  Even my 100 submissions fail garnered me more acceptances than I might have had without it. After the new year, I hope to have a bunch of more recent stuff ready to submit, so we'll try again, if not for 100, then for a much smaller number (I don't do simultaneous subs for logistical reasons, so I actually don't think I have enough to submit to make that happen in a span of a year.)

I am also at work on revisions and polishing for the zodiac poems over this week and during the longer break, which will be making a print debut right after the new year, so watch for that..as well as some pieces from the unusual creatures box project in the next Tupelo Quarterly. 

Monday, December 09, 2019

from the submission pile wilds




This week,  I am rounding out my reading of dgp submissions for the summer and hoping to get all responses on their way by the end of next week in time for the holidays..It's been a rough, chaotic fall, and I am behind on just about everything, but am still making more progress than I was before the studio move. This round of submissions had me facing some hard choices about how much is too much in terms of releases, as well as timelines.  I feel sometimes like I need to be more realistic on whens and hows and how many, and then I just keep dropping balls and getting behind.  Being able to work at home helps immensely, as does taking on less manuscripts than the past couple of years.   I want to get the shipping backlog more under control as we come into the new year, as well as be able to expedite author copy orders more efficiently so there is less wait.  I just feel like there is a need to slow down and enjoy things more. I have about 10 already accepted, another  20 or so manuscripts in my "yes" pile,  and a few more I am thinking about adding in.  This will be enough, especially with a few stragglers held over from this year that I am still working on.  There is a little of room at the beginning of 2021 if I find more in what's left I'd like to take if folks don't mind the wait.  I want much less chaos and much more order, more intention, more deliberateness rather than careening from one thing to another, which pretty much describes the past decade.

Even still so much of what we get in the submission queue is amazing, so decisions are so hard.   I recently read first round for a larger press's chap contest, and the quality was all over the place, but I would say 80% of what I read for dgp is in the realm of publishable had we the room.  In past years, the acceptance rate was running about 10%, which is comfortable for me, maybe a little less this year.   But it's hard, especially as I start scheduling things in the latter half of the year, where it gets tighter and fewer spots left. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that dgp is still very much a word of mouth press, since we don't really advertise anywhere.  Also I'm not sure I would want to read more than what we get in a given year, so I won't be rushing to do that anytime soon...lol..


Friday, December 06, 2019

snapshots | december


1979

I start kindegarten and learn to read.  Kindegarten tastes like graham crackers and milk in cartons. My mother chooses my dresses meticulously and matches them with tights.  I get chicken pocks during the Christmas party at school and am bitter I didn't get to celebrate with paper chains and stockings sticky with glitter and cotton balls.  I am pretty sure my favorite song is about a sad Christmas tree, which I make my mother play over and over on vinyl while I cry in the middle of the room.  


1984

I'm 10 and in my first semester at a new school.  I immediately befriend another, older girl in my neighborhood.  We go to her house after school, where we drink regular soda and strange things like butter & sugar sandwiches every day while we watch Nickelodeon.  Her mom has a VW Rabbit and takes us to the Minute Man to buy jelly bracelets in mass quantities. . She has a rainbow bedspread and knows how to put on eyeliner, and I'm sad the next year when she goes to junior high and mean-girl-like ceases to be my friend. At school we have Colonial Day, where we make sad rendition of bread from yeast and churn our own butter.  I am still in my Rick Springfield phase, and spend most of my time at home playing children's things with my sister & cousins, or zoned out in my room with my walkman.  That year, .I stop wearing skirts, which up til then had been my favorite, mostly becuase the boys like to pull them up and they attract too much attention. 



1989

I am a high school sophomore who is extraordinarily smug about my ability to knock out the 5 paragraph essay every English teacher dreams about.  I'm really into listening to Bon Jovi and assorted 80's hair bands--Def Leppard, Skid Row, Warrant--in an attempt to distinguish myself from the musical tastes of my friends (and me a year before) which mostly consists of Paula Abdul and Belinda Carlisle. I like mostly jeans, sweaters, and faux white Keds, laundered weekly in the washing machine.  I still french cuff my jeans & fight with my mother a lot. I remember movies and sleepovers with friends, but mostly we played board games and drank  a lot of Mountain Dew. Mostly I think of these years as a sort of restless limbo which I hoped would be abated by getting my driver's license the following summer and some false sense of freedom I imagined it entailed.


1994

I'm in my second year at college, just beginning to work in the theater department and taking some demanding lit classes.  I wear a lot of black clothing as such, and spend my time listening to Tori Amos on repeat and re-reading The Bell Jar and Plath's letters in some attempt to guide my path as a writer.  (Basically, this describes every 20 year old English major in the history of the world.)  I live with my parent's who I see rather infrequently given our schedules, but I am mostly in rehearsals or the library between classes.  I also keep rather late nights in front of the sole tv after my parents go to bed watching a lot of randomness and working on poems propped between the coffee table and the front of couch. 


1999

I'm 25 and just out of grad school and into my first real job at an elementary school library.  It has ridiculously early hours and startlingly low pay, but I weirdly love story hours and preparing bulletin boards and displays even still.  It's stressful and exhausting, and paid so little I still had to live with my parents, but it eventually gave me the requisite experience to land the job I still have today. I still wear a lot of black and gray sweaters and jeans or long skirts with boots or chunky shoes, as per 90's guidelines. My musical tastes were still rolling amidst girls with guitars and 90's bands from the years prior. A year later, I would be back in Chicago. 


2004

These are the years that blend together.  I know I am in grad school (again, this time the MFA.) and working on the errata poems.  I'm pretty sure my 1st book fever was running high that fall, so there is a lot of compiling and sorting and sending to contests..  I had also just begun the adventure that is dancing girl press with an earlier chap of mine and our first official release that November.  Because I won a decent sized local award in the spring, I'm doing a lot of readings and beginning to get comfortable in the poetry world a couple years into publishing regularly and sending out work.  I am also just beginning to delve into the visual art, and mostly making rudimentary collages in secret.  I'm about 2 years into a relationship that mostly consisted of occasional visits due to distance and torrid, saucy e-mails back and forth in the interim. I am still wearing black sweaters and long skirts with boots. I listen to a lot of Damien Rice and (still) Tori Amos and don't have a computer at home for another year.  I read a lot more then, mostly fiction, and still work at the library, though I couldn't really tell you what I was doing in those years besides occasional paperwork and talking to a friend who worked in ILL. 

2009

The etsy shop is in full-swing, so mostly I am exhausted making and stocking stuff for that & packing orders in the studio, which I'd moved into a couple years prior. My efforts are pulled in various directions--books, art, jewlery, soap & bath stuff, and I was making good money, but also feeling like I wasn't able to devote the energies to the things I needed to.  I was barely writing--a poem or two every couple of months, and was still in a weird post-MFA paralysis where it felt like too many fingers had been in my poems.  I am in a relationship with someone I shouldn't have been, and it's high drama and angry e-mails with his wife, and super good when it's good, but horrible when it's bad. . Because I had a hard time connecting to anyone else as well in those years, I try to hold onto it, but it keeps cracking up. Later I write a bunch of poems about it and chalk it up to my misguided 30-something doings.


2014

Mostly what I remember about this year culminates a in bad pinched nerve situation in late fall that leaves me bedridden for a couple weeks.  I deal with the scaredness and depression by binge watching holiday romance movies and buying too many coats online. When I return to work, I can still barely walk or stand for long until into January. The year until then had been good--a nice summer, new kittens, pretty dresses.  But fall also brought the end of 4 year on & off relationship with someone much younger due to him moving to another city. I am really completely wholly single for the first time in years and it's weird, but also kind of nice.  I lie in bed and work on proofs for major characters in minor films, which will be out the following February. Musically,  I listen to a lot Lana Del Ray. 



2019

Yesterday, I think again about how nice it is to be able to work on books at home and how much less stressed I feel since giving up the studio space   I am overloaded at the library, and we are vastly understaffed  , but I feel the things I have to do are mostly good things--exhibits and planning and such.  At home, I plot out a few Christmas decorations and weekend plans to watch horrible christmas movies.  Earlier this week, I send off the manuscript for book no. 9. I find myself weirdly in a stable, even healthy, relationship with someone who seems to suit me exceptionally well for the past 4 years. I mostly still wear dresses, and they're not at all black all the time, but only sometimes.  I find myself listening to a lot of country music, new and old, and am much less self-conscious about this fact. I determined 2020 will be the year I give up allowing mental real estate to people who are assholes.   

   

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

lizzie borden took an axe



This week has been thick with Lizzie Borden research and planning for our Library murder mystery this Friday, the sort of game-making I love ( I am much less of a player and more of a maker, so I'm not sure what that says about me.)  I love the narrative and twists, to be orchestrating rather than orchestrated, and it's a lot of fun, plus good for getting people familiar with the library in a way much more interesting than an instruction session. It's our final event in our Lethal Ladies programming schedule--I hate to see it come to an end, especially since the exhibit looks amazing and I hate to see it come down after the holidays.