Tuesday, May 30, 2023

notes & things | 5/30/2023

We find ourselves on the cusp of June--of full-fledged summer, though the weather has been mild and cooler and I still haven't properly opened all the windows just yet for any stretch of time.  Otherwise, I have been keeping my head down and working through writing assignments--throw pillows, sunrooms, garden design, chocolate, sci-fi classics. Making early promo materials for COLLAPSOLOGIES.  Making new collages and poems in tandem for a fun little bit of victorian-ish spookiness. 

I am knee deep in these last chaps assembly -- hitting the home stretch of late 2022 chaps and about to dive into this year's selections, which is exciting, as well as the promise of a new round of submissions in the inbox after June 1st. It is still difficult to believe that just next year, the chap series will be celebrating 20th anniversary, which is absolutely impossible somehow.  I swear it feels more like just a handful of years and not an entire two decades of issuing chapbooks by women authors.

I have a feeling summer will go by fast--it always does, especially since it feels like warmer weather has been slow to arrive here in the midwest, though I prefer that to the sudden transition and 90s in May. Especially once we hit the 4th of July and the summer begins to unravel. My plans for summer overall are small. Cocktails with a friend to catch up, nightly walks, some lake wanderings, a barbecue with J on the 4th. Summer always feels most like the season to be seized and savored and sometimes I forget it only to find myself missing it terribly in the dead of winter. I do love even the everyday parts of summer. The windows all open, the racket of birds, and that long stretch into the evening. Iced tea and raspberry sorbet. 

Creatively, I plan to finish up work on the victorian-ish thing that does not yet have a title, launch COLLAPSOLOGIES into the world, and then get to work on a new video poem project I hope to have ready for debut in August.  I recently finished up some edits on the home improvements stuff and sent out some submissions from a couple other recent series to various places, some larger circulation mags I probably have not a chance of getting into, but others to some smaller mags I have a nominal chance of getting into. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

creativity and invisibility

I have lately plagued by a strange deflated feeling everytime I finish a creative project--be it poems, a collage, a video--a heaviness and ambivalent feeling, not toward the art itself, but perhaps the futility of making it. It comes and goes, but I can roll out of bed, breeze through all manner of things--chapbook designs, articles on chocolate and throw pillows and local art galleries. Housework and dance workouts and nice naps with cats.  Feeling full of creative energy, energetic and enthusiastic. Only to spend my evenings writing poems or making collages or reels with a sense of nice flow, and then afterward, a decline. Not for the work itself, but maybe what feels like the invisibility of it.  I keep stumbling across reels by creators on Instagram with small businesses, talking about how social media has suddenly made them all but invisible. In many cases, it has decimated what were once thriving businesses. It's similar to the feeling of adriftness people used to talk about circa 2010 in the etsy forums, as the marketplace swelled to untenable levels and you had to keep paying more and more to bump yourself up in the search results. 

While I don't think invisibility has affected the shop (it's so small and word of mouth anyway these days) I do feel it when it comes to traffic and general feelings of being seen--not even creative work, but ANYTHING on social media. Though while I care less about the visibility for random nonsense and memes I post on facebook. I do feel like writing and art-related things sit with no views or engagement.  And yet, I know that I very happily once made poems and art in the days before social media as we know it. Somehow people saw them and liked them or hated them. Or maybe they didn't, but I felt much more satisfied and less angsty about it.

I've always been an artist and writer who embraced and grew within the online community. There was a before time, when I scribbled and banged out bad poems on a word processor and sometimes submitted to journals via snail mail and mostly was rejected. But after 2001 or so, my identity as a creative developed entirely in the virtual world. First in online journals and listservs, later in blogs and journals like this one. It all existed long before facebook (and way long before Instagram, which I did not even join until 2017). Sure I did readings, and took MFA classes, and occasionally published in print, but the center of my creative existence was still overwhelmingly online. 

And it was good for a while. I felt like people saw the fruits of my work and I saw theirs (even this feels like its harder..I see the same posts and lots of ads, but not even a 10th of the people I follow.). Now the silence that meets dumb facebook posts about pop culture or randomness, my cat photos and lunch photos, also meets creative work. Resoundingly and absolutely. And yet, my generation knows better than everyone that the internet is not the real world, and yet its hard not to feel like it is...I've noticed a disconnect going back to the pandemic, and granted, it may have had much to do with that. I felt its undertow in 2021 and 2022. I feel it more now. Or it bothers me more now.

Weirder ad-heavy algorithms, general disengagement from the internet and social media?  Who knows..but its rough and I am trying to untangle my feelings of validity from it nevertheless...

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

the best of tupelo quarterly


This very chonky beauty dropped into my mail room yesterday and includes some text and collages from the summer house that initially appeared online. 

You can pick up a copy here....

Sunday, May 21, 2023

plunder and reveal

It just happened that this week I have been editing and laying out three chapbooks that are appropriative in nature. One is Catharine Bramkamp's Unconscious Words, poems plucked and molded from bestselling novels from the past decade or so like Game of Thrones and Gone Girl. The other is Colleen Alles' collection of poems found in Jane Eyre, Reader to Tell You All.  The third is Erika Lutzner's chapbook of centos Think of a Have Made of Glass, All the Bees, Theoretically At Least, amazing centos created from the lines of older and newer contemporary poets like Plath and Sexton and, blushingly, even me. I am a fan of these kinds of poems--centos and blackouts and related forms.  Appropriated and re-worked texts. I have written my own (from Plath) and published quite a lot of chapbooks through the dgp series that include them. Obviously, as a collage artist, most art feels like appropriation in some way (though you should always credit your sources and be honest about your process, especially in writing.)

And of course, AI springs to mind, especially as I embark on training for the project I've recently signed on to that is supposedly supposed to help AI be a better poet. Exciting and slightly horrifying. Because AI is all appropriation (the bad kind with no credit, which complicates things.)  The very worst a bot could do would be to go off and start penning centos, stealing lines of poetry, but I am not sure even this is something a bot could do well without dissolving into chaos. My news feeds are above with Hollywood writers strike talk and their fear (totally founded) that studios will try to write scripts without them. While they can fake an undergrad essay, I seriously doubt they could write something as multi-layered and complex as the better series or films, or hell, even the shitty ones.  But, good lord, they will probably try...Though most blockbuster films are shit writing anyway, so now it will be chaotically shitty writing.

I was thinking of this intently earlier today as I brainstormed cover ideas for Erika's book, under the direction of looking for something related to fishbowl and bees (which were her ideas given to me as I started the design process.) I thought the bizarreness of it might be a good candidate for AI, which may give me something I could at least use as a foundational image or point me in a direction anyway. While some of the more graphically oriented ones were interesting, I would up going a more traditional collage route using a hive background image among the licensed ones in Canva, some bee clip art, and torn paper. The results were nicer, and far more in line with the book's tone, than the AI-generated images. But I keep thinking about how AI could be useful in a design standpoint (the creation of covers being kind of different from my own artistic visions when it comes to my own work.) But then, who are you plundering?  Who are you stealing from?  Licensed stock images are one thing, but living artists are another. 

But then again, I also know people who will say that all art is appropriated and influenced by what came before, on a scale from the actual words or images themselves down to style and influence, which is also kind of true, nothing new being under the sun. I also like to think that poetic egos are always searching for self-expression--for identity--which while it may use other words and influences--still strives to create something entirely new. Ie, the bots can write all the poems they want, but the poets should know better.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

dreaming in words and pictures


Last summer, early in the season, I was sort of taking a break on poems before starting my Persephone project and decided to try my hand at some more fiction writing.  It was something I had done on occasion and usually dipped in and out of (mostly horror stories.)   Part of it was I suddenly had so much time at the end of the day without nightshift and commutes. Like during pandemic lockdowns, I would spend my days working on things and then be unsure where to turn my attention to after dinner. I could have started watching streaming offerings early, or maybe read if my concentration was getting better, but I decided I might as well use that time to write. I was also sort of scared still--that I would starve, that I would be flailing having given up the security of a full-time job. I figured if I could write something a little more marketable than poetry, maybe that would be a nice thing to fall back on. Eventually, I placed a pause on that and went back to poems, and as I took on more writing jobs, felt a little more secure in my abilities to make the rent. 

However, the stories, and the better part of a novella sitting at 25 K words were still rattling around in my dropbox---some horror, but also some smutty historical romance stuff. Less bodice ripper and more porntastic, I figured it was ridiculous and tucked it away once I was writing poems again, channeling some of those more scandalous energies into the Persephone project. I would read them occasionally, even submitted a couple horror pieces (but got no actual response either way)  The novella, I wasn't sure if it was just a fun exercise, but a while back, I dug out the file and its much less terrible than I remember after sitting a year.  

Writing fiction is strange to me.  It always feels a little like dreaming through your fingers. Or hallucinating via keystrokes. Poems are more like little machines that you stoke with a stick and start the fires burning and the tiny wheels turning, and a few minutes later, you have a poem. Many of the writers I watch on youtube often discuss the two different kinds of novelists--the pantsers and the plotters. Even in my limited experience, I am definitely the former..even my smutty novella still doesn't quite know where its going, though I have a dim view of what may be over the next hill. It is also how I make everything--poems, collages, videos, paintings. For someone who is actually sometimes organized to a fault, creative endeavors, what actually happens in their stories or structure or scope is still a mystery (and why occasionally projects turn out to be entirely different beasts than intended.) 

I've been working on a new set of collages since the weekend..moody blue-ish green and dream-like. Slowly, with each new one I make, I feel a story clicking inside them, some small gears catching metal.  This was true of a couple recent collage series,  basically everything but the technogrotesque pieces and home improvements ones that are in response to poems that already exist. Otherwise, I have refrained from writing pieces to accompany the latest ones--though this may change.  Sometimes the collages feel like similar stories just in a different language. The materials I find and use end up building the story, which ends up being far less guided than even the mediums that involve language In that case maybe its more like dreaming through images.I found a picture of a governess and worked her into a tun-of-the-century early photographic image. Suddenly I was thinking about Turn of the Screw and Jane Eyre, and any novel that involves a waifish girl wandering the hallways of a decrepit mansion with sinister inhabitants. As in, exactly my sort of thing...      

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

cover reveal: collapsologies

From pandemic life to social disintegration, collapsologies explores the costs, emotional and financial, of life in the last decade through the wreckage of horror films, capitalism, class warfare, politics, and tabloid headlines ripped not all that far from the truth.  


Sunday, May 14, 2023

notes & things | 5/14/2023

It is a weekend for mopeyness and illness brought on by a cold J seems to have ferried to me when we saw each other earlier in the week. Part of me is remembering rather fondly the plague days when I didn't get sick for a whole 3 years.  I have never been one to wallow, and you probably would have found me pre-pandemic battling my symptoms still at work and going about my business unless fever was involved (and sometimes even when it was under the care of a handful of ibuprofen.) Most illnesses, barring that bout of mono in the mid-aughts, come and go swiftly. Now, I stay home anyway, but have felt feverish and stuffy since Friday night and pretty much not at all useful for any sort of productivity. I'd planned to work on some books, but those will have to wait til Monday, 

My mood is also like an infant with colic. I'm hot, I'm cold. I'm hungry, but though I can still taste, nothing sounds particularly good. While not completely stuffed up, I don't sleep well breathing through my mouth. I was enormously happy I could still taste my coffee today after trading it for tea yesterday., one small blessing. I throw open the windows, then close them  I take a shower and bitch loudly to no one in particular that it's never hot enough on Sundays when everyone is home washing bodies and dishes and laundry. I cry over lost mothers and fathers and yes, that the cats would not leave my sandwich alone and my tea is too hot to drink.  I feel better than yesterday, but not wholly better enough to be back to business as usual. It's also been gray and chilly outside for this late in the spring, which does not help. I do not appear to have a cough, just stuffiness, a sore-ish throat, and fever, so hopefully it will move on our over the water swiftly. I will be back to writing assignments tomorrow regardless. 

Since I've just been in and out of the comfort of my bed, my productivity has suffered even on creative things. Instead I've watched countless Instagram reels, the better part of Amazon's Cronenberg romp Dead Ringers (strangeness, but I like it), and the beginning of Outlander (which has been on my list for awhile.) I am up to eat some lunch and clean the kitchen, but will probably retire back to the bedroom as soon as my tea cools and I can drink it and I finish this post. I had plan to make some more promo content for COLLAPSOLOGIES, but it will have to wait. 

It occurred to me yesterday that this would normally be the end of the semester for us in the library, that final push and release and how thankful I am to be less beholden to that grind and the flurry of activities that always met the end of the year (even if much of the chaos was self-imposed in terms of programming and exhibits.)It always took a couple weeks to recover, and then it always felt like we were already in the thick of summer. and then it was all too quickly gone.

(and in evidence of my wildly shifting moods, I got distracted by an email from an author while writing this post, had to dig up my old Good Reads password from days of yore to answer it, so meanwhile I put my headphones on, listened to some Taylor Swift and danced in my chair, and am already feeling better and maybe will not be returning to bed quite as quickly. )

the enchanted garden


Friday, May 12, 2023

all about the vibes

I've been working on some fun little aesthetic vibe videos inspired by other writers on Instagram I've seen..usually for novels and never for poetry, and yet, I realize that poetry books also, though they may or may not contain narrative and stories, definitely DO have a vibe. In fact, you could always say that poetry is sometimes JUST vibes. An experience, a moment, an intangible piece of communication. It's yet another thing I am not sure that AI could produce of translate, even with hashtags. I did an experiment earlier with the image generator where I typed the phrase of one of my favorite Tik Tok aesthetics--dark academia (which is really just all of our styles in the 90s if we read too much Donna Tartt) and it gives me nonsense, and yet, most people would understand what I'm talking about. It's a mood. A set of moods. A vibe. (and while humans understand vibes, which can be associative or sensory)  I don't think robots do. 

My other realization is that some of my newer work echoes the vibes of other books, but in subtly different ways. I've oft remarked on the similarities between IN THE BIRD MUSEUM and AUTOMAGIC, both with a victorian feel and darkness (though I would say there are more modern poems in the former, and actually sci-fi inspired poems in the latter.) They both have birds obv...the pieces of the Cornell poems in the first. the bird artist series in the other. The stifling victorian rooms of both books are a major part of the vibe,, and yet, I would choose wholly different images for each in my reel.You can see the AUTOMAGIC one as part of the promo I did back in the spring, and the BIRD MUSEUM one I made yesterday, especially with many of the latter books poems actually having a more modern feel (even the Resurrection Mary series) than the victorian genre pieces and the Cornell stuff. There is more of a sense of movement and chronology in that book, and also, as I noticed in the one I made for THE FEVER ALMANAC, a book I would describe as beginning with a rural vibe and ending in a city with a poem about subways. Thus, the imagery changes throughout the book and the reel.  

These are glorious fun, and I actually made a couple in the past year about works in progress, sort of inspo boards in video format as a taste of what I'm working on. Last summer, GRANATA, and earlier this year, RUINPORN, the manuscript I just completed. In both cases, they both help reflect and inspired me as I go. I even did a similar one just for my shorter series,villains because I had the images saved for making daily NAPOWRIMO reels. There's something about them that appeals to the collage-ist in me (plus music!) Be on the look out for more of older books and newer projects...

Thursday, May 11, 2023

the self-publishing diaries

While next week's task is sitting down for the first time in at least a year and looking at the COLLAPSOLOGIES mss. that I will be getting ready for publication in July, I've spent some time this week ironing out the very first teaser trailer and putting some final touches on the cover (a peek coming very soon, so keep an eye out, as well as the first full video poem). I've also been thinking about the graphics and such I want to use to promote the book and the general style of the video.  I have my usual interest board to guide me as I iron it all out, and a general sense of the sort of style I want these to be in, as well as lots of saved stock images and video clips to play with. 

I will probably make anywhere up to 5 video poems (which are also trailers), some audio-recorded pieces, and some reels, as well as boxy Instagram graphics. I'd love to have these done by the time the book comes out (things with AUTOMAGIC were more chaotic and only recently did I record the last audio recording I had planned, several months later.) They all go a long way toward keeping the book on the radar and moving occasional copies long after that initial slew of sales with each launch.  I also have not been doing any live readings the past few years due to covid, and thought it feels like they might be a possibility now, I have yet to have any impetus to plan them for these past two books, so audio recordings and videos are where it's at. (I am not a particular fan of zoom readings, though I think it has less to do with poetry and more workplace-related trauma circa 2020-2021. I avoid it as much as possible.)

So it's a lot to do in two months, but I feel like I want to get this book into the world particularly swiftly since it already feels like I've been sitting on it forever and perhaps its cultural moment, as a 2020 dumpster fire book,  is steadily dwindling I suppose. Also, it contains the tabloid poems, which are sometimes my most favorite recent writing. (I say this, but I swear it changes daily.) There are also at least one, possibly two mss. in the wings for the next couple of years--RUINPORN for sure, maybe the Persephone book, though I may keep that one chapbook-length and part of something a little larger in scope I've been plotting recently.

Monday, May 08, 2023

the fun kind of grind

My youtube content watching is often highly discursive.  Music, obviously, since I use it more than spotify to create playlists. Also, plus size fashion influencers, home decor, thrifting hauls, and studio blogs are some of my favorites. I also love writer or artist day in the lifes, general writing content about the process of writing (even for writers whose actual work I am not yet familiar with.) Even the self-publishing vlogs are sometimes useful coming from fiction writers, despite the vast difference of that experience from poetry, because it makes me think of things in new ways, particularly about promotion and marketing. (There aren't that many by poets, and if they are, the advice is usually nothing new you can't get in a million other places.)  I also like writing routine videos, and just general book discussion content. Despite my lack of reading for the past three years since covid punched a hole in my good concentration, I like adding books to my TBR that I hope to get to--or at the very least, listen to via audiobooks while I work.  I also like some creators who just have pretty and cozy scenes and interesting things to look at. They're good for when I'm breaking for lunch or dinner, when I'm making books that occupy my hands, or just looking to stop writing for a bit and need a break.

Today, I was watching one creator who is big on slow living--about letting go of the expectations of grinding away, staying off social media, and not having to produce. To just be. This idea will usually send my practical Taurean heart rolling her eyes endlessly since it takes a lot of privilege and financial comfort to just BE in the world, with its capitalism and, ya know, fear of starving to death. It's a luxury most of us do not have.  It's also, even as artists, if those needs are met, you sometimes have to get things out there and communicate that you even exist. Unless you are just writing for yourself, which very few people do. I also realize the irony of telling people to avoid platforms on a platform that they make money from. Probably a lot. Outside of that, the videos are sometimes enjoyable and soothing and I keep watching while thinking to myself that it must be nice. I like the idea, though am not always sure how that translates. Also, I really like social media most of the time. Also, what does one DO instead?  Barring things like recharging or socializing, which are important, I find when I am not working on creative projects, in particular, I usually rather would be.

Today, that vlogger was quickly followed in my subscriptions by a video of one of the more productive horror authors I follow (who also does poetry which is how I found her channel.) She has really good and practical tips, which while they don't usually apply to poetry the way they do fiction, I've found some good advice therein--today including a new software, Scrintal, that, kind of like Notion, allows you to form boards and link cards in a similar way to things like Trello and Asana that I use for freelance stuff. But in a pinboard-looking format you can move around. 

As someone who has spent nearly a decade at this point with my trusty physical sketchbook and post-its form (a modification of a thing my boss once tried to implement for our dept, bullet journals, and a number of different formats of to-do lists.)  In there, the week is parceled out, things can be moved back and forth. It also helps me keep track on a couple of page spread of where I am in regard to different stages of chapbook layout and design. I also use it to keep track of freelance stuff, and store ideas for the future on writing, art, and stories to pitch. It was tremendously also useful for library projects when I was there, all of which involved a lot of moving parts in planning and promotion to keep track of. It replaced my hastily jotted daily to-dos and made me feel like I had a better scope of an entire week or month at the ready without losing track of things I needed for later.  It easily doubled my productivity when I started doing it in 2014, even on mundane things. It was also great because I could carry it around wherever I needed it. I think about the time before that and it was a shoddy system of e-mail folders, to-lists I kept losing track of, and chaos. 

Since I am a little less on the move, I'd been thinking of doing something different and on-screen, largely since post-its get lost and stuck to other things (including cats.) I also keep spending money on them and cleaning up a trail of discarded ones near the trash. I also occasionally jot something down quickly and later it makes no sense or my speedy handwriting makes it illegible.  I watched as the Youtuber moved around and linked together her cards, which almost seemed like tiny electronic post-its, but a more modern and deluxe version, and I was sold. (there was also a discount involved.) It seems particularly good for press operations and keeping track of where I am in those process timelines, which right now, as I struggle to get a handle on late books and get ready to start the new series in July, is gonna be a beast. I currently have about 6-7 in the air.  Also, goal tracking and social media content planning. I spent the afternoon today, creating boards and projects and so far, so good. I can install the app wherever I need it and it's pretty intuitive to use. The order muppet that lives inside me approves.

As for slow living, I think I have a better state of moving toward that now than I ever did working away from home and by my own schedule. I have time for cooking (yay), cleaning (boo) and playing with the cats and napping (double yay) I always have more time for streaming movies before bed and walks and just futzing around. There is more definitely time and a more amenable schedule for date nights and other outings. But the rest of the time, I still like the grind, especially if its a fun, creative kind of grind in which I am enormously productive (and, if not esp. creative, at least paid well).

animation experiments: home improvements


I've been creating some animated collage versions every time I work on a new series, which feel like the best kinds of experiments and, of course, good fodder for platforms like instagram, youtube, and tik tok (which I was just barely dipping my toes into during NAPORWRIMO with wholly mixed results.) I've been rolling out some of the ones from the home improvements series. They are pretty simple and not quite as time intensive as the video poems since they don't involve as much text and tweaking, so don't take that long to do once I have the actual collage the way I want it. The above was a particular recent favorite. See below for the rest in static versions which will eventually be part of a zine with the poems. You can see more reels over on Instagram...

Sunday, May 07, 2023

on words and worldbuilding


A while back, I was pitching an article on some horror movie or another at GR and it was shot down, not because it wasn't something that we cover on the regular, but because new SEO stats had indicated that news about screenwriters in specific was not that clickable on the site and therefore other angles (directors, actors, pretty much anything else) were more desirable than writerly news. I was a little crestfallen, not because I was particularly intent on the prospective piece, but because as a writer it made me feel like the stories, the worlds in which popular movies and shows and whole franchises, are the least important parts of the finished project, when in fact they are perhaps the most important. 

As Hollywood and the entertainment world are about to get a taste of a world with no writers (also maybe no actors or directors who are standing with the writers) it's probably worth a discussion of their importance.  You can't fix bad writing, or egads! NO writing, with cool special effects and A-List actors. Writers create the world you move the pieces around within. This goes for novels, obviously, but screenwriting just as much.  You can have the best sets, the best costumes, the most amazing CGI and if there is no script or structure, no skeleton holding it all up, I doubt you will have anything anyone would even want to watch. 

I think the great thing about cable and streamers is that they are willing to take a risk on well-written shows that don't just provide a vehicle for a big-name actor or someone ripped from Marvel or DC. I've been wallowing in the amazingness that is Yellowjackets, which is an anomaly in that besides some obvious comparisons to Lord of the Flies and the Alive story, is its own creation that delivers every week.It has a very Lost-like feel, whose writers were also at the top of the game (well, until they weren't.)  Unlike things like HOD and The Last of Us, my other favorites recently, there's no existing text or game to spin off of.  No established franchise to work with. You create something out of nothing. Characters and lives, plot points and worlds, out of air and words. 

Of course, I was reading a discussion of the way writers rooms work at popular streamers and it really does seem the writers now have more opportunities to create for really good quality shows and films, but are paid less than ever while also being worked more. Thus, the strike, addressing the disparity between the huge amounts of money the networks are making vs. what the writers get paid or even get credit for in some contexts. I feel it's high time general audiences, and Hollywood, acknowledged that without the words and stories, all you have is air.  

Saturday, May 06, 2023

notes & things | 5/6/2023

Spring creeps in a little further each day, raising my mood even if it's still a little too chilly to have the windows open for long. I have been devoting some time to submissions and collages and procrastinating on final edits on the home improvements series of poems I worked on earlier this year (thankfully the NAPOWRIMO ones only require minor modifications but I have no idea what sloppiness I was victim to earlier in the year.) I've been finalizing the cover design for the next book and making fun little reels about inspos and aesthetics. I've been researching Mesopotamian bloody baby-eating goddesses and writing about Celtic Queens and cupboard doors and bathroom towels that won't make you hate your life. In other words, much the usuaL

Last weekend in Rockford was rainy and cool and we mostly just hung out, ate food, and watched 80's and 90's movies, which was a nice and much more relaxing stay than the chaos of the fall trips to Rockford. We stopped over at my dad's house to pick up some things and it feels like a shell that doesn't quite belong to us anymore, the memories swept clean from the rooms except for bits and pieces leaving only empty walls and spotty carpets. The people who once lived in it, now gone, and not even their ghosts there. Not even us. Or maybe the absence itself was a kind of ghost while we carried random things out to car in the rain and gloom. My sister's old paintings and my mom's high school yearbooks we've no idea what to do with. 

This weekend, I am heading downtown to pick up some more covers and hoping the weather will at least be nice enough to walk over to the park for a while. With the rain and spotty weather, I have been inside of late more than outside and it seems a damn shame, spring and all, and how much I've needed it. I even almost missed the yearly magnolias on the tree near the bus stop, since most of my outdoor trips of late have been a beeline to the mailbox on the corner and back inside. They take a minute to fully bloom and are usually on the ground within a week.  There have been years where it started in March, and colder springs where it was happening around my birthday. Friday, they were about half fallen and I imagine by now, completely gone. 

Friday, May 05, 2023

paper boat

It's about time to send out the May edition of my tiny letter. Each month, you will get samplings and peeks of work in progress not yet available elsewhere, new artwork, newsy bits, creative prompts, and book recommendations delivered right into your inbox. 

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Thursday, May 04, 2023