Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I can report I slept through the night and no insomnia last night. Though I don't want to constantly make myself stay up past midnight so I can adequately sleep through 2-5 a.m., but if that's what it takes, I'm here until midnight.
And if I'm here until midnight I'll be watching things like this, which a friend sent me. I can say that this took away all sadness and was the jewel in my crown of evening. Yes, pitiful. But thoroughly entertaining for me.
Five brave workers decide to record themselves simultaneously at their office doing something...unthinkable...
Monday, March 30, 2009
Dear Readers, I confess I haven't been sleeping well. I've been waking from 2-5 and rolled around in bed until I finally wake up, go downstairs, read an article about something I really don't need to know about or respond to an email, then go back to bed. The problem with insomnia is that your fear of getting insomnia makes it worse. I had just managed to sleep through a night when it came on last night again.
There's been a lot of sadness with my insomnia, like waking up in the middle of a sad dream I can't remember, but feeling that melancholy feeling, near tears and later, tears.
I am not sure what is bringing this on. Maybe just a feeling of being tired. And just a general disappointment.
I know there was sadness that our exchange student went home today. We miss her. It's amazing how you can rearrange a routine to completely add in another person. All the exchange students were crying on the way to the airport, no one was ready to return home to Japan. We are hopeful our student will return this summer with her father to visit. I am thankful for email too.
In happier news, today is my mum's 75th birthday. She looks amazing, acts amazing, and has an amazing attitude about life. I could learn from her. Happy Birthday, Mum!
I could learn a lot from her especially in this last day where I have felt so sad though not sure why, not sure what is causing this though a part of me says the gray gray sky. How Seattle-people, do we live like this everywhere fall/winter...this winter was harder? Even now this spring, it feels like fall with the crows and darkness. Like someone planted daffodils before Halloween.
I confess this is probably my worst confession to date. I confess I might feel a little better getting this all out.
I do plan to write a poem a day in April, though right now it seems like a bad idea... This is what sadness does to me. I become the statue (and not the one with the Spongebob hat), but the dull looking one without action.
BTW, this confession may go poof or be edited... just one of those daze.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I confess I overslept, missed the day, was too busy, too mixed up, too poetry filled, coffee filled, art filled and moving from place to place to brie to hummus to homemade brownies from scratch I didn't make and now I'm here and late and ready to confess what there is to confess, a shorter list this week...
My love for brie (and not the Desperate Housewife character) concerns me.
I referred to someone as "my personal nemesis" as if I were my own superhero cartoon.
I spoke a little too loud, danced a little too wildly, ate a little more than I should, and spent a little too much.
I confess I should regret it, but I don't.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I'm off to lunch, to keylime pie soon, so let's begin!
1) I am mostly French, but also part Irish & English on my dad's side (family from Dublin, Ireland). On St. Patrick's day though, I skip out on my French side. (Though honestly, I think I look much more Irish than French-- I did not get my mum's pretty skin and have always felt much more Irish than French.)
2) I like holidays that involved colors and parties (Cinco de Mayo, St. Patty's day, Halloween, and 4th of July).
3) Because I looked up the book of badpoet from yesterday, it keeps showing up on my Amazon page and this makes me cranky. I call it karma.
4) Thank you for listening to my rant yesterday about anonymous badpoet. It cleared my head.
5) I am retitled my manuscript again and am looking for words that are a metaphor for either God, anxiety, or chaos. If you have any to share, please post them in my note section. If I use your word, I will send you something.
6) When I typed that last confession I thought of Jeannine and my friends who have been through this with me numerous times (and with numerous books) and I both both thank you and apologize to you again and again.
7) I have a third manuscript I haven't sent out yet, but it has a title, that I won't change. Promise.
8) I confess I love the Irish...
Cheers to you all (Irish and not) on this St. Patty's day!
Monday, March 16, 2009
We have a wonderful exchange student from Japan staying with us this month so we've been busy exploring our the city and enjoying her company. It's been fun to see America through her eyes. She loves the water/ice machine in our refrigerator as well as the box of Cocoa Pebbles.
* * *
It's been a while, but today I actually found a poet I do not like at all.
All I will say is she has an MFA and is somewhere between the age of 25-40. Since I'm not here to slam any poet and I don't want to give her any bonus publicity (if all publicity is good publicity), I'm not going to mention her name. Let's just call her Childish. Or NoticeMe. Or NotGoodPoetry.
Basically, her work did not read like poetry at all but basically clever emailing. It was clunky, experimental in the worse sense of the word--in being different just to be different and not to achieve anything (I'm sure she would disagree with me). Her work wants to be noticed to be noticed and not because it's good or well-crafted or musical. It felt as if I was reading someone's high school notebook.
Though there is a part of me that wants to know why I dislike her so much. And then it occurred me--there are so many incredible poets who are more deserving of a book and it annoys me that paper was wasted on her.
And I know you're interested in knowing who she is and I know you want to know her name--I don't mean to tease with this post and I wish I could share her name--but I cannot say it because you may want to check out her book and well honestly, I don't want her to have anymore sales. Is that horrible to say? It's true. If she gets more sales, I will have to see another book by her and well, that could just put me over the edge.
* * Vent over * *
Oh and if you think it's you, it's not you. I'm pretty sure this person doesn't read my blog or would even know I exist.
* * *
On a positive note, I did just order OHIO VIOLENCE (Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry Alison Stine's new book and am so looking forward to reading it. Alison's been a favorite poet of mine for awhile now, I even have her chapbook LOT OF MY SISTER, so I'm thrilled to see her first collection and I know there will be much more from her.
* * *
Short Gratitude List of Poets Who Keep Me From Going Over the Edge
Lana Hechtman Ayers
Jeannine Hall Gailey
Jenifer Browne Lawrence
There are others, but I just needed to quickly remind myself that of some of the poets who paper is worth more with their words printed on them...
Sunday, March 15, 2009
A few weeks ago I opened my mailbox to find the most lovely surprise-- Maya Ganesan's new book of poems arrived, absolutely gorgeous with its green apple on the cover.
I was 34 when my chapbook came out and 35 when my first collection was published and here's Maya who I think may have just turned 12 (is that right, Maya?) who has this great book of poems that she wrote when she was only 10 or 11.
If I look back at the poetry I was writing at her age, it's not even close to the depth or spirit her work has. I think I was writing limericks about dogs in cars, haikus about rainbows. It's a remarkable first book for her and it shows her love for poetry as well as begins her voice as a poet. I've been so impressed with Maya since I read her work, I'm excited for what other new works she brings into the world, she has a long and wonderful future ahead of her!
Congrats Maya on your book...
Here's a favorite of mine from the collection--
I can't hear you saying goodbye, you
standing at the dock with your mouth open,
speaking words and who-knows-how-long
take cares and don't foget to send me
a postcard lectures through a face clouded
with the temptation to reach out and pull
me from that scrubbed deck. Words
and sentences I can't hear.
I'm standing here, watching you, my
eyes fixed on the palm of that hand, raised,
pale against the blanketed sky. The hand you
forgot to bring down.
from Apologies to an Apple
published by Classic Day Publishing, Seattle, WA 2009
For more info on Maya, you can go to her website: http://mayaganesan.com/default.aspx
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Colonel Sanders pulled from river after 24 years
Now, write a poem about it!
PS Note to Rebecca L-- I took your advice, the feather woman has found herself in a poem. Thank you.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
So if you're in the NW (seattle area), I highly recommend this class--
Led by Poet Ann Spiers
Seattle's Hugo House
Bring your Chapbook manuscripts
Thursdays, April 9 to May 14, 7-9 pm
For info, see www.hugohouse.org or phone Hugo House 206-322-7030
Chapbooks: Tuning the Cycle
Chapbooks have evolved beyond being a collection of single poems to being a
gathering of poems that, in concert, create a unified expression. In this
class, each participant's chapbook (6-20 poems) will be critiqued as a way
of exploring what makes chapbooks effective as poem cycles. Participants'
chapbooks will also be reviewed for selection, order and length. Unwritten
poems will be suggested, and some written poems set aside. We will survey
Northwest-produced chapbooks looking at layout, cover art, typeface, paper
Instructor: Ann Spiers
Meets: Thursday, April 09, 2009 - Thursday, May 14, 2009 Thursday, 7:00 PM
to 9:00 PM
Min: 5 Max: 15
Vashon Island writer, Ann Spiers works in the arts and environment. She
leads creative writing seminars and ecological field trips. She has founded
and edited literary journals, produced and hosted radio. Her poetry and
essays are published widely. She graduated from UW with MA in Literature and
Creative Writing. FootHills Publishing recently published her Long Climb
into Grace, a chapbook in its "Poets on Peace Series."
For more info on Ann, see http://www.eskimo.com/~spiers/index.html
To the confessional--
I was reading January's confessions today--if you haven't and you're a parent that works/writes from home you should. I think it's hard if you work/write from home because family may intrude on your time in a way that wouldn't happen if you were out of the house at a different geographical location, say an office. I cannot imagine visiting my husband at work (he's a firefighter) and asking him to help me find my keys or to stop what he is doing to watch something funny on TV or look at what the cats are up to.
There is an absolutely love behind the last two requests because your family wants you to be part of something that's important or interesting to them, but the first one, these "favors" or "requests" they are the things that can make someone like me, who is NOT a multi-tasker, who can not get up from that space a poem puts me in where I am deep in the words and going under, I cannot get up and find the keys then return to that same space.
I have a shed now and it has helped. January says she goes to Starbucks. A famous poet has said something like she has told her kids to leave her alone unless something is on fire. We try to carve out our own space. It's difficult, but we try.
When you work in the home (no matter what job) it is harder to be that other person and for your family to see you as that other person. Many times you may not even feel like that other person. Just know poets and writers who work from home, you are not alone.
* * *
I hate recycling things that can be used again, like small cute boxes that chocolate comes in. However, I'm not so organized that I have a place to store them until that perfect use comes up again.
* * *
Someone recently said to me that they couldn't spend a $100 on something frivolous because of the economy (which is a different reason than "I don't have the money"). I thought that was interesting and wondered if other people have placed a price on frivolity.
* * *
I hate being sick because I always think I will feel this way forever. This is why I shouldn't live in a state with the new assisted suicide option. I'm too much of wimp when it comes to not feeling good and would be ready to opt out if asked. (My husband tells me this option is not available for someone with a bad cold and that it must be a terminal illness with less than 6 mos to live.) I think he thinks I'm a little bit of a drama queen when ill.
* * *
I am getting tired of the words "economy" and "recession." I think they should be replaced "elephant" and "recess." I would much rather hear the newscasters say, "Our elephant is in a recess" a thousand times a day. It just sounds so much happier. Play hard, elephant, recesses don't last forever.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
I'm just back from being part of a Writer's Conference (with Oliver de la Paz & some other poets) so let's confess about that ---
I spent the weekend at a writer's conference as a "publishing expert," I think they may have been playing a little fast and loose with their terminology, but it was quite nice to talk with poets and writers about their publishing goals and help them create their own path as writers.
The biggest mistake I saw from writers is putting the goal of publishing before the actual job of writing. In my eyes, there needs to be a book first and then the author photo, not vice versa.
Two words (which I've stolen from someone): Writers write.
The conference had me in a wonderful little apartment in someone's wonderful home. I could live that simply.
I am so addicted to email that I stood out on my freezing deck in my PJs facing the forest at 6 am with its morning birds singing trying to hitchhike on a faint wi-fi signal from somewhere...and I did.
I felt a huge satisfaction watching my emails download, then I went back in my room to sit in front of the fire and have coffee and a poppyseed muffin.
At first I was sad to be at the conference as an editor instead of a poet, but I ended up enjoying this new role. Though a fear I have is that people will see me as an editor before a writer. The writing part of myself is a part that I just can't lose (I've lost it before it and those were 2 very sad years for me.)
The first night of the conference, a group of us ate at the most delicious Mediterranean place (the Langley Cafe). I had the veggie sampler with hummus, baba ghanoush, stuffed grape leaves, eggplant, rice, more veggies, and feta cheese plus a glass of Shiraz. The family hosting me treated me to tiramisu when I returned back. There is a part of me that just loves being well taken care of and well fed - the other part likes to be neglected and starving (I'm kidding- I just realized what an odd statement that first part was.)
I like that Oliver takes photos of his food (and mine too). He's just generally awesome though.
I was surprised people purchased my poetry book since I was there as an editor and not a poet. But I always tend to be surprised when someone buys my book, this was just a little more so.
On the ferries, to and from the conference (I had to take 2 to get there), I had hoped to see orcas, but didn't. I did see an owl fly by my window back in my room. I tend to take them as signs, though I'm not exactly sure what for.
Here's what it says about owls--
Owl: deception, clairvoyance, insight (the night eagle) It has great intuition: it is the totem of psychics and clairvoyants. It has the courage to follow its instincts. Owl's medicine includes seeing behind masks, silent and swift movement, keen sight, messenger of secrets and omens, shape-shifting, link between the dark, unseen world and the world of light, comfort with shadow self, moon power, freedom.
* * *
I definitely have moonpower. Sometimes (she says looking to the sky).