Thursday, May 31, 2012

In Case You Needed Another Time Waster - Live Webcam of Folks Crossing Abbey Road in London

I hate that I find this entertaining...


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Confession Tuesday on Wednesday

Dear Reader,

I confess three-day weekends mess me up and I didn't confess yesterday because I thought it was Monday.

I confess I try not to be handcuffed to time, but in this culture, we kind of have to be.  If not handcuffed, then at tied together with a friendship bracelet.

I confess I have 3 (THREE!) writing dates this week.  1 on this side of the water, 2 on the other (Annette Spaulding-Convy & Ronda Broatch today, Martha Silano tomorrow at a cafe, and Susan Rich in her adorable town and writing studio on Friday).  This makes me feel rich with friendship.

I confess I still have more notes to post about the Skagit Poetry Festival and will do so before I disappear out on my paddleboard this summer.

I confess I also want to write my own post on beauty.  I have a lot to say.

I confess I'm off to my first writing retreat of the week, so I will end here.

Happy Spring.



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Upcoming Summer & To Blog or Not to Blog

C. Dale Young closed up his blog yesterday.  You can read the last post here.

When someone ends his or her blog, I always think to myself "should I stop blogging also?"

Blogging has always been a weird thing for me, yet something I've been thankful I've done.  I have had moments of feeling "online shy" and deleting my blog account without saving what I had written (bad decision).  But since 2006, I've been at this address.

Six years goes by quickly.  One reason I have a blog is that when I go to writer's website, I like to not see cobwebs and a blog offers me this--oh look, the writer is alive in the world and writing, connecting.

Still, keeping up a blog requires some work and definitely time.

I'll C. Dale's blog a lot, but thankfully, I still plan on being connected.  Now with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, blogging is kind of old school... and wordy.

Talking to my friend Jeannine Hall Gailey last night, she said that people may prefer the quick connection--she used a great term I don't remember, something like fast socializing, I had to ask her what she meant-- and she said "like Facebook or Twitter" -- where you can connect with someone with just a quick read.

Like a soundbite?  I wondered.

Maybe we can call it short talk.  Jeannine said she was talky.  I can be talky too.  Sometimes 140 characters doesn't cut it for me.  So we will both be keeping our blogs, that is the answer.

That said, I did want to let you know that one thing about my blog is that it prefers lazy summers.  I will post throughout the summer, but it will be less words, more images.  It may even be less posts or forgotten confessions.  You may notice that my number of posts is directly related to the Northwest forecast--more clouds / more posts, less clouds, less posts.

I live under a grey cloudy blanket all year so when the sun comes out, I must go out and will be much less connected online.  But as someone who loves the school schedule, I will meet you back here in September.  Have a great summer, as I wrote in everyone's yearbook.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

What I'm Thinking About Tonight...

As a creative person who enjoys eating out, I have to make choices.

Time or money. Time or money.  The question haunts me.

In the end, I try to choose time as much as I can, but I do have to choose money sometimes (especially after terrible decisions that involve coffee and a laptop).

I'm working on my third manuscript tonight and trying to remain hopeful that everything will work out.

This is my creative life-- put it all in a bag and shake.  Hope nothing gets forgotten.  Try for the best, accept good enough.  Then work harder.

I am a working writer, a practicing human.

I wish I knew who drew this.  I see "Ryan" in the skulls... 

Either way, when you sit down to write know that I've been writing too.

Either way, promise me this will all work out.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

More From the Skagit Poetry Festival... Archiving & Sharing Poems

Nikki Giovanni, Patrick Lane, Tony Hoagland

Nikki Giovanni
One of the first panels I went to was with Tony Hoagland, Patrick Lane (a Canadian poet) and Nikki Giovanni.

Nikki was a beautiful ray of sunshine.  When someone's cellphone went off and the audience was scolded for not remembering to turn them off, she said, "That's okay, cellphones and children don't bother me."

Her first point was the importance of archiving in the arts.

I completely relate to this, which is why I take a ridiculous amount of notes and the occasional photo at poetry festivals.  They are a one-time deal.  We are living the history of the writing today.  It's actually pretty magical and amazing if you think about it.  How we romanticize or imagine what it would have been like to hear Elizabeth Bishop, Pablo Neruda, Anne Sexton, Frank O'Hara in person. We have that opportunity right now with our living poets.  And I want to remember what they said and how it was.

Her are some quotes from Nikki Giovanni on archiving:

"Anytime you can, record it...At some point in time, we'll want to return to it."
"The arts has to have an archive."


In extending and sharing poetry with others, Tony Hoagland had this to say:

"We are lost, American culture is in f-ing shambles...we have false gods. We live in a highly competitive environment. One thing we can do about it --we have poetry--in our small way, we can bring poems."

He talked about how he (and others) bring poems to dinner parties to share them.  He said it's up to us to spread poetry into the other groups.

Patrick Lane talked about how after a poet died (and I hope I'm getting this story right) , the wife of the poet had her family and her husband's friends each memorize 5 of his poems.  That way, each of them had "5 of his poems alive inside them."  And they could share them with others.  By doing that, she felt she was keeping him (and his work) alive and in the world.

Patrick suggested starting with your "own tribe" in sharing poems.  Share a poem with someone you know.

My friend Ronda Broatch, did this for Lent this year.  Each day she shared a poem with someone new.

I will admit, I am probably the worst at sharing poems.  But after hearing this talk, I think I'll try to do so more.

I heard Robert Pinsky recently say that everyone should have a file or folder or notebook that is titled ANTHOLOGY.  Every time you read a poem you love (or like a lot) put it in this file (and date it!)  After a while you'll have an anthology of your life and likes and favorite poems.


I'll post more about the Skagit Poetry Festival in the upcoming days.  I have many more pages of notes.

Also, thank you so much to all who wrote words of kindness after my laptop disaster.  As I wrote to my good friend Nancy, "This is why God invented Visa cards..."

And it was interesting to hear how some of you also had similar accidents with your laptops and computers-- yes, please keep the liquid away from your laptop.  

Yes, it totally sucks.  Yes, I hate spending the money I don't have.  But this is life in all it's glory and I am truly thankful:

1) I was able to save all my work including the new manuscript I'm working on (Thank you Apple store for rescuing my hard drive)

2)  it was only a computer I poured coffee on

3)  and for having a Visa card set aside for these types of writerly emergencies.



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Poem: Hard Rain by Tony Hoagland

Tony read this at the Skagit River Poetry Festival.  The "Dear Abby" part of this poem, blew me away.

Hard Rain

After I heard It's a Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
played softly by an accordion quartet
through the ceiling speakers at the Springdale Shopping Mall,
I understood there's nothing
we can't pluck the stinger from,

nothing we can't turn into a soft drink flavor or a t-shirt.
Even serenity can become something horrible
if you make a commercial about it
using smiling, white-haired people

quoting Thoreau to sell retirement homes
in the Everglades, where the swamp has been
drained and bulldozed into a nineteen-hole golf course
with electrified alligator barriers.

You can't keep beating yourself up, Billy
I heard the therapist say on television
                                                         to the teenage murderer,
About all those people you killed—
You just have to be the best person you can be,

one day at a time—

and everybody in the audience claps and weeps a little,
because the level of deep feeling has been touched,
and they want to believe that
the power of Forgiveness is greater
than the power of Consequence, or History.

Dear Abby:
My father is a businessman who travels.
Each time he returns from one of his trips,
his shoes and trousers
                                   are covered with blood-
but he never forgets to bring me a nice present;
Should I say something?
                                                       Signed, America.

I used to think I was not part of this,
that I could mind my own business and get along,

but that was just another song
that had been taught to me since birth—

whose words I was humming under my breath,
as I was walking through the Springdale Mall.

"Hard Rain" by Tony Hoagland from Hard Rain: A Chapbook


Confession Tuesday: Bad Decisions plus One Good Thing

Last Week- this was my motto unfortunately...

Dear Reader,

It's been a week of poetry festivals or small breakdowns and the science of liquid and electricity.  It's been a pheasant that squawks at 6 am and 6 pm, the wild turkeys have been removed from a small town, I shouldn't touch other people's phones, and even though coffee hurt me, I still love it.

Yes, as you can see a lot has been going on.

So here's the last week of confessions.  Hold on to your wig, folks, it was a someone windy ride.  To the confessional--

The Problem with Bad Decisions--

I confess I made an $1800 mistake.  While the rest of you made good decisions last week, I decided that I would bring my metal pot of coffee to my friend Annette's house while we finished up the edits of Crab Creek Review.

For a brief moment, as I grabbed my laptop (a MacBook pro) I thought--I shouldn't put my laptop so close to the coffee in case it spills.  Can you see where this is going?

But I had done it before. I had done it a few times, loaded up the sturdy metal pot of coffee, my laptop, books, and papers, and all has been well in my part of the world.  But not last Wednesday.  Last Wednesday there was a tip in the earth and the coffee pot began to spill all over my laptop unbeknownst to me.  Unbeknownst to me, when I arrived at Annette's house and took my bag with my laptop out it was quite wet as was my laptop.

If you have ever seen a laptop dripping with coffee, it is not artistic or pretty or fascinating.  It is sad sad sad.

One bad decision = a dead laptop.  $1200 to fix it.  $1800 for a new one.  (Insert tears and curse words here.)

I chose the new one.

At Annette's we tried to fix the damage, at one point we had a bag of rice and a little screwdriver, we had my laptop upside down watching the dripping the coffee leave its electronic body.  I kept saying, "I think I'm going to cry."  Annette said, "Well, at least you didn't pour scolding coffee on a baby..."  And it was true.  No one died from this mistake.  No one lost an arm or was scarred for life.  No animals were hurt in my poor choices, no people, I will not have to say to the anyone in the waiting room: I'm sorry, but he didn't make it.

In the end, the only thing hurt from my mistake was my pocketbook and my pride.  Two things that will refill again.

But it was a reminder to me, when you get those little thoughts in your head that *maybe* what you're doing isn't the best idea and you could do something similar that might take a bit more time -- don't half-ass it.  Do it right.  When you hear that little voice saying, "You know, this probably isn't the best idea" - Listen.


Why You Shouldn't Be Texting During a Poetry Reading--

I confess I need to learn to keep my hands to myself...

So, I'm sitting next to Jeannine Hall Gailey on Friday night at the Skagit Valley Poetry Reading and she is texting her husband Glenn, who is texting back, "Should u b texting right now?"

I am tired and getting bored of Poet X who is reading poems about his childhood.  I look over at Jeannine's new Microsoft phone and see the texting in process.  As she responds to Glenn's "Should u be texting now?"  She writes "i did" and I reach over and add "sexy stuff." Then I press send.  Ha!  I've amused myself and Glenn will be amused with this funny text.

As I look at Jeannine and smile, I see her Facebook newsfeed come up.  Well, that's weird.

As it turns out, I did not text "i did sexy stuff" to Glenn, but posted it on Facebook as her status.  Holy Inappropriate Status, Batman!

Because Jeannine is just as unfamiliar with her phone as I am, it took a few minutes to figure this out and to realize this was not a private text to her husband and in the meantime, Jeannine's status is beginning to get "Likes."

I think Jeannine's exact words were "Get it off!" and "My grandmother is on Facebook!"

Poet X began to read poems about an abusive father while I was trying to hold in my nervous laughter while sitting in the audience trying to delete "i did sexy stuff" from Jeannine's status.  2 more "Likes."  At this point, I pretend to be crying over his poems because I'm acting like such an arse.

Finally after not being able to delete it from her phone, I have Jeannine sign into my Facebook app on my iPhone where I know where the delete button is.  By the time we got it off, Jeannine had about 5 Likes, a few from people she didn't know (and people I think she should defriend immediately for liking that bizarre status).

She was also very concerned that despite her status said "i did sexy stuff" - it was also lacking capitalization and punctuation.  This is what I like about my writer friends, they are more embarrassed by lack of punctuation and capitalization, then content--though I know in a million years that would *never* be Jeannine's status...well, unless I was the one who was holding her phone.

Oh and "i did sexy stuff" became our motto for the weekend.  And I am still laughing about it. (Sorry, J9!)


Tony Hoagland's Wine

I confess that is not a metaphor.

On Sunday morning, I took a 3 hour workshop with Tony Hoagland.  He introduced me to a new poet, Judith Taylor who wrote the book Curios.  All morning we wrote sentences in similar styles to poetsL Frank O'Hara, Louise Gluck, Spencer Reese.

I had told myself I was not going to share anything because I hate sharing at random workshops, but the way the workshop was set up was we had to go around and each say a sentence we wrote based on the directions we gave us.  When no one before me said "Pass" - I knew this was part of the deal.

Lana Hechtman Ayers had the best sentence I've ever heard, but I won't put it here in case she wants to use it in a poem.  Mine got some laughter, which made me pleased.

After the workshop, Tony walks up to Lana with an opened bottle of wine (I'm guessing he started it but couldn't bring it on the plane) and says it was for having the best line of the day.  Lana said she doesn't drink wine, so as runner-up for best line, the wine was given to me.  Awesome.

My line?  Actually a couplet:

I come from a town with too many trampolines.
Women are always jumping from husband to husband to wife.

I have never won wine at a poetry workshop.  I hope this is a good sign of what's to come and may it never come anywhere near my laptop.



Monday, May 21, 2012

A Few Notes on the Skagit Poetry Festival and a Few More to Come!

Bob Hicok, Lorraine Healy & my knee

So I've just returned from the Skagit Poetry Festival.

I always return inspired and ready to live my life as a poet to the best of my ability...or something like that.

The Skagit Festival is rarely recorded, so it's a one-time deal.  If you miss it, you miss it.  If you don't take notes, then you have what you have in your memory.  I have a terrible memory so I take massive amounts of notes (and direct quotes) because I know when I get home, I'll have forgotten everything.

This is good for you as I tend to post these notes and quotes here, so even if you didn't make Skagit this year, you can at least get a taste of it.  (And if you do ever get the chance to come--do!  It's amazing and only every other spring.  So 2014 will be the next one.)

The first session I went to was Poems as Weapons, Poems as Prayers with Bob Hicok and Lorraine Healy.  Immediately when I began I knew I wanted to be somewhere else and that I should have gone with my first choice on Visual Art.  However, I told myself--you are where you are, so there's a reason you're here (philosophical Dr. Seuss talk).

Neither poet was entirely clear what "poems as weapons" were.  Lorraine had political poetry she read and Bob read some poems from his book--all which were fantastic.

Some quotes I wrote down from the talk was:

"First do no harm" --both Bob and Lorraine agreed this was the #1 rule when teaching.

Regarding writing poetry--
"As a shy person, I can be larger socially in poems..."  Bob Hicok

He talked about how he can speak for others.

He read his poem "Constitution 3.0" that considers the idea that "Corporations are people now."  It's hilariously funny and poignant.

After the reading I ran into Elizabeth Austen and we were able to spend some time together, in my mind, that is why I was meant to be at the reading.

This session was the one I took the least amount of notes because they mostly read poems.  I like poems (obviously), but when I have the chance to hear the thoughts, process, and ideas behind a poet, I enjoy that.  I also think it ended 20 minutes early, which was weird.

Tomorrow for Confession Tuesday, I'll post some more plus how I made an $1800 mistake.

More soon!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Superstition Review & My Poem

Check out Superstition Review to see my poem (and others)!  They are a wonderful magazine with some really incredible writing and interviews.

Click here for my poem.

By the way, I'm just back from the Skagit River Poetry Festival and I'll have all the lowdown on the poets and events.

I'm really good at taking notes and getting quotes, so more of that coming soon!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Confession Tuesday

Dear Reader,

It's been a week of sunshine since my last confession.  A week of waves and water and weather that has turned Seattle into a flip-flop wearing town again.  Normally we wear wool and fleece until the end of June.  But warm weather has taken over I worry what it does to my brain.

So let's begin.  To the confessional--

I confess I've been daydreaming about Key West again.

I've never been there and when it becomes sunny in the Northwest I begin to question to live in a warmer, sunnier climate all year round.

What's interesting about Key West is that it is the southern most city in the continental United States.  And I live about 90 minutes from the Northernmost city in the continental US.  So I'm kind of thinking I'm wanting a least in the winter months where many in the Northwest suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder).  This is where the gray clouds above us actually enter our minds.


I confess that I am a slow dreamer.

While I may be dreaming about Key West today, that does not mean I will visit there next year, or the year after.  I tend to hold my dreams, goals, visions, plans, in my head for about 2-6 years before I act on them or if you believe in *manifesting* things, before anything happens.

I think this is because for me, time has always moved faster than I do.

If I say I'm leaving in 15 minutes, 15 minutes will arrive at the door quite a bit earlier than I do.  This is not to say I'm always late, but when I do have to be somewhere on time, I have to plan to leave about 10 - 20 minutes earlier otherwise I will lose minutes.

It's as if my life's pockets are filled with holes, I'm always losing time like others lose pennies.


I confess I tried out my new paddleboard this week and *loved* it!

Me & my new board

It's definitely faster than the boards I have been renting from our outdoor adventure shop.  And ridiculous light--about 20 lbs. For mother's day, my husband bought me a new carbon paddle, so I'm excited to try that out as well.

In August, I'm the paddler a relay race.
10K SUP, 12K Trail run, 12K Mountain Bike Ride
I'm the 10K SUP (stand-up paddleboard).  So this is how I plan to spend my summer--on the water, so I'm hoping the weather continues to be as great as it has been.

I confess I have been writing lately, even with the sunny weather.

This is good for me because normally warm weather turns me into a hammock-loving character from a Jimmy Buffet song.



Monday, May 14, 2012

My Dizzy Life Has Beautiful Meaning, Even If I Can't Find It

After a week writing residency, I found myself inspired by mixing visual images from photos I've taken with lines from old poems that never went on to anything else.

Here's one I did while on retreat.

The image is of Elvis Costello at his concert last month.  The lines are from an old poem that I could never finish.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Five Questions for... Kelli Russell Agodon

My interview with Collin Kelley is up.  Find out how Annette Spaulding-Convy and I ended up editing an anthology and starting our own press, Two Sylvias Press, because "anything is possible when you don't know what you're talking about."  Thankfully, we figured things out!

Collin Kelley: Modern Confessional: Five Questions for... Kelli Russell Agodon:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

FREE Poetry Writing Retreat/Workshop in Ireland--Contest for Poets! @susanrichpoet

Susan Rich is teaching a one week workshop in Ireland at Anam Cara Artists Retreat this August and you now have the chance of coming for free! 

What you need to do is write a poem of 14 lines or less on the Marc Chagall painting shown below "I and the Village." For deadlines and details click here to for Anam Cara's web site.

The winning poem will be announced June 14th on Bloomsday and will be published on the Writing Ireland web site which is an excellent source on all things related to writing in Ireland (and beyond).

Writing Ireland has also just reprinted Susan's essay, "It's Not How You Write, It's Not How You Re-write: the Art and Craft of Revision."

Or you can give yourself the gift of time, adventure, and writing and sign up now--

Here's the details about Susan's course at Anam Cara "Speaking in Pictures: A Poetry Workshop Considering Visual Art" you should book soon; only a few places left! 

Please feel free to contact Sue at Anam Cara for a full schedule of the week. Her email is anamcararetreat (at)

This sounds as if it will be an amazing experience for all who attend.  Life keeps moving on, don't miss out on these gems that appear along the way.  And good luck to all who enter!


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Here are mine... @Tin_House: Super Sad True Habits of Highly Effective Writers: Part 1

Whenever I go to a writing conference or poetry festival, someone will always ask "what is your process when you write" or "Tell me about your writing day..."

We want to know the secret details, what do writers do to inspire them to write or how do they start their day...

Tin House has a great article about Super Sad True Habits of Highly Effective Writers, which you must check out here... 

but I thought I'd add mine below--

1)  Wake up
2)  Coffee
3)  check email
4)  Total raisin bran
5)  If working on mss, open mss file.
6)  If working on poems, open about 10 poems (so it doesn't seem serious)
7)  get a snack / more coffee
8)  walk back and forth to the kitchen
9)  turn off the internet
10)  write more

Somehow I manage to get things done...


Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Pen & The Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World

Two incredible writers (who are also good friends of mine) have written a book for the writer in the busy world.   Brenda Miller and Holly Hughes are the authors of The Pen & the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World.

I haven't gotten my copy yet, but from what I've read (and what I've read from both of them), I'm going to love it.

Here's the details--

Proposing that contemplation is an active practice that can take place anywhere, anytime--in the Volkswagen repair shop, at the Farmer's Market, at PetSmart--Brenda Miller and Holly J. Hughes share experiences that have helped them bring mindfulness and new avenues of expression into their writing.

Each chapter of The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World includes suggested readings and activities, offering writers innovative ways to:

*    create physical and mental space for contemplation and writing
*    heighten awareness as a basis for writing
*    use the ancient art of Lectio Divina (sacred reading)
*    practice writing that articulates the concrete, tactile, sensory world
*    take risks in writing
*    explore personal spiritual traditions in writing
*    pay attention to sensuous details in writing
*    practice gratitude through writing
*    awaken writing through travel, animals, food, and the physical body
*    prepare for writing through ritual
*    write in community
At the heart of any contemplative practice is the ability to slow down and simply observe what is happening, both inside and outside the self. The Pen and the Bellarticulates not only the value of slowing down, but how to slow down. The authors describe the power of detailed observation, and encourage you to cultivate the patience for such watchfulness.

Through these practices, you will understand how the big issues--love, death, joy, despair--can be accessed through the concrete, tactile, sensory world, and you will have new avenues to express that world in your writing.


Brenda is offering a giveaway of this book on her blog, so check it out here for more info on how to enter.

Or you can pre-order your copy from Amazon here.  (I'm not sure how Amazon is doing it, but they are pre-selling them for only $7.97!)

Congrats Brenda & Holly!


Confession Tuesday - The DoubleDown Edition

Dear Reader, 

Did I really skip last week's Confession Tuesday post?  I did.  I was just returning from my writing residency and things went flippy from that point on.

I'll get into it and maybe confess for each week, so you can see what I've been up to--

To the confessional (Part 1):

I confess when I'm at a writing residency everything I write seems incredible.  I feel almost in a sort of genius state, incredibly inspired and finding connections in my poems, almost writing from a higher level.

My manuscript, my poems, images.  I move into this weird state where I am so focused on my manuscript and writing, it begins to feel as if I'm some sort of surreal dream where words drip over rocks, melt over the bedsheets.

It's an amazing place (my imagination and writing).  In this strange reality, I am so happy with what I've written.  My critical voice must stay home and sleep because when I'm away and writing, I do not hear her.

Yes, I'm editing, revising, and not just writing rose are red verse, but there's a kindness to myself and my work that I don't always feel for when I'm in the real world.  And every single time when I'm there I think "how do I keep this state of mind, this place when I return" -- and each time I return, I only keep the feeling for a few days (this last time, only a few hours--and then it's gone).


I confess on the first night of the residency I had a dream where Andy Warhol told me to write something down and I didn't and I wished I did because I can't remember what he said.

Gertrude Stein was also in that same dream.

If someone dead comes into your dream and tells you write something down-- do it!


I confess the first day of all my writing residencies revolves around me napping.  

I arrived on a Tuesday and was in bed by 9 pm.  The next morning I woke up at 7.  At about 10, I had to lay down for 20 minutes. By 11:30, I had worked again on a poem and needed a nap.   I slept for 2 hours.  Woke up, worked on a title for a poem and then napped for another 1/2 hour.  At about 4, I took another 15 minute rest.  

We had dinner around 5 and I got a bit of my second wind, but was asleep by 9.

I confess I actually had one of the other writers make a note on our list of things to bring that "Kelli sleeps most of day one and she is not to get freaked out by this" because each time I go on a residency I freak out about how tired I am and worry I'm not going to get anything accomplished because I'm so tired.

We decided there is a "let down" period when you arrive at a residency and you need to let your body decide when you eat and sleep and listen to it.

I confess I wanted to find out more information on the artist Cindy Sherman, so I downloaded the documentary Guest of Cindy Sherman on iTunes.  

And since there is no wi-fi in our apartment/writing studio, I had to go to the commons area.  The download took 7 hours!  I was so tired of writing down there (and hungry) that I hid my iPad and just went back to our apartment to wait it out.

There was a sick feeling I had when I imagined going back to the commons and finding my iPad missing.  But when I returned a few hours later, it was there and the movie was downloaded.  

The movie had less about Cindy Sherman and more about boyfriend, who created the documentary, but was still interesting.


Part 2

I confess when I returned to my real life, I only had one evening of normal calmness before I woke up to find of our guinea pigs was sick and dying.  

I swear, I am the worst when it comes to animals because I hate to see them suffering or ill.  I had no idea how much a guinea pig could make me cry.  But this is me.  I cry over all of our pets that die and in fact, I am the one in the family who takes the longest to get over it.


I confess after that, I kind of just awkwardly transitioned myself into regular life and between crying jags, tried to accomplish things, but mostly just wanted to sit in my bed and watch trashy tv.  

I confess at one point I was watching Dance Moms - Miami.  Genius one-week, reality TV viewer the next.


I confess today was the first day I was able to listen to NPR.  This is a sure sign my retreat mind is gone.  


I confess when I looked at my manuscript, I felt insecure-- is this good enough?  do I like this opening poem?  is this strong work?

I'm not sure what to think.  So I'm setting it aside for a few more days before I return to it.


I confess one good thing about life lately has been the weather.  I've been trying to go for long walks as I am in a 1/2 marathon in about 3 weeks.  I've never done one and only plan on walking it because my motto is-- "if you ever see me running, call the police!"  Because I don't run.  My body is not built that way, it's built to wander, lollygag, walk and roam.  I have nowhere to go in a hurry.


I confess it's been over a week and I'm still inching myself back into my life.

I've had a lot going on since I've returned. Things I hadn't planned and things I guess I kind of forgot about.  But I'm here and trying my best to be a normal citizen...well, maybe not normal, but a citizen who holds the door open for people and who waves at babies.


I confess I watched the supermoon, but by the time it got over the evergreens by my house, it was a pretty-good moon.  


I confess, mostly, I'm still trying to catch up on email and everything else I let drop for a week.  

Life just keeps moving on whether you are here or there or anywhere.


I confess for the last 2 nights, the coyotes have been howling up a storm in my neighborhood, which is incredibly eerie and wakes me from a deep sleep.  The other night they sounded as if they were in my yard under my window they were so close.

But I actually enjoyed hearing them and the killdeer and the pheasant who squawks ever morning at around 6 am as it reminded me I was home.



Monday, May 07, 2012

What To Do With All Those Poems from NaPoWriMo?

Crab Creek Review is having its annual poetry contest and we want your poems!

And as an extra bonus, we're taking EMAIL submissions AND our poetry judge, is the fabulous poet, Susan Rich!  We are thrilled to have Susan as our judge this year!

A few things to know about submitting to the Crab Creek Review contest

1)  Many of the poems we choose for our issues come from our contest submissions.

So, even if you don't win the grand prize of $200 and publication, you could still be a finalist (and in our award section) or chosen to be published in our journal.

2)  When you enter the Crab Creek Review Poetry Contest, you help keep our press alive.

Seriously.  Along with subscriptions, the money we receive from our poetry contest helps the journal stay afloat in this tough world.  So when you enter, you are really saying, "I support independent publishers and literary journals" because you are.

3)  One thing people don't realize Crab Creek Review is we try to give back to our writers in as many ways as we can.

Each year, we give out our Editors' Choice prize, $100 mailed to our favorite poem, story, or essay published in the previous year.

We try to support our writers in all their successes, having guest bloggers on our Crab Creek Review blog to promote their work to sharing it on Facebook

Once we have published you, our relationship is not over, but just beginning.  We will look for future submissions from you and unlike journals who want to publish as many different writers and poets, we are happy to publish you again and again.

And one more thing, we are a beautiful perfect-bound print journal that you'll feel proud to be in and share with others.


Here are the guidelines for this year's Poetry Contest:

Guidelines for Crab Creek Review's 2012 Poetry Contest
Entry Dates: March 1, 2012 - May 31, 2012
·         Submit up to 3 previously unpublished poems.
·         Entry fee: $10, payable (PayPal button on the CRAB CREEK Website) to Crab Creek Review.
·         Email submissions only.
·         Send your cover letter in the body of the email (not in an attachment). It should include your contact information: name, email, mailing address, a brief bio, and the names of the poems you are submitting.
·         Send your poems in an MS Word Doc attached to your email. Please send your work in New Times Roman and 12 pt. font. Title your attachment with your full name and “Poetry Contest”. Please send your 3 poems in one document, not three separate documents.
·         Name and contact info should not appear on poems.
·         Send contest submissions to (after PayPal payment):
·         Simultaneous submissions acceptable when noted in cover letter, as long as we are notified immediately if the work is accepted elsewhere.
·         Deadline for all submissions: May 31, 2012.
·         The winning poet will receive $200 and publication in Crab Creek Review.
·         All entries will be considered for publication.
·         The winner will be determined by our guest judge, Susan Rich 
(We ask that friends, associates, and students of the judge not submit to this contest.)

I included the links to the PayPal cart if you want to submit, but in case they don't work--

Go here to ENTER!  Deadline May 31, 2012

Thank you so much for your support of our journal!

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