Hi! The wall got prepped and primed and painted. It is wonderful. The color changes from gray to blue to purple. I love it!
These pics do nothing to show you, but here you go. Thank you Donkey! (The painter.)
I’m in a happy/sad sort of place. I’m going to Chautauqua on Sunday for a writer’s conference. Husband is going to start working ten hour days soon. I’ll be in charge of mowing the lawn while he’s working. I think I’ll be sad a lot when that starts. I’ve started working out to a Jillian Michael’s DVD and wondering why, considering the state of the Earth. For f-’s sake. Who gives a crap about Benghazi, or the IRS or Jolie’s breasts when collectively we should be demanding better treatment of the planet.
I don’t know how to do it. Husband and I own one vehicle. We recycle. Plant flowers for bees and butterflies. We volunteer. I know, it’s not enough and it makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth every time I think about it. What do we do to get better, be better, help another person out a little bit more than we are trying? I just don’t know.
It’s probably just a personality trait—I have this wonderful wall now. I must not deserve it so I make myself feel bad about everything else…but the weather throughout the world scares me.
Last week, the radio was off for gobs of time. Now it’s back on and I hate not having power to save the fish that are floating in Lake Erie or the flocking West Nile virus infected birds. F*ck.
So, I suppose I’ll do what I can. Give a thumb up to work I like for r.kv.r.y., plant more flowering vines for bees, breath. Go on with a bit of courage. Hope people I know I love them for being them.
(*These are just some of my sad creekside reflections. Your outlook on life may vary.)
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged bees, Benghazi, Chautauqua, flowering vines, IRS, Jillian Michaels, Jolie, painting, r.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Journal, sad, wall, Weather, West Nile virus, writer's conference | 1 Comment »
A recent experience has me wondering if Gmail is flawed. In November I sent a submission to Bards and Sages Quarterly. I didn’t hear back. I saw on Facebook that Hugh O’Donnell was promoting the April issue. I checked the blog and read that the editor was caught up with submissions and if you hadn’t heard back to shoot her an email. I did. She had never received the original email! I was told I could resubmit and I’d have an answer by the end of the week. Nothing happened, but with the current state of whacked out occurrences, I let it slide. I finally sent another email wondering if a dragon had eaten my submission again.
I’m happy to report that the dragon had eaten an acceptance–wait–that doesn’t sound right. Regardless, many grateful thanks to Julie Dawson for her graciousness and patience. My story, “Cosmas: Reporting for Duty” will be included in the September issue. I am so pleased.
Of course now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t send follow up emails to publications I haven’t heard from yet. Alex Pruteanu will be the first I contact if any of those work out in a positive way. (By the way, buy his book. I’ve read a few of the story in Gears and they are impressive.)(Also, you should check out Hugh’s The Way of The Buffalo podcast if you haven’t already done so. )
Life, otherwise, is also on a happy mixed-up tirade. I mowed part of the lawn yesterday. My pet sitting responsibilities have ended–all three survived in my care. The trillium has raised its bloody red head.
The remodel, which is more of a modification, is progressing.
I finished a first draft of a novel I have high hopes for once I rewrite it. Thank you Camp NaNo!
Have I ever mentioned how awesome Mary Akers is? She rocks. From her grace I conducted my first interview with another artist. If I remember, I’ll update this post with the interview here when it goes live.
So, pretty much, an awesome week…except for the beginning of the lawn mowing season.. And the rewriting I have to do…and an acceptance getting gobbled…
Ah well. It is what it is.
*(These are just my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged acceptance, Alex Pruteanu, Bards and Sages, bloody red head, Camp NaNo, dragons, exasperation, first dafts, Gmail, Hugh O’Donnell, interview, Julie Dawson, Kirie Pedersen, Mary Akers, modification, r.kv.r.y, r.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Journal, remodeling, The Way of The Buffalo, trillium | Leave a Comment »
I usually don’t talk about works in progress, especially the big ones. The genesis of the latest is what perplexes me and drives me forward. I’d been on the fence about joining Camp NaNo when I got a snotty letter from another writer who was pissed that I didn’t answer his questions about my “process” in the manner he was accustomed to being answered or something. I don’t know. In the midst of his bitch, he gave me an insight which I pondered. He said: To my eye, some of your best writing has been in your letters, talking about your past and your personal life. Discuss.
He went on to suggest that I write a book in the first person with the main character having adventures similar to the ones I’ve described to him. Thing is, I’m doing that and it’s taking me to some fearsome places.*Sigh* Christ. I’d rather kiss people with purple splotches and stop writing, but this story is intriguing the hell out of me. I know–I think–how it will end, but the ride is so fun so far I don‘t want it to end. I’m not used to that. When I’ve written novels before, I knew the end and wanted to get there already, but this time, not so much…
I missed taking photos of the first flowers, but I took these to prove I leave the house and think of things other than writing:
Warm, but cool, contemplative, intense but not over powering was what I wanted for the color of the living room wall. I’ve searched, swatched, sampled and waited. I think I found “the” color. Here are a few shots of the bookshelf being denuded of books, my minions, the hell of the hell I’m going to be going through while the books are packed up and windows are changed out and the painters arrive and, well, isn’t that what life is all about? Constant change. I’m nervous about this. What if it’s the wrong color? I’ll be stuck with it for years! So I may not like it. I’ll just keep going on, like I do with submitting. I lose contests and get rejected, but still, I go on. So far
I don’t have pictures of them, but I have a new “amuse me” shoes. With a carpenter for a husband, it’s not safe to walk around in this house without shoes. Therefore I now have these special sneakers that I can match my outfit to by trading out the side colors. I’ve never felt more nerdy/pathetic/coordinated/smart in my life. See you next month when I’m hoping the mayhem in the living room has settled down.
(*These are just my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged amuse me shoes, bookcase, Camp NaNo, crocus, daffodil, hell is other writers, Novel writing, painting, sneakers, Submitting, writing, writing process | Leave a Comment »
In the picture, you’ll notice there are 5 flowers. You may not realize that I ruined Husband’s joke by being nice to him when he gave them to me.
(Aren’t they gorgeous? And they smell wonderful, too.)
You see, he once bought me two roses. *Sigh* I explained to him, then had Chyo reiterate that, no, two flowers aren’t acceptable. One is. Three are. Five, six, seven, that’s all good, but TWO? No. He asked about four. I said, no…
Well, lately he’s been working with “Norm” and I know that’s stressful, so when he came home with four flowers, I had it in my head that four was fine. He made me read his card, and there was a cute little explanation. Also fine, except it wasn’t.
Husband wanted me to be upset and remind him that “four” wasn’t an acceptable number so he could say, “Fine, I’ll go back and get another flower.”
And he was going to storm off and get in the truck…and bring in the fifth flower he had already bought and had had wrapped up separately to me.
(I know, “Aw!” Right?)
(And yes, I do feel a little icky for complaining about him in my last blog post)
My birthday was filled with awesome phone calls, emails, and FB posts. One of my best friends brought over pizza and wings for dinner so I didn’t have to cook or dress to go out, and I didn’t get a rejection so yeah, it was a very good day.
(These are just my Creekside Reflections. Your experiences may very)
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged awesome sisters, Birthday, friends, Husband, relatives, roses | Leave a Comment »
This week I feel as though things are returning to what passes for normal. Our regular postal carrier is back, I volunteered at the library on Saturday, a few rejections have rolled in, I read the NY Times on Sunday, etc. but now it’s time to make a list and pack a few bags.
Soon after I arrived in Boston, my brother-in-law suffered a heart attack. It was scary and surreal. I thought my niece and I would be changing plans and leaving for Pennsylvania, but we didn’t. The blockage was removed. A stent was put in. He made it to a medical facility in time…
Rachael drove home this past weekend. Husband and I are going this weekend. We’re going to visit and make sure he’s ok.
I talked to him last week. He called his heart attack a “wake-up call.” I wonder how far he’ll take it. He’s quitting smoking (again) and choosing better foods. I think it’s a great start, but he confessed he had a beer already. I thought it was a bit too soon.
Currently, I’m on the “preachy” side of sobriety where I am well aware of what drinking does–and doesn’t do–for me. I stop drinking every year for Lent. Somehow, it is easy. Then I restart. Searching in old notebooks for notes on Ellie’s Elephants, I came across a thought last year that maybe last year would be the year I just stop drinking for good. I’ve had the same thought this year, too, but I sense the reason I do restart is that it makes life easier.
This realization is a complaint of sorts, but I don’t think I’ve made it before. Being away from home during Lent let me see things in a different way. Yes, Husband is not a neat person. I don’t think it would kill him to help a little more. Nothing drastic–just not rip open the shower curtain so the hooks come off the rod OR hooking them back on when he’s done. Little tiny things. I know I ask him to do these things and occasionally he’ll remember to, then he forgets. I think I go back to drinking so these things bother me but I can block them out, get up the next day, notice more minor irritations, block them out or sleep them off and begin again.
Sad, isn’t it?
Right now, I think it is sad, but, will I turn that realization into a “wake-up call” for my life? I don’t know…
What I do know is that I’ve gotten a milder wake-up call–a nudge really–from a few places about my own poetry. I received a few higher tiers and a personal rejection in the past two weeks. A writer friend wrote “…however, you are a poet; prolific it seems to me, but you don’t let the poet come out very much in your workaday writing…” I had decided to be mad at him for that, but a story I read for r.kv.r.y had me look at something in a way I hadn’t considered before, so maybe being a “poet” is what I’m trying to recover from, or block out or choose not to deal with because poets rarely get respect, let alone paid, and then a poetry submission to r.kv.r.y. from someone I briefly met in Boston came in and showed me beauty and passion with a few words so perhaps–this is just my sobriety speaking–perhaps being a poet wouldn’t be the most tragic thing in the world ever to happen to me if I decided to pursue it. Maybe.
* These are just my creekside reflections. Your epiphanies may vary.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged beauty, Boston, easier life, Ellie's Elephants, ephiphanies, heart attack, higher tier rejection, irritations, Lent, Library, NY Times, passion, Pennsylvania, r.kv.r.y, r.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Journal, rejections, respect, sobriety, stent, volunteering, wake up calls | Leave a Comment »
There is much to tell and upload and link. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen until I return home. In the meantime, I’ve met Alex Pruteanu, Meg Tuite, Pat Pujolas, Ken Robidoux and many more. Rachael and I blinded (temporarily) Helen Victoria and we’ve listened to some great writers in the past two days. Once I’m dressed, I’m off to Dillon’s for the AWP Heat.
Seriously, I wish you were here!
Did you come back to see if I updated this post? Good for you!
I arrived in Boston on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, Rachael and I attended the Birds of a Feather AWP offsite reading at The Elephant & Castle Pub. We blinded Helen Victoria in our attempt to get a picture with her:
Thursday, we ended up at The Greatest Bar in Boston where we heard some great readers.
I met ALEX!!!
He was fantastic as a human being and friend. BUY his books!! He signed Gears for me, and had I know he was carrying around Short Lean Cuts, I would have gotten that, too. I have the kindle version, but it’s not the same as a real book. He introduced me to Pat Pujolas, author of Jimmy Lagowski Saves the World. After, at a hotel bar, Rachael and I sat with with some great people including, Ken Robidoux, Robert Vaughan and Meg Tuite.
Friday, I ventured out by myself and went to AWP Heat: The Fire Inside at Dillon’s. I picked up my fabulous shirts from Meg. I heard more writers reading fabulous work, including Len Kuntz, Sara Lippmann, Ben Tanzer, Timothy Gager and Bonnie ZoBell. (If I missed you, let me know and I’ll add you!) It was overwhelmingly great.
Saturday, the book fair was open to all and I stopped and talked to many great people, especially everyone at Press 53. Added bonus: I met Roxane Gay and she knew who I was!!!
Monday was topped off with a poetry reading. Patty Paine did a fantastic job.
(More later–I hope–my mifi is dying)
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Alex Pruteanu, AWP, Ben Tanzer, Bonnie ZoBell, Helen Victoria, Ken Robidoux, Len Kuntz, Meg Tuite, Pat Pujolas, Patty Paine, poets, Press 53, readings, Robert Vaughan, Roxane Gay, Sara Lippmann, Timothy gager | 2 Comments »
I can hardly believe that A) I’m going to Boston for a week and B) I’ll be leaving soon. I made a list of places I wanted to submit before I left and when it got to be the tenth, I starred the most important places. My starred places are complete. There is one contest (Arizona Mystery Writers) that I still have time to enter, but I don’t want to stress over it. They changed contest directors and it was sweet to receive an email inviting me to enter but…eh. I have a piece started, but I don’t know if I’ll get it finished in time.
The NEA was the most important thing. I read the comments from people on Zoetrope. They said not to stress over it, just send your best writing. (And this year I did a bang-up job on my description!) I had intended to send two short stories and a novel excerpt. I re-read them and changed what I submitted. Fingers crossed that I get the thick envelope in November.
And the Valentine’s day story… Husband is not big on holidays, but he agreed that I’d get a rose on my birthday and on Valentine’s Day. This year, he ended up working with Norm the Annoying Ogre and forgot. He felt bad about this, but oh well. I left to go grocery shopping. When I returned, he had crafted this:
A rose out of a wild rose bush stem and a sprig of rose hips, construction paper and poinsettia leaves. (Yeah, he is awesome.)
On Sunday, I got a bouquet of six real ones. I cut down three and put them here, in my office.
Well, thanks for checking in. I’m off to do pilates. See you in March.
(*These are just my Creekside Reflections. Your experience may vary.)
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Arizona Mystery Writers, AWP, Boston, Holidays, NEA, pilates, roses, Valentine's Day | Leave a Comment »