The high point was Saturday when I attended the Barrelhouse writers’ conference, Conversations and Connections, via Zoom. I attended sessions by Tommy Dean (micros), Randon Billings Noble (lyric essays), and Claudia Gary (villanelles). It was a comfy way for me to attend a conference. Even so, I get a little overstimulated. Plus, I had to feed the cats their very complicated breakfast during the micro segment, so I couldn’t do the writing. I learned some interesting stuff, and if I ever get a clear head again I plan to make use. If they offer the conference online again, I highly recommend it. The cost was not high, and we get a couple of free books.
Also this week, I did the following:
- worked (from home)–the usual crap–no more, no less
- cleaned the living room and my daughter’s old bedroom (even got rid of stuff nobody is going to want)
- was frustrated because of the pandemic and because I am tired and don’t feel so great (Valley Fever)
- was in pain, particularly my arm and shoulder
- wrote a review of Beth Ruscio’s poetry collection Speaking Parts for Main Street Rag
- played with my art journal
worked on the beginning of the new draft of the memoir
- got frustrated working on the beginning of the new draft of the memoir
- cleaned up cat puke from several cats and wet litter dragged through the house by my old girl, Pear
- groomed Pear every day and worried about her
- was annoyed by the gardener worrying about the covid variants and the vaccines (he’s an overthinker)
- was annoyed by an identity theft issue and the stupid bank it occurred at
- attended a telehealth appointment and made more medical appointments
- talked to my mother less than usual, but was glad to hear she got her second vaccine dose (I also owe phone calls to two relatives and a text to my brother–I can’t seem to want to communicate with people lately–maybe that’s why Perry chatted with you last week hahaha)
Almost everything this week, other than the conference and the art journal were energy sucks. I can’t stress enough how therapeutic the art journaling is for me (you too?). I know I suck, but I am learning techniques. I have to remember that I am starting from absolutely ground level.
Looking forward to an energy sprouting week ahead. Who’s with me?!!!!
Perry wanted to send a message today.
Thinking of reading this book as the title attracts me. What do you think?
You might remember my poem “Scrap” that was published last month at Anti-Heroin Chic. Poet and blogger Chris Rice Cooper has published an interview where I discuss the making of the poem–the backstory–on her blog over at blogspot.
Come join the fun!
A big thank you to editor Karen Kelsay who has published my poem “Without Flight” in the new issue of The Orchards Poetry Journal.
Last May I wrote about a red-tailed hawk that showed up on our patio. You can read the prose account here: An Unintended Visitor
For the poem version, you can follow the link to the beautiful Winter issue of the journal. My poem is page 94 of the magazine–95 of the digital form:
This week was not as good as the one before because I didn’t feel that well, plus I had extra work-work.
But over the weekend, I created a chalky pastel background that I really like, a strange scribble background using pastels in similar but different shades, and a string ink background.
I also was able to do some revision work to an essay that is in limbo with a journal. I’ll try to read it over today or tomorrow and see what else it needs.
So far in January I’ve collected a few rejections. Last spring I had two poems accepted by a journal that has not yet published them. They didn’t put out a fall issue, so am I waiting for the spring one? Hard to tell. I wrote to them, but got no response.
I’m readjusting into 2021 and trying to ignore the outside world as much as I can (since I have severe tension in 80% of my body right now). So what am I doing (besides work-work and home-work and cat-work)?
I really thought I was going to rewrite my memoir into something readable (ask Marie, I really was). Now I have another idea, but can’t start it yet. My idea (which has been suggested by others in the past) is that I write my memoir as a book of poems. So we will see.
In the meantime, because I wanted to work on that, instead I became excited about writing some new poems for the book-in-progress (which is not the memoir). So I’ve written about six poems so far. Because I am always starting my poems at the kitchen table, I added my craft books to the kitchen, which means they are now in with the cookbooks.
I’ve also started my art journal and am taking Art Journaling 101 from Amy Maricle (an online video course). I’ve been working on background pages. Here is one of my acrylic backgrounds. I am using watercolor and water-soluble pastels for backgrounds, as well.
I might just sit around and play with acrylics. It’s so much like finger painting. What a great stress reliever.
I’m riding the stationery bike, doing stretching or yoga, and walking–at least one of those per day. Yes, I should do more per day, but I have so much I want to cram in each 24 hour period. And that includes reading “my”new mystery series, Vera Stanhope detective, by Ann Cleeves. (Love that name, Ann Cleeves LOL)
OK, go out and seize the week and stay resilient and healthy. XO
A big thank you to editor Carol Andregg who has published my prose poem “Liminality” in the new issue of the well-known journal, Cider Press Review.
“Liminality” is a poem about my father. The poem begins this way:
Hell’s bells my father rolled off his tongue when frustrated or not pleased with the current situation. They weren’t the angry words when his temper swelled and overpowered his vulnerable body. Being only human, those other words . . . .
You can follow the link to the full poem, as well as an audio recording of me reading the poem:
A big thank you to Editor James Diaz of the really fun lit mag Anti-Heroin Chic who has published my poems “Into Pulp” and “Scrap” in their latest issue.
The first poem is a response to someone else’s vintage photograph. I don’t have permission to post the photo, but here is a link: Wrecked archive image
The first poem begins this way:
Lakewater pushes at my ankles
toes slicing an evanescent path
I’m at an age where I think I’m at the age
and I don’t imagine eyerolls
where I sense time abrading my surface
like this constantly moving water
stones and minnows distort into segments
molecules into a variety of atomic individuals
two purple, no, one hairbrush, a plastic ball
a swaying branch, leaves decaying
the insides of my grandmothers’ fridges
bubble and pop into shards of memory
The second poem, “Scrap,” relates to my memoir of the same name.
One of my father’s magical monstrosities
You can follow the link to both poems:
A big thank you to editor Zebulon Huset who has published my poem “The Shape of Me” in the double inaugural issue of Coastal Shelf.
The poem begins this way:
The Shape of Me
Have I been removed from something bigger?
Something gargantuan with jiggerfish capabilities.
Some thing that attracts, precise and cold.
Looking around, I notice cars and trashcans,
and up, clouds suspended in a blue crisp enough to lick.
You can follow the link to the full poem:
THE SHAPE OF ME
Coastal Shelf is a paying market. Check it out for the good writing and consider submitting.
The heat is up again in Arizona, but that just brings the birds out more as they scramble for water. The gardener has a fountain obsession, so we have plenty of water for these guys.
Here’s the little fountain with the little birds.
And here’s the big fountain with the big bird–in this case a roadrunner.
It’s labor day, and I am going to take a nap today. After all, I wrote a poem and babysat my daughter’s cat this week. Love and hugs and all!
A big thank you to editor Bri Bruce who has published my poem “Superbloom” in the inaugural issue of Humana Obscura.
The poem takes a look at the phenomenon known as superbloom that occurs in the southwestern United States every few years.
The magazine is published in the issuu format. You will find this poem on page 44, but take a look at the other poems and stories, too!
Here are the first two stanzas:
On my big brown mountains
that grow larger
though not visibly
also lichen, sow thistle, bristle grass
without water you can smell.
One bird seeks a saguaro
like a mast on a masklike sea
rabbits and voles above and below
run through chaparral.
Photos from March 2019
I’m closing comments because I had a flu shot and am feeling pretty awful from it. This happened to me the last time I had one, about six years ago, and my doctor put in my chart that I was allergic (it’s not an allergy–more of an intolerance). But now with Covid, he took it off my allergy list and told me to suck it up (OK, he didn’t say that) and get it this year. So now I have the whole list of symptoms: fever, sore muscles, skin painful to touch, headache, etc. But I would still love it if you get a chance to read “Superbloom”!