Tuesday, September 2, 2014

habit schmabit

guilt trip

i got one thing done today.
actually at 3 a.m. during an episode of insomnia.
the rest of my day was taken with various obligations, some commitments i had made, some unforeseen little family crises.

but a 3 a.m. i got ravished by an uninvited muse and wrote a new poem, and it was a sweet, sweet moment.

so i won't complain about the thwarting of my plans, because in sum, it was a difficult day and also a better day than i could have predicted.

a stanza from my muse:

i was young then,
and that was all.

more later, when time has passed and i can vet the whole thing with some distance from the newly birthed verses.

also, this pesky chart showing the relationship between the time an author arises and how productive that author is.  is still want more proof of a cause/effect relationship.  nonetheless, i will continue to fret that i will never be as productive as the compulsive 4 am risers.

Tuesdays? Gone?

Tuesdays will bring me down semester. They will be the death of me.

Working for 9 am to 9 pm--in between, a small window in which to swing in to the grocery store on the way home from subway, wave to famed street photographer Clayton Patterson from across the street and get an iced coffee at Cakeshop--fuel for biking to work and working through my night gig.

I did not write. Only thought about the writing of others. And the songs of others.

Beginning of semester. Needy swarms of students. You know how I love to help.

What inspiration can I steal from Skynyrd, circa 1976? TUESDAY'S GONE! Emotional indulgence? Should I throw a train in somewhere? Look out how the keyboard player segues seamlessly from piano to organ--how can I translate THAT to the page?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Flailed and Felt

I love this woman's hair and fashion sense. She's a McNally Jackson regular.
 I haven't been as productive as Lara.

After a late night Thurs at the ref desk, I had to be at another ref desk at the crack of dawn.

But that meant I could go straight from work to McNally Jackson for a spell. I went all last year on Fridays.

I did a little work on my novella there. I really tried to concentrate on writing sentences I wouldn't be embarrassed to read out loud. That was my central criterion today.

Later, I decided, like Lara, I needed some outside inspiration, so put on a Nirvana concert from '92. During that concert, a boy dancer danced on stage--a planned addition, he flailed and felt the music. Beautiful and unnecessary, auxiliary. Also, unchoreographed and messy. I tried to write a story using that as its overarching aesthetic.

Here's another self portrait! Soon I'll have enough for my own coffee table book of selfies, a la Kim Kardashian (I'm not even joking). Hopefully, that will be the last time I refer to a Kardashian on this blog.
Me, trying to look as cool as the woman pictured above.
Waiting endlessly for my kid to "get ready," I wrote by hand and I liked it.

long work day, quick blog post

so rad.  literally.

my report for friday 29 august 2014:


  • finished part 2 of charles olson's call me ishmael
  • read "resisting amnesia: history and personal life," adrienne rich's 1983 speech at scripps college collected in blood, bones, and poetry
  • read audre lorde's poem "afterimages"
  • read sandra tsing loh's essay "the bitch is back" from the best american essays 2012, ed. david brooks
  • read chapter 83, "jonah historically regarded," and "the doubloon" from moby dick
  • wrote the poem "from the sun. . . " 
  • wrote the poem "god's world is nothing. . . "
  • FINISHED revising the lapidary's nosegay, and i must never touch it again until it is in press
  • submitted the lapidary's nosegay for publication with two days to spare before deadline passes

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Another Awkward Outfit Self Portrait

I think I'm too old for the word "selfie."


Well, the first thing I did today was take this super awkward house mirror self-portrait. Today's writing outfit: my favorite t-shirt I swiped in from a boyfriend in San Francisco in 1987.

Maybe he gave it to me.

Twenty-seven years later, it's threadbare, delicate, a spider's web. On the front are the words "White Light/White Heat" and "Velvet Underground." On the back is screenprinted the name "Johnny Thunders," former guitarist for the NY Dolls.

But I don't have to tell you that.

And it was cool enough for a pleather skirt. (I meant weather wise, but the pronoun reference is ambiguous enough to work the other way.)

The day declined from here. I got little work done. I was obligated to be at home to wait for a plumber. Tried to write, but then did things like organize the chips drawer. I hate to say it--but we have a chips drawer.

People ask me why I write in coffee shops. This is why.

Then the plumber came and I had to summon children from their beds at the rock and roll hour of noon.

School has not started yet.

So I took my children on a good old-fashioned urban outing.  It had been awhile since my teen had appeared in public with me. Although I probably wrote about 200 words today, that part was  nice.

Late workin' tonight, after late rockin' last night, during which I heard this song:

what i wore & a report

weird picture.  sorry.  i wanted to show you that i cast off my mom clogs in favor of h&m booties (see clogs in background), my proustian bed desk (i must work on making it more sumptuous), and that i'm still wearing tons of leopard.  also, i must get rid of that hideous red polka-dotted phone case. 

today, on thursday 28 august 2014:
  • read most of section 2 from charles olson's call me ishmael
  • read eula biss' essay "the pain scale" from the best creative nonfiction, vol. 1, edited by lee gutkind
  • read chapter 17, "the ramadan," chapter 10 "a bosom friend," chapter 4 "the counterpane," and chapter 11, "nightgown," from moby dick.
here's what olson says about melville, and i find it highly applicable.  if you're a writer, you might also find resonance here:

he [melville] was a skald, and knew how to appropriate the work of others.  he read to write.  highborn stealth, edward dahlberg calls originality, the act of a cutpurse autolycus who makes thefts as invisible as possible.  melville's books batten other men's books.

  • wrote the poems "we are all dreadfully cracked. . . ", "but what is worship?",  and "there you lie. . . ."
  • wrote blog post
  • re-submitted to rad journal who asked for more work
  • submitted to new journal, work never before submitted
not done
  • manuscript editing on the lapidary's nosegay.  the fourteenth day in a row this has been on my list and has not been touched.  
p.s. in addition to wearing this outfit to blog in, i'll be wearing it to a parent-teacher conference in which we discuss the issue of my child drawing a mustache and beard on his face with marker at school yesterday, to neylan mcbaine's women at church book release at zion's books, and to the opening of tamarack, a new provo restaurant, which i will review if all goes well.  and finally, to watch the dita von teese episode of project runway later on tonight. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lara and I are Doing this Thing

This was good, Lara.
Because we miss blogging together.

And we want to keep track of each other. We have stuff we need to do, and get done.

Getting it done has been hard.

So we wanted to check in with each other, but do it in public, where we'd have lots of people judging us.


Here's what I did today:

Worked on my Novella. There's a little lit rag that has an annual novella contest. I've been wanting to enter for years.

I decided working on just one thing for this first day of blogging was good.

I started at Rosella Coffee. Terrible music. No bathroom. Really good iced Americano.

I did not order anything from this menu today.
I wore the outfit that I wore on my birthday morning. Channeling good creative things from that day, even though I was already hot and sweaty in the am. (Also, channeling Patti Smith on the cover of Easter.)