Saturday, November 25, 2006

At least I've been knitting

Virtually no time for writing right now, between sick kids, husband with back pain, and my own battle against the monthly migraine. I haven't mentioned it much here, but my daughter Emma is 'gifted' and skipped kindergarten last year. She's six and in Second Grade now, and while she's doing great academically (if anything, she's bored because the work is still too easy for her), there have been some social issues. It's hard to believe, but she's already being identified as 'different' by the other kids and left out a lot. As a parent, it's a huge challenge for me to find the right mix for her, and I'm finding that it requires a great deal of time and focus. Consequently, writing has had to fall by the wayside these last few weeks. But there has been knitting, which has helped me stay sane through it all.

I finally finished those Socktoberfest socks –

Dennis' pair in Blue Brick Wall:

My Baby Cable Rib pair in Siren Song:

And I've even managed a little bit of felting for the Get Felted! knitalong at Romancing the Yarn:

The girls love them, and it makes me feel great to see them so happy.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


One more publication!

My poem Seven Reasons We Never Met for Drinks at the Sand Dollar Lounge is up at juked now.

This one came out of my sixth round of 30/30 and is precisely why I love doing 30 poems in 30 days. I would never have been able to let myself write something like this under normal circumstances. I may have to jump back into the madness soon.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Recent Publications

I know I included a link to this in a previous post, but it was only a brief mention and I'm so proud to be included in the current issue of The Pedestal Magazine that I can't help putting it up again. Besides, The Corps of Discovery Licks Its Salty Lips is one of my personal favorites of all the poems I've written. Arlene Ang served as guest editor of the issue and did a fantastic job - she chose an outstanding variety of delightful and engaging poems. Check them all out!

The Fall issue of Tipton Poetry Journal includes my poem summer and winter. My copy arrived in the mail last week and it is a lovely journal. Arlene Ang, Cheryl Chambers, and Jason Fraley also have poems in this issue.

I'm also very pleased to be included in the newest issue of poetry over at Literary Mama. Check out my poem At Bedtime as well as all the other fine poems exploring the amazing journey of motherhood.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Whatever Happened to Personal Responsibility?

Humiliated Frat Boys Sue 'Borat'

"The film "made plaintiffs the object of ridicule, humiliation, mental anguish and emotional and physical distress, loss of reputation, goodwill and standing in the community," the lawsuit said."

Um, didn't they do that to themselves by getting drunk and making sexist and racist comments?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Read This!

Looking for something great to read?

Check out Theresa Boyar's stunning story Waxing Razal, the third runner-up in Storyglossia's Fiction Contest. Don't miss Katrina Denza's engrossing first-runner up story Snake Dreams while you're there.

You can find Theresa's lovely poem Saints in Her Backyard up this week at Salome, and her story Selling it to Mrs. Foster at juked.

Also at juked, don't miss Arlene Ang's Typo and Claudia Smith's story Possom.

Happy reading!

Friday, November 03, 2006

In the Quiet

It's morning, but not early, and I should be out of bed. Emma is off to school already. Dennis drove her in because today is pajama day and it's just a bit too cold and rainy to be standing out waiting for the bus in PJs. Plus, it's a treat for them both to do something special like that. Pajama day is a reward to all the kids in the school for earning positive behavior 'gotchas'. When a teacher, administrator, or bus driver sees a kid doing something respectful, safe, or responsible, they reinforce the behavior by handing out a slip of paper that counts toward rewards and prizes. It seems pretty effective, and I like that the emphasis is on what kids are doing right, not what they are doing wrong.

So anyway, Kate is still asleep and I'm sitting in my bed in the dark with the shades still down, listening to my own thoughts uninterrupted for once. I finished my 7th round of 30 poems in 30 days on Tuesday and am making myself take a break for several days before starting another round. Maybe I'll wait even longer, but I doubt it. Already I feel the itch to write. It's become second nature now, as regular and necessary as breathing. I find the beginnings of poems, the seeds of new ideas, in everything I do and see. But for now I'm just making little notes and concentrating on revising poems that are already written, submitting work that is ready to go out into the world, and finishing up stories that never quite made it to the final draft.

And I'm thinking about the Christmas knitting I have planned. The yarn is picked out, bought, and wound into lovely balls, but I haven't decided which patterns I'm using for my dad and brother yet. I've already started my mom's present, but it requires concentration, so progress is slow. In the meantime, I'm about halfway through Dennis' second sock and I just finished the third teacup and saucer for the tea set I'm knitting for Emma and Kate. That leaves one more teacup and saucer (the pattern only calls for two of each, but then how would our whole family be able to enjoy the tea parties?!), the teapot, sugar bowl, and creamer. They're pretty quick to knit, but since it's going to be a surprise, I can only work on them when the girls aren't around, and you can imagine how often (not!) that happens. I also joined the Get Felted! knitalong and contest over at Romancing the Yarn and have been eyeing my stash to see what I can felt. I have some lovely tweedy yarn I got last year to make Fuzzy Feet with, so that's one project. I'm also hoping to make the felted mancala board that's been lurking at the bottom of my project list for months.

I've been reading Neruda's Odes to Common Things, which I got with part of my recent poetry prize, and I'm really enjoying it. There is an economy and simplicity of words to these poems that belies the depth of their scope and insight. Other things I've read lately include Poetry International, Fence, and a wonderful memoir I picked up in Baker City, Oregon over the summer called I Only Dress the Wounds: Notes of a Country Doctor by Ted Merrill. It is one of the best books I've ever read. By turns funny, profound, heartbreaking, disturbing, and always life-affirming.

Sitting here in the quiet, I'm struck by how much I've accomplished lately. Not big things. Not, for the most part, measurable things. There's been no changing the world here. Or maybe there has. I've focused on my family even more recently, trying to make sure the girls get my time and attention when they need it. I think it shows. Emma is doing great in school and loves being a Brownie Girl Scout. Kate adores preschool and gets more joy out of swimming lessons than ought to be allowed by law. We've been doing some 'family fun' things - reading together, swimming at the pool, taking walks, doing art projects - that is bringing us all closer together. Maybe our little corner of the world IS better. Maybe that's enough.