cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (accomplished)
Editor Mitchell Hart has posted the newest issue of Through the Gate, which includes my poem "Levity." A short, whimsical piece about what [ profile] asakiyume aptly terms "inconvenient miracles," this poem was loosely inspired by old photos of spiritualists. Also included are works by [ profile] popelizbet, [ profile] sovay, Bogi Takács, M Sereno, Neile Graham, and Sarah Page, in an ever-changing lineup that prompts the reader to consider connections between the works. Or maybe the Table of Contents is just tricksy and having fun!

At Lightspeed, [ profile] tithenai has reviewed three books from Aqueduct Press: [ profile] sovay's latest collection, Ghost Signs, Jenn Brissett's novel Elysium, and my collection, The Haunted Girl. Amal is very complimentary, which is thrilling in itself, but she also clearly "gets" my book. I wanted to hug these words: the collection’s core: resistance to norms, to imposition, be they of language, sexuality, or mortality. There is a sharpness, a sting to most of these poems, of the kind that makes you hiss and then seek it out again....I loved the collection’s bilingualism, both in the presence of Spanish and the musings on being between languages, on the thermodynamics of translation.

I am so grateful my work is out there, being read, being appreciated.

Now, back to work!
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (hola)
1. I am finally starting to feel human again, though I keep overestimating my ability to remain awake and upright. The fortunate thing about having been so inarguably ill...

leave me alone to die

is that I was forced to cede control over a number of things I thought were important (and which may have well been) but that were diminishing my resources without sufficient payoff. 

castiel I quit

2. Winchester Wednesday! A new episode of Supernatural airs tonight, and though I don't love it the way I used to, it's been surprisingly entertaining as of late...

sam and dean in the batcave by huntercest

and it gives me an excuse to be alone for an hour on a weeknight. (Tweetie is allowed to watch it but prefers not to. And JJ keeps Tweetie company and keeps her on task with her school night routine. (Except for when something happens to the Impala and I shriek in horror, at which point he rushes in to ask, "Are you okay?") Win-win? I think so.)

3. My first winter women's retreat was successful. We all agreed it wasn't quite long enough, and I spent most of it sick, but it seems to have done the trick for me, jogging me out of some unhelpful patterns. I really enjoyed tromping around in the snow, following deer tracks, trying to figure out where the land ended and the snow-covered river began, eating pristine snow, finding still-verdant streams, lying in the snow and waiting for the stars to materialize, listening for coyotes...

4. Banana Joe. I love that name. I say it just to smile: "Banana Joe."

5. Stoned corgis. Corgis in mailboxes. Floppy-eared corgis

6. Only half an hour before I can take more medicine.

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (hola)
I am slowly recovering from my holiday hangover. This morning I woke up on time, courtesy of two alarm clocks and a superheroic act of will, and I got my child to school on time, although it wasn't til we were out the door that I realized I'd totally blown off her homework of the night before. In my defense, last night we were on a secret mission, so whatever academic demerits Tweetie receives should be offset by karma points. I am forcing myself to sit in the sunlight to recharge my batteries before printing out a snail-mail sub and preparing other mail. I have already broken up a cat fight and had two cups of coffee. I haven't been posting many poems in the poem-a-day filter this week, but I have managed to write one every day for over a month now, and I've even liked some of them! It is possible I am a little manic right now, but I'll take it after feeling like a run-over slug for several days.

Speaking of...I would love to hear some good news and happy thoughts! Even if you think I've already heard/seen your good news, tell me again in comments! 
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (neon sign)
Tweetie had the day off, and the weather was good, and I had a few extra spoons, so we went downtown.

1. Yarnbombing. Although we ran a few errands at local shops, our real reason for heading downtown was to check out the yarnbombing-palooza that [ profile] diatryma participated in. I didn't think to take a pic of her sexy little "corset" sweater, but eventually I remembered my phone has *other powers*:

tree sweater

2. Pianos in public. The city has several pianos in its ped mall area, with protective covers for night-time and weather. 

pianos in public

3. History peeking through the cracks. I'd heard about these awhile back, but didn't think I'd get a chance to see them before they were covered up again. These bison are what's left of a much larger mural. They were uncovered when workers started construction on a new building.

bison mural

4. Yotopia! This time, I managed to convince Tweetie to eat frozen yogurt for lunch. This is my cup, with a pumpkin-pie and cake-batter swirl, Molly's Cupcake crumbs, peanuts, and banana chips.

yotopia creation

5. Random acts of kindness. A complete stranger walked by with a balloon and asked if it was alright to give it to Tweetie. 


cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (boondock saints smoke)
1. My beta readers! I am so grateful that such talented writers are willing to help me improve my work. I hope my progress is sufficient that they continue to think the arrangement worth their time.

2. Supernatural Wiki! It's been down a lot lately because it can't handle the demand, but even the cached pages have been integral for my research over the last two weeks. It's been especially helpful to be able to compare my transcripts to the ones there. 

3. Speaking of Supernatural, this gif makes me happy in my pants:

Dean ripping off tie

Gosh, I could just look at that all day.

4. I get to have lunch with hubby today. It doesn't much matter what or where, just that we get to spend time together. (and I'll be away from the computer, which has been sucking out my very soul)

5. This episode of Autumn in Iowa--Yesterday it rained pretty much all day. JJ and I walked over to the school to pick up Tweetie. On our way back, J remarked that Tweetie should roll in the leaves, because they'd stick to her clothes like velcro. She was disgusted and said her clothes would be ruined! Clearly it only made sense to take off all her clothes BEFORE rolling in the leaves. I laughed at my little hedonist, while J made special note that she was not allowed to play outside naked.

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (scheming)
Some fabulous news in my inbox this morning! My epic fantasy poem "we come together we fall apart" sold to Stone Telling!

This is my first poetry sale to ST. (Heretofore, I'd only contributed articles.)

It's also the longest poem I've ever written. Previously, my longest poem was "The Haunted Girl," at approximately 160 lines (580 words over 4 pages). "we come together we fall apart" is over 760 lines long (4K words over 20 pages).

Writing long is not, in and of itself, a good thing. In fact, it's usually a detriment. But I really do feel as if writing this poem was a feat of endurance. I channeled the story over several days, often remembering a quote ascribed to Michelangelo: "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."  In my case, it was more like transcribing a radio show. I had to listen hard, pause and replay, pause and replay.

Thankfully, mine is a more forgiving medium than marble. Else I'd have a lot of noseless angels with busted wings. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, if that's what you're going for.)

I can't wait to share this poem with all of you. It's my version of Gothic Americana, set in the 1870s, and it has sheep, shape notes, secret identities, love, betrayal, and barrels of whiskey.

I leap for joy on Leap Day!

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (xmas)
What a fine day it's been. Actually, two very fine days in a row.

I got my fairy tale Thanksgiving, with jazz and big band and international music playing and matching plates and coordinating linens and most of my chosen tribe and delicious food: bok choy & romaine salad, wild rice and fruit salad, garlic bread, vegetarian lasagna, peach cobbler, chocolate-raspberry cake, plus wine and cider and so many snacky goodies. (We got the lasagna and bread from a local restaurant, so there was a lot more relaxation than usual.) Tweetie and I watched the parade and then some of the dog show. I teared up during a Chevy commercial, and J was disgusted: "You're only crying because it was a car, a Chevy Impala." The weather was nice enough I could go out without a coat and stroll through the neighborhood while sipping from my mug of spiked mulled cider. We played Apples to Apples and Uno and talked about movies (I'd just rewatched The Shining the night before) and of course we laughed a lot.

And today, the gloomy weather has been perfect for snuggling and sleeping in and eating leftovers and watching old, feel-good movies. I watched Never Been Kissed and maybe half of Ten Inch Hero before the innuendo was eclipsed by nudity and I had to turn it off for Tweetie's sake. (Oh but Jensen Ackles looks good with neck tats and eyeliner and a green mohawk and kilt!) Then I watched People Will Talk, one of my all-time favorite black-and-white films. I teared up again, and this time J was considerate. (I suspect he got misty-eyed the first time we watched it, too. Hee!)

I've been very happy, and grateful for every moment of it. I hope all my LJ friends are doin' good, too. :)

cafenowhere: teacup brimming with mysterious violet liquid (psychedelic tea)
I am thankful for my lime-green, knee-high, chenille socks.

I am thankful for sunlight. Not the blue Close Encounters stuff that radiates from my light box, but real sunlight, golden-white and bright.

I am thankful my husband is coming home from his business trip today.

I am thankful for my brother. Though I complain about him an awful lot.

I am thankful for the squeak of my right shoe, which kept me company on my walk this morning.

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (hola)

The other night I finished watching the first season of Sons of Anarchy. I near wept with happiness. Such good storytelling. My favorite character is Juice. (Are you surprised? Tell me you're not surprised.) Look at this cutie.

theo rossi times four 

And here's a strangely happy song I fell in love with yesterday... (It's strange I fell in love with something so happy, is what I mean.)

Good News

Jul. 7th, 2011 11:34 am
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (celebrate cupcake)
My poem "In Defiance of Sleek-armed Androids" has been accepted for publication in Fantastique Unfettered, issue 3!

Which means I now have four poems awaiting publication, including these previous sales:

"Ford Salvation" to Cicada

"Messenger Ensnared" to Polu Texni

"Forget-me-Nots" to GUD

And which means my inventory is running low! But since I have been sublimating rage and angst like crazy, I most certainly have a number of poems brewing, so inventory should not long be a problem.

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (hola)

1. Packages in the mail! Specifically, deliveries. The customer service emails kept telling me that amazon was shipping me "Jared Padalecki, et al." To which I kept thinking, "Gee, I hope not. I don't have room for a Padalecki, let alone his entourage." (I'd darn well make room for Jensen Ackles, though!) To my relief and in deference to all those opposed to sending live critters in the mail, they actually sent me season 5 of Supernatural, plus those jigsaw puzzles I ordered.

ETA: The back copy on this puzzle is hilarious (although well copyedited): "Now you can re-create the violent world of the Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day with this 1000-piece puzzle that captures the dark, cutting-edge style of the hard-drinking, vigilante siblings." Watch out! Alternate world emerging as I complete this good-looking puzzle! 

2. Honorable mentions! My poem "The Haunted Girl" made it onto [ profile] ellen_datlow's (quite long) list of honorable mentions for the forthcoming Best Horror of the Year. Alas, the recognition won't appear in the much shorter HM list to be printed in the anthology, but I'm delighted Datlow noted my poem at all. I saw that [ profile] ruralwriter and [ profile] intertribal and [ profile] samhenderson also received mentions. Go team!

3. My new laptop! J ordered me a new machine and I should have it in my hot little hands by end of month. It could consolidate the data on two computers to the new one and only, but being married to a techie has its advantages. ;) With any luck, I will soon be creating my own gifs and vids.

4. Spring has arrived in Iowa!

Let's share the light. What's making you happy?
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (coffee addicted)
As always, feel free to share your own happy-making things in comments!

1. I have awesome friends who call me on my shit but never hurt my feelings, who encourage me to keep on truckin' without making me feel like I've been slackin'.

2. Supernatural's "hellatus" is almost over! Oh Show, bring back Soulful Sam and at least a facsimile of sense-making senseness.

3. My long-suffering hubby watched a ridiculous number of movies with me this weekend. The good: The Secret of Kells and Legend of the Guardians. The Bad: Angel-A and  Journey to the Center of the Earth. The Ugly: 28 Weeks Later. Also, he is not jealous of my tv/movie boyfriends, as evidenced by his impulse to buy Men's Journal for me because Jason Statham is on the cover.

4. This weekend I learned my brother was a sleepwalker...or, a sleep circler. He'd get up, walk in a circle, and go right back to bed. Like a dog. Do you know the blackmail potential of this?

5. Apparently my body is a wonderland, but someone sneaks in after dark: I have a scratch on my bum I can't explain, and while showering this morning, I discovered purple tinsel in my belly button. O_o

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (sugar in my coffee)

I deleted a grouchy post I made the other day because it was complain-y without any redeeming value. When I wail about the drug war along the Texas-Mexico border, I feel that it's at least helping to bring attention to a travesty. But the kind of minor-league bitching I deleted is simply not helpful, and I don't want that empty negativity on my page.

chel1395 on fanpop

New friends and passersby might not know the reasons behind my "Happy-Making Things" posts. Generally, I am not a cheerful person. (My long-time acquaintances have now collapsed into laughing fits at the understatement.) I'm kind of an Eeyore or Grumpy Bear by nature

which may or may not be related to my clinical depression. I've blogged about my post-partum depression, my ongoing depression, and the complications of seasonal affective disorder. I've also blogged about how I use medication and certain lifestyle choices to manage my depression. Feel free to click the tags in the sidebar to browse those entries. I'll wait.

misanthrope86 on fanpop

In short, the Happy-Making Things posts are efforts to mitigate the effects of Iowa winters on my mental health. I like to celebrate the positives in my daily life; I like to hear about other people's joys; I return to these posts when I need a boost. I don't ignore what's wrong in my world or the larger world; I don't expect anyone to shield me from their unhappiness or problems; I'm not looking for cures or to be "fixed."

So, that's where I'm coming from. Just so you know.

"Hi, I'm Jack. I'm totally not crazy."










(last image totally stolen from [ profile] toddalcott 's analysis of The Shining.)
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (saint dean)

1. I sold two more poems! "Requiem for the Roboticist" and "Kyrielle for a Cloned Baby" are slated for Issues 4 and 5 of Bull Spec.

2. A soft, picturesque snow is falling, and I can appreciate it from the comfort of my snug living room.

3. Yesterday I wore the longest socks EVER.

4. Eggplant parmigiana and an Old Fashioned at Monica's in Coralville. (And a waiter I pretended was Johnny Weir.)

5. We are baking cookies tonight!

What is making you happy today? Tell me! Don't make me get out the sad panda!

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (saint dean)
1. My husband walks loud. That is, he stomps when he walks through the house so as not to catch me off-guard, because when I'm startled in the house, I scream loud enough to kill small creatures and it hurts my heart. So he's taught himself to be a clumsy beast, for my benefit.

2. My daughter doesn't turn a hair at being the only girl in a group of boys her age.

3. Vegetarian entrees on La Reyna's buffet, and their horchata

4. My cats purr loud enough to annoy me, but it's because that's how happy they are.

5. Tom Hardy in drag (slurp!)

6. Supernatural tonight

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (happy pug tongue)

tropical sock, ditched
palm trees and flamingos fade
in the prodigal sun


I saw this sock on my wild wild walk of Sunday.

Yesterday I got to read under the shade of a pine tree, with my bare feet in the cool, plush grass. Divine!

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (raccoon)

Fresh sheets

Listening to Tweetie read the Magic Tree House books to herself

Determined maple trees

Re-viewing movies I loved ten-plus years ago and finding they still hold up: to whit, Barcelona and Clay Pigeons

Fast and Furious opens this weekend

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (silver teapots)
Shiny new red laptop, currently known as Cherry Pie

No need to respond to "Mom" for the next 6 hours

The quirks of NetFlix, which lists as examples of the "Wilderness Survival" genre, both



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