On Happiness #41

"And there is the fallacy of existence: the idea that one would be happy forever and aye with a given situation or series of accomplishments. Why did Virginia Woolf commit suicide? Or Sara Teasdale—or the other brilliant women—neurotic? Was their writing sublimation (oh horrible word) of deep, basic desires? If only I knew. If only I knew how high I could set my goals, my requirements for my life! I am in the position of a blind girl playing with a slide-ruler of values. I am not at the nadir of my calculating powers.
The future? God—will it get worse & worse? Will I never travel, never integrate my life, never have purpose, meaning? Never have time—long stretches to investigate ideas, philosophy—to articulate the vague seething desires in me?" -Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Blue Fifth Review

Random Musing
The folks over at Blue Fifth Review included my painting "Deep Sea" in their September issue! You can check it out here.

Searching for a Pulse

Random Musing
Whitepoint Press just released my collection Searching for a Pulse! They accepted the collection last September (which you know if you've stuck with this blog for a long long time) and it's surreal to have it finally out in the world. Surreal in the best possible way of course. (The line from Notting Hill when Hugh Grant's character says meeting Anna was "surreal but nice" just popped into my head. Okay, tangent over.)

It's available both on the Whitepoint website as well as on Amazon, and there's even a Kindle version if you're really into your e-reader. Having just gotten a Kindle, I totally understand if that's the way you choose to go. They really are super snazzy.

If you do end up buying the book, I want to take this opportunity to thank you - though I'll happily thank you in the real world too if our paths cross. I really appreciate all the support I've gotten regarding this collection - in fact, it's rather humbling. Thank you for supporting my work even if poetry (let alone morbid Sylvia Plath inspired poetry) isn't really your thing. It means a lot.

The Fat City Review

Random Musing
The Fat City Review just published two of my paintings.

You can find "Strung" here, and "Black/White #3" here.

The Islands of Chaldea

Random Musing
Midnight googling can lead to some rather lovely discoveries.

Long-time readers are probably aware that Diana Wynne Jones passed away in March of 2011 - I wrote a pretty harebrained blog post about it. She's one of my favorite authors and wrote some truly wonderful fantasy novels and short stories. This might be news - I tend to post mostly about poetry and literary fiction on this blog - but I really really love fantasy.

I grew up a part of the Harry Potter Generation, and I had to fill my fantasy quotient with something while waiting for new J.K. Rowling to come out. Enter Diana Wynne Jones (among other authors of course, but she was definitely the most important). I stumbled on Howl's Moving Castle while wandering Borders' Fantasy Section (how depressing is it that no stories post 2011 can involve the phrase "wandering Borders"?). There was a blurb on the cover saying "Mad about Harry? Try Diana," which was a pretty solid recommendation for someone deep in Hogwarts withdrawal. The book is just fantastic (and way better than the movie - I feel the need to point that out because so many people seem to have seen the movie and liked it but never bothered to read the novel) and I quickly started making my way through Jones' canon. She was definitely not a one-hit wonder; the Chrestomanci series, the Dalemark Quartet, Dark Lord of Derkholm, The Merlin Conspiracy, and so many other of her novels are just loverly. They're funny and incredibly clever and honestly, they give J.K. Rowling a run for her money. If you're at all a fantasy fan, you need to go out and get your hands on her books.

So when Jones passed away on March 26, 2011, it felt like the end of a wonderful ride. There was only so much more of her writing that I hadn't yet read, and it was depressing to know that I'd soon be through with it all. I've gotten pretty close - out of over 50 publications, I have her very first obscure non-fantasy novel, an essay collection she compiled, and two collections of short stories (that I suspect I've actually mostly read since a lot of the stories were included in other anthologies) to go. I haven't been looking forward to getting through it all actually - I've been kind of dreading it in fact - and so when some chance googling informed me that a new Jones' novel (co-authored with her sister) is coming out in 2014, I was ecstatic. New whimsical and wonderful fantasy to look forward to! Yes! Yay!

It's titled the Islands of Chaldea, and while I'm aware that it's probably not going to be classic Jones - the co-authorship basically makes that a done deal - it's still very exciting. Now I just have to wait at least seven months for it to come out (I suspect the UK release date is significantly earlier than the US one). I'm going to be plenty busy in between now and then - working on my thesis, teaching those precocious freshmen, assistant editing - but I'm still impatient. Commence counting down the many many days to go.

I wanted to share the excitement and new novel news for those of you who are also Diana Wynne Jones fans. As for the rest of you, take this as encouragement (or a sign) to start reading her. Just dewit. I recommend starting with Howl's Moving Castle. It's a classic.

On Hatred #2

"'Love can turn to hate very easily. It is easier to hate where you have loved than it is to be indifferent where you have loved.'" -Agatha Christie, Elephants Can Remember


Random Musing
The folks over at FLASH MOB 2013 recently requested to use one of my paintings for their website header. The site is a hybrid blog carnival and competition celebrating International Flash Fiction Day, which is on June 22nd. You can take a look at the art work, and see what they're all about, here. Think about submitting if you have some flash fiction lying around.

Mother's Day 2013

"Aunt Marigold, who had never had any children of her own, knew more mothercraft than many women who had. She had not only the seeing eye but the understanding heart as well." -L.M. Montgomery, Magic for Marigold

"When I was a child I told my mother everything. After she died I learned that it was better to keep some things to myself. My father represented authority, which meant — to me — that he could not also represent understanding." -William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow

"They'd know it was me. My mother always know it's me. She's psychic."
-J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

"So this is his mother.
This small woman.
The gray-eared procreator.

The boat in which, years ago,
he sailed to shore.

The boat from which he stepped
into the world,
into un-eternity.

Genetrix of the man
with whom I leap through fire.

So this is she, the only one
who didn't take him
finished and complete.

She herself pulled him
into the skin I know,
bound him to the bones
that are hidden from me.

She herself raised
the gray eyes
that he raised to me.

So this is she, his Alpha.
Why has he shown her to me.

So he was born, too.
Born like everyone else.
Like me, who will die.

The son of an actual woman.
A new arrival from the body's depths.
A voyager to Omega.

Subject to
his own absence,
on every front,
at any moment.

He hits his head
against a wall
that won't give way forever.

His movements
dodge and parry
the universal verdict.

I realized
that his journey was already halfway over.

But he didn't tell me that,

'This is my mother.'
was all he said." -Wisława Szymborska, "Born" (Translated by Stanisław Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh)

Goodreads and searching for a pulse

Random Musing
I'm officially a Goodreads Author! It's a bit bizarre, and a lot delightful. I regularly spend quite a bit of time on Goodreads - it's the main way I keep track of all the books I've read as well as all the books I want to read - so having an author's profile is honestly surreal. Having searching for a pulse on the site is even weirder and pretty snazzy.

To make this new development more exciting for the rest of you, Whitepoint Press is actually giving away ten free copies of searching for a pulse! That's right, I said "free." Get excited people. (Especially since I can't think of a single person who doesn't like free stuff.) The drawing runs until May 31st, and if you're a Goodreads member, you can enter the giveaway here. Don't worry if the odds don't work out in your favor though - you'll still be able to buy your own shiny new copy on August 5th.

On Happiness #40

"'I have sought happiness through many ages and not found it; fame and missed it; love and not known it; life — and behold, death is better.'" -Virginia Woolf, Orlando


Random Musing
I have a tiny poem on page 29 of the newest issue of Bohemia. Check it out here.


Random Musing
I have a few paintings in the newest issue of splinterswerve. You can check them out here.

For Faeries #4

"It was a fairy night, with eerie pixie voices in the bracken." -L.M. Montgomery, Magic for Marigold

Worn Out

"The priest was young and seemed tired, not because of what had happened that night but because of something that had been wearing him down for years."
-Roberto Bolaño, 2666 (Translated by Natasha Wimmer)

"But I was weary of myself, and weary of my lonely rooms; and I did my own errands, for no better reason than that it was something to do." -Wilkie Collins, Armadale

"The re-beginning of one's life, at the re-beginning of every day, has always been something weary and hopeless to me for years past." -Wilkie Collins, Armadale

"'"I felt weary, weary, done up, as if I hadn't had one hour's sleep since the day I was born."'" -Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

"Oh, cold world — I have grown so weary of you and all your horrible bathrooms."
-Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

"…And so I dream of going back to be.
It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood…" -Robert Frost, "Birches"

On Sadness #14

"His sadness was of the kind that is patient and without hope." -William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow

Two Years

"It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things." -Lemony Snicket, The Reptile Room

"…And if along with these should come
          The man I held as half-divine;
          Should strike a sudden hand in mind,
And ask a thousand things of home;

And I should tell him all my pain,
          And how my life had drooped of late,
          And he should sorrow o'er my state
And marvel what possessed my brain;

And I perceived no touch of change,
          No hint of death in all his frame,
          But found him all in all the same,
I should not feel it to be strange." -Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "In Memoriam A.H.H.: 14"

Bosola: Doth not death fright you?
Duchess: Who would be afraid on 't,
Knowing to meet such excellent company
in th' other world? -John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi

Random Musing
I think of you often so it's still very strange to realize another whole year has passed. Rest in peace Erica.

Emily Byrd Starr's Dichotomy of Living

"Emily came downstairs laggingly, feeling that all the colour and music had somehow gone out of life, and that it stretched before her in unbroken greyness. Ten minutes later she was encompassed by rainbows and the desert of her future had blossomed like the rose." -L.M. Montgomery, Emily Climbs

"'There are times when I hate life. Other times again when I love it fiercely with an agonized realization of how beautiful it is — or might be…'" -L.M. Montgomery, Emily's Quest

"'There! I feel better for that little outburst of discontent. It has ejected something from my system. I know that into everybody's life must come some days of depression and discouragement when all things in life seem to lose savour. The sunniest day has its clouds; but one must not forget that the sun is there all the time.
How easy it is to be a philosopher — on paper!'" -L.M. Montgomery, Emily's Quest

"'Life never seems the same to me as it used to. Something is gone. I am not unhappy. But life seems a sort of negative affair. I enjoy it on the whole and have many beautiful moments. I have success — at least a sort of success — in growing measure and a keen appreciation of all the world and the times offer for delight and interest. But underneath it all is the haunting sense of emptiness.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Emily's Quest

On Friendship #31

"…and although I didn't have the words for it then, I knew that our real friendship, the heady love that comes of mystery, had ended. We spoke to each other at school, still, but with the polite reserve I heard in my mother's voice when she chatted with strangers." -Liza Kleinman, "What Went Wrong"

On Love #38

"'It's not enough, then, just to love.'" -Joanne Greenberg, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

What Goodbye Feels Like

"…Goodbye, goodbye.
Nothing left
after the initial
blast but

some echo like this.
Only the faded
pieces of paper
etc." -Robert Creeley, "Some Afternoon"

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