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I PRODUCED A MOVIE THIS SUMMER AND IT TOOK OVER MY LIFE BUT NOW I’M BACK AND I’M REMEMBERING HOW TO BREATHE

24 Aug

Speaking of breathing. That’s the theme of my post for today! I’m sorry I’ve been absent for so long but I’m back now, and I’m trying, and I’m so glad you’re not like my puppy who pees on the floor when we leave.

So, I’ve watched this trailer like 30 times the past few days, and I’ll probably watch it few more times because I just. can’t. stop. I know I’m going to love this film. Just from watching the trailer I feel nostalgic for that feeling of falling in love for the first time. The way it wrecks you.  It’s not a deep love but it’s honest– untainted, untamed. I remember crying the first time I realized I was in love, because I didn’t understand how to comprehend the emotions I was feeling. It was a new, selfless love that planted its roots in my chest and squeezed so tight I could barely breath. It’s that feeling I miss sometimes, that virginal realization that you’re all in and you can never go back.

And I don’t miss the person I first fell in love with, but I do miss the person I was. Not really my naivety or innocence, but the kindness and goodness. Someone deserving of everything; someone ready to be loved; a blank, balanced canvas.
 But honestly as much as I think I’d like to feel that way again, I’m glad I don’t. I’ll keep my love that’s been aged and tested because everything is better that way. Because I would rather be with someone (see pic below) who’s my pause button, my deep breath, than someone who takes that breath away.

Hottie husbad, right?

P.S.- this, however, I would let take my breath away. And by that I mean I’d eat so much of it my body would explode. I am not ashamed. yes.
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Blog Commenting as explained by Mean Girls.

12 Jul

The reality is always this: we are pretentious.

It is that inherent thing we are always talking about, the “I just know I am cut from different cloth—maybe paisley or something. But anyhow, my star is like the brightest and I know I’m going to hand the world something fabulous.”

image

I mean, would we be writing, if we didn’t think we had something worthwhile to say? The ambiguity of being a writer doesn’t last. You are no more amorphous than a cherry pie.  And, I suppose the point I am trying to get at is Have you ever noticed how writers approach commenting on blogs?

I was on a writing blog the other day scrolling through some articles and comments, etc. And I was reminded of something I learned in French class.

In France, if you are going to correct someone you begin by apologizing. You use the full and formal title of the person addressed and then you say, “Excuse me, I’m so very sorry but you are incorrect. Civilly and humbly yours, X.”

When a writer comments on a blog with some sort of dispute, they tend to butter up the other writer first. Then, they commence correction. Next, they thank the first writer for being so articulate as to allow them to spot all the holes in their argument, only they do this in a manner that makes those outside the know feel as if the exchange could be nothing shy of civil.

[Here is an example I stole from an unspecified forum]

LANCELOT: “when some asshole publisher and asshole writer decides to take this only thing I concede to holding complete control over and decides I’m wrong and changes it without my say-so, I’m going to fucking flip out.”

WILLHELM: “So, if an editor uses his will and desires to alter my work, especially in a such a seemingly rare and odd way, I can’t imagine myself getting upset over such an issue. Again, I just mean this as what your thoughtful response brought up in my head.”

GENNIVIVE: “I have to default to Willhelm on this. It seems strange to me that one would think of writing as something they can have complete control over. I mean, I suppose you do have complete control over the words you put on the page, but you have no control whatsoever about how a reader is going to receive those words.”

LANCELOT: “Well that’s what I mean, Gennivive. The only thing I have complete control over in this entire fucking miserable world are “the words put on the page.” That control does not extend to a reader’s interpretation. I’m fine with that. I advocate that.

Thanks for the thoughtful response, Willhelm!”

Do you understand what I mean, reader?

Does this help:

I suppose I’m just curious if anyone else has noticed. Is there a specific etiquette one should follow as a blog commenter?

THIS has some suggestions for commenting. What do y’all think?

I’m Sorry I’ve Been So Busy or I Miss This Place So I’m Coming Back

18 Jun

Oh wow. it’s been too long since I’ve posted on here. Elysia is right– we’re all in the midst of huge transitions, but we’re not gone.

I spent the night before my wedding dancing for hours with my family in my living room. By dancing I mean yelling Journey lyrics until my throat was raw and shaking my arms and hair more than my hips. Everyone was there– my parents, my grandparents, my sisters, my cousins and their spouses, my aunt and uncle, my college roommate. All singing and swaying, not in unison but still together. I don’t even know how it all started; the night morphed from conversations in the kitchen to a dance circle in the next room with my eleven-year-old sister whipping her hair and shaking in the strangest ways. And then we ran. My sisters and my mother and my cousins, and I. We opened the back door and ran into the pitch black of my backyard, swallowing the darkness into our overheated arms. I ran in circles and squares, and my legs never got tired. It reminded me of the nights I spent playing capture the flag when I was younger. Like I was running that fast to get to the other side of the yard, my side, the safe side, and when I did everything would be ok because I had helped my team to win—that feeling. Except there was no flag, no team, no competition, just me and the women closest to my heart running around in the grass like kids a third of our age. And it wasn’t weird. It sounds like it now, writing it out, but it wasn’t at the time. It was like we were all releasing something, but at the same time clinging onto pieces of our bodies, memories, things we couldn’t place or recognize at the time but we knew were there and couldn’t let go.

So while most brides spend the night before their big day going to bed early and completing the final steps of a beauty regime, I spent hours writhing my body like a drowning fish and running like mad towards some unspecified place, some unspoken but understood level of winning. It felt surreal but necessary, like there was no other way that I should be spending my last single night, except right there with those exact people, doing exactly what was I was doing. I woke up the next day and married by best friend in a beautiful ceremony in which I did not cry  (because I didn’t want my fake eyelashes to fall off, but also because I couldn’t stop smiling). And at the reception, my family and I danced again. It was different that time, I think. More celebratory than theraputic.

All the women in my family are filled with intense strength and unmatched passion.  I have met few women who can handle their lives with as much grace as they do (minus the chickz, of course). I think sometimes they deal with their lives, jobs, and relationships so well, they forget about the joy that lives inside their bellies, waiting for them to let it bubble over. I’m glad that the physical distance we experience on a daily basis doesn’t affect the closeness we feel to each other, and we can still spend a night stomping around my living room and running through the grass with complete abandon, drinking deep from the pool of memories and sorrow and love and hope that binds us so close together.

No One Belongs Here More Than YOU.

24 May

(AKA: A short review of a short story)

Miranda July.

What a woman.

When I first heard about Miranda July, my friend Amber Sabo was telling me that her favorite quote was, “Live the dream, Potato.”

The quote is from July’s book of stories, No one belongs here more than you. In the second story (Majesty)  of the book , the main character witnesses a dog running away. She says, “But he looked joyful and I thought: Good for him. Live the dream, Potato.”

On the next page of the story, Potato has been hit by a car.

And, this isn’t even the focal point of the story. No. The piece is about a 46 year old woman who is obsessed with Prince William–she dreams that he nuzzles her butt with his face. She determines how to meet him. She works for an earth quake preparedness company. She has a showboating sister.

But, amidst all that ruckus, Potato stands out to me. And, when July ends the piece, she still leaves me thinking of the little care free dog.

stretching for the final lap

“This pain, this dying, this is just normal. This is how life is. In fact, I realize there never was an earthquake. Life is just this way, broken, and I am crazy to hope for something else.”

These words touched a nerve yesterday, sent me into tears, into frustration. They’re true and yet, they will never be. How can we go through life without hope?

We are all Potato. And maybe it’s ok to be running carelessly down the street into the hot breath of an engine, the rumbling throat of certain death. Maybe it’s ok because the last thing we want in life is a memory of pleasure: the wind in our hair, the hot pavement on our paws.

**Stay tuned next week for review of Sean Lovelace’s

 “Fog Gorgeous Stag”

Today I saw a dead cat in the road and I keep crying…

17 May

Today in the car, Lindsey said I could be an idiot sometimes, and I said, So can you, babe.

And, god. I know we were both right. But, today, I have proven the greater idiot. And, right now, I’m wondering how I can keep writing this when all I really want to do is hug my cat and see a therapist. We’re adults now. I mean it. By we, I guess I mean me and I’m just trying to clutch anyone or anything in this time where I am free falling or some other cliche.

So, here I am.

Wondering how I’ll pay rent next month when the job oppurtunity I was pretty sure was “in the bag” seems to have fizzled into something I can no longer touch. Wondering if it’s ok to let my girlfriend buy the groceries this time. Wondering if I’ll ever feel less heavy than I do right now. Wondering why I just idiotically singed my bangs on the stove burner.

Today, I went to work after saying goodbye to my best friend. We had coffee, something I probably shouldn’t spent money on but hey, I haven’t had Starbucks in like two weeks. My friend, Natalie, and I discussed how we need to talk more. We promised to keep each other accountable and use the US Postal service better.

After work, I saw the cat I rescued a few weeks ago dart into traffic. I had kicked him out after a particularly stressful morning when the shower upstairs began leaking through the downstairs ceiling. He was mewling frantically around my ankles. I couldn’t take it anymore. I ran down the stairs, threw open the door and said, it’s me or the wild, kid. Take your pick. And he chose the wild. I thought I’d never see him again.

Lindsey and I freaked when we saw him in the road. We pulled over, ran after him. I screamed his name, purred, clicked, and seriously doubted myself as a human being. Also, I was still feeling less than good about my skills as a cat mom. Just when I’d about given up looking for him, Lindsey came running, said there was a dead cat body in the road, black like mine.

I haven’t seen a dead pet since my dog daisy was hit by a car.

The eyes of that cat popped out onto the sidewalk, an afro of red circling his head. I almost puked into my hand. I was sobbing, shaking my head, sure it wasn’t him. Crying out his name. And then, we found him: under a truck, soaking wet and scared.

So, now I am a cat mom again. 

but I have yet to buy this sweater

From here, does it get better? Right? That’s the question I should be asking. But, really, all I want to know is, does the cat still love me? And, will I ever get that dead cat body out of my head?

Sometimes the scariest things are the ones that seem unimportant. Sure, I need a job, I need to pay rent, I need groceries. I don’t really need the added expense of a cat. But, I feel like I’m doing the right thing. Even if I’ve been an idiot today. Even if this is idiotic. I saved something. And, that’s important to me.

 

 

WE’RE SO SORRY. BUT IT’S FINALS WEEK!

3 May

This week we will be busy:

swooping our number 2 pencils across sheets of paper destined to fracture our nerves. We will be moving in ond out of houses (dorms for me). We will be dancing across campus, unwashed, in pajamas. We will be eating canned food. We will be pulling our hair out in distress …because we love you so much, internet peeps. And, we’re sorry we can’t be here as regularly this week.

But I have two bits of good news. 1) we have a web designer. A Mr. Darik Hall who seems delightful!

And 2) I have a cat. His name is Sampson.

This is him (and Lindsey).

Retraction: Verbal Sorcery or Concrete Task?

26 Apr

this is me, every week, holding Unbearable Lightness

 “How can one state categorically that a thought he once had is no longer valid? In modern times an idea can be refuted, yes, but not retracted. And since to retract an idea is impossible–

merely verbal, formal sorcery, I see no reason why you shouldn’t do as they wish. In a society run by terror, no statements whatsoever can be taken seriously. They are all forced, and it is the duty of every honest man to ignore them…”

{Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being}

About a week ago, I convinced myself that I could finally afford to buy The Unbearable Lightness of Being. With a little extra, unexpected money in my pocket, I went to the book store and picked up the same copy I had been coming in once a week to thumb through. The copy that was beginning to show signs of wear due to my greedy fingers. I have never been so excited for a book. I’ve never thought so long about whether or not I should purchase a book. And, maybe that’s a sign that I really love this book, or maybe, it’s a symbol for how I am utterly daunted by some of the things I’ve read in this book.

Literally, some of the chapters make me wonder what I’m doing wrong. They make me think about being a better person, a person who hungers for philosophy and eloquent conversation. But most importantly, I am reminded of some fundamental truths that I had long ago decided for myself and perhaps haven’t been living up to.

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THANKSSSSSSSsssss

19 Apr

Great big hugs and thanks and loves to all of you that came out to our reading.

This is for you:

so yeah. WHOA YEAH. Thanks to Jill Christman, Ben Rogers (and crew), Travis Harvey, Maria Hines (and family), Laura LaVal, Debbie Mix, etc, etc.

Thanks to everyone who came out to hear us read. You guys were a great crowd. I for one, really enjoyed myself and I hope y’all did too. We will try to track down some pictures for those of you who couldn’t make it. Also, if you want a chapbook, let one of us know. You can find our emails on the “email the chickz” page.

Now, for the real question of the day, Why do self-publishers usually suck?

I am a tumblr fan. I spend hours clicking links, liking pictures, etc. I think my experience with tumblr allows me to say with confidence that if tumblr has three hot things they are as follows: Lesbians, Cats, Poets. And even sometimes, lesbian-cat-poets. And, of course, I don’t have a problem with the lesbians, or the cats. But, the god damn poets.

I get all excited thinking, she’s cute, oh god, she writes!? No. She doesn’t write. She journals lyrically. That’s what I typically see with poems that people post on blogs. I know of a few exceptions. My best friend used to post poetry and that was good (maybe I’m biased, but many would agree she’s talented). Also a few writers I know operate blogs that are enjoyable. But, but, but, they are rare. How many times has a friend put up poetry on facebook that was pretty bad, yet they expected you to say something about it?

What is it about the internet that makes people think their writing is worth reading? Is that harsh? I mean, I posted some pretty bad stuff on facebook a while back but that was mostly for family and I deleted it when I realized I had improved. The thing about posting on the internet is that it follows you. When you’re a prominent writer and you go on the oprah show, they’ll pull up the story you wrote about your dog in the tenth grade. Just because you can post it, doesn’t mean you should.

Am I right? I mean, is this a trend other people have noticed?

Emily Dickinson Gets Drunk

12 Apr

(aka: unrelated post title…sorta)

Some things about living.

Last night, I was explaining to Lindsey that I want people to look at me and think to themselves, wow, she looks exciting! I am always wondering how people can look exciting…I mean, I have tattoos. I kiss my lady in public. But, what else is there? Sometimes, I think that I am moving too fast for people to even see me, let alone formulate an opinion about me.

I used to cross my arms hard over my chest. My  mother told me she never worried about me being kid-napped, I looked so tough. Now, I still do that thing… that thing where I intimidate people by staring too long. Where I move so quickly, no one can see me. I’d like to call it a compulsion: the itch to constantly move. I’d like to say it’s ADHD. But, I’ve never been tested. I don’t take any prescriptions. I thought the other day how people just want to sit still with me for a few minutes. But, those minutes feel like hours. My brain strains and screams, you’re wasting time!!!

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This Weekend was Woo.

5 Apr

That's how I felt after the reading. Booyah it was rad.

As Layne has already mentioned, this weekend went smashingly. It was wonderful to get down to  Alabama in some warm weather and share the experience of reading with students from all over. Being a young’un, I especially enjoyed the chance to interact with college seniors, those planning to get an MFA and those making other graduate decisions. Also, I learned a lot about getting a job as a professor, which I thought was pretty complicated and fascinating. Matt (Mullins) spoke about his hiring process and both he and Sean (Lovelace) described their post-graduate careers.

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