Monday, May 31, 2010

Today at Petsmart...

My kitty is sick. He has a severe upper respiratory infection plus very bad gingivitis. Today I took him to the vet at Petsmart because my usual vet was closed for Memorial Day. I was grumpy about this, I don't really like the petsmart vets because you only talk to the doctor for like five minutes before he scoots out the door to ring up your enormous bill. Aye.

So I'm in the waiting area, and a somewhat familiar looking lady walks by. She makes eye contact, smiles big and friendly, and walks over to introduce herself. "Remember me?" she asks, but doesn't wait for a response. "You're Katherine, right? The one who reads the poetry?"

Ah hah! Yes, now it's starting to come to me... I nod my head, "Yes, yes, that's me!" I tell her. We shake hands.

"I remember you reading at Barnes and Noble the other week. We are still enjoying your poetry" Apparently the bought a copy of the book ;-)

I was pretty impressed with myself! LOL, I've been 'recognized' in public. Does that make me famous? Haha... sure why not?

Anyway, all in all it was a great day. There's nothing seriously wrong with my kitty, he got some fancy breathing treatment and was hospitalized for the afternoon. But he's back home and seems much better. So on top of all that, I got a little stroke to the ever fragile ego. Yep... a good day indeed.

Now back to work on that submission for the Texas Book Festival...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Saturday Post?!

Gasp.

I'm not at work and yet I'm still on my blog?

Yes. I am thank you very much.

Ok so what's new? I sent out that packet to Cold Mountain Review (yay!) and I'm hoping that good news will follow. The Gloria Anzaldua conference proposal went out on Friday as well for another san antonio conference, and... let's see what else... mmm... I guess that's about it.

My next goal is to get a packet ready for the texas book festival. That's my weekend goal. Can I do it? Of course.

I figure that if I write a poem a week for the entire summer, that I'll be in smooth sailing for the thesis. So far I'm making good progress. I've got two poems finished since the spring semester finished, and it's only been like two weeks. They are by no means polished poems, but I can work on 'finishing' them up later.

Anyway that's what's new for me.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Slacking off

But only with my blog I promise!

Recently, what on earth have I been up to!?

Haha... actually I've been wasting HUGE amounts of time planning a summer vacation in New Orleans. I am literally addicted to TripAdvisor and Frommers. I think I'm slightly... OCD! I get obsessed super easily, and this is just a strange recent obsession. Ok I've promised myself I'm going to stop.

Poetic happenings in my life...

I've begun the highly anticipated and even more dreaded thesis. YIKES! On Tuesday I met with my wonderful professor, and he gave me the ever daunting task of selecting 52 poems for inclusion over the summer. Wonderful! I'm going to be very busy. So I was working on that today and guess what! I only have 35 that are even remotely thesis worthy :-O!!! And I'm hesitating at even including many of those, because I'm poetically schitzo too you see... I have two distinct poetic obsessions... and I'm not sure the two belong in the same manuscript. Wonderful prof is aware of this, and he says it's ok. But is it?! Well he has the PHD not me.

I also talk to myself. I'm beginning to truly think I've lost it.

Aside from the thesis...

I've also submitted (and was immediately rejected) from 2river view AND I'm sending out a packet today to Cold Mountain Review. YES! It's already prepped and ready to go. Now if only it would jump into an envelope and place a little stamp on the corner for me. Yes that would do nicely.

Yesterday I was fairly productive too. I created an author press kit. Wow, I didn't know what one was let alone consider the possibility that little old me would need a press kit. So it has been successfully slapped together in preparation for my submission to the Texas Book Festival.

If all goes well, good news will be bombarding me shortly and I will find myself even more busy.

One can only wish
No but seriously... I think I've lost it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Savory Perks Reading went GREAT!


TADAAH!
Yay, another successful reading under my nonexistant belt. As if I need a belt, my belly rolls over my jeans.


Ok so there's a picture I found from some generous audience member. I look so no nonsense right? Yeah ok... I had a good time the ambiance was GREAT. The open mic throughouly offended Bruno's poor mom... I knew the open mic would be a little raunchy but I didn't know there would be so much cussing, illspeak of God, and poems about homosexuals.
I mean... not that there's anything inherently wrong with poetry like that... but umm... Bruno's mom's a pretty religious person and yeah. I guess I invited her to the wrong reading.
But my poems went over well :D I sold some chapbooks so it was definately worthwhile. Made some friends too, and and and... oh enjoyed some very tastey coffee. Ok so I was pretty impressed.
I read twice, once toward the middle and then at the end to sum up the evening. As I was about to read "Original Sin" as like a... dessert poem I guess... Bruno says he heard a murmer of "oh this is a good one!". Yayyy! People not only like my poems but they remember them. That's a good sign.
Ah I'm so easy to please.


I will have more pictures up soon... Bruno took some wonderful shots but getting him to upload them from his camera is a bit of a pain in the butt. But I promise it will be worth the wait.

Back to creating. Such a tough life.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Psyched about tonight!!

Woohoo!

Tonight I'm the featured poet at Savory Perks - Poetry Under the Stars!

I'm pretty excited :) I'll hit the stage at 7pm! I will of course bring my chapbooks and a pen to sign them~

Let's see... what else is new?

Well... I did a rushed submission to 2River View. It seemed pretty reputable enough, and if I get accepted yay and if not... I'm completely ok with that because maybe I can find a better place to publish my work. I'm not all high hopes about it (like Blackbird! Please please please please!).

Anyway just a little update. I've been doing LOTS of writing lately with my new found free time. So I'm cranking out poems like nobody's biz! I just need to edit and polish and such... which I may wait to do until the fall semester when I'm back in workshop mode. Right now I'm in create mode, which of course is the best mode there is :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

FRUSTRATION

Ok so I just wrote an amazing post and guess what? It didn't post! And you know what else? That autosave function sucks serious balls. It didn't autosave anything. How completely worthless. Ugh!

So I had just typed up my notes, luckily I keep a hard copy of most things. I'm just too lazy to retype everything up, so instead I'll leave you with a quote

"They make themselves valuable by making themsleves rare" Who said it? Don't know, Wordsworth is what I want to say but whatever. I'll work on making myself rarer :-P

Gwahhh!

Monday, May 17, 2010

American Sentences

Hmm... I think my blog needs a bit of an update.

Well this weekend was poetically unproductive. But I do have a life outside of poetry, you know. My kitchen got cleaned, I spent time with parents, exercised, and scooped some kitty litter. Yayy!

This past week, I don't know if I mentioned it, but I submitted to Minnetonka Review. I'm completely NOT counting on getting accepted, because once I sent of the packet I realized that I misspelled the journal's name :-X. Ooopsie. So.. um... waste of time? Totally!

And of course that AWP proposal went out. I'm not supposed to be thinking about it but of course I am. Oh, and 'the girls' are preparing submission packets for the Texas Book Festival AND another Gloria Anzaldua conference at UTSA. COOL! It sure is good to have smart and ambitious people on your side. I'm so glad that I decided to initiate this whole press panel deal. It's working out wonderfully :-)

Ummm... oh! I did a few writing exercises today. Practicing American Sentences. I decided that, with my new found summer free time, I'm going to go through Kim Addonizio's new book, Ordinary Genius, in detail and do the suggested exercises and readings properly. By the way, Kim Addonizio is totally my hero as of late.

So here's what I was working on today...

My fingers run across your mouse, dig into you with a little click

My fountain trickles on, pumped watter rubbing up on plastic rocks.

The water always runs - doesn't stop to caress what's below the surface.

The dust settles when all our words end - never to be disturbed again.

I watch your face crinkle into sleep - your eyes close like a clenched fist.

My fingers are children tucked neatly into the cradle of my fist.

You're just a wordless stranger underneath your thick veil of sleep.

I want to wrap my lips around your words - the rushing pulse of poems.

I press your keys down into submission at just the perfect moment.

I'm between your pillows of words - wrapped in your hot tongue of silence.


Just a little nonsense. Anyway, it's good practice for me if nothing else. Feels good to write soley for my own pleasure ;)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Minor Miracle

Well my goal for today was to write a poem, a good poem, to freewrite, to plant a little seed.

It's 9:34am and I'm giving up. :-P

I had some free time at work this morning, so I closed my office door and started musing. I read a little bit of my poetry handbook, looking for direction. Nah, nothing. So I picked up my contemporary poetry anthology... hmmm...

I was reading through completely uninspiring poetry written by incredibly talented poets who've made it big... and I just wasn't feeling it. Nope... nope... nope...

Came across Marilyn Nelson's name. Ah, one even me, uneducated bumpkin, is familiar with. Not exactly my kind of thing, but I decided to give her work another read through, maybe I'll pick up a good image or something.

I was reading a poem, Minor Miracle, and for some reason I was drawn into it. But why did I keep reading? Because the images, the writing, it was just flowing by - her words were pleasure.

And at the end, wait... what is this? the poem ends with:

"Well," said the white guy,
shoving his hands into his pockets
and pushing dirt around with the pointed toe of his boot,
"i just wanted to say I'm sorry."
He climbed back into his truck
and drove away.

Totally unexpected. Uplifting, made me smile, and look at the amazing details she notes. Nelson doesn't have to tell us that the guy feels bad, I can see it, the way he pushes the dirt with his boot... hands shoved in pockets. I can totally see this guy.

So anyway, it was a nice poem. I enjoyed reading it. But I've been thinking, why? Why did her poem stand out to me when the others did not?

I think first of all it was in the narration. The poem reads like a story, and the lines flow into each other. There's also a lot of action going on, and I could picture everything in my mind. Her images were simple, nothing stuffy or heady. It was just there - on the page - open for the reader to see. The poem was inviting.

And then of course the ending.

So today - I am going to be on the lookout for minor miracles in my life. I bet they happen all around me. I bet I just have to see.

My minor miracle will be writing as well as Nelson does when I'm 50 years old. I have some time to get there though, so I don't feel too bad that my poems mildly suck. But... I just don't want to have to WAIT until I'm 50. I hate waiting. lalalala

Thursday, May 13, 2010

And it's off!

My proposal is currently wondering around cyber space, making it's way to the abyss also called the AWP conference database.

I had no idea it would take SOOO LONG and SOOO much effort just to write up a proposal that aheres to their strict picky poo guidelines. Wow. Wow wow wow.

and ow. at this point my eyes hurt, my head's numb and I'm in lalala land. Luckily one of the other panelists was VERY helpful. She made a lot of great revisions and I'm starting to think we might have a shot at this! Oooohhh I hope we get in. But I'm not going to think about it until August.

AWP? What's that??

LoL. Ah I'm all mushy brained right now.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Phew!

Finished my final portfolio for form and theory of poetry.

Yay professor gave us an extra day to work on it. Yay I got to procrastinate a little bit more.

No but seriously - it was turninable yesterday but today allowed me to do a little polishing up.

Ok so what's new with me?

Hmmm... still working on that proposal of course. I'm getting some help from one of the panelists. It's helpful to know smart people right?

Oh! And some news~ I'm going to be a featured reader at Savory Perks in Weslaco! Hurray! Again, it helps to know NICE people ;-) One of my buddies from class invited me, and of course I have to accept. It's an opportunity to promote my book, and I'll have a great time too at the reading. So I'm excited.

The reading will be at 7pm next Thursday, May 20th. Of course, at Savory Perks in Weslaco. My chapbooks will be for sale at the reading for $7!

And I guess that's it for news. Right now, I have to get back to work on the proposal. Which - by the way - if it does get accepted, I've decided to invite my mommy to come to the conference with me. How much of a dork will I look like in front of all the snootie patootie writers? I'll tell them all, "I'm such a baby grad student I'm too scared to fly to DC on my own so here I brought my mommy!". Haha... ah I don't care 8-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rejection Blues :'(

WAHHHHHHHHHHH!

:-P

Such a depressing day. Form rejection letter from Bordersenses. And to top it all off, another poeta is bragging (and rightfully so she should brag!) about getting accepted into the same magazine. Jealousy... it's my ugliest trait.

Done done and on the to next one~ I'm prepping my proposal for AWP. Busy busy busy. The ladies over at Mouthfeel Press seem very excited about the whole prospect, so I picked the project up again and I'm excited and nervous about it too. I'm a graduate student, right. I'm really young, yet here I am trying to put organize and moderate an event for the conference to end all conferences. I want to shoot with the big guns, fly with the big birds, and poeticisze with the best of them. Yep... I'm ambitious. I just hope this won't cause another nasty case of these rejection blues.

Done, done, on to the next one. LoL, stupid song is in my head right now.

Another thing that's troubling me...

If we do get accepted, how the heck am I getting to DC?! :-X I'm afraid to travel alone.... and no other valley poetas are going that I know of. BruBru's new work schedule is wild, and um... well... act now and think later right? I'll figure it out.

Monday, May 10, 2010

ThE eNd Is NeAr...


The end of the semester is loooooooooooming.



I just finished putting together my final porfolio for my form and theory of poetry class, and last week we had our celebratory dinner at Ristretto's as a grand finale for my poetry workshop class. See... there we are! Don't I look absolutely lovely reading my sexy naughty poems?








Aww... see I'm sitting next to my prof~ everyone looks marvlous I tell ya...
And you know what else? Prof there wants to direct my thesis! Yay! It's always nice when someone volunteers to help ;-) So we're going to meet and discuss next week. I'm excited to get this whole thesis thing going. I'm going to spend the summer writing writing writing I swear! So that way when I actually am enrolled in thesis hours I'll just have to focus on my critical intro, and the ordering of the poems that I've already written.
Another reason I'm excited to start my thesis is that I found a wonderful PhD program! I know I know... I'm being ambitious. But I have to be! You see that picture up there? Well, the man across from me, Sam, mentioned something about doing his PhD through Texas Tech University, but online. I looked into it and... well... it looks impressive. I'm excited, it looks like I really can do my PhD regardless of where I end up living. What a relief :) My goal - have it by the time I'm 30!
Oh! And my reading at Barnes? It went WONDERFUL! I got there about an hour early, introduced myself to the manager, and they started setting up for me right away. I had a nice little table, and rows of chairs for a good sized audience. They even announced me on the intercom :) I felt so important. I went around the store introducing myself to patrons (just like they suggest you do!) and even sold some books that way!!!
Well, by the time the reading was to start, my poet friends made it (YAY!), and so did several of the girls from work, along with my family, and well... a boat load of other random people! There weren't even enough chairs for everyone, my dad hunted down some more... and there still weren't enough chairs. My poetry reading was standing room only 8-) How cool is that?! And people were like... crowding too. There was a pretty thick crowd. Boy did I feel important.
Oh! and when we all finished reading, I stuck around to sign books, answer questions, photo opps with my new found fans :-P And there was a line! A line to talk to ME! Anyway, I was on cloud nine the rest of the night. It was amazing. I've never had so many people so interested in what I have to say, what I'm doing, what I'm writing about :)
I will have pictures up soon, I promise. When Bruno gets around to it of course. But I had a GREAT time. Oh, best part? I sold almost $100 worth of chapbooks! Woohoo!!!!
Anyways... it was a great day to be POET KATIE. :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tonights the big night!

Reading at Barnes and Noble!

10th and Nolana in McAllen at 7pm!

Copies of my chapbook are available for sale $7. I'll also be signing books of course!

Joining me are other valley poets, La Erika and Virginia Torres.

I'm reading in conjunction with the McAllen Memorial Library, which means that a portion of the procedes will be donated to them.

How exciting! :D


Let's see... I other news? None really.

I'm having second thoughts about preparing a proposal for AWP. BruBru won't be able to join me in DC, and I'm terrified to go alone (he, by the way, got a new job! almost double pay! I'm super proud! but he doesn't have the time off like before). The other valley poetas don't sound all that excited about going, either. So... looks like I'm going to have to pass. BooOOoOoO....

But I am still determined to meet the May 15th Denver Quarterly deadline.

Oh! And I'm going to start on my MFA thesis this fall :) I'm meeting with my awesome prof next week and I'm going to ask him to direct it. Yay! Can't believe I'm almost done with the MFA. It went by so fast, and at the same time not.

Which gets me to thinking about PhD's. Hmmm...

Anyway... I'll figure it all out I'm only 23 years old.

C YA TONIGHT!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lazy day with lots to do...

LoL I think that's the story of my life.

I have this huge enormous pile of tasks, projects, THINGS I need to be working on. Instead it's 6:30 and I'm still in my robe. I'm still recouping I guess from the San Antonio trip this weekend.

Which was awesome! It was so nice to get out of the valley, and the Wild Tongues Graduate symposium was a great excuse to do so. BruBru and I stayed at the Gardenia Inn in the Historic King Williams District. It was a lovely mansion built in like the 1800's and everything is all original. The only down side to staying there was that we were the only people that didn't qualify for AARP in the entire house :-P

The graduate symposium itself was ok. I didn't have much of a crowd because my panel was like the last of the day, and the other presenters on my panel had really nothing to do with poetry. So if nothing else, it's a line on the good old CV and an opportunity to get out of the valley for a bit. Boy did I love San Antonio, though. I could totally see myself living there. It's big enough to have variety, yet small enough to feel homey. Bruno and I saw this house for sale, like the one we were staying in. Only 600k... LoL... poets can afford that right? :-P Luckily this poet as a computer engineer at her side.

So what else? Hmmm... this weekend I have a big reading coming up at Barnes and Noble on 10th and Nolana in McAllen. I read at 7pm. I'm all kinds of nervous and excited XD. The lady there said I MIGHT be able to sell my chapbooks. GRr. That... um... was kind of the whole point!

Oh! And this is kind of still in the works but I also MIGHT be coming out on NPR. Now that would be exciting! I'll give details later.

I also wanted to make one promise before I sign off for the day. I'm determined to submit some more poems. I'm committing to two packets a month. My next 'deadline' is May 15th for Denver Quarterly! I can/will do it!