Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Last Poetry Workshop All Done :'(

So I'm fixing to go turn in my last poetry portfolio.

And I should be happy cept I'm not.

I think maybe I'm the only person at UTPA who's a little sad the semester is finishing. It means that my thesis defense is inching closer, and I'm that much closer to graduating, that much closer to the black hole of 'what's next?!'.

Ok, so here's a little story to leave with -

I was at the library yesterday, browsing through thesis manuscripts in the special collections area. I come across a manuscript that says "Hoerth". My heart skips a beat. Did my thesis finish itself? It's a UTPA miracle! I open up the black book, and no... no indeed it is not my thesis. It was my daddy's thesis. At that moment, I imagined mine, completed, sitting next to his on the shelf. That's where it'll be come April. It must be done.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rejections come atumblin' in!

And the best part?

I don't even care :-)

It's offical, I'm a poet. HAH! Rejection notices from Barn Owl Review and elimae. It didn't even get me down a little bit.

Also, I've prepped a proposal for the NACCs conference at STC, and sent it out yesterday. If all goes well, I will be welcoming my lovely MFP poet friends to the Rio Grande Valley in February. It should prove to be lots of fun!

What else? No other news, sorry. Poetry class' last meeting is this evening, and I'm giving a presentation. Ugh. It's ok I'll survive.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Yay Great Time at Cosina del Caribe's First Poetry Reading!

Saturday evening Cosina del Caribe hosted their first poetry reading, and it was indeed super nice!

Ok, so maybe I've mentioned this a million times before - but I was pretty happy to help promote the event and hopefully my constant blogging on Chachalacas In Orbit ( and facebook paid off. We had a decent audience, I helped by bringing in my family :-P

I read two new poems, one oldie but goodie. Other students in my graduate poetry workshop read, too, along with my professor and other random people. It was a good event. All in all, a lovely evening on a romantic balcony with tasty ethnic cuisine. Hopefully this is one of what will become many poetry reading at Cosina.

Unfortunately I don't have pictures... but hopefully I can get ahold of some soon. I saw plenty of flashes! Will post when I find out who was behind them ;)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

More Submissions

I've gone completely egotistical, thinking that my poems belong EvErYwHeRe~!


Submitted yesterday to Blood Orange Review (again.. yeah they rejected me last year but I'm over that), storySouth, Analecta... and that's it!

I don't know why I was just feeling really positive about my writing. I've got a good feeling about all of this.

So tonight's the big reading at Cosina del Caribe and I'm excited about that. My adoring fans will be there (lol, Bruno and his mom, possibly my parents too :-D), along with my fellow MFAer comrades.

Confession time? I'm thinking yes. Be warned, a rambling rant will follow.

After a huge flood of submissions this week, I'm starting to feel self doubt coming back. I feel like God is trying to let me down easy sometimes, giving me little signs to not put all my hopes and dreams into this illusive and lofty goal of being a poet. How selfish is it to be a poet? Very.

Examples of these 'signs':

I was watching How I Met Your Mother yesterday (heh heh heh, yes I'm a loser at times). I like watching mindless television after work on Fridays, with a nice full glass of chardoney. Anyway, the episode was about Ted (protagonist) trying trying trying to be an architect with little success. And his friends tell him that he shouldn't be doing something that's so hard, that he should go where 'the universe' is leading him, instead of trying to pave his own path in life. So Ted ends up becoming a college professor (oh, yeah, that's soooo easy to do...) instead, and lives happily ever after because his future wife ends up being one of his students. Que romanitco!!! If he didn't 'take the hint' and kept trying trying trying to be an architect, he would have died all alone an old man never being married.

But... I've already got my soulmate by my side :-) And I'm finding bits and pieces of success along the way. I'm not Ted... am I?

Ok Ok Ok, another example maybe. I'm trying to rationalize my selfish endevors.

Bruno and I were enjoying yet another glass of wine out on the patio. He was firing up the grill, I was watching our lovely cats frolic in the garden. Bruno, out of pretty much the blue, tells me that he thinks I should have been a vetrinarian. HUH? Ok maybe it WASN'T out of the blue, I was explaining to him how Mr. Murano (my favorite cat) processes phenobarbitol through his liver~ how it's ever so slowly overworking it, and how we should switch to another anti-convusant once we see the earliest signs of liver decline (loss of appetite, yellowish poo... jaundice, but once you see the jaundice it's usually too late). Kepra, another anticonvulsant, is processed through the kidneys. Now Murano has a history of kidney stones so maybe it's not a good idea... blah blah blah I was going on and on about feline anatomy, chemical reactions in the stomach and brain, ect. He was looking at me like I was crazy, and he asked me, "how the heck do you know all of this?"

I thought about it for a moment. I just ask a lot of questions to vets, do a lot of research, I read feline health articles, a lot of web surfing... because I've had a lot of sick cats in the past and I always want to do what's best for them. I did really love taking Bio classes as an undergrad...

So Bruno ended up telling me, Katie - you need a plan B. What if plan A doesn't work out? What if you don't get into a PhD program, what if you don't get a job as a professor? Would you be okay with that? What if you don't meet your goals?

I didn't know how to answer him. What if I don't meet my goals?! What if I don't meet my goals!?

Bruno told me to have other goals, too. Be flexible in life, but never settle for anything less than your absolute best.

And he's right. I'm goal oriented to the point of it actually being dangerous. I honestly don't know what I'd do if I didn't meet my goals. And why is being a poetry professor my goal? I don't know how I've gotten here. Who is this woman, and what makes her go go go?

While I was lying in bed this morning, unable to go back to sleep and unable to get up, something in my mind told me that it was absolutely impossible to wake up in ten minutes. I must awake and fall back to sleep in incriments of 20 minutes, not ten minutes. Impossible, I thought to myself, impossible. At that very moment, the sprinkler system kicked in outside my window with a loud thud of water pressure. I shot up, looked at my clock. It was 6:50, incriment of 10 minutes, not twenty.

Nothing's impossible. I'm taking that as a sign from God, or in the wise words of Ted from How I Met Your Mother (and my mother too), from 'the universe'.

Nothing's impossible, Katie. Nothing.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Readings, Submissions, and Obsessions


I feel like such a dork, lol.

Ok well as you may already know, I have a reading coming up with my fellow poetry classmates. It's on Saturday :-)

Last night in poetry class we were making the final preparations for the reading. I think it's going to be a good one. I hope all of my adoring fans (ok, my parents and Bruno) can make it out. I've written TWO new pieces specifically for the event. Did I mention about my new onion poem? Ok well I'm mentioning it now. Also I wrote a poem about grapefruits.

Which brings me to my latest thought:

Is my poetry too obsessive?


Well, I've always heard the advice (and followed it's true) to "write about your obsessions". Hence, lately I've had this obsession with plants/horticulture. And I've always been obsessed with writing about sex (I can't say I'm obsessed with sex that'd be too embarressing to admit :-P). My poetry reflects these obsessions, I'm excited by the metaphors that can be teased out of these subjects. They allow me to reflect on life, gender, sexuality in a playful way - writing about prostitutes and or the idea that relationships between people have become nothing but commerce is hard. But writing about people buying grapefruits is not. You see where I'm going?

Ok... and lately I've been criticized (by several people, actually) that my writing is too... mmm... too much sexiness. Too much about the same things. I only write about sex. Why not write about something else. Blah blah blah.

Well, my answer is that I write about my obsessions. I write about my obsessions. I WRITE ABOUT MY OBSESSIONS.


Like I'm told to. By my creative writing professors, by books on poetics, like most writers do...

I write about my obsessions.

But what troubles me - is that some of the SaMe PeOpLe that say write about your obsessions tell me now, you only write about sex.

But what if that's my obsession :-( Where's the line? Have I crossed it?

It's a valid criticism, though. I mean, I want my writing to be multi-dimensional. But I don't want to be too general. I don't want to write about things I don't care about. I don't want to HAVE to write about things I don't care about. Like, for example, one should not feel obliged to write about political poetry if you don't care about politics. Am I a shallow and silly little blonde who only likes to think about her hair, make up, the latest shoe, or looking undeniably sexy? Maybe. And maybe my poems reflect this. And maybe, just maybe, that's ok.

(throws little hissy fit)

Ok I'm done.

Ok I'm not I lied. I have a tidbit of other news to share.

I've submitted again X-D To Columbia Poetry Review and Notre Dame Review. Yay Katie you're so on a roll.

Aye, back to the thesis. Thesis... I hate you (and love you at the same time)