Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chapbook Progress, Thesis Work, new Poem, y mas mas mas


So as I had hinted at before, I'm working on my second chapbook. My publisher requested I send her a new manuscript ASAP (ahh!) and well one certainly cannot pass up such an opportunity.

So yesterday I was sifting through my latest poems, trying to see what grains I could expand into a decently sized manuscript - and I decided on using my nature poems. So this will be my next work, nature/feminist poems that address identity. Tenetive title is The Garden of Dresses, named after my personal favorite poem, about a modern day Eve putting on a little black dress.

I'm excited! For the next month or so I will be continuing to write additional poems, adding to the collection AND I will also be working on finding more of the selected poems first publications, like in journals, anthologies, ect. My goal is to have 25% of the poems already appearing in some sort of publication. Admittably, I have a long way to go on that end.

Not only this, but I'm also working with ire'ne lara silva on helping her put together a little tour of the valley. Be on the lookout for an upcoming reading at Cosina del Caribe, my new favorite spot in the RGV to host readings and open mics.

And of course then there's my thesis. I have so much work to do on that end, too. Though - I'm getting pretty positive feedback from my committee (ok well yesterday I got positive feedback) so I'm generally feeling pretty good about this whole deal.

So Katie's doing just fine. In fact, she's started taking Zumba classes and dances like a silly white girl in front of class because she thinks no one is watching her (in reality, though, likely they are pointing and giggling at my attempt to booty-shake).

I will write my poems in the same way - write as if no one is reading. :-)

Ah - before I go I'll leave you with a link. Print journals that accept electronic submissions. Nice.


Friday, January 21, 2011

NACCS Conference Confirmation!

Ok so I have a lot coming up.

Why is it that things always happen, all at the same time?

I spent almost the entire month of December in my new snuggie... there were entire days that I didn't leave the house.

And now... NOW...now... EvErYtHiNg is happening again. I have so much to get ready for, its driving me completely insane (in a good way, because being idle drives me insane too but in a bad way... i think...).

I got the NACCS program today, (check 'er out here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=1KnHLZ1u8XeeOBeSuRjZbaFrNfIoU52wfOGkmFFHLaFjWiKDGukRgK2_DUOwu&hl=en&authkey=CIu5jecE and I'm doing two presentations PLUS a book signing. I'm inviting the other MFP authors, and will be organizing readings for them, too. Aye. There's so much to do, so much to do.

And before that even happens I have EGADS - my trial run of my thesis presentation which is in just a few weeks.

And then I have my new form and theory class, which is requiring enough writing to keep me busy

And then I have my thesis defense, getting too close for comfort

And then I have my next chapbook to get ready to send to publisher... who asked me for it yesterday and I'm like here twiddling my thumbs.

And then I need to think about jobs, continuing school,

And And And And And....


There's no room for writers block in this equation -- no room for sickness or depression, for laziness, for failure.

Katie, I'm counting on YOU :-)

And I won't disappoint myself.

In other news, I started a ZuMbA class. Yes, I'm white and NO I can't dance but that doesn't stop me from burning calories and getting skinnier.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Good things on the horizon

Just sayin'

Be on the lookout for my next chapbook ;)

More details, certainly, will come soon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

No More Hibernation!

No more no more no more!

For realsies, this time, I'm back to my former self.

So today I'm in good spirits, looking over my thesis manuscript - taking a step back and feeling just a little bit proud of myself.

I find out today that I will be doing a book signing at South Texas College. Yay! I'm excited. I will post more details as they become available. Should be in late February, though.

Anything else? No, not really. Just... was having a bit of an identity crisis the other day, wondering what the heck I'm doing and why. And now I'm realizing that it is ok to wonder, to be in a state of limbo. Today - I'm content with (somewhat) playing 'it' by ear.

Oh! and today's the first day of my last semester at UTPA (tear!). But no classes for me until Thursday. It feels good to be back!

I'm thinking I'm not good at being on vacay ;)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Upcoming EGADS! Conference


So about a week ago I made a last minute decision to go ahead and submit to the EGADS! conference at the University of Texas at Brownsville. What the heck, I thought, it'll be a good opportunity to add something to the CV without having to pay any travel expenses. The downside was that it happens to be on a Saturday, which means that I'll need a day off from job #2.

Last night I get notification that my proposal's been accepted. Hooray!

Basically what I'm going to do is kind of run through my thesis defense - a portion of it anyway. It will be good practice, and a good way to bounce ideas off of anyone who attends. Hmmm.. likely it will be dismal. I'll invite my parents X-P

So it feels nice to have something on the horizon again. I've just been twiddling my thumbs in my own little world these past few weeks. You know, I haven't had a reading or presentation since November. But I felt like I needed a break, and I had one.


Today, TODAY I really feel like myself again.

Oh, you want some info on EGADS? Why yes, of course... let me pull that out for you...


And just so you know, I WILL be talking about sex. Don't say I didn't warn you. I mean, come on, EGADS was totally asking for it when they titled this year's conference: Pleasure and Pain...


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Poetically Unproductive

Self-doubt, laziness, feign business...

you already know the drill :-)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Phew! Draft 1 is DoNe

So today I'm happy dancin' cuz I finished my draft 1 of my critical intro. An exerpt, you ask. Fine. You always get your way, and you know it~

However, in The Ripening of Mangos, I do create a speaker and meaning. While the speaker from poem to poem is not necessarily the same, for the most part, I do work within conventions of language, sentence structure, and syntax. In this sense, I am a very bad feminist who accepts the confines and limitations placed on me in using language.

Hehehe... I like that part... ok ok ok another...!

The Ripening of Mangos is divided up into four different sections. Each section’s speaker is placed into an identity, an identity centered around sexuality, culture, and place. What proceed are poems, many with erotic undertones and many which utilize the natural vocabulary of the wild world outside the neatly swept home. Many of my poems concern sexuality precisely because, as Foucault states, in our modern society nothing is so closely related to our identities as what brings our bodies both pleasure and pain. Just as plants reflect the nutrients that dwell within the soil, so do we – particularly women – bloom in the tones and colors of the identities our roots dig into.

okokokokokok I have just a little bit more...

Like Rowson’s Charlotte Temple and Castillo’s La Loca, the virginal identity fails to define the complexity of female identity. In the end, it only gives Red desire, longing, and the blisters of a Pollyanna identity that didn’t quite fit.

andandand some more:

In “The Garden of Dresses” I introduce a new Eve. She no longer lusts for the forbidden fruit, Adam, or another man – but instead for material things. The speaker in this poem is completely obsessed with designer dresses – she denies herself “the taste of pomegranate” (which is interesting because pomegranates are a very sexy fruit) in order to fit into this dress. Instead of denying herself the taste of fruit on her lips for Adam (which we all know she didn’t do), she denies herself the pleasure of fruit instead for material gain. The Eve in this poem is not ruled by Adam’s mandating logic. She is instead governed by her own materialistic lust, her own desire for more – to be thinner, more beautiful, and wealthier. Another aspect I play with here is the idea of perfection. Eve describes herself as both bone-thin and curvy. So many expectations, she must be going absolutely Anne Sexton trying to live up to all of them!

oh my....

In the end of the poem, Eve is left alone, reaching to satisfy her desires. She calls for Adam, but does he come? We’re not really sure, but we do know that Eve sure spends a lot more time lusting for this dress than for an actual human relationship. Adam’s just an afterthought – a nice set of fingers to help finish the job and zip her up at the end of the night.

OH MY....

LoL, I'll post more later. This was actually fun to write, once I got going. I had to tell myself, it's ok to be a sexy academic. It's ok Katie, it's ok.

And indeed, it is.

Afterall, on ads for creative writing programs, the sexy librarian looking young ladies are ALWAYS pictured ;)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Finally Ready to Tackle this New Year

So it took me awhile... but I think I'm finally ready to get this new year going. Hello 2011!

I'm doing a lot of reflecting lately, trying to step back and just think about who I am - at the core of my being. Aside from all the other 'stuff' that goes on in my life, who am I and where the hell am I going?

So, I was reading book of Kells, one of my personal favorite poetry blogs because she's always so honest and inspiring at the same time, and she had a few little writing prompts that helped me. I'll start with that.

What creative projects to work on this year?

Absolutely 100% focus must be directed towards finishing my thesis. All other noise must perish. I've actually been chisiling away at it, little by little. I'm on page 14 of my critical intro and have about 6 pages to finish there. As for the creative part, it actually keeps shrinking but it's becoming more polished - something I'm more proud of. It's at 51 pages. So that's a grand total of 65 pages completed. Not bad.

Once my thesis is completed, I plan to continue editing it and prepping it for submission to publishers. I'm really hoping to be able to do this by May. That would be nice :-)

Another goal - do more readings! I need to get more involved in the poetry community. Lately I've been letting myself create excuses. No more.

What is taking time away from my writing?

Ugh, too many things. I love to blame work, in particular - my 2nd job. I spend so much mental energy preparing for my Saturday classes that it leaves just the scraps for poetry. This is on the chopping block. It might need to go - but not until I've put in a full year.

World of Warcraft.

Exercise - believe it or not - gets in the way of my writing. Running is becoming a new obsession of mine. The university as an indoor track and so now all the sudden running isn't scary. I'm not giving this one up. Writing just needs to take priority. Running can help me to take a break.

My sickness and the general atmosphere of saddness gets in the way of my writing big time. What to do about this? I'm really not sure :-/

Who supports you, and who doesn't?

My family supports me, Bruno supports me, my community of writers is great. BUT... sometimes, although it's not intentional, family drama, sadness, depression, ect in other people gets in the way of me writing. How selfish, when someone I love is in pain I only think about how it affects me. But it does. And I don't know what to do about that, either. Move away? Hell, this actually doesn't just get in the way of me writing, but me LIVING, GROWING as a human being. Sometimes I just wish I could run away from everyone, from everything, and just be myself - not a person in relation to others.

What can I do differently this year?

Geez. Ok, well here goes - my new and improved Katie for 2011.

Katie will regiment her writing. She will write for at least an hour everyday - not including blogging.

Katie will learn to block out negative feelings and influences, banish them from my thought processes. How will I do this? I don't know. I have a year to figure that out.

Katie has already given up alcohol. It's bad for my health, and I'm beginning to think maybe all of my health problems are related to alcohol.

Katie is going to not go insane. She will stop referring to herself in the 3rd person.

Katie will continue working towards her goals, even if those goals change. She will always have goals. Amen.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Barf Barf Barf I will say the word until the meaning disappears

Ok so I haven't been writing lately, much of anything.

No blogposts, no poems, barely any scholarly writing either. What's wrong with me?

Well - I've been sick again. It started on Christmas Eve. My tummy troubles are back, and it's completely all my fault for not taking better care of myself. This has me worried, worried because it has kept me from doing my three all time favorite things: running, baking, and most of all - writing.

So my Christmas sucked. Big time. And my new years too. I rung in the new year sipping champagne, that preceeded to make me want to barf all over everyone. Am I pregnant? everyone asks. ::SNEER!!!::

But it feels good to be back at the office, even if I am holding back more barf as I type. Sometimes I think it's all in my head, and that if I get up, get dressed, get out of the house, I will be ok. Let's see if this theory pans out for me....

So it's a new year, right? Will this mean a new Katie? Hmm... no.

I wish I was more positive right now, more enthusiastic, more goal oriented, more "hip hip hurray!" but I'm not. I've been in a funk. funk funk funk funk funk

Later I will outline my plans for the new year. At the present moment, my goal is being pain and nausea free.