Showing posts from 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012 -- Consider Yourself DEFEATED!

I did it! I did it! I did it! ::Cue Victory Dance:: I really didn't think I could pull it off this year. My darkest moment was last night, staring at my blinking cursor, needing 10k more words to go and giving up, wallowing in my own self pity. "I'm just too busy, being a professor sucks nuts..." I wined... and whined... But then, today? With a burst of renewed creative energy (and, ok, an extreme amount of coffee) I sprinted to the finish line. This month I wrote a novel. I. am. awesome. All awesomeness aside, as per expected, my novel needs work. It took me about 10k words in the beginning of nonsense to get a handle on what this crazy plot would look like (it's two stories, about the same woman, woven into one... and it gets a little trippy), another 20k to really relate to my own protag, and I'm JUST ABOUT at the climax of my book when... when the two folks that you KNOW shouldn't get together are just... just.... just about to... if only

Why November is My Favorite Month

Happy November! Yes, yes, ten days late. But whatever -- I've been busy. There are a few things I LOVE about November, this time of the year. First, it means the year is winding down. We've only two months left of 2012, and that tends to get a fire under my butt to reach my annual goals. This month has been no exception. I've only got two months left to get rejection letters, and I'm currently short by 13! Ah! I need to send some submissions off to some quickie publications. On that note, I did send off a submission today :) One with a low acceptance rate, which means a high chance of rejection. Yay. I HAVE been getting a few acceptance lately, too! A nice side effect of my rejection mission is that sometimes, sometimes, things work out. Three in the past month. Booya. What else do I love about November? It also means the semester is fixing to finish. My first semester as a full-time instructor has been great, but I'm so looking forward to a break. I&#

Thick Writerly Skin

You know your panel is awesome is Jan Seale attends. Thanks, Octavio Quintanilla, for the photo! Remember? My 2012 goal was to amass 100 rejection letters? Well, I'm not there yet. But! There is SOME good coming out of my rejection mission. This past Saturday, the Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers held their annual conference at UTPA. I was invited to talk on a panel and share how I survived and thrived in an MFA program. I gave tips on how to grow that thick writerly skin -- you know, that thin layer of awesomeness that comes between me and chronic depression? Yep. That nifty stuff X-D Anyway -- I thought up four tips: 1.        Understand that all writers get rejections, whether they talk about them or not. Why is there such a stigma behind talking about your rejection letters? As writers, we all get them. It’s like farting. We all do it. We just don’t talk about it. But rejection is a healthy and natural part of our lives as writers. I’m tryin

Confessions of a Book Screener

This summer I was invited to take part in a panel of judges for a poetry book contest. OK ok ok, that sounds all official... it wasn't quite so glamorous. It went a little more like this: This summer, I got to scour the a publisher's slush pile of contest submissions and toss a few up that seemed worthy of a second look. And you know what? I think I learned a thing or two about contest submissions and judging in the process.And wouldn't you know it, I'm a very generous person, so I'm passing that oh-so-sagey wisdom on to you (no, not saggy... though... hmm). How the Process Looks: We've all heard those horror stories about poetry book contests, yes? They're just big scams set out to make publishers more financially solvent. Their secondary function is to tack a fancy award title onto a special person's name, the crowned winner, who is probably just publisher/judge/book god's student/friend/lover. Sound familiar? Well, being on the inside

A Conversation about Publishing with Karen Kelsay Davies

Oh the wonderful people you meet as a poet! Below is my conversation with poet and publisher Karen Kelsay Davies, the founder and publisher of Kelsay Books , which is a publishing company with four different imprints. Kelsay Books is fast expanding, which is so exciting! I met Karen through Victorian Violet , the journal Karen edits. And since she's a champion of formalist poetry, well... she's kind of a hero! Be sure to check out our interview. Karen's a terribly insightful person, not to mention generous with her time. There aren't many presses out there doing such wonderful jobs promoting the art of poetry, and I was fortunate enough to spend some time talking shop with her recently. First off, maybe you can tell me a littl e bit about Kelsay Books and your four imprints, just so we can get a general idea about your projects. What makes Kelsay Books different from other poetry publishers? Hi Katie, thank you for giving me the opp

The Goddess Goes Suspiciously Silent

Howdy folks: I know, I know... no blog posts in awhile. I've been adjusting to my new schedule, trying to find a way to fit everything important into my life again. You see, this whole teaching a million students thing is going wonderful, but it's kind of consuming me (and my brain). It happens, right? My very first year teaching I think I wrote like, one poem. My SEMESTER as a prof (albeit adjunct) my writing slowed to a virtual halt as well. And now? as a full time lecturer with overload courses? yeah, you can guess the time I'm having. I'm enjoying myself, but I'm having a hard time making "brain space" for anything not teaching related. Does that make sense? I have time, yes, time at home where I'm in my bathrobe by noon, but it's time to do other things: plan projects, dig deep into readings, give my students meaningful feedback, catch up on my class' blogs, etc... And poetry? It's... well, getting dusty. I don't know

So Begins the Fall Semester

It's been a good long while since I've felt this exhausted, but it's a good exhausted. Adjusting to my new job as a full time prof and the new schedule's a bit of a challenge, but I'm managing (well, I think so anyway!). Today was really wonderful. I got my own set of keys to MY office, so I finally feel at home. It's starting to sink in that I belong in this department now, that I'm a part of the university, and that I have a place/purpose here. All good feelings indeed. This is where the goddess writes, or errr... here's my office. And there's nothing like being in the classroom. I always feel so alive when I'm teaching. There's really no feeling like it. My teaching load is pretty extreme, but it's kind of nice, in a way. The only thing I'm worried about is making the time to continue working on my own writing projects, not getting absorbed into my students' writing. I've been pretty good for the past few years jugg

Oh Summer! Where art thou?!

I'm a poet in transition; transition isn't easy. I enjoyed the peace of mind that summer provides, the seemingly endless days, the inherent laziness that comes along with it. I wrote, I had the mental "space" to focus on my writing throughout all of June, and produced a good amount of (nearly polished) poetry -- about twelve new poems. What Plagues the Goddess, my chapbook project, is in a very happy place. I'm pleased enough with her to call her complete, and to begin working on a new project (or really, expanding on this old project into a larger book-length manuscript). And of course, the fact that it cleared at least the quarter-finalist round of the Casey Shay Press annual competition makes me a bit more confident in my efforts. Speaking of chapbooks, I also, of course, mused on the form. And the fruits of my labor? Why, this just came out: Katie Reviews Black Birds : Blue Horse for Fifth Wednesday Journal!  This summer was also a time for self-promot

Katie on Public Radio

So I sound like a twelve year old girl and I giggle a lot because I got nervous, BUT... Here's my interview about poetry with Brenda Nettles Riojas! Enjoy :-)

A Gentle Asking: A Review of Eve Asks

A Gentle Asking : A Review of Eve Asks by Christine Redman-Waldeyer Muse-Pie Press , 2011 (50 pages) ISBN: 9780918453235 Christine Redman-Waldeyer’s chapbook, Eve Asks , is a lyrical journey through everyday life that highlights both the quiet beauty on the surface and the complexities that exist just beneath. The poems are carefully arranged to take the reader by the hand through love, marriage, child-bearing, mothering, and beyond. With emotional honesty, they hit close to home. These poems celebrate who we are as humans, and ask us to dig deeper and examine how we perceive the world around us. The collection’s first poem illustrates this succinctly. The title “Breast Cancer Survivor” is heavy, but the language of the poem is light, airy, and lyric: She stays every summer at her shore house Warm weather in the spring brings her weekends Her dog waits in the car while she chats I stop at hello (5). But as a reader, we can’t just “stop at hello.” We know that bene

The Great Hibernation

That's exactly what I want to do for the next few weeks, sleep, sleep, and sleep some more... With my unofficial Texas book tour under my nonexistant belt (After this roadtrip, I don't need a belt...), I am now recovering from over a week of driving, reading, and celebrating. After my book signings, I had a family reunion to attend, which yes, was a great deal of fun. I have one of those marvelous, enormous, beer-drinking, jovial and loud Wisconsin families. There was much cheese to be had. But now I'm back in Tejas, back in my office, back at my quiet country home, ready to recharge for the craziness that will be my first year as a full-time professor. This. This peace and quiet is exactly what I need. So I'm off into hibernation. I've got a stack of books waiting for reviews, and a heart filled with poems and stories to write. And some good news to share: Katie Named a Quarter Finalist for the Mary Ballard Chapbook Prize! Ovid, you will be wearing cowg

On the Road Again...

This is going to be a quick and awkward blogpost -- sorry. I'm on the road, but wanted to update you all on recent happenings. First, the reason for my roadtrip? Why a book signing of course! Yesterday I picked up a big stack of books from Publisher (and finally got to meet him in person! Previously, we were just back and forth through emails and facebook. Chuck Taylor is delightful!). Anyway, yes, I will have books to sell and sign, so please come out if you are in the San Antonio area. I also got news yesterday that I got a new job. At a University. Full time. Teaching English. ::BREEATTHEEEE:: I found out via email at 4am. I proceeded to wake Bruno, who thought I was insane and maybe I was temporarily. The dept. chair made the grave mistake of giving me her cell phone number... which I had to call just to hear it spoken aloud. I proceeded to pinch myself to further insure I wasn't dreaming. I'll be teaching majority freshmen rhet and comp courses at the Uni

Maria Miranda Maloney Talks Chaps y Mas

Readers, This is, what I hope to be, a first in a series of interviews and conversations with poets and publishers about chapbooks and... other things! To begin, I interviewed Maria Miranda Maloney, the founder and publisher of Mouthfeel Press. What a treat! She was kind enough to take some time out of her incredibly busy schedule as a publisher, poet, mom, wife, and gardener extraordinaire! The lovely Maria Miranda Maloney! First off, maybe you can tell me a little bit about Mouthfeel Press. I mean, I love Mouthfeel (I think every one of my blog readers already know that) but maybe give us a general idea about your team and your projects. How did it all get started, anyway? Katie, thank you so much for including MFP. I love MFP. I love the name. I love the publishing mission. I love the authors that have courageously placed their work and faith into my hands. Mouthfeel Press started as a seed idea many years ago while I was working in journalism and public relati