Sunday, March 01, 2009


Snow in the South is wonderful. It has a kind of magic and mystery that it has nowhere else. And the reason for this is that it comes to people in the South not as the grim, unyielding tenant of Winter's keep, but as a strange and wild visitor from the secret North."
Thomas Wolfe

Outside my window, large flakes are falling heavier than I experienced a few weeks ago in Chicago. It is beautiful for all reasons Thom Wolfe suggests. Snow a rare and welcomed treat to Southern eyes. Anticipating spring, the bare black limbs of the tree in my backyard have sprouted new slender brown branches. I set my Christmas poinsettias outside to drink the sweet rain and enjoy yesterday’s warmth. Weather works that way here. One day it’s 70 degrees and sunny the next whirling clouds of white and wet cold threaten all the tender blossoms. Many spring flowers fall victim to the Southern sampling of seasons, which seem to follow no particular order. It’s winter by whim today. Tomorrow who knows.

I slept better in Chicago than I had in years. I told my hosts that they possessed the sleepiest home I’d ever enjoyed. It was difficult to stay awake. I am usually over stressed when I’m traveling. At home I’m an insomniac. My God it just thundered, thunder snow. How deliciously rare. It’s heavier now, sticking to the ground and the roads. He can’t stay inside. I just heard him open the door and go outside. I call out to him, “Honey is it getting cold?”

“It’s getting there quick. I wonder if I can get to work tomorrow,” he says.

A snow day. The equivalent of every snow touched Southerner contracting the common cold. A day in bed with movies and hot chocolate. Maybe even build a fire. He teases me that perhaps it is that long buried Western European blood. I am soothed by cold and snow. Inspired to write. I was working on some dull story about hand held devices. I dropped it immediately upon noticing the falling white.

"Maybe we should move, up North and West, doesn’t your cousin live in Portland? I’m going to the grocery store."

"Buy us some lunch, I say. I’m not cooking it’s a snow day".

I hear sirens in the distance. Accidents. Suddenly no one knows how to drive. Why don’t they just stay home and enjoy this heavy blanket of white. I am seduced and sedated by it…snow.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Work, Write, Work, Write Room

I feel like I'm moving through life in a fish bowl. At work, in class, at home and even online. Everybody wants or expects something and I'm tapped out. There is only one thing that I want to give myself over to and that is writing. I have to sneak around to write in this blog. It's indulgent to many. To me it's necessary, a feeding of the soul.

B threatened one of my writers a couple of weeks ago. The Writer called my house and wanted to come and visit. B thinks this man is obsessed with me. I know he's obsessed with the fact that I hold his his best work inside my computer. Because of technology failures and crazy relationship failures I became the keeper of the grail. I hold his writing. I am his editor. What do I do?

There's no balance. I'm pulled and pressed. It's 10 days until my birthday and 3 days after that I'm in Chicago for almost a week. No time to celebrate and my trip to the AWP conference will probably be spoiled by deadlines to projects.

I have come to the conclusion that explanations are vampires that bleed dry.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Attraction Theory and Thanking the Universe

This isn’t my new year’s resolution but a reminder to continue some practices that I put in place this year. In addition, this post is a public thank you to the universe. I started practicing attraction theory this year. It sounds like hocus-pocus, but I don’t really care as long as it works. My interpretation of the theory is that we manifest our reality through thought. Since reality is a matter of perception this makes sense. There is the additional element of quantum physics, which gets too involved and trippy, although, I find quantum physics fascinating.

To practice attraction theory you concentrate on the things that you want in life and actively pursue those wants while always being thankful for what you have. Actively pursuing is key. Yeah, unfortunately just wishing doesn’t always make it so. In short, don’t wish to win the lottery without ever buying a ticket. Also, you don’t not waste any energy on things that you don’t want. The hitch is that the universe doesn’t know whether you want this thing or not, but it knows that you are focused on it, so it provides the negative as well as the positive. Negative energy attracts negative and positive energy attracts, you guessed it, positive energy. The other element to attraction theory is that you wish positive things for everyone, yeah the whole world. I wish for health and abundance for me, for you, for everyone.

If you want to know more about attraction theory look it up. I know that it doesn’t cost anything to find out the basics and it doesn’t hurt to practice the theory. No, it is not a religion, but more of a personal philosophy. Furthermore, I’m not trying to convert anyone.

Dear Universe,

Thank you for the continued health and well-being of my friends and family. Thank you for the progression of my professional life. I appreciate how the small, seemingly insignificant calls out to me and later expands into a larger success. Thank you for the signposts that are illuminating my path. I look forward to our continuing collaboration with great excitement and I wish you and yours health and abundance.



Monday, November 10, 2008

15 Minutes

That's what I have, 15 minutes until the next class. I present something tonight, a critique on technical writing. The author I'm evaluating was writing about his experience. Tech writing didn't seem like a fit for this guy. He was funny and appeared to have a soul. Intrigued, I decided to Google him. I was right. He isn't a tech writer anymore, he's an adjunct English professor. He wants to teach full time. He seems happy. So my presentation has taken a different turn. It is truthful and a tad smart assed. I wonder if my prof will get pissed. Too bad. I got my own soul to protect.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Out of Breath

It started Wednesday with an invitation dinner I didn’t want to accept because the people who invited me are distance relatives and they only invited me because it would be considered bad form not to do so.

I managed to say as little as possible because I now understand that most of their questions do not require an answer chiefly because they are not really interested and change the topic of conversation mid way through any answer I give them so I’ve learned just to stay silent.

So they under tipped the waiter stuffed food from the buffet into plastic bags (for later) did I mention that these people have money and were here because they were antiquing or collecting on the east coast.

The end all was the question so what are you doing. I tell them about the ezine, about the small press I’m working on and as always my answer is interrupted this time with another question .

“Well how much does that pay?”

I start to answer “well it…”

“If your writing doesn’t pay then it doesn’t count for anything”

Another member of our party sees that I am turning purple and offers “well so and so daughter works a blah blah and it’s a”

Now it my turn to interrupt “ I worked for many years at something that I hated and honestly I would rather die than go back to doing any sort of work that resembles that”

There is a mention of a family trip to the lake for the weekend but not a formal invitation which I’m thankful for because I have no intention of spending time in close quarters with people who do not actually like me or at best have no understanding of me. I am surprised late Friday by a phone call describing what I should bring for spending the night on the boat.

I say “I have work to do”

Bring it with you.

I need to be online to work.

We have wi fi at the marina.


Once I arrive I try to make myself as scarce as possible. I stay on the sofa with my laptop which took an hour and half to get online because of the weak signal that frequently disappeared in middle of something I was working on. I was there less than 5 hours before there was arguing and some folks were threatening to leave. I email a friend to tell her where I am.
G: I thought we agreed that you weren’t going to do this.

Me: Yes well apparently they didn’t get the memo. I must remember to copy them on it next time.

G:You call me as soon as you get back.

Me:You can count on it.

And the hits just keep coming. I am childless, I don’t make any money, I am Godless, when am I coming for a visit, your hair looks funny. We gave Joey a piggy bank and he’s saving money so we can all go to Disney World.

I don’t remind them that they are comparing me to a five year old. I don’t explain not having children was not my plan I simply didn’t have any plans and it just didn’t happen and given my poverty that isn’t a bad thing it is probably responsible and commendable instead of condemnable. I didn’t say I am not an atheist, maybe an agnostic, I just don’t believe in organized religion. I didn’t declare that if I were to save my money for a trip it would not be to spend time with people who barely tolerate me but I would preferable spend my money in some foreign land where official language is Spanish and there is a beach, good coffee and nice booze(Costa Rica comes to mind). I didn’t say, yes my hair is red and I am aware that no one in the family has red hair (my point exactly).

After a cold night spent in the fetal position I untwist myself and head to the marina for a shower. When I returned I am greeted with “they must have some makeup mirror up there”

I assume this is a dig of some kind although the exact nature of the comment escapes me. I replied that there wasn’t a mirror at all but a concrete shower stall with lukewarm water that I shared with several spiders and a couple of centipedes which sort of shut down the conversation. I think they forget which side of the family I come from; the side without indoor plumbing for most of my early childhood.
I wondered... should I apologize because peeing out doors is not a novelty for me any longer. I don’t.

I begin to feel like a little girl standing in the middle of a room with my dress pulled over my head as I spin around screaming, leave me alone!

I am exhausted by the time I get home Sunday afternoon. I sleep fitfully.

Monday I’m so happy to be among friends. I tell Sean about difficulty that I had publishing his story because of the weak signal at the marina and all that went with it.

He says, “Why didn’t you just get drunk and enjoy yourself?”

I think …the Irish have such a lovely way of resolving family differences.
What makes you think I wasn’t? I say.

I wanted to say because you wanted your story published and because you said your former editor played fast and loose with the comma splice and you told her so and she got pissed and made me your official handler. I think the two of should just fuck and get it over with because I don’t want to be in the middle of your little spats. Of course I don’t mean any of this in a mean spirited way because I really love the two of them. We are friends and don’t intend for the smart assed things we say to one another to actually hurt. Like these emails I received upon my return.

G: I was gonna mention...
Why is it that half the people in your stable write erotica?

Me: Because writers are sex obsessed drug addicts and alcoholics. That’s my guess anyway.
G: You’ve got to stop populating your zine with your love bunnies.

Me: Do not refer to the talented and sensitive male writers that I feature as my love bunnies. I prefer to call them my humpty sluts.

P: Hey Litramatrix,
I'm not sure what I meant in the subject line " Litramatrix "... it was either lit chick and dominatrix combined or some ersatz combination. Anyway I MISS YOU...

Me: Ooooo…I love my new moniker. Litramatrix. I’m keeping it.

Why in the world would I choose any other sort of life?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Poetry is a Rorschach test

I am not a poet nor am I tying to become a poet. However I am trying my best not to embarrass myself in my poetry class. Unfortunately, as a group we are failing miserably. I thought a poem about a brick was a metaphor for child abuse. I had to explain that I was in a dark place when I came to that conclusion. I also responded with delight to a riddle poem saying aloud, “Oh it’s about a cell phone.” To which the author responded, “It wasn’t a riddle poem.”

I thought a car accident poem was about a bad marriage and an ice climbing poem was about sex. One of my classmates thought my poem about an ugly baby was about race relationships in America. (He’s from Scotland if that has anything to do with his analysis). The professor called my work surreal and compared it to a Brazilian poet who writes about cutting off his dirty hand. (He actually is a poet if that explains his assessment). I decided surreal is code for I don’t know what the hell you’re saying here and I don’t want to look stupid, so it must be brilliant.

In tonight’s stack of poetry is at least 2 poems about the Holocaust, 1 about a dog, 1 about Sarah Palin, 2 about sex, and strangely there’s one about a man I used to date. ( I am almost certain of this and it surprises me, because I didn’t think they knew each other). I hope I'm at least partially right, but I am afraid it will be another interesting evening.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Much ado and Nothing

I’m drinking wine and being pissed in more ways than one. I hate it when technology fails me. I needed to be in a chat room tonight and I couldn’t get logged in. It was so damn frustrating watching this conversation flow and not being able to participate. It was kind of like being a voyeur at an orgy. No fun at all. So here I sit. I can’t get me no intelligent conversation, and I can’t get me no fuel for my car (which is inconvenient but not actually bad, because I want us all to have electric cars. Well most of us). What options are left to me? Why open up that nice bottle of red that your friend gave you on Saturday and blog. Heavy sigh.

Now I feel better, but I don’t feel like writing anything. Drunkenness, well tipsiness really, is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I feel very mellow, and the other I have no angst and my snark has left me. It’s all for the best really. I’ve been in the cups before and blogged. It doesn’t usually end well. So … rather than have to defend myself later or wrestle with messy restraining orders I think I’ll go and luxuriate in my tipsiness in bed. I’d watch a movie, but I’d feel guilty for not having the attention span to enjoy it. Besides, I spent all day working on this suburban noir thing and it left me feeling very dark. I’ll be back when I’ve recovered.