Room and Bored

busy

Today someone asked me when my next book is coming out.

I didn’t know whether to get stabby or fall over laughing.

I haven’t written even one single poem in almost three months, even though my to-do list has, in the number two spot, the title “evacuation” followed by the imperative “WRITE IT!!”

It’s not a lack of words that’s the problem, you see. It’s a lack of time. As I told the aforementioned someone, “I have a six month old baby! I’m lucky to put my shoes on the right feet in the morning.”

So then, the follow-up went, “Well, what keeps you so busy? You know, besides the baby?”

(Warning: Impending rant. Take a deep breath and duck.)

Besides the baby? What do I do all day? Other than working 40+ hours a week at one job and landing myself a brand shiny new job and commuting back and forth and coming home and doing laundry and dishes and diapers and feeding the baby and dressing the baby and feeding and dressing myself and sometimes even brushing my hair? What else?

Well, there’s the cinepoems that get entered in film festivals and there’s the etsy store orders to fulfill and there are irises in my backyard that desperately need repotting. And once in awhile I try to exercise. And get a manicure. And even a pedicure, if I’m feeling really cheeky.

Wow. Ok. Bitter, party of one!! I shouldn’t get stabby about the question, I know.

Because I do remember what it was like to be bored. To have oodles of hours to fill. To lie late in bed and luxuriate in the question of “What should I do today?”

But that was eons ago in a time before Boy and Baby and video poems.

Today I’m just wallowing in guilt over letting another month nearly slip past with nary a blog post.

And the trouble is, I can’t promise to get better! Life is just a blur these days. And so am I.

But for my own sake, i swear, I will trap some of these words on a page. And then, if I deem them worthy enough, I’ll share them with you.

It’s not a new book, no, not at all. But it’s something.

-Lo, who hounds her own favorite authors for their next works and knows that really, all this means is that she should be flattered.

The Great Grinchy Giveaway

mood: decidedly un-Grinchy | drinking: stuff

xmas_books

People keep telling me it’s the most wonderful time of the year. I don’t necessarily believe it… there are lots of other times of the year that are arguably more wonderful than this.

But I’m going to shrug off my inner Grinch and just go for the holiday cheer this year. Strap on your helmet.

This year, for the first time ever, I’m instituting what may very well become a yearly tradition: The Great Grinchy Giveaway. I’ll need your help though.

Here’s how it will work:
The first 5 people to respond in the comments (here on She Says, NOT on Facebook) will receive a shiny free poetry book complete with an autograph so you can sell it for 20 bucks when I’m rich and infamous.

You get to choose which book: Shedding the Angel Skin or The Secrets of Falling. And I’ll throw in some lovely postcards for you, as well. (You can even request which postcards you’d like to receive.)

All you have to do is comment down below and tell me two things:
1. Who’s your favorite poet ever: Tennyson? Bukowski? Frost? Eliot? Plath?
2. Which book would you like to get for free?

In order to comment, you’ll have to become a registered “user” of this site, by means of the little link which is either over there on the right under “Login” or down below this post under “Leave a Reply.” That way I’ll have your email address and I can congratulate you on your winnings and get your snail mail address. It only takes two seconds. Or maybe five.

This is a great time for all you secret lurkers to come out from under the bushes and wave hello. I know you’re out there. Don’t be shy.

So, how about it? Want a free book? (If you’ve already got a copy, you could always gift it to a friend. I’m all about helping you out with your holiday shopping list.)

Ready? Set? Comment!

-Lo, getting her wrapping paper ready.

{UPDATE 12/10/09:} I’ve got my 5 winners, even though several of you had trouble getting WordPress to let you add a comment here! I apologize for your troubles. Hopefully that pesky problem is now fixed, thanks to my trusty webmaster. But those of you who were determined and sent me emails have been added to the list of winners. So: Anna, Charmaine, Jennifer, Maria & Amy can all expect to receive shiny packages in the mail very soon. And Eric, you’re getting one too, just because you’re special. Thanks, everyone!

-Lo, off to the P.O.

Somewhere to Be

Mood: multi-tasking | Drinking: tea

cafeFirst things first: a review of The Secrets of Falling is up on Cherry Bleeds. Enjoy.

And then, a poem for all my unemployed peeps out there…

Severance

At 2 p.m. on Tuesday
the cafés are full of the aimless
feigning busyness
hunched over laptops
to conceal their lack
of someplace to go.

Not enough emphasis is placed
on the comfort
of Somewhere To Be
on the consolation
of Being Needed
by someone who cares nothing for you
beyond what you can do for him.

When your services are no longer required
and the thing that makes you You
is made redundant
you begin to miss the formerly noisome clamor
of alarm clock, the previously infuriating routine
of commute.

Disconnected from the comfort
of customary daily aggravations
your mind begins to wander
and then
your feet begin to follow, but
bound by the panic borne of
decades of wage-earning servitude,
neither mind nor feet go anywhere original.

At 10 a.m. on Tuesday
you are just waking up. And when, after
2 bowls of cereal, you still haven’t found
a reason to discard your pajamas, you realize
the only way to escape the clutches
of the crumb-covered couch, the zombie glare
of afternoon reruns, is to create
an entirely new irritation.

Soon a path is worn from your front steps
to Starbucks where faux-friendly baristas
begin to pour your triple half-caff
before you even walk through the door.

By 2 p.m. you’ve accomplished nothing
of consequence. All the familiar sites
have been visited, the habitual links
have been clicked, the new tradition
has been established. Once again
you have Somewhere To Be.

-Lo, no longer severed.

Just a Little Taste

Mood: Dabbling | Drinking: Soon

nibble

A bit of poetry housekeeping, if you don’t mind.

I’ve been neglecting to mention that I have two poems floating out and about in the world of print, and now seems as good a time as any to mention them.

Last fall, Donna Marbach published an anthology of poems about women called Remembering Faces, and I have one poem in between those pages, “Little Sister”.

Donna is on the east coast, so you’ll probably have better luck finding the book there — if you want to hunt it down, contact Donna through her Palettes & Quills website.

A more recent publication came off the presses just this month — the latest (4th) issue of Nibble, a poetry magazine published here in the Bay Area by Jeff Fleming.

My poem “Farm Cat” is featured in that publication, along with a great many other fabulous (and short!) poems. To get your own copy or find out more about the magazine, visit the Nibble website.

And last but not least in this newsy little update: I am no longer languishing in the land of the unemployed. I am, as of last Monday, once again writing for the man. Which means my sushi habit and shoe shopping sprees are no longer endangered. Huzzah!

More to come later… I believe I’m going to be posting a new poem shortly, as soon as I run it through my writing group one more time, and I’m already working on a new cinépoem for “Bright Neon Love.”

No rest for the wicked. Or the Type A’s.

-Lo, doing that thing she does.

Big Pimpin’

greenapple_book
Mood: Slick
Drinking: Soon

True to form, time has put on its racing shoes and flown right past me — it’s already been a year since The Secrets of Falling came out.

Hopefully that’s been plenty of time for you to get your copy, take a read, and find a place for it on your poetry shelf.

So given all that, I hope my request comes as the slightest of inconveniences… If you’ve read Secrets, would you like to help me sell a few more copies?

Some of you have already been so kind as to write reviews on various websites, and I thank you. I’d just like to pimp it out a little bit more.

You can write reviews on Amazon.com, Goodreads.com, Shelfari.com, and on various facebook and myspace forums, too.

If you haven’t read it yet, you can get your copy here or buy it from Amazon, Powell’s, or Etsy.

Of course, if you read it and hated it, let’s just keep that a secret, yeah? 😉

-Lo, much obliged.

Zine It All

zinefest08
Mood: Hooey
Drinking: Blooey

This weekend is the big old San Francisco Zine Fest. I expect to see all you word lovers, crafty bitches, art farts, and don’t-got-nuthin-better-to-do peeps out and about!

Here are the dirty deets:
LOCATION – SF County Fair Building (in Golden Gate Park at 9th & Lincoln)
HOURS – Saturday 11am to 8pm, Sunday 11am to 7pm
STUFF TO SEE & BUY – Zines, Arts, Crafts, Small Presses, & Poetry trinkets from yours truly

You know me and mine are gonna get bored sitting at our little table for 9 hours a day on the weekend, so stop by, say hi, and please, please, pretty please, buy some stuff! (We have some free stuff, too, for all you cheapskates.)

Speaking of cheap, did I mention that this whole event is free? Free, people. No admission charge for the masses. How can you resist?!

OK, I’ve gotta go prepare.

See you there.

-Lo, who is folded along the dotted lines.

The Amazing Amazon

amazon1
Mood: Uppers
Drinking: Green Tea

Nothin’ but good news over here, folks.

Amazon.com now carries our little book, The Secrets of Falling. You can find it quite easily just by searching Amazon for the title of the book, or by entering my name or Kathy Azada’s name.

This is exciting not only because of the huge potential market of people we can now reach but also because, well, you just feel like a “real” writer when you see your book all shiny on the Amazon screen. Tingly feelings, that’s what I’m having.

So please, tell all your friends, neighbors, and distant relations – hell, you can tell the checkout chick at the grocery store, too. Tell them to put Secrets in their shopping cart, on their wishlist, on their list of Christmas presents.

If you already have the book and you feel all fuzzy about it, feel free to write us a little review on Amazon and tell perfect strangers that they should read it, too.

While we’re on the subject of online shopping, just a short click away from Amazon is the lovely Etsy.com, a site chock full of crafty goodness. It’s also another new online host, not only for Secrets, but also for my first book, Shedding the Angel Skin, as well as the new limited-edition chapbook, She is a Death Star.

Even better, you can now purchase fine photographic prints from our book at the This Blank Page shop on Etsy. This is the first time we’ve been able to make the prints available online. Before this, the only place to buy them was at our book release party or the recent Old Enough to Buy Art show.

But now, even if you live way up in Grand Rapids, Michigan (Hi EO! Hi Jillie!), you can order your favorite art print for yourself or somebody special.

Right now there are 16 prints available, in sizes of either 8×10″ or 16×20″. We’ll be adding more over the next few weeks, and soon all 35 prints that were featured at our book release party will be available for purchase at our Etsy site.

So. Next time you feel the urge to shop, poke your head in at Amazon or Etsy and say hi.

And don’t forget, if you’re in the Bay Area, the Berkeley Film Festival starts tomorrow, and our award-winning cinepoem collection “Slippery Shiny Feathery Things” screens tomorrow night at 8:55 p.m. at the Landmark California Theatre in Berkeley. See you there!

-Lo, who is learning how to run.

She is a Death Star

deathstar_web
Mood: Sugarhigh
Drinking: Water

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, they say.

And although I like to pretend I don’t listen to them, cliches usually become cliched because they contain a dollop of truth.

Which is why, a few months ago when this dude from Vermont contacted me and said, “Hey, I run a small indie press and I’d like to publish a chapbook with you,” well, I thought about it for two seconds and said “Hell, yes.”

And so I present to you my third book, She is a Death Star
(21 poems about her)
.

It’s a true chapbook, meaning that it’s small and waif-like and folded and stapled and low-tech. And it’s available in very limited quantities. And I’m not selling it on this site.

You can get this sweet little thing at only two places. Maybe three…

1. Scintillating Publications
Send your $6 to:
Joseph Veronneau
21 Russell Street
Burlington VT 05401
or email him at mustiis@aol.com

2. Quimby’s Bookstore
1854 W. North Avenue
Chicago, IL

3. Any poetry reading I am featuring at.
Time and venue info will be posted here well before the reading.

If you’re wondering why you should part with your hard-earned six bucks for another stack of poems from me, here’s what you’ll be getting…
She is a Death Star contents:
1. Slow Roast
2. Pretty.Good.Girl.
3. Sylvia
4. Goldfish
5. The fake boobs win again
6. Sterling Girl
7. Scrapbook
8. Sappho
9. Continental
10. Eve
11. Breathing
12. A Charitable Donation
13. Anonymous
14. SFO 1607
15. Crash Protocol
16. Samba
17. What It Means to See Her
18. Nemesis
19. She Said Saturday
20. Equinox: Vernal
21. Alter Ego

Two of those poems were first published in Shedding the Angel Skin, eight are in The Secrets of Falling, which leaves 11 shiny new ones that you can only find in She is a Death Star. A pretty sweet deal for a surprise chapbook, don’t you think?

-Lo, who once got a gift horse named Fantasia.

B is for Bookstore

quimbysMood: Busy
Drinking: Water

A quick update on bookstores that carry The Secrets of Falling because now there are a few more on the list:

SAN FRANCISCO…
City Lights (the one & only) on Columbus in North Beach
Bird & Beckett Books and Records on Diamond St. in Glen Park
Phoenix Books on 24th Street in Noe Valley
Modern Times Bookstore on Valencia in the Mission
Dog Eared Books on Valencia in the Mission
Green Apple Books on Clement in the Richmond

SANTA CRUZ…
Logos Book and Records on Pacific Ave.

CHICAGO…
Quimby’s in Wicker Park
Myopic Books in Wicker Park

DIXON (IL)…
Books on First on West First Street

DECATUR (AL)…
Red Jasper Spa/Salon on 2nd Avenue SE

BELFAST (Northern Ireland)…
No Alibis on Botanic Ave.
•Bookfinders on University Road

If you stop by one of these stores and can’t find Secrets on the shelves, that means they sold out, so please request a copy so they’ll order a few more.

As always, you can get Secrets online if you don’t see a bookstore listed near you.

And don’t forget, tonight is the opening night for the Old Enough to Buy Art Show, where 3 pieces from The Secrets of Falling are on display and up for sale. Be sure to stop by the Melting Point Gallery in San Francisco to see some great mixed media pieces by local artists. The show runs through next Wednesday, September 26.

Stay tuned for a shiny new cinepoem, coming later this week…

-Lo, who has been talking like a pirate all day long. Arrrrrrrr!

Old Enough to Buy Art

artshow_cardbook_front1
Mood: Chilled
Drinking: Agua

I apologize to all my readers who don’t live in San Francisco.

There’s so much cool stuff happening here right now, I’m sad that you’re missing out!

For example:
I and the lovely Miz Kathy, the artist genius behind The Secrets of Falling, are in an art show which opens next week.

Three of our pieces will be featured, and they’re actually spreads from the poetry book: Crash Protocol, Epic, and Like a Duck in Thunder.

The show is called Old Enough to Buy Art 3, and it features a lot of great mixed media from local artists. The show opens next Wednesday, September 19 at the Melting Point Gallery and runs through September 26. The address and hours are listed here.

So support your local artists, get some fun new pieces for your collection, and benefit the National Parkinson Foundation, all in one fell swoop.

And as if that wasn’t exciting enough all by itself, I’ve got more swanky local happenings coming up in the next couple of months, including cinepoems at two film festivals.

Speaking of cinepoems, Michelle and I are finishing up our latest, titled Kiss & Fly, which will be online in the next week or two. So that’s something to be happy about, even if you don’t live near Fog City.

While we’re on the topic of happy things, all of you must MUST go see a little movie called Once. I don’t care if you have to drive 100 miles through hail and sleet to get to a theater that shows it… I swear to the almighty powers that be, you will love it.

It’s easily the most amazing movie I’ve seen in a very long time.

Doesn’t hurt that it was filmed in Dublin, and Boy and I were there just a couple of months ago. It was like seeing old friends to recognize Grafton Street, Temple Bar, and St. Stephen’s Green — which, coincidentally, is where the next cinepoem-in-waiting was shot. That one is called Apres un Reve, and we haven’t started editing it yet, so I shouldn’t tease you too much.

…So much goodness in store for you! You watch. You wait. You’ll see.

-Lo, who thinks that, last night at the VMAs, video killed the video star.