Sunday, October 28, 2007

Beauty or Braun?

I broke our ceramic trash can tonight, by just putting the lid down...quite a feat for someone 5'0"!!! I feel like the hulk in Joan's house...I'll add that to the tally of plates, cups, and blenders! Maybe I should be Blunderpants instead for Halloween...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Private Yoga Class

Well, not really...but due to the sucky weather, only 2 of us trekked out to yoga class. We were rewarded by getting to pick the cool poses we wanted to do and have much of David's attention. I was also able to get into a full handstand and balance for a little while! I know a true yogi wouldn't gloat about her accomplishments, but there's something about being able to do something that you weren't able to do very well before. Especially b/c I feel like at some point I want to do yoga teacher training.
I know, I know, when will I settle down and stop all this nonsense and get a real job. Truth be told, I hope never. I know that's a strange thought, but after a little soul searching, working, trying different things, you get to know what you like and what you don't. Besides bartending and being a professor, I don't think I've kept any job longer than a year. But neither has another friend of mine and he also seems to get along fine. He did point out that I will have two books out before 30! Too bad I can't redeem all those gold stars from grade school for cash because being a writer (at least not yet) doesn't seem to pay the bills as well as I wish it did.
Today I also got back in touch with a friend from high school who is also in New York. We talked a bit about the old days and my new/old friend remarked about how so many people are married and have kids and how there's not even a goldfish in his life. I told him that happiness doesn't have to be the way everyone else sees it.
My fortune today reminded me of that.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Something and Nothing

I spent the weekend doing a whole lot of nothing. Something I haven't done in a long time. I remember once telling a yoga teacher that I don't relax well---I have a hard time breathing and being still. I always want the wild poses. Being upside down, walking up a wall. Something that feels like I've accomplished something. But today Carla talked about everything being a meditation. From just standing still to picking out a cute outfit---everything can be a meditation. And that the most important part of our practice is how we take our practice off the mat and into our lives.

Mom's in town and she met me after yoga class for a movie. We slid over so that the older couple could sit closer to the aisle---no one else offered them their seats---not realizing that they wanted to be on the aisle so they could get up and go to the bathroom. We saw Tyler Perry's Why I Got Married. A wonderful portrait into the ins and outs of relationships. A perfect Sunday movie.

I think we've had one of the most relaxed weekend full of nothing with a whole lot of something.
And the big something is that the anthology is going to the printer tomorrow. I should have the mock up in a few weeks. So, it will officially be published in Nov.

And a secret someone wants to publish another book of mine in 2010! Looks like I've got to get something together.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Under the Weather...

I so so hate being sick! Though it often informs me of when I need to slow down and pace myself. I had to cancel my first reading which totally bums me out, but the upside is that I will most likely be able to reschedule and that two days off isn't the end of the world. Though when you're stuck on the couch, it seems like forever.

So, yesterday I was so happy when I got an email from Dan to let me know that his review of the steam sequence is online at The Growler!

And looks like we're getting close to go to print with the anthology---and Joan, my lovely land lady stopped over to visit, pick up some things and she brought me medicine from the pharmacy. Turns out our neighbor downstairs is sick so I'm going to drop off some non chicken chicken soup. I think it's working as I'm feeling much better...or perhaps it's the community and having people to talk to that makes me feel not as pathetic as I think! Perhaps mind over matter really does matter!

Monday, October 15, 2007

F Scott Fitzgerald

The workshop went really well---I even had some of the participants come up to me afterwards and thank me and ask me where else they could take classes with me. I was so honored. And I had been so nervous---not sure how people would take me, this young thing walking into the room. I've always been someone who gets funny about age. I think that comes because not only do I look young, but I act young. I still see myself as someone becoming who she is, someone who is a student, and someone who isn't sure of exactly what she wants yet---though I'm wondering if this is more a product of my personality rather than my age. Though, things are shifting. I feel a bit more comfortable in my own shoes after this, a little more on top of the world---though as soon as that happens, I always slip up. I've always told people, these things are like a wheel. I wasn't too happy with my workshop at the Havurah Institute, so it makes sense that this one went so well. Winning and losing always seem to be a balance, you just have to trust that the wheels will keep turning.

And speaking of slipping up---I've never been someone who jumps to join causes, but this little game will blow you away. Even with all the recycling and vegetarianism, I'm still not doing enough for the earth. Play this game and find out how you do!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

OCHO #13 and Saint Ann's Review

The thirteenth issue of OCHO magazine is now available! As it was guest edited by Word of Mouth Host and Curator, Meghan Punschke, you can find new work from many of the WoM poets you know and love in print!

OCHO #13 Features:- Cover art and Introduction by WoM Curator, Meghan Punschke-
Poetry by WoM Poets: Jefferey Morgan, Carly Sachs, Peter Moore, Matthew Thorburn, Eva Salzman, and Kate Greenstreet.-
Plus... Poetry by Laura Van Prooyen and Geoffrey Gatza.
And, the magnificent illustrations of Joseph Lappie.

What are you waiting for? Get your copy today!!! (Click on the link below to purchase through Lulu online)


And just found out that one of my poems from August was accepted for the next issue of The Saint Ann's Review!

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Monday Report

Left the house at 8 and just now getting home! Such is the life of a Drisha girl...had an amazing first class in Talmud---so much that now I have a new poetry manuscript in play. I'm not going to talk about the work yet as it's just doodles in my margins, but it will be a series. I think I'm definitely someone who likes to work with poems that I know are interconnected and work with each other to create something larger. I remember when I couldn't do this---when each poem was entirely its own entity.

Honor Moore has these amazing long poems that really feel like fabric unfurling, packing so much metaphor and dream imagery with sad and sexy lines. In some ways, her poems feel like the nude painting she sometimes writes about. Both exposed, but hidden, something felt, but not seen. She gave an incredible reading at the KGB tonight.

Found out more about the crazy man who drives around our neighborhood playing Oldies music violently loud. His name is Frank and he's bored. That's according to Pineapple, Peach, and Hamburger---the neighborhood kids who hang out on our stoop. (Apparently ours is the best on the block!) I told Pineapple (she's the ringleader) one day that I'll grab our car and follow him around playing my music. She told me she'd ride shotgun if I ever did it :)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I'm an Outlaw!

And so is Ramona. I'm towards the very end of the show, but you should listen to the whole thing anyway!

Friday, October 05, 2007

F Scott Fitzgerald

I fell in love with him in 10th grade English when we read The Great Gatsby. There are so many memorable moments in that book---The eyes on the billboard, the drinks in the hotel in the city, Gatsby's clothing, and that green light at the end of the dock. I think what I love most about the book is how much the images deepen the much meaning packed into things so much so that the entire world is made up of millions of symbols.

So, I'm so excited to be teaching the poetry workshop! But the bigger news is that on a whim, I had entered the short story competition, and will be getting an honorable mention for my entry. Not a bad welcome into those murky waters of fiction!

So, if you're in DC next weekend, drop by the author tables, take a workshop, or come watch me try not to trip as I climb the stairs. I'll be heading out to a bar on U street to celebrate my cousin's birthday as well as my first fiction cash prize. Dare I spend it all on bourbon!?


12th Annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference, Inc.
William Kennedy Honored; All New Workshop Leaders Featured in a Unique Opportunity to Learn from the Pros

ROCKVILLE, Md., October 3, 2007 – The 12th Annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference will take place on Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Montgomery College, Rockville Campus from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The event includes workshops, discussions and salons featuring leading instructors and professionals in the international writing world. Areas of discussion include fiction, non-fiction, screenwriting, poetry, mysteries, sports writing, the short story, curing writer’s block, children’s fiction and more. Jay Parini hosts a keynote address entitled, “Landscapes: A Writer’s Map into Fiction.” All new workshop leaders will be leading discussions and award-winning author William Joseph Kennedy will accept the prestigious F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for outstanding achievement in American literature.

Event activities include a tour of Fitzgerald’s Rockville haunts and a screening of Kennedy’s movie Ironweed. There will be many opportunities during the day to visit with writers, have books signed, and share ideas with fellow literature buffs and writing enthusiasts.

The evening awards ceremony begins at 7:15 p.m. with opening remarks by Dr. Judy Ackerman, vice president and provost of Montgomery College, followed by an address by Kennedy.

For information and registration, go to or call 301-309-9461.

Sponsored by: the City of Rockville, Woodfin Suites Hotels, Montgomery College, Gazette Newspapers, Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Peerless Rockville Historic Preservation, Ltd., and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Shake that Lulav!

Today I decided to get up early and attend a prayer service at Drisha for the holiday even though we're technically on holiday break. I had remembered shaking the lulav and etrog at my college's Hillel, but that was way back when. Sometimes I contemplate how much religion matters in daily life, what it offers to us. Sometimes I wonder if my yoga has seeped into that realm. Maybe I'm a simple person. The body is the realm I can relate to---to feel and see movement, to be more involved in a process. I think that's why I like cooking as well---the idea that something is being made. It's much less tangible in prayer. So I offer up this:

Prayer, Hoshanah Morning

What prayers are ours,
we women carrying
lulav and etrog
this Hoshanah morning
Devorah wraps her tallis
tighter and we pray for
Judy, recovering from cancer.

I watch the way her arm bends
as she moves, almost pointing,
telling us: Here, there,
in front, behind, right, left.
The world is around us
and I think then to those
small acts of ours:

smacking willow leaves
against the floor for rain,
the man standing in protest
outside the embassy, or
the way you press your lips
to my forehead when the D train
goes over the bridge, rocking us
toward the city,

what possesses us to do these things,
what difference does it make,
my hand perfumed with etrog’s shadow
the sweetness worn off by the time
I get home, the one I hoped would
kiss my fingers, still, as I turned the key.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Find me back in the Beltway!

Beltway Poetry Quarterly is now online--and what a terrific issue it is! "The Evolving City" is an anthology of 36 poems that address the multiplicity of ways that cities change over time.

Co-edited by Teri Ellen Cross and Kim Roberts, the featured authors are:

Abdul Ali * Joseph Awad * Kimberly L. Becker * Japheth Brubaker * Rick Cannon * Kenneth Carroll * Grace Cavalieri * William Claire * Ramola D * Heather Davis * Mark DeFoe * Greta Ehrig * Mark Ftizgerald * Martin Galvin * Brian Gilmore * Fannie H. Gray * Daniel Gutstein * Jessica Haney * Joyce Latham * Grisella Martinez * E. Ethelbert Miller * Kathleen O'Toole * Jose Padua * Linda Pastan * John Peacock * Elizabeth Poliner * Katy Richey * Joseph Ross * Carly Sachs * David Salner * Kate Powell Shine * Tanya Snyder * Dan Vera * Joshua Weiner * Rosemary Winslow * Katherine E. Young

We hope you enjoy it!