Wednesday, August 31, 2005

It's a beautiful day!

I got a delivery today - 2 different kinds of angels! I didn't even know she was sending the one style. The suncatchers were a surprise. How amazing is that!? The site didn't have the item listed, so I couldn't get pics of them - I hunted and found pictures of the item, but they're not great pics - they do the angels no justice.

Speaking of angels, did you know that if you do an MSN search for
"Erin Angel" my blog comes up first (on page 2 anyway)? Weird.

On the grieving parents poetry anthology, I'm working on that ISBN # and pumping some sources for ideas. I think, due to the vastness of my ignorance, it may be a slow process, but I think it could really be a success.

Tommy, my oldest son, actually started his first job today. He looked terrified before he left, grandma made an excuse to go to the store so she could check in on him. He was cleaning up his 3rd spill of the day - and not all that thrilled about it. I hope he enjoys the rest of the job more than the cleaning!

So - today, ALL of my children were "elsewhere" except Terra. Terra is sleeping blissfully, as is the beast within and for the first time in weeks I'm not being pushed, pulled, begged, or getting my ass kicked from the inside out. It'll last another 30 minutes tops, and I'm off to enjoy the 30 minutes of wonder.

Hope you're all having a beautiful day, like I am.

Another Chapbook?

I'd love to do a memorial chapbook of poetry written by bereaved parents - and of course, profits go to the charity. I think it's something that would even go over really well in the hospital - at least the one where Alexis was born, they were all about brochures and most of them included poetry. Of course, I'd have to find a dependable publisher. I know the one who published the last one would be interested, but I can't set something like this up with her - it's too important to me to give to someone who can't answer emails or fill orders dependably.

I think I shouldn't start any new projects right now - but this is definitely one that I want to keep on the front burner. Any and all ideas and suggestions are more than welcome folks - like, as in, anyone know a dependable publisher that might be interested? OMFG! Brain storm!

Hold that thought folks - I just had one hell of a lightbulb! God I love blogging, how did I ever think things through before!?!?!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I never realized how many little details and complications there would be to making this charity idea work!

Or how slow progress would be after the first flurry of activity - or - believe it or not - how competitive other places who are involved in similar endeavors would be! I've getten some really, let's kindly say, "unfriendly" letters from other grief support sites that I've contacted. OK, let's just call a horse a horse, some of them have been downright nasty, like I'm competition. I'm not trying to compete for anything. I just want to help people.

Link trades seem to be worth blood, sharing resources is apparently a no-no... I don't get it. I mean, I've found some great people, especially vendors who are more than happy to help out with donations and/or discounts... and I've found a lot of really helpful useful stuff on the web to use for this project... and I'd be willing to share 100% of it with anyone who was looking to acheive the same goal as I am.

I'm not understanding the hostility!

News About Poetic Acceptance(s)

For the Poetic Acceptance for grieving parents:
  • I got my Employers Identification Number (EIN). Silly that I needed one, but it accomplishes a few things. It makes registering as a non-profit one step closer, and, should this charity somehow suddenly explode and need more than I can do for it, I can hire someone, legally. It also means that when making purchases, I don't have to pay sales tax - I can pay them quarterly.
  • just a few more days and my Paypal account should be fully functional, Friday from what I can tell.
  • I actually have 2 items available for purchase, the personalized printed Tshirts, and the ceramic angel bells.
  • Most of the other items should be arriving within the next few days so they'll be available soon too.
  • The Jaycees guy never did show up, but he asked what line of business Scott was in. When he found out it was landscaping, he asked Scott to come give him an estimate on some yard stuff he needed done. Needless to say, Scott went in a flash, we need the extra cash. But he took the license with him, so I suppose I missed out on the opportunity to meet him and talk about the charity.

  • For Poetic Acceptance the blog:
  • I added a couple of poems last night, and then decided that things like those are the type of poems no one knows how to respond to. Meaning new visitors probably won't leave a comment at all, because they don't want to just say hi on one of them - so I added a tag board to the sidebar. This way anyone can say hi whenever they want - regardless of what the latest posts are about.

  • For Poetic Acceptance the chapbook:
  • No News, my order of books still hasn't arrived. I'm not getting responses from the publisher at all. I'm very dissatisfied.
  • I'll have to email her again today, if I still get no response, I suppose I'll have to resort to the telephone, which won't be good for her - I can't edit my statements for tone and manners on the phone.
  • Mine


    I've worn you smooth, fingering your face
    like a coin in my pocket - your weight
    a constant comfort carried against my thigh.

    You've become secret. I can only hold you
    in the dark, when no one is looking
    and with each stroke, proclaim you mine.

    Monday, August 29, 2005

    To those who will never read it.

    To those who will never read it.

    To whom it may concern, and I wonder if you even know who you are:
    It didn't, you know - in case any of you ever read this. It didn't help a bit. It didn't change the date or make me sleep more or think of her less - it just proved that you have no clue, or no respect, one or the other. I still have to wonder which.
    It was the day of the unmentioned -
    the day of the conspicuous "shhhh"

    The Day of the Crystal Mother,
    clapper wrapped in pink-baby-blue,

    there were no words, no names.
    Mostly, there were no balloons.

    Sunday, August 28, 2005


    It's Sunday - Post Secret day. I friggin love Sundays just for that reason. Someday I'll get up the nerve to send a card.

    I have so many things I should be doing - one thing that should already be done, but I think the chaos of the last 2 weeks have finally caught up with me and i can't seem to make myself do anything more. Oh god, I just remembered I have a newsletter to get done, and I haven't even started it yet!

    So the IBPC results for the month are posted over at cafe cafe (see poetry/writing blogs dropbox for the link) and Jenni of Jenni and Jack fame won! I'm so happy when people I know win! Of course, I'm disappointed that I didn't even get an HM, but I should be used to that. I've been nominated several times and I've never placed!

    My oldest son starts his first ever job tomorrow, so much for the military academy I guess. He was all excited about it until the paperwork came. I decided not to push him, knowing full well I'd push him into it and he'd just decide to quit once he got there if it wasn't what he really wanted. I'm disappointed. More disappointed than I'd expected to be. So he'll be employed. At least there's that. I'll spend a big part of my day tomorrow running around getting all the paperwork for that done. I have to legally sign him off the highschool roster, get his working papers, and get him to his employer twice tomorrow.

    And then of course, there will be the things I was supposed to do/have done that I'll have to get to. Plus all the regular every day stuff. *sigh* Obviously, tomorrow will be a busy day, but damn it, I'm taking today - or what's left of it anyway - OFF. (as if that's even possible with 5 kids!?)

    Ugh, I'll never manage to actually NOT do anything!

    Saturday, August 27, 2005


    There are certain drawbacks to being bi-sexual, married, pregnant, and having your uber-religious mother live with you - I'll let you all, in your various states of mind, figure out the obvious.


    In other news, which would of course be, in my presently obsessive mode, Poetic Acceptance news - I'm feeling like things are at a stand still for the moment. The paypal account is still basically useless for donations until it's verified, which will be September 1st. The last batch of emails I sent out to various possible donors have gone unanswered, or with no's or semi-yeses.

    Until I get some traffic, I'll have no buyers at the store, meaning no gifts to be personalized. Until I have buyers, and/or donors, I can't afford to register as a legal non-profit organization, let alone help anyone.

    I'm ready to start doing this - but then I've always said my biggest downfall was that I'm short on patience!


    Alright, one more thing done in my endeavor to become a non-profit. I opened up that bank account this afternoon.

    I haven't had a bank account in something like 5 years I guess. Last time I did, I bounced a check, I think it was for like $16... ended up costing me nearly $500 before I could get it all straightened out. It was a nightmare! I closed the account and didn't use a bank for years for anything.

    Since I won't be spending out of this account, with the exception of a few dollars here and there for the supplies to personalize the gifts, which actually, I bought part of today out of my pocket, because I was impatient and found some great really pretty ribbon dirt cheap and some other things on sale too. And I opened the account, which now has $60 in it.

    Yeah, I know, not a big balance, but hopefully it will grow, and soon :)

    And I've been to Paypal and entered all the stuff for them to verify the account, so I'll soon be able to accept all forms of payment and donations.

    Friday, August 26, 2005

    Official Visitor?

    So Scott mowed the jungle we call "yard" yesterday. We live on one of 2 main highways through town, so mowing is necessarily preceded by clean-up of garbage that people carelessly throw out their windows as they pass the house - and of course, clean-up of the mess the neighbor's dog drags into my yard from their garbage can, or ours or, well, someone's anyway.

    Clean-up yesterday brought us a treasure - a county beer and wine license! yay we can sell beer and wine legally now! Or, well, we could, if we were the Monroe Jaycees. Of course, we aren't. What we are is nice enough to find who was president and find his email in their listing and email him to let him know we'd found it.

    I mean, otherwise they'd have to re-do all the paperwork and repay the fees or some such thing, and I wouldn't wish county-style red-tape on anyone.

    Anyway, he, or one of his representatives will be stopping by to pick it up later. I don't think I've ever had a city official over to the house before - hell I'm not even sure he IS a city official. Should I be nervous? I'm not, but I can be if it would be more proper...

    To be honest, in a charitable selfish sort of way, I'm thinking this man might be a great man to befriend for a contact for the Poetic Acceptance charity? If for no other reason than to let me know where the fat pocketbooks in town are - isn't the Jaycees a charity type organization?

    Shit,if I'd have slept more than one hour in the last 36 I might know the answer to that question.

    Speaking of the charity - I got my first shipment of actual merchandise today, which made it feel all that much more solid, no longer an empty promise I'd paid lip-service to for the last 4 years. I also got a bit more support in the way of discounts on items at various online stores. Now if only there were money in my pocket with which to make use of said discounts!

    Patience Erin, patience!

    Thursday, August 25, 2005

    I Remember

    I remember... do you? OK, maybe I don't either.

    Right now my 2 yr old is sitting front of the TV buck-naked watching Dora the Explorer. "No panties Mama! Nakey butt!" Well, OK then. . . what's the big deal? If I could sit in my favorite chair watching my favorite show, in the nude, by god I'd do it too.

    A week or so ago, my oldest daughter turned 11. She invited friends over, had her favorite cake and ice cream, she got gifts and cash - and spent time with her best friend listening to her favorite CDs and surfing the net. It was a good day, but of all the things she did and got, do you know what she was most excited about? Underwear.

    She started Middle School this year. 6th grade - and in Middle School, you have to go into the locker room and 'dress out' in front of all the other girls. So suddenlt your panties become somehow the center of your universe, and she said she was embarrassed by her Sponge Bob and Dora panties (that she LOOOVED over the summer) She said they were the wrong kind and the characters were for babies.
    Well she's certainly no baby, and I remember the trauma of dressing out for P.E. so, she got new panties, in a slightly more mature style (no, not thongs or any damn thing like that) And I'm telling you right now, none of my children have ever been so completely tickled with underwear. She squeeled and giggled and danced around - it was pretty darn funny.

    So what is it I don't remember? Simplicity.
    I wouldn't go back and do anything in my life over - but I'd sure pay for a few minutes of the simple pleasures like nudity, and new panties.

    (please visit my new site @ )

    Wednesday, August 24, 2005

    Here's What I Need... please!?

    So, the grief site is up and running, the store has inventory which is on it's way to me for me to personalize when I get orders (The response from internet shops has been utterly mindblowing! I got another resounding yes this morning!) but there are other things I still need, and to be honest, I don't know where to begin! First off is traffic, but that will improve as the search engines pick me up... (hint hint, a link to poetic acceptance for grieving parents would be MOST appreciated!)

    To legally operate as a charity, I need to register as such with the government and get a charity/non-profit tax ID. I'm not sure what this costs, but I know it isn't free and I know I have no idea how to do it. I'm pretty sure I won't need a lawyer, I gave the website a preliminary look last night and it seems pretty straight forward, just a 25 page book to fill out, a bit like doing my taxes, only there are apparently an extra 20+ pages lol.

    Anyone out there with advice or who wants to donate to the cost of the legalities? To be honest, some experienced advice/help would mean more to me right now than the money to cover the application.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2005

    More Donations for Poetic Acceptance

    I was out knocking on cyber doors again, soliciting donations for my memorial store again yesterday and last night. The request for one thing I really wanted, a white polyresin bell, was an "interesting" no. Their reply was 4 words. "Out of stock, sorry" (But they're still available on the site for purchase lol)

    But I had contacted another site about 3 different items that they sell, and got their reply just a few minutes ago - MUCH more positive - a request for my shipping address! No idea what quantities I'll be receiving, but even if it's only one of each, that's 3 more items to have available!

    I was so concerned that this store wasn't going to happen, based on my own financial hardships - but I've gotten so many positive responses and so much generosity! I'm not only encouraged about the store and charity- it's flat out changing my view of the human race. I guess there are more good hearted caring people out there than I realized!

    I'll add pics of the new items in a few minutes so you guys can see how our inventory is growing. I'm so excited, and having a serious 3 day long case of the warm-fuzzies!

    Monday, August 22, 2005

    April's Angel

    This is one of the angels,
    April's birthstone - aren't they pretty?

    I can't wait to start personalizing these!
    I added pictures of all of them on the Store Page
    and a small picture of the other angels I bought the other day too.
    Of course, I don't actually have them yet,
    so the pictures are pre-personalization.

    Poetic Acceptance for grieving parents

    People WANT to do the right thing, given the opportunity. I stopped believing that at some point... but I've just received a reply from someone I solicited for a donation for Poetic Acceptance for grieving parents, and they're going to make a donation. I'm actually in tears! I'm so so happy that I've finally done something in Alexis' name.

    The site I contacted sells gift items, the item I was interested in was a set of birthstone angels. I found them on one site for $10.95 per angel. There was no way at that price, plus postage, there was no way I could order them, personalize them (think art supply costs) and cover my own shipping costs to people who ordered them from me, and still provide a reasonable cost. So I went on the hunt. I found them from #7.95ea to $13.95ea on a hundred sites, but knew those prices were just too high to work for what I'm doing. Then I found them for $3.55 on another site, but no pics to be sure they were the right angels, and $5.50 on the site that just contacted me.

    Much more reasonable prices, so I emailed both sites asking about the picture on the one site, and asking if there would be a discount on shipping if I ordered in bulk rather than single items. I also shamelessly plugged my cause and solicited donations. The cause is worthy, I feel no shame! One site (the $3.55 one) rejected the idea of a donation, but offered me a cut on shipping, which I felt truly thankful for, any cut is a cut in costs! And I planned to order from them as soon as I got the bank account opn.

    Then I got an email from the other site. It's called Big World Gifts (The Angels are here) and Lori there has decided to send me either 5 or 10 (I'm not sure which! Like I'm going to question such generosity!?) OF EACH MONTH! free of charge, no shipping, nothing - just a box of angels for absolutely no cost, because apparently she's just an amazing wonderful person! She's enough to make me recind all earlier proclomations of "People suck." I wish I could reach her all the way in Arizona, because I'd hug her absolutely to death!

    The irony of a box of angels "from heaven" is not lost on me...

    Morning Thoughts

    8:11 am - I woke to the obnoxious sound of an infomercial. (Yep, I fell asleep with the TV on, I always do.) Guess what the latest new and improved piece of fitness equipment is? A little trampoline!? Haven't they been around for ages? I was 3/4 of the way asleep and still figured that one out... are people really that gullible?

    I never noticed it before but, Kevin Richardson from the Backstreet Boys is cute - in that fake bad boy (yes, BOY) sort of way. And apparently he's ecologically friendly, in more ways that one! Not only will he degrade over time - as his career has already proven, he has a public service announcement about the preservation of marine animals. I wonder if he's smart enough to figure out that caring about fish, and peeking around that tree in the commercial really kills the bad boy image?

    And last but not least in my "oh-god-it's-morning-already!?" thoughts - if I weren't so pessimistic and mistrusting, I'd buy a "Slendertone Flex" to use in the search for my abs after this baby is born! I mean Jerry Rice swears by it!

    (My favorite quote from the infomercial is "It's intense in an "I don't have to participate kind of way!" How's that for summing up the American mind-set?)

    Sunday, August 21, 2005

    Tarheel Tavern

    The Tarheel Tavern is up for this week over at The Pirates Cove. Go have a look-see at his Yankin!

    a lot of angels

    I'm afraid I've veered a bit from poetry lately, haven't I? Sorry about that guys. You'll either have to bear with me or ignore me for a bit longer, for now this pit bull has her teeth into another project - the new website - and I'm afraid I can't do 2 things at once in my old age!

    So the forum is taken care of, all set up - no doubt there will be changes I'll have to make to it, but it's there and running, so alterations are no biggie, and are in the future, as I find out what the needs will be.

    Now for the store. I've surfed and shopped around for online stores that carry the type of gifts I have in mind. Anything I've found just doesn't really suit my needs, so I've decided to create the products myself and create my own store. That way, I can personally guarantee the level of quality in the gift, they'll all be hand crafted, and yes, I'm artistic with something other than words ;) And on top of that, doing them myself means prices will be lower, profits will be higher, and the charity fund will grow that much faster, meaning I'll be able to help even more families!

    I love doing arts and crafts type projects anyway, I'm really looking forward to this. Now all I need to do is find all the supplies at a reasonable price, which I've already begun to do- because eBay and I have been officially introduced today and I bought a 'lot' of ceramic angel bells to start working on.

    I'm SO tickled right now people. You have no idea!

    Saturday, August 20, 2005

    Complications and Frustration

    Well with just a bit more work, Poetic Acceptance for grieving parents will be ready for its official launch. I'm really proud of how far I've come in the last week, when it's been so long that I've promised myself that I'd build it. I'm still completely clueless to forum code, and that worries me - I think the forum is going to be the most beneficial thing the site can offer bereaved parents. I want most of all to provide a place where they can get an immediate sense of connection, a compassionate word without spending another minute in that place of 'alone' that I know all too well. They need to hear, in relationship to themselves directly, that someone else understands completely where they are and what they're feeling.

    For now, I suppose I'll open an EZBoard or something to fill the void until I can find a way to host the forum on my own server.

    [[[Update! My wonderfully techy-fied husband figured it all out for me and I now have the forum semi-setup on my server!!! Yay!! Thanks honey!]]]

    And of course, since there have been no visitors, the only stories and memorials are my own. I need content from other bereaved parents, but that will come, I hope, with time and exposure. I've begun already submitting the URL to various search engines so that people who need it can find it - it can be a slow agonizing process to get listed with the reputable and popular search engines so I've paid careful attention to the technical side of things like word usage and relevance of search terms and meta tags. It's somehow a damn shame that I know I have to think of such silly things like what keywords to include in a particular area in order to appeal to Google and MSN spiders, but it's just the way it is.

    And the store area has me completely baffled. I know there are places that sell memorial items online, but I can't seem to find any that fit my needs - and in order to sign up for any of them, I've apparently got to get either a bank account or a credit card to qualify. I never thought about having to do those things in order to accomplish what I want with this site, but I'll open an account, most likely next week, just to be able to do that. I'll need to anyway - because I want to donate any and all profits I might make to charities that help parents pay for the funeral expenses. I'll need an account to keep up with my red column and my black column for that reason alone, even without taking the store itself into consideration.

    So many complications I hadn't thought of! I guess I'm feeling a bit frustrated that I can't just launch it and start helping people. Patience never was my strong point.

    Thursday, August 18, 2005

    Color Scheme of Things

    Color Scheme of Things
    before and after

    The twenty-four inch casket, precarious,
    promised to topple into the unnatural hole;
    empty platitudes fell like rain.

    I never knew pink and indigo clashed
    until I saw rosebuds and purple storm clouds
    gathered, solemn, over your vault

    or the way dead blood settled in your skin.

    Color Scheme

    The twenty-four inch casket, precarious,
    promised to topple into the unnatural hole;
    platitudes fell, meaningless, like the rain

    I never knew pink and indigo clashed
    until I saw rosebuds and purple storm clouds
    gathered, solemn, over your vault

    or the way dead blood settled in your ears.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2005

    Alexis Jade LeClair

    I finally drifted into sleep about 5:3 am, knowing I had somewhere to be at 9. I woke at 7:30 this morning, what would be Alexis' 4th birthday - and began the day with a screaming fight that ended abruptly, badly, and with no real resolution. I suppose we're both a little emotional today.

    No one else wants to talk about her.
    They all want to pretend I didn't have a child 4 years ago today. Her name is some strangely taboo subject, treated as though the sky will fall if it's spoken out loud. I'll end up commemorating this day alone and in silence.

    There are things I should be doing.
    I'd just rather not.

    Monday, August 15, 2005

    A Sneak Preview

    It's August Again

    "If it isn't one thing, it's a dozen others."

    There used to be someone who said that. I don't remember who, or even when - just that it stuck with me. I took to saying it for a while, until I realized how whiney it actually sounded. But it's how I've been feeling lately.

    Completely overwhelmed, exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally. Especially emotionally. Tomorrow (well, officially today I suppose, even though it IS only 2am) is Kassi's birthday. She's getting so big, so grown up - call me sexist, but it's harder with girls to watch them grow up. I don't remember being so upset/concerned/surprised as the boys hit this point in their lives. Maybe it's just the fact that her changes are so much more physically obvious to me than the boys' were. Maybe it's remembering what I was thinking when I was just a bit older than her. . .

    Wednesday would be Alexis' fourth birthday. I know that has a lot to do with how I'm feeling. 12 days later is the anniversary of her death. I know that, intertwined with this pregnancy, is the biggest part of why I'm feeling so drained and overwhelmed. I'm not a crier, but you'd never know that to look at me lately.

    Shortly after her death I had big plans to open a grief support website. I never did, for a variety of reasons that are mostly just excuses. This year I'm finally doing it - the domain name is registered and I've begun building. It's a daunting task, I'm not web designer, but it's begun - no idea yet when it'll be ready, but it's definitely started. And from scratch at that - and trust me, that's a feat.

    But then again, lately, everything seems more difficult. Oh what I wouldn't give to have a single day of sleeping in, followed by silence. Hours and hours of blissful silence.

    Friday, August 12, 2005

    Zygote in my Coffee

    I just got word from Zygote in my Coffee that I'll have a poem included in their next issue at the end of this month. I am inordinately happy about that for several reasons - Zygote is one of the zines that gets some respect. There are thousands of poetry zines - but reputable ones, well, not nearly as many. Besides, the poem they chose was "Cliche Me" which I really wasn't sure about, not very happy with.

    And what makes it even better is that I submitted 6 weeks ago, and never heard a word. July's issue came out, and I belive an issue came out a few dys ago as well. I'm not usually pushy enough to send inquiries, but this time for some reason I did. Within a few minutes of sending the inquiry, I got a response! Apparently, they'd been trying to reach me, but several times recently my email account has had issues, twitches and downright seizures, and they kept getting a bounceback message! How rude of Road Runner to do that!

    So that's my good news for tonight :)

    ***OOH ooh OOH gotta add this!
    The latest issue of TMP Irregular, which will have "The Coming of Summer" in it will also include a poem by John Sweet! How's THAT for bing in good company!? He's one of my absolute favorite modern (modern meaning that he is super well published, googles up a library of results, and I've met him, on an internet poetry forum) writers!!!

    No Longer

    No Longer

    Moonflowers unfurl in fullness
    with pale faces as I lay my cheek
    where once your name was spoken.

    The earth has swallowed your stone
    till I can no longer read your name -
    there are only memories and dew.

    No hummingbirds trumpet petaled praises,
    no honeybees drink - they have flown,
    with wings too fast to be seen.

    Tuesday, August 9, 2005


    My apologies to anyone who's tried to email me or contact me today and gotten no response, Road Runner mail servers went down for maintenance, then they went down for unknown reasons, and besides that, I didn't pay the bill so I've been off-line all day.

    The internet becomes a physiological dependency people, I'm telling you, seriously! I was grumpy as hell all day and felt like I was jonesin'. Highly unpleasant.

    Anyway, if you've emailed me at my road runner email account and I haven't responded, please try again - now that my account has been re-activated lol.

    Monday, August 8, 2005

    It's Like I'm Always Saying

    It's Like I'm Always Saying, editing is of the utmost importance to a well crafted piece of poetry. Mike seems to agree with me. Now if only we could spread the word!

    Sleeping with Carl Sandburg

    When I was growing up, my mother never really seemed to think of the long term effect of the small things in life, like how we'd feel about ourselves and others based on things she said and did, that at the time seemed inconsequential. I hope that I do a better job of minimizing the negatives and accentuating the positives through the small things I say to or do for/with my children.

    Sometimes though, there are small things that no one else is really responsible for that make even more of a difference in a person's personality, the mental minutiae that life serves up can be just as detrimental, or beneficial. I will never forget hiding in the lilac bush as a child; the smell of lilacs still makes me feel safe, or the feeling of euphoria that the song "Maniac" still brings on. In the 5th grade in New York, we made box kites with tissue paper and drinking straws and flew them on the playground, and to this day, primary colors against sky blue can still fill me with awe.

    I also remember reading - I loved to escape. One book in particular still stands out in my mind, with it's pale mint green (oh so retro) hard cover with a cityscape on the front with clouds in the sky - but the clouds were shaped like cat prints. I remember the cover graphics, but not the pictures on the inside. That's because the words inside painted a picture that overcame anything the illustrator had accomplished.

    I loved that book, I literally slept with it on many a night. I read it until I knew it by heart, I read it until I could recite it in my sleep - I read it knowing that I'd live out my life trying to write just like the 'story' in it. Of course, I had little concept of poetry then, or how it differs from a story, but it was most definitely one of those little things that has affected me for the rest of my life.

    Here is the text that was found in that little green book of mine:

    by Carl Sandburg

    The fog comes
    on little cat feet.
    It sits looking
    over harbor and city
    on silent haunches
    and then moves on.

    Saturday, August 6, 2005

    Tarheel Tavern Strikes Again!

    The Tarheel Tavern for the week of August 6th is Hosted
    by Nonny at AnonyMoses!!


    I slept in a bit this morning, and that means that for the kids who'd been up a good while already, the day had already begun in earnest and I should be willing and able to immediately face it head-on. If only my physiology worked that way! It doesn't, so when my oldest daughter offered me a sheet of paper with text typed on it as I was pouring my coffee, it went by only vaguely noticed. After a while I realized it was a memo from one of her teachers. The heading said
    "In a Million Words or Less. . .
    Tell me about your child!"

    Let me tell you something, I get hundreds of memos from teachers every year, I have 4 kids in school (well, 3 this year) and the amount of paper that arrives on my desk is enough to constitute the Brazilian Rain Forest. I don't mind the paperwork - except possibly on an ecological level. What bothers me is that it's usually mindless nonsense, poorly written, rife with spelling errors and written on a level that any second grader could comprehend, and I usually read them while shaking my head in disgust and wondering where these people got their degrees that they're qualified to instruct my children, but can't construct a decent sentence, differentiate between your and you're, or bother with a spellcheck button.

    This gleaming example of Xerox work, however, absolutely made my day! No glaring errors, an obvious sense of humor ("Take as much time as you need, until the deadline of course!) and showed a genuine interest not only in my child, but in gleaning the subconscious unspoken nuances about her, myself, our family, and our relationship.

    Now this is my kind of teacher! As far as I can tell, and I've dealt with this particular school and the teachers there for years now, this is possibly the most intelligent and beneficial thing any of them have ever had the forethought to do. Besides, I love to write, I love to brag on my kids... What's not to love about this, my first homework assignment of the year!? Yes, I'm a nerd, OK!?

    Now because I'm a dork, I'm sharing my essay with all of you, my adoring fans, who by way of reading my blog/poetry/musings have proven that obviously, you want to know all about my favorite oldest daughter! ;) Enjoy:

    A Million Words or Less
    about Kassi XxxackxxX

    Kassi was our first-born daughter, born third in a long line of children. She has four siblings: two older brothers, a younger brother and a younger sister, plus another one on the way. She's more than willing to tell you all about the sister who never came home from the hospital too, if you ask. Actually, she's overjoyed anytime the reason to talk arises. A Million Words or Less would probably have been a good title for the first day she spent in class with you! Unfortunately, there's no reason to look far when wondering where that comes from, she gets her gift of gab naturally from her mother. She's an extrovert if ever there was one, and though she may be a bit giggly and shy when she first meets you, have no doubt that it won't last more than the first five minutes. *

    She isn't the oldest child but she was the first of our children to have been "planned." She was named long before she was conceived. Kassandra Cheyenne the title waited around, like a pretty new dress in the closet, for about a year before Kassandra Cheyenne the child was born to fill it, and it fits her well. Kassandra is a Greek name, which means "truthful" which is appropriate for her. Her middle name, Cheyenne, however, is Native American for "city" and we haven't figured out how that name applies to her yet. We hope it doesn't have any bearing on how many grandchildren she'll provide us.

    You'll find her to be cheerful, always smiling, and hoping for an excuse for it. Ask her what she's smiling about and she'll only smile more and tell you she doesn't know. To describe her as helpful would be an understatement. She's not only willing to help when asked, but is usually looking for ways to be helpful, and will gladly offer her time and energy to do anything you need or want done.

    Some days you'll find her in a dress begging to have her hair done for no reason, begging to go shoe shopping, or oohing and aahing over the clothing section in the Sunday sale papers - but growing up with three brothers has made her just as content to tromp through the woods in a pair of ripped jeans chasing her brothers, or propped high in a tree hiding from them. Wherever you find her, she's almost assuredly going to be listening to music (Destiny's Child or B5 most likely) and singing along, but will blush, cover her face, and laugh hysterically if you catch her dancing. She also enjoys reading, reads well, gets excellent grades, and has many friends. She loves to draw, and has a real love for paper of any kind, markers, and colored pencils.

    She was born on August 15th, and is the epitome of the Leo. She wants to lead the way, be in charge, and has the brains and attitude for it. She also has the temper for it, and isn't the slightest bit afraid to let you know she's upset with you. She wants the best, expects it - from both herself and the people she surrounds herself with. She doesn't like being lied to, gossiped about, or made fun of. With that in mind, she's generally hardworking, honest, kind and trustworthy. She wants to be popular, she wants to be perfect, and is frustrated when she can't be. She likes to be silly, she likes to flirt, she likes to "mother" her little sister. She hates cleaning her room, doing the dishes, and being told what to do. She likes English, Art and doing projects. She does her homework as soon as she gets off the bus, has a smart-alec sense of humor, loves her glasses, her braces, her family, animals, people and school. She does have a temper, and sometimes forgets when to stop talking, but she's a wonderful little girl.

    No, she's a wonderful young lady, one who promises to be a beautiful human being and an amazing woman. We're very proud of her and all that she does, and will do in life, because we know that whatever she chooses to do, she'll do it well.

    *edited, dag nab it!

    In the last 2 weeks

    • Coming of Summer will be included in TMP Irregular #38.
    • Picnic With My Youth
      will be representing Penshells in this month's IBPC - keeping my finger crossed on that one, but not really holding out much hope.
    • Still no word from Zygote in My Coffee (not even an acknowledgement, and the second issue is about to come out since I submitted.)
    • The Tigertails Anthology submission has been acknowledged but no word as to acceptance or rejection yet.
    • Same situation with Melic Review - but I just submitted to them a few days ago, so I know there's still a wait on that one. The next (last and final) issue isn't due out until December.
    • Ploughshares is open for reading - do I have the audacity to submit to them? Yes, foolishly I do, unfortunately, I have to buy printer paper.
    • The Modern Review rejection came a few days back, I know I already posted it.
    • 2River Review rejected me a few days before TMR, I think I already posted about that one too.
    • The publisher that published Poetic Acceptance (Meeting of the Minds: Chapbook Enterprises) called over the weekend and asked if I'd come to Pennsylvania sometime between now and the end of the year to do a publicity appearance for her company to help them land a grant they've applied for. I had to decline. With the fact that my brother in law is undergoing rigorous chemo treatment for his Leukemia, and we know nothing about what's going to happen and my sister has a tumor that may or not be malignant on her femur, and the baby is due in December... It's just not going to happen before the year is over. I hate to miss the opportunity, but to go would mean that my priorities were seriously just distorted!

    Thursday, August 4, 2005

    Why Poetic Acceptance?

    Why Poetic Acceptance?
    because Alexis Jade was taken

    People who are familiar with me and my 'life story' have a decent understanding how the blog-title-turned-book-title, Poetic Acceptance, arose, but I often wonder what others think. Without a doubt, there is a certain demographic whose reaction leans toward something along the lines of "How cheesy and melodramatic is that!?" So I've decided to explain how a universe of conspiratorial events throughout my life converged and gave birth to Poetic Acceptance, and its multiple forms. I realize it's a long post, I apologize in advance, and I've tried to break it up a bit, to make it easier to swallow.

    Beginning with Poetics
    Obviously, as my bio mentions, there is a love of poetry and a fascination with language to mention, though for now, I won't delve too deeply. I'll just say that I've been writing poetry, as well as I could, for decades. Poetry and writing are in large part genuinely responsible for my continued existence. Written expression has been my only avenue of depressurization and escape for as long as I can remember.
    Acceptance, being the other, more complicated half of the title, deserves a bit more attention and explanation.

    A Lesson Plan
    I think for each of us, on one level or another, acceptance is a lesson we're forced to learn. Some of us start out with losing a T-ball game or having a pet die. Others are force-fed bigger bites, like the loss of a parent. I was fortunate to have lost my father to divorce rather than death, but it was a lesson in acceptance nevertheless. During my life there were other losses, other complications, other situations - mostly insignificant in retrospect, but each felt insurmountable at the time. There were self-inflicted problems (teenage pregnancy, teenage motherhood) and those caused by other people (rape, spousal abuse, infidelity, divorce.) And then, there were the undeniables.

    The Building Blocks: Life
    Seven years into my second marriage, there was a time when I finally came to accept my own sexuality. There had been many experiences that I'd called curiosity or had blamed on loneliness, drunkenness, or any number of other excuses, but I finally reached a point where I realized that my notoriously bad decision making processes were so flawed because I was sabotaging myself, setting myself up for failure, based on how I felt about being bisexual - a word I'd never said out loud in reference to myself. My parents had both been preachers, vocal and devout - and had taught me that sexual deviance was a sin and those who were deviants would burn in hell for eternity. They were bad people, sinners to be looked down upon for a dirty and obscene lifestyle.
    The day I accepted myself, and was open enough to allow my husband to accept the me that he'd never been introduced to was (in my best Dr. Phil voice) a changing day in my life. Liberation is an understatement, though I can't seem to find a more appropriate description. That's not to say life was suddenly peachy, but it was certainly more emotionally stable.

    The Demolition: Death
    Then, in 2001 when my daughter was born with congenital heart defects that ended her life 12 days later, I got my most life-altering lesson in acceptance ever. Let me tell you, when your baby girl is laying on a recovery table losing her battle for life, and a doctor comes and asks you if you want them to continue reviving her each time her heart stops - acceptance is redefined in a way you'd never imagined.

    There came a moment when we had to answer as to whether we wanted to continue, or let her go. No human being can understand that moment without experiencing it. As the words, "We have to let her go, she's been through enough" crossed my lips, the whole world was altered - and it was a change that left me personally with a choice - to accept, or die. Oh don't let me make it sound that cut and dried. I'd have died, and gladly - but the sun has a habit of being oblivious to your desires, and continues as it has and will for eons: to rise and set, rise and set.

    Somewhere along the way I realized that death wasn't going to be kind enough to claim me, and through a process of writing volumes of poetry to her, about her, and about the experience, I accepted.

    A Resolution of Sorts: Blue Prints
    I soon registered a domain, you guessed it:, with every intention of starting a forum for bereaved parents to come together and find/offer support. Unfortunately, I haven't a clue how to write forum code, and so it fell by the wayside, and went up for grabs. Someone else registered the name for the same purpose, but they too accomplished nothing with it. You can still find it in a diligent web search, defunct.

    My Hope: Rebuilding
    The poetry I've written in the years since my 'coming out' and especially since my daughter's death, make up the majority of what's found in my book Poetic Acceptance - it's a journal of the chaos of emotions surrounding those years. To someone who hasn't heard the story, it probably comes across as a motley collection of poems, but the title is the clue to the common thread that ties it (as well as the unruly threads of my life) together.

    My hope is that with the book, and this blog that follows much the same theme, I help someone else come to terms with the idea that sometimes the only thing that can reclaim your sanity and save you is poetic acceptance.


    5 Idiosyncrasies

    I have declared this to be a meme free haven, but Magdala tagged me with one, and it's one that doesn't suck - for her, I'm doing this. I swear it's the last one ever!

    Five Idiosyncrasies:

    1. Though (when I'm not pregnant) I'm a smoker, and have been for years, I can't smoke after sex, after a shower , or when I first wake up because I can't stand the smell of cigarette smoke in the bathroom or the bedroom. And the smell of smoke in any room when I first wake up really disgusts me.

    2. I'm a complete fanatic about proper spelling and grammar, but often make errors when typing/writing the words "misspell" and "grammar."

    3. I am extremely afraid of 3 things: Spiders, sickly old people, and midgets (dwarves? Little people? What's the politically correct word?)

    4. My favorite vulgarity of all time begins with a 'C' and is the word most women are most easily offended by. (Oh c'mon you know which one!)

    5. I have never had my driver's license or learned to drive.

    The Last Seminole

    The Last Seminole

    There were 10,000 islands
    and I'd lost my soul
    to the shadow of the mangrove.

    She held her children at arms length,
    fed them my reflection -
    built them pedestals from mud
    and my silent presence.

    Above salt water, I hid
    in secret rooms with alligators,
    piling a mound for worship,

    praying how to tell you

    I died, sun-blind and alone
    on the oyster shell steps of my own design,
    a single soul devoured
    in the shadow of the mangrove.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2005

    Inevitable Momblog Post

    I woke up this morning to my mother staring down at me. I remember waking up like that when I was a kid and being freaked out by it - it's an even freakier experience as an adult.

    So she invites me out to breakfast - I didn't really want to go, Hell, I didn't really want to get up, but by now Terra was up, so up was what I was getting. I figured I may as well eat. Before my eyes were both open, before I'd had coffee, I had myself and a 2 yr old out the door.

    I have rediscovered gravy biscuits, and know them to be one of the most amazing wonders of the world. Terra disagrees, but then, she only likes cheese this month: American, cut in quarters - preferably corner to corner, but only because I like the way she says "tie-ngles" (no a in the word lol) when I give them to her. She also tells me there are 3 (close enough damn it, she's only TWO!) and that they're "lello." She's a genius. Now if I could just get her to pick up her own toys!

    I've been struggling with potty training for months now - she'd have a few hours of success, then give in for the day, or, sometimes no success at all. I decided it wasn't worth the stress for either of us, but got a little sneaky, as mothers have to do. I left her potty out in plain view at all times, and bought her pretty new panties and told her big girls wear them. Then proceeded to ask her if she was going to pee in the potty like a big girl.
    If she said no, fine, into the diaper she went. Lately, all she wants is panties, and if she's in a diaper and has to pee, she just whips it off and gets on the potty, and then asks for panties :)

    Don't get me wrong, we haven't had a whole day without a diaper or an accident, but hey, we're on our way!

    I just realized that I'm blogging about bodily functions, ugh! Guess it had to happen eventually!

    (just spell checked this entry, and did you know that the blogger spell checker counts "blogging" as a spelling mistake!?)

    "Publish" Post

    Seems I'm in draft mode. I've taken to using blogger as my word processor - starting a piece doing all my revision work, leaving it as a draft to simmer a while and coming back later for a 2nd or 3rd look before I post. I find myself copy and pasting into word from here rather than the opposite. Unfortunately, lately, everything is just sitting there, saved as a draft, unfinished. Some of them are just brainstorming sessions, a strange collection of thoughts, ideas, single words, phrases... I just can't finish anything. I am suffering a sad lack of motivation.

    The worst part is that it's not just my poetry suffering from this deficiency. My housework is half done, my marketing has sort of crawled into the corner, I have paperwork, doctors appointments, laundry, and baby preparation that I need to do, but, well, I'm not doing them, you know?

    I'll do them tomorrow, I'll do them tomorrow - but instead I start another poem I don't finish. Or take a nap - I finish those up pretty well.

    I DID manage to accomplish two more submissions, one of which was to Melic Review - they're shutting down! Can you believe that? heh. Anyway, I've never submitted to them before, but somehow I couldn't resist doing so for their final issue due out in December. And I submitted to TMP Irregular - I skipped a few issues in between since my last submission. I actually finished submitting to both places too! But then, how hard is it to copy/paste/send?

    Lately I just feel overwhelmed, anything that requires more than 15 minutes of time and effort is just more than I can handle. It isn't helping any that I can't sleep worth shit lately - getting to sleep earlier than 3am is unheard of lately. And GOD am I hungry! You know how you "want something" and go on the refrigerator raid? Well, I want something, and can't figure out what it is - but I've pretty successfully eaten everything in the house trying.

    2:26am ... Let's see if I can sleep...

    Monday, August 1, 2005

    Tarheel Tavern #23 is up!

    Yup, the Tarheel Tavern is thumpin' again, hosted at Snort a Sprocket. And a fine job he's done, even on such short notice!

    The Tarheel Tavern is a blog carnival of North Carolina bloggers. If you're a North Carolinian who would like to participate, or volunteer to host the Tarheel Tavern you can find all the information you need to join at The Tarheel Tavern blog.