Friday, September 30, 2005

A Modicum of James

Secret Tidepools

Secrets shine
out of the cay.
Sun-pressed starfish
hold their treasures -
tidepool's gold.

This form is called a modicum, and was created by King... errr, Sir James of The Endless Saga


Mimosa Skirts

Mimosa Skirts

I never saw the Mimosa bloom
this year, missed witnessing branches
laden with little ladies in petticoats -
each pink puff so carefully careless.

Walking through the woods today,
well into September, her last blossom
long past, I saw seedlings
groping, naked, at her legs.

Autumn leaves them bare, and I
pity the lack of skirts they find
in which to hide shy faces. It seems
a harsh way to spend the coming winter.

Spring will come again,
and burn its way into summer -
I wonder if her little ones
will have survived, or be buried
in the shedding of next year's dress.


The Fair

For 6 of the last 7 years, I have lived within walking distance of the fairgrounds here in Union county. The last three years I've been able to watch them set up the rides from my front yard - it's literally just across the street. As the mother of five, the fair coming in the Fall is something I always look forward to. I get that twinge of excitement, and a twang of nostalgia. . . There's something in the air at the fair, the smells and sounds and lights - there's a certain freedom, a return to childhood, and a sort of celebratory last fling before winter sets in.

I admit I'm a kid at heart, I love going down the big slide and getting super sticky from cotton candy and caramel apples. I will admit to having sunk $40-$50 trying to get that damned BIG teddy bear by throwing the darts at underfull balloons. I get a new goldfish every Autumn at the ring toss and eat hot dogs with chili and onions and don't worry so much about chili stains or heartburn.

Oh sure I gripe about the pushy carneys that run the games, and I complain about the prices being outrageous. I've even been known to bitch a bit when my feet get cold after the dew settles and my shoes start to get wet. But damn it, I LOVE the Union County Fair. I love the atmosphere and the way you can watch the kids light up - they all but vibrate with anticipation at the idea of going, and I can't help but live vicariously through them and re-experience that thrill.

Tonight I was told that there will be no county fair this year because the fairgrounds are unavailable.

Now let me explain... Nelda Williams owns the fairgrounds, and her husband was killed several years ago by a truck as he crossed the street from his house to the construction company they owned. At that point, there began to be rumors that Nelda wouldn't be hosting the fair anymore, that she intended to sell off the land. We worried, but the fair came that year... and the next year... and the next... Even though we did see some parceling out of the property, we began to believe that the rumors were just that, untrue lip-flapping from the neighbors. It's literally been years, and we stopped even considering it as a possibility. The fair has been at that spot for generations, it was just unbelievable that it could be cancelled or even moved to a different spot.

I can only assume that the years have made hosting the fair just too much of a chore for Miss Nelda, or that the selling off of property finally left the remaining free space dwindle till it simply isn't large enough. I don't suppose I can hold it against Nelda, she's a wonderful lady, has always been the first to say yes when my kids come knocking on the door with school fundraiser packets or whatever. My mother took my kids fishing at her pond for many summers (you'd just drive up leave a dollar under the doormat on the porch, and "leave the place as you found it.") She's a pillar of our community, and offers all sorts of support to the city of Monroe, the county, and the various charities here.

But still, I'm heart broken at the idea that there won't be a fair this year. There's just something wrong with that, something undeniably sad.

Emo - so pitifully emo.

I hate the emotionalism and sentimentality that comes along with pregnancy for me. It's like watching some weird mental milkshake spinning around in the blender. The ingredients have become so scrambled that I can't even identify them anymore.

The gritty texture and bitter aftertaste keep gagging me, but nothing comes up. I have a serious case of the emotional dry-heaves that renders me aching and weary of worshiping such an ineffectual god.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

One More Try

*sigh* I don't know why I can't ever get pics to align or my text to wrap and make pretty posts with my pics but screw it. These are all the kids, taken within the last week, with entirely too much flash because I'm a lousy photographer. Top two are Terra, then row 2 is Bren and Kassi, then Kory, then Tom. Damn if I know just what Tom was thinking when he did that for the pic, but I do know he'll KILL me if he ever knows it's posted on my blog! HAHAHA! The joys of motherhood!

A Question

I think that dishonesty and outright lying are different, yet the same - two levels of the same act I suppose. I classify it the same way my mother used to teach me that sin was classified: There is the sin (or lie) of omission, and the sin (or lie) of commission.

I guess the lie of omission is probably less heavy on the liar's conscience, easier to get away with or make excuses for. But as far as I'm concerned they have the same affect - they each destroy trust in a relationship, ANY relationship, be it romantic, friendly, or business.

So what am I rambling about? Well, I have a question. I am currently involved in a situation where a friendship of sorts (more of a close-ish aquaintanceship really) has become a business relationship. Before the business situation came up, I never had a problem trusting this person, because they were never dishonest with me. However, I heard all along many stories in which others said that this person had been dishonest with them, and was, quite frankly, warned about being her friend. She and I lost touch for a good while, then "met" again, in a business situation, which I entered into with caution, but not really with any mistrust - and was met with many many repeated warnings about doing so.

Since I entered into this business relationship, I have had the opportunity to question my decision, on several occasions. You know how it is when someone promises you something, but doesn't come through, and you hear the excuses and reasons, but never get what was promised. Of course, there's no way for me to verify the validity of the claims, and so I've had little choice but to accept, and wait. But eventually, I got impatient and more assertive, but the more forceful I became, the more resistance I encountered - the passive aggressive behaviors such as unanswered emails, which as far as I'm concerned, when in a business situation, there is simply no excuse for.

So, in an effort to get what I was owed, I bent over backwards to overcome all of the obstacles for this person. Every hurdle they presented, I jumped for them, and was met with yet more excuses. When I came to the point of having become an unavoidable nuisance who could no longer be ignored, I got - take a guess - yup, more excuses. Only now, the excuse given leaves me in a position of being unable to argue or question without taking the chance of being an absolute ogre. The problem being, I think the excuse is an outright lie - bold-faced and really horrible.

You see, there have been enough lies of omission and questionable excuses, that I can no longer trust this person's word, even though the latest reason that this person has not lived up to her end of a business agreement is highly emotional, and evocative. If it's true I am genuinely sympathetic and completely understand the lack of action on her part, unfortunately, I don't believe her. Plus my lack of faith lends me, even further, to have less respect because of the suspicion that she would possibly stoop to the level of this lie. I mean seriously, if it's a lie, it's damn low - if it's the truth, and I question her, then I'm damn low.

So what do I do? I've been waiting for 4 months for this situation to be rectified, but is this the point at which I bite the bullet for my own sake, or throw a hissy?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Martin the Musician.

The other day I got an international package in the mail. Just getting a package makes my little day, I'm easily pleased. But this package folks was from our one and only Martin Locock, man of many talents. We already knew he was published in the realm of architecture books. (I'm sure there is a better word for that but I'm at a loss for the moment.) And we already knew that he's a poet, and a blogger, but who knew he could sing!?

Yup. The package was a tape of his songs entitled "Say It Isn't So."

Now I've never made any secret of the fact that I love accents, but his English accent, set to music, somehow puts me in the mind of Pink Floyd, which set me into a remniscent mellow sort of mood (which was just enhanced by the grittiness of the sound quality - I think CD's have been over rated!) and put a big grin on my face. He starts with "Calling Like a Stranger" which really sets the tone for the whole tape. Now, in his note he warns me that he can't sing, which as far as I can tell is pure English modesty, or a good ole crock'o'shit because I thoroughly enjoyed each song.

Now, what prompted Martin to send me a tape of love songs? Well over at his blog he posted a poem/lyrics called "Have to Remember to Forget You" to which I replied that I'd like very much to hear with the music. Track number six on this tape is just that, and though it wasn't what I heard in my head when I read it (in my head, Toby Keith sang it, country style) it really is well done.

My favorite is track 2 though, "Say Somebody Loved You" because it's beautiful and pained and feels very real. Somehow his crooning took on a whole different texture with that song, and I just keep listening to it. It feels like, oh here I go getting corny but damn it, it feels like true love - the kind that ends with one person loving the other enough to let them go and wish them well... Know what I mean? Really just beautiful.

So, now I'm feeling all mushy, and I want to thank Martin for that, and for this tape, I'll cherish it, right up until it just won't play anymore.

Maisy! God help me.

Tuesday morning: 4:38 a.m. and Terra the terrible decides it's time to rise and shine. Time, in fact, to begin the torturous day-long Maisy marathon. If you are one of those people who doesn't have children, who doesn't recognize the name "Maisy" then count your blessings. We however, are intimately familiar with said mouse, and having given in to the addiction of 2yr old with the purchase of "Good Morning Maisy" - a 2 1/2 hour DVD - have had the joy of watching nothing but Maisy for about a month.
Maisy is a cartoon mouse, a very 2 dimensional mouse, who lives alone and has a handful of 2D friends - Eddie the Elephant, Charlie the Crocodile, Cyril the Squirrel and Tullulah the Duck, oh, and Little Black Cat (an appropriate name, since Maisy the Mouse is larger than said cat - but then, she's just about the same size as the crocodile too...) They talk, sort of, in unintelligable, nerve searing noises and were obviously designed specifically to expedite the onset of my insanity. Today might just be the day I give in to it.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

My New Blog

How did Erin spend her day?

Yes, I feel sorry for myself.

They should make some sort of contraption for women in their third trimester, constructed of velvet and satin, but breathable - something padded and soft and supportive, with heat, massage and deep massage options for all of the things that ache, twinge, pang and generally hurt - for all the things that feel as though they're coming apart or in peril of falling off. I need lumbar support, abdominal support, deep massage between my shoulder blades and heat packs on my neck. I need something to stop my feet from swelling and something to control these uncontrollable hormones.

It should also come with relaxation tapes and prenatal xanax pills - the closer I get to labor and delivery the more I freak out. You'd think it would be old hat by now wouldn't you? It isn't. I'm more anxious now than with any of other pregnancies. More miserable and whiney too. I am just too old for this.

They have for years referred to pregnancy as a 'delicate condition' but it's never felt that way before. Hell, I worked through my entire pregnancy with Terra, hefting trays over my head over 14 hour shifts of being the only waitress on duty some days, and never thought twice about it. This time though, I'm feeling delicate, breakable, somehow helpless.

How disgustingly female.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Poem by Seamus Heaney

I have found the poems that have struck me with the most impact always by accident, at times when I wasn't looking for power, or even poetry, at all. I wish I were capable right now of analyzing this poem, dismantling the poetics of this piece and explaining the things that stood out for me, the why and how of its effect. For now, just read it for yourself:

Mid-term Break

I sat all morning in the college sick bay
Counting bells knelling classes to a close,
At two o'clock our neighbors drove me home.

In the porch I met my father crying--
He had always taken funerals in his stride--
And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.

The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram
When I came in, and I was embarrassed
By old men standing up to shake my hand

And tell me they were "sorry for my trouble,"
Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest,
Away at school, as my mother held my hand

In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs.
At ten o'clock the ambulance arrived
With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.

Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops
And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him
For the first time in six weeks. Paler now,

Wearing a poppy bruise on the left temple,
He lay in the four foot box as in a cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.

A four foot box, a foot for every year.

by Seamus Heaney


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Poetic Insight

I'm pretty well addicted to Jenni's blog [link]. I've "known" her for years through Moontown, and I've always loved her poetry, which she doesn't post nearly enough of for my taste, but then, she's probably smart not to put it all out there like I do. But her poetry isn't why I read her blog.

I have to make a confession before I can explain why I love Jenni and her blog so much.

Though I've always been very open-minded and tried very hard not to allow myself to buy into small-minded generalizations, there is one that, years ago when I met her, Jenny made me realize I had subconsciously subscribed to. See she's always been open about the fact the she used to be a stripper - and she never bothered to try to dress it up and call it exotic dancing or whatever other shame-induced pseudonym folks have come up with. She was a stripper, not necessarily proud of it, but not once have I ever gotten the impression she was ashamed of it either. Actually, I think, in contrast to most women, she found it empowering. Something sure as hell empowered her, but that's a whole other entry.

See somehow, even though I stripped for a few days on a bet once, I always had the misconception that strippers were ignorant, that they stripped because they were too stupid to know better, or too uneducated to think that they could do better. She blew that bit of prejudice right out of the water with the first poem she ever posted. But seriously folks, you don't have to be a genius to write poetry, right?

Well, I don't know about genius, but Jenni is one seriously smart cookie who has more knowledge on poetry and poetics than I can comprehend. I read her because she's like my oracle, my fountain of knowledge. She blogs about poetry, and the building blocks thereof, like she's discussing a spaghetti recipe, just whipping out all the right terminology and references like it's nothing to her. And when she gets into one of these posts, I always learn something, and always come away thinking about one poetic device or another in a way, or at a depth, I hadn't before. She opens me, and I love that.

She reads SO MUCH poetry, and absorbs it like a sponge, and evaluates it and posts her impressions, her likes and dislikes, and her whys - I love her ability to explain so perfectly what it is about a poet or journal that draws her to them/it, or pushes her away from it. I refer to her posts for "poets to read" and "journals to subscribe to" and "books to buy." Unfortunately, I have no money with which to subscribe or buy so I also use her a bit like Cliff Notes.

Anyway, all that and all I wanted to do really was link to this post she made about Robert Lowell [link] because it brings up one poetic device that I really try to pay attention to when I'm writing. It's worth a read, and some thought.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

poem w/a long title

From an Author to Her Child
on writing

I have written a tome, a lexis
to define this vocabulary of pain,
and with the aged leather of my palms
I have bound the words and held them near,

as swaddled infants
in the darkness,
where comfort and clarity

are elusive.

Bent-backed silence
has borne witness to the gilt
that edges each page,
and the font has faded
from nights of restless fingering:

your lip at my breast,

the curve of an ear,
a lock of ebony.

But memories refuse to fade.
They seep, instead, like ink,
into the ridges of my fingertips
where text does grief no justice.

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Pure Tee Google Goodness

I've done this once before, but I'm going to do it again -

In the past, people I know have lost blog posts and entire blogs, which sparked me to think of a way to back up all of my posts. But see I'm lazy and I don't want to have volumes of .doc files on my pc, or 1000 little discs full of bloggy stuff either, so I came up with the idea of a Gmail account solely to use for blogger back-up.

Now, every time I hit "post" a copy of the post is sent directly to said gmail account, and I never have to worry about it, thanks to the ingenuity of the blogger folks who thought up the idea of having the email option, and the massive storage capacity of gmail accounts. They're even automatically listed in chronological order, which would be super simple when it came to having to repost, should I ever lose my blog.

Here's the thing, once you have a gmail account for a certain length of time, it gives you 50 100 invitations, so you can let other folks in on the pure-tee-google-goodness of gmail and its all but unlimited storage space. Well, I just got mine, so if anyone wants a google email account, drop me a reply here and I'll send you one. Between Scott and I we have nearly 150 invites that we have no use for, seriously - you're welcome to one!

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Puppy Dog Eyes

So, no more emails from the crazy one, which was nice. Neither of my anticipated packages arrived, which was sort of crappy. I was rejected by Triplopia, but nicely, which is better than being rejected with a form letter. I've got a poem in the works - it's being a stubborn bitch, but that's ok too. And I finally got rid of that damned search bar!

If you ever get that thing, good luck, it grows roots. It requires manual removal - in safe mode, deleting registry keys (which always makes me nervous) and the loss of copious amounts of hair, to be rid of it. I am now a balding nervous wreck, but I no longer have the AZESearchbar.

I made chili for dinner and gorged myself, felt really icky for a while. I hate that over-stuffed feeling. It was like friggin Thanksgiving, you know that feeling? The one ya get when you eat entirely too much, and go back for seconds on Pumpkin Pie knowing you'll wish for death afterwards? Yeah that one. Ick. Damn cravings! And I only had ONE plate full - there just isn't a lot of room left with my guts all full of baby I guess.

13 weeks to D-day... Which for those of you who haven't started freaking out yet, that means something like 14 or 15 till Christmas. I'm freaked out about both thanks. Anyone want to give me a grand or so to do baby shopping AND Christmas shopping? Yeah yeah, I need a webcam if I'm going to try the puppy-dog pitiful eyes on the internet.

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Monday, September 19, 2005



Unprovoked, you slide away - slick,
like a wet road at midnight. You slip away
into your distance, oblivious
to the spectators lining the shoulder.

Exhaust, perhaps a final breath, lingers
in the inky absence, and
the chemical smell of your departure is choking.

But the gravel will resettle in your wake,
the fumes of your passing will clear
and the pavement has already forgotten
your name.

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I was just rejected by Triplopia ezine. I'm inordinately disappointed. They did, however, mention one poem specifically - said they were "most taken by it" and encouraged me to resubmit next reading period.

Next theme: memory.

Perfect. Seriously, I love it. Very "me" I think.

I don't know which hurts worse, the impersonal type of rejections that make you wonder if they read your work at all, or gave a damn about it - or the type that make you feel like they held on to one piece for a while because they liked it, but found something else they liked better. That little thread of hope that was snipped by someone else's superior word choice. It's sort of dismissal vs. replacement.

Why am I obsessing over this when I've been rejected 100 times before with no such ill effects!?
Sheesh, shut up Erin.

I'm looking forward to submitting to them again regardless. A little less than a month before I can, but I rarely submit immediately, because I start to get impatient and antsy waiting for the judging period to start!

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This one could have been mine.

I hate that my childhood indoctrination still holds such power over me.

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

To Grief

To Grief

August slips cool into a September porch swing.
Come sit with me and have coffee at 3am.

We'll speak without shame,
for we've been intimate for years -
since you found your place
between my husband's hips and mine.

We are one another's quiet addiction, each
the other's lingering suicide. I recognize
pain, my reflection, in your eyes,
and yet I draw you in.

You are my Marlboro man, here to save me,
but there is too much smoke -
summer stinking and thick with kudzu vows.

Autumn rings on some distant curve,
and with this dreaded friend, I pray.
Together we mourn midnights into dawn
on the whispered tune of our blessings:

Hurry, on the west wind to the seas, move them
with the tarnished arc of the harvest moon.

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Tarheel Tavern XXX

Tarheel Tavern XXX

Well, it's done it again hasn't it? Summer has come and all but gone, and the Dogwoods are berry-laden and red-tipped to prove it. Classes are in session, Halloween is around the corner, and I thought now would be as good a time as any to relive summer. As the heat begins to leech out of the sky and paint the leaves with its departure, we'll remember what we did this summer.

Lance at Lance McCord went to San Francisco on vacation, and shares a picture from the trip. I don't know about you guys, but I always thought San Francisco was made in America! Now all of a sudden, I'm not so sure...

This week Laurie is posting from a new blog, and makes our mouths water ( again! ) with pictures taken in Floyd Virginia while attending a festival called "A Taste of Floyd" advocating Slow Food in the Piedmont.

Jane, of Pratie's Place fame, doesn't share any photographs, but she shares a picture anyway - with a review of the movie 'Junebug."

Next we learn how improv relates to real life interaction when Alex Wilson tells us how he discovered an Improv class held in Carborro at the Carr Mill Mall. He shares some interesting insights on learning to overcome introverted tendencies.

Billy the Blogging Poet spent his summer blogging, and managed to compile a list of 100 poets in 100 days! I haven't made it all the way through it yet, but I plan to!!

Bora gives us 2 related posts this week. One of them is a bit of political commentary on the post-Katrina mess, the other is, shall we say some "original photography" to drive home the point.

At Words Fitly Spoken there seems to be some discussion about what to hang from trees other than all these pretty leaves, in a post titled: Lynching is a personal issue that every lyncher must decide for herself

Mandie from Captivated by Mandie takes us from roadside to seaside to sunset in her post about the vacation she and her husband took to see family in Delaware and Ohio.

2sides2ron Spent his summer trekking across Europe and offers this challenge:Try being your own light, sound and camera guy as you improvise a movie while dragging 60 pounds of bags around Europe. It can be rewarding yet tiring too.

Me? Well I've pretty much been good for nothing when it comes to summer festivities, but I did go to the Main Street Live street festial here in Monroe a few days ago. It was a whole lot of simple fun, and I was glad I went!

Michael's Corner has a gorgeous view this week with his post Late Summer, and a simple sentiment that's well worth a read.

The infamous Ogre checks in with an exciting tale of a trip he made to more Northern climes over Summer Vacation this year, where he got lost in New York and met a little lady in a convertible. I got the impression that something they did precipitated the purchase of that cute little car I keep teasing him about. For now, I'm calling it his Yankee-inspired mid-life crisis purchase.

And on a final note, Jude aka Iddybud reminds us that not everyone ended their summer on a high note. She shares a sermon by Bishop T.D. Jakes to urge us all to
Lend a Helping Hand

Oops, we have a Hooligan-come-lately (perfectly excusable - his parents were visiting, and Mom definitely comes before the Tavern!) and he gives us some interesting figures in his post
"Suicide Will Kill You."

Next week Janie at Pratie's Place will be hosting the Tavern, so check your inbox for a newsletter/announcement from her. Speaking of which, if you haven't signed up for the Tarheel Tavern Newsletter, you can do so in the sidebar at the very bottom there. That's how we announce the topics and host locations each week now, so if you'd like to be kept up to date, that's the way to do it.

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Billy's 100 Poets and a carnival

Billy the Blogging Poet has a list of 100 blogging poets - and I think it's juat a damn cool way for us all to find each other. He calls it 100 Blogging Poets in 100 Days - and sweet lil old me is at #7. Ginger is at #4, and I've gotten to know her and some of her poetry pretty well, and trust me, her poetry is always worth a look.

I'm going to visit all 100, and no doubt run across some old friends, and make some new ones too.

Also (again) there's a poetry blog carnival coming up, be sure to sign up and join the fun. Again, another way to make it possible for us poetry bloggers to give/receive the commentary and constructive criticism we all need to thrive and improve!

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Friday, September 16, 2005

Main Street Live

There's a small street festival that the Jaycees host in Monroe a few times a year called Main Street Live. It's a bit like a block party really. It's downtown, just off the square, and only as big as one side of a city block, (and remember, Monroe is a small city.) It's free to get in, and starts at the beer stand, meanders through a few food vendors and a face painting booth, and ends at the stage where a band that formed in the mid-sixties pumps out beach music and oldies. There's a dance area where folks do line dances or shag, and kids do the giggly wiggle with a local mascot.

There are young families watching their children play in the sprinklers (thoughtfully provided to keep the toddlers from becoming hot miserable beasts,) and some games for older children. Middle aged men and middle aged women banter in small friendly groups, and there are chairs provided for the retired group to sit and people-watch like they still love to do from their porches.

There were a few sheriffs standing around, talking to the festival goers with a can of Pepsi and a smile, just in case anyone got rowdy - but no one did, and the officers were free to chit-chat with their neighbors and discuss Katrina and Ophelia, the state of the nation, and the upcoming harvest.

So that's where we went last night. Scott had a couple of beers, Kory 'hung out' with some friends tossing a nerf football back and forth. Kassi danced and got autographs from the band. Brendon found some girls to play in the sprinkler with, and Terra claimed the multi-colored plastic rings from the water ring-toss game, and no one argued with her. It was warm but not quite hot, and there was the smell of food and beer in the air and, to be honest, it reminded me of a big family cookout. But really in a town this size, where everyone knows everyone, it's a lot like extended family.

There are no rides, no rappers, and no flashing lights. There are tables where you could get free samples of products from a local manufacturer, and you can have a look at the newest riding lawn mowers from the local hardware store, but there are no high-pressure sales pitches from half dressed Hooters-style girls or pushy used car salesmen types. The games aren't manned by carny types trying to con you out of $30 for a teddy bear, and there's one table set up with a cooler full of ice-pops that they give the kids for free.

It is the epitome of the simplicity of rural life in a small southern town. It's just a few laid-back hours on the cusp of summer filled with unfettered family fun for simple folks. It was 3 hours well spent being reminded how little it really takes to have a good time, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself - and from the street long line of smiles, I think everyone else did too.

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Poetry Blog Carnival

Do you write poetry? Do you have a poetry blog? Do you want more traffic? More input from other poetry bloggers?
Well by way of Billy the Blogging Poet, I found out about a poetry blog carnival that's looking for more participants, so have a look and join in the fun!

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Tarheel Tavern Announcement

OK, for those of you who don't know it, I'm hosting the Tarheel Tavern at my place this week. The theme is "What I Did Over Summer Vacation" and I'd appreciate it if you THTers could get your links to me [email link] by tomorrow night, but I'll accept them through Saturday - till about 9pmish.

If you didn't receive the newsletter notice about the when and where then you haven't signed up for the newsletter yet. If you'd like to receive Tarheel Tavern notices and updates by email, go to my right sidebar at the very bottom and sign up so you won't miss anything. Or go to the THT blog [link], there's a sign up box there too, which is now fully functional.

Also, we're always accepting volunteers for new hosts - if you'd like to host one weekend, just email Coturnix at: coturnix1(at)aol(dot)com and let it be known that you'd like to volunteer.

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FINALLY - a level head

This blog [link] has the most rational and well thought out post today about the NOLA mess.

Rather than be a part of the wild-eyed finger pointing, he points out the facts, and a lot of them are the ones no one else wants to look at because they aren't convenient when it comes to fanning the political firestorm.

It's amazing to me how many blogs from inside the disaster have the most rational thoughts, while people who weren't even there proclaim themselves to be the experts on what happened, why, and whose fault it was. Finding posts like this one is just a relief!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

One Syllable Word Challenge (vrp)

At dusk last night, I sat on the stoop with a book, with all the words in my hands, and none in my mouth. There was no need to speak, and no one to care. As a child I did this most days, when school would let out, I'd read in peace, with no one to talk to. I liked it that way. There may have been no one to speak to, no one to hear me, but that meant that there was no one to judge me for all the faults I owned.

Through life I brought them with me - the bucked teeth, the hard head and soft heart, a lack of lies and my love of truth - and the words, bound in color and a lack of sound. Safe.

Frost: How I loved him, and the way he'd stroke my soul with his paths through the woods, and the way he made me feel as though he read me first and then wrote me, -drew me- next to the fence, on his horse - in each flake of snow. In that world I was not flawed, I was seen and loved and he penned me to life. Of course this was in the mind of a child, where all things are real if you wish it true and just trust!

As I grew up, I found Poe. He was dark and strange, I loved him too. He was just what a weird angst-filled teen needs when real life won't grant you a way in. I sank, cold and mute, to the depths of his view. I danced to the beat of his Tell Tale Heart, tick-tock watched as his art strove to beat from my chest. He scared me, and I loved the fear. Thought it was my friend.

Then, I met a man, and we tried to make a life, had one child, then two. He too was dark and scared me - taught me what it was to be "made" by one man's fist. In his world I was no snow flake, I was a dead leaf left to rot in the dank shade of an old oak.
Him? He was real. He was hate and pain and he had no words. He left mine bruised, and shy. I lost my books to his hand. He took from me my Frost and gave me Buk, bound us tight, in black and blue.

So I read much less, or not at all, but boy did I write - tomes of things I thought no one else knew. My own plights and pains that I would hide on a shelf in the dark. Those words were still as pure as those of Frost, but these were pure Hell, a lack of peace, the twist of a knife held at bay with the spring of wire that held them back. They were the ache for death, the sad cries of a girl trapped. They were my Plath, though I had no clue who she was. They were proof of the self- hate that I held dear.

I have grown since then, learned much. Found my words too, when I left that life. I wrote them - and some are still of pain and tears and loss - but joy and smiles and the new life I've made are there too. In this book, this one formed by the nib of MY pen, there are, once more, flakes of snow on tongue tips, and rides on horse back - paths through the woods and the glow of a full moon on a night sea.

Best of all I can stand at the fence now and know that no man can cross it that I don't ask, for it's strong, built by hands that know me, hands I can have faith in - mine.

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I just got something, guess what I got?! C'mon 3 guesses, you'll NEVER guess what I just got! C'mon try!
I just got my very own complimentary copy of the AZESearchbar!

Yeah this is not a good thing, I don't know where it came from all I know is, I opened a window and there it was - and it hijacked my homepage and changed it to something that was, well let's just say explicit. And I changed my homepage back, but it gives me pop-ups, and pop-unders, all of which have pictures of things "popping up" if you catch my drift. And all that will, of course happen when the kids are looking, THEN my computer will freeze, so those images are now most likely emblazoned on the retinas of my children and they'll no doubt be scarred for life.

The best part is, I have eTrust Firewall, eTrust realtime antivirus, Adaware, and Spybot Search and Destroy. Not only did the firewall let it in, none of the rest detect this AZEsearchbar when I scan! I have to manually remove the fucker, file by file, registry key by registry key, and there are about 10,000 things I need to remove. OK, I can do that, I did that, except for the files (what exactly is an .ocx file anyway?) that say they can't be deleted.

Yeah, total pain in the ass, and after all that, I still have the bastard.

For the record, it isn't a virus, a trojan, or a worm, it's adware - it isn't going to get you through my emails, my instant messages or anything like that so relax, OK? sheesh. Anyway, I did all I can do, so I guess Scott'll have to fix it tomorrow evening.

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Monday, September 12, 2005

Women's Self Esteem

"Women's Issues"
It's sort of a scary term, makes you envision all sorts of gender specific horrors doesn't it? Stuff like Rape, Infertility, Eating Disorders, Cramps, Water Retention, Thongs, Shoes!
Nah, it isn't like that at all - I finally found a site that addresses Women's Issues, particularly self-esteem issues, that doesn't suck in that weird hairy armpit bra burning way that so many do.

Check it out ladies [link] It's Dorothy's blog, which is part of her parent site [link] called Women's Self Esteem - and so far I've seen not one unshaven feminist leg!

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It is on nights like this, with my belly full
and my chest empty, that the moon points east
to her darkened half, and I ache to follow her arc
into the nothingness,

because I understand the void.

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The Moment Before

This guy [link] is about to go to prison for an act he doesn't recall. 14-20 months for a crime committed while intoxicated and heartbroken and absolutely not thinking clearly.

I won't make excuses for what he did, but I will say he desn't seem like the type of guy who deserves prison. There's a lot to be read in his posts, both on the surface and between the lines. His post from earlier today Car wreck, abandonment, and 9/11 [link] was particularly striking to me. He discusses, among other things, the moment before impact during a car wreck - and you can't miss the metaphor.

I don't know the guy - but in some ways I can empathize, my husband went to prison a few years back for something he did while heartbroken and obviously not thinking clearly... and yeah, it's all about that moment before...

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Sunday, September 11, 2005


ScribeSpirit - An Unity Illuminata sponsored eZine

Recently I had the pleasure of being introduced to Jody Kuchar by way of Ron Hudson. Jody has a penchant for making me spew coffee, a perfectly pedicured parrot, and a very exciting new bi-monthly and bi-lingual eZine called ScribeSpirit.

This is an international literary project with contributors from 4 continents whose aim is to celebrate the collaboration of writers, artists, social workers and professionals in an effort to promote art, culture, and social reform. They want to cross generation gaps, and the lines drawn by societal misconceptions. They want to promote values such as education, conservation and economics. In short, they want to promote diversity and unity. Their position is that:

"Social reform should not be a grim struggle or constant battle; there is joy in collaborative efforts, and we believe that change should be celebratory."

Issue one, "Inspiration" was launched on September 5th, 2005, and is currently under construction on the temporary server at ScribeSpirit [link].

Issue two, on the theme of "Living Arrangements" is pending. Currently the contributors include L. Jody Kuchar, Paula Pedroso, Christine Lehmann, and Ron Hudson. They're also currently looking for like-minded artists, poets and authors to join in the culmination of their second edition. If you feel you have something you'd like to contribute, contact Jody at for submissions guidelines. Please add "guidelines" to the subject line.

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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Random acts of kindness

I did something yesterday that I feel very good about, or at least took the initial steps in doing it. See, there's a virtual stranger that I know of through blogging that I admire very much. We don't chat, we rarely email, and I don't even know if she reads my blog very often. But I read hers on a regular basis and always come away from it with a sense of, I don't know, pride? She makes me proud that women like her still exist in this society of selfishness. That giving and caring people can still be found - she's like an unwitting random act of kindness to me. She does my heart good, and doesn't even know it.

She is forever cheerful and upbeat - you can hear the smile in her posts, and in comparison to some of our lives, her life isn't easy.

But not only does she face her own challenges, she takes on bigger ones to help herself and others - she makes moves to change the things that cause those challenges. She moves to make things better not only for herself, not only for others facing those challenges in the present, but to help stop people from having to face those challenges in the future. Now realistically speaking, she isn't the only one who does these things. I know other people facing similar challenges as she is - but none that do it as openly and cheerfully and with such strength and grace.

I am in awe of this woman, she is an inspiration - and yes I know that sounds cliched, but it's true anyway. And I think that people like her deserve to be recognized and deserve to know that other people are touched by their actions - even those who aren't in the circle of people they choose to help. I consider myself very lucky that I don't deal with the things this woman deals with on a daily basis - but she's touched me nonetheless. And so I decided to do something small for this person, nothing big, but something that will say, "you've made an impression on me - what you do is admirable." because she deserves it.

The problem is I'm afraid she's going to think I'm some sort of internet stalker type whack-job.
I mean I DO read her blog a lot, and I DID have to do some research to get her home address (much easier than people think, especially when a person has registered a domain name) and I don't want to freak her out.

So my point is: It's a damn shame that we live in a day and age that requires us to second guess doing something nice for someone damn it.

PS: I wanted to say that this isn't a completely unique idea, someone else I know recently did something similar, only on a bigger scale, for a couple of guys in New Orleans, and though it wasn't a conscious thought when I decided to do this, I'm sure her actions played a part in my decision to do this. So, thanks Jody, for subliminally influencing me!

Friday, September 9, 2005

mindless blatherings of an Asian chick

Sometimes I feel so damn inferior to other bloggers who post about intellectual topics or who have the self-discipline to only blog about one particular subject. I'm so willy- nilly, I'm rarely one to blog anything educational, and most likely, my personal journal style blatherings are pointless and boring to most readers.

Apparently, my frequent posts about the new site were really tiresome because my stats have sucked, even my set bunch of regular readers has begun to dwindle.

Now let's face it, most bloggers want to be read, otherwise, we'd keep our thoughts in our diaries beside the bed - and as much as I do, admittedly, want to be read, I don't have the patience or motivation enough to actually contemplate what I'll be blogging about or to channel it into the correct direction to appeal to the masses.

In other words, I'm too lazy to kiss ass so I suppose I'll deal with a dwindling readership! And here goes another post y'all really won't give a damn about :)

Lately, unlike my usual self, I find that I'm indecisive - very very indecisive, also clingy/needy, unmotivated in most situations, lazy, impatient and irritable as well. Add withdrawn, and sleepy - so very sleepy - until I lay down of course. My eyes burn and I'm beginning to look Asian from the squint thing I've got going on.
The new site is coming along nicely - I've got a list of supporters as far as donations of merchandise, which I have finally gotten completely catalogued in appropriate spreadsheets and backed up on disc. I'm also keeping immaculate records as to donations and expenditures and keeping both electronic and paper copies of all of my receipts.

The other day, of course before the weather cooled down so nicely, I went out to the storage shed (it was nearly 95 degrees and I've never seen so much dirt and dust and cobwebs!) and cleaned and sorted and made space to store all the merchandise and shipping boxes and such. The only thing I (still) need is traffic, and of course there's still paperwork to be done - what a nightmare the paperwork is. But that's another story.
My poetry is suffering from my enthusiasm over the new site, but that will pass.
Between Alexis' birth/death dates, the anniversary of 9/11 and the accompanying TV specials, and the NOLA disaster and those news reports, I've been feeling very negative lately. Absolutely overwhelmed with unpleasantness, except during the times that I'm actually accomplishing something with the P-A site. I am NOT one of those emotional water-works kinds of women, I rarely cry, and only ever with a very valid reason - but not so lately. I try to blame it on hormones, and I don't know if that's true or not. I suppose once the baby is born we'll see. All I know for now is that I cry all the time, and not necessarily for any reason whatsoever. Last night I watched a 9/11 special and bawled, just absolutely bawled through the entire thing, hated that it was affecting me so strongly, and still, I couldn't turn it off. I should have known better than to turn it on.
The beast within is almost assuredly male, reinforcing my desire to refer to it as such. I crave meat - and not any old meat, I want steak, 24/7 - and potatoes and carrots. Very little interest in the munchy stuff like I craved with the other girls - I want FOOD, real live hardy food - like I did with all the boys.

If I were 2. I'd throw a tantrum

There, or here actually, I was - surfing blogs, surfing blogs, just, you know, blog surfing. You know how it is right? You visit a blog, click someone's link and go to some other blog and then do it again and whatever, eventually you find yourself at some blog completely unrelated to anything you'd normally choose, but what the hell. It's one in the morning and sleep is nowhere in sight and what else is there to do - so you just keep going, keep reading and hope somehow your journey takes you back to some vaguely familiar territory. Or at least, that's what I do because there's something disappointing in having to start over, or hit the "back" button 100 times until you recognize something...

So I kept going.

And I came across a blog that I probably should have bookmarked but didn't, that didn't have much of anything to do with anything, but one of the first things I noticed was an entry that described a gang fight in the subway somewhere in NYC, and how he just watched, calmly, quietly, like everyone else did, and the train came and they quit and he walked on to the store and got milk and went home - as if a gang fight is no biggie, nothing to be upset or excited about - but then, maybe in NYC it isn't. I dunno.

A few entries later he talked about 3 kids on the street trying to pass out stolen books of some sort - the type that they have free in those newspaper type boxes or whatever? Anyway, the story was about how these kids were looking for trouble, and how basically, he got doinked in the back with one of these books, then laughed at and stared down - and let it go because these days you just don't fuck with the crazy-eyed kids ya meet on NYC streets I guess.

Then there was a post about his grandmother, his deceased grandmother, the Jewish woman who knew everyone and loved to talk - who, according to his post, was gregarious and outgoing and told a story, like no other, even if it WAS a story she'd told 1000 times. And he didn't say so outloud but the mood all but dripped from the post - he missed her. And he described how she affected everyone around her, and especially him and how he loved his memories of her and really enjoyed thinking and remembering the things they did together because they were good memories.

I closed it then - because it just isn't fair that some people get those good times to remember, and some of us just don't.

Thursday, September 8, 2005

A Rant Against Ignorants and Ingrates

I think there are people who deserve much more blame than Bush does when it comes to NOLA, and I hate George Bush - How about the Mayor and the Governor, who didn't bus the homeless or car-less people out when they could have? Who turned the Aid away when it was offered, told Bush to give them a few days to "think about it" How about the fact that the media was in New Orleans, Wal-Mart was delivering supplies to New Orleans BEFORE the Red Cross and Salvation Army were allowed into the city by city and state officials?

Hell, even a lot of the people themselves, who remained by choice, or stayed in there homes rather than going to a shelter?! How smart is it to stay in a house with an assload of kids in a low lying area when there are shelters (10 shelters I believe) made available on higher ground?

And I hate that a human tragedy and ecological fiasco has become a political platform and a race war!
The only political figure who has spoken the truth yet is Barbara Bush who said something to the effect of "There were so many homeless people in NOLA that are now in shelters with free food water and shelter ... and many of them are better off now than before." (AND they don't appreciate it, a good percentage of the refugees that were flown into Charlotte were homeless people, who have since walked away from the shelter here to become homeless in Charlotte, YAY Charlotte!)

Unfortunately, the media and society will crucify her for being blunt and honest and saying out loud what so many are thinking.

I'm just so exasperated by the way things have been misconstrued and the way people have turned the tables away from the true issues at hand... As far as I'm concerned, we should be helping the people who WANT the help and APPRECIATE it. Screw the dumbasses that are still there, refusing help or transport and whining about it. Idiots.

Did you know that they went to pass out vouchers for these people worth 2000 bucks in the Astrodome, and the people stormed the table, assaulted the people giving out the vouchers and there ended up basically being a riot and shit - goddamn lockdown in the Astrodome because they were trying to offer these (previously homeless and penniless) people money to start over.


YES there are culpable parties within the political ranks from the bottom to the top, YES this was poorly planned for and even more poorly executed, YES things SHOULD have been done differently, by pretty much everyone, but god damn people, what's more important right now? Saving people, making homes for people, or pointing fingers? Point fingers at election time. What counts, BEING right, or MAKING things right?.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005


Damn. That's said with the inflection of one who is exasperated, not one who's angry or surprised...
I'm just so upset about how certain things are going with a particular past project, and I just don't know what to do about it. I do know it's holding me back on other projects, and I don't like to get nasty with people, especially when those people come off as being very nice, sweet, overworked types. But sometimes you have to stop worrying about the 'thems' in your life and stand up for yourself, right?

In other news, I got my first submission this morning for the anthology, which was a nice pick-me-up for the morning. And to make it even better, it was made by a woman who has been published before in various places - she has experience as to all the smaller details of submissions, and the poem, thank you Jesus, didn't rhyme, wasn't as literal as grief poetry tends to be, and was accompanied by what would amount to an excellent cover letter.

I know that I'll be getting poetry from parents who have never been published and aren't aware of the poetry community or how things are usually done, let alone with the finer points of the poetic craft. That's ok, because honestly, that's true of the vast majority of people, including the grieving parents who would buy and read this anthology. Therefore, they'll relate to the less experienced poetry as well as, perhaps better than, they would to the metaphorical and allusionary poetry that I hope to also receive.

I still have no idea how Xlibris got my email address, but I've gotten several emails from them - all from a "real" person, not form letters. They offer nearly exactly what I'd need, and have managed to get me very interested despite my resistance and financial situation. Perhaps they're borg?

I went out and bought a few more things for the P-A store, little things like paints and craft supplies that I'll need to personalize the gifts. Apparently, though I didn't know it, ribbon is expensive. I have a feeling I'll be making a rather large out-of-pocket expenditure to get the ribbon I'll need to do these. I want good quality, and so far all I've found online is either out of my price range or doesn't accept paypal. I thought I lucked out. I found a site with great prices that offered me the option of buying in smaller quantities/lengths, and offered me a discount, and had exactly the ribbons I wanted in perfect colors. I then found out that they don't take paypal. I suppose I'll have to wait for the Visa Check card to arrive if I intend to buy through them.

More waiting, and I'll say this again: I am not a patient person.


A few hundred of the victims from Katrina were brought into Charlotte yesterday. Not many, when you look at the big picture. We put them in the Coliseum, which seats 20,000+. Of course, there are people locally who have the ability to offer free housing, or a room at least - and hopefully they'll get the information and take them up on it.

So I guess they're finally getting the left-behinds out of NOLA, and some part of my mind wants to say, "OK, the people are out, it's over." But it's only beginning. I wonder how they'll handle it, what kind of rebuilding process there will be, and how long it will take. I wonder where the citizens will go and what they'll do until it's all put back together. I don't know what I think about it even being put back together - seems a bit like dousing yourself in gas and walking through a Zippo convention, but I suppose I can understand why people would want their hometown rebuilt.

The ecological ramifications really worry me too. What will happen when water with a high enough chemical content to leave chemical burns on the legs and feet of a FEMA worker are pumped into a lake or the open ocean? People can be rescued, levees and homes can be rebuilt. Business will inevitably return. The people of NOLA are strong and soulful, resilient and apparently stubborn as hell - and will find a way to put their lives back into some semblance of order. But how do we fix the ocean? How do we fix the earth?

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Post Secret Book!

I will own this book :)

Labor Day

God it was beautiful yesterday evening. The humidity was lower than it has been in months. The temperature was absolutely perfect. As the sun began to set and the shadows grew long there was a smell, a cleanliness that I equate with Autumn. Without the humidity and haze of heat, there is a clarity I can't quite describe, but it's almost as if you can see every vein on every leaf from across the yard - each one swollen with anticipation, ready to explode into color.

I know that traditionally, Spring is seen as the season of birth and new life, but for me, it's Autumn that feels so fresh and new - a cleansing of the sweaty stickiness of August as it immerses itself in September, like a dip in the lake - just so natural and refreshing.

So I stood out on the back porch and thought. I don't know what I thought, I just remember absorbing the promise from the breeze, and soaking up the late afternoon warmth that crept away with the shadows as they snuck across the grass and faded away.

This morning the dew was chilled with it, that something about Autumn, and it soaked into my toes as I walked to the mailbox shortly after dawn and I found myself wishing for a sweater. I couldn't help but smile and think that Fall had been delivered on the turning wheels of the school bus - it's been creeping into the air since classes restarted.

Maybe Fall is a yearly lesson, a reminder to love, to live - the promise that no matter how oppressed we may feel, or how we may be suffocating in the thickness of our lives - there is always a clean Autumn breeze, and cool dew-soaked grass in which to dip our toes. We need only be patient enough to wait for it.

Monday, September 5, 2005

Tarheel Tavern Announcement

There seem to be some errors going through when using the signup box on the THT blog - looks like his code went haywire. The box here seems to work fine, but if you have any doubt as to whether it went through or not here's the secret - when you sign up, it sends you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. If you don't get that email, you haven't been added.

And when you DO get that email, don't forget to confirm that you want to subscribe, or it won't add you to the list

This is an email you SHOULD have gotten if you're a part of the Tarheel Tavern blog carnival ring:
First, my apologies to anyone who receives this email who has asked to be removed from our list - bear with me one last time, and I promise this will be the last mass mailing you'll receive concerning the Tarheel Tavern blog carnival.

Recently it seems we've run into some problems with the Tarheel Tavern email address list - we've had unwanted drops of people who didn't want to be dropped, and we've had people who have asked to be dropped who keep getting re-added. My solution is a newsletter. I added one to my new site, and realized how well it might work out for the THT. When I contacted Bora he agreed, and I set up an account for us. Here's how it all works:

If you want to be included in the weekly THT carnival, please go to the very bottom of the right column (or visit the Tarheel Tavern blog) and sign up for the newsletter via the signup box.

If you want to be excluded, do NOTHING, and you won't receive any more mail RE: the Tarheel Tavern.

This gives joiners the option to opt-out if they so choose at a future date without any confusion, without any accidental drops, and without any unwanted additions.

From this point forward, the weekly host will be given the login name and password to log in to the newsetter and send out any announcements about where the carnival will be held, and what that week's theme will be. The carnival itself will still be held on the blog of the volunteer host.

By the way folks, we still need a volunteer host for this week! hint hint!

However, when I sent out the emails, many came back undeliverable because of defunct email addresses on my list, so I'm unsure how many people on the list actually received the notification. So if you're a carolina blogger, please pass this info along to all the other carolina bloggers you speak with regularly, and hopefully we'll get the word out in time for this weeks THT.

And for the record, I think this happened none too soon, you should see the lovely email I just got from someone who'd asked to be dropped from the list. I hope he doesn't kiss his mama with that mouth!

Expensive Email

Man, sometimes life is weird.

I got this email this morning, from Xlibris Self Publishing. They're a subsidiary of Random House apparently. I'm not entirely sure, but it didn't appear to be a form letter, though I could be wrong, hard to tell. Anyway, they say they got my email from What does that mean? They surf through the subjects in the profiles? They surf tags? Someone from there actually reads blogs in search of customers?

Anyway, of course they're soliciting for customers, and I'm obviously interested. I don't have enough knowledge of the publishing end to just publish this anthology myself, so I'm going to need to go through some sort of company - so I checked out their site, their options, and their prices.

Wow is it expensive to self-publish! $500 is their cheapest package, and that appears to be a template into which I get to plug the poems into. It doesn't seem to be a situation where I have much control over what my book looks like or how it's set up.

In order to get the control and input I'd like, I'd need their most expensive package. Of course, they plan it that way, it's very intentional - I mean, it is a business. But the top package costs $1600. That's INSANE. I'll never afford that!

It doesn't matter for now anyway. I don't even have any contributors yat. The only poetry I've got is my own, and I'm not in this to promote my own work particularly, or to spend $1600 on the 30 or so poems I even have available lol.

Man, what a shock. $1600! I'll have to search around and see if any others are comparable for less money, when I'm ready. But it still has my curiosity piqued as to how they came up with my email address - some sort of blog bot that extracts email addresses from blogs where they find the search term "self publish" maybe?

Sunday, September 4, 2005

Feeling Artistic

I rediscovered a site I used to visit a lot, I had forgotten all about it. I'm glad I found it again because I really enjoy making these digital paintings. I figured I'd share the paintings and the URL where to make them, for all my friends that might just feel artistic tonight.
The woman on the right is on the poetic acceptance website...
Not exactly in the most complementary colors, but I added it anyway. I'll hate it tomorrow and take it off most likely. Anyway, go to and make your own - feel free to add the link to yours and share them here! I'd love to see what you guys make!

he Inside Scoop

There's been a lot of help from "out here" offered to the folks inside New Orleans. There's been a lot of folks inside that have complained that there isn't enough help being offered.

Seems to me that Ginger is right, there's a complete lack of communication because of power, phone and iinternet connection outages. I found one site though, run from the inside of an ISP company in New Orleans that has back-up generators and such, and is still connected to the internet.

So here is a blog, with links to pictures, straight from New Orleans - have a look, pass it around so maybe people can get lucky and see a loved one in one of the pics, or just getting general news from the inside out to us, or offers of help from us to them can get in?

In Another Life

In Another Life

There is nothing but the rustle of husks
in the cornfield today - empty stalks stripped bare
by the machinery and melancholy of man.

Whiskied whispers are the call of the black bird
pessimistic parasites with voices too hoarse to comprehend,
and so I cease to listen - ignore your gravelled song
as the pebbles raise the level in your cup.

Instead I drink sweet tea in the shade and dream.
I wait for sundown and thunder,
and content myself with thoughts of the sea.

A Cry for Help

So here I am, several hours past the deadline for the Tarheel Tavern, having totally forgotten about it, trying to scramble and hope that I'm not too late! See, when I saw the theme for this week, I thought to myself immediately that Laurie must have come up with it just for me. She swears that it's because of labor day that the theme is labor... But I know that she really had me in mind because how perfect is that theme for a pregnant woman to blog about?!

Oh come back here, I'm kidding! I promise not to discuss the intricacies of birth - at least not literally!

Some of you read here at least weekly, and for those of you who do I'll apologize now for any redundancy, but you see, it's very Erin to do something repeatedly (note that this is my 7th pregnancy?) You see years ago, when I first built my first website, it too was called Poetic Acceptance, so was my second incarnation thereof, and this blog, then my chapbook, and now, the site that actually fits my vision for the phrase. I've finally launched, officially, my latest project named Poetic Acceptance. It's a grief support site and a charity designed to offer support, both emotional and financial, to parents who've lost children. I've labored long and hard on the HTML - I'm NOT a web designer, and I have no natural talent for code! But after hours of pushing and straining at table sizes and placement, colors and functions, I've finally managed to bring into the world what I think is a beautiful site, with a beautiful purpose.

Yes I know I sort of announced it a week or two ago, but that was a false alarm, braxton hicks if you please - it has come a long way in content and purpose since then. It has matured enough to breathe on its own. But you see, I'm now a new mother! A still-wobbly overwhelmed new mother, so I'm blogging tonight to ask for help.

I've added the forums and the store, gotten a lot of paperwork done - and while I've got some extra, hopefully more knowledgeable eyes on me and my new baby, what I'd LOVE to get from some of you is advice. I'm clueless as to how to legally become a non-profit organization. OK not totally clueless, I have downloaded and printed IRS form 1024, and gotten an EIN...

I'm also in need of anyone who can offer some advice on self-publication for the anthology I plan to publish for the charity - I've got an ISBN, and it came with a bar code! But I'm feeling a bit clueless there too.

I'm also shamelessly asking you to add a link to your blog, your site, in the dust in the back window of your cars (except Ogre, we all know his new little hamster-mobile is sparkling clean yet. God that car tickles me!)

I need advice and traffic, in a big way. I know we're all tapped out from donations we've made for Katrina survivors, and I wouldn't dream of asking for donations right now, but I will ask for a tidbit or 2 of your knowledge! If any of you know anything that might be of some help, and are willing to help me out, please please email me!

Oh and, Happy Labor Day! Enjoy the day off! You know, I never did understand why we get a day off of work on Labor Day... Isn't that some sort of oxymoron or something?

Saturday, September 3, 2005



I am a naturally impatient person, have I said that already? I have no patience whatsoever. So now I have an ISBN, this means that I'll be self-publishing because a publisher already owns ISBNs and has a particular series of numbers that denotes that this book comes from this publisher. So this is not only a whole new situation to learn how to do, it's a slower operation because of my need to learn, and I don't have the first poem yet, which I need to start putting out calls for submissions - but I hesitate to do that until I'm sure of what I'm doing... I feel like I'm chasing my own tail, in slow motion! I'm ready to DO this dag nab it!

OK -
self publication with an ISBN is totally doable, a much more respectable idea than it used to be - and with the ISBN/barcode it can still be listed with Barnes and Noble and Amazon and any other bookstore I care to market to/through. It also means that I control price, and that I have more control over artistic issues, and that my cut of profit is higher.

Unfortunately it also means initial outlay of much cash to do this on the scale we're talking about here, and cash is a limited resource around my place - very limited.
It also means that I'm back down to self-marketing and there's a real problem there if my chapbook is any indication.

Looks like I better get busy soliciting CASH donations - getting traffic to the site so I have poetry to work with and revenue to the charity to fund this project, and ... sheesh, so much to do, and so many obstacles!
Guess I'm off to do some serious research on what I'm getting myself into!

Pissed Right Off

Remember the other day when we had this discussion about the level of competition I was running into, and the level of hostility that I wasn't understanding? Right now, all of a sudden, I understand it, and I feel it, and thank you god that I can't hack anything or I truly believe that I'd be hacking someone's server to shreds and making the recent EZBoard thing look like kid's stuff!!! I am SO FREAKING MAD right now - I cannot even begin to describe HOW mad!

When I first really got serious about building Poetic Acceptance for grieving parents, I took a wide sweep across the internet to get an idea of what other sites had that I should include or what they had that didn't seem all that helpful - or to see what they DIDN'T have that I should add to mine... an idea gathering mission.
So anyway, there's one, well, two actually - run by husband and wife, each site from the perspective of the opposite gender. I thought this was really a great idea, there are just as many men who've lost kids as there are women, but far less available help for them, so the male point of view thing was a great idea.

Anyway, I'm babbling cuz I'm pissed off. These 2 sites have been around for years, I liked them, I contacted the woman, told her I thought it was a cool thing. She emails me back, asks for poetry, asks if I want to trade links, then never adds my link, or my poetry, and suddenly stops replying to my email. Well, whatever, you know? But tonight I go back to these two sites and one is under construction... being changed over to the format, exactly, as mine! Different colors, but EXACTLY the same boxes and tables and layout. I'm SO FUCKING MAD! I busted ass for 2 weeks getting the site together, and he just swipes my damn code and runs with it.

Now, if I find my god-blessed poems there without a credit, god help them! Until then, I will try to cram the whole "imitation is the highest form of flattery" (or however it goes because I can't think right now) cliche down my own throat and shut up.

But Oh My GOD I'm am so mad!

Friday, September 2, 2005

ISBN for poetry my Anthology!

I was just GIVEN, free of charge, one ISBN number with bar code. How can I possibly NOT do the anthology now!?

The sad thing is, I have no clue what I'm doing, do I find a publisher and negotiate a contract first, or collect poetry submissions first!? Christ. What am I doing trying to do this when I don't even have traffic to my site yet!?


Someone who has a clue please come read my blog and leave instructions eh?

Sleepless in dreamland

5 am Friday morning - I've slept 15 minutes. A dream woke me up, and sometimes dreams, even the ones you really really wish were true, aren't all they're cracked up to be.

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Call me cold hearted

I've been watching, reading about, & hearing about the people in New Orleans. Their city is underwater, they have no power, no food, no homes, no water, save for what's in their livingrooms - and apparently, they have no common sense or manners either. There have been a few things I've seen and heard about that appall me. The looting, though it comes as no surprise, is one of them. Apparently, the theory is that when you're down on your luck, exploit the bad luck of others.

Then there's the gunfire - gunfire aimed at police and/or military folks trying to help, trying to save people, trying to rescue the living and take care of the dead, and trying to maintain some semblance of order and peace. Gunfire at the helicopters trying to fly patients out of hospitals...? What are these people thinking?

Then there's the overall crabbiness. Not that I believe that conditions are fun, or even humane maybe even in places like the Superdome. But how dare these people take this attitude? I, for one, if told that a high level 5 hurricane was headed for my home town, that some people were predicting what, 20 feet of water? If I were in a place well known for flooding and told that there was a MANDATORY EVACUATION, would leave. Pronto.

I heard a story of a woman who decided, with her children, to stay through the storm. They ended up trapped in the attic, with water up to their necks... what kind of person takes a chance like that with their kids!?

These people were warned - they chose not to leave - now they're paying the consequences, whose fault is that? And why in hell are they shocked!?

I have no sympathy for people who are damn arrogant or ignorant enough to believe that they can overcome nature, then want hand-outs when mother nature proves to them how weak and powerless they are. And I sure as hell don't feel a bit bad for the guy who killed the cop, or for the people who are raising hell on camera like a bunch of ingrates.

Now, let's not get confused here - I'm not saying a word about the people who left. I'm not suggesting that the people of Louisiana and Mississippi (whether they left or not) shouldn't get help. I'm just saying that the people who took the cavalier attitude towards the storm and stuck around - ignored the mandatory evacuation - and are now being complete assholes about the situation they're in, well, they should each be knocked upside the head with a big sloppy slab of reality check.


Yesterday I posted that my blog comes up #1 on an MSN search for Erin Angel... I lied, I come up #1 ON THE SECOND PAGE - the real Erin Angel #1 result is a porn site - so don't click it and then get mad at me for sending you to a porn site ok? I warned you!!

MTC Stuff:
V won a trip to Jamaica! I'm jealous as hell, but I also think it's super cool.
D and L moved their wedding up to this October. That means I won't get to go, but I'm sure they'll survive without me.
J called me on the phone last night - there are few phone calls that tickle me as much as one from him. They don't happen often and besides, he's been through so much lately, it was good to hear his voice and know that he's OK.
And we won't even get into the improvements on the site!

PAfgp Stuff:
Spreadsheets suck - I've done 2 today - ugh. But they'll be very helpful as Poetic Acceptance grows. It isn't that they're difficult, I just hate filling in all the little slots with all the right information. It's hard to concentrate long enough to get everything in the right slot hen you're alternating between that and a Maisy DVD, a baby dance CD and coloring!
I got more excellent news in my inbox today - another donation of store merchandise. I am amazed every time I get one of those emails - it just continues to make me feel better and better about people in general, and more and more encouraged about making this charity fund work.

I'm planning on doing an ezine of sorts of poetry by/for bereaved parents. If I find that there are enough submissions of quality work, and can get my hands on an interested publisher, I intend to publish an anthology. I haven't actually GOT an ISBN# for it yet, as it may not pan out, but I can get one easily and inexpensively whenever the need arises - meaning it can be sold at any and all bookstores and quite possibly be a major source of income for the charity fund. If you're interested as a writer, a consultant or as a publisher - email me!

Poetry Stuff
Ugh! I have about 5 poems in draft form that I can't stop long enough to work on! So many things are inspiring me lately, but my brain won't hold still long enough to truly grasp them and write/edit a poem.