Sunday, December 30, 2007

Winter 2008 lineup!

Coming soon...

Poetry and Prose by:

Judith Arcana
Juliet Cook
Sarah J. Den Boer
K. Goodkin
Christine Kanownik
Allison Kissell
Amy Fetzer Larakers
Lauren Levato
Erika Mikkalo
Simone Muench
Buzz Pounds
Mike Puican
Lina ramona Vitkauskas

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Three more poems...

at Prick of the Spindle.

It's been a pretty good week.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

feelin' geeky

I hope everyone had a lovely winter solstice...

I just wanted to say I'm feeling extremely geeky and can't wait to see blossombones in bloom this January!

We're waiting for a few bits and pieces to get wrapped up, (bios and such...)but I think I'm aiming for shortly after the new year...

In the meantime, I'm trying to learn bunches of new software (an early holiday gift), and baking way too many cookies!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

poetry & fairy tales...

Happy Holiday!

I'm pretty pumped to have three poems up in the latest issue of Sein und Werden.

Read them here, here, and here.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Three things...

1. Quite possibly the coolest doggie chew toy ever.

2. Reasons why one should not scrabble while intoxicated (SWI):

3. Melly is a cat lady in training.

(Happy Graduation Day, Melissa!!!!)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Congrats to Switchback!!!!!

We just want to give a shout-out to Switchback Books! How cool is it to be mentioned in BITCH's new issue!?!?

Rock on, Switchback!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Yep, it's Merriam-Webster's word of the year...and I think this is the first time I have ever used it, so I guess I'm a bit out of touch with the hip, newish words floating around...

Yeah, I've seen it used, and I knew it was a joyful interjection of sorts...heck, I even knew it was a kind of l33t sp34k (a.k.a. "leet speak": thanks, Z.!)...but I had no idea is was so popular. Hmmm.

Personally, if I had to choose a word from Webster's top ten list it would have been "Pecksniffian" but hey, that's me!



Sunday, December 9, 2007

technophilia vs. technophobia

Has anyone else been following the news about this new wireless reading device, the Amazon Kindle? I think I might be a little weirded out by the concept (albeit fascinated). No, I don't think I want one, at the moment... (Luckily, because apparently they can't keep them in stock!)

I also think $400 bucks is a bit pricey! (ouch.)

Don't get me wrong...I do like technology...but I also rather like real honest-to-nature paper, too. I can't imagine living in a world without books!

Of course, I'm not suggesting the Kindle represents the end of all libraries, bookstores or publishing houses...but I think the name is intriguing. "Kindle" makes me think of the word "kindling" and by association, the idea that books are just that for those who possibly desire a paperless world...

I suppose the Kindle might be the new iPod, only for books instead of music.

I still buy CDs. Yeah, I know. How very '90s of me!

Speaking of technophilia (and technophobia), I'm pretty excited about getting some new software from adobe. I'm finally getting photoshop and flash! Although I won't have time to put together any funky animations for the January blossombones, I might do something a wee bit playful for the summer issue.

New technology can definitely be exciting, no doubt about it.

Anyway, I'm especially curious to hear what other writers, editors (for both online and print projects), artists and poets think of this Kindle business. Any thoughts, folks?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Happy December!

The weather has certainly been wintry here in the Chicago area. Check out these scenes from my front porch:

Supposedly, there is a bit more snow coming tonight. It's certainly good weather for staying in to read a book. (Or shop for x-mas online, if you are so inclined!)

I'm currently reading Interred With Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell. It's a kind of Shakespearean mystery far, it's pretty entertaining.

It's been slow going, however. (Not because of the prose, but rather, because the upcoming holiday is the source of so much extra stuff to do!) I'm generally a lightning-fast reader, but it takes me forever lately to finish anything. Perhaps my brain has aged while I wasn't looking...

I hope not.

I've also been working on the poetry pages for blossombones. So far, everything is looking good. I hope to post a complete list of the contributors for the upcoming issue soon, but I'm still waiting to hear back from one more writer. Hopefully, I'll have everything wrapped up in the next couple of weeks, so I can just double-check the site towards the end of December before uploading the issue in January.

Thanks so much to all our contributors, and to everyone who submitted their work!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

progress report & etc.

Here's what's up with blossombones:

I spent the weekend trying to catch up on things, of course. We're done responding to submissions for Fall/Winter. If for some reason you sent us work prior to November 1st, and haven't heard back, do drop me or Melissa an email!

Poetry proofs are finished and all have been sent out to contributors. Prose is next on the agenda.

I'm also starting to do some page layouts for the poems. I think the issue is shaping up nicely.

Everything is moving along more or less according to schedule, so expect our first issue to go online in early January.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

kudos from our alma mater

It's rather nice to know that our former place of learning (in this case, Lewis University) takes an interest in what we're doing as writers and editors.

Please do check out this press release!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Things I am Thankful for, a.k.a. moving on and moving up

Well, if everyone out there hasn't guessed by my lack of posts lately, it's been a crazy time of letting go and drastic changes for me. And the whole whirlwind that's become my life lately really made me think this Thanksgiving about exactly what it is that I'm thankful for.

In a matter of a month, I've probably experienced every emotion in the book, from sadness to excitement to loneliness to anger....In a matter of a month I've gone from preparing to get engaged to having to cope with being bitter and single, and then wondering if I'm bitter because I'm single or if I'm just bitter....I think I'm just bitter. The whole being lied to thing is never fun, and I don't recommend it. That's all I'll say about that. Anyway, at this point I'm just trying to figure out how I can move from bitter to better, and I guess the fact that I can even sit back and say that it's possible to make something better out of a break-up is cause for thanks. Also I should probably be thankful that I have self-worth enough to be honest with others, self-esteem enough not to need the approval of some loser guy, and self-pride enough to recognize the value of living an authentic life. An authentic life without getting plastic surgeries and resorting to becoming the trashy "other woman". Unlike some people I know. I'm just thankful to be myself, and to know that being myself is enough.

I'm utterly and endlessly grateful for the friends and family who've helped me cope with all of my crazy life-changes. For the sister who stood in the backyard with me over the fire-pit the night of the big break-up, lighter fluid in hand, helping me literally burn the rest of his shit and anything material that reminded me of him. I definitely recommend a good lie-burning! Very cathartic.

In the matter of a month I also find myself happily employed at an up-and-coming TV network, when before I was broke as hell and wondering when I'd have to turn in my application to work retail or to join the hordes of English majors-turned-Baristas. Well, I now have a job that's fast-paced, interesting, and has pretty much nothing to do with being an English major....but it's something that I enjoy more and more everyday, which is a good thing. So I'm thankful for this wonderful new opportunity, I'm thankful to finally be making some money, and I'm definitely thankful for the amazing friend who got me this job in the first place.

I guess the saying 'whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger' has some truth behind it. The crazy stuff that's happened so quickly lately is hard to deal with, of course, but at the same time I know that I'll be better off having gone through this. I guess it's good to be able to reconnect with yourself and remember what it is that makes you YOU in the first place. I know now that I will never let go of the people in my life who truly love me and support me. And as for those who don't - fuck 'em. The only thing that matters in life is that you're living your life authentically, achieving what you want to achieve, and remaining grateful for all of the good things that come your way and, though they suck, all of the bad shit too.

And besides, when things go wrong, you can take solace in writing. Never mess with a writer - am I right?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

a mini-rant (a.k.a. now what?)

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving holiday...All I can say is that I am glad mine included apple pie.

A literary question for fellow poets/prose writers: What does one do when a journal fails to send contributors' copies as promised?

Oh...I won't mention any names.

Let's just say that some half dozen emails and several promises later said copies (published around six months ago) have not arrived.

This irritates me.

Do I just let it go? I am tired, tired, tired of asking.

Yet it seems screwy that I never got them.

I suppose it's all part of the (sometimes thankless) writing life.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

website update

Hello all!

I've added a bit more information about our submission guidelines here. Please note we are now accepting work for the Summer 2008 issue.

I've also updated the about blossombones page, incorporating a bit more information about what Melissa and I like in terms of our editorial tastes.

Hope this information is helpful!

Feel free to drop us an email if you have any questions.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The month of November is looking a little sparse, in terms of posts. Figured I'd just stop by and ramble on a bit. This has been one of those crazy periods where everything seems to be happening at once (Melissa--I imagine you could say the same!).

I saw much of the extended family this week, although I often wonder why it takes a funeral to get everyone together. My grandmother (and last remaining grandparent) passed away last week at the age of 89. She was a devout Irish-Catholic woman who raised six sons and loved musicals. In true Irish fashion (when it comes to saying goodbye in style) My uncles sang the theme song to OKLAHOMA at her gravesite. Riotous. She will be missed.


Am also muddling through marathon-length meetings, caring for an increasingly aging dog, and what often feels like both domestic and professional chaos.

Plans for grad school remain on the backburner, for now.

I think I'd just like to let life continue to surprise me, for a bit. (So long as at least some of the unexpectedness is good stuff! Is that asking for too much? I think not!)

I have managed to do a bit of reading, as well. I've just finished The Bell Jar, which has left me feeling a bit disaffected and Plath-y.

I also finished Frances Driscoll's amazing book, The Rape Poems. I found it to be both fierce and beautiful. If you pick it up and begin to read, you simply will not be able to set it down until you've read the whole thing.

I've done a little writing, too. I'd love to post something, but I tend to be hesitant about posting my work to the blog, in case I'd like to send it out somewhere that might take offense or consider it to be "previously published." So instead, I thought I'd post a little cento that combines the lines of a few of my recent poems.

Playing with words is so much fun.

Cento for the sword daughter

She must weigh every footstep
in a drop of hail,
her witchskin green beneath
canvas spattered with bees: tell
that siren--she's
denouement. A train in low light.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Check out some goodness....

So, much has happened in my life since I last posted - too much to type in one blog entry, actually. While I take time to process everything, I figured I'd treat everyone to the new issue of Wicked Alice! Both Susan and I have poems in the issue, as do some other wonderful poets!


Friday, November 9, 2007

it's been way too long since I've posted...

so I'm popping in to give a quick update on things.

First, we've got a great selection of poetry and prose coming. We're still reading and selecting pieces but I hope to have all things finalized over the next few weeks.


I do plan to update the website with some more specific submission guidelines sometime next week.

After that it's all going to snowball rather quickly, I suspect!

I'm pretty excited about both the look and (of course!) the content of our inaugural issue! Look for a few little changes along the way, before we go online in January. I'm hoping to spiff up the blog a bit, as well.

Apologies for the lack of posts this week...things have been busy! I just got back from a little road trip up to Wisconsin last weekend, and I'm still catching up on things...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

reading period(s) for blossombones

Just in case I don't get the chance to update the website until next week (which seems likely considering my current schedule), I'm posting reminders about our reading period(s).

Unless we've written to you personally, today is the last day to submit work to be considered for the Fall/Winter issue of blossombones.

Keep in mind that we do have rolling submissions, and work received between November 2nd and May 1st will be considered for the Spring/Summer issue. (So even if you've missed the November deadline, please do consider submitting for the next issue.)

I hope to post a complete list of contributors by mid-December at the latest (about a month before the issue goes online).

If you haven't heard from us yet, expect an email within the next six weeks!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Look at my book quiz!

Susan will be so jealous!

You're The Mists of Avalon!

by Marion Zimmer Bradley

You're obsessed with Camelot in all its forms, from Arthurian legend
to the Kennedy administration. Your favorite movie from childhood was "The Sword in
the Stone". But more than tales of wizardry and Cuban missiles, you've focused on
women. You know that they truly hold all the power. You always wished you could meet
Jackie Kennedy.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

That's actually a little true....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Another shockingly Irish revelation...thanks to The Book Quiz

You're Ulysses!

by James Joyce

Most people are convinced that you don't make any sense, but compared
to what else you could say, what you're saying now makes tons of sense. What people do
understand about you is your vulgarity, which has convinced people that you are at once
brilliant and repugnant. Meanwhile you are content to wander around aimlessly, taking in
the sights and sounds of the city. What you see is vast, almost limitless, and brings you
additional fame. When no one is looking, you dream of being a Greek folk hero.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

I would very much like to be a Greek folk hero(ine); however, I dislike the thought of being considered vulgar and repugnant!

On the other hand, I'm afraid I can't think of Ulysses without giggling at that whole "and yes. yes" business because it always makes me think of the movie Back to School, when Sally Kellerman is reading Joyce, and Rodney Dangerfield get all *excited* if you get my drift...

Popular Culture has poisoned my brain.

I'd have never thought my personality was Joycean...but I am very, very Irish in terms of family perhaps there's a bit of truth to the Book Quiz after all.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"We all go a little mad sometimes..."

Gotta love Norman Bates, especially how creepy Anthony Perkins looks in that old-lady wig and dress.

I'm getting in a Halloween kind of mood--hence the photo--so I've been watching MonsterFest on AMC this weekend. Psycho was on yesterday afternoon. Good Stuff.

I've got to say that overall, I'm a bit disappointed with the lineup of horror movies, though. Yes, I realize that different folks have the rights to show different movies and all that, but it irks me a bit when AMC shows a bunch of sequels while ignoring the (often vastly superior) originals.

Why repeatedly show Scream 3 (admittedly, not a bad movie or anything) without showing 1 & 2 ?

Why show Alien Resurrection but not Alien or Aliens ?

They also appear to be showing only sequels for Friday the 13th and Poltergeist as well...

The whole thing just feels vaguely uneven, and a tad disappointing.

Am I the only one going a little mad over this sequel mania?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A few more scary movies...

Some of my favorite Halloween Movies (aside from those on Melissa's list) include:

Sleepy Hollow: A rock-on Tim Burton you know it's visually stunning. With Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci. Awesome!

The Lost Boys: A very 80's vampire movie. Yeah, it has the two Coreys in it. And it's still one of my favorites. Quirky.

Ginger Snaps: Lycanthropy as a metaphor for menses? Yep. And it works, really. (Okay, maybe it's a little heavy-handed, but I think they pull it off!) Mimi Rogers as the hair-scrunchie-and-crafty-applique-sweatshirt-wearing mom is hilarious.

Scream I, II, III: All fantastic. I love the combination of humor and horror.

Saw I, II , III : Yeah, the first one is the best. Without a doubt.

Frailty: Very creepy.

My favorite Halloweenish movies ever!

If there's one thing that I love about this time of year, it's the quantity of scary movies on TV. It is, of course, important that in all of this hoopla quality isn't overlooked. Though really, there's something to be said about the horror genre - no matter how "bad" the film may be, even if it's completely ridiculous, it's still entertaining.

Anyway, in the spirit of things, here is my list (in no particular order) of my most memorable and my favorite horror films - scary, gory, hilarious, and everything in between!:

Spider Baby - This is, in my opinion, one of the classics. There's nothing better than a B-movie starring Lon Chaney Jr., one of the all-time greats of course, and a story about a creepy family and regression into madness! And, what's better, AMC is showing this movie FOR FREE on its website (at least for a limited time)!

Cabin Fever - Eli Roth does not disappoint in this AMAZING hilarious gorefest. You probably know Roth best for his torture and exploitation flick, the insanely popular Hostel, but truthfully Cabin Fever surpasses the Hostel films in humor, wit, smarts, and complexity. And come on, who doesn't love a flesh-eating disease and a weird hillbilly kid who does a flying jump-kick off of a porch while growling "PANCAKE!"? Amazing.

A Tale of Two Sisters
- This Korean horror-drama is probably one of my favorites of all time. It has it all: fairy tale elements, a Gothic setting, one creepy ghost, and an ending that is as shocking as it is heartbreaking.

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? - I'm not sure that this necessarily falls under the "Halloween movies" category, but this movie still creeps me out no matter how many times I see it. Sibling rivalry doesn't even begin to describe Baby Jane and Blanche. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford are pitch-perfect in a way rarely (if ever) seen anymore.

The Exorcist - This is probably the scariest film of all time and it holds a special place in my heart. What scarier horror film villain can you have but the Devil himself? There are many disturbing, memorable scenes in this film, including the creepiest crabwalk you'll ever see, the worst way to use a crucifix, and of course some 360-degree head-spins and pea-soup puke. The most disturbing part of the film for me at least is the large chunk where Regan undergoes some pretty painful medical testing; I am pretty squeamish, though. Regardless, this film is an absolute classic.

Shaun of the Dead - If you want a little less scare and a hell of a lot more laughs, this is the film for you. Shaun has fun playing with horror film conventions, and for anyone familiar with zombie flicks this is a must-see. Favorite character: Ed, Shaun's slacker best friend, who spends the majority of the movie in a shirt that reads "I GOT WOOD". Favorite scene: a pair of zombies shows up in Ed and Shaun's backyard; add some old fashioned impaling and a disposable camera, and it's impossible not to laugh!

The Descent - A group of kickass chicks, spelunking, claustrophobia, and some weirdo crawly surprises underground. This film does a great job of making the viewer feel as trapped as the women as they descend further and further into the earth, trying to find their way out of an unexplored Appalachian cave. Things get even worse for the women when main character Sarah, a grieving woman with severe flashbacks and hallucinations, begins to suspect that she and her friends are not alone underground. And this film confirms that I will never, ever spelunk (though I do love the word...).

The Ring - Though I typically cringe at Amerianized remakes of kickass Asian originals, I have to admit that I enjoyed this more than Ringu. There's just something about a scary, angry ghostchild that keeps me awake at night. Aside from being completely terrifying, this is a great mystery film. As Rachel, played by Naomi Watts, begins to put together the pieces, we learn more about the evil origins of the infamous videotape. The twist at the end of the film, and you know what scene I'm talking about, made me cry and scream I was so panicked.

Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 - Sci-Fi isn't usually my favorite film genre, but these three are so amazing that I can't choose just one. Ripley is kickass, the desolate outerspace environment is isolated and frightening, and come on - that alien is one scary pissed off mama!

Audition - This film has what is hands-down the best twist in the history of movies. I can't even hint at what that twist is! Audition starts off innocently enough: a lonely man holds an audition - hence the title - to find a new love. The film becomes weirder and weirder, until finally......WHOA! If you like to be shocked, if you don't mind a little bit of violence, some elements of gialli, then check this film out!

Rosemary's Baby - If you're a woman, this is a scary, scary movie. Mia Farrow is so wonderful in this film as Rosemary Woodhouse, who's pregnancy takes a scary turn when she realizes she might be carrying the antichrist. Ruth Gordon, from Harold & Maude, is spot-on as the obnoxious and creepy Minnie.

These are only a few of my long list of favorites. Others that I love are Halloween , Ju-on, Psycho, The Eye, and of course The Shining. Those creepy twins always scare the hell out of me!

Happy watching! Let me know which ones I missed!

Monday, October 22, 2007


The inaugural issue of blossombones is developing nicely, but there's still room for your work! The submission deadline for the first issue of our BRAND SPANKING NEW journal is November 1st - and that's right around the corner! If you have any poetry, hybrid pieces, fiction, or creative non-fiction that you'd like to send us, get a move on it! Check the site for submission guidelines and specifics. We look forward to reading your work!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Some Comic Relief!

After all of the blossombones blog seriousness, I think we need a laugh. And I think that this is really, really funny! Enjoy Feminist Bookstore!

Sunday Comics

A couple of Sunday Funnies to lighten your day:

Married to the Sea



Saturday, October 20, 2007

For Melissa, who loves a good mystery...

Haircut or fish? The etymology of the word "mullet" has an air of mystery about it...

Interested? I recommend this article, which includes such gems as

"It might seem that mullethead "fool" came from mullethead "fish" (since the naming of human beings characterized by their behavior according to a metaphorical resemblance with animals is common). But mulletheaded "foolish" is recorded from 1857, seven years before mullethead "fish": "The men, for the most part sleepy, ignorant, mullet-headed looking wretches"; so it is not clear whether the fool was named for the fish, or the fish for the fool."

And--as promised, Melissa--I am including this:

I told you I had a girl-mullet. You didn't believe me, did you?

Friday, October 19, 2007

a letter to the editors...

In case you were wondering what all the recent discussion has been about...

Poet Stephanie Cleveland has agreed to allow us to publish her letter in its entirety here on the blog as a letter to the editors. At the bottom of this post, you'll find links to my response, as well as Melissa's.

Dear Susan and Melissa at blossombones,

I am a 28 year old feminist poet. I grew up in Winterville, Georgia, and now live in Manhattan. My poems have appeared in Boston Review, Colorado Review, Another Chicago Magazine, and jubilat, and are forthcoming in Conduit. Simone Muench encouraged me to submit work to you, as she felt you would appreciate my poetry.

I have been following your blog a little over the summer, trying to get a sense of who you are and what blossombones might be like. I hope it is alright to share some concerns with you.

I was frustrated and saddened by your recent blog post, in which Susan called for poems that were not political in their use of language. As a woman poet, the idea of a magazine focused on woman-centered writing appealed to me a great deal, but after reading those additional qualifications, I felt much more hesitant about submitting.

I do not have a lot of patience for post-modernism, at least not in the ways it is currently practiced in many US universities, poetry workshops, and women's studies courses. I think post-modernism frequently gets misused to undermine the women's movement, to prevent women from speaking about our common experiences of oppression under male dominance, and to keep us from asking for spaces free of men's words where our own ideas can be heard. I feel strongly that anyone who would accuse you of being essentialist for attempting to create a space for women's writing, would be using a rhetorical strategy against you that is sexist, elitist, and deeply anti-feminist. Many women outside academia (including myself, until recently) have never even heard of essentialism, and feel it, and other inflated, academic, post-postmodern jargon, mean absolutely nothing to us in our daily lives-- lives in which, in the real world, women are beaten, raped, and murdered by men every minute. Catherine MacKinnon has a wonderful essay about postmodernism and its effects on contemporary feminism in her collection of essays, Are Women Human?, if you are interested in further discussion on this topic.

In the world we live in, many spaces and opportunities that have historically been available to men remain closed off to women. The idea of a space for women's writing feels necessary, given that fact--it is not something you should have to justify to male or female peers. I was disappointed to learn you had considered featuring only women's writing in blossombones, but ultimately decided against that idea. I think a woman-only journal could potentially have been an important venture for women artists. Yet, as women, I think we sometimes focus more of our energy on trying not to alienate men, than on working towards our own equality. If you feel worried about excluding men, consider how a magazine featuring only women's writing would provide them with a rare opportunity to read, listen, and learn from women's poetry and ideas, published in woman-only space. That is a chance truly pro-feminist men would appreciate. As things stand, every time you accept a male author's work, it means giving him a slot a woman might have filled with her voice. To me that feels unequal, especially since men are not hurting for places to publish elsewhere.

Reading your blog entry and remarks about the guidelines, I also wondered if you might find it more useful to say that you are interested in work that speaks about the "female" experience, rather than a "feminine" one. As a woman writer, I have much to say about what it means to be female in this world. On the other hand, I do not identify with the concept of femininity at all. Feminine and masculine are, in my view, social constructs which compromise life for women, and to a lesser degree, men too. Women like myself--women who do not shave, do not enjoy wearing dresses, heels, skirts, lipstick or makeup, and don't like being seductive or sexy around men-- may feel a little alienated by the idea of writing about a "feminine" experience for blossombones.

I am all for offering you work that speaks about my experience as a woman. However, in order to talk about things relevant to women's lives, I need freedom to write about all my experiences, not just the ones men accept as relevant or worth hearing about. You write as though you believe any poem a woman might create about eating disorders or having a period will inherently be inferior. I would strongly urge you to reconsider that position. Your words sound frighteningly similar to sexist critiques men sometimes direct at me, and other women poets who write about specifically female experiences. If a male editor discouraged women from submitting poems about having periods or an eating disorder to his magazine, I hope his behavior would register with you as undeniably misogynist. I wonder sometimes if, as women, our decisions to cordon off parts of our lives as too trivial to write about, are evidence of internalized misogyny. Maybe we've learned hatred for ourselves, or for the parts of ourselves men don't care for, in a world that hates women so much to begin with. I think in some ways it feels easiest to be silent about those parts of our lives, rather than giving men the chance to ridicule us when we write about them.

But if you write off all poems about menstruation, eating disorders, or poems that involve women's emotions--saddness and anger, as well as humor and desire--you will be writing off work by poets like Alice Notley, Stephanie Brown, Louise Gluck, Jennifer Moxley, Slyvia Plath, and others whose poetry is incredibly rich and valuable. Alice Notley writes, "The purple blood on the toilet paper, with small clots is the horse's," in an untitled poem that starts out with that reference to menstrual blood and continues to rotate around descriptions of the poet's period. In Commencement Address, Stephanie Brown begins:

I have no more to say about throwing up or causing myself to get diarrhea there's nothing heroic about it though the movies on TV want us to endure quietly and cry appropriately. It's a wonderful role for any young actress to place herself in some household where the dialogue is sexual between all of them including dead grandparents who are still alive in theory and very much inside everyone's bodies,..."

Both these poems were selected by David Lehman for his anthology of American prose poetry in 2003, if male approval matters to you. I think many men however, believe bulimia, anorexia and menstruation are trivial if not disgusting topics, not worthy of getting poems from. Men themselves don't experience these things, at least not in the ways women do, so they may not feel obligated to listen. I think women, however, are completely capable of writing strange, strong, beautiful, unusual and brilliant work about these experiences, and I would ask that you not trivialize that work, or make fun of women poets who produce it. It feels difficult for me to understand why you would encourage women to write about lipstick on a beer can, but not blood on a maxi pad? Is it because most men think a lip-print is sexy and seductive, but menstrual blood dirty and nasty?

In my poetry, I'm using concrete, strange, inventive, lyric language; it's also language that is fiercely political. One of the most important claims of feminism has always been that the personal, the daily, is political. As a feminist, as a survivor of male violence, as a person who deals with sexism each day of her life, the simple fact that I write at all, that I open my mouth to speak, or type out my words on my computer, is a political action. It means I am daring to believe that my thoughts and ideas matter, that my poems about life as a woman have a right to exist. The majority of men in this world, at some point in their lives, will treat women and our words as inferior. This happens, particularly when we write about our experiences in ways men don't feel comfortable with. But each time I write a poem, I am calling men's labeling of my work as inferior, a lie. White people frequently tell lies about the work of poets of color as well, treating political poems by poets like June Jordan, Audre Lorde, Sapphire, and Eileen Tabios, as having less artistic merit because they are overtly political, but do not assume political poems written against racism and sexism by these women are worth any less than a poem by Wallace Stevens or John Ashbery. Also, do not assume all strong, well-crafted poems are apolitical. As fiction writer Dagoberto Gilb writes, "To write is a political action....Writing transcends life and death. Writing becomes overt politics when it's about war, but writing is also about transformation of your soul. Losing your soul....I will say that this is politics too, just not what is usually called that." I think if blossombones attempts to depoliticize women's poetry, particularly in the deeply sexist, racist, and imperialist age we are now living in, you run the risk of making women's words irrelevant.

Stephanie Cleveland

Response from Susan

Response from Melissa

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My opinions, with respect

As an addendum to Susan’s post in response to some criticism we’ve received as of late, I felt the need to speak out to help clarify what we’re trying to do here.

I respect people who think differently about what I’m trying to say in this entry. My opinions are my own, take them or leave them.

We ask for writing that artfully focuses on the female experience. What is the “female experience” anyway? There's not one label we can wrap around it or one set of ways to describe what it means because every woman experiences being a woman differently. It could mean periods and the moon and bar fights and shopping to one woman, and comic books, hair gel, and minivans to another. My point is that our call for writing that stems from the "feminine experience" is something that should elicit a wide range of writing. The pieces that we receive should all have different definitions of the feminine/female experience.

I also think that it might be worth it to define what we mean by writing that examines the “feminine” experience. We are not necessarily asking for poems that talk about skirts and heels and lace and purses. "Feminine" also means "of or relating to women", which many things that aren't skirts or Jimmy Choos, do. The other definition of “feminine” is “having qualities or appearance traditionally associated with women”. Well, okay, traditionally we are told that to be “feminine” is to be delicate, to be gentle, etc. But when was that dictionary definition decided upon? How long ago? Wouldn’t it be more interesting to think about the things that we consider as relating to women of today? Does the traditional definition even make sense anymore without opening the word up to incorporate other aspects of what it means to be a woman? To be feminine, I think, does not mean the same thing it would’ve meant in the Victorian Era or the 1920’s in New York City or even ten years ago. The definition of what it means to be a woman is something new altogether, and that’s our whole point here. Shouldn’t we, as women or as men who value women, acknowledge that the definition of “feminine” has evolved over the years? Is it possible, as society progresses – and we have progressed, at least in the U.S., to a certain degree – that what we consider and define as “of or relating to women” should progress too?

I think it’s also worth talking about why Susan and I decided to open submissions up to both men and women when some would’ve preferred for blossombones to be a women-only outlet for creative expression about the feminine/female experience. Whether you agree with us or not, women, people of various gender configurations, and yes, even men, can still have very valid and important things to say about and in support of women. I hands-down believe that. Not all men are scum; some are, but some are just as open-minded and progressive as us women. In fact, some men are even more so. I absolutely agree that men have it better in this world and they have for ages. That’s an understatement, really. But I don’t see the point in telling a feminist male – that’s right, they do exist – that the work he produces in support of women, women-centered writing, and writing that explores the feminine/female experience is not worth considering simply because he doesn’t have a vagina. We ultimately decided to include men in our artistic discussion not because we were trying to appease men, because we need men in order to legitimize the work we choose. To suggest that is absolutely ludicrous. Rather, we as editors are affording men the opportunity to explore their idea of feminine/female-centered writing BECAUSE MEN CAN BE FEMINISTS TOO. Shouldn’t we encourage that? Or is my definition of "feminism" too broad? I don’t think there’s such a thing as the quintessential feminist; the only real requirement is that one advocates for women’s rights. Should feminism be some exclusive club you can only join if you’re a woman? And a particular “type” of woman at that? And should I as a feminist and as someone who promotes feminism deny the voices of men who want to speak out in support of feminism? To exclude men from the conversation completely is equivalent to saying that I shouldn't be allowed to speak out about rights for gays and lesbians because I'm not a lesbian myself. That's just absurd.

Ultimately, the decision for what does and does not make it into our journal is Susan’s and mine. That’s what is so cool about starting up your own journal – you can feature the work that you like to read! I highly suggest it. We have a great respect for writing, for writers, and we will only publish the best of what we receive. Susan and I both have preferences, things that we look for when we’re reading a piece. If you don’t like the same things than we do, it’s okay – that’s the beauty of it! And if you feel that a particular stone is being left unturned by the literary community, then turn that stone over by starting up a journal or a press of your own! It says a lot to take action in that way, just as it says a lot when anyone writes in the first place. Writing, as Susan talks about in her entry, is a very political act, and so is selecting what writing to publish and not to publish.

Here is my advice: we like the concrete. Show us; do not tell us. We like the sincere, the specific. We like the subtle, the strange, the vivid. We like things that break the mold with language. If you love sensory language, then we love you. If you write something that makes us smell the burnt toast, taste the cough syrup, or hear the creaking of your father’s old suede slippers as he paces in the back hallway of the taxidermist’s office, then rock on. We like the grotesque and the beautiful equally, writing that sparkles whether it’s covered in sequins or crusted in puss. We’d rather publish something that isn’t afraid to take risks than something we’ve seen before. We don’t care if you’re well-published or completely new to the scene – good writing is good writing, and we can’t wait to read yours!
Susan, this will make you laugh....

Definition of Melissophobia

Melissophobia: Fear of bees.

A phobia is an unreasonable sort of fear that can cause avoidance and panic. Phobias are a relatively common type of anxiety disorder. Phobias can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy using exposure and fear reduction techniques. In many cases, anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication proves helpful, especially during the early stages of therapy.

The word "melissophobia" comes from the Greek "melissa" meaning bee + phobia from the Greek "phobos" meaning fear = literally, fear of bee(s). Melissophobia is also known as apiphobia.

Is it weird that the fear of bees sounds an awful lot like the fear of Melissas?..... I think so.

writing as a political act

This week, I received a letter concerning a recent blog post, in which I described our editorial tastes by mentioning a preference for the concrete over the abstract, and for language that is inventive and lyrical rather than "political."

I'd like to add a bit of clarification for anyone who might be interested. I believe that all writing is--by nature--political, in the sense that speaking and writing are political acts. What I meant (and probably could have explained a bit more clearly) is that as editors, Melissa and I have a preference for a certain style of poetry (and prose). As a general rule, we are a bit turned off by work that is highly abstract, preachy or didactic. We like work that shows us something, rather than tells us. We adore subtlety. We are not offended by overtly political poems and prose; however, these kinds of works tend to use broad abstractions that are simply less interesting to us than work that appeals to the senses.

That is not to say that there is not a place for this kind of work; we're merely explaining that it's not our style.

We love writing that is unexpected. We are not necessarily stating certain topics are "off-limits" so much as asking that writers consider work that describes women's experiences without limiting themselves to topics that seem inherently (or perhaps stereotypically) "female."

In response to another question raised in this letter, I also want to mention that I don't have a problem with topics relating to the female body per se (in fact, I am very interested in work about the body); however, I don't want writers to limit themselves to work about anorexia or menstruation only because we get a number of submissions about this kind of thing, and we like variety.

Overall, we are very open-minded in terms of both style and subject matter. If you have a knockout piece about any topic you think relates to women's lives and experiences, by all means, send it!

Over these last few months, we have received a good deal of quality poetry and prose. As a literary journal, our primary aim is to promote the work of some wonderful contemporary writers and poets. To all those who read, write and submit their work for publication, thank you!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Check this out!

[GROWLING SOFTLY], a compilation of poetry put out by Blood Pudding Press, is out now! Everyone should go pick up a copy (and not just because I'm in it)!!!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

about blossombones...

Hello all!

When submitting to a new literary journal, it's often difficult to get a sense of what the editors are looking for. While we've tried (briefly) to describe our aesthetic on the blossombones website, I think a little additional commentary might be useful!

In response to some questions about what kind of work we are looking for (and what we mean when we ask for "woman-centered" writing), I thought I'd post a little blog about my editorial tastes.

Anyway, I'd like to start out by mentioning that while Melissa and I considered publishing only work by women writers, we decided that we''d like to be open to all, but that we love (and prefer) work that speaks to us--thematically--as women writers.

It's not easy to describe what I mean by woman-centered, because I consider this a pretty broad category. While I suppose we are running the risk of being accused of essentialism (by means of defining our tastes in this way), I think I can live with that. Bear in mind we're not looking for work that is stereotypically "feminine" but rather, work that in some way describes things relevant to women's lives.

While topics of gender and sexuality are fair game, we do ask that writers use language that is concrete, unusual, and lyrical, rather than political. I'd rather not receive a manuscript of poems about eating disorders. Nor am I interested in an ode to menstruation. Basically, what I'm trying to say by asking for work that is "woman-centered," is that I hope to see poems (and other texts) that explore the world that we (both men and women) experience in terms of what I might describe as "dailyness." I ask that you make the mundane interesting. Don't tell me what you think is wrong with the economy. Don't send me poems about broad abstractions like freedom or justice (Ack! My personal pet peeve.) Do explore the possibilities inherent in daily life: lipstick on a beer can, fairy tales, your father's pancake recipe, carnivorous plants, renaissance art, comic books, cinema verite. Be strange. Be inventive. Offer a strange juxtaposition of images that startle. Surprise me.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Well, it's another hot October day (lingering somewhere around 90 degrees here in Chicago...) spent primarily indoors, because the aggressive bees around here freak me out. (I almost abandoned some 100+ dollars worth of groceries yesterday, when they swarmed my cart. Horrible.)

A cancelled meeting left me with a good deal of extra time on my hands today (see also: silver lining) so I worked on Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML this morning, and so far, I think I'm getting it. It's a little strange to be writing tags by hand in a plain text editor instead of using Dreamweaver...but it's all about getting to the CSS stuff! Anyway, I'm hoping to be downright skilled with both HTML and CSS by Xmas...We'll see! (Yep. That's REALLY what I do with my free time.)

I'm also hard at work on a new poetry project. More on that later.

Tomorrow, I'm off to the Goodman Theater to see Passion Play: A Cycle by Sarah Ruhl. I'm looking forward to that, and will post my (amateur) review of the play later this weekend...

Monday, October 1, 2007

coming soon!

poetry and prose by

Judith Arcana

Juliet Cook

Sarah Den Boer

Erika Mikkalo

Buzz Pounds

Mike Puican

Lina ramona Vitkauskas


As you can see, we have a pretty exciting lineup of contributors for the first issue of blossombones! We are still reading and considering submissions until November 1st for our Fall/Winter issue.

If you're thinking about sending us something, submit!

We look forward to reading your work.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

In the spirit of women's poetry....'s a cento that I wrote using Mina Loy lines from this book:

Blue Nun: A Mina Loy Cento

The open window is full of a voice
That taught him of earthquakes and women.

Mumbling Mumbling.
The longing and the lack
Of vocabulary;
A thousand women’s eyes
Splinters on the opal angle of the sun
A radium of the word.

(Bad little boy
Licking is larger than mouths)

All quicks and cores
Of lunar lusts
Birth-breaths and orgasms

And feeding upon itself
The animal woman
Who wore lamp-shade red dresses
In the milk of the Moon -

This is the Devil.

Put curtains at our windows
If the shutters were not shut.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

happy, happy.

Melissa and I have had a bit of wonderful news this week!!

Check out the sidebar here to see why we are in an especially celebratory mood!


I also picked up this yesterday, because I am determined to hone my techie skills in order to make sure the January issue of blossombones looks good!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

walking the labyrinth

Of course, it wasn't quite as fancy as the one shown here, but I just got back from the Spirit, Mind, and Body fair at the lovely Portiuncula Center for Prayer, where I took a labyrinth walk, among other things.

I've always had a fascination with the concept of the labyrinth. As a symbol, the labyrinth is found everywhere: from our oldest myths to the most post-modern types of literature. Borges wrote about them endlessly, it seems. Pilgrims have walked them in cathedrals and woods. Some people even take a metaphorical walk with a wooden board and a single finger.

Bear in mind that a labyrinth is not a maze. There are no dead ends, merely a single, circular path that eventually brings the traveler to a central destination.

One of the things that really struck me about the labyrinth was the way in which the path brought me so close to my destination, and then outward again, toward the periphery several times on this miniature journey. I suppose it's quite similar to striving toward any other goal. It requires mindfulness and patience.

When we walk straight toward the center, something is lost. I guess we just learn more on a circuitous path.

Anyway, it gave me a little something to think about regarding the pursuit of certain goals. Every time I think I'm where I want to be, I suddenly find myself far removed from the center. It's good to know that no matter how many times I wander toward the edge, I'll reach my destination as long as I keep on walking.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Random first lines from books on my shelf...

"Wildlife and the Wild Woman are both endangered species."
--Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run with the Wolves

"Is a pen a metaphorical penis?"
--Sandra Gilbert & Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic

"Time is not a line, but a dimension, like a dimension in space."
--Margaret Atwood, Cat's Eye

"'The continuous work of our life,' says Montaigne, 'is to build death.'"
--Simone de Beauvior, The Ethics of Ambiguity

"The moon is full."
--Starhawk, The Spiral Dance

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I was saddened to hear that writer Madeleine L'Engle passed away last week. I've always loved her books, and I consider her a brilliant writer. Her work definitely transcends genre, and is worthy of attention from adult readers, as well as young people.

I think I'll dig out A Wrinkle in Time, and re-read it. Soon.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Susan's moody writer bio

Susan Slaviero writes about dismemberment, existentialist funerary images, peyote dreams, and the absence of color. Her hobbies include hunting for geoduck clams and whittling gravestones from bars of Ivory soap. She can peel an orange with her feet. She once owned a black beret.

She is currently writing her own eulogy, a fragmented narrative constructed entirely in iambic pentameter.

Friday, September 7, 2007

My crappy mood calls for.....

some moody writer photos....

I can see clearly now...

Harley is looking much happier with his snazzy new haircut (and his delightful polka-dot bandanna).

I'm hoping he'll be less mopey, now that he can see properly.

Oh! And check out my new pet. Yikes!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Blame it on the blood loss...

So I made the most of having to get bloodwork done today. (again!)

I still can't bring myself to rip off that tape. Z. saw me taking a picture of my arm, and said:

"I think you're going a little crazy with this blogging thing."

Anyway, today was my day for going a little crazy. If I have to go out to do something crappy, I like to improve the overall quality of the day and join unpleasant tasks with pleasant ones.

Besides, I had a gift certificate for Barnes and Noble in my bag.

I should never, ever, be allowed to roam free in bookstores. It's dangerous to my bank account.

Exhibit A:

I also went to Trader Joe's (which is way cooler than regular grocery shopping) and bought such awesome stuff as: TJ's organic marinara sauce, pizza bagels, and vanilla bean cake mix. (I also picked up broccoli, but that's not really awesome, is it?)

*I must add that I had every intention of buying GRE prep materials at the bookstore. However, (if you want to get Freudian about it) my id took over, and I bought a bunch of fun stuff instead. I'm blaming it on that little vial of blood taken from my arm almost an hour before book shopping...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

speaking of teen angst...

Our recent discussions of YA novels and my attempts to organize the chaotic boxes of photographs in the spare room got me thinking about the influence of one's teenage years. (See above: circa 1988! Nice bangs, huh? And to think, that photo is almost twenty years old. Scary.)

Of course, these thoughts may have something to do with having a teenager in the house, too...

Do we ever really outgrow the anxieties we associate with youth?

Last night I had an anxiety dream, and (as always) it took place at school. I was taking an exam, and ran out of time. Half the test was left blank and I had to turn it in unfinished. I woke up feeling really, really stressed.

Whenever someone refers to adolescence as "the best years of your life," it makes me cringe...There must be some reason why we associate anxiety with teenagerdom. It seems contradictory that we also associate these years with being carefree.

Just an observation.

As an aside, I married the nice young man in that dance photo. We've aged a bit since 1988, yet I still have bad dreams about unfinished exams. And bad hair days.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

To distract myself from studying....

Hey all. One week of classes down, fourteen or so to go. I'm already burnt out! I'm sure once graduation rolls around I'll be in this weird state of happy/sad, but right now I'm counting down the long weeks! I need a break already!

Our recent moon oddities continued last night when I looked into the sky and noticed that the moon looked as if it had quadrupled in size. I know this has something to do with water vapor magnifying the moon, but I wonder if this will impact my recent moon-induced string of bad luck. Let's hope not. I'm sure I'm in need of another card reading by the lovely Susan.

In other news, I've decided to go ahead and get that tattoo that I was talking about a couple of entries ago, and I picked a date to go get it done! And it didn't take much convincing to get my boyfriend pumped about going with me. He'll probably get another tattoo as well. He actually doesn't mind the burning pain. Let's hope I don't mind it either.....

I haven't had the chance to do much writing - quality writing, anyway - but I have managed to write a decent funny poem about Bear Grylls, who can be seen on the Discovery Channel show Man vs. Wild and in my wildest dreams. Who can't help but have a crush on a man who isn't afraid to scale the deepest crevasse of a glacier? The poem uses the words "rainslicker" and "flint" in a whole new way....

As for what I've been reading, outside of schoolwork, I've been trying to keep it light and easy. Right now I'm almost done with Twilight. Yes, the book is intended for young teenage girls, which I'm not, but my youngest sister C. is a teenage girl and she loved the book. Plus it has vampires and werewolves in it to even out all that high school angst. I actually like it, and it's refreshing compared to all of the dense art history reading I've had to do lately. I recommend it.

Friday, August 31, 2007

file this one under "fascinating, but creepy"

Check out this article about a 200 yard spiderweb in Texas.

If you dare.

It sounds like something out of a fairy tale. Or maybe Harry Potter?

I would actually like to see the web. You'd think someone would have taken a few pictures...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The wonderful world of words...

I have a fascination with both language and cyberculture.

An addiction, if you want me to be perfectly honest.

Thus, I am always on the lookout for new and compelling things both online, and in the ever-evolving lexicon of the English language. And if these two interests happen to coincide--well, that's even better!

First, I give you the blossombones word of the week (thank you, Macmillan English Dictionary!):


Are you a cyberslacker? Read this, and see for yourself!

I challenge you to work this new word into a conversation this week. (My own observations regarding the prevalence of this activity suggest it shouldn't be too difficult.)

And now, for the second order of business: a "must read" for bloggers. I recently stumbled upon the blog of writer Erin O'Brien, and think it's probably one of the funniest things I've ever read. And I can't stop reading it. Seriously, this woman is just brilliant. And hilarious. Oh, happy accident!

I do believe Ms. O'Brien's blog represents a great temptation to engage in a bit of cyberslacking...

Don't miss her "Housewife" post! (Warning: It's a bit risque! But damn funny.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


These last couple of days have been both hectic and weird. (And unfortunately, not in a good way.) Today is the full moon, with a lunar eclipse thrown in. Coincidence? Perhaps not.

At any rate, I will try to finish responding to the submissions already received very soon.

I have done virtually NO writing for almost two weeks, which makes me feel awful, but I will try to get back on track for Autumn, moon phases aside...I do have plans for a few pieces in the works...just haven't gotten a chance to put those ideas to paper.

For inspiration, I've been reading Margaret Atwood's Writing With Intent. My favorite essay (so far) is called "Spotty Handed Villainesses: Problems of Female Bad Behavior in the Creation of Literature." My favorite quote, thus far:

"Female characters who behave badly can, of course, be used as sticks to beat other women--though so can female characters who behave well: witness the cult of the Virgin Mary, better than you'll ever be, and the legends of female saints and martyrs--just cut on the dotted line, and, minus one body part, there's your saint, and the only really good woman is a dead woman, so if you're so good, why aren't you dead?"

An excellent point about non-villainous female characters, is that they often serve a less-than-saintly purpose. And of course, the quote brings to mind another of my favorite writers--Eudora Welty--who (rather famously) posed this question in her story "Petrified Man": "If you're so smart, why ain't you rich?"

Why indeed.

Those of you who read this blog and are familiar with my most recent project can see why this quote from Margaret Atwood hits home for me...for many reasons...not the least of which is my Catholic upbringing and childhood fascination with the lives of female saints.

Forgive the rambling nature of this blog entry...It's been that kind of day.


Things I find troubling:

1. I have taken to keeping a small dictionary on my desk, because I seem to have suddenly lost the ability to spell words with the confidence of a third-grader. And to think, I was once queen of the spelling bee!

2. I am genuinely worried about the effects of the lunar eclipse today.

3. It's almost 10 p.m. and there's a half-finished glass of wine on my desk. (Friends don't let friends drink and blog?? Perhaps I should make a you tube public service announcement...)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

and now, for something completely irrelevant...

So I've been feeling under the weather (literally and figuratively) all week. Apparently I'm not the only one. Mike and I have had to carry Harley down the stairs to get him to go outside, as he is a very stubborn little guy. I figure it's either the rain, or the fact he desperately needs a haircut.

Exhibit A:

I'll be calling the groomer ASAP.

I can't do anything about the weather, though.


And now, for something relevant:

In blossombones news, we're building a pretty exciting lineup of writers for the first issue...I'm still sorting out a few submissions yet, but I'll probably post a preliminary list of contributors on the blog sometime soon!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Something I love!

People who know me well know that my favorite show of all time is Arrested Development. People who know me also know that I nearly cried when FOX decided to cancel the show, which I still think is completely unfair even to this day.

Well I have discovered something that in some small way is helping heal the wound that was left in place of my beloved show. And it stars George Michael Bluth (his real name is Michael Cera, hence Clark & Michael) which makes it even better!

Clark: ...we need to join some sort of martial arts class.

Michael: Okay.

Clark: get a sensei.

Michael: It's interesting that you said that, 'cause I agree with you with the conviction of seven Arabian princesses.

Sooooooo hilarious to me. Oh yes. Enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2007

love & hate

So I've decided that blogging is my new favorite method of procrastination.

This week, I'm loving:

1. My cool new houndstooth-check tote bag...for carrying books and other such wonderful things...

2. Dogs

(Why yes, I believe that is my thumb in the corner. Harley doesn't mind. Neither should you.)

3. Reading old anthologies and discovering new poems

4. Funny web comics

And I find myself hating:

1. "Celebrity bump-watch" headlines. Seriously, who cares? I could write an entire blog entry on how much this kind of thing irritates me. Perhaps I will. Later.

2. When stores try to sell poor quality tomatoes in August. There's just no excuse for that. Not when they're in season.

3. The recent influx of spam in my email box. No, I don't need any herbal male-enhancement. How rude of you to ask, unknown spammer.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Melissa versus crazy world

My room is overwhelming me. Literally.

I've spent the majority of the morning attempting to clean my teeny little room and I feel like a crazy person because of how overwhelming it is for me to try and get organized. My sister C. came in and tried to encourage me and I explained to her that living in this room feels like being choked by a too-tight turtleneck sweater. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I've lived in this room since I was 10 years old, but I feel like it's just a reminder of the rut that I've been stuck in lately. Ugh. Too much stuff, too little room, too little time.

This has just been one of those weeks where I'm convinced that the world is trying to drive me crazy. I try not to be one to bitch and moan about my station in life - though I'm always prepared for the worst I try to be optimistic - let me tell you, it is seriously me versus the crazy-ass world again all of a sudden. I won't bore you with all the gory details of course because a girl has to have her privacy, but I will say that my room is a good metaphor for the current state of my life. Ugh.

But I'm still hopeful, as always. And there were definite good times had this week, so maybe taking a few issues in stride will do me some good in the end.

I'm hoping that straightening out my room will lead to other, more significant and positive changes. Progress. Especially after Susan read my cards last night - she's such a talented reader! Everything that came up in my cards was so dead-on accurate, and probably the biggest thing that I took from my reading is that I have to really start motivating myself.

Though I haven't been able to accomplish much of anything outside of dealing with this week's batch of problems, I have managed to get a little bit of reading in there. No new writing really, but I've been doing some research for some future poems. Maybe things will calm down this week so I can get ready for my final semester at Lewis and start classes off on a positive note. In the meantime, it's back to work. So many things to organize........

Friday, August 17, 2007

proof that English majors are a little OCD...

I was looking over the blog today, trying to come up with new and fascinating things to add to the sidebar (yes, I lead an exciting life, folks!), when I noticed that I used the phrase "nerve-racking" in my last post. This led me to wonder:

"nerve-racking" OR "nerve-wracking"

Naturally, I took the time to look it up on

I was relieved to discover "both spellings are standard."

Unfortunately, now I am wondering if one spelling is preferred.....

Thursday, August 16, 2007

progress report & other random things

Hi all!

We're still here...honest!

We'll be reviewing submissions this week, and sending out notifications very soon! I've had a few really great pieces withdrawn because they've been snapped up by other publications...which is a bummer, but all part of the poetry business!

And to those of you who haven't submitted yet, I encourage you to do so! We look forward to reading your work.

I haven't added much to the blog these last few has been very busy. Melissa and I attended the monthly poetry reading at Molly Malone's on Monday night, which was great fun! The featured reader was Chicago poet Kristy Odelius, who was just wonderful! She has a chapbook coming out this fall from dancing girl press, called Bee Spit--be sure to check it out!

On the home front, I have been updating my resume, writing cover letters, and filling out job applications...which I find very nerve-racking for some reason. I plan to spend the evening mellowing out with a movie and popcorn on the family room sofa...which should take the anxiety levels down a notch or two.

More updates coming soon!

Friday, August 10, 2007

book reviews

I am officially addicted to!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

fun stuff: web comics

I find that more and more writers and artists are utilizing online spaces as a forum for their work. I'm borrowing these links from Missy's blog because I think they're pretty darn cool, and posting them here.

* Questionable Content
* A Softer World
* Oh My Gods!
* Bunny

I especially like "A Softer World." The lovely weirdness of it just kinda charmed me.......

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

pre-fall update

It's hard to believe, considering the terrible 90+ heat we've been having in Chicago, but fall is fast approaching. (A fact which hit me today, as I registered Z. for school this morning. Yikes.)

A quick reminder: while the deadline for the first issue is November 1st, we do have rolling submissions, so anything received after 11-1-07 will be considered for the Spring/Summer issue of blossombones.

I didn't do much reading this weekend (which is unusual for me, as I typically read one or two books between Friday and Sunday). I did, however, watch an excellent movie on Saturday: Stranger than Fiction.

I just loved it! *Almost* as good as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind...but not quite...Nevertheless, one of the best movies I've seen in a while, and highly recommended.

I got a little weepy at the end, though. *sheepish*

I spent all day Sunday at the bracket races at Route 66 in Joliet, because Mike was racing, and wanted me to take, was it hot and sticky!

I did read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen earlier in the week. Overall, the book was okay--not bad, but not great, either. The flashback setting--a traveling circus during prohibition--was interesting, but the nursing home scenes just depressed me.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Sleepy, sleepy....

I figured that I would make a quick update before I pass out for the night! I am just super pooped today....

I spent a good portion of the day sending out submissions to a couple of different journals, including Wicked Alice, who just started accepting submissions for the next issue today (what can I say, I've been excited about submitting there all summer long!).

I also got to spend some time hanging out with my lovely boyfriend, who I am so proud of because he just landed a new job! He starts on Monday and I'm very excited for him!

Finally, I wanted to thank two of my friends, Nick and Katie, for asking me to be a bridesmaid in their wedding next year! I was so touched to be asked, thanks you guys!

Okay, so this entry doesn't seem like a whole bunch of shout-outs, I also wanted to update and tell everyone what I'm currently reading. I'm not far enough into the book to be able to decide if I like it yet, but I'm reading a book called The Nature of Monsters by Clare Clark. The book is set in 18th century England, so it has a kind of Victorianish, Bronteish, Dickensish feel to it. I have a feeling based on this description alone that I am going to probably like it! Also on-tap to be read because I'm in a very fairytale mood is Briar Rose by Jane Yolen. I found this book on a whim while doing a book search at the library, so I hope it's pretty good. And I definitely hope that what I'm reading helps me get some more inspiration to write new stuff!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

what's new...

Things have been a bit hectic here these last few days...but I am still hard at work putting things together for blossombones...

We've selected some great cover art for the first issue (Thanks Missy!) and we're starting to read and select some submissions, as well.

We've gotten some really excellent submissions, but we're still looking for more--so submit, folks!

Submissions for the Fall/Winter issue are open through November 1st!

In other news: I'm still trying to find the time to write (at least a little bit) every day--this has become rather challenging! I find that if I have a very productive day, it's generally followed by a couple of slow days. Go figure.

Currently reading :
Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert

Just finished:
The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show by Ariel Gore

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

My original plan was to read House of Leaves this weekend. I started reading it on Thursday night, but I had a serious headache after about a half-hour of that! Picked up a copy of HP7 at the local Target on Friday morning...which I read on Friday night, and finished Saturday morning.

I used House of Leaves as a coaster for my iced tea.

*hangs head in shame*

Friday, July 27, 2007

because susan started it...

You Are Death

You symbolize the end, which can be frightening.
But you also symbolize the immortality of the soul.
You represent transformation, rebirth of a new life.
Sweeping away the past is part of this card, as painful as it may be.

Your fortune:

Don't worry, this card does not predict death itself.
Instead it foreshadows the ending of an era of your life, one that is hard to let go of.
But with the future great new things will come, and it's time to embrace them.
Mourn for a while, but then face the future with humility and courage.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

oh, so very true...

I'm on a blogthings kick today. Check it out--

You Are The High Priestess

You represent mystery - secrets that are yet to be revealed.
You find yourself sitting between two worlds: one dark, one light.
You tend to hold these two worlds in balance, reconciling the two.
Open and welcoming, you invite others to learn your secrets.

Your fortune:

Something hidden, or latent, in your life is about to come forward.
You need to pay more attention to your dreams, thoughts, intuition, and imagination.
And if that involves tapping into your dark side, it will all balance out in the end.
You have a lot of potential dying to be unleashed, so let those gates open!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

more random things...part deux

Having already posted five things I love right now on mythology and milk, I thought I'd start another new and fascinating discussion:

Five unread books currently on the shelf:

1. My Father had a Daughter: Judith Shakespeare's Tale by Grace Tiffany
I don't know why I never got around to this one; it looks pretty good. It's been sitting for at least a year.

2. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
I generally love weird, postmodern stuff, but I just can't seem to bring myself to start on this one, probably because: a. the "playful" forms seem to border on obnoxious b. I have heard some negative reviews. Anybody read this? Liked it? Hated it? Just curious. This one's been sitting around for about a year, as well.

3. The Stand by Stephen King
I tried to read this rather lengthy book back in the seventh grade. (I had taken it out of the library, and ran out of time.) I picked up a copy, but never got around to reading it. (And it's been over twenty years! That's a little scary...)

4. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
Another one that looks promising, but I've never gotten around to reading. I think it's been on the shelf for a couple of years now...

5. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Umberto Eco rocks! (Yeah, I said that! But I loved Foucault's Pendulum) This one may not even be mine--I think I borrowed it from my mom--but it's been here forever...

Things I like right now.....

In no particular order:

1. The OED - Thank you, OED, for helping me write several new and rewrite several old poems today!

2. Jason Bredle's book, Standing In Line for the Beast - I'm so glad that I spent the money that I do not have on this hilariously brilliant collection!

3. Mugglecast, courtesy of - Yes, this is more mentioning of Harry Potter, but I'm still in the midst of a Harry Potter hangover that will take a little while to wear off.

4. The Opposite House, Helen Oyeyemi's amazing follow-up to her AMAZING debut novel The Icarus Girl - This woman is about my age and she's already written two novels and two plays....I'm in a jealous awe of what a talent she is....

5. Miami Ink on TLC - I checked out the tattoo gallery on the site and actually found a tattoo that I would consider getting (whatever you do, do NOT spill the beans to my mother about that one......)!