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!