Thursday, December 4, 2008

backlogged :(

We've received a flurry of queries this week, directly following the publication of our digital chapbook issue.

To everyone who submitted work and has been waiting patiently (for quite a bit longer than our projected response time of 3-4 months), thank you!

We got pretty backlogged this time around, with two separate issues being planned (and designed!), so reading the winter subs got slightly pushed back for these last couple of months. Apologies!

We've set up organized reading periods for this coming year to help keep us on track so we can respond more promptly. As for now, I plan to get started reading (and re-reading) everything still under consideration asap.

If you're still waiting for an email, expect a response from me within the next few weeks.

The winter 2009 issue is scheduled to go online February 1st.

Monday, December 1, 2008

An Introduction to the Archetypes

Now available from Shadowbox Press!


Check out that cover art! Kudos to Melissa Culbertson for her awesome collage skillz :)

Also, two new poems are up at Mannequin Envy.

Today=Woo Hoo!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

today, today, today...

Today is my annual pre-Thanksgiving baking extravaganza! So, naturally, it's all about the apple pie.

And the pumpkin bread.

If time allows, I hope to wrap up the fall issue this weekend! Tentatively, we should go live on Sunday, November 30th. (Unless we have a technological crisis--let's hope not!)

**Stay Tuned**

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yeah, I know. We're almost half-way through November and things have been pretty quiet on this here blog...

I'm working on the forthcoming digital chapbook issue. Once all the techie stuff is done, we'll start reading submissions again. I know I've been a little slow to respond this time around, but hopefully we'll have the final lineup for winter selected before the holidays :)

I'm optimistic, anyway.

Much love to you all for your infinite patience!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Update: New Submission Guidelines!

Hello all!

Just want to mention that we've updated our submission guidelines, so if you're thinking about sending some of your lovely words our way, read this first!

Please note: We now have two reading periods:

For the Winter issue: August 1st-November 1st

For the Summer Issue: February 1st-May 1st

We're hoping this will help us stay organized, and also keep us prompt with our response times!

We'll be accepting submissions for the forthcoming Winter issue through November 1st, 2008.


Friday, October 24, 2008

From the reading last weekend at Woman Made Gallery...

What an honor to read with such a fabulous bunch of women poets! More pics are up at Switchback Books.


I'm spending the next couple of weeks designing the fall issue of blossombones...We've got three absolutely beautiful digital chapbooks going up next month, and I can't wait for them to go live!

Somewhere in there, I hope to get back to reading submissions for winter 2009--The deadline is November 1st, so if you're planning to submit, please do so sometime next week...We'll likely close down for subs in the next couple of months, and re-open submissions in February, for the spring issue. We're going to have two reading periods: August 1st-November 1st and February 1st-May 1st. Hopefully, this will help us stay organized and keep blossombones from getting backlogged with submissions.

Hope everyone is enjoying autumn!

Friday, October 17, 2008

This Sunday at Woman Made Gallery

"Objects of Desire"
a poetry reading with two Chicago Feminist presses,
dancing girl press and Switchback Books


Mairead Case
Melissa Culbertson
Helen Kiernan
Simone Muench
Beatriz Ruiz
Susan Slaviero

Sunday, October 19, 2 – 4 p.m. FREE
685 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
Light refreshments served


If you live in or around Chicago, please pay us a visit!

Hope to see you there.

Monday, October 13, 2008

This fall in blossombones...

At this point, I have responded to all submissions for our digital chapbook issue. I would like to thank everyone who sent in a manuscript--we were completely overwhelmed by all the good collections out there looking for a home, and it was most difficult to select only a few for fall!

This November, we will feature work by these three fabulous poets:

J. E. Kihlstrom

Kristen Orser

Nicole Cartwright Denison


We remain open to regular submissions for winter 2009 through November 1st.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Well, it's ALMOST October...

So I'm posting this:

Drunk pumpkins!

(Thanks to Jen for making me laugh this morning!)


Now, on a more serious note...

I've been looking through the posts on this blog, and it seems that I am always apologizing for how long it takes me to get things done! I suppose I just want those writers who are so generous with their talents to know we appreciate them! I know how frustrating it can be when editors hold on to your work for extended periods of time...

Of course, that's just the nature of the beast, I guess. My desire to be prompt and the reality of getting it all done aren't necessarily compatible.

That said, I am almost finished with fall submissions, but not quite. I have responded to the bulk of them by now, with only a small number remaining. I know I said we'd respond to them all by September 30th (today). I tend to get ambitious, setting deadlines for myself...but I also want to give these last few the attention they deserve, so I'm going to hang on to them a little longer.

These last two weeks got a little busier than expected.

I'll post the fall lineup soon.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

From the "there's never enough time in the day" files...

These last few weeks have been very hectic. We're still reading and responding to fall submissions. If you sent us a manuscript, I thank you for your patience! We're getting there.


On a more personal note, I have been juggling several projects at once (who isn't??), including a web project that I need to have finished in less than a week, some writing I'm trying to get done--which ALWAYS gets shifted to last on the list, and (of course) still looking for a new job. I don't want to rant about the messed-up state of the U.S. Economy, because I'm sure everyone already knows the whole thing is pretty sucky in a variety of ways. I rarely go out, because I don't want to use up the fuel in my tank, which (one would think) should leave lots of time for literary pursuits. I wish.

It's been a stressful time. Perhaps I should learn to knit, like Melissa. Instead of gnomes, I would make a series of little smiling Buddhas, to improve the general feng shui around here.

Last Thursday, Melissa and I had the pleasure of visiting some writing classes at Lewis. Thank you to Simone for inviting us to speak to her creative writing students!

We also got a chance to pop in to visit Missy, who provides the gorgeous artwork for blossombones. The three of us are planning on putting together an art & poetry project for the Spring! I am thrilled by the idea. I LOVE mixed media & collaborate creativity :)

I think I hear the muse waking up from her nap!


I won't get into the whole political thing today, but I hope everyone is watching the debates. I stayed up to watch them last night, and thought Obama was pretty good--but somehow, I was expecting more. I wonder if the structure of televised debates only allows for sound bites. I'm always hoping to get more details, and never do...

Now, since I've done the good citizen thing, I'm going to curl up with a glass of wine and a copy of Blue Velvet this evening...because I can't watch CNN every night.

I've been feeling very emotional about this election. It's exhausting.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Save Bitch Magazine!

Thanks to Laura for bringing this to my attention!

If you have the means, please donate or subscribe to Bitch. I promise you, it is money well-spent!

Spread the word.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Submissions for the fall 2008 digital chapbook issue

are now closed.

Thank you to everyone who submitted work. We plan to respond to all fall subs by September 30th.



Saturday, September 13, 2008

flu bug

Yep. I guess it's been going around. Been really, really sick for about a week. So--of course--I am woefully behind. Since I didn't get around to updating the website, we're allowing fall subs through September 15, as originally intended. My fault, of course. I apologize for any confusion.

If you've submitted to the fall digital chapbook issue, expect to hear from us by September 30th.

Responses to the winter issue might be a bit slow this time around, due to the extra project. Generally, I like to reply more quickly (within a month or so) but it's just going to take me a little longer this time. *sigh*


I am very excited about the upcoming issue. Submissions have been absolutely fabulous! It's proving extremely difficult to make final selections. I wish I could do more...


P.S. Melissa has a poem up at Sharkforum this week! Go visit :)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

You know you want to...

Anyone out there in Blossombonesland who is looking for some new poetry to read, look no further!

Oo la la, my preciously delicious poetry baby, the fire-wife , is hot and ready courtesy of Dancing Girl Press! Find it here!

I am beyond thrilled at the final product - I cannot thank Kristy Bowen enough!

For those who are curious, the collage on the chap cover is one of my very own :)

I am so proud of the chapbook - check it out!!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Where we're at...

Still reading through poetry submissions for the winter issue, which is taking me a while. If you haven't heard back yet, thank you for your patience!

Also: I'm closing up submissions to our fall special issue (digital chapbooks by women poets) early, due to the overwhelmingly positive response. Seriously, there are so many collections that I think are beautiful, and I probably can't take as many as I'd like already. We *might* end up doing one in the fall and another in the spring...We'll see.

At any rate, if you're thinking of submitting for fall, try and do so this weekend. We'll be accepting submissions through Monday, September 1st. I'll update the website later on today.


Ben Pealer's new online journal Rustblind, is now taking submissions of fiction and poetry. From the editors:

"We feel that there aren't enough purveyors of wild eyed lit. The kind of raving images that the world needs....Rustblind seeks ambitious and vivid songs from this chaos."

Do check them out...and send them some lit, too!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pics from the DGP reading last Friday....

What an awesome night! Last Friday I read at the Dancing Girl Press studio in Chicago with Leigh Stein, who is a KICKASS poet. The reading went really well, my friends and family were there, and I got a glimpse at my new chapbook, which should be available for purchase sometime very soon!

It's been such an exciting time for me in my writing life - my chapbook is coming out, I'm out of my 6 month funk and writing almost every day, and I'm really getting to focus on having fun with each piece I write. I'm sending poems out for consideration again, which I don't think I've done on a regular basis since late last summer. It's just a great feeling to do something that I really love!

In blossombonesland, we are giddy looking at the lineup so far! As you can see from Susan's last post, our next issue is going to seriously rule. And there's still time left to submit!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Partial list of contributors for blossombones #3 and deadline reminders...

blossombones #3, forthcoming in January 2009!

poetry and prose by:

Margaret Bashaar

Athena Dixon

Sara Hilary

Amy Hinrichs

Daniela Olszewska

Kristen Orser

Amy Pence

Toni Scales

Erin Elizabeth Smith

Susan Yount


There's still time to submit. We're reading for issue #3 through November 1st!


Also: we are accepting submissions for our fall "digital chapbook" issue through September 15. Be sure to check the website for submission details.

We look forward to reading your work!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Last week at Myopic...


Melissa reads poems from her soon-to-be released chapbook The Fire-Wife.

Lauren reads poems from Marriage Bones.

Melissa, Simone, Susan, and lots of very cool books.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Culbertson/Levato reading!

Hello all!

If anyone is in the Chicagoland area this Sunday, loves poetry, and wants to see my cute new dress....

Myopic Books in Chicago / 1564 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 2nd Floor

Myopic Poetry Series, curated by Larry Sawyer – a weekly series of readings and occasional poets' talks

Sunday, July 27 at 7:00 pm – Melissa Culbertson & Lauren Levato

When she's not busy being a woman-in-tights superhero, perpetual student, and college sports TV network freelance guru, Melissa CULBERTSON moonlights as a writer. A recent grad of Lewis University, Melissa currently and perpetually lives in Homewood, Illinois, which is about as interesting as it sounds. Her work has recently appeared in Flyway, Windows, Pebble Lake Review, Barn Owl Review, Wicked Alice and [GROWLING SOFTLY] from Juliet Cook's Blood Pudding Press. Her debut chapbook, the fire-wife, is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press and should be hot and ready this August! She also co-edits the online literary journal blossombones with her good friend and fellow writer, Susan Slaviero.

Artist and poet Lauren LEVATO is the author of two chapbooks, Marriage Bones and at the hotel andromeda, a collaborative text/visual project with Kristy Bowen. She holds degrees in political journalism from Georgetown University and in writing and women's studies from Purdue University, where she was also a mid-level champ in cricket spitting and discovered she's quite good at hatchet throwing. Her visual art is exhibited internationally. She currently works for Jean Albano Gallery in Chicago. For more, visit

Lauren is an amazing poet - but you guys would know that! Check her out in the blossombones archives :)

Hope to see everyone there!!!

New email addresses!

Due to some hard-to-eliminate spam problems, Melissa and I have decided to set up new email addresses.

While the old ones will remain "active" until the end of the current reading period, we do request that all new submissions be sent to the following addresses:

poetry & hybrid pieces: susan.blossombones {at} gmail {dot} com

fiction & creative non-fiction: melissa.blossombones {at} gmail {dot} com


Sunday, July 20, 2008

A (yellow) room of one's own....

After several months, one major overhaul, one new dog, and of course, one famously yellow paintjob.....

My room is actually finished! There are a few minor decorating tasks to finish, like hanging pictures and my mirror. And actually I have to find a space-efficient DVD shelf or something for all my DVDs. But, for the most part, my room is done and looking good! I LOVE my new bookshelf, which I got from IKEA last week. It doesn't hold ALL of my zillions of books, but it holds a lot of them! And it's really saving me a lot of room, which is always good :)

And actually, I've grown to really love my yellow walls. It's really reminiscent of the room I shared with my sister as a kid:

(That's me on the right!)

Of course, without the stuffed animal hammock. Really I think every kid from my generation had a stuffed animal hammock :)

Anyway, long story short, I love my room!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Okay, this is just awesome...

So catch Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog before it's gone!

(I think it goes *poof* rather soon--like tomorrow.)

Joss Whedon and Neil Patrick Harris! How can you go wrong?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Have you ever been so stressed out...

...that you crocheted a series of small gnomes?


Things are a little chaotic right now....okay, a LOT chaotic. Let's just say that there's a possibility that I will have to move hundreds of miles away. The prospect of leaving Chicago is something that both excites and terrifies me.

So I crochet.

And, apparently, write a lot. Luckily my recent bout of insane stress has yielded some particularly interesting (and by interesting, I mean weird) work. I even went on a bit of a binge, sending new and newer work out to journals. I haven't done that in several months! That's at least exciting :)

On the blossombones front, I wanted to warn all of you out there that my blossombones email box has been on the fritz for awhile. If I haven't gotten back to you, don't worry, I will. I'm struggling under the weight of receiving over 2000 spam emails A DAY, even though my spam filter is apparently working. Ugh. So please, hang in there - I will get to you eventually! I promise!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

quick update

Psst! We've accepted a few poems for winter 2009. I'll do a bit of shameless name-dropping soon! We're reading for the January issue through November 1st.

If you submitted a ms for our fall feature, we'll be responding to those by the end of September!

Deadline for digital chaps by women poets (special fall issue!): September 15th.

Hope everyone had a happy 4th of July!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


...I want to go here!

If gas and/or flying was cheaper, I'd soooooo plan a trip for next month!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Recent blossombones contributor Judith Arcana has a new website, and it's just lovely!

I hope you'll visit her site...She's not only an amazing writer, but also a passionate advocate for women's rights.

It's pretty darn cool that we get a little mention on her tarot page, for having first published "In the Cards." It's a terrific piece, so do check it out either on her site or in our archives! I just love what she has to say about the tarot...She explains it so, so perfectly, when she says "the cards help us think."

I've been a reader for about ten years now, so this is a topic very close to my heart. I think the tarot is a terrific meditation tool.

Judith's latest book is called What if Your Mother, and it's one of my favorite books of poetry, ever. I hope you'll check it out!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ms. Pacman...

My friend Jen sent me this awesome Youtube video about everyone's favorite female yellow pie chart-shaped video game heroine - classic!

Happy Monday all!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Check out a few new pieces...

And a couple of familiar ones, too...

I am a featured poet this month at The Guild of Outsider Writers, which is very cool!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Checking in...

I have to admit, Mercury in retrograde has me a little blue...I dislike the sense of stagnation that tends to accompany it...

Things should shape up by the end of the week, I figure. Next week for sure.

Plus! Submissions seem to be rolling in rather nicely...I can't wait to start reading (This may be my plan for the weekend). W00t!

I am also rather nerdily excited about this:

Oh yeah.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Things I'm loving right now!

Oooooooo, how I love a good day off of work. Nothing to do. Nothing I have to do. No real plans outside of remaining in pajamas. LOVE IT! I'm thinking that writing, or attempting to write is more like it, sounds like an excellent plan today.
Before I go into my latest list of things I love right now, I want to say how excited I am to look in my blossombones mailbox and already see a nice chunk of prose subs! You like me, you really like me! In all seriousness though, it rocks to see the new subs rolling in - I'm already excited to put together my section for the next issue! Woo hoo! To add to that, I want to challenge everyone out there in blossombonesland to send me some kickass personal essays. I rarely get any non-fiction subs, and sometimes pieces about real people - about you! - can be some of the best stuff!

1. To help you get started on your quest to fulfill my challenge, my first item on the list of things I'm totally digging right now is the new David Sedaris book! Now, I usually love all his stuff anyway, but I have been awaiting this new book since probably two days after this one came out (which, by the way, I own an autographed copy of, thanks to my sister!). I love Sedaris' work because, though it's side-splittingly, make-me-laugh-my-ass-off-on-the-train, make-me-laugh-so-hard-people-look-at-me-funny hilarious, Sedaris does an excellent job of bringing even the craziest of his essays full-circle. I can't think of an essay of his that I don't like, that doesn't resonate with me. I absolutely recommend his new work!

2. The first 7/8ths of the movie The Strangers - Okay, okay, so I'm a sucker for a good (and, admittedly, a bad) horror movie, and while this one isn't perfect (meaning the ending sucked rocks), I'm still willing to give The Strangers a "yay" rather than a "nay" for the way the film managed to psychologically torture me the majority of the time throughout and then succeeded in giving me nightmares. And who doesn't love a creepy mask or three? Do I love the wussiness of the film's lead female (played well by Liv Tyler)? Not particularly. Do I love the shitty, contrived ending? No way. But will I ever stay overnight in an unfamiliar, secluded place again? Nope. All in all, an excellent alternative to the Sex & the City movie, which I hope to never, ever see. Ever. Bring on the serial killers any day.

3. Being a little bit artsy-fartsy.... -

Can I draw? Not super well. Can I paint? Definitely not. But can I collage right along with the best of them? Maybe, just maybe. I've been working on a couple of fairytale-ish pieces that I'm pretty excited about! I've also put my new camera to good use. Mostly on photos of the new pooch, of course, but I'm also trying to put together a few cool shots for my mom since she's looking for new wall art but doesn't want to shell out the big bucks for new stuff when we might be able to fake it ourselves!

4. Cautiously planning (cheapish) summer excursions - Would I love to throw caution to the wind and gallivant all over Europe? You betcha. Am I some sort of oil and diamonds heiress? Hells no. And thus, I'm trying to maintain sanity by making sure I get out there and have some fun this summer - on a budget. A small budget. Trips to the Dunes to go swimming and chill on the beach, a trek to this potentially bitching drive-in movie theatre with friends, and even possibly a little mini-vacation to Cedar Point are in my near future. I've never been to Cedar Point, but any place that's dubbed "The rollercoaster capital of the world" deserves a check in the "awesome" column. I've also bought tickets to a few summer concerts with more ticket purchases to come. It may not be London or Prague, but the Midwest certainly has some things to offer in the way of fun. Even if gas prices are ridiculous....

5. And finally, I had to give a metaphorical giant standing ovation to Leigh Stein's How to Mend a Broken Heart with Vengeance, which I finished reading on the train home from work last night. I picked up a copy of this beautiful dgp chap at Printer's Row last weekend and I have to tell you I was BLOWN AWAY! The way Leigh plays with the idea of those "choose your own adventure" books and the way her work sparkles with humor and beauty and, it's just a knockout of a collection! Standouts for me were "Based on a Book of the Same Title", "Zelda", "Katherine Tillman vs. Lake Michigan", "Keeping the Minotaur at Bay", and definitely "How to Mend a Broken Heart with Vengeance".

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New blossombones, new puppy, and how hypochondria may convince me that I have tomato salmonella...

Summer can be so pretty sometimes!

First off, let me say a big "WOO HOO!" to my homeslice, Susan, who did SUCH a kickass job putting our summer issue of blossombones together! She is a web-maven to the tenth power!!!! Beautiful job Susan!!!! And what an awesome lineup, too - great job to all of our amazing contributors!

I don't know if it's sleep deprivation, the abundance of health food I've been eating lately, or just my normal hypochondriac tendencies (and by normal, I mean normal for me), but my stomach has been KILLING me lately....I am starting to wonder what salmonella feels like....and if I've managed to avoid tomatoes since the start of this stupid tomato scare.....ick.

Anyway, back to cooler new puppies! I got one!

Her name is Lily! She likes Tupperware, nail files, Buffy, bugs, and cheese. I may be kind of a writer, but I can't make those things up. Lily is probably the cutest badass I know. I personally enjoy that her hair is naturally crimped :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Just a quick note: blossombones summer 08 should be live by Monday. Stay tuned!


Sorry it's so quiet on this blog lately! I've been blogging here, mostly...but I'd like to get back to posting a few book reviews, cool links & etc. on this blog very soon! Things have been hectic :)


Today is the big day! Z. will walk across the stage with his class tonight. I am hoping for decent weather...

Monday, May 26, 2008

I try to post something here at least once a week...but things tend to get a bit quiet now and then. We're busy making your words look pretty!

If all goes well, we may even go live a bit earlier than expected. I'm shooting for the first week in June.

Have a happy memorial day, folks!

Friday, May 16, 2008

I thought this was an amusing story!

Who would've thought that bad poems would be so lucrative!?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Coming Soon!

The Summer 08 issue is under construction, featuring



Kristy Bowen

Nicole Cartwright Denison

Juliet Cook

Brooklyn Copeland

Shanna Germain

Suzanne Grazyna

Renae Habenschuss

Donora Hillard

Brandi Homan

Dana Guthrie Martin

Meg Pokrass

Jayne Pupek

Rachel Webster




Cheryl Hart Snapperman

Wayne Shannon

Caroline Swicegood

We should be online and in bloom in about a month!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


As of today, I have sent a response to all poetry submissions for the Summer 08 issue.

If, for some reason, you submitted poems to me and didn't get a reply, please send me an email and let me know!


It's a gorgeous day here in the midwest...eighty degrees and sunny...and I spent the bulk of it inside, at the computer.

Such is life.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Submissions for the summer issue are now closed.

Thanks to everyone who sent their work! Final decisions are forthcoming.

The issue is scheduled to go online around the second week in June.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Aliens Savor Us

This anagram finder is awesome! (Found on Brooklyn's blog.)

They claim that "anagrams never lie."

Anyway, here are a few of mine:

Aura Loves Sins

Arouses Veins

A Visual Sensor

Sensual Savior

Avails Runes So

This first amuses me! (Twelve years of Catholic School and all...Sixteen years if you count college...)

And I am handy with a set of runes, as well.

Melissa, Missy...You must give this a go! Post your anagrams and reveal your true selves...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A brief update:

Hello all!

Just wanted to pop in and post a reminder that there are only a few days left to submit for the summer 08 issue! We'll be reviewing the rest of the submissions after May if you haven't heard back yet, you will within the next two weeks or so! (I hope to have the final lineup selected by May 7, so I can start on the proofs...)

* Also: a new call for submissions *

For fall of 08, we'd like to feature a few digital (hypertext) chapbooks by women poets. We'll likely start taking subs for these in June...For the most part, topics are wide open, but we'd like to see some kind of unifying theme connecting the poems. Digital chaps should probably be on the shorter side (perhaps 12 or 15 poems). Expect a formal, detailed call for submissions around the time the summer issue goes live.

Stay tuned. More details are forthcoming!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I couldn't let the day pass by without this:

Happy 18th, Z.


I wanted to do something extra-embarrassing, like post a baby picture, too. Alas, my scanner is acting wonky. I suspect sabotage.


Speaking of parenting stuff (sort-of) this freaks me out!

Does anyone else find the messages in this "children's book" a bit disturbing? And the barbie-doll mom? Good Goddess!

The messages about the mommy being "prettier" after plastic surgery (in terms of specific body parts, no less--like her nose or belly button) are extra-creepy. Plastic surgery is a billion dollar industry folks...and it looks as if this particular book is intended to plant the seeds of insecurity and want in the heads of young girls. Apparently, women are supposed to be beautiful. Being a mommy makes you less so, and thus your body is in need of repair. A thinner tummy, a better nose, bigger get the idea.

It also suggests that "prettiness" is a prerequisite to happiness.

So-called "prettiness" is clearly defined as a certain--and very specific--type of body and face. A thinly veiled attempt at marketing this sh*t to younger and younger customers? I think so.

This book ranks right up there in the world of evil marketing next to Joe the Camel cigarette ads.

I've been getting a few emails lately inquiring about the length maximum for blossombones fiction or creative non-fiction pieces, and I wanted to let all of you know that the word max is just a general suggestion - by all means, if you have a longer piece that you think would fit well in blossombones, send it!

Well, I'm off to go DVD shopping.....even though I totally shouldn't! Do you ever have those days where you just need to buy yourself a little present? I've been having plenty of those lately :)

Besides, I need to buy this, as it just came out on DVD today!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hello all!

Not much is going on in Melissaland currently. Tis a boring start to spring, for the most part. I've spent the past week sort of redoing my room at home, which I suppose is the most interesting revelation. We ripped out the ancient carpet only to discover the nasty condition of the floor beneath, and we painted my room an odd yet shocking shade of YELLOW that makes it kind of difficult to fall asleep (yes, that's how jarring the yellow is!). We're still in the process of moving all of my stuff back in here, so maybe once all that is in place it'll seem more like my room.

In other recent news, I've recently gotten back on the horse and started writing on a regular basis again. It had been far too long. And really, for all you writers or writing enthusiasts out there, isn't it just depressing when you're in a funk and all you seem to be able to write is the literary equivalent of skim milk? Sure it might be easier to digest, but in the end it's all watery and really has no substance. Weird metaphor, perhaps, but it makes sense to me :)

Okay, in an effort to further pad my blog entry, I figured I'd make a shortlist of things I'm currently really into!:

1) Buffy the Vampire Slayer - I recently splurged and bought this AMAZING 40 disc collector's set and I seriously can't stop watching it! I'm knee-deep into the 3rd season and it's really bringing me back....I mean I was in junior high for the most part when I watched the show regularly with my mom. It was a favorite then and I can appreciate it even more now! I'm excited to get through to the later seasons, which I didn't really watch as consistently. I pretty much got lost once Buffy all of a sudden had this random sister. Hmmm.

2) Pandora Radio - This music website is a more recent discovery made by my sister Chimmy, and when she told me about it I had to check it out. The site is affiliated with the Music Genome Project, which is exactly what it sounds like! You can create your own personalized radio station by identifying a few of the artists you like, and through the Music Genome Project, Pandora plays music by artists you may or may not have heard of. It's a great way to discover new bands!

3) ADELE - Speaking of new music, I downloaded Adele's new album on a whim and HOLY CRAP was I impressed. I have a soft spot for British singers, and Adele's voice is just ridiculous.

4) The Pineapple Express restricted trailer - While I LOVED Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which I saw with a friend yesterday (so good!), I think the highlight of the afternoon was the long-awaited trailer for Pineapple Express. I hope the movie lives up to the hilarity of the trailer, which seriously made me laugh so hard I couldn't breathe. Plus, though he looks like a crazy stoner bum in this movie, I'm a sucker for James Franco. Yum.

5) - After our dog of almost 13 years passed away a couple of months ago, our house is lacking in that happy feeling that only a dog can produce. My sisters and I spend a lot of our freetime on Petfinder browsing through the available dogs in our area - not to replace Hershey, of course, since dogs as badass as her are a rare find, but just so we can get our cute puppy fix :)

In blossombones news, I'm currently going through our prose submissions, so anyone who's submitted a piece to us recently should be hearing back from me within the next week! We are taking subs for our next issue through May 1st, so send your stuff our way!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Yeah, I started off the month with the best of intentions, but the last three days have been a wash. I feel hopelessly behind in all things poetic...I shall try and do a bit of writing this week. Perhaps I can still play catch-up...Anybody else finding the momentum beginning to fade?


Currently reading the very sexy Harlot by Jill Alexander Essbaum. So far, it's awesome!

Yeah, that's a literary term.

(And do click the link above and check out that cover art. Holy cow!)


Also, I have a very cool announcement to make! We hope to add a special fall issue in which we will feature a hypertext/digital chapbook (or two)... Details are forthcoming!

Love, Peace & Poetry,

Susan :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More bad B.E.C. news--

Big Evil Corporation, that is.

This business with Amazon is really upsetting.

If that's how they do business, I will have to order all my stuff from Barnes & Noble, from now on.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Happy April!

Everything seems to be back on track with the email...more or less...

Let's hope it stays that way :)


Only one month left to submit for the summer issue!

Monday, March 31, 2008

I spoke to soon.

The email is acting wonky.

It won't let me in....

Sorry for the technological difficulties this week, folks.

If, for some reason, y'all need to contact me, you can do so at:


Replacing the parentheticals with the obvious, of course.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

We're back online

and all is well. See?

I'm hoping to finish reading poetry subs this week...

Our lineup (for the poetry section) thus far, includes the following:

Dana Guthrie Martin

Suzanne Grazyna

Renae Habenschuss

Brooklyn Copeland

Brandi Homan

Jayne Pupek

Shanna Germain

Juliet Cook

(It's not to late to submit, and join these fabulous poets! We're taking subs for Summer through May 1st...)

Monday, March 24, 2008


Hello all!

I just wanted to let everyone know that our website is scheduled to go offline this Friday, and will likely be down for the whole weekend. This includes our blossombones email accounts! I will likely set up a backup email account at gmail or yahoo, which I'll post here sometime this week.

I am sorry for the inconvenience...but my webhosting service is relocating. Hopefully we will be back on track by Monday.

I'll keep you updated via the blog, which is hosted here at blogger, and will therefore be unaffected by the move.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Check out all this poesy!

I have two poems--"Payday" & "Lepidoptera, in celluloid"--up at a very cool online journal: Thieves Jargon.

Be sure to pay them a visit, because they are just a little bit spicy!


I also recommend checking out this fabulous review of the Blood Pudding Press zine, [GROWLING SOFTLY]!

Melissa Culbertson gets some kudos for her mad poetry skills!

I have just ordered a copy for myself, which I cannot wait to read...

Also on-order from the wonderful world of etsy:

Planchette by Juliet Cook

Bee Spit by Kristy Odelius

The Partial Autobiography of Jane Doe by Daniela Olszewska

*I can hardly wait for all these goodies to arrive!*

A final note: if anyone is interested in submitting reviews of poetry books or chapbooks, be sure to contact Melissa (via email at this address: melissa [at] blossombones [dot] com)! We are accepting submissions for our Summer 08 issue through May 1st.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

What a long, strange trip it's been....

Yes, everyone, I still exist, though I have admittedly been flying a tad under the radar for awhile. I think it was good for me to sort of sit back and take a break from things, and it's given me a little chance to reevaluate everything going on in my life. Everyone needs that chance sometimes, to reflect and try to focus on making the right decisions so that one can move onward and upward.

Things have been pretty crazy in my life for some time, and a lot has happened since I last posted on the blog. Unfortunately, not much has happened lately writing-wise, though after a long hiatus from that I'm trying to make time to get back into it. It's depressing not to be able to take the time to write something, and it seems like the longer I wait to get back on the horse, so to speak, the harder it gets to even catch up to the horse....if that makes any sense! So yeah, I'm going to try to make a better effort to push life out of the way for awhile each week so I can get back in the habit of writing. Hopefully, with more practice, I can get back to the place I used to be. I think everyone who writes goes through that kind of a slump, where life just keeps getting in the way. I just have to find the backbone I need to get crackin' again!

Even though I haven't been doing much writing lately, I have been busy with other things. For one, work is crazy, as usual, and that's been eating up a lot of my time. I really like most of the people I work with, though, so it's really been such a great opportunity to work where I do. And it's always nice to work with one of your best friends!

I've also recently taken some time to do something I always want to do but never can - travel! I've been to some great places within the past couple of months! In February, a few of us took a roadtrip down to Houston to hang out and help our friend Brit move into her new place. It was rough saying goodbye to Brit, of course, who's been a good friend for the past nearly ten years, but at the same time it was so great to be able to spend a week laughing my ass off with some of the best people I've ever met! Here are a few pics from our road trip:

This is just one example of the hilarity that ensued during our visit to the Space's strange how easily amused we all were!

Here we are in Galveston, staying true to the motto of our trip: "We see things....and we climb on them" (courtesy of our friend Kara).

Here we are obviously mesmerized by everything we saw at the Moody Gardens aquarium. I swear we must've spent 45 minutes sitting in front of the penguin tank just watching the penguins swim around and try to impress us. I also found it necessary to pet everything I was allowed to touch, including these crabs that looked like Roombas:

It was great to just get out of town with friends....I had an AWESOME time!!!!

Besides traveling and work, I've been hanging out at home for the most part. In my downtime, I taught myself to crochet. I know, I know, it sounds very old lady of me....but really, I am just an 80 year old woman stuck in a 20-something body! It was so, so easy to learn actually, thanks to a couple of awesome youtube tutorials, the videos on this great site, and this easy-to-navigate book. It sounds dorky, but it's nice to have another outlet to turn to when you're having a hellish case of writer's block, and it helps cut down on stress, too (something that I really need - trust me). Here's a stripey blanket I've been working on for a couple of weeks:

I've also been trying to enjoy my post-graduation freedom by reading whatever my little heart desires! I recently finished one of Susan's favorite books, The Mists of Avalon, a lengthy read but certainly one that's worth every page. I LOVED IT! I'm a big fan of the way the novel reexamines Arthurian legend and turns it on its head. So, so awesome.

I've also tried to make up for my current inability to write anything worth reading by reading amazing work by other writers that I love! One of my absolute favorites is Juliet Cook's new chapbook, Planchette. Juliet is one of the best poets writing today in my opinion because she isn't afraid to take risks with her work, and Planchette is all about that. Her poetry is SO VIVID and each piece evokes something fresh. Definitely check it out!

Finally, there's one last thing I'd like to do to end my post:

Hershey Kisses Culbertson
October 1st, 1995 - February 22nd, 2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Random numbers...

(Okay, the numbers aren't random. My thoughts are...)

1. I think it's possible to have too many blogs. Something always gets neglected.

2. I am behind (a bit) on reading submissions. We've gotten a recent influx of really good stuff! Sometimes I have difficulty making up my mind.

3. Current project: researching facts about the watermelon for a poem. For real!

4. I love reading mysteries and thrillers, but I've gotten too damn good at guessing the ending. Spoils the fun a bit, but I can't help myself! Just finished What the Dead Know(by Laura Lippman), and I guessed the ending (almost to perfection) pretty early on. *sigh* She's one helluva good mystery/crime writer, though.

5. Sometimes, I go for days without leaving the house. Does that make me an agoraphobe?

6. Yesterday I watched 3:10 to Yuma with Z. He's been studying Westerns in his film class, so we kept hunting for the "expected elements" of Westerns: horses, hats (black hats for the villains), guns, swinging saloon doors--it was fun. The movie was lacking an actual hanging, although it did get several mentions. Z. says (*spoiler alert) that it's a Revisionist Western because "the hero does not walk off into the sunset". This amused me, especially coming from someone who didn't speak hardly a word until the age of 4. Pretty cool.

*As an aside, I don't usually like Westerns (although I think Unforgiven is excellent), but I really like this one...Russell Crowe was a more-complex-than-usual villain, which makes the film interesting, and Christian Bale is really, really good at every damn thing.

7. I am thinking of applying for a job that I'm not sure I really want. Why do I do these things?

8. There are so many unread books in my office right now, I don't know what to read next! Yet, I always feel compelled to buy more. It's a sickness.

9. Have been cooking up a storm this week...Yesterday, I made a big batch of fajitas, with homemade salsa and all kinds of good stuff. Man, it was good, especially paired with a Corona and lime. Almost tasted like summer. As I write this, there is snow falling outside my window. I'm so ready for winter to end!

10. P.S. Check out the latest issue (103) of Zygote in My Coffee...I've got a couple of poems in there, along with some awesome and way-cooler-than-me poets...I am sometimes rather thrilled at sharing journal or zine space with people whose work I know?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A fond farewell...

Please pay the March issue of Flutter a poem, "The Wife of Coins, At Supper" is featured this month, along with works by Roxana Cazan, Bebe Cook, Steve Bloom, Jim Carson, Richard Fein, David McLean, Carl Palmer, Ramsy, & Cy Bish Port Street. Sadly, the journal is going on hiatus, so this may be the last issue...

It's a lovely journal, and I am proud to be a visiting poet for March.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

New work online...

The Spring 2008 issue of Umbrella is open, and I am very happy to be in it!

My poems, "Ukemochi on Her First Date" & "Lucifer: a self-portrait" are featured in the special section, "How Divine: Poetry and Prose", along with many other delightfully spiritual & mythic tidbits.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

A brief reminder:

To anyone considering sending some work to blossombones...please be sure to format your subject line as per submission guidelines (i.e. "Slaviero: Poetry Submission"). I *almost* deleted a few emails/submissions because I thought they might be spam!

We are (as always) honored when writers send us work to be considered for our publication...and I would feel really, really bad if I deleted any subs by do help me avoid a guilt complex and be sure to put the word "submission" in the subject line.

Many thanks!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

blossombones is now listed

at duotrope digest. Check out the listing here.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Some thoughts on the cost of higher education...

After recently explaining to my folks just how much a college degree costs these days (and believe me, they were shocked), I happened across this article.

My parents would (very much) like to see me attend graduate school. So would I, but I have student loans aplenty as it is (not to mention a mortgage, property taxes, and a special needs child at home as well), so I'm hesitant to consider taking on any extra debt...

Reading these stories makes me think avoiding additional loans is (at least for me) a wise decision, for now.

Frankly, I feel rather fortunate to have finished the BA and to be making the payments without having to forgo things like food and heat, after reading the more horrific stories in the article.

What I really need is to find a spiffy job that will pay for the MA...dare to dream...

At any rate, I do think students should be wary of the borrow to the max now, defer, defer, defer, worry about it later mentality...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

awesome indie presses

Links to some absolutely fabulous indie and/or small presses have been added to the sidebar.

More lovely linkage coming soon!

*If you have a small press and you'd like us to add a link, please send an email to: susan [at] blossombones [dot] com*

We're always happy to spread the word!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Two things...

1. I am getting started with reading and responding to submissions for Summer 2008 within the next few weeks, so if I've had your poems for a couple of months already, expect to hear from me very soon!

2. For those considering submitting work: We will now be accepting attachments in MS Word / .doc format, (if you prefer) since we've had some stuff get distorted in the email text. If you still prefer pasting to the email, that's fine too...We'll let you know if there are any problems with reading the sub, in which case we'll request an attachment instead.

(When I get the chance, I'll add this to the submission guidelines on the website...Soon, very soon.)

Hope everyone is having a lovely winter!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

because making fun of Tom Cruise never stops being funny...


Anyway, if everybody knew the Scientologists were promising spaceship parties with sno cones and sex droids, more people might sign up for the trip to outer space. Or whatever.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

the cold moon

Full moon greetings! Today is an excellent day to take advantage of the full moon's energy to initiate change or to bring something new into your life...Opportunity perhaps, or relationships. Hopefully, the cold moon (or wolf/snow moon) will stimulate some creative energies :)

It's certainly snowy outside in the Chicago area. It looks like a good day to stay home and write. (Or submit your work, if you are so inclined...) I'm looking forward to reading the next batch of submissions for Summer. (Which seems a long way off on this shivery day...but the older I get, the faster time seems to flow...must be some strange and unknown law of physics!)

The cold moon is also a good time for goal-setting. I've already decided to try and worry less this year (and that's quite a challenge, trust me!) I'm generally a very goal-oriented person, always pushing forward, looking for the next big task, but I think 2008 will be the year of rest and reflection. I think 2009, however, will be my year to get crazy-busy (according to my astrological chart, anyway), so learning to chill might be a useful little talent...

I also want to give some well-deserved props to Melissa, whose work appears in the (just released) new journal Barn Owl Review! Congrats, lady! Looks like the full moon is shining a light on your poetic talents today :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

writers' block

So I finally wrote a poem (and a half) after about six weeks of nothing...haven't even been journaling, which I REALLY ought to be doing. Felt good to write again after such a block of dry time.

Everybody gets it, of course. The question is How Do You Deal With It?

Usually, I journal if I'm not formally "writing" but that didn't work this time around. Wasn't even reading at my usual rate: around a book a day--which equals a couple hundred of pages--depending on the length, finishing something can take an afternoon, a couple of evenings, whatever, with several books going on at once. Not lately.

Lots of sudoku though. Helps ease anxiety.

Anyway, I am (hopefully) going to be reading and scribbling regularly again...including blogging...this poor blog has seemed a tad deserted lately!

I am currently reading Woman On the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy. I think it's a pretty good sci fi / ecofeminist novel. Almost makes me want to write a lit paper again. Almost.

Speaking of ecofeminism, this kind of freaks me out.

Shouldn't it? It just seems creepy, no matter how they describe it... Especially since they don't have to disclose what it is you're eating...

Also saw Sweeney Todd last week, (speaking of scary meat), which was very, very twisted. But in a good way, if you like weirdness.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Friday, January 4, 2008

busy, busy.

If things seem a little quiet over here, it's only because I am hard at work :)

Whew! It's hard to pull everything together during the holiday aftermath, but I'm just about there...We should be live and in bloom sometime next week!

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008