7/21/09

Tongue Like a Stinger (now with more angst!)

My latest e-chapbook, Tongue Like a Stinger, has just been published by Wheelhouse Press. Please feel free to check it out here:

http://www.wheelhousemagazine.com/chapbook/cook.pdf

It has been published concurrently with two other new e-chapbooks, which I look forward to reading soon--Xenomorphia by Matina Stamatakis & John Moore Williams and Over This Here Rainbow by Lars Palm.

You can read what Wheelhouse editor David Wolach has to say about these chapbooks, the Wheelhouse mission, and other exciting upcoming projects at his blog here:

http://davidwolach.blogspot.com/

A sort of hybrid of older work with new material, my chapbook might appeal to those who find some of my latest poetry a little too visceral or in-your-face for their liking. The 'Tongue Like a Stinger' collection is slightly more subtle; not a lot more subtle, just slightly.

It's about birds and bees and fur and tentacles and implanted debris and tainted femininity and more. It includes my Best of the Net 2007 winning and Pushcart Prize nominated poem, 'Some Explanations for Fainting Goats' and more. I designed the collage art cover with various images inlcuding a photo of a bird skeleton found in somebody's attic, which had to be disposed of after my photography session, because flesh was still clinging to the bones and it stunk.

If you're in the mood for my more in-your-face and oozing, my latest print chapbook, PINK LEOTARD & SHOCK COLLAR is newly available from Spooky Girlfriend Press in a small print run, costs less than a fast food meal, and has already been described as "outrageously pungent" (Adam Fieled, poet & critic):

http://spooky-girlfriend.blogspot.com/2009/07/now-available-pink-leotard-shock-collar.html

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In other writing/editing news: new flight formation winging its way onto the scene some time tomorrow, dog warts article in progress, revamped DIY feminist poetry publishing article in progress, I have quite a few writing assignments on my platter that I pretty much need to finish up in the next week, plus I need to get started on the next Blood Pudding Press chapbook, egads!

At least I finished a chapbook review yesterday and submitted it to The Chapbook Review.

At least I got a dreaded doctor's appointment out of the way today and a not so dreaded hair cut.



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Update: Another tidbit of poetic good news--I have received a poetry acceptance from Action, Yes! YAY!!!

Plus, I just realized I now have ten published chapbooks (not counting the one that's out of print)! Five self-published through Blood Pudding Press (inlcuding two collaborations) and five published by other small presses (including two e-chapbooks). WOW!

Plus one more chapbook manuscript in circulation and one more collaboration in progress.

Poetry Poetry Poetry, go go go!

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Thursday update: I wonder if people think I'm being too self-congratulatory or overly self-promotional when I write up peppy little spiels like the above. Well, right now I'm in the midst of a small wave of discouragement (hopefully, it will pass soon enough and then I might delete this bit, because I don't want my blog to seem too negative or self-defeating). I truly do adore and become excited about poetry projects and I've had a pretty darn grand poetry week or so, with the publication of TWO new chapbooks, an acceptance from one of my highly-coveted wish list mags and more,

BUT...

A small wave of discouragement just came over me. Maybe it was because I found out today that a nifty freelance writing gig I recently applied for did not come my way. It was a writing gig for the Onion News Network. Of course, I'd prefer to write poetry, but poetry doesn't pay the bills, unless you have some kind of academic job, which I don't. Sometimes I get tired of taking consumer surveys online and writing little freelance articles about dog warts in order to make three dollars (not an exaggeration).

'Well, I'm not going to be a writer for the Onion News Network,' I semi-dejectedly informed my husband a little while ago.

'Well, neither am I, ' he replied.

Yeah, but he didn't spend nearly three full days working on the writing application.

I probably spend more time on my writing stuff than many people spend on their full-time jobs, but where has it gotten me? Okay, that's not a fair question. It's gotten me plenty. I've had lots of poems published--I have a book--I've published ten poetry chapbooks in the last three years, which I realized last evening and which seemed sort of impressive at the time--so I guess that must mean I'm doing something right with my poetry.

Yet every month, I struggle to pay my household bills, which is very stressful to say the least.

For thirteen years, I worked for the same company--for the last decade, it was one office job or another, passionless yet tolerable and with a company I didn't dislike. It wasn't a high-paying gig, but it was enough for a non-materialistic sort such as me, plus I had good benefits. This past November, my "position was eliminated due to organizational restructuring". I could go off on a long, bitter tangent about certain suspicions of underhandedness, but I won't.

Instead I will jump to the part about how I've applied for about 80 jobs since then (no exaggeration) and haven't gotten one yet and I don't think it's because my resume is bad or anything like that; I'm not sure what it's because of. I know the economy has been bad, I know the job market is very competitive, blah blah blah. Still, I've applied for about 80 jobs--from full-time to part-time, from well-paying to crappy-paying, ranging from university jobs to medical center jobs to art galleries to libraries to government jobs to office jobs to Call Center jobs to barista jobs and more. And I guess if my unemployment benefits run out, I'll start applying at fast food eateries, convenience marts, and gas stations, too.

So just in case anyone reads my blog and I'm giddily writing about my latest publication credits or poetry chapbooks or whatever and you think to yourself, 'Golly, way to pat yourself on the back about your ten chapbooks, Mrs. Egomaniac', you might want to consider that a big part of the reason for that (in addition to the fact that I really do get genuinely super duper excited about poetry stuff) is because POETRY is one area in my life in which things are going well and I have a lot of small successes and it makes me feel good about myself and happy. Which is not so much the case in certain other areas of my life.

Such as the elusive career area. Am I doing something wrong? Should I be investing less time into my poetry and more time into writing articles about dog warts or something even less appealing to me?

It's just that there's so much to do in the realm of writing. Writing and publishing my own poetry, publishing other's poetry and book reviews (because I like to give back to the poetry community), writing freelance articles, advertising and promoting and designing and brainstorming and organizing and reading...

Indeed, I've already let blogging fall way off; my participation in the blogosphere used to be much more extensive, but something had to give to make way for the consumer surveys and the freelance articles and the time-consuming, ongoing job search activities and the seemingly perpetual following up with people who don't get back to me. By the way, in addition to my resume, I now have a whole computerized folder of different cover letters that can be adapted to fit different job openings. I have an administrative cover letter, an art job cover letter, a library job cover letter, a customer service cover letter, an editor cover letter, and a freelance writer cover letter, among others. Apparently none of them are successful. But at least my poetry is.

Well, successful in most every way except for the bill-paying kind of success, which is probably the kind of success that matters most to a lot of people. In fact, an even more common response to my poetry chapbook pep talk would probably be something like, 'Who CARES if you have ten poetry chapbooks?'

So I was just trying to convince myself that I cared (which I do), since occasionally a wave of discouragement or deflation will overcome me and I'll feel like I'm writing into a void...

It just seems like it would make more sense if I could manage to earn my livelihood via the pursuits that I am truly passionate about, driven towards, committed to, and invest LOTS of genuinely-intended time, effort, and energy into, but alack.

Okay, enough angsty ranting. I'll try to come back later with more peppy promo, related to poetry, the Luna Chicks, and feral ferocity.