August 7, 2014

Writer on a Budget

R and I have recently allotted ourselves $125 per week to spend on groceries, down from the $225 we (OK, I) normally spend on food.

Since moving to California, I've had some, hrm, difficulty in finding gainful employment. My intuitive friend says this is because I'm supposed to be writing instead of job searching.

She may have a point: Before my first job interview, my front tooth fell out. While driving to the second job interview, the button popped off my shirt, revealing a lot more cleavage than is appropriate while discussing one's organizational skills. Before the third job interview, I got out of the shower and realized that Sweet P had run off to San Francisco with my blow dryer. I dashed over to my mom's house and dried my hair with time to spare-- no problem, right?

Then on the way to the interview, I took a wrong turn and somehow managed to end up in front of the exact apartment building where, when I was 13, my dad and I sat in the driveway in his El Camino, and he told me he could never be my father. I told myself he was just too wasted to know what he was talking about. Sitting in front of the apartment complex as an adult on her way to a job interview, I realized it was probably the most honest thing my dad ever said to me, and then I shook it off, undaunted, and went on to fumble my way through questions about my ability to tweet.

Whether or not my lack of employment is due to the universe's discretion, it's become clear that R and I need to make some different monetary choices. We have always loved the idea of a budget, and we've made several over the years. It's the follow-through where we fall short; how does one resist the opening night of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the requisite $50 bucket of popcorn? This time, however, I am determined.

I went to the grocery store on Monday and spent $85 on ... what? Fruit, apparently, because we still had nothing to eat for dinner. R headed back to the market Wednesday night for a few essentials (having developed a monstrous head cold, I was in desperate need cough syrup). This was our conversation as he headed out the door:

"You can't spend more than $45," I croaked from behind my pile of tissues on the couch.
"What do you mean?"
"We only have $45 left in our grocery budget this week," I explained.
He shook his head, "I don't know how to do that."

I think he meant that he didn't know how to do addition while shopping, but I'm not sure. In any case, he returned from the store having spent only $40. Unfortunately, he had to sacrifice his breakfast walnuts in order to pay for my cough syrup, and we still don't have anything for dinner. Luckily, I'm too sick to eat anything anyway. Everyone else will have to survive on raspberries and pluots for the next three days while I write about it.

Photo credit: HA! Designs - Artbyheather via Compfight cc

June 16, 2014

My Belly Finds a Home

Dear Fish Head Followers,

I'm thrilled to announce that my full-length poetry collection, In the Belly of the Albatross, will be published by the beautiful Glass Lyre Press. The poems in Belly re-envision the narratives of women from myth, legend, history, and the Bible through a feminist lens and show how those narratives are reflected in the lives of contemporary women.

Tia Marie McDermid generously agreed to my use of her painting 1025D for the book's cover, and I cannot wait to see how gorgeous it's going to be.

Belly's expected due date is Summer, 2015, but you know how fickle these creations are sometimes.  Check back regularly for updates!

Meanwhile, mosey on over to West Trestle Review, and send us your best work. We're waiting for you.

April 7, 2014

West Trestle Review: Bridging the Words

Friends of Newport Station/Wikimedia

Inspired by an AWP panel where VIDA founders suggested that women should create more literary spaces for themselves, I started a little poetry journal called West Trestle Review. The idea is that it will be a bridge connecting women to each other, connecting poetry by women in California and Nevada to the rest of the world via this useful interweb thingy, and it will connect the digital to the letterpress.

WTR will feature one new poet on its website each week, and at the end of the year twelve best of the best poems will be published in one unique, hand bound, letterpress-printed chapbook, created with the help of Meridian Press. Once the chapbook hits the streets, we'll have some poetry readings up and down the two states.

Why West Trestle, you ask? I'm in California, as is two-thirds of my advisory board-- Annie Stenzel and Jennifer K. Sweeney-- while Katherine Case calls Nevada her home. I love the idea of building a literary bridges. I love the word "trestle" and the other words it conjures: bustle, truss, trust, tussle, and their various meanings and connotations. I also live near a train trestle that I think of as the gateway to my little town in the foothills of Northern California, so I carry the idea of trestle as gateway.

I grew up in this town but didn't really think of it as home until, while I was living in Massachusetts, my mom sent a photo she took of the train trestle as she was driving by, and the homesickness welled up. Now I'm home at last and able to settle in to doing something I've wanted to do for a long time: promote women's poetry.

Finally, in 2011 women made up just slightly more that 23 percent of the transportation labor force in the U.S., according to Progressive Railroading, a statistic that is reflective of so many industries in our fair country. In fact, 23 is almost exactly the percentage of women who graced McSweeney's pages in 2013, according to the VIDA count.

It's time for women to get out of the little red literary caboose. So, what are you waiting for? Submit your stuff already.  First stop: West Trestle Review. Next Stop: The New Yorker!

(Also, find us @westtrestle if you tweet.)

"The Gorgon's Tale" -- Now Available in a Journal Near You

If you haven't ordered your copy of Fjord's Review yet, you should really treat yourself. There's plenty of fine writing to be found there, and I'm honored that they published my poem, "The Gorgon's Tale," which is a feminist retelling of Medusa's story. If you happen to read it, let me know what you think.