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I’m not dead! I was just resting, y’all.

No, that’s not even true (except for the not dead part) – I haven’t been resting. It’s been busy as all get out here since my last post in… omg, in May. Here’s the scoop: stuff is in motion. Here’s the work on the biggest stuff.

Rabbit Heart is off and running!

The 2014 Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival is rolling along like a boss. We just finished up judging on Wednesday night – winners in four categories have been picked, two categories have been scrapped (the youth category because there were no youth entries,* and the under-one-minute category because there weren’t enough suitable entries), as well as the overall winner, and I am both grateful for the judges and satisfied by their outcome. We have a venue and a date – 8pm Sunday, October 12th at Nick’s Bar, right here in Worcester. We have a gorgeous ticket design (if I don’t say so myself), and we’re ready to rock.

There’s still a lot to be done before the date – ticket sales (and emailing out of town folks who donated and are promised tickets ♥ ♥), curating of the show, setting up the programs, posters and tee-shirts, getting in touch with the finalists, making runner-up prizes, staffing the event, press releases, and of course, securing the popcorn possibilities – but I am deeply stoked to be digging in on it. I am downright thrilled to tell you that tickets should be on sale in the next couple weeks. WooT!

How grateful am I? I am so freaking grateful. This is a project that two years ago I was just dreaming about bringing to fruition. I was armchairing the hell out of it, and only vaguely entertaining the idea that I could get it into action. I was convinced that in order to get this event off the ground, I would have to get someone else to do it. And now here I am on the verge of it actually happening, and it’s because I got my butt in the game.

Something snapped in January. I just felt like I couldn’t wait anymore for a Right Moment or someone else to decide that they wanted to produce this event. And so I stuck my toe in. And check it out – I hooked a fish! Now it’s time to reel that baby in. The next couple of months are going to be filled with more work, and I tell you what, sister – I’m totally looking forward to it =) Read the rest of this entry »

Good morning, Brave Monday, I’m all wound up.

What I really want to say is: I dreamed last night that I was making Thanksgiving dinner and had forgotten to go grocery shopping, and that there was a baby scrambling around (that might have been a kitten?), and I was at the top of some stairs that I couldn’t get down from. And that dreams are super weird, but anyone can see that there’s some interpretation to be gleaned from that there pre-wakeup business.

What I really want to say is: this is about courage.

I put it out into the world. Yes, I did.

So you know about the Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, yes? This is an effort in bravery, and I’m not afraid to say so!* I got up off the sofa at the end of January with my good idea tucked under my arm, and pushed it into action. Holy crap, it’s in action!

Since then I’ve been figuring things out – like making pretty web pages, getting logistics in order, shouting out news, learning to write a press release, chatting up people I don’t know, and sniffing around cool venues for the scent of amazing things in potentia.**

And now I’m asking for help – which, in case you were wondering, is terrifying. This morning I set up a Go Fund Me page  in order to make submissions to the Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival free, and now I’m buzzing all over and feeling weird and excited, and hopeful, and and and…

Look – here’s the scoop:
Right now the plan for this festival is to use money that I have been carefully socking away since the beginning of the year as prize money. And I was planning to use that and money from submissions to cover the cost of throwing the awards ceremony event, right? But the more I think about it, the more I think about how often money can be the one thing that keeps me personally from submitting my work. Money for poems in the mail or money for groceries, right?*** The groceries usually win out. And I thought about how people who make a lot of art don’t have a whole lot of disposable income†. Conclusion: I want to make submissions free.

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Ok. So I can’t seem to get more than a third of my to-do list tackled on any given day,* but I can totally manage to start new projects.

The stuff that’s sitting on my list right now is mostly the hard stuff: some emails I need to send out (two of which require me to be brave), an art submission (which also requires me to be brave), and some handwritten letters that need to be sent out (two of the five require me to have something to say, and one more requires me to organize my notes into a comprehensible letter after reading someone’s poetry manuscript). Also, I need to call the health insurance company about optical, find all three of us new PCPs, arrange a dental appointment for Our Man Cub, and arrange for our car to be serviced.**

Yeh. So my plan today was to make mail. To sit down and write letters and pack stuff up to send out. I didn’t do that, so much. I handled the ironing and the changing of linens. I cleaned and finished a scarf and posted a couple new listings on my Etsy. And then this happened:

I’ve been aching to try out arm knitting for what feels like forever – A woman I worked with shared a video of it with me and I became intrigued like whoa. I even pinned*** it, intending to try it out when I got a chance. Ok, really, intending to try it out when I found the right yarn (chunky) at the right price (cheap – I’ve never tried this, so no need to spend a lot of money on it). I haven’t found said yarn yet. Also, I’ve heard tell of making yarn from tee shirts, and have been just dying to try that out. Then I mentioned to a friend the tee-shirt yarn thing, and she mailed me a pin about how to do it, and omg, SHOWED UP AT OUR HOUSE WITH A BAG OF TEES! Squeee! Thank you, Sarah!

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Good morning, and welcome to Pretty Pretty Princessland, winter edition.* I am currently blogging it up in my pjs and bathrobe, with a nice hot cup of coffee, IN BED. Yes, sister, I am blogging in bed.

And really, what’s that about? you may ask. I might spend some sweet space justifying purchases here, but, really, let’s cut to the chase: teenagers today (the delightfully nerdy ones, at least – you know, my favorite ones) don’t use the phone so much as talk for hours over Skype while playing together on the same Minecraft server, and recording it for YouTube, and I share a desk with Our Man Cub. Which is to say, it can become a touch noisy at my desk. And I payed down the Best Buy card from the winter holidays last week. So a Chrome Book? Yes, please. I joked that I would blog in bed, and so here I am test driving that business, in bed, cup of coffee, big orange cat purring up a storm beside me, and all up in some soft blankets. Also, I sat in my studio the other day and collaged like a badass while watching Netflix. SO MUCH WIN.

SO! I’m trying to indulge myself more. Does that sounds ridiculous so early into the year? I know everyone’s all about getting back on the stick and losing weight and being more disciplined about their exercise regime, and cutting out sugar and all that – it’s resolution time, still, after all. But I’m so totally into indulgence tight now.

Honestly, I’ve been working like a dog since about mid-November. With the museum where Will Dearest and I work(ed)** closing down and then the cleaning and moving and consolidating, I’ve been on my feet constantly, and not taking very good care of me terribly well. And I discovered something important: when I don’t pour enough sugar on the everyday, when I come home exhausted and eat junk food and zone out, just waiting for it to be late enough to go to bed, and then get up and do it all over again, I don’t like being me so much. When I operate like that, even my weekends go to the dogs – I spend a ton of time just sitting still and feeling sorry for myself over how much energy I’m expending for someone else (no mind that I’m being, you know, paid for it, and that I really like the people I work with, and that I actually like the work I’m doing there) and how I never get enough time to do my stuff and blah blah blah whine whine whine oh, my feet. Yeh, I don’t like living in that headspace. It’s like moving a 9′ metal horse through a 7′ door – you can do it, it’s just really hard and involves a lot of heavy lifting.

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Remember that time when you wanted to do a Big Something, but you were scared shitless, and so you didn’t do it? And then for a really long time after, you sat around and said things like, “Man, I wish there were more poetry videos that weren’t just performance selfies. You could do so much more with the medium,” or, “Someone really should run a poetry film festival in this town. I bet some really amazing work could come out of that.” And your friends hung out with you while you said stuff like that, and they nodded their heads, knowing that, in spite of your idea being a really cool Big Something, you’d never actually get off your ass and make it happen, because you were afraid. Remember that?

Oh, yeh – that was me.

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(x-posted to the Poets Asylum)

And they’re beautiful! Check out these babies –

We’ll be selling them at the Sunday reading (you know about the Poets Asylum reading, right? ‘Cos it’s been around for, like, 14 years, and if you haven’t been, you should totally come check it out) starting this weekend. If you’re out of town and would like one (or two, or three, or five, or ten), you can order one from the Doublebunny Press store – we’ll mail it right to your mailbox.

4″ round, vinyl, $3 each (+shipping and handling for mailing, natch), with all profits going to defray hotel and registration costs  associated with getting the 2013 Worcester Slam team to NPS in August. And it almost goes without saying that one of these will totally fancy up whatever you put it on.

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Ok, so! Let me tell you what I was super secret squirrel about last week – I made a Thing!

Here’s the scoop – over the last year, Dearest Will & I have been doing yoga together, and both of us have been interested in learning to meditate. It’s been nice that the gentle yoga practice that we do together* has some guided meditation at the end, but we’ve both wanted something more. We tried a yoga nidra cd. We tried some chanting stuff with Deva Primal.** A little flirting with it, right?

And then enter the panic attacks.*** Poor Dearest Will started having them at the end of last year, and has been working with a therapist around that stuff, to some really great success.  A couple months ago, she suggested to him that he should try meditation. Osm, right? She sent him home with some YouTube links, and a mission.

After some browsing the YouTube clips, hilarity ensued, as well as some aggravation on my part – why, for the love of Pete, do meditations always take place on the freaking beach? I find the beach to be one of the most stressful places I can possibly imagine – the heat, the garbage strewn all over the place, the reek of suntan lotion and stale beer, crowds, sand that follows you home and gets into everything you own. Lawdamercy, why??

So I ranted, Will giggled at me ranting, we discussed at length guided meditation clips and what we would both actually want from one. Being a skittery animal  myself,  I held that any good guided meditation should start with, Shh – it’s alright now.

So, in secret, I set to work. I wrote a script. I edited it. I read it out loud to myself and scrapped it. I started again. And again. And a third time, until I got it close to where I wanted it.

Then I emailed my friend Steve. This guy changed my life in 1990, when he handed me a cassette tape with Surfer Rosa  on one side, and Goo on the other side – omogod, blissful noise! Seriously, I had No. Idea.† Anyway – Steve’s still making Good Noise these days, and with that in mind, I asked him if he could do 8 minutes of ambient music suitable for meditation.††

Steve sent me the track he came up with, pointed me in the direction of good (and free to evaluate) mixing software, complete with notes on how to cut and paste pieces and fix volume, and I got the hell on it.

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My latest fixation right now is about throwing out less stuff. Part of it is guilt, straight up.* Part of it has to do with seeing what I can do with things that grow . Part of it is about sheer craftiness, seeing what I can re-use or repurpose in kickass ways. Part of it is thriftiness (see also: the brown bananas in my freezer, awaiting three like comrades).

This afternoon I turned a decadent little trick with the two dwarves, Guilty and Thrifty,** and just had to share my victory with you.

Dearest Will generally overestimates my morning coffee consumption. We’re both big fans of coffee, but while he’s a guzzler, I’m more of a sipper.*** And he’s sweet and kind, and he makes a fresh pot for us just before we leave for work, topping off our go-cups for the road. But my cup never needs more than an inch or two, so there’s always some left in the pot as we’re about to leave the house – the last 2 cups or so in the carafe, not enough to fill another go-cup, but what feels like too much to throw out.

So yesterday, in anticipation of the heat wave, I stuck it in a container in the fridge. Then this morning I poured in the leftovers again. This afternoon we came home to a roasty house,† I poured the coffee over ice into big mugs, added some sugar and some milk, and whoa, Fanceh Coffees \o/††

Doing work – two desks to pick from, and I opted for the floor, whut.

A quick check-in while I have time and am near the computer – I’ve missed you over the last few weeks, dear readers!

I’ll start by telling you that I may have found the most perfect, and most perfectly simple, summer dessert: red delicious apple slices with fresh lime juice squeezed over them.* Just slice up the apples (about twelve slices per apple), and squeeze half a lime over it for each whole apple (1 apple : 1/2 lime). The lime juice perfectly perfumes and adds a lovely tartness to the sweet red delicious apples, not to mention, keeps them from turning brown. Chill in the fridge and voila, snack.** So easy, right?

Also, I’ll tell you that it’s been a bit zooey here with the change in the weather and the change in jobs. Freelance and also some art that I’d had to put off digging into full-force for a little while took over most of my free time for a few weeks,*** and any spare time has been spent putting the garden together.

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Who rolled out of bed this morning and ate three cookies?* OMIGOD, I DID! -urp-

Ok, so these cookies. I’m not, generally speaking, a cookie person. I like a cookie here and there, but usually I prefer a savory treat when it comes down to it. Dearest Will and Our Man Cub, on the other hand, are big fans of cookies, and so when Dee came over for dinner a few weeks ago and offered to bring cookies, I was all, “That would be perfect – dessert sorted. Cool,” and thought no more of it.

Until we got to the cookies and coffee part of the evening and I tried one of those crispy little morsels of crack** heaven. Sister, I could not believe this cookie*** – what perfect, crispy, sweet-salty little miracles. So, of course, I asked for the recipe. Dee joked that it was a secret – that if it got out, that everyone would be addicted to this baked good and it would all be over. Will Dearest said something about sending it in code. Dee said she would try to wrangle it out of her mom (who had made the cookies at our table).

In Dearest Will’s email a couple weeks later, a mysterious file was attached to a note from Dee: Office Rent March. He showed me the attachment and we both squealed like teenage girls – jackpot! The guilty guilty jackpot. And the recipe totally did not self destruct in ten seconds held up – I made these last night and once they had been sampled, I texted Jaquelyn: omg you need to come eat ths cookies nao! She trotted up shortly after to sample the goods. Her reaction: “Holy SHIT.” “What the mnmnmnnn?!” “Can I have another?” “Oh. My. GOD.”

And, so I share the contents of that email attachment with you, Dear Reader, along with my notes. Just, yanno, promise to keep it under wraps.

Lace Cookies (Office Rent, March)makes 3 dozen

1 1/2 c Quaker Quick Oats
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp flour
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla

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