Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Take A Bite

I'm so hungry for this guy, even his shoe leather would taste good right now...

This is a tribute to Anthony Bourdain. A very rough draft, but revised once since I posted on Jessie Carty's Make Friday Write.

Acid Notes Of Parsley And Paramount

       There was a time, before my career as a chef
       when teeth were barred on gravel and grit
       prairie wild, and wild game guesses
       boots didn’t slide so well
       and  the back of a spoon...meant lessons learned
       adventure was only a dream; then...

Bourdain rides into wide angle lenses
smoking hot, off death row requests
with back stage laughter and cooling engines 
still left gunning
to fulfill a wish, ‘live as an Englishman’

where protestant notions collect  
kindling abroad those traditional fires
questions surrounded slippery rims
as menus begin flying over courtyards
the simple answers are seasonally deep fried
after crawling back from an abyss

cross over stardom is the password
guns are cocked as the crew circle spits
word for word notions fly hungry above
scenes from the other side knock down back doors
trains never fail- rolling in with supplies in hand

blood cake comes out warm and under temp
unborn chicks slide in over easy
and are served in a sea of guilty pleasure
always floating on top with skirts jacked high
to ease slow rides downtown

pressure mounts as “chef is a cold man” death whispers
beaten and cramping and changing the days cuisine
a sprinkle of parsley is thrown and soars high
refreshing over the shoulder wishes
landing on everything left in his wake.

If you have no idea who 'Bourdain' is, well get No Reservations!

I want this to go somewhere and not sure I like some of the angles...

Okay your turn to speak...

Friday, May 25, 2012


Ever go back
vacation photos
and not remember;

some things
most things
along the way.
But luckily the place it was taken

will never neglect memory.

Isn't this image spectacular- shadows
thrown against the wall
paths bring them to us.
Imagine being there,

under the perfect night sky.
At first arrival
the front desk said "lake view";
excitedly and rushing to the room;

to witness
daylight filled landscape,
and mingled with construction.
If each live or inanimate object

were placed in others path
no matter the day
the place,
time and order would represent

We would simply touch it
to retrieve
and place it into our mental boxes.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Important Things

What a crazy time I have had the past three days...too funny for words in many ways...

I had two clients back to back this week, and a long drive to the latter. One party was near the shore. What a beautiful day it was. I was running, and I am tired. I had insomnia the past three nights, got in late last I'm up since 3:30 Am. I wish the clock could be turned back to my son's age...he goes to bed late, and gets up for a 4, 5, and 6 Am work schedule. Today is a day for rest. Not really, I have lots to do.

My best memory is not the food or wine, but the precocious four year old whom decided we should hang together. She kept calling me Chef E Elizabeth. Adorable! Both clients have the cutest daughters. Good practice for down the road...being a grandmother.

Working on a regular basis has really been fun, more than work. I was not meant to sit with idle hands. Friends are really coming through for me as well. I had a visit with a girl who had moved away, but returned, and sadly is moving once again.  The economy has really hurt so many people with job cutbacks and not hiring due to lack of money.

On a positive note, I have been accepted in another journal. This time it was photos I had entered. A file full of them have been waiting. I'm waiting as well; it seems all four journals I have been accepted the past few months have not gone to print or been uploaded yet...a few will be at the end of this month...or at least should be. My poetry book is due soon as well. The waiting game never ends...

Speaking of son surprised me with a gift on Mother's Day. It was his birthday as well, and with my birthday coming was a surprise! A surprise because he has never bought me anything. No big deal, as we put more value in spending time together and a phone call over material things. It is a lovely gift I will treasure.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Some Pretty Scary Stuff

No it's not Halloween. But some of the stuff the site (I discuss) publishes can make your spine tingle...

Writers Beware (a warning for you, but also a great site to check out!)

 and small presses need to pay attention...

Evidently there is a non-fictional tale (via internet) about UnDead Press and its editor and publisher and self promoting writer (aren't we all on many accounts), Anthony Giangregorio, who is being mentioned on Twitter, Facebook, and various blog posts- he 'allegedly' twisted and unprofessionally edited and published a fledgling author, Mandy DeGeit's piece 'She Makes Me Smile' in UnDead Presses latest anthology. I do say, and borrowing from another blog post's words, there is 'a flurrying of blog posts' about her ordeal.

You can go read more details here- Zombie Bible (which I follow) and Kelli Owen's blog, for whom I applaud, because she gives you more links to make a more informed 'alleged' judgment. Yes, as in judge and jury; the kind of rash judgment of a lynch mob with various sharp and pointy farm tools might be involved. Whatever weapon you pick up, do so with caution, as in I almost poked my eye out with a barbeque tool last night in an excitement moment when I first read Mandy's ordeal. However, I'm a firm believer in both sides need to be heard.

I say 'alleged' to insure we are not sued, but also to be fair. I do not know any of these persons involved. Our justice system is built on innocent until proven guilty. I would hope others do the same for me one day. I always try and stand back before making judgment's toward someone I hardly, uh um, I absolutely do not know.  However I do feel for this girl, as Kelli obviously did and is trying to inform everyone. I too would be upset if someone changed something I slaved over.

Unfortunately in excitement I have clicked 'agree' and signed contracts in rash excitement to see my name and work appear so I could proudly sing from a mountain top 'the hills are alive with the sound of ...'. Okay we all can visualize Sound Of Music when we get accepted by a publication. But what I do not like is to hear someone has been screwed. But was she...

Mandy DeGeit admits she signed the contract without really understanding the press's version of 'Editing'. But she says she did not agree to the changes the editor made in her story and is offering a free copy to anyone who bought Giangregoio's version (UnDead Press) to prove hers was a better read. She is what the industry, publishing and Indie Authors call a fledgling author. Many of us, me included, because I have two poetry books coming out this year, are not experienced with the world of publishing and reading contracts. I usually have several people read them and give me their opinions, and always a publishing adviser (many years of publishing experience or lawyer).

Who has money for lawyers when there is little money in this to begin with? 

I as in just me, would chalk it up to 'Big Mistake'. Warning people is a good idea. This is a great place to stop and rethink rash decisions. Maybe not rash? Time to stop the presses and think about the process. Speak to other Indie authors. I am sure there are plenty of people with opinions about the right and wrong of publishing with small presses.

Ask for references. How many books have they published. Ask questions. Don't just assume they know everything. I myself answer any questions since our launch in February. I would want an editor to do it for me. Editors aren't suppose to be trolls under a bridge. I may be jumping out there on this, but my feeling as of this morning is editors of small presses are now going to be required to explain why and what we are all about.

I feel my own press(es) are going to be under a microscope. As it should. I am admitting to you all, I am new at this publishing (and I hesitate to say 'game), but I have many friends in this small press business to learn from.  I will be discussing this with many of them throughout the coming weeks- Referential, unBound Content and SRP and a few others. I started my two because of lack of genre in the two areas, but then so many lurched out of the wood work. I realized there were more than I had found in research, but I'm happy to offer a great site for writers, poets, and artists.

I think most will agree anyone should have the right to ask for references. We have to in life in general. Can we? Sure why not, I would give them once we get more issues behind us. I am compiling an email survey as we speak. My policy at Z-composition and Cowboy Poetry Press - if an author sees a mistake once his/hers work is up, email us ASAP and it will be corrected. We all have afterthought revision issues. Our editors never change any of the published work. They are suppose to pick authors whose work is already void of errors in spelling, etc., that wasn't there for a purpose (creative license).

Okay I'll say it again, we do not alter any of the work during the submission period or up-loading process or ever without asking the author first. Poetry is a little different than flash and short story. I have in particular, an author who saw a mistake on her own part after the fact, in which I did offer to make the change once she saw it in the archives, but she chose to chalk it up to her own mistake and said "don't worry about it". I still would do it for you Andrea.

I will be very cautious about and have turned down a few manuscripts of lengthier fiction, as and because I am only beginning to write my own. I understand the true meaning of extra eyes. No one is perfect. Kelli Owen does a good job of expressing how new authors are 'excited' and will make mistakes. But we needed this subject to come to the forefront. I have noticed to many new presses being thrown up in haste, and am cautious about submitting my own work as a fairly new author. I want to be represented by quality, not quantity.

We (as in I have many editors to whom work as a roundtable) are beginning a publishing site, TBA sometime this year. I'm in no hurry, because I want the best possible for my own Indie Publishing site. I was planning to publish my own books within the site. But I never looked at it as I do now, self promoting. I decided to take on others in an afterthought, but also for Z-composition and CPP's anthologies. Which will be poetry, prose, and micro/flash fiction (under 1,000 words).

Did I mention the UnDead Press website is ratty? What is 'Ratty' you ask? There may be a difference of opinion on this one, maybe I should say 'shoddy'. But I have warned a few Z-composition submitters who tell me about sites they have been accepted (I often go check them out for my own purposes), and often a few seem suspicious (shoddy design, etc); as in looks and the fact they don't list who edits the work and other pertinent information I would want to know. To me personally as a writer, it seems one person is accepting and reading and editing and publishing and that might not be a great idea- again, one pair of eyes.

Did I mention our artists are paid, and out of my own pocket I might add.

Okay back to 'Ratty', this site looks like they just slapped it up there. The cover art is...go look...horrible. I wouldn't buy one, and I buy fellow writers books on a regular basis. On another note, possibly because of the entire internet blurb about them, they have chosen to shut down the acceptance/submission section of their site and a few other links (Facebook link isn't working).

This is the reason I am taking my time, and hiring experienced designers and artists and tech people (okay my husband the software hero doesn't charge me, but he has 30 + years under his belt) my sites look professionally done. At least I get emails saying so.

What else is there to say?

Thanks Zombie Bible, Beverly Bambury, Kelli Owen, and all you others I forgot to name, for bringing this to our attention. Now, I have a lot to think about. We all do.

I rambled as I often do with no caffeine and being up since 4 AM, but I hope this was fair and informative and rambling...Appreciate comments!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy 25 Birthday Son!

Yes, it's that time of year again. And he has to share it with me this weekend, so we are going to Atlantic City. Whoot Hoot!

I'm not big on gambling, but walking the boardwalk and eating out works!

Hubs family decided 25 is the year we cut off money and presents, and their name goes into the gift hat for Christmas. He was a bit disappointed to get all the cards and no checks existed. Well grandmas came through! I always do, but this time its in he form of a trip he chose.

We told him his present is his insurance rates will go down, and he is getting free rent for the next two years LOL I'm so bad. 

Happy Birthday my baby boy...your wearing big boy pants now!

Hope everyone has a great weekend, and...

Happy Mother's Day! to all of my friends in blogland. Smooches and hugs to you all. We worked hard and deserve some love. Our kids grow up so fast and then we have to entertain ourselves...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Give me give me give me!

I woke up to a great gift today, photos of my father's mothers grandfather were posted on my genealogy site- say hello to James Alfred Estill. I had always heard my father looked like him, but don't remember seeing family photos, other than the immediate family growing up. I also haven't been able to find out information until other distant relatives began posting, on that side of the family. They remain a mystery, or at least Mammaw Estill does. I see my son's, which looks like my father in this mans face.

I thought it was quite funny he had made several of these 'photograph postcards' to send to his family. I had never seen them before.

Hubs also came home from a work trip out of town with a gift. He can be thoughtful when he wants. I appreciate all he does for our household. I got a new 'bear claw' back scratcher, which is an inside joke, but it is so cute. He used it to avoid getting out of bed to turn off the light on his side, so see it already came in handy! Everyone should have a 'bear' around.

Another gift...I found a journal which encourages people with disabilities to submit their writing. Some of you know about my disabilities and my struggles to deal with them as an artist and writer and even in everyday job task. It is refreshing to find a place such as this to submit work. It has to be related to their subject material, so it gave me a change to pass on my newest chapbook project...and low on the totem pole of publishing I want to do, but 'Avocado Green Kitchen With A Gold Accented Childhood' came in handy. Three of the prose fit their criteria, so I hit 'send' this morning.

I have submitted lots of work these past few months, and been accepted to a few and still waiting on others. Some waiting times can be up to six months, but Referential and The RePrint should be up by the end of this month as well as my two books sometime this summer. Waiting is the hardest part.

Oops! One rejection and from a facebook friend I didn't realize until I saw the name again. Curious they wrote "nothing here to buy which interests me"...a curious rejection. Not painful. A funny thought, what if the disability journal rejects me. I'm not even good enough to be broken...kidding!

Hope your all having a wonderful week, as am I! Peace all...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Very Cool Spring Day

Rainy Days and the Mundane

Cracking thunder moved across the five am sky
waking me up early today. The window amplified

its peal. Left open after letting my son hang out to
smoke. The neighbor spoke out to him while she too

stood on our patio inhaling tobacco and cool
air before bedtime. And we laughed as he

pretended to jump, ending it all; warned
he would only break his legs, starting at his feet

maybe all the way up in such a way he
would be stuck with Mom Nightingale. A nurse

who might not be so kind to a veteran of
risk taking- a kid who was impatient in memory;

hastily climbing up chairs and tables and ladders, stepping
over slick newspapers to reach the counter, for

a cereal bowl, because hunger slowly streamed in
a childhood window that morning with bird songs.

(We spent one of his age three days in the ER over that broken collar he is into rock climbing)

I am not sure what we are looking up at in the photo, maybe adverts, in hubs random snap shot of a subway ride while in NYC, but I cut off either side's rider to protect the innocent. Yep, he and I are dangerous suburb mice trying to blend in with fast pace city mice. Which makes me realize why I love Farm Lady's (Over Good Ground) post so much...takes me to a place where I long to be.

I like the city and my surroundings here in Princeton, but I want to go back to rural life of my youth. Hear that son? It's what he (we all do) misses about St. Louis. One minute your in the city mouse mood and next it is a country mouse's life.

This all circles back around to my beautiful view out the bedroom (back patio as well) window. I'm not crazy about the light which comes in when the shades are left up, but the rain, thunder and steady view of lush ever greens takes me back...and inspires.

And we say 'la vie' to National Poetry Month...