Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"I love carrots!"

Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
See title.


Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
Bears in the woods.

Currently Listening to . . .

Horse Feathers, Curs in the Weeds


The quarter is in full swing. We've been trying to figure out our child-care times. So basically there are a couple of days in the week where we pass the baby like a baton.


I've been keeping close tabs on the financial crisis. Madness. It really is.


In light of the madness with the housing market, my parents have decided that it's a good idea to buy a house.

It's true. My parents are planning to buy a retirement house nearby. That'll help with the kid-care, for sure, but our area's not cheap so I'm worried 'bout their savings.


In spite of all my worries I have not caught a cold . . . yet.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

If Your Strength is Foreign Policy . . .

. . . don't you think you should be able to say Ahmadinejad?

Also, shouldn't you know the name of the president of Pakistan?

Oh my.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

And so it begins

The official start of the quarter was yesterday, but for me the teaching part starts today.

Two fun courses: ENG 460--Multi-genre, which I'm teaching as a conversation about prose poems, short-shorts, and lyric essay forms.

ENG 453--Advanced Poetry, which I always teach as a poetic forms class.

Fun abounds.


I'm listening to this and having fun. Every track is like playing "Name That Tune."

I'm also listening to these guys.


I'm still in the throes of submitting work. So far, 5 journals and they all take online submissions. I can't tell you how much time I've spent converting and compressing documents. I made the mistake of upgrading my Microsoft Office program to 2008, so I've been changing every .docx document BACK to .doc or .rtf



L. is with a babysitter for the first time. :-(

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

By the way . . .

I AM sim-subbing. This is a newish development. Before, I never simultaneously submitted my work. Now, because of the wonders of my magic spreadsheet, I can keep track of everything and color code poem packets.

Of course, if a journal doesn't want me to simultaneously submit work I've sent to them, I don't do it. I get it. It's work for them and if they like something of yours and you pull it after they've devoted space to you, they get pissed. I totally understand.

Happily, last year's endeavors with the spreadsheet were fruitful. I sent a total of 7 packets of poems ranging from 4-6 poems per packet. From those seven packets of poems, I had about 25 poems taken. Mind you, this is work I generated over 4 years and had finally sent out in one big shebang, so don't get uppity. ;-) It had been awhile since I sent out anything.

Anyway, I'm still in my office. I did NOT go to the gym. I wanted to make the most of my non-child-care time and take care of my professional life.

Right now . . .

. . . I'm in my office at school and I'm arguing with myself. Should I walk across campus to the parking lot, drive to the gym, workout for an hour and a half, drive back to campus, and wait until 5:00PM? Or should I just sit here, read other people's blogs, and wait till 5:00PM?


This is a good album


Sending poems out today and tomorrow . . . RIGHT before the quarter gets crazy.


It's starting to get really cold. It was in the 30's this morning.


Hmmm . . . I should go to the gym.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fall Harvest

Tonight we'll be headed to the annual Foothills Fall Harvest party where cider will be served and where perhaps performers from the Subdued String Band Jamboree may be performing.

We went to this shindig last year and it was tons of fun--lots of food and locals. If you haven't figured it out yet, I live out in the boonies.


At any rate, it's certainly Fall. The maples are starting to turn and it's becoming scarf weather. I have to say that Fall is actually my favorite season. I can't stand being too hot or too cold. And I love coats!


I've been following this AIG and Lehman Brothers collapse. Locally, we've also been dealing with the WaMu problems. I almost got a home loan from WaMu. Scary stuff, and even though I'm financed through a different lending institution I'm sure that it'll effect my loan in some way. Fingers crossed.


My goal is to send work out next week. Hold me to my goal please.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

School Daze

Yesterday I had to stop many times for school buses unloading its cargo. We up at Western Washington U. haven't started classes yet, but to be sure, that day is coming in the next couple of weeks.

I'm always excited about school starting. This year, though, I expect some major adjustments will be in order. Meredith heads back to the classroom and we've been trying to adjust our schedules to accommodate L's needs as well as our own as active people. She's got her classes lined up for the mornings up until 12:00PM. I start at 12:00PM and go until 4:00PM. So basically, I'll have to take L. to school and pass him like a relay baton right at my classroom door. It's far from ideal and I'd rather have at least an hour between my class and Meredith's class, but such are the breaks.

At any rate, something will have to give and already I'm cutting back.


Back to the poem-a-day thing in August. It was quite productive for me and already I had three poems from that "celebration" picked up. The Chattahoochee Review will be publishing three of my "Self Portrait" poems. Very cool. Anyway, I need to start sending more of the poems out. The plan is to have everything off my desk by the end of the month . . . before the quarter is in full swing.

I owe Didi Menedez some poems and I fully plan on honoring my word. Sorry Didi, life happened. So did teething.

Forgot to mention that the reading at SAM went really well, and it was great seeing Shin Yu. We both read new work, which felt really good. I was nervous as all heck.


I've been breaking my own writing taboos lately, which has been refreshing.


Two classes for the Fall: ENG 453--Advanced Poetry Writing (I always teach this as a poetic forms class), and ENG 460--Multigenre: The Short Prose Form (A way for me to teach prose poems, short-shorts, and lyric essays).


On spin in iTunes:

Blitzen Trapper
Silversun Pickups
Bon Iver
Ra Ra Riot
Okkervil River

Admittedly I've been buying music . . . even though I have no money. Don't read this, Meredith.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pistola is Up!

Thanks to Miguel Murphy for selecting some of my work! Click here for the poems!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Farewell, Reginald Shepherd

The lovely and brilliant poet, teacher, and blogger Reginald Shepherd has passed away. He had been battling illness for quite some time. I've linked you to his last blog entry. Please say goodbye when you get a chance.


Manifest by Reginald Shepherd

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Reading at the Seattle Art Museum

Hey y'all. I'll be reading with Shin Yu Pai at the Seattle Art Museum on Thursday, September 11th from 8:00-9:00PM.

Here's the info:

Date: Thursday, September 11, 2008
Time: 8:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Seattle Art Museum, South Hall
City/Town: Seattle, WA

Poetry reading with Oliver de la Paz & Shin Yu Pai

Shin Yu Pai is the author of Haiku Not Bombs (Booklyn Artists Alliance), Works on Paper (Convivio Bookworks), Sightings: Selected Works [2000 - 2005] (1913 Press, 2007), The Love Hotel Poems (Press Lorentz, 2006), Unnecessary Roughness (xPress(ed), 2005), Equivalence (La Alameda, 2003), and Ten Thousand Miles of Mountains and Rivers (Third Ear Books, 1998). She is the recipient of awards from 4Culture and the Cambridge Arts Council.

Oliver de la Paz is the author of two collections of poetry, Names Above Houses, and Furious Lullaby, both published by Southern Illinois University Press. He is a co-chair for the advisory board of Kundiman, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the creation, cultivation, and promotion of Asian American Poetry. A recipient of a NYFA Fellowship Award, his work has appeared or is forthcoming from many journals like the Quarterly West, The Virginia Quarterly Review, North American Review, Tin House and in anthologies such as Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation and Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond. He teaches creative writing at Western Washington University.

I hope you can make it!


I've been really busy with Fall Academic Advising. Students are starting to trickle in to my office hours and my e-mail's been saturated with questions about courses and the major, so sorry it's been awhile since I've posted.

On top of the job duties, there's the parenting duties and my futile attempts to maintain some balance. I'm sure it'll work itself out soon.


I haven't seen a theater movie in a month, which is a long time for me. Though, Netflix has been good of late. Got any recommendations?


I need to revise.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Now back to your regularly scheduled cuteness.

Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
See Title.
* * *

Done with the poem-a-day thing for August and I'm coming away with a knowledge of some habits and of the fact that I think I have a manuscript and a half between 2007 and this new 2008 material.

My habits/observations--when I'm in a rut, I fall back to cataloging lines or lists. Nothing wrong with this, but I know I get tired of what's going on and there's only so far I can take said catalog.

When I get stuck, I quit on a poem or I cannibalize it into another poem. Just an observation.

Writing in such a deliberate way became a chore and at many points, I hated the process--a community helps at this point, so I'm grateful for the five other poets who were doing this with me.

I only cheated once, otherwise thirty of the thirty-one days were filled with new work.

Mostly, I learned how hard but doable it is to create new work with an infant in the house. The bottom line--you need to have someone to support you, so thank you Meredith! You're a saint. Really really really.