Thursday, September 29, 2011

What's Simmering...

Hey everybody, here I am for my bi-monthly blog post! (le sigh)

Today I'm running on low, energy wise. I stayed up too late last night, and drank a little too much wine, mostly because last night was when I finally realized that I have to stop pretending that I'm applying to graduate school sometime in the next three months. 'Cause I'm not. And that sucks. It sucks a lot. I have a big chunk of tuition that I still owe from last year, and that has to get paid before I can get my transcripts--or my diploma for that matter! Also, I have to take the GRE tests again, and that's another few hundred dollars right there. Not to mention application fees and all the other hidden costs involved in applying to a graduate program. I just don't have the money. Neal and I are trying to buy a car, 'cause we really need a second vehicle. There's just not enough of the dough to stretch.

BUT-- despite the fact that the Universe has screwed me over (again) I am making the best of it all. I have my ever evolving projects!

  • Poetry submissions. These keep happening. Like, every few months or so. I figure if Sylvia Plath, E.E. Cummings, and (ahem) Gertrude Stein were all rejected many, many times before their stuff got published, I might as well keep trying.

  • I'm reading three books right now. One of them is by Thomas Pynchon and it's close to 800 pages long; Gravity's Rainbow. After starting this book, I was told I should have begun Pynchon's earlier book, V before attempting this one. Oh well. I can do this. Pynchon is like a post-modern James Joyce. His prose is tangental and all over the place, but so far--it's intriguing. It's a book about technology and its jarring effect on collective consciouosness in the latter 20th century. I think. That's what one of the reviews I read stated. I'm also [still] reading Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. It's great! I'm really enjoying Plath's style and characters. Finally, I'm reading Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. A couple years ago, I took a class on slave narratives and this one almost made the reading list, but our professor chose a couple other titles instead. So I'm returning to the genre,  and enjoying the book thus far.

  • I'm looking into self-publishing. I don't really know why, really, since I don't have anything complete to publish yet. I'm slowly and painstakingly working on a book of poetry. A chapbook, basically. It's not coming along quite as well as I'd like. I feel a little bit low on inspiration at the moment, too. So I'm looking into self-publishing, because...? I'm just curious, I guess. What I'm discovering is that I'll need a few things before I can actually consider taking that route. 1.) a really good manuscript (no, really?) 2.) a helluva lot more online presence and involvement (which probably would mean blogging more than one or twice a month. Psh.) 3.) Some pricey formatting software. 4.) Money to hire a really good editor 5.) The right publish-on-demand company to work with. Aaaand--6.) READERS! I'm being kind of cynical right now, but I have time to really focus on writing, now, and I can't help but let my mind wander to the publishing thing. I always do get ahead of myself. On a positive note, I do want to get more serious about my writing and about supporting the wonderful writing community I've had the privilege of acquainting myself over the last year or so that I've been blogging here. So there's that for now--and maybe someday I'll have a go at the publishing thing. 

  • I'm also cooking. This is kind of off my usual path, here, even though I think I mentioned cooking in previous posts. But I'm becoming kind of crazy about it. I see at least 10 "must-make!" recipes every day. It's been a lot of fun. There are a couple recipes I have waiting in the wings for a special occasion--Couscous alla Trapanese is one of them. It's a full-flavored seafood dish served with couscous and a Fiano-based cicilan wine! I found it in a favorite magazine--Wine Enthusiast. The recent issue of the magazine featured an article on classic Cicilian dishes and wine pairings. I love this stuff!

So there's a run-down of what I'm up to right now. Hopefully I'll have more time and energy to post stuff more often. Until next time...

p.s. If there's anybody out there reading this who has any real familiarity with the self-publishing thing, I'd love to hear your input!


  1. Good to read an update busy girl!
    You've probably discovered all this already, but might as well share my limited findings in self-publishing... - I have a friend who self-published through here. You have to do all your own marketing, but the good thing is you only pay for what is printed. I think Amazon online now has a self-publishing option as well, which would be better.
    This website is useful- Newbie's Guide to Publishing:

    I'm sorry you've been feeling discouraged lately, hon - I hope all things fall into place for you soon! If it helps ... all the rest of us aspiring hopefuls are going through much the same thing!

    I enjoyed Their Eyes Were Watching God - mostly because it is the story of a woman learning to define herself without a man. (I'm a sucker for a good feminist premise.)

  2. I am so sorry you can't apply to graduate school yet :( I understand being swamped with loans and not having enough money. sigh.... Hate being poor somedays. I loved Bell Jar and Their Eyes Were Watching God. Soooo beautiful. I hope you enjoy! Love you, Thanks for the update.

  3. I also have vague plans to self-publish a book I haven't finished yet, and I've also been thinking about My book is a lot less serious than yours -- it's a novelization of a 1950s kidvid space opera called Rocky Jones, Space Ranger. The tv show is in the public domain, which is why I can publish my own novelization. I'm about 2/3rd of the way done.

    Say, Laura, would you like to make a little wager on which of us manages to self-publish first?

  4. Hey Johnny, I'm going to bet hands down it'll be you that self-publishes first. :) You're much closer to being finished than I am, even though a book of poetry is shorter. I don't know how well self-published poetry sells or if I can even market it. I'm still running through the gamet of literary journals, submitting individual poems here and there--so far without luck. I've got a long way to go. Your book sounds like a seller, on the other hand! I think you'd get a lot of interested readers. Good luck!



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