White Christmas

Saturday’s Christmas snow was a special gift from Santa–in my whole life, no matter where I was on Christmas day, it had never snowed before, and it’s always something I hope for.  It was lovely, wasn’t it?  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said it was the first white Christmas that the city has seen since 1882–118 years.  I think I’ll write a poem about it, though I don’t know what my approach will be.  It will have to simmer in my brain a few days, I think.

Thank heavens we didn’t have to be anywhere–we just stayed in.  I was  very glad that Mom had decided to rent a car and come anyway (after the transmission debacle), and fortunately, she got in late on Christmas Eve, so she wasn’t traveling in the weather, which would have been nerve-wracking for all concerned.

As for Christmas Day itself, I cooked my traditional Christmas lasagne, and we also had asparagus.  I also attempted, once again, to make an apple-cranberry pie.  But I am firm believer that our craptastic oven has  “attempt at baking” detection, because every time I try to bake a sweet, something wrong happens.  This time, it was a charred pie top.  Which is so fricken’ annoying!  I think getting an oven thermometer is an idea whose time is long past.

And it’s only sweet things that get fouled up.  I’ve baked bread and muffins in the oven and have had no problem.  Pies, however, it hates to cook.  Maybe what I need to do the next time is just not cook the apple pie the full 2 hours.  Or maybe I should just buy a pie next time–save myself the hassle.

But the lasagne and asparagus were good.  And of course I set a beautiful table with candles, snowman placemats, red chargers, snow-white napkins, red-handled utensils (the ones Grace sent as a wedding gift last year), and our Wedgwood Nantucket Basket wedding china.

After dinner, we opened presents and watched a silly Christmas movie on tv.  It was a really nice Christmas.

I hope yours was too.



And Now a Word from She Who Is Soon-to-be Published

I’ve been thinking about cover art and blurbs and such, and I can’t tell you how stressful that is.  I’m beginning to think writing the book was waaaaay easier than all the stuff that comes after.

Karen says I ought to hold a contest and have my students come up with possible cover art.  Which I could do, and maybe give like a giftcard or something to the winner.  However, there’s a little part of me (alright, a BIG part of me) that thinks that rates a 10 on the Gouda Scale.  But what are my options, otherwise?  I can’t take a photo to save my life, and let’s not go into my painting skills.

And then there’s the whole “author picture” thing.  That’s a debacle in waiting.  I’m about as photogenic as roadkill.  (And no, this is NOT a call from my devoted friends to protest otherwise, well-meaning and lying as you would be.)  Ugh.  I don’t even want to think how obnoxious getting a professional-looking photo will be.  It’s not like I can ask Chris to take it.  He takes ghastlier pictures than I do.  Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

And Goddess save me, I have to find people to blurb my book?  If there’s one thing I despise (but secretly crave it anyway) is affirmation and notice from others about my writing.  The thought of approaching anyone and asking them to read La Petite Mort and say how great it is, fills me with absolute blood-freezing dread.  I go out of my way to be unnoticed, quiet, fade-into-the-woodworky.  Asking someone to read my book and hoping they’ll like it enough to say some kind words is like a nightmare to me.  I think I’d rather extract every last tooth from my mouth, sans Novacaine.  I don’t even know who to ask.  Who even really wants to blurb a book?  Isn’t it kind of phony anyway?


I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking I’m the most ungrateful, idiotic, ridiculous person in the world, who just got her book accepted and ought to be hella grateful, and instead, here is she is bitching about it.  You’re damn right I’m bitching about it.  I am grateful–I’m not a complete moron–but is it wrong to be just a little freaked out about the extra associated crap that goes with the acceptance of the book?  The pictures, the blurbs, feeling like a big bleah-head??

(Not that feeling like a big bleah-head is new for me.  I feel like that quite often.)

About My Painting, I Guess You Could Say I’m a Decent Poet

nununu 2NuNu, Acryic on panel, 6″ x 6″

I painted that for Chris.  It is not, what you’d call, a “good likeness.” (Of NuNu, that is, not Chris.  If it were a painting of Chris, it would be horrid.  Being as he’s a husband, not a tuxedo cat.)poppies 2 

Poppies, Acrylic on panel, 5″ x 5″

Named Poppies in honor of The Wizard of Oz, this one I painted for Lisa Verigin, since we both like musicals.  But she doesn’t know I made this for her (yet).  The scan is kind of blurred, and I think that’s because the paint has a lot of texture (this thing took forever to dry).



Firecat, Acrylic on Panel, 5″ x 5″

Chris compressed the file for me, so the picture was smaller. This one too has a lot of texture, so the image isn’t as clear as it could be.  I’m not sure who I’ll give this to.  Probably depends on if anyone wants it!

I was thinking I would maybe give it to Suzan Manuel, a friend from my first day in graduate school at Nazi State University.  She likes cats.  Even hideous ones.

You see, way back in March I had promised that I would “make something” for Suzan, Lisa, Chris, my sister Kirsten, and my FB friend Greg Butterfield.  So, these pictures are the result (although I don’t have anything yet for Greg).  

Here’s the last one:

sunsetsmallSunset Over Cross Lake, Acrylic on panel, 5″ x 5″.

This was the first painting I experimented with “liquid metal,” a kind of acrylic paint that is very beautiful, but doesn’t mix too well.  It has more of the consistency of tempera than acrylic, and it comes in a little pot, not a tube, which is inconvenient.  But I liked the effect, and I employed some of this liquid metal in the other pictures I’ve scanned (as well as some others that are drying).


In news poetic, I’m working on an ekphrastic poem that is kicking my ass, and except that one of the lines in the poem is the title of the collection I’m working on, and the poem is therefore pivotal to the collection, I’d just as soon toss it and come back to it much later.  I suppose I could still toss the poem, and come up with a new title for the collection, but I hate to do that, because I love the title… Oh well, it doesn’t have to be decided tonight.

Got Poem? Not Really

You know that old saw that the path to Hell is paved with good intentions?  That’s actually a mistake.  There is no path to Hell, only a lot of detours and wrong turns.  Which is what I was doing today.

I painted today.  Badly, but I painted.  I’m rusty.  On one 5″x5″ tile that I painted, I didn’t like what happened with the blue, so I caked on pthalo blue over it, and then I sort of went crazy and put more and more paint on it and what it turned into is weird.  Not like the stuff I used to paint at all, which was deliberate and meticulous strokes.  This was like that art that you see in coffee houses that’s really bad and not art, and yet you like it anyway.  (Or not.)  Another tile I painted a sort of gloppy red cat–again way more paint than I needed.

Chris said, “You use a lot of texture in your painting, I’ve noticed.”

Translated that means, “What the hell?”

Now they have to dry since they both have so much paint on them.  But they’re not for me.  Back in March, I did this thing on Facebook where I promised the first 5 people to respond to my Note would get something handmade by me, with the caveat that they would have to wait until after our wedding.  Now, I’m delivering the goods.

When these 2 tiles dry, I’ll see if I can’t take a picture of them and post them here for you to see.  (Of course, you might regret that.)  Maybe next weekend, I can work on the others.

All of this is by way of saying, I didn’t get any poetry done.  But I do consider the day successful, despite the detours, because I accomplished:

  1. 5 loads of laundry
  2. 2 “paintings”
  3. 1 Target run, for cat-related items, including Fancy Feast and litter.
  4. 3 articles in Poets & Writers read

Ok, and on a completely random note, 2 seconds ago the cats were just acting weird, and all of the sudden there was what looked to be a black thing on the floor.  I thought it was a roach (eww!!!), but then it HOPPED!  It was a little frog!  In our house!  So Chris tried to get it but it hopped into the kitchen.  And then it tried climbling up the cupboard!  And then Chris caught it and put it outside.

How in the hell did a little frog get in our 2nd floor apartment??????? 

Now Jenny is looking around for the frog.  I think she’s pissed she couldn’t eat it.

I’m sorry, from now on, my house is a frog-free zone.  I can’t be having little frogs hanging out.  That’s just not sanitary.

But maybe I could write a little frog poem.