Monday, January 19, 2009

Spokes on a wheel

So, here I am. I have a new class that I really have to concentrate on. I mean really- I need to concentrate. But instead, I am thinking about opening an Etsy store.

Let me back up. I bought a cool machine that allows you to bind your own books. It was as if it were meant to be.

Why? I have a couple of manuscripts (that sounds funny to me- pretentious- I don't know) that I have sent off to publishers and they have all come back rejected in various formats. I keep thinking, perhaps, it's the presentation. They don't get it. They don't get me.

Maybe I am deluded but I can't change that- my self image is what keeps me going. If I am not talented and creative and endowed with a strange, hard earned wisdom all my own- then who the hell am I? I don't want to pay thousands to self publish and then do my own marketing. What to do, what to do. The beast inside me will not be quiet and must be heard, must be authenticated and must be validated. So, I'll make my own books, I thought. Could this be done?

I went, looking for book making supplies. This is not a craft that has a large following. Michael's has virtually no supplies. Hobby Lobby, of course, was the answer. As I wandered through the scrapbooking section wondering how many college educations had been squandered on pretty sheets of paper- (I went through the whole rubber stamping phase with my mother so I may be tainted)- there it was. The Zutter Bind it All. It will literally punch holes through wooden chip board.

It was mine. Mine, like the stray puppy that shows up, shivering, on your doorstep.
I looked at it.
I pretended to look at something else.
I put it in my cart. I said to my self- "I'll walk around and think about it. I can put it back. I can."
I almost called my friend, ChinaMommy, to talk me down. After all, this is a recession. I am poor. My car has a broken fender. My child's college fund, blah, blah, blah. But I realized if I called Misschell, she would say "Of course you must buy it. You have to." So I saved a minute on my track phone and picked up some co-ordinating supplies to go with the machine.

What now? Well, I went home, snuck it in the house, past my husband and downstairs to my domain. Where it still sits. I planned non-stop for three days. I came up with a whole new group of poems to put in a book. Ever since I had a baby my poems are mostly about little girls, baby girls, daughters, etc. It's just where I am right now. I have to believe that there are others in the same mind set. So I put the poems into Print Shop and out came some papers which I cut to size. Nothing like what I want. Yet. But it helps to have a solid object to touch, rather than just an idea whirling around in the nether regions.

Then I was off on my figurine idea that I have been growing for a couple years now. The other big thing I am into is self realization, actualization, coming into your own, the journey of being a woman, blah, blah, blah again. But it's true. My childhood was mostly hell punctuated with periods of gray, mundane bleakness. Spots of light were my aunts and my Grandmother.
My twenties were- uncomfortable. My thirties...I was finally getting it- the whole thing where I realized If I LIKE ME then that's enough because I have pretty high standards and expectations. And I do, most of the time, as long as I am fully clothed and made up, like myself. Now at 40. I don't even want to think about it any more. Don't care if you like me- you probably do, you just don't realize it yet, why wouldn't you- it's not like I am a serial killer and I am kinda fun to be around, even without the alcohol.

So, in order to express to the world how wonderful all us women are, I thought I'd go down the path of ourselves in relation to the women who have shaped us and the women we will shape. Generations, so to speak. My figurine, sculpture, what have you, is to be a woman, not beautiful by commercial standards just beautiful because she is simply woman. She'll be wearing a long robe over a gown. One arm lifts a side of the gown and you see sewn or painted on the inside figures of women. Past generations, mother, grandmothers, aunts etc. and down to descendants- daughters and grandchildren.

But I think I need a forum. That's where the Etsy Store comes in. I'd have to get some books together- I have three ready to go, but how to illustrate (or actually produce) and two or three of these sculptures. But then what? This seems like a full on- shall I say it? Effort. And there's this class I am teaching. And those two girls that I have to tear off me like leeches so I can have one tiny moment to write about how wonderful they are. Yikes.

There in lies the title for this post. I am the center of the wheel and I find that I am trying to go off in so many different directions that I just don't go very far in any one. And that wheel just keeps spinning around. Oh, for God's sake. My head hurts! I have to go lie down, quietly, so as not to wake the husband who will realize just how long it's been....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I knew I was in trouble.....

This is a re-post from 2 years ago.  I like to get the story out of the storage bin along with the rest of the Halloween decorations.  I thought I'd make it a tradition.  (Plus I am all out of clever things to blog about and way behind on grading homework!) One wonders, is the mean girl still lurking just outside the dressing room?

The mean 20 year old at the dressing rooms told me there was no flash photography allowed. So I promised not to use my flash. She then said "no pictures at all!" I said "Seriously?" You have got to be kidding!" Really, does she think I was going to run home and copy the super girl outfit on my sewing machine? Couldn't she tell by merely looking at me- that I am almost 40, that life has been very hard recently as I rush around trying to get two little girls off to different classrooms with different schedules and different events going on every freakin' day with different homework every freakin' night and that not only am I getting grey hairs and wrinkles but also still enjoying the fun of acne due to my raging hormones? And that the only thing on my ever rotating roster of things to do that has brought me any joy is the thought of how cute Kayla would be in a super girl costume but that I would have to take a picture to see it because there is no way they would choose not to be a princess or a fairy so if I want any memories at all I will have to lug in my big phalyx symbol of a camera into the store and snap a shot of the little tykes in the moment. But, no, in the land of twenty year olds, apparently my situation wasn't that obvious.



And she wasn't kidding, as I found out. I also found out that even if you hide in the dressing room and take a picture of the girls outside the dressing room- that cameras are loud when the flash goes off. And the light doesn't necessarily stay in the room. So imagine my chagrin as the 20 year old mean girl came to once again inform me that there was no flash photography and points at the sigh on the wall that you can clearly see in the picture. Then to justify herself and make me feel small, I imagine, she told me that she could get fired. WELL, I would hate to cut short her career at Halloween, USA even though it was October 15th that very day.



So there in is the story of how we came to purchase our Asian Princess Halloween costumes from Halloween USA. Because, even though every bone in my body wanted to take my little girls and my little wallet and walk out, I knew there was no explaining the universal code of wrong and right to a 5 1/2 and 7 year old and I also knew the only one who would be punished for leaving empty handed would be me.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Where the heck have I been???

Sorry, oh one follower of mine, I have been so busy. December spun by so fast, two consecutive days of grading, family Christmas party, Christmas Musicals at school after dark during snowstorms, family Christmas, New Years Eve, small procedure that required two, not one, but two days of fasting and drinking a gallon of salt water, muffler pipes falling off but not all the way off and dragging down the road all the way from Ten Mile road all the way to work, good memories to be sure.

Now, I sit at my computer finding ways to put off finalizing my plans for teaching the "New" class. I am very creative that way.

Just as full of angst as I was in 2008. Still trying to define myself by polar opposites. All the things I should accomplish, all the things I want to accomplish, all the things I haven't accomplished.

I have so many thoughts to share and ponder. I promise at some time I will get into all of them. One thing I have not figured out is why some people are so driven and some people are so content with life coming to them as it is, unaffected by personal choice. Doesn't everybody wake up in the middle of the night wondering when it all comes together? Doesn't everyone have a fear that they will get to the end and turn around to say "Is this it? Is this all? This can't be, I have so much more to do!"

So hang in there, friend, I have a lot of things to mull over, not right now, but soon.

"Woodland Psychology", a poem by a forty-year old woman

She leaned back into the crook of the tree.
Even with the mid-day sun the woods seemed damp.
Turning her head she said


"Gelatinous. You look ...gelatinous."

With one slow blink of his eyes the frog replied
"Forty. You appear forty-ish."


"Just barely, if don't mind, just barely." That came with a tilt of the head and a narrowing of the eyes.

How did a tree frog master so well the sound of "Harruumph!"?
He seemed unmoved from his previous statement.

Starting anew, she offered a question.
"Tell me friend, do you ever wish for more?"


"Yes, on a slow day I wish for more insects."

She sighed, he was obviously a difficult fellow.
"I meant do you ever wish you were more?

Do you wonder why you are here,
is this all you are, is it enough, do you matter?"

The frog tilted his head and blinked his eyes.

Just as she thought he would surely answer her,
his mouth opened, out shot his tongue to wrap around a bug and draw it back into his mouth.

"It's a good day. Plenty to eat." said the frog.

Frustrated and slightly repulsed
she leaned her head back against the tree
and looked to the sky.

"Gelatinous" she said.