Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tomorrow: Chapbooks, Plain Spoke, Clearing my desk for the new year. Tonight: Sleep.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bitchy Power

So my nephew, who is three, comes up to me and says, "Ninny? Ninny Bitchy Power, Bitchy Power. It's in his whisper-whine voice, and I have no idea, obviously, what Bitchy Power is.

Lots of things cross my mind, but none of them make sense. Is it some kind of new cartoon? Some kind of weird superhero power? Austin Powers' niece? I have no idea.

At times it sounds as if he's saying powDer, but no, that's not right. I ask him to repeat it.

Me: What did you say?
Drake: you say
Me: No, what did you ask me?
Drake: Ninny.
Me: Yes?
Drake: Bitchy Power. Peeeeeeeez? (This one I know. It's supposed to be "Please."
Me: What is Bitchy Power?
Drake: Ninny shing ut?

OK Now I know it's supposed to be a song. However, I'm still laughing about his rendition of Lip Gloss from a couple weeks ago, and I have no idea what Bitchy Power could be.

Me: No, you sing it.
Drake: Bitchy bitchy Powder up waa-erpot.....

Itsy Bitsy Spider. I had no idea. I guess I'd better start keeping a list of songs kids sing and when I can't figure out what he's talking about, I could try to match it up or something.

Otherwise, I'm wondering why my nephew's all running around like "Power to the Bitches!" or something.

Not good.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I just joined Thrive ( because they promised me they would help me watch my money grow.

After adding my bank account and other info, this is what they told me:

1. I can afford a home worth 72,280.

2. I can retire with $0/year.

3. I can survive without an income for 0 days.

My financial health is 2.8 out of 10.

Which of those three things does not make sense? I have no idea how I could afford a house payment right now, even on a 70-thousand-dollar house. Argh.

Monday, October 13, 2008

For everything I scratch off my to-do list, a bunch of other things jump on it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Favorite Junk House

My friend George is opening a business. It's going to be called the Salt Kettle Gallery. He's going to have a florist/gift shop/art gallery. We've been planning for months how we're going to make this paper mache kettle because nobody actually has a kettle anymore. This becomes more important later in the story.

There used to be these people who lived in this ancient old red house on a really curvy turn on the way to Carrollton.

Once, I saw an old steamer trunk sitting out by their garbage, and I stopped and asked the woman who lived there if I could buy it from her. She gave it to me for free. My friend Shaun fixed it up a little, and then I used it for a display at my shows. Eventually, I sold it to my cousin for $40, who thought that was a steal, and she got it refurbished. It's probably worth several hundred at this point.

Another time I stopped there, I got a pile of old dishes. I found my favorite spoon there (some old silver thing with a star on the handle) and I've picked up odds and ends now and again that have proved useful, valuable, or just plain odd and interesting.

A few months ago, they moved. They had a sale, and my mom went to it and got an antique metal bed and some old, old lighting fixtures and crates.

I was sad, because My Favorite Junk House wasn't going to be a Junk House anymore.

However. Some new people moved in the house.

I stopped in Bonnie's, the antique store in town that's only open from Easter to Halloween, and I asked her to look for old jars for me so I can make lights from them. She said she would.

She also said that she knew some people who were trying to sell her some jars like the ones that I wanted. I told her to send them on up to the shop.

So I was sitting here the other day, and these people pulled in the parking lot in a mini-van stuffed full of stuff. The woman came in and she said she was looking for Cindy. She said that Bonnie had sent her up here, and that she'd talked to my mom the day before, and they were here to pick up the carpet. (There was this big roll of carpeting on our porch that we were going to use in the candle room at one time and then decided against it, so it was waiting on someone with a truck to take it to the dump). I was all for someone taking the carpet, so I walked outside to where her daughter was waiting. The girl was around eleven years old and she asked me if I was in the band. I said, "what band?"

She said, "The band. I play the clarinet."

I said, "I can play the clarinet, but no, I'm not in the band."

She looked at me funny, like she was disappointed, and started picking her cold sore.

Her mother was still talking about the carpet. Then she said she had glass jars for me to look at. They were in boxes in the mini-van. I chose some, and she said she had to take them home and clean them before I could have them, and also decide on a price.

At this point her boyfriend/husband (he looks much younger than she does, and at first I wasn't certain that he wasn't her son) is finished packing the huge roll of carpet into the back of the van. He had a big rigmarole getting it in there, and I was surprised the hatch closed. But it did. Small miracles.

Then he says to me, "Do you think you might be interested in a big black pot like you stir a witch's brew in?"

I said, "a what?"

And he said, "A pot, like yea high, with three legs, about three inches long apiece on the bottom. Like a witch would have. Like a cauldron."

I tried to swallow my excitement at the thought of not having to paper mache one. I didn't say, "Oh my gosh a kettle blah blah blah."

I did say, "Maybe. I have a friend who might be interested in it. I'll have to get back with you."

They just stopped again today, about 15 minutes ago, and we settled on $1 each for the small jars and $2 to $3 for the large ones.

Then he started with the cauldron. I think he thinks that it's high-dollar cauldron time because it's Halloween. I've talked to George about it since the first mention of it, and he said he wanted it definitely. So when Jessy (that's the guy's name with the "Cauldron") said, "Do you think it's worth $30? It's really nice and all" I just about jumped out of my shoes with joy.

They were talking about "thanks for the carpet" and "we really needed it for our new house" so I asked the question.

"Where is your new house?"

And they said, "It's a big old red house up halfway to Harlem Springs on the way to Carrollton. It's on the left. You can't miss it."

My Favorite Junk House is now doing DELIVERIES!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

“It wasn’t like The Breakfast Club, it was like high school.”
— Dawn Hill, character in Cold Case’s “Detention” episode.

Oh, Yeah!

And I need to dedicate more time to writing, too. 

I wish I could buy some.  But then bottled/packaged/mass-manufactured time would probably cost a proverbial arm+leg.  

So I wouldn't be able to afford it anyway. 

My enormous list of things to do.

1.  I've been elected president of a booster organization that supports my alma mater's drama club.  To get the year started off in a positive way, I've got a few things to do.  First, I've taken on the responsibility of taking care of some customer service issues with Samuel French.  Then I've got to make an appointment to go in to the school and meet with the principal about a fundraiser we are planning so that I can ask permission to use the school.  

2.  Gob Pile Chapbook Series.  The guts are almost edited and ready to print.  I've got to send proof copies out to the poets, collect stuff from my two editors, get the artwork finalized, get rights to use an image of a Penobscot indian man, and plan the Chapbook release soiree in November.  Which happens to be on my birthday.  Whee. 

3.  Plain Spoke.  Volume 2 Issue 3 is due out within the next two weeks.  Gotta get moving on that.  It's ready to print, but I've got paperwork to do and the actual production to get done.  

4.  Home work.  I adore my phonics class.  If all the grad classes were this fascinating, grad school would be Great Fun.  However, most of it is really dull, and confirms my suspicions that public education is a joke.  I don't know how I ever survived it. 

5.  Art.  I still have to get ready for my three big shows this fall.  I have very very little finished.  
6.  Hope that I get some me-time during xmas break.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Confucius said, "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." Too bad I'm no good with a shovel.
My brother uses more laundry detergent than anyone else in the Western Hemisphere.

It's a mystery.

Every Once in a While, Somebody or Something refreshes my faith in Humanity.

Today is not one of those times, nor is Anthony Pallilo and his new book one of those things. I don't even know how this spam finds its way to me. Jeez.

If anyone can explain why this guy thought I might want to read his book (or why anyone would want to read his book), please do share.

Back to work now.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Loving my to-do list, being a mile long, and having a million things on it for blowing off.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Mean Reds

I haven't written anything of any substance in months. A few nights ago, I wrote a poem about belonging that described my Great Aunt Mary and my grandmother's ritual of playing solitaire while drying their pin-curls with setting solution under those whole-head hot-as-hell hair dryers, but it didn't do what I wanted it to do, and so it went in the pile of things I need to edit.

I wrote something recently about coal-miners and faith, but it fell short of amazing, and when I write things that have Big Ideas, they have to be amazing or else they just don't have that sparkle. So that went in the pile of things that have good elements that just don't seem to work together. Those things become 2 or more poems eventually, or they just gather intellectual dust.

I need to paint again. Everything is just so big a mess, and I need to get all my stuff de-cluttered so I can have the chapbook release party in the classroom in November. I know it's like "That's not until November," but I kind of see it as "Oh my goodness I only have 54 days!"

I think I've got those Golightly Mean Reds.

Worse than the Blues, If I had her money I'd be richer than she is, $5 for the powder room Mean ole Reds.

Plus, I'm thirsty right now, and that doesn't help my mood.

Now I'm going to get back to working on the chapbooks. And on Plain Spoke. They're all melting into one big pile of publishing at the moment, but I'll sort it out.
Looking for Penobscot Indian pictures.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Going to Pittsburgh tonight.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Going to buy paper in the morning.

EDU 539: Grad School for Dummies.

I have my computer class this evening. Last week, we did hokey worksheets in which we labeled the monitor, keyboard, and other input and output devices and computer components. We had all week to finish these things. I feel a little bit dumb after having done them, as if there's a trick somewhere that I'm missing, or some obvious "haha - gotya" april fool's day early thing.

But there isn't. It's just that ridiculous. I should scan them in and make fun of them, but that would mean wasting even more time on it.

Today, for homework, I'm supposed to go online and find my dream computer and print out its specifications.

I can't wait to see what the midterm looks like.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I am a peanut butter sandwich (if it's true that you are what you eat)
Going out to the high school for the audition.

Monday, September 8, 2008

about the Flip Kelly Poetry Prize. Please.

I just got done opening the mail.

As of late, I have been literally swamped by mail. Not the email kind, but the real, made-of-paper, in different handwritings and stylings, and in different folds and various sized envelopes.

The kind that comes with stamps.

It's been damp outside recently, and some of the paper has that little bit of roughness, that curl-up and dried feel to it. Like the fake money you bought at the 8th grade field trip to Gettysburg.

It's that kind of thing, and it makes me happy.
ruffling her papers. (It's the Cindy version of feathers, really.)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Where I'm From

after George Ella Lyon

I am from railroad tracks and whirligigs, from blue glass
Ball mason jars full of cat's eye marbles and old buttons,
from my mother's Tupperware parties.
I am from tongue and groove paneling
(shiny maple, put there by my grandfather
when his hands were strong and young).
I am from wisteria and milkweed
and planting petunias in flower beds each spring.

I'm from staying up late, fresh kettle popcorn,
real melted butter and shiny, salty fingers,
from Flip Kelly, Uncle Bub and Great Aunt Mary Davis.
I'm from big-mouths and bull-heads,
from don't-cut-paper-with-my-sewing-scissors
and stand-up-straight.

I am from the Moonlight Sonata
on the upright Wurlitzer my grandmother gave me
because my mother never learned to play,
from macramé and ceramics,
watching The Joy of Painting on PBS
and learning to crochet.

I'm from the coal hill and the Eastern,
radio cookies and the bubbly brown sugar
smell of Great Grandma Morgan's sweet yams,
singing Christmas songs along with Carpenters
while we made pressed butter cookies and divinity.

From putting notes in my grandpa's lunch bucket
before he left for the Y&O mine,
from the recipe book my grandma started
for me and never got a chance to finish.

I am from my mother's bookshelf,
the cedar chest, and the kitchen cupboard
where we still keep Grandma's good plates,
from leather photo albums,
and my favorite picture of my mother
wearing the same navy cable-knit toboggan
hat that I wear now.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


I just found out that Kaleidowhirl's new issue has just gone live.

Check out my poem here:


Gob Pile Chapbook Series News

We are happy to announce our first four chapbooks in the Gob Pile Chapbook Series. These chaps will be out in November, but we will be announcing a pre-order soon.

Alex Stolis’ How to Drink Yourself Sober
Cory Mesler’s Grit
Michael Campagnoli’s Kikukus
Mark Jackley’s Cracks and Slats

Editors for the series: Cindy Kelly and Laura Wackerly. Reader: Shaun Barcalow.

Three more chapbooks should be coming out in December, as a result of the Flip Kelly Poetry Prize. If you haven’t checked out the submission guidelines for this contest, you should. It’s got one of the lowest entry fees around (only $15), and you get a year’s subscription to Plain Spoke (a $24 value!) for free.

Everybody likes free.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Sestina and a Short Fiction: Publishing news

Plain Spoke Vol. 2. No. 1. is going to be out very shortly, and it's the longest issue yet, full of the fabulous, charming, and lovely works of an eclectic group of writers, featuring the poet Deborah Bogen (, who resides in Pittsburgh.  

In my own personal quest for publication, I received two good pieces of news today. 

Forthcoming in their "oldest profession" issue, my creative nonfiction piece, "The Brief Existence of Lainey O'Galeigh," will be published in MiPOesias .

Also, forthcoming in the Spring 2008 issue of Kaleidowhirl is one of my favorite pieces, "Homesick Sestina." 

Today I went to the first annual Lady of Mercy Handmade Craft Show in Carrollton, Ohio.  I didn't sell a ton of stuff, but I passed out lots of flyers about our grand-reopening in May (12th-18th, if you're in the area - check for details and schedule of events).  So we made back the table money, sold a few things, and got some (basically) free advertising.  

The weird thing was people were buying lots of fall-flavored (read:  orange and brown and fall colors) things.  I thought it was Spring, people!  :)  

Anyway, I've got a ton of work to catch up on.  

Friday, April 11, 2008

Two Poems and one contest.

I had bronchitis last week, and I missed all of my classes and did not even check my email.  

So when I did sit down to check it, I was overwhelmed with the amount of it (And Gmail does get a "good boy!" for making sure it was 99% spam-free).  

So first, I'll share all the good news:  

1.  Apparently there is an English department award each year, given to two English majors who "who not only earn high grades but who are also actively involved in class and contribute to other students and the life of the campus" according to the email I received.  So yay!  I won!  I never win anything.  

2.  "I Dreamed of Drowning" is forthcoming at Bakers Dozen.  

3.  "A Record of Things" is forthcoming at The Hiss Quarterly.  (This poem is one of my new favorites, and chronicles a piece of my mother's childhood, creatively, with wallpaper.  It should be up on or around May 1.)  

And now a little disappointment:  

I was hoping to be among the winners of the Akron Art Museum's New Words poetry contest, but I wasn't.  They don't send you any kind of loser notification, so I just kept checking the site occasionally.  Oh well.  I just thought it would have been cool to have won that one.  

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bit of disappointment with Forklift, OH

So I found this journal:  

Forklift, and it's so charming and unusual that, of course, upon consuming all of the available text, I wished to submit something charming and unusual of my very own.  

I was a little bit hesitant because there are several big name poets (including Dean Young - and since one of the two poets who influenced me in a Great Big Way was my teacher, Bob King, and since Bob King was under the poetry-teacherish-influence of Dean Young - it makes sense to me that they might like my poems.  They might not publish them, but they might like them just the same)  I thought maybe submitting to them was a waste of time.  But then I got a little bit of that "don't hurt to try" spunk out of the closet (maybe it fell on my head) and decided what the hell.  

So I clicked around (not the most obvious website in terms of labelling their links according to the information stored within - instead it's all metaphoric, which might just be a little bit of an indication of their snobbery, but I didn't catch on), until I found their submission guidelines under logistics.  

Now.  I don't know about the average Joe (or Jane, and why does Jane usually get paired with Dick until she dies and then it's John, and what's up with Joe, anyway?), but this seems a little sketchy to me: 

"If you are interested in being included in an issue of Forklift, Ohio, we request that you first purchase and read a copy of the journal. 
Then, before sending any work for consideration, please query the editors by E-mail at " 

I understand that journals are often battling to stay afloat financially (as the editor of Plain Spoke, I can empathize wholeheartedly), and I often purchase copies of journals in order to read them and familiarize myself with them before I submit work.  However, forcing people to purchase in order to query is a bit snitty, to say the least.  

Also, even if I wasn't opposed to being forced into a purchase, I could not buy the journal if I wanted to because it's sold out.  I get that it's "Be hand-assembled in limited quantities from a variety of unusual materials," but that much exclusivity is just for the birds.  

I guess I just have to stick this one in that big heap of crap I'm not interested in, and move on.  

How disappointing.  

Here I am.

I'm always saying that I'm going to keep up with blogging, and I never do it.  

So what's the harm of a little "try try again?" 

Stuff I should keep track of a little better: 
crafty artsy projects 
things I want