Wednesday, December 26, 2007

m.lady does not recommend flying in an airplane while suffering from yet another ear infection

I have had a few different kinds of medicine in my system for the past few days. Two were actually prescribed, the rest, eh, the rest I found in my medicine cabinet and because this is my fourth ear infection in as many months, I decided that I deserve not to feel my face for a while.















I am getting to that point (perfectly timed for immediate post-graduation) when I feel like all of my stories are crap. I used to read them over and say to myself, "high five, m.lady!" Now I look at them and think they feel like a fourteen year old with a fondness for imaginary nostalgia wrote them. This hinders my desire to submit them to any journals. Thus hindering my future fame and fortune.


I have no plans for New Year's Eve. I am worried that I will be smash-ass drunk in my apartment with Bob and a bucket of ice cream.... again.
















I hate New Years.


Today, while I was at my special ear doctor, he bit the end of his pen and said "hmmmm...." Hindering my faith in his ability to heal me.















Today is actually the first day in several days that I haven't pumped my body full of prescription medications (the last pill was taken at 3am when I woke up going "OWWW"). I stopped the drugs because I think I would feel better if I drank a lot of beer tonight. Ear drops, though, now ear drops are something I have become quite the consumer of.


I have two notebooks to help me keep track of my fiction submissions. One is for individual stories sent to online journals. The second is for packets of stories to be sent to print journals. I give each story 10 shots at publication, then I give up (I haven't reached that point yet, although one story is close). These notebooks depress me.


I am thinking about starting a new online journal called "Why don't you LIKE ME?!" and only posting stories/poems/whatever that have been rejected at least 10 times.






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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Me and My Theodore Huxtable - a work in progress

We like each other. We like each other very much. We are best friends. We say "besties." It sounds a little dirty, we think, when we call each other "besties." We like each other from the other side of the room. We make faces. We cringe and we totally. understand.

We are best friends and we go on long walks together and we talk about POETRY like it's really really really important. Like it's the most important thing in the world and that, we think, makes us important. Makes us very important and smart. We are so. smart.





















We like each other. So very much. We should get married, we say. We should by a house by a lake and go for long walks along the lake and we should collect rocks, the kind that are smooth and oval and we should throw those rocks at the lake and count the number of times they skip because that is so very nostalgic and we think nostalgia is great.

We are best friends. We are hip to hip. We are shoulder to shoulder. We don't even need to talk. We look at each other across the room and we raise our eyebrows and we totally. know. We should wear matching sweaters.
















We should live side-by-side in a duplex with a shared lawn and driveway.

We should go on a road trip. We should drive from Key West to Vancouver and along the way, we'll take every exit that promises to show us one of those really cool and totally awesome roadside attractions. We'll take pictures of us standing next to a giant metal sculpture of a grasshopper in the middle of a cornfield and so we can both be in the picture, we'll put the camera on the hood of the car and we'll set the timer and the picture will be of us with big shit-eating grins and we'll look at the picture later and we'll laugh because we were being ironic.





















But actually, well actually, it was pretty fun and we had a good time because we were together the whole time and we like each other. And we're totally not being ironic or sarcastic when we say that we like each other very much. And when we're together it's like time is nothing. Time is like whatever and we don't even notice when it gets late because we're all lost in talking to each other about smart things.

We buy a book about birds so we can go to the park with binoculars and go birdwatching and we can call out the names of various species of finch and we will feel very smart because we can determine one finch from the next, like they're our brothers or something.

We make t-shirts and on the t-shirts we screen print the word "I'm with my bestie" and there will be an arrow so when we're standing next to each other people will know that we like each other. We like each other very much. We are best friends. Best friends forever. Just like it says on our necklaces. Be. st. Fri. ends. For. ever.



























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Saturday, December 15, 2007

cc says I should elaborate

cc told me that I don't tell enough, or that I don't tell details

no, what she told me was that my last post confused her

no, not confused, but when I told her what the barbed wire picture was about she was all "oh, you should elaborate" (that's probably not verbatim there, but you get my drift)

so let's revisit:

I work in a gallery in the heart of downtown Chicago. Spitting distance from Millennium Park. My "trial period" at my job is over and now I'm going to be officially staffed with a bigger organization, so I had to go to their main office to get all of my forms handed in to prove that I am me and that I don't have TB.

But their main office is not downtown.

Their main office is west of downtown by about 2 miles. So I took the green line to a western way stop and then walked half a mile to the office. Getting off the train the horizon is factory facades and tall fences. Brick buildings not much used anymore and trees all bare for winter. On my walk I passed two lots filled with scrap metal (I think? because they were) surrounded by fences with razor wire. I also passed a pork processing plant and a sausage factory.












It's a strange neighborhood. Obviously a piece of Chicago with a definite identity, but that identity is slowly being shaved away. Not only is the main office for my employment a strange addition (a happy, new, bright building tucked behind mid-construction parking ramps and sausage factories) but there are a couple of interior design material warehouses with fancy signs and pretty windows and an audio mixing studio as well as a couple of other specific-need type places. Young businesses seem to be finding cheap rent and gussying up the building facades. It's not a neighborhood that will become a stroll down the street and stop into a shop type of place, but I think it's well on it's way to becoming a destination for those looking to find luxury goods but want to feel like they're getting a "find."


























The best part of the walk was when I passed by a mid-construction parking ramp and the melting ice and snow from the top level was spilling over the edge and bumping into the other levels on it's way to the ground. I could hear the waterfall sound from the end of the block and as I got closer to the mid-construction parking ramp, I found my skin tingling, that a sound that normally reminds me of forest and nature and sitting on a large rock to watch water fall, was coming from this place. This industrial lost and found place on the west side of Chicago.





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Thursday, December 13, 2007

"to ripe the fruit to rot the fruit"

I love this poem

I love it I love it I love it

Every time I read it I think, wow, there are so many ways to tell.


So I went here today:






































I had to go turn in my forms to be able to get benefits and paychecks from my new job. The office is around the corner from a sausage factory.

I kid you not.


Even though my chest still feels like it's filled with small, smooth rocks and candle smoke, I am starting to feel better. Light at the end of the tunnel.

ahhhh!!! Light!!





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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

i want

proof that 2007 is ending with a foot on my neck

so I've been having a bad week. obviously.

but I try to wake up with a positive attitude

only to get piddled on throughout the day

but today went pretty well

went to the doctor today, cute doctor, that's nice

work didn't suck

then I got home and there was a letter from my landlord

my last check bounced

Impossible!

why impossible?

because I keep a "buffer" in my account

and when I say buffer I mean enough to keep me afloat for about 3 months if I were to lose my job, I would still be able to pay rent, utilities, etc and a little extra just in case

so with a three MONTH buffer, how did the check bounce?

I checked my account, the money's there and there was money when the check was supposed to clear

the only explanation I can think of is that I forgot to sign it or something awesome like that.

it just seems this is the week, no month, to poo all over m.lady

I anticipate that tomorrow I will get mugged

and Friday I will find out that I have TB

and Saturday, well let's not look forward to Saturday.




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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

whatever, I do what I want





















hey, m.lady, what's a poem to you?

to me, a poem is entering into a conversation, bumping into someone at a coffee shop, chatting for a minute or two and then moving on. Thinking about that conversation while walking to the bus, waiting for the bus, sitting on the bus and looking out the window and thinking to yourself, "Maybe he meant this when he said that."

Or maybe the poem is a letter, one written using some kind of pattern or laid out rhythmic structure.

Or, maybe, the poem is a story. One told using some kind of pattern or laid out rhythmic structure.

At any rate, I hope the poet was kind enough to write "poem" at the top of the page.


Hey, m.lady, what's a prose poem to you?

See the above definition of "poem" only the poet used a prose structure, rather than the oft used line-breaky structure commonly associated with "poem."

At any rate, I hope the poet was kind enough to write "poem" or "prose poem" at the top of the page.


Hey, m.lady, what's a story to you?

To me, a story is something that takes the reader somewhere new.

At any rate, I hope the author was kind enough to write "story" at the top of the page.


With all of these, I think it is up to the reader to say, "hey, writer, I trust you here, but you'd better not let me down at the end." Emphasis on "trust."


If you like borders and boundaries and rules, well, don't read my shit. Or do, but don't get mad at me about it.

And if you're willing to break some rules, crush some fences, and give a little wiggle room, well, hop on board. I'm changing the fucking world here. And know that I'm not alone, we're an army, an undiscovered galaxy.





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How's it goin' ?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Beyond the boundaries of Fantasia




what can I say?

not looking for pity or a pat on the head

the thing is

some days I just don't feel like being abstract. This is how I feel: Sad and lonely, fairly blue:




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Thursday, December 06, 2007

a letter the the Minnesota Twins organization (not the players, I love the players)

TO: Mucky-Mucks of the Minnesota Twins,


FROM: m.lady


RE: Torii Hunter and Johan Santana


MEMO: I hate you!!!



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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

so let's say I'm a unicorn and you're Noah, would you leave me behind too?

Apparently, the reason there are no unicorns around today is because they were off frolicking when the rain began to fall that caused the flood for which Noah built his ark. Anyway, they were so busy playing and being joyful, mystical creatures that they "missed the boat."

Why am I telling a story about unicorns?

Because I think it's supposed to be a story with moral along the lines of: don't goof around or you'll die.

But shouldn't the moral be: live happy 'cause you'll die anyway.

yes'm(.lady)


I've spent much of the week in the gallery working on installation. One of the pieces I've helped with was a group project, the title is: "??;?:'?..." I hope they can read that well enough to understand that it's the title of the work and put it on the little title card on the wall.

It's weird, because I feel like I've spent so much time there and then I'm like, "Didn't do much, just drew some pictures and lines."

This is what one of the projects that I worked on looks like:


















The show looks like it's going to be pretty awesome. There will be a Peace Salon (barbershop) a lot of cool video stuff, a puppet vaudeville show, posters, audio, a quiet repose for reading, and more and more! Awesomeness WILL abound! If you're not busy for the next month, you should stop by the g2 Gallery in Chicago. (details: g2 Gallery, 847 W Jackson, Chicago. Opening Reception December 7 from 5-8, reading December 8 at 7:30pm, show runs through January 12, 2008)


I can see why people starve and live in poverty to be artists, there's a major rush to putting the work together. For a writer, it's not quite the same. There's no final "I'm going to work my ass off and then rejoice once it's all hung up" For a writer, it's pretty much a constant, "Why doesn't anyone LIKE ME?!"


I work too much (40-45 hours a week), but what can I do? I like my cable tv, deli sandwiches, and pretty dresses. Someone asked me today how I can manage to be in grad school, work full time, and be at the gallery working on crap. I told her my secret was that I drink a lot and am very very organized.


Back to the unicorns. I don't just love unicorns because they're cute and isn't it funny to love unicorns? I love them because that unicorn/ark story tells me to have fun because you never know when God will smite you. (And yes, I am talking about writing. This was just an excuse to talk about unicorns and it is my way of saying "I am going to write whatever I want to write and one day, I just might drown because I was so busy frolicking a field, but that's okay.")






PS: I got a really strange comment in a critique this week. I was told that my writing was too pretty to be a narrative story...


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Friday, November 30, 2007

give and take

I have taken to reading book excerpts on Amazon.com rather than buying a whole book. Because what happens is, I never buy just one book when I go to buy them online. I buy eight, nine, ten books! and that makes my bank account pissy at me.


Is there a name for a chronic inability to be on time to anything? ever? I don't remember a time in my life when I was reliably punctual. ever. And this makes people judge me, like I'm a bad person because I'm not on time. Never mind the fact that I'm kind to animals and smile at strangers and say please and thank you and have good table manners and pay my bills on time and give hugs when hugs are needed. When I arrive somewhere late, I may as well have just thrown a box of kittens in the lake. That's how much grief I get for being late. a lot. so that's been on my mind. Is there a type of therapy I can go partake in to make me on time?

I am far from being a perfect person which is to say that there are better things to harrass me about than my tardiness.


Project Runway USA is craptastic.
Project Runway Canada is heaven.


If I were to buy some books, I would buy a dash of Yannick Murphy, a li'l dose June Akers Seese, annnnndddd a barrel full of Cortazar. yeaahhhhh....


I have begun to receive bills for the ear infections that I had back in August. I get to pay $350 for the care I received while I was in excruciating pain for two and a half weeks. so, that's awesome.

But, you know what's really awesome? Health insurance. If I didn't have it, I would have had to pay over $1200 for my pain and suffering caused by freakishly small ear canals. So I am 1) grateful that I have health insurance and 2) grateful that I have a job and enough $$ in my account to pay the medical bills and still have some change left over to break down and buy books.

I am not good at buying presents. I can never get the right thing to make a person go, "wow! thanks m.lady!" What I can do is wrap presents. I have found that wrapping is very nice and meditative for me (no, really!). The revelation of the joy of wrapping gifts has also triggered a couple of stories.

















So maybe I'll just give people really intricately wrapped presents and inside, once they rip open all of my handiwork they will find a note that says "this coupon is good for one cup of coffee." cuz who don't like coffee?

Or maybe it should say, "This coupon is good for one pizza." Because I know people who don't dig coffee (loonies), but who love pizza (right on).


















Why is it that the days when I'm feeling good and right end with my nights spent watching "Project Runway: Canada"on YoutTube with Bob by my side and the days when I hate my outfit (what was I thinking?!) and my feet hurt (these shoes are too small!) and my tummy is all turned around and upset and my hands are jittery and my hair is seven directions of wrong and my nose is greasy and my lips are chapped and I'm out of breathmints and there's a stain on my sweater and I'm on my last roll of toilet paper and really need to get thyself to Walgreens end in nights spent with friends who convince me to go to a bar/art opening/sleep on their couch so I can go to work looking/feeling like this only hungover and smellier? Is that a Murphy's law?


The only reason more people don't read or think they don't like to read is that they aren't seeing the authors who are really doing something crazy and awesome.


I like sentences, especially when they're broken apart and twisted around and turned into something lovely and surprising. Like when someone makes an aquarium out of a television set. Like that.


In two weeks (if I get my library fines paid) I will be a graduate of a graduate program. Am I freaking out? Hell ya. Wanna hire me? Publish my book?

I'll settle for a hug.







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Sunday, November 25, 2007

robots robots robots robots

more robots (in case you couldn't guess by the title):


John the Baptist bot:




















nice bots:
























helpful lovey dovey bot:


















here's my heart, but where's my arms? bot:



























this bot cracks me up:

























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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hunger

Why is it that there are books that I am starving to read, but they are not on my shelf?

Today is the day before Thanksgiving and my refrigerator only has condiments that are questionably edible (expiration dates rubbed away or torn when I removed the outer wrapper) and two slices of soy American cheese.

I am looking forward to tomorrow. To friends and food and whiskey and food.

I am so hungry and I don't understand why my cupboards are bare when all I have to do is go to the bookstore for nourishment.



PS: Today, I'm sure, is the first time I've spelled the word "cupboards" without needing spellcheck to help me. Thank God for small victories.
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TGIW

I like Wednesdays because no matter how terrible the beginning is, I know I can look forward to "Top Model" and "Project Runway" and go ahead and think of that what you will, but it makes this day bearable.

In better thoughts, I went home this past weekend to celebrate the 40th wedding anniversary of my parents.




















Ain't they cute?


And in writerly news, I'm at the start of a submission bonanza! I have decided to just get all of my shit (stories) together and send them all away. All of them. Every single one. And even if that means that in a few months, I will have a mailbox filled with rejection letters, at least I feel like I'm doing something with my time beyond honing my mah jong skills.

Also, sending all of those stories out, finishing up my thesis, and all will finally give me time and space (hopefully) to get back to that crazy of crazy ideas. The Palindrome! Ahhh Ha!





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Monday, November 12, 2007

What I've been up to

Currently, procrastinating attempting to write a story.

Most of the day/week, I've been working on this:



































































































yeah?





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Friday, November 09, 2007

"Writers are a little below clowns and a little above trained seals."

I'm going to be reading (out loud and in front of people) tonight.















I am very nervous.

Mostly because it's a new story that I am very excited about, but also is a story, that for some reason, when I read it out loud in my apartment, I get some kind of southern accent, but I don't want to read it with a southern accent tonight.

What's a lady to do?

Good news is I'm wearing shiny shoes (patent leather) with bows, so that's a good thing. That and I had a burrito for lunch. Yum burrito.

But back to the reading. I mean, what makes me nervous is that I am not southern and the story wasn't written with a southern voice in my head. And I'm nervous that it will sound like I'm doing a bad imitation of a southern accent (which it would be-a bad imitation).


















ah me.

Anyway, you should come to the reading. It's going to kick ass.

Here's a link.





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Monday, November 05, 2007

I had a dream the other night that a dragon almost ate me

don't worry, everything turned out okay and, in the dream, I got a cookie.

I just felt like I should post a little "hello" note. I've been absent for a while due to a dropped computer. (Had to by a new computer, but the people at the Apple Store were very nice...thanks guys!) and then I got a massive head cold that pushed me to being bed-ridden. This gave me lots of time to contemplate my life and direction-or lack of. And, boy, did that cheer me up!

But, do you know what I do when I'm feeling down? Do you? Well, I'll tell you, I look at this and sometimes this.

a-dor-a-ble.




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Monday, October 29, 2007

great, just great. super-fantastic and great

I dropped my computer.























(image from Funky Pancake)


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tangled but blissful

long story short:
was having a good day
then made a bone-headed move
now am all kinds of argh. hmph. grumble. blech......sigh.


In other news...

Earlier today I was walking along, thinking about what do I want to do with my life?

And then I thought, if I could be anything in the world what would it be?

Friends, the answer was clear and true and oh, so perfect:






















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Monday, October 22, 2007

I thought of it first!......I think...

I started writing a new story today and was all excited by the premise. And then a little sneaky feeling crept in that it wasn't an original idea. I've looked around on the internets and haven't found anything similar, so I think I'm safe to pursue the story as I think it will be a) awesome and b) longer than 4 pages.

In other news... I'm sick of Chicago and I wanna get out! Any suggestions? I've been thinking about Portland (Maine) or somewhere in Alaska. A nice, mid-sized city. Portland is the front runner thus-far. The only thing holding be back is lack of job prospects/I don't know anyone in Portland and I'm not very good at making new friends so it would be scary to just up and move.

But I'm getting really really sick of Chicago and its bigness.


oh, and I'm also real real excited that the Red Sox are in the World Series.



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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I work in retail and

people are mean.

I've lived in a small(ish) town.

I've lived in a big city.

I've lived in a suburb.

I've lived in a big(ish) city.

I've lived in a really big city.

And people are mean.



In other news... Robot!!!

I made this patch for a friend's birthday:


















Saint Catherine.
(what I've learned in the last 24 hours)

Maybe she was the smartest, prettiest lady ever

Maybe she was betrothed to Jesus (in Heaven)

Maybe she didn't really die

Maybe she was beheaded

Maybe she didn't exist at all





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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I guess I'll just have to find new ways to be snazzy

So, dear reader (Joanna), as you know I very much enjoy clothing.

But the other day I learned about this:

http://www.aaichicago.org/news.09.24.07.html


After reading this, I decided to join the boycott and not shop at H&M until they apologize.

Seriously, I love me some clothes, I hate me some blatant racism.

Today I wore this outfit, half made out of H&M clothing.





















And I really liked this outfit. For me, my personal style makes me walk a little taller, gives me a little strut in my step.

But, you know, I can find snazzy clothes elsewhere.

Gradually, I am becoming more and more concerned about where my clothing/food comes from. I fully support equal labor practices, but because I am, at this point in my life anyway, not the type of person who can get up stand up and fight for rights, all I can do for now, is act on an individual basis.

I know that being a vegetarian won't save all of the world's animals. And I know that not shopping at H&M won't change the world. But we all need to start one day at a time, right? and one day, maybe I will change the world.




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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Saturday, October 06, 2007

For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.

The title of this post is a short story written by Ernest Hemingway. Those six words are the story in its entirety and it is rumored that Hemingway thought it was his best work.


so, dear friends

How do you define a story?

By number of words?

Number of pages?

Character?

Plot structure?

Can I write a story in one sentence?

How about:

The devil made my heart, and ever since the day I was born, he's been trying to get it back.



Check out more one-sentence stories here:

MonkeyBicycle




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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Butterscotch

I want time to stop while I pause. Reaching for the next word like a child reaching for a bowl of candy. About to tip. Spilling butterscotch in a golden hailstorm of individually wrapped poetry.




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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

if I seem a little strange, well that's because I am

Started my new job yesterday. I like the job, but I really dislike work. ho-hum, woe is me, and that's all I'm going to say about that. You know, because I'm lucky to have a job and all that.


In other news, in one of my classes, each student gave the class a "directive" similar to the idea of Learning to Love you More.

Directives included "introduce your alter ego" and "recreate an awkward social interaction and rectify it" and "create your past life, or who you were in a past life"

I really dug this assignment. After a month of sloth, it was nice to get the creative juices flowing.

My favorite directive (well, that I completed. All the directives were great) was "Create something old out of something new or created something new out of something old"

I made this:











































It's a teddy bear!

I made this guy (I named him Eugene) out of the Sunday NY Times. The idea was that the news can be really really depressing. So I wanted to make something kind and comforting out of that.

Can you dig it?




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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Blarg.

There's a "30 Rock" marathon on Bravo right now. Cable television makes me happy.

And, yes, I know it's a perfect day outside, but I woke up at 4 am two states to the West and drove half my life away this morning. (I had to wait until 5am before I could hit the road because there was a big time Thunderstorm in MN this morning.) Blarg.

Then, when I finally got home (hello, quick trip to Target to get a mini-food processor so that I may make myself some hummus whenever I want to), I found in my mailbox, a bill from the emergency room. Ouch.

And then, in my email inbox, I found a very kind rejection letter, "Although I think there are some nice descriptions...."

But still, I am so, very tired. Tired from the drive. Tired from Target. Tired from carrying everything back up to my apartment. Tired from submitting stories and getting really encouraging rejection letters.

Maybe I shall take a break from submitting stuff for a while.

Ah, but...

Almost ten years ago, I read a story that I really loved. The story had won the O. Henry award for short fiction in 1999. In the anthology, the writers of the winning stories contributed notes regarding the stories. Let me share a bit of the letter from Peter Baida, author of the winning story:


A note of encouragement for middle-aged writers: I was forty-six when I wrote 'A Nurse's Story,' and had published exactly one story in the previous twenty years. A discouraging note: twenty-two editors rejected the story before Peter Stitt took it for 'The Gettysburg Review.'

So I try to remind myself not to give up, regardless of the tone of the rejection letters. If Peter Baida had given up, I never would have read his story. And, friends, it's a really really good story.


Now, I must choose between:

Door #1) 30 Rock marathon

Door #2) Grey's Anatomy (to watch online)

Door #3) sleepy time




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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The last gift you should ever give to a writer is a pen.

I haven't been able to sleep lately. It's not unusual this time of year.

But, I am not here to write about sleep.

I am here to write about the most glorious instrument of writing--The Pen!

(I don't use pencils for creative writing, ever, I hate them.)

My favorite pen of all time, ever is the Sanford Expesso One Medium Point Felt Tip Pen in black.

Several years ago, Sanford, in an act of extreme malice stopped production on the Sanford Expresso One Medium Point Felt Tip Pen. When I found out, I ordered as many of the pens as possible. I horded away my three dozen pens and over the course of the past four years have used them sparingly and lovingly, knowing that, one day, I would have to find a replacement. Of course, there can never be a replacement for the Sanford Expresso One Medium Point Felt Tip Pen, but with only nine pens left, I am gearing up for a great quest--the quest to find my new writin' pen.













For some time, I intermittently used the Pilot C-2. It writes with a line that is a little too thin and always inspired me to write weepy, overly sentimental prose. That and the ink runs out too quickly. (Ah, and another problem, it smears on the glossy paper of the Sunday NY Times Magazine, and you know, I need a good pen for my crossword puzzle.)






















I have always been a fan of the Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Marker, but the ink has a tendency to bleed through the paper. However, the pen is smooth and the sensation of using this pen to write prose reminds me a little bit of the Sanford Expresso One Medium Point Felt Tip Pen. But the cons outweigh the pros, and so, I must say thanks, but no thanks Sharpie.

























Any sort of thin Bic or PaperMate pen... I just can't.... they're just... so, so bad.
















I believed that I had found what may possibly be my closest hope for replacement for the Sanford Expresso One Medium Point Felt Tip Pen when I saw the design of the Pentel Rolling Writer Medium Point Black Ink Pen. I do like the way it writes, in a strong, direct line. And I like that the strong line doesn't bleed through the page. It also passed the Sunday NY Times Magazine crossword puzzle test with flying colors(!) My only hesitation is that it's a roller ball pen and not a felt tip. My history with any type of ball point pen is that they inevitably leak and force me to throw out a perfectly good dress.




























My final candidate (so far) was the Pilot Precise Rolling Ball X-Fine Pen. I hate that they call it "X-Fine" instead of "Extra Fine" I also hate that it is, indeed, and extra fine pen with a very thin line. I tried using it last night and only wrote about weepy girls. No good!



















So, it seems, my best candidate for replacement is the Pentel Rolling Writer Medium point black ink pen. Still, The Sanford Expresso One Medium Point Felt Tip Pen has always been a constant for me in my writing life and I just can't bring myself to imagine the day when I won't have a Sanford Expresso One Medium Point Felt Tip Pen tucked away in a desk drawer. A safe object that I know to be reliable and strong. A pen with a hearty line that still allows for a feminine line and curve to my handwriting.


















This pen has balanced checkbooks in five states. This pen has written letters, those mailed and those tucked away. This pen has filled countless notebooks and diaries. This pen has put me in college and grad school. This pen has marked pages, notes written in margins, that could save the soul of a story before I dismissed the piece as incomplete. This pen has graded papers. This pen has encouraged students to meet the challenge. This pen has completed the Sunday NY Times Magazine crossword puzzle. This pen has been more constant than friendships, relationships, pets, and zip codes for me.

And now, I am preparing to say good-bye.

If this was an NBC SitCom, a montage would go here, set to some acoustic David Gray song, recounting my fondest memories with the Sanford Expresso One Medium Point Felt Tip Pen.


















Sigh (m.lady wipes away a single tear).




.