Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October is rarin' to be awesome

In the last couple of weeks I've had a lovely slew of acceptances and I'm so psyched that all of these stories will be appearing online in October, my most favorite month!

"I've Got Your Ghosts Right Here" will be in The Collagist!

I wrote this story for a Ray's Reading. The "constraint" for the night was to write about "The ghosts of Ray's" or something like that. I decided to put a little literal ghost work as well as the idea of a memory as a ghost and the ghosts of people who are still around, we just forget to notice them. I also listened to Santa Maria by The Frames A LOT while writing this. The song is based on Egon Schiele, so there are some connections there with the story.

"You remind me of that guy in the movies, the one with the eyes" will be in Precipitate!

This story was written while listening to the album "I am the West" by the band Lovers, particularly the song "How the Story Ends."

"Me and Theodore climbed to the top of the water tower because we were afraid of the tremors beneath the dirt." will be in Everyday Genius!

Originally this story was rejected, but Adam saved it from the "no" pile and moved it to the "yes" pile, thereby ensuring that I would continue to wear the small pin with the portrait of Adam's face on it. This story was written when I was feeling old and like I had lost my youth and was really sad because I realized I would never be young again.

Also, at some point, don't know when:

"Pocket Rocket" will be in the This Week portion of BLIP!

I wrote this after sitting on my porch. I walked inside. Wrote it. Posted it at Fictionaut. Meg emailed me and said she liked it. That all happened in the span of about six hours. Crazy. I'm not sure when it'll be up, but I'm psyched about it.

"On watching the 2000 movie "Where the Heart Is" starring Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd, and Stockard Channing in which Natalie Portman plays a pregnant teenager whose boyfriend abandons her at a Wal-Mart while on a cross-country trip and she then lives in the Wal-Mart until she has the baby and then the rest of the movie is about how she makes a life for herself with mild success as a photographer and a marriage to the town hottie/smarty-pants *meanwhile* the boyfriend who abandoned her gets arrested, stays a worthless drunk, loses his legs, and lives a life of regret, in short, he gets what he deserves and even though I paid ACTUAL money to see this movie when it was in theaters, and left the theater knowing the movie really only deserved, maybe, to be on Lifetime: Television for Women, the other night, when it actually was on Lifetime: Television for Women, or maybe it was on Oxygen, I don't quite remember, I do know that it was a television station "for women," I sat down and watched it, the whole thing, all the while knowing that I could be doing something like reading a book, or doing laundry, or writing a novel, or something productive like that." will be in the first Knee-Jerk print issue!

The title of the story pretty much tells the process of this piece. Also, it's about the last unicorn in the world.

Hooray for October!!


Friday, September 24, 2010

So, here are some thoughts

A while back a few stories I wrote went up on Dogzplot. I wrote these stories instead of intros for my fellow readers at my Book Release Party! The fellow readers were Caroline Picard, Natalie Edwards, and Jill Summers and they are great.

I was out of town for the last few days. I went to Louisville to visit a friend. This friend is like therapy, Prozac, home cooking, and college all rolled into one person. Seriously, some friends are just what a person needs to maintain sanity and she is one of them.

While in Louisville we went to the Peddler's Mart and I bought this bird cage:

I think I'm going to paint it black and be all goth about it.

I also bought little pots for French Onion Soup making.

It was a quick drive to Chicago. Then, once in Chicago, I was in stop-and-go traffic for an hour. People in cars are assholes.

I went to Target and bought a box of wine and sweater that I am going to return as it makes me look like a nun.

I came home and moved the box that I keep my bracelets in to the bathroom to hold my makeup. I moved the makeup box into the bedroom and filled it with bracelets. I then attempted a smokey eye:

I had also just finished watching Australia's Next Top Model. So, you know, that's my model face. Take that, Alice Burdeu.

Turns out I sent a resume to a potential employer with all the formatting lines and whatnot included. I realized this yesterday. I sent the resume two months ago. Urgh.

The lines didn't show up on my Mac, but they did show up on a PC. Is there some conspiracy to not let Mac users get jobs or something? I shall now send everything as a pdf.

Hey, guess what, I will have a story in The Collagist in October. I am muy excited about it as the story is a favorite of mine (ain't they all... I'm not exactly going to fess up to having a shitty story published... or maybe I already have). Also have a story in the upcoming Knee-Jerk print issue. I am doing cartwheels in my brain over both of these future publications as I really-super respect the editors of both. Yaaay.

Annnd. Even so. I spent the whole drive from Louisville to Chicago, as well as the hour in traffic, fantasizing about living a different kind of life. I want what I was daydreaming. And here I am at home with chipping nail polish and a giant zit on my nose and, really, how do people figure all this shit out?


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Look, Mom! I'm famous!!!!!!

Time Out Chicago has an overly wonderful article about me in this week's issue. Read it quick! This week's news is tomorrow's cat litter liner!!!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Good words good times

Some nice words out there about "We Know What We Are"

Check 'em out:


Prints 'n' prints

For the grand Printer's Ball o' Chicago, 20 writers teamed up with 20 printmakers. The writers gave the printmakers a story and an object and the printmaker took that and made ..... a print!
Here's the result of my story "She has an ache" and the handiwork of Dan Grzeca

Everything about the Printer's Ball this year, before during and after, was surreal.



Saw this is the ladies room of all the rest stops on my way to Cleveland a couple of weeks ago. My friend said they're for diabetics. I said they're for heroin addicts


Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Chicago Weekend


Some creepy dude drinking beer and standing in the alley outside my apartment. Made me wish I lived in Vermont or some such quiet place.


We had to evacuate our bus b/c some guy covered in bugs decided to ride. Lice? Bedbugs? Ants? I didn't see them myself, which maybe makes it worse.


Walked by two guys sharing a bottle of whiskey on the sidewalk this afternoon. Guy #1 says "Hey hey hey, you wearing panties?" Guy #2 says, "Don't say that! Don't say that! You're rude! She's a lady! You're rude!" I was very tempted to turn around and propose marriage to Guy #2.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I have a page on the Rose Metal Press catalogue!!!!

Go Here to order yours today!!!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

ch-ch-ch-check it out!

Ba da!
The wonderful minds at Rose Metal Press have sent me the cover image for my book! I'm so ridiculously excited about this.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Everyone seems to be receiving their contributor copies of Best of the Web, where's mine?!

I'm so looking forward to reading all the stories in there! I know that summer has just begun, but I need my summer reading and, from what I hear, the BOTW 2010 is huge.


I'm drafting in my head a post for Third Face about this whole idea of "best" and why it's a bunch of hooey.


I got some lovely news from Molly Gaudry a little while ago. See that note on the right of the page? The one about a WWP chapbook in 2011? Yup. I'm bouncing off the walls.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010


When I was a very little kid, my dad called me pumpkinhead. I don't know why, I have a fairly average-shaped head. I did some Googling and found that it was an insult for those of obvious Polish descent. I am of Polish descent, but it ain't obvious. I think he just liked the way it sounded to say Pumpkinhead.

My friend was this for Halloween one year and wore a real Pumpkin on her head.

I've been pretty absorbed in teaching (3 classes), working (full-time, doncha know), and blogging other places (like this and this, which I'm totally psyched about).

I feel like by the time I get to this blog I'm either low and depressed or tired and just feel like I need to type something. So let's go with option 1 (and a touch of 2), shall we?

It's becoming more frequent that I feel the decisions I've made, particularly those based on instinct, were super-wrong. Like, wow, wrong road chosen wrong.

I'm trying to get some balance back in my brain, but this summer is a teeter-totter rusting from the base.

yay! fun! blog!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm on a plane

Sitting on a plane in the last row. My sinuses are making my head feel like my brain is too big for my skull.

I'm thinking about my future and thinking that me present is pretty much stuck so the next step needs to be something that leads somewhere.

At least my seat is by the window, we need to keep an eye on these silver linings.

I'm thinking about my present and the situations of people I know and I don't know how people continue to believe in god and love. I'm just saying....

I'm on a plane. I'm sitting in the last row. I'm going to be on this plane for at least 4 hours. For the second time in 50 hours, an infant is in front of me on a plane. On a plane.

Things is, I still prefer this to being in a room full of people I know with no one to talk to and nothing to say.

My brain feels like it's pushing out my skin. Springtime is for dizzy.


Friday, May 07, 2010

Street Lights

I know he got a lot of shit for it, but Kanye's "808 and heartbreak" album pretty much says everything all the time.

You ever feel like you're living the wrong life in the wrong time? Yeah, me too.

The funny thing about those of who feel that way, we all feel all kinds of all alone, but if there's some source of, what's the word I want?, not empathy, comraderie(!), then we mist not be alone.

So there is this need to create something that connects and says, "I know, this shit is real for me too."

Most days, writing isn't enough. I can say everything in a story, but the situation remains the same.

What to do?
What to say?
What to write?
Another story that says, "I feel fucking lost?"
That gets the ache out, but then here we are in this same situation of feeling stuck in a world that wasn't made for us.

What makes it worse is being aware of the fact that this messy, dirty, cruel world is populated by people in far worse situations than our own and these whollyhuman feelings become even more reason to despair. Being aware of one's own egotism sucks.

So sing it, Kanye. I'm gonna listen and know that you're singing my brain in your auto-tuned voice.

Because as I know there's a poplation (populations) out there hurting more than me, you must know there's a me here, in Chicago, listening to you. And what can we do, but reach out a hand and say, "I know, shit stinks," in our own way, from our own point if view?

Life's laughing at all of us.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Bus stop blues

Look at me, blogging again.

I downloaded an app so I can blog on the go, hoping this will increase my productivity here.

I have a new story up at Monkeybicycle. The funny thing is, as I was reading it, online and in its published form, I was driven to revision. So, I have a revised version of the story hanging out on my computer. I think I flew too soon on that one. Ah well, what're you gonna do?

In other news, some guy openly budged in front of me in line at the Jewel. I made a point to "harumph" loudly. I hate having to remind others that I exist.


Thursday, March 18, 2010


I have a new story up at PANK

It's an online story because I'm not safe for paper.

I "exercised" yesterday by doing that game on the wii where you're dressed like a bird and you try to fly to a boat.

And then I got thinking about boats

So now I am in the couch watching "The Deadliest Catch."


Friday, February 19, 2010

My brain seems to have been put on permanent pause

Lordy, things may have been easier a couple of months ago when I was convinced my writing was going nowhere and I should

A) Devote myself to writing crime novels with a strong female detective who takes no bull from no one! and solves crimes with an effortless ease.


B) Devote myself to saving enough money so I could move to some foreign land and change my name to Stacy and work in a coffee shop until I die in a freak matchstick accident.

Things got thrown off track when I got some encouragement regarding the writing I had done previous to this life crisis (Sorry I keep mentioning it....)

So, silly me, I thought this would propel me into writerly greatness! I would jump back in to the game with both feet! I would write stories again!

That was several weeks ago and aside from a couple of awesome ideas bouncing around in my head, I can't seem to figure out how to sit down and, well, write.

Something in my head is reassuring me, telling me it's like riding a bike. You never forget....the thing is, I never really learned to ride a bike.

I mean, I used to own a bike (two actually, both were left in the basements of apartment buildings) and I rode them around. On sidewalks. Slowly. Convinced I would be hit by a car (and living in Chicago, that's not such a silly thought as it happens much too often in this city).

So, what to do, what to do...... I don't know.

I feel very stuck right now. I feel torn between the weight of some imagined expectations and the weight of no one even noticing if I've published lately or not (not).

I feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in my apartment.
I feel overwhelmed by the routine of my week.
I'm tired of seeing the same buildings on the bus ride to work.
I've been sleeping as much as possible and I have to say, it's the highlight of my day because I dream real good and those dreams are never the same, never routine, never weighted down by all that makes every day so heavy.

I think I need to sell all of my belongings and find a good home for my cats. I think I need to reduce my necessities to a sturdy shoulder bag and go wandering, free of name and family and expectations self-put and otherwise.

But, that's what dreams are for, and writing, yes? To escape this monotony and suffocation. So.

I suppose I'll put my faith in that muscle memory that allows me to play certain songs on the piano with my eyes closed after years away from practice. That allows me to type as fast as I love to type.

Is it so bad to relax and wait for some moment when I don't feel burdened by the expectation to create something? Is it so bad to close my eyes to the expectation of progress and to sleep for an extra few minutes? To indulge in these moments that are mine and mine alone? Is it so bad to not be a writer who chains herself to her desk every morning, but instead to be a writer who *Really* enjoys a good cup of coffee and a lazy hot shower every morning?

Methinks not.


Monday, February 01, 2010

Something something something something something something something something

Sometimes my students say, "I work a lot, so I didn't get blah blah done."

I stop myself. Because I want to tell them that "working a lot" is no excuse. If they voluntarily sign up for my class, it is their fault, not mine, if they don't have time to do the work. They know all that by the way I shift my eyes to the next student.

I stop myself from speaking my own woe-is-me b.s.

I work three jobs.
Plus the whole QUICKIES! stuff.
Plus TripleQuick, which I should really devote more me to, seriously, I'm a slacker and a hypocrite.

And I have plenty of time to master MarioKart, up my typing wpm, and Google myself (if you're checking your blog/site stats and someone found you by Googling "mary hamilton"+"fiction" or some combination like that....it was me).

And I have a "social life." In quotations because I don't know that any person who has devoted as much time as I have to upping my typing wpm can really consider themselves any kind of social butterfly.

All to say, cut the crap and do the work.

I bought my tickets to AWP today. I'm sharing a hotel room with Amelia Gray, Lindsay Hunter, and Jac Jemc. I think we've pretty much guaranteed that we're the Destiny's child circa 1999 of AWP Denver.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

ISBN what?

I just realized that an ISBN number is in my future. Whoa, dude.

I know this blog has been a sad animal the past many months. Well, so goes the mood, so goes the blog.

This heart-raising good news came just in time, I think. For a long while, I had been feeling that my writing wasn't what others would want to read. I didn't think my stories were enough of whatever it is that is going on in writing right now. Don't ask me to define that, I don't know. But I did feel that my voice just wasn't as loud and persistent as those around me. I always sat in the back of the class.

And I felt like I wasn't reading what others were reading. I didn't talk the same. I didn't have the same drive or goals.

So I got sad and I posted a couple of sad posts on this blog. And then, whattya know?! Someone read and liked my stories and, somehow, my work stood out for a bright and shining minute. And then I saw that the announcement from Rose Metal linked to this here depressing blog. Oh, I am sorry for that.

And then, funny thing, my friend called me a few days ago and told me her mom had been reading my blog and was worried. Don't worry, friend's mom, I'm okay.

Now, it is time to call my dad and wish him Happy Birthday! Yaaaaay!!!!!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Rosemetal Press has just made a lovely announcement and, contrary to the normal tone of this blog, I Am Happy About It! Yaaaaaaayyyyyyyy.

What they said was that my chapbook, "We Know What We Are" won their annual chapbook contest! I'm so happy!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

The SPAM persists

I knew I said "Viagra" too many times in that last post.

I got some good news this week. I wish it was enough to make me happy without thinking of reasons not to be happy. God, I'm such a pill.

I have recently fallen madly in love with the work of Egon Schiele.

That is all.