Saturday, November 01, 2008


So. Here it is. Instead of doing nanowrimo, I'm going to write a poem a day and hopefully have a chapbook at the end of it. My theme you ask? Oh, Neal.

Think John Berryman and Henry.

Wish me luck...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Six Unspectacular Things

This could quite possibly be the most difficult thing to try and do, but Ms. Ang has tagged me. And I think I cannot tag because most anyone I know has already been tagged. Which leads me to ...

#1. It seems I am most often last in line.

#2. I enjoy receiving socks as gifts, more specifically theme types of socks. For example, I own Halloween socks, Christmas socks, San Diego Zoo socks, and Cancer socks (the zodiac Cancer, not the unhealthy cancer.)

#3. I think Swiffer is a genius product, but rarely use it.

#4. For some reason, the actual amount of money in my bank account does not correspond with my calculations.

#5. I am addicted to celebrity news.

#6. Cheeseburgers are a food item I could eat every day for the rest of my life.

In other news:

I received some rejections this week, but one had a nice "you almost made the cut" comment. Still waiting for other responses which at least means I've actually been sending work out. Good times.

Believe I'll be starting a fourth round of 30:30. Am I insane?! Yes. But do keep fingers crossed that I make it. After that I may indeed need a break.

I'm also hoping that two of my students, whose papers I entered into a conference contest, will be selected to read their work. Should find out tomorrow...

And now, off to a busy week...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Things recently realized or whatever

The epiphany I had was that I could totally become lost in a virtual reality. Perhaps in many respects I already am. And all the problems I have in real life would just follow me to numerous blogs and perhaps social networking sites. I am still socially inept. But at least this way people don't have to see me. Which is nice. Though I should have a picture up, but I have no idea how to do that, and then I'd worry that it was a terrible picture fully showcasing every chin I have, which makes me anxious and hungry for a snack.

There just shouldn't be this kind of pressure in life.

In better news I am almost halfway through my latest round of 30:30. Woohoo! Life is sweet.

And my hair is black thanks to Nice 'n Easy. I so wish there was a product called Mean 'n Difficult. Oh wait. That product is me.


On the reading front I just finished Happy Birthday or Whatever a fabulous book by Annie Choi. It's hysterical. I laughed quite a bit, though I thought there would be more "deep moments." Something on the back about a family crisis. Which was either oddly placed in the text or not quite as hard hitting as I expected.

But read it.

I wonder if Annie Choi is on facebook...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Tragedy, and a Hectic Week

After I typed it, I realized that perhaps my post title is a bit misleading. Read Randall Brown's fabulous essay Tragic Urgency in (Very) Short Fiction that's up at The Canadian Writers' Collective. Randall's a great flash fiction/micro writer, and the CWC is a great blog. Enjoy!

School beginning, meetings everywhere, things to do, people to see...that sums up my week. I can't even think about it right now, or I'll get all tense. :)

Speaking of tense, my mother treated me to a massage yesterday at Excuria Spa. Oh. My God. What a wonderful feeling. I've never had a massage before, and let me tell you I was so relaxed that I wanted to curl up and take a nap afterwards. I'd been sick all week too, which added to my stress so this was the best weekend treat ever. Naturally, though, because I was sick when I was on my stomach my nose stuffed right up and for a moment I thought I would suffocate. But I was too relaxed to care. Ahhh.

And I'm in another round of 30:30!!! Weeeeeeee! I'd better make it through this round because I've started a third round so many times that I've probably got enough poems for fifteen rounds.

Poems so far:

1. Old Fort Niagara
2. Forking Over Payment
3. The Stage After Four
4. Immolation
5. The Absent Guest
6. Talk Between the Living Before the Dead

Wish me luck, fellow poets, wish me luck!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back again, latest read, and pub news

After over a year blogless, I've come back. This time armed with ideas on exactly what I'll use the blog for and the steely resolve to actually ensure that I update regularly. Or fairly regularly. Hopefully regularly?

Latest Read

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Now this was a book I was psyched for. It was one of those moments when I'm in the library, desperately trying to come up with the list of a bajillion books that I know I'm just dying to read though I can't think of one, and then it hits me. The Handmaid's Tale. I've heard people mention how much they loved this book. But I knew nothing about it.

It was set in a dystopia. I'm not the biggest fan of dystopias. Utopias on the other hand...right up my alley. :) But this dystopia dealt with issues of gender, and the fate of the main character, Offred, kept me turning pages often late at night or at 3 in the morning. I just wanted to know!! So that was a positive.

On the other hand, I felt Atwood's presence too much. True, it is written in the first person, but I believed that I was reading a combination of Offred/Atwood in the narration. Perhaps Atwood's feminism drew this out, made the author's hand and words become too much the author's and not the character's? I've decided this might have been the drawback keeping me from singing the book's praises.

A few years ago I read a short story collection, Wilderness Tips, also by Atwood. And I've got to tell you I fell in love with the book. Atwood's poetry? Atwood's novels? After a couple attempts, not my cup of tea. Short story writer? Yes, she is!!!

Latest Write

You can find my flash piece, Palm Reader, up at The Pedestal Magazine. Also in this issue the flash pieces of Kim Chinquee and Miriam Kotzin!!

Latest Job

I had the remarkable experience of starting to teach a Freshman 101 class at Buffalo
State College. A great group of students, and so far I'm having a blast. Hopefully there will be more to report on this teaching experience. And that's for another day...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Writing quotes...

I have been remiss about my blogging. However, Sharon has tagged me to post my favorite writing quotes. What a task!! There are so many quotes about writing that are so wonderful. So I have selected some quotes that I like to highlight.

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~Sylvia Plath

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Every writer I know has trouble writing. ~Joseph Heller

A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the other one. ~Baltasar Gracián

The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes. ~Agatha Christie

Publication - is the auction of the Mind of Man. ~Emily Dickinson

A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. ~Thomas Mann, Essays of Three Decades, 1947

The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new. ~Samuel Johnson

A writer ought to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable. - Mark Twain

Alas, I believe everyone I would have tagged for this has already been tagged! I hope this isn't some form of bad luck.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

In sickness and in...

bed for the last few days. Went to the doctor yesterday and I have some kind of viral infection that's affecting my head and throat along with a wonderful case of pink eye.

Changes for Vestal Review:

Effective immediately, Vestal Review will publish its print issues twice a year instead of quarterly. However, we will switch the format to perfect bound copies to replace the current stapled ones. We will also increase the number of published flashes to 30 a year. The Web issues will remain quarterly, but not all submissions will be open to the readers. We welcome your subscriptions if you want to read them all.
One year subscription is $20 postpaid (add $6 for postage for foreign subscription). A sample copy is $10 (add $2 for postage, $4 for foreign address).

I'm really excited about this, as I think the copies will be beautiful. Everyone should subscribe. I'm not biased or's a quality publication. Beautiful stories are published every time.

I'm working on a new round of 30:30 poems. Poems to date (though four were for a specific submission):

A Process in the Weather of the Heart
Snails, Worms, and Other Losses
If You Only Knew
Shoes, Seasons, the Moon, Blue
Midden of Dreams
Who's Going Out
Of Me
At 32
Random Rain Haiku
On the Discovery
Report On Death's Door
The Picture in the Silver Frame

On the Symbolist Course:

Must have a completed paper by May 11th. Hopefully I'll be feeling well enough to put that together. I'm sure, now that I have medicine, I'll be feeling better in the next couple of days. I've received good comments for revision from my professor, including possible thesis or book length(?!) work. Hmmmm.

And now, back to my sickbed before I completely lose steam...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

What's good to read this week...

Lot of great reading this week. The new issue of Smokelong Quarterly is up. Lots of great stories.

One of these days, one of these days...

But I digress.

Check out the interviews at Kelly Spitzer's Writer Profile Project. Latest interview is with Smokelong's guest editor Alicia Gifford. Kelly is working on some great interviews over there.

30:30 Update:

Less inspired this round, but I've got a couple here I think I can work with. I'm halfway through, and it looks like I'll actually finish this round!!!!

Poems to date:

1.1 Syliva
1.2 Just Quit
1.3 Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
1.4 Will Left For Those Before
1.5 The Hole in My Mouth
1.6 On the Shag
1.7 Mann-Kind
1.8 Last Night
1.9 Afterbirth
1.10 Daylight Saving Time
1.11 Focus
1.12 His Sigh
1.13 The Taciturn Sister
1.14 No New Messages

Tuesday, February 27, 2007



I'm thrilled that I will be a first reader at Vestal Review. Once I began to write creatively, flash fiction was my form of choice. The genre itself is, in my opinion, just as important and meaningful as longer work. Well, maybe I'm biased. :)

But the point is that Vestal Review is a fantastic publication.

Other news:



Monday, February 19, 2007


I have been absent from keeping up this blog, but I have been busy. Not particularly with writing, but with education.

M.A. program:

Four classes into my Literature of Continental Europe class. The topic is Symbolism and Decadence. I'm enjoying it tremendously, but wish that I knew French so as to read the French Symbolists in the original language. So much, particularly in poetry, gets lost in translation. My final paper will be on Against Nature by Huysmans. I gave the initial presentation last Wednesday and think that I have a good start on my ideas for the final paper.


Have not been doing as much writing as I'd like to, thought I have started (yet again) a round of 30 at ITWS. This time I had better make it through an entire round. So far I've used my readings for the course as prompts for new work, and the titles for Tupelo Press.

Also, the chapbook is still percolating. I will hopefully have some more pieces put together for that soon. I'm currently thinking about running some of those poems through a more rigorous critique group.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Recent developments...


First, my latest publication can be found here at Salome Magazine. Love this zine...anything with with "feminist" and "intellectual" sits just fine with me.

Also was informed yesterday that red river review has accepted a poem, "A Desirable Consistency."

And I believe I will be finishing this round of 30:30! Have had a difficult time of's much harder to complete a 30:30 round when you are back to working full time. Trust me. I am happy with the poems that have come out of this round, whether they are in finished, polished form or pieces to work with later.

I am also going to start compiling the poems I worked on over the summer and some fresher ones for the chapbook I'd like to put together. I'd like to have that compiled and at least one solid edit by the end of the month...anyone out there interested in giving me feedback when this occurs is more than welcome. Ahem. :)


Was accepted to attend Buffalo State College for an M.A. in English. (Seems I'm playing the ever popular game How Many Degrees Can You Amass in a Lifetime?, and though I'm not winning I'm still in the game. From what I can make out there appears to be an active poetry community there...I'll find out for sure when I start attending next month.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Centrifugal Eye and a great gift for teachers

I have some poems up at The Centrifugal Eye. I am so happy to be sharing space with Liz and Russell Bittner.

And be sure to check this out. A great gift for teachers...or anyone for that matter!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Tipton Poetry Journal

Yay! My poem Family Dinner is up at Tipton Poetry Journal, along with Ms. Ang's A Driving Instructor's First Water Bottle and Ms. Walters's summer and winter. I absolutely, positively cannot wait to get the print version. My name is misspelled in the table of contents online. Oddly, it looks kinda cool to see the repetition in my name lengthened a bit to Charyl Chambers. Though I must say, Cheryl is my favorite spelling.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Loss of electricity and other juicy details...

I never realized how addicted I am to electricity. Lost power for over a week and am just now returning to my normal life. I was in the midst of a 30:30 and now have to start from scratch. If I were optimistic, I would look at it like this: well, now you'll have more than thirty poems done when you finish your new round!

Unfortunately, I'm a pessimist.


But on a happier note, I came back to the world of power to find this:

FRiGG Magazine with the fabulous Helen poems by Meridith Gresher and some of mine.

elimae has some great poetry up as well, including the work of Arlene Ang and yours truly.

Received two acceptances, one from Ascent Aspirations Magazine and one from Tipton Poetry Journal. I'm sooo thrilled. :)

See what happens when you lose power for a week?


I guess I should stay off more often...though most of that work was written while I was virtually connected.

Am loving this off to surf!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The new issue of Eclectica. And fish.

The new issue of Eclectica is up(!) and the editors have been kind enough to include my word poem This Woman in the Sewing Room. I'm pleased as punch to be sharing space with Arlene Ang and Michaela Gabriel.

Today I bought myself a Betta fish. My family's fish family has now grown to three. Replaced the poor deceased Goey (Named by my youngest because he said the fish "goes") with Goey #2, a much larger feeder fish. And I have wanted a Betta fish for soooo long. I guess dreams really do come true. *snort

Am on day 7(?) of the latest round of 30:30. I'm pleased with some of the work so far. Yesterday, however, was a misery, as my muse turned her back so completely on me, then would turn around and entice me with ideas I wasn't quite ready to create yet. I was reduced to asking my husband for five words. Liked the results, though. Perhaps he is my muse? I think he just might be. Awwwww, isn't that sweet? I can hear the jeers now. Yes it is sweet. :)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Happiness and insanity all mixed up in a bucket...


Just received an acceptance from elimae which I'm thrilled about. Very happy to be included...the issue with my poem "Apnea" should appear soon!!


Just started a round of 30. Phew. Don't know if I'll be able to do it this time as I have soooooooooo much going on right now. But of course I can't resist the impossible. ;)

Monday, September 18, 2006

30:30 and other news...

I did it!! Have just finished my first 30:30 ever. What an exhausting ride. But fruitful, and now I have plenty of poems to work with. Yippee! Now, as for starting another one? That may not be for a bit. Then again, I may be itching tomorrow...

And in other news:

The Centrifugal Eye has just accepted (definitely) two poems. :) The editor is just fantastic to work with, very helpful and encouraging.

Needless to say, despite things being oh so hectic right now (No, I won't bother you with all the mundane details), I'm very happy. Getting ready to leave Canada soon. Not quite sure when. And, because it's really only twenty minutes away from home, not really that important of news. It won't change my life too much (we hope) but it will certainly ease the morning commute just a bit, not having to cross the bridge every day.

Now I'm going to put my feet up and watch some television....what I'll watch is up in the air, like most things. :)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Yay! Eclectica!

Just received word that one of my word poems will appear in the fall issue of Eclectica Magazine!!!! I'm pleased as punch and it makes up for a hectic week.

And I'm almost done with my first 30:30!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I've reached 20!!!!

Well, today was wonderful because I am two-thirds of the way to a full 30:30!! Today's poem, What Bones Do, is something...we'll see how good it really is. I like it now. Actually I like it more than when I first wrote it.

But that's all beside the point...

The new school year began and I wasn't sure I'd be able to keep up with the work demands and the challenge. But who am I kidding??!! Of course I can.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Per Contra

The Fall issue of Per Contra is up!! The new issue features the work of some writers I admire: Poet Sean Farragher's stunning "The Dictionary of Suicide," and fiction by Russell Bittner, Kathy Fish, and Liesl Jobson.

And the best part? This contest!!!!

Check it out.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

An interesting article

The Buffalo News had an interesting article yesterday that my mother brought to my attention. The superintendent wants a longer school day and year. The ongoing saga of the Buffalo Schools continues. We shall see what the future brings.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My eyes...

are sitting on the couch next to me. I've been at a laptop with screen issues. So not only am I dealing with the horror of staring at a computer screen for hours, I am also dealing with the oddity of the blurry(?), misty(?), I don't know how to describe it, screen. And my eyes are going crazy, but as with any addiction I can't stop!!

So far I'm through with day 11 of the 30:30. I'll be fine. :) I keep thinking of new ideas now, and it seems as if the hard part is skimming things down. Ideas aren't the problem. Good work would be. Though I have been pleased with the majority of my work.

I received more junk email than regular email today. Both of my parents emailed me and that's always a welcome diversion. (And more reason to write. Ahem.)

If I don't get off this computer, I will lose part of my vision.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

New Issue of Pedestal

The new issue of The Pedestal Magazine is up, and has this great flash, Souvenir, by Miriam Kotzin. The issue is a great read, as always.

The difficulty increases...

I'm on the sixth day of my 30:30, and my last poem made no sense. Well, maybe I can work on something else later. It's tough when it feels forced. That's what leads to the problems. But there must be a diamond in the rough somewhere in this little brain of mine.

I've done nothing for the last few days and today will be exciting. Laundry!!! Woohoo!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Am still going with my 30:30 at Blueline, and am finding out about other 30:30's out there...I'm amazed I never did this before. I remember something about a few of my friends going over there a few months back, but didn't join. Actually, I'm doing two 30:30's at one time. So am I doing a 60:30? I think that's speeding. I'll end up with a ticket and much bad poetry.

NO replies from anyplace I've submitted, after the round of rejections about a week ago. I'd like to say no news is good news but in this case I think that acceptances come first. So I can speculate. Ever the pessimist.

In other news:

My son jammed an earplug in his ear yesterday requiring a trip to the doctor, ear drops, and a follow up appt. next week. Yay!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Blueline Poetry

Just joined Blueline Poetry and I'm addicted! I'm only on day 2 of my 30:30 and hope I'll manage to keep up the pace. When school starts it'll be hard, but I'm having too much fun to stop.

No recent acceptances, but of course there are rejections. :)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Good Read

You can read this short by Meridith Gresher, A Leopard Changing, at edifice WRECKED.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Back in Blog

And so I start my blog again.

The summer is winding down, and I can feel the change in the air, particularly at night. I don't know why, but it always takes me by surprise when the night gets so cold. Now at about nine I need to put on a sweatshirt. Last summer was so intensely hot that it's hard to believe that this summer has been as cool as it has been. Though it has still been a nice summer.

Still have about three weeks to go until school begins again. I've had so much more time over the summer...and I have been writing quite a few poems. I'd love to do 30 in 30...when I hear about that again I will definitely join.

Still have some personal deadlines with my writing and of course I'm falling behind. I hope to pick up some speed over the next few weeks. I'm anticipating some rejections coming very soon. But on the upside that's a whole bunch more subs to send out again. :)