January 29, 2009

Google Reader

Here's a day of confessions. Though my archive says I started posting in November, I actually started in late September. I was posting, for my sister, for myself, and I hadn't expected anyone to read it except us.

Then, I realized that if I was going to publish a book, there was no point in having a blog that anyone could see, but that I thought no one was going to read -- which meant awful posts/posts that I wouldn't want the general public to see.

So...at the end of October, I deleted every single post I had. I decided I was going to restart this blog, act as if it were new, fresh...and my blog was still very new at that point.

Stupid Google Reader. It kept track of every single post I ever posted. Everything. Even the posts I didn't want ANYONE to see.

Naturally, I was shocked when I figured out that I had TEN subscribers on Google Reader. Rather ecstatic, but shocked, too. Nine other people were going to see those old posts.

My point? I'd be delighted if you subscribed on Google Reader, and you can take a look at those old posts for entertainment, but that's not my REAL REAL blogging -- they're not the posts you see here, now.

January 26, 2009

It's been a few days since I posted.

I haven't had a chance to upload pictures yet, but the book should be available for purchase in two-ish days. It depends on when we can get to the post office.

To pass the time, here's a screenshot of my desktop background.

My favorite quote ever is from my dad. He said, "Human life is like a factory," and that phrase has stuck in my head and is officially my favorite quote. It's so true.

People are up round the clock, driving, going places...life really is a factory. Or, a wheel that never stops spinning.

January 24, 2009

The best place to sing is the garage.

Thank you so much for the lovely comments on my previous post; it was amazing to read them. And thank you Odessa for the shout-out.

I've decided that the best place to sing your heart out is in the garage. And it's the best place to work. It's cold, quiet, and separate from everyone else. Plus, you'll be surrounded by shoes.

I finished reading through Apologies to an Apple, cover-to-cover, and it's perfect. I love it. It'll be available for purchase at my website soon. Stay tuned.

And Emily Ruth, I'll post up pics soon. Promise.

January 23, 2009

A Dream Come True

My dream since age three has been publishing my very own book. Tonight, I'm devouring the most delicious cake in the world in celebration of that dream.

The first copy of my book apparently arrived this morning. The tapping on my shoulder, shaking me out of my homework, led to my favorite cake on a table, bearing words in purple, my favorite color.

Eons after it arrived, I got to hold and read my own book. I can't describe the feeling -- you have to experience it to know it. But it was simply magical.

I'm completely at a loss for words right now.

January 21, 2009

Praise Song for the Day

Praise Song for the Day
A Poem for Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration
by Elizabeth Alexander

Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other's
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.

All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.

Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.

We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what's on the other side.

I know there's something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,

picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.

Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?

Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,

praise song for walking forward in that light.

Copyright © 2009 by Elizabeth Alexander. All rights reserved. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota. A chapbook edition of Praise Song for the Day will be published on February 6, 2009.

January 20, 2009

Speaking of poems...

Danielle posted an amazing one up at her blog yesterday. Never knew she was this good.


She took the suitcase -
the dark blue one
from its place on the bottom.
Loud voices. Tears. Crash.
Five minutes later she was gone.
Where her clothes would hang
and fall
on the floor of the closet
are shadows
that whisper her name,
sounding out notes
that remind me.
Transparent contours
light and airy
are a fleeting memory.
I shut it out.
Close my eyes.
Small gasping breaths.
In out, in out.
Only my ears remain.
Listening, hearing.
Block it out.
CD’s, and useless chatter fill the air…
I run until I too am gone.

reprinted with permission

Elizabeth Alexander at the Inauguration

Thanks to January. I am still amazed at this. Beautiful, beautiful.

The 44th President of the United States of America

The 44th president of this glorious nation. Barack Obama.


January 19, 2009


It's nearly noon.

they say,
we will have a new president.

I am at home
watching cars slide past
my window.

January 18, 2009

Interview Time

Here are my responses to an interview meme passed on by the lovely Edge.

The Rules of the Interview

1. Leave me a comment saying you want to be interviewed.

2. I'll email you five questions, of my determination not yours!

3. You update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

1. What is your favorite poem you've ever written?

This is difficult. I've got so many favorites! But I think I'll go with a poem called "Don't Know Linen," which, by the way, you'll find in Apologies to an Apple.

2. If you could pick a perfect day on which to write, what would it be (weather, location, etc?)

It'll be a slightly breezy day, a little cold...and evening, so the sun should be setting. And the sky will be a gorgeous orange-pink. I'd be outside on the deck, sitting at a round silver table with a book of poetry and my laptop on the table.

3. You get to meet one author (dead or alive) for lunch. Who is it? Where do you meet?

Tough one! Too many favorites. I'll say J.K. Rowling, because I love Harry Potter. We'd meet at the dock, and we would walk through the dreary woods till we came to the rainy city.

4. Skydiving or Bungee jumping?

Skydiving all the way. Super cool.

5. Currently, what are your five favorite songs?

“We’re Young and Beautiful,” Carrie Underwood
“You and Me,” Lifehouse
“Breakaway,” Kelly Clarkson
“New Strings,” Miranda Lambert
“Good is Good,” Sheryl Crow

January 17, 2009


I redid my blogroll so that it wasn't quite so long; now it's a link list. I don't want any of you left out...did I miss anyone?

Oh, and also --

what are some of your favorite blogs?

On the Spot

Since I really don't know what to say, I'll write a bit of prose on-the-spot. I apologize if it's awful; I haven't written any prose in ages.


She could hear it -- the rain splish-splashing against the window, tiptoeing across the roof. She shivered. It wasn't her fault that it was so cold outside.

She tucked her legs closer to her chest, tugging on the thin blanket, squeezing her shoulders close together. Too tired to think about anything except the freezing cold and sleep, she closed her eyes slowly.

It was then that she heard the sirens.

She jerked awake and lay there in the dark for a few moments, her breathing rapid. There was a heavy silence.

Then she heard it again. Ambulance, she thought.

January 16, 2009


It looks like so many people enjoyed my last post ;) It was fun to do! I promise I won't fill up this whole blog with those, but you'll see them once in a while.

Just because it was so interesting to write, here's another one:

Wisps of chill
slip in through the cracks.

Humming the song
rolling through
my head.

I don't know what these are called -- poems, tidbits...I like to call them "snapshots". How would you classify them?

January 15, 2009

Right Now

Lamp flickers on,
someone speaks downstairs,
hinges creak.

It is gray outside.

January 13, 2009

Writing Fiction

Here's a site that has great tips for fiction writers. Check it out.

Tuesday and excited.

The only TV show I ever bother to watch is American Idol. And it's always been American Idol. And I'm so excited 'cause it starts today! *scream with delight*

Anyway, I was talking to a couple of people yesterday and the topic of "what's good music?" came up. And I had an idea.

If you're reading, do respond! It'd be lovely to hear from you. It won't take long, I promise.

Here are a few questions about your personality/preferences. I'm just curious to know:

1. What's your favorite genre of music?

2. Do you prefer being alone or in the company of others?

3. If the president asked you to send a picture of yourself to him (yeah, right), would it be black-and-white or in color?

4. If you had a thousand dollars to spend on music (only IF), what would be the first song/album/artist you would buy?

January 10, 2009

Ho-hum. Still writing.

My favorite days are when I push through without a struggle. I'm really delighted because I got 2 poems written today. Good news.

The not-so-good news: I've only written six poems since September (or maybe earlier). I've been really slow lately. It's been a fight to get words onto paper. I wonder if there's an epidemic of "dead writing" going around, since I've heard from a few friends who say that the writing's going s-l-o-w.

Maybe there's something inspirational about indulging in things you love. After listening to a little music and changing my desktop wallpaper (I love looking at that black-and-white cityscape, I bet I could stare at it forever and not get bored), the inspiration started flowing fast. So maybe doing the things you love to do somehow gets the creativity running.

I'm planning for the next manuscript. I discovered that I love writing manuscripts way more than I love writing poetry without a goal. Adding the word "manuscript" to the task makes it a whole lot more exciting.

I won't spill the working title, but all I have to say is that I love the book title I have in mind.

January 09, 2009

A couple of thank-yous.

My email was chock-full of goodies when I checked today. A big thank-you to everyone who brightened my day.

A thank-you to EVERYONE (and I mean EVERYONE, even if you've only visited once) who visited -- or still visits -- my blog. And an even bigger thank-you to everyone who comments. Even the smallest of comments is an immediate smile-maker.

THANK YOU to everyone who's complimented me, or wished me good luck, with my book. I can't wait for you guys to read it -- I really hope you'll like it, if you're planning to pick up a copy. Each compliment or good-luck wish means so much to me, and I can't thank you all enough.

And finally, a huge thank-you to YOU for reading this!

January 07, 2009

The missing half comes a-trotting down the street

Now, to commemorate that missing half (see post title), here we go:

(Click for big.)

Endorsements from Lorie Ann Grover, Janet Lee Carey, Carolyne Wright, Kelli Russell Agodon, Suma Subramaniam, and Margaret D. Smith (inside).

If any of you are reading this, stop by and say hello!
(Here's the front cover, if you missed it.)

January 03, 2009

Time To Take Control

I took this one (you can see my arm reaching out the side of the photo) on the 29th or something. I felt super-guilty that I wasn't writing or preparing submissions. Oh well.

So I've decided that, for 2009, I'm going to submit more, stop taking pictures of myself at 9:30 pm just because, and try to write more. I haven't written much ever since I finished writing for Apologies to an Apple.

Now I'm mainly working on submissions while Apologies comes out. I'll probably put together the next manuscript later in the year or sometime next year using poems I've submitted. On the poetry front, I'm looking at a busy year.

January 01, 2009

Test Run

Today's "Day One". Time to perform that test run again -- January 1.

It's time to start from scratch again, to put the dream into action. It's time to run like you've never run before.

Taylor Swift writes in her song "Change":

It was the night things changed
Do you see it now?
These walls that they put up to hold us back fell down
It's a revolution, throw your hands up
Cause we never gave in
And we'll sing hallelujah, we sang hallelujah

The time has come. It's "the night things changed".