Tuesday, September 23, 2014

trigger man

When I was in grad school, I took several fiction and poetry workshops with big lists of required texts.  Often times, the professor would have us read a poetry collection or book of short stories from authors that were planning on coming to the university at some point during the semester for a reading.  So, we got to read their stuff, then meet them and get them to sign our books!  Very cool. 

My two favorites were Caitlin Horrocks and Jim Ray Daniels, both authors we read in a graduate fiction workshop.  However, in the midst of grad school chaos, I was only able to read the few short stories from the books that were assigned for class.  So, my goal now is to be able to go back and read the collections fully.  I finished Horrocks This is Not Your City and have now moved onto Daniels' Trigger Man:  More Tales of the Motor City.  He signed it for me back in 2012.  And he said his wife's name was Kristin, spelled just like mine.


So here's the book. 

So other than all of the reading I'm trying to accomplish, I've been busy teaching and grading as usual.  I feel some life changes coming on (in the best way possible).  God has been teaching me patience lately, and I'm very excited to see what He has in store for Justin and I. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I am, I am, I am

See some of my original photography here:

Contact me through the website if you have questions or are interested in setting up a session.  The fall weather provides beautiful scenery for family photos.  :)

I have an undergraduate degree in English literature with a minor in creative writing and a masters degree in English with a concentration in creative writing, so you can see why I would find this article very interesting.  Study humanities - apparently it makes you more marketable.

And here's a collage for the road:

It's another piece of my graduate thesis.  Eventually I think I may just upload the whole thing.  (By the way, that adorable kid in the picture is my little brother around the age of nine.  He is now seventeen and is much taller).

Friday, September 12, 2014

antique skeleton

I finally got my copy of FIVE2ONE Magazine Issue 7 in the mail!  There are some great writers represented in this issue, and my poem "Antique Skeleton" is featured on page 29. 

Consider supporting a small publishing press (and writers like me!) and order a copy of Issue 7 here:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Workspace

If I'm not grading or prepping for work, I'm often reading, writing, blogging, painting, or a combination of several of those things.  I do a lot of my work from home, so I find that my office atmosphere needs to be precisely "me."  While my husband does store his archery equipment in my office (or, as we have come to call it, the studio), it really has become my little area of the house.  Since I spend quite a bit of time in there, I've collected many posters, paintings, art supplies, journals, etc. that have accumulated over the past couple years Justin and I have lived in our current home. 

My studio inspires me.  It comforts me.  It draws me in.

It allows me to get work done.  To be creative.

My desk.  I love my desk.  I found this desk and chair at an antique shop near where I live.  I fell in love with it and my wonderful husband proceeded to carry it out of the store and into our van in the middle of a snowstorm.  Antiques bring me joy.  Especially this desk.  (Isn't the design on the chair awesome!?)  And then there's my computer.  I like to think of my computer lid as more of a "scrapbook."  That's where all the random stickers I accumulate end up. 

So there's the cloth poster of Jim Morrison covering the window.  And yes, that is a Breaking Bad poster in the background.  The cork boards are covered with some original paintings and photography as well as some random photographs I have accumulated over the years (including a signed photograph of The Doors).  Also, the poster on the ground that you can't see very well is a thrift store find - it's a framed picture of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are.  Love.  (This room also doubles as a small storage space - just look at my husband's archery stuff and a crate full of laundry supplies).  The joys of living in a small space!

While the built-in drawers look cool, they are mostly a pain.  The house is so old that the drawers are warped and barely open.  And if you can get them open, you will never get them shut.  But this is where I keep some of my art supplies - colored pencils, markers, pens, etc.  I also keep some art projects up on this shelf - some 3D collage work and a couple collages on canvas.  And some photo albums.  I painted a mural on that sloping wall, but I couldn't resist hanging a couple more posters that I didn't have room for (I mean, how could I pass up the Vampire Weekend poster!?).  And somehow my husband's bow is always infiltrating my creative atmosphere.

Some poetry awards adorned with the specific poems that won the awards.  Some more original paintings.  Collage work.  A shout out to Caitlin Horrocks' This is Not Your City.  The lone electrical outlet in the studio, mostly used for my computer power cord or the paper shredder (don't want to end up like that poor guy on Identity Thief).

And, finally, my wonderfully vintage built-in storage cabinet.  The doors and latches are original from when the house was built in the early 1900s.  This is where I keep the paintings and collage work I don't have room to put out, photography supplies (blank CDs, business cards, etc.), paints, old books I buy from Goodwill and destroy for the sake of collage, photo albums, and work stuff (textbooks, prep materials, etc.).  And yes, I do have an anatomy coloring book in there.  And several vintage anatomy textbooks.  And yes, that is a replica of Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night facing backwards behind the desk. 
I love this room.  I love to put art and photography on display, whether it is mine or the art of someone I admire.  I have Dali's The Metamorphosis of Narcissus hanging in our spare bedroom.  And I love movie posters as a source of art.  I have Alex DeLarge's face from A Clockwork Orange hanging in our bedroom alongside the battered faces of Brad Pitt and Edward Norton on the poster for Fight Club.

It's comforting.  It's inspiring.  It draws me in. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

We are a miraculous age

I was published in FIVE2ONE Magazine earlier this summer and the print edition just became available.  Consider supporting a small press and ordering a copy of Issue 7!  My poem "Antique Skeleton" appears on page 29.


I just started re-reading Caitlin Horrocks' This is Not Your City, a collection of short stories.  I read it for a fiction writing class as a graduate student and Horrocks came to the university to give a reading and sign books.  Her short stories are wonderful and I'm loving this book just as much the second time through.  My favorite story from the book is the first in the collection, "Zolaria."  (When she signed my book at the reading, she even drew a picture of the monster that appears in her story "Zolaria."  Very cool.)  I even teach this story in one of my humanities classes.  If you are looking for a good read, check out this book.  It got me through an hour in a doctor's office waiting room this morning.

"It is July and we are a miraculous age."
-Caitlin Horrocks

Saturday, September 6, 2014

books & movies

I watched the movie Adult World last night.  The main character looks up to Sylvia Plath as a source of poetic guidance. 

Rubia:  "Who's the dead girl on the wall?" (poster)
Amy:  "Sylvia."
Rubia:  "Oh.  How'd she die?"
Amy:  "She stuck her head in the oven."
Rubia:  "That's bananas."

I love that movie.

One of my husband's youth group girls that I've had the pleasure of getting to know let me borrow her copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  I saw the movie, but I finished the book last night and it was way better.

"Writing does not resurrect.  It buries."

So much truth.

And then there's this...
(Hazel's reaction following the death of Augustus)
"...the waves tossing me against the rocks then pulling me back out to sea so they could launch me again into the jagged face of the cliff, leaving me floating faceup on the water, undrowned."

I've been there.  I'm sure you all have been, too.

Friday, September 5, 2014

"Dada gives itself to nothing"


He was mine.

Where do we go?
Some original collage used in my thesis for graduate school. 

Where do we go?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A kiss in the dark from a stranger

Collage featuring The Chronicles of Narnia and poetry from Tim Burton.  And a heart diagram.

Watercolor painting with colored pencil.  Collage.  Brain - melting?  Changing?

An excerpt from my graduate thesis (narrative collage) titled Like Las Vegas.
Can you see?

Visit my webpage to see some of my original photography or to book an appointment.  I'm willing to stand out in the cold/rain/snow to get your picture.