Sunday, May 21, 2017

Graduate, BA holder & Certificate holder's first blog post

Sunday before Christmas Salon

Time //  2:16

Eating // Oatmeal with walnuts and blueberries

Drinking // Coffee

Weather // Super chilly for May 21. My furnace is currently running.

LISTENING TO // All The Light We Can Not See ~ Anthony Doerr
I'll finish this today. I'm in that section that's all afterwork melancholy. The reminiscent part of the book.

READING:// Home ~ Marilynne Robinson
I am as much analyzing this as reading it. I hope Ms. Robinson wouldn't mind.

WATCHING // Netflix is keeping me busy. I ATE UP the new season of Sense8
 So in love with this show. 
I also gave American Gods a try since I've fallen in love with Gaiman, but I'm not as impressed. I need to read th book and then go back but I bet I'll think even less of it. 
 Music // Soundtracks. Time to write! Really really write! For my life!

Blogging // Meh, but I'm working on some ideas.

Acquisitions // I ordered 2 books. Rare for me, but they are necessary for my project.

Hating  // No comment today. too much.

Loving // Being a graduate

Graduation Herky was gone. but I got a pic in his place

Writing // I've a goal to finish first draft of the entire book by end of summer.

Avoiding //  setting things right now that college is done.

What  a wonderful week we had! I graduated without walking, and my daughter graduated and we watched her walk! Now she is off with the Chamber Choir on a tour of Italy, Austria, and a night in Germany. She's enjoying it and singing in those cathedrals she said was amazing. 
She's employed already so in August, we will move her to her new home out in Western Iowa. 
We will just have to wait and see where my degree takes me.  

In the meantime...whose hitting Armchair BEA???? So excited!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Mini Sunday Salon before a big big week!

I am happy to say I was one of the one's chosen to read my work at Prairie Lights in Iowa City as part of a Writing Certificate reception.

 Now to pick out the 6 minute piece I want to share! That's so hard!

I also will be getting my BA in Applied Studies the next day. Except I won't be walking since I'll be at my DAUGHTER'S graduation from St Ambrose University with a Degree in Secondary Education  (and a job already).

Her walk is WAY WAY more important that mine!!

Still kinda cool that we are graduating on the same day. My goal was to graduate before my girls to show them never give up. A tie counts.

I hope I get a chance to get my picture taken with Graduation Herky!!

Never get a drastic haircut before a big event.
I'm off for an emergency fix tomorrow afternoon. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

How do you get to read at Prairie Lights? Same as playing at Carnegie Hall, man!

Time //  8:13

Eating // Nothing yet

Drinking // Why do I even have this on here...

Weather // Sunny with a high of 75...which is a song too by the way.. 
** Language warning

LISTENING TO // Crazy Salad & Scribble Scribble ~ Nora Ephron
I hadn't read anything by Ephron since '83 in college (the first time, like I was supposed to) and I'm amazed at how many issues we are STILL fighting!

 I'm also heartbroken to read a review on Goodreads that said, "Crazy Salad does suffer from being dated. A lot of the politicians and journalists mentioned were before my time. I got bored enough of names with no faces that I mostly skimmed" OMG!! WTF!! because you don't know the names you'll dismiss the power of the fight that gave you the right to go back to your Kardashian delusions? grrrrrrr.  But that's just me. 

I'm loving her style, her insight, and especially her controlled wit. It keeps me from just randomly punhcing a man out of principal. ;) j/k

and hope... like this quote,
She was speaking with Julie Nixon Eisenhower... and after an anecdote that Julie said she comments: (OH THIS IS GOOD....)

" There's no point in dwelling too heavily on the implications of a daughter who has managed to play a larger role in her father's life than his wife seems to..." 

Not to get too political... but .. remember that adage about the past repeating itself?  Oh please? pleeeeeeease!!

 ALSO LISTENING TO// California ~ Edan Lepucki

It was published in 2014, so once again I'm behind the curve, but it has everything I relish in a book, post-apocalyptic (or close), dystopian and written by an Iowa Writer's Workshop grad. It's been a fabulous read so far!! I feel like I'm sneaking brownie batter out of the bowl it's that much of a treat!
READING://  The Gift ~ Hafiz
So I met a guy.. the old fasioned way. He was our waiter and he flirted and he said if I was interested in knowing more about him I'd come back. So I did and he asked for my number. We had our first date last week (again... how old am I?). 
Like a gentleman, he brought me a date gift, but unlike others I've dated it wasn't flowers. It was a book. 
It was a book of Poetry. The Gift by Hafiz. 

 This is the miracle all his verses are. So simple. So true. I'm in love...with the book. 
It is doubly interesting because Hafiz is from a town in Persia, Shiraz (yes like the wine). And so is my new friend. Who I'm going out with later this week too.

Watching // went back and caught up a couple of Supernatural episodes. I'd been away from it for so long I was a bit lost on the story line, then I got annoyed that it was such a soap opera. 

Music //
Well, since I looked up that link, a Reliant K playlist. Man I miss that alt pop punk sound!! (how old am I?)
**** Language warning on this one!!

Blogging // Just a couple now but hoping to add more soon. 

Acquisitions // The Gift is all, but that's enough!

Hating  //Spiders. 
I gave up and called Orkin. There are just too many in here.
(Did I mention I moved again? Iowa City Area so I can try to get into Grad School next year.) anyway... yellow sac spiders... no I wont post a picture. I don't need that kind of negativity on my blog... ;)


Writing// So well!! I'm waiting to hear back as to weather I've been chosen or not to read from my work at the venerable Prairie Lights... which I've written about before and which sort of started my love affair with this city.
Here's just a sample... a SAMPLE of whose been there:
"...booked iconic authors for the series of readings, held mostly on the second floor of the bookstore, including Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Toni Morrison, Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon and Nobel Prize winner Saul Bellow. "
It's like the Carnegie Hall of the Literary World. Literally!!
Oh yeah and ... this guy's been there too....
Tad excited I am..

Avoiding //   Oh I don't know. I filed an extension on my taxes. (I'm getting a refund but it's probably pretty small).  Possibly as simple as laundry today. Not bad. 

Two more weeks until GRADUATION!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Of course Easter is my favorite holiday!!!

The second beautiful Spring weekend

(I've gone all the way down into the Html and the font size will not change)

The Sunday Salon

Time // 1:16

Eating // if I could stay out of the chocolate!!
Weather // 70. storms yesterday evening. 
Wasn't severe by me, which I appreciate since I now live in a trailer..

READING// Some poetry for class. Especially June Jordan. What an amazing and encapsulating body of work!

LISTENING TO // California ~ Edan Lepucki
I've had two criteria for books I wanted to listen to recently. World-building and University of Iowa Writer's Workshop graduates. This book satisfied both of those! I've had a copy forever, but never could get to it, then I found it on Bridges. 

FINISHED LISTENING TO // I powered through two listens! One was a fun listen and one was simply an amazing book... 

The Girl on the Train ~ Paula Hawking
It was fun. It was fairly predictable. Characters were ok. She got loneliness right that's for sure. I thought her descriptions of that were wonderful!

The Ocean at the end of the Lane ~ Neil Gaiman

Which I loved loved loved! and I love Gaiman's work, which I'm new to but now totally enamored with.

Watching //  Still mostly lectures. One month to go!!!!

Music // not much actually.

Blogging // Didn't really have time this week for either. Still don't actually I should be doing homework!

Hating  //Rude people. I got yelled at. Literally yelled at by my realtor. He said I don't appreciate what he does. this was after he had to come to my house because he locked me out for the second time. It was horrible. Now I'm sort of backed into a corner of leaving the listing with him. But my lawyer will handle closing. I will not be attending. He did this in front of my daughter as well. 
He's just earned the antagonist spot in my Baytown novel series.

Loving //Spring!! And being so close to graduation! And having free writing workshops 10 minutes away!

Writing// Lots for school. Even starting to get a liking for writing poetry. Going to one of the free workshops tonight! Then work on finalizing the first chapters of Independence. 

It's Easter!! It's the first time I've had this Holiday all alone. Both my girls are gone and since I've moved I don't know anyone here to have Easter with. Of course I went to see my Mom. She's been in the nursing home for a few years with Alzheimers.

I am interviewing home health aides. She used to be very exit seeking and combative and had to have quite a few drugs to keep her complacent. Now she's just like a small child and enjoys everything! So I'm thinking of bringing her home and having an aide come in a few hours a week to give me time off. Has anyone else done this? 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Working, Writing, and 7 ways to get your manuscript read!

The first beautiful Spring weekend

Time // 12:46

Eating // better?

Weather // 71 with a 100% of a wasp swarm around the front door...rats

READING// This sounds worse than it is...but nothing. I'm in between and focusing on school... but OH my I have such a huge TBR list now!!

ALSO READING://  Nothing... also most of my books are packed. And

LISTENING TO //  Enon ~ Paul Harding. I never finished this and I'd actually like to go back to it. I was super enjoying it.


Watching //  Still mostly lectures. But I did just finish a couple of Netflix series' I really loved
I was addicted from 15 minutes in, after I caught on to what was going on.

and Grace and Frankie. Making Old the new  young!

Music // not much actually.

Blogging //Working on updating my writer's blog too. Part of my goal for when I graduate...

Acquisitions // Ordered a copy of Irreplaceable ~ Stephen P. Lovely 
Written by my mentor. I've read it twice!! I enjoyed it more each time!

Hating  // Being old. In a town geared toward youth... Iowa City. and my house hasn't sold. not even a nibble.

Loving // Moved to Iowa City area, working from home now, and... almost done with school! 5 more weeks left... so close!!

Writing//That's ALL I've been doing!! Intro to the novel and first 4 chapters are done. Scripts done and ready for contest, short stories and even some poems. I have an actual portfolio. I'll need it..

Just hit the edged of this amazing festival in Iowa City Mission Creek Festival. I was able to go to a panel  on publishing. The focus was the industry itself and the opportunities in it from out of college, but there were also plenty of tips on the do's and don'ts of trying to be published. Amazing group of small press owners and managing editors. 

& big DON'TS for submissions can be found on my writing website as told by these amazing young young professionals!
read it here:

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Breaking Radio Silence

There's a reason I've been away... full time job, and full load of college classes, plus a full household move and job change... I'm a sucker for change!

College is, finally for me, almost over. At 51 I'll finally have a Bachelors. AND I'll have the Creative Writing Certificate from University of Iowa. The work has been grueling and beyond wonderful!

I moved to the Iowa City area just to be closer to the city I love! The one and only UNESCO City of Literature in the United States. Where the literary events are practically non-stop, and not just literary, cultural events period! Art, music, literature, theatre always something wonderful!

This weekend it a big one! Mission Creek Festival is in town. And I had no idea what that was!!
Well, as taken from their website, Mission Creek is this:


General Info

Mission Creek is dedicated to delivering a riveting 6-day artistic experience for our community that builds on the cultural geography and capital of downtown Iowa City. Programming focuses on music performances, literary readings, film screenings, public lectures, local food culture, and educational outreach. Nestled in the heart of downtown Iowa City, with most venues within a five minute walk of each other, Mission Creek thrives on intimacy and cross-medium experiences, turning music lovers onto new literature, writers onto new music, and expanding appreciation of arts, community, and culture. Our focus is on quality, independent-minded sounds, words, and events. We are keen on emerging artists and embrace renegade spirits who have been around for years. Intimacy is integral to the Mission Creek experience: Our smallest festival venue fits 50 people and our largest holds 1800; but most rooms are in the 200-300 capacity range, allowing for visceral connections between artists and audience.
The festival is presented and produced by The Englert Theatre, Iowa City’s 104-year-old historic performing arts organization.

 Just click on the logo or here: for all the details!

Having JUST moved here there are downsides to all these festivals. I have yet to meet anyone to go to these wonderful events with, and being the old lady in this land of youth, it is still awkward for me to go to stuff alone. Alas, I will weater the awkwardness and push on for the sake of the art. We all must suffer for our passions, isn't that so?

I did pop into The White Rabbit (an amazing shop with a social conscious that I MUST get back to soon!) for one of the Lit Crawl venues. Amazing choice I must say! The poets were superb and made you rethink the scrawling for poetry class. Take it up a notch boys and girls, they seemed to say! The

Lit Crawl seemed amazing but I only had opportunity to hit that one place. Sad as that makes me.

Sad and determined to find a group willing to accept an old hip chick that loves this city and everything it stands for. Plus I buy wine, so there's that.

Later today I've got some events on the radar:
A book fair at The Mill
Then music downtown at several locations! Especially Deadwood

It's quite the inspirational weekend!!