Wednesday, December 18, 2002

I just wanted to be sure to wish everyone a joyous and peaceful holiday season! I hope the coming year will be fruitful and delicious for all of you.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

I did it! I haven't quite finished the story, but I passed the 50,000 words mark this morning. I have no idea whether this novel will have any value beyond the sheer exhilaration of writing it. I suppose it doesn't matter. Whether it evolves into an actual novel or just ends up being a fun exercise, I'm very grateful for the experience (I'm also grateful to have caught up with Ava and Darryl and all the rest of the Dead Birds folks!)

Note: I finished the first draft (a very rough draft) a couple of days later. I'm setting it aside for now, letting it gel. I find myself thinking about it alot, though, thinking of ways to make it better. I now have the feeling that I owe it to the characters to work on this story more, to try to hone it into something substantial. We'll see...It needs a lot of work, and I have a lot of stories pulling at me right now. It's been awhile since I've had a real clamor inside, so that feels nice. I just have to figure out which project has the most life, the most juice. I'll probably do some juggling. It could get interesting around here...

Monday, November 11, 2002

I am writing a novel this month (along with over 13,000 people around the world who are participating in November is National Novel Writing Month, or Nanowrimo, for short.) It's been quite a rush. The goal is to write 50,000 words over the course of the month--if you reach that word count, you're a winner (it's more like a marathon than anything else.) The emphasis is definitely quantity, not quality.

I had started to write a new novel this summer, but the writing was quite slow-going. The story is very research-intensive, so it was hard for me to lose myself in the flow of it (plus, I had been feeling annoyingly self-conscious about my writing ever since FRUITFLESH came out this Spring. It felt ironic to me--I was travelling around, talking to people about the writing process, while my own process was growing considerably less juicy.) I decided to do this Nanowrimo thing to re-enter the gush of words, to set the historical novel aside and just blast something out without my new awareness of the publishing world shadowing my process. It's been great fun. The characters from THE BOOK OF DEAD BIRDS started talking to me again; the novel I'm writing this month is a sequel, something I never imagined I would do. I always had a sense that the characters were off living lives after the story ended, but I never really thought about what they were doing (even though I felt such fondness for them and wished them well.) It's been amazing to catch up with them.

Speaking of THE BOOK OF DEAD BIRDS, my editor just sent me a mock-up of the cover. It's so gorgeous. It's nothing like I had visualized it would be, but it's perfect.

Friday, November 01, 2002

I have some cool events coming up:

Thursday, November 7th, at 7:30pm, I'll be reading with Richard Beban, Jim Natal and Susan Terris at Beyond Baroque Literary Center, 681 Venice Blvd. (two blocks south of Lincoln). We'll each be reading from our own environmentally themed poetry to promote the recent Pudding House anthology, FRESH WATER. Beyond Baroque is such an amazing, illustrious, literary hub; I'm so thrilled to be reading there (and with such fabulous poets!) The event (and the anthology) will benefit Pete Seeger's organization, The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.

Saturday, November 9th, from 5:30 to 7:30, I'll be acting as emcee for the literary stage at Ladyfest Los Angeles. This event should rock. I am very excited (and more than a little nervous!) to be introducing such luminaries as Francesca Lia Block, Eloise Klein Healy, Terry Wolverton, Michele Serros, and other incredible women wordsmiths. This will take place at the Spring Tower Bank Building, 453 Spring Street, Downtown Los Angeles, CA 90013. Ladyfest Los Angeles will be a mind-blowing four day festival of women's art--film, spoken word, music, and visual art. Check it out at
In my bios, I often mention that my work can be found in several magazines and anthologies. Some people have asked me which anthologies in particular; I'll list the ones from the last five years here (I'll try to update every once in awhile; I'll list the magazines some time soon, as well.) Thanks to those who have expressed interest--I appreciate it! Most of these collections can be found at your favorite online bookstores:

--“Feeling East” (poem), FRESH WATER: Poems From the Rivers, Lakes, and Streams (Pudding House Press, Johnstown, OH, 2002)
--“Brit Ha-Hayim” (poem), MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS (Harmony Books, New York, 2001).
--“Pinworm Patrol” (essay), BREEDER: Real-Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers (Seal Press, Seattle, 2001)
--“Imagining Anna Akhmatova” (poem), 2000: Here’s to Humanity: A Comprehensive Compilation by Some of the World’s Most Illustrious Bards (The People’s Press, Baltimore, 2000.)
--“Becky and Nick” (poem), HENRY’S CREATURES: Poems and Stories on the Automobile (Black Moss Press, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, 2000)
--“Washing Down the Chalk” (essay), JEWISH MOTHERS TELL THEIR STORIES (The Haworth Press, Binghampton, NY, 2000)
--“Sugar Rush” (short story), JANE’S STORIES II: An Anthology By Midwestern Women (Wild Dove Press, Palatine, IL, 2000)
--“Openings” (essay), THE SPIRIT OF PREGNANCY (Contemporary Books, Chicago, 2000.)
--“My Son’s Foot” (poem) ESSENTIAL LOVE: Poems about Mothers and Fathers, Daughters and Sons (Grayson Books, West Hartford, CT, 2000)
--“Bagels and Bialys” (short story), THE OY OF SEX: Jewish Women Write Erotica (Cleis Press, San Francisco, 1999)
--“Nes Gadol Haya Sham” (poem), FAMILY CELEBRATIONS (Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City, 1999)
--“The Body Politic of Peace” (poem), HEAL YOUR SOUL, HEAL THE WORLD: Prayers and Poems to Comfort, Inspire, and Connect Humanity (Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City, 1999)
--“woman before Idea of woman” (poem), WHICH LILITH? Feminist Writers Re-Create the World’s First Woman (Jason Aronson Inc., Northvale, NJ, 1998)
--“Mother’s Milk: A Dairy Tale”, OUR MOTHERS, OUR SELVES: Writers and Poets Celebrating Motherhood (Greenwood Publishing Group, Westport, CT, 1996. This story also appeared in the anthologies THE BREAST, Global City Press, 1997 and PANDEMONIUM, Hysteria Press, 1996.)

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

My chapbook, Dictionary Poems, is now available through Pudding House Press. These are the poems I mentioned in FRUITFLESH, the poems I wrote when I gave myself the assignment to find a new word in the dictionary every day--a word that resonated for me, a word that was ripe--and write a poem around it. I am so grateful to Pudding House for publishing this small collection; they do so much to advocate for poetry in our culture. You can visit them, and order the chapbook, at (or you can contact me for details at

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Welcome to my blog!