Aug. 24th, 2014 01:26 pm
novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (Default)
I went to a local art gallery yesterday to see if anything there might be suitable for a cover of a literary magazine. I found several artists whose work really resonated with me.

I mark them here for future reference, but also if you'd like to peruse, here they are:

Joanna Tlok -- Unfortunately, these pieces do not include her studies on flowers, which are stunning.

Connie Cronenwett

Adrienne Kaplan -- She uses mainly watercolors. At the gallery, move your cursor over each image to see the full "show".

Nina Hauser

Lynda Cole
novapsyche: a young girl sitting with her fist up to her chin, her face turned away, ringed by a blue crescent (crescentgirl)
Lately, I've been trying to get back into the local poetry scene. There really isn't a scene, unless you're a young adult & into slam. But I was able to reconnect with a group that meets at a bookstore downtown (Crazy Wisdom) every other week. This month, even though they traditionally have no events scheduled for August, one of the informal leaders is going to convene the group. So I'm looking forward to that. It's a good mix of experience levels so the critique is useful.

Last night, I went back to a group that meets once a month at a bookstore just a couple of miles away from me. I hadn't been there since February & before that more than I remember. Part of this was due to my writer's block, part of it to the creative writing course I'd taken since September, which caused a scheduling conflict. Well, last night was really good, really fun. I took "Existentialism" (which they all seemed to like, to my amazement) & "Near Miss", whereupon I got some really incisive feedback. It was nice to see everyone again; it truly had been too long.

One of my former classmates from the creative writing class, Diane, put me in touch with the leader of another group that meets on a side of town I rarely visit but could probably make by bus. Diane talked her up & highly recommended her. Unfortunately, she charges for every session. I've never been part of a poetry group that did this, unless it was an official class. So I'm hesitant. I don't have the funds for that--I'd rather take that money & spend it on a subscription to Poetry. But the woman very graciously offered to waive the fee for one of her upcoming groups, so I will at least take her up on that & observe her teaching style.

Diane lamented the dearth of writing groups in the area specifically devoted to poetry. It's made me even think of resurrecting Thirteen Blackbirds. But I'm still not out of my writer's block. Also, most of my instructional materials were lost in the Great Flash Flood of 2009. In the meantime, I'm reading a lot more poetry & bought Richard Hugo's The Triggering Town for behind-the-scenes discussion of how poems become.


Jul. 31st, 2014 08:37 pm
novapsyche: a young girl sitting with her fist up to her chin, her face turned away, ringed by a blue crescent (crescentgirl)
Saw something today I'd not yet seen before.

A guy was riding a bike on the sidewalk, carrying a guitar in his hand simultaneously.
novapsyche: a young girl sitting with her fist up to her chin, her face turned away, ringed by a blue crescent (crescentgirl)
Two weeks ago (wearing jeans, Nikes, red peacoat & red beret):

I'm about to walk by a man downtown. I'm negotiating how far over on the sidewalk I need to go in order to give him enough room to feel comfortable. He has parcels on both sides of his body while I have some only on one side, so I cannot determine which side to switch to. As he comes closer, he changes the strap of his carryall from the free shoulder facing me to instead around his neck. I roll my eyes as he passes me.

About a week ago (wearing jeans, Nikes, black leather jacket & dark chapeau):

I'm on my way to the semi-monthly poetry gathering at a local bookstore. I come to a corner & wait for a light. A group of three businessmen arrive behind me & also wait for the light. When it changes, they step ahead of me to cross, so I give them the requisite six feet of space so as to be socially comfortable. Nevertheless, one of the three, the only Asian among them, turns back to look at me. He does this again after another full minute or so, directly looking at me in the eye. After that, I change direction, even though waiting at another light costs me more than a minute in foot speed.

Yesterday (wearing similar to above):

On the way to the polling station, at least one person (white male) changes to the other side of the street when we otherwise would have crossed paths on the same sidewalk.

On the way back downtown, I come upon a light mid-change. On the other side of the intersection is a group of three (white) teenagers, obviously chatting about something. I'm trying to figure out which side of the sidewalk to switch to in order to give them the maximum amount of room to pass. Before the light changes (but almost the full amount of time before it does so), the group decides to make a 90-degree switch to the left, apparently to walk to the next corner.

Also, after taking the crosswalk, a pair of businesspersons begins walking in front of me. The woman of the pair turns her head & deliberately stares at me. I decide to take the next crosswalk that takes me away from their forward motion.

Are all these racist actions? I cannot say. But they have a cumulative effect that wearies me & makes me wonder. (These are excluding the pairs/young mothers with strollers who suddenly find interest in a storefront window which gives me the chance to pass them on the sidewalk, &c.)

(The thing about the three businessmen with the Asian shoulder-starer is, they overtook me. How can you be suspicious about someone trailing you when you were the ones to walk in front of them in the first place?!)

Next time, I'm just going to keep walking. It's not my problem if someone has unfounded suspicions.


Apr. 20th, 2014 12:07 am
novapsyche: a young girl sitting with her fist up to her chin, her face turned away, ringed by a blue crescent (crescentgirl)
Today, for the second week in a row, I attended the local farmers' market. (Our farmers' market runs year-round, which is boggling, to be honest. I had no idea.) Last week, they really had no true produce, offering seedlings of produce instead. This week was a bit different.

I kept an eye out for asparagus ('tis the season) but none was available. However, I did pick up a smallish bag of arugula (a salad green I'd been meaning to try for some time now) as well as Swiss chard (also a new green to me).

Turns out, arugula isn't a salad green at all but rather belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, &c). With my Graves' disease, I should avoid this type of plant in the future, but in the meanwhile I will consume it moderately so as to get a taste for it (& to not waste my money!).

Tonight, I made a simple salad with arugula, strawberries, grape tomatoes, pine nuts & goat cheese with a honey mustard vinaigrette. I was really pleased with the result. The tomatoes mimic the strawberries when both are added. Also, strawberries pair naturally with the taste of pepper, which arugula provides. I would have used pecans if I had had them, but that was not to be. I think I will supplement the remainder of the salad with sliced almonds, which I do have. Next time, also, if I use pine nuts I will definitely toast them beforehand.
novapsyche: a young girl sitting with her fist up to her chin, her face turned away, ringed by a blue crescent (crescentgirl)
This week, two interactions (or three, depending on how you count them).

A few days ago, I boarded the bus on my way home from work, during the last portion of rush hour. I noticed that soon a group of three teenage boys (who happened to be black; this figures later) boarded & I could have sworn I recognized them from prior bad social acts, so I was dismayed to see them join my general vicinity.

The bus began to get crowded, so I moved over in my seat so as to leave the adjacent one vacant. The very next passenger was an older gentleman & so, as my leftover seat was in the circle of leading seats, sat next to me. Then, a couple boarded; the woman was clearly in her last trimester of pregnancy. Had I been on the outside of my seat, I would have vacated, but I was boxed in. Not one of those three teens rose to offer a seat. I could only shake my head.

As the commute started, the boys began using vulgar language, including slurs against their own race (of which I am also a member). Read more... )

The other encounter was of a random morning commuter, trying to board the bus yesterday morning. He'd obviously just stopped at the ATM to withdraw funds, but all he had were $20 bills, whereas the bus only accepts $10 bills or smaller. I found $1.50 in my wallet & offered it to him. He thanked me but said that he needed to try to find his wallet, so he stepped off the bus. He seemed to find it after a minimal search & tried to signal to the driver to let him back on, but the bus driver was oblivious (even though I made some remark that he was making such an attempt). This morning, the same guy boarded, sat down next to me, offered me my money back (I declined), and proceeded to chat with me until we both got to the transit station. It's nice, I think for both of us, to realize that nice people still exist.
novapsyche: parchment with calligraphy framed in sunlight, a quill-tipped pen atop it (scriptwithpen)
I got this month's Current to find that there are plenty of literary readings to attend this month. Apparently the new bookstore, Literari, is really investing in readings to get more traffic through the door. Despite the fact that I've been learning more about prose this year than anything, I'm still drawn more to poetry readings. I'm planning to attend three of Literari's poetry readings this month (8th, 11th & 16th).

Also, it appears the Crazy Wisdom group has started back up (as well as advertised their goings-on; I'd expected to hear news about them back in February). I plan to attend the 9th & 23rd.

Of course the local library has some events going on as well. I'm thinking of attending the reading on the 17th.

The Rec & Ed class I've been taking starts again on the 24th. Hopefully, by then, I will have had a full month's worth of creative writing to fill my till.
novapsyche: a young girl sitting with her fist up to her chin, her face turned away, ringed by a blue crescent (crescentgirl)
A couple of weeks ago, while waiting for a bus, I noticed two people headed toward the station. They both had red & white striped canes. They were holding hands. Halfway down the sidewalk, one let go & turned around while the other continued on.

I literally saw the blind leading the blind.

I don't know what to do with this image.
novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (Default)
So the first creative writing assignment is about dadaism:


Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article of the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that makes up this article and put them all in a bag.
Shake gently.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.
And there you are--an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.

I decided, despite my lack of excitement, to give the assignment a try. I need to make a good-faith effort!

So I perused the main section of Sunday's paper & found a blurb about local crime. Read more... )
novapsyche: a young girl sitting with her fist up to her chin, her face turned away, ringed by a blue crescent (crescentgirl)
Chris Cornell is coming to the Michigan Theater this Sunday at 8:00 pm. I have the funds to attend.

I am excited just thinking about going. I'm taking that as a sign.

Hopefully I'll be able to secure tickets before they're sold out. Oh, and transportation. Dammit.
novapsyche: a woman of stature circa 1900s peering out of a ring (womanring)
The rash of sexual assaults in Ann Arbor has made national news. One or two men have attacked women at least six times in the last twelve days. Two of the women attacked are college students, the other four from the surrounding community, women ranging in age from late teens to early 30s.

This recalls an incident on my alma mater's campus my junior year. The college community was (& is) so small & tight-knit, it seemed to rise as one in alertness & defiance. I remember walking the path to my dorm room one late night with a knitting needle concealed in my hand as protection. I consider myself a pacifist, but that night I was simply a woman defending her right to exist free from harm.

(A2 doesn't have a hometown newspaper anymore, so I feel the urgency of the situation hasn't been sufficiently communicated to the populace. Detroit is a major news hub not too far away & has highlighted the story, but it's times like this when media close to the source would be so much more informative.)
novapsyche: a woman leaning against a wall, reading a book held in hand, legs raised against opposite wall, showing her garters (attractivereader)
Even though I didn't feel well yesterday morning, by the time the evening rolled around, I remembered that the Westside Writer's Group would meet later that night, so I decided to brave the cold.

I couldn't tell you the last time I went to a writing discussion group. It's been ages. All last year I kept telling myself I'd make it to Sweetwaters for their monthly open mic, but I never did. So, even though attending writing groups was not on my resolutions list, going out last night felt like keeping a promise to myself.

Read more... )

I plan to go back next month. I'd like to reestablish myself at Westside, since I'm on that side of town now. Also, attending might spur me to write more.
novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (Default)
I plan to attend a local poetry reading next month. In fact, I've been planning to read at this open mic since December; I think I'm finally going to do so.

The question I have for myself is, should I read something already published (which precludes the need for feedback) or still under construction? I've less than a handful of pieces that are unpublished yet still rise to the level I think is required for public airing. Normally, I'd lean to the latter option, but it's been so long since I read in front of an audience, I think such a piece would exacerbate my nervousness.

Writers/performers out there: What would you suggest?

(BTW, for local types: the monthly reading is usually held at Sweetwaters downtown, but in April the venue switches to the AADL downtown branch on the 14th.)
novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (Default)
It's been less than a week. The swelling has gone down considerably. The bruising grew dark but never became black. I have been able to flex the bridge of my foot for several days.

[ profile] lameautarch cared for me during these 4+ days, for which I've thanked him thoroughly. I convalesced in his four-poster bed, machine on my lap, whiling away the time playing ADOM, a game [ profile] guppiecat introduced me to during our Grinnell days.

Yesterday was the first day I ventured outside. This meant wearing shoes. It was a gorgeous day, surely around forty degrees. I saw more than one person wearing shorts. So when [ profile] lameautarch and I were on our drive to drop me off at my dad's place, I suggested we dump my belongings and have him deposit me instead at the grocery store. I'd walk home. And I did, although I rued my choice a mite.

An ethical happenstance )

past blast

Feb. 11th, 2010 12:33 pm
novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (Default)
For kicks, I picked up the Ann Arbor News education clippings folder here at the AADL for 1975 (as my birthday is coming up soon). I had no idea that area high schools once had majors and minors.

"A major sequence consists of three units (or six semesters) of study successfully completed in grades nine through 12 within a department or single field. A minor is two units," said News School Reporter Mary Jo Frank.

My school system (Airport) had a similar curriculum, but it was not described so collegiately.
novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (Default)
The library had its "free book" cart out yesterday, pretty much chock full. I immediately spotted two titles I would adore: Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 1, 3rd Ed. and Oxford Anthology of English Literature (I can't recall at the moment its volume or edition, but it deals with the period from Chaucer to the Victorian era).

I'd picked up the second volume of the Norton while at college (as I'd focused on American history after Reconstruction), but with a new interest in views of the contemporaries of slavery, I'm so glad to have this literary record. Also, I now have a fair cross-section of the work of my favorite sonneteer, Edmund Spenser. Yay!

(Earlier this week I found there the treasure of H. L. Mencken's The American Language, a trace of the evolution of English on these shores. Wh00p!)
novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (Default)
I had an appointment this morning. I hadn't been able to do laundry all week, so I was forced to wear interview clothes, which is not entirely inappropriate. I chose a royal blue velveteen suit that [ profile] netmouse had given me this fall, accented with a variegated blue bracelet she'd also given me this past winter; after fretting, I decided to put on my knee-high black leather boots. Several people complimented me on how nice I looked this morning, including one of the bus drivers as I waited for my line. The one thing that displeased me was that I couldn't find a pair of earrings in time that would have completed the look.

Appointment over, I headed over to Meijer to grab lunch components as well as items for future projects. I considered my outfit, though, as well as my feet. )

My right boot had suffered a loss of part of its heel (its cap?) over a year ago, so I thought I'd stroll through the shoe section. The clerk eventually found me and was quite personable. )

I remembered my earring desire, which I decided to indulge precisely because as a rule I don't buy jewelry anymore. (It's an expense I just can't afford on a regular basis.) I saw that several sections of the non-precious metal items were on sale, so that heartened me. I went to the clearance tower and tried to find a match for the bracelet.

more detailed nondescription )

Around the time I discovered this earring, the clerk for the department came from behind her counter to busy herself at the same kiosk where I stood, only directly opposite me so that the structure stood between us. You can probably predict the subsequent disappointing details. )

Does this strike the average American as profiling? Probably not. But something similar has happened to me so many times over the course of my life that I know it when it occurs.


novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (Default)

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