Options, or, Where the Time Goes

5 Aug

The summer is melting by — literally!  It was 106 today in my part of HOUTEX and thankfully the air conditioning is chugging along.  I’ve been busy teaching Comp II, getting ready for the fall semester, and finishing my second poetry collection.  I’ve also been working on and can now announce that the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of Pebble Lake Review is now online!  Look at this gorgeous cover:


PLR Spring/Summer 2011


We have such amazing writers in this issue: Paul Austin, David Kirby, Dorianne Laux, Gary L. McDowell, Marc McKee, Amy Newman, Matthew Siegel, Martha Silano, and Charles Harper Webb just to name a few.  Don’t forget to “friend” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!


PLR is also accepting submissions now through Oct. 1 nonfiction, personal essays for a special section, “Writers on Writers: Influences” in the Fall/Winter 2011 issue.  See our News & Updates page for more information.


I’ve also been a bit wistful about the closing of Borders.  I loved the Borders on Kirby and West Alabama here in Houston for a multitude of reasons, but the main one is that is where I met my husband (and we are celebrating our 9th anniversary this weekend!)  A few weeks ago, Jeff and I went out for a movie and made a swing by Borders not to buy books, really (10% isn’t much of a discount, now, is it?), but to say good-bye to a place of such great importance for us.  We walked around the entire store, picking up a few books and magazines, and over to the upstairs cafe, which is where we first set for hours talking and getting to know each other that August evening in 2001.  I snapped a few token photos of the place (albeit already being deconstructed) for posterity’s sake:


Entrance of Borders @ Kirby & West Alabama


Borders Cafe

We also signed up to receive info on how to purchase fixtures.  We are thinking that even if we can get one bookcase from this place that holds dear in memory, that would be pretty amazing.


I have also been busy with writing, writing, and editing.  My book, “The Glass Crib,”  from Zone 3 Press is due out in about a month!  It will be distributed through Amazon and Small Press Distribution and you can also order it from Zone 3 Press come September.  I will be giving a reading and a talk at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN (where Zone 3 Press is housed) on September 15, so if you’re in the area, I’d love it if you could come out!  Look at this cover (image provided by the amazing artist, Carrie Ann Baade):



As I mentioned, I’m also finishing up with my second poetry collection, which I plan to send out into the world to book contests beginning at the end of September.  I began this book in January 2010 and I can’t believe that now I’m at the end of it.  I’ve been writing and researching every single week (well, most weeks), and it’s something I’m quite proud of.  I’ve had several “eyes” on the manuscript, and I can’t wait to see how it is received by editors.  If I can get it accepted for publication in the same time it took for my first book to get picked up (2 years), I will count myself one charmed girl.  There are some poems from this manuscript floating around and selections from it can be read this fall in journals such as Crab Orchard Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Anti-, and Gigantic Sequins.


A last thing I’m interested in/doing right now was based off an idea posed to me by my dear friend/PLR prose editor, Eddie G.  The other night, he was telling me about a type of “clean-living” movement in which people narrowed down their possessions to only what they need, in some cases, to as little as 100 items.  We talked about the French and how they have less “things” than Americans, but how generally their items are more thoughtfully chosen and of better quality (i.e. clothes, furnishings, etc.).  I told him that I have so MANY items, that I didn’t think there way any way I could pair it down to 100 in total, especially since I have quite the book collection (over 800 at last count).  However, I had been wanting to weed out my closet for sometime now (who actually needs 15 pairs of jeans? 50 black tops? 30+ pairs of shoes?  I’m not kidding — these are real numbers).  I also am a bit ashamed to admit that I’m a bit of a cosmetic/toiletry hoarder.  I can’t resist a Bath & Body Works sale.  I also can’t resist makeup of any shape or form, especially if it is “new.”  Oh sure, I have favorites, but I love possibilities.  I love having what Rachel Zoe refers to as “options.”


After we got off the phone, I cajoled my husband into helping me go through my cosmetic/toiletry “overstock” (which is a nice way of saying all of that excess nonsense that is stored in clear plastic tubs under the bed in the guest room in case the world comes to and end or I “need” peach shower gel, which ever comes first).  With his help, we went through all of these items and chucked everything that was old, dried-up, off-scent, out of date, hadn’t ever seen the light of day and probably never would, ugly, neon (do I really need to hold onto the neon orange Buxom lipgloss that came free with purchase from Sephora circa 2009?).  This was the result of the massacre, the slash-and-burn:


old Sun-Ripened Raspberry Shower Gel, anyone?



The next day, I attacked the closet:



The clothes, of course, will be donated to the local church store that re-sells items to help aid local homeless and women’s shelters.  The toiletries have been bagged and picked up by the garbage men.


So, what was the outcome of this cleanse?  Well, more room, of course, to which my husband joked, “you’re making room [for more stuff]!”  In reality, it was like taking a deep breath and letting it go.  I’d love to be more mindful in the future about what I choose to purchase and bring into my life.  I don’t even need all of what remains in my closet and under my counter, but I think this is a step in the right direction.  I don’t foresee a crazy re-building of my giant masses of lipsticks and skirt in the near future, except maybe, this. 😉

One Response to “Options, or, Where the Time Goes”

  1. Kamila August 19, 2011 at 10:08 AM #

    Hug! We’re on the same page this summer. It is indeed melting away, but I’ve done lots of different things to provoke many different thoughts and ideas. I’m also in the middle of cleaning through my closet for a new & improved Kamila for fall. 🙂 As for toiletries, perhaps it might help to not only think of the basics, but also consider quality — you know, have high standards. For example, with make-up, is it being tested on animals? What exactly are the ingredients? I try my best to keep it simple — shampoo, conditioner, lotion, lip balm, cleanser, cream, eyeliner, mascara, soap. 🙂

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