Word Perv
(noun): One who takes delight and is skilled at constructing, writing or saying naughty phrases or dialogue.

It’s been a very busy week! My chapbook, The Violence Within, was published by Flutter Press and five new poems were published. I also got another four poems accepted for publication and I’m so happy my poems are finding homes in the world!

If you haven’t ordered your copy of my chapbook, send $10.50 (plus your mailing address!) to this link. Once you have my chapbook and have read it, please leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads — it can be the same review on both. Reviews are really important to writers, especially those of us who publish with small, independent publishers. We don’t have marketing and PR teams – the writers are the ones doing this themselves. I organize my own readings, I push my poetry. It’s a lot of work and I’m happy to do it but having your book reviewed by readers really helps.

Until you’ve got my book in your hot little hands, check out this interview – I was the Featured Writer over at Bone & Ink Press.  And read my newest published poems Legend (also published by Bone & Ink Press), I Should Have Said, How Hard is it to Write a Love Poem?, I Haven’t Bled, and It’s Midnight (all published by Dandelion Review).

I’ve also got a reading scheduled for 17 March 2018 – St. Patrick’s Day! It’s at 7pm at The Bridge PAI (209 Monticello Rd, Charlottesville, VA). It’s part of the Nasty Women Poets Anthology – I’ll be reading my poem that’s included in the anthology, as well as poems from my chapbooks. You can buy copies there so come on out for a night of poetry!

February 12, 2018

Tattoos & Chapbooks

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It was a HUGE weekend for me, with so much good stuff happening. Friday was a weird day – I was jet lagged (just got home from ten days in Hawaii on Thursday – yes, yes, I know, you can hate me) and after receiving notice that a budget hadn’t been passed, I drug myself into the office to get my furlough notice. Even though a budget was signed around noon that day, I was already furloughed which ended up being a good thing as I ran errands and then went for drinks with a friend for her birthday.

Saturday I hit the gym as usual, then my best friend, Virginia, and I went for pedicures. We had plans to get matching tattoos on our feet that day and needed our toes to look pretty! A couple of hours later we were all smiles with our new inked feet!

 

Virginia found this tattoo a few months ago; this hearted anchor is a meaning for friendship:

Friendship guides us through the tough waters and shows us the right path in dark times. You are my anchor, my true friend.

 

Virginia and I have been friends for almost twenty years and she is, without a doubt, my anchor, my true best friend.

After we finished up our foot tattoos I sat back down to begin the work on my back piece.

She’s getting a tattoo, yeah she’s getting ink done…

 

Three hours later, I tapped out. I had hoped to get the entire outline completed but I had reached the point where it was just screaming pain and so I called it quits. My next appointment is in three weeks and we’ll finish the outline and begin the shading.

 

The next morning, after blissfully sleeping in and hopefully shaking the last of my jet lag, I heard a knock on the front door. I brought the package inside and was excited to find the author copies of my chapbook, The Violence Within!!

 

I can’t wait to share these poems with you. If you want a copy and are local (so I can hand-deliver it), please send $8 as a gift to me here. If I have to mail it to you, please send $10.50 as a gift to me here.

February 10, 2018

It’s Almost Here!

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I’ve spent the last few weeks working with my publisher, Flutter Press, to finalize my chapbook manuscript, ensure the cover looks right, and that the blurbs are ready. And the release date is JUST AROUND THE CORNER!! Here’s sneak peek at the cover – isn’t it beautiful and brutal?

 

I’m still working details as to the launch party but it’ll likely be in March. If you want to pre-order a (signed!) copy of the chapbook you can! If you’re local and I can hand-deliver it send $8 as a gift to this link. If I have to mail it to you send $10.50.

While you’re waiting for my chapbook to be published, check out two of my poems, Ocean and Shelter, published by Bourgeon. And my poem, My Friend Offers to Read My Cards, published by Spider Mirror Journal.

 

January 3, 2018

Best Books of 2017

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Last year I read 179 books and I honestly thought that was the most I could possibly read in a year. Then, at the beginning of December 2017 I realized how close I was to reading 200 books…but it would take a Herculean effort to get there as I was at 172 books read at the end of November. Could I read 28 books in 31 days? Turns out, I could as I finished 2017 with 202 books read — I read 30 books in 31 days which seems a bit insane.  Of those books 74 were books of poetry. You can see most of the books I read here (not all are listed on Goodreads). Of the 202 books I read, below are my favorites. What books made your “best of 2017” list?

Poetry

~ Blue Yodel by Ansel Elkins

~ I Don’t Need to Make a Pretty Thing by Michelle S. Reed

~ Elegy/Elk River by Michael Schmeltzer

Fiction

~ At the Water’s Edge by Sara Groen

~ The Husband’s Secret by Laine Moriarty

~ The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

~ The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig

~ A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman

~ The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

~ Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

~ The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Reid Jenkins

~ Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Nonfiction

~ Happy by Alex Lemon

~ Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

~ The Going and Goodbye by Shuly Cawood

~ Hunger by Roxane Gay

~ Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Stephen King talks proudly about his rejections in his fantastic book, On Writing:

“By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips I impaled on it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.” 

While I don’t have a nail or a spike for my rejections, in part because they come via email now instead of in the mail, I do have an excel spreadsheet that tracks all my submissions: poems sent, date, journal, etc. It also tracks the rejections and the acceptances.

In 2017 I submitted over 200 times. I was rejected a lot, a lot are still pending, but I also got 26 poems and a chapbook accepted for publication. 26 may not sound like a lot but to me, it is. (You can read my published poems here.)

A lot of  writers don’t want to talk about publishing – either they’re not interested in it or they don’t want to be measured against it. I understand that, and while I don’t measure my success solely in terms of publications, it is a nice way to know that my poems mean something to someone other than me. That my words connected with someone else.

So while I don’t measure myself solely based on publications, I’m going to keep submitting and hoping for publications. I’m going to keep putting myself and my writing out there. I hope you do the same.