G’afternoon, everyone. A…

G'afternoon, everyone. A somewhat frustrating morning -- I have multiple accounts, and Kevin is trying to help me move everything to my main Mills account, but we can't get emacs to work properly -- I can't even get pico to work from home. Weird and complicated, and I don't really know enough UNIX to help him properly, though I know more than I think I do, I think.

Got Tracy's portfolio yesterday and selected my favorites for inclusion in the book. Must do revision of "Was It Good For You" today -- no more procrastinating! Looks like Tracy will be including an essay as well -- neat. :-)

I've started reading news again, now that I have access from home (though gods, I still use that terrible keyboard, so I have to contend with erratic w's and pasted-in u's and doubling o's...argh. Yet another thing to buy -- I need more money. I really have to finish that novella for Puritan and get them to send me some cash. But anyway, I've started reading news again, and ran across a poetry challenge in alt.callahans. Was great fun -- here's my response (the rules for the challenge follow).

Fractured Haiku
_______________

Raindrops on roses,
fluttering wings against wind --
song-dances of souls.

Song-dances of souls;
only imagined whispers
in the moondark hours?

In the moondark hours
radio-astronomy
lights the far spaces.

Lights -- the far spaces
of the city weep crystal;
ambulances scream.

Ambulances scream;
my cat scratches in the night --
her presence comforts.

Her presence comforts.
Sleek thighs between my own, and
a handful of breast.

A handful of breast
smaller than mine. After love
we watch walls, silent.

We watch walls, silent.
She questions absent colors --
"They're for my mother."

"They're for my mother --
'Whatever can go wrong, will.'
Her philosophy."

Her philosophy;
no room for abundant breasts.
Love sinks, whimpering.

Love sinks, whimpering,
shivering, rocking. She says
"Let's just get pizza."

Let's just get pizza.
She says she will hold me tight.
Hold the anchovies.

*****
September 25, 1996

The challenge: Build a series of haiku in which the last line becomes the first of the next. Start with 'raindrops on roses' and finish with 'hold the anchovies'. Bonus points for using 'radio-astonomy', 'my cat scratches in the night', 'they're for my mother', 'whatever can go wrong, will'. (Note: I imposed an additional challenge on myself -- to do it in 15 minutes or less).

If any of you would like to attempt it, I'd love to see 'em, and if you agree, will happily post them up here...

--6:30. I'm really tired. Fiction class today was good, but a LOT of work needs to be done on my novel. I'm having real trouble with it....it feels very cardboard. I'm losing sense of my characters...argh.

On the bright side, I actually did finish the revisions on "Was It Good For You" and managed to go through half of my backlog of mail. Down from 90 flagged messages to 46. Getting there...though I had to be ruthless about it, and deleted a bunch of stuff I probably should have responded to. Oof. Tired tired tired. That would be okay, except tonight/tomorrow morning I have to deal with something I really am scared of -- the rough draft (well, a good chunk of it anyway) of my 15-20 page paper for my Renaissance Poetry class. I really enjoy the class and the poetry, but it's been three years since I wrote an expository paper, and I'm frankly scared. Irrational fear -- I used to be able to do them in my sleep, and now I'm just feeling very nervous about even attempting one. I do have a brain, really I do.

I have to reassure myself of that sometimes -- silly, huh? I mean, the book is done, I have a publisher, I even know that I write pretty well -- but y'know, I set my standards HIGH. It's my parents' fault -- they really indoctrinated me with this 'you can do anything you set your mind to' idea. :-) And then when I got rejected from all those grad schools, year after year (18 schools total, I think?), it was this pounding blow to my self-confidence. And even now that I'm at Mills, which has a good MFA in Writing program, a respected one, and I really am very impressed with my teachers and their work....there's still this little nagging voice that whispers 'It's not Berkeley. It's not Iowa. It's not Hopkins. And it's not as if you could even get into a real English PhD program...' Which is damn silly, since I'm pretty sure I don't even want to do a PhD.....oh well. Ghosts and goblins and creatures in the night. These particular insecurities are, I hope, a recurring symptom of your 20's....with any luck, I'll have completely new and exciting insecurities by the time I hit 30. :-)

Reading back, this entry has been slightly more honest/open than is my general wont. I guess exhaustion will do that to you. S'okay -- if you've trudged through the journal this far, you probably deserve an occasional unguarded peek into the soul.

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