Tuesday, August 22, 2006

the new year?

I am simply in denial that school starts next week. I'm not ready. There's part of me that looks forward to the dreary days and cold weather because then I don't feel the pressure to be outside enjoying the great weather and beautiful, fantastic long sun filled days. Although I love the new beginning feeling of fall that is entrenched in my being from so many years of public school, I still don't look forward to shorter days. I miss the sense of endless days and warm nights almost immediately.

There is always this resolution in me that we're not going to sit home in summer. That we'll take all the put off day trips and we'll go to museums and traipse thru state parks and we'll finally find a place to go horse back riding.

But then the end of August sneaks up on me and we've mostly hung around our neighborhood and its too late for all the day trips.

This year we went to England! I truly accomplished one resolution and got off the North American continent for the first time. I have a better sense of what foreign travel entails and I know I want to do it again.

I also had a daydream that I was going to lounge at my friends' pool club and write a few chapters of my novel. didn't even pick up a pencil, nor did we spend that much time at their pool.

I DID get a poetry anthology organized and to the printer this summer. It's not a novel but it is something I feel good about accomplishing. It will be really satisfying if people buy and enjoy the book. Because that is why you produce a book, to share it. To have other people share the delightful tactile sensations of turning the pages.

I had lists and lists of what I wantedf to accomplish around the house. The major organizing campaign I keep threatening to wage was usurped. We thankfully got Carnm's folks to sell their house and move into a nearby condo. It was HUGE job getting them motivated and packed but it is such a joy not to drive that endless drive to Shrewsbury. We also accumulated a bunch of their stuff. SOooooo my organizing campaign got kicked high on the priority list.

I have been making some strides in day to day maintenance. I hate doing it but I like a relatively not-filthy house.

I'm also tickled with the occasional glimpses into my novel. Its just a framework right now but the characters are begining to grow flesh and plump blood thru their veins. I like that. When the weather is dark and dreary and its nighttime right away, I plan to curl up in that world and describe it to you.

I want to put more effort into the cyber worlds too. I am going to learn more about the mechanics of blogs and try to get a better habit formed. I want to interact with other bloggers more.

I defiitely want to extend the reach of www.poetryinbaltimore.com but its not going to be easy until I get a webmaster. A little more time needs to be spent resolving that issue. I have a lot of event planning and shmoozing and PR to do for Octopus Dreams as well. I want it to be a good thing.

I want to design a better garden and more attractive landscaping in front of my house. I want to spend more time in creative projects like embroidery and beading and painting and making art dolls. I want Sophie to spend more time making fun stuff too.

There are so many layers to living and I want to try to live those layers consciously. By making specific choices that enrich me and my family and friends. I don't want to pursue empty tasks that don't feed my soul. I want to be one of those people who seem so cool that you just want to get to know them. I want to share more. I want to yell less. I want the arc of my life to travel meshed within my creative work and caring for the people I love. I don't know what else makes life worthwhile.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Originally uploaded by sp8cemunky.

It's coming! Octopus Dreams-Poetry In Baltimore Anthology. Only 250 copies. Would you like to pre- purchase? Visit www.poetryinbaltimore.com or email me: julie@poetryinbaltimore.com

Hey Everybody!

I’ve been busy the last few weeks and now we have “Octopus Dreams- Poetry In Baltimore Anthology One” to show for it! I am so excited to bring this volume to you. It will be ready in late September. ONLY 250 copies printed so if you want to pre-purchase you can do so at www.poetryinbaltimore.com or email me: julie@poetryinbaltimore.com

I have a fantastic editing committee: Dan Cuddy, Leslie F. Miller, Men Maa Aim Ra, Tanefa Wallace and Eric Whitehair. I simply could not have done it without them.
I also want to thank Alan C. Reese at Abcedarian Books for taking this project on at the last second and holding my hand through all of the steps. Justin Sirois for the awesome cover design and artwork. The many artists who submitted work and of course all the poets. Who knew that putting a book together was so much hard work?

I had been daydreaming about this project for months and months. I’d talk about it, whine about it, get all wistful about it and finally with a LOT of support, I shut up and did something. Without Carm Matricciani, Meilena Hauslendale for getting me off my duff and making the Poetry In Baltimore website a reality, Charly Postma, Sophia Matricciani, Eric Ankers, Chip Irvine, Big Carm & Dorothy, Corinne Parks, Niki Matricciani, Gilbert Fisher, Virginia Fisher, Rita Stein, Karla Mancero, Brian Langston, Joe Crespo, Tom Swiss, Steve Yorkman, Mic Life, Bleek, and Daniel Stuelpnagel this project would just not have happened.

Minas and Peggy held the first poetry reading I ever attended at the old store in Fells Point and happily offered the Hampden store for hosting one of my first ever poetry readings. Minas has offered many insights and Peggy ALWAYS gets the press out.
All of the poets and audience members who have come to Enigmatoloy (no longer running) or 52 Fridays or 2nd Sundays or any of the many special events….These poets have made lasting impressions on me, they have been some of the first poets I saw doing what they do best and encouraged me to keep on …David Franks, Olu Butterfly, Ad Lib, 5th L, Linda Joy Burke, Barbara DeCesare, Alice Hellawell, JaHipster, Moira Egan, Gary Blankenburg, Rupert Wondolowski, Mark “Wireman” Coburn, Dan Cuddy, Leslie F. Miller….. I know I’m forgetting someone.

We’re planning some release events and hope to have “Octopus Dreams” available at the Book Festival. Remember-only 250 copies are being printed.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Octopus Dreams and poetry readings

Brief Random Email here…… it’s summer and I am trying to soak up every last moment of it. But! Big news is that “Octopus Dreams”, the PoetryInBaltimore.com Anthology will be available really soon! Over 70 pages of original poetry and art works. I am totally delighted with this volume and can’t wait to share it with everyone! In the meantime there will be the opportunity to pre-purchase your copy. In the next day or so, you will find a pre-purchase button on the front page at www.poetryinbaltimore.com There will only be 250 copies.
Friday August 11th
Load Of Fun Gallery -120 W. North Avenue

Featured poet- Men Maa Aim Ra (pronounced Men Ma-aw A-ing Raw) was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. His name means: "One who is awakened by the light of reason and faithfully, steadfastly implements Divine Law at the crossroads." Men Maa Aim Ra's writing attempts to fill a void with a spirit and a message that are firmly supported by the strength of the universal consciousness. To this end, Men Maa Aim Ra has committed
himself to using his faculty of receptivity to translate, transform, and transmit new ideas through the medium of poetry and the spoken word.

Open mic

For more info julie@poetryinbaltimore.com or 443-418-4762
2nd Sundays
Minas 815 W. 36th Street (Hampden)
$3 includes light refreshments

Feature poets followed by open mic
August 13

Marcus Colasurdo

A widely published writer who is the author of eight books. Marcus has performed his work all across thecountry, including at schools, homeless shelters and prisons. He was the featured reader at the National Healthcare for the Homeless Conference in Washington,D.C. in 2003. Currently, he divides his time between bartending in Hazleton, Pennsylvania and teaching
writing in Baltimore

Auset Marian Smothers

A widely published writer/poet, Auset has won three state arts grants awards in Delaware and Maryland. She was the first African-American female columnist at the Wilmington News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware. She has taught writing and performed her work at a
wide variety of venues, including public and private schools, prisons and colleges on radio and on t.v. She is the co-creator of the Shelter Project which brings artistic opportunities to women and children in homeless shelters.

Auset has published six books and released a CD of her
work entitled “On the Loose”.

more info: Julie Fisher


Thursday, July 20, 2006

need an intern or a secretary or something

I know myself well enough to realize I will always be a multi-tasker and I will always feel the best when busy. That said I think it would be very worthwhile for me to have a detail person following me around or at least calling me now and then to remind me important stuff.

I'm so absorbed in getting this first manuscript draft of the Poetry In Baltimore Anthology done that things are slipping through the cracks.

I don't forget to feed my daughter or anything that dramatic but I do find it difficult to keep a mental calendar or even a written calendar of what needs to be done when.

But guess what!! I get to spend 7 glorious days not worrying about any of it in Merry Old England! I'm going to finally meet my online friend of several years and his family. Its gonna be awesome!
I hope to do an astounding job of documenting my trip but I'll be happy if I remember to take pictures.

I am so glad I am finally getting to feed some of my wanderlust. I have been wanting to travel out of the US for a loooooong time. I also want to do the cross country thing but when Sophie is older. When it will be something she might remember.

I have written a handful or poems here and there. I'm getting occasional new insights and brainstroms for my novel. That makes me very happy. I was wondering if it was ever going to resuscitate. I've also begun working with an ew venue and tomorrow July 21st is a big shindig there- ALTsKape. Lots of details at www.loadoffun.net
I'll try to remember to take pictures there as well.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

playing catch up

So WHAT is so difficult for me lately to get any more than two or three sentences written?!

I get distracted by the littlest thing and “waste” time doing everything but writing. It makes me sick and crazy.

I can make the excuse that I’ve been busy but I don’t want to make excuses I want to have some novel chapters or a handful of poems. Not just whine whine whine.

I have all these great conversations with myself in my head. Why can’t I just have them on paper or on blog? Is it really too much to ask of myself?

I guess there could be deep dark psychological reasons for not doing it. I know I’m a practiced, veteran procrastinator. I have made progress but my creative output seems to be the place where I have the hardest time with it. Argh!!

Ok enough moaning and groaning.

I am working on some good stuff. The anthology sponsored by poetryinbaltimore.com is underway and we’ve gotten some quality writing. I’m really excited for that moment when I have a real live volume in my hand. A real book. Maybe that feeling will help push me to finish the novel. So that then I can have a real live novel by me in my hand.

I also have a bunch of little projects to do before we go to England. A bunch of photojournalism and copying some video. I can’t lug all the stuff I want to my friend on the plane so I have to record it some other ways.

The Wild Wings Fairies & Things Festival is done so I have a handful of follow up tasks to do for that And then I can forget about it until next year. No, that’s not really in the least bit true. If I want it to evolve into a hugely successful event (of course I do because I’m a perfectionist) then I need to find some sponsorship and get feedback from the larger “fairy” community.

I have a fire engine blog to create…we’re going to finish the restoration of our 1945 Mack fire engine and then modify it. The modification and restoration will be documented on the blog. I love my fire engine! I wnet to the Antique Truck Show in Carroll Park a few weekends ago and I really enjoyed it. More so than I thought I would.

Also more work to be done to pin down a new venue for Enigmatology. I don’t think it will be much longer now.

S..L..O..W..L..Y purging our own junk and finding homes for all the stuff from Carm’s parents’ move. My original intention had been to spend all winter purging our stuff. Selling on ebay and just getting stuff to charity. But instead we worked at getting his parents’ ready to sell and move. I’m glad its done but mentally I haven’t caught up to myself yet. Now we have more stuff than we started with before they moved but most of it is good stuff.

Soph is all 4 years old now too. It snuck right up on me. She had a good birthday I think. Running around with a bunch of her friends and getting goodies from family.
Lovin! this weather lately..getting all kinds of stuff done inside and out.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

so much

thinking, doing, goal setting.

Quality of life is always a priority. Juggling many tasks seems to most often be the reality.

Have been giving myself the space to not write for some time to get my physical space more efficient. Life gets in the way of that goal too. In fun ways. New York trip. Soon to go to England.
Now I'm enjoying the yearning to write=-envisioning pages and pages poolside.

Constant curiosity about what draws people to events? Is there a thread? Is the thread one I wish to pursue? I think people are drawn more to an ambiance than anytihng. Thinknig of ways to create ambiance.

Learning how good Yoga is for me. Learning what a funny beast is discipline.

Decided Octupus Dreams will be the name of the Anthology :)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

JaHipster May 11

Enigmatology at the Library of Progress
( formerly PoetryInBaltimore.com Night )

Thursday May 11 8:30 pm
The Library of Progress 1401 Light Street

Featuring JaHipster

OPEN MIC -Poetry or music

Donations encouraged

More info julie@poetryinbaltimore.com

Sunday, April 23, 2006

finally pics of the Aries Party

Back on April 15th I had an Aries Party with my friend Rita at the Library of Progress. Here are some photos


I had a great time! The band Quazar and Reunion of A Nonexistant Band were outstanding...danced a lot.

Friday, April 21, 2006

busy busy and fun

Its rawther busy here at Chateau Sp8cemunky. I'm juggling projects and spinning multiple plates but its all good. I don't have time to wallow in boredom.
And the weather this past week had been just sumptuous and sensual and gorgeous. I was wondering if I would take glorious weather for grantted if I had it all the time? It really is the different extremes of conditions that make the mild ones so sweet. And I know I would miss an occasional snow storm. It still gives me the feeling of an illicit vacation..remnants of a snow day in a school year experience undoubtedly.

I have a number of things to anticipate -both brand new experiences and some ongoing processes. The PoetryInBaltimore.com sponsored reading events have been going really well. The ones at Minas have a consistently strong audience and open mic crowd. Its delightful each time the seats fill up. I also feel good about the little extra exposure to so much talent. It's always good for your own artistry to see what other people are doing.

The thursday evenings at the Library of Progress are pleasantly unpredictable. There seems to be a core crowd of regulars developing and the open mic never fails to be entertaining. Last week a guy calling himslef the Bowlegged Gorilla played slide guitar accompanied by his own beat boxing. He played his own pieces that were really unique and a lot of fun. Another night a jam band was going along, a mismash of all the musicicans there that night and next thing know one of them is playing didgeridoo...I didn't even know until then there was a didgeridoo in the buiding.

So scheduling poets and performers for those venues takes a little time. I am also undertaking some new promotion ideas.

Then on a different topic altogether, I'm getting to do some traveling! Woo hoo. In May I'm going up to New York to be in the audience for the Baltimore poets who are going to be reading at the The Poetry Bowery-Barbara DeCesare, Chris Toll and Reggie Harris...and that night I'm going to see a band I love..Ghostland Observatory. I can't wait! Then after I save a few more pennies, in July I'm going to ENGLAND! Finally I get off the continent. yes. I'm going to visit a friend I've known for ages online. His children and mine are nearly the same ages so evreyone will have something to look forward to. Long conversations into the wee hours -here we come!

Next weekend is the ritual jaunt to the people watching mecca of the area-The Spoutwood Farm Fairy Festival. Just love that event. And then on June 3rd we have our Spoutwood Farm inspired festival at the nature center-the Wild Wings, Fairies & Things Festival. Its going to be a blast.

The following weekend will be my Words In The Woods poetry picnic in the meadow at Leakin Park...just a casual performance with poets and musicians with a picnic ambiance.

Plus the Anthology submissions are coming in steadily. excellent!

There's a long to do list sitting in my notebook but its been punctuated by fun stuff.

Monday, April 10, 2006

same old argument?

I thought I would share my response to a conversation on another board (www.5thL.com). The original poster was complaining that he didn't want to spend $25 to see I'm paraphrasing "just another poetry show with the same peformers as the last time". He's referring to the 2nd! poetry production at Center Stage on May 6th. ***************
I'd just like to say that I find the "Lyrical Soul" people and performers utterly inspiring.
So much so that after seeing their performances and feeling their commitment, it gave me the boost to go forward with projects I wanted to undertake.
I agree strongly with "a real supporter" these talented folks aren't going to be around doing the $5 venues for a lot longer. And they shouldn't have to. They've been paying their dues for years now.
I couldn't be happier that financial support has come their way and make these productions possible. To me its a very big deal that poets are performing regularly now at a "swanky" venue like Center Stage.
Do you know what it says about their professionalism, that they are able to continue producing shows like this?
I wish more people understood the big picture. Could see that events like these give poetry, and arts in general, economic clout? Do you know how important that is? When government officials and mega corporations look for where they want to spend their money, they are going to look to places and projects that will bring them a return on their investment. If Center Stage can consistently fill ALL their seats with the same set of performers, those performers, the production crew, the people behind getting the show off the ground, will reap the rewards.BUT the part thats overlooked is that the people with money will then look for other similar projects to invest in and hope to get the same success.
Where do you want to see money spent? On bigger sports stadiums? Luxury housing? More shopping malls?
No you want a fairer distribution. Artistic pioneers are a great investment. The government and the corporations only see dollars. Which means that if we want our artists to drive our economy, than we have to support them. We have to support them with our dollars first. We have to sit in the seats, and buy the discs or the artwork and show the world at large that we value their craft.
No one said it was easy or fair or just. But the bottom line is if we want to see a change in what gets valued, we have to bring that change.
If you don't want to see the same performers over and over, buy a ticket for a friend. Or buy one and give it to a neighbor. Or buy one and auction at your local church or other favorite charity. Be creative.
Or take an hour of your day to pass out flyers with your personal recommendation. Or ask if you can volunteer to help the production in some way.
If you value your performers, especially local performers of such high caliber, you will find ways to support them. Particularly if you want their success to trickle down to the community at large.
I'm off my soap box now and I hope I make sense and not make any one angry.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

There is a complete whirlwind of thoughts in my little head. I'd really like to be either more efficient with my time or learn to sleep less. It would probably be easier to sleep less.
Having a munchkin ,with very few playmates, makes it difficult to plan days like an adult.

I really want to talk about how beautiful the fresh colors are, especially in a soaking rain day like today. Through my uncurtained three front windows I have a gorgeous mix of red, green and sort of yellow leaves. And all the tree trunks are nearly black because they are so wet. So there are black tracings all over, every where that branches spread.

And lately we've had a few of those essential blue skies. Where there's no cloud to be seen and the blue is so crisp it looks like you could just touch it.

The air is still chilled but the sun feels great. It just gets soaked up by your pores.

I just dig spring! I just love its feeling of possibility and birth and refreshment. The long days are the one thing I miss so completely in the colder months. I almost always get more done in the summer. Heat doesn't usually impede me. And I tend to be outdoors so much more.

So, I'm concentrating on the idea that its spring because otherwise I'll be overwhlemed by all the plans in my head.

I'm consistently wondering about the different values between online networking and face to face or local networking. If you'retrying to get the most for your time , which gives the most bang for your buck? Or is the question more like which has instant gratification and which has long term value.

I feel lately that connecting with like minded people is more important than ever. Our governemnt is makeing every effort to keep us seperated and afraid as a society. So its so imperative to value community now.

My big questions always seems to revolve around how to network to barter. To strengthen productions and events. Artistic people are generally poor in cash but rich in ideas. Why can't those ideas become an economy, a money? How can you link up with sponsors and governments and not find yourself catering to their opinions becasue of their money?

We're so mired in our day to day lives that it is difficult to look outside and try to join forces with others. There's got to be a way.

In addition to being cash poor its also difficult to carry out creative ideas and be a parent. Not impossible, but further challenging.

So if anyone reads this, I'd love to start a dialogue about ways to mesh resources.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

April IS Poetry Month! check these out

Enigmatology at the Library of Progress
( formerly PoetryInBaltimore.com Night )
Thursday April 6th 8pm
The Library of Progress 1401 Light Street

Barbara DeCesare and Joe Fanzone > Beauty and the Beast

OPEN MIC -Poetry or music

Donations encouraged

More info julie@poetryinbaltimore.com443-418-4762
2ND Sunday Reading Series: AD-LIB & DAVID FRANKS
Sunday, April 9 / 4:00 pm / Admission: $3.00
Ad-lib (a.k.a. Marvin Dobson) is a Baltimore poet who has performing for ten years. He has self-published two books, Liquid Thoughts of Ad-lib and I am proper English. He hosts State of the Art a monthly show at Notre Maison. He has won numerous prizes, including “Best Host” from Poetry For The People. He also tours occasionally with the "5thL".

David Franks makes poems on the page, composes poems with music & text,
has written music sung by Aleta Greene, Emy Lou Harris, Richie Havens
His poetry appears in "American Poets Say Goodbye to the Twentieth
Century" & "Exquisite Corpse Anthology" edited by Andrei Codrescu
(Black Sparrow)
His music is available on CD as "Musical Words" (Pyramid Atlantic) &
most recently on WYPR's "Signal" produced by Aaron Henkin.
His Poetries for the page & Musical Poetries have been recently re-mixed for NPR by
Birdhouse Recording, his "Sunday Morning Bells!" a Communion lullably
for hand bell choir has been performed at St. John's Church in Ellicott
City, recorded by Paul Bensel, Columbia Recordings, a visual musical
piece, "f,r,o,z,e,n,t,e,a,r,s" has just been mastered at sonascope by Joe Wall & his most current works (the ones he will present for the first time April 9th)are from a collaborative book that will be available soon with the writer & artist Betsy Boyd.. Julie Fisher, founder of PoetryinBaltimore.com, hosts. An open reading follows. *************************************************

Monday, April 03, 2006

got poems?!

PoetryInBaltimore.com Anthology Call For Submissions

Deadline JUNE 1st

Submit to julie©poetryinbaltimore.com
In the body of the email/ no attachments

*3-5 poems no longer than 5 typed pages

*MUST be a MEMBER of PoetryInBaltimore.com
( registration is free, only takes a moment and you DO NOT need to live in Baltimore)

More info contact julie©poetryinbaltimore.com

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Save the Date

10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.
Carrie Murray Nature Center
1901 Ridgetop Road

admission $6 per person
more info 410-396-0808
or wildwingsfairiesnthings@gmail.com

Embrace the magic of winged creatures-
See insects, wild birds and meet real, enchanted fairies!!
Lots of fairy crafts, live music and food
Come dressed in your most fantastic fairy outfit or
Design one with the help of our fairy knowledgeable vendors.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

putting it all in one place

I've decided to merge the writings from all my scattered blogs. It makes for kinda peculiar reading but it makes me feel less splintered. Enjoy.......

September 12th, 2005
03:42 pm: Who's Going To Save The Day?**************You have to understand a quirky dimension of my personality...I am a little traumatized, a little incredulous of the fact I never uncovered my superhero identity or superpower. Its true. For as long as I can remember, I was certain I just had to figure it out and then, with great fanfare and perhaps celestial cheering, it would be revealed to me in all its glory. Really. Because you see, its just latent, waiting, wanting to be discovered. Eager for that moment when you turn that inner key and unleash your special ability to protect the world, as we know it. You just had to practice enough to uncover it. I was SO sure.And believe me, I practiced. On the 150-acre farm in Southern Maryland where I spent big chunks of summer I had plenty of time and privacy to practice. I would find a respectable towel and a large safety pin and stand proud in my terry cloth cape. I would painstakingly tape the longest, palest, pliable pine needles to my sweaty face with tape. I was convinced I could channel Cat Woman and use her skills for Good. Then I would run as fast as I could! (without ruining my whiskers) and imagine myself either streaking insanely fast like Flash Gordon or melting into another dimension or gaining momentum and leaping into the air to soar effortlessly.Each time, each sticky, determined time it didn't happen I was dismayed. I just couldn't understand what I was doing wrong. What I was leaving out. What I was overdoing. So I would reconsider. Try another angle. Okay maybe I didn't have a physical, like, athletic superpower. Maybe it was something subtle, but really cool like telepathy or seeing through solid objects. So just in case that was my superpower I would spend hours trying to telepathically pick the order of playing cards. Boy that was boring but it felt like important work. Even when I concentrated extra hard I never scored much beyond like 50/50. That didn't even impress me.So each summer I came back to my little corner of Fells Point, still a regular mortal, my heart sank. It felt like I had failed somehow. Not only myself, but all the Superheroes who were cheering me on. Crossing their fingers that I would unleash my slumbering force.After careful consideration and review of the facts I decided I just hadn't awakened some critical percentage of my unused brain. That was the ONLY plausibility. I knew in my bones, in the molecules of my being, that I was going to fly or something.I craved that Eureka moment so badly I could feel my superhero outfit, feel my cape billowing in the wind. With that image firmly resting in my minds’ eye, I would try test leaps off my front steps and meet unforgiving cement. My body bears the scars as testament.And to this day, umpteen years into my adult life, every Halloween resurrects those painful certainties. I get helpless with the yearning to apply some sequins or spandex, leather or feathers and magically slip into my superhero identity.
August 28th 2005
09:56 pm: warming up the keyboradYou know how it is when you have like a trillion things you've been thinking about and ALL of them seem to have enough significance that you want to note it in some fashion? Maybe call a best pal for a phone chat, or hunker down over a just right mug of coffe and scribble madly in your journal or spontaneoualy launch into menaingful conversation with a stranger and then feeel like the world really is a good place? Well, I've been feeling like that for a couple of weeks now. Life has been busy and interactive enough that i actually have experiences and thoughts that go somewhere. But here's the thing...I think its created a kind of brain bottleneck. You know how there inevitably is a minor accident on a holiday weekend on the large interstate you have to travel...and its just a fender bender but the two drivers insist a police officer has to see the minor scratches with his on two eyes and so neither of them will budge an they block one of the four lanes and everybody has to a) slow down to see if there is any blood or a body or something and b)no one avoids the now completely blocked lane in any rational fashion, EVERYONE tries toget out of the lane first....and so the other three lanes back up hopelessly as result? Have you ever had that experience? well thats sort of wht's happening with my brain.For example, my trip to New York last weekend. Childless I might add. That alone is worth a bunch of commentary. Really. And I was just saturated with imagery and obervations. I even have some pictures. Trying to figure out how to link them to this blog. SO keep looking for them.And we cannot forget that the kitchen redo is still underway. Its starting to look like something now, which makes my heart glad. I really! miss my stove. I think I'll give it long, loving French kisses when I have it again. Well, to be completely honest it won't be just any stove, it will be a crazy brand new stove that (this is hard for me to say) matches the rest of the appliances. EEk I know. Its a really foreign concept and its freaking me out a little bit but it will look good. AND I will have some kind of funky dramatic tile scheme to balance the normal matching appliances. Because well I have to. I'm genuinely getting excited about it now. I'm starting to imagine the cool entertaining space that it will be. So look for an invitation of some sort in the next couple of months mmmkay.I really enjoyed this visit to New York. It was relaxing in a walk at least 40 miles in two days sort of way. I liked it becasue I didn't have any specific agenda or plan or schedule. My friend and I just wandered the streets downtown. A little China Town and (I don't remember all the names) but Greenwich Village I think, and Houston Street seemed to be one of our axes but not Houston like in Texas-its pronounced How-ston-this is a very important distinction. You will be screaming NON Native New Yorker if you say Houston. So file that in your important file.I delighted in the architecture. Ok Not all the architecture. The old stuff. The artistry just floors me. Would someone tell me the reason, beyond good old fashioned greed, that builders and architects stopped creating buildings with personality and class and flair. Structures that flaunted craftsmanship. I won't go all crazy on this soap box because I genuinely want an answer.... I mean sheer mirrored squares and other geometric shapes have some merit I guess. The really really tall ones probably murmur to themselves about how cool they are I'm sure. But they don't speak to my soul or my imagination. Give me a grizzled structure with some gargoyles leering from the roof or buxom womanly figures hanging lasciviously over doorways any day. I mean really. I'd live or house a businees in a 50 or more year old building with character than a brand new structure in a second. Because I want the roof over my head to be alive dammit.Random notable statement from the New York weekend , "Now, who in my life needs Angel Snot?"

August 9th, 2005
09:01 pm: notes to get back to you onhey.we're renovating. All lower case letters to show my supreme excitement. (not). I mean don't misunderstand, I can't wait until the project is done and unveiled in all its new fancy brand spanking new glory. But. I gotta tell ya. Living in it, well is kinda a big pain.More on that, including a link to before and after pictures when I get them up.Still plodding along on the big party for my poetry site which was supposed to be a launch party but will now probably be more like a one year anniversary party because well its nearly a year old now. And doing well to my great delightful surprise. I have to give a couple people big thanks for kicking my bee hind and making me do it already- Meilena and my hubby. I kept hemming and hawing and they just wouldn't hear it. So now instead of talking about this cool website, I work on this cool website and talk to folks and generally have an outlet for my frenetic "gotta plan something" energy. I'm still a bit tortured that summer is zipping by and we won't really have a vacation (becasue of aforementioned renovation). We'll go to Lotion City for a day or two and I did do a 24 hour camping trip and I may take a brief jaunt to New York. But no week long simmer in laziness. Oh well. Maybe the whole summer vacation thing is just an illusion anyway? In other news, it looks like I'll be going to my high school reunion. This is sort of big new becasue I never thouht there would be a reunion. First of all, I only had a graduating class of two (myself and another girl). The school has long been closed. And well it was a nontraditional establishment at best. From what I understand there has been one other reunion but that was held for students from before my time. This particular one seems to be a mix of the two.So if I actually go, I'll be sure to tell you all about it. And if anyone reading this is familiar with Baltimore Experimental High School and might like to re-connect, holler and I'll give you the details. Students. friends of students, staff, friends of staff...if you were a part of that grand institution you should be there.On a totally different note, we've decided to take white sugar out of Sophie's diet. Not an easy task of course. But as an experiment I eliminated it for a few days and whoa what a difference. She had started getting this really nasty streak in her personality. Just not being much fun to be around. Bossy and pushy and over demanding particularly for junk food. Asking for it first thing in the morning. Marshmallows only from cereal and chocolate and then getting hysterical when we wouldn't give it to her. Now she is delightful to be around again. I've given her 'natural sugar"-ya know cane juice.. found cookies at Trader Joe's-and they don't make her so spazzy. So its either the white sugar or the artificial dyes-but I'm leaning towrds the sugar.Wish we could try eliminating it in lots of kids diets and see if the society at large didn't improve somewhat.I feel better without it too. It's got this insatiable thing about it. I've gone cold turkey from white sugar before. And I distinctly remember not eating it for about a week and then someone gave us birthday cake leftovers.I got the munchies, took a little bite and then COULD NOt stop eating it, It was gross. So I might have to tote snacks around and get the grandparents a stock but its so worth it.I had lots of other things to say but they've escaped me now. I'll try to post a little more often for the dozen or so people who visit.........

July 20th, 2005
08:20 am: Sobering ThoughtSo here's a sobering thought....you only begin to care about how clean your house is if your creativity is going down the toilet. Got it? I think there's some truth to this because if you are busy being creative, who cares! how the house looks. You know the essentials will get done somehow because they have to but you don't worry about the dust bunnies on the chair rail.So I've been kinda obsessing on throwing everything away and starting from scratch. I crave places for stuff. I don't want to see a patina of cat fur on everything anymore. And did I mention we are gutting our kitchen and preparing to redo it and the dining room? Pandemonium is about to ensue.I keep telling myself some of this organization stuff I've been hearing so much about is going to visit my house and give me the space to be motivated because I won't be overwhlemed with the masses of stuff lounging around my house with no particular place to go. I will then be able to set up a functioning, hear that functioning desk and office like area. I have a desk now but it only just barely functions. I can only type on the desk becasue there isn't enough room to do anything else. I definitely don't have space ot arrange novel notes or write in my notebook.So this morning sitting on my cool, before the sun and humidity come raging along, deck I wondered which came first-the chicken or the egg? Am I too worried about house stuff so I'm not really writing or has it genuinely gotten to a place where it overwhlems me and its hard to write?I am, admittedly, a Jedi Knight, a Master of the highest degree when it comes to procrastination. It is an art from of quiet beauty I have perfected, lo these many years. It is the most absurdly self destructive behaviour I could ever wish on my worst nemesis. aaaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!! ( I'm down on my knees now pounding the earth with bloodied fists) What did I do to deserve this!?And oh yeah there's the added spiciness of being right on the precipice of the decade I swore I would start meeting some of my creative goals. Right down there, a handful of months away. Ya know what I do when I have a few sort of undisturbed moments that my daughter gives me? I sneak over to the computer and read blogs. I read about all the sturggles and successes other people are having. I'll spend a solid half hour reading someone else's words put onscreen and then beat myself up because I'm not writing. "What in God's name is wrong with me, I can write like that. Or better than that, or more than that." Except I'm not writing much of anything.Soooooo dear readers, you have beeen subjected to this pointless stream of consciousness because for now on I can't read other blogs until I write something. Whaddya think? Will it get me somewhere? I really need a writing dominatrix to stand menacingly over me in something leather or latex and sexy and whip me into a daily writing practice. I do I really need that becausue I clearly don't have the back bone to do it myself.Maybe if I get a headstone mounted somewhere out back right now that reads something awful like "Here lies Julie. Never wrote a feeble line. Never wrote a line for that matter" or "Here lies Julie. She swore she would go out with a book in her hand. Guess What? No book". If I walked by an epitaph like that on a daily basis, sweetly rubbing my nose in it, would I get motivated?

June 28th, 2005
10:53 am: A Defining MomentI saw a wooden yellow and black Baltimore City festival booth at the Hopkins Fair, with two long haired people sitting on it, talking to passersby. I knew I had found IT. There was a banner with a butterfly and two laid back people were telling people about their high school. “No man, we don’t give grades”. “Exactly, you get to pick your own classes.”“There aren’t that many students, maybe 75 or something.”I dragged my mom over to the booth and asked a couple questions. When I found out it was right downtown I thought “yes!”. I clutched a brochure in my sweaty little hand until I made an appointment for admissions.THIS was my high school. I absolutely, would not go to an all girls’ school and wear a uniform. I would eat roaches first. But this school, this was something I could sink my teeth into..I was so excited I started that summer. When I met the other students I felt comfortable. We shared interests and concerns. I could work as hard or as little as I chose and no one chided me one way or the other. They didn’t care what clothes I wore and encouraged me to ask questions. They already knew all the safe spots to smoke a bowlWhat I didn’t realize until later was how much that choice manifested the course of my life. A seemingly simple, little decision impacted my entire life.At this high school, I met a guy who took me on an Alice In Wonderland emotional journey. I met my first husband. I learned that I had the ability to sway an audience with my words. On paper, in front of people. I found I could plan events and raise money. I learned that I didn’t have drug or alcohol addictions but I liked mind altering substances maybe a little too much. I learned I had self -discipline, even if my environment didn’t. I met a mentor who remains a great friend. My mentor helped me get my first steps into the career I wanted. I left that career path because I had my son. My first husband’s addictions forced me back into the workforce. Back to the nature center where I first worked and I met my present husband. I walked all of these paths because I was able to choose my learning environment. I preferred a place called Baltimore Experimental High School far more, than any of the traditional options.
June 7th, 2005
03:01 pm: How I WriteOnce upon a time, I was a writer who wrote at the drop of a hat. I could write anywhere, with any level of noise. I could write about whatever came into my little head. I could write in the day or the wee hours of night. I dreamed of writing for a living. I fantasized seeing my book on the shelves of bookstores. I often wrote stories about aliens and monsters, blood and gore. Then I lurched into writing about random occurrences. I also wrote poetry if an idea didn’t quite merit the length of a story. I wrote because it felt good and it was fun. I didn’t have any prerequisites except a college ruled, spiral bound notebook and a pen that wrote smoothly. Then, one day I looked up and realized my writing had come to a standstill.Now, a divorce, 2nd marriage, 2 children and multiple forays into the workforce later, I am wondering how to get the magic back. I used to write fiercely, fearlessly. Now, I write nervously and only if I won’t be disturbed, interrupted.These days I need a prompt, a purpose, a kick start. A little something to outsmart the negative mantra that revs instantly and powerfully, like that Harley screaming up Loch Raven Boulevard. I frequently tease myself with the notion, “If I just get this laundry, organizing, event planning, child rearing, husband tending, gardening done first, I’ll make writing a habit again”. So, I putter along in fits and starts. Make myself attend at least one casual writing workshop a week. I read the work of other real people who write regularly and I remind myself of my vow not to be rocking in my chair of old age, nursing regrets about how I never got around to writing.
Current Mood: contemplative
Current Music: lawn mower in the distance

May 6th, 2005
08:38 pm: I've almost forgottenhow this blog thing works. Its been ages since I've posted anything. For good reason..I've been surprisingly busy. Surprised by the fact my little pet project, www.poetryinbaltimore.com is doing quite well. I'm totally surprised by how many members I have already. There is consistent daily activity, interaction, support between members. Its really a good thing. The more surprising aspect has been the success of the poetry events I've been putting together. I've gone from wondering if there will be any poets, which was what I worried about during the joint project I undertook before, and my first PoetryInBaltimore.com sponsored poetry event when I worried wether all the poets that showed up would get time to read before they closed the venue. I even raised money for a local nonprofit, BookThing (www.bookthing.org) on a tuesday night with a PoetryInBaltimore.com event. I'm part of the team putting together poetry at a local festival, SoweboFest, and with very little press, we have 29 poets signed up two weeks before the festival. Awesome!I think what pleases me most about how this project is coming together is that it is my personal antidote to the all the bad news the networks push down our throats, the wars, the general malaise that can so easily descend upon someone living in the US right now.This is my way to give community a chance, a way to get to know some new people, a way to get poetry into the mainstream a little more. I feel like poetry is one of those art forms that gets you to slow down a moment. Its always an opportunity to see glimpses of someone else's head, world, and perspective for a change.Its also been gratifying to see people enjoying my poetry. I'm still really fighting the stage fright thing. I don't quite understand it because I taught for years and that kind of "public speaking" came easily to me. Reading my poetry is a fresh little trauma each time. But I try to look at it this way, at least when I'm feeling all nervous and antsy and self conscious-I know I am alive. I'm present in the moment of anxiety.... I'm pretty sure it will get a little easier each time, and I have been in the company of and gotten support from some excellent role models. I was kind of proud of myself last week, I went to see a nationally known spoken word artist, Ursula Rucker,very strong, really moving. And there was an open mic afterwards. I hesitantly put my name in the hat. I was the first name called..and yikes, what a performer to follow. But I got up on stage anyway, and read as clearly and directly as I could muster. It was hard but I did it. I feel good about that.I haven't been writing as much poetry as I would like lately. But I've been going to weekly workshops around town and keeping the juices flowing. I did write one last week that had been stewing for awhile. I've been reading this fascinating book called The Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram ( I think) and it sparked my most recent poem.geesh, this was a long post....I guess I'll quit here and save something for the next one.

December 19th, 2003
09:58 pm: some more stuff[ Sat Dec 13, 07:43:58 AM some stuffMy e-world is expanding. That is good news. It keeps the feeling of social isolation to a miniumum. I am making progress in the daily house maintenance department. I've think I've gotten filth under control. Clutter is another issue altogether. It will require some creative storage because I totally forget what I pack away. I'm visual. I like to see my stuff. and just in case you wondered, I'm most like this X Men character: You are Beast! You are brilliant and extremely clever. You canhandle almost any problem swiftly andefficiently. You are devoted to philosophy andare always up for a good discussion.Sometimes, though, your anger gets the best ofyou and you upset those whom you care about. Which X-Men character are you most like?brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Unique Boutique

April 1st

Unique Boutique
A flea market for creatives

9:00 am to 4:00 pm
rain or shine

$1 admission
$10 vendor space

Are you shedding stuff after a good spring clean?
Are you an insatiable collector?
Do you just like to stroll around a flea market?

Carrie Murray Nature Center
1910 Ridgetop Road
Baltimore, Md 21207
contact susan.riffey@baltimorecity.gov

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I'm quickly learning that this organizing thing is both simple and maniacal. I have had to become mildly obsessed in order to continue making order while living in the order I'm trying to make....
In other words, you better be really dedicated to this organizing thing, especially IF you have a three year old who finds everything you're trying to sort and put away incredibly fascinating. It's also really difficult when your entire family of four are in differing stages of reforming slobdom. Some not really reforming at all.
I have decided this is the winter where things find their places. For a variety of reasons that are practical and particularly because I'm sick of the chaos.
I have a long list of creative projects I want to undertake and complete. I genuinely feel that a framework of order will help the tackling of the creative list enormously.
I will never be totally tidy but if my creative life gets a little frothy (and I hope it does) than having the framework will keep regular life from getting out of control.
I love my new kitchen ( I swear I'll post some photos) and I think its perkiness is trying to spread to the rest of the house. AND I'm realizing I actually enjoy my home. Many, many of the places I've lived in, I did not enjoy at all and all I wanted to do was go play to be away from them. I want to entertain in this home and spread good cheer. SO much easier when there is a framework of order.
I want to post in this blog regularly and not feeling like there are twenty other things that require my attention more, will make it much less of a struggle. Look! I've posted two days in a row almost.
I will talk more about my creative projects as they get underway. Some are just for my own pleasure, some involve community building. Some are visual, some are literary. Its all good.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


I Ihave confirmed once and for all that I am very mood sensitive to color. I can feel my spirits brighten when I have happy colors near me and I get subdued around low key shades. My living room and kitchen/dining room have been blue for the past two months or so and in combination with the short grey days it was bringing me down.

SO! I am in the process of re-painting the living room a yellow hued lime green and the difference in my mood in that room is dramatic. Makes me happy. Makes my spirit lighter. Even makes the grey days seem not so grey.