Monday, October 29, 2007

Call for Submissions: Guerrilla Ink Press

Guerrilla Ink Press is currently accepting submissions of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction manuscripts, as well as photography and digital artwork for a new literary, arts, entertainment, news publication, GiP. This magazine allows Guerrilla Ink Press to continue providing dynamic publishing opportunities for new, emerging, and established writers in both electronic and print formats. Deadline is December 10, 2007.

Send Submissions to:
Attn: GiP Magazine
Guerrilla Ink Press, LLC
1956 E. Chestnut Exp.
Springfield, MO 65802-2235

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact with the subject ‘Attn. GiP Magazine.’ We look forward to hearing from you soon.

I've known Will LaPage, the founder and executive editor for GiP, for a good many years and can say without reserve that he is one of the most dedicated people I have ever met in terms of commitment to the literary world. He himself has a definite gift for writing, and reading his pieces in workshop has always been an act of appreciation as well as critical review on my part. His input on my own work has been more than notably helpful (those of you who enjoyed "Mania" have him, in part, to thank). What's more, GiP is offering book deals to each of of the contributors to its first issue. You can read more here.

Please pass this information on to other writers who may be interested. I'd love to see GiP flooded with quality work, and I know many of my readers and their acquaintances can make it happen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Observations on Motherhood: Those Kinds of Days

Some days I feel much better prepared for what motherhood requires than other days.

Some days it all comes together quite well, and the bills are paid, and all the batteries work, and the children play happily together and have shining teeth. Other days nothing gets done, and it rains in the windows, and the cat leaves tongue prints in the grease in the unwashed pan on the stove, and the children look like prime candidates for the cast of “Oliver!”

Then, of course, there are all the days in between, which probably look from the outside more like the first kind of day but which feel from the inside far more like the second. The trick is to navigate these with all the aplomb that comes naturally when one is having the first kind of day and knows it. It helps to remember that many famous and successful people have had parents who probably had days of the second kind, too.

1. Albert Einstein’s mother didn’t always get his hair combed before he got out the door.

2. Emily Dickinson’s mother couldn’t get her to come out of her room and play with visitors’ children every time they had company.

3. Jonathan Edwards’ mother couldn’t have counted the number of times she demanded, “Will you just get on with it and kill that spider?!”

4. Thomas Edison’s mother was sure he would ruin his eyes reading in the dark.

5. Henry Ford’s mother told him to go play in the street at least once.

6. C.S. Lewis’s father despaired that his son might live in a fantasy land forever.

7. Benjamin Franklin’s mother worried that he didn’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain.

8. Louis Pasteur’s mother once despaired of ever getting him to wash his hands.

9. George Washington’s mother warned him time and time again to brush his teeth.

10. Mark Twain’s mother....Oh, Lord, that poor woman!

11. Edgar Allan Poe’s mother got sick of cleaning up after all those birds.

12. I can just hear Christopher Columbus’s mother saying, “It’ll be a whole new world when I let you do that!”

13. Leif Erikson’s mother threatened to ship him off so often he took her seriously and did it himself.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

In Spite of Myself

I am not the most joining kind of person. I tend to avoid social activities like the plague. I'm not particularly shy; merely a little antisocial. "I'm not afraid of people," I'll be quick to tell you, "I just don't like them." (This is a bold-faced lie, but it sounds so fun I can't resist typing it.) Nevertheless, I know social activities are good for me. They get me out of the house. They force me to interact with people I might otherwise never get to meet. Once committed, I dread them and bemoan my fate up until I get in the car, but I nearly always have fun in spite of myself.

Thus it was when a friend from Ozark Mountain Players called this week and asked if I could possibly help judge a costume contest for the Douglas County 150th year celebration, I said yes. After all, I've been assistant costume mistress for OMP's productions of "Laura's Memories" for three years now and listened to the costume mistress (my mother) talk about period costumes for a good 13 years prior to those. When I told Great Scott, he said, "Well, that's very civic minded of you," a comment that immediately brought to mind The Civic Minded Five from the old 90's cartoon The Tick. Indeed, as I headed toward Douglas county this morning, I was feeling a lot like The Carpeted Man (click on link and scroll down), which is to say hot and itchy just thinking about it.

Of course, I enjoyed myself. The costumes were truly wonderful, and the three of us judging had a very difficult time of it. There were several pioneer ladies; a whole pioneer family complete with little boys in buckskins; young ladies in gorgeous, hoop skirted, ringlet-curled glory; a mountain man with handmade leather boots, clothes made from period patterns and a hat that some mother animal used to love; a widow whose black veil covered her from hat brim to below her knees; a stunning green fancy dress and matching hat with feathers; and the first place prize, a grey dress with a hoop skirt almost as wide as its wearer was tall, its skirt ruffled in layers, each trimmed in black ribbon, the matching bonnet period perfect, an unassuming outfit whose wearer looked like she'd stepped straight out of a civil war picture. I loved the costumes; I loved working with the other judges; and the ladies who were running the whole kit and caboodle from the grandstand have my utter admiration for their organizational skills and good humor.

The day was, in short, a good one, a good one in spite of the self-image I sometimes try too hard to maintain: that of a somewhat snarly recluse. It was good to remember that I DO like people and to remember how much, something I suspect I need to do more often.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Quote: On Learning

"A process is always a learning process if we let it be."

--Dr. Maribeth Impson

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tonado Weather

This is it. Spring and fall, April and October are our annual times for tornadoes. Tonight's storms are being tracked from the local newsroom. So far the area has lost two houses, a barn and a lumber mill, and the evening is just beginning.

Guess who's staying up late tonight.