donderdag 29 mei 2008

stuff accumulates and needs to be minimized

We've been doing loads of minimizing this past week. First to get tackled was our overfull attic. The attic is actually more like a third floor with the crossbeams, and many of our neighbours have successfully converted their attics into neat storage spaces for seasonal clothing and seasonal stuff. Some of them have actually turned their attics into an extra bedroom with an adjoining work/computer room.

I've been to several of these homes, and believe me, I always come home wondering what the heck is wrong with us that we just can't seem to free up any floor space.

Our attic was the last place on earth that I would have been willing to open up to visitors. Our washing machine and dryer were propped into this tiny corner, Jan's work space was all jumbled up and everywhere there were tumbled up piles of unidentifiable clothing/books/papers/pictures/stuff. Our bookshelves were somehow still reachable, but in order to get to the books, a person had to step over piles of "secret type stuff". In other words, no idea what it was on that floor.

We spent a couple of days sorting through clothing and stuff, and wound up with nine huge bags of unecessary things we'd stored up in the attic. Of the nine bags, three were bags filled with clothing that we brought to a textile center. Another three bags were textile that was no longer usable, and another three bags were odds and ends like broken toys, broken thingamagigs, and things we'd imagined we could still repair or use someday.

I've still got stuff lying out in the backyard. A very old tv that no one wanted, a very dirty rug, and a partly used roll of linoleum. Those are all going away to the dump this coming Saturday.

Our attic is turning into a wonderful place. We've finally migrated the ironing board up to the attic, because there is room enough to iron and fold away clothes up there. We've also got everything neatly boxed or bagged and neatly tucked away under the eaves. Coming weekend, Jan's off to pick up sliding doors so all our stuff is hidden neatly away in compartments.

Another dream that's going to happen soon is the realization of Joel Jan's dream of finally having a place to stall out his model trains.

We're going to be sorting books and probably adding another bookcase upstairs. Jan needs to clean up his space and I need to sort through two more bags of assorted toys and then we can move washing machine and dryer to a more space efficient place.

I'm quite, quite happy.

woensdag 21 mei 2008

today poetry sings in my veins...

Oh 2008
how swift your

you leave
me breathless, breathless

but breathing
in your wake.


Duly reworked this to fit in with the following


Edited by Jean Vengua and Mark Young
Release Date: 2008
ISBN 951-9198-73-3
ISBN 978-951-9198-73-6
Page Count: 148 pages
Price: $16.95
Distributors (forthcoming): Small Press Distribution,, Meritage Press

Meritage Press (St. Helena & San Francisco) and xPress(ed) (Puhos, Finland) are delighted to announce the release of THE HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY, VOL. II, edited by Mark Young and Jean Vengua.

More information about the hay(na)ku poetic form is available at and The former link identifies the poet-participants, while the latter shares some poets' thoughts on the hay(na)ku's attractiveness. The hay(na)ku has been one of the most popular new poetic forms in recent times; 39 poets participated in the soon-to-be-out-of-print first anthology. In Vol. II, 51 poets from around the world (and representing a multiplicity of poetics) participate.

Since The First Hay(na)ku Anthology's release in 2005, the hay(na)ku has appeared in many literary journals, anthologies and single-author poetry collections worldwide. Artists have created visual hay(na)ku. The form has been written in Spanish, English, French, Finnish, Dutch, Tagalog, and Norwegian. It has been taught in classrooms, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico/Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) features an hay(na)ku webpage in their online journal, Periódico de Poesía. Members of UNAM'S Faculty of Literature and Philosophy/Facultad de Filosofia y Letras are also preparing a full Spanish translation of The First Hay(na)ku Anthology for future release. Reflecting the hay(na)ku's continued popularity, THE HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY, VOL. II is released just three years after the first hay(na)ku anthology. A third anthology is also in the works:The Chained Hay(na)ku which would present hay(na)ku collaborations among three or more writers. We hope readers enjoy this volume, and are encouraged to try writing their own hay(na)ku! For this poetic form also was created as an Invitation to Poetry.

To celebrate its release, Meritage Press is pleased to announce a RELEASE SPECIAL OFFER of $12.00 per book, a 29% discount off of the retail price and incorporating free shipping within the United States (for overseas orders, please email first to This offer expires on July 31, 2008. You can send checks made out to "Meritage Press" to

Eileen Tabios
Publisher, Meritage Press
256 North Fork Crystal Springs Rd.
St. Helena, CA 94574

For more information, contact


And because poetry is singing in my veins today:

Go read and listen to Luisa Igloria's "What we Ate After Passing the Cape of Eleven Thousand Virgins"

maandag 19 mei 2008

I cleaned out the shoe cupboard and made an inventory of shoes:


Two pairs of mocassins (rather comfy. One black, one blue. Both in a rather worn state, but they are great for biking)
One pair of open-toe sandals (good for biking)
one pair of platform type sandals (not good for biking, worn only twice)
One pair of formal type high-heeled black shoe (barely worn, not good for biking)
One pair of scuffed black boots (excellent for biking)
One pair of winter boots (excellent for biking)
One pair of rubber shoes (excellent for walking and biking)
One pair of sneakers (excellent for walking and biking)

Looking at that, my number one parameter for buying a shoe seems to be this: Is it good for biking?

zondag 18 mei 2008

stuff and new arrival...

Arrived yesterday, surprisingly quick for an seller:

The Light Sang as it Left Your Eyes, by Eileen Tabios

On the same day, we minimized the number of wires in our living room, by purchasing and installing a wifi adaptor thing for our pc. I also bought a wireless keyboard and a wireless mouse which have been duly installed. Oh the joys of going wireless. For every harried housevrouw who wrestles with wires from that glorious, wretched thing we call the computer, I would definitely recommend going wireless. Diminishes wrestling and increases love.

And as I have observed, the shifting about of household stuff often does a world of good. We've been moving our furniture around again and I like how our living space has now been transformed into: a dining/living area, where one can just as easily move around and sit around the table while chatting with friends. Instead of turning our backs on the living room, the dining table has been moved so there is a circular/including motion in the way stuff is arranged.

donderdag 15 mei 2008

Books and reading matter take up a great part of my personal budget. Reflection's Edge and Weird Tales Magazine sent me e-cash and I've duly spent a part of my tiny fortune on the following things:

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet (current issue)
GUD magazine (issue 2)
Weird Tales Magazine (international subscription)
Move Underground by Nick Mamatas
I've still got a small pittance left over, but I'm hoping to place a couple of stories before the end of the year. That would be just fantastic.

Outside of the e-world, I've ordered a copy of Eileen Tabios's, The Light Sang as it Left Your Eyes.

Email brought me notice that Luisa Igloria's book, Juan Luna's Revolver is now available through the Fall 2008 catalogue of UND Press

That's the way the money goes, folks.

Aside from reading matter, other purchases have involved:

Basic household groceries
Writing supplies, like printing paper, paper clips and stamps

woensdag 14 mei 2008


In between my last post and this, I turned forty. Funny to think of myself as forty when I'm still following a toddler around. I'd sort of envisioned myself at forty as this mature matron looking quite dignified...and instead here I am dashing about with my hair all wild about my head and quite topsy-turvy because that's what life with a toddler is like.

I don't know how forty's supposed to feel like, but I sure don't feel a day older .

Because life has been so hectic and rushed, we took a break and it's done me a world of good. I'm feeling quite laid back and relaxed and I'm thinking these sunny days are part of the reason for me feeling very good inspite of my struggle with hay fever.

Preparations for the summer are underway. We've been searching on the net, looking for places to go and spend our summer vacation. Being carless people, we have to rely on public transportation and our bikes, so a french vacation is out of the picture until I've earned my driver's license and can drive us there.

We do have to take our budget into consideration as well. Vacation parks in The Netherlands are quite expensive, and a week's holiday costs more than half a month's paycheck. I stare at the prices and wonder how other folks manage to go on vacation, not once, but twice in a year. It does look like luck is on our side. Jan's decision to take the last three weeks of the summer vacation seems to be quite favorable as during the last weeks of summer, the park we've settled on gives families with children under 12 years old a 20% discount. This is something we'll have to keep in mind when we look into our vacation next year.

We'll probably have to take my bike with us, but otherwise, the train goes almost all the way to the boat we have to take which will cross over from the mainland to the island where we plan to spend a week. My sister-in-law says there's a rent-a-bike on the shore, and so Jan and Joel can just rent bikes for the length of our stay.

I'm actually beginning to look forward to the summer break. We'll have to take one of those trekker's backpacks for our stuff and probably will have to load another backpack onto the bike. Packing will have to be as minimal as possible. The lovely thing about's relaxed and anything least that's my idea of vacation.

I shall be taking books and the laptop and hope I get time to write.


During this spring break, I finally got around to sitting down and focusing my attention on Achiote Seeds with the poetry of Barbara Jane Reyes, Rich Villar and Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor.

This slim volume is thought-provoking and inspiring, and I found myself thinking on the way my fictions have been going and the role of the woman in the stories I've been writing. I'm quite curious now and want to take a look at women in genre work...I want to observe the roles these women play and how they are reflective of the convictions of the author/writer.

Barbara Jane Reyes writes:

What are feminist retellings of our stories important to write, and why do we need new, other ways of telling our stories?

And Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor responds with:

I question separateness, of our/their. I question stories that are only feminine/woman in nature. I question exclusion, forgotteness, victimhood, appropriation, authenticity.

There's excellent dialogue going on here, and I love how these thoughts lead me to spin my own thoughts and to examine my own feminism.


It's liberating to be comfortable in one's own skin.