Posted by: Teresa | November 22, 2010

Hey world, it’s me…Teresa

Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress, just the two of us.

 

Remember me? Maybe you recognize the name from some long ago tweet or mention somewhere in cyberverse, but I am in fact still alive.

update on me: Working full-time split shifts (7 – 8 hrs over a 12 hr period) kinda destroyed my life. I’m in the process of separating from my husband, I rarely see my daughter (now 3) and I can’t actually afford a 2 bedroom for her and I so if I move out now I won’t have shared custody. If I don’t find another job I won’t have shared custody either because full-time splits isn’t conducive to  raising a child.

I’ve had the same 2 short stories on the back burner for months now. I like them and will be polishing them up as soon as I can to send to market. I miss the submissions game.

I’m going to school p/t and working toward changing my career in the next few years. I’m taking Medical Terminology at the moment as a prerequisite for the Hospital Unit Clerk program here. I need a job where I can rely on the shifts offered and the pay is livable. Currently, my pay is alright but my shifts are ridiculous. I just finished taking my GED as well. Seven and a half hours of testing over 24 hrs. My brain nearly melted but I think I passed. I’m maintaining a testing average of 100% in Medical Terminology which feels good. The one and only advantage to my shifts is all the study time I get in between.

I’m teaching myself to knit which is getting me through some stressful times. I’m still crocheting, of course, but needed a challenge and want to learn how to make sweaters. So far I’ve knit my daughter a scarf and hat, and am almost done a pair of throw-pillow cases for her. I’ll make myself a scarf soon too.

So yes, the big news is the demise of marriage number 2. It was my initiative and not an easy decision to make but once I realized where the relationship was going (nowhere fast) I knew what I had to do. So my couch has become my bed and I spend more time than most at Tim Hortons as a way to escape the constant fighting. There are days where I don’t see my laptop at all. I have a blackberry now so once I get learned on all this mobility stuff I should be better at being awesome.

I sure have missed all my friend’s blogs, stories, triumphs and status updates. I get what I can when I can but it just makes me realize all the more of how much I’ve been missing.

So until I am offered a unit in subsidized housing and my job changes (both applications pending!) my presence will be scant but it’s not you it’s me and I miss you all. Very much.

 

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Posted by: Teresa | February 17, 2010

February funhouse

All these things and more.

I can’t believe how long it has been between posts.  My daughter has given up napping and taken that time slot away from me.  *sigh*

So much has happened.  DecomP launched the new site and it is sexy wexy.  Love it, love it hard.

I’m still dying to get Cynthia Reeser‘s Light and Trials of Light in my mailbox.  I refuse to read Mel Bosworth’s review of it until I get a chance to fall in love with it all on my own.

Have I raved about Dodging Traffic, by J. Bradley and Congratulations – There’s No Last Place If Everyone Is Dead, by Matthew DeBenedictis yet?  No?  Let me explain.  I suck at keeping on top of other cool writer’s and their genius.  Dodging Traffic is a poetry chapbook that will make you want to coil yourself around your lover like a python.  No lover?  You’ll be prowling for one before you put the book in it’s rightful place.  On your nightstand.  My only complaint?  It’s hard to hold open with one hand.   Congratulations, is a great read that I’m sure to read several times more and will share with select few friends.  Love the graphics as well.  I’m a sucker for comic style artwork.  I wanted MORE.  I always want more DeBenedictis.   There are only 50 copies and mine was #21 so you best be getting on it.

Next on my list is How To Take Yourself Apart How to Make Yourself Anew by Aaron Burch put out by PANK Magazine.  I like the size and style of this book and think that more indie publishers should adopt unique styles the way PANK does.  I’ll read it soon and tell you how much I loved it then.  I have no doubt that it’s an inspiration.   I trust PANK that much.

As for me.  I had Last Visit to the Toy Store reprinted at Short Story Library, thank you Casey for all your hard work on that.

Lonely Street is at Handwritten Anastomoo and I encourage you to read the other pieces there.  And note my superior penmanship. 🙂 Thanks to Jesse for having this fun project up.

Nanoism finally accepted me and published a little something of mine today.  Thank you Ben.

I always say that I will try harder at posting on my blog and I’m saying it again.  It’s not you, it’s me.

Posted by: Teresa | January 6, 2010

The bag that nearly killed me

How it all begins

I finally finished this crocheted tote bag for my Mom-in-law.  Crocheted strips in various colours woven together and crocheted edges.  The pattern gave it a 1 in difficulty and I figured this would be easy-peasy.

The pattern called for x amount of strips in two different lengths and two strips longer for the straps.  The strips are all in half-double stitch which is nice and strong.  I noticed early on that even though I used all worsted weight yarn for each colour that a 40 stitch strip in white was not as long as the one in brown.  Hm.  I just kept going and decided to deal with it in the end.

Not even close to looking like the pattern photo.

The pattern also called for 6 horizontal strips to make up each side of the bag.  I tried that but the vertical strips wouldn’t reach far enough so I had to go with 5 strips.  Some were too long so I had to fold them in.  Some were too short so I had to sneakily reinforce them after construction.

stage one complete

I have crocheted afghans, complicated baby blankets and more scarves than I care to think about but this bag nearly did me in.  After countless nights making strips and waiting for my daughter to go to sleep so I could stitch the strips together without her running away with them (because they are hers) and breaking my back as I hovered over the coffee table stitching it all together (so the strips would stay put) I finally have it done.  It was almost 2am but I never wanted to work on it again so it was do or die for the bag.

Will my MIL like it?  If she knows what’s good for her.

DONE!

And done.

Posted by: Teresa | December 31, 2009

It comes in waves

The one-week throw blanket.

It seems like I’ve been laying dormant lately.  Christmas had me in a crochet frenzy as I finished up all the gifts.  No two scarves are the same but the placemats match perfectly.

Writing has taken a back seat snooze as I prepare for the New Year.  Looking back I realize that this really was my year.  I had my first story’s published,  started blogging and networking.  I even did some editing at PicFic which was a fantastic experience.  If I could go back a year and say all this to my younger self I would get bitch slapped so fast. “Watch yo’ mouth!”

Despite my recent inactivity on the writing front I have had some stories find lovely homes.  Test Day is out in Boston Literary Magazine, Because You Only Turn 27 Once re-prints in Target Audience after debuting in Negative Suck this month!  Blanket of Ivory found a perfect home at Prick of the Spindle.  You may recall that this story was almost in a Vanity Press before I realized what was going on and  pulled it.

Nevermind diamonds. Afghans say forever!

A perfect finish to a great year, but by far the best thing to happen to me this year has been making many wonderful connections with other writers through Twitter/Facebook/ and reading each other.   This truly is a great time to be a writer.  It may be a lonely job but we’re all just a couple clicks away from each other and, somehow, that feels good.

Detail on baby blanket for my niece.

Posted by: Teresa | December 1, 2009

Dear Editors

Arbutus

I’m always seeing tweets from editors that I love, telling us writers about our awesome submission errors.  Honestly, I think some of these are a riot.  But, here’s my beef for almost all the editors out there sending me kind rejections.  If it truly sucks TELL ME SO!  Sometimes I get so into an idea for a story but the story goes somewhere else and I end up submitting it anyway and I get HEAPS of very kind, gentle rejections.  I’ve briefly worn the editor hat and now I know that so many times when a story just plain sucks you say something nice.  GAH!

Write down my name.  If you read a sub from me and you want to save your fellow editors the pain of having to read it as well just say, “Dear Teresa, What the hell were you sniffing when you wrote this?  Seriously, not worth salvaging, don’t send me crap like this again.”  Copy this if you like.  I can take it.

I love when editors give me their honest feedback whether it be good or negative.   I circulated one story around for a while and received many quick rejections.  Some were personal and NICE.  I knew that I liked the story but they weren’t telling me why they weren’t.  One editor finally broke it down for me and it made perfect sense.  I will be re-writing it completely with her remarks in mind and only wish that other editors weren’t so hesitant to be honest with me.

So there you have it.  Teresa Houle likes to be told off.  If my writing stunk up your day, let me know.  It’s better than me just sending it out to other unsuspecting editors.

Issue number 1 (or virgin) of Negative Suck is out and I’m  in it.  I saw xtx in there too.  The story I have in there is also going to be featured in Target Audience next month or so.  There is talk of artwork to accompany the story as well.  Cool.

Posted by: Teresa | November 26, 2009

Early Retirement

Family hike destination

Family hike destination

Well, big decisions going on in my world.  I have finally realized that my daughter demands more of my time than she used to and my commitment to PicFic was taking what little free time I had.  I haven’t written anything new that I’ve been happy with in a while.  Well, one piece in a month isn’t as productive as I would like to be.

So with much sadness and gratitude I step down from editing PicFic and hand the reins back over to J.S. Graustein.  It was a wonderful learning experience for me.  Wearing the editor glasses is a great way to be a better submitter!

I was able to work with some fantastic writers in my short time there, namely; Nathaniel Tower, Cynthia Reeser, Roxane Gay, David Erlewine, Ben White (the master of the tweet!), Kaolin Fire, and Derek Osborne to name only a few.

It was a humbling experience.

Now I go back to my old ways of crocheting until an idea hits me and writing until my fingers twitch for more yarn.  When my daughter lets me, of course.

Posted by: Teresa | November 22, 2009

Life is Not a Race

The Beach Belches Kelp

I keep having to tell myself that I’m not in a race, I’m just here to live my life.  There is no reason to stress over not writing as much as I would like to or not reading that huge pile of books that keep calling me.  My daughter has center stage at the moment.  I need to enjoy this time with her while I can.  A day will come when she will come home and lock herself in her room for hours on end.  Those will be productive days for me.  Right now, she loves her mommy and I’m eating it up.  Two years olds are a needy bunch.  They want want want, but they need help help help.  Constantly.  We play games, mostly these involve drinking pretend tea that she is always making too hot.

I’m still reading Scorch Atlas by Blake Butler.  I’m enjoying it, he paints ugly pictures with pretty words.  No happy endings.

I ordered two issues of Monkeybicycle.  It gives me a reason to stalk the postman.

I am still working on a piece to send to the Prairie Fire contest but time is ticking away and it’s not where I want it to be.  I’m hoping that I’ll get a burst of energy and time enough to use that energy, soon.  It’s 9:30pm at the moment and this is later than I’ve been staying up lately.  Two year olds are nothing if not exhausting.  I usually go to bed right after she does these days.  Pathetic, right?

I’m not expecting anything to be published until Dec.  I should have something up at Boston Literary Mag, who has a new chapbook format coming out for the shorter pieces (under 250 wds), and possibly in the first issue of Negative Suck.

I finally finished a scarf I’ve been working on for ages.  I chose a half-double stitch for it which makes it warm and strong but each row is about a quarter inch so it was more time consuming than I expected.  She better like it!!

Folded Word has two chapbooks coming out, like, NOW!  It’s very exciting.  Jessie Carty with The Wait of Atom and Mel Bosworth with When the Cats Razzed the Chickens.  These are available as e-books or as beautiful hand crafted pieces of art, that for an extra dollar you could have signed by the author.  WORTH IT!

So, I’m going to stop feeling guilty for not keeping up with my writer friends that have a million stories coming out everyday, chapbooks and popular blogs.  I’m sure that my daughter will thank me eventually.

Posted by: Teresa | November 5, 2009

In PicFic News Today

PicFic‘s inbox has been steadily receiving new names ever since the MSNBC interview with J.S. Graustein, David Erlewine and Robert Swartwood on twitter-based fiction came out .  This is all very exciting.  This week we published two stories by new contributor Jaqueline Saville with a third story by her coming next week.  She is one of the many new voices we are excited to share with you.  Watch for “Welcome to the Fold” tweets on Sundays when we introduce our new contributors.  We have so many new writers that we even have to do a few “Welcome’s” on Wednesdays!

We are booked for Saturday Serials into mid-March and most of our regular stories into January.  BUT, we could still use a couple good Christmas stories if anyone out there has a talent for being jolly.  I’m also still waiting for a special New Year’s Eve story to knock my socks off.

Folded Word has two chapbooks coming out that you just have to get your hands on.  A poetry chapbook by Jessie Carty and a fiction chapbook by Mel Bosworth.   Folded Word is offering hand bound signed editions in both.  How delicious.

Posted by: Teresa | November 3, 2009

November Rain

Surrounded by water and beauty.

I love days like these.

Ahhhh…the gray skies unleash the torrents once more!  I can sit inside, guilt-free, and read and write and play.

November decomP is a hit.  Particularly, Bubbles by Dave Clapper and Guns and Gold by John Jodzio.   What am I saying?  The whole magazine is worth your time.

I just finished the first installment of my Descant subscription, the summer 09 issue.  It’s fat and good and I wish I could share it with more of you.  Between the amazing stories and thoughtful art I could barely contain my glee.  I am about the start the fall issue which is a poetry issue, I’ll likely read it and send it along to a poet who might appreciate it more than I can.  Let me know if you would like it mailed to you.

Also started Scorch Atlas by Blake Butler.  So far I’m digging it.  Love the book design and feel of the paper which greatly adds to the experience of his collection.

Prairie Fire has a contest due at the end of the month I’m going to get in on.  The $31 fee gets you a one-year subscription.  Worth it to me.  When you don’t see me on Twitter this month it’s because I’m doing my own personal NaNoWrMo this November for Prairie Fire.

I crocheted a throw blanket in a week.  Just to see if I could.

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