Goths and babies

Dang, it’s been a while! I kept thinking about posting, but … well, there is nothing more boring than someone talking about why they haven’t blogged in so long, so I will get right to it.

First off, I had a short piece published in Penduline Press’s Spellbound issue: The Goths.

The goths are mysterious and ethereal and moody but also bold and bawdy and hilarious. They are impractical, some more than others, though none of them would ever spend their last few dollars on cleaning supplies or milk or parking tickets if it meant going without black eyeliner. The goths don’t have pets anymore, though one of them once had a lizard and one had a little brown rat named Albertine.

In the time since that piece was published, the Spellbound issue has come and gone and now the excellent Dastardly issue has been posted. And Penduline is taking submissions for an upcoming Ohio-themed issue — a subject on which I sadly have nothing to say. I have never been to Ohio, and my impressions of the state mostly come from reading Winesburg, Ohio and Knockemstiff. This probably isn’t an entirely fair view of Ohio, but on the other hand … it seems possible that it’s not too far off.

Here’s something I just learned while looking for that last link: there’s a band called Knockemstiff! I don’t think they were inspired by the book, which is probably a good thing — that would be one scary-ass band. I can’t quite wrap my mind around how the Ramones ended up on this list of bands they cover.

I will say that this random Internet find isn’t quite as amazing as the time a web search led me to discover a Malaysian band called the Misfit Ramones. (I had been looking for this.) One of their songs is called “Your Breasts Are Big (I’m Going To Sue You).” It’s a pretty catchy little number.

Wow, I am easily distracted when I haven’t blogged in a while! I think I was going to say more about some writerly things I’ve been doing. I took another session of Ariel Gore’s amazing Literary Kitchen online course, which was fantastic (as usual) — came out with a couple of stories that need just a bit more tweaking before sending ’em out into the world. I also took a one-day course with Lidia Yuknavitch at Richard Hugo House that was inspiring and fantastic.

But the most exciting thing that happened in the past few months was the birth of my niece, Matilda, on Valentine’s Day! I got to see her just a few days later. She was born at Alta Bates hospital in Berkeley — the same place where my sisters and I were all born. My sister Lily, Matilda’s mom, was born in a sort of alternative hippie birthing wing of the hospital. Our whole family got to hang out and be there for the birth. I was twelve and kept a running account in my journal while everything was happening. Basically, I live-blogged it, except that it was 1981 and that wasn’t even close to being a thing yet.

My dad submitted my account of it to an “intergenerational anthology” called Across The Generations, and it became my first published piece of writing.

I’m not sure my style has changed all that much from this time (though I’m a much more ruthless self-editor). That aside to Amy (my other sister)? Classic. And this train-of-thought digression about beanbags (plus a whole lotta parentheses) — perhaps you can see the roots of this rambly post right here …

I love seeing this glimpse into my twelve-year-old mind, with its mix of grossed-out observations and sheer excitement.

Sure, there’s lots of waiting around, and sisterly squabbles, and bloody guck. But what it really comes down to is Lilylilylily! Babybabybaby!

I wrote out her full name, date of birth, and astrological sign below that.

There really is nothing like a new little person coming into the world, someone you look forward to getting to know for a long time to come, someone you already love.

Matilda! MatildaMatilda! MatildaMatildaMatilda!