Thursday, September 21, 2006

Rec Room + Computer Kaput + Seismosis Is Here

Reading + Ailing Computer
Last night I read at the Rec Room, at Black Rock Bar, in a group reading called "Ultra Magnetic," curated by one of the smartest people I know, writer and editor Rone Shavers. The other readers were poet Erica Bernheim, and friends and fellow CC members Toni Asante Lightfoot, Krista Franklin, and Tracie D. Hall. The announced sixth reader, Nancy Ferguson, ended up not reading, because her printed died, and I was able to commiserate, because my computer died yesterday as well. As it turns out, this is the fourth time in roughly four years that I've had problems with a laptop in Chicago; I'm not sure what's up, since I try to take very good care of my them (well, not counting the occasional dusty screens), handling them gently at all times, but I also learned the hard way, several years, about backing them up, even though C has urged me to do this since Day One. When I lost a series of short stories and an entire novel section several years ago, I was devastated, but now, I do periodically back up the computer, so should things turn out for the worst for this machine (which I got as a replacement from Apple last fall), I have everything saved but a very few files (i.e., my new syllabus, etc.). I also recognize that like any machine, computers do break down and there're few preventive things you can do to address certain hardware problems. But I also wonder about the chances of encountering "logic board" errors with such frequency--and since this is the first week of classes the fritzed computer couldn't happen at a worst time--especially given that an old iMac we have, and my very first Mac, a little SE30, which we finally got sent to computer heaven a years ago, were far more robust. Perhaps those machines were the luck of the draw, and the subsequent Mac laptops just haven't been.

Seismosis Is Here
Me with Seismosis
Since my camera's kaput too, I had to use my cell phone to snap a shot of me with the newly arrived copy of Seismosis, my collaboration with Chris Stackhouse, which is finally now on its way to retail, library and personal bookshelves. Both the publisher, 1913 Press, and the distributor, Small Press Distributor, have sites up for the book. I almost couldn't believe it when I saw the box in the department main office, and have been grinning since then. It's wonderful to see this project--which was one of the most enjoyable things I've ever worked on and in which I pushed myself in terms of my sense of aesthetic limits in response to Chris's drawings--finally appearing in its complete form (though the little chapbook was beautiful); the care the designer and publisher invested really show, which is to say, the design and production are exquisite. Now, it's out into the world!


  1. oh my god, congratulations! i'm getting it. i hope this will end the days of your answering questions about it with, "well it's really just"-- you can take out the "just" now.

    and, i should have written you a proper email, but thank you so so so much for the TSE chapbook. it filled me with such joy that i practically flung myself on the floor under the reading lamp to read it over a few times, after saying to myself "oh my god! oh wow!" repeatedly. very thoughtful, thank you.

  2. Sorry to hear about your computer! A friend of mine had trouble with the upgrade to his Mac recently as well.

    And Welcome Seismosis! Congrats to you and Che.

  3. Seismosis is beautiful. And wonderful, so far. A great interface of language and image.

    Thanks for sharing it today.

    (I could have taken a better picture. This was a minute or so later, right?)

  4. Tai, Reggie and Jillana, thanks so much for the good words!

    Reggie, this time it wasn't the upgrade, but just the computer itself...I think the logic board problems may be inevitable, but at least I did have backups of everything and they were able to repair it swiftly!

  5. So sorry to hear about your computer! I know how hard it can be to move past the losses big and small.