Tuesday, June 26, 2012

cats with crowns

The big news is that on Saturday, July 7 I'll be hosting a reading by Bruce Covey, Kim Gek Lin Short and Lee Ann Roripaugh at my home. If you're in or close to NoVa that night and would like to attend, backchannel for details. It will be a regal affair. Poetry royalty, some might say.

Lost? Looking for guidance? Need an unbiased source to turn to? Want to stumble across some new poems? At this writing, The Bibliomancy Oracle has over 600 possible answers. New answers are added every week. This has probably been one of my favorite creative projects in a long time. I'll be actively working on it all summer.

Something else I'm enjoying is Pinterest. It's like being the editor of your very own glossy magazine--without having to deal with writers, proofreaders, designers, photographers, artists, advertisers, investors, pr -- and you can put together pretty much anything.  The best part is that you can follow people by subjects, so if you really like a person's book recommendations and art links, you can follow those, without being bogged down by their obsessive food porn (or whatever you'd rather not clog your feed).

Speaking of categories, the way people categorize things is rather interesting. For instance, if you go to the art category and see what some people categorize as art . . . well, to each her own . . . I'll be over here judging quietly to myself.

I'm becoming aware of certain words and phrases that bug or creep me out. For instance, "yum" or "yummy" -- I try not to follow anyone's categories with those words, whether or not they're about food or not (often, they aren't about food). Same goes for "delicious" -- ESPECIALLY when it's not about food. When someone refers to a human being as delicious--call me old-fashioned, but all I can think of is cannibalism. I'm about to unfollow someone's non-food category called "Visual Treats" because "treats" evokes a similar response, even if it's a picture of a designer handbag. I'm borderline on categories with the words "inspire" or "inspiration" as well as phrases like "idea sparkers." That's less creep factor and more dork alert.

I think I dislike cutesy unless it's truly bizarre or over-the-top goofy. I don't see enough of that. "Life Affirming Kitchen Spigots." I'd follow that.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

bibliomancy oracle update

Getting lots of positive feedback about the Bibliomancy Oracle. I'm still adding to it everyday and will be for the immediate future. It's been my impetus to discover some new (to me, at least) poetry magazines and read a lot more poems. When selecting texts, I try to include a variety of shades, different types of responses for the many types of questions that might be asked. While I try not to include anything that is obviously disturbing or ominous, there's no "you will perish tomorrow in a fiery automobile accident" response, the Oracle certainly can offer responses that people won't want to hear. Of course, the same response may be welcomed by one questioner to her answer while it may be taken less enthusiastically as the answer to another's question. The oracle is worthless if it's all sunshine and pixie sticks and one person's sunshine and pixie sticks is another's sunburn and smelling salts.

Also, a lot has to do with how the questioner interprets the answer. When you're looking for one thing, you might overlook what's being presented. Often times the answer someone is hoping to receive isn't really what would benefit her. Just because you want that job, or that particular lover, or whatever, doesn't mean it would bring the happiness you'd expect it. So a "it's not gonna happen" response doesn't necessarily mean doom and gloom.

I intend for the Oracle to be useful --whether it's used for perspective, guidance or creative prompts. Bibliomancy has a rich history and began during the early days of printed books. I love this anecdote mentioned in the bibliomancy Wikipedia entry:

English poet Robert Browning used this method to ask about the fate of his enchantment to Elizabeth Barret (later known as Elizabeth Barret Browning). He was at first disappointed to choose the book "Cerutti’s Italian Grammar", but on randomly opening it his eyes fell on the following sentence: ‘if we love in the other world as we do in this, I shall love thee to eternity' (which was a translation exercise).