Sunday, December 30, 2007

A kind of rest cure, with major update

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas.

Am back in Spinea and taking my herbal meds like the good ol' goat that I am, plus some homeopathic thingees for my pustule-eyed tonsils (yes, they've got eyes!) Had decided to come home for a week before things get any worse — as in abscessive and/or gangreenish.

At any rate, have already infected majority of the people in the house (pooch included — unbelievable, but true!) and figured it was time to spread what I've come to call the Amsterdam virus in Italy. Hee. When I went away Niece #1 still had a fever and one of the caregivers called in sick.

The four weeks I had been in Manila were quite hectic and nerve-wracking:

Week 1 had me in bed with tonsillitis. My mom was still doing fine.

Week 2 was spent in the hospital where we had to admit my mom — she started vomiting nonstop due to one of the NSAIDs (painkillers) she was taking. It was a good thing we decided to because she started throwing up blood in the ambulance.

Week 3 had us dialing again for the ambulance at 2AM because she had fever convulsions for over an hour. By the time, the paramedics arrived her fever had broken and so my mom preferred to stay at home despite their insistence in taking her to the hospital for some tests. This week she started losing hand and leg function, too. The family doctor told us to prepare ourselves spiritually because it's the body slowly shutting itself down.

Week 4, my mom had some terrible "breakthrough pains" — a particularly bad one on Christmas day — and we were in such a panic because we couldn't contact the pain management doc. The husband always says that we idealize hell so much that we don't realize we're actually living in IT. After helplessly watching my mom scream and weep from the pain, I know this to be true.

Just to end on a positive note, my mom was pretty stable when I left home — we've upped her opiate intake and dermal patch. As long as she's not in pain, she's quite loquacious and has a good appetite — which means a world of difference when you've got stage IV breast cancer. When I say, "Ice cream?" she gives me the toothiest smile that has ever brightened any room.

Recent acceptances:

More for my records than anything. The theory is if it's on my blog, I won't lose track of it or start a fire with it.

Carousel, a flat-spined Canadian print journal accepted an old-ish poem, Counterglow for their 23rd issue, due sometime out in 2008.

They accept hard-copy (no charge) and e-mail (with payment) submissions — but they respond via e-mail. Response times are rather long, but worth it, I think. They reply to rejections sooner — with a request to keep a poem or two longer for consideration. Very professional manners.

     Submission mailed: 29 June 2007
     E-mail reply (return of work): 12 October 2007
     E-mail acceptance: 7 December 2007

Eclectica accepted my poems, Drying the Neighbor's Dog (word poem), Ladder and Afternoon Stroll for their Jan/Feb 2008 issue. It will mark my 14th appearance there. Their word poem challenge is just too addicting.

     Submission sent: 29 November 2007
     Reply date: 9 December 2007

Sidebrow accepted my poem, twenty-four : sawdust (from the hopelessly unfinished "approximative translations" manuscript) as part of their Page 24 Project.

Have to admit I did a little bunny dance when I read their e-mail. It's my second attempt with them — and the work they publish just blows me away. If I have to be honest with myself, I never thought I'd have ever made it in.

     Submission sent: 19 June 2007
     Reply date: 10 December 2007

• The poetry editor of SUB-LIT was so kind to invite me to send them some work. This is such a neat 'zine — based on what they publish, they seem to go for the edgy and surreal. Will be having three poems: So What If You Love Your Migraine Like a Second Coming, Eve and A Night in the Suburbs in Issue 3.

     Submission sent: 26 November 2007
     Reply date: 12 December 2007

• Was so thrilled to receive Susan Denning's (Caffeine Destiny) e-mail on 22 December, telling me that my poem, Possessions has been selected for the Best of the Web 2008 Dzanc Books print anthology. It was such a wonderful surprise because I didn't even know she nominated the poem!

• It's a little too soon to say if it will push through, but just the idea/acceptance lifted my spirits when Valerie wrote me saying the editor of Texture Press is interested in publishing our Bundles of Letters, Including A, V and Epsilon manuscript. I've had to pinch myself twice when I read her e-mail.

Recent publications:

• My poem, Supermarket Tabloid Sestina was included in the year-end print anthology of Feathertale. I get a high every time I sniff the glossy full-color pages.

• Have two poems, Open House (sonnenizio on a line from Jarman) and Col San Martino, Late Winter in the Winter 2007-2008 issue of Umbrella. Am delighted to see so many familiar names in this issue, namely Carol Frith, James A. Midgley, Jayne Pupek, S. Thomas Summers and Ann Walters. Love your poems!!

Overheard between A and the husband:

A: You know what I want for Christmas? A gorilla suit.

Husband: But honey, you don't need one. You're the authentic thing. Don't ruin the effect.

A: Let's hear you say that again without your teeth.

• • • • • • • •

Anyway, I hope everyone has a great time tomorrow. Don't drink too much... because, well, that's my job. Hee.