Tuesday, August 23, 2011

From Ailurophobia to Wamble; or Fall 2011 Underway

And so the semester begins, with all its fits and starts. Students trying to get into classes, teachers trying to cram students into classes, new faculty and staff coming on board, retirees scampering out, ready to gallivant and giggit about the countryside. The usual office tasks surface: ordering supplies, copying syllabi and oh, ooops! the minutes from the final Department Meeting last semester. Been hustling those meaningless scrawls from four months ago something legible the past two days!

Transcribing minutes can be a somewhat tedious, thankless task. Which is why I try to add some sparkle and flair to them, figuring if I’m distracted into silliness, what about my readers? Don’t they need a little lift now and then? Though, my fun often means I have to attach a glossary to the minutes. For lack of anything more illuminating, I’m posting the most current glossary, just for ducks. You, my friends, get to imagine what sort of minutes I was typing…

Ailurophobia – abnormal fear of cats
Borborgymus – the rumbling of gas and fluid in the intestine
Bosky –1) consisting of or having an abundance of bushes, shrubs or trees 2) tipsy, on the point of being drunk
Celsitude – 1) elevated position, high rank; eminence 2) exalted character
Divagate – to wander…though not necessarily lost
Fank- a sheepfold; a walled or fenced pen for sheep
Flub-dub - nonsense
Gallimaufry – jumble, hodge-podge, a ridiculous medley
Gledge- a sidelong glance
Grinagog – foolishly grinning
Hornswoggle – hogwash; to cheat, deceive or hoax
Huff-nuff – a braggart, a conceited, would-be swashbuckler
Nipperkin – small amount
Oculogyric – rolling the eyeballs in their socket (all parents of teens know this maneuver all too well)
Thingummy – a. k.a, dingus, thingamabob, whatchamacallit, doo-hickey, lick-em ups, or wham whams. Capiche?
Tiggy – hedgehog, or, colloquially, “it” in a game
Whippersnapper –a young thing, full of speed and attitude (but really, no match for age and treachery)

Other words I wanted to use, but just couldn’t find a way to shoehorn them into the notes:
Brool – a deep, low humming sound; a murmur, as of a large crowd.
Brimborion – a thing of no value, trash
Fopdoodle –a fool, simpleton
Leam – n) a ray, flash , or gleam of light v) to shine, to gleam
Slubberdergullion- slovenly oaf
Wamble- 1) to move unsteadily; to stagger 2) (of the stomach) to churn queasily

(all definitions courtesy of Foyle's Philavery, 2007.  collected by Christopher Foyle)

Friday, August 19, 2011

D.A.Powell blurbs Paul Lisicky

Napa Faculty folks continue to be busy:  Check out  D.A.Powell's exquisite blurb of Paul Lisicky's soon-to-be-published book, Unbuilt Projects, posted on Paul's blog . One could hardly ask for a more well-crafted and poetic blurb. Here's a tease: "If there's a place for poetry and prose to co-habitate, it's here in Lisicky's world: under the snowy rooftops and inside the empty rooms of apartments built, unbuilt, and destroyed. "

It does everything a blurb should do: it shares the promise of the book; it creates a longing and desire to read it; it's beautful in and of itself. Neither the book nor the blurb should be missed!

Doug Powell, faculty NVWC 2011

Paul Lisicky, faculty NVWC 2008


Paul Lisicky
Etruscan Press

D.A.Powell blurbs Paul Lisicky

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Blog Tour: PlayAnon

Tooling around the interwebs, I often run into the blogs of great writers (crash, bang, etc- yeah, I'm a bit of a wacko driver, even virtually). I tend to slap them into the BlogRoller list and figure those who are curious will scope them out. Because that is what we do, isn't it? Putter and poke around, twiddle and fiddle away what should have been productive hours.

But I love traveling, discovering new places, new voices, stunning writing. And I don't think it is unproductive when I read someone's fabulous blog. It's inspirational, really; it prods me into stretching my own myself, my own writing. At the very least it counteracts the doom-and-gloom newspaper news, thus restoring my faith in humanity.

So I've decided to introduce the blogs as I discover them, so you'all will have a chance to twiddle away time in an equally awesome but, since I've done the research, a more efficient manner.

PlayAnon - Smart Spew, Straight Up is the subtitle and that pretty much says it right there. Catherine Kustanczy, a freelance journalist and broadcaster (currently back in Toronto, but recently nee NYC and missing it very much), blogs about all the usual things that strike one's fancy, like Ai Wei Wei's Zodiac Heads sculpture or attending the Colbert Report taping and letting her Hobbit Flag fly or an update on the Toronto Zombie Walk.  But she also posts insightful interviews of theater and music folks and thoughtful reviews of plays, music, books, you name it. She's a "Journalist, Broadcaster, Writer, Thinker, Dancer, Prancer, Chancer, Vixen (sometimes)"  as she says on her profile and has many radio spots to her name, which you can find at her SoundCloud. I think you all should drop by sometime and check it out.

And hey, if you know of any great writing-based blogs, post them in Comments, er, BaconBits! I always enjoy having a destination when I amble around the Blogiverse.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Conference returned; update a bit late, but worth the wait (maybe?)

Daniel Alarcon, concentrating on one of his workshoppee's manuscript.
We were honored to be Daniel's first summer workshop
The first day is always about the naps and the laundry. And the second for processing all that went on. Words escape me in my toasted-brain state, so I"ll rely on this group of photos to tell some of the tales from the Napa Valley Writers Conference 2011. More photos in a bit!

Jack Leggett, past Director of the Iowa
Writers Workshop,
and co-founder of the NVWC
(along with David Evans),
enjoying the Mondavi winery. 
Novelists and poets: Adam Hazelett  chats with Lan Samantha Chang,
current Director of the Iowa Writers Workshop (foreground).
Background, poet Major Jackson and novelist Lois Leveen.

Angela Flournoy, Ayana Mathis, Michelle Huneven ~ 
watch for novels from each of these writers in the future. 

From left, unknown gentleman, Pat Perini, 
Eleanor Coppola,  Jack Leggett, past Director of NVWC
 and Andrea Bewick,  current Director of the NVWC
Conference Staff, Jeannie Kim-McPherson,
and Christy Pallella, with 
poet Aaron Di Franco
Sue Brown and Janet Constantino, Participantes Extrodinaire.