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Showing posts from 2008
Happy New Year!

As a New Year’s event represented by Analecta, the literary journal by the English Department at IU South Bend, the Analecta Art Exhibition will open January 2nd and last until the 14th on the fifth floor of the IU South Bend Schurz Library. There are submissions of poetry and artwork by Vincent Bauters (the editors in chief of Analecta 2008,) Eric Duenez (2008 Laster M. Wolfson Poetry Ward Recipient,) Rebecca Gibson, Ashley Hartsough, Amy Iros, Rebecca Pelky, and Laura Pimienta.

The annual spring issue of 2009 will be introduced by the English Department, and a guest writer will announcement the winners of the resulting writing awards on April 11th.

This year’s guest writer is Susan Choi.
“Susan Choi was born in Indiana and grew up in Texas. Her first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction and was a finalist for the Discover Great New Writers Award at Barnes & Noble. With David Remnick, she edited an anthology of fiction titled…
Writer's Meeting
Tuesday, December 30th, 6:00 p.m.
The Hammes Bookstore at Notre Dame.
Oh Christmas Tree~ Oh Christmas Tree~ How b@#$%^ *(#)$(@% %$))9...

I wish your merry Christmas~ I wish your merry Christmas~ I wish your merry Christmas and a @#$)%(^*#$)...

Underneath of Christmas tree~ I just want to have for my own (?) More than you wish $%^%^%)@)!(~...

Do you know what Christmas songs I sing with Japanese accent?
Analecta wants nonfiction stories.

If you are IUSB students, please submit your nonfiction stories at
Dear Artists,

Thank you for submitting your art work to Analecta. We would like you to display your art on the fifth floor of the IU South Bend, Schurz Library; however, the Analecta committees have not yet decided on the arts to include for publication in Analecta. The exhibition will be open January 2nd to the 14th in 2009. If you are interested in displaying your art, please contact Naoko Fujimoto, the editor in chief for Analecta.

The editor in chief is still looking for a digital artist who can work and design the cover art for Analecta with her.

In the end of the spring semester, Analecta student editors will pick the best art work for 2009. And the person who wins will receive a private exhibition at the library during May 2009. The fifth floor at the library is usually booked by art professors for their exhibitions.

1. Bring a single piece of the most preferred work.
2. Frame art work for protection purposes.
3. Please deliver your art to the lib…

Toys for Tots

(pictures: Toys by everyone's donation under my little Christmas tree)

I would like to say many, many thank you who support Toys for Tots. I received $83.00 for total! I just purchased toys after I finished writing one of final papers today. (I have one more final exam tomorrow and two final papers before Christmas.)
I am going to teach Japanese at IU South Bend from fall 2009!
I got a job!
Don't forget!

The Analecta submissions are accepted until the end of the fall semester 2008and we are looking forward to reading and seeing your creative works!!!
Art sale for Toys for Tots will be ended by this Saturday. I will buy toys with your donations this weekend. If someone is interested in making donation, please contact me by Dec 6th!
_______________________________________TOTAL Donation $73.oo
My grandfather, Shigeru Fujimoto, passed away on November 9th, 2008. I miss him but I pray for him in his afterlife...
Peace, love, and a phone receiver...

(Lobster Telephone by Salvador Dali)
Empty Suitcase:
If I Chew my Homework More, It’ll Absorb Better.

“Why do you need a Master’s degree in English if you are a writer?” said my personal writing-life advisor, Yoda-ish yodeler. I gave him the nickname because he is wise like Yoda from Star Wars, he has a messy goat-chin, and he likes singing and eating Swiss cheese with Samuel Adams beer. He has five hairs sticking out from the top of his nose like the Pentagon protecting it from outside world; perhaps, receiving all the academic information for his brain. I always want to pick out the longest of the five with a tweezer.

The Yoda-ish yodeler usually has a moment of truth when I talk to him. Of course writers do not need college degrees. Degrees may polish their status but they just need talent, motivation, and chances. But I, an international person, need permission to stay in America. I just need a visa, paper documents, a passport, financial support…unaccountable things.

So, I responded, “Because I want to write in Engli…

Submit Your Creative Writing and Art Work to Analecta!

Analecta Submission Rules:

1. Manuscripts must be received by the Department of English (DW3115 or 3127) by Wednesday, December 17th, 2008.

2. Manuscript preparation:

A. Type or word-process manuscript

B. Submit two copies of each manuscript.

C. The author’s name, address, student ID number, and e-mail address must appear on the first page ONLY of each manuscript.

D. Please use IUSB email address

3. Students should retain original copies of their work. Manuscripts are not returned.

Genre Rules

Poetry: 1 to 3 poems, maximum of 6 pages
Short Fiction: 1 story, maximum of 7,000 words.
Drama: 1 one-act or 1 full-length play (no musicals)
Non-fiction Prose: 1 work of non-fiction, maximum of 7, 000words

Any manuscripts submitted are automatically considered by the staff of Analecta, IU south Bend’s student-edited and student-written inter-arts magazine, for publication in its annual spring issue.

Aaron and Naoko
"A Towel" is accepted by Chiron Review.


My mother cleans my grandfather’s apartment
every Thursday. She picks up a photo
documentary; Auschwitz.
“A heavy, dusty book,” my mother calls it.

I ask her, “Will I go to a war?” Her palms,
her warm palms are on my cheeks.

Mothers have strong,
strong hands to push away all the soldiers.

Holding a vacuum cleaner, she says,
“I want your pain.” In the smallest

room, my sister cries, the glowing teeth.
My grandfather watches TV with the loudest volume,

the loudest speech. The howling-wind.

He lost his voice seventeen years ago,
the stroke. This mouth and the quietness like people
in those black and white pictures.

Piles of Jewish clothes, glasses, and hair.
Half-naked bodies and holes in the ground.
Their stark tongues and dirt in their mouths.

A last word adheres to their throats.

After the atomic bomb in Hiroshima,
my grandfather stood alone on a black hill.
He saw nothing but smoke. No clothes. No shoes.

Burnt skin hanging from arms.

Empty Suitcase:
Meet the Fujimoto Parents

My death metal guy is going to meet my parents this Thanksgiving weekend. The Japanese usually do not celebrate the harvest, and I have never left school in the middle of semester to go to Japan. But, this November, my family is going to have a family reunion, a celebration for my parent’s 27th wedding anniversary, and my best friend’s wedding. Especially, I would like to visit my grandfather, who connected to a feeding tube now, before he takes off to the other side of the world.

When I told my plan to my guy, he said, “Why not.” It was the shortest answer that I have ever received. I made sure he knew how important this decision was and what “meet the parents” means in Japanese culture. It is more serious than a relationship between Robert DeNiro and Ben Stiller.

My father is not a CIA agent but a regular office worker carrying a briefcase and his proud cellular phone. It has a radio system inside so he can listen to baseball games wherever he…

Christmas Gift Project 1

Empty Suitcase:
Olives on Pizza

Suddenly I received three hours. A meeting, class, and other commitments were canceled one after another the other day. Under the autumn sky, I did not know what I wanted to do for three hours. I could have gone back home to sleep or do massive loads of laundry, but I did not feel like it. I could have read articles and homepages that I was interested in, but I did not feel like fitting myself in a computer lab listening to other’s typing keys. I was just standing in the middle of campus with a vacant look.

Then, I felt my hunger. Deep inside my body, my stomach craved for pizza with lots of olives. I purchased it from the Courtside Café in the Student Activity Center. I like the pizza from the café because I can choose three favorite toppings— my favorite is X cheese, olives, and olives on pizza bread— and with a bottle of water, it costs five dollars. I usually order X-cheese, tomato and chicken but I did not feel like it that day.

If I have lunch at one…
Naoko is observing bloggers. Paparazzied by Ann Weedon (A photographer and The editor of IU South Bend Student Publications: 2009 issue of New Views on Gender.)
Empty Suitcase:
The Halloween Magic, the Nile’s Haunted House

Two weeks ago, I received a love letter from my death metal guy with an invitation for a date, which he called a blue night. I was kind of expecting a romantic blue night— under the stars and the moon in an autumn night sky— whatever it was to fulfill my fantasy, my girlish dream. The blue night was indeed haunted, an enchanted night, the Halloween magic.

I dressed up in a little red riding hood costume with a slightly shorter skirt and fishnet tights. Instead of waiting for him at a country home in the woods, I was waiting for him by the street-light pole in red high heels. “How much?” was a forbidden question to the innocent riding hood.

His car parked next to me and he rolled down his window. His face was exactly like the Joker from Batman: the Dark Night. I watched the movie on the day it came out with him and I fell in love with the Joker’s creepiness between his lonely and sadistic moments. His sense of humor—making a pe…
Toys for Tots

I would like to make an announcement…

This year the Preface will be conducting the toy drive here on Campus.

“In the United States, children now make up about 29% of the population, and 13% of our population lives in poverty. That means a lot of children in our country are waking up every Christmas with little to nothing under their Christmas tree” (Mabie, the Preface Oct 1, 2008).

I would like to support the event selling my art. If you are interested in purchasing pictures from Empty Suitcase, please email me at

$10 for one picture but if you would like to donate more, you are welcome!

I will donate all profit to the Preface.
Empty Suitcase:
A Violation of Parking

I received a parking ticket— a violation of parking— parking on the wrong side of the street. In my defense, I did not know that parking a car facing opposite of the other cars was against parking laws. Maybe it is common sense— dangerous to park on the wrong side of street— however, how would I learn this common sense with my Japanese and international backgrounds.

I recalled to myself that there was no such question on the driving exam— some people said that I can find the law on the internet or in other brochures at the license branches— again in my defense, I drive on the left side of the street with a right side steering wheel in Japan— why should I need to pay the fine by in the absence of being informed? I would like to say loudly that the Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles should educate me with all the complicated, detailed driving rules on the driving exam or maybe have a lecture. Japanese driving branches often have driving lectures f…
From this semester, I draw pictures for my articles in the Preface…just I would like to share… I know that they are a little bit silly but enjoy…

I hear a minuet. My cat sleeps on a couch.
A pianist plays Le Tombeau de Couperin.

Ravel composed it for his friends.
They died in World War I.

She hums the phrase and whispers to me,
“Funerals two thousand times in my country.”

Home: pieces of blocks
under the soldiers’ boots in her smallest

country, Georgia. No place to return. Refugee:
other people call her. Her cousins went to war.

“Where are the all caskets?” I ask her.

She keeps playing the minuet with a metronome
and its short repeated sound.

All the corpses are hidden under the borderline
like spring water: blood.

A withered gerbera on the piano.

There is no graveyard for prayer.
She cannot cry in front of it.

I say, “I brought a cup of tea and blueberries.”

She huddles the warm
cup and picks up a blueberry. It lightly rolls

down the table to the floor.
The cat plays with a cricket

pulling off its leg.
The Empty Suitcase:
Six Unspectacular Things about Me

The IU South Bend writer’s community connects with each other on the internet. They share creative stories, art, and poetry in their blogs and some professors like Sally Smits, Clayton Michaels, and David Dodd Lee communicate with students through blogging. Also in the blog, IUSB Creative Writing, Professor Kelcey Parker makes all kinds of announcements such as writing events and submission opportunities.

I deeply belong to the blogging community and this column also started from my blog. I got a columnist opportunity from a former Preface editor— blogger— Eric Gingerich.

Last week, I was tagged— tagged to share an enjoyable writing topic with other bloggers— from a poet, Professor Michaels. He tagged four IUSB bloggers to write about “Six Unspectacular Things about Me.”

Blogging is about personal confessions but a writer is somehow expecting that someone reads the confessions and respond to them. I set up Sitemeter— a tracking and cou…
FGWC (the Writer's Meeting)
Wed. the 17th, 7:00 p.m., The Oaken Bucket
Empty Suitcase:
Surgical Complication with Every New Skirt
My actress friend visited me from Maine last weekend, so I picked up her in Chicago. I looked for a girl with a white scarf at an arriving gate in O’Hare International Airport. Before she took off at her last layover, she text-messaged me, “I am wearing a white scarf, just like you always wear a hat.”

I am always wearing a hat especially on sunny days, I even store a folding hat and sunglasses in my car. In my closet, I have collections of hats— straw, cowboy, and regular hats, Chicago Bear’s caps, and even witch-like pixie hats with a variety of colors— since I have a slightly complicated skin condition, I cannot soak up sunshine for more than 15 minutes.

If I stay under the sun without shade, in the worst situation, I lose my eyebrows. My eyebrows had been lost for my entire time in junior high school because I was in a tennis club outside. “Why do not you have eyebrows? Did you shave them?” those questions were always surround…
The Empty Suitcase:
Call for an Art Director for Analecta

On September 4th I represented Analecta, the IU South Bend English Magazine at Art Beat in downtown South Bend. 250 copies of past issues were gone after two hours and it was a great start for introducing Analecta this year. Someone might hear me saying over and over like a broken record player with Japanese accent, “Hello, would you r-ike to keep a f-lee art magazine from IUSB?” Somehow, many people asked me how long I have been in America instead of asking about Analecta. “I have been South Bend for five years…it is not too long and I love this beautiful town, South Bend,” which I responded.

Anyway, I am so excited to be the editor of Analecta as an international student for the 2009 issue. Analecta has been published since 1988. Professor Nancy Botkin, who teaches creative writing at IUSB, is one of the earlier award receivers and her book, Parts that Were Once Whole, was published in 2007. Former editors such as Talia Reed (2…
Introducing Analecta at Art Beat in South Bend Downtown was very successful. After only two hours, 250 copies of past issues of Analecta, fliers, and the Preface were gone! Thank you very much for people who stopped by the booth, thank you Ann and Rachel!Special thanks to Charmi, Jason, and Dane who helped me to set up the booth, and Professor Parker who gave me advice and printed all the fliers!
September 4, 2008: Art Beat 2008 is moving indoors to the Century Center. The Art Beat Steering Committee made the call this morning due to today's weather forecast. The Century Center staff has graciously offered the use of their facility for today's event.

We hope that you will show your support for the arts and downtown South Bend by not cancelling. The local media is being contacted regarding this change so the community is aware. Please help spread the word through emails or calls to friends!
Please note that despite the call for rain on Thursday, September 4th we
have no plans to cancel the event, Art Beat in South Bend Downtown. The event will only be cancelled in case of severe weather which is currently not the case. Chances are that the weather will be fine afternoon.
Thursday, September 4th 4:oo to 8:oopm
South Bend Downtown

Introducing Analecta, FGWC, and the Preface!

Charmi (the coordinator of writer's meeting at IUSB,) Jason (the editor of the Preface,) and I will meet at the English Department Office (3rd floor of DW) at 2:45pm.

Everyone is welcome!
Analecta has a booth in an art event,
Art Beat, in South Bend Downtown
on Thursday, September 4th from 4:00pm to 8:00pm!

I am thinking to advertise Analecta with fliers and past issues of Analecta
to showcase the writing community at IUSB. In addition, all artists can sell their arts and crafts. All writers can introduce their magazines, chapbooks, articles, websites, blogs, and etc.

I am looking for someone who can help me to set up the booth.

I do not know where the booth will be until the day of the event,
but if we meet sometime around 3:00pm, it should be enough time to set everything up.

So please email me back by Thursday if you can help me.
I will give my cellphone number so we can keep in touch.

Of course you are welcome to stop by!
Empty Suitcase:
Flash Drive, Baking Powder, and Limitation

My flash drive was suddenly lost all of its memory— my graduate research projects, poetry, official letters, and all of last year’s columns for the Preface— my creative works are gone, gone, gone in between some microchips and the black hole-mystery of a computer system. I screamed, “Come back to me!” like a crying woman who was under a messy blanket on a bed while her lover left through the door. It was the most selfish, cheesiest break-up I have ever done.

Surprisingly, I did not really freak out. I wandered around in my apartment a couple of times reciting, “this is a betrayal of modern technology,” cut my nails, and kicked a trashcan. The plastic trashcan was cracked and filled with baking powder—I threw old baking powder from the refrigerator away before I started writing this column. Believe or not, I was excited to write about my refrigerator and its odor problems— so my carpet wa…
The Empty Suitcase: Closety Experience

When I finish a painting, I frame my art, which I usually find at Goodwill and antique shops. I put on my yellow rubber gloves and place those dusty frames on my dining table and vacuum them first. I clean them with a bathroom cleaner with bleach for the glass surfaces and wax spray for the wooden frames. As a special treatment; perhaps, spiritual treatment, I put a little bit of salt on the frames. Because I have no idea where those frames come from— they may come from some grandma’s death bed; perhaps, from a murder case— I usually sanitize spiritually with salt. Salt is helpful to purify objects and human minds in Japanese culture. So I put a little bit salt on the frame and pray— thank you for accepting my art— then I put my art into the frame.

So the other day, I found nice frames from an antique shop— the frames were dusty like charcoal— so I hesitated carrying them into my apartment. When I used to live in school housing, I had an art room …