Saturday, July 15, 2017

Alsina Publishing to present my flash fiction trilogy

I'm excited to announce that Alsina Publishing will present my fantasy fiction trilogy via LingoBites, their app for language learning via story-telling.

I'm also so pleased and grateful that Selina Fenech, an incredible Australian artist and author, agreed to let me use her beautiful artwork for the trilogy cover!

This gorgeous piece, entitled "Saviour" perfectly illustrates my stories! Check out Selina's website for all her fiction, artwork, coloring books, figurines, etc. You will be amazed!




Thursday, July 06, 2017

Rejections can be sweet...

thirty west finalist
However, their critique of the manuscript let me down very easy!  I am going to frame it and post it by my writing desk for encouragement!  Thank you, Thirty West Editorial panel!
Excerpts:
"These pieces are unique, fresh, and beautifully written. The muses here have constructed some unique narrative voices and superbly distinct pieces ..." "Supremely creative."
"...one must be widely-read and knowledgeable of literary, artistic, and historical touchstones to fully catch all of the allusions here. That makes the target audience for these pieces much less universal than some other pieces."  "The unique thoughtfulness and dedicated execution of these pieces far outweighs any audience concerns."
"Not only is this magnificent on a conceptual level, but the beauty in the writing lies in its use of literary devices throughout. For instance, the internal rhythm and rhyme in “Guinevere to Arthur” is so seamless as to seem easily done..."
"..the level of intellectualism and foresight, the knowledge and exploratory nature of poetic structure and elements, and the skill and artistry in execution make this a great piece that any publishing company should be honored to print."

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Whale Road Review publishes my poem "The Astronomer's New Eyes"

Many thanks to the Whale Road Review for their May publication of my poem:

 "The Astronomer's New Eyes" in their Summer Issue 7.



Whale Road is a unique journal that publishes poetry, short prose, chapbook reviews and pedagogical papers!


This poem was written in honor of my husband, astronomer James R. Webb, of course!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

June publications!

June has been a good month for me!

First, Alsina Publications accepted two flash fiction fantasy pieces, with a view to a third to complete the trilogy.  Alsina is launching a new language learning app, LingoBites, that will help students and other customers learn languages by reading stories!

Then Highland Park Poetry republished my poem "The Last Thing I'll Lose" in their Muses Gallery bird themed summer issue.

The Ginger Collect, self professed publishers of "The Weird, the New Age and the Strange" were kind enough to publish two of my poems in their Issue Two:  "The Story of the Stones" and "Under a Graveyard Sun."

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review also featured my poem "Plague Graffiti" on their page.
This poem was based on a BBC news article:

(Songs of Eretz Editor’s Note:  "This is a unique and moving elegy that resonates as much today in the age of indiscriminate terror attacks as it would have 500 years ago during the black plague that struck Cambridgeshire.")

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Thirty West Publishing House's beautiful hand-bound chapbooks!



Thirty West Publishing House produces hand-bound chaplets and chapbooks.  As I previously posted, they recently chose my poem "The Surest Poison" as winner of their sonnet challenge (part of their celebration of National Poetry Month) and now editor Josh Dale is publishing a chaplet of all the weekly challenge winners!  It will include work from four different writers and four different genres/forms, and will include my winning sonnet as well as a second sonnet "Blood Pacts."  Many thanks to TWPH for their support of poetry and writers!  I would like to learn to make hand-bound chaps like these!  In Josh's picture, you see some of the tools he uses and the resulting chapbooks.

P.S.
If you look closely at the picture, you will see that my two poems happened to fall in the middle pages of the chaplet!





Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Retirement vs. JubilaciĆ³n

Although I haven't posted about any financial/frugal ideas lately it doesn't mean they haven't been on my mind.  With the house paid off, now my main focus is building up our liquid savings and saving for our mythical retirement.  Since my husband and I enjoy our current occupations so much, I have a feeling that retirement will not be our choice, but something forced upon us by circumstances beyond our control, but we'll see.  In any case, someday either one or both of us will be officially retired, at least partially.  I guess one could say I've been semi-retired for 10 years now, since I began working part-time, but the difference is I have not considered myself retired.  I have come to realize retirement is a state of mind, not just a financial one.

In Spanish, we say a retired person is "jubilado" which technically means "freed" or "released" rather than "retired."  I have felt released and freed most of my life, so in that sense I've been retired all along! "JubilaciĆ³n" sounds a lot like "jubilation" in English, which of course means great joy and elation, so I guess the term is a more positive-sounding one than "retirement" which sounds like you're retreating from life.

Anyway, in the effort to save for retirement I try to keep frivolous, impulsive purchases on a tight rein but I also like to keep track of low-cost purchases that deliver high satisfaction and make life more pleasant.

This year my frugal winners are:

A Cool Gear thermos on sale at Tuesday Morning that keeps my iced tea cold for 24 hours.  (The first one we got for free but its top eventually broke so I needed a new one--I now use the old one at home but I needed one with a tightly sealed top for work)  Cost: $10  (normally this type of thermos goes for $25-30 at the supermarket).

A cushioned zero-gravity chair for Jim--the removable cushion alone was worth the price I paid for both the chair and cushion.  It's a sueded material that makes the chair look much more living-room-worthy. Cost: $80

A Hamilton Beach room odor eliminator Cost $25.  Wow, this has really helped cat-related odors in my room and doubles as a personal fan and gray noise generator as well!


Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Ghazal Page published my poem "Rilke Returns to Ronda" -- late to report

For some reason, I never announced the publication of my latest favorite poem,

"Rilke Returns to Ronda,"

a ghazal in an earlier issue (number 63) of The Ghazal Page.

This poem was inspired by my visit to Ronda, Spain last year.  I found out that Ernest Hemingway had famously visited Ronda, and so had Rainer Maria Rilke, one of my favorite poets. Rilke had been experiencing terrible writer's block and stayed a few months in a hotel in the hills there, during which he experienced a re-awakening of inspiration and began writing again.

I had been toying with the idea of writing about Rilke in Ronda but had not hit upon a way to approach the theme when I heard of The Ghazal Page's "places" challenge and realized it had to be a ghazal!  I had not written a tercet ghazal before but this one seemed to demand to be one, maybe because Rilke wrote his famous "Spanish Trilogy" in Ronda! 

Rilke's real first name was "Rene" so I used "reborn" in the last stanza, according to the tradition.
I make a passing reference to Hemingway as well!  While I was in Ronda, my travel companion wanted to see the bullring, which is the oldest existing one in Spain, so I saw that firsthand.  And the carpark we used was called "Poeta Rilke!"