Friday, August 04, 2017

Backbone Press finalist!

I'm very happy to learn that my chapbook, The Ocean Between, is a finalist in Backbone Press's Spring open reading session.

Backbone Press is a small press for ethnic poets and is interested in:
language that is elegant and provocative; poetry that informs and engages us in broader cultural conversations.
Even if my chapbook doesn't get accepted for publication, it is an honor to make it to the final round!
The Ocean Between is a 25-poem chapbook divided into two sections: Puerto Rico poems and Florida poems.  The journey begins with a brief visit back to Puerto Rico that brings back many memories of my childhood spent there. I’m the daughter of an immigrant and an islander whose ancestors also immigrated to their respective homelands.  Within every generation of my family there came a decision: to leave or to stay, and my ancestors always chose to leave, for their own sake and for their children’s.  From this restless heritage I derived a curious lack of home sense—I’ve always been neither one thing nor another, neither native nor alien.  These poems are an attempt to gather all these emotions together into a cohesive whole—to define what we mean by “home” and to highlight that perhaps it’s the ocean between that really matters:  that ever-changing, ever-the-same body that divides us and yet also unites us into a single body.

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!



Update on this post:  LingoBites is in Beta launch mode and I have a limited number of free trial codes to give out--contact me if you are interested!

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. Jubilación

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! "Jubilación" 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!