Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Random House's "Zombies Take Back the Library" contest winner

I just found out my zombie library display was one of the winners!  We won four free books for the library!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Interviewed for WLRN-Miami Herald News --Miami Book Fair International takes off!

I received an email from WLRN-Miami Herald news wanting to interview published poets who have another job during the Miami Book Fair International.  Because of my participation in the O'Miami Poetry Festival, they must have had my name on a contacts list. The feature article, "These Are the Day Jobs of Miami Bards" by Rachel Morello aired on 91.3 FM, November 22, 2013.

Photo Courtesy of Rachel Morello, WLRN Miami News

Quite a few of my favorite poets are appearing at the Book Fair this year, beginning with Sharon Olds, Mary Jo Salter, Robert Pinsky, Campbell McGrath and Richard Blanco and ending with a reading by the Miami Poetry Collective!

My retired colleague and friend Andy Grof, will be reading from his novel as well!

What happens when you google yourself....

I found out that I was "Latino Quote of the Day" on November 14th!  Thanks to Bobby Gonzalez for the honor!  He quoted from my Latina Book Club guest blog about writing.

He shared my quote on his syndicated site:  Latino Quote of the Day

“At 50+ I can claim many freedoms I did not possess before—my hair is thinner but my skin is thicker—I can take rejection and criticism and stand my ground better…”
             -    Beatriz F. Fernandez, Puerto Rican/Peruvian author.

Latino Quote Of The Day™ is curated by Bobby Gonzalez.

Bobby González is a nationally known multicultural motivational speaker, storyteller and poet. Born and raised in raised in the South Bronx, New York City, he grew up in a bicultural environment. Bobby draws on his Native American (Taino) and Latino (Puerto Rican) roots to offer a unique repertoire of discourses, readings and performances that celebrates his indigenous heritage.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

FIU Writers Conference Wrap-Up

I fought burn-out and migraines during the FIU Writer's Conference but it was well worth it!  I attended sessions held by Frances de Pontes Peebles, Lynne Barrett, Campbell McGrath and the keynote speech by Dennis Lehane, who is very funny!  He told the audience to get used to being "mutants" who care about this weird thing called writing and not to expect others to understand (paraphrasing wildly from memory here, but you get the idea!)

The best experience for me, naturally, was the poetry workshop held by FIU professor and poet Campbell McGrath.  We discussed various styles of poetry and then he assigned us two poems and then we read them and discussed them in class. He said one of my poems was "terrific" and told me to go home and write some more!  When Campbell McGrath tells you that, you dare not disobey!

Lynne Barrett led us through a breakdown of good fiction-writing practices by using Hansel and Gretel as an example of an enduring and effective story.  This was a very interesting method which clarified many things in my mind even though I'm not writing fiction right now.

I wish I could have attended all the sessions and events but I wasn't able to--the activities began at 7:30 in the morning and lasted until the evening with breaks for meals.  I met many nice people and was very impressed with the level of writing of the participants,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Irene Adler haunts Sherlock's mind....

My poem, "Very Truly Yours, Irene Norton, née Adler” which won 2nd place in Spark's Contest Two, will be published in Spark, A Creative Anthology Volume III on Halloween!  

“To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind. He was, I take it, the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that the world has seen.... And yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.”

― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Marissa Ball made this great pastiche of photos from my Zombie Halloween display for the FIU Green Library!

Love Letter Ekphrastic Ghazals for October

Evan Mantyk of the Society of Classical Poets was kind enough to accept my companion ghazals, under the title "On Viewing Dante and Beatrice by Henry Holiday, 1884" for publication on his site.

The poems were inspired by Holiday's beautiful painting, shown below and on the website.

The Society consists of a group of poets dedicated to the revival and proliferation of good, new poetry that follows classical forms. See the website if you are interested in joining.

Read my poems here.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hot, hot, hot!

I was just rejoicing in an acceptance of "Letter from Marie C., Paris, 1906" from Yellow Fox Quarterly, when I noticed another email in my box from When Women Waken: a Journal of Poetry, Prose & Images, also accepting my work for their August "home" themed issue! When it rains, it pours! They are publishing three poems: "Summers at Star Lake," "In the Garden," and "Sentinel." I'm very excited to be a part of both these up and coming journals!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Scribophile: a wonderful writer's resource

--Speaking of the necessity of feedback, I've just joined Scribophile, an online writing group, courtesy of my Spark award, and I'm extremely impressed with the quality of the critiques I've had and the works posted. Scribophile works on a karmic point system--you aren't obliged to post work at certain intervals, like some writers' forums, but you have to earn karma points by posting critiques of others' works in order to post your own. There is a free version and a paying version. Inside the system, you can join groups, gain favorites, message and write on other writer's walls, similar to facebook or linked in. There are more fiction writers than poets but even so, lots of quality poetry being posted!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Feedback, the essential fuel for writing

One thing I like about certain journals is that the editors take the time to provide precious feedback for the writer.

A remark by the editor of Boston Literary Magazine enabled me to vastly improve the poem I had submitted, and led me to seek more individual help, which is how I found Andrea Hollander, both a gifted poet and tutor.

In all endeavors in life, sometimes you get to the point where you can't proceed without help. Journals like Boston Literary Magazine and Spark, A Creative Anthology, whose editors and staff provide that essential feedback, are invaluable to a writer at any stage in their development.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Birds, Cyclamens and Swords acceptance, oh, my!

Nothing as delightful as discovering an interesting new online journal and then having them accept your poem for publication not too long afterward! Cyclamens and Swords' new themed issue, Birds, will include my poem, "Crows."

I discovered Cyclamens and Swords by reading another poet's bio! The title was so intriguing that I had to check it out!

The turnaround was so quick because I submitted my entry very close to the deadline, not deliberately--I just happened to come upon it the day before!

So far this year, I've had four poems published and one awarded 2nd place in a contest, but who's counting? I hope I didn't just jinx myself!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Poetry Fireworks!

July began with a bang! On the 1st, I found out that my poem "Very Truly Yours, Irene Norton, née Adler" won 2nd prize in Spark, A Creative Anthology's Contest Two! I won $100, a subscription to American Poetry Review, a lifetime Premium subscription to Scribophile among many other goodies! Spark has the best contests!

"Very Truly Yours, Irene Norton, née Adler" is a re-imagining of the relationship between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler. I find Irene Adler one of the most fascinating of his female characters, especially since she only appears in one story (the first!) and we know so little about her. That makes her fair game, as far as I'm concerned!

In my persona poems, I like to choose voices of people or fictional characters we know very little about in the personal sense, that way I can let my imagination run free! They may be famous, but have left little correspondence, or there may be some controversy about their motivation.

Another poem, "The Point of No Return" appears in Spark's Volume II, which is hot off the presses as of today! You can buy it at Amazon or directly from their site.
Every time I start to get discouraged with my writing, something positive like this happens and motivates me to continue! I just hope I don't get too addicted to this happening in such a timely way!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

After all the excitement....

of National Poetry Month, May has been quiet, writing-wise. I am working on a poem that tries to capture the moment when the first city in America, Wabash, Indiana, was electrified. It wasn't with Edison-type incandescent lights, as one would first guess, but with the much brighter, more economical Brush arc lights. These were better suited for outdoor lighting and large spaces than the Edison lights. The great-grandson of the original inventor Charles F. Brush was kind enough to give me some information on how the Brush lamps operated. The poem is still in-progress.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

"Point of No Return" accepted by Spark, A Creative Anthology

Spark a Creative Anthology just accepted "Point of No Return," a sonnet in two septets honoring Harry K. Daghlian, Jr., the first American casualty of the Atomic Age.

I am very excited to be part of Spark's next volume. They have great contests which award not only cash prizes and publication, but also subscriptions and books!

Monday, April 08, 2013

Celebrating National Poetry Month by reading my poem on WRLN as part of the O'Miami Poetry Festival.

I was just notified that my poem, Like No Other, was chosen to be read on WRLN, 91.3 FM, as part of O'Miami's 2013 Poetry Festival. Along with other submitted poems, mine was published on tumblr as part of the celebration of National Poetry month and some were chosen to be read on the Morning Edition, which reaches an audience of half a million listeners.

"Parkinson's at 60" to be published as part of my guest blog at Latina Book Club!

A nice birthday present for me, Latina Book Club will be publishing my guest blog about discovering my muse in later life on May 1st, as part of their Writers' Wednesdays monthly series. I am very excited to be published there and to contribute to encouraging the community to read and to read Latino literature in particular.
This particular poem was inspired by a cousin's visit from Puerto Rico, during which he told me of his condition. These things are hard to process without poetry--I'm even more grateful than ever that I can do so!
However, the post is mostly about finding my mentor, Andrea Hollander, and how with her help I was able to overcome mental barriers to writing poetry that I had always struggled with over the years.
Being able to express myself effectively via poetry feels like being able to take a deep breath for the first time in my life!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Spellbound magazine publishes "Changelings"

I just found out Spellbound, a children's fantasy e-zine accepted my poem "Changelings" for their Spring issue. Their theme for this next issue will be "Changelings and Doppelgangers" so I thought this particular poem would fit in! I'm very honored to be published by Spellbound!