Blog To Be Featured on Mslexia

Marta Stankevica, Woman_Writing_a_Letter.gif. Derived from Gerard ter Borch – Woman Writing a Letter – 797 – Mauritshuis.jpg. 2020. Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 4.0.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that my blog–yes, the very blog you are reading right now–has been accepted by Mslexia for their “Blogability” feature. It will appear in Issue 94 in June.

Mslexia is a print and digital magazine produced in the UK for women writers. I am not very familiar with it, but I was on its mailing list, and when I saw the call for “Blogability” submissions, I thought, “Why not?” After all, blogging is writing too, and, as I said in my description, I have become fond of the opportunities this space affords. It is not just a place to advertise my writing and thank those who publish it, but also a place to explore the issues I face as a writer, to link my work to the personal events that lead me to produce it, and, at times, to vent. I’m happy to find that Mslexia thought this would be interesting and helpful for their readers, and I hope some of those readers may meander over and check out Word Music.

Maxine Davies, Production Editor at Mslexia, sent me a form that asked for further information, such as what I do besides writing and what my most recent publications are, so I look forward to seeing how the whole piece incorporates that. In the meantime, I will subscribe to the digital edition and familiarize myself with this useful resource.

Book for Rena Arrives

Book about Rena and her art. Taken by me.

I was happy when Steve, Rena’s husband, delivered this book today. I wrote about my piece in it and my friendship with Rena here. I’m honored to be in this book, and I hope it kindles interest in displaying Rena’s artwork. Although it was privately printed, I expect it will have a good number of readers, as Rena had a large circle of friends and relations. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Rena’s artwork in the volume and getting to know her through the eyes of the other contributors.

Bio and Poem Sequence Up at Fevers of the Mind

Doug Smith, Gibbon wolf pack standing on snow. 1 March 2007. Wikimedia Commons. PD.

It was fun to find I had made my debut as a Wolfpack Contributor over at David L O’Nan’s Fevers of the Mind.

Both my bio and my poem sequence, “Three Poems About the Grand Canyon,” are up there now. I have been reading the bios and poems of my fellow pack members, and it is flattering and challenging to find myself in such heady company. I will have to pull my poetic socks up.

I wrote about my Grand Canyon poems a little here. Although Editor O’Nan has kindly called them a “showcase,” they are three very short poems that try to express the sublimity of the Grand Canyon by showing how hard it is to process that awe-inspiring place and convey it in writing. In the poem, my persona views the wrist fracture I got from falling there as a point of contact and communication between the canyon and me. On one hand, this is a fantasy; the Grand Canyon is supremely indifferent to us. On the other hand, I do feel that by cracking my bone, the rocks made manifest my own indifferent physicality, even my stony places, thereby linking me to the canyon more closely.

I am reasonably happy with the piece, and grateful to Editor O’Nan for putting it up. Now. What about next month?

Grand Canyon; taken by me, December 2021.

Celebrating Rena and Her Art

Water color and pen and ink work by Rena Williams, photographed by me. I am not sure whether this has a title, but she said she created it for her son Robert, who passed away in his thirties.

My friend Rena died in October. As her artwork suggests, she was an endlessly creative person. She was also full of love for all things good and beautiful and perpetually curious about the world. She left a lot of great art behind–I am fortunate to have a small collection of it–and her family and friends are making a book to share her art and spirit with others, especially people who might be interested in displaying her works. I’m proud to say they have accepted my short tribute to Rena for this volume.

I will just tell a short anecdote here, which is one of my favorite Rena memories. Rena’s friend wrote Under the Tuscan Sun, so Rena and her husband Steve were invited to the Hollywood premiere of the movie. They chose to attend their granddaughters’ violin recital instead (I was the girls’ teacher). While I was (though flattered) still reeling from this decision, Rena came up with a plan to have our own premiere when the movie came to our town. We all put on strings of pearls, sunglasses, and other stuff we imagined Hollywood people would wear, and we gave each other air kisses and called each other “dahling.” A wonderful time was had by all.

I’ll leave you with another work by Rena that I am privileged to own.

This is a photo I took of one of many postcards Rena created while listening to music (often opera, especially Baroque and early Mozart). She graciously allowed me to choose a small selection of these, and I was drawn to the ones with asemic writing (art that looks like script).

Paid for Writing BS

Seriously. Not an April Fool’s joke. My “Sonnet from Romeo and Rosaline,” which I wrote about here, and which I thought would be hard to place, has been purchased by Bullshit Lit for their first Bullshit Anthology, whose ETA is late summer. Many thanks to Editor in Chief Veronica Bennett for her excellent taste in excrement.

Judging from some samples I have read, Veronica and team select BS of many varieties, but you can’t just throw any old BS at them and expect it to stick. It has to have a special texture or redolence. So if you have any extraordinarily fragrant piles of BS lying around, give them a try. Perhaps your BS will hit their fan.

In the meantime, tread carefully, dear readers.