2% Milk Roundtable Up on YouTube

2% Milk logo on tee I got at the launch party. Taken by me. 4 June 2022.

Here is the link to the 2% Milk roundtable discussion that I mentioned in earlier posts. Editors Nic Rago and Lily Reed (mostly Editor-in-Chief Nic) follow up with the artists on their views about their creative processes, their art, and the interaction between the arts and their social and cultural contexts. As on the website, the graphics in the roundtable video are trippy, which I mostly enjoyed. I’m both happy to have been a part of this well-thought-out, interesting, and experimental project, and a little sad that it’s over. The amount of time and energy the editors have put in is truly impressive.

So check it out. And if you have created anything especially intriguing and a little wild, 2% Milk is open for submissions here: submission@uddertimes.com.

“Magic” Up at Pine Cone Review

Darrell Taylor, Magic Kingdom – SpectroMagic Parade. 22 Oct. 2006. Wikimedia CommonsCC BY 2.0.

The creative nonfiction piece I wrote about here is now up at The Pine Cone Review. I’m fond of it, although it would have taken a truly spectacular piece to start to do Isabella justice. The Pine Cone team has paired “Magic” with an appropriate picture focusing on a dropped and broken ice cream cone. Many thanks to the editors.

In other news, the round table discussion over at 2% Milk has not yet been posted, but I promise to alert you when it is. In the meantime, check out the artists there and at Pine Cone.

Word Music Featured in 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.

It is quite exciting to see my blog, where I often feel as if I were talking to myself, featured in a magazine with 11,000 subscribers, most of whom are women writers. “Blogability,” featuring Word Music in the latest issue of Mslexia, consists of a short description of how I came to write this and what I do here, and an excerpt from the blog. I chose a bit describing my can poems, because it fit well in their 300-word format. Thanks to Production Editor Maxine Davies and the whole editorial team at Mslexia for choosing to feature Word Music.

Mslexia is online and in print. You can learn about it, read some of it, subscribe for access to the whole magazine, and sign up for additional writing-related experiences here. Mslexia has many resources and opportunities for writers, including many opportunities to submit to the magazine.

Mslexia also pays for all writing, I was especially grateful for the boost to my online finances from the “Blogability” publication because my account had become quite low, owing to my getting behind on rotting up violin and viola lesson fees. Now I can buy Tom Daley’s latest chapbook, Far Cry, without waiting for my snail-mail check to get to him.

Looking forward to it.

2% Milk Up at Last

2% Milk logo on tee I got at the launch party. Taken by me. 4 June 2022.

After a fantastic visit to San Francisco, during which my husband and I attended the launch party for 2% Milk, the issue has launched. It looks spectacular, and I’m not just talking about my poetry. Find out what all the fuss is about here

In case you’re still not convinced, check out the trailer for the project:

The trailer was shown at the launch party, where we also enjoyed the superb fare and beer of Pizza Hacker, the company of indefatigable editors Nic, Reed, and Lily, and conversation with fellow contributor Bob Ernst, as well as various other attendees. I also read my poems there, and a selection from The Jesus Wars—all welcomed by the friendly audience.

As I have said before, 2% Milk is full of cool artists in a variety of media. The editors thoughtfully sent their files to all contributors ahead of time, and I have checked most of them out. I feel confident in saying that the issue contains not just something for everyone, but something you really needed, even if you didn’t know it.

And in case you are more philosophically inclined, on June 8th, the editors will put out a round-table discussion with contributors regarding their work, and art in general, in its sociopolitical context. Don’t worry. I’ll remind you about it.

Fun Times at Reading, and Amazing News!

Publicity sheet David L O’Nan made for the reading I participated in.

I had a nice time in Evansville, Indiana, reading with David L O’Nan (Editor of Fevers of the Mind) and friends. I also played Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” on the violin under David’s reading of his poem, “A Hallelujah for a Midnight War.” Met nice people; heard good poetry and an excerpt from Shawna Kay Rodenberg’s memoir, Kin.

Maybe it was a long way to go for a reading, but I’m trying to reach out more. I do hope I will get tips and contacts that might help me market my poetry collection, but I also enjoy traveling to different parts of the country and meeting fellow artists. Now I am looking forward to the 2% Milk launch party in San Francisco (click on link for all the info).

But wait–there was more. When I returned and checked my desktop computer, I found I had been named a featured poet in the erbacce-prize poetry contest! My poetry will be featured in a future issue of the erbacce-journal, and they will be interviewing me. To be named one of the top nine poets out of almost 15,000 is too unreal to contemplate, but highly gratifying nonetheless. Again, thanks to all the judges.

Screen shot of erbacce-prize results. Check out “Featured poets”!

Long-Listed by the Erbacce Prize Again

Sharon Mollerus, The Sun Shines on Weeds Too. 14 Aug. 2008. Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 2.0.

I’m highly gratified to be long-listed again for the Erbacce Prize, or “erbacce-prize,” as the press writes it. “Erbacce,” the press tells us, is Italian for “weed”–hence the picture I selected for this post. Although many people made the long list, it is truly an honor to be selected out of almost 15,000 entrants from all over the world. Also, it is my second time making the long list out of two times I have entered, so there’s that. Thanks to all the judges and everyone who helps facilitate reading and judging all that poetry!

I’m also looking forward to the reading at Bluestocking Social in Evansville, Indiana this Friday evening and the launch party for 2% Milk at Pizza Hacker in San Francisco on Thursday the 26th.

Now, if I could just find the time to organize my novel and write some new poems in this “life filled with incident.”*

*Lady Bracknell disapprovingly describes Cecily’s life this way after hearing her medical history in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

Flash CNF Accepted at Pine Cone Review

Darrell Taylor, Magic Kingdom – SpectroMagic Parade. 22 Oct. 2006. Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 2.0

One of my violin students is a magic child. She always wears magic clothes. Last lesson it was a retro kimono over athleisurewear. Sometimes it is a glittering unicorn t-shirt. Other times, lots of sequins. It’s not just her wardrobe, either. Sometimes she “is” an animal. Other times, she expresses astonishment over my (very rudimentary) piano playing, as if it were miraculous. Always, she gives the impression of living in her own world, a world where anything could happen, at any time. She also has a magical name: Isabella.

She is eight years old–a magical age. When I was eight, I remember visiting some friends of my mother’s in Rome. They were a couple–grown-ups, but young grown-ups. I called the man, whose name was George, “the Wizard” (not sure why–I had read some of The Hobbit by then), and I had a great time with him. He gave me a copy of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, which I loved because my third-grade teacher, whom I had left behind at my regular school, had worked on a reservation and woke us all up to the sufferings of Native peoples. It was magic to be in Rome with cool adults, to be allowed to swing George’s hand and carry his umbrella, and to talk about books with him. I know eight is a magical age.

So of course I had to write about Isabella. I juxtaposed her magic with Ukraine’s surprising and seemingly miraculous defense against the Russian invasion, and the editors of The Pine Cone Review accepted my flash creative nonfiction for Issue 4. I look forward to seeing it there and to familiarizing myself with the publication. It is interesting because it is rooted in “brown” identity–the staff are from various formerly colonized nations–but open to a mix of perspectives, as long as they are creative voices. I feel this is a hopeful and positive approach in our divided world. It seems like the sort of magic we need.

Creative Nonfiction Up at Fevers of the Mind

I am pleased to see my second contribution as a Wolfpack Contributor to Fevers of the Mind up on the site. I mentioned this piece before: it is the essay I submitted to the “Word Solvers” column of The New York Times. Although they gave me the opportunity to revise it, I found I had said exactly what I had in me to say and could neither transform it into glorified ad copy for their Games app nor come up with any alternative that would do.

I was equally reluctant to submit it elsewhere, since it is transparently puzzle-centric, and no doubt many editors are aware of the Times‘s call for submissions. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to put it up at Fevers, where it fits with the current theme of mental health awareness being stressed on the blog, and I know Editor O’Nan will value what the essay has to say and not scrutinize its provenance.

So if you want to know yet more about my strange life as a faculty brat in a dysfunctional family, or if you would like to be moved by the plight of people with good intentions trapped in the repercussions of mental illness, head on over and take a look. This piece means a lot to me because I am only just now able to depict aspects of my past that were constantly papered over at the time.

Photo credit: Illustration: Sapna Khandwala, Public Library of Science. One way of mental exercise. From Fig. 1 of Gatz M (2005) Educating the Brain to Avoid Dementia: Can Mental Exercise Prevent Alzheimer Disease? PLoS Med 2(1): e7. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020007. 25 Jan. 2005. Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 2.5. Size altered.

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.