Beautiful Blogger Awards

So this week the delightful SJ over at Snobbery named me as a recipient of the Beautiful Blogger Award.  Wheee!  How cool is that??  (Thank you, SJ!)  You should all check out her blog, which is really entertaining, and which is actually created by two people, SJ and Meg (whose illustrations are absolutely top-notch).  Among some of the great stuff they churn out is a regular column called Trashy Tuesday, in which they (usually SJ) sacrifice their time and mental energy to read and review in detail terrible books so we can feel sanguine about not getting around to reading those things ourselves.  May I never find one of my books on their docket.  😉  I fell in love with the posts when SJ reviewed the Mortal Instruments series.  If Snobbery hadn’t already won this award, I’d be sending it their way this time, too.

Apparently the criteria for the Beautiful Blogger Award are open to interpretation.  Perfect.  🙂

Now, a few simple rules come with this award, all of the pay-it-forward variety.  Here they are:

1.  Thank the person who gave you the award.

Thank you again, SJ!  🙂

2.  Paste the award on your blog.

See above.

3.  Link to the person who nominated you for the award.

It’s up there.  Way back up at the top.

4.  Nominate up to 7 other bloggers.

See below.

5.  Post links to the (up to) 7 blogs you nominated.

And here we go…

MY NOMINATIONS FOR THE BEAUTIFUL BLOGGER AWARD (in virtual-drumroll-accompanied alphabetical order)…..

1.  The Airborne Timeline — The new blog of a first lieutenant in the US Army, who is on her first deployment.  She left last week.  She’s in Afghanistan.  I suspect this blog may be updated catch-as-catch-can, but I guarantee she’s a really good writer, and I’m expecting this will be well worth the effort.

2.  The Byronic Man — This blog makes me laugh like few ever have.  I kind of want to take a sabbatical just so I can peruse the archives.

3.  Deidra Alexander — Her introduction line says, “I have people to kill, lives to ruin, plagues to bring, and worlds to destroy.  I am not the Angel of Death.  I’m a fiction writer.”  I think that about says it all.  I’ve never been disappointed when visiting here.

4.  Lone Star Squared — Here’s the blog of one of my former students, Rachel Rosenthal, who’s currently studying abroad, writing about her experiences with immense passion and joy.

5.  Paula Billups Art — This blog follows the work and art of painter and art teacher Paula Billups.  She is also very talented.  I have a few of her paintings in my humble collection.  We have little hangable wall space in our house, and she totally makes the cut.

6.  Stay-at-Home Economist — Dr. Margo Bergman explains in accessible terms the intricacies of the PPACA, as well as blogging about other Rather Important Things.  And she’s the mom of The Rhyser and Professor X.

7.  you do doodle too — This is a charming blog about all kinds of things meaningful and domestic which really drive home the idea that the Human Condition is something to be cherished.  Especially when it manifests in such graceful ways as stories about our kids and the fun things we do with them.

Ta-da!  🙂  That was fun.  It must be noted that there are many other blogs out there which I enjoy very much, and if the BBA or some other appropriate opportunity comes around my way again, they will be on my list to share with you.

Now that you’ve had a chance to see all these other cool blogs and know how much I esteem them, please take a click-trip on over to my most recent poetry contest, which is closing this weekend.  Read the entries so far and even throw your metaphorical hat into the proverbial ring, should the Muse descend.  Have a great week!

Advertisements

Reminder About Poetry Contest, Which Ends This Weekend

Hey there.  I just want to bump this back onto your radar, in case you’ve lost track of time.  The inspired-by-another-poet poetry contest ends this weekend, when March runs out.  (Click here to get to the original contest and see the entries that have come in so far.  They’re really enjoyable!)

I know there are more poets out there, so don’t be shy.  Participate.  It’s good for you.

Cheers!

Spring in the Garden

It is, once again, springtime.  In my part of Texas, that means the sky is the kind of scrubbed-clean electric blue that comes with being freshly washed by rain, and everything else is green or magenta.  Oleanders and azaleas and roses adorn the yards of conscientious homeowners everywhere, and the birds and butterflies and bees are like gods in bliss.

The twin Chinese tallow trees in my front yard tower over everything with an expansive canopy.  In the autumn, their foliage turns fire-engine red, almost overnight, down to the last tender leaf; within a few weeks, their limbs stick out bare, stretched over a carpet of fading crimson.  But now it is March, and their branches once again flaunt a soft flutter of continually multiplying green, each deep lime cluster crowned with a pale orange flourish of new growth.  Beneath the trees, fledgling rosebushes sprout floribundas basking in the sunlight the tree has not yet blocked.  The ivy groundcover could use a trim.  And a hardy and rapidly burgeoning new vine suggests that, back in the fall, one of our decorative pumpkins must have split open and dropped some opportunistic seeds into the soil without our notice.

You may have read my post a couple of months back about my love-hate relationship with my garden.  Back then, zero-scaping seemed like a viable and reasonable option, but I resisted.  Instead I pruned and weeded and nourished and watered and tried very hard to make a go of it, once more.  And what do I have to show for it now?

climbing roses
Look! Roses!

O glory!  The climbing rose vine has bloomed!

climbing roses blooms detail
And look! There will be more roses to come!

The passion flower vine I planted in a euphoric delirium of optimism late last summer has managed to survive the drought and wrapped its capillary tendrils around everything within reach, including a potted bougainvillea.

passion flower vine capillaries detail
Its tender tendrils have snuggled up like boa constrictors to everything within reach.

And it has dozens of pods, some of which have burst into riotous flowers!  (I’m told it will bear fruit later and simply cannot wait.)

passion flower vine with bloom
If you look carefully, you will see one of the actual passion flowers.

One of the hanging baskets containing another bougainvillea has taken on a roommate, a flourishing strawberry stalk that must have hived off one of the two strawberry plants that were temporarily housed in the same corner of the patio.  Strange bedfellows, no doubt, but they’re both thriving so well I’m a little skittish about a transplant yet.

I’ve even gone so far as to drive down to the local garden center in a heady flush of hope and load up my car with fruit plants — two plum trees loaded with petite white blossoms, a blackberry bush, and a blueberry shrub advertised as being ideal for warm climes and already heavy with tiny gray-green fruits.

Folly?  Setting myself up for failure?  It is possible.  But right now, while the exquisite weather encourages me to spend more time out of doors than in, while I’m not yet used to the extra hours of daylight that surprise me like a gift each lengthening afternoon, I am simply going to water them all, and hope for the best.

Another Poetry Challenge

Just bumping this back onto people’s radars. You have a little over a week left to enter! I know (because I’ve heard from you on Facebook) that some of you are working on your poems but haven’t submitted them yet. I can’t wait to read them! 🙂

Everyone jump on in, the water’s fine. 😉

Sappho's Torque

So here’s a little game for you, should you choose to accept it.  (I’m guessing at least one or two of you might.)  And it’s a contest.

It’s a popular technique these days to write poems which are inspired by fragments of poetry written by other people.  The idea is to build your own new poem around something you’ve seized upon, but to italicize the text you’ve borrowed so that it stands out from your own words.

I’ve done this below with some fragments of Sappho.  (The snippets I’ve chosen are italicized.)

Here’s your challenge:  You pick a poem, any poem, which has some words in it you like.  Then let your ideas grow around those pieces of verse into something else which is your own entirely.  Write in any form or style.  (The piece I’ve included below is a prose-poem.)  Then post your new poem into the comments section…

View original post 360 more words

Horse Punchers? Seriously??

At the moment I’m neck-deep in novel revisions and poem revisions and essay revisions.  I’m also working on a couple of new pieces for this blog that are more substantial but which require more time to craft and hone, and which I hope you’ll enjoy.  The upshot of all of this is that this weekend, instead of putting up something that’s half-baked, I want to shine a spotlight on another blog I follow which is hilarity manifested in e-space.  In other words, I find it funny.  I think you will too.  It’s called The Byronic Man, and today he had some timely commentary about a recent problem in the television industry.  Enjoy!

And don’t forget about the poem contest I mentioned last weekend.  Here’s the deets.

Finally, a little housekeeping note for this blog:  I’ve added an archives page, where you can find links to my old posts.  Just look up at the top of this page at the menu tabs, and you will find it.

Have a lovely St. Patrick’s Day!  Don’t forget to wear green so you won’t get pinched.

Another Poetry Challenge

So here’s a little game for you, should you choose to accept it.  (I’m guessing at least one or two of you might.)  And it’s a contest.

It’s a popular technique these days to write poems which are inspired by fragments of poetry written by other people.  The idea is to build your own new poem around something you’ve seized upon, but to italicize the text you’ve borrowed so that it stands out from your own words.

I’ve done this below with some fragments of Sappho.  (The snippets I’ve chosen are italicized.)

Here’s your challenge:  You pick a poem, any poem, which has some words in it you like.  Then let your ideas grow around those pieces of verse into something else which is your own entirely.  Write in any form or style.  (The piece I’ve included below is a prose-poem.)  Then post your new poem into the comments section of this blog post.

I recognize writing a poem like this can take a while, so the contest will be open until the end of this month, midnight central time on the evening of March 31st.  Depending on how many entries there are, there may even be a readers’ choice run-off for the best poem.  The winner will win a lovely book — which book, I haven’t decided yet, because I’d like the prize to be tailored to fit the winning entry in some way.

Here’s an example for you, a prose-poem I wrote entitled (coincidentally) “Sappho’s Torque.”  (And yes, the poem was written before I began this blog.)  If you don’t know any other poems that you’d want to borrow text from, feel free to take the Sapphic snippets from mine here (or any other fragment of this poem, should you so desire).  Regardless of which poem you borrow from, be sure to acknowledge where your italicized stuff came from.

I’m looking forward to reading your entries!  Happy writing.

***

Sappho’s Torque

“It is too much to bear,” she said, “this weighing upon my mind.”

The roses in the garden burst in full floribundance, infusing the air with decadence and coloring the day and even the night with their velvet flesh.  “Beauty is as beauty does,” they told her, and she thought then that the garden must be the locus of outrageous fortune, a siren’s lair filled with killing thorns, slings and arrows.  So it is thus, she knew, that she first came to love the very idea of love, so often the gift of the image of a demi-god, tempered by the grotesquerie of real life.

“I am tired,” he intimates, while she relents for the love of him.

Eros, she thinks, melter of limbs, you who imprison me now again, are the sweetbitter unmanageable creature who steals in, who ignites my dependence and fuels it with my passion; you burn me.

She thinks that birds will fall into sea, that worms will climb the walls of the house, that lizards will come into the kitchen looking for food.  And only she will be awake to notice.

Trashy Tuesday Book Reviews

This week I want to highlight another blog, one I read entitled “Snobbery.”  It’s by a self-proclaimed book snob, and it’s really great.  (Okay, both parts of that last statement are really oversimplifications, but go with it.)

One thing the author does is review wretchedly, comically unworthy books, reading and explaining them so we are saved the misery.  (Please dear God, don’t let my books ever end up there.)

But I thought you might enjoy some of this, and so this week I have her permission to feature one of her “Trashy Tuesday” reviews.  This is the link to the review of the first book of the Mortal Instruments series.  Enjoy.