Happy Hallowe’en!

Happy Hallowe’en!

Remember my son’s blueprint for his eyeball costume?  (If you missed it before, click here.)

Well, Talented Engineer Dad made it happen.

 

Tiny Beowulf Zombie Eye
Tiny Beowulf looks so impressed by the impressionistic finesse with which Dear Husband painted that iris. And by the small motorized fan installed in the back so it doesn’t get too warm inside there.

 

And lest you think his grim expression means that we browbeat him into posing for this picture, check this out.

 

That's right, he was just pretending to be a zombie in that last picture!
That’s right, he was just pretending to be a zombie in that last picture!

 

I hope you’re all having a splendid costume day yourselves!

 

Go ahead, let your freak flag fly.
Go ahead, let your freak flag fly.

 

And just one final reminder:  you can still vote in our Government Shutdown Haiku Contest.  It’s approval voting, so click here to knock yourself out on all the entries you love best.

Try not to get too sick on candy this weekend.  Have fun!

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Voting for the Government Shutdown Haiku Contest: Now Open

Hey there.  So I’ve compiled all the entries for our most recent haiku contest and put them all here in this post.  I’m opening up the voting to you, the readers, to determine whom our winner will be.  The entries have all been great, and I’m so grateful to everyone who participated — and to everyone who took part in the discussions on my various social media.

This is approval voting, which means you can vote for more than one entry.  Just remember Continue reading “Voting for the Government Shutdown Haiku Contest: Now Open”

Haiku Contest Closure and Some Changes ’round Here

So now that the US government is back open for business, the Government Shutdown Haiku Contest is officially closed.  We had so many great entries!  Thank you to everyone who participated.  And in the comments this contest elicited from across my various social media, the general consensus from many, regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof, could be summed up in this non-competing poem:

“Crisis averted
in the eleventh hour.”
Nice work, pudknockers.

Later this weekend, I’ll be posting all the entries for the contest and giving you, the readers, an opportunity to vote on your favorites.  Majority wins in this poll, and the winner will receive a copy of TimeSlice.  Look for more details and the actual voting in my next blog post.

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You might have noticed there was no Fashion Friday post yesterday.  I thought about doing one on lariats, which are a fun and versatile jewelry accessory, but I couldn’t get a decent picture of the one I’d made.  I thought about doing one on the trauma of haircuts — yes, really — but it felt too indulgent even for me.  I thought about featuring a hat, but the cool weather we had at the start of the week dissipated again.  In short, nothing was really coming together in time for yesterday’s scheduled post.  So I let it go.  Maybe I’ll revisit those ideas again later.

In my realm, Fashion Friday is a “blog project,” something (much like the Rêveurs Revelation Fashion Project) that I find entertaining and fun and which gets me posting on a regular basis even when I don’t have something more literary to share.  And periodically I evaluate how those blog projects are doing.  The inciting incident for Fashion Friday was that I wanted to bring hats back into fashion, and then it just expanded into other accessories.  It’s been a way for me to indulge a hobby of mine while also, sometimes, writing about more meaningful things (such as body image or beauty or self-confidence), and it’s been a fun way to get other writers involved in my site as guest contributors.

Now that autumn is here and hats are back on the horizon, we will see more of those, because I do still want to see them make a bigger comeback even in places where it doesn’t get snowy and cold for several months out of the year.  And I’m still very much open to having guest bloggers contribute to this series.  I will still, from time to time, write pieces about those issues I mentioned.  But I’m not going to go nuts trying to post something every week for the sake of posting something every week.  It’s not that there’s anything wrong with weekly posts — that is, ultimately, my goal in general — but these other things are just taking up more of my time than I have right now.

The reason for this is actually a good thing:  I have a bunch of pots on the writing stove, as it were.  Look for news about a magic realism novelette coming out in the not-too-distant future.  I may also be re-releasing one of my books of poetry that’s gone out of print.  I’m continuing work on the fantasy series I’m in the middle of — the first novel of which is currently being shopped around and which is sitting on about half a dozen agents’ desks at the moment.  The book review assignments are piling up around me.  I’m also itching to start a new novel, a stand-alone, and the NaNoWriMo‘s siren song has already begun its perilous waft to my ears.

So yeah, there’s a lot going on.  But it’s good stuff, and as much as I love my hobby, I want to devote more time to the literary stuff.

I am intensely grateful for all the new readers who have joined the Sappho’s Torque community since the inception of Fashion Fridays.  All of you, please feel free to query me if you’d like to do a guest post!  I hope you continue to enjoy the other treats on the blog between future Fashion Friday posts.

I’m considering some other changes around here, too.  You might have noticed a few little tweaks to its appearance over the last couple of months.  (Maybe not, though, as they’ve been subtle.)  I’m looking to spruce things up even more in the near future.

Exciting developments are afoot in the world of Angélique.  Stay tuned.

And watch over the next couple of days for the Government Shutdown Haiku Contest voting opportunity.  Thanks again to everyone who entered!

Cheers.

Happy Bartolomé Day — and a reminder…

So here’s a question:  Why do we continue to celebrate Columbus Day?  I admit I appreciate having a day off from school, but really, don’t we all know about Christopher Columbus yet?  What a really bad person he was?  I think Agent Coulson would have described him as “Poop.  With needles.”

In case you don’t know yet what I’m talking about (the Columbus part), check out this comic from the Font of Awesomeness that is The Oatmeal.  The Oatmeal is typically hilarious and informative, and this time it’s even more informative than usual.  And also well done (not unusual).

And since our government still hasn’t gotten its act together — but then what can we expect from people who still celebrate Christopher Columbus? — you still have time to participate in my Government Shutdown Haiku Contest.  Click here for more information and to see the entries so far and to post an entry yourself.

Happy Bartolomé Day!

Fashion Friday 10/11/13

It’s costume season around here — probably where you are, too, if you’re somewhere that celebrates or even acknowledges Hallowe’en. October is a big deal around here, and especially in our home. We love Hallowe’en. We love costumes and dressing up. I come from a family who always celebrated that holiday well, until a tragedy happened on a particular Hallowe’en in my youth. (Read about it here.)  And now, the holiday is back.

Tiny Beowulf agonized for a couple of weeks that Continue reading “Fashion Friday 10/11/13”

Fashion Friday 10/4/13

So last week Fashion Friday went on hiatus while I was traveling and didn’t have a guest contributor lined up.  I went to Los Angeles for a writing conference, which was super fun.  I met some very interesting writers — I always love making those connections — and had a really positive response from the agents I pitched my novel to.  Plus I got to have dinner with some dear friends who live out there.  All in all, a good trip.

One thing I really like about going to L.A. is that it’s a town I can go shopping in.  Now, of course I can go shopping at home if I want to.  The problem, though, is that my kids are at home.  I love my kids, but taking them shopping is…not ideal.  And leaving them at home to get away for a few hours by myself is just a recipe for guilt and trauma.

Take this example from the beginning of last summer… Continue reading “Fashion Friday 10/4/13”

Government Shutdown Haiku Contest

While the government shutdown may or may not have been inevitable, you probably knew I’d find some way to attach a haiku contest to it, especially after the 2012 Republican Primary Haiku Contest and the 2012 National Political Conventions Haiku Contest both did so well.

Here’s a little refresher on what constitutes a haiku:  It’s a very short poem whose origins are primarily Japanese, whose three lines are measured in syllables numbering 5-7-5, and which (as we often learn in elementary school) traditionally has something to do with nature.  There are a couple of other considerations here, too, for the poetic purists.  A good haiku will entertain a play between pure description and commentary on the subject matter.

So here we go!  Enter as many haiku as you like, in the comments section below.  Contest is open for as long as the government isn’t.  (And who knows how long that will be?  Better get your entries in soon!)

The prize is a book of poems:  TimeSlice.  This anthology of poets who live in or are connected to Houston, some through their teaching in The University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, was published by Mutabilis Press and contains a wide array of gorgeous verse from both the “literary” and “underground” poetry scenes in 21st-century Houston.  A few of the poets featured include Edward Hirsch, Carolyn Adams, Tony Hoagland, Varsha Shah, Adam Zagajewski, Robert Phillips, Iris Rozencwajg, and Ken Jones*.   (Click on the above link to MP’s site to see a list of all the poets included.  It’s quite a list.  It’s quite a book.)

Ready?  Get set…  Haiku!

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*  Full disclosure:  I’m in the book, too.