Fashion Friday 1/31/14

Remember when I said that Fashion Friday would be back after a hiatus, but only occasionally?  Well, it’s baaaaack… (but only occasionally).

We’ve had some seriously wintry weather down here in the south lately.  You might have noticed?  Now, in Houston we’ve been luckier than in Atlanta — oh, those unfortunate folks! — but it’s been sort of intense here.  We’ve had TWO Continue reading “Fashion Friday 1/31/14”

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A Few Notes…

Today my post is just to touch base with all of you about a few interesting things going on right now.

First, an update on the current haiku contest, which I know you’re all dying to hear about.  For the month of January, I’m asking you to send in a haiku on the subject of New Year’s resolutions.  The deadline is midnight on January 31st, central time, which means this coming Friday night.  So far lots of people have submitted entries, which is wonderful!  Not all of them are actually haiku, unfortunately, but I really appreciate that people took the time to enter, so I’ve decided to hive off the ones that don’t adhere to the submission guidelines into a separate short poem contest, because part of the challenge of writing a haiku is to create something beautiful while sticking to the form.  More details on that spin-off contest later.  If you want to read more about the haiku competition and see the entries so far and even enter one yourself, please click here.  Only entries submitted on the original post (the one I just linked to in that last sentence) will be considered.  The winner will be determined by a reader poll, so please keep watching this blog for information on how and when to vote.

In other news, The Milk of Female Kindness: An Anthology of Honest Motherhood, an anthology I was recently published in, is now available for purchase on Amazon.com (or from me directly, if you prefer), and the second edition, which includes even more writing, is now out as well.  Two of my essays and two of my poems are in the first edition, and the second edition contains those plus another one of my poems.

Milk of Female Kindness front cover

Next, I’ll be giving a reading on February 13th as part of the LitFuse Reading Series!  So if you’re in Houston (or know anyone who will be in Houston you could pass the word on to), please consider joining us at this event.  The series takes place on the back patio of Kaboom Books (3116 Houston Ave. in Woodland Heights, Houston, Texas 77009, 713.869.7600).  If the weather isn’t good, the reading moves inside, so no worries about the rain, if there is any.  Here’s the Facebook page with more information, including bios of the two other authors reading with me that night.  I would love to see you there!  (And just so you know, copies of The Milk of Female Kindness will be available for sale that night at the reading.)

Some of you may remember how I told you a while back that my Fashion Friday series was going on a bit of a hiatus.  It was taking up a lot of time that I needed for other writing projects, but I didn’t want it to go away forever.  Well, it is coming back, just occasionally, as promised.  I have some fun hat stuff for spring coming soon in that forum.  (Don’t forget this is also a great opportunity for guest posting here, so if you’re interested, query me about it.)

Finally, look for some news this spring about a new publication of mine, a novelette called FINIS.  It’s an unusual story that’s too long to be a short story but not long enough to be a novella, and its genre is magic realism.  (Try finding a publisher for that!  Yeah, it takes a while, no matter how good the writing is.)  More details on that — and an excerpt — coming in the foreseeable future.

So stay tuned, everyone, for more details on these and other exciting tidbits.  See you again soon, same bat-time, same bat-channel…

January Haiku Contest

Hello there!  I’ve been thinking it’s time to do another haiku contest, and in honor of New Year’s Month, the theme of the contest is New Year’s Resolutions.

Here’s a quick reminder of what the haiku form is all about:  it’s a poem with seventeen syllables divided into three lines offering both description and comment.  The first line contains five syllables, the second line contains seven, and the third line contains five more.  Traditionally haiku often were about nature in some aspect, but within their brief imagery the poet often embedded some sort of opinion (the comment I referred to before).  You can take on as much of that form into your haiku as you like, but for the purposes of this contest, please use the three-line/seventeen-syllable format, as part of the challenge is to express your idea in that tight space.

The subject of your haiku is to be New Year’s resolutions.  The winner will receive the excellent new anthology (in paperback) Strange New Words: Tales of Heroism and Horror by Ari Marmell, celebrated author of fantasy and horror and other speculative fiction.  Anyone who has won a contest on my blog in the last six months is not eligible to win this prize, though you are more than welcome and even encouraged to participate by submitting a haiku for fun and by voting on the entries later.

You may enter as often as you like by submitting your haiku in the comments section of this post.  Please make each entry a separate posted comment; any entries posted together will be considered one entry.  (This just makes it easier to figure out what your intentions were when I’m putting the voting together.)

The deadline is, naturally, the end of New Year’s Month!  So you have until midnight U.S. central time on January 31st to get your entries in.  After that, I’ll put the voting together, and you the readers will determine who wins the contest.

Happy New Year!  I look forward to reading your haiku!

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UPDATE 1/14/14:  There has been such a wonderful response to this contest so far.  Thank you all!  Please stay tuned to this blog for more posts about this contest, for more information about voting, etc.  I intend to communicate with all entrants via this blog as much as possible, but I will also be posting updates on my Facebook author page, which you can get to by clicking on the link in the sidebar to the side of this screen or by clicking here.  Remember, the deadline to enter the contest is January 31st, and the voting will happen soon after that.  Keep checking back — or better yet, subscribe to this blog to get my posts sent straight to your email (and make sure your settings are arranged to get my posts “immediately”).  Thanks again!

2013 Blogging Year-in-Review

Happy New Year!  🙂

Yes, I know New Year’s was a while ago.  As far as I’m concerned, all of January is New Year’s.  I call it New Year’s Month, because that’s about how long it takes me to recover from the holidays, undecorate my house, get my family’s New Year’s cards out, and get back into the swing of things at school.

Happy New Year’s Month!  🙂

WordPress kindly sends out annual reports to their bloggers every December 31st with stats for the blog’s year-in-review, and I like to share a few of those things with you, delightful readers.  (Here’s a peek at last year’s; this year’s will be different.)

Sappho’s Torque is being read in 75 countries now.  That’s pretty cool.

Here are my most popular posts of 2013.  The thing I find most interesting about this short list is that it encompasses really well the directions my blog took in 2013.

*  Government Shutdown Haiku Contest:  I love to sponsor haiku contests — in fact, look for another one coming soon!

*  Why Our Society is Failing as a Collection of Human Beings:  Sometimes things happen out there in the world that drive me to my computer to sound off about them in public.  I try to keep this to a minimum, but sometimes the issue and my breaking point must not be ignored.

*  May Rêveuses in Bloom:  For thirteen months I conducted the Rêveurs Revelation Fashion Project in celebration of Erin Morgenstern’s novel The Night Circus — an excellent book and one which affected me deeply — and, although I’m not still doing it here on the blog, I’m delighted and astounded to have been told just a week ago that some of those who were participating in it around the country while it was a feature here on this blog still do so just for fun.  So amazing!

*  100 Days of School:  Sometimes I share stories about my family, and this post about my son’s kindergarten homework remains one of the most giggle-inducing and cheer-you-up posts ever.

*  Fashion Friday 8/9/13:  Another blog project I had going on for a while was my Fashion Friday series, which was a wonderful way to merge one of my hobbies (fashion, especially the quirky kind) with an opportunity to host guest bloggers.  I’m not still doing this weekly, but I am still taking queries for Fashion Friday guest posts and even working on a couple myself.  This particular post (from 8/9/13) was written by Sarah Warburton about the Tardis socks she knitted.

Life here is busy.  I have many writing projects on the proverbial stove, and some are nearly done cooking.  I continue to strive for work-life balance — something I’m not entirely convinced even exists — and have resolved this year not to make any big resolutions, but rather to make one smart decision at a time.  Sometimes this even works out.

Thank you all, so much, for being here.  I wouldn’t bother blogging without an audience, and I’m glad you’re here, because despite my initial reservations about getting into this practice, I’ve been enjoying it immensely.

Cheers.  🙂