Reminder: National Poetry Month Contest, One Week Left

I tried to make a funny connection between the title of today’s post and the Barenaked Ladies’ breakout hit “One Week,” but I decided instead not to force it and to see whether you could come up with one.  Can you?  Can you??  If so, please post it in the comments section here.

Otherwise, here is your reminder that this year’s National Poetry Month contest ends one week from today.  Not sure what this contest is?  Click here for more details!  It’s super fun.  We’ve had relatively few entries so far, too, so your chances are winning are better than usual.

Have a good last week of April!

April Poetry Contest: Something REALLY Short…

It’s April again, and that means NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!!  YAY!!!

This year for my April poetry contest, I’m going with something a bit different.  (Well, different for me, but apparently commonplace everywhere else, as a simple Internet search will suggest.)  Have you ever heard about Book Spine Poetry?  Well, that’s the focus of this contest.  Read this Slate article here by David Rosenberg for more information and some stellar examples by Nina Katchadourian.

You have until April 30th, 2013, to compose a short poem or story comprised entirely of the words on the spines of books.  Each composition must be the contest entrant’s own original work.  To enter the contest, email a picture of your entry to me at forest.of.diamonds@gmail.com with the subject line “BOOK SPINE POETRY CONTEST ENTRY.”  (Please do NOT leave your entry here in the comments section, although if you foresee having difficulty emailing your entry to me, you may explain why here in the comments section, and we’ll work it out.)  There is no limit to how many times you may enter, as long as you do so before the end of this month.

For a multitude of glorious examples which I won’t picture here because of copyright issues, check out these images of book spine poetry from Google search.

All entries will be featured here on Sappho’s Torque.  The winner will be selected by a volunteer panel of writers and will receive a t-shirt with a hilarious Emily Dickinson joke on it.

Thank you for playing, and good luck!

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Please note:  The deadline for this contest has been extended to Sunday night, May 5th, 2013.  Good luck!

They Say A Picture Is Worth…

…what, something like 1,000 words?  How about 250?

Check out this incredibly cute picture:

No caption this time. That’s YOUR job.

Now, if you please, come up with a little story to go with it!  No more than 250 words, please — just leave your entry in the comments section.  Deadline is this coming Sunday 11/25 at 11:59 p.m. central time.

I’ll try to make a poll for the entries, and then the winner of the readers’ choice poll will win a guest blogger spot here on Sappho’s Torque, on a mutually agreed upon date.  Won’t that be fun??  Yes!  Yes, it will!

For all those of you in the U.S. and all you U.S. ex-pats out there, Happy Thanksgiving.  If you have a holiday this week, then you have some free time.  Enter this story contest.  And if you don’t have a holiday and/or free time this week, enter it anyway, because nothing says procrastination like entering an internet contest.

Cheers!  🙂

P.S. — Please feel free to spread the word about this opportunity.  I’d love to see how far this thing can go.

Ooh, Ooh! Vote For Me! Vote Early, Vote Often!

So the incredibly awesome blogger Byronic Man has this Weekly Question of the Week thing, and each time he asks one of these thoughtful delights, his readers can send in lots of answers and then the top choices get picked to be voted on in a poll.  (I think that’s how it works.)  Anyway, this weekend, one of my responses was tapped to be a candidate.  Woo-hoo!

So please mosey on over to his blog and vote for me.  You can, in fact, vote once per day, so please do!  (And voting for me each time would be AWESOME, by the way.  I’m just sayin’.)

Here’s the link to the poll.  Vote for me here!

And here’s the link to the original post where the question was first asked, in case you’re curious about it.  While you’re there, browse the archives.  That is some quality humor.

Thank you!

Special Guest Post from SJ Over at Snobbery!

A while back, SJ over at Snobbery won a contest here on Sappho’s Torque, and  her reward was to have a guest blogger spot.  This week we’re featuring her post, a book review of a novel my rising-9th-grade niece is currently enjoying.  I hope you enjoy her review!  Be sure to check SJ out on her blog and on Twitter and on Facebook.  Super delightful stuff.

And just as a quick reminder, you still have four days left to enter the Chindogu Challenge.

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book cover photo borrowed respectfully from Goodreads

Recently I read Catherynne Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making – I know, I know, just the name is a mouthful, right? – a book I fully expected to love.

Did I love it?

Yes…ish.

Look, I loved the IDEA behind this book, but I felt it was a little lacking in execution.  I was expecting something of a faerie tale version of Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always (which I have read and re-read because it succeeds where I think this book fails) – a book for younger readers (if I MUST pin a YA label on it, I will) that parents and adults can enjoy as well.

What I found, though, was a book that read as if it were geared towards adults either attempting to regain that childlike sense of whimsy, or reminisce about those fantastic books they read as children.

Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot about this book that I think was done right – but I can’t imagine any children I know being particularly interested in it.  I know (for example) that if I handed this book to my almost 13-year-old (who loves faerie stories, btw – he’s my son, after all), he would probably read about 10 pages before handing it back to me and saying, “Nah.  Can I go read some more Barsoom?”  …or A Series of Unfortunate Events, or The Looking Glass Wars, or whatever else it is that he’s into at that point in time.

This is a book that is marketed as being for children, but when I read it, it seemed like it was clearly written for adults.

That bothered me, and is why I have to append the “ish” to my answer of whether I liked it or not.

What did I love?

Well, that’s a lot more fun to talk about!

First of all, there are some absolutely delightful illustrations by Spanish artist Ana Juan, they were a lot of fun to come across, and each one made me smile.

The fantastic characters we meet in Fairyland were wonderfully realized.  I cared about them all, especially the Wyverary.

What’s a Wyverary?  Simple!  It’s a wyvern whose father was a library!

Look! A Wyverary! (image respectfully borrowed from Amazon)

I appreciated the slightly dense/flowery prose, but that’s another reason I think younger readers might have problems with it.  It really read like it was a faerie story I would have enjoyed when I was younger, but it was a little…more, I think.  Like I said – some adults will squeal over it, but children will probably just stare blankly.

Final verdict?  If you’re an adult that still loves faerie tales, this book will probably scratch an itch you didn’t even know you had.  If you’re not…you should probably skip it, as you’ll likely find it a bit too twee.

A Clarification…

So this past weekend I launched a new little contest, The Chindogu Challenge.  And as I usually do with my blog posts, I referenced it on my Facebook page, since a lot of people read my blog through links there rather than subscribe.  (The majority of you, in fact.)  And while the Facebook post generated a lot of discussion, which is great, no one has transferred their ideas to the blog yet, for the official contest.

I’m just saying, it would be lovely if you’d post your comments on the original blog post, please.  🙂  The link to it is in the paragraph above.  It’s also the post just before this one.  I’m just saying.

Thanks!

P.S. — If you already have a copy of the book being offered as a prize, I’ll send you a different one you don’t have yet.