"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

For The Small People

Firefly,
firefly,
fire
fly for me.
Pelican,
brown pelican
of the Gulf Coast pelicans,
(you were a postcard pelican)
preen once more for me.
BP CEO sail your yacht
on a pristine sea.
For me.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solstice and a Writer's Stew

We farmers are always stewing over something. Right now it's lack of rain. We await the rain with the patience of fishermen. While we wait, we water the fledgling asparagus ferns with a hose in hopes that one day we'll have a beautiful asparagus bed. We water the tomatoes and the rest of the nightshades, we douse the broccoli, melons and lettuce.

We do our best, but well water is not rain water and irrigated vegetables do not have the flavor and nutrients of those watered from heaven. Something about the rain and the nitrogen and ozone it picks up on its way through the atmosphere makes all the difference. Ever do a taste test between a Michigan strawberry and a California one grown and irrigated in the Central Valley? Such a poor imposter that. But we've run the soaker hoses because the promised rain has alluded us for two weeks running. It goes around Deanville Mountain to the north. It goes off into Lake Huron to the east. It rains to the south of us and to the west of us. Enough, you say! Enough. OK.

I'm keeping this short, though my June contributions have been paltry. I'm saving my energy for a slam dunk Festival of the Trees at the end of the month. You have until June 28th to post your entry and send me the link. I'd like to thank Tricia O'Brien for this captivating teaser and mention of the Festival. Also, thanks, Tricia, for the Pertinent Posts Award!


I have not been very prolific of late so it's very consoling to be told I'm pertinent! Not to be confused with impertinent. Isn't it interesting how two words can be so similar in spelling and pronunciation yet so dissimilar in meaning?

(Warning.... I feel a tangent coming on.)

I think it is impertinent of agents to say they are too busy to reply to everyone who queries, that they can only be bothered to reply to those queries that interest them. Of course we writers are supposed to be patient and understanding. Am I being contrary to call that impolite? How do we know our email was ever received if we never hear back? So I have something else to stew about too. Enough, you say. Go to bed, Yvonne, and you’ll feel better in the morning.

OK. But first I'm stepping out on the porch to watch the fireflys as they try to attract a mate. Good night, happy hunting and a soulful Summer Solstice to all.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Festival of the Trees (call for submissions)

I am pleased to announce that I will be hosting the 49th Festival of the Trees.


I am now taking submissions for the July festival. Please check here for submission guidelines, the history behind the festival, and July's theme. There is a contact form on the main site, or you can email me your link. I know there is a lot of talent out there, and I look forward to your entries, whether it be poem, flash fiction, photo, painting, haiku, etc. All mediums are welcome. Don't leave me standing alone like the last elm in North America.

The current festival is being hosted by Casey Harn so make sure you check that one out while you're at it.

Lets turn our attention away from war and oil spills and the destruction wrought by man and have some tree love.
















(photo courtesy of Deviant Art)


Ahhh, trees . . . big, small, scraggly and knarled, or majestic and stalwart, they do their part in keeping the lid on a steaming planet.



I'll see you in the woods, twenty rods beyond the brush pile in a clearing by the creek, short of the bee hives. Don't disturb the bees, just send me your stuff!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The red ones are theirs and the green ones are ours

I have a friend whose father was an explosive specialist in Vietnam during the Tet offensive. He was an engineer and walked point. He broke his tailbone jumping into a ditch. He was testing the terrain.

He is still in therapy for Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. He couldn’t hold a job because he was too explosive. If anyone touched him he would go crazy, fighting all the time, still fighting.

My friend says his father hates the 4th of July. The fireworks become tracers. “The red ones are theirs,” he told him. “And the green ones are ours.” It’s scary having a father like that.

He told me a story. He and his brother were spending the weekend at a cottage in the woods with their father when he found him inside, staring at a wall. He asked him what was wrong and his father said he was trying to remember the name of the corpsman who patched him up. He could see his face but couldn’t remember his name. He tried all weekend to remember that name. He wasn’t really at the cottage in the woods that weekend. He was sorting the red ones from the greens ones. He was looking for a friend.

He wouldn’t let his sons go in the service. He told them they could do anything but that.

I would pack my son off to Canada or further before I would let him be taken or coerced or bribed, whatever you want to call it when they dangle education, bonues and promises of honor and esteem in front of wondering eyes. I would pack him some cookies and peaches, blankets and sheets, candles, soap and towels. I would wish him music and books and easy nights and happy days. Can you pack a box of happiness? What would it cost to mail a box of happiness, return receipt requested?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Underground

The Literary Lab is running a new contest, Notes From Underground. It is the perfect contest for the crazy writer in you. Crazy and wonderful. Anything underground is intriguing to me, and this more so because of the obvious reference to a particular Russian writer (at least I found the title so). I have a few smouldering ideas I can dredge up and expound upon, and I bet you do too. Click on their link for more details and then grab this cool image for your sidebar.

You have most of the summer to come up with something intriguing enough to capture thir attention.

In the meantime, Suzanne Hayze and Amanda Bonilla have started a new joint blog, Writing Out The Angst. They helped each other and signed their agents within two months of each other and now they're offering to help all of us. To kick things off they are offering query critiques to a few lucky followers. But beyond that, their new blog is writer friendly and chock full of agent information.

The Roman writer and statesman Seneca said "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."