"Two wrongs may not make a right but a thousand wrongs make a writer.”

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Publishing Contract

I just signed a publishing contract with Unsolicited Press out of Portland Oregon. I'm so excited! It's a long process and the novel won't be published until early 2024. It seems like a long time, but I know that is to be expected. Out of the thousands of submissions they received, they said mine was one of forty projects they seclected for publication in 2023/2024. 

I wanted to share this with my blogging community, and expressly today with Poets and Storytellers.  Many of you have been so supportive over the years. You know who you are, and a huge thank you goes out to each and every one of you. And remember,  the only failed writer is the one who quits. 

Here's a toast to poets and writers who never quit!




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

                    -Mary Oliver


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Writing Life (and garlic addendum)

Okay, for those of  you who are wondering, the garlic was a failure. My oven's low temp of 170 farhenheit was too hot. I'm blaming my oven. The chopped-up garlic turned brown, which it mustn't do, brown and hard, yet still gummy on the inside. A dehydrator is a must and I have one somewhere in the cluttered closet of my writer's room, but for now I'm turning my efforts elsewhere: to Old German tomatoes and Italian roasting peppers for salsa, chop chop chop, basil and parsley and....oh, yes, of course garlic! Good thing I have 15 pounds set aside for my October plantings. Then there's my grandma's dark fruitcake to make, no candied fruit, just dates, figs, dried apricots and cherries. Wrapped in brandy-soaked cloth for weeks and week. (Use a low temp for  long baking, not NOT 350 F. my mistake). I have oven issues.

Getting out of the kitchen, I have some writing news. Perseverance pays. My poems (two!) are in the new issue of The Slippery Elm Literary Journal 



And in the new issue of the Midwest Review  (number 9) which will soon be showcased on their site. The Review publishes work from writers in or from the midwest region from where words percolate in obscure places.  


I have more news on the horizon about which I'm excited beyond words, so who needs a dehydrator when Indi publishers and small university journals are flourishing and our libraries are opening to stretch and stir from their pandemic lockdowns. Perseverance is my word of the day. All you writers out there, never never never give up.

Now why on earth is that rooster crowing when there is no tinge of pink in the sky? What is he crowing at? Orion charging across the sky in his new change-of-season finery? I know...he sees the light in my window and thinks I'm about to throw open his door and sow some oats.

Not even close. I have a dehydrator to find and words to write and coffee to brew. 

Over and out
for now.
Thanks
for 
reading
this
impromptu
post.


Sunday, September 19, 2021

Garlic!!

My hands smell like garlic. I've chopped and chopped, chopped the house awake. Time to get up! The sun is shinning through the evergreens, cones hanging like coconuts from the top branches. One of our trees lost its top in a straight-line wind two years ago. It's big but no longer the biggest.

Back to garlic. 

Well....I've dried parsley before in the oven, so I know this can be done, this dehydrating process. Thirty minutes at the lowest temp (170 for me) then stir, reset the timer, and repeat.  Repeat until dried and crumbly to the touch, however long that takes. Will it get crumbly? You tell me. Then I'll grind it up (to make my bread)  in my food processor to have my own garlic, um powder? Or just minced dried garlic to put in spaghetti and meatloaf and lasasgna and minestrone and bean soup with pig hocks and all those other things we turn to for comfort when the weather turns to winter.

Check out Poets and Storytellers: "The Season Turns" for seasonal thoughts from Down Under to "Up North". And I'd welcome any suggestions that will improve my chances of success on this Sunday Funday.


Thursday, September 2, 2021

God Loves Texas

 

They want to write Thomas Jefferson out of history.

Delete him like a dark chapter

from the annals of American History.

He who coined separation of church and state

is a sword in the side of righteous

who bleed, but not of wine.

 

The Dark Ages weren’t as dark

as the house their Board of Education wants to build.

With the buying power to control content,

America’s children will read what

they want them to read.

 

They soften the image of McCarthy—

His motives were pure.

Switch Jefferson for McCarthy.

There’s only so much room.

Motives justify methods

because God loves Texas.

 

To defame a person,

first misspell his last name.

Sow seeds of doubt.

Rearrange his words and cast credit elsewhere.

Remove Monticello from travel guides

and besmirch the gardens—

the vegetables he grew,

amazed at the temperate zone of a new world.

 

While at it,

rearrange the heads of the founding fathers,

Was that really John Hancock’s John Hancock?

Like the 12 apostles at the dinner table,

Mary Magdalene in the shadows.

            Rub her out

Misquote Paine to justify your actions.

Who will bother to verify?

 

While at it,

rid yourselves of those onerous voting laws

and put the pesky women in their place.

Texas needs more babies brought up right—

            In the spirit of the Lord, white seraphims on high.


Purge history of he who dared to separate

the church from the state.

As if one could take guns from the righteous

guards from the gate

inmates from their prison.

God out of Texas.

 

.

 

 Connected to the Open Link Night at the Poets Pub where the opportunity resides to wax poetic and drink ourselves into the bliss of poetry. 

 


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Good Neighbor

A wooden fence encloses her Sacramento yard
and every time she considers it
the vein in her forehead throbs
in thinking of the other side.

The neighbor’s trumpet vines climb the slats
poke through the cracks and cascade over the top,
wild, free, and untended.

His garden was once on a magazine cover,

the cornerstone of neighborhood tours.

A quiet neighbor who kept himself to himself

but passed her tips and cuttings from over the fence.

 

It was spring when he left the gate unlocked.

Her irises were in bloom, rain in the air,

the day she arrived home to yellow tape  

wrapped the length of their adjoining fence.

 

Policemen with dogs stomped the herbs

and the baby’s breath and traumatized the cat

lying in the sun on their dash across her yard

to follow the killer's path lest the trail

grow cold and dissipate like the promise of rain.

 

She walks her paths through autumn color,

checks her locks and eyes the roofline.

She tore out the grass in front and converted

it to a rose garden—a white border of shrub roses

and statuesque teas of yellow, carmine, and pink.

Waist high, they point their thrones skyward.


The prompt today from Claudia at the Poet's Pub is to write a poem about gardens and/or gardening. How could one resist? It's summer and it's all I do, even when I'd rather be writing. Thank you for reading about the good neighbor who is a no-more man and the woman who prevails.



 


Monday, May 31, 2021

Snake....a beginning

Snake climbed the ratline and glassed the ocean. A black rim of land inked the horizon. It was time to make his escape.

He wouldn’t be free until his bond was paid, and he was too young to pass time this way—blisters on his fingers, brine on his lips, and tar under his nails. He’d been wagered into servitude in a high-stakes game. He didn’t blame his father. Everyone had their vices. It amused him that they thought he’d been worth so much.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

In The Tall Grass

I met a snake on the garden path. He was green with a yellow stripe down his back, like a garden hose. He slithered across the path and into the tall grass, his head waving above the grass as he weaved his way towards the creek and disappeared. I gripped my hoe and proceeded to pick my way down the path, eyes darting to the left and to the right for the telltale ripple of another.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Allesandro of Albola


led us down the steps
into the cellar.
What the Tuscan sun began
the oak will finish.
In a separate room
racked bottles are covered in dust.
It protects them from light, he says.
He wishes to visit California
to learn more about wine.


This is a quadrille, a poem of exactly 44 words for dVerse and their prompt to celebrate wine and incorporate the word. I had no problem with this one! There is also a link there about the wine windows of Florence, invented during the bubonic plague and resurrected in  the pandemic. Allesandro gave us a private tour of the winery, (back when we could travel). He was very knowledgeable and we found it puzzling that he would want to move from the center of Tuscany to California to learn more about wine making.




Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Apple

What if it was Adam ate the apple
a
nd in retelling, told it slant?
The tale recorded by scribes of men
with etching tools and papyrus

rewriting Eve into a sin—
the temptress who led her mate astray
a
nd cursed us all till kingdom come.

The mother of mothers forged

into the witch of Salem, the shrew of literature,

the feminine mystique placed on high

but denied the pen to record it straight.


But what if Adam ate the apple?

A rogue deceptor, a muscle man,

who climbed the tree

who shook the limb

who took a bite
and smiled it good.


April is poetry month and Poets and Storytellers is helping to kick it off. An ode to trees, here with a slant, and linked to dVerse , the pub where poets hang out.



Thursday, January 28, 2021

My Mother Is Young

 

At day's end she folds her blouse
and places it on a footstool.

She raises her arms to receive her nightie

as it floats around her in faded flowers,

blue and yellow, the parchment

of leaves falling to earth,

falling into her lap.

She checks the basket on her walker

for her nightly needs.

 

The art of submission:

walker replacing cane

cane replacing dancing feet

dancing fee replaced by buckled shoes

that ran through the raspberry patch

whose pointed thorns couldn’t catch her.

 

She grimaces in the mirror

and yanks a comb through her hair

still black at the nape,

in the mirror of her mind

my mother is young.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Malcolm The Cat

The sleet quietly turned into snow in the night. Nothing moves on the road, like the snowy mornings of old. The snow deadens sound, but I see our fat cat has emerged from his house on the porch to observe the day. He has a rug and shelter under the overhang. His dish is empty. I warm up some broth left over from our Christmas Day Beef Bourguignon and drizzle it over his food, now fit for the king cat he is. A morning like this makes one feel lazy as a cat in the sun.  

Things cats can teach us:

Be curious but cautious
Pay 
attention to the weather
Sharpen your claws but know when to run
Know your friends.
You can
 see in the dark when you walk in the dark
E
at slowly then wash your face.

Happy New Year writers and poets and friends extraordinaire, especially those at earthweal where you will find poetry for and of a changing world.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Boyfriends

Don't google old boyfriends.
They've gone old
and gained weight.
They have daughters
And sons
They're happy.

He wanted to take you to the ocean
lull in the sand and try again.

Don't google old boyfriends.
And may they not google you.
They see you as then,
carefree and tanned
with hair down your dress.
Happy.




Thursday, December 24, 2020

Time

 I

The Last Snowfall

 

The child playing

in the driveway

while his dad shovels

will remember snow.

 

II


The Mirror

 

The hair that falls out in the shower

is still black.

Why in the mirror is it not?

The face cream claims to lift.

It’ll lift your lids right off your face.

Why in the mirror does it not?

We worry about bills and cancer

and if the car will start 

and the junction in our lifeline.

Put a dimmer switch in the bathroom.

Life is too short to worry about our health.

 

 

III


Gravity

 

The door swings empty. Dust settles.

Flesh accommodates.

The old lady stumbles but she recovers.

I hurt therefore I am.

 

When you crossed the hospital lobby

Did you think to escape?

Pick up your feet.

 

Make a wrong turn and you could come up missing,

walking back at yourself in the elongated mirrors

hung in corners. Don’t breathe.

 

The ventilator hisses and pumps,

tireless machine needing only an outlet.

The incident, unforeseen, took her down

one day before she was to come home,

one from which she could not recover.

 

It’s raining again at the window bed,

steady as the pocket watch ticking unseen.

It paces us through gathering events.

In a place like this

the only time I ever saw my father cry.

 

Out of time. And when was it ours?

Sometimes we can’t go home but would it matter

if we don’t recover?

We get along. Dust settles.

 

 

Three connected to close out the wretched year we call 2020. Inspired by Poets and Writers  to post one more time before the end of the year, this is for the Writers Pantry.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all you poets and writers!

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Door At The End Of The Hallway


Door one is for those with questions about their disability check.

Door two is for those who didn’t get their disability check.

Door three is for those who can’t find a doctor to treat their disability.

Door four is for those who have been denied their disability.

Door five is for those who were Sectioned Eight, no disability.

Door six is for those seeking legal advice.

Door seven is for those whose paperwork never not submitted, go back to door one.

Door eight is for those who got kicked out of the shelter, go back to door six.

Door nine is for those suffering hallucinations, go back to door three.

Door ten is for those deemed a danger to themselves by door three.

Door eleven is for those who exhausted one through ten.

This poem is linked to dVerse and the inspiring post from Peter Frankis in Australia,
commemorating poetry, line breaks (when and how to take a breath) and endings, metaphorically and visually.

And, finally, may none of us have to frequent this hallway. Breathe


Saturday, December 12, 2020

Concurrence

Snow fog encases each blade of grass,
each winter’s branch in wispy ice
as the hunter hidden in his blind
rests his weapon on the sill.

The rising sun lifts the fog—

a breath, a pause, a trigger pull.

A rush of wing, a whoosh of air

the ricocheting echo fades.

Steam releases from the kill

and quiet calms the forestland.




This hunting season inspired poem is linked to Earthweal (poetry for a changing world) and their open link weekend.


Thursday, December 10, 2020

Stepping Off The Sidewalk

 

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night - Gibran

 

There are words you can hang

that will tell you how to feel.

Who to love. What to think.

Hang above the entryway

or in the hallway

where I saw my mother walking

toward me in the mirror

like free-flowing water.



My take on Stepping Off The Sidewalk

No Way Out


Stranded in the time of Covid-
one way in, one way out
but torrential rains washed out
the culvert and the deliveryman can't find her.

Nothing to drink but a neighbor's Folgers
nine months pregnant when water rushing
down the ravine cracked the culvert,
the plundering of man with his man-made things,

the high-brow engineer with a clipboard
couldn't stop the rush to nowhere
as hurricane after hurricane
follows the same path north
to clip this saturated land
from where now there is no way out.


Friday, July 31, 2020

Hi ya'll! I haven't been on here for a while....busy pulling weeds and killing tomato worms and chasing rabbits out of the lettuce but:
The new issue of the Slippery Elm Journal is out and check out the cover!!!



We aren't supposed to toot our own horn but I am an old baritone sax player from High School band!!!

Happy summer days are here. The popcorn is chest high (yes trying to grow popcorn) and the heirloom tomatoes are thriving in spite of the worms that we pick off and smash under a rock.


Monday, May 11, 2020

Arid Spring

I received notice yesterday that two more pieces of my writing were accepted by the slippery Elm Literary Journal. It was a Mother's Day present of sorts. Meanwhile, dust rolls across the arid fields as farmers work their ground. Last year it was too dry and this year too wet, but my dad always said that if he had to choose, he would take dry. This was my fourth Mother's Day with no mother but with the progression of time I see her more clearly each morning in the mirror.




Friday, April 24, 2020

A Troubled Man To The Lighthouse Goes

The night watchman
(a troubled man)
on a given day
when all the birds sing
to the lighthouse goes.
Once a gentleman in Moscow,
under rumors of war
undertakes the voyage
with a golden compass
to a promised Garden of Eden
but it was a risk pool
and no country for old men.



This poem was composed from the titles on my bookshelf in response to the challenge at dVerse (the pub where poets hang out) to compose a poem from the books on your shelf. (Spine Poetry) I had fun and rediscovered some old friends.