Some Good Reads (and a kitten)

I don’t like creating posts that are “just” links. Over the last few days though, some confluence of good friends and good fortune has provided me with a variety of links to articles which were all, in their own way, really interesting. At least, in my humble opinion. So I figured, share the good stuff with our lovely readers. Thus:

Birth of the poetDear Editor, Dear Writer, Please Stop! A funny, reasonably concise summary of things writers wish editors wouldn’t do and vice versa. Some nice advice here.

Betty Adcock: of poets laureat I swore – I SWORE – I wasn’t going to say a word about the North Carolina governor’s appointment (and subsequent self-dis-appointment) of Valerie Macon as the state’s poet laureate. But Betty Adcock says so clearly what needed to be said that I thought, in case you weren’t already bored to death of the whole story, that this link (which  Ed Madden brought to Facebook) was worth passing on.

Best New Poets has their 2014 list of 50 best new poets out. A few of them I’ve read and loved (Corey Miller’s “Willow Lake Mine” is phenomenal, and while I haven’t read the Benjamin Goldberg poem mentioned, what I have read of his work is phenomenal), which I’m hoping is a good sign for this collection.

CascdiaIf you’re in Cascadia (as a NoCal gal, it’s unclear whether I count, but I thrive healthwise in Seattle. If it weren’t for my sun-loving spouse we’d be up there now. Of course, he’d say if it weren’t for his fog-head wife, we’d be in SoCal, so it’s always something…), the dates for the Cascadia Poetry Festival have been set. I know a few people who’ve gone and who loved it, so if you’re a Cascadian, this might be just what you need to refresh your spirit and meet other writers.

And in case links weren’t enough to make your day, well, here is a kitten:

Kitti cat

A kitten.

 

 

Advertisements

And about time, too

Gerrit_Dou_-_Scholar_sharpening_a_quill_penIt’s been a long time since there’s been a post on InOurBooks. Andrea and I both ran into “stuff” (you know, that life stuff that happens even when you’re writing and wish the world would just get out of your way). Anyhow, my life stuff is (knock much wood) starting to ebb a bit, so I’m taking this breather as a chance to be both a writer and blogger again.

In writer mode, I’ve started submitting poems to journals again and fortuitously one of the writers we’ve published here (Hi!) posted this blog post on his FB page. I liked it so much – it’s the first time I’ve agreed with every single thing a blogger has said about publishing – that I wanted to share it with you-all.

http://campus.poetryschool.com/just-one-poem/

Besides, I miss our InOurBooks friends and would love to know how you’re doing – how *are* you? ~ ina

Monday Coffee: A poem and a promise

19th century tea- and coffee-cups anaglyphIn case you hadn’t heard about this, Poets.org will send you a poem every day – all you have to do is sign up and you get an email with a new poem, every day.

It’s one of the best things I’ve ever signed up for online. There are days where my inbox is full of crud (to put it no higher) and knowing that there’s one beautiful thing in there makes all the difference.

Kasturba washing Gandhi s feetThis poem by David Kirby showed up today. It made me cry, like really – tears and everything – in part because I come from a family where we touch the feet of elders, but mostly because of this pair of lines:

So let this poem brush across the feet of anyone
who reads it. Poetry is
my religion—well, I wouldn’t die for it. I’d live for it, though.

I hope you enjoy the poem, too.

Wednesday, I will have the privilege of posting an interview with JC Cassels, author of Sovran’s Pawn  and the just-published sequel, Heroes End. She’s a great author, and (esp. if you’re a sci fi fan), you’ll enjoy hearing how she brought this story to life.

Thanks for stopping by!
Ina

Monday Coffee: Summer Challenge Results

Gmatta ancient arabic coffee kettle570x720mmI loved every entry in our Brighter Light Summer Challenge. Each one made me feel so summery, warm and glow-y. I was originally planning on picking one “kid-participation” winner and one “grown-up alone” winner, but I had a terrible time deciding. But at last, after a nice pot for warm, sweet coffee, I’ve managed to pick three poems as our challenge winners. Our “kid” team prize is divided between:

Dr. Pearl and her grandgirls for “My Summer” AND Michele and her girls Skyler Ide and Elizabeth for their beautiful “In the Midst of Summer.”

And our Adult Alone winner is Barbara Ehrentreu for “Summer on the Beach,” which won me with the clincher, “It’s
a young person’s sport and I remember the summers when
the day was over and I packed up things herding children
smelling like sun tan lotion toward their dinner.”

I also have to give a special shout-out to SEIngraham, whose “Summertime in Edmonton” inspired me to ask her to talk with me about parenting and poetry (see an upcoming post) and Linda H., because I am totally allergic to mosquitoes and her poem really got how ANNOYING they are 🙂

We’ll be following with interviews and/or profiles of our winners – thank you everyone who participated; you’re the heart and soul of this blog ❤

Ina

20130729-095005.jpg

Monday Coffee: Little, beautiful things

LittleGuyI love chinchillas. They’re so ridiculous – like little rabbits with squirrel tails and elf ears. If one suddenly spread gossamer wings and fluttered away I’d be totally unsurprised.

A couple of days ago,my family was passing a favorite used bookstore after dinner. My spouse stopped and pointed. “We MUST go in there!” The sign in front of the bookstore said, “Chincilla adoption event.” Inside the store a woman was tucking a grey bundle of fur one of a set of carriers on wheels. The lady, a volunteer with the local chincilla rescue, had brought her own in addition to potential adoptees: a black “chin” named Midnight.She settled Midnight into my lap and I stroked her between her ears.She curled herself into a ball in the crook of my arm and settled in.

Cappuccino with latte art on Coffee Right in Brno, Czech RepublicIsn’t it nice  to have a few minutes to sit, maybe sip a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy something beautiful? To that end, a few other little, beautiful things I found this weekend:

  • Some lovely poems and pieces have been left for our Summer Brighter Light challenge. I’m encouraging people both to join us before the challenge closes (July 8th night), but also just to stop by and see some of the lovely things that we’ve received – I feel really fortunate in the people who read here.
  • A friend, Claudsy, is recovering from a bout of pneumonia. While recovering she’s talking about a small collection of poems that she’s putting together as a Kindle Single. I love any author that has the guts to talk about what they’re working on. I have a tendency to hide what I’m doing until I’m sure I’ll finish it – this kind of post is an homage to writerly courage. You go, Claudette.
  • I’m getting our Writers on Wednesdays post for the week ready to go. Joan Hamilton’s “how I got started” is a bit of Amazing. So when you need a little inspiration to get through the mid-week slump, make sure to stop by with your cuppa.
  • If you’re unfamiliar with senryu – the form is similar to haiku but with a theme of human character or foibles rather thannature-themed. The Senryu contest on Robert Brewer’s Poetic Asides blog had 10 amazing results. They’re short – and each is wonderful.
  • Laura Hegfield at Shine the Divine is offering a weekly spiritual practice called I Heart Macro – if you might enjoy photographing the beauty of small things, this may be for you.  Even if you aren’t, the photos people have posted are a chance to be a close observer and take a break from the rush of Monday morning.
  • And lastly, if you haven’t seen today’s “Roswell” Google Doodle, it’s adorable. Even if you don’t (a la Agent Mulder) Believe.

I hope you all have a lovely day, not too “squashed” with things to do (I know, I know, but the picture is so cute!) to stop and enjoy a little beauty.

ChinSquash

New contest deadline

Pouring cream into drip coffee

Sometimes, you just need a little something extra…

In this case, I realized that I’d put our Summer Poem/Flash Fiction Contest deadline right when a lot of people in the U.S. are traveling, so I figured, why not give people some extra time? We’re looking for poems or flash fiction (let’s call it <300 words, microfiction sized) on your very own summer day, whatever that might be. You can post them in the comments here, or on your blog and leave a link here, or through our Contact Us form here, by (the extended deadline) the end of the day on Monday, July 8th. Feel free to comment on other works too – we’ve got some terrific poems from writers younger and older coming in already (and do they deserve kudos for getting their work out there!). I’ll be choosing three works to highlight, along with an author feature or interview for each!

Looking forward to sitting down with a cup of coffee and reading all the lovely writing

~ Ina

Monday coffee: Announcements

Eisman-Semenowsky_Dame_mit_KaffeetasseOh, I do love Monday coffee. It’s a rare rainy summer day here in Northern California, and I’m drinking my coffee by the open window. Outside, some brave bird (I think it’s a phoebe) is singing away and inside, one of the cats (Spot, in case you were wondering) is making a concerted effort to sit on the keyboard (so far, I’m winning).

Today’s coffee is a note about upcoming events on InOurBooks.

  • Wednesday will bring us an exclusive interview with Ellen Sussman, acclaimed author of the  recently published The Paradise Guest House as well as two previous novels French Lessons and On a Night Like This, courtesy of our guest blogger and journalist, Margaret Young. Spread the word on this interview – Margaret asks the fun questions you’ve always wanted to ask your favorite author but hadn’t the nerve
  • Friday is going to bring us one last prompt for the Brighter Light challenge for our young entrants (and with the help of any of our young-at-heart readers who’d like to join in) as well as a special acknowledgement for the participants of the original challenge.
  • And we’ll be starting our new “indie publishing” feature, “A Day In The Life” as we move into July, for insight into working with small publishing houses and self-publishing options.

MilchschaumgesichtI’m so looking forward to these weeks ahead, and I hope you are too. But now, I’m going to sit down with this coffee, open a document, and write in the cool air of a perfect Monday morning.

Have a lovely day, everyone! ~ Ina