New writing and old

I've started to write about something new. I haven't a clue yet where it's going so I don't want to reveal the topic yet. I just want to let you and the world know. That's a way to keep me accountable. I can't go ahead and disband this new writing project because I've now put it out there. You all know and I know you'll keep me going. I'm also going through some poems I've written over the years. I'm looking for material to submit. I wrote the one below back in 2011 at my favorite poetry workshop at Esalen Institute in Big Sur California. Unfortunately my favorite three poets/instructors, Ellen Bass, Dorianne Laux, and Joseph Millar, aren't doing this workshop anymore, though I went to a workshop at Esalen with Joseph about a year ago. That was wonderful as well. So the theme for this poem was "changeability." We were asked to make changes from line to line, using word series, thoughts, length of line, and language. Other aspects of this theme are: anaphora - repetition of th … [Read more...]

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Don’t be afraid to submit

Three out of five isn’t bad. In the last couple of months I’ve submitted five pieces to contests and anthologies – mostly at the urging of my recent poetry instructor, Thresha Haefner at The Poetry Salon. And I found out that submitting really pays off. It’s like lottery tickets. If you don’t buy one, you have no chance of winning. In all I submitted three poems, a poetry chapbook, and an excerpt from my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On. Two of the three poems were accepted – one is still in review, and the excerpt was accepted to appear in a suicide loss anthology. Unfortunately the chapbook didn’t make it, but that doesn’t mean I’m giving up. I’ll submit it again and again to wherever seems suitable. And so as not to keep you in the dark, here are the two poems that will come out soon: “Stop and Go” will appear in Yellow Chair Review’s In the Words of Women anthology, and “Remnants” will appear in the 2016 Porter Gulch Review. Stop and Go On the drive up the coast … [Read more...]

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Taking an Esalen break

I'll be taking a few days' break from here while I attend my yearly poetry workshop at Esalen Institute in Big Sur California. In about an hour, I will be leaving for the six-hour drive from our home in southern California to go to central California. I love this workshop as it's a time for reflection, relaxation, and some heavy-duty poetry writing. We have a craft talk every morning and then go off to write until we get together again to share our work mid afternoons. I'll take good notes on the craft talks and share them with you when I get back. In the meantime, here are a couple of my favorite photos from the Esalen grounds. And reflections from one of my favorite times at Esalen when my husband and I went there to celebrate my sixtieth birthday.   Turning 60 As 60th birthdays go it wasn't too bad. But how would I know any difference? This was the first and last time I'll ever turn 60. Bob kept toasting me with a "here's to another 60 years." Ha! Now, … [Read more...]

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A rant about junk food

I was definitely heartened to read this story today. It is a great positive step to curbing the childhood obesity epidemic. CHICAGO (AP) — Laws strictly curbing school sales of junk food and sweetened drinks may play a role in slowing childhood obesity, according to a study that seems to offer the first evidence such efforts could pay off. Please click the link to read the whole story. http://news.yahoo.com/study-junk-food-laws-may-help-curb-kids-041613114.html In fact while I was at my poetry workshop at Esalen in Big Sur, CA last month I wrote a rant about junk food – triggered by the word junk, one of a list of ten given in a daily prompt. (See the Scary Seven at the bottom of this post, courtesy of Naturally Savvy.) A picture prettier than the rant (the Big Sur coast) Here’s the rant: Junk food is a business. Junk food is an addiction Eating junk food is an epidemic Can you imagine that recent studies show that obesity in children is not related to their … [Read more...]

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A new poem from Esalen

Looking down from the road I spent five days last week writing poems at Esalen, a beautiful site high on a cliff in Big Sur CA. I go to this particular workshop almost every summer. Led by poets Ellen Bass, Dorianne Laux, and Joseph Millar, I always learn some lessons about writing poems, I hear excellent poems read by my fellow poets taking the workshop with me, and I never lack for something to write my poems about. This year I wrote six poems using prompts given at the end of each day’s craft talks on: 1) a coming into consciousness poem, 2) a poem with sentiment and no sentimentality, and 3) a poem using various line break and syntax techniques. We also beg our leaders to give us a list of ten words and an assigned phrase with which to create a poem. Once in a while we’re asked to include our pick of a body part, season of the year, or time of day. Writing to a list of words is like solving a puzzle. But sometimes the poems turn out just plain silly. This year I wrote a co … [Read more...]

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Esalen Big Sur CA photos

Esalen is one of my favorite places. Its beauty, serenity, and healing powers cannot be surpassed. Here's a few shots from my cell phone camera. My favorite view from the hot sulfur baths The rocks below The back garden Resident blue jays Last look … [Read more...]

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