If you are disturbed by vulgarities and crass language, feel free to skip this post, but please come back next week because I don’t make a habit of subjecting people to it.
I have a nonfiction short story out in a new anthology published by Devil’s Party Press. The theme of this collection is a bad word in the title of each story. Lest you think this is sophomoric hijinks, the writers are all over forty!
Click through the photo if you want to order a copy. My story is called “The Self-Mindf**k.” See, I can’t bring myself to spell it out in public! As for the title of the anthology, you can read the book cover above.
Seriously, though, my story is childhood memoir, about the way the fear and anxiety of living in my parents’ home over a basement bomber shelter affected my thinking—hence, the self-mindf**k. Here is a little “teaser.”
In the summer I turned six, my father dismantled his cozy basement workshop and built a secret underground bomb shelter out of cement blocks. This intrusion into our home was my first encounter with the Cold War. Television regularly put us through tests of emergency broadcasting via CONELRAD, and at school, duck-and-cover drills were weekly rituals. The goblins in our nightmares were “Commies, Reds, and Pinkos.” The anxiety this threat gave me was palpable and made even more acute because I was supervised by nervous parents. I had to wear a cumbersome lifejacket just to play in the sand at the beach. Overprotective was an adjective created for my mother and father. I don’t know if I would have been a fearful child if I had grown up in a different environment. Maybe part of it was genetic. But a fraidy cat I was–too scared to attempt cartwheels or to ride atop someone’s handlebars. Living across the street from an intimidating dog was one more frightening aspect of life in those days.
Thanks to Marie K. Bailey I discovered I could post a deal on my first poetry collection Doll God on this blog. Ten bucks covers a signed copy and postage to a U.S. address I’m so sorry that I can’t offer the same deal to my friends in other countries. However, if you are interested in shipment elsewhere, please email me and let’s try to work something out.
Filed under #AmWriting, #writerlife, Book promotion, Books, Creative Nonfiction, Doll God, Family history, Memoir, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Publishing, Writing
For the third day in a row, I have a poem published in the truly gorgeous journal Open: A Journal of Arts and Letters. Monday, they posted Imagine This Portrait. Yesterday it was Waterland.
Today is Eurydice. Check it out. It only took me five+ years to write it. This simple lil poem. Hmm. All I can tell you is that it was a hard one for me.
On a related topic. Hahaha, only if all topics relate to cats. Anyway, on a related topic, here is my Tiger Queenie Princess Mimi. I am starting a new hashtag that I want to try to use pretty often because I think it suits me and probably many other people: #poetswithcats
Some of you know, I am trying to reach a publication goal I set for myself for 2019. With 7 journals already publishing my poems and a prose piece in the process, I feel that I am halfway through my goal. BUT THEN WE ARE ALMOST HALFWAY THROUGH THE YEAR. No pressure.
I have a poem published today in the gorgeous journal Open: A Journal of Arts and Letters. Yesterday, they posted “Imagine This Portrait.” Tomorrow, they will publish a 3rd poem. But today is one of my favorite and weirdest poems of all.
This is the photo that inspired the poem.
I have a poem published today in the gorgeous journal Open: A Journal of Arts and Letters.
Somewhat new for me, this is a love poem. Maybe I should reword that. While I write a lot of poems with love, this poem has a romantic love relationship as the guiding inspiration.
They’ve paired the poem with a piece of glorious art by Roger Camp.
Also cool is that they have provided links for Kin Types and Doll God. You can pick up the former for around $6 today, although you know that is subject to change at any moment by Big Brother Amazon.
The gardener has been hard at work.
Main Street Rag just published their latest issue, and in it is my review of Nancy Miller Gomez’s chapbook Punishment.
I’ve had a lot of friends who have taught in prisons around the country, and so when I heard her collection was based on her own experiences teaching poetry writing in a prison, I eagerly signed up to review it.
Here is a copy of my review (starts halfway down the page). Click on the image to read more closely.
Punishment is a Rattle Chapbook Series selection, and you can find links to poems and how to purchase the chapbook here:
I’ll leave you with the first and title poem in the book.
My review of Karen Paul Holmes’ poetry collection No Such Thing as Distance has been published in the latest edition of the esteemed journal Pleiades.
If you get your hands on this gorgeous issue, you can find out why I think there are commonalities in Holmes’ work and mine. OK, here are some hints ;). She is also from Michigan, and the sense of place–places, really–is very important to her work. Also prominent are family and family history. Her book is beautifully written and extremely accessible.
On another note, I’m having foot troubles. And I also had a very telling dream. But first the feet.
My right foot is the one that has a reconstructed navicular bone. That happened 13.5 years ago and was a big, big deal. Now I have to be really careful so that that bone doesn’t shatter. About nine months ago I developed plantar fasciitis in the left foot, and no matter what I do, the pain is not letting up. This puts pressure on the right foot, of course. Then Friday morning I dropped my cell phone on my right big toe. Please let me out of this nightmare.
Speaking of dreams. Did you know that if you dream of a litter of kittens it means that you are feeling swamped and overwhelmed? The other day I dreamed that the shelter where I volunteer was closed temporarily. I went to check on it. Of course, it wasn’t that place at all, but an old-fashioned storefront with the store divided into three big rooms, all with glass windows in front. I knew right away why they were closed. They were overwhelmed–literally filled to the ceiling with kittens. There wasn’t even an inch between kittens. There must have been thousands in there. I wasn’t worried for the kittens because I knew the shelter would take care of them, but I was shocked at how many there were.
So do you see how overwhelmed I have been this month????????? I know in the end it will be ok, but I have never felt so overloaded with work as I have this month. I sure hope I get April to write poetry!
(Weirdly, I have worked on a little essay, but only the last couple of days, and I don’t know if it will turn out or not).
Sending love out into the universe. Please send back some extra minutes haha.
Alice Osborn has reviewed my chapbook Kin Types for the new Winter 2019 issue of Main Street Rag.
I love how she calls the book a “labor of love.”
It’s a beautiful issue with fiction and poetry, an essay, and quite a few book reviews, and best yet, it’s only $6! Click this link.
KIN TYPES IS AVAILABLE AT AMAZON:
Remember my kitty Tiger, star of The Bitch’s Tale? She has gotten a bit skinny, so I took her to the vet for bloodwork and urinalysis. Her kidney and liver values are now elevated, and she had to have an add-on test for pancreatitis. Please send positive vibes and prayers for Tiger that she just has slow aging issues and not a serious illness. I had thought Tiger was 14, but after recalculating and conferring with my son, we believe she is at least 15.
Filed under #writerlife, #writerslife, Book Review, Family history, Kin Types, Nonfiction, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Publishing, Writing
A big thank you to Underfoot Poetry for pushing me to inquire. Where did the poems for my full-length collection Doll God come from? I tried to figure it out!
Chapbook Confessions is a series in which poets discuss, at length, the writing of their most recent collection of poems, in whatever way they desire. For more information on the series, go here.
Below, Luanne Castle writes on her 2015 collection,Doll God (Aldrich Press).
When I first read the Chapbook Confessions project, I was intrigued and wondered if I participated would I be able to discover insight into my writing process. The notion of what I might find both allured and frightened me.
Part of me agrees with the brief “Ars Poetica” I heard X. J. Kennedy recite when I was a young grad student in Michigan:
The goose that laid the golden egg
Died looking up its crotch
To find out how its sphincter worked.
Would you lay well? Don’t watch.
The thought of losing the ability to write a poem because I inquired into…
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The different ways that family history and genealogy intersect with other aspects of the culture is growing. But I think this project might be a first for family history. Broad Street Magazine, which publishes nonfiction narratives in a variety of genres, has begun a six-week series of feature articles on six poems from my family history […]
via Six-Week Family History & Poetry Series at BROAD STREET MAGAZINE — The Family Kalamazoo
After Monday’s post was published, I learned that Kin Types was a finalist for the prestigious Eric Hoffer Award. It’s in stellar company. This recognition validates the work I did on the book and on my family history blog, too. Best of all, the book gets a gold foil sticker for the cover ;).
It will kind of look like this when the sticker is put on the book (only not such a large sticker).
If you click through the link to the Amazon page, the book can be ordered for a real deal right now; check it out. To order through Barnes & Noble, try this link.
If you want a sticker for your copy, send me a selfie of yourself with Kin Types that I can use on this blog or social media (in case I decide to do that) with your address, and I’ll mail you a sticker when they arrive.
My father passed away three years ago this past Monday. My first book, Doll God, had just been published so he was able to read it (and be very proud) before he died. He never got to see Kin Types, although his mother and grandmother are featured in the book.
I’m closing comments because I don’t want you to feel you need to send me congratulations; I just wanted to let you know about the exciting news!
Filed under #AmWriting, Book Award, Book contest, Books, Creative Nonfiction, Doll God, Family history, Flash Nonfiction, History, Kin Types, Nonfiction, Poetry book, Poetry Collection