Tag Archives: Luanne Castle

Three Questions: Luanne Castle

Editor Jenn Monroe of Extract(s) lit magazine asked me some very thought-provoking questions in today’s interview. Also, check out the excerpt from Doll God also published May 1 in Extract(s): http://dailydoseoflit.com/2015/05/01/excerpt-luanne-castle/

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Filed under #AmWriting, Books, Doll God, Dolls, Interview, Literary Journals, Nonfiction, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Research and prep for writing, Writing, Writing prompt, Writing Tips and Habits

I Dish about Dolls and Doll God

Today is the last day of National Poetry Month. I haven’t done a fraction of what I had intended to do in celebration, but just because the month ends doesn’t mean I leave poetry behind. (And there is still time to purchase that copy of¬†Doll God, hint hint ūüėȬ†).

Serena over at Savvy Verse & Wit interviewed me for her blog today. She asked me some interesting questions about my relationship to dolls and, of course, about Doll God.

Click here to check out the interview.

Thanks so much, Serena, for the blog tour and for this interview. Your support of poetry is inspirational.

Mid-century  Snow White doll heads

Mid-century Snow White doll heads

Snow makes a couple of appearances in Doll God!

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My Plan to Lure Hubby to More Rescue Cats

We have a winner for the name of the Doll God doll! She is to be called MaryGold, named by the mysterious John Janssens. So apropos, considering she was cavorting with marigolds in the photo. Second place is Violet, suggested by the charming Seyi Sandra, who writes the lovely blog Seyi Sandra David: A Writer with a Difference. Third place The other second place is Flavia, a name Mareymercy mentioned. She was so surprised to see the name do so well. She takes some amazing photographs she shares on her blog.

Taking the advice of a blogger who wrote about Goodreads, I have set up a Book Giveaway which begins today and ends on Monday. Of course, as with any new (to me) site, I’m a little unclear as to exactly when today and exactly when Monday. To be on the safe side, I would recommend entering the contest by Sunday! Let me know if you enter and how the experience was for you. And good luck to you!

ENTER TO WIN A FREE BOOK

Doll God by Luanne Castle

Doll God

by Luanne Castle

Giveaway ends January 26, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

On another note (and hence the blog title), Monday afternoon hubby and I visited a local no kill animal shelter to deliver the diabetic food and insulin we didn’t use for our oldest cat Mac. With the help of our vet, we went a different path for Mac because of his many medical issues. We are treating him with a different diet instead of insulin. I found a shelter that has a cat named Randy who is diabetic and can use the hundreds of dollars of food and insulin I bought and didn’t use!

By bringing hubby I had a method to my madness. He’s in semi-retirement, which means he still works a lot at home, but doesn’t get out much. He’s also “down” about how business (something he loves and is very talented at) has changed for the worse in so many ways. But he loves cats. When we got inside the shelter, I said, “Do you have a social room for cats here?”

“Sure, it’s right this way. I’ll show you!” She was very eager. Of course, she was. But so was I.

Many of their cats were off at places like PetSmart, looking cute and hopeful, no doubt, from within their glass cubicles. But there were a few left behind. We were greeted at the door by the impressive and friendly tabby known as The Mayor–named for his way of greeting everyone! The room was decorated like a nursery school playroom with fun equipment and toys. A tiny orange kitten sat alone in a big cage, blinking at me and hoping I would take him home (sorry, I can’t add to my cats right now, little buddy). They had a few long shelves with clean towels and blankets and a black and white cat slept behind some of the blankets. We peeked in to see her. She stretched at us. Another cat slept on a cat tree, too exhausted to visit with people who only stopped in for a second.

As we walked to the door, I said, “Do you need volunteers to hang with the cats?”

Yes, they do need those humans. The cats need to be socialized–to hear human voices, smell human smells, and feel human touch. What better people to do that than us? I am dragging hubby (reluctant, but not opposed) to the volunteer orientation in February. Stay tuned.

This is the man who, when we found our first cat, said, “I don’t do cats. Just dogs.” ¬†Hahahahaha. Famous last words.

On a related note:

Have you heard about cat cafes? They might have started in Japan, where apartments for young singles typically do not allow pets. People can go to the cat cafe, have a beverage, and play with cats! There seem to be some in the U.S., too, and you can adopt a cat from there, after making sure the two of you are a good match.

Plenty of apartments in Phoenix allow cats, so I doubt one could make a business out of a cat cafe here. But one could certainly make a charity out of it, right? Of course, that sounds like a LOT of work, so I think volunteering at the shelter once or twice a week would be something we could handle right now.

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Filed under Books, Doll God, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Publishing

A Doll in Need of a Name

Thank you so much for your support for the publication of¬†Doll God. I had no idea there is so much work involved with the birth of a book. I’m running on little sleep and learning everything from scratch.

I feel like I did when my son was a baby. Nearly headachey through the eyes, foggy, and sleepy.  But definitely not crabby. Hahaha.

If you did or do order a copy of my book and you like it, please write a couple of nice sentences over at Amazon (and Goodreads if you’re on that site). Apparently this is very important to the sale of the book. It doesn’t have to take much time; it’s more ¬†important that it be heartfelt.

So what have I been doing? Too much and I’m too tired to make a list, I’m afraid, but I can tell you that at both Amazon and Goodreads I set up author profiles. I spent hours reading a book telling how to market a book on Amazon only to discover that the information was so old that it’s no longer applicable. Most of the bells and whistles the writer referred to are no longer available. ¬†I contacted friends by email about¬†Doll God.

It’s also important for me to pay it forward by reading and reviewing other poetry books (along with my memoir and some fiction reviews).

With all this hubbub, I don’t have anything brilliant to say. But I do have a shot of the doll from my book cover cavorting in my flowers. Note that these flowers were saved from the freeze this year by lots of hard work by hubby and by me. We had to cover all the shrubs and flower beds and even the cacti and succulents when we had a freeze that lasted a week.This doll has been through the mill, as my mother would say. She’s been face down in mud puddles and tide pools and traveled back and forth between Arizona and California several times (through the USPS). ¬†This photo is proof she has a face, too. ¬†In the book cover below, her face is hidden.

Doll God promo coverI think she needs a name. My daughter, who took the original photo for the book art and who took the photo of her in the flowers, as well, thought she needed a name, but we never settled on one.

Any ideas on a name for the doll?

 

 

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Filed under Art and Music, Book Review, Books, Doll God, Dolls, Nonfiction, Photographs, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing

Searching for Angels

Woohoo! My book is available. (Where’s that champagne bottle again? Empty?)

Since Doll God is now up on Amazon here, I thought I would tell you a little more about the collection. Here is the full description:

Luanne Castle’s debut poetry collection,¬†Doll God,¬†studies traces of the spirit world in human-made and natural objects–a Japanese doll, a Palo Verde tree, a hummingbird. Her exploration leads the reader between the twin poles of nature and creations of the imagination in dolls, myth, and art.

From the first poem, which reveals the child’s wish to be godlike, to the final poem, an elegy for female childhood, this collection echoes with the voices of the many in the one: a walking doll, a murderer, Snow White. Marriage, divorce, motherhood, and family losses set many of the poems in motion. The reader is transported from the lakes of Michigan to the Pacific Ocean to the Sonoran Desert.

These gripping poems take the reader on a journey through what is found, lost, or destroyed. The speaker in one poem insists, “I am still looking for angels.” She has failed to find them yet keeps searching on. She knows that what is lost can be found.

Doll God promo cover

It’s really hard to describe your own book! Seriously. I wrote the above description, but it seemed agonizing to do so. After all that work crafting those three little paragraphs, you better believe I’m going to use it ;).

If you’re so inclined to buy¬†Doll God¬†and see what I’ve spent so much time on for the past 20 years, I will be thrilled to hear how the poems make you feel. Because above all, poems should be felt¬†as a sensation or series of sensations.

I was so blessed to get pre-publication reviews from some absolutely stellar poets and writers. Although Stuart Dybek is most well-known as one of the most important short story writers of the time, he began his writing career as a poet and has published two poetry collections, in addition to many other books. ¬†Matthew Lippman and Caroline Goodwin are highly successful and absolutely wonderful poets. Their styles couldn’t be more dissimilar, and yet they both write exquisite poetry. You can find these blurbs on the back of¬†Doll God.

‚ÄúEvery day the world subtracts from itself,‚ÄĚ Luanne Castle observes.¬†¬†Her wonderfully titled collection,¬†Doll God,¬†with its rich and varied mix of poems part memoir, part myth and tale, shimmers as it swims as poetry is meant to, upstream against the loss.

Stuart Dybek, MacArthur Fellow and author of Streets in Their Own Ink

 

In her haunting first collection, Luanne Castle has created a space where ‚Äúthe sounds/of the schoolchildren/and the traffic/grind down/to nothing‚ÄĚ and where the reader is invited to experience the lasting echo of our primal human past. Who makes our toys, and why? Which toys and in whose likeness?¬† With startling imagery and a keen eye for the subtler shapes of violence and redemption, Castle asks us to consider and re-consider these questions. Like a ‚Äúworld of broken mirrors waiting‚ÄĚ the poems call us back to ourselves, our childhoods, and the potential rewards of prayer and reflection. I find both hope and despair in these pages, where ‚Äúevery day the world subtracts from itself and nothing/is immune,‚ÄĚ and every object contains a voice and a story. This is a fierce and beautiful book.

Caroline Goodwin, author of Trapline

 

Luanne Castle‚Äôs new collection, Doll God, is sublime.¬† The manner of these poems– that they embrace the doll and bring to it humanity and divinity–is something to behold.¬† The voice in these poems is tender, visceral, and wonderfully human.¬† Ms. Castle has forged a vision that feels like something you want to dance with, dress up, talk to like a child, but with an adult‚Äôs sensibility.¬† I love these poems with my whole heart because they make me feel both childlike and grown, simultaneously.¬† Doll mistresses, primordial conches, Barbies, infuse these poems with tremendous humanity, and they delight with purpose, sadness and joy, and an incredible range that will leave you breathless.

Matthew Lippman, author of American Chew

I’m so nervous and so excited for you to read my book. I hope you like it. Better yet, I hope some of the poems resonate with you and your life.

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Cover Reveal of Doll God

At long last (as if anybody has been waiting for this moment but moi hahaha) I can reveal the cover of¬†Doll God, my poetry collection. ¬†Here ’tis.

Doll God promo cover

Here is a quote from the book description:

Luanne Castle’s debut poetry collection,¬†Doll God,¬†studies traces of the spirit world in human-made and natural objects–a Japanese doll, a Palo Verde tree, a hummingbird. Her exploration leads the reader between the twin poles of nature and creations of the imagination in dolls, myth, and art.

All I can say is: FINALLY.

We had all kinds of problems transferring the artwork to the book cover. It took four book proofs to get it right. The original photograph was taken by my daughter and artist Kenneth Nicholson created the art. Well, finally. The book should be available online later this week, so I will post the links when I get them.

More champagne is called for. Good thing it’s on my new diet!

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