Showing posts from 2014

Stunning Time-Lapse Reveals Auroras and Earth From Space

However you celebrate the turning of the year - wishing you light and happiness on our fragile blue planet.

Stunning Time-Lapse Reveals Auroras and Earth From Space

My Writing Process Blog Tour

A big thank you to James Tate Hill, my colleague at North Carolina A&T State University, for inviting me on this blog tour, My Writing Process. His post appeared last week at this site.
It’s always interesting when people ask us to step back and explain exactly what we’re doing, what I’m doing there in the corner in front of the computer, early in the morning or into the night, typing in words in uneven bursts.
1)What are you working on? Right now, I’m engaged in far too many projects. I am completing final edits to a new collection of poetry, Hotel Worthy, which will be published in the spring by Press 53. I’m pretty pumped about that – the best of ten years’ worth of poetizing. The editing has been light from the publisher, but I have to skinny down three formal poems – a ghazal, pantoum, and sestina – to fit the page width. Free verse and prose poems are not an issue, but form poems are the devil! I am also doing another edit on Backwater, my new novel, which is making the rounds …

Out of control

Don't you just love that cover? I took one look at it and immediately thought of our legislative "process" these days. The summer issue of The Missouri Review is out, with a theme of "Fast Living." It's fun to see how an issue comes together, how a theme emerges from the submissions even if not imposed from the start. We used to see this kind of synergy back when I was opening snail mail submissions to Kestrel, and today as I scroll through Submittable for Prime Number. (And watch for a redesign there soon!) Of course, I'm especially excited as six poems from my novel-in-verse, "The Leopard Lady Speaks," are featured - watch for the audio to be released soon, and another of the poems to be the "Poem of the Week." The issue also Diane Seuss writing about art and Andrew Grace in the voice of a man with a dangerous past. Prose features include stories by Carol Ghiglieri, Ben Hoffman, Sharon Pomerantz, and Amanda Harris, as well as nonfict…


It was bound to be a special night.
Marjorie Hudson, stellar author/teacher/cook, came to Greensboro on June 14 so that we could reprise the call and response" readings we had created from our 2012 books - my novel Blood Clay and her short story collection Accidental Birds of the Carolinas. We had had a blast on our original book tour, reading selections that spoke to mutual themes of strangers in the South, religion, race, the natural world, sex and love, so I was anticipating another night of this writerly dialog.
Before we set out for Scuppernong Books, however, Marjorie had a surprise.
She presented me with a jade-colored medallion and said it was part of her new focus on confidence building for herself and other women.
It did go beautifully with my dress - but its value lay in how with each breath I got a gentle reminder, a tactile moment like fingers moving along a string of prayer beads.
Like many women, I have suffered from what an Atlantic article calls The Confidence Gap

Working Through

It should have been heaven.
An ice storm closed me in the house but left the power on. I had heat, food, five kinds of tea, and uninterrupted time. I wanted to plunge into the novel-in-verse that's now past the halfway point - turn some of those ideas into finished poems. (To read one, click here. Six more poems will appear in The Missouri Review this summer.)
But the poems wouldn't come.
I edited some earlier poems, work that needed doing, but it wasn't new work.
I kept myself in the chair, doing other bits of writer-biz, putting myself in the place for writing to happen.
But that doesn't mean it will.
So I gritted my teeth and plunged into the half-formed ideas. It wasn't sweet inspiration. It was that other kind - perspiration, like loading wood. One chunk after the other.
Slowly, the poem took shape. It's not finished - the language isn't singing yet - but it has a shape. And the second poem is starting to round into reality as a call-and-response.
The …