Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I am starting out slowly, but will pick up speed and read more as the year progresses. I perused my second book of 2011: The 100 Best African-American Poems. The book is edited by Nikki Giovanni, who is a poet, writer, and a University Distinguished professor at Virginia Tech. Here is my review that I posted on Goodreads: In my opinion, Nikki Giovanni represents one of the best modern poets of the 20th and 21st centuries. So when she edits or publishes a book of poems, I pick up a copy and peruse the content. She includes poetry with an eclectic blend of beloved poets such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton, Langston Hughes, and Richard Wright. And of course, Nikki Giovanni includes a sampling of her own poems to delight avid fans like me. Another bonus with this book is that there is a companion CD featuring readings by Nikki Giovanni and other poets.
Friday, January 21, 2011
One of my goals for this year is to publish a full-length book of poems, essays, and photography from circa 1990 to 2010. It's one of the proverbial "bucket list" items I want to accomplish. Steve, my adorable husband, indicated that he wanted to edit the book. So happily I handed over the book of ideas from my folder. I started emailing him a plethora of writings from the years at Holy Cross College to my master's degree. I also posted to my Facebook community that the anticipated publishing date was April 1, 2011. A friend indicated that April 2 might be better, given the nature of April's Fools Day. This would be meaningful because April 2 was my grandfather's birthday. Why April? you ask. Well, April is National Poetry Month. Also, from what I remember from my librarian days, April-June is a good time for publishers. Plus, bookstores and libraries may have funds at that time to purchase books. Plus, having a posted release date will force us to have the book finished and ready by mid-March. Then the book can be released in April. Soon I will be contacting places to have book readings and signings. Although I have published articles in academic and small press journals, I am pursuing the self-publishing route this time around. Why? You ask. I wish to have total artistic control over the first edition. If someone likes it and wishes to pick it up, I would be pleased. There are authors who are self-published: FAMOUS SELF-PUBLISHED BOOKS (Courtesy of http://www.simonteakettle.com/famousauthors.htm) Remembrance of things Past, by Marcel Proust Ulysses, by James Joyce The Adventures of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter A Time to Kill, by John Grisham The Wealthy Barber, by David Chilton The Bridges of Madison County What Color is Your Parachute In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. (and his student E. B. White) The Joy of Cooking When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple Life’s Little Instruction Book Robert’s Rules of Order OTHER FAMOUS AUTHORS WHO SELF-PUBLISHED Deepak Chopra Gertrude Stein Zane Grey Upton Sinclair Carl Sandburg Ezra Pound Mark Twain Edgar Rice Burroughs Stephen Crane Bernard Shaw Anais Nin Thomas Paine Virginia Wolff e.e. Cummings Edgar Allen Poe Rudyard Kipling Henry David Thoreau Benjamin Franklin Walt Whitman Alexandre Dumas William E.B. DuBois Beatrix Potter There is also another list of authors who have been rejected many times before publishing, but that is another blog post. :)
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I assigned the class to write a paragraph based on the following quote: "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." - Martin Luther King, Jr. Many times, I join my students in the freewriting exercise. Today I thought I would participate and publish my writing to my blog. Here are my interpetations: 1.)Remember the good and forget the bad. 2.)Focus on the positive and leave the negative behind. 3.)Silence implies consent. 4.)Silence is supportive. I would like to elaborate on number 4: silence is supportive. A true friend can listen quietly without judgement or providing advice. I know I am guilty as the the next person of providing advice when all that is required is the proverbial shoulder and a sympathetic ear. And I am out of thoughts right now, so I will end this post. I will check on the meaning of Dr. King's quote and see if my interpretations are close.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Yesterday, Steve brought home take-out Chinese cuisine for dinner. We always open up the fortune cookies and read the little slips of prophecy, wisdom, or maybe a little bit of both. [My fortune stated that] "Now is a good time for serenity: a book and a good friend." I could not have thought of a more appropriate fortune. Lucky Numbers: 2,16,20,22,39,42
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Instead of an action verb, I chose a noun today. As you probably know, a noun is defined as a person, place, thing, or idea. Today is not an action day. For me, today is a day of introspective thinking and reflection. Therefore, today is a day I do something a little differently. According to merriam-webster.com, ephemeral may be used as either a noun or an adjective. Ephemeral can technically be used as an adverb, but I encourage students to use strong verbs. I love the pizza metaphor when explaining parts of speech to my classes. Use adjectives and adverbs sparingly, like your favorite pizza toppings. If you sprinkle too much, the toppings ruin the flavor of the pizza (or your sentence). Anyway, back to my word of the day. Ephemeral. The merriam-webster.com website defines ephemeral as "lasting one day only" or "lasting a very short time." Life is ephemeral. My mother's passing two years ago today drives this point Home. The lesson learned is that while life is ephemeral, love is not. Love is eternal. Life is ephemeral, love is eternal. Life is ephemeral, love never dies. As long as we are love and we have love, we will never truly die. Life is ephemeral; love is eternal. This thought comforts me.
Sunday, January 09, 2011
It was a domestic weekend. Steve and I made chocolate chip cookies last night and then created abstract artisan pancakes. The pancakes did not look aesthetically pleasing so I made them into unique shapes... a blueberry snail/butterfly and a banana flower. (Photographs will be displayed soon.) I anticipate this upcoming week. It is going to be a whirlwind of activities for me: tomorrow I teach and then take classes in the p.m. Yes, I am taking two: a one-credit research class and a three-credit seminar. I could actually teach the one-credit class but I need more experience in the academic library and in LC (Libary of Congress). I will enjoy both courses. Tuesday and Thursday I also teach; Friday I have a Lia Sophia show and Saturday I am having an open house for my Lia Sophia business. It is a friend and neighbor soiree. Meet your neighbors. I am looking forward to both parties. Thursday night I meet with friends/band members to regroup. I do miss playing music. Off to grade and prep for class tomorrow. Wish me luck! :)
Saturday, January 08, 2011
Admittedly, I took this photograph during the last snow squalls we encountered. Lake-effect snow is an interesting beast. Steve and I woke up this morning and we noticed about a foot of snow on the deck and out in the boulevard. So, plans involving driving were cancelled today. That's okay. I enjoy the snow and the wintry wonderland as long as we can observe the beauty from the inside of my home with the Lady Cats.
Thursday, January 06, 2011
I spoke with a friend tonight about the story of our kitten, Sakura. Thankfully she was not found covered in gasoline like we first understood. However, her beginnings were still horrific. According to my source, the foster parent's mother saw someone toss a paper bag out of a car window into a ditch. The mother discovered something moving inside the bag. It turned out to be a tiny kitten with big eyes, extra toes, and a loud squeaking meow. Fortunately, the kind woman rescued this little soul and brought her home. The daughter's family named her Sakura, meaning "Cherry Blossom" in Japanese. Sakura, adorned with a tiny pink rhinestone collar, told us her story the whole way home. Mew mew mew. Squeak squeak squeak. She is now named Sakura Hemingway and she has lived with us for almost five months. Steve and I are healed and touched by this little flower. What a tragedy if our little cherry blossom was never able to bloom. My heart breaks knowing that she was disposed of like trash, but we treasure her essence and spirit and will always provide her with unconditional love and all the comforts of home.
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
One of my goals for 2011 includes reading more books. I finished my first book of the year. James Patterson's Cross Fire contains Detective Alex Cross. His adventures continue as he re-marries and juggles several murder cases, including an appearance by Kyle Craig, his nemesis. As always, Patterson's writing keeps me hooked with a compelling introduction, short and exciting chapters, believable dialogue with strong characters, and a satisfying conclusion. I even found a verb I will add to my word repetoire: trawl. According to the Mirriam-Webster Free Dictionary, trawled is defined as:1a : to fish with a trawl b : to make a search as if by trawling 2: troll:to catch (fish) with a trawl. I trawled the web to find an image for this blog post! :)
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
I woke up. Taught class. In class with students, I wrote about California and how much I miss the weather. Drove home. Ate lunch and meandered upstairs with a book. Fell asleep. Woke up curled around Moshi. Steve woke me up. Ate dinner. Drove to a wake (Xo to my friend. I'm so sorry for your loss.)Returned home. Curled up with a blanket, popcorn, and a glass of wine. Watched Torchwood. Watched Biggest Loser. Watched Parenthood. Surfed net. Going to bed. Good night.
Monday, January 03, 2011
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Steve and I dined with friends and then returned back to our place. We played Rock Band, and watched the ball descend down the pole over Times Square. Bless Dick Clark and his resilience. He's still doing the show, even after recovering from a stroke. How inspiring. As for resolutions, I used to be flippant. Pursuing ongoing goals rather than making resolutions seems more attainable to me. Here are some of my ongoing goals: *Continue to foster relationships with the people and fur children in my life. I am fortunate to have you. *Read and record more books on Goodreads than in the past two years. In 2009, I recorded 49 and in 2010 I recorded 47. I want to document at least 50 for 2011. Good readers make good writers. *Start graduate school next week. Enjoy the process rather than focusing so much on evaluation. *Continue to teach English and Communications. Improve my teaching and writing skills. *Jumpstart my jewelry (Lia Sophia) business. I made some mistakes and had some successes, but want to develop a steady side business. *Continue to pursue art, blogging, music, photography, storytelling, and writing. *Transform our home into the ultimate comfort space. We started this project in November. *Stay healthy, eat better, and exercise more. Oh, yes. Break down and buy a pair of reading glasses. Far-sightedness started recently. That's all for now! Enjoy your first day of 2011. -xo
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