My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips’ red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. I have seen roses damask’d, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks; And in some perfumes is there more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound; I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground: And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare.
Did you see the holiday e-poetry collection, Gift Tag? It was compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. I'm so happy to be in this work with other poets who write for children. Each entry was motivated by an image. You might click and purchase the book for yourself and gift it to others for just $2.99. It's spot on for little ones and older readers. Gift Tag is full of holiday memories, thoughts, and wishes you'll want to read again and again. You will love it! As a teaser, here's my entry. Happy Poetry Friday!
What a wonderful time with Chris Van Allsburg! He's such a dear. Readergirlz divas Martha, Dia, Justina, and I met at The Bookstore Bar in Seattle and talked all things Harris Burdick. Imagine 13 authors writing short stories to drawings you created 25 years prior: M.T. Anderson, Stephen King, Kate Dicamillo, and our own Cory Doctorow included.
Based on the picture book the Mysteries of Harris Burdick, The Chronicles of Harris Burdick elaborates on the beloved illustrations so mysteriously left behind by Harris long ago.
Personally, Sherman Alexis' short story startled me most. Where did it come from, Sherman? Shivery brilliance!
Chatting with Chris, we learned that the imagery has never looked better. The darks and lights are deeper and more vibrant due to the paper in this edition.
We wish Chris the best as he continues his tour. Safe travels and joy in your new studio, Chris. May the light be glorious as you work on your next book. We'll be waiting!
Oh, and be sure to check out the story writing contest at Chris' blog!
So much to say about this documentary To Be Heard. Justina Chen and I were privileged to be asked to screen the film and offer comments awhile back. It was a blast and very much like critiquing a novel. We felt at home with the producers and other guests as we dissected and discussed the early work.
The film was completed and eventually, we were guests at the Seattle Film Festival where the documentary ended up sweeping the awards. As the above poster shows, it's done the same in many cities. Here I am with Pearl, one of the three featured poets in the documentary. She's a resilient powerhouse!
"Ultimately, though, the intimacy of the portraiture is so raw that it transcends sociology. These students — Anthony Pittman, Pearl Quick and Karina Sanchez — are three of the most authentic and complex young adults you’ll find in any film this year. And each is a genuinely great writer: technically accomplished and emotionally overwhelming. They aren’t just the subjects of “To Be Heard.” They’re its stars."
To Be Heard will be playing in New York City from 10/12 through 10/18 at the IFC theater and in Beverly Hills from 11/4 through 11/10 at the Laemmle Music Hall theater. If you are nearby, GO!
"Through this zine we present stories of courage and creativity sourced from people like you and me, living, working, being courageously creative and changing themselves and others in our community. Our writers come from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life - they are small business owners, state employees, corporate CEOs, non-profit founders and volunteers, professionals, scientists, sociologists, artists, activists, mothers and fathers, and friends."
The editor was kind to inquire about readergirlz and my personal life. My essay is entitled "Joy in the Midst of Trial." Take a look! The entire zine is created with such beautiful quality. Here is their Facebook page, as well. I know you will be uplifted by these "transcultural stories of courage, creativity and change!"
Can we take a moment to thank Egmont for publishing another Beth Kephart exquisite novel? Thank you, Egmont!
You Are My Only will be released October 25th, and I encourage you then to find Beth's newest book. In this realistic fiction novel, you'll breath despair along with several suppressed characters. You'll turn pages and yearn for them each to find hope. One story tells of a young mother's loss of her baby, while the second winds a tale of a teen sequestered from society. How the works intertwine is brilliant. From beginning to end, images and movements echo and resonate back and forth between the stories. At the reveal, I actually stopped reading, stunned by the moment of truth.
As always, I was mesmerized by Beth's rich writing. Even in the smallest detail:
"There is a bird making a tree branch heavy, her gray belly bottom like the high back of the sun."
"Outside the wind sneaks up under the loose skirt of the roof tiles..."
Nesting in the story are sweet truths of life that you can grapple with and then possibly hold.
"Tragedy and blessing," Miss Cloris says. "Sometimes they're the same one thing."
"What do you suppose any of us, Sophie, wish to be remembered for? For the things that tried to stop us or the ways we carried on?"
I'm still thinking over the latter. I'm challenged to find the truth that I would ultimately hold.
You Are My Only is current, relevant, and gracefully written with gripping realism. There is no shrinking back. Thank you, Beth, for staying truly dedicated to the fine art of writing.
Wow, I haven't posted about Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2011, apparently. I recall aiming to post tidbits on making travel easier. I did a lot of flying at the turn of the year, and I did figure out a few tricks. Hm. Next, maybe?
Right now I'm having a flare in my cricoarytenoid joint. It's the little joint in the larynx that can inflame and affect 30% of RA patients. Ta da! That means if we cross paths in person, I'll be hardly speaking. And that is what I find interesting.
Who are we with little or no words? What can we contribute to a social setting without adding to the flow of discussion? How is our family affected when we can't speak up or assist in discourse? So many questions spring from this experience.
I can say it's been invaluable to quiet down and listen. It's helpful to have to consider whether something really needs to be said. (You weigh it if pain may follow. Ha!)
I've loved watching others step up and help out, maybe engaging beyond what they would have if I was enabling connections. I see my husband telling stories, my daughters chatting on the phone with my friends, and my bestie teasing everyone with what I'm supposedly saying. Don't believe a word she says, by the way.
I'm up for the testing on my b-day, to be certain there are no other complications, and then finding a new normalcy if this continues. In the meantime, take a moment to be thankful for the ability to chat. It is a gift for certain. But then, take a moment to listen as well. :~) Especially if you are a doctor.
Imagine, a secret dinner invitation, details to follow. Cooking a few exquisite dishes. Dressing head to toe in white. Heading to Seattle and having the final destination texted to you at the last moment.
Imagine arriving at a public park with 250 other guests you didn't know were invited, all dressed in white, as well.You meet the lead host and hostess as they welcome everyone. Tables, linens, crystal, and china are arranged. Candles and luminarias are lit. The wandering accordion player and a band fill the pink air with music as the sun sets over the city.
Thanks to Justina Chen, Dave and I were invited to enjoy a table among the sea of white. We were joined by Martha Brockenbrough and her husband Adam, and Justina's dear friend, Derek. It was a magical night, a life memory.
photo by Martha Brockenbrough
Justina and Derek
There was intimacy within our little table, while we had a sense of community being part of the expansive whole. The following photos: Justina, Martha, our table, the view to the south, and to the west.