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National Poetry Month, April 16-18

Deadlines, always deadlines…

So y’all get a Three-for Thursday. 🙂 I still wrote a poem for each day; I just didn’t get to post about them.

4/16

Actual deadline day, so we went for a kinda haiku. Definitely needs work, but the photo is from Kamakura, Japan. I was able to catch one of the golden eagles that hang around there diving for a fish.

4/17

This is from Meiji Temple in Tokyo, Japan. There was a raven on the tori, which looked really cool. It was a super foggy, rainy day, so it took some cleaning and cropping to get the photo to a place where I was okay with it…

I’m also watching American Gods, so Odin’s Ravens decided to poke their beaks in and make this cross-cultural. And about warrior sacrifice and corpses.

I call the pair “Munin at Meiji.”

4/18

This pair is more whimsical and based on American soil…and from Arisia, where I got to go to an Absinthe Tasting room party. There’s a long history of absinthe and artists, so that’s where I went.

Poems and photos are rough and raw; I’ll edit and fix them up later. My April challenge is about the creation, not the finessing. Please do not copy or share the photos or poems I’m posting. I am not finished, and sharing them can hurt my future plans for these pieces. Thank you!

 

National Poetry Month, April 5

Not that I figured I’d get far in any poetry journey without a faery poem, but in going through the pictures I’ve taken and am using for inspiration, there’s no less than three that are titled “Faery ________.” If you’ve known me or been following me for some time, I’m sure you’re shocked. Completely and utterly shocked. <insert sarcasm>

This particular photo is “Faery Bed,” and I’ve named the poem to match.  I took this picture in Scotland while I was doing research for my MacArthur series of books. It was at this wonderful and magical place, Traquair House, which is the oldest inhabited home. It has a hedge maze; secret passage ways; Victorian furniture (including a writing desk in the room and a canopy bed!); delicious food (with option for a romantic dinner with fancy crystal-ware!); all sorts of trails through the woodlands, wetlands, and gardens; free range farm animals and peafowl; and nesting grey herons that sound like dinosaurs. Really, what else could anyone ask for?

I found this copse of azaleas that looked like a canopy bed and had recently discovered our camera did this “punch” thing with colors that makes them more vivid. (This was 2012, well before cell phone camera and Instagram filters.) Even without the color “punch,” I was intrigued by what looked like a faery bed of purple flower petals beneath a branching canopy of twisted limbs and green leaves. This was the best of several pictures I took, and I knew I’d write something to match it eventually.

The poem, like all of what I’m posting, is in its rough draft form, too. My aim is to compose the poems this month, and then go back and edit later.

Please do not share the photos or poems I’m posting; I am not finished, and sharing them can hurt my future plans for these pieces. Thank you!

Conbust Schedule!

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Three months into the year, and it’s a FOURTH convention schedule I’m posting! Woohoo!

(At some point my personal blog posts will be more than convention schedules; I promise! I have thoughts on a variety of things and some health updates, too…)

Anyway, I know it sounds redundant, but this is another beloved convention of mine! Conbust!

Conbust is a student-run feminist SF/F convention held at Smith College every spring.  I found out about Conbust through Broad Universe, not realizing that such a gem was basically in my back yard. (I grew up in Springfield, about 15-20 minutes from Northampton.)

I have a pretty ambitious schedule this year at Conbust, so if you’re looking to follow me to all my panels (and they are pretty awesome panels, so you might want to), make sure you are loaded up on your favorite coffee or energy product! I’m scheduled in the very first panel slot, the very last—with eight panels in between!

Also, I’ll be traveling to and from the convention with my friend and editing colleague, Suzanne Lahna, who has their first novella out.  They’ll be on a bunch of excellent panels, too. Find out more on their blog!

Since Conbust is on a college campus, I won’t be hosting a party here, and we don’t have either a Broad Universe or New England Horror Writers table here, so it’s all panels and catching up with some of the great people I only get to see at this convention. I’m excited!

Oh—quick note, these aren’t the official convention descriptions. They’re mine—and subject to change depending on the audience / panelists.  I’m also not listing the panelists here because there were some last minute changes that I don’t know got finalized… but just check the guest list!  I’m on panels with almost all of these spectacular people!

Without further ado, here’s where I’ll be:

Friday, March 23; 5:00 PM; Room 101 – Fandom and Criticism

Can you criticize what you love? Should you? Why is it important?

 

Friday, March 23; 6:00 PM; Room 201 – Hero, Protagonist

Discussing writing the protagonist hero, or analyzing them.

 

Saturday, March 24; 9:00 AM; Room TBA – Believable Fight Scenes

This was my favorite panel of last year’s Conbust. Actual reenactment fighters play out writer battle scenes! Of course, now I need to figure out which gods’ awful fight scene of mine needs the most work / will provide the most entertainment to the audience…

 

Saturday, March 24; 10:00 AM; Room 101 – Suspension of Disbelief

What throws a reader out of a story? How can writers avoid these pitfalls? What’s the term “Flying Snowman” (coined by John Scalzi) and what does it mean to writers and readers?

 

Saturday, March 24; 11:00 AM; Room 109 – Freelancing: More Ways to Make Money Writing

This panel will discuss the ways people can make a living working with words. No, it’s not easy, but it’s also not impossible. See if this career works for you or if you want to stick to the day job.

 

Saturday, March 24; 2:00 PM; Room 204 – Everything but the Writing

Note above panel on making money while writing? That’s Making Money Writing 101.  This is Making Money Writing 102 and talks about the business decisions you’ll have to make if you decide you want to make money while writing.

 

Saturday, March 24; 4:00 PM; Room 109 – Children’s Fairy Tales

Fairy tales is my jam. So is writing for kids. This is a thing that far predates my efforts, though, so I love studying and talking about it. Come discover all the nerdy, geeky goodness children’s fairy tales have to offer!

 

Saturday, March 24; 5:00 PM; Room 109 – Fairies

Rather apropos that this is in the same room immediately following Children’s Fairy Tales. Except the fey are NOT just for children. In fact, they can be kind of predatory on children—or humans in general. And they go waaaay beyond “fairy tales.”

 

Sunday, March 25; 9:00 AM; Room 106 – Female Protagonists / Female Villains

Because, yes, we still really need to talk about women characters, how they’re included in stories, and how authentic they are.

 

Sunday, March 25; 1:00 PM; Room 102 – A Monster Manual Beyond Dragons

There’s already a panel about how awesome dragons are, but other fantastical creatures need and deserve our love, too! Find out about other magical beasts and their proper care and feeding.

 

Sunday, March 25; 2:00 PM; Room 204 – Tarot and Writing

Two great tastes that taste great together! I love giving this workshop at convention. Come learn a little about the Tarot and how you can use it in your life and writing.

 

There it is! It is SUPER crazy, and I am SUPER excited because it’s my last convention until probably July. I am so excited to return, and SUPER excited to catch up with a lot of amazing people.

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