new poem acceptance

Aside

Dos Gatos Press is releasing its third POETRY OF THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST anthology early in 2018. Each poem in this new collection is precisely 100 words long. And they accepted my “Lonesome Boy-Cow,” inspired by our spring trip to Taos and a breath-taking sunset drive toward the mountains.

In accepting the poem, one of the editors wrote: “Sarah, we LOVE THE DESERT SCENE HERE.’

Moreover, following a brief interaction resulting in a modest tweak of the title and one word, he wrote “It is such a pleasure to work with writers who don’t get defensive (and aggressive) with an editor.”

Gotta say, I don’t generally get this kind of feedback from editors. You can imagine I was equally appreciative in my responses. A feel-good day all around.

gratitudes

Last week I ‘officially’ launched SLOW BLOOMING GRATITUDES with a lovely event held at colleague Teresa Davis’ fabulous studio. [If you live in the Burlington VT area and are not yet familiar with her offerings, you MUST visit. In addition to fabulous art classes for children and adults, she runs a lovely pre-school and Starving Artist’s Cafe … check out their brunch!!] Teresa and I started our businesses about the same time and have in the past shared space. All this brought an extra layer of meaning to holding my launch in her beautifully and tastefully renovated permanent building.

Thanks again to my friend Anne-Marie Littenberg for permission to use her lovely photograph for the cover of my collection; and to my friend Anne Averyt for capturing the launch with hers (all photos on this page courtesy of Anne).

I greatly appreciate those who have read (and raved!) about the collection; and those who have chosen to leave their comments on the bottom of the Amazon page. In addition I am collecting feedback on my book page.

To entice you into reading the collection, let me share here the opening poem, which sets the tone for the pages to follow:

MILKWEED

Like milkweed seeds
with their parachutes of silk,
may my words settle
into your heart

their landing unnoticed
‘til they root, emerge
into service and sense – thus

I want my words to spread
beauty and use, healing surprise
to calm your breath, your fevered stress,
to purify what circles within

that feeling and thought might open you
to beauty and nurture against bitterness
that would divide; like milkweed,

weave a silken cord connecting
head and heart – yours,
mine and ours.

‘change’ issue of MER

mer 14 cover

“Happy Breastfish” by Sally Deskins

Dear Friends,

I’m excited to let you know that my work is being featured in the latest issue of Mom Egg Review.

Mom Egg Review Vol. 14 “Change” is a unique literary collection about motherhood focusing on change. It contains short fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction by the best mother writers from around the world, and by others, writing about motherhood as it intersects with change, global and local.

You can read more about MER and find additional features, book reviews, interviews, submissions info and more here.

The issue launches this April, but copies are available now. As a contributor, I can invite friends and family to purchase copies at a discounted MER Community rate of $15 (cover price is $18). Click here for more info or if you would like order a copy for yourself or as a gift.

All the best,
Sarah

PS There will be a launch reading in New York City on Sunday April 24. I look forward to meeting other contributors to this issue and to sharing my work aloud. Be sure to let me know if you will attend so I can say hello and thank-you!

where did i go?

imagination - Caleb Pirtle

credit – caleb pirtle

Today’s Daily Prompt asks ‘what is your superpower? how and where will you use it to appear/disappear at will?’

Curiously, that feels like a continuing thread from my previous post about feeling unresolved about blogging onward. Which in turn elicited a back-and-forth with a blogging acquaintance in response:

PR: My bottomless self-doubt has paralysed blogging for the time not-being!
SB: Odd, how self-doubt cycles through us. When it’s gone, writing can be very very good; yet when it is upon us, all is horrid.
PR: Indeed, not only horrid, but self-perpetuating! Right now I am not a writer any more, and it’s like losing my identity! Where did I go, and was it all illusory, all along?

It is now clear, in the context of today’s prompt, how to define my superpower! To come and go as writer-illusionist. Sometimes writing is strong, powerful, has a will of its own. Other times, it is timid, shy, refusing to show itself. And since words are my identity, I must meekly follow along. Now you see me, now you don’t.

creative impulse

32583991

credit – panoramio

I love Brain Pickings. If you are not familiar with it, go to it directly. Well, read this first – THEN go. Because you’ll want to read what Patti Smith remembers of her first creative impulse. Reading her words transported me back to my own first stirrings of creative curiosity.

In Patti’s wonderful words:

Swan, my mother said, sensing my excitement. It pattered the bright water, flapping its great wings, and lifted into the sky.

The word alone hardly attested to its magnificence nor conveyed the emotion it produced. The sight of it generated an urge I had no words for, a desire to speak of the swan, to say something of its whiteness, the explosive nature of its movement, and the slow beating of its wings.

In my case, it was an old, battered and deserted boat on a beach in Provincetown, MA. I was eight or nine. The entire incident would have been lost to memory were it not for my grandmother, an educated woman far ahead of her time and an enormous influence on my growing-up years. She encouraged my childish words to the point of getting it published somewhere. I no longer have any scrap of the original – even a copy – due to multiple moves, floods and lost boxes over the decades.

I do however recall the opening lines:

‘And of the wonders by the sea
the old wrecked ship holds you and me
in mystery.

What magic powers do ships possess
lying beached, showing lost distress?
As if that power has but to say
‘go see the ship, I’ll have my way,’
we go …’

Recalling these words, that image, the (indescribable) feelings of then layered atop the soul-feeding experience of now – living by that same sea many weeks of the year – I am struck by still more veins of truth. How curious I have always been. How driven to create, use my hands in service to beauty, to invention, to capturing moments and connections. How long it took me to tumble to my need to write as a way into myself; and equally, as a way out to others. How long it took to value that need and its attendant requirements for solitude, down-time – all the apologies I have lived defending those things that, I now understand, are who I am and what I need.

My invitation to you, today, is this: give in to that ‘twinge, curious yearning imperceptible’ to others. Intercept it on your own behalf, in whatever form or medium speaks to you. Give in to a creative impulse.