Congratulations to the USA for finally doing a right thing:  marriage equality!

We celebrated with vegan rainbow cupcakes.

A great way to end Pride month.  Speaking of Pride month, I have three poems in the e-zine Restless’ Pride month special:  Hi, Penelope Waiting, and First Girl Kiss.

For the past while I’ve been considering a change in the way I identify.  I’m bi.  However, the term bisexual acknowledges only two genders.  I know there are more than two.  I’ve been partial to the term queer for a long time, and I think I’m going to start using it more often.

Marriage equality in the States is an important, big step in the road to equality.  It’s not the end but another step along the way.  Canada celebrated marriage equality in 2005.  Let’s keep going!

June start writing/personal update

Things have been way too quiet around here.  Time for an update.

In my writing life, I have been diligently working on my poetry series at  I have also been working on my fantasy novel.  I’ve been writing notes, taking down names I like from a baby name book, and actually writing the novel.  I’m almost to 4.5K words.  Of course, I feel like it should be more, because I’m not writing it every day and feel that I should.  Ah, well.

I also have a book review published in Island Parent magazine’s June issue (page 33 of the magazine; page 35 of the magazine viewer).  I reviewed the book Puberty:  Coming to a Body Near You! by local, certified Sexual Health Educator Kerri Isham.  You can purchase a copy of her book here.

I received two new books of poetry this past month courtesy of the Big Poetry Giveaway.  Hurray!

I also have a poem set to appear in the forthcoming issue of Island Writer magazine.

In other news, early summer weather has hit the west coast of Canada. Sunshine mixed with cool breezes most days.  There hasn’t been enough rain yet, and our city of Nanaimo is starting level three water restrictions this Saturday.

Our homeschooling/unschooling year technically ended a couple weeks ago.  At least the part where we send in weekly reports to the Learning Consultant of our Distributed Learning program has ended.  My daughter is still learning.  Learning, learning.

Big things are happening for us personally later this summer.  More on that later.

Go enjoy the sunshine if you have it.  Stay in and read or write if you don’t.  ;-)

New Poetry Series!

After a week’s delay due to illness, I am excited to announce that I have started a new poetry series available exclusively on  Channillo is a literary series subscription web site.

My new series is titled The Colour of Her Mind.  It is a series of blackout poems created from The Color of Her Panties by Piers Anthony.  The Color of Her Panties is a Xanth series novel I re-read last summer.  I loved the Xanth series as an adolescent.  As an adult, I dislike the books.  Yes, there are still the many puns that won me over in younger years; however, there is also the misogyny.

After last summer’s re-read, I pondered what to do with my collection of Xanth (and Incarnations of Immortality series) novels.  Sell them?  Donate them to the local literacy second-hand book store?  Then came the idea for blackout poems, a creative response to the dilemma.

The first poem “Mermen” is up and ready for reading, with two other poems slated for release this week.  I intend to release a few blackout poems each week for six months.

Channillo charges $2.59 per month to view one series.  As the author, I will see a significant portion of that money once I reach the $50 minimum threshold.

Please purchase a subscription and support my work!

Supporting a Writer is Lunch Money

I forgot to include this little incident in my post about the Cascadia Poetry Festival, so I decided to give it its own blog post.  Sunday morning, I had gone to the Small Press Fair with the intent to buy books.  I stopped by a table of books by Festival presenters, as I wanted to buy Christine Lowther‘s book Half-Blood Poems.  I had been by this table a couple times at that point and still wasn’t sure who was accepting money for the books.

Christine Lowther happened to be standing nearby.  I greeted her and mentioned my dilemma in purchasing her book.  She thought the woman at the attached table (who was the publisher of the Festival’s anthology) was handling the Festival presenters’ book purchases.  However, Ms. Lowther told me I could just buy the book from her.

As I did so, she made the comment that now she had money for lunch.

This.  This is what you are supporting, dear readers, when you buy from authors and artists (directly or from small middlepeople, such as small presses).  You are buying them lunch.  Or you are paying their cab fare.  Or you are helping them pay rent. When you buy an author’s book or another artist’s artwork, you are supporting the various necessities and small luxuries that keep the artist alive, well, and creating.

Cascadia Poetry Festival

As mentioned in my previous post, this past weekend, I attended the third Cascadia Poetry Festival, which was held in Nanaimo.  This festival focuses on poetry and poets from the Cascadia bio-region.

From the program:  “The concept of bioregionalism is still woefully misunderstood.  Bioregionalism is a reexamination of our own selves and the places in which we live in purely ecological terms, and is an effort to harmonize human activities with the natural systems that sustain life.”

This festival featured Living Room readings (“free and open democratic reading[s] where people read their own work and listen to others in a circle format” — also from the program), panel discussions, workshops (out of my price range, sadly), poetry readings galore, and later night gatherings at a local bar.  Due to family obligations and the fact that everything was happening this weekend, including the monthly local homelearners’ group meet-up and Free Comic Book Day (the first one in which I’ve taken part) on Saturday, I didn’t partake of everything the festival had to offer.

I went to the Living Room readings on Friday and Saturday, and read two poems each time.  I received a number of positive responses to the poems I read.  (Yay, praise!)

I attended the evening poetry readings.  I was privileged to listen to many poets, including Renée Sarojini Saklikar, Christine Lowther, Amber Dawn,Garry Gottfriedson, Susan Musgrave, Rita Wong, and Sam Hamill.  Robert Bringhurst, whom I heard at the closing reading, has a deep, distinctive voice.  I remember thinking he’d make a good movie trailer announcer.

I watched the Saturday screening of the documentary The Line Has Shattered, which is about the 1963 Vancouver Poetry Conference.  I found it interesting but not as emotionally-gripping as a lot of the documentaries I’ve watched in the past year and a bit.

I attended two panel discussions on Sunday.  They were titled:  Rewilding Poetry (Eco-Poetry in Cascadia) and On the Margins.  The first panel featured poets Rita Wong, Christine Leclerc, Sharon Thesen, and Stephen Collis.  The second panel featured poets Nadine Maestas, Renée Sarojini Saklikar, and Susan Musgrave.  They each presented a short speech/poetry about the topic; then it was opened up to the floor for questions or comments.  I would like to say I took tons of notes at these panels; however, while I recorded a couple quotes, I mostly sat listening and thinking.

Also on Sunday, I purchased three books of poetry:  Where the Words End and My Body Begins by Amber Dawn (which I read all in one go in the bath Sunday night), Let’s Give War a Chance by Faiza Sultan (she read the title poem at one of the Living Rooms; it was and is powerful), and Half-Blood Poems:  Inspired by the Stories of J.K. Rowling by Christine Lowther (Harry Potter-inspired poems?  Yes, please!).

I made connections and heard many poets I may not otherwise have heard.  By the end of the festival, my head felt jam-packed with poetry and bursting with too many ideas.