Sunday, August 28, 2011

Quinn Sullivan is amazing!

Went to a Buddy Guy & B.B. King Blues Concert on Friday, August 26 at CMAC. Buddy introduced 12-year-old guitarist Quinn Sullivan, who has been playing concerts, TV appearance, and so on since he was 8! Buddy said he always invites young musicians on stage to get their two licks in, but Quinn never got off the stage! He's earned a nickname, "The Cyclone." So impressive.

Check out the clip found below. You can go online and hear him play as an 8-year-old too.
Discovering Quinn was a highlight of the evening. Thoroughly enjoyed Buddy Guy's Band and
B.B. King too. I think I've seen B.B.King at least five times over the past 30 years. Not bad.

12 year old Quinn Sullivan with Buddy Guy Great guitar solo Ottawa 13.7.11

Hurricane Season, Call for Submissions~

Birmingham Arts Journal


storm-related poems, stories & art to be published in the April 2012 "Storm" issue of Birmingham Arts Journal

The editors will consider work inspired by ANY storm in ANY location (geographic, emotional or otherwise).

This is the first themed edition in our ten year history!
We need your help to make it the best it can be.


Submit WORD documents as 1) attachments or 2) within the body of the email to:

editor(at) (replace (at) with @ in sending e-mail)

FICTION & NON-FICTION: up to 1,000 words. Excerpts and quotes of fewer than 1,000 words from longer works are published, too.

POETRY: All types up to 50 lines. Shorter works preferred.

ARTWORK & PHOTOGRAPHY: 300 dpi or higher digital files (.jpg or .tif) of artwork.
Submit via email or on disk.

NOTE: Please include a biography (3rd person) of 50 words or less with your submission.
Payment: one copy of the issue in which the accepted submission appears.

FOR ALL WORKS: Birmingham Arts Journal has readers young and old, from all walks of life. For this reason, works containing strong profanity, explicit sex, gratuitous violence, and overtly religious or political material will not be accepted. No simultaneous submissions, please.

Birthday Weekend

Yesterday was Peter's Birthday! We had a perfect day to celebrate with family and good friends. Happy Birthday, Peter!

Publishing news: Flash Fiction "The Catch" appears in the Aroostook Review

Please check it out. Scroll to bottom of first page and you will see the list of contributors. Click on author's name and you will see the work. Hope you like the story! Have poems forthcoming in Avocet (fall and winter print issues), Untitled Country Review (online), and The Comstock Review (print issue); poems currently in Red Poppy Review, Greatest Lakes Review and The Montucky Review.

Jam Report: Made batches of Italian Plum with lemon, Sour cherry and Italian Plum. Have been roasting cherry and grape (orange, red, yellow) tomatoes (slow oven heat) and serving on Cibatta with grated cheese. Amazing!

Easy Peasy Recipe:

Wash tomatoes and halve. Place in shallow pan, slice side up. Make one layer(place tomatoes close together) on the bottom of pan. Chop and scatter diced onions over tomatoes, followed by coarse chopped basil, garlic, sea salt, pepper, a bit of red pepper flakes (go easy on this!) just enough to give it some zip. Drizzle olive oil and put in oven, low heat. start at 290 degrees for about 20 minutes, then reduce to 250 degrees. In an hour or so, the tomatoes will be roasted perfectly. Then take tray out of oven, and with a serving spoon scoop the roasted tomatoes with its juice onto a really sturdy bread slice. You can put any grated cheese on top. Enjoy. This is also fabulous scooped onto pasta (any shape) with grated cheese. I'm so grateful for our garden. We've had a bounty and it's just starting to kick into high gear.

I want to thank bloggers for their favorite recipes, too. Soon, the last day of August.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Felt the Earthquake today!

My whole office shook! Time to sing Carole's song!

They say it was 5.9, with the epicenter in Virginia. Looking at the map, it's actually not far from my brother's house. Hang on, where there's one, there's more . . .

It lasted for quite a few seconds.

Did any of you out there feel it too?

Let me know.

CAROLE KING (Live) - I Feel The Earth Move

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Last Days of Summer

Photo by K. Iuppa

Looking at the calendar this morning. One more week of summer. So much needs to be done.
But that chair looks so inviting. . .

This weekend we went to see the Red Wings! Finally made it to the ballpark without getting doused in rain. It was an exciting game. Wings won 8-5 against Lehigh Valley.
Brian Dinkelman's batting stance reminds me of my son George's stance up to bat. Funny too, George agreed with me; he saw himself while watching Dinkelman. He and his family were at the same game, but we didn't see them. This proves you can get lost in a crowd.

This weekend marks the Civil War Re-enactments at Hamlin State Park. On Friday, before going to the game, I took a long bike ride in the park.

This year, the people set up their camps close together. So many canvas tents, with cots and all the furnishings circa 1860. All the people were dressed in the clothing of the period (woolen underwear, too--even in this heat!). True to the actual war, there were women who followed the troops. Some were wives; some prostitutes (Although, I don't think the prostitutes' roles were part of the re-enactment), but women were along making meals, washing, sewing-- all the maintenance work. In my weaving through the camp, I overheard this conversation:

Scene: In camp, raising of tents, unpacking, settling in.

Man: I'm so sorry (voice bellowing, plaintive)

Woman ( loud and assertive): This is why Mary and I are in charge of settling this up.

This made me chuckle. I wondered if it was a conversation that could have been said in 1860?

My guess is absolutely.

Yesterday, I could hear the cannon fire. The war itself was so brutal (as every war is). They packed everything into those cannons(chains, ammunition, and so on). So when they fired, everything sprayed out at an enormous force and could cut a marching line of men in half. Equally, amazing, the men followed the orders to march toward the line of cannons, which is a guaranteed death sentence. This is probably why Gettysburg had such a high count.

The people who come to these re-enactments have a grim seriousness of purpose. Their facial expressions are all about war, getting the history exactly right; nothing deters them, not even rain. It rained last night into the early morning. Should clear in a few hours. But I wondered what it was like waking this morning to smoldering fires and rain dripping off tree branches.

I may go over there today to watch . . .

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Summer Notes

After a week that was so full of work (mornings at SummerWrite workshop at Writers & Books and afternoon meetings), this weekend seems to swing into another fluidity. The pace of a rower, I think. I swing from one task to another; sometimes stopping to gaze out over the orchard, or watch the nonstop chicken rodeo going on in my yard. The chickens have cleaned up ever mulberry in our wide yard. We have three mulberry trees, and I think the birds prefer the dark berries to the white. Both are very sweet.

Peter and I had planned on going to a Red Wings ball game last night, but as we headed East, we
were swallowed up in a wild thunderstorm. The rain was thick as milk. Plan B: the movies.
Since it was so wild outside, we decided to see Cowboys and Aliens, which is a so-so film. It could have been great, if they had punched up the humor and carried the working metaphors a bit further. Had a great cast. I was jump up scared three times, because I didn't see it coming. Thank goodness I wasn't holding pop corn or the over-sized medium Sprite. Peter would have been doused. I should look this up, but is this movie a comic book series? Sure are a lot of comic book movies this summer. In the trailers for this show, there's new movie starring Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Phillip Seymour Hoffman et al (another great cast) , called MoneyBall, and that looked interesting to me. Hope I get to see it when it comes out. Maybe it will be released during the baseball playoffs.

When it's really steamy outside and you don't want to heat up the kitchen:


Tomatoes (pick the variety) if cherry or grape you'll need a bunch; romas or any variety of slicing tomato, you'll need 6-8.
Wash tomatoes, then hand slice, then coarse dice and put in clean bowl, juice and al.
coarse chop 2-3 closes of fresh garlic.
coarse chop basil, (a decent bunch of leaves)
coarse chop half an onion (Vidalia or sweet other onion)
thin slice , one small zucchini, and quater each slice.
Put all these ingredients in your bowl with tomatoes.
Olive oil, pour threes turns around bowl, light stream of oil. May be about 3 Tablespoons.
Shake season salt, or just salt and pepper and red pepper flakes(go easy with this).

Stir everything gently in your bowl and let it steep.

Prepare pasta as directed on box. It can be any kind of pasta, I like penne rigate and bowties
with this. Once cooked, drain pasta then put back in your kettle with two tbls. of butter to coat the pasta; then shake some grated romano cheese and toss gently so everything is mixed.

Put pasta on plate, top with raw sauce, then sprinkle more romano cheese, or shredded asiago,
mozzarella, or whatever your desire.

You can keep this vegetarian or serve with side of grilled meat (sausage, your choice).

I have also added chopped mushrooms, carrots, yellow squash to the raw sauces. Secret is to keep the veggies sliced thin and coarse chop.

Summer is the best time for this because of the garden's abundance. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Morning Report

In the World of Words:

Charles Cote interviews John Roche, regarding his newest poetry collection: Ghost Roads.
It's a thoughtful interview, well worth the read:

Heard from Split Oak Press that I was one of the finalists for my prose collection Between Worlds. They received a large number of submissions for this year's contest, and I'm honored that my manuscript was recognized by the panel of readers and the judge. Hopefully, this chapbook collection, which is a mix of fiction and nonfiction, will find its way into print.

Congratulations to Karen Weyant's , her latest poetry chapbook Wearing Heels in the Rustbelt will be published by Main Street Rag. She was the winner of their annual chapbook contest! Looking forward to reading this collection.


Red Rooster Farm News:

Nothing better than fresh produce. So temporary, this Eden's offerings. Thus far, we have exceptional broccoli-- looks picture perfect. Zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, blue lake green beans, deep purple eggplant-- I've been staying ahead of this and picking early, rather than a day late. you all know what a day makes in zucchini life-- baseball bat size seems to materialize in an eye-blink.

We're going to have a lot of pumpkins this year. So excited about this. Soon we'll be processing these veggies for winter. Nothing better than fresh tomato sauce when the snow is flying.

I've made a lot of boutique jams this year. My sister Karen, who is very critical of practically everything, gave me a thumbs up on these offerings. Her seal of approval is crucial because her praise will continue for years and that's the good news. But, when you have a food failure, that commentary stays constant too, and that's not so good. She's an exceptional cook and our family historian. I really like talking about recipes with her. She's taught me a lot.

Hope all of you are enjoying these last days of summer. Soon, September.