Sunday, January 29, 2012

River of Stone Writing Project

Stone #29:

A slow sugar sifting of snow has been falling since 8 a.m. At last, we seeing a scene from winter's past. When Peter fed the chickens, they were distressed by the snow. Didn't quite know what to make of it. They ran back into their hutch. This snow band is stretching from Jamestown to Hamlin to Watertown. I guess today is the day winter arrives.

Quincouplet Project: We're at the end of Round Four. Round Five started on Saturday (1/28).
A perk of this project, at least for me, is making the collage postcards. Patricia Roth Schwartz
is also collaging her cards. I can't wait to see all of the cards that have been sent in the mail.
I think we're going to present our quincouplets at a Just Poets meeting in April, or it may be
an event of its own. Not sure, but there will be a celebration of this work. My team's work has been fascinating to watch the twists and turns in each round. Every round has had a theme. So far, we've had these themes: wintering, fire, color, deception, and now, rivers.
We're going to have seven rounds, which will put us mid-February, or so. It's gone by so quickly.

Today will be another day of catching up with work. One of my students told me that she does everything on the weekends because the weekdays are too jammed packed. Mine too. I have been getting up in the wee hours of the morning, trying to get a leg up on all the work that's due right now. I feel like I'm organizing work in the same way airplanes are held on a tarmac until take off. Several planes are waiting with their lights on. O, to soar~

Just received the proof pages for the upcoming issue of The Centrifugal Eye. Eve Hanninen, Editor-in-Chief, is an amazing artist, designer, writer. I admire her aesthetics-- such style and thought on each page. My pages for this upcoming issue are gorgeous. It's thrilling to see, worthy of framing. Can't wait to read the whole issue.

2 Pages/2Voices , Upcoming Play Reading

Congratulations to Evelyn Jansen!!

I'm planning on going to the upcoming performances of 2 Pages/2 Voices. It's always an entertaining night. ** If you're planning on going, get there early because the room fills up quickly. I love hearing the plays "read" by our local actors. It's such a wonderful venue.

Here are the details from Writers & Books Website:

2 Pages/2 Voices

Tuesday, January 31, 8 p.m.
Writers & Books, free admission

We are pleased to announce the playwrights and plays selected for our annual Writers & Books/Geva Theatre Center collaboration, 2 Pages/2 Voices. Local writers submitted short plays, all of which contains the word "bat" in the dialogue.
Come enjoy these winning entries as they receive their first-ever dramatic reading in our performance space at W&B.

Morgan Altland, Rorschach
TD Gillett, BeAuTy
Chris Swanson, A Night Out
Kate Romansky, Made for Each Other
Shelagh Hodson, Book Group
Steven Donner, The Juror and the Foreman
Roxanne L. Baker, Tottering on Covered Ground
Evelyn "Debbie" Jansen, Don't Let Go
David J. Delaney, The Count
Karl Obine, Window Shopping

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Weekend Forecast: More Work

Photo: K. Iuppa

This is a male, Long-Tailed Duck, formerly known as Oldsquaw. Breeds in the Arctic and winters on both coasts off North America. Our high winds must have pushed it off course. This bird was found resting on the shores of Lake Ontario.

What luck to see him there and get this photo.

I have a lot of work to get done this weekend. The beginning of every semester is just jam-packed with meetings and reports and plans. I'm going to channel the Little Engine that Could . . . I think I Can, I think I Can . . . I need to stay on course . . . But who knows there may be something that
pulls me away from work. There may be a walk or two in this weekend too.

Still participating in the River of Stones. Now writing small world poems for it.
The quincouplet project begins its fourth round today.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Will the Wind bring Good News?

Rain all day yesterday. mild temperatures. Driving home from Fisher last evening, the wind picked up. Howled all night long. Gusts up to 60 mph. Some homes without power this morning. Not ours. Woke up around 4:30 a.m. Still dark. Wind still blowing. Now daylight is coming on through the woods; bare trees are swaying in chorus. What will today bring?

The semester has begun and it's busy, busy. Hopefully, this semester will settle into its hum quicker than last Fall did.

I have to remember to mail my round two quincouplet postcard today. I have been carrying it around for two days. No mail on Monday. Yesterday, woke up at 3 a.m. then went to Fisher early. Arrived before 9 a.m. and found a parking spot! Was there until 6:30 p.m. Long day, but accomplished a lot.

Thus far, Round 3 of the quincouplet project is really exceptional. We're chugging a long.
I like receiving my team members' responses ( nearly every day). They've become the good news part of my day.

Hope all of you hear good news today!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Blue Skies, But Oh So Cold

Photo: K. Iuppa

Happy Birthday to the one who is always one with the waves!

January 15th:

Bright sun, cold temperatures. Will go for a walk in a bit. There are several winter festivals happening in our area this weekend. I bet they were doing a snow dance all week long. They must be so happy with this first snowfall of the year. A second coat happened yesterday morning.
So I imagine that there's just enough for dog sled races. Typically, we have a first thaw in this upcoming week. Not this year. This year is upside down winter. Yesterday was slow going on the morning roads. Interesting too, there was a lot of traffic for a Saturday morning. Where was everyone going? By the time I left the George Eastman House around 1 p.m., the roads were clean and dry. Easy ride home.

May this week be as gentle.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Publication news

Recent Prose and Lyrical Poems and some in between appear on these online publications:
Punchnel's, Curio Poetry, Crack the Spine, Golden Sparrow Review, L.E.S. Review, and Untitled Country Review. Special thanks to the editors who selected my work and the good company I'm keeping in these respective online journals. Several offer "selected" print anthologies over the course of a year.


Snowed all day yesterday. Our first snowstorm of the winter. Consequently it's a late start for all of us who needs to get our driving skills in order. The morning commute was dicey. Typically, by this date, everyone is a seasoned winter driver who knows how to handle speed and slippery roads, and so on. I guess yesterday was another story. I decided to work from home yesterday, so I avoided the stressful commute. Perhaps the best decision I've made in this New Year. Even though I was born with the pioneer gene, there comes a time where you look out your window and see the wind swirling snow every which way and know your normal 45 minute commute is going to be 1.5 hours and you decide it would be better to stay put. Do your work from home, which I did and I didn't waste any time.


Our quincouplet project is moving along. Third Round begins today.
I've been keeping up with the River of Stones too.

Today, I have a exploratory workshop at the George Eastman House. Looking forward to this creative session. It's good for the head, heart, spirit.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review of Last Night's Genesee Reading Series at Writers & Books

A busy day yesterday,which ended perfectly at The Genesee Reading Series. So fortunate to find time in my schedule to go and listen to local poets and writers that I admire. Last night, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Able to put aside all the voices of the day and settle into their voices-- Cathryn Smith's lyrical prose, which is her current work-in-project, finding Jezebel, her family's sailboat that was lost/sold/given up in early 70's. This work connects to her first memoir The Glory Walk, which is a poignant story (multi-layered narrative) about her father and his life as it's slowly trapped by Alzheimer's. It's a complex book and if you haven't read it, you should.

This new collection of essays, dreamscapes, lyrical collages seem to be "raising" her father's life
in the pursuit of re-discovery the boat. It's a ghost ship, with the ability to travel, blurring
boundaries of what's real(memory) and dream. We heard a decent "chunk" of this work-in-progress and there's much to be admired in her narrative style.

Cathryn ( I call her Cathy, but she's Cathryn too) has always had remarkable, elegant carriage-- a way of drawing you into her hour with you. You feel like you're the only one hearing her words; and consequently, you listen intently. It's like this: "Listen, I have something to tell you. . ." and you lean in closer.

Tony Leuzzi was equally engaging. He has a wonderful reading voice. He read from his newest collection Fake Book, which will be released shortly. (He is going to be reading at St. John Fisher on February 2nd, so you'll have another opportunity to see/hear him and buy this terrific collection. Fake Book is set in three parts and its a book that rifts off of American Music 20's-40's, but is more than that because it's one part fictional and another part autobiographical, and another part both fictional and autobiographical, blurring the lines by creating prose poems
that just knocked me out. Tony is so gifted-- the musicality of his work is enough; and more, he gives his readers/listeners a story that is sometimes poignant, sometimes wickedly witty, often ironic.

I loved the Q&A at the end. It was a gracious opportunity to listen to them explain their process which, in many ways, is what we all want to hear. I took it as encouragement.

All of us, in the quiet of our rooms, writing . . . What a gift it is to have these opportunities to escape our rooms and enter the rooms of others.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Quincouplet Project: Round 1 and River of Stones

We have finished Round 1 of the Quincouplet project. Round two is now in motion.

I think the first round is a fascinating study, because each quincouplet is discrete and stands on its own, but in jusxtaposition to the others, each quincouplet plays off of each other. There's even an echo in this first round! Who knew that was going to happen! Our first theme was "wintering," but we've hardly had any inspiration. Our weather looks like March. Even the Canada geese, that are staying over this winter, are moving from the fields to the lake at night, in the patterns that lift our spirits in March. The relief that winter, which is usually harsh here, is nearly over. Of course, this puts fear in all of our hearts, because we know, living so close to Ontario, that a storm can roll in, towing arctic air. We'll see . . .


Yesterday, up early and out the door, driving East into the too bright sun-- white everywhere.
I thought of Charlemagne and how he steadied his horse full of fury. Strangely, the sun calmed me too.

It was a day of learning, exchanging ideas and experiences. I learned an intriguing method of archive/research, which stimulates critical thinking. It was a fabulous workshop and I have some ideas for a writing project, using their strategies. Maybe I can do a mini project with my creative writing class.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

One Love | Playing For Change | Song Around the World

The week after Limbo week . . .Come On, People, Get Ready . . .

My quincouplet group is nearing the completion of round one. I'm keeping the master of each round, and even though I don't have the privilege of seeing all the postcards, I'm intrigued by
the held moments of each of these quincouplets. Reading quincouplet to quincouplet, I feel like I'm looking at a photo album. They're like snap shots of thought. Can't wait to see the postcards.
I think several of us are creating our own postcards, which adds another layer of time to the project. I've been having fun with this aspect of the project. I like making the postcard collages.

Thank you, Benjamin Krause for inventing this form!


Went to a lot of meetings this week, with much success! Woo-Hoo! I am grateful for all the artists I'm working with these days. I love their energy and spirit and vision. I love the fact that we can put our ideas into a big, simmering pot and come up with programs that will challenge all of us. Can't wait to see how this workshop unfolds. It's gonna be some kind of wonderful.


Looking Forward to This:


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

7:30 PM, Writers and Books

$3 members, $6 public

Curated by Wanda Schubmehl

Start your new literary year with a terrific Genesee Reading Series

program featuring Cathryn Smith and Tony Leuzzi. Resolve to

give yourself the gift of an evening in the presence of great writers

and great writing!

Tony Leuzzi teaches writing and literature at Monroe Community College. He is also the author of three books of poems: Tongue-Tied and Singing (Foothills 2004); Radiant Losses (New Sins Press 2010); and Fake Book (forthcoming from Anything Anymore Anywhere Press in 2012). Eclectic, intelligent, and passionate, his poetry has earned good notices from both mainstream and experimental writers alike. BOA Editions will release his book of interviews with 20 American poets in Fall 2012.

Cathryn Smith was born and raised just outside New York City, went to the University of New Hampshire for her BA and MA degrees, and has lived in Rochester for the past 21 years. Her publications include many poems in small magazines as well as a memoir, The Glory Walk, about her father’s death from Alzheimer’s disease. Currently she is working on another creative nonfiction project, Finding Jezebel, about her search for a boat owned by her family some 35 years ago. Cathryn is also the chair of the English/Philosophy department at MCC, where she has taught for 19 years.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 3rd: Quincouplet Postcard Project

River of Stones, Day 3:

I have been writing haiku and senryu for this month long challenge. Decided to keep an ongoing page and wait for further details (newsletter) from the blog. Hundreds were submitted to the blog on Jan1 &2, and no doubt 3, and on.

I like the idea of capturing something briefly in a day.

Today I woke up anticipating the predicted 5-10 inches of snow in our yard. Peeked outside. Nothing. Only morning sun filling up our silver trees with pink light. It's so cold out there. Mercury disappeared in our thermometer.

I feel like I've disappeared too. Have been immersed in writing every day, so much so it's afternoon by the time I look up and check the clock. Yesterday, I created my postcard for the launch of the quincouplet postcard project. My team of Just Poets are: Donna Marbach, Colleen Powderly, Jen Eddy, Dave Tilly and Patricia Schwartz.

Will mail the postcard to Donna today. When we were initially planning the logistics of this project on December 3rd, Donna and Dave ,who have done quite a few collaborations in the past 10 years, both said that the postcard exchange was so turn of the Millennium, which made me laugh. Of course the concern is the number of days it will take to receive the sent postcards. So we're sending the quincouplets ahead of their cards, so our team can read and respond, and mail their cards in a timely fashion.

This project will go until February, with each of us making 6 poem/postcards.

So we're off to a decent start. Donna has written hers and has her postcard images and the quincouplet to Colleen. We're in motion . . .

Looking forward to receiving the postcards. I like mail and I like the idea that so much thought and time will be put into each of these gems.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Photo: K. Iuppa

Yesterday, my sister Karen and I took separate New Year's walks. Both of us had the same feeling that drivers speeding
down the road were coming straight for us.

Nevertheless we were both attempting to start the year in observation.

My walk was five miles of spying on the neighborhood. It took me 55 minutes, up and back.

Karen and I live about 25 minutes from each other. She's right on Lake Ontario and my farm is very close to the lake, a crow's distance.

I was surprised to see so many houses for sale. It was a mild afternoon, but it did start sputtering rain. There is a home (bursting at the seams with children-- at least eight, maybe more) on my street that adverts bible verse and leaning against the house was a fallen sign: Happy Birthday Jesus. So many yards are muddy. Next time I'm going to take a plastic bag and pick up the tossed cans. When I was a little girl, we (gang of dead end kids) used to pick up bottles tossed out of car windows and turn them in to the small grocery store for penny candy.
We had a sack of candy that would last the whole day long. Who knew we were so environmental back then. Opportunity is everywhere.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Join A River of Stone Writing Project

Found this on Nancy Devine's blog this afternoon and thought it was a wonderful idea. I too will create stones in the month of January.
There are options: to post the stones online or on the Writing Our Way Home blog or in a new year notebook.

Here's the link for more information:

Some of you may enjoy this. Yes?

Thanks, Nancy!

Happy New Year !

So this is it, 2012.

Remember, everything you do today, you'll do all year long. Choose wisely.

Large 24 Inch Fireworks Shell