Nov 19, 2015

POETRY FRIDAY: Words of Hope from Emily Dickinson

Thanks to Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect for hosting Poetry Friday this week!
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This has been a difficult week. A few days ago I received the news that Sunscribe Publishers, the company I signed a 3-book contract with, is closing, which means that my books will not be published anytime soon. My publisher, who has poured so much of her time, talent, and energy into creating Sunscribe, is facing an unexpected and devastating medical diagnosis, and in the interest of her health is closing her fledgling company. I appreciate all of the time she has spent helping me edit and polish my manuscripts, and it is my hope and prayer that she will beat this disease and come through the battle stronger than ever. (You can read the company's announcement here.)

Looking forward, I know what I need to do—start submitting my books again. It feels strange and a bit scary to be back at square one, but I have been here before and know the drill. My favorite part of the submission process was always having “tiny pieces of hope” floating around out there in the world. So I’m holding tightly to hope right now, for my former publisher and for my books.   

One of my favorite poems by Emily Dickinson is about hope, so I decided to share it for Poetry Friday this week. It is a wonderful reminder that, no matter how stormy life gets, HOPE is our faithful friend.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers 
by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and Happy Writing!

Nov 12, 2015

POETRY FRIDAY: Saluting Our Veterans

Thank you to Bridget at wee words for wee ones for hosting Poetry Friday this week!

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On our way to school Wednesday morning, my boys and I had a great discussion about Veterans Day and the true meaning behind the holiday. When I was growing up, we always had Veterans Day off of school. I remember talking about this at school each year, and recall the teachers emphasizing that Veterans Day is a special day to honor those who fought for our freedoms. It is sad to me that this is no longer a school holiday (at least where I live), but I am somewhat mollified each year when my boys come home and share how they observed the holiday at school.

In honor of Veterans Day, I am sharing a poem by American poet Joyce Kilmer, “Prayer of a Soldier in France.” This poem is especially poignant because Kilmer was killed in France during WWII at age 31. (For more posts about Joyce Kilmer, click here and here.)

Prayer of a Soldier in France
by Joyce Kilmer

My shoulders ache beneath my pack
(Lie easier, Cross, upon His back).

I march with feet that burn and smart
(Tread, Holy Feet, upon my heart).

Men shout at me who may not speak
(They scourged Thy back and smote Thy cheek).

I may not lift a hand to clear
My eyes of salty drops that sear.

(Then shall my fickle soul forget
Thy Agony of Bloody Sweat?)

My rifle hand is stiff and numb
(From Thy pierced palm red rivers come).

Lord, Thou didst suffer more for me
Than all the hosts of land and sea.

So let me render back again
This millionth of Thy gift. Amen.

I hope your Veterans Day week was reflective and meaningful. Enjoy your weekend, and Happy Writing!

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Interesting Veterans Day fact: The correct spelling of this holiday is “Veterans Day” with no apostrophe. Since I am nit-picky about apostrophe usage, I looked this up. Here is the explanation from the website of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs:

Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but does include an "s" at the end of "veterans" because it is not a day that "belongs" to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans. 

Nov 10, 2015

SUNSHINE at last!

I am normally someone who enjoys cool, rainy fall days—it’s the perfect weather for settling in and getting some writing done, and encourages me to stay inside and work. However, after days and DAYS of rain, I am so happy to see the sun shining today!

There's some sunshine, and even some blue sky. We really hit the jackpot today!

I love the leaves in the fall, especially with sunlight filtering through, and with a stretch of several cool, SUNNY days in our upcoming forecast, I am looking forward to getting outside and catching up on my Vitamin D. I have gotten quite a bit of writing-related work accomplished over the last few weeks, though. What is your “perfect weather” for making progress with your writing, completing projects, or just staying focused and on task ? I am interesting in hearing what others have to say, so please share in the comments below!

I have another reason for celebrating today aside from the beautiful weather—I just found out that my poem “Monster Bash” was one of the Best Descriptive/Mood Piece winners in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie contest, which I posted about on October 30th! Thank you so much, Susanna! For a list of all the winners, including the outstanding top 10 (who won AMAZING PRIZES!!!), please check out Susanna’s post here

Have a wonderful week everyone, and Happy Writing!