We Become Stars

Two of my poems appear in Westland Writes 2018 literary journal.

Happy June everyone!

I’m excited to announce that two of my poems have been published in the literary journal, Westland Writes. They’re both about parenthood. One is called “We Become Stars” and highlights the experience of letting your child go out into the world. Ironically, I wrote this before having a child, thinking from the view of a daughter. Now, I see the poem from a mother’s perspective, which creates a very different feeling. The other poem is titled “When I Realized You Were Magic” and shares what it’s like to find out you’re a parent, full of worries and excitement. My daughter is Japanese American, and my greatest hope for her is that she will live in a world that is safe and welcoming to everyone.

The best part of having my work included in this journal is that Westland Library held a poetry and short story readying to celebrate our work. We could choose one poem to read, so I picked “We Become Stars.” But what made this reading truly unique is that they decided to bring in a musical trio to interpret each of our poems after we read them. I’ve never experienced anything like this before. It was so gratifying to hear my own words performed in an original song. Afterwards, the singer noted that she liked my other poem too, which was icing on the cake! Of course, I wondered if maybe I should have chosen to read that one, instead ūüėČ

I wasn’t sure if I was even going to be able to attend the event, since my husband was out-of-town and I had my 8-month-old daughter with me. Luckily, my friend was visiting and helped make it happen. We strolled up to the front when it was my turn, and I began by dedicating the poem to my daughter. My friend was actually able to videotape my reading, and I’m so glad she did! After I read, the singer sang directly to my little girl, which was so sweet and memorable. My daughter was quiet and listened the entire time. What a special memory we captured ūüôā

For one night, we became stars. And I will never forget that moment. I encourage you to find ways of sharing your own light with the world! It will surely make for a brighter, more peaceful planet.

Printed copies of this literary journal are available for purchase. You can also read the poems and stories¬†online. And to my delight, I’ve just discovered that the book can be borrowed from the library. As a librarian, how cool it is to find that my name appears in the catalog!

 

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My Book Review on the SCBWI-MI Blog

Greetings all,

Hope you’re enjoying the lovely spring weather!

I’m pleased to announce that a book review I wrote has been posted on the SCBWI-MI blog, The Mitten. ¬†I was asked to submit a review of the book Wired for Story¬†by Lisa Cron after giving it 5 stars on Goodreads. ¬†This book explores the craft of writing novels and screenplays–an excellent read. ¬†If you want to hear more about it, check out the review here.

Happy writing!

A Reflection Beyond Words

As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m feeling grateful.¬† As I mentioned before, my artwork and poetry were recently exhibited at an art show, Beyond Words,¬†in Toledo, OH.¬† Opening night was a flurry of excited guests, yummy treats, and delectable artwork.¬† I enjoyed taking my family and friends around to see my work.¬† I also had the opportunity to¬†overhear feedback¬†on my art,¬†reminding me¬†of the days when I shared my poetry in front of a crowd at an open mic.¬† I even met¬†some of the artists that collaborated with me.¬†¬†One of them chose to¬†write a piece to go with my artwork,¬†Bamboo with Red Bird,¬†because she, too, has¬†an affinity¬†for Japan and¬†even lived there¬†for a period of time.

Then came the icing on the cake.¬† We¬†attended the awards ceremony.¬† Two of my poems received second place.¬† What made this especially gratifying was that the poems were compared to a specific style reminiscent of a famous writer.¬† I had never much thought about my style in regards to poetry.¬† Apparently, I have one…or two ūüėȬ†¬†My poem,¬†Suffering from Poetic License, received second place for the T.S. Eliot¬†Award: Modernist in style with a range of techniques.¬† Another poem of mine, Whose Musing,¬†received second place for the Mark Twain¬†Award: humorous or social commentary.¬† At the end, they announced the People’s Choice Award, which went to a poem written in response to my watercolor collage painting, Giraffes on Reserve, pictured above.¬† Hooray!

Now, awards are a bonus, but not why most artists, including myself, make art.  We do it because we love it.  Because we have a need.  It fills us up.  We feel alive.  It helps us make sense of the world and hopefully helps others, as well.  As I said in my previous post, making a connection is the best part about participating in an art exhibition like this one.

How will you connect with the universe this holiday season?

 

Mouthless

Third Wednesday

My poem “Mouthless”
in Third Wednesday
literary journal

I’m pleased to announce that one of my poems has been published in the literary journal Third Wednesday.¬† It’s called “Mouthless”¬†and it’s about¬†the experience of falling.¬†¬†If you would like to read this poem, you can purchase¬†a copy of this issue by going to the¬†journal’s website.¬†¬†The cost¬†is $8, plus $3 postage.¬† You can send a check to the following address: 174 Greenside Up Ypsilanti, MI 48197.¬† Make sure you mention which issue you want.¬† The current issue is Winter, 2014.

What else will you find in this issue besides my poem?¬† The winning poems for Third Wednesday’s annual contest,¬† youth poetry by students of the Inside/Out Literary Arts Project, poems by featured poet J. K. Durick,¬†seasonal poetry for winter and spring,¬†more inspiring poetry, and even artwork!¬† Wow, who would want to miss out on all that? ūüėȬ† Enjoy!

“Poetry can be dangerous, especially beautiful poetry, because it gives the illusion of having had the experience without actually going through it.” ‚Äē Rumi

Postcard Art for Charity

postcard art for charity at #twitterartexhibit in Orlando

Here’s a look at some of the postcard art displayed at the #twitterartexhibit in Orlando.¬† All of these works have been donated from artists around the world to benefit The Center for Contemporary Dance, Special Needs Students.¬† Postcards are still available to purchase online until April 11th.¬† The postcards have a set price of $35 plus $7 for shipping and¬†100% of donations go¬†to the above named charity.

My entry is posted on the bottom right, 4th one over at the top.  You can view and purchase it here.  You can also check out other amazing postcard art for purchase.  See my previous post for further details.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

I’m pleased to announce that my work has been featured in the Michigan SCBWI newsletter for this month. When The Mitten asked me to be the November cover artist, I graciously accepted. What an honor! Several of my children’s illustrations appear throughout as well as an interview about my work as an author/illustrator. A special thanks to the editors for putting it together.¬† You can check it out here.

It was interesting being on the other end of the interview process. Usually I’m the one asking the questions ūüėČ But I think it’s important to market yourself. I attended a workshop recently that reminded authors and illustrators that they must think of themselves as a brand. That way when people see your work they always know immediately who you are. They may even purchase it specifically for this reason. Of course we always want to strive for excellent work in its own right. But it helps if you can also put your stamp on it.

In the grander scheme, it’s about self-acceptance. Deciding to be all in. Putting yourself out there. This is what I have to offer. This is who I am.

How will you choose to put yourself out there?

Tour of My Mindwork Art Exhibition

Greetings ūüôā¬† Can you believe it’s the end of October already?¬† I hope many of you had a chance to see my recent art exhibit at the Troy Public Library.¬† But if you didn’t, don’t fret!¬† You can still take the virtual tour now.¬† Enjoy!¬† (Don’t forget to let your mind wander…)

Mindwork honors the mind as both creator and creation.

That’s all for now…¬† Until next time!