Friday, July 25, 2008

been sick

Sorry everyone. You may have noticed that I haven't made any new posts in a while. Well, I've been sick, again. I'm just starting to feel better, but until I do, this blog is taking a vacation. Maybe another week or so.

Monday, July 14, 2008

What's on your Kindle?

My list:
book - The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, by Leonard Mlodinow. I just started reading this. I like it so far; statistics is just about the only math I can stand.

sample - The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality, by the Dalai Lama. I just read the first half of the sample. Given the easy prose and fascinating insights, I will probably get this book.

sample - God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. Didn't read the sample yet, so I have no opinion on this one.

sample - Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach. I heard her on NPR. Sounded interesting so I downloaded the sample. Haven't read it yet.

sample - Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You by Sam Gosling. I heard a snippet of a review or interview on NPR. Sounded interesting. Haven't read it yet.

free book - The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. You can get this for free at It took two seconds to download to my computer. The last time I cracked open the ginormous doorstop that is my complete works was at least 15 years ago. I tried to read a poem in it right before I downloaded the free copy: the damn text was too small. So, goodbye doorstop, hello Kindle version.

free book - The Collected Works of Poe. Another freebie courtesy of My good friend told me she read The Masque of the Red Death to her seven year old daughter for a bedtime story. Her daughter told me it was really good, but very creepy. They reminded me how much I like Poe. My favorite is the Cask of Amontillado. I'm looking forward to re-reading it.

free book - Walden & on the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau. Another freebie. Would you believe I have never read this?

book - Survival of the Sickest by Moalem Sharon. This book is fabulous. Have you ever wondered why humans carry around so many genetic diseases and just plain strange mutations (blue eyes, hairy arms) in our genome? This book answers a few of those questions and provides a number of good theories about the rest. I highly recommend this book.

sample - Everything Bad Is Good for You by Steven Johnson. Didn't read the sample yet, but I'm one of those people who is convinced that our culture is not deteriorating. This book speaks about that idea. I mean, have you ever tried to play Hexic or Empire Earth and answer your email at the same time? Do you know how much brain power that takes? Not to mention trying to keep up with the plethora of information that is the web. It's an intellectual's nirvana, our 21st century. I haven't read the sample yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

sample - Quirkology: How We Discover the Big Truths in Small Things by Steven Johnson. I have no idea what this one's about but I absolutely loved the title. We'll see.

sample - All I Did Was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians and Artists by Terry Gross. She hosts my favorite NPR show, Fresh Air. I bet this book is going to be great.

book - The Sharing Knife by Lois McMaster-Bujold. This is the third in a great fantasy series by a writer who has the uncanny ability to write in more than one persona. That is rare. Most writers have one voice and a few different characters they can believably manage to fool the reader into thinking are valid persons. Lois writes in wildly different characters and dialects with every series.

poem - Supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. One of my poems.

sample - Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar. Haven't read the sample yet. I'm skeptical that any book can give a person a formula for happiness, but I'm willing to read anything at least once.

book - Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. I'm halfway through this one. Her suggestions regarding character motivation when writing are brilliant.

sample - Making a Literary Life: Advice for Writers and Other Dreamers by Carolyn See. I haven't read the sample yet, but Carolyn wrote what might be my favorite (non sci-fi/fantasy) novel of all time: The Handyman. I'm willing to give it a try.

poem - The star trails of Kilimanjaro. Another one of my poems.

book - Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley. Another great book by another great fantasy writer. This one is remarkably original and in the world of dragon fantasy, that's a nearly impossible feat to manage.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Poem in

I am absolutely delighted to have my poem, "Boulder Caves," in the latest issue of A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments. It's one of my favorite journals. I don't think I've ever seen a bad issue and this latest one doesn't disappoint; there's just so much to read and ponder. Of particular note, to me, is the inclusion of more and more audio. I really enjoy listening to poets read their poems. And Suzanne Stryk's artwork is gorgeous.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Monday, July 07, 2008

I'm resigning

as Site Admin of It feels strangely liberating, rather than wrenching. I didn't expect that. Here's the short blurb I posted at the forum:

Dear members,

After three years here at, I'm stepping down as Site Admin. I've increasingly found myself wishing for more time for writing and my family, and resigning my position here will make that possible.

The forum remains in capable hands: Larina and Gary have been exemplary members of this community and are now performing excellently as Site Admins, and we still have our wonderful Moderators. I doubt anyone will notice any lurching of the boat as I quietly step off onto my secluded island (populated by my computer and a nice writing-conducive breeze). I know you'll give them the respect and cooperation you've given me the past few years.

Finally, I want to say: Thank You. This has been an incredible experience for me. I've learned a great deal about poetry and human behavior that I would never have otherwise. I am grateful for all the people I've met and all the poetry I've read.

Best wishes to everyone.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Literary tattoos

How cool. I mean, I would never get a tattoo, because I'd probably get cancer or have a severe allergic reaction to the ink or something, given my luck with health issues, but still, this is cool.

Contrariwise: Literary Tattoos