Thank goodness I have things to do in the actual 3-D world because raking through the net’s fascinations is a seriously tempting pastime. Instead I’ve been canning (I think we’re up to 58 quarts of garden goodness) and enjoying this glorious autumn weather. Yesterday I meant to throw together a green tomato cake (better than it sounds) but ran out of time. My daughter was disappointed. She said, “It’s a sad day when I have to beg for vegetable-based confections.” Maybe it’ll happen today.
Right now I’m hovering somewhere above euphoria. The publication date of my poetry collection has been bumped up to November 2013. (That’s not why I’m floating, I’m actually nervous about this book.) My publisher sent me on a quest to collect blurbs. You know blurbs, recommendations from other authors that appear on the back cover? I managed to do this for my first book with medium levels of trepidation but this seems much harder. I’m entirely an outsider to the poetry world. No MFA, no chapbooks, no experience at poetry readings. Typical advice is to reach out to writing professors, poetry mentors, fellow published poets. My degree from Cleveland State garble years ago required one English class and don’t personally know poets with book credits. It’s hard to muster up the courage to wheedle a favor from strangers. Friends have been referring me to local poets they know but they’re all too busy, which I assumed they would be because sheesh, who likes being approached for handouts? With only a few weeks left I took my blurb-less book fears to Facebook. Folks there encouraged me to do the unthinkable: to contact well-known poets I read and admire. With plenty of trepidation, I did. First I asked one of my all-time favorite poets, Alison Luterman who writes astonishing poems like “Looking For Work” and “I Confess.” I practically swooned in fangirl fever when she emailed me back within minutes. Minutes! She asked for my poems. I sent them. She read them. And then she sent back my first poetry blurb.
“Laura Grace Weldon employs radical empathy to enter into the hidden lives of rutabaga, cows, the neighborhood bully, or the beating heart of life itself. Playful, curious, sensual, she aims to open the reader’s eyes and heart.” Alison Luterman
I’m still ablaze with wonder over this. There’s more. The other two poets I contacted emailed me back too, asking to read my poems! A word has not yet been coined to describe my wonder and gratitude.
Back to the ground long enough to offer some links for your perusal.
“Sawabona” is a common greeting among the tribes of northern Natal in South Africa and it literally means “I see you.” As to say, “I respect and acknowledge you for who you are.” In return people say “Sikbona” which means “I am here,” or “When you see me you bring me into existence.”
Nimo Patel’s video features footage from all over the world plus heart-melting appearances by the children Nimo works with in the slums.
I get furious when the most vulnerable among us, and the desperate people who love them, are exploited. Here’s a piece I wrote about a “how to reverse dementia” service coming to a nursing home near you.
35 Awesome Dates: The End to Dull Nights Out. Yes, this is what I’m trying to talk my husband into.
Why your face looks wrong in photos. Or maybe it’s just my face…
More evocative music from The Civil Wars.
Thanks to my son Sam for this piece. Bet it’ll be stuck in your head too.