My New Year Gift to You

  • Have you put “writing” on your new year resolutions list?

If you haven’t, maybe you should. Here’s why (just my two cents):

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Hope you’ve enjoyed this short read. Feel free to share it.

Happy writing to you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On Thinking Small, Picking Your Brains, & Never Growing Old

Washerwoman and Child (La Blanchisseuse et son enfant)

  • Have you come up with your New Year resolutions yet?

Have you already broken some? If you’re thinking of setting a few goals for 2019, heed Rachelle Gardner’s advice. Her approach helped her reach her goals — try it.

  • Have you picked your brain lately?

Check out the best of Brain Pickings from 2018. A good read to bid farewell to the old year, and ring in the new one.

  • Happy New Year!

“May you stay forever young,” as the song goes. Defy the odds, and prove it possible. And if you feel the odds are winning, write a song, or a poem about it. Read Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas for inspiration.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Washerwoman and Child (La Blanchisseuse et son enfant), 1886. Oil on canvas, Overall: 32 x 25 9/16 in. (81.3 x 65 cm). BF219. Public Domain.

 

 

Not Surprising

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Back of church envelope featuring the motto repeated by Pope John XXIII, and favored by Pope Francis 

“You cannot with a single stroke wipe out all of the sins people in general are committing within the Christian religion, especially within the clerical order, over whom you should be even more watchful. But you certainly can and are obligated to do it, and if you don’t, you would have it on your conscience.”Saint Catherine of Siena

God help us, and Happy Feast of the Holy Family!

2019 Is Almost Here, Ready To Submit?

Mr. Loulou (Louis Le Ray)

  • Do you feel like poeming about teaching?

Go ahead. Write about K–12 teaching, and/or teachers, and submit your unpublished poem for a chance to win The $1,000 (!) On Teaching Poem Prize. No entry fee. Deadline: January 1st, 2019. Restrictions apply, read the guidelines carefully. Good luck!

  • Do you publish your poetry on Instagram?

Summer 2019 issue of Rattle will be dedicated to Instagram Poets. Submit your poems for a chance to be discovered, and promoted by the notable poetry magazine. You can also nominate poems written by other poets. Deadline: January 15th, 2019.

  • Have you put together your submission to Measure Review?

Guided by the editorial vision of Ashley Anna McHugh, Measure Review, an online magazine of formal poetry, will advance the legacy of Measure. Submissions will open in January, 2019. Get your unpublished sonnets, haiku, etc. ready.

Image: Paul Gauguin. Mr. Loulou (Louis Le Ray), 1890. Oil on canvas, Overall: 21 3/4 x 18 1/4 in. (55.2 x 46.4 cm). BF589. Public Domain.

Are You Feeling Christmas?

Head (Tête); also called Etude de brodeuse

Christmas Wish

I feel no Christmas, cried a little girl,
I don’t feel any of the Christmas cheer,
the tree is up and lit, the garlands swirl,
and Rudolph leads his pack of swift reindeer,

but I feel nothing. Sobbing would not cease…
Old Santa hugged her, Don’t be sad, my dear,
they are not always real — the things one sees,
what’s real is hidden from the eye, but near.

So close your eyes, put on your largest grin,
unlock your heart and let your Christmas in!

© 2013 Sasha A. Palmer (aka Happy)

Wishing you lots of Christmas cheer!

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Head (Tête); also called Etude de brodeuse, 1904. Oil on canvas, Overall (lower edge irregular): 15 x 12 3/4 in. (38.1 x 32.4 cm). BF553. Public Domain.

Tolerant Facebook?

Crucifixion

  • Shame on you, Facebook.

Last week, on the eve of Advent, Facebook blocked Janet Martin’s blog, and deleted all links to it she posted in her feed.

Janet is my friend. We met on poetry forums in 2011, and have been reading each other’s blogs, exchanging emails, and occasional handwritten letters ever since.

If you’ve been to Another Porch you know that Janet is a very talented poet and photographer, and about the sweetest person one can imagine.

Yet Facebook found her offensive.

  • So, what is Janet guilty of?

The official, and vague, reason for Janet’s punishment is “violation of Facebook community standards.”

The unofficial, but likely, reason is Janet’s Christian faith.

Again, if you’ve been to Another Porch you know that Janet is a deeply religious person. Her faith is reflected in everything she does, in everything she writes, and posts.

Do you find Christ offensive, Facebook? Sure looks that way.

  • Put up a fight!

If Facebook discriminates against you, because you are a Christian, or a conservative, don’t just leave Facebook. Stand up for yourself, don’t let them bully you.

“Yes, they do! (target Christians, and conservatives) Not surprising at all. But they will NEVER touch what really matters and God is mightier than FB…his Word will never be silenced or ended. Hallelujah!” — Janet Martin

P.S. Even the links Janet posted in a private conversation in her Messenger were deleted. Guess what she linked to? Poems about Advent.

P.S. Janet’s blog has been unblocked, and she can post links to her blog again. Janet, being Janet, wants to think it might have been a glitch, or a faulty algorithm, etc. Maybe so. However, Facebook has repeatedly removed conservative posts from my feed, or pushed them way down so they became almost impossible to find; Facebook deleted my conservative Catholic friend’s opinion post, and the whole comment thread it generated, without any explanation, etc. And the fact that “private” Messenger is censored makes it even harder to trust Facebook. So, I’ll stick to my version of what happened. 

Image: Austrian Master. Crucifixion, c. 1400–1420. Tempera and gold on panel, Overall: 18 3/8 x 11 1/8 in. (46.7 x 28.3 cm). BF828. Public Domain.

Poetry Periodical & December Contests

Mont Sainte-Victoire (La Montagne Sainte-Victoire)

  • New Poetry Periodical!

Ugly Duckling Presse is starting a new poetry periodical.

UDP will accept up to 5 pages of poetry by December 31, for possible inclusion in the first issue, to be released in early 2019.

Submissions from new writers, translators, and people living outside the US are especially encouraged.

Read the guidelines carefully, and submit.

  • December is a great month for writing contests!

Plenty of FREE writing contests to choose from.

Again, read the guidelines carefully, and submit your work. Good luck!

Image: Paul Cézanne. Mont Sainte-Victoire (La Montagne Sainte-Victoire), c. 1900. Watercolor and graphite on laid paper, Overall: 12 3/8 x 19 1/8 in. (31.5 x 48.5 cm). BF652. Public Domain.