An Invite (poem)

Picnic (Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe)
Let’s treat ourselves to sunshine, let us splurge
on childhood memories of sandaled feet
and poplar snow. Let’s satisfy this urge
for carefree innocence, the bittersweet
taste of the topped with clover flowers noon.
Let’s savor summer, for the Harvest Moon
is on its way. For now let’s wear short sleeves
and pin our hearts onto them. Let us stay
here, on this grass, beneath the whispering leaves,
and sip this honeyed, hot brew of a day.

We are invited, since you have enquired.
Youth’s optional, but happy smiles required.

 

© 2014 Sasha A. Palmer

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Picnic (Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe), c. 1893. Oil on canvas, Overall: 21 1/4 x 25 11/16 in. (54 x 65.3 cm). BF567. Public Domain.

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Writing Opportunities

Louveciennes

  • Is English your first, second, or third language?

Doesn’t matter: “Absolutely anyone can participate in the Blogging Prizes…articles will be judged first and foremost on the quality of argument and the originality of ideas.”

So, pick you age category, pick your topic, and write a winning article!

  • $10K for a single poem!

The deadline for the Rattle Poetry Prize is approaching. There’s a $25 fee, but it comes with quite a few perks.

Get your best four poems ready, and go rattling!

Happy writing!

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Louveciennes, c. 1872–1873. Oil on canvas, Overall: 15 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. (38.7 x 46.4 cm). BF860. Public Domain.

 

How Big Is Your Personal Library?

Apple Vendor (La Marchande de pommes)

  • Are you guilty of tsundoku?

“We collect, covet, and guard books the way a dragon does jewels. There’s even a word for having too many books: tsundoku.”

Do you buy more books than you can afford and/or more books than your house can accommodate? Do you have more books than you can ever read? Do you like the feel of a real tangible book?..

Read this article on the joy of reading, the love of books, and learning to let go.

  • So, have you bought any new books lately?

Are your bookshelves overstuffed? Can you barely see your house behind the dusty stacks of books you might read one day?

Maybe it’s time for a purge. Alternatively,

“…stop beating yourself up for buying too many books or for having a to-read list that you could never get through in three lifetimes.”

Read this article on why having way too many books is a very good thing.

What say you?

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Apple Vendor (La Marchande de pommes), 1890. Oil on canvas, Overall: 25 9/16 x 21 7/16 in. (65 x 54.5 cm). BF8. Public Domain.

Is Your Blog in a Rut?

Cup of Chocolate (Femme prenant du chocolat)

  • Does your blog need a little help?

Bryn Donovan, editor, novelist, non-fiction writer, and blogger, shares 25 ideas for blog posts — try them all, or take your pick. Have fun blogging!

  • Are you poeming yet?

National Poetry Month is here. One of the many ways to celebrate April is to take part in the annual April Poem-A-Day Challenge. Catch up!

By the way, posting your poems on your blog throughout April–daily, or almost daily–is bound to give your blog a boost. Ready…Set…Go write poetry!

Happy April!

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Cup of Chocolate (Femme prenant du chocolat), c. 1912. Oil on canvas, Overall: 21 5/16 x 25 5/8 in. (54.1 x 65.1 cm). BF14. Public Domain.

Picture Books, Anyone?

Claude Renoir

  • Do you have a picture book in you?

Erica Verrillo has put together a list of 24 publishers accepting picture books without an agent. Check it out.

  • Picture books aren’t going anywhere.

Except perhaps across borders. A trade publishing house Amazon Publishing has created a new children’s book imprint Amazon Crossing Kids that will focus on children’s picture books in translation.

  • Are you–an adult–into picture books?

You aren’t alone. “Why have we come to a place where picture books are relegated to the landscape only of the very young? It was not always thus.”

Go write one, or read one, enjoy!

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Claude Renoir, c. 1904. Oil on canvas, Overall: 21 5/8 x 18 1/4 in. (55 x 46.3 cm). BF935. Public Domain.

 

Submission Alerts for Poets and Writers

Fruit and Bonbonnière

  • Are you a poet residing in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, or Michigan?

Submit your previously unpublished book-length collection for a chance to win The Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry.

The prize awards $10,000, publication by Milkweed Editions, and other cool things.

Deadline: February 15, 2019.

  • Are you a writer with a track record of publishing creative writing in the UK or Ireland?

Don’t miss your chance to win £30,000 (!)

Submit your writing to The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award — the world’s richest and most prestigious prize for a single short story.

Deadline: February 15, 2019.

Good luck!

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Fruit and Bonbonnière, c. 1915–1917. Oil on canvas, Overall: 9 7/16 x 12 5/8 in. (24 x 32 cm). BF39. Public Domain.

“The Evil’s strong, the roots are running deep.”

Young Mother (Jeune mère)

Catch you off guard they will—do not repose!—
the pseudo truths that with a pleasant smile
mix their false righteousness with a large dose
of sugarcoated horrors, all the while
destroying those who have the courage to
refuse to drink their poison. This is it:
the sacred curtain has been torn in two,
Heaven awaits, so does the fiery pit.
“Choose you this day whom ye will serve” and fight
for what is worthy, beautiful. Defend,
my Soul, at all costs what is just and right,
never expect this deadly fight to end.
The Evil’s strong, the roots are running deep.
Behold: the brutal winds green valleys sweep.

©2018 Sasha A. Palmer, Sonnet #8 of the Heroic Crown of Sonnets

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Young Mother (Jeune mère), 1881. Oil on canvas, Overall: 47 3/4 x 33 3/4 in. (121.3 x 85.7 cm). BF15. Public Domain.

 

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.

 

 

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.

On “Delete” Buttons & November

Landscape (Paysage)

  • Think of deleting your Blogger blog?

Think again. According to Adam of Too Clever By Half, there’re at least four reasons why you shouldn’t do it. Luckily, if you’re tired of your Blogger blog, don’t want to see it, etc., you have a much better option than hitting the “delete” button.

  • It’s November — are you writing?

Whether you’re on Blogger, WordPress..whether you blog or not, if you’re a writer, chances are you’ve set some daring writing goals for November. That’s great.

However…if you feel that NaNoWriMo isn’t your thing — you aren’t alone. It’s okay to be a slow writer. Some of them are doing quite well. Heed what Anne R. Allen has to say.

Do what feels right, and write.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Landscape (Paysage), c. 1900–1905. Oil on canvas, Overall: 8 x 12 1/4 in. (20.3 x 31.1 cm). BF236. Public Domain.