Happy Holidays To All

December 22, 2015

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I’m busy punching out the weight, which I’m now down to 160 (from 338), still working part-time for family, and running Red Dashboard LLC Publications. It can be a lot at times with the gym routine, but I’m gaining control, if there is such a thing.

I’ve finally been doing some writing– poetry and an idea for a new children’s book, we’ll see how it goes. I was inspired by a lamp my son gave me three years ago, and a new book by Gary McGrew called Off With Their Heads! It’s in our book catalog.

What about you? Productive lives? I realize it’s okay to take time off for yourself. Not too much like I did 2009-13, gaining so much weight and barely moving. But it’s okay to say, “Today, I’m going out, and still manage work and life.”

Have a Happy Holiday day my friends and family. May it be filled with glorious wonder and creativity!

 

 

A long busy summer…

September 30, 2015

Yes, since surgery, our award, vacation, and other travels…It’s been a busy summer. I’ve been meaning to come back and do a write-up. We did just return from Colorado, a beer festival for hubs, but I enjoyed driving him around, but “shhh”…don’t tell him. I cannot drink beer since my surgery, no bubbles, like soda, beer, or sparkling wines. I’m okay, miss it a bit, but there are so many other things I can have.

I’m behind on the drafts and writing, trying to play catch up, and our publishing season has begun at Red Dashboard LLC.

So here’s to life, busy means I keep the weight off. BTW I’m down to 172 now!

I was already on cloud nine after hearing Shelby Stephenson was selected as poet laureate of North Carolina, but I just received news that Alan Birkelbach won a Spur Award from Western Writers of America for his poem, A Little Longer Than the Moment- published in Cowboy Poetry Press, October 2014- Week 6. Alan is the former poet laureate of Texas, 2005.

Let’s just say I am soaring the past few days…

This ezine was a project of mine as I began to write western (what I call Old West Revivalist Poetry. not the same as Cowboy Poetry). I was born in Fort Worth, and grew up in and around the old west frame of mind.

As managing editor, I am proud of all the work that goes into our ezines and now our print anthologies, especially Unbridled. Darn proud! If you write in the western genre we hope you will check out our submission guidelines on the submission page of either Cowboy Poetry Press and Red Dashboard LLC Publishing.

Today we received the invitation letter from WWA, and the banquet will be held in Lubbock, Texas, my home state! Yee-haw! It’s officially a great news season…

My Journey Gets Rough(er)

February 26, 2015

Why? Because I’m looking for a damn venue to host my Red Dashboard LLC Press Dallas Reading Series II. The original venue bailed, but we also needed a rainout, Plan B.

Help poetry and writing Goddess, I need you…

If you’ve ever heard the hail (hell) in Texas is big, sometimes the size of baseballs, yep, it is true. And it hurts…the brain!

Over and out, I will keep you posted, those who give a poo, and understand…

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The Fox Chase Reading Series Presents
“Writers and Poets of Red Dashboard Press.”
1 – 2:30pm, March 21, 2015
Ryerss Library and Museum at
Fox Chase
7730 Central Avenue
Philadelphia, Pa. 19111

We are proud to announce a New Jersey
and Pennsylvania Poet Reading Series
in a 2015 location.
(There is a Series II, April 2015
for our Texas authors TBA)

No Rain or Snow Date

Featured Readers:

Elizabeth Akin Stelling, NJ (managing editor)
James Temp Kelley​, PA
Laura Madeline Wiseman​, AZ
Marion D. Cohen, PA
g emil reutter, PA
Joshua Gray​, DC
Barry Gross, PA
Erin Locks, NJ

Alan Jankowski​, NJ (tentative reader)

Red Dashboard LLC Publishing​ authors by invitation only

Location Information:
Ryerss Museum, Foxchase, PA

All are invited to sit down with us afterward to share in food and conversation (dutch),
la Maldova, 9808 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19115 (267) 538-2710 (Russian)
Restaurant subject to change, to a closer venue location

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“Whether he’s talking poems or possums, Shelby Stephenson is a fine choice for poet laureate.”

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/02/4525557_saunders-whether-hes-talking-poems.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

My Journey Down South

It’s February 3rd, I’m headed east of Raleigh,
Raleigh, North Carolina, and a fine day it is.
I’ve been on the road from New Jersey to Front Royale, VA.,
stopped in on a poet friend, had a good night.
Then I drove most of the way and stopped in Greensboro
for a poetry gathering, at a residence, and then we did dinner.
Afterwards we went to another poet’s house and did a fireside
chat and read more poetry. Wonderful! And my kind of visits.
The night before I attended an induction ceremony,
for the new Poet Laureate of that southern state
I went further down to Charlotte, family visit, then
back up.
Shelby Stephenson, is one of Red Dashboard’s book authors.
His two books The Hunger of Freedom and Shub’s Cooking are
available on Amazon. Wonderful books, his work is fantastic.

I drove back up to Raleigh and attended the ceremony with
the four ladies I met in Greensboro, fun times; we also had dinner.
The next day I went to Shelby’s home outside of the city. He
took me to his brother’s BBQ place, we drove, and all the while
talking life in poetry. I couldn’t have asked for a better visit
with the new Poet Laureate of North Carolina, 2015-17 (up to Governor).

The road has given me so much material for writing; it gives up
asphalt, white and yellow lines, shoulders- soft and hard, rocks,
stones, rusty nails,
the smells of the land, pollution,
strangers faces in motor vehicles, children in the rear window, animals,
signs, all color skies, sunrise, sunsets, and all sorts of shadows
that lead us to our thoughts, leading to words, leading to poetry and song.

Oh, and did I mention I sold a few books along the way, promote baby, promote!
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(above photo taken during induction ceremony; bottom- at lunch, Stephenson’s BBQ, Benson, NC)

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OMG!!!

What a gathering. Stan Galloway brought in poets from France, Japan, Egypt, other places, and all over the United States. What each brought to the poetry mic and table was so worth the $30 for reading fee, was worth it.

Thursday: Registration, setting up publisher tables, introduction from the English department head, Stan spoke, and then readers began. Dinner break, and then a few things in the evening. Dinner out with Red Dashboard authors and old friends from NJ, and a few new ones made.

Friday: Same as Thursday, with me reading at 2:30, and let’s just say my books sold well, as did Joshua Gray’s, a RedD author. Dinner break after other fabulous readings, some workshops, and then I was down for the count. I had been driving Wednesday, all day yesterday, I am trying to get used to my new body and eating plan.

Saturday: As I said fabulous fabulous fabulous! More of the same. Our book table did well, but the authors are fabulous. I love being surrounded by so many talented writers, not to mention the new friends you make!

Sunday: A few readers this morning, and then they selected 12 poets to do a command performance. I was selected as one of the twelve, Cowtown, Texas, 1975 was chosen as my reading, I can live with that, it was published in The Texas Observer last April, 2014! I just felt the others read such prolific pieces, mine was a humorous look at young love with cowboys(girls). It was all good, then I drove all the way back to Jersey, can you say tired!

I’d do it all over again, and looking forward to 2017, yes, the next Bridgewater International Poetry Festival and Conference. Get your poetry on!

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Yes it is indeed.

I had surgery on November 19, 2014, gastric bypass, to lose weight. Something I could not do on my own. I honestly tried so many times. I found myself overwhelmed when my cafe closed, my catering business hanging on by a thread with the economy going down in five years ago. But all is good now. I started at 338 October 2013, I did lose a few pounds by the surgery, 309. Today, 8 weeks post-surgery I am 257. I am doing well, adjusting to my new eating plan, and will continue to staying healthy.

With that note I am also attending a poetry festival beginning tomorrow in Bridgewater, VA at the college. A few poet friends here in New Jersey attend this every year and I’ve heard nothing but great things about it. I will be reading, giving a Q&A, and hosting a table for the pub company, Red Dashboard LLC. The only thing about my surgery, before and afterwards, is I haven’t been writing as much as one would like. The muse is standing close, but I’ve let go of her hand a few times lately, hopefully she will not let me down and continue to keep me company.

More information about the festival…

The Bridgewater International Poetry Festival 

Until 2015

November 17, 2014

I was unable to capture my last two Bubbie Cart Journals with sound. Not sure what went wrong, but I am going into surgery this Wed, Nov 19th, 5am with assurance the right decision is being made. I went into NYC to see Cabaret with Alan Cumming and had a hard time walking due to a hip issue. Today I woke up exhausted, but with a smile on my face. How is that possible, because the show was fabulous, no regrets!

Hope you will tune in to my show once I return, maybe a few weeks – to two months. I will be working on a few ms uploads for authors, and hopefully finalize some of my own stuff that has been sitting for a while. Oh, I did finally get that letter from the former poet laureate of Texas, it was wonderful, full of teaching and exercising the right to be the old west revivalist poet I aim to be, bang bang!

Love to you all!

Okay, since I am a TMI Texas girl, I’m sharing something here. Most know me from social media, and know about my journey over the past 14 years (more if you count drama from childhood until this point). It’s been a battle, life is a battle at times. Alcoholism, mental health, CHD-heart disease in a child, abuse, and so much more crap I cannot even begin in this post. Poetry in a way has been a way for me to express myself. I also paint, sculpt, complain, yep I said that, and love just as passionate, it’s me.

I found out I have diabetes last October and it was a do or die situation with my weight gain. I’m not going to blame anyone else but me. I worked as a chef and binged on alcohol after my daughters death. It’s time to move on…(you never move on from grief, just an expression).

So here is my first entry into a new lifestyle, a major one that took me four years to decide, and I’m going to do it November 19, 2014, bypass surgery. I will post once a month until I lose the weight. I’m also doing a workshop, for writers and poets in April 2015, at Classics Rare and Used Bookstore & Gifts (4 Lafayette and Warren Street) as well, so here’s to getting in shape!