Publication News 2021

Hello everyone!

I have some wonderful publication news to share. It’s been a while since I’ve shared some news on the poetry writing front. I have been updating my Publication Credits page (it’s in the menu), so feel free to check that out, too.

First, three of my poems now are available in The Magnolia Review, Volume 6, Issue 2. The theme for the issue was “A Defining Moment.” You’ll need to download the PDF, but the magazine is worth the download.

My poems appear on pgs. 68, 80, and 115. I hope you check them out, but they are on dark topics regarding gun violence, so be aware.

Secondly, I’m happy to announce that the anthology from the Washington Writers’ Publishing House, This Is What America Looks Like, is available for purchase.

I have 1 poem included in this collection, but I hope you’ll buy a copy because I know many of these writers (fiction and poetry) and their work is AMAZING.

You can purchase the anthology through Amazon or directly from the publisher.

I’ll also have an interview with the poetry editor Jona Colson very soon on the blog. You may recall my review of his collection, Said Through Glass.

Perseverance pays off. I just want to remind you that art is hard work and pleasure in the making, but getting it published is even harder work. If you want it, pursue it.

COVID Chronicle #4

Is it unusual to be so busy during a pandemic?

I find that I am envious of those who have additional time during the pandemic to pursue artistic projects and learn new skills and just take time for themselves. I literally have zero time to myself in a house full of six people. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom, but there are days when I want her to be more independent. But without social outings and friends to occupy her — being cooped up inside and away from people her age — she’s more clingy. I can’t begrudge her attention, even if I want time to myself to write or just read.

I’ve been volunteering with the Gaithersburg Book Festival this year, like many years in the past, but this year, I have far more responsibility. I think a poetry committee would be far more appropriate to make the work far less daunting. I’m in charge of poetry programming and I feel inadequate. Yes, it is that imposter syndrome. I want to do the best I can and help the festival, but I also want the poets to feel like the time will be well spent for them and their books, especially as virtual events tend not to translate into book sales at the rate they do when events are live and in person.

I’m very busy at my day job, which is good, but I also took on a manuscript editing project sooner than expected (it wasn’t expected to be done until March). I love editing and helping others hone their material and novels and poems, but I also love to write my own work. Again, no time for that.

Perhaps, what I need is a few days off sooner than I thought. I’ll have to think on it. I’m stressed and exhausted. There are other stressors too, but I prefer not to bring those up. However, if anyone has any sure fire financial planning advice or budgeting advice – software recommendations, how to use an excel sheet or whatever — I’m all ears. I feel unorganized.

Reading is going, but mostly submissions for the festival. I do have some fiction reads I really want to crack open soon, and I just hope I can find the time. I perhaps have too many competing interests.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, and here’s to a 2021 that is way better than 2020 has been.

We usually spend New Year’s Eve at home, so nothing really changed for us.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Winter Lights in Gaithersburg

I know many of you have already celebrated Hanukkah this year, and I hope you enjoyed a blessed season.

For those celebrating Christmas and Kwanzaa, I wish you the best this holiday season.

We did find time to go skating outdoors with our daughter’s best friend’s family, see the winter lights in the car, and have some fun with Elf on the Shelf. It’s been a unique year for celebrations, but we’ve made it work as best as we can. My daughter will do her annual gift opening with her friends via Zoom this year, but they will still see each other.

I’m looking forward to a little bit of down time at the end of the year. But I’ll be happy to see my daughter open her presents.

I’ll post my Best of List next week.

If you missed the annual Poetry Reading Challenge, you can find that here.

Poetry Reading Challenge 2021

In 2020, I read 21 books of poetry and listened to one collection on audio. Some were published last year, but some were languishing on my bookshelf for no good reason. All of these books were 4 and 5 stars.

I think last year’s challenge went well, so the options will remain the same:

  • One of the easiest, and possibly most difficult, will be getting people to sign up to read a poem-a-day through the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day service. The challenge is to read a poem-a-day for a week once per month and write about which poems were your favorite and why. You can write up a short blurb on your Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or your blog. I’d love for you to share your experience in the comments each month.
  • Second, read at least 1 book of poetry (doesn’t have to be cover-to-cover) and write about your favorite poems and what you learned about yourself while reading those poems.
  • Third, if you want to go all out, feel free to read as many books of poetry as you can in one year and link to your reviews in the comments.

If you accept one of the options or the whole challenge, leave a comment with where you will be posting about your year in poetry.

If you want to leave your blog link, sign up in a post and leave your blog URL to your post below:

Don’t forget to grab the image!

COVID Chronicle #3

I shared some good things last time. I’m not sure I have any to share today.

It’s been a struggle with virtual school, particularly math. My daughter is struggling, the extra help is not helping much and honestly listening to her math teacher day in and day out — I can see why she’s not learning as she should. This teacher honestly has no patience and she speeds through the lessons and it is clear my daughter is not comfortable asking questions. This is not the ideal environment for learning long division or even multiplication. School is on my mind. I want her to do well, but if I push her like her teacher does, I suspect the learning will completely stop.

I did find a multiplication game website to help her learn her multiplication facts, so they come quicker to her. That I hope is helping and feels a little less like school and pushing her. We also found another website with similar lessons to help supplement her lessons in math — thanks to her reading teacher. Yes, I asked her math teacher for help, but received zero response other than get her flash cards. Yes, you heard that right. Very frustrating.

Reading for pleasure has been very slow, but I managed to finish 2 audiobooks this week. I have a ton of poetry submissions to read through for the Gaithersburg Book Festival and the high school poetry contest is getting entries, but at a slow rate. I’ll have to do more outreach soon. Probably this week.

With a long weekend and a couple days off from work, my plans are minimal. I am hoping to resubmit some poems to journals, since i received 3 rejections this week. No new acceptances, and an acceptance from a few months back was never published and it seems the lit mag is MIA — having not published the last 7 months. I signed a contract so now I’m wondering what is to become of the poems they accepted, since they were not published. I’ll have to review that too to find out what the next step is.

This seems like a super long post already, so perhaps I’ll end with this light of my weeks. We were able to go to Gaver Farm and cut down our tree, which I wasn’t expecting because of COVID, and it is now decorated. I feel a little more in the spirit. And our Elf on the Shelf, Spark, has been roaming around the house and getting into some high places this year.

Please share your struggles and your light. I’d love to share and support you.

Happy Thanksgiving

Book Spotlight: …but that’s not me.: Fitting the pieces together. The pieces of us all. by Erika Shalene Hull and Dr. Cheryl Lejewell Jackson

New in December! …but that’s not me.: Fitting the pieces together. The pieces of us all.

Detailing the journeys of multiple women as they entered, endured, and escaped a wide range of domestic abuse, …but that’s not me. is a bold and powerful homage to strength, courage, and resilience. Stories are intertwined with hard-hitting truths about what domestic abuse is, how we find ourselves in abusive situations, the perpetuation of abuse, and the path to recovery.

The problem is not the amount or availability of information but the ability to recognize what is happening in the moments of the abuse. By telling the stories of average, hard-working women in middle-America, Hull and Jackson invite you into an awareness traditionally silenced, bringing attention to painful realities of abuse that will linger, etched on your heart, long after the book is closed.

Hull and Jackson write: “We aren’t out to hurt anyone, and it would be a lot safer and more comfortable to not tell these stories at all. But when we look at the faces of our children, our friends, and those suffering in silence, we can’t quietly sit back any longer. By having these uncomfortable conversations, we hope to encourage you to believe in yourself, learn to set better boundaries, and know that you are worthy and deserving of so much more.”

To me, these stories are important reminders that we need to care for our mental health and learn to establish boundaries that will keep us healthy and protected.

COVID Chronicle #2

COVID-19 is here to stay for the foreseeable future, but there is some good news — Pfizer may have a vaccine that’s 90% effective.

Even as I say that and after reading the study, the sample size is small and doesn’t include severe cases of COVID or the elderly, but I’m going to be hopeful about it. We all need some of that these days.

Rather than lament the things we’ve lost or the frustrations I have most days, I’m going to share with you some good things that have and will be happening this month.

  1. My daughter had her first swim meet (in a separate pool from the competition)
  2. Join us for the Facebook Launch of The Beltway Poetry Quarterly: Art in Times of Crisis Vol. 2 on Nov. 14 at 3 p.m. Please register in advance.
  3. I’ll be reading my poems from The Plague Papers anthology on Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. EST, want to join? Email for the Zoom link:[email protected]

I would love to hear what good things are going on in your world, despite the lock downs and the craziness of the world around us.

Veteran’s Day 2020


I spend a lot of time touting the writing of others, but this is my little list of publications.


Check them out:








Online Readings:

The Plague Papers Reading #2 (about 21:39)

COVID Chronicle #1

Since the start of the pandemic and the lockdown in our state that began with sending kids home from school in March, I knew life would not be normal for a long time. I remember writing journal entries every day as a teenager and probably even before that, but I haven’t done any of that since college. Getting married, having children, and moving your parents and disabled brother into a single home will take a lot of time and energy. So I dropped the journaling habit.

This current public health crisis, however, has me wondering if I should return to the habit as a way to order my thoughts and release some of my stress, but I often fear that someone in my household will read it and take it too personally when really it’s just about me releasing emotions of the moment. So why write any entries that are on a blog for all to see? I ask this of myself. Perhaps because I know that my family doesn’t read my blog at all?

Some things I’ve noticed during this time, at least for myself, has been a ball of stress carried on my shoulders that I can’t seem to release even with yoga and meditation. Whether it’s the bills, the school work with distance learning (or maybe not learning) while I’m simultaneously trying to do my full-time job or it’s the stress of having six people in the same house day after day with little downtime for myself to be alone and think, I’m not sure. Perhaps it is a culmination of all those things.

What am I hoping to say or accomplish with these posts, which I doubt will be a regular affair? I’m not sure. But I thought I would give this a try and see if others were feeling the same bottled up, ready to explode feeling I have lately or maybe there’s some advice…I’m honestly not sure.

Feel free to chime in….