Moving Time: Brainripples Now Lives at www.brainripples.com

June 1, 2010

The Brainripples blog has moved! Please update your links:

http://www.brainripples.com/blog/

RSS:

http://www.brainripples.com/feed/

I am excited to announce that the Brainripples blog now has a new, permanent home at www.brainripples.com.

My blogs Brainripples, Arboreality, and AppleJade will all live together under one domain. For those who prefer the original channels, my blog will be simply categorized by Studio, Forest, and Garden respectively. You can read more details here.

All Brainripples content published at brainripples.wordpress.com will remain as-is for the time being, so that no active links will be broken. In coming months I hope to republish the best content at my own website including interviews, articles, features, and other goodies.

I wish to extend my thanks to the great folks at WordPress.com, without whose free hosted blogging services, friendly support community, and awesome technology, the Brainripples blog could not be possible.

Onward!


Stormy Muse…

May 18, 2010


See you at the Pennwriters Conference!

May 6, 2010

***UPDATE*** 5/9:

AREA 6 PENNWRITERS: Join Lisa Kastner at Breakfast!

Lisa is our Pennwriters President and fellow Area 6 member. She coordinates the monthly Philadelphia Pennwriters critique group and supports writers throughout the region. Lisa is a great writer, a great leader, and a great person to know in Pennwriters.

Join Lisa at breakfast for a quick rally with other writers. Put faces to names, and make a new friend!

Jade Blackwater regrets to announce that after having fun day getting her hair done in Seattle to prepare for the Pennwriters Conference, she promptly came down with the flu and is unable to fly. Jade sends her deepest regrets, and encourages all writers to take full advantage of the Pennwriters Conference.

**************************************

We’re a week away from the 23rd Pennwriters Annual Writers’ Conference to be held in Lancaster, PA May 14-16 2010. This year’s conference features keynote speakers James Rollins and Elizabeth Kann, a stellar lineup of agents, editors, and authors for workshops and pitch sessions, plus designated party time at the Pennwriters ‘Heroes and Villains’ Saturday Night Masquerade Ball.

REGISTER NOW FOR THE 2010 PENNWRITERS CONFERENCE

So why should you attend? For starters, if you’re a Pennwriters member of Area 6 or another writer from the Mid-Atlantic, this is a fabulous opportunity to participate in a writers’ event right here in your region. Pennwriters offers a variety of workshops, networking, and promotional opportunities to help writers of all levels improve their work and build their business.

You don’t have to be from the East Coast to enjoy a Pennwriters event! Keynote James Rollins joins us from Northern California, and I’m flying over from Western Washington state to join the fun and support Area 6. The great thing about the Pennwriters membership is that it started with a strong community of writers from Pennsylvania, and has grown to include members from all across the US, and a few far-flung folks overseas. The annual conference is the perfect time to put a face to a name/handle/avatar/penpal/writing-buddy.

LOOK FOR LISA KASTNER JADE BLACKWATER AT BREAKFAST

AREA 6 MEMBERS (and all writers) can find me at breakfast – I’ll have something to catch the eye and make it easy to spot me – and please come introduce yourself! I want to meet members, shake hands, and introduce you to one another.

I’m on the hunt for a new volunteer for the Area 6 Representative position. All members of Pennwriters Area 6 extend a hearty thank you to Bob Michalsky for his support of Pennwriters, and wish him all the best in his endeavors! If you are ready to support writers in your area and do more with Pennwriters, then I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

GET READY TO PITCH YOUR WRITING

Over at the Pennwriters Area 6 blog, Conference Coordinator Ayleen Stellhorn stops by with tips to prepare yourself to pitch, and a detailed interview discussing more about the conference.

Pennwriters Area 6 Member Ash Krafton has also prepared a link-rich post about pitching your work, plus more about editing the muse and navigating the transition from hobby writer to career author.

Follow @Pennwriters on Twitter for even more resources including tweets about Pennwriters activities as well as news, tips, and insights from members, guests, and other writing resources. You can also Follow @JadeBlackwater on Twitter for my own #PWcon tweets plus more about writing, art, creativity, ecology, sustainability, and various miscellanea.

If you’re on Twitter, remember to use the #PWcon hashtag to tweet the conference, and use the #Pennwriters hashtag any time to chat about Pennwriters. Send @Pennwriters a @ (mention) or DM (direct message) and let them know you’re a member (tell them your name so you can be located in the roster). @Pennwriters follows Pennwriters members and guests.

If you’re on Facebook, be sure to join the Pennwriters Group and Page to keep up on news and announcements and to engage with the membership.

Contact me with any questions (or to be my last-minute volunteer angel).

See you all in Lancaster!


Monday Morning Muse: National Poetry Month Twitter Wrap-Up from @JadeBlackwater

May 3, 2010

In celebration of National Poetry Month this April I included an assortment of micropoetry @JadeBlackwater on Twitter. Throughout the month I also added the #STpoem hashtag in order to share my poetry with the Seattle Times Twitter Poetry Contest.

Below is a complete reprint of the micropoetry from @JadeBlackwater for April 2010. Line breaks have been restored where ‘ / ‘ was used in the feed.

What I enjoyed most about tweeting micropoetry for NaPoMo was the excuse to share a poetic response to my day. Unlike my usual tweets—which are mostly prepared and scheduled in advance—the poems I tweeted in April were sent as soon as composed. Like all journal entries, these poems each keep a story.

———-

———-7:29 AM Apr 2nd

salamander season

surprise morning snow

safe in the ash white world

———-

———-11:35 PM Apr 6th

cold wheelbarrow

rests in slivered light

beneath watchful moon

———-

———-10:14 AM Apr 8th

Ariolimax columbianus poetess

sentences congeal in sticky opalescence

while she explores the shady sweetness

———-

———-10:25 AM Apr 9th

twitter and flutter at sunrise

pluck juicy jewels from willing boughs

connect puddle to balsam breath

———-

———-10:04 AM Apr 12th

New Moon rain licks the waiting Earth

awakens old dust and fresh oil

whispers sweet darkness in waiting

———-

———-2:55 PM Apr 13th

Crack open the wriggling mass

scoop your brains with a seafood fork

then fling the meat into the fire!

———-

———-9:26 AM Apr 15th

palms open skyward

broadcast gratitude

“cheer-up, cheerily!”

———-

———-2:01 AM Apr 20th

this fine rain

my silver lining

bring me the wet word

———-

———-6:45 PM Apr 20th

visceral papillon inspiration

wing across green seas from distant gold shores

when desperation sings “Hurry, flurry!”

———-

———-1:32 PM Apr 21st

sacred grey showers

answer the hedge call

to-wheeeee! meewww?

———-

———-3:35 PM Apr 22nd

twist your wrists with the Balsam cottonwood

dance in rhythm with Douglas squirrel chatter

———-

———-11:51 AM Apr 23rd

cool garden beckons

branches all whisper

sweet huckleberry perfume

———-

———-9:05 AM Apr 24th

two-stroke engine growls

breathfuls of dust bite the air

cut grass flickers past

———-

———-7:03 AM Apr 26th

full moon approaches

earth groans and ripples

tickled and provoked

———-

———-10:50 AM Apr 27th

Thunderheads hasten

wrap rainy arms ’round the world

squeeze the sparking sky

———-

———-8:03 PM Apr 28th

reassuring shick-shick

of your rake

reminder

of presence

*     *     *


Literary Journal Review: Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD) Magazine Issue 5

April 14, 2010

Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD) Magazine: Issue 5, Winter 2009

Editors: Kaolin Fire, Debbie Moorhouse, Julia Bernd, J. Dale Humphries, Sal Coraccio, Sue Miller, & Michael Ellsworth

The advance copy of GUD Issue 5 for today’s review was provided by the editors at GUD Magazine.

Read GUD 5 Contributor Bios here.

Follow @GUDmagazine on Twitter

Most literary journals that I enjoy possess just a few jewels which I treasure – the stories and poems that draw me back to the shelf to reread over the years. What makes GUD Magazine different is that I can’t pick “just a few” favorite jewels to share with you today – the contents are really that good.*

Whenever I pickup a lit journal, I always flip to a poem first. Usually I scan the index by title, or pick through the pages until the shape of a stanza attracts my eye. My introduction to GUD was the poem “Suggestions for Distributing Your Poems” by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming. For me, her piece sets the tone for the entire issue: playful, thoughtful, passionate… reaching. In this poem, and in all the works selected for GUD Issue 5, I find authors seeking connection and affirmation, casting their bottled messages out upon the purple sea.

Why a purple sea? Well why not? GUD Magazine offers a delicious buffet of speculative fiction, and so much more. Where else could you pick à la carte between a “Deadman on the Titanic” (Alicia Adams) or “a self-made billionaire, a man who had spent his childhood in poverty, the son of a Martian pig farmer” (Andrew N. Tisbert) served side by side with the birth of the PC and “the mother of all demos” (Paul Spinrad) ? I don’t use the metaphor of limitless preferential dining lightly – there’s something to please every reader in GUD Issue 5, and there’s nothing that doesn’t warrant a second and third read.

Ready to visit another place? Another time? Start with Nature’s Children by T. F. Davenport, Aftermath by Isabel Cooper Kunkle, or Getting Yourself On by Andrew N. Tisbert. I admire writers like these who can strike that harmonious balance between confusion and clarity – I enjoy the puzzle of trying to figure out what’s going on, but I get frustrated if I can’t get some kind of foothold so that I can follow the story. These authors make you work – but not too hard – to imagine and create along with them. They succeed by inviting you to pour your own humanity into their seemingly-alien characters, and take a look around.

Of the many surprises I found in Issue 5, Sweet Melodrama by Tristan D’Agosta was one of the finest. I don’t know how the editors secured this piece, but I just want to say thank you all around. Lovers of all things Shakespearean will swoon over this tasty dessert. And for the logophiles, “The Grammar of Desire” by Paul J. Kocak offers choice, lusty locution.

Another great feature of GUD 5 is the selection of works which remove you only a tiny step from “normal reality.” These works are a little more insidious – they’re more apt to get under your skin and haunt you for a few days. The Tiger Man by Geordie Williams Flantz is light and tender, yet biting and saucy – a perfect example of seemingly “alien” characters who are rather quite close to home. Mirror close. I also appreciate how pieces like Lost Lying on Your Back by Steven J. Dines or Birthday Licks by Kevin Brown offer a counterbalance of redemption, or at least a broken beauty, to temper the sharp brutality of their contents.

I have to point out The Pearl Diver With the Gold Chain by Paul Hogan for a couple of reasons. Maybe it’s just because I lived in Chester County, Pennsylvania for three years, or maybe it’s because I have a soft spot in my heart for the wanderers of the world (the old wheels as much as the old feet), but whatever it might be, I have this message for Mr. Hogan: Sir, it’s all I could do not to run to my jewelry box and try to tune in too. (Maybe I’m failing my inner child by not having done so already? Note to self… find a nice quiet spot… remember to relax…)

I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer some words for the visual pleasures in GUD 5. If you’re the type who likes to start with the pictures in a mag, then flip to page 84 and whet your appetite with a helping of Ada Lovelace: The Origin! by Sydney Padua. Two words: EVIL and EXCELLENT! So what’s the fate of Ada Lovelace, “the only legitimate child of mad, bad, and dangerous to know poet and nutcase Lord Byron”? You’ll have to get your own copy to find out.

I’m new to GUD as of Issue 5, but I find it nonetheless appropriate that their cover image should draw our thoughts toward vision and perspective, the act and emotion of searching. Everything in GUD 5 is vivid, brilliant, and inquisitive. As the reader I found myself constantly asking, “what if?” and “would it be different?” and “what would we do?” and “what have we done?” This isn’t a journal you get bored with and never finish – you’re going to want to suck the marrow out of this journal until you’re left with the satisfying skeleton.

There’s another question I asked myself while reading GUD 5 – how did the editors find so much excellent work to dish up in one place? Take a look at the About page at GUD and the answer is summarized in elegant simplicity: GUD is for the writers, the readers, the editors, the world. This isn’t lip service – the GUD business model and editorial approach are clearly succeeding as evidenced by the cornucopia of work which entertains while it provokes. In Issue 5 I don’t find myself yawning over stale academic bread, but rather devouring literary delights with gusto, and savoring the discovery of so many talented artists.

My observation is that GUD seeks work which satisfies both editors and audience, and it attracts the zine-shy writer with cold, hard compensation. Most of us write for reasons other than money, but that doesn’t mean we writers don’t like to get paid. I want to applaud GUD for building their business to both compensate artists and demand excellence. The fruits of your labors, dear editors, are sweet indeed… like a wriggling dish of gagh, very fresh.**

* See: Change in Pronunciation – Please Comply! April 1, 2010

** See: Star Trek Library – Food – gagh


Monday Morning Muse

March 22, 2010


Show and Tell Friday: Interview with Jade Blackwater by Perry Norton

March 19, 2010

In January this year I was interviewed by my friend Perry Norton, owner and voice talent at PanRight Productions.  If you’ll indulge me here today, I’d like to share five minutes from our interview during which I read my poem Forest Song and chat with Perry about my love for poetry.

Click here to download an interview with Jade Blackwater by Perry Norton – MP3 (5.4 MB)

You can read the full text of Forest Song here on Arboreality.

[Note: our interview experiment was conducted via phone conference.  You’ll want to turn the volume up for best results.]

Follow @PanRight on Twitter if you’re interested or engaged in voiceover work, music production, and other audio media.

Next in line at Brainripples: a review of GUD Magazine.


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