Pre-Spring Updates from the Desk of Jade Blackwater

March 10, 2010

Contrary to what logic might suggest, my low-attendance at the Brainripples blog is in fact a sign of how busy I’ve been.

Here’s a little update from my desk:

Copywriting and Poetry

Concise language is important for both copywriting and poetry.  Since December I’ve enjoyed the dual tasks of copywriting for Kathi “george” Wheeler of Noise w/o Sound Graphic Design, and revising poetry from my 2009 journals to prepare for a round of submissions this spring.  Of all the writing I do, poetry revision is probably the most difficult.  It’s delicate work to revise small handfuls of words without losing the voice.

Festival of the Trees

Last November Dave Bonta and Pablo invited me to join their team in support of the Festival of the Trees blog carnival.  You all know how much I love this project, so you can imagine how stoked I am to lend a hand.  We’re looking for volunteers to host! Read an interview by The Nature Blog Network with the Festival of the Trees crew.  The Festival of the Trees is @treebloggers on Twitter and Identica.

Pennwriters 2010

All lovers of literature can find me this spring May 14-16, 2010 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for the Pennwriters Annual Conference: The Writer’s Craft.  To learn more, read this Feature Artist Interview with Conference Coordinator Ayleen Stellhorn.  You can count on seeing me in PA next year too – I’m running for VP this term to support Carol Silvis; she and I are working hard in preparation for 2010-2012.

@JadeBlackwater on Twitter

You can now follow me @JadeBlackwater on Twitter where I tweet about writing and art, ecology and conservation, sustainability and gardening, and everything else that makes me think.  I never thought I’d be a tweep, but I’m already a nerd, so I shouldn’t be that surprised.  To help preserve my time, I typically schedule tweets in advance via HootSuite, and to help preserve my readership I shorten links via bit.ly.  (I also like to poke around #poettues hosted by @robertleebrewer.)

JLB Blogs on the Move

I’ve been tweeting away since January while my blogs Brainripples, AppleJade, and Arboreality appear to languish in neglect.  In fact, I’m preparing to relocate my blogging adventures under one roof at Brainripples.com (including a much-needed new web design).  Since I’ve been blogging for five years, it seems like the right time to try on the big girl pants.  Prepare yourself for the next incarnation of my blogs as I shake off the old and don the new.  (Sheesh, how many more metaphors do you think I could have packed into this paragraph?)

Coming Up Next

Show and Tell Friday is beyond over due, and I’ve found so much cool stuff on my Twitter adventures.  I’ll put one together for you soon!  I was also invited for a fun phone interview with Perry Norton of PanRight Productions.  I’d like to share that with you all soon.  Finally, I’ll be selecting at least one poem from my drafts to share here, probably something I love but know I won’t submit.

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Draw a Dinosaur Day: Stegosaurus in Melody Lake

January 30, 2010

Stegosaurus in Melody Lake by Jade Blackwater

I just learned about the fourth annual “Draw a Dinosaur Day”, thanks to the timely blog mention on behalf of the fine creators Heather and Jeremy at The Voltage Gate. According to Todd of the Draw a Dinosaur Day website:

Draw A Dinosaur Day is a holiday celebrated on January 30th. The goal is as simple as it’s title: Draw A Dinosaur! You don’t have to be a brilliant illustrator, just take a couple of minutes with a blank piece of paper, a post-it note or your computer and enjoy yourself.

I’m grateful for discovering this most excellent of holidays – I needed to have a little fun this weekend! As you can see, I did have fun. This is an illustration of Stegosaurus from The Perfect Present, a short story I wrote in August 2009 and never found time to illustrate. Shown here is Stegosaurus splashing and playing in her musical Melody Lake.

The truth is, I’m having such a blast that as soon as I publish this post, I’m heading back to my sketchbook to draw up my other idea.  If I finish it, I’ll be sure to share.

Now go: grab your crayons and paper, and sketch up some ‘saurus!


Show and Tell Friday

February 13, 2009

 Awning Icicles, © Copyright 2009 Jade Leone Blackwater

Welcome back to Show and Tell Friday!  I am slowly easing into my blogging routines, which means a return to our regular features here at Brainripples.

 

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, © Copyright 2009 Jamie FordToday we’re talking about writers, and to kick off I’d like to share Jamie Ford’s debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet which was released just two short weeks ago by Ballantine Books.  I finished reading Hotel today, and have long anticipated the arrival of this book since reading its predecessor “I Am Chinese”, a short story which was first published by the Picolata Review in 2006.

In Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Ford artfully educates his readers on our not-too-distant past of WWII by telling us an accessible story about the love and friendship of two young Americans from Seattle, Washington. 

I’ll give you a full review another day.  Until then, there’s no reason not to hop on the bus and head to Seattle to pick up your own copy and meet Jamie Ford in person.  To see the rest of the stops on his nationwide booktour, visit JamieFord.com.

 

Now I’d like to point you to up-and-coming author and fellow Pennwriters member Ash Krafton.  Last year Krafton’s urban fantasy novel Bleeding Hearts won first prize for science fiction/fantasy novel and overall grand prize in the Maryland Writers Association 2008 Novel Contest.  She is currently marketing the Bleeding Hearts manuscript for publication.

Krafton just started the new Kraftmatic Adjustable Blog.  Be sure to check out her photo tour of Edgar Allen Poe.  I am embarrassed to admit that my announcement here is a bit late to encourage you to participate in the “Quoth the Raven” Poe Exhibition at The Free Library of Philadelphia, which finished today (February 13, 2009).

Also, check out Krafton’s short story Boots on a Branch, included in The Festival of the Trees 28, which celebrates the pursuit of inspiration, entertainment, and life-long youth.  Her poem Line will appear in the May 2009 issue of Numinous: Spiritual Poetry journal.

 

Next, I’d like to introduce writer Persephone Vandegrift whose work I first encountered while serving as Poetry Judge at Notes & Grace Notes.  Vandegrift writes beautiful poetry and fiction, and is a regular participant and multiple winner at Notes & Grace Notes, which is a new online writing community created by Harmoni McGlothlin.  Be sure to read Vandegrift’s winning poem Adam Paints a Picture; while you’re there take plenty of time to explore the other great writers sharing at Notes & Grace Notes.

 

Fellow Seattle-area writer Anita Marie Moscoso is still twisting our imaginations with her tales of the macabre at her Owl Creek Bridge.  Moscoso has been generous enough to invite me to share my darker shades of poetry at the Owl Creek Bridge, which most recently includes my poem Dehiscent.  In turn I invite you to join us there to read poetry and stories (such as my current favorite, “Typical Trixie“), and to explore Anita Marie Mosocoso’s hand-picked links to a wealth of writers, artists, and creative resources, which are certain to fire your inspiration.

 

My newest blog discovery is Mattie’s Pillow.  In fact, it is the author Cindy who happened upon the Brainripples blog and reached out to introduce herself.  Mattie’s Pillow shares a common interest in writing, art, and creativity, and includes extra inspiration from dreams, gardens, and horses, among other things.  Check out her Poetry Challenge 6 – my biggest challenge with this is, with which dream would I like to play today?


The Monongahela Review, Issue 3, © Copyright 2009Finally, as you can see from my previous post I’ve recently had two poems published at The Monongahela Review, an independent literary journal edited by Luke Bartolomeo.  Issue 3 of The Monongahela Review includes a beautiful selection of poetry, fiction, and visual art, so be sure to set aside a little time to wander and enjoy.

 

I’ll stop for now and save more for the next Show and Tell.  Feel welcome to share your latest goals, discoveries, or accomplishments, and have a wonderful weekend!

 

 


Tree Stories

September 15, 2008

Seeking inspiration?  Talk to a tree.  The Festival of the Trees 28 will be hosted at Arboreality on October 1, and I would like to share a little “art and arboreality”.

Many of us have specific, personal stories about a tree or forest from our lives. Blogging is a great medium for short story-telling, so that’s what I encourage this month: photoblog, videoblog, break out the crayons, sing a song, write a poem, whatever moves you: tell us a story about a tree or forest from your life. Or make one up. Or do something even cooler. (And then send me the link.)

Submission deadline is Saturday, September 27, 2008.  Submit your blog posts to me via email at jadeblackwater [at] brainripples [dot] com, or use the blog carnival submission form.  Spread the word: please feel welcome to invite others to participate!

To volunteer to host an upcoming issue, visit The Festival of the Trees coordinating blog.


Clarity of Night Short Fiction Contest 8: Whispers

February 20, 2008

Attention writers! Jason Evans and Aine at Clarity of Night are hosting Whispers, number eight in their series of popular short fiction contests.  Participants enjoy a unique opportunity to engage with other writers across the blogosphere.  Winners receive generous prizes compliments of our hosts.  All participants have the opportunity to gain visibility, receive real-time feedback, and engage in a part of the larger artistic discussion via the language of short fiction.

Visit the Clarity of Night blog for contest information, and be sure to let us know when your work is posted online.  I hope to find an hour or two for writing my own entry as well!  Bon Chance!

Update: You can read my entry Night Owls, Entry 12 at The Clarity of Night.  There are many excellent entries already posted online – I encourage you to take some free time and read!  The Whispers Short Fiction Contest is open for entries until 11:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 27, 2008 EST.  Again – happy writing and good luck!


Show and Tell Friday

February 8, 2008

Warm Winter Sunrise, © Copyright 2008 Jade Leone Blackwater

Today’s Show and Tell is brief – I have many writing projects keeping me good and busy!

First, check out Todd Tibbetts’ blog Exit Strategy News: Nuggets for Knowledge Workers where you’ll see a whiteboard that’s at least a busy as mine and enjoy flash backs to the creative boom of the early dotcom era via Todd’s own cartoon art.

Lisa Kastner at Humna Humna shares a listing of Writers Forums for writers in the Philadelphia area for the next few months.  (And remember, if you’re in the Philadelphia area you can join us for our monthly writers’ critique group).

Diane M. Schuller is planning a garden labyrinth at her blog Alberta Postcards, Conspire to Inspire where she invites us to “use what talents you possess” in the words of Henry Van Dyke.

And in other news, the Festival of the Trees will be hosted in March at Orchards Forever.  If you’re looking for a topic to inspire you, here’s what our March host Peg is cooking up:

“I’d like to try and adhere to a theme of fruit trees and orchards… but virtually anything that is even loosely connected to that theme is welcome! Gardening and growing, horticulture, heirloom fruits, food and recipes, environmental and conservation issues, folklore and mythology, travel, what have you!”

Create a post and send your links to amberapple [at] gmail [dot] com or visit the Festival of the Trees coordinating blog for more information.

For me: back to work!  For you: have an excellent weekend.


Show and Tell Friday

January 18, 2008

Rabbit Tracks, Chester County December 2007, © Copyright 2008 Jade Leone Blackwater

Greetings everyone!  I’ve been pleasantly busy with new projects, and today I get a chance to catch up on blogging.  It seems as though Show and Tell Friday is long overdue.  Here are a few artists and writers I’ve encountered among my travels:

Etsy Artists

Etsy is an online marketplace for independent artists of handmade goods.  Their mission statement reads: “Our mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers.”

Mission accomplished.  This holiday season I had a chance to purchase through Etsy for the first time, and had a lovely experience.  I was able to connect personally with each creator via the “Conversation” or “Convo” tool which sends instant messages between customer and artist.  I purchased items from the following independent artists:

Designs By Flo

Flo designs jewelry and other small goods, including friendship bracelets!  Like many Etsy artists, she even accepts custom orders (thanks Flo)!

Artemisia Designs

Lupe designs jewelry which positively glows, and she also writes an inviting art blog, Handmade Garden.

RetroAtomic

Colleen’s work is 100% funky.  She creates jewelry and knick-knacks with genuine retro flare.

Also on Etsy:

Vaeda Baty – Fine Art Photography is a luminescent offering.  Her work emphasizes organic forms, and her compositions possess a soft aura.

Dana Lynn Driscoll and family own the Artistic Journeys Etsy shop.  Dana’s creation The Tree Tarot is a new tarot deck-in-progress which can be seen at the Artistic Journeys blog.  The Driscoll family also makes jewelry, purses, and other crafts.

Eric Keast (whom we’ve interviewed at Brainripples) is his usual busy self, as evidenced by his work on Bingorage.  He has a Bingorage shop on CaféPressCheck out his gorgeous coral earrings (up for auction on Ebay).  Keast has even generously offered a little “Coral Stitch How-To” for others to enjoy!

Writer Updates 

You may recall Francine M. Tolf from previous reviews at Brainripples of the Apple Valley Review.  Tolf wrote the essay Viola Pruessner, and recently published The Summer Before Eighth Grade in the current issue of Toasted Cheese.  And if you can believe it, I still haven’t had a chance to read it!  Take a look and let us know what you think.

I am a member of Pennwriters, a non-profit group for writers based in Pennsylvania.  I think the best part about Pennwriters is meeting different writers: this month I discovered Barbara Purbaugh.  Barbara published an article in the monthly Penn Writer which invited other Pennsylvania poets to get in touch.  Barbara is a member of the Works in Progress Writers’ Workshop which meets the third Thursday of every month, at 6:00 pm at Laurel Arts in Somerset, PA.

In fact, The Works in Progress Writers’ Workshop in Somerset is hosting Poetry Readings on these dates from 7-9pm: Sat, April 12, 2008, Sat., June 7, 2008, Sat., August 2, 2008, Sat., October 4, 2008.

Check out Barbara Purbaugh’s website for more details and upcoming events.

 

Also: the Philaldelphia area writers’ critique group is meeting regularly at its new location at the Valley Fair Barnes and Noble.  New members are always welcome!  Check out the critique group page here at Brainripples to learn more!

 

And in other news..

 

If you’re in the dancing mood, visit Arboreality to view a YouTube video preview of Biome, Capacitor’s newest dance video, shot in Costa Rica’s Monteverdi rainforest.  Capacitor is an interdisciplinary dance company based in San Francisco which works with the scientific community to compose dance.  Biome is positively vibrant!

And finally, here is a handful of literary journal’s I’ve discovered while browsing in recent weeks.  One of my goals this year is to make more time to resume submitting my poetry and creative writing.  I’ll be sure to update you on my progress in the Spring!

One Less – A Literary Arts Magazine 

Philadelphia Stories 

Pregnant Moon Review 

Low Rent Online 

Have a great weekend folks!