A Blackbird Sings: a book of short poems, is an anthology of small stones (i.e., short poetry) edited by Fiona Robyn and Kaspalita Thompson.
I am thrilled to announce that my poem, “Bird Collides with Window” will be appearing in the anthology! It is the first time any of my work will appear in an edition that has a real, live ISBN! For joy! (^_^)
More information and sample poems are here, and you can find more small stones featured on the ongoing webzine a handful of stones.
Pre-order of the paperback edition is available in the UK or US. And kindle version is also coming soon… (there will be a promotion to obtain the anthology as a free kindle edition when it goes live, so I’ll try to let you know when that happens).
I’m thrilled to be included in this issue with so many clearly talented writers. I loved C.L. McFadyen‘s evocative poem, “The Bottom of a Circle,” and Val Dering Rojas‘ “Things That Are Still Broken” made me deliriously happy. And then, there’s the flash story, “I Would Rather Death by Chocolate,” by Elizabeth Akin Stelling, which is a lovely exploration of sweetness, along with so many more great works.
In other news, if you haven’t seen it, the trailer for the The Great Gatsby has been released, and it’s so good it gives me chills. I had no idea until seeing the trailer that Baz Luhrmann directed it, which I think is a perfect fit. His best movies (Strictly Ballroom and Moulin Rouge) start off with a kind of manic decadence that fits the roaring ’20s, but the stories then slip beneath the superficiality of the spectacle to reach the muted undertones and hidden emotional depths of the characters. Needless to say, I’m rather excited.
I haven’t read The Great Gatsby since high school. I vaguely remember the not hating the book, but it also not making much of an impact on me. I didn’t get it at the time. I am certain that a part of that was my inability to appreciate and absorb the poetry of language. I’ve grown a lot as a reader since then.
My interest in E.M. Fitzgerald in general has been sparked recently, in part due to Tom Hiddelston’s portrayal of Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, and in part because I recently picked up Tender is the Night and have been enjoying it (as a side note, Tender is partly based on his relationship with Zelda, which is also fascinating).
At any rate, I’m definitely going to have to pick The Great Gatsby up, and read it again with more focus. Perhaps I’ll like it better this time around.
In other news… It just so happened that my local Los Gatos Library was having a grand opening today. I had no idea until I stopped in upon the suggestion of a friend. The new building is rather fantastic, very retro and clean and full of large windows and bright comforting colors. It’s a wonderful design and they had several different performers, including a couple of guitarists and an author presentation to celebrate.
Upstairs, I found a presentation going on in which Kasu Kibuishi created sketches of his fantastic world and talked about how he made his work. Technology is rather awesome. We got to see the sketches go up on the big screen as he drafted them out on his computer tablet. Made me wish I was a better artist and that I could just throw stuff out like that. Anyway, I bought Book One of Amulet and got it signed. He included a cute little sketch of one of the characters, too (see below).
Of course, I had to read it right when I got home. I was hooked right away and breezed straight through. After facing a tragedy in which their father dies, Emily and Navin and their mom move to the families old home in a small town to build a new life for themselves. But there is something mysterious about the basement, and a tentacled creature appears, grabbing their mother and dragging her away into a strange world. Emily and Navin set chase to rescue her.
Book One is the set up for the series, so there isn’t room for complete character development yet. Hints are there, though, and the three family members are sweet and loving and rather likable.
There’s some really great ambiguity going on, too. It’s not entirely clear. The potential ally my be a dangerous threat, and the supposed enemy may not be all that evil. I really like that depth, which will allow a larger more complex story to potentially unfold.
Kibuishi has created a wonderfully creative fantastical world. The art is gorgeous — bright and colorful sometimes and shadowy and mysterious, all depending on the mood. The only frustrating thing is that I now have to go out and buy the other four or five books in the series. I’m that hooked.