writing home

apple-blossoms_1670

the small-birds have finally
found the window feeder
and the dogs are enthralled
with their sudden proximity

we are well, though feeling
the spring in our bones –
that gentle eruption debuts
a new brand of restlessness

the boards of the porch have been
too damp for comfortable reading,
and coffee for now is confined
beneath the mossy awning

but sweet and peppery
the season’s trees tease
the beginnings of green –
one promise kept, at least,
among so many hundreds dropped

these are days of small news,
buds of flowery hearsay – not much
here to report except the hummingbirds
are damp-winged and bright
among the new leaves of the maple

© Sarah Whiteley

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Another Giveaway!

The crows are nesting, the violets are blooming, the dogwood is budding, and I spent part of my Saturday reading on the porch in a glorious bit of sunshine.

It’s Spring! At least it is here in the great Pacific Northwest. And I’ve decided to do another giveaway of my chapbook No Direction But Home in order to celebrate.

This time, the giveaway is being hosted by Goodreads.com, which if you’re not a part of I highly recommend joining. If you’re an author, it’s a great tool to help promote your book. If you’re an avid reader, it’s a wonderful way to find reviews, new releases, follow authors you enjoy, and just generally wallow in bookish heaven.

You can enter the giveaway through March 17th by clicking below or by clicking on the Goodreads Giveaway link in the right sidebar.

No_Direction_But_Home_promo

Best of luck and happy reading! And if Spring hasn’t gotten to your neck of the woods yet – don’t worry, it’s coming!

Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway!

CONTEST AND COMMENTS NOW CLOSED!

Here we are, at the barest edge of the fall season (at least in this hemisphere) and what could be better when the weather turns than sitting next to an open window with a nice hot cup of coffee, wrapped up in a something soft and cozy, reading a book of poetry? Bliss!

I’m here to help you make at least part of that picture happen… that’s right, readers! I am giving away a FREE copy of my chapbook No Direction But Home to one lucky commenter!

Here’s the deal:
* leave a plain old boring comment on this post (one comment = one entry to win)
* OR leave a comment in the form of a rhyming couplet on this post (one rhyming couplet = TWO entries to win)
* comments will remain open until Wednesday, August 28th at 8PM PST
* the winning entry will be drawn from a box (I don’t own a hat – too much hair!)
* the winner will be notified via email! no worries if you don’t have a wordpress account – you will be prompted to enter an email address when you enter a comment (no one will see your email except me and I solemnly swear it will not be shared or used for nefarious purposes)
* out of the country? that’s ok too! if you happen to be one of my British, Australian, or other overseas readers, don’t let that keep you from entering
* sorry, but the mug and the lovely handknit alpaca scarf are NOT a part of the giveaway (you wouldn’t want the scarf anyway – it sheds like the dickens); I WILL however throw in a fabulous bookmark from ALL CAPS PUBLISHING
* GOOD LUCK! and do be sure to check out the other great authors over at ALL CAPS PUBLISHING

Just to clarify: a “Like” does not constitute a valid entry – you must leave a comment to enter

Back!

Well I survived the deadlines (big sigh of relief)… albeit with a greater understanding of just why they are called deadlines. But here I am, back again. And even if I am a bit ruffled around the edges, I am so excited and ready to delve into the 6+ weeks’ worth of reading I missed! And of course, the brain is abuzz with ideas of my own that are just vying to spill out onto paper at some point soon. Meanwhile, I’ll be making the rounds of my favorites and playing catch-up. Cheers!

Sarah

The Longish Stylish Blog Award Post

Blog awards. As a general rule, I don’t participate. Why? Well, it’s a complicated mix of reasons really. While it’s a lovely gesture (really, it is) when someone points to your little space on the internet and declares this here is worth reading, I am of the mind that a well-worded comment and an added link on a fellow blogger’s sidebar is a much more weighty compliment than an award which (let’s face it) feels a little silly to accept as there are usually little hoops and hurdles attached to it. But I think it also depends upon who is doing the awarding. Is this someone who posts a new award on their blog every week? Someone whose excessive enthusiasm over the event is a shade comical? Or is this someone whose work you admire in return? Is this someone, in other words, who adds heft and meaning to the gesture?

In the case of Val, the answer is most certainly the latter. And as I know she has a somewhat similar view of blog awards, I know she won’t mind if I bend (break) the “rules” and do this my own way. (Val, looks as if we’re both a couple of rule-breakers.)

The important part is for me to thank Val. If you haven’t had the good fortune to stumble across her little space on the internet, do so. Val is a wonderfully talented artist with such beautiful insights and bits and bobs to impart that I am never disappointed by a visit to her space. She’s lively, and funny, and holds more wisdom than she gives herself credit for. And keep an eye out for visits from her feathered friends, which I greatly envy her for. Living in the city relegates me to pigeons and the like and her experiences are always a lovely vicarious adventure for me. So thank you, Val!

So this is where I’m supposed to share 7 things about myself. But I’m holding off on that part until the end of the post. Why? Because I’d rather skip to the next part, which is where I really break rules. I’m to offer this same award to 5 other bloggers I’ve recently discovered. Well I’m not going to. But here’s what I am going to do…

5 Wonderful Blogs & Why You Should Visit Them

1. a haiku poet – Rob strings together such beautiful images and thoughts and I look forward to his haiku each time he posts. It takes real talent to conform to the haiku form and do it so beautifully. (I’ve tried it myself and failed miserably.) He is most definitely worth checking out.

2. Laz Freedman’s Poetry Blog – What can I say about Laz’s pieces? He’s a minimalist after my own heart – short, sometimes startling revelations – it amazes me that he can convey so much into so few words. Go. Read. Be amazed.

3. Spitalfields Life – I became enamored of this blog upon first click. Each post is a wonderful snapshot, often a history lesson (which I love), and is full of lovely photographs and such character… I really cannot say enough about it, but I think it’s best to let the posts speak for themselves…

4. runaway sentence – This one’s a relatively fresh discovery for me. Or rather, Marian discovered me and I discovered her as a result. Her work has such a wonderful, FRESH quality to it and I am so pleased I found something so lovely to read. I definitely look forward to reading more from her.

5. Hames – Each piece tells a story – a rich, often compelling story. I usually find myself reading each one twice, three times, picking out those lines that sing true to the human spirit. It’s so easy to be drawn into the poem, that you wonder why some people think reading poetry is “work”…

Each of the above five blogs are such rich offerings and are deserving of recognition. If you find a connection with even just one of the above, then this (incredibly lengthy) post has done its job.

Okay, okay… on to the 7 things about me. (I can see you’re all on tenterhooks, so here goes…)

1. I am a total caffeine junkie. I love my coffee so much I may as well declare a full-on relationship with it. Every morning, I look forward to that first wonderful sip of whatever concoction my barista has whipped up. I have my everyday standbys and then I have my absolute favorite which is only available (seemingly) at one place. And if that place ever closes, I shall probably weep and spend a month writing odes to the loss of my favorite latte. So you see – caffeine junkie. But only the “primo” stuff.

2. Sunday is my birthday. That’s it – nothing profound there. Just one more year under my belt. No candles please – I have this horrid fear of my hair catching on fire.

3. My favorite book is Jane Eyre. I was hooked from the moment I swiped it off my mother’s bookshelf when I was 13 and I’ve re-read it every couple of years ever since.

4. I believe in ghosts. Although I’m not ready to admit anyone knows what they actually are. I just believe there’s something there. Don’t ask me to relate why – I’ve never told anyone that and have no plans to do so.

5. I’ve chosen the music I want played at my funeral. Is that odd? I have no idea, really. Have you? Or does this make me singularly macabre? I just love the piece – it’s so beautiful and uplifting and I want people to think of me in that way in that moment. (Quit looking at me like I’m batty now.)

6. I hate book clubs. With a passion. Don’t get me wrong here – I love reading and I love sharing a good book with someone else. But the moment you sit down and start to dissect the thing and try to shove meaning into the smallest passages, it ruins it for me. Completely ruins it. Reading is such a wonderful escape and the last thing I want to do is sit there with a group of people (who usually think very differently from myself) and listen to a good book being murdered. Yes, I said murdered.

7. I love autumn. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard things like “I couldn’t live in Seattle – I’d miss the seasons changing.” But autumn here is gorgeous. The trees and the color of the light and those last enjoyable days before the cool and damp set in… so stunning. It never fails to take my breath away (and give it back again).

Well that’s it. And probably the lengthiest post you’ll ever see from me. Go on about your business now and I’ll go on about mine – finding something beautiful in each and every day.