Yoga + Writing Workshop Coming Up!

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A year ago, a good friend of mine took me to Modo Yoga Austin to try out a class. I had no idea I would be walking into a hot yoga session. I’d tried Bikram a few times and didn’t enjoy it, so if I’d known, my prejudice would have gotten in the way.

I was shocked to find that I loved hot yoga. I kept going back. Now, if I go more than a few days without a hot class, I feel like I’m missing something.

The Modo community is fantastic. I’m thrilled to be a part of it. And I finally have the opportunity to host a workshop I’ve wanted to run for years.

On Sunday, November 13th, I’ll be running “Embodied Creativity: Yoga + Writing” at the Modo Austin studio. In this workshop, we’ll use both asana and writing as a way to unblock our creative forces. The workshop is suited for all artists, whether you’re a designer, poet, dancer, actor, musician, writer, or anything else. All levels are welcome! The yoga sequence is designed for all levels, so even if you’re an absolute beginner, you can come enjoy the practice.

The workshop is $30 ($25 for Modo members), and you can register at the school. Space is limited to 15 people, so sign up soon!

Check out the workshop flier for details: workshop_flyer_2

A Spider Summer, Continued

About two weeks ago, I woke up to find an egg sac attached to my bedroom window. I was amazed. I’d never seen one up close before, and now here it was. I’m happy that the spider finds my house safe enough. The abundance of wasps, bees, mosquitoes, and chiggers probably helps.

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But wait! There’s more!

Yesterday as Simon and I were coming back from our walk, I saw another egg sac attached to the side of the house. I hadn’t realized that spiders would create multiple sacs in a season. The thought occurred to me that it might be from another spider, but this second sac is close to her web. And Arigope are pretty noticeable. I think I’d have seen a second spider.

I’m just amazed she’s thriving enough to lay a second set of eggs.

Apparently Arigope aurantia is also known as the Writing Spider, because of the zippers they weave into their webs. I’m quite happy to have a writing spider hanging out with me.

img_2445Yesterday there was also an amazing double zipper on the web. I didn’t know that happened, either!

 

A Spider Summer

A black-and-yellow garden spider set up shop outside my bedroom window last month. While she might look scary, she’s in fact harmless to humans. I’ve enjoyed watching her weave her web in the morning. It’s also quite a show to see her kill and wrap up a bee or cricket when it flies into her nest. And the process of watching her eat her prey is fascinating.

I’ve taken quite a few videos of her this summer. If you’re not arachnophobic, check them out! And even if you are, just watch. You might discover there’s nothing to be afraid of.

 

Welcome to the world, chapbook!

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Yes! It’s true! I have a new chapbook!

Five Oaks Press has just released We’re Smaller Than We Think We Are.

It’s hard to believe that a year ago, I was still struggling to get a failing project into the world. I didn’t imagine this book would happen. But I was also in the midst of a second round of the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project, and something was happening. I was writing a lot of cathartic poems. About my past. About my failed marriage.

I had spent a long time trying to get over it. Get over everything. And now it seemed I finally was.

Not all of the 30/30 poems made it into this chapbook. Most were culled; many didn’t fit thematically. But I added a few older poems and wrote a few new ones as well. By July, I had a manuscript. And after lots of revision and lots of rejection, I found out that Five Oaks Press had named it a finalist and was offering me a contract.

Going from manuscript to publication in less than a year feels like a miracle. I’m very lucky that things all came together. I’m in love with this book, and the relationship I have with Five Oaks.

April might be National Poetry Month, but May is an auspicious one for me, at least with my own work.

You can purchase the book on Amazon. Or, to order a signed copy, send $15 via PayPal to literaryaustin@gmail.com. The price includes shipping, and I’ll be happy to inscribe it however you want!

Revision Redux

In March 2015, I ran a two-week online writing workshop focused on revision. I had such a great time coaching poets on how to streamline their poetry, and I’ve been looking for opportunities to run it again. I’m happy to announce I have some extra time for workshops this summer, so I’ll be running the Online Revision Mission Workshop not once, but twice! I’m offering a session in June and a session in July. (Who knows? If I get enough interest, I might run it in August, too!)

Check out the details below:

Revision Mission Online Workshop (Sessions available in June or July)
Session 1: June 16th – June 26th
Session 2: July 11th – July 25th
Cost: $15 before May 1st; $25 between May 1st and the registration deadline
Registration Deadline: June 13th for session 1; July 9th for session 2
Description: It’s almost summertime! Forget all that talk of bikini bodies, and let’s focus on slimming down those poems! Join me for a repeat of this two-week online workshop that will get you revising those neglected poems in no time! With this workshop, you’ll get daily revision prompts. I’ll also send tips on how and when to let go of poems that aren’t coming together, and decluttering your hard drive or writing desk. In addition, you’ll get a one-on-one critique of two poems. Join me in making your poems sharp and lean! To sign up, please use the online registration form

I’m also hoping to host some in-person workshops this summer. Stay tuned for more information!

My Big Poetry Giveaway

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As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts this month, I’m thrilled to be hosting the Big Poetry Giveaway this year! Thanks again to Kelli Russell Agodon for letting me take over.

Yesterday’s post was all about the guidelines for participants. Today’s post is to tell you about the books I’m giving away this year.

But first, a little about me. I know I’ll see some familiar faces at the blog in the coming weeks, but Big Poetry Giveaway always brings me new friends, so I find it helpful to introduce myself.

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Credit: Tova Charles Photography

In my poetry life, I’m the author of two chapbooks. The first, We’re Smaller Than We Think We Are, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2013. The second, Come Into the World Like That, is forthcoming from Five Oaks Press. I also serve as co-editor of the Texas Poetry Calendar and occasionally teach poetry workshops around Texas and online.

By day, I teach business and technical communications and ESL at Austin Community College. When I’m not teaching, I’m a student, pursuing an MFA through the University of Texas at El Paso.

Beyond teaching and writing, I love practicing yoga, baking bread, and walking my dog. I’m one of those perpetually busy people. It’s just so hard to say no to things!

Now that I’ve introduced myself, here are the books I plan to give away:

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One of my favorite things about having a chapbook is being able to send it to people as part of Big Poetry Giveaway! This is my first published book, and I’m happy to send a signed copy to whoever wins!

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The second book I plan to give away is Jean Valentine’s new collection, Shirt in Heaven. Valentine is one of my all-time favorite poets, and this book does not disappoint. I look forward to being able to send this wonderful book to a winner!

To enter my giveaway, please comment with your name and email address by 11:59 p.m. Central on April 30th. I look forward to hearing from you and sending out some great poetry!