Mar
23

Spring cleaning? Here’s where to donate books

cropped-OBOO_Logo-512sqHey there Chicagoland book lovers. Is it time to make more room on your shelves?

Consider donating your old books to Open Books. They have collection centers in various locations and will also come to collect your books, if you make arrangements. Open Books has two used book stores, one is in the West Loop and the other is in Pilsen. The profits from selling used books are then used to fund writing and reading programs for Chicago kids.

We had snow here last week and snow provides a beautiful blank backdrop for photographs. I was photographing objects in the snow the other day when the skies took my attention. The clouds were pink!

Peace, love, and solace

 

Snow dollar © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Snow dollar © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Two apples in snow © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Two apples in snow © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Cotton candy tuft © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Cotton candy tuft © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

In the pink © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

In the pink © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Looking up © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Looking up © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Mar
17

Happy St. Patrick’s Day (row, row, row your boat)

Front hall, Parknasilla © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016“Nodding the head does not row the boat.”

That’s an Irish proverb tweeted by writer/farmer Martin McConnell (@spottedgeckgo) that has stayed with me. I nod my head and say to myself that I better get to writing. How about you? Are you rowing or nodding these days?

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, which is a holiday around here. I know many people celebrated last Saturday when the parade marched and the river flowed green. I am not much for green beer or green tchotchkes these days (there was a time, yes). But I do love Ireland and Irish people (and maybe even St. Patrick). And there’s so much to love!

PIR-cover-120-web_220_330Such as the writing and writers of Ireland (past and present). Two Irish publications I recommend are Poetry Ireland and The Moth. Poetry Ireland’s website also has lots of good information for writers.cover 28

If you need some ideas about what to read, Martin Doyle in The Irish Times has some ideas for you in his article “Want to know about Ireland? Here are the books to read”—here’s the link.

Another article in The Irish Times that you might want read is “A history of Ireland in 100 quotes” by Una Mullally. Here is the link.

In Chicago we are lucky to have as a resource the Irish American Heritage Center; many activities are scheduled there throughout the year. One of my favorites is the IBAM! Books and Music Festival, which takes place in the fall. Last year I got to meet Ken Bruen, who is a mystery writer from Galway.

One of my relatives posted this video on FB. I know jigs and reels are not everyone’s musical taste. I found the video particularly interesting because it is about traditional musicians very near to where my family is from. The musician is Johnny O’Leary and he and his daughter are playing  Sliabh Luachra Music.

Our trip to Ireland last September was so wonderful that I often think of moving there. I think of it and nod my head. I am not even in the rowboat yet. I did just look at all my pictures from the trip and share some more with you.

Peace, love, and solace

Kilkenny © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

Kilkenny © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

In the portrait gallery © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

In the portrait gallery © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

In Sneem © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

In Sneem © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

View from Parknasilla © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

View from Parknasilla © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

Watering the garden © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

Watering the garden © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

Carried away  (advert) © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

Carried away (advert) © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

In Galway © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

In Galway © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

Advert in Galway Lav © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

Advert in Galway Lav © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

Out standing in the field © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

Out standing in the field © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

Dem bones (street art in Dublin) © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

Dem bones (street art in Dublin) © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

Mar
03

The solace of circumstance

b1Ey6VaqnStH3MNP88SU9Bg5gCBcHTzsWHi_BMxYocLsdaX4nOPsWHHqnpW-hhqFZJtwkNQ=s101Hey, hey, hey. Last night I went to the Raven Theatre to see The Assembled Parties, a play written by Richard Greenberg (directed by Cody Estle). It’s about relationships over time.

In Notes from the Dramaturg, I found a paragraph that had to do with solace, which I will share with you.

Here’s what Stephen Johnson, the dramaturg, wrote:

“As time wreaks havoc on our dreams we have no choice but to adjust our dreams to take account of the reality of our history. And sometimes we find ourselves adjusting into an undreamed of reality full of possibility and comfort. Finding solace from those we find ourselves with may very well be the unlikely and unearned intrusion of grace into what would otherwise be an ordinary life.”

Here’s hoping we each can find the grace in our everyday life.

Peace, love, and solace

 

Apples to apples © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

Apples to apples © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

Feb
23

Submission tips–donuts, Ella, submerging

IMG_9527Hey there. Can you believe February is almost over? It’s a short month and here in Chicago we experienced an especially Spring-y spell. I’ve had the cold congestion crud that’s being passed around these days. Hope you have been staying healthy.

Here are some unique sounding calls for submissions, etc.

Donuts. That’s the subject of an upcoming anthology by Terrapin Press, A Poetry Press. Details here.

Ella Fitzgerald. The Ella @ 100 anthology is looking for a few more pieces. But act quickly because the deadline is February 28. Details here.

The Review Review seeks Reviewers and Interviewers. Details here.

Are you intrigued by The Submerging Writer Fellowship? Details here.

I had a short persona poem “On-the-job training” in Work Literary Magazine. You can read it here.

IMG_9605Also I had a poem “Morning Announcements” in The Offbeat (Volume 17). It’s put out by Michigan State University and it’s pretty sweet.

I haven’t read it cover to cover yet, but so far the poems that really got to me include Jennifer Clark’s “Job Posting: Saint” — here’s one line: “Must command persuasive powers. Why should God listen to the cries a murderer, contrite though he may be?”

The poem titled “Fuck” by Tommy Alexander might put off some people but the experience described is universal.

“Cream Soda” by Michelle Lore has little to do with pop but lots of fizz comes from her imagination.

I’ll write more soon. Let me know if you have anything you want me to mention in this space.

Peace, love, and solace

 

What, the el? © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

What, the el? © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

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