This was such a fun interview! I recently spoke with Rachael Dubinsky on her Wicked Writers podcast, which features a wide range of Massachusetts-based writers and explores why they love what they do. We talked about poetry, my work as an editor and writing coach, and the importance of finding inspiration everywhere. Plus, I share one of my favorite tips for writers and read “Origin Story,” one of my poems.
Happy Wednesday, everyone! I have some exciting news for you today: I’m officially hosting my first poetry workshops this fall!
This September and October, I’m hosting Let’s Write Poetry!, a 4-week poetry workshop series at SheBreathes Balance & Wellness Studio in Walpole, Massachusetts. These workshops are designed to inspire and energize you to write new poems, learn new techniques, and see your work in a new light. So whether you’re a practicing poet who’s looking to deepen your craft or a newbie who’s been meaning to try poetry for a while, this workshop offers something for any and all who are interested.
Another daytrip I took during last week’s vacation was to one of the oldest towns in the United States: Plymouth, Massachusetts. I live maybe an hour from Plymouth, but before last week’s trip I hadn’t been there in about 15 years! So, one of my best friends acted as “tour guide,” and we spent a few hours around the city’s downtown and waterfront district.
One pleasant surprise during this trip was Brewster Gardens, a small park on Water Street that combines urban environmental restoration with tributes to Plymouth’s history. This breath of fresh air and quiet was a lovely reprieve from the city’s busy streets, and I took a few pictures of my favorite spots there. Enjoy!
As for the first photo below… if you’re familiar with early American history, you’ll recognize it right away! 😉
I took last week off from work to continue revising The Keeper’s Curse and to treat myself with a couple daytrips. One of those trips was a drive down to Cape Cod (the “arm” or “curled bicep” that sticks out from Massachusetts) for sightseeing, a spot of afternoon tea, and a leisurely walk around the Heritage Museum & Gardens in Sandwich. Heritage features art and automobile galleries, a vintage carousel, traveling exhibitions, and a number of outdoor play areas for kids. And the gardens! The grounds are home to thousands of flowers of all kinds: rhododendrons, daylilies, hostas, azaleas, hydrangea, and many more. Not to mention herbs, trees, and shrubs of all different varieties, and some originally from Japan, Korea, and other countries.
Mid-May may be too early for most of the blooms, but there’s still so much to see at Heritage. I spent almost 3 hours there, walking its nature trails, taking pictures, and simply enjoying the peace and quiet and being in the moment. I already know I want to visit again next year in late May or early June, when more of the flowers are out. 🙂
Below are some of my favorite photos from my trip to Heritage Museum & Gardens. Feel free to click each photo to view a larger version. Enjoy!
FYI – I’m a bit behind on normal blog articles because of my vacation and also from finishing a beta-reading project. Hopefully I’ll catch up this week and have some new things for you next week!
One aspect of being a Sonic Cathedral staff writer that I’ve really enjoyed has been covering bands from my local area. The latest one is Baliset, a progressive rock / metal project from Boston, Massachusetts. Their three-track EP Exordium is their first new release in four years (their debut album, A Time For Rust, was independently released in 2009), and it shows how much Baliset’s sound has evolved since then. With a shift from male vocals to female and a balanced emphasis on melody and variety, Baliset proves that prog rock can be dynamic, compelling, and difficult to categorize without throwing in too much technicality.
Interested in checking out Baliset’s music? You can stream Exordium in its entirety and purchase a copy at the band’s BandCamp site. Part of the proceeds from EP sales will go to Manes & Motions, a non-profit therapeutic riding center started by the mother of Baliset guitarist / founder Greg Massi.
Coming Soon: Sonic Cathedral’s Best Albums of 2013 article, which includes my list of my top 10 favorite female-fronted rock and metal albums of last year, should be online soon!
Before I fell in love with metal music, I was a pop-rock girl. Part of me still has a soft spot for that genre of music, although I can’t stand most of the cookie-cutter garbage that’s overplayed on the radio these days. However, if one band has the potential to lure me back to the radio just so I could hear their songs, it would be the Jessica Prouty Band. This young quartet from Boston, Massachusetts (three of whom attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music) has cooked up a delicious and energetic blend of Southern rock, blues, pop, metal, and punk. With electric performances by all band members, including frontwoman Jessica Prouty, JPB’s upcoming third album Set Me Free will be a must-have for fans of female-fronted rock music.
Below is a lyric video for the title track to Set Me Free. JPB struck a gold mine by choosing this song as the album’s lead-off single. It’s fun, gritty, and incredibly catchy. Not to mention it comes with one of the best crescendos I’ve heard in a long time! What do you think?
Coming Soon: The posting blitz is done for a little while. So it’s a matter of what I finish first: 5,000 more words in my novel-in-progress so I can post the next edition of “Chronicling The Craft”; or my next CD review, which will cover Hydria’s new studio album Freakshow.
Finally getting around to the next part of my retrospective! We’re halfway through the countdown of my 20 favorite artists that I’ve covered at Sonic Cathedral over the past 5 years. If you’ve missed the first two installments, now’s a great time to catch up:
As you may already know, I’m celebrating 5 years of writing for Sonic Cathedral by counting down my 20 favorite artists covered at the SC WebZine. I revealed Artists #20 through #16 last week. Today, it’s time to reveal #15 through #11. So let’s continue!
By the way, a big apology that the artist photos in the previous SC Retrospective article. I’m not sure what happened in the uploading process, since they were all of decent size to begin with.
I’ve been neglectful in the past of updating my website with events or open mic nights I plan on attending. This will change going forward. I’ve also been looking for a calendar widget to add to my sidebar, but it doesn’t look like WordPress has such a thing yet…?
Anyway, here are two upcoming open mic nights where you can catch me reading some of my poems:
Open Mic / Potluck Extravaganza* Friday, July 12th Grub Street Headquarters Boston, MA * Attendance for this event is limited to participants who RSVP in advance.
Open Mic Night at the Catbird Café Saturday, July 20th New England Wildlife Center Weymouth, MA
Catbird Café’s Open Mic Night on July 20th is also Bellydance Night. So, in addition to musicians and poets, local bellydancers will perform that night. I’ve attended one Bellydance Night previously, and it adds a unique spark to an already creative evening.
Attending local literary events has become one of my favorite ways of pursuing and nurturing my writing passion. I’ve gone to the Boston Book Festival every year since its inception in 2009, and also to the AWP Conference in Boston this past March. These have all been immensely enjoyable learning experiences that convince me to return the following year. So, for this reason, I finally made plans to go to the 2013 Massachusetts Poetry Festival. This year’s edition was held in Salem, Massachusetts from Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5. I was only able to go on Saturday, but what a nourishing – and gorgeous! – day it turned out to be. Continue reading →