Wednesday, September 20, 2017

From Bulgaria with Love: Etsy Shop Open!

A Bulgarian Summer

I spent a wonderful summer abroad with immediate and extended family. We were in Aachen for a week, Paris for a week, and Bulgaria for six. We stayed in Sofia, Bansko, Plovdiv, Sinemorits, Tryavna, and Lovech. There was plenty of inspiration but no quiet time for writing. Instead, I did a little reading and a lot of blackout-poeming.

Home Again - Lake Washington!

42 New Illustrated Blackout Poems!

I came home with forty new blackout poems, leaving two behind in Sofia, Bulgaria. One I gave to our new friend, Stefan, and another I left with my mother-in-law, who likes cats.

Mountain Roads
Listen to my name on those mountain roads.
If I need to go somewhere, I drive.

Before you enlighten me about respect,
Flick the TV back on.

I uploaded several to my Etsy shop, ESPIALdesign, which is now open for business. 50% of the proceeds will go to a charity near and dear to me, the American Heart Association. Buy a blackout poem and support a good cause!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Greetings from Bulgaria!

I've been traveling for over six weeks now in Europe and forgot my password to my blog, so I've been MIA for quite awhile. Luckily my personal IT guy helped me out (thanks, honey!) and I'm here--briefly--to say "Hello!" and "See you soon!"

Otherwise, I'll see you on Instagram (StaciaLeighAuthor) where I've been posting my blackout poems.

Hope everyone is having a great summer! Pictures to follow...sometime soon.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

ETSY Shop Open for Another Week!

New blackout poems have been added to my ESPIALdesign Etsy shop for your shopping pleasure. If you're interested in purchasing, the shop will be open for one more week only, closing on June 26th. That's when I hang out my "Gone Fishin'" sign for the summer. Fear not, though, it will open again in early September. Until then, enjoy!

Challenge for Week 7: Name That Tune
Let Music Inspire You!

Remember Mr. Cool, Mr. Ten Below?
He clutched his palm and turned white.

I'm pleased to announce that I've sold quite a few! 50% of the proceeds go to a good cause, to the American Heart Association. If you're curious about what's selling, I'm currently keeping a running tally here.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Weekly Blackout Poetry Challenges

Check out @blackoutpoetrychallenges on Instagram for weekly blackout poetry inspiration! Anyone can participate, and if you do, don't forget to tag #bpchallenges so your work can be found by the group.

Challenge for Week 1: "Home"
No rules. What does home mean to you?

Her house was tugged through the grass to the clay.
She pulled herself, trying not to slip back on the worthless flower pot.

Challenge for Week 2: "Walk the Line"
All the words must touch in a vertical line.

He frowned at her,
Buckled his seat belt,
Patted the steering wheel. 
She loved his truck. did he,
So he bit back the comment that soon,
He'd show her what his truck could really do.
Take the corners like a boss and sling mud.
"Ready?" he asked the truck.

Challenge for Week 3: "The Great Cover Up"
Blackout words using something other than pen, pencil, paint, or ink.

Buzzed on the coffee,
Watching, busy, grinning.
Stop thinking!

Challenge for Week 4: "Rhyme Time"

The perfect shower
Was a long song.

Challenge for Week 5: "Tribe Tribute"
Pick your favorite blackout poet (bees__buzz)
and emulate their style

It's about trust.
You need to step through the fire.

Challenge for Week 6: "Love Is..."
Use the phrase as your inspiration.

She kissed his lips,
And his world crumbled gently,
In the tender moment.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Fabulous Five: Blackout Poems

The world wanted to see you.
Even the dirt was covered in goosebumps.

When all was dark,
Worries could get back in
And last 4ever.

The right words were barriers.
"I like Bozeman, so I'll be doing the driving,
not him," she said quietly.

The rain rolled down her cheek
And fell into a dream.

The princess searched the court for teeth and red eyes.
She couldn't risk her neck again. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Currently, More Love in the Library

Right beside Dealing with Blue on a King County Library shelf, is its sister book, Riding with the Hides of Hell. It's a young adult, adventure-love story packed with biker goodness--or badness--and is a great choice for a pool-side read. It's quirky, fun, and has a strong heroine who kicks butt, literally.

A choice read!

Desperately seeking acceptance from her father--a motorcycle club president--the adventurous Miki Holtz eagerly agrees to his request: drive his friend's injured son to Burnout Rally. Best call to duty she's ever had, since the son, the surly Will Sullivan, is her soul crush. But every time she's tried to make a love connection with him, there's been trouble. And as tough luck would have it, this bike ride is no different; dangerous rivals are lurking in the shadows ready to wreak havoc. Can Miki survive long enough to make Will see that she's his one and only while on a road trip from hell?

The balloon couple 
Were starting to look romantic.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Straight Versus Curly Apostrophe

What I'm not talking about is apostrophe usage, because that's a bigger matter handled well by the Purdue Owl. What I am talking about is a smaller, more trifling matter, one I'd stumbled across while formatting my manuscript in preparation for independent publishing.

It all started when I met a lovely woman named Kate Harold at the PNWA conference last year who was a fellow finalist in the childrens book genre. We became fast friends and soon began swapping online critiques. Turns out, she is not only a writer, but an editor for a family and patient hospital blog, and with her background, she helpfully pointed out the inconsistent style of apostrophe in my work. Here's the gem she sent me:

KATE: "The straight apostrophe is used online in web content; the curly one is for printed pieces. This is totally minor, but it’s something I always have to proof for with anything that goes to print, so it always stands out to me."
ME: "Thank you for the detailed feedback. I just type along, so I'm not sure how it changes, but something to be aware of since I’ve never seen (noticed) this before."
KATE: "[It] drives graphic designers nuts!" 

It's minor, but now I seem to be hyper-aware of this little bit of punctuation; I've spotted it in a pretty popular indie book I'm reading, and I can't get it out of my mind! Here's a snapshot of the straight and curly in the same paragraph:

Straight and Curly Apostrophes

So, if you're indie publishing, you have one more teeny-tiny thing to worry about. Curse me for sharing or thank me, your choice. But it is what it is!


"The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance my deride it, but in the end, there it is." ~ Winston Churchill