Calling All Young Writers!

Hunger Mountain is having a contest for high school age writers of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction! This year Cynthia Leitich Smith is judging and first place winners win $250 and get to see their work published online and runner’s up win $100. So if you know any young writers please spread the word!

Here’s a link with more info: http://www.hungermtn.org/hunger-mountain-prize-for-young-writers/


Goblin Fruit Spring Issue Out!

 Yay! The Spring issue of Goblin Fruit with my poem "Icarus" is out! The artwork is beautiful as usual. And I can’t wait to read through the other poems and listen to the recordings. My other poem "Said the Satyr to the Wood Nymph" has been moved to the Summer issue, so I get to be in two issues of Goblin Fruit *maniacal cackling*! Anyway, go forth and check it out!



Some Reviews!

Our CD Mar Portugues has received some lovely reviews! So exciting 🙂

"The poetry of acclaimed Portuguese poets Florbela Espanca and Fernando Pessoa are highlighted in the most recent work, Mar Português (Portuguese Sea) by vocalist Shawna Lenore and writer/composer Darrell Kastin. The father-daughter duo joins Darrell Kastin on piano and guitar, and other musicians on vocals, accordion, cello, Portuguese guitar, adufe, and assorted percussion. Shawna’s seductive voice, along with the voice of producer Pedro Barroso, provides a classical and jazz foundation that is punctuated by elements of fado."

Read the rest here: http://www.reviewyou.com/shawna-lenore-darrell-kastin-mar-portuguesportuguese-sea/

"Besides the obvious, the father-daughter duo of Darrell Kastin and Shawna Lenore have a great deal in common. Kastin, a Los Angeles native, is an author of novels, short stories and poetry, as well a musician and composer. The Undiscovered Island, a novel written by Kastin, was published in 2009 while he also released a CD, Lullabies for Sinners, in 2007. Lenore shares her father’s literary and musical talents and passions. A graduate of Smith College and a singer, poet and writer, she is in the process of furthering her literary skills and credentials at the Vermont College of Fine Arts."

Read the rest: http://www.reviewyou.com/shawna-lenore-darrell-kastin-mar-portuguesportuguese-sea-2/


Submission Call From Hunger Mountain!

Calling Children’s Authors and Illustrators
2011 Submissions Needs for Hunger Mountain Young Adult and Children’s page.

The Hunger Mountain Children’s and YA page is now going to be rolling content, updating the site with new work every few weeks. We will still have themed issues. The next two issues themes are below.
*Also interested in sneak-peaks into new books coming out, deleted chapters from books, short stories, etc.* Hunger Mountain buys first world serial rights and upon publication, the rights revert back to the contributor. For sneak-peaks, publisher and rights department approval is needed.

May-Sept 2011
The Varying Shades of Shadows
We would love to see pieces that play with light and darkness (figuratively and literally), a fabulous piece with an unreliable narrator (or on the delicate balance of writing an unreliable narrator), or pieces where secondary characters are shaded so well that they not only support the main character but truly help flesh out the work.

*Please note, I am looking to do more with illustrators and will be debuting a Inside the Illustrator’s Studio column—taking an inside look via photos at a WIP by an illustrator. We are featuring Don Tate in the column premiere.

Sept-December 2011
The Art (and Insanity) of Creativity
We will be looking for pieces to address: tapping in to your inner artist, what we do artistically outside of our writing/illustrating to keep creative, the joys and pitfalls of leading a creative life, can writing be taught?, the elusiveness of artistry, hitting the creative wall and breaking through, the sacrifices (time, sleep, television) we make to get the work done, etc.

Along with our features, each issue we would like to include one or two essays for our regular columns:

The Flipside—two authors various take on one issue.
This Writer’s Life—essays on and about the writer’s life.
INKlings—essays on and about the illustrator’s life and/or techniques.
In Response—an essay adding to or commenting on the conversation from the prior HM issue.
The Toolbox—craft based essays on a variety of topics.
What My Last Book Taught Me—A short essay on what the author’s last book taught them.
New Work—fiction, poetry, short stories, opening chapters of WIP, etc.

Please submit using the Hunger Mountain online submissions manager. See here for details: http://www.hungermtn.org/submit/


Happy Book Birthday, Stephanie!

But wait! It isn’t just MY birthday. Today is also the day when Stephanie Burgis’ “Kat, Incorrigible” officially comes out in the US. I was very lucky to get to read the British edition this Summer and absolutely loved it. Kat is a spunky, entertaining heroine and her adventures are both hilarious and frightening. There’s magic and a gothic abbey, thwarted romance and a highwayman. What’s not to love?

Anyway, she’s having a giveaway on her blog so you should stop by and check it out.

And if you want to learn more about her book check out her website: http://www.stephanieburgis.com/books/


Birthday Surprises

Whew! Once again it’s been ages since I posted here. I’ve had a rough month healthwise so I’ve just been hiding in my room trying to get schoolwork done. BUT today is my BIRTHDAY! So I had to post something, lol.

I was all set to go to the local Greek restaurant in town and eat a giant slice of chocolate cake, but after some more tests last week to try to figure out why my digestive system hates me my doctor called me with some surprising information. Everything else was normal, but the biopsies they did of the lower end of my small intestine came back positive for celiac disease. So apparently I do have celiac? After negative blood tests and biopsies in the past I had ruled out that possibility so our phone conversation ended up with a great many exclamations of “Oh my God!” Really, that was the last diagnosis I was expecting to hear. She told me that it might take six months until my symptoms go away, which is a bit overwhelming. I keep worrying that they’ve got it wrong and I don’t have celiac but something else that causes the same damage to the small intestine, but six months seems like a long time to wait. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m going to be one of those people who feels better after a few weeks or days, but then I keep reminding myself that it took me awhile to get into this mess so it stand to reason it will take awhile to get out of it. I haven’t let myself hope that if I stay away from gluten someday I’ll feel like a healthy human being again because I’ve been given so many diagnoses that never went anywhere and I don’t know if this means I don’t have Lyme disease or not. I guess only time will tell. And, of course, it will probably be awhile before I successfully weed every last milligram of gluten from my diet.

Sadly there are no gluten free bakeries around here so I searched around for some recipes and with the help of a friend made my own gluten free chocolate cheesecake (which I may have inadvertently contaminated by using the same flour sifter I use for regular flour *head desk*). It is enormous and beautiful and delicious looking! I haven’t tried it yet. It has a chocolate brownie crust, chocolate cheesecake, chocolate ganache on top and raspberries to decorate.

Here’s to being 26 and to a healthier future!