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Quantum bunnies: My villanelle "Schrodinger's Top Hat" was selected as a finalist in the latest Goodreads poetry group contest; voting is open through April 1. (Thanks to everyone who's already promoted and/or voted!) There have been some very nice comments about both my poem and the whole shortlist; I was especially delighted to read that it moved someone to look up Schrodinger's cat.

[My friend Elaine made my week in like fashion last week when I sent the other members of our chamber choir a copy of Hans Ostrom's Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in Heaven (after joking-but-not-entirely during rehearsal about how Emily was ahead of her time. I don't remember what prompted it, but there was a fair amount of wordplay and sassing going on that night). She told me after Sunday warmup that she'd read it aloud to two groups since receiving it. If I hadn't been wearing heels and a skirt, I would've done cartwheels in front of the pulpit right then and there.]

UU ribbons: I went to the HUUmanists site to follow up on last summer's book-smUUggling campaign, and the word is that there are two projects in progress for General Assembly 2013. One is collecting banned books to supply an underground community library in Louisville; the other is a fabric art display, with panels "reflecting a theme (or cover art) from any of the designated Banned Books or children's books, or depicting any immigration rights project being conducted by a UU congregation or humanist group." It sounds like the coordinators are still accepting participants: "if you quilt, embroider, appliqué, cross stitch, or otherwise make images on fabric, WE CAN USE YOUR TALENTS."

[Another bit of good news: the UU Congregation of Cookeville will become officially affiliated with the UUA this year! Some of you may recall that I helped coordinate around three dozen services for them some years ago -- I am so thrilled that they are now a solid faith presence on the Highland Rim.]
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In the February 21 print issue of Women's Wear Daily, Lorna Koski has a full-page feature on Pioneers of the Possible, a book by Angela M. Nazarian on twenty visionary women, including Taiwanese Dharma Master Cheng Yen, Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad, and Simone de Beauvoir. I'm mulling over this paragraph in particular:

One insight that has come to her, Nazarian notes, is that the most impressive women are not striving for balance, but for fullness in their lives. "They pack their lives with things that are really meaningful," she says. "They concentrate on their strengths; they know what their talents are, so they aren't so bothered by their weaknesses."

(I'm not sure this is a helpful construct for me, but it is thought-provoking. I do like the quote from Estée Lauder that ends the article: "If you want to succeed, make the best of what you have. That's a secret to beauty, as well.")

I became curious about Maria Nazos's A Hymn that Meanders after reading her essays at Boxcar, in particular "Silence in the Rough: When Your First Book Breaks Through the Truth." It contains bold, lush lovesongs about and elegies of broken people, and reminds me quite a bit of Lynda Hull's work. My eyes were probably as round as the proverbial saucers by the time I finished reading "My Mother's Nipples," and I also marked "Mink Rooftop," because of these lines: "Now I'm stuck / in this room telling myself we were more than two broken sticks rubbing / together.

Back to WWD. In the February 22 issue, Huang Hung writes about Guo Pei. My kind of gal:

Guo's husband is a Taiwanese businessman who runs a family textiles business. "When we got engaged," Guo said, smiling, "he asked me whether I wanted a rock on my finger or 50,000 yards of free fabric. I took the fabric."

Finally updated the front page of my website and the writing-for-hire resume. Time now for errands...

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