Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Good Girls Thanksgivings

Good Girls’ Thanksgivings
by Stephanie Mesler

Good girls say thank you
in flowing longhand
on daintily painted note cards with violets in the corners,
cards kept on hand for giving thanks when thanks are
Good girls say thank you
for the effort
for the thought
for inclusion
They are the ones who write in gratitude journals because their God, Oprah, says they should
They write
and write
about the blessings in their lives
about how lucky they are to face each day smiling from the start
knowing God does not demand of them more than they can handle
Good girls know that suffering is good for the soul.
They thank God for opportunities to overcome
what hurts,
what rips at the seams,
what all but kills,
even that which does.
Good girls live each day behind fuchsia panes
for more reasons to say thank you.

The rest of us
send our thanks by email
resorting to telephone when the recipient of our gratitude is too ancient for the net
We do not say thank you often,
never for something we were owed.
We know effort only counts in preschool
and absolution is mythology.
The rest of us persist in perpetual motion,
living lives of intense reality,
knowing that God and Oprah damn well do expect too much
and note cards are expensive.

Good Girls' Thanksgivings is copyright (c) Stephanie Mesler, 2011.  No portion of Good Girls' Thanksgivings may be reprinted or republished in any form without express written consent from the poet, Stephanie Mesler.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pledging Allegiance

The image was taken by AP photojournalist, Robert Cohen.
The morning after a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed teen. I came across the image at left online. It depicts Edward Crawford throwing a canister of tear gas back at Ferguson, Missouri police in the confrontation that followed the shooting last summer.
I was struck by the image and with Crawford's statement that he did what he did out of instinct more than anything else. He was arrested and jailed for this act of self-defense in the face of militarized police oppression.

Pledging Allegiance
by Stephanie Mesler
In the night, they come to protect and serve their own.
Beating their shields as drums, chanting warriors make war in the streets where I live.
They advance on children whose only crime is living life black and poor.
We learn to be scared of white men with guns,
of our own mute impotence,
of power that fears us enough to arm police like soldiers headed into battle.
Tell me why police in Columbia, South Carolina need a tank --
are they expecting an invasion by the citizens of Charlotte?
I do not pledge allegiance to the flag,
will not stand and salute or raise my hat to recognize authority that does not recognize mine.
I will stand defiant in the fray, will refuse to be driven into dark.
What you hurl at me, I will hurl back.
It will land at your feet and you too will have a moment before it explodes,
a moment to let instinct decide what your body will do.
Do you fear me more than you fear the gas?
Is mine the face in your nightmares?
You’ve kept me in line, prevented my rising up,
by telling me you can keep me safe.
You make me fear and say it’s for my own good.
You tell me I am one of “us” - that you are on my side.
But tonight, standing on the other side of your shield,
I am part of the throng that makes up your “them.”
Here, by the light of this blaze, I put on my flag and raise my fist.
I shout my pledge to anyone who will hear,
I will not be stilled!

Listen to Pledging Allegiance on Soundcloud.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

In The News: Call for Reviewers, Email Subscription, Last Day Of The Big Sale!

So..... I need to find a few credible reviewers for Escape From Pig Hill.  The book is YA with a focus on LGBT issues.  If that interests you, please let me know.  Contact me here, through Facebook, at my personal email or my publisher's email.  

Please consider joining my email list which will send out weekly (sometimes monthly) newsletters. If you'd like to be added, please email Diva Press Publications.

Today is the last day to get Under The Sheets For Half Price!  Order it now!  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Work Slow-Down

Well, it's  not really so much a work slow-down as adding time for additional work that comes from realizing I need to lay a better foundation before rolling out Escape From Pig Hill.  The result is that my new goal date for releasing Escape is March 8, 2015.  Of course the illustrations need to be completed in the next weeks and the book needs to be proofread and edited by the professionals whose services I have already procured for this project. Those processes are time-consuming, but even more delaying are  marketing concerns that have come to my attention.  I am considering re-categorizing the book as YA (young adult) with an LGBT focus. I am somewhat resistant to categorization of any kind -- I fear it will box me in down the road -- but the fact is that categorization can help a book find its audience.  For that reason, I'll be making some hard choices in the next few months.  I have also decided to publish under the Diva Press plate. Previous books have been published in my own name but I've decided to change that for the novel series.  

My apologies to any who were waiting with baited breath for the novel to be released in November and to the many more who were likely hoping I would quit blathering on about the "creative process" rather sooner than later.  You'll just have to bare with me a while longer.  

In the mean time, I hope you enjoy seeing an illustration from time to time and hearing the occasional reading from Escape From Pig Hill, as I continue smoothing its edges.  
The Granger twins encounter "Mean" Margaret Adelbaum
as they walk down the hill to school.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

For One Week Only, Get *Under The Sheets* Half Off!

Under The Sheets 
for $7.50, now through October 22!  That's half off the regular price!   Original spooktacular art, poetry, and fiction by Stephanie Mesler and Vicki Barnes.  What better time to get your ghoul on than the haunting month of the year? Especially when the book is half off!  

Don't miss this chance to get this anthology of grim goodness at the lowest price we'll ever offer!  Order your copy of 
Under The Sheets 
Today!  Heck, at this price, order it for a friend too! 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Illustrating Escape From Pig Hill

October 9, 2014

I am neck-deep in illustrations for Escape From Pig Hill, which is to be published this winter.  That means I am struggling with layout too.  And I suspect you may remember how very much I loath doing layout.  Nonetheless, it is getting done and coming along well.  I wanted to share a couple of illustrations.  Hope you are intrigued enough by them to BUY THE BOOK when it comes out!  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

BOOK LAUNCH Sunday in Second Life

Under The Sheets
by Stephanie Mesler* and Vicki Barnes
Published September 2014

Inworld Launch Date:  
Sunday, October 5, 2014, 2 pm Pacific
Writers' Block, Book Island

Books To Buy (From Amazon or Lulu)
Books To Win (From The Author)

*Stephanie Mesler is Freda Frostbite in Second Life