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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please feel free to add to the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Celebrating Women's Equality Day with Poetry

August 26 is Women's Equality Day! I am celebrating by sharing a poem with you--something I rarely do because publishers often eschew publishing literary work that has appeared on the Web--or elsewhere!  These, however, already appeared "elsewhere"--in my chapbook of poetry called Deeper in the Pond coauthored with Magdalena Ball, owner and editor of CompulsiveReader.com. One of her poems is included.  Part of our multi award-winning Celebration Series, this chapbook was intended as a celebration of women everywhere, especially for Women's Day.  It seems even more suited to Women's Equality Day.

If you like the idea, please share and pass along the sentiment that women still have a long way to go! We readily give permission for use of our work for projects related to women's needs. Contact Carolyn on Twitter @frugalbookpromo or Magdalena @magdalenaball with plans for your project.

Narcissus Revisited


Wish not but work. 

We need more than what we have. 
Let us be measured
not for height or at the hip
but for the our roles.
Compensate us for compassion
so we might look beyond 
our foyers with that rare 
and precious skill. 

I may not want,

but many of my kind do. Women.
Hidden, squeezed, ignored, ridiculed,
manipulated, raped, murdered. 
Pain, poverty, politics. All enemies’
dark shadows, seaweed undulating
beneath the sheen 

of the life I live. 

            Even when I gaze deep 
            and recognize algae
            there, feel their vile shapes,
            I do not recognize hubris,
            lurking among them, women’s 
            worst foe. Those who feel 
            new freedoms like I, some later-borns 
unaware that they are new, accept
the yellow-bright shimmer 
spread across the surface 
as if it were our doing 
                                                     
or our due.

Acceptance works best
when paired with gratitude
Why then do we forget
            what others did for us,
            what there is yet to do?
                        
Narcissus knows her own 
reflection well. She forgets 
to peer under burkas, in our jails,
in the beds of the abused, 
deeper, deeper into the pond 
beneath, where some 
                        still suffocate. 

~Carolyn Howard-Johnson



Beastly Work


At the tail end of mercy
biting, fighting
sorespun parchment
eyes its creator
with contempt.

On the spur
of warmth
vast cloud of cold gas
everywhere else
making, remaking
destroying
building again.

No one would choose
to call this work
no pay could compensate
no goal lofty enough
no endeavour ever
successful.

It’s more like
affliction.

Why
when the bed’s so soft
floor so dirty
everyone else wants something
other than your
prodigious output 
do you continue
tearing
toiling
working
the awful muse? 

~Magdalena Ball



MORE ABOUT THE BLOGGER

Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She is also a marketing consultant, editor, and author of the multi award-winning #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers including the award-winning second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor. Her latest is in the series is How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. Learn more on her Amazon profile page, http://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile. Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers is one of her booklets--perfect for inexpensive gift giving--and, another booklet, The Great First Impression Book Proposal helps writers who want to be traditionally published. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including one she encourages authors to read because it will help them convince retailers to host their workshops, presentations, and signings. It is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. In addition to this blog, she helps writers extend the exposure of their favorite reviews at TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com. She also blogs at all things editing--grammar, formatting and more--at The Frugal, Smart, and Tuned-In Editor (http://TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com) She generously shares her poetry with those who share her passions from women's rights to preservation and improvement of our environment.