With Thanks For Many “Wild Rumpuses”, Rest in Peace, Maurice Sendak (Author of “Where the Wild Things Are” dies at 83)

Maurice Sendak at his home, courtesy of The Houston Chronicle

The world of Children’s Literature lost a giant today. Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator of the iconic, “Where the Wild Things Are” passed away at 83,  after suffering complications from a stroke.

“A Wild Rumpus” illustration by Maurice Sendak in his book, “Where the Wild Things Are”

The New York Times has put together a marvelous obituary, here.  As for me, I will simply say, thank you very much, Mr. Sendak. For being so present, so empathetic and creating such fun in those (sometimes very dark and twisted!) pages, as I grew up. These days, my kids think your work is just as magical. We, along with so many other children, and children at heart, are most grateful for your playful, eccentric and “wildly” funny spirit.

Rest in peace, Mr. Sendak. And cheers to many more wonderful, “wild rumpuses” inspired by your legacy.


Images courtesy of The Houston Chronicle, NJ and Wikipedia



Rest in Peace, Adrienne Rich. Yes, Poetry Does Matter

Remembering Wistawa Szymborska: Nobel Prize Winner and “Mozart of Poetry” Leaves A Profound Impression”


Jan Berenstain, Co-Creator of The Berenstain Bears, Dies at 88

One Marvelous Month & Some Moolah for the Writers Out There (Grant Info)

My oh my, how time flies when you’re having fun!

Today marks the one month anniversary of Zen and Genki launching, publicly.  And what a marvelous month it has been! I want to take this opportunity to say  thank you!  Thank you for getting on board for the ride with me! I extend my virtual arms and give you a big, fat, mushy hug.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Given that it’s April (where on Earth did March go?!), and National Poetry Month in North America, I wanted to honour all of the writers out there by posting some of the grant/award opportunities I’m familiar with in Canada and the U.S.

If you write non-fiction, flash fiction, poetry, sci-fi, fantasy….if you are an older writer, a traveling writer, a veteran or a woman…really, so long as you are willing to dig a little, there is probably a grant that is well suited to where you are in your writing career, and what your preferred genre is. The more specialized the grant or award criteria, the more likely you are to land the cash. So don’t be shy! Go out and grab that moolah, bb’s! It is there for the taking and especially set aside for hard working writers just like you.

Below are some grants and awards for writers you may want to consider applying for. If nothing you see here matches up with you or your style, don’t be discouraged!  Check out your local arts councils, colleges, universities, literary, small or genre presses or do a good old fashioned Google search. The odds are good you’ll hit on something that fits the bill.

Good luck!  If any of you have ever won or applied for a grant or award, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Happy writing!

The Older Writers Grant (Speculative Literature Foundation) for writers 50+ years old and at the beginning of their Speculative Writing career. Deadline is April 13. $750 grant.

The Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel. Any genre of writing.  Deadline is June 15th.$1000 prize.

Canada Council For the Arts Grants for emerging, mid-career and established writers.  French and English grants, varying amounts.  English language grants deadline: October 1.

National Endowment For the Arts Grants for a variety of U.S. writers, genres and amounts. Deadlines and awards vary.

Stephen King’s Haven Foundation for professional, freelance writers (and other artists) who are legal U.S. residents, experiencing a specific career-threatening emergency and are unable to work through no fault of their own. No deadline. Up to $25,000 rewards.

The Arch and Bruce Foundation for gay and lesbian playwrights and screenwriters. Award is $1000.

The Academy of American Poets offers no less than 8 different grants/awards for a variety of genres, candidates and amounts.

Library of Virginia Literary Awards for fiction, non-fiction, poetry and lifetime achievement in writing. Prizes and deadlines vary. Must be a U.S. resident.

The Carol Weinstein Poetry Prize for a poet with strong connections to central Virginia (U.S). Prize is $10,000.

The Canadian Authors Association for Adult Literature (including full length novel: $2000 and a silver medal; Lela Common Award for Canadian History: $2000 and a silver medal; Poetry Award: $2000 and a silver medal). Deadline for award is generally mid-December of the prior year.



Rest in Peace, Adrienne Rich. Yes, Poetry Does Matter.

 Remembering Wistawa Szymborska: Nobel Prize Winner and “Mozart of Poetry” Leaves A Profound Impression


From Grief to Gratitude: An East African Hot Spring Photo Lights the Way


Happy Anniversary image courtesy of Kids Birthday Cakes

Kitties in the hammock image courtesy of tumblr  #7

Quill graphic courtesy of The Riparian Corridor

Pics of the Week 2: Destiny, Dahlia, Dog Speak and Tulip Skirt…Green Pea and a Goodbye

Happy, Happy Friday, Folks!

Has it been a week already? Wowza! Time flies when you’re having fun.

This series is all about the pictures, so without further chit chat, the 2nd installment of

Pics of the Week!



My mother ordered Chinese food, and I grabbed a fortune cookie. This was it. I choose to ignore that every March/April, I dream of being on a sinking ship (no plans to hop on a cruise, mind you ;P).  Instead, I am grateful and elated that a couple of my lifelong dreams (those of a most splendid nature!) seem to be lining up nicely. And why wouldn’t they? Apparently, that is my destiny :)



Natural beauty at its best.  Perfect in every detail.




Apparently they can in North Vancouver…and are bilingual to boot.








Couldn’t let this week pass without a final honouring of the inimitable woman and poet, Adrienne Rich, who passed away, at 82, on Tuesday, March 29 (see my tribute).  Here she sits at Harvard, young, vibrant and brimming with all of her glorious potential. Much thanks, Ms. Rich…When I grow up, I want to be just like you.


Fortune cookie image courtesy of Moi, Zen and Genki

Black and White Dahlia image courtesy of Cee Neuner

Attention Dog Guardians image courtesy of dullhunk

Tulip Skirt image courtesy of hongkiat.com

Funny Little Green Ball Car image courtesy of musclecars.faketrix.com

Adrienne Rich at Harvard image courtesy of the Harvard University, Radcliffe Archives


If you liked this post, you may also enjoy:  Pics of the Week 1: Magnolia Buds, Eggplant Shoes, Regrowth, Sea of Stars… and the Force

Rest In Peace, Adrienne Rich. Yes, Poetry Does Matter.

Adrienne Rich, May 16, 1929 – March 27, 2012

Adrienne Rich, May 16, 1929 – March 27, 2012

It really does.  Poetry matters.

Adrienne Rich mattered.  To me.  As a kid growing up and finding my voice, as a high school student, then a university student, a hardcore academic after that and even now, as a woman, a wife, a mother.  Always as an English Lit. major, a writer, a poet at heart.

Adrienne Rich is one of only a handful of strong, authentic, unafraid female poets who have had an unequivocal impact on me. She wore her feminism just as proudly as her politics. I didn’t agree with her politics all the time, but I always, always agreed with her boldness. I have loved her – admired her – fiercely, for as long as I can remember.

Audre Lorde (another hero of mine), Meridel Lesueur and Adrienne Rich, 1980

At 82, I realize she lived, fully and passionately. She must have known these were her twilight years.  Still, my heart is heavy, disbelieving.  To have lost such a special voice….it leaves me feeling oddly hollow, yet profoundly aware of a strange, reverential place in my heart.  The lady had an incomparable talent and spirit that fed (still feeds) through words.

There are a million and one memorable quotes left behind, so many poems that I have loved, studied, absorbed and leaned on.  It would be an utter exercise in futility to choose the best or my favourite.

Instead, I share with you with these, Adrienne Rich’s thoughts on responsibility, which best sum up, in my opinion, the things she represented best, lived best and most personally, taught me best.

Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you…it means that you do not treat your body as a commodity with which to purchase superficial intimacy or economic security; for our bodies to be treated as objects, our minds are in mortal danger. It means insisting that those to whom you give your friendship and love are able to respect your mind. It means being able to say, with Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre: “I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all the extraneous delights should be withheld or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.

Responsibility to yourself means that you don’t fall for shallow and easy solutions–predigested books and ideas…marrying early as an escape from real decisions, getting pregnant as an evasion of already existing problems. It means that you refuse to sell your talents and aspirations short…and this, in turn, means resisting the forces in society which say that women should be nice, play safe, have low professional expectations, drown in love and forget about work, live through others, and stay in the places assigned to us. It means that we insist on a life of meaningful work, insist that work be as meaningful as love and friendship in our lives. It means, therefore, the courage to be “different”…The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.

Adrienne Rich, 2001

Kimberly Grey (2012-2014 Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University) tweeted yesterday, “Adrienne Rich is trending. Yes, poetry does matter.”

She’s right.  It does.  It matters a lot.

Adrienne Rich matters.

Even still.

Thank you, so much, Ms. Rich.

For everything.


Top image courtesy of Poetry Foundation

Middle image courtesy of K. Kendall

Bottom image courtesy of Metro Weekly



 Remembering Wistawa Szymborska: Nobel Prize Winner and “Mozart of Poetry” Leaves A Profound Impression


The additional tribute photo of Adrienne Rich in Pics of the Week 2: Destiny, Dahlia, Dog Speak and Tulip Skirt…Green Pea and a Goodbye