Saturday, September 24, 2011

Nook vs. Book

A recent acquisition: a NOOK, that sleek, beautiful cousin of the Kindle that allows one to read from the electronic page, unencumbered by bookmarks, page turning or marking one's place.  I was a skeptical holdout for a long time, withstanding the raptured reviews from Kindle/Nook friends.  However, being something of a 'careful spender' (my daughter says tightwad), it was only when I WON a free Nook in a library competition that I really paid attention to how it all works.  My Nook was given as a prize for writing the best book review (see review of "The Financial Lives of the Poets," below) in a contest sponsored by the Sno-Isle Library Foundation.

Getting up and running was difficult; in fact, I had to enlist my computer-expert husband to wade through the labyrinth of downloading, passwording, registering, authorizing etc. etc. etc.  I downloaded the third part of Stieg Larsson's trilogy, "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," as my first experience in Nook-ness.  As you know, that is a thick book!  I have to admit it was easy and enjoyable to lounge in my chair with the lightweight Nook in my lap, turning pages by pressing an arrow.  BUT at the end of it all, I found I missed the paper experience -- physically turning pages, using a beautiful bookmark to hold my place, feeling and smelling the paper.  The Nook screen does not display a full page at a time, so it takes 2-3 clicks to read one page; not a biggie, but something to keep in mind if you are considering buying one of these.

The Nook certainly wins in terms of green-ness:  no paper consumed to make another book; no gas consumed or exhaust fumes created to drive back and forth to the library; nothing generated that will end up in a landfill.  One also saves driving time, and keeps a car off the roads at least for as long as a library trip would take.

For me, it comes down to lifestyle.  If I had a job where I traveled a lot, the Nook would win hands-down.  Lightweight, consumes very little space, versatile -- you could get any newspaper or magazine in any city in the world, I imagine.  But for home use, I find I still prefer the anachronistic printed paper book.  What do y'all think out there?  Let me hear from you!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Call for Poetry Submissions
Surrounded:  Living With Islands

            Write Wing Publishing calls for submissions of poems about living on, by or with islands.  These islands can be physical or metaphorical.  Poems may be prose poems, blank verse, free verse and/or traditional forms.
            What is your experience with islands?  Do you feel captive?  Insulated?  Serene?   Cabin fever, as residents of Hawaii have reported?  Surrounded seeks strong voices, both emerging and established, to explore this subject.  For inspiration, see Reuben Tam’s The Wind-Honed Islands Rise.
            Please submit 1-3 original unpublished poems, limit 60 lines each; Times New Roman 12-point font, single-spaced.  Include SASE, cover sheet with contact info, poem titles and brief author bio (<50 words), and $5.00 reading fee.  (Poems should not show writer’s name.)  Mail to:  Write Wing Publishing, 3795 Hubble Court, Clinton WA  98236.  Deadline:  December 31, 2011.
            A prize of $50.00 will be awarded for best overall submission.  Poets selected for publication will receive one free copy of the book.  All rights revert to authors after publication.
            ABOUT THE EDITOR:  Sheryl Clough ("Scatchetpoet") holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  She taught literature and composition at UAF and Seattle’s Highline College, as well as teaching three summer terms as Language Arts instructor for the Upward Bound and Della Keats programs in Alaska.  Sheryl is widely published in journals and magazines, with credits in poetry, creative nonfiction, essays, interviews and travel writing.  She is a Founders Circle member of Soundings Review and recent winner of the William Stafford award from Washington Poets Association.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Book Available: GHOST TOWN POETRY

Chris Luna and Toni Partington, shining lights on the Vancouver poetry skyline, have published a beautiful new volume titled "Ghost Town Poetry."  I have the honor of three published poems in this book; here is one, an acrostic written while contemplating the gorgeous hibiscus blossoms on Kauai:

How does it happen, this
Insane riot of color, this orange
Blaze flung face forward
Into a world pale as washed sand?

So little time; such a strong story
Can only be conveyed by this: 
Understanding Orange, the rebel
Statement shouted toward the sun.

By Sheryl Clough

You can find out more about Chris and Toni on their site --
take a look and consider ordering the book!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

And so it begins ...

... a sun-splashed day in the Puget Sound neighborhood.  I'm in the restroom stall at the Mukilteo ferry dock. From another stall comes the piping high pitch of a small child.  "Why you no sit on seat?"  Mom's response:  "We don't want to get any germs."  Setting aside the mental image of a grown woman straddling a toilet seat in order to pee from a crouch, my greater concern is the imprinting of fear on the little girl's psyche:  GERMS.  The scene is repeated at the restroom sink:  "Wash your hands real good so you don't get any germs."  I can only guess at how this all translates to the challenges ahead.  Math, science, competitive sports, mountain climbing, the office of CEO:  girls have historically been held back by fear.  The scene has changed, admittedly, in the past generation or two, but we still have a long way to go.  I'm 100% in favor of hand-washing -- but let's do it without instilling germ phobia in our tiniest citizens.