Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Homecoming Be-Gratitudes: Let Me Count the Ways—Review, Recognition, Friendship, Projects

Those of you who went to Sunday School will recognize my play on words with the beattitudes (be-attitudes). Coming back from such a sea-change trip, I wanted to count some blessings I received on home ground in this post. In another post, I'll count blessings footloose and abroad.


1) Send-off Dinner. Before I left, Doreen Hulsey and her fascinating family (including longtime piano teacher) invited me for a going away supper to send me off. I know Doreen through the St. Louis Writers Guild and the Ethical Society.

2) Homecoming Dinner. Upon my return, Liz Sommers and her husband Kevin E. invited me to a welcome home dinner. They both worked for the anti-apartheid movement and asked such intelligent questions, listened so intently, and threw in such great stories of union organizing that it made for a rapt evening in Madison, Illinois.

3) Root Canal. Am I crazy? Maybe. But, I'm so grateful that tooth #20 waited a week to send me signals of excrutiating pain. I hadn't been to the dentist since my move from Northern California a year ago June. Finally, I got dental insurance through Authors Guild on the basis of my literary journal publications. It's gonna save me a bundle now! Plaza Dental got me right in and fixed me right up. I like the folks over there. Nice feeling and ambiance. They even let me wear the lead apron for my security blanket. I like the weight.

4) New Review of Sightlines. Gregory Robson, at Resident Media Pundit, posted a review of "Sightlines: A Poet's Diary" Sightlines

5) Blogging Award? Yvonne Perry's Writers in the Sky honored me with the Brillante Weblog Premio Blogging Award saying,

Janet Riehl's blog has a wide variety of topics as she takes us all over the world with her poetic writing and daily insights. Her literary journey is dotted with photos, clip art, and useful links to other people's work. She has a great list of resources, too! Her blog is interactive and invites a lot of comments.

I investigated a little further and found that the award was more in the way of a game bloggers play...a blogging meme...rather than a full-fledged award. You can read about this in two excellent posts here: Museum of Hoaxes and Heart and Hands.

When I shared this information with Yvonne, she thought maybe I would be offended or she ought to take it off her blog. I said, "No, the award, coming from you, is a real award." It reveals something interesting about the blogging and internet culture...about memes and the awards game in general.

6) Art patronage on the move. Joseph La Marque came over to install the finished mounts for Lloyd Kleine Harvey's delicate and elegant twig sculptures. We are experimenting with ways to make Lloyd's work more stable and attractive to collector's. I think we have some winners here. Joseph La Marque is an artist in his own right, and when he does work in support of other artists, his minimalist aesthetic and knack for the simple solution comes into play wonderfully. We're viewing these mounts as prototypes for Lloyd to use when he exhibits his work with the Regional Arts Commission...and are thinking he might even use the mounts as he's making the work. We'll see what Lloyd thinks soon.

7) Audiobook nearing final stages. "Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry and Music" is now in in the homestretch of applying for mechanical licenses for the music used on the four discs that are still in public domain, copyrighting my father's songs, and making decisions about packaging and quantities. Hoping for a release in early October. We'll see. Scott Kidd was the audio engineer on the album and now is my point person/project manager who's been a godsend. Scott has a compatible way of thinking and working that's pure pleasure.

8) Family Poetry Book. My father's been busy while I've been gone. Soon he'll be giving me the files for our next book project: "Worth Remembering: The Poetry" which is an anthology of his poetry, family and friends poetry. Poetry books are a bear to do as the must be spaced properly. Oh, for the novels!

And you, dear readers? What are your be-gratitudes?

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2 Responses »

  1. Welcome home, Janet! And thank you for your voice, your wise thoughts on color and apartheid - I long for the day when color in America is seen as a wonderful way to show our differences, and we can celebrate those differences. Congratulations, too, on the thoughtful review for Sightlines - see, it is still touching people's hearts! - and for the blogging "award." You are opening doors and showing us all the way to walk through them with grace and joy.


  2. Hi Janet

    Ramon Thomas, a fellow South African blogger honoured me by suggesting that I deliver a keynote address at the seventh Annual Digital Citiizen Indaba.

    It was lovely to meet up with many other bloggers and development activists from all over Africa at the conference.

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