A Poem to Honor Joe

Recently I learned that the grief talk I give on how to recover your own life after a major life loss–The Day I learned to Fly, has been accepted by a grief anthology. Our loss (heaven; gin) was our son, Joseph Gabriel Leotta

Today I got the news that Tigershark, a British publication is live with my poem, Shenandoah, Valley of the Stars that I wrote to honor Joey, our son, who died in 2002. He loved those mountains and his time at Virginia Tech in the heart of the Shenandoah.

The poem is an adaptation of the Native American myth of the formation of the valley.

Tigershark #5 is now available to download from the site.

DS Davidson, Editor

Visit our site and download the ezine at


I’m a Guest!!! Rainy Day Party

Dear readers,

Elaine Stock is hosting me today, so please hop over to her blog

The direct link is: http://bit.ly/1wiMnL7

to find out what I have to share with you about writing.
So, despite the rain today I am having a party, “meeting” new folks over there.
There is a book giveaway on the site for those of you who want more of my work.

Where do you submit?

How do you find the sites?

Many ask me this. I spend a lot of time looking at magazines, reading, and reading newsletters that list magazines that have calls for work.


I study the submission guidelines and often review the bio of the judge in contests. If the work of the judge is fabulist and I am a realist, then….. chances are slim I will be chosen.


Never submit to a journal you do not respect. Why would you want your work there? A woman in my poetry group once noted I had published a short story in a journal that had rejected her poetry. “My work is so much better than what they use,” she told me. “I was very insulted when they rejected my poems.” Aside from the fact that she managed to insult me while also “dissing” the publication, she was wrong on many levels. Her work is very traditional and very “literary”. This magazine is more of a populist in its selection of pieces to publish. Its not a matter of “good” or “bad” but of different styles.  However if you do not respect the style the editors chose to print, why would you submit. You will not win them over to your more literary approach and vice versa. I don’t expect the Literary mags to publish my genre works. So, take a breath, study, read, and submit–to journals you respect

A Book Review -Little Book of Book Making

So, I signed up to do reviews for two different sites. Chose the book below, a good book, but I am not doing anymore. Free books–nice but I am too busy to do a good job consistently.
This is a one time thing, folks!
Little Book of Bookmaking
Potter Craft New York
By Charlotte Rivers
Review by Joan Leotta

This is not a book for beginners. This is a comprehensive, well thought out guide to creating books from your own paper. It’s not about the printing of words on paper. Rather, it demonstrates many ways of folding and presenting words and pictures on a page, grouped into what we call a book. The idea is to create something truly beautiful and handmade to complement the efforts of a writer or visual artist. Presentation is part of the effort as far as these crafts people are concerned.

There are covers made from wood, directions for hand stitching, folding pages and wonderful examples of handmade books from artisans all over the world.

Of course, the complete list of materials and terms, the thorough and clear directions accompanied by pictures–these things make the book an excellent gift for a budding book artist. A high school or college level art teacher could easily pass this book around the classroom as inspiration for art projects that combine words and visual art–even if that visual is simply the book itself.

What makes it step above the ordinary art instruction book is the international flavor of the examples, with clear credit to the artists cited. The international flavor of the ideas contained is a true picture of how much we need to see and appreciate other cultures. A wonderful book for the artist, a wonderful lesson for the human and the artist in all of us.

Another poem–why republish an old poem?

A wonderful market opportunity for writers is Righter publications. They take previously published and it offers you a chance to widen your audience for that piece if they accept. Readers. That’s what it is all about.

A poem of mine will go live in Righterpublications,com on September 1
I have one in the August issue as well.

This September poem, which has appeared in print elsewhere, is about apple picking in upstate New York.
Hope you enjoy it.

Learning from Others

Thought I would share this link. I am either late or early with this blog post, depending on how you calculate it all.


Remember Kennywood’s Carousel?

I loved that carousel.

and the one at the Smithsonian Mall

well, every carousel I’ve ever seen. So, I put that into an essay and it will soon by published by kindofahurricanepress:

“Your flash piece, Carousel Ride, has been accepted for the anthology, Life is a Roller Coaster. If you have not already provided it, please forward me your most recent bio by Friday, September 5, 2014. You will be receiving a free electronic copy of the anthology. In addition, print copies will be available for purchase. I will contact you again when both become available.”

Amy Huffman and April Salzano