Category Archives: improve

The Next Step!

The next step in the process of getting Summer in a Bowl into the hands of readers is preparing a summary. Now, if I had done a more traditional query and had been working with a publisher I did not know, the summary would have been in my query letter. As you recall, in this case I was approaching the publisher who had done WHOOSH! so, after a phone conversation, I just sent him the entire manuscript.

For me, the summary is the hardest part of the process. I love to talk about my book. I get very enthusiastic and well, restricting myself to just a few words–rough!

This summary will be what potential future readers will see on Amazon. Would you be interested in buying the book after reading this?  If you have changes to suggest, please let me know. My publisher and I both believe in this book and want to see it in the hands of as many children as possible.

Please look this over and let me know if any changes are needed!

Summary for Summer in a Bowl By Joan Leotta

Rosa and her Aunt Mary spend every Thursday together in the summer, tending Aunt Mary’s garden.

On this last Thursday of the season, they harvest the vegetables and Aunt Mary cooks them. Rosa is not sure she wants to try them until her father proclaims the dish, “Delicious!” and Rosa discovers that the soup is a way to preserve all of her summer fun. Summer in a Bowl is a wonderful introduction to the joys of gardening with children and the fun of cooking with children.

 

 

 

National Poetry Month and Gardening

P1020186

So, this post is doing dual duty. I hope it will keep you in mind for gardening. Yesterday I turned in the first deliverable on my book, Summer in a Bowl. Picture books are a sort of long form narrative poetry. Thus the connection.

Also, gardening and story or poem prompts–obvious connection there. Prompts are like seeds for a story or poem. Plant one on a page and they can give your mind a jump start. Apply the hard work of writing around this (akin to weeding and watering) to harvest a finished poem or story! Voila!

My usual monthly post on Suzanne Lurience’s working writer blog will go up  in a few days.

Here is the bonus prompt for Poetry Month–seven one word prompts for poems–of course if you can squeeze an entire story out of one of these–huzzah to you!

Seven April Poem Prompts

1.Rain

2. Roses

3. Redbud

4. Iris

5. Late

6.Exercise

7. Walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Counting My Blessings

A few days ago, a wonderful storyteller, Antonio Sacre, posted on his FB page that he had performed in a number of different countries this year, etc, listing it all in a summary form. It was impressive.  And instructive. Sometimes when we think about individual accomplishments we forget that all of this comes from God and to Him belongs the glory. As it says on the emblem I wore on my school uniform, Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.

So, I listed all of the writing of mine that had been published this year, including my non-fiction writing (which I rarely talk about on this site).

Publications in 2015 with a brief look back at 2014 at the end

 

 January 2015

Newspaper These are listed right from my invoice–all in this block were printed in Sun News during the year

Review of food sub bible
Review of  raw energy in a glass
Review of Caffe Diem and Kudzu joint venture for kicks
Restaurant article (small on Villa Romana) for coasting
Cooking with Honey (will turn in by 28th)

 

Carmen (the entire year right here in reverse order) These are for profiles in excellence on http://www.disability-marketing.co0m

Makies coming before the end of the year—

 

Poems (and play) (wherever you see the words HAts OFFm this means that North Carolina Writers Netowrk ran a small feature celebrating the accomplishment

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose ten-minute play, “Pinpoint Wisdom,” will be produced by Fort Point Theatre Channel of Boston as part of Channel/Dance: An Evening of Movement, Art, and Theater, February 13-14, 2015.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem, “The Cardinal’s Mirror,” was accepted for the Poeming Pigeon Anthology (The Poetry Box).

Also, she is 30/30 poet for Tupelo Press. For the month of February,

 

New Year Morning at the Beach published in Righter Monthly

Essay

Fiction

The Penny Dreadful accepted At the Farmstand, atwenty-one-word stories for its next issue.

February

Play Produced! Pinpoint Wisdom by Ft Point Theatre in Boston

Newspaper

Review of taste of home cookbook
 
Review of which wich for kicks
Travel article, Rome for March
Goffinet chirping birds
Chef huckabee article
Review of DOUBT

Carmen—see January

Poems

(Published: 13 February 2015, ncwn)

poem “Ora Pro Nobis” is forthcoming in Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing (March).

In Righter Puiblication Monthly,

How Long Will Winter Be? By Joan Leotta

February Joy by Joan Leotta

Essay

Fiction

March

Newspaper

Feature for food on zeppole and soda bread
Kicks café old vienna
Article on Chef Joeseph Bonaparte and HGTC
Indian food for diabetesw
Spring green tonics
Bonjour y’all book review

Carmen-see January

Poems

Published: 05 March 2015Hats Off! to Joan Leotta who in Knot Magazine for their spring issue on women in art, Dorotea, my tribute to Dorothy Lange, the photographer

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem “Morning Comes” is forthcoming in the “Insomnia Issue” of the journalThe Art of Being Human /An Anthology of International Poetry, compiled and edited by Daniela Voicu and Brian Wrixon (Volume 14).

www.mciwritershouse.com/authors-spotlight ran Mar 21, 2015 – A Platter of Mezze By Joan Leotta …

March 15 sent the poem Forbes field to the Hobart contest–accepted

Righter Publications published Path, Big Dog andRobin Crossing

Essay ==east iowa review http://www.portyonderpress.com/eastern-iowa-review.html–two cups of coffee–accepted on march 1!

Fiction

FISH OR CUT BAIT STORY Published  (accepted in 2014—Egidio Learns to Fish)

March 12 sent a cup of compfort to omdb.com ,accepted on march 18

(see May also! Same item)March 28 sent a flash fiction to spelkfiction@gmx.com Also, the online journal Spelk Fiction has accepted one of Joan’s flash fiction pieces, “The Magician’s Trick,” which will appear May 27.accepted on Mar 30—it will go up on the site ma

April

AWARDS FROM PRESSWOMEN< NC CHAPTER

Congratulations! You won several awards in the contest:

Too Hot to Cook won 2nd place, published in 2014 in newspaper

Carousel Ride won 3rd place essay, , published in 2014

Summer Storm in the Canyon got an Honorable Mention-poem

Newspaper

Feature for food  Passover meal
Kicks Play Review Atlantic Stage
Peter warren book review
Book review foods that make you say mmmmm
Book review  looking around
Book review  let the beauty inside you become……
Kicks Restaurant Review–CIAO

Carmen-see January

Poems

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta who had three poems—”The Autistic Boy,” “Backporch morning,” and “Blooming Bush”—published by A Quiet Courage. Her poem “Sampling Oysters” is forthcoming in Postcards, Poems,and Prose,

Righter publications published April Excitement and

April Birthday and

April 

Essay

Fiction

her prose piece “The Lion Tamer” has won an Honorable Mention in The Maine Review’s annual short fiction contest.

 

May

Book accepted Hats Off! to Joan Leotta who inked a contract to publish her first children’s picture book, Whoosh, withTHEAQ, LLC, a Minnesota-based publisher. The release date is scheduled for August, 2015

Newspaper

Feature for food  Mothers Day
Chefs of the Coast—cookbook review
Readers corner review (see Vicki)
Lombardo’s Bistro for Kicks
Bob’s Red Mill cookbook review
 
Kicks Restaurant Review—Le Bon Café
Ally’s Kitchen—cookbook review

Carmen—see January

Poems

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta who has three poems forthcoming in The Art of Being Human (Volume 15): “The Autistic Boy,(reprint)” “A Secret Mermaid,” and “Waiting (on a train platform).”

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem “Morning Comes” (reprint)is forthcoming in Anthology: The State of Open Mic in NC, edited by Melissa Hassard, book canceled later in the year

Farm Market Opening Day and Merry Merry Month of May published in Righter monthly

Al Dente poem accepted by Poeming pigeons (came out in fall in anthology)

Essay

Fiction

 June

Books  Came out  Desert Breeze, Secrets of the Heart and the collections of shorts, Simply a Smile

Newspaper

Chefs of the Coast—cookbook review
Ice cream cookbook storey press)
Vegan frozen things cookbook review storey press

Carmen see january

Poems

Published: 26 June 2015poems accepted for an international, English-language anthology:Gust of Wits. ( those what would henry do, cameras, ocean, faye’s daisies, and can I live here—word on that on june 4

Red Hawk” will appear in the August issue of the Indiana Voice Journal.

Reunion was published in Righter Monthly

Essay

Fiction

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose short story “A Glass of Water” received an honorable mention in the Pikes Peak Pen Women’s Flash Fiction Contest. The story will be included on their website.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose 21-word short story, “At the Farm Stand,” is forthcoming in Penny Dreadful.  came out this month

July

Newspaper

Turkish food ran July  15
Mystery writers of america—cookbook review
40 Fun Fables
Everyday vegan
Southern made fresh
Watermelon Savory
Kicks article on theatre, atlantic stage move and new season

Carmen see January

Poem

08 July 2015Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem “The Moth” was accepted for the new Janes Boy Press publicationIshka Bibble. It will appear in the October issue.(postphoned to later in the year)

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem “Joan Gabrielle—A Handy Name appears as part of the “All About My Name” Poetry Series from Silver Birch Press.

Picnic—Fourth of July and

Shell Tree Edisto Island published in Righter

Essay

Fiction

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose flash fiction piece “A Glimpse of Glory” is forthcoming in September’sIndiana Voice Journal.

 

August

Interview in paper/online, Various articles about me and my work on the project Poetry Opens Doors published in Brunswick Beacon this year, and Star News

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta, who was featured on The National Federation of Press Women website. Her career advice? Be persistent, be honest.

Book came out WHOOSH, Auugst 12

Newspaper

Barbecue Lovers The Carolinas—cookbook review
Hummus
Food gifts
Kids with diabetes

Carmen—see January

Poems

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem “Al Dente” is forthcoming in the Poeming Pigeons’ food-themed anthology to be published later this year is this double counted?(see earlier on acceptance of this poem)

August 13 sent languid lusciousness with lemons as revised to silver birch—accepted ! aug 30

Marking August Days published in righter Monthly

Essay Review of poetry book

From my heart to yours—review of a poetry book

Fiction

September

Newspaper

Vegetarian Thai (ran in August)
175 essential slow cooker
Thyroid health and diet

Carmen

Poem

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem “Leaves”(redo) will appear as part of the Winston-Salem Writers Poetry in Plain Sight Bus Project in the fourth quarter this year.

Also, her poems “Languid, Luscious Lemons” and

Happy Together” are forthcoming from Silver Birch Press as part of their Sweet Word and Songs projects, respectively.

September Brings Pears and

September published in Righter Monthly

Essay

Fiction

October

Newspaper

Preservation Society book review
A real southern cook in her savannah kitchen review
Article on Italian regional foods
Trim healthy mama–review
A dairy good cookbook–review
Pure pork awesomeness
Fuzzy mud

Carmen  see jan

Poems

Sea glass was accepted by postcard poems and poetry to run later in the year—ran in October

“The Queen of Long Division” has been accepted by Silver Birch Press to be a part of their  Sweet Words for Halloween Series

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta who won two prizes in the Mid-South Poetry Festival: First Place in the Doty Katz Memorial for “Spotting  Carolina Jessamine and Gahzal on the beach won a second prize in the ghazal contest

Carving out the Moon and Travel on Faith published in Righter Monthly

Essay

Fiction

Midnight Plumber ran again on my blog –first published by KRL in October 2014

 November

Newspaper

·         Joint review Ebenezer scrooge and State of the Heart-non food
Real and slow article ran first week nov
Oz cookbook
Joint review of two Robert rose books
Maple mania  running nov 18
Maple 100 recipes, book review
South Carolina blues—review non food

 

The Southerners Cookbook

 

Carmen—see January

 Poems

Sitting Down and Pumpkin Festival Dinner – Circleville, Ohio  both published in November’s Righter MOnthly

Nov 29 received acceptance for Indian Ice Cream Treat from the work the World Enough Writers Ice Cream Anthology.

Sent sleeping on a pile of coats to silver birch and it was accepted

Essay

Fiction

JOAN LEOTTA: Perspective | 50-Word Stories  accepted and ran

fiftywordstories.com/2015/11/16/joanleotta-perspective/

Nov 16, 2015 – Arachne’s skill still amazes me. In the early morning sunlight, I have often watched dew shimmering in rainbow-drenched glory along silken …

November 25, 2015 | Rachel Richey of Literative Newsletter, https://literative.com/
has just informed me that my entry into their last contest is the winner and will go up on the site on Friday–so, in between shopping and leftover turkey sandwiches, take a look!   TIGER is the name of the piece

 

December

Newspaper

·         Spiralizer cookbook–ran in early month
Atlantic Stage review of Scrooge for Kicks
Twelve Days of Cookies ran on Dec 9
Complete wild game cookbook book review ran on Dec 23
Good cheap eats dinner in 30 min or less
Georgialina review of book
probiotics book review
Healthy eating for the new year -article, gturned in

Carmen

Poems

the perfect tree published in righter monthly

received a note from poetry in plain sight that my poem,blue jay day will be their January poster

Essay—profile of Joseph Bathanti out now in the January issue of NIAF magazine,

reprint of the Big Box ran in grannysublogspot Dec 20

Fiction

Short story the surprise ball published in Righter monthly
Shaun Levin\!”The Fish Knife”. Accepted and will be coming out in February in A3 next year.England

2014 Notes(not all)

 (2014

Five Little Bears Came to My House today won  Third Place in the Caldwell Nixon, Jr. Award sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society.)

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta, whose short story “Voice of an Angel” has won First Place in the 2013 Charlotte Writers’ Club Contest!

May 2014 Hats Off! Joan Leotta, , Second, in the “Short Story” category of t

he 2014 Anthology Contest sponsored by the Winston-Salem Writers. in theWinston-Salem Writers 2014 Anthology  Leotta (“The World Turned Upside Down”) (May) poem “Falling Shells” is forthcoming in Poetry Quarterly/Prolific Press. Also, her short story “Cottonwood Grove” will be published in an anthology of Westerns from Cane Hollow Press. “Cottonwood Grove” is also available as a Kindle Single.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem, “Leaving Sunset Beach,” and one of her sunset photos will be on the cover of the July issue of Righter Monthly Review. Also, her essay “To Fly,” about her first car, is forthcoming in the July issue of Sasee magazine.  December 2014 they published a Big Box as well)

 

Then I prayed for each person who read my articles, poems, essays, short stories, books, and who saw my play (produced for the first time in Boston in February). I also prayed  for the editors and artists who dealt with bringing them to production. I prayed that my work would be a blessing to them and continue to be so in 2016. Then I prayed for all of the editors who read and turned down my poetry and stories in 2015. Their rejections in many case caused me to strengthen the work before it found the right home(I don;t send non-fiction out on spec any more–only write it when assigned). And believe me, those of you who only see my acceptances–when you send out poetry and fiction,m the rejection pile is high.

As I make my plan for 2016, I pray that my work may be a blessing to many and honor God in every way.

 

At Long Last–Imitation is more than flattery

I should be ashamed to show my face–lots of good excuses for ignoring my pledge to post once a month on a topic of interest to performers and writers alike–but really–its a lot of days since February. So, there will be a flurry of posts coming

Imitation is More Than Flattery

Near the end of my time as a Tupelo Press 30/30 poet, frantically crafting poems to be posted each day, one of the poets issued a challenge. She asked us to try writing in the style of one of the others. The young man she assigned to me is a stylish, wonderful poet–award-winning and creator of sharp staccato lines and images. Oh dear. So, I studies the poems he posted and researched more about him and his work. Then I put forth my pen (okay, keyboard) and attempted something in his style.

The exercise was more than simple fun. It was a tremendous learning exercise. That young poetry master taught this old poetry novice more than a few tricks–without even sending me an email. In order to copy him,I had to analyze his use of words, line , rhyme (if any), lyric, etc. What effect did he achieve with each poem? How did his use of poetic elements lead him to that? I chose a topic, I attempted to work within his mindset and then I wrote. And posted.

What went on creatively was that I followed an old tried and true technique–copying old masters (young in my case). By copying the masters we can then better branch out to find our own style. Some people get stuck in the copying mode, but if you have original thoughts and your own voice, then the analysis involved raises your work to a higher plane. I know it has helped me. Since that effort I have tried branching out into other forms of poetry and I am taking one of the free Stanford University courses on poetry to learn more about he masters and the old forms. (10 Premodern women)

Study the old to transform your work into something new–a mantra that is helping my work improve. Just the simple exercise of writing more each day brought my work a step higher and I have had several poetry acceptances since the Feb 3030–essays too. Since Feb I finished book four of my Desert Breeze Series and am working on the Book Club Questions and press releases for these.

Also, my collection of short stories is almost out–publishing issues–but now Cane Hollow Press personnel are well and ready to roll and that too, will soon be out–working on a class outline for teaching Ekphrastic Storytelling for that one.

More to come! I hope to have another post with useful information in it by mid-June. Meantime, expect a couple of book reviews and maybe some news on Turkey.