Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Fall in Love with the Arts" at the Delafield Arts Center on Saturday, February 11, 2012 (11am-5pm)


Come "Fall in Love with the Arts" at the Delafield Arts Center on Saturday, February 11, 2012 (11am-5pm) for a special Open House event.

In addition to a dance performance by To the Pointe Performing Arts and a concert by Hartland School of Music, there will be a special poetry reading at 12:30pm featuring poets:

Kimberly Blanchette
Paul Scot August
Cristina Norcross
Liz Rhodebeck
Ed Werstein
Khristian Kay

For more information about events and exhibits at the Delafield Arts Center visit: http://www.delafieldartscenter.org/

Friday, January 20, 2012

"You Are Loved" ~ What If You Could Change Someone's Day Just by Offering a Kind Word?

What if you could make someone smile and feel better about themselves by reminding them how special they are?

This poem that I wrote for a project I was working on a few years ago, became that poem for me, and it has become my "go-to" poem that I give out randomly, when I think the world needs a little more love.

I was invited to give a talk about poetry a couple of years ago for a school in Milwaukee, but was unable to attend, so I sent a box of these "You Are Loved" poems in my place, to let the students know that ~ they are loved.

This poetry postcard also goes out to any new member who joins the National Endometriosis Association. The Endometriosis Association provides support, information and educational materials about treatment for women who have been diagnosed with a painful reproductive condition called Endometriosis. I have had this illness since I was 18 and have had several surgeries over the years. I donated a box of these cards to help other women feel cared for and nurtured at a time when facing a chronic medical condition can be quite scary.

I hope you enjoy this poem too. We are all LOVE. We are all sacred. Be the Light that brings light to others.


You are exquisitely made.
With a splash of deep purple at the edges,
and a vibrant center –
you shine.

Like the many layered hues
of a rhododendron
with blushing petals,
you have innate gifts –
both seen and unseen.

The wind whistles a melody,
encouraging the dance of galaxies.
In unison, all of nature
follows the same, beautifully orchestrated score,
and we float forward together.

In another time
you see the outline of this day
in all of its divinity.
You smile a perfect smile,
knowing that –
you are loved.

Cristina M. R. Norcross
Copyright 2008

NOTE: If you know of a non-profit organization that would like to have some poetry, I will be happy to send out these free poetry postcards for their members who need a little love and care. Find my "contact me" page at my website: www.FirkinFiction.com

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Poetry Writing Workshops at the Delafield Arts Center with Author Cristina M. R. Norcross

REGISTER EARLY for Poetry Writing Workshops at the Delafield Arts Center with Author Cristina M. R. Norcross. One-day classes for elementary, middle school and high school age students.

Cristina M. R. Norcross, author of Land & Sea: Poetry Inspired by Art, The Red Drum and Unsung Love Songs will be offering 3, one-day poetry writing workshops at the Delafield Arts Center (803 Genesee St., Delafield) in March, April and May 2012 for elementary, middle school and high school age students. If you have a young, aspiring writer in your household who is looking for inspiration and hands-on writing exercises to hone their skills, these classes are a perfect choice. Each workshop provides positive feedback, a supportive educational environment and an atmosphere of nurtured creativity. This is a unique, literary opportunity to work with a published writer and ask questions about both the writing process and the world of publishing.

Poetry Writing Workshops @ the Delafield Arts Center
w/ author Cristina M. R. Norcross

Brainstorm Poetry
Sat. March 10, 2012 / 1:00-2:30pm, ages 10-13

Word Paint: Writing about Art
Sat., April 21, 2012 / 1:00-3:00pm, ages 13-16

Multi Media Poetry ***(THIS CLASS HAS BEEN CANCELLED)***
Sat. May 19, 2012 / 1:00-3:00pm, ages 16+

For more information and to register, please visit the Delafield Arts Center website:
www.delafieldartscenter.org or phone 262.303.4865.

To learn more about the writing of Cristina M. R. Norcross, please visit her author website: www.FirkinFiction.com.

NOTE: please register early to reserve your spot, as class sizes are limited.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Patience, Prudence: Sometimes Writers Need to Learn the Art of Waiting

Dear Prudence open up your eyes
Dear Prudence see the sunny skies
The wind is low, the birds will sing
That you are part of everything
Dear Prudence won't you open up your eyes?

~The Beatles

Dear Prudence,

Sometimes you have to wait.

So you’ve spent several months polishing a short story, and you feel good about this, as you should. You even carefully researched just the right literary journal to send your precious new offering to, and now you must wait. If you are submitting a short story, poem or prose piece to a typical magazine, it can take 2-4 months to receive a response (3-6 months for a book publisher). Having to wait is hard. It just is. If you are sending out simultaneous submissions, you might not have to wait as long to hear about the future of your story or poem. Many magazines don’t allow this though, and to be honest, it makes life much easier, if you simply send one work of writing to one journal at a time. You can send out many different works for consideration, just don't send the same work to more than one magazine.

Some magazines don’t even send you a “no” letter, they simply don’t respond. Waiting is something we must all face. My personal record for hearing back from an editor is 6 hours. (Don’t get excited, this is not the norm.) It was a non-fiction article for a magazine that I submitted on-line, and they were probably close to their deadline and had space to fill. Needless to say, I was doing my writer’s happy dance when that e-mail came through.

The honest truth is … if you feel yourself getting antsy, train yourself to take a breath.  Listen to The Beatles sing about the Prudence you should be – the one who opens her eyes and looks around at the world – and sit tight. A letter of some kind will eventually come. I can’t promise it will be the letter you want, but it will give you the news you need to either celebrate by buying some new pens and blank moleskin notebooks (maybe a nice bottle of something deep red?) or to send this story out to another place. Feel free to have a Beatles break during this article, to find that calm center we all need while waiting. Every time you see the word, Prudence, it is a link to a You Tube video of The Beatles singing, “Dear Prudence.”

What you need to know in your heart and deep in your gut is that your story, article, poem or book WILL find a home. Have the confidence to know this with every fiber of your obsessive, passionate, can-stop-scribbling-ideas-down soul of a writer that you have. I believe in you! You need to believe in yourself too. This blog post is your literary cheerleader, to give you the boost you need to keep going!

I love the article in MORE Magazine, which features The Help author, Kathryn Stockett. She received 60 rejections before finally receiving the “yes” letter that led to her book becoming a best seller and eventually a film. She had to live through 60 editors and publishers saying, “no, this book isn’t for us.”

It takes submitting and re-submitting. It takes realizing that maybe you need to go back and edit that manuscript, yet again, to make it more publishable. Perhaps you are targeting the wrong publisher? Don’t submit a book of short stories about a women’s knitting club to a publisher that mostly comes out with thrillers. Investigate your target venue and find the best fit.

If you believe in your book, others will too. It just might not happen today, so brace yourself for an empty mailbox or inbox.

Besides, while waiting to hear back from a magazine or publisher, you should be spending those precious days creating something new. What is your next project? Map it out – now! Start working on what comes next AFTER you get the current work out there into the world. It might sound like writer’s ADHD, but I always have 3 writing projects going on at the same time. Depending on the day or week, different projects appeal to me. If the poetry collection is leaving me blank one day, I’ll switch to a short story, or writing something on this blog (I promise, that I don’t just come here when I’m bored and can’t think of anything to write about.)

Writer Commandments:

1. Write every day.
2. Keep sending out submissions.
3. Your first draft is never your last draft. Edit and polish your work.
4. Expect to wait, wait and wait some more to hear back from editors.
5. While you’re waiting, keep writing new things and fine tuning your craft as a writer.
6. Never stop writing, just because you’re not receiving the feedback or recognition you crave.
7. Have patience with yourself and your progress. This is not a race.
8. You have to live in order to write. Have experiences – write about them!
9. A writer writes every day, because he or she can’t imagine a time when they would ever stop writing.
10. Writing is a way of life. Whether you have had huge success with being published or your slips of paper with words are stowed in a drawer, like Emily Dickinson, never doubt that you are a writer. If you are reading this blog post, connect with its message and regularly keep a journal to write in, then you are a writer.

OK, now stop reading this blog and just write! What are you waiting for?

Peace & poetry,
Cristina M. R. Norcross