I Won


Forgive me for bragging but I must. I was a recent recipient of the beautiful digital painting pictured here, a masterful piece of art by Ahmed ALOZADE @ https://paintdigi.wordpress.com/author/paintdigi/. I’m very proud to have won this painting, and excited that Ahmed has allowed me to reproduce it into a physical piece of art to hang in my house. I haven’t done it yet, but I’ve been on the phone talking to places that make reproductions of digital works. And since I have “legal copyright consent from the artist” which Ahmed kindly sent via email, all I have to do is print and present his consent when I’m ready to have the physical work done. I’ll post further developments as they happen.

Ahmed titled this painting Mon 24e tableau in his blog heading and The flowers of the universe in the text. My personal title is Hanging Basket, though I like Flowers of the Universe too. To read more about this beautiful art, go to https://paintdigi.wordpress.com/2016/08/02/my-24th-painted-picture-mon-24e-tableau/.

My Second Liebster Award


Here is another award from Steven L Campbell @ https://stevenleocampbell.com/ that he sent to me in August, which is the second time my blog has been nominated for this award.

Here are the rules for accepting the award:

Thank the person who nominated you (Thank you Steve), make sure to answer the questions that person who nominated you asks, then nominate up to 11 other blogs. The idea is to nominate those with 500 followers or less. Ask those you’ve nominated 11 questions and make sure to add the Liebster Award sticker to your blog (which I’ve done above).

Answers to Steve’s 11 questions:

1]. Why did you start blogging? I began blogging when I was a girl to stay connected with my relatives and friends around the country, especially later while attending college in New York so I could stay connected with my relatives and friends in California. Also, it was a free and easy medium for publishing my poetry, which I still do.

2]. Why is your blog called “Fires In Ashbarrels”? The words are from section 9 of a gut-clawing poem by Galway Kinnell (1927-2014) called The Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ into the New World. The section begins: “Children set fires in ashbarrels,” which was an image that left its mark on me when I was 9 years old, reading poetry and literature by Kinnell, Plath, Burroughs, Ginsberg, and Kerouac. Some dark stuff that was lighted by the flames that burned inside me.

3]. Who or what inspires you (to blog, and/or in general)? Early inspiration came from other bloggers who were like me and who were writing online diaries of their daily events. Among those diary entries were many poems that I read with great interest. Another early influence—during my pre- and post-college years—was reading about other people’s work, family life, and injustices, like at Heather Armstrong‘s blog which is still around and called Dooce @ http://dooce.com/.

4]. Which three hashtags best describe your blog? #poetry #art #creative

5]. Do you have other blogs? I used to have 4 blogs: a general tell all, diary-type blog, a fiction and poetry blog, an art and photography blog, and an erotic writing blog. I combined them for a blog I called Tangerine Days, but I ended up posting tons of photos and writing less poetry, so I scrapped it in favor of this one, which focuses more on poetry.

6]. How and/or where do you get new ideas for your poems? Everywhere and through everything I experience. As soon as I write a new poem (which happens pretty often in my bedside diary) I start itching to share it with my readers in a blog post, even though it needs work. But every first draft poem needs to mature before I publish it.

7.] Where would you like to wake up every day? Anywhere, as long as I’m next to my husband. We all need a person we love and who loves us back. I used to think there was no one who would want to be with me. But Earth is a big planet with lots of people living on it, so even the loneliest person has someone who loves them. That’s the beauty of today’s communication age and being able to travel past the boundaries that separated our grandparents.

8]. Which talent don’t you have, but want it? The ability to express myself better. I tend to be cryptic when I talk… even when I write. But we get do overs when we write. Talking is pretty much a one shot deal. I think that’s why I say little but write volumes.

9]. You and I are avid readers. Do you have a favorite book? If so, which one? You’ve asked me this question before, that time I read all the books of Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and called them (kidding, of course) the science fiction version of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath combined. My answer then was The Grapes of Wrath, simply to give you an answer. But I don’t think it’s possible to honor one book as a favorite. I look at my bookshelves and I see almost 100 books there, all favorites. Favorites because I enjoy returning to them again and again. To pick one would be an injustice to the others.

10.] Is there a blog post or poem that is dear to your heart? If so, which one? Many of my poems are personal and tug at my heartstrings when I read them, so picking one is difficult. However, In the Park (Where You Died) has received a lot of favorable response from readers. It is one that catches in my throat when I read it aloud.

11]. What advice do you have for new bloggers to reach more people? I don’t concern myself with popularity, but choose to blog about things that interest me. I also concentrate on blogging often and keeping my posts short by trimming adjectives and redundant phrases because many readers have a small window of time to read their favorite blogs. This is a good exercise if you’re a writer considering being an author. It’s a great way to learn how to edit your writing by blogging short, engaging posts. Also, find time to give the blogs you read heartfelt follows, likes and comments. Most everyone I follow leaves those 3 means of communication open. We appreciate positive engagement, so don’t be a blogger that doesn’t engage with others. It’s called social media for a reason.


For the final act of accepting this award nomination, I’m reserving nominating any blogs now because it’ll take research to locate the ones with less than 500 followers, which will probably happen during a weekend when I have more time.

My Super Sweet Award


So many good things have happened to my blog, especially the awards it has been nominated for. In August it was nominated for the Super-Sweet Blogging Award by Steven L Campbell @ https://stevenleocampbell.com/. I’m now getting around to acknowledging his kindness because my busy life has limited my blog time presence.

The rules that come with this award are [1] Show-off the award on your blog (see it above), [2] Thank the super sweet blogger who nominated you (Thank you Steve), [3] Answer five super-sweet questions about yourself, and [4] Nominate your favorite super-sweet bloggers.

Here are the 5 questions Steve sent me to answer:

[1] Cookies or cakes?

Cakes, handmade by me. I use recipes handed down from ancestors who didn’t run to the supermarket for premade cakes.
Nothing beats a homemade cake made from sifting, mixing and beating the ingredients. True art starts in the kitchen.

[2] Chocolate or vanilla?


[3] Favorite sweet treat?

Chocolate covered raisins sprinkled lightly with powdered sugar.

[4] When do you crave sweets the most?

My answer may gross out the men, but you ladies know: during menstruation.

[5] If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?

I do have a sweet nickname: Tangerine.

Steve didn’t tell me how many blogs to nominate, so I’m doing one now and reserving nominating other favorite super-sweet bloggers at a later date, preferably during a weekend when I have some me time.

The first nomination is paintdigi, a blog for lovers of art @ http://paintdigi.wordpress.com/. You can see beautiful digital art creations there and even win a digital painting. I was a recent winner of a beautiful painting, which I’ll write more about in an upcoming blog post.