Happy Easter!

800px-Cherry_blossoms_at_POSTECHApril tends to be an eventful month around here, sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a not-so-good way. This April has been more challenging than most–work issues, health issues, money issues, and most recently, communication issues (two days without phone service to our landline). At times like this, accentuating the positive becomes a necessary coping strategy. So on the up side, the weather is currently mild and pleasant, the opening spring flowers are lovely, my WIP continues to surprise me in a good way, and it’s National Poetry Month. As poetry is one of my great loves, I usually make more of a to-do about it and much sooner, but better late than never!

So here’s an offering by A. E. Housman, who’s become the poet I tend to associate most with Easter even though this particular poem isn’t an Easter poem, per se, despite the reference in the first stanza. But the delicate tinge of melancholy and the underlying awareness of human mortality and beauty’s transience makes it strangely apposite for this holiday and this season.

Loveliest of Trees

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

–A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

Blog Makeover: A Fresh Look for Spring!

Apple_Blossoms_by_John_Everett_MillaisSome folks who happened to wander by may have noticed that Blue Stockings & Crossed Genres has been given a makeover for spring. So here’s the official bulletin: the blog now boasts a new background color, a new header, new menu tabs, and most significant of all, a new feature added to the sidebar–namely, a sign-up form for my newsletter, which I’ll send out when I have a new release or something else noteworthy to share.  Generally speaking, that may be turn out to be quarterly. As someone who’s been on the receiving end of all kinds of spam, I have no wish to inflict it on friends, relations, and readers (No, I’m not interested in the latest Get Rich Quick Online scheme. No, I don’t need a supply of Viagra or a penile transplant. And No to the nth Power of No, I do not want to see porn featuring farm animals! Pass the brain bleach!).

Other eventual additions to the blog may include a Q&A page. With just two books out at present, I don’t know how many questions there will be, but some tend to crop up repeatedly, no matter the size of the back- or frontlist. And perhaps a Miscellaneous page dealing with details that don’t really fall under the heading of the other menu tabs.

It occurs to me that I may be tinkering just for the fun of tinkering. To which I can only reply: Guilty, your Honor. Because there’s just something about spring that makes you want to shake things up, change things around, and just get out of whatever rut you happen to be stuck in. Winter can be a fine season for reflection and introspection (internal rhyme right there!), but there comes a time when analysis must give way to action. Otherwise you risk paralyzing yourself and not moving forward the way you want.

So, onward! Excelsior! Once more unto the breach, dear friends! Wishing all of you a happy, productive, and invigorating spring!