The Lockdown Nursery Rhyme

My most recent work is a romantic comedy novel – but in light of recent news, I feel the need to share this sombre opinion piece today, from my collection Three Spaces (2013). Feel free to share it.
***
Danny got dressed for school today;
Danny didn’t come back,
because of one gunman’s
mass attack.

Should we start teaching our children this nursery rhyme at school, along with lockdown procedure? A ridiculous idea? Why? Nursery rhymes were designed to warn children of possible dangers in the world.

They also make light of what children would perceive as tragic events (Humpty Dumpty not being able to be put together again; a tiny spider nearly drowning in a waterspout).

We’ve had enough school massacres in the USA to warrant it being called a real threat, and yet, so many of us downplay the chances of it happening closer to home, and argue that nothing can be done to stop crazy people from doing crazy things.

We may as well write a nursery rhyme about these events, because nothing else constructive is being done.

We’re all too busy shouting at each other: Gun control versus freedom to carry concealed weapons. Shoot the crazy dude dead. He ws just some nut case, so let’s forget about it, I need my Grande Vanilla Latte at Starbucks.

We hold these truths to be self evident: If we can buy all kinds of weapons with only a driver’s licence as ID, and if we retain the right to carry a concealed .223 calibre Bushmaster rifle which can kill 20 children in 8 minutes, innocent lives will continue to be lost.

It’s too late to bring back the children. It’s too late for an all-out ban on weapons. It’s never too late to make a positive change.

We can regulate who can carry concealed handguns, and we can bring back Canada’s long-gun registry, which would provide one extra safety measure to regulate who owns and uses weapons in Canada. Now is not the time to loosen any country’s gun laws. It’s time to strengthen them.

We. The people. It’s up to us. It’s our lives. It’s our children. Something can be done, but we can’t sit around waiting for it to get done. We have to voice our demands, and make politicians hear them.

If not, we may as well start teaching our children the nursery rhyme about the gunman who comes to their school and opens fire.

Danny dressed for school today.

Mitts on hands, hat on head.

Danny went to school today,

and a gunman shot him dead.

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“I can shake my eyeballs back & forth really fast” Author @hgracestewart

I woke to find this phrase in my Twitter newsfeed. Not retweeted once, or twice, like I’m used to, but filling the entire newsfeed. People have been retweeting an interview I did for the wonderful site Celebrating Authors, with wonderful interviewer & author Carolyn Arnold (@Carolyn_Arnold) since it came out yesterday, and haven’t stopped yet. It’s pretty much all I see in my  @ twitter feed every few minutes. It makes me chuckle and smile. I told my almost-8-year-old daughter and she said, “People want to know about the POET. That’s why. They want to know funny things about you!”  I laughed. Well, now, certainly, all of Twitter does! :)

Here’s the interview http://celebratingauthors.blogspot.ca/2013/04/i-can-shake-my-eyeballs-back-and-forth.html  and thanks again to Carolyn for inviting me to Celebrating Authors!

I wanted to remind you all that I’m a featured author this month on Authorgraph.com and very happy to sign your digital books (you’ll get a PDF for your ipad and other signatures go directly to your Kindle and other e-devices! It’s really simple and very cool. )

Heather

Another thing about me? I love wearing heels!

Another thing about me? I love wearing heels!

Top Ten Moments @ My Chapters Bookstore Signing

10 Sold lots of books!

9 Met lots of new readers!

8  Met someone who definitely wants to come to Herb’s Café for my reading Sat. April 20th. So much so, in fact, he took the 8×10 poster with him. Oops!

7 Two tweens bought Three Spaces. Poetry lives on in the younger generations!

6 Several children listened to me read for 15 minutes and I never saw them squirming or playing with the housewares stuff once!

5 Someone came up to me to ask if I worked there!, and when I said I was a visiting poet she said “Oh, wow, I love poetry!”  (you don’t hear that too often)

4 Several dear friends, neighbours, and a dear old friend from my Harrowsmith magazine days (I hadn’t seen her in years!) visited and hung out with me a long time as I signed books etc.

3 One of my readers bought me a latte!

2 My daughter wore a very similar lace top, purple vest, and black leggings, because

she “Wanted to be just like” me.

and the #1 Moment…

Chapters put out decorations on the table and a beautiful pillow and wicker

chair for me. My 7-year-old daughter took one look and said,

“Hey, last year you just got the empty desk. Maybe you’re a little bit more

important than last year!”  (Me: ha! But I certainly was comfortable!)

Thanks to the League of Canadian Poets and Chapters Pointe Claire for your wonderful support, and to everyone who came out for making the launch of Three Spaces such a success!

IMG_1412Reading from Three SpacesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Review of ‘Three Spaces’ by Best-selling Author Elisa Lorello

Full disclosure: Heather Grace Stewart is my friend. She also happens to be one of my favorite poets. And her poetry collections only get better over time. Her latest, Three Spaces, is proof.

Stewart introduces the collection by informing us: “We are living in an age of three spaces: public space, personal space, and cyberspace. This book is my attempt to connect, take apart, and examine those three spaces that co-exist in our society.” That she does, and more. As always, Heather Grace Stewart integrates verbal and visual by using photographs that splash simplicity and delicate beauty and partnering them with words that evoke the same. Every poem, every picture, every part of this book tells a story.

She also intersperses poems with short prose chock full of depth and introspection. “Everyday Heroes” is an intimate portrait of an early male figure in her life. “To Infinity, and the Bus” is a slice of childhood; and although the child is hers, we can’t help but re-live a moment from our own. Additionally, Stewart uses dialogue and lyrics to tell her stories, and we’re more than happy to join the conversation.

“Cyberspace” offers the most humor, I think. “A Twittertine” is a 25-word love letter that would’ve melted me on the spot, had I been the recipient. Stewart also examines the silent personal connections authors make with readers, one that can’t be measured or detected by analytics or metadata. As an author, I could relate, and it reminded me of just how important those face-to-face interactions still are.

Above all, this collection is a reflection of Heather Grace Stewart’s radiant spirit. She is both a witness and a participant of life. She embraces her inner child as much as she does her daughter. She appreciates and celebrates the little things. She loves and lives out loud.

Buy this book. Get hooked. Add it to your space. You won’t be disappointed.

~ ~ ~

Elisa Lorello is the author of the Amazon best-selling books  Faking It, Ordinary World, Why I Love Singlehood and Adulation. Find her books here

Three Spaces is available in Kindle stores worldwide and coming soon to Kobo, iBooks, Nook, & Sony Reader.

Leaping Into Blog Talk Radio!

“Risk something new every day” ~ did I actually write that? Because now that I have to do it, yikes! :) Tomorrow, Feb. 7, 2013, I will appear on my first live podcast, thanks to the Creative Nexus crew and their wonderful Nexus Café radio show.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/creativenexus

You can tune in live starting at 6 EST Feb. 7, but you can also find the show in the archives later. I’ll be interviewed around 7 EST about my poetry, and will be reading from Carry On Dancing and my upcoming collection, Three Spaces. Here’s a blog post about the show:

http://newworldcreativeunion.blogspot.ca/2013/02/btr-nexus-cafe-070213.html

Hope you’ll tune in!

Heather :)

UPDATE: Thanks so much to all who tuned in – you helped make it their most popular broadcast yet!  Here is a link to the recorded show – you can listen to the whole fantastic broadcast, and find me at 57:05, being interviewed and reading several poems for about 50 minutes. Thanks again for listening and for Creative Nexus for inviting me on the show! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/creativenexus/2013/02/07/nexus-caf-070213

Keep On Going Until You Are Stopped

Hey! Here’s a 2-minute clip from my speech at Queen’s University’s Ban Righ Centre, which supports Continuing Education for Women. The topic of my speech was Leap! Living with Passion, Persistence & Poetry. It was a real treat to be invited to Queen’s to speak, and I’m looking forward to returning there early March 2013 to speak and be a panelist for their special conference on Media & Journalism.

Keep on trekking!

Heather

Poetry by Heather Grace Stewart

Hello faithful readers! How have you been? I’ve been away, speaking & giving poetry readings in Kingston, Ontario. It’s been a fantastic tour. You can find photos from the events on my Facebook Author Page. I’ll soon be posting 2-minute clips of the speech I gave at Queen’s University (LEAP! LIVING WITH PASSION, PERSISTENCE & POETRY) , but for now, here’s the 54-second publicity clip that’s up on Vimeo and YouTube. Please share!