Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Horse I Rode In On

"Smell you later" indeed. So things have been kind of awful, thanks for asking. And you? It's so good to see you! I'm definitely ready to talk about outfits.



And also static cling situations. 


Before we do, some really fantastic news: my poem honouring my dad's telling of his dad's passing has been shortlisted for Arc Poetry Magazine's 2015 Poem of the Year (grand prize $5000, eep!) "By the time he hit the floor" is also about tobacco farming and bee-keeping, and there's a love story too. See it together with the other contenders—and vote for the Readers' Choice Award until March 30. Voting now closed. Thanks, all!



ridiculously '80s-tastic horse jacket: Crazy Cowgirl (Made in India), thrifted
burgundy enamel necklace: Tuleste, My Habit
black drawstring-waist midi dress: Joe Fresh, same one in olive green here
stretch-suede cowboy boots: Donald J. Pliner Soni, My Habit






Family photos of my poem's subjects are below the jump. I'm especially grateful to my father for his generous permission to write about his life. 




Coming up: more excellent-news updates on the Writings and Such page, and a page of Fragrance Free resources. (ETA: done and done!)





In the meantime, I'll see you over at Sheila's for Shoe Shine. Tell me everything I've missed!


"By the time he hit the floor" is shortlisted for Arc's 2015 Poem of the Year. Vote for Readers' Choice until March 30. Voting is easy: click cast your vote here, choose the poem title, click Done! Thanks ever so much for your support. Feel welcome to spread the word. 


my parents, 1964


my grandfather, age 17, 1929


34 comments:

  1. Hi Amber! Welcome back. Sorry things have been hard for you.

    The outfit is cute and the poses even better. Very attractive and feminine.

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  2. Wow, you are back (and I'm ramdomly online today, what is not usually in this time - ) with a great look.
    I cannot find the poem (would read it, of course) and the voting link doesn't working. Please make it right, before it is to late. Have a nice springtime

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    1. Thank you, Mascha! The Arc website was down for several hours but the links are working now. All best springtime wishes to you too. :)

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  3. PS: Are the naturally fragrances of spring flowers a problem too?

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    1. No, thank goodness! Fragrances occurring in nature aren't troublesome—for me it's processed and artificial / chemical "fragrance" that's problematic. Unfortunately, "fragrance" is everywhere. Processing methods and additives can make some essential oils and most "naturally"-fragranced products toxic.

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  4. Congratulations, and what a marvelous poem. Yes, my eyes are wet. How wonderful to capture those thoughts, those moments is such a moving way. It's a great joy to see you today too!

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    1. Oh Patti, thank you so much for reading and responding! Hated to miss yet another Visible Monday, but surely will be in the mix sometime soon.

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  5. I've been gone for a while aswell, but not because things have been aweful. Sorry to hear. But let's talk outfits: Rella like the "ridiculous" jacket!

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  6. So wonderful to see you pop up in my reader again! Congratulations on the recognition of your poetry, that's really wonderful. And I love the proportions here and graceful drape of the skirt.

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    1. Thank you, Susan!! Hope I'll be able to get posting again before everyone clears me out of their reading lists—thanks ever so much for keeping Butane Anvil on yours!

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  7. Amber, it is so very wonderful to "see" you! All this time, I've wondered (and worried) how things were for you, knowing that your absence was probably an indication of trials and tribulations of some sort. I will take it as a good sign that you are back at the blog, even if things are not all resolved.

    I love that jacket! As always, your ensemble is an inspiration!. I expect to be even more inspired when I trot off this page and go see your poem. Congratulations on the nomination!

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    1. Linda, you are incredibly kind. Thanks for holding that thoughtful space all this time, and for your generous comment!

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  8. Nobody, but nobody wears a horse as well as you, darling.
    I'm so happy to see you!! Looking swish. Big hugs. I'm sorry that you've been dealing with hard life. And I hope too that things are softening as we head into spring.
    And I'm glad you are a finalist! Your words are tumbling out, in this case through your dad too, and being read everywhere. You must feel satisfied indeed. I checked your Writings and Such, but too quickly - I must go back for more at a slow pace. Really good to see you, Amber.

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    1. Dearest Melanie, your Bag and a Beret is sustenance for even the bleakest times, the tastiest manna in the 'sphere. Thanks for all you do, and especially these hugs. I am so lucky.

      Writings and Such is now up to date with the few latest tidbits! (It had somehow destabilized, much needed re-typing, but hopefully the text is now less painfully teeny-tiny, whew.)

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  9. Great to see you/ read you again - wonderful news about the poetry. Love the horse jacket and boots!

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  10. Lovely to see you back and looking absolutely fabulous, as ever! Sorry things haven't been good, hoping they're a little better now.
    What fantastic news about the poem. I'm off to vote. xxx

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    1. Dear Vix, thank you so much for your constant inspiration, your warm welcome and your vote! xoxo

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  11. Love the poem, have cast my vote so the best of luck! I'm sorry things have been so hard for you - it was a nice surprise to see you pop up in my blog feed this morning, and wearing a sassy horse jacket too.

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    1. Thanks a million, dear Shelley, for your vote and your friendship! I've been lurking faithfully over by you. :)

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  12. Horsetastic indeed! I love the outfit - your outfits always have a grandeur that I admire. I imagine you swanning around in them. Of course, your poetry is amazing. I love the conversational tone, and the weaving of the bee imagery - very strong and evocative. You have my vote!

    Thank you for linking up to Shoe Shine! Love those fabulous boots.

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    1. HORSETASTIC. There should absolutely be more swanning in the world! And sashaying! Most of the time I do have to also be able to play on the floor and not over-worry about getting art supplies on me. Hence generous cuts and pattern-mixing. :)

      Thanks especially for taking the time to read my poem, vote, and come back with these kind words.

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  13. You created a beautiful ensemble with the horse jacket, and your boots are awesome! Congratulations on your poem being selected! I will read and vote for you. Love your family photos, they are wonderful!

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    1. Natalia! Thank you for commenting so that I could visit your blog and enjoy your fantastic style. Thanks also for your congrats, your vote, and your generosity.

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  14. Amber I am so happy to see you back! You look well and gorgeous and I love your outfit. I really enjoyed your poem and have voted for it because of course it is a winner! I felt like I was reading an Alice Munro story while reading your poem, which I mean as a compliment so I hope it sounds like one to you. It's so lovely to see the old photos of your family members.
    A question: are you wearing lipstick in that photo and if so what is it? If not, well, all I can say is you have gorgeous lips. xoxo

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    1. Dear Shawna, I'm so happy to see you too! Thank you also for taking the time to go read & vote! I appreciate your feedback on my poem, what's funny is I have another included in the Windsor Review's just-released Alice Munro tribute issue (updated on my Writings page yesterday). It's about chickens. :) We are in Munro country here, good old Southern Ontario Gothic.

      Lipstick is the only makeup I wear, the same kind for probably 10+ years and they better not stop making it like they do with everything I love or I will probably pretty much die: Cover Girl Outlast in Brazen Raisin. xoxo

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    2. Amber, thanks so much for sharing with me your lipstick colour. Isn't it always the way that something you love gets discontinued? I am obsessed with it (or am I obsessed with your lips now-how creepy!) but it is probably too dark for me. The lightest colours end up looking like dark red on me. Alice Munro used to spend part of the year here in Comox and had a condo in the same building where I live but not since I've been here. She sold it fairly recently. I am hoping her good writing vibes just waft on over and soak into me. xoxo

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    3. Being a liquid-with-sponge-on-a-wand lipstick, the Brazen Raisin can be a sheerer if applied thinly / blotted right away, though its viscosity increases over a tube's lifetime.

      I totally agree that proximity to her footsteps must make it easier to channel Munro. :)

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  15. Dear Amber, Welcome back! It's so great to see that things aren't bad enough to keep you from blogging anymore. My "break" was nearly two years, and I so enjoy been back and connected.

    I read your poem and was in tears - having lost 4 family members during the last couple of years, it just hit me. Of course I voted for you :-)

    Your outfit is lovely.The jacket is fantastic, both the fit and the print. The burgundy touch is brilliant! I'm looking forward to see lots more of your gorgeous outfits, and also to follow your career as a poet.

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    1. I've been so glad to see you posting again too! I'm very touched by your words, and so sorry for your multiple losses. I'm honoured that you voted for me, and appreciate your literary and sartorial encouragement!

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  16. So, so glad to see you back, darling. Missed you!

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Thank you for your comments!
- Amber