The Works of Jayne Pupek

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Richmond, VA, United States
Jayne Pupek is the author of the novel "Tomato Girl" (Algonquin Books, 2008) and a book of poems titled "Forms of Intercession" (Mayapple Press, 2008). Her writing has appeared in numerous literary journals. In addition to her own writing, Jayne freelances as a ghostwriter, editor and mentor. A Virginia native, Jayne has spent most of her professional life working in the field of mental health.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One True Bear

I found this to be an intriguing article by Sean Coughlan. As a mother of two boys, I recall how they delighted in drawing pictures of car crashes and buildings falling down. Using these kind of images in a children's story is bold and honest. I appreciate the fact that the children drew the pictures themselves. Here is an excerpt, with a link to find the rest of the article.

Blood and Bedtime Stories

By Sean Coughlan
BBC News

There's rarely room in children's books for scenes of slaughter and pictures of people being impaled, so why does one author want to change this?

There have been many calls to protect the young from violent images, but it's not often the opposite case is argued, that there aren't enough aggressive pictures in children's books.

But award-winning children's author Ted Dewan is conscientiously putting scenes of mayhem and destruction into his latest book, not drawn by an adult but by the children themselves.

Children, particularly boys, often produce violent images in their drawings, he says. But when it comes to children's books, this becomes a taboo. They're often fluffy and fleecy, but there's rarely room in the children's section for the scenes of slaughter that many boys like to draw.

One True Bear is a moral tale about a bear and boy. Mr Dewan wants children's literature to face up to this "hidden art" and to cast some light on the "type of pictures that don't get put up on the fridge". Read the rest here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Audible. com

I signed up for a trial membership with Audible. com and am really enjoying the book.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Review of Forms of Intercession

Helen Losse wrote a wonderful review of my book, Forms of Intercession (Mayapple Press, 2008) which appears in Galatea Resurrects #12. Helen is the poetry editor of The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and a fine poet in her own right. Helen's new book, Better With Friends is on Rank Stranger Press (2009).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cormac McCarthy's The Road

The movie adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's best-selling and Pulitzer Prize winning novel, "The Road," finally has a trailer, and it is decidedly dark and haunting. Viggo Mortensen plays a man trying to keep his son alive in a post-apocalyptic world. I loved this moving and disturbing book and am eager to see the film.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Birds, Birds, Birds!

I'm spending more time on freelance projects now and just landed a dream assignment for any bird lover. I'm writing a total of 10 articles on companion birds. Topics range from Buying a Parrot to Feeding a Budgie. My articles will appear at, a new site that will launch on June 15.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Lullaby in Blue
by Betsy Sholl

The child takes her first journey
through the inner blue world of her mother's body,
blue veins, blue eyes, frail petal lids.

Beyond that unborn brackish world so deep
it will be felt forever as longing, a dream
of blue notes plucked from memory's guitar,

the wind blows indigo shadows under streetlights,
clouds crowd the moon and bear down on the limbs
of a blue spruce. The child's head appears—

midnight pond, weedy and glistening—
draws back, reluctant to leave that first home.
Blue catch in the mother's throat,

ferocious bruise of a growl, and out slides
the iridescent body—fish-slippery
in her father's hands, plucked from water

into such thin densities of air,
her arms and tiny hands stutter and flail,
till he places her on her mother's body,

then cuts the smoky cord, releasing her
into this world, its cold harbor below
where a blue caul of shrink-wrap covers

each boat gestating on the winter shore.
Child, the world comes in twos, above and below,
visible and unseen. Inside your mother's croon

there's the hum of an old man tapping his foot
on a porch floor, his instrument made from one
string nailed to a wall, as if anything

can be turned into song, always what is
and what is longed for. Against the window
the electric blue of cop lights signals

somebody's bad news, and a lone man walks
through the street, his guitar sealed in dark plush.
Child, from this world now you will draw your breath

and let out your moth flutter of blue sighs.
Now your mother will listen for each one,
alert enough to hear snow starting to flake

from the sky, bay water beginning to freeze.
Sleep now, little shadow, as your first world
still flickers across your face, that other side

where all was given and nothing desired.
Soon enough you'll want milk, want faces, hands,
heartbeats and voices singing in your ear.

Soon the world will amaze you, and you
will give back its bird-warble, its dove call,
singing that blue note which deepens the song,

that longing for what no one can recall,
your small night cry roused from the wholeness
you carry into this broken world.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cormac McCarthy Wins PEN/Saul Bellow Award

Associated Press
Tuesday, May 5, 2009

NEW YORK, May 4 -- Pulitzer Prize winner Cormac McCarthy has received another literary honor.

The author of "The Road," "All the Pretty Horses" and several other novels was named the winner Monday of the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for lifetime achievement in American fiction. The prize is worth $25,000.

The PEN American Center, the U.S. chapter of the international writers organization, announced several other honors:

Steve Coll, former managing editor of The Washington Post, won a nonfiction award for his book "The Bin Ladens," which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and for a 2009 Pulitzer Prize in biography.

The PEN Center also awarded citations to Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, Ha Jin and 18 other authors for excellence in short fiction.