five cool things on a wednesday

1. Because so many of you loved my Indie Artist Spotlight featuring Stéphanie Kilgast of PetitPlat, I know you’ll be excited to hear she just published her first miniature food tutorial book! Now you can follow her step-by-step instructions in English and French (with lots of photos) for making your own polymer clay cakes and breads, etc.

petit plat book

petit plat spread

Repas de Fête/Party Food contains 21 projects centered around the holidays, and is suitable for beginners as well as advanced clayers. Copies are available directly from Stéphanie via her website, and last I heard, they’re selling like hotcakes. Order your copy now!

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2. Attention Hungry Writers! Have you heard about the Eat This Poem Poetry Contest?

poetry contest 2

The lovely Nicole is accepting submissions (1-3 pages of poems) now through August 15th. All poems must contain a food reference of some kind (previously published poems okay). The winning poet’s poem will be featured at Eat This Poem with a recipe inspired by the work, and he/she will also receive a copy of The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food & Drink (LOVE this anthology) and a one-year subscription to Poets & Writers Magazine. Click here for all the details.

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3. Remember when I featured Frances Kakugawa’s poem, “Emily Dickinson, I Am Somebody,” inspired by her experiences as a dementia patient caregiver and poetry workshop leader? Recently I was contacted by the editor of The Respite Reporter (newsletter for the Brookdale National Group Respite Program), for permission to reprint my entire post about Frances in their July 2013 issue.

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The Group Respite Program provides unique opportunities for Alzheimer’s/dementia patients and offers relief and support for family members and caregivers. It’s nice to be able to help spread the word about Frances’s wonderful work as a poet caregiver. Click here to see the article, and be sure to scroll down to read Frances’s other poem about her mother, “Matsue Kakugawa.” It kills me every time.

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4. By now, I hope most of you have read Lee & Low’s most excellent post about the lack of diversity in children’s books, “Why Hasn’t the Number of Multicultural Books Increased in 18 Years?” It is indeed a hot topic these days and a sensitive issue for those of us who write stories featuring non-white characters.

Childrens Books Infographic 18 24 V3

I grew up never seeing myself reflected in the books I read — and I CANNOT believe that even after all this time, for kids born two generations later, there’s still a dearth of good children’s books being published by and about people of color. It’s a travesty pure and simple, and from where I sit, it hurts, it really does.

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Click to read Tanita’s post!

There were several good responses to Lee & Low’s post, but the best by far is “It All Comes Down to This,” by Tanita S. Davis — her post is impassioned and spot-on, and she was able to express many of the thoughts and feelings I’ve been struggling to articulate for a long time. A MUST READ for sure.

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5. I know many of you are Barbara Crooker fans — her newest poetry collection, Gold (Cascade Books, 2013), was officially released last month! The focus of this collection is the loss of her mother. Other themes include aging, loss of friends, and the difficulties and joys of a long-term marriage. You can order directly from the publisher at the special price of $8.80. Can’t wait for my copy to arrive!

gold cover

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Okey dokey. Hope you’re having a good week!


Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

14 thoughts on “five cool things on a wednesday

    1. Stephanie’s probably the best food miniaturist out there. If you’re at all interested in polymer clay work, she’d be the person to learn from :).


    1. Yes, Erik, it’s unfortunately true. It’s a complicated issue, and so important that children’s books accurately reflect the wonderful ethnic diversity that is America. I try my best to feature as many multicultural books as I can on this blog. 🙂


    1. I’m glad more people will hear about Frances too. She’s already an inspiration to so many and continues to work hard on behalf of senior caregivers.


  1. I saw that party food book and was ready to eat my screen – then realized it was clay, alas. But what talent to be able to do that! And I’m glad you shared that item re: multicultural books…I just started shopping one, so fingers crossed!


  2. I’m reading backwards and in spurts, so I’m seeing this after your more recent post. Excited that your writing and Frances’ poem will be in The Respite Reporter! Thanks for all the other info, too!


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