Valya Dudycz Lupescu

Writer, fueled by coffee

29 September, 2016
by Valya

Happy Coffee Day! For all my fellow coffeephiles…

The Caffeinated Week

by Valya Dudycz Lupescu

Monday’s cup is the darkest roast,

to battle with the weekend’s ghost.

Tuesday’s coffee is triple shot,

like dragons’ blood served boiling hot.

Wednesday’s coffee has extra bite—

Medusa’s venom, black as night.

Thursday is Turkish, mythic and rich,

coy in the cup, it will charm and bewitch.

Friday’s latte has a touch of the Fae,

full of anticipation and promise of play.

Saturday’s mocha is gratefully savored,

steamed with intrigue and brazenly flavored.

The French Press on Sunday is carefully timed—

short to steep, slow to drink, and soon left behind.



© 2016 Valya Dudycz Lupescu

28 September, 2016
by Valya

On Shakespeare, Sonnets, and Pop Songs


I love sonnets. And Shakespeare. And music.

When I was in college, I heard and fell in love with the music of Ralph Covert and the Bad Examples. Many of the songs come back to me time and time again, and one in particular comes to mind when I feel myself getting frustrated with a scene or character while writing:

“Every poet wants to murder Shakespeare
We’re just pissing on the grave of what went on before
And everyone invents the world the day that they were born”

~Ralph Covert, “Every Poet Wants to Murder Shakespeare”

So speaking of Shakespeare; and sonnets; and music…

When Stephen and I were at BookExpo promoting Geek Parenting, we picked up the book Pop Sonnets by Erik Didriksen. While he may not murder Shakespeare, Erik gives Shakespeare a run for his money. 🙂

We had so much fun taking turns reading the sonnets and trying to guess the original pop song. It’s such a fun and clever book. Here’s a sample:


(You can read a few more on the @popsonnet tumblr page.)

And here are the Bad Examples for your listening pleasure:

If you’d like to hear the Bad Examples on vinyl, check out their Bad Is Beautiful deluxe vinyl release.

And to conclude, fourteen lines of iambic pentameter by the Bard himself:

Sonnet 30

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unus’d to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancell’d woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish’d sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restor’d and sorrows end.

—William Shakespeare

27 September, 2016
by Valya

Leaving Orchards

Photo by Vincent Louis Carrella

Photo by Vincent Louis Carrella

I met Michele Turner at the Big Sur Writing Workshop in 2012. Parts of it were inspiring and valuable, but meeting Michele was the biggest blessing of the weekend. We clicked immediately (she was kindred spirit and another writer mama of two girls); because we live so far apart, we mostly kept in touch online, checking in and swapping stories about the directions our lives were taking over the past four years.

Michele had a recurrence of her breast cancer this summer; and, despite 10 rounds of chemotherapy, the cancer spread and was incurable. She passed away this morning. She leaves a hole in so many hearts. Her friend Vincent Louis Carrella wrote on Michele’s facebook page, “She was the Johnny Appleseed of love and she left orchards.” I love that. It’s true. It’s what we should all endeavor to do and be, I think.

Michele was a brilliant and utterly authentic human being with a kind and loving heart–a creative force who made this world better. Having the privilege of knowing her was a gift.

What is remembered, lives. So I wanted to write something down, to remember. To honor the beauty of her words and heart and spirit.

Michele introduced me to the idea of taking the kids on a “penny walk” allowing heads or tails to decide the direction of the stroll. I will go on a walk in the next day or so and bring a penny with me. I’m going to head toward the lake, because I want to remember her in the most beautiful place I have access to nearby, but we’ll see where I end up.

We never really know do we? We only know that our time is short and precious, and we need to cherish one another and all the moments.

Michele Turner. What is remembered lives.