Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Hello there, readers--

I'll bet you thought I'd forgotten you, left you out in the cold, or slipped away without leaving a forwarding address.


What I did was get a website where everything I do can come together in one place. Meena Rose and I now collaborate on a website labeled Two Voices, One Song.

Over there you'll find Claudsy's Calliope, Claudsy's Blog, and much more. The rooms there are spacious and attractive. We can branch out into fiction, reviews, profiles, inspiration pieces, poetry, travel, etc. It's like a department store for readers.

Why did we do this? We both felt the need to expand and test our wings in other skies. We also had some fun doing it.

Right now we're coming out of NaNoWriMo. For those who've never done it or seen the insanity it brings, know this; very little else gets accomplished during November. Couple NaNo with the November PAD Chapbook Challenge over at Poetic Asides and you have manic novel writing episodes leavened with poetry created to someone else's tune.

We've moved into the bigger holiday season, which means we'll be posting more regularly than during November but not as often as in months previously.

There are also other reasons for the slowdown. We've both got major projects in the works right now and the push is on.

We so enjoy having friends and neighbors drop in for a look-see. Please come whenever you like, stay as long as you like, leave us a note if we're not home to let us know you popped in for a visit. We certainly don't mind. We do return the favor and visits.

Now you know why you see nothing new here. Several of you have stopped by to see me here and found me gone. I hope you'll move your viewing pleasure to the new digs. I've missed seeing all of you. I think you'll like what you see there as much or more than what I presented here. Try it. You may really like it. 

The address is: 2voices1song.com/  You can't miss it. It's the big place on the corner of Dreams and Motivation.



Friday, September 7, 2012

New Home, New Post

I've posted a new piece on Calliope at its new home at www.2voices1song.com/

This post reports on the marvelous lecture I went to last evening with Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, Tibetan mond and founder of Ewam: Garden of a Thousand Buddhas in Arlee, MT.

Please stop by and read about this man and his mission. And please investigate the links provided for additional information.

Thanks, all


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Getting a New Home

Ready for a move?
Sad as I am to say it, there's excitement, too. Claudsy's Calliope has moved to a new locale with new sights and sounds and adventures galore.

Regular readers know that it's been difficult for me to keep up with Calliope and Claudsy's Blog, plus Two Voices, One Song, in recent weeks. 

That aspect is, hopefully, going to be remedied with this move. Calliope and Claudsy's Blog have found a new home within the body of Two Voices, One Song so that readers and I can have a bit of one stop shopping for things to read, learn, and enjoy.

For instance, you'll be happy to know that I did, finally, get my office quasi-organized. I'll be giving a complete report on that in a few weeks or so. I found my whole desk area. Soon I'm going to completely redo my room so that I'll have an entirely new work space. I really do need to do the Feng Shui thing in here and I'm looking forward to it.

I'm going to do some serious work on getting manuscripts out the door to agents/publishers. I have two nearly ready to go and will have to concentrate on them more than I've done this past month. That's the main purpose in moving the blogs to Two Voices.

And there you have it. I won't be any more difficult to find. There will be more there to read on the entire site, and who knows, you might find even more to see and do while you're there.

All of the readers of Calliope deserve a hearty thank you from me. THANK YOU ALL. You've been coming here for a long time and I appreciate your loyalty and attendance. I hope you'll take your viewing time over to Two Voices, One Song as well. The address is easy.


Hope to see you there. Until then,


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Today is a look forward, back, and side-wise. It is a speculation on a future as yet unformed. All of the past ceased to exist when the present moment came into existence, and all of tomorrow can never exist for this moment in time is all that can exist. Embracing this truth means knowing that everything before this breath reaches the bottom of my lungs has faded as fog to the morning sun, and all that I can be, have, do, think, and will must be chosen within the space of that breath. That knowledge is mighty and terrifying in its entirety, for I must choose well or continue to hide from disturbing consequences that greet me each moment of the rest of my life.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm playing again today, trying to decide how many of these I can create for a wee chapbook. Let me know what you think. The feedback will help me determine which goes in and which stays out.

Thanks for giving your opinion on 1.) whether poem is accentuated by this photo, 2.) whether placement of poem should shift to a different position or take on a different color font, or 3.) should I give up the idea of doing a chapbook of this type.

Waiting for opinions,


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Days of Learning, Days of Growing

Courtesy of BJ Jones Photography

This past couples of weeks has been interesting. Have you ever had a time in your life when you seem to have gone back to school, but you don’t go to class? It’s as if everywhere you go, everything you encounter are lessons of one form or another.

What do you do with the experience of meeting a person casually who begins telling you their life story at that moment, for seemingly no other reason than because you happen to stand next to them? And what do you do when something in what they say “clicks” in your head audibly, telling you that this bit of information, this insight is something that must be remembered?

Here’s another example. I’ve been concentrating on several small projects lately aside from the blogs and website. I send out at least two, sometimes three, submissions each week; poetry at least once and fiction. I’m putting together a growing list of submission markets for both genres.

My biggest project at present is my book of poetry “The Moon Sees All.” It’s out with my beta readers. It’s being poked, prodded, and evaluated for necessary/suggested changes to make it absolutely irresistible to publishers. That’s an enormous step for me.

My rejection rate is decreasing. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I’d just like to know the reason. In the meantime, I’ll accept this change and the blessing.

Life seems more settled for me in many ways right now. I actively write less, but produce better, given the acceptances lately. I don’t feel harried any longer, which is another blessing. On top of all that, these tiny lessons in changing my thoughts, attitudes, aspirations, etc. have begun bearing fruit in small but effective ways.

Perhaps, in the end, that’s really the take-away for life. Small changes—choosing to spend the day enjoying the outdoors and appreciating those natural gifts we can only experience where they live—repay us with fresher minds and hearts. Our spirits are rejuvenated because we focused on something outside ourselves for a while.

Doing the dishes allows for quiet thinking time. It isn’t the task that’s so important, it’s the time you spend with yourself, considering and pondering those caches of thoughts tucked away in mental closets that you’ve not had time for lately. Mundane chores, while necessary to a tidy household, are also opportunities to review, renew, and reconnect with that piece of yourself that you’ve neglected.

At least, that’s what I’ve concluded. For instance, a few weeks back I showed everyone my office area and how bad it was in the disorder department.  I’m about to get radical with it. I’m clearing out those things that don’t grow corn for me anymore.

About half of the items occupying my space will be eliminated in the next few weeks. I am simplifying my life, my work, and my intentions. The goals remain the same. It’s the approach that needs a clean sweep.

And there you have it. Part of my studying has led me here. The rest comes from lessons encountered willy-nilly in unexpected places.

Things should get really interesting before long. I’m looking forward to it.

Now, let me ask you again. Have you been given surprising lessons lately? Leave a comment and tell me about them. We all have them. It’s whether we recognize their delivery or not.

Until later,


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Taking Stock

Once in a while, like everyone, I have to pause long enough to take stock of things that are going on in my life. This past week has been a really good one.

Two of my poems were accepted by the literary journal, Four and Twenty Short Form Poetry; one “Moon Paths” for the July 17 issue, and one “Seniority” for their online promos. I couldn’t be happier with this news.

The past couple of days I’ve been working to finish the final edit on my book of poetry “Moon Sees All” before sending it off to beta readers. I put out a call yesterday for those readers and have received a marvelous and enthusiastic response. As soon as I get the finishing touches on the manuscript and get it reformatted as a PDF, I can send it to those lovely readers on Thursday.

Since I’ll be incommunicado from Friday through Sunday, I have plenty to get set up for my working week beginning on that absent Sunday. The editorial calendar is in place for Two Voices, One Song and will take effect on July 8th as soon as Meena and I both return from trips elsewhere. That puts work onto my plate for the next three days.

What work? Oh, research for profiles, some flash fiction, themed chat and brainstorming ideas. I’d like to have several finished posts for all my blogs in place and ready for auto-downloading before I leave for a few days. That takes some of the pressure off for next week, too.

Along with that work is my attempt to catch up on all of my coursework. I’m a few lessons behind and would like to start fresh when I return. Whether I make it or not depends on a few things; mainly whether I make it harder on myself than it needs to be, which is often the case. I really have to work on that tendency of mine.

I’m also beginning to take better care of myself; a plus in anyone’s book. I came close to the crash and burn scenario a couple of weeks ago. Having been in deep doodoo before with that scenario, I’ve chosen a much healthier avenue.

A half an hour of yoga will begin my day, followed by my recumbent bike workout. At that point, a need for sustenance will take over; giving me an opportunity to continue with health consciousness and to choose something that will aid my body to get healthier. Meditation will follow later in the day when I really need a break from everything else.

I know. I tend to make full schedules for myself. It could be my age, you know. I’m at that stage where each minute seems to need some purpose, even if it’s only to be still and live within the silent moment. Over the past few months I’ve come to appreciate stillness and the inward view as a way of coping with self-imposed work demands. I’ve reduced those demands to help compensate, as well.

And there you have it; my recap and taking stock for the week.

I hope everyone has a great holiday tomorrow and fun rest of the week. If you need to, pause to take stock of your own days and what you choose to fill them with. What’s happened lately that improved your attitude, gave you reason to ponder an important question, or encouraged you to push just a bit further in pursuit of something you really desire?

Feel free to share here. I love comments and knowing what’s happening with others. Now I must return to the editing table. Take care, all, and God bless.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Today's sandbox at my poet's playground. I hope you enjoy it. Be sure and let me know if there are types of images or poetry that you'd like to see, or not, and I'll try to accommodate at least once a week.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

An Alphabet of Life’s Daily Events: “A” Through “M”

A few days ago I was reminded of family duty of communication. Work and daily life chaos had prevented me from calling on of my aunts for far too long. I was reminded periodically, but “things” got in the way. She took the initiative to call me, never chiding, but reinstating my obligation to keep in touch more regularly. I’m to keep that in mind came the unspoken instruction.

Break to when I got off the phone. Questions swirled in my brain. How often do we change course in our lives through such a soft-toned reminder that someone worries about us when they do not hear from us often enough? And how often do we voice the same concern over one who’s been silent too long?

Causing people distress isn’t something I indulge in purposely. Yet, as it does for so many it happens occasionally through social interaction and family dynamics. Somewhere there must be a mechanism for the prevention of the effect of our lives.

Direction came from my Creative Muse as she let fly with one of her spurts of healing juice. I discovered within me the unstoppable need to put poetry to picture for Claudsy’s Blog. This process takes as long as writing a blog post and is not something done to save time.

Examination of suitable photos takes nearly as much time as writing the specific poem that will hold court in that image. Sizing the photo, getting Sister’s copyright with proper placement, and sighting the position of the text box, all take up time. I’m fussy. Everything must be just right before I hit the save button, and if it isn’t, it hits the trash bin.

Fortune smiled for me, I had the exact photo that fit my mood. Muse wrote the poem through my fingers. Et voila, a poem photo is produced and posted.

Gathering other images for use with poetry kept me moving that day, along with my other writing obligations. Stretching my writer’s fingers has become a full-time occupation lately; one which keeps me growing and moving forward. The experience is a good one, albeit exhausting.

Here, in my small office space does magic occur. I don’t concern myself with whether someone will lift my new creation for their own use. I’m sure some already have. I think of these personal triumphs as ambassadors, carrying part of my purpose with them on their travels.

In the time it’s taken to write this short piece, something I’ve created from nothing more than a thought and a supposition has taken flight to destinations unknown, to ask questions, offer solace, lift a spirit or simply offer beauty. That is its only obligation and my only concern.

Jumbled within our daily exercise of life, should we not take one hour to create something for no other reason than to share it? Should one have to desire more than that revelry in order to enjoy the process of creation? Must we have other agendas?

Knowing the soul’s purpose for creation is, I learned, absolutely necessary or there can be no joy in it. If the act of creation causes dis-stress, pain, confusion, tension, and a sense of never being good enough, it becomes the destroyer of the one creating; its own antithesis.

Longing to free Muse from a stagnant prison empowered me to begin writing, to make a serious effort toward publication and the writing life. My hard work led to being published several times in several genres. Along the way, the business got in the way of the creation.

Making room for life within the business of living under the title of “Author” can wear down anyone as it did me. I’d lost sight of my purpose in writing. I’d almost lost the joy creation. I was brought up short before it was too late. And I’ll always thank those responsible for it.

A Break from habit, Causing me to follow a new Direction to make a closer Examination of the  Fortune in ideas Gathering  Here  In  Jumbled array;  Knowing Longing for the Making of new creations for all. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

There are times when creativity overwhelms other considerations. Hence this bit of poetry with image.               

Monday, June 4, 2012

How-To Create Writing Prompts

One of the most helpful and time-saving tasks the writer can do is to create a series of writing prompts. These prompts can be for any genre, any writing level, and any length of proposed project. If all you need is a mental push—okay, let’s talk shove here—prompts fill your plate with possibilities.

Deciding on a theme for a group of prompts can keep you in work. Whether you’re blogging or writing on spec, prompts can help keep you focused. If you enjoy writing poetry, you can keep yourself occupied forever with a few photos or subject prompts. Here are some examples for two subjects.

All you need is to give your imagination free range. Each prompt is a wisp of thought or image derived from the theme.

Theme: A coastal location and a brewing storm (This theme has driven prose and poetry alike for centuries.) 
·       Prompts
o   A lost child is calling
o   Returning home
o   Sunken treasure
o   Selkies—mythical creatures
Theme: A Winter’s Day
·       Prompts
o   Old-fashioned sledding with shovels
o   Bitter cold and the walk home
o   Deep snow hinders free movement
o   Bright blue skies and snow-burdened pines

None of these prompts took time to conger up. They were waiting there, just under the surface, vying for attention. What can you do with such small prompts?

Any of these could be the basis of a short story, a poem, an article, or a profile. A Profile?

Yes, a profile. Look at it this way. How many times have you read an article about a lost child calling for help until someone hears? There’s a rescue, emergency personnel, etc. And how many times is the child interviewed? What about the rescuer? Sometimes they fade into obscurity or anonymity. In times past, they’re often ignored. Or, what about when the rescuer is an animal? Can you think of an angle where a profile can be done on the one ignored, or the animal praised and forgotten? Could this not be a historical article?

Selkies? Really? Dig a little into mythological history and see what you find. These are fascinating creatures; ones still accepted as real among some fishermen. Could you not put verse together about these, a piece of short fiction, or perhaps an article on mythical creatures in today's world?

Bright blue skies and snow-burdened pines are an idyllic winter scene, but what is the danger here? Can you find it? If you live in the Deep South, would this be heavenly or hellish? Perspective defines all things.

Taking the time to put together short writing prompts, to themes which interest you or can further express your thoughts and ideas, can keep you writing, even when you’re facing that blank page and empty mind syndrome known as writer’s block. Give it whirl. What do you have to lose? I’d be willing to bet you can get through to the end without your mind triggering on one of your generated prompts.

Enjoy the exercise. It helps tone a writer’s idea muscles. Until later,


Friday, June 1, 2012

News Breaks

Friday, June 1, 2012—Claudsy and Meena Rose launch their new endeavor “Two Voices, One Song” with two posts, one in the Garden room and the other in the Kitchen. There’s a bit of something for everyone.

Denise Stanley of “Room to Write” fame is having a Giveaway for the next couple of weeks. Pop on over and see how to enter this lively little celebration. She’d love to see you. 

Claudsy’s Calliope will continue for the foreseeable future with a posting two-three times a week. Yes, you all thought I’d abandon you, didn’t you? No such luck for now. I’ll still come here to kitbitz, complain—but not much, and generally talk about writing.

Claudsy’s Blog will have postings every other day from now on, since I’ll have new post on 2Voices, 1Song on alternate days, usually. Please drop by Claudsy’s Blog anytime you get the opportunity. I’m working on guest posts for that site for this month, and perhaps another interview as well.

My author’s page on Facebook could use some more love. If you haven’t done so as yet, please pop over there and punch the like button. I’ve still got a few needed likes before I get any insights on that little page.

I’ve decided to go back to studying Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way.” I abandoned it when Sister and I went on the road and didn’t pick it back up on our return. It dawned on me when I was writing my post for 2Voices, 1Song, how much I need to resume that study.

Therefore, beginning tomorrow, I’ll be back at my Morning Pages. Heaven only knows what will erupt from my subconscious now. It will be interesting to find out.

Things around home are chugging right along. Sister begins her new degree program next Monday. I have my own coursework at the moment and for many moments to come. Learning is a good thing around here that we strive for.

And there you have it for today on my personal news front. I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for coming here and reading my small musings as often as you do. You are truly appreciated.

I’ll see you next time, folks.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Adding to the Fleet

Many writers have multiple websites for multiple purposes. I’m no different, though some blogs are far more active than others. There is, of course, Calliope here, and Claudsy’s Blog over on Wordpress, and Trailing Inspirations on Wordpress.

Tomorrow another site will be added to the arsenal, albeit with a twist. I’ve entered into a joint venture with Meena Rose of “The Eyes of Meena Rose” fame. This new site is called “Two Voices, One Song” and will launch officially tomorrow.

Within that site’s framework will be many offerings; each unique and, hopefully, enticing. For the time being, I will continue to post here every few days, as well as on the other sites. It’s my hope that the cross pollination of content between sites will keep our readers (that includes all of you, my friends) contented and engaged.

We’re inviting our regular readers to take a short tour of “Two Voices, One Song” to get a feel of the new place and a brief understanding of our mission. From short memoir to Flash Fiction, articles to brainstorming sessions, philosophy discussions to poetry, and lots of other subjects in between, our new playground will have something for everyone.

I encourage all of you to go over there and nose around. Find the hidey holes, the nooks and crannies. See if you think it’s going to be a fun stop over each day for a different perspective. Then come here and tell me how you like what you see, whether you have a suggestion or not.

We’ll be adding more and more links to new engagement opportunities each week. This is a constantly evolutionary process for Meena and I. I hope you’ll find it as exciting as we do.

I’ll see you here tomorrow for the Official Grand Announcement of our launch of “Two Voices, One Song.” Be sure to tell all of your friends about this new venture, too. We welcome all who enter our front door.

Until then, stay tuned.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Turning Off Alarm Bells, Building Structure, and Fulfilling Dreams

When I left teaching, my life drifted for quite a while, not because I couldn't think of something for which to use my time. On the contrary, I could think of dozens of uses for time, but to what purpose. The idea of purpose kept nagging at me. I didn't seem to have any, and the realization ticked me off.

No longer stranded on a foggy, deserted beach, I took up writing again where I’d left off years before. Oh, there were no screenplays or commercials. There was no research for PBS documentaries on spec. I no longer did corporate writing. Instead, I began slowly by learning to write specifically for children.

What does this have to do with alarms, structured lives, and fulfilling one’s life dreams? Everything!

My first desire as a child was to write. I came to a place where my need to fulfill that purpose, held so long within a tiny corner of my being, refused to remain in the shadows. My life was worth more than early retirement, disability, or relaxation.

My writing brought me here, to this new cosmos of cyber energy and virtual reality, completely peopled and conveniently housed. I made an interesting personal discovery the other day; one which I intend to do something about.

I’ve watched my day skewered by bits of life’s battle with time. Errands, email, writing prompts, publication submissions, social media networks, you name it. This goes on each day as I run to catch up. I stopped running today. I took a nap when I was tired.

I got three poems out to, for me, a new market. I singled out a new submission to another market for tomorrow. I didn’t work any further my author’s page. That will happen some other time. I did get two other blog posts done. I didn’t complete a guest post that I need soon.

Yesterday these unfinished items would have nagged with the voice of guilt as I went to bed; today, not so much. I made a decision to stop battling with time. I can do what I can do. That reality is the only one that matters. I don’t have to apologize to anyone for not working 18 hours at my desk each day to complete goals I set for myself. I only have to move the goals to eliminate the guilt.

Each problem has both a solution and an opportunity; a solution to correct the problem or minimize it; an opportunity to take something unexpected from the problem and create a new project, attitude, viewpoint, or blessing.

So much of our day is taken up with the business of others. Some of us choose to take up the business of ourselves and what’s good for us. When we live at the behest of others, we only exist for ourselves. Existence isn’t the same as living. Living takes energy, gives energy, and creates beauty.

Restructuring life takes time and effort, but it pays for itself in the end. Lately, I've had little real time to write as I want to, dreamed about, and planned for. That situation is about to change.

I’ll still blog, but my blogging will have morphed into something new. I’ll be writing more poetry, more guest blogs for other sites, and working far harder on my own books. And I’m looking forward to this new avenue of endeavor.

The world is changing as am I. It’s my hope that each of you will be along for the ride, however long I stay in the saddle. Stay tuned for my announcement of things to come and places to go.

Until then,


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Approaching Daytime with Nighttime Thoughts

Courtesy of BJ Jones Photography
You’re wrenched from sleep by the nightmare rampaging behind your eyelids, leaving you drenched with sweat and gasping. After all you’ve just run for your life, pursued by a raging lunatic with delusions of godhood.  Why wouldn’t you be looking around to see where she is?

Has this ever happened to you? Don’t feel alone. This past week I’ve been through this scenario at least four times, once with shouted sound effects: mine. I chalk it up to my muse preparing me for a day at the keyboard.

I would welcome the experience if I was engaged in actively writing horror stories. Unfortunately, I’m not. Horror isn’t usually my cup of tea.

Thankfully, these weren’t memories either. I admit to having known a few with major emotional and mental problems, but none who went quite that far. So what it is that I’m supposed to get from this race against nightmare pursuit?

I get a kick-start in my day, first thing in the morning. These types of events almost always occur just before I need to get up in the morning. I don’t recommend them as a visual alarm clock. It’s too hard on the heart.

I also get an imagination that’s wide awake and looking for a place to happen. Just because I don’t write horror doesn’t mean that I can’t use this snatch of dream as an action scene for one of my fantasy stories. They always have to have villains, and those with delusions of godhood make some of the best; especially when you give them normal day jobs and pleasant demeanors.

The latest one gave me the answer to a sticky situation with my main character, the second lead, and several bits related to or involving the villain that I didn’t realize I had until now. That’s quite a bit of work for such a short bit of dream, but I’m grateful for it.

So, if you’re looking to broaden how you approach your daytime writing, look to your nighttime thoughts. They may well hold the key to those influential scenes with hero, villain, backstory, etc. Who knows what kind of gem mine you might find when you go on an active search.

I’m sure you’ve heard all the tips.

·       Keep a small notebook or index cards on the table beside the bed with a reliable pen to write down those bits you remember of dream, or thoughts that flash through your mind while it’s in twilight sleep.

·       Give yourself a moment to orient once you wake, to allow your mind to wander across its nighttime landscape and resolve any issues left tangled before waking.

·       Surprise your body with a full-body stretch; extend your limbs as far as they will go, straightening all the fingers and toes until they feel like they’ll fly off the ends of hands and feet. Get the spine elongated and all the long tendons of the body.  You’ll be grateful afterwards. (BTW, this is an old yoga exercise and practice for waking up the body.)

·       Regardless of what you dream, remember that your mind showed you these scenes for a reason; there were problems needing resolution, aspirations wanting acknowledgement, fears needing attention, ideas needing a place to show themselves off. Pay attention to them. They do have meaning.

Most of all, give them a job in your daily writing. Use them in whatever way you can, and enjoy the fact that you have them. Some people never remember their dreams, not even a snatch of one and they feel deprived.

Now, on a different thought train, I encourage everyone to pop over to Claudsy’s Blog today to see what my guest blogger, Meena Rose, brought to the forefront. She’s had her own little experiment that can be used by anyone, and is especially helpful to those who write in any capacity. You can find it at: http://claudsy.wordpress.com/ 

I also guest blogged at Meena’s blog this morning. Find it at: http://meenarose.wordpress.com/

Enjoy your day, all. Until later,


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Biting, Chewing, Swallowing—Not the Same

Every month I look at projects that seem to have bred on my desk while I wasn’t looking. I’m sure every writer goes through this phenomenon once in a while. I always have big projects, small ones, and ones waiting to be given the light of day.

While trying to come up with a post here today, I took a good look at my eight-foot desk—a really good look. I may have taken on a bit much lately.

Among the piles of debris stacked along two thirds of the right side are the magazines and journals from the past two months that I have yet to read. Yes, I do keep that stapler in plain sight, so that I don’t have to rummage through those piles on a doomed search. I have a vague idea what’s contained in those piles; vague being the operative word. The dragons keep stray projects from deserting.

Really important prelim work for one of the novels I’m writing is piled prominently on the floor next to my chair so that I can grab it at a moment’s notice.

I know; chaos. Right?       

Sorting through everything doesn’t come easy for me; it’s a lot like chewing food. The reason is that I’m not sure what I’m going to need or how soon, which means I can’t quite put it aside yet. Living in Limbo is something that’s been necessary for quite a while. It’s not one of my favorite locales, but it beats living nowhere.

Swallowing digital bits and bytes is much easier. Believe it or not, my computer files are much more organized. I keep thinking about a piece from 60 Minutes done by Andy Rooney. He wanted to know if creative and productive people kept their offices neat and orderly, or if they looked like his—out of control on steroids.

I remember watching him wonder through the halls, taking an informal poll about  offices belonging to his colleagues. With camera dutifully following him, chronicling all that was to be seen, Rooney discovered that his domain was, in many aspects, more organized than several others on the staff. Because he knew how hard each of these men and women worked each day, and the types of schedules they kept, he concluded that people who were very productive and creative, were also messy and preferred it that way.

When I envision some of those offices, I can look at mine and smile. At least my books occupy a bookcase, I have no uneaten food lying around, I know where my extra checks are, and my computer is easy to get to. I have actual clear floor space.
Andy might be surprised at how disappointingly uncluttered my office area really is. Or, I could be kidding myself in a fit of guilt-ridden denial.

Must do something about this--I’ve ordered my actual work, now to tackle the physical side of things.

Until later, peeps. Let’s see, if I get all of that pile into the right-side file cabinet…


Friday, May 4, 2012

May Days to Submit Work

When the call to challenge rang out on May 1st, many of our PAD and MNINB group members paused, took a deep breath, and sighed. I think it would be fair to say that few could believe what they were reading. “Submit at least one piece of work each day for the entire month of May.”

Yep. You saw that right. Some of the group simply can’t comply due to more critical situations at home and at work, but for the rest of us, we’re gamely attempting what seemed like an impossible feat just a few short days ago.

This is day four of this last minute challenge that none had contemplated. We each post on the group sites what we subbed and to which publication, whether online or print, contest or blog, and watch to see who else took the plunge that day.

I have yet to hit the send button today. I have three possibles on the starting line, waiting for a shove into the chute. I have a children’s story that can go out any time. It’s been polished to within a paragraph of existence. I have poems coming out of my ears that can go in nearly any direction. And I have a couple of polished and professionally edited essays that can go out on their own.

There’s a coin I’ve been saving for just such an occasion as this. I’ll do a three-way toss to see which item goes out today. That gives me plenty for the next few days. Who knows? I might send more than on submission out per day and really scare myself.

For those that are timid about subbing and worry about those nasty rejection emails, don’t be. Take a page from my post today on Claudsy’s Blog. Make that rejection your best friend. Embrace it. Plaster your wall with it and its friends. Proudly show that wall to family and friends and declare “See how much work I’ve sent out!”

If you’ve chosen to accept such a challenge as this, comment here. Tell me about your personal submission challenge. If you don’t have one, but want to try it, feel free. Post a comment here each day you’ve braved the “SEND” button and sent out a piece of work. I’ll gladly help you show the world how much you’re working on the craft.

Until later, keep writing while you enjoy the process,


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Publishing, Management, and Living with Challenges

April’s challenges are now history. Poetic Asides semi-annual PAD challenge concluded with its take-away poem and MNINB (My Name Is Not Bob) Author’s Platform Challenge has wound its way to independence for those taking the plunge.
**BTW—MNINB is Robert Lee Brewer’s great writer’s blog here on Blogger. Check it out, if you haven’t already.

Now that those two challenges and the rest for Poetry Month are completed, others along with me have that let down feeling. As a result, one enterprising writer of my acquaintance decided to throw out a challenge of her own for those of us who schlepped around the obstacle course of the Author’s Platform task calendar.

De decided that we needed incentive to get more active with our work. She dared us to submit one piece of our work each day during the month of May. I guess her logic was that April’s challenge showers caused our Muses to create lots of blossoms that needed distribution.

Since I’d just come off two major challenges, with a third chiming in once a week, I was already primed for another ride on the carousel, leaning out for a brass ring.
Yep, I’m going for it, with both hands and my handy-dandy flash drive of material yearning for a new home. A few times a week throughout May, I’ll be here telling everyone about what I’ve sent out and to whom.

Please stop by and help me keep track of whatever success I might have in placing some of my poor orphans. Hope to see you about the place often. Take care all.

Until later,


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Author Platforms and Hoops

Robert Lee Brewer has set participants mighty challenges amid the relaxers this month.
I’ve created work schedules, as you all know too well. They work or they don’t, depending on how motivated I am on any given day. Lately, my motivational level has remained high, I think in part by writing for so many challenges in the past few months.

So far Robert has had us building networks, investigating both others’ blogs and having Twitter chats with large groups of people, along with serious writer stuff like Editorial Calendars. I managed to get that last item completed and revved up. Now he’s got up getting our nets prepared to seine for experts; experts to provide us with interviews on whatever subject we’ve chosen for our blog.

Brother, does that open up possibilities. Should I go after someone new or recycle one from the past? Hmm… choices come hard sometimes.

In truth, I’ll go for something new. Okay, that’s decided. Now, what area do I want to go for? Should it be poetry, fiction writing, screenwriting, ooo… or maybe—no, scratch that as too controversial.

I think I’ll go for film. I haven’t done anything with that in a long, long time. Besides, I just don’t have it in me to create an entirely new blog for other subjects. I have enough to worry about on that score.

And I still have to deal with guest blogs; someone else’s and my own, as well as investigate a social media management tool like Hootsuite. Yep, it’s going to be a long next few days.

Here’s hoping everyone out there has a grand finale to their week and a productive next few days. I’m working toward taking a few days off, but only after completing my appointed rounds and jumped through all of my hoops.

Until later,