Sunday, January 29, 2012


Yes, folks, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. There is yet another challenge for the writers who just can’t stand going without one.

I found this particular one when I joined the BlogHer Network a couple of days ago. The challenge is to write a themed blog post each day for the given month, in this case, February.

BTW, this should in no way intimidate or discourage any writer from picking up the gauntlet of that have beaten back many a writer. After all, there are many writers and other bloggers who already post each day. I know, because I used to be one of them.
According to the BlogHer challenge, February’s theme is “Relative,” meaning that each post must have something to do with family in one form or another.

Now, having redefined what constitutes “family” many times across the span of my life, I don’t seriously feel challenged as to topic. I have entire state’s worth of pseudo-family to draw from.

What might concern me, if I allow myself to think about it for more than a nanosecond, is the fact that I have three blogs—not counting an inactive one in the UK—which might, technically, fall under the auspices of this challenge.

Should I be held accountable for only one of my blogs each day, or, do I have to include all of them in the challenge?

That’s a big question and one I have only a few days to answer before beginning the keyboard shuffle.

I’m counting on all of you to help me with this decision. Am I supposed to do all three—that includes Trailing Inspirations on Wordpress—or can I muddle through doing only one of them? And if only one, which one—Claudsy’s Calliope on Blogspot, or Claudsy’s Blog on Wordpress?

Comments are encouraged, indeed, required on this one, peeps. HELP ME DECIDE!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Can This Be Love

Can this be love which causes my fingers to twitch? Is it that quivery, nerve-tingling emotion that narrows my eyes, wrinkles my brow in concentration, or causes my eyes to lose outer focus in order to see only the movie playing within?

Just because words fascinate me, and the thought of constructing the perfect sentence drives me onward, doesn’t mean that I’ve fallen in love, does it?

If so, I’m horribly lost in this entanglement of feelings with no hope of escape. I have so few moments in my word-cluttered day in which pure thought of something other takes hold long enough to distract me from this suffocating passion.

Poems flit about my head as so many hummingbirds, stabbing toward possible feeding stations with pointed beaks, hovering over gardens of flowery prose in search of the quintessential expression of such vibrant blossoms of thought. Chittering communications between these winged messengers of joy fill my hearing with tantalizing snippets for the taking, if only I could understand the language.

I no longer need outer images to fuel my flights of fancy any more than my hummingbirds need solid fuel to power their wings. I’ve passed that stage of this thing called a “Love of Words,” a “Passion for Prose,” or a “Love Affair with Ideas.”

Yes, I admit it! I have fallen madly, deeply, irrevocably in love with language and its expressions across the face of literature and the world. I admit it! I cannot live without it nestled in my heart. And never will I allow anyone to pry it from my mind or fingers. Without it, I cannot see the world, nor would I want to.

Thank you for listening. I feel better now for having gotten that out. I know there are others who feel similarly. Please, take the time to express your own feelings on the subject. Tell the world how you feel about this philandering lover who keeps you waiting at the altar of creation, then begs to be taken back into your arms for another dance around the floor.

Until later,


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Thrift Shopping for Gems Overlooked

Yep, that’s one of the things I did last week while waiting for my computer connection to be repaired.
We went to the new Goodwill that opened here not long ago. We spent over an hour in there and BJ, our friend Jody, and I all came away with something new to us, something that filled current needs. We left because we had no spare cash to get more.
I found something—an electric fuzz shaver—that I’d been looking for in stores and catalogs for at least six months. Btw, it works great. I also got a set of new flannel sheets for $5. I couldn’t beat that with a stick.
Later, while in the same frame of mind, I looked on my desktop’s hard drive when I got home. My poor documents directory was full of stuff that I had yet to do something with. There were articles for children and adults, literary essays that only needed a finishing polish before sending them out, as well as stories for all ages and in all genres.
Among the poetry files were two books that needed those finishing touches. Both could go to competitions. I knew that. So, why hadn’t I already put together a poetry chapbook to enter, or polished the full-length poetry book so that it could begin the rounds of agents/publishers? What about our travel book and the women’s novel?
I had no real excuse. There were some good pieces within my personal slush pile, and I was ignoring them in favor of new ideas or flights of fancy. I’d delegated these potential gems to a littered cache on my desktop to languish unappreciated until some undefined whim moved me to rescue them. How could I have so little faith in myself and my abilities?
That’s when the truth raised its arms and brought the 2x4 down, hard, on my head.
It wasn’t a lack of faith that had intervened and prevented me from completing the writing cycle on any of those wee gems. It wasn’t fear, either.
It was because I had more interests and less discipline than I needed. I saw potential in everything. “Ooo… That would make a great little filler piece for the travel mag that we enjoy so much.” “Hey, I could do a piece on that dog sled race from last weekend. We have pics available, and it could go for kids.”
My problem was that I’d lost control of my ideas, again. (I really have to carry more ropes with me so that I can keep them corralled better.)
I’d diagnosed the disease. I looked for a treatment, one that I could begin immediately. I realized the only way to do the job justice was to take the time to do them all now and be done with it.
“Travel slowly and grasp the details.” became my new work motto.
I chose to take one piece every other day and revise, edit, rewrite, redirect, or whatever it took. Before I could begin work on another, I had to submit the first one somewhere. A paying market wasn’t as important as simply beginning the submission process and having the thing out of my drive. I could easily live with it sitting in a submission’s tracking program.
Now that I’ve begun slowly, it will be easier to move forward. Before I lost my connection with the Internet, I’d already placed three poems and this week I plan to send out at least two articles/stories. I’ve finished a revision on one article and begun the marketing process. I can submit the one article tomorrow since I’m back online.
I spent today doing marketing research that I’d never heard of before, but which seemed to be a good fit for some of what I have to send out.
There you have it, peeps. I’m doing a bit of thrift shopping in my own computer for future published pieces. The cool thing is that a few of the ones I glanced at gave me ideas for at least two or more articles/stories out of that same subject that I can peddle to other venues.
I think I’ll shop closer to home more frequently. How about you? Oh, I also found several pieces that will make great children’s books for a couple of publishers I’ve been investigating.
A couple of weeks away from the net and I’m energized again for these projects. My new scheduling program will work well with this newly intended writing activity.
Dive into your personal slush file and see what you can drag out into the light. Distance lends perspective, they say. Have a great week, all.
Until later,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Off the Horse and Out of the Saddle

Ever wondered what you'd do with your time without sitting in front of a monitor all day, gathering info, visiting on Facebook, submitting your writing to those editors waiting with nervous anticipation for your word gems?

I've found out for myself. My computer--the laptop--decided a few days ago to no longer tolerate the probing fingers of the Internet. It stolidly refuses to consider the situation from my POV. Instead, it's become silent, unrepentant, and does the neener-neener when I so much as look in its direction.

My desktop computer, which I prefer using, has not allowed itself to make an attachment to our Internet provider since we moved back into this complex. So, here I sit without my own access. Yes, I can use Jo's computer for an hour a day while she's busy elsewhere, but that's barely enough time to deal with emails and notify those who need to know that I won't be around for a while.

As for what I'm doing with my time, I'm working on other projects, studying, and taking the time to read. It's like a vacation. My stress level dropped to acceptable levels after the second day of computer access withdrawal. This morning I sat doing cross-stitch on a table cloth that I'd put away last year--or was that two years ago? It doesn't matter.

I sat stitching, feeling as if I belonged in the past, in a different era. I took note of the fact that my entire thinking process had slowed down. I perceived myself differently, too. There seemed to be a gentleness to the scene that wouldn't have been there if I was doing something else. It was truly an odd sensation.

At that point I had to ask myself if we all become different people, complete with a shift in personality and attitude, by being forced to find something less 21st Century to do with some of our time. What do you think? Are we different people when we occupy ourselves with a different set of activities unrelated to those we normally pursue?

I must close this for the present. I've almost used up my allotted borrowed computer time. Hopefully, I'll be up and running normally by the end of this next week. Wish me luck and money remaining in the wallet when this sojourn into the past is finished.

Take care, all, and God bless. Until I return, remember old