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.