Six Degrees of Thankfulness…

Common Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Image courtesy of © mch67 – Fotolia.com

Another Thanksgiving has come and it’s time to evaluate the months gone by and give credit where it’s due.

It’s been a year of triumph and failings…I’m equally grateful for the failings because they’ve helped me to learn and grow.

Here’s my list of thankfulness:

  1. My friends. Especially you, Kathy, who helped me transition in my move from my old decrepit mobile home to my  chic antique apartment closer to school. You not only helped me to move, you provided me with lodgings at your place before the move, when I lost my AC in the trailer and was too hot to study and read material for my classes. Also, my former boss at St. Petersburg College and friend, Jessica, who helped in the move and provided me with a great reference so I could get re-hired at the college in my current position as writing tutor. My friend John, for walking me home from my night classes. Linda, former co-worker, for encouragement and coffee. My online friends, those of you I have not met, you are the best friends in the world for encouraging me. You don’t know what your support means to me. You keep me going.
  2. Chance encounters with friendly strangers. As an introvert (Jungian type INFJ, I just discovered), I don’t find talking to strangers to be that pleasurable, but I find myself doing it more often than you’d think for an introvert. I remarked to a lady at the store while picking up my pre-cooked turkey breast that I was up to my eyeballs in work for school and I could kick myself in the ass sometimes for going back to college at my age. She said “I did it, too. You can do it. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep moving forward.” I don’t know who she was, but I needed to hear those words just then. So, thank you, Kind Lady.
  3. My health. Rotten as it is, I’m still alive. And there’s cause to believe it is getting better. I moved downtown not just to get closer to school, but also to get closer to shopping and all the other great things downtown has to offer. Downtown St. Petersburg is a very walkable city. I gave up my car and moved here in order to get into better shape. It’s working. Just two days ago I wore a pair of jeans that would not fit me three months ago. So yes, body, thank you for being patient with the abuse. I promise to do what I can to make it even better.
  4. My education. I know I’ll be paying for it eventually in student loan payments, but I am thankful to be learning more and more each day. I’m thankful to have the open and free use of my mind and imagination. Sadly, we have seen just this past year that there are unfortunately places still on this earth in 2013 where a woman can’t receive an education. As troublesome as America can be sometimes politically, I’m still glad I’m here. I earned my associate’s degree this year and am now working on the bachelor’s. Upward and onward. Keep moving forward. That’s the plan.
  5. Family. I know I don’t see them a lot, but I’m still glad they are there. Soon the Xmas cards will start coming and I’ll be reminded of them. I’m friends with my Aunt Leona on Facebook, so I keep in touch with her rather closer than anyone else. They are on my mind all the time and I miss them, the ones still here and the ones departed. I love and miss them all.
  6. Writing. I haven’t been writing a lot of stories lately, but boy, I’ve been writing academic papers every week. I’ve had to begin to comprise a portfolio for some of my academic work, which I may share with the online world once it’s all set up. I’ve gotten some inspiration from the Muse for some poem and short story ideas,so maybe I’ll try penning one when this  term is over.

I know there are other things I must be thankful for, but it’s going on noon on this chilly Thanksgiving day, and I have essays to write and a meal to cook and enjoy.

I wish all my friends and readers out there a very Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Chanukah, and Happy Holidays ahead in December!

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Post It Note Poetry—Week 3

We’re coming down to the final week of our Post It Note Poetry challenge. This was a bad week for me, as you’ll see when you read some of the poems. Still, I managed to sling a few words on post-its, and in one case, my Mac’s Sticky App.

Monday, February 18, 2013

joy dance

joy dance

joy dance

who dances

for joy

dances

with joy

and joy

moves through

every step

of the dance.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

archiving heresy

archiving heresy

archiving heresy

if it isn’t alphabetical

it’s considered heretical

—filing.

(after much introspection, it occurred to me that the poem would have worked much better as a solage if the the first two lines had been reversed…hindsight…)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

i cried when i found out stars die

i cried when i found out stars die

i cried when i found out stars die

stars carry in their shine

touches of ephemeral time

for though we see them

there on high

that’s only their souls

only their souls burning

ghosts sparkling on

a funereal will

and testament

to the firmament.

Friday, February 22, 2013–Bad Blood Day

bad blood day

bad blood day

bad blood day

nurses

beat, slap my hands

put on heat packs

drink an ocean of water

all for four

pricks.

(I hate giving blood…it’s always an adventure. You can tell I wasn’t much into poetry that day, or making the whole thing look nice by lightening the post it note. It was a bad day. Blood work and had to study for Spanish exam. Saturday would be no better. I got a lousy D on my exam and had other homework to attend…so no poetry got written or posted on Saturday.)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Walking Away

Walking Away

Walking Away

“My feet are on the floor,”

I said,

in response to my lover’s

random complaint.

He shook his head,

as lovers in the wilted afterbirth

of love are wont to do

when finding fault

with their loves.

“Your head is in the clouds,”

he said,

again, as if I didn’t hear it

the first time.

“Yes,” I agreed,

since I knew

it was true.

“But…

my feet are on the floor.”

That one was probably the best poem I wrote all week.

There are only four more days left in the Post It Note Poetry challenge…I hope I can write a few more verses during those days, and I hope wherever you are, you’re enjoying poetry.

Post It Note Poetry – Week 1

Got into this wonderful little meme created by writer friends Adam Byatt and Jodi Cleghorn. The brainchild of Mr. Byatt, the idea is to write poetry: good, bad, weird, funny, any kind of poetry on post it notes throughout February, take interesting photos of them (you don’t have to, though, there are no real “rules,” as I understand it) and post them online to Twitter, Twitpic, Instagram and/or Facebook. For Twitter, Twitpic, and Instagram we are using the hashtag #postitnotepoetry.

After 1 week we now have 42 poets from across the globe writing and posting poetry.

I started on Monday, so I’ve been at it a full week.

Below are my first offerings to the Post It Note poetry gods:

Monday, February 4, 2013

mon-pinp

A Dumpster Diver in the Space-Time Continuum

the old garbage-sifter

filters through

the junk of days gone by,

comes across a crumpled-up photo

of some middle-aged man

in a three-piece suit

sitting on a sofa

with a pretty woman

in a red flowery dress.

he stops.

stares at it

with a moment of something

he can’t quite explain

longing, maybe…or regret.

then he tosses it aside

and continues

his never-ending

search for sustenance

never realizing

that he’d just touched

a moment in time

an image of himself

from happier,

remembered days.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

tues-pinp

poem as myth 

sky, she takes a deep breath…

exhales slowly,

nightfall

becomes an indigo blanket

draped over the horizons;

embracing her sister Gaia,

and holding her

bright

star children,

in her wide, wide arms.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

philosophy of mirrors

philosophy of mirrors

philosophy of mirrors

i only show

the outer view

if i could show

the inner you

i would shatter

into shards

every time.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

the cat

the cat

the cat

lying by the fire

odalisque-like,

lean and languid,

stretches…

toes unsheathing

daggers.

yawns…

wide mouth reveals

sharp, white swords.

sighs

and purrs…

contentment.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Going Bukowski

Going Bukowski

Going Bukowski

on the gallows

dangling from the end

of a rope you didn’t knot.

it’s not your rope.

it belongs to

some other son-of-a-bitch.

remember that.

remember that it’s not your rope

stringing you up.

don’t hang yourself

with someone else’s rope.

go Bukowski on the motherfucker.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Cantito

Cantito

Cantito

“¿Va a cantar para mí, pajarito?” he asked.

“¿Sólo un cantito?”

“Sí, papá,” she said,

and singing through her tears,

watched him close his eyes

and thought:

“I am like a canary,

come too late.”

Little Song (English translation)

“Will you sing for me, little bird?” he asked.

“Just a little song?”

“Yes, daddy,” she said,

and singing through her tears,

watched him close his eyes

and thought:

“I am like a canary,

come too late.”

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Soul of a Poem

Soul of a Poem

Soul of a Poem

A poem is a mighty thing.

A poet’s words weighty with wit.

But unless some of the soul is contained therein,

I won’t believe a word of it.

~~~~~~~

Well, that’s my week of Post It Note Poetry writing. I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep the pace up of writing a poem a day, what with college classes and all, but I’ll do as much as I can.

I hope you take some time this week to enjoy some poetry, either reading it or writing it. 🙂

The Martian Chronicles for NaNoReMo

Life sometimes throws you curve balls.

I wrote a blog post awhile back asking my friends and readers to help me pick a book to read for National Novel Reading Month coming up in February.

I had four books to choose from: Don Quixote, by Cervantes; The Island of Doctor Moreau, by H.G. Wells; The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame and David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens.

I’d nearly made up my mind (with the help of the advice given by those who read the original post) to go with Wells. Then I found a book I’d lost awhile back. It seems to me that when I find a book after it’s been lost for some time, it’s like that book is begging to be read.

Who am I to argue with fate? Especially since the author recently passed away and I’ve been wanting to get into some of his works that I haven’t read, including this one.

So that settles it.

For my NaNoReM0 2013 read, I’m going to the Red Planet with Mr. Bradbury.

Look for my tweets and Facebook statuses as I go along.

Happy reading, everyone!

bradbury2

More Resolutions

I posted a status to Facebook that people liked about some more 2013 Resolutions that occurred to me. I’m going to re-post that here.

More ressies:

  1. Write. For me. Write the stuff that makes me happy. The rest will follow.
  2. Take care of #1, because no one else has my back but me.
  3. Stop caring what other people think. Individuality has always been under attack in our cookie-cutter, white-picket fence nation. So I will embrace individuality and paint big, red anarchist A’s all over conventions and norms, because deep down we’re all individuals and society will never change that, no matter how much they try. As an artist, I am always and forever outside the tight lines they draw and serve to remind others how constricting it is inside the box. Give them the keys to free themselves. The keys are words.
  4. Keep breathing and keeping it real. Keeping it real is important. Breathing, even more so.

Also, I’m setting a new reading goal with Goodreads to try and read 50 books. I almost accomplished that last year. Here’s to reading! 😀

A love of reading.

A love of reading.

Advice for an Aspiring Author

I recently received an email from a reader of my site requesting some advice on writing. This is the first such email I’ve ever gotten from a reader, and I was a little awed that someone thought highly enough about what they’ve read here to consider asking me for my opinion. I decided that instead of responding with a long email, I would ask the sender to keep an eye out for a blog post addressing the questions they posed. Here is the email, followed by my response:

“I’m writing my memoirs. Everyone tells me I have had a wildly interesting and unusual life of careers, entrepreneurial efforts, marriages and love affairs. I’m am in need of direction, tips, suggestions and magic. My memoirs currently consist of a vast collection of short stories. Would you consider reading one of my stories? Better still, could you speak to someone in the Universe and make a referral?”

1): I’m am in need of direction, tips, suggestions and magic. For direction, tips, and suggestions, I offer the following: 

  • Join your local writers group. I’m a member of Florida Writers Association. It’s worthwhile for the networking with other writers. There is a cost with some, so check them out to see what you can afford. You might be able to find one to suit your budget. If not, see if you can locate a writing critique group in your area. Critique groups are great for helping you polish your work with gentle suggestions. Sometimes you can find a free critique group…your only obligation might be helping another writer by critiquing their work. There are online critique groups, as well, if you prefer that. But do your research thoroughly before posting your work to a writers forum, there are some dodgy ones out there. 
  • Join Twitter. I can’t say enough about how great Twitter is for forming relationships with other writers. Most of the writer friends I have, I met through Twitter. Twitter also has chats for writers and weekly hashtag events like #fridayflash and #tuesdayserial, Twitter memes that enable writers to get feedback on their writing from others. See this Writers Guide to Twitter posted on writer/comic Debbie Ohi’s website for help if you’re new to Twitter. And if you’re already on Twitter, use it to form relationships. Communicate with other writers. You will make friendships with people who will encourage you and may offer to beta read your work when you need it. Some Twitter connections may tell you about markets where you can submit your stories. This actually happened to me. You can also follow successful authors, editors, publishers, and agents. Facebook is good, and I definitely suggest connecting there with authors…but for sheer instant communication gratification, nothing beats a tweet. 
  • Duotrope.  If you don’t have an account here, get one. It’s free. You can search for markets to submit your stories to, and track those submissions right from your account. 
  • Start blogging, if you’re not already. You’re reading blogs; you could write one, too. You could post snippets of some of your memoirs. Blogging helps writers build a following of readers, which is why we write in the first place. To be read. Get a free blog at Blogger or WordPress
  • I wish I had some magic for you. I could use some magic myself. The magic is first in the writing, and then in the editing. The magic comes from within yourself. After that, you just need to find a market for your work. The only hint I can offer here is to get skilled with writing cover letters and submission emails. And follow submission guidelines to the T. 

2): My memoirs currently consist of a vast collection of short stories. Would you consider reading one of my stories? Better still, could you speak to someone in the Universe and make a referral? I would love to read your stories, but I would likely not be able to help you much. You are writing memoirs; I mostly write science fiction, fantasy and horror. I’m an editor of a speculative fiction magazine, The Were-Traveler. If you have any spec-fic stories, send them to the email on that site. I’d love to read them. But for your memoirs, your best bet is to cultivate relationships in local writers groups, critique groups, or on Twitter. I’ve sought advice on all three fronts, and it’s helped me improve my writing skills and get published. 

I hope this helps. I wish you great joy in your writing…and publishing success. 

Eighty Nine Book Trailer Released

Woke up to wonderful news on the Eighty-Nine group page on Facebook this morning. Devin Watson posted the completed live-action book trailer for eMergent Publishing’s anthology “Eighty Nine,” a collection of speculative fiction stories based on events in the year 1989. My story “Nowhere Land” is published in the book.

Eighty Nine can be purchased on Amazon and is available for Kindle, too!