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1. 2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

 


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2. 2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

 


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3.

 

Carved Door

2voices1song.com

Hello there, readers–

For those who come only infrequently to Claudsy’s Blog, I’ll bet you thought I’d forgotten you, left you out in the cold, or slipped away without leaving a forwarding address.

Wrong!

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 Blog, Claudsy’s Calliope, 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.

A bientot,

Claudsy

 


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4.

 

Carved Door

2voices1song.com

Hello there, readers–

For those who come only infrequently to Claudsy’s Blog, I’ll bet you thought I’d forgotten you, left you out in the cold, or slipped away without leaving a forwarding address.

Wrong!

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 Blog, Claudsy’s Calliope, 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.

A bientot,

Claudsy

 


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5. Touching Base

It’s been several days since my last appearance here. I’ve had a friend and colleague visiting for the past several days. Meena Rose graced us with her loveliness and brilliance.

Today has been one of cleansing websites, blogs, and general upkeep on the net. It’s amazing how much crud accumulates on a daily basis and then has to be swept out of the corners during housekeeping. During the process of this upkeep, we’ve been moving our personal blogs over to Two Voices, One Song.

This is an attempt to reduce our continued workload.  Each of us have other projects we’d really like to get back to. Having everything in one place will make that easier for us.

My blog Claudsy’s Calliope is being moved and reorganized as I write this. Claudsy’s Blog will be the next in line for the transfer.

Tomorrow I will post a new URL for this blog so that all of  its followers can decide whether they want to remain loyal and move with it or to cut ties and run. I’m hoping that everyone stays with Claudsy’s Blog and Calliope. I have plenty more to say and things I’d like to work on within the blogs.

There you have it, folks. I’ve so enjoyed having everyone coming here, and I admit a sense of guilt this past month or so for having been absent so much. I should be able to write more frequently on the blogs once all is together. That’s my current plan.

Remember–it will be one-stop-shopping at Two Voices, One Song at www.2voices1one.com/

Hope to see you there soon. A bientot,

Claudsy

 


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6. Touching Base

It’s been several days since my last appearance here. I’ve had a friend and colleague visiting for the past several days. Meena Rose graced us with her loveliness and brilliance.

Today has been one of cleansing websites, blogs, and general upkeep on the net. It’s amazing how much crud accumulates on a daily basis and then has to be swept out of the corners during housekeeping. During the process of this upkeep, we’ve been moving our personal blogs over to Two Voices, One Song.

This is an attempt to reduce our continued workload.  Each of us have other projects we’d really like to get back to. Having everything in one place will make that easier for us.

My blog Claudsy’s Calliope is being moved and reorganized as I write this. Claudsy’s Blog will be the next in line for the transfer.

Tomorrow I will post a new URL for this blog so that all of  its followers can decide whether they want to remain loyal and move with it or to cut ties and run. I’m hoping that everyone stays with Claudsy’s Blog and Calliope. I have plenty more to say and things I’d like to work on within the blogs.

There you have it, folks. I’ve so enjoyed having everyone coming here, and I admit a sense of guilt this past month or so for having been absent so much. I should be able to write more frequently on the blogs once all is together. That’s my current plan.

Remember–it will be one-stop-shopping at Two Voices, One Song at www.2voices1one.com/

Hope to see you there soon. A bientot,

Claudsy

 


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7. Lyrical Prose or Prose Poems?

 

English: Image of cover of S. Carpilli Tinker'...

English: Image of cover of S. Carpilli Tinker’s volume “Where Is the Prose Poem Now and What Is It Doing?” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Today was the last day of the 7th poetry challenge week for Our Lost Jungle website operated by Khara House. It’s a marvelous site and everyone should stop in just to see how this thing works. The form challenge for this week was to write a prose poem.

 

What is a prose poem? Well, it gets complicated because consensus is hard to come by on that question.  To quote Khara, who teaches poetry:

 

For our purposes, though, let’s pool a few standard “rules” of the prose poem form to work with:
1. A prose poem is a poem that is written in prose (which basically means a poem without line breaks—I purposely avoid using the term “paragraph of poetry” as some poets do, because it’s something more than a paragraph)
2. It is the job of the poet writing a prose poem to ensure that the poem still maintains a “poetic quality”
3. To maintain that quality, the poet should employ common poetic techniques, such as rhyme, repetition, heightened imagery, fragmentation, etc.
4. A prose poem can be anywhere from a few lines to a full page, and beyond”

 

I made two attempts at this challenge. Here they are for your enjoyment.

 

 

Prose Poems

 

 

My Nirvana

 

 

The perfect spot to rest and reflect squatted a dozen yards ahead; the brook widened and wrapped around it like a snake eating its own tail, leaving a tiny island isolated from the world. A fold of hazelnut root, sheltered and shaded by dreamy green of Lady’s Slippers and Solomon’s Seal drew my attention as congregations of May-apples gossiped in the breeze. Their saucy white-blossomed petticoats flirted with me, while the sickly sweet scent of those petticoats rode the breeze to mingle with the distinctive smells of wild herbs. Other greens added their odors to blend with that of loamy soil to form a unique perfume around my tiny secret island.

 

 

#  #  #  #

 

 

 
Life Journey

 

 

My poor young self listened to the words string themselves into commentary, wrapping around daydream like so much cotton candy on a stick. When I found the desert with its solitude and saguaro sentries, I drank in its nights while sitting under a blanket of the galaxy’s brightest stars. Air tasted of cactus flowers and dust, and coyotes howled for the sake of hearing their own chorus. Skunks did their nightly rounds, looking to pilfer whatever delicacies were left unattended. Words came. Not in a flood, but rather with the smoothness of a desert creek; shy, hiding from onlookers until sunlight couldn’t be avoided, when it burst forth to glitter and pulsate with personal meaning. That piece of me that always waited for the right time emerged, and the quiet inner voice remained to tell its stories and run the mental projector. Now, though, a real audience s

2 Comments on Lyrical Prose or Prose Poems?, last added: 8/17/2012
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8. Lyrical Prose or Prose Poems?

 

English: Image of cover of S. Carpilli Tinker'...

English: Image of cover of S. Carpilli Tinker’s volume “Where Is the Prose Poem Now and What Is It Doing?” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Today was the last day of the 7th poetry challenge week for Our Lost Jungle website operated by Khara House. It’s a marvelous site and everyone should stop in just to see how this thing works. The form challenge for this week was to write a prose poem.

 

What is a prose poem? Well, it gets complicated because consensus is hard to come by on that question.  To quote Khara, who teaches poetry:

 

For our purposes, though, let’s pool a few standard “rules” of the prose poem form to work with:
1. A prose poem is a poem that is written in prose (which basically means a poem without line breaks—I purposely avoid using the term “paragraph of poetry” as some poets do, because it’s something more than a paragraph)
2. It is the job of the poet writing a prose poem to ensure that the poem still maintains a “poetic quality”
3. To maintain that quality, the poet should employ common poetic techniques, such as rhyme, repetition, heightened imagery, fragmentation, etc.
4. A prose poem can be anywhere from a few lines to a full page, and beyond”

 

I made two attempts at this challenge. Here they are for your enjoyment.

 

 

Prose Poems

 

 

My Nirvana

 

 

The perfect spot to rest and reflect squatted a dozen yards ahead; the brook widened and wrapped around it like a snake eating its own tail, leaving a tiny island isolated from the world. A fold of hazelnut root, sheltered and shaded by dreamy green of Lady’s Slippers and Solomon’s Seal drew my attention as congregations of May-apples gossiped in the breeze. Their saucy white-blossomed petticoats flirted with me, while the sickly sweet scent of those petticoats rode the breeze to mingle with the distinctive smells of wild herbs. Other greens added their odors to blend with that of loamy soil to form a unique perfume around my tiny secret island.

 

 

#  #  #  #

 

 

 
Life Journey

 

 

My poor young self listened to the words string themselves into commentary, wrapping around daydream like so much cotton candy on a stick. When I found the desert with its solitude and saguaro sentries, I drank in its nights while sitting under a blanket of the galaxy’s brightest stars. Air tasted of cactus flowers and dust, and coyotes howled for the sake of hearing their own chorus. Skunks did their nightly rounds, looking to pilfer whatever delicacies were left unattended. Words came. Not in a flood, but rather with the smoothness of a desert creek; shy, hiding from onlookers until sunlight couldn’t be avoided, when it burst forth to glitter and pulsate with personal meaning. That piece of me that always waited for the right time emerged, and the quiet inner voice remained to tell its stories and run the mental projector. Now, though, a real audience sat in the theater. I focused on that murmur and listened. Awareness hummed within me.

 

 

 

 


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9. Wordle Goes Down PA Street

Yep, you guessed it. Poetic Asides took up the Wordle banner today. See my responses on Two Voices, One Song.

http://2voices1song.com/2012/08/08/poetic-asides-goes-wordle/

Enjoy and join in the fun. Try your hand at something new, or perhaps something put aside for too long.

A bientot,

Claudsy


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10. Wordle Goes Down PA Street

Yep, you guessed it. Poetic Asides took up the Wordle banner today. See my responses on Two Voices, One Song.

http://2voices1song.com/2012/08/08/poetic-asides-goes-wordle/

Enjoy and join in the fun. Try your hand at something new, or perhaps something put aside for too long.

A bientot,

Claudsy


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11. Talking Wordles Here

Wordle

Wordle (Photo credit: Oompoo)

I decided to do something different today for a short post. I’ve been writing for submissions today and this is a little poem that I did for the site The Sunday Wordle.

For those who don’t know what a wordle is, here’s how it goes. Choose a group of related/unrelated words–from seven to ten of them–and then write a poem using those words. If you’re not a poem kind of person, write a piece of fiction/non-fiction of no more than 100 words using all of the given words.

Think of this as a writing exercise that anyone can do. It doesn’t matter really how expert it sounds or how off-the-wall. It’s your wordle–make it what you want. One thing you’ll find with that this exercise forces your mind to shift gears and look at how you put things together and how you use language for the meaning you want to transmit.

Take a chance and have a whirl with a wordle. And when you think you’re ready, share it here or jump over to The Sunday Whirl and share there. Enjoy yourself. That’s the main purpose of it all.

Home’s Destination

A link to my port of call,

a deck on which to stand,

as I navigate foreign waters,

I store up scents and sights

to anchor me within time,

to sink into my marrow,

never to wake from this dream,

even as I pitch against the rail

of stern reminders of days gone

missing and lives gone stale of use.

© Claudette J. Young 2012


4 Comments on Talking Wordles Here, last added: 8/9/2012
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12. Talking Wordles Here

Wordle

Wordle (Photo credit: Oompoo)

I decided to do something different today for a short post. I’ve been writing for submissions today and this is a little poem that I did for the site The Sunday Wordle.

For those who don’t know what a wordle is, here’s how it goes. Choose a group of related/unrelated words–from seven to ten of them–and then write a poem using those words. If you’re not a poem kind of person, write a piece of fiction/non-fiction of no more than 100 words using all of the given words.

Think of this as a writing exercise that anyone can do. It doesn’t matter really how expert it sounds or how off-the-wall. It’s your wordle–make it what you want. One thing you’ll find with that this exercise forces your mind to shift gears and look at how you put things together and how you use language for the meaning you want to transmit.

Take a chance and have a whirl with a wordle. And when you think you’re ready, share it here or jump over to The Sunday Whirl and share there. Enjoy yourself. That’s the main purpose of it all.

Home’s Destination

A link to my port of call,

a deck on which to stand,

as I navigate foreign waters,

I store up scents and sights

to anchor me within time,

to sink into my marrow,

never to wake from this dream,

even as I pitch against the rail

of stern reminders of days gone

missing and lives gone stale of use.

© Claudette J. Young 2012


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13. Taking a Step Back

Courtesy of BJ Jones Photography

Ever wonder why we use this expression this way? I know, you’re asking “What way?”

I say, “Every way.”

Think about it. What is a “step back”? Something leaps onto the path we’re walking. We step back; from startlement, fright, consternation, you-name-it.

We make use of this step to re-evaluate, to make a split-second decision whether to fight or flee. We need to know what we’re facing before making a leap of our own. This may be our only chance consciously to decide.

This stepping-back behavior for decision making permeates nearly every corner of our lives. We may or may not realize it at the time. On some occasions we don’t have the leisure to recognize the process or the maneuver.

“Let’s take a step back and look at this situation.” How many business meetings have paused after a similar statement while those in charge review options, repercussions of those options, or the people, places, and procedures involved in those options?

I dare say that few meetings get to an end without some variant of these words, especially interdepartmental meetings. “Shall we table this and regroup after everyone’s had a chance to take a good long look at it?”

See what I mean?

The question of pausing to consider plays a role in individual lives as well. It can be as minor as “cantaloupe or honey dew” while in the produce aisle of the grocery store or as monumental as “chemo or radiation.” Each decision event has impact; large or small.

“Shall we make it illegal for citizens to grow some of their own food?”

This pause has happened–is happening in Washington–at least according to the media. I don’t bring this up as a political statement, but rather as a demonstration of how vast an impact such a question—such a pause for consideration—can make. One question can force an entire country’s population to reconsider many things impacting their lives.

You might ask why this is on my mind right now. That’s a valid question.

I’m in pause mode because I made a major shift in my mindset throughout this summer. What and how I write has shifted; not because I didn’t like what I was writing before, but because I like writing in this new way much better. My approach to both life and writing was in need of an evaluation.

With the shift in my writing, my attitude about life and how I was living also shifted. That change warranted a continued attitude adjustment in my writing. I got to that old “chicken and the egg” portion of life.

Priorities became more pronounced. Life paths suddenly had the full light of purpose shined upon them. How could I not stop to consider or ponder my direction?

The Step became necessary to fully appreciate where I’ve come from and where I’m going. More importantly, I discovered some of the why’s in my life, and those always necessitate a pause. Hence, I arrived at this doorstep.

I have no clue where I’

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14. Taking a Step Back

Courtesy of BJ Jones Photography

Ever wonder why we use this expression this way? I know, you’re asking “What way?”

I say, “Every way.”

Think about it. What is a “step back”? Something leaps onto the path we’re walking. We step back; from startlement, fright, consternation, you-name-it.

We make use of this step to re-evaluate, to make a split-second decision whether to fight or flee. We need to know what we’re facing before making a leap of our own. This may be our only chance consciously to decide.

This stepping-back behavior for decision making permeates nearly every corner of our lives. We may or may not realize it at the time. On some occasions we don’t have the leisure to recognize the process or the maneuver.

“Let’s take a step back and look at this situation.” How many business meetings have paused after a similar statement while those in charge review options, repercussions of those options, or the people, places, and procedures involved in those options?

I dare say that few meetings get to an end without some variant of these words, especially interdepartmental meetings. “Shall we table this and regroup after everyone’s had a chance to take a good long look at it?”

See what I mean?

The question of pausing to consider plays a role in individual lives as well. It can be as minor as “cantaloupe or honey dew” while in the produce aisle of the grocery store or as monumental as “chemo or radiation.” Each decision event has impact; large or small.

“Shall we make it illegal for citizens to grow some of their own food?”

This pause has happened–is happening in Washington–at least according to the media. I don’t bring this up as a political statement, but rather as a demonstration of how vast an impact such a question—such a pause for consideration—can make. One question can force an entire country’s population to reconsider many things impacting their lives.

You might ask why this is on my mind right now. That’s a valid question.

I’m in pause mode because I made a major shift in my mindset throughout this summer. What and how I write has shifted; not because I didn’t like what I was writing before, but because I like writing in this new way much better. My approach to both life and writing was in need of an evaluation.

With the shift in my writing, my attitude about life and how I was living also shifted. That change warranted a continued attitude adjustment in my writing. I got to that old “chicken and the egg” portion of life.

Priorities became more pronounced. Life paths suddenly had the full light of purpose shined upon them. How could I not stop to consider or ponder my direction?

The Step became necessary to fully appreciate where I’ve come from and where I’m going. More importantly, I discovered some of the why’s in my life, and those always necessitate a pause. Hence, I arrived at this doorstep.

I have no clue where I’ll travel on this new path. I’m only sure that the ride will be memorable. I’m looking forward to new discoveries.

With Two Voices, One Song I expand horizons and understandings. With my poetry I explore new audiences while enjoying those who’ve willingly been here all along. With my newly acquired thrill of flash fiction I can grow faster along channels of fantasy.

Claudsy’s Blog and Claudsy’s Calliope remain corner stones which anchor my new forays into the writing experience. I’m so grateful for all of those who’ve encouraged me to explore, whether through poetry and photos, flash fiction, or other genres. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow as a writer.

As far as I know, I’m not moving out of these digs here. I’m merely refining the edges, smoothing out the throw rugs, and adding the occasional knick-knack.

Until we meet here again in a few days, a bientot,

Claudsy


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15. New Project For Fall

 

I need opinions from readers. I’m contemplating putting together a new chapbook of Poetry Pages like this one, where the photo provides the inspiration for the poem.

I’d like to know if you, the reader 1.) think this is a viable project, 2.) have suggestions for changes to poem placement, or 3) think that a different poem should be used for this photo.

See, not so hard. Just leave a comment to let me know what you think and why. I take all suggestions seriously. And thank you in advance, for taking the time to at least look at this.

Until later,

Claudsy

 


2 Comments on New Project For Fall, last added: 8/1/2012
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16. New Project For Fall

 

I need opinions from readers. I’m contemplating putting together a new chapbook of Poetry Pages like this one, where the photo provides the inspiration for the poem.

I’d like to know if you, the reader 1.) think this is a viable project, 2.) have suggestions for changes to poem placement, or 3) think that a different poem should be used for this photo.

See, not so hard. Just leave a comment to let me know what you think and why. I take all suggestions seriously. And thank you in advance, for taking the time to at least look at this.

Until later,

Claudsy

 


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17. Contests and Other Things Fun

 

The last few days have been interesting ones at Chez Young. Yesterday one of my Haiku poems was placed among the five finalists of a Haiku Poetry Challenge at Khara House’s website “Our Lost Jungle.”  That was exciting. My Haiku poem stood with poems from four other marvelous poets, all of whom I’ve admired for a long time.

Today, my inbox held contests, challenges, and Calls for Submission from websites and publishers of varied types, no few of which were for poetry.

The first was an easy contest from the sense of an entry. It was a give-away contest by J.L. Spelbring (ebysswriter). The prize for this contest was multi-faceted. And you betcha, I’m entered in this one and gladly.  will get copies of Dan Cohen’s book “Masters of the Veil,” either in paperback or PDF, and a chance at a B&N gift card at the end of summer.

The first Calls for Submission came from Robert E. Brewer of Writer’s Digest fame. Okay, so I’m a chump. You guessed it; I’m going for one of these slots, too. Robert’s looking for both how-to articles for the 2014 edition of Writer’s Market. He also calls for poetry to grace that year’s Poet’s Market.  Call me an over-achiever. That’s okay. I am, and I’ll submit here, too. I do write poetry, after all.

To top off all the contests, challenges, and submission calls was Jane Freidman’s Newsletter “Electric Speed” which gave me great writer/reader tools to check out in my leisure time.   How great is that?

With all of this going on, I’m going to be one crazy writer trying to keep up. My book of poetry “The Moon Sees All” is the in the hands of my beta readers, who are getting their responses and critiques back to me throughout this month. I’ll have that to finish off next month before going out to agents/publishers, That excites me as much as anything else.

For all of those writers out there who think they can’t compete, I ask this: how do you know? Have you don’t much of it? If the answer is “NO,” you might be short-changing yourself and your abilities. Remember: the only sure way to fail at something is to never do it. Be a doer, even if you think you can’t be good at it. Until you do, you can’t know.

Have a great weekend, peeps. Soak up the atmosphere wherever you are, smile at yourself as much as you do at others, and do something different wit

6 Comments on Contests and Other Things Fun, last added: 7/22/2012
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18. Contests and Other Things Fun

 

The last few days have been interesting ones at Chez Young. Yesterday one of my Haiku poems was placed among the five finalists of a Haiku Poetry Challenge at Khara House’s website “Our Lost Jungle.”  That was exciting. My Haiku poem stood with poems from four other marvelous poets, all of whom I’ve admired for a long time.

Today, my inbox held contests, challenges, and Calls for Submission from websites and publishers of varied types, no few of which were for poetry.

The first was an easy contest from the sense of an entry. It was a give-away contest by J.L. Spelbring (ebysswriter). The prize for this contest was multi-faceted. And you betcha, I’m entered in this one and gladly.  will get copies of Dan Cohen’s book “Masters of the Veil,” either in paperback or PDF, and a chance at a B&N gift card at the end of summer.

The first Calls for Submission came from Robert E. Brewer of Writer’s Digest fame. Okay, so I’m a chump. You guessed it; I’m going for one of these slots, too. Robert’s looking for both how-to articles for the 2014 edition of Writer’s Market. He also calls for poetry to grace that year’s Poet’s Market.  Call me an over-achiever. That’s okay. I am, and I’ll submit here, too. I do write poetry, after all.

To top off all the contests, challenges, and submission calls was Jane Freidman’s Newsletter “Electric Speed” which gave me great writer/reader tools to check out in my leisure time.   How great is that?

With all of this going on, I’m going to be one crazy writer trying to keep up. My book of poetry “The Moon Sees All” is the in the hands of my beta readers, who are getting their responses and critiques back to me throughout this month. I’ll have that to finish off next month before going out to agents/publishers, That excites me as much as anything else.

For all of those writers out there who think they can’t compete, I ask this: how do you know? Have you don’t much of it? If the answer is “NO,” you might be short-changing yourself and your abilities. Remember: the only sure way to fail at something is to never do it. Be a doer, even if you think you can’t be good at it. Until you do, you can’t know.

Have a great weekend, peeps. Soak up the atmosphere wherever you are, smile at yourself as much as you do at others, and do something different wit

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19. Flash Fiction Day

Flash Fiction Prompt

Each day a lovely little website referred to as Flashy Fiction offers a writing prompt to a photo. Today’s prompt was a two-fer because it’s been combined with Friday’s prompt.

I had to do one for today. The opportunity was too good and the prompt too right-up-my-alley. So, this is what I wrote for the photo above. I hope you enjoy it. And please, stop by to see all the offerings on Flashy Fiction. You’ll be glad you did.

 

The Light of Meaning

Within me grows a tension I cannot place. What could cause this sensation of impending destiny, which perches like a vulture just out of visual range? Does my breath come short and quick because of unexpected claustrophobia at the looks of this canyon before me?

My friends don’t seem to notice how silence surrounds this place, how the scent of dust carries with it a hint of the ancient. Their shouts fall short of my space, leaving me in a personal bell jar inside these striped red walls.

Illusions of undulating Dune’s Shai-Hulud flash across my mind. I wonder if this was how Paul felt the first time he waited for that beast to rise from the desert floor. Would there be such a ritual for me to perform for the coming secret to reveal itself? And how do I know there is a secret?

Footsteps echo. Shock sweeps through me. I recognize them as my own, though I don’t recall moving into the inner recesses of a side chamber. Dim illumination draws me forward, faster as hesitation drops away. I must know this thing that would be.

Twists and turns, dried water channels of exquisite sandstone, bring me, at last, to the chamber. I burst forth from the passage, panting in excitement and terror. Finally, I see what has haunted my vague dreams for longer than memory reaches. It waits; one glorious beam of pure light.

Within that circle of illumination is the future I’ve tried to escape from and now run to in a sprint of desperation. Could my heart beat any harder and remain caged within my body? Could my responding body contain so much light?

A jerk, like that of a tether drawn forward suddenly, pulls me into the beam of sunlight that squeezes through a tiny overhead opening. My head arches back. My chest swells and rises, as if I’m a mere marionette and someone has yanked my string upward. My mind is filled with music, sweet and gentle, as it ebbs and surges through the channels of my soul.

Home comes calling. I have been away longer than I can imagine right now. My mind registers the knowledge of a previous, though, different life elsewhere; a knowledge that explains so much that has confused me during this life.

The music and light fill me with the purpose I’ve been seeking. All is clear now. I have come this far to learn that only one act of mine is necessary for my life to have meaning for this world; to learn that with that act, I have completed my purpose here and can go home again.

Is there any better bliss than such sure knowledge?

 

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20. More Flash Fiction

Flashy Fiction Prompt Photo

The Gleaning

Soon the pickers will come; their baskets covered and darkly empty. Who will survive this season’s harvest? How many can we get to safety in the caverns below? And how many will survive the terror of remaining below until the sky homes are again safe?

Our new leader perches, grasping his branch of authority so tightly his talons have sunken into the bark, almost heartwood deep. Families gather to hear his plans for leaving our sky homes for burrowed havens during this time of The Gleaning. Not even sky’s soft breath disturbs the silence holding our attention.

“This night will see us gone from these homes. Each parent pair holds responsibility for their young ones.”

Fledglings tuck up against parents’ sides, beneath sheltering wing power. Feet shuffle and scrape bark with restless talons. The scouts must have reported the pickers on their way to the forest.

Leader spreads wings to call order and flips them again to his back.

“Our fasting will begin at full dawn. The hardship of the season is upon us. Feed well before entering the burrows. It will be the last for a foot of moon rises.”

The sound of his last instruction faded. Leader departed to get his own charges on the ground and fed before dawn. Each small group moves forward to launch.

Fledglings balk, hesitating. They are shoved off for their first flight. For them the dark unknown rushes to meet them, not caring that this is new and frightening for these small feathered bodies. Moss hummocks and short leaf blades cushion their landings and bounces. One parent accompanies each new flyer and examines for injuries at the landing spot.

As soon as able-bodied fledglings are grounded, parents roam the sky homes looking for stragglers. Here and there weak calls come from homes, where those too weak or ill have been left behind. Their sacrifice will ensure that the fit will survive The Gleaning.

As the sun begins to streak the forest with its rays, the people begin to stuff last meals down their gullets. Many will be too weak and malnourished to hunt after The Gleaning. Designated caretakers go through the crowds before each burrow, marking the ones to watch for when the safety call comes from the watch patrol.

Thank the Great Winged One, the watch patrol will be gathering larger meals for that unearthing time. Calls from overhead alert those who need to hide. Young ones are pushed into burrow entrances, followed closely by adults. In moments only the patrol remains; covering entrances with harvested mosses t

1 Comments on More Flash Fiction, last added: 7/9/2012
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21. Working at Home in the Heat

 

Trail of the Cedars, Glacier National Park

By now nearly everyone across the country has been to a stage of sweltering in the heat. It doesn’t matter where you live, except maybe in Western Washington, you’ve worked at staying cool.

When I talk about working in the heat, I’m not talking necessarily about laboring outside in it. Those who seldom leave the house, except for errands, are also at risk from heat. It depends on how cool the building is and how much air flow there is.

The heat affects all of us in similar ways. We get cranky when we get too hot. Tempers shorten as temperatures rise.

Attention wanders. Staying focused is possible but much more tiring at 95° than when at 70°. Dehydration begins to make its move and assaults the body, which has specific requirements. Thirst drives a person to intake more fluids, which results in more trips to the bathroom, which also pulls the attention away from your keyboard.

Sleep doesn’t come easily in the heat. There is no such thing as a comfortable position on the bed, couch, floor, hammock, or whatever reclined surface you can find. Sleeping on the porch isn’t an option either. It’s rarely much cooler out there than inside the house and other considerations remain; mosquitos, the odd stray dog, or worse, cat on the prowl.

Solutions? Oh, there are a few, but not many aside from air conditioning.

Let’s face it. We’ve become a society of wimps. Our pioneer ancestors—yes, even those in the 1940’s—didn’t need air conditioning. They worked, cooked, played outside with the kids, went to ballgames, etc. and all of it in the heat.

Here we are, subject to heat, many without blessed air conditioning. Take a crack at what the oldsters did. Put a big bowl of ice in front of the fan and let simple evaporation help cool you off.

Rearrange your work schedule, if you can, to move the most active part of your day to the cooler pre-dawn and early morning hours. Shift your priorities to help yourself. Decide how many cold meals you can prepare at one time. Cold soups, meats, fruits, etc. can help you think you’re cooler, even if you aren’t.

For those who snicker because they have air conditioning, remember this. You still have to go outside in it to get from point A to point B. That’s at least one chance to get your hand burned on a door handle, to burn the backs of your legs when derriere meets car seat or bench, to inhale vaporous flame upon ordering that snow cone from the corner vendor, who’s stood out in that heat to provide you with cold, soon-to-be-liquid refreshment.

But above all, realize that you’re not alone. Heat drains your energy. Even when you’re working at home or at the office, if you don’t have air conditioning, take it easy on yourself. A cool washcloth on the back of the neck does help. Keeping your feet cool drains more heat from the body than you might think, and make sure that keep sw

4 Comments on Working at Home in the Heat, last added: 7/12/2012
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22. Working at Home in the Heat

 

Trail of the Cedars, Glacier National Park

By now nearly everyone across the country has been to a stage of sweltering in the heat. It doesn’t matter where you live, except maybe in Western Washington, you’ve worked at staying cool.

When I talk about working in the heat, I’m not talking necessarily about laboring outside in it. Those who seldom leave the house, except for errands, are also at risk from heat. It depends on how cool the building is and how much air flow there is.

The heat affects all of us in similar ways. We get cranky when we get too hot. Tempers shorten as temperatures rise.

Attention wanders. Staying focused is possible but much more tiring at 95° than when at 70°. Dehydration begins to make its move and assaults the body, which has specific requirements. Thirst drives a person to intake more fluids, which results in more trips to the bathroom, which also pulls the attention away from your keyboard.

Sleep doesn’t come easily in the heat. There is no such thing as a comfortable position on the bed, couch, floor, hammock, or whatever reclined surface you can find. Sleeping on the porch isn’t an option either. It’s rarely much cooler out there than inside the house and other considerations remain; mosquitos, the odd stray dog, or worse, cat on the prowl.

Solutions? Oh, there are a few, but not many aside from air conditioning.

Let’s face it. We’ve become a society of wimps. Our pioneer ancestors—yes, even those in the 1940’s—didn’t need air conditioning. They worked, cooked, played outside with the kids, went to ballgames, etc. and all of it in the heat.

Here we are, subject to heat, many without blessed air conditioning. Take a crack at what the oldsters did. Put a big bowl of ice in front of the fan and let simple evaporation help cool you off.

Rearrange your work schedule, if you can, to move the most active part of your day to the cooler pre-dawn and early morning hours. Shift your priorities to help yourself. Decide how many cold meals you can prepare at one time. Cold soups, meats, fruits, etc. can help you think you’re cooler, even if you aren’t.

For those who snicker because they have air conditioning, remember this. You still have to go outside in it to get from point A to point B. That’s at least one chance to get your hand burned on a door handle, to burn the backs of your legs when derriere meets car seat or bench, to inhale vaporous flame upon ordering that snow cone from the corner vendor, who’s stood out in that heat to provide you with cold, soon-to-be-liquid refreshment.

But above all, realize that you’re not alone. Heat drains your energy. Even when you’re working at home or at the office, if you don’t have air conditioning, take it easy on yourself. A cool washcloth on the back of the neck does help. Keeping your feet cool drains more heat from the body than you might think, and make sure that keep sw

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23. More Flash Fiction

Flashy Fiction Prompt Photo

The Gleaning

Soon the pickers will come; their baskets covered and darkly empty. Who will survive this season’s harvest? How many can we get to safety in the caverns below? And how many will survive the terror of remaining below until the sky homes are again safe?

Our new leader perches, grasping his branch of authority so tightly his talons have sunken into the bark, almost heartwood deep. Families gather to hear his plans for leaving our sky homes for burrowed havens during this time of The Gleaning. Not even sky’s soft breath disturbs the silence holding our attention.

“This night will see us gone from these homes. Each parent pair holds responsibility for their young ones.”

Fledglings tuck up against parents’ sides, beneath sheltering wing power. Feet shuffle and scrape bark with restless talons. The scouts must have reported the pickers on their way to the forest.

Leader spreads wings to call order and flips them again to his back.

“Our fasting will begin at full dawn. The hardship of the season is upon us. Feed well before entering the burrows. It will be the last for a foot of moon rises.”

The sound of his last instruction faded. Leader departed to get his own charges on the ground and fed before dawn. Each small group moves forward to launch.

Fledglings balk, hesitating. They are shoved off for their first flight. For them the dark unknown rushes to meet them, not caring that this is new and frightening for these small feathered bodies. Moss hummocks and short leaf blades cushion their landings and bounces. One parent accompanies each new flyer and examines for injuries at the landing spot.

As soon as able-bodied fledglings are grounded, parents roam the sky homes looking for stragglers. Here and there weak calls come from homes, where those too weak or ill have been left behind. Their sacrifice will ensure that the fit will survive The Gleaning.

As the sun begins to streak the forest with its rays, the people begin to stuff last meals down their gullets. Many will be too weak and malnourished to hunt after The Gleaning. Designated caretakers go through the crowds before each burrow, marking the ones to watch for when the safety call comes from the watch patrol.

Thank the Great Winged One, the watch patrol will be gathering larger meals for that unearthing time. Calls from overhead alert those who need to hide. Young ones are pushed into burrow entrances, followed closely by adults. In moments only the patrol remains; covering entrances with harvested mosses t

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24. July 2012 • Volume 5 • Issue 7

Reblogged from Four and Twenty:

Click to visit the original post

Click here or on the image below to download the July 2012 issue of Four and Twenty (PDF 469 KB). The journal is best viewed in full screen mode on Adobe Reader.

This issue of the journal features poetry and artwork by Dale Patterson, D. Brian Craig, Aaron Crippen, Dan Fitzgerald, Alexandra C Fox , Marie Elena Good, Richard Hargis, Linda Hofke, De Jackson, Janet Lyn, Linda Marable McDade, Kathy Uyen Nguyen, Teague O’Keefe, Kushal Poddar, Stacy Post, Dr.

Read more… 43 more words

Today's issue of Four and Twenty contains one of my poems, as well as poetry of several friends. Enjoy this lovely magazine and make it one of your favorites.

2 Comments on July 2012 • Volume 5 • Issue 7, last added: 7/17/2012
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25. July 2012 • Volume 5 • Issue 7

Reblogged from Four and Twenty:

Click to visit the original post

Click here or on the image below to download the July 2012 issue of Four and Twenty (PDF 469 KB). The journal is best viewed in full screen mode on Adobe Reader.

This issue of the journal features poetry and artwork by Dale Patterson, D. Brian Craig, Aaron Crippen, Dan Fitzgerald, Alexandra C Fox , Marie Elena Good, Richard Hargis, Linda Hofke, De Jackson, Janet Lyn, Linda Marable McDade, Kathy Uyen Nguyen, Teague O’Keefe, Kushal Poddar, Stacy Post, Dr.

Read more… 43 more words

Today's issue of Four and Twenty contains one of my poems, as well as poetry of several friends. Enjoy this lovely magazine and make it one of your favorites.

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