Friday, April 29, 2011

Sleepy Sunny Friday

I am taking a break from marathon grading speeches for my April class. I was up until 3 a.m. last night and up early again this morning, but it was worth it. I submitted grades for 26 students with two hours to spare. I almost didn't know what to do with myself. :) I received a beautiful compliment from one of my students saying how much she appreciated the class. That alone was worth a sleep-deprived night. I do love teaching. I am grateful that I have this opportunity. Right now Moshi (pictured with me in the photo) is curled up to the right of me as I type. For the most part, Moshi has replaced Java as the muse cat. Once in awhile Javacat will shoulder surf to make sure I am on task. Javacat is almost thirteen, so she's entitled to a long and happy retirement. Sakura was sleeping on the rug in front of the door and basking in the sun rays.She stepped over to a white kitty bed and has curled in for the mid-afternoon. Java sleeps peacefully on the other couch. I am fighting the siesta before completing other work, but slumber may prevail.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

We have our own Easter eggs this year. I may have mentioned this before, but there are three beautiful blue eggs located in a robin's nest right outside our enclosed porch. Photos soon to follow. I took some more today. Robin the Lady Bird scolds us and flies away every time we leave our house. The nest is located in a perfect spot for the Lady Cats to peruse. It's cat tv all the time around here, especially in the springtime. I'm feeling a little nostalgic today. Growing up, Easter was a big deal in our house. We would go to church, have Easter baskets with gifts, and spend time with family. I do miss family members (fur included) who have passed on or moved away, but I enjoy not having the hustle and stress of holiday gatherings. (Notice I am not using the term hellidays so much anymore.) I shy away from holidays in late and prefer to keep them as normal as possible. I am relaxing on my porch in quiet reflection, thinking of loved ones, and appreciating the beauty of the day. Steve is doing something around the house, Sakura and Moshi are nestled inside for their midafternoon siestas, and Java is curled up on the couch on the opposite side of the porch. She just woke herself up from her loud snoring. Meanwhile, I have to stop procrastinating and finish up my school projects so I can sleep tonight. If you observe,I hope you are having a peaceful Easter Sunday. Either way, I hope you are having a lovely Sunday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Welcome!

I noticed that I have a new follower on my blog today! Welcome! I hope you enjoy the postings and photographs. :)

April Surprise: A Robin's Nest

It's a good thing that April is cold this spring. Usually I would have had the front yard somewhat trimmed up already. We have overgrown foliage in our front yard, in particular, a tall bush or tree.(I'm not sure which one it is.) Anyway, it grew this winter and needed to be trimmed. However, a certain event prevented this trimming from occuring. In the past week,robins angrily scold Steve and me as we enter and exit via the front porch. I said to Steve, "I think there's a nest!" We looked and there it is, a beautiful bird's nest adorned with three blue eggs. We are being careful not to disturb the nest and are doing our best not to irritate the bird mother. I think the bird father is nearby, because we encounter multiple chirpings as we venture outside. Even if we use the other doors, the nest is located right in the front near the driveway, so we cannot avoid it. And I am kind of glad I cannot avoid it, because this next reminds me of the small treasures of life and the beauty of spring--even a cold spring.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April is the Month of the Artisan

I believe April is the month of the artisan. I adore the fact that National Poetry Month occurs in April. Speaking of poetry, I attended the 2nd Annual ArtPost Poetry Marathon on Friday night. Kay and Jake did a great job of showcasing artists. I met new people, reconnected with others, and listened to some spectacular wordsmithing. It is amazing how many people I know are pursuing their artistic talents. One writer--who I have been a fan of for many years--collaborated with a prolific artist and is publishing his work through comic books. A classmate is publishing vampire books online. A group of friends formed a local film company and is working on their next film. And the list of creativity goes on and on...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Health Fair and Fantasy Freaks

Today has been a day of learning. This morning I was an exhibitor for a Health Fair at the college where I teach. I focused on writing, poetry in particular, and how it can be therapeutic. I brought in a couple of academic articles about writing poetry and therapeutic aspects of writing. I may start a Haiku Club on campus. We'll see. I also brought in a Magnetic Poetry kit with pieces of words and a board. Faculty and students stopped by the table to play. I was also able to inform people about my book. I had one person interested in purchasing a book and many people took flyers. A couple of ideas came to mind: 1.) Making refrigerator magnets that look like the book covers with information, and 2.)Having a bowl of suckers that have labels affixed. I noticed that on another exhibitor's table. Tonight Steve and I attended a lecture at the University of Notre Dame. Author Ethan Gilsdorf gave a great presentation based on his book "Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks." Steve and I met him at Gen Con two years ago. He was/is very friendly and we bought his book. :) He's forty-four and part of our Generation X, so Steve and I could relate. Ethan Gilsdorf also related well to the younger generations in the audience through humor. I learned a lot from his lecture from both a popular culture perspective and an author's point of view. Good stuff.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Reflections on the Week

Wow. Tuesday night can be summed up in a word: awesome. We had a nice group of about 20 people at the library. Steve presented a great powerpoint on content creation and then I presented poetry. We are going to take this on the road and present together again. There are so many artists, musicians, and writers that need a platform to publish their materials. I want people to have the same feeling I did when I autographed my first solo book. The River Park Branch Library staff went all out for my night and I will always be grateful. After the presentation, a few of us mingled, munched on cheese, and enjoyed carrots and hummus. We then ventured out to Hacienda and enjoyed a late dinner. We talked so long we closed out the restaurant. What a great night with friends! :) The funny thing is that Steve and I were so caught up in the night that we forgot to snap photographs! I'll need to snap photos of the last reminder of the night, which was the beautiful flowers S. bought for the occasion.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

In the Family of Trees is Published! :)

The book is out! Squee! Steve and I approved the second proof and set up the online store. We used a company called CreateSpace, which is owned by Amazon.com There is some editing on their side. They had to approve the drafts for the online store.I am very happy that this book is published. April 3, 2011 will always be memorable. If you are interested in purchasing a copy,please visit my store!-xo https://www.createspace.com/3583962

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Prepublication Poetry Proofs and Performance Dates

The box with the prepublication proofs for the poetry book arrived today! :) When we approve them, we will be able to set up our online store. We anticipate going live this weekend! We hoped to receive the copies this weekend so we could have everything in place by my first reading on Tuesday. It's only been twenty years and a long time coming. Here are a few dates where I will be presenting: In The Family of Trees Poetry Performance and Book Party Tuesday, April 5, 2011 @ 6:30 p.m. River Park Branch Library,2022 Mishawaka Avenue, South Bend, IN Brown Mackie College Health Fair Wednesday, April 13, 2011 from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Main Campus, Douglas Road, South Bend, IN ArtPost Poetry Marathon Friday, April 15 @ 5:30 p.m. ArtPost Gallery, South Bend, IN I am looking forward to the events! Hope to see you there!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Defining Poetry

April 1 commences National Poetry Month and it's no joke.:)I enjoy poetry and words so much, but you know that about me already. How about you? Do you like poetry? Have you ever tried to write a poem? What is poetry? I wanted a better definition, so I perused online. Robert Frost is one of my inspirations. and I found the following quoted verbatim from this URL: http://www.qcc.mass.edu/booth/102/poetry/poetry.html Robert Frost (1874-1963) "A poem begins with a lump in the throat, a home-sickness or a love-sickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where the emotion has found its thought and the thought has found the words." First published in Robert Frost: The Man and His Work. New York: Henry Holt, 1923. I thought this was beautiful. I was first introduced to Robert Frost (his poems, not him) in 1991. He remains one of my greatest influences, especially with meter and nature. Dictionary.com also provides several definitions of poetry and here they are (verbatim): noun 1. the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts. 2.literary work in metrical form; verse. 3.prose with poetic qualities. 4.poetic qualities however manifested: the poetry of simple acts and things. 5.poetic spirit or feeling: The pianist played the prelude with poetry. 6.something suggestive of or likened to poetry: the pure poetry of a beautiful view on a clear day. I cannot choose which definition I like the most;I like all the definitions. I also like the fact that "poetess" is also used, although it is less common than poet. Poetess. I like how it sounds. Perhaps in a future poetry post I will talk about "the poetess."

Labor Day Weekend: Library, Gaming, Rock Band, and Kayaking

Isn't it interesting how a simple, one-line post on social media can inspire a person to write more about it on a blog? Yes, that is w...