Weekend Coffee Share — 11/2/19

COFFEE, TABLE, RESTAURANT -- Zaccaria

To participate in this week’s “Coffee Share” click on this link and visit Eclectic Ali for the details.

If we were having coffee together this weekend, I’d probably tell you about my book signing gig today. It was the kind of book signing that every author hopes he never experiences even once in his whole career. Not only did no one ask me to sign a book, but no one even wanted to buy a book. In fact, only two people even went so far as to pick up any books to look at them closer.

Yep, as sad as I am about it – and as embarrassed as I am to admit it – that’s the truth. My last book signing was pretty successful. I had a good time with people taking real interest in the books and asking intelligent questions – and most importantly – buying books and asking me to inscribe and sign them.

So why was this event such a failure? Well, as all authors know, we have good times and not-so-good times when it comes to book sales, but there are some specific circumstances that can lead more to one result or another. I was talking with my sister after the sad experience today, and she reminded me that the event took place in a county of our state that is known for its illiteracy, poor educational system, poverty, heavy drug use, heavy crime, witchcraft, and financial and political corruption. What does that fact mean in terms of selling books? Well, to begin with, the majority of people in that county are not interested in reading books much, period. But even when they do want to read, they are not looking for books with Christian-based themes and the propagation of the Gospel. Those two facts gave me an automatic two strikes against me before I even set up my table.

“So,” you ask, “why did you even participate in that event?” Well, my answer is two-fold. One: I’m an author who believes I’ve written books that will help people and make their lives better in a few different ways, and I naturally want to sell those books. So any possible market is worth at least considering. Two: I believe everybody, no matter what their culture or past experiences, should be given opportunities to choose to step out of what is negative and into something positive. I just believe that, given the opportunity, many people who live in a negative culture want to change that experience and will take advantage of such possibilities as reading good books in order to do so. I’ve been proven right about that theory in the past, and even though no one stepped up to make any of those choices today, I still believe there are people out there who do and will in the future.

So am I sorry I took part in the event – that I paid money for my place in the vendor’s fair that hosted us – that I spent hours getting all my materials together, traveling to the event, setting up everything, and then taking it all down and hauling it back home? No, I’m not. It was an experience that will have its own rewards for me it its own ways. However, when the coordinator of the event asked if I would come back to do another similar event before Christmas, I said no. I have to be a good steward of my time, my energy, and my finances, and when the evidence is staring me in the face as it did today, I’m smart enough to recognize that one of the lessons learned today is that this particular venue is not good stewardship.

Now, on the other hand, while we were sharing over coffee, I would also tell you about how I received shipment today of my first big order of the HOLLY JOLLY HOLIDAY PLANNING JOURNALS. I love these journals, and I’m so glad I decided to create them this year.

HOLLY JOLLY RESIZED
Moreover, half of this first batch is already spoken for, and that’s a pretty happy situation for an author and book creator to be in. With only half of this batch left in stock, I have to order more for the next book event that I’m participating in – in a totally different county, by the way, with a much more educated and literature-conscious culture. It takes place in a couple weeks, and by then I will have licked all my emotional and financial wounds from today, and I’ll have a great time interacting with potential readers at that event.

So — you win some, you lose some. As authors, we know that’s how life goes. It’s like the old song says — with a little paraphrasing from me:
You’ve got to give a little, take a little …
You’ve got to laugh a little, cry a little …
You’ve got to win a little, lose a little …
That’s the story of – that’s the glory of – being an author.

 


Lyrics taken from “The Glory of Love,” written by Billy Hill


 

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The Music of Words

Exif JPEG

I’m a musician. I play keyboard instruments mainly. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of using my talents to entertain audiences, to minister as organist and choir director for two different churches, to help facilitate weddings and funerals for scores of families, to compose and orchestrate numerous songs, and to teach others to use their gifts and talents to bless the world with music from their own keyboards.

These days I rarely sit down to a musical keyboard. Instead, I’m nearly glued to the kind of keyboard that is attached to a desktop or laptop computer. For,  you see, I’m also a writer. Now, some people feel that I have left music behind as I’ve devoted so much of myself to the writing. But you know what?  I’ve discovered a truth that, ten years ago, I may not have even thought about:

I’ve discovered that music — true music — doesn’t come from a keyboard on a piano, an organ, or an accordion. Nor does it come from a horn, a guitar, a violin, or any other instrument. On the contrary, music comes from the soul. It’s the melody, the harmony, and the rhythm of life that courses through our beings and finds its release through any number of avenues. Frequently, it is released through instruments constructed for that specific purpose, but the music of the soul is also released through words.

I find that I’m releasing the music of my soul constantly as my fingers whisk over the letter keys of my laptop. I’m letting all those melodies, harmonies, and rhythms of life course through me to touch every reader. And when those readers are touched, my words create emotions, thoughts, actions, and reactions as surely as the strains of sound vibrating from a piano or a horn. I’m calling to and capturing the soul of the reader as surely as the chords from a guitar call and capture the soul of the listener.

It is not the instrument that creates the music. In truth, the music is created from the deepest part of our being and simply seeks an avenue — any avenue — of expression. So, personally, I believe I am offering music to the world through the words that flow from my soul onto the page as surely as I have offered it in the past from the keyboard that sent forth vibrations of sound.

So, my fellow writers — let your music flow.


 

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Weekly Smile 7/29/19

I love taking part in Trent’s Weekly Smile, but for the past couple weeks I’ve been bogged down finishing up this term’s writing class and preparing for a ministry meeting at a local Civic Center. But this week, I’m starting to wind down from those two event — both of which made me smile — so I have a little extra time.

COFFEE JOURNAL COVER FRONT ONLYHowever, my post is not about those two things. It’s about another smile maker. My brand new DAILY GRIND COFFEE LOVERS JOURNAL. It’s just out and, I’m grinning from ear to ear about it — partly because it’s now available for purchase — and partly because I just can’t keep from smiling when I look at all those delicious coffee photos and think about how those captions popped into my mind for each one — and partly because I’m enjoying doing my own journaling in my personal copy of the book.

Now, I know this sounds like an advertisement, but truly it is the thing that caused my biggest smile this week — and last week.  I’m having a great time running around delivering copies of the journal to other coffee lovers who want one for themselves or to give as a gift. And to be perfectly honest, I’ll probably be smiling pretty big over this event for the next week or two as well.

Not only that, but I’m working on the next journal, which has a writing theme and should be out next month. That project is putting a smile on my face as well. Of course, it’s also causing me some hours of serious thought and a tiny bit of aggravation, but after all — as we all know — that’s part of the program when you’re creating a book.

Hope you all have a lot to smile about this coming week as well.

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Weekend Coffee Share – 4/7/19

COFFEE - YELLOW SMILEY -- Hans PX
photo courtesy of Hans @ pixabay.com

I’ve missed taking part in the weekend coffee shares, but my schedule just didn’t leave me much time for posting. If we were having coffee on this Sunday evening, I’d tell you that this weekend has been a wild ride. But I did manage to get two important things done.

The most important was planning and officiating at a funeral for a cousin. I’ve officiated at many funerals, but this one presented a particular challenge. Many members of the family (not the ones I’m close to, thank the Lord) have been having disagreements and considerable strife about a number of things. There are so many factions who are angry with one of the other factions that one other family member who traveled with me to the service said she was concerned that after we left there might be an actual fight break out.

You can imagine what it was like to try to plan and carry out the service, when so many of the people don’t want to speak to or cooperate with others, and when almost anything you say could possibly inflame touchy feelings even more.  One woman, who stood like a stone right in my line of vision through the whole service, had such a look of hatred on her face the whole time that I was amazed she could even maintain the look and stance for such a long period. She came to the service, but did not speak to any of her brothers or sisters.

Whew!  I lived through it, and I’m trusting the Lord that some of the things I shared will actually help bring some healing to those poor troubled people.  But I’m very glad it’s over.  I cannot understand a person allowing another person’s bad treatment of him to cause that first person to become so angry and bitter that it makes him physically sick. Why hold onto bitterness and resentment?  It certainly doesn’t hurt the person one is bitter against. It hurts only the one who feels and feeds that bitterness and hatred.

But, as I said, it’s over now, and I at least did what I was supposed to do to try to help.

The other accomplishment was a new video in my “Audio Short Stories” series. I managed to get that done late Saturday night, so I’m inserting it into this post so that — just in case you’re a person who enjoys sitting back and listening to a story rather than having to read it for yourself — you can listen to it right here.

I hope all the rest of you had relaxing weekends. I’m planning on my next weekend being more quiet and laid-back. Maybe I can get some painting done. Goodness knows I need to de-stress.  🙂

Oh, I almost forgot! Another happy thing happened on Saturday: a good friend came by with a gift for me. It was a lovely, fancy white cup and saucer with a silver fleur de lis design on it. It came complete with a little silver spoon — and a huge truffle inside to go with the coffee I was undoubtedly going to have in that cup. It was such a delightful surprise and a welcome positive addition to my troubled weekend.

Here’s the story I promised.  Kick back, prop your feet up, sip your coffee, and enjoy.

 

 

To participate in Weekend Coffee Share, visit Eclectic Ali for the details.

 

 


 

Weekend Coffee Share 3/3/19

COFFEE PLOPPING -- AnnieSplatt -- PX

If we were sharing a cup of coffee today, I’d tell, first of all, that the only reason I’m able to share this morning is because it is snowing too hard for me to get to church. I go to a church that is about 30 miles from my house, and right now the visibility is way too low to make a trip like that — especially with the roads rapidly being covered with snow and the temperatures dropping. I did go out and clean off my car (from the earlier morning snow), thinking it would let up, and I could go, but that didn’t work out at all.

Anyway, there’s not a whole lot to tell you about this week. I taught my “Writing Fiction” and my “Biblical Pathways to Health & Wholeness” classes.  The students seem to be enjoying both classes, so that’s always a good thing.

Actually, I did have one student who complained a couple weeks ago because the Writing Fiction class didn’t give him “what he wanted.” He had taken that class from me a few terms ago, and complained then as well. He seems to think that since he wrote non–fiction for years that a lot of the writing basics we cover are way too elementary for him. The course description made it clear what we would cover, but that didn’t seem to register with him. Not only that, but a good deal of the things we’re covering are things he is not nearly as proficient in as he seems to think — as evidenced by the work he turned in for the assignments.

The first time he took the class he decided to drop it after about 4 weeks. Then when we offered it again this term, he suddenly e-mailed me to see if this class would offer something he could use. I told him clearly that I would be covering the same things I covered in the class he had dropped, which includes all the basic skills needed to write good fiction: developing good strong plots, developing believable characters and learning how to introduce them into the story in interesting ways, learning to use dialogue and body language well, learning how to develop and present setting, learning how to edit, and learning how to choose the best publishing options (along with several other helpful tips). Now, I ask you: what more could a student want from a Writing Fiction class???

But I suggested to him that since I would be covering all those same things, and he didn’t find them helpful a few terms earlier, I didn’t think he’d be interested in this class. But he enrolled anyway. He came to class long enough to be an aggravation and then dropped the class again. It turns out that what he’s looking for is some kind of writing theory and philosophy — whatever that is — and for what purpose, I can’t begin to figure out.

I told him that, in my opinion, teaching theory and philosophy did absolutely no good for the students who want to learn to write good stories that will entertain people and sell books. Theory and philosophy don’t help you plot a good story or create engaging, true-to-life characters, or help you jump through all the right hoops to get those stories published.  I can honestly say I’m relieved he dropped the class. I hope he finds what he’s looking for.

Well, it looks as though I’ve taken our coffee time to vent. Hope you don’t mind. And, guess what: it has almost stopped snowing!  Yay!  I think I’m going to get a fresh cup of coffee and a cookie to celebrate.

Hope you have a great week. And if you’ve never taken part in the “Weekend Coffee Share,” visit Eclectic Ali , check out the easy instructions, and share about your week.

 

 


 

New Writing Challenge: Write a Story Using Nothing But Dialogue

Okey-dokey, folks, it’s time for a fresh writing challenge. I’ve been doing this exercise with some of my creative writing students to help them get a better grip on using dialogue creatively and successfully in their stories. It’s a challenge for sure, but it’s lots of fun.

So here’s the only rule. Write a short story (anywhere between 100 and 500 words) using nothing but dialogue. No introduction, no tag lines to identify speakers, no narration of any kind.

Two Helpful Hints:
1. Since you can’t use tag words to identify speakers, you’ll be restricted to only two characters so that the reader can follow the dialogue easily.
2. You’ll need to make sure your dialogue reveals the identity of the characters because you can’t narrate their identity or description to your readers.

Just post your story on your own site and hop over here and put the link into the “Comments” section for this post.

No time limit: This challenge is open-ended. Anytime you read this post and want to try your hand at a dialogue story, go for it.  Do more than one if you like. And don’t forget to come back here and leave your link.

My own story is below:

GIRL DRAWING HEART ON WALL - cropped -- SFerrario - PX

FAMILY PICTURE

“Mandy, what on earth have you done to the wall?”
“I’m drawing a merle, Mommy.”
“A what?”
“A merle. You know, a picture that covers the whole wall.”
“Oh, you mean a mural.”
“Right, and this is a picture of our whole family.”
Our family?”
“Yes. See this really big person is God, because our Sunday School teacher said that all families come from God.”
“I see. And, yes, Mrs. Osgood is right.”
“And then here’s Daddy and you and me and Francis and Baby Daniel.”
“Well, I understand God and Daddy and me and you and Francis, but who on earth is Baby Daniel?”
“My little brother.”
“But, Mandy, you don’t have a little brother.”
“Not yet, but he’s coming. God told me today.”
“Ooooooh ….”

`

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Once Upon A Time: A Story In Any Language

More than three years ago, I did a post discussing how so many of our stories have characteristics and qualities that are both generic and universal. That fact is so true that we’ve even cultivated phrasing and syntax patterns that fit specific themes and plots.  The whole concept is fascinating to me. (Naturally it would be, considering that I’m not only a writer, but also a creative writing teacher.) 

So I decided to experiment a little with writing a story using nonsense terms instead of normal nouns and verbs. — to demonstrate the fact that any avid reader would be able to understand the story with very little trouble. The reason readers will understand is that the pattern, plot, and emotional tone all fit a specific type of fiction. The experiment was fun, and I often use it in my writing classes as an example to my students that many times it isn’t just choosing the right word that matters. It’s also how we put those words together that makes the whole piece a good story.

I decided to share the experiment again on this site. Hope you enjoy it.


DRAGON - PUB DOM TOTALLY -- Friedrich-Johann-Justin-Bertuch_Mythical-Creature-Dragon - TALL
Public Domain — Artist: Friedrich-Johann-Justin-Bertuch 

`
THE BONDO DELAFOR

The young delafor wandered through the cogem, wishing he could find a delafora to be his rhuba. He’d heard the fonders tell of bondo delafors who had won the hands of delaforas by zonering the terrible goganbulls. He knew the goganbulls were threatening the cogem, and many delafors were terrizon of them. He didn’t know if he were bondo enough to zoner a goganbull or not, but he hoped he’d have a chance.

One day the great kinba of the cogem announced that a goganbull had been spotted just outside the cogem. The great kinba porsayed that he would give the most beautiful delafora to the delafor who zonered that goganbull.

So the young delafor raced to his stetsa, hopped on, and took off to find the goganbull and zoner it. When he found the goganbull, it was maxma!  It was so maxma that the young delafor’s stetsa reared up, threw the delafor off, and ran away. Now the only thing the delafor had was his pontier. So he looked the goganbull in the eye, stood up straight and tall and shumed toward him. Keeping eye contact, he shumed all the way to within two feet of him. The goganbull gloamed and hot smeltz came from his buzzle.

But the young delafor rememberd the beautiful delafora who was porsayed by the great kinba. The delafor wanted that delafora for his rhuba very badly. So he aimed his pontier and shumed the last two feet toward the goganbull; then he flumed his pontier right into the goganbulls corva. With one horrible gloam, the goganbull fell over, and black smoke roold from his buzzle. Then all was quiet.

The young delafor took his pontier and whapped off the goganbull’s henda and carried it back to the great kinba. That day the young delafor won the most beautiful delafora in the cogem to be his very own rhuba. And they both lived schnookumy ever after.

TE  FUND

 

~~~

 


 

Weekend Coffee Share – 7/7/18

COFFEE MAN WITH FLOWERS - resized

If we were having coffee today, I’d most likely tell you about my creative writing class that got underway last week at the local college. It definitely got off to a robust beginning and then continued to make records for the most unusual writing class I’ve ever taught.

The first class met June 28, and about half-way through the class, the students’ phones began going off with a weather warning signal. The report said a tornado was headed our way and we needed to “take cover now!”  Since it was the first class of that term, and my classes last year had not been in that particular building, I did not remember exactly where the “safe” rooms were, so I had to hunt for the building map. I found it in the tray of the whiteboard, and immediately located the closest “safe” room for students to move to. My students weren’t actually frightened or panicked, but since one whole wall of our classroom is glass, they did want to get out of that room.

Well, when I tried to open the door to the “safe” room, it was locked. So I told the students I’d check the alternate rooms listed on the map, but then, suddenly — as if out of nowhere — one of the main custodians appeared with a key. However, as he opened the room, he also told me that a different room on the other end of the hall was actually safer, so I directed my students there instead. One woman’s husband was sitting in a lounge area reading while he waited for her.  So the custodian went to get him and have him join us in the “safe” room.  I was praying, of course, but I did feel responsible for making sure my students were as safe as possible.

Before we got to the safe room, some of the students stopped to look out one of the windows. It was pretty black outside — even though it’s normally still quite light at that time — and as they were looking, suddenly the wind took down a tree. We learned that another tree on the campus was also uprooted as well, but we didn’t see that one.

With class interrupted, we just sort of sat and conversed about other topics for a while, and two students kept tabs on the weather updates. One of them read a report that a local Kroger store had taken all their customers into their meat locker for safety. One of the students commented that if her daughter had been in that position, it would have been like a nightmare because the daughter is a vegetarian.

Everyone was pretty upbeat during the waiting time, and after a while, they decided they’d like to go ahead and continue the lesson. So I went back down to our original room and got all my teaching material so we could have the lesson while we waited. There was no whiteboard, but I was able to give them some of the material without it. When the warning time had expired,  with our building still in one piece, we packed up our stuff and moved back down to our regular room and continued our class, no worse for the wear.

One of the students had ridden a motorcycle to the class. So he had about a 20-mile ride home in the rain after we let out. But the winds had died down, and the warnings had expired at least. He had come prepared, though. He had brought along a rain suit, so I guess he’s been caught in that kind of situation before. He made it home okay and was in good shape to come back this week.

Now, to this week’s chapter: When I got to the classroom Thursday, two of my students were standing outside the building — in 100-degree heat. As I stepped from my car, I yelled to them and asked if the door was locked. They said it was. So I got back into my car and drove over to the security and maintenance building. I couldn’t get anyone to answer my pounding on the door at the security office. I couldn’t get into the maintenance office, and I even stopped at a shop area where they were welding to ask for assistance. They just sent me back to the security office, but that second time, an officer FINALLY came to the door.

Evidently, because our class was meeting the day after the 4th of July, we were one of only a few classes that were meeting that day. I guess several of the others had dismissed for the rest of the week, and the officer said his list of buildings that were supposed to be open for classes did not include the one we were trying to get into. However, he drove over and opened the building for us. It was a little strange to be the only class meeting in that great big building, but at least all was quiet weather-wise, and we had no interruptions.

All in all, I’d say this term’s writing class has been less that boring. And if nothing else, maybe it will give students something to write about. However, I do hope next week is TOTALLY ordinary.

Have a great week, everyone!


Thanks to Eclectic Ali for hosting our weekend coffee share.

 

 

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Share Your World 7/2/18

I haven’t taken time in the last couple months to “share my world.” So this week I thought I’d make an attempt to do so. (You can share yours too if you visit Cee’s blog where she gives the details of taking part.) Here are her questions for this week.

Question # 1: Tell us about your first bicycle or car. 

Well, I never owned a bicycle. I did learn to ride one — using my cousins’ or neighbors’ bikes, but bicycling was never one of my favorite activities. I do drive a car, although that activity is not one of my favorites either. I’m not one of those people who enjoys “going for a drive.” I simply get into the car to get from one place to another more easily and comfortably than I can get there by walking. Of course, with my air conditioner on the blitz in my current car, that isn’t too comfortable.

But I’m digressing. I’m supposed to tell you about my very first car. It was a Honda — pale yellow with gray interior. I loved it. It was used, and cost me a whole $700.00, but that was way back in time — more than 40 years ago. I vividly remember my test drive. My dad went along to give me his opinion of its virtues and problems. The car was in good shape and I drove it about three years before trading it in for a newer and slightly bigger car. I’ve owned 9 different cars since then, but I’ll always remember that little Honda with love and affection.

REDBIRD CHRISTMASQuestion # 2: What fictional world or place would you like to visit?

I’d like the opportunity to visit — or maybe live in —  a place called Lost River, Alabama. Now, in general, I don’t like Alabama. And, in general, I’m not a fan of Fannie Flagg’s novels. However, Ms.Flagg did write one novel that is an absolute delight to read — in fact I read it about once a year — and it is set in the peaceful, friendly, life-affirming community settled on the banks of a clear, quiet river known as Lost River, Alabama.

Even the mail is delivered by river in this little community. Everyone living there knows everyone else — and cares about everyone else. The weather is not too cold or too hot. The flowers, birds, and other natural wildlife are pleasant company. And the whole attitude and atmosphere is one of optimism.

I keep intending to write a review of this book for my blog, but, somehow, time just keeps getting away from me. But in case I’ve whetted your appetite for a visit to Lost River, I’ll tell you that the title of the book is A Redbird Christmas. And if you enjoy reading about second chances and happy endings, you’ll love it.

Question # 3: If you could have someone follow you around all the time — like a personal assistant — what would you have them do?

I’d have them stop following me around.

 

Question # 4: What did you appreciate, or what made you smile this past week.

Three things made me smile this past week. One was my hairdresser, Scott Brown. Scott is one of the most pleasant, courteous people I know personally. He really cares about people. He chooses exactly what is right for my hair every time a decision has to be made about it, and he genuinely enjoys making people feel good about themselves. When I’m in the mood to change my style and I’m being super picky — which I almost always am — you know — I want this cut, but I want the back a little different — and I want the top a little different — and I want more of this and less of that — he takes it all in stride, gives me what will actually work, and tells me honestly when something is out of the question. I really like this guy.

The second thing that made me smile was some videos of the old Mary Tyler Moore Show from the 1970’s. That was a time of several important decisions and events in my life, and that whole decade has a very strong place in my memory — in mostly happy ways. One of my favorite memories is watching that show every week. This week, as a way of relaxing, I watched several hours of those old re-runs, and I was amazed at how much I laughed out loud at some of them. It was a fun experience.

The third thing that made me smile was getting back into the book I wrote for my great-nieces and nephews about 4 years go. I wrote the original story just for them, using all four of them as the main characters of the book: Taming The Dragon of Calvert Kingdom. I’m getting ready to let the book go into the marketplace now, and as I re-read it and remembered how thrilled they were to have a whole book written about them, it made me happy. I hope it make them as happy when the book is published for the rest of the world to read.

 

 


 

Weekend Coffee Share 6/24/18

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Hi, Everyone.
If we were having coffee together today, I’d probably tell you that it’s been a  pretty busy and a very stressful week. I did manage to get several things done that needed doing, so I feel good about that. Today was a super busy day with church work. I preached at this morning’s service, and after the evening meeting, a few of us counseled with a young man who has had very serious problems with addictions and all of the attending horrors that go along with that lifestyle. But he gave his heart to the Lord tonight, and I expect he’ll see a great difference in his life from this point on.

This week has been my last week to prepare for my two creative writing classes coming up this term at John A Logan College. I’ll be teaching a writing fiction class and a writing non-fiction class. We always have more people sign up for the writing fiction classes, but I enjoy teaching both equally well. I think a lot of people just don’t have any idea how much fun and creativity is involved in writing non-fiction — or how wide and vast the arenas are for that kind of writing. I wish more people could get excited about it.

I also received a surprise gift of See’s Chocolates this week. Wow. That’s some of my favorite candy, and boy did I need it — with the stress and all.  After all, chocolate is the best antidote in the world for stress. And, of course, when you add a great cup of coffee with the chocolate, I am immediately transported to my “happy place.”

I did, however, do one other thing to relieve some of the stress. I often pick up a good book — one that doesn’t require me to get too involved emotionally — to destress, but this week I was in the mood for some old classic science fiction movies. You know the ones I mean — those that came out in the 1950’s and 60’s. They’re the ones that look so artificial now — after all of our real-life space travel and the high-level technology in movie making these days. But there’s something about the artificiality of those old films that re-captures my imagination. Most of them are fairly predictable, of course, but for me that’s part of their charm. I did get onto the edge of my seat once or twice while watching a few of them, but for the most part, they just did a good job of getting my mind off everything else and taking me away from troublesome ‘real life.’

That’s about it for my week. Hope you all enjoyed the coffee and that you have a great week coming up.

 


Thanks to Eclectic Ali for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share.

 

 

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Weekend Coffee Share — 6/16/18

Thanks to Eclectic Ali for hosting the weekend coffee shares.

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I’m so glad I have some time to share coffee with you guys this week — because I am really excited to share with you about my newest venture. I have recently created a brand new poetic form. At least, I think I have. With all the searching I’ve done, I’m fairly certain no other poets have this form out there. I’m excited, not only because I loved the challenge of creating a unique form, but also because there is only one poetic form that is generally recognized as being ‘American’ by the poetry world. So this new form that I’ve created — being American myself — will be the second.

And to make it even more truly American, I borrowed from my own Cherokee culture to give the form a name. I’ve called it Tso’i. That word is pronounced “cho-ee,” and it is the Cherokee word for the number ‘three,’ and I chose it because the syllable count for the 5 lines of the poem are in multiples of three. I’ve posted about the form — along with examples of poems that follow it — in more than one post on my author’s site and my poetry site. So I don’t want to be too repetitious here. But I know there are a few people who read the “Coffee Share” posts who don’t read my others.

That being the case, I want to tell you the details of my new form so that any of you out there who enjoy writing poetry can try it if you’d like. So here’s the scoop:

A Tso’i poem must meet the following guidelines:

It must have 5 lines
Lines 1, 3, and 5 must have end rhyme.

Syllables:
Line 1 has 3 syllables.
Line 2 has 6 syllables.
Line 3 has 12 syllables.
Line 4 has 6 syllables.
Line 5 has 3 syllables.

Lines 1 and 5 follow a dactyl meter.
Lines 2, 3, and 4 follow an iambic meter.

Subject matter and theme are open to the poet’s imagination and preference.

Here’s one example from my own work:

PARAMOUNT KNOWLEDGE

Knowing God:
Oh, what a wondrous thing
To comprehend such pure love; I’m completely awed,
Learning I am priceless
To my God.


If any of you poets out there would like to try this form yourself, please do and leave a copy of it — or a link to it — in the “Comments” section below.  And have a great weekend!

 

 

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Tso’i: New American Poetic Form

QUIL PEN AND INK -- LunarSeaArt -- PXWell, I think it’s time to name my new poetic form. I thought about a few possibilities, but since one of the predominant — and most noticeable — aspects of this new form is that the syllable count for the five lines of verse is calculated in multiples of three, that number seemed a good choice to focus on for the name. Also, wanting this form to stand out as a truly ‘American’ creation, it seemed like a fun idea to look to my Cherokee heritage for the proper word. After all, how much more ‘American’ can we get than one of the original tribes of people who inhabited this continent long before any white men set foot on it?

So, borrowing the word for ‘three’ from my Cherokee culture, I am christening this new poetic form with the following name:
Tso’i — pronounced “cho-ee”

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And now for one more example of Tso’i. Just a little something relating to this task of choosing a name.

CHOOSING A NAME

Giving birth
To a new form of verse
Requires a unique name to convey unique worth:
One kind to themes of hope,
Love, and mirth.


I’d also like to extend the invitation again to all my readers: If you’d like to try your hand at writing a poem in this form, please come back here and share it — or the link to it — in the “Comments” section below.

Here are the particulars once more:

The form has 5 lines.
Lines 1, 3, and 5 must have end rhyme.

Line 1 has 3 syllables.
Line 2 has 6 syllables.
Line 3 has 12 syllables
Line 4 has 6 syllables
Line 5 has 3 syllables

Lines 1 and 5 use dactyl meter.
Lines 2, 3, and 4 use iambic meter.

Subject matter and theme are open to the poet’s imagination and preference.


I still find Tso’i a little difficult, even though I created it, but it’s been worth the challenge.    It’s definitely worth a try if you love writing poetry.   So, come on: try it and have some fun with me.


You’ll find more examples of Tso’i in these Related Posts:
Introduction of the Form
Second Demonstration of the Form


photo: LunarSeaArt @ pixabay.com

 

 

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Experiment # 2 in New Poetic Form

I’ve composed a second poem in my new form — as yet un-named. I’ve searched to find any indication that this form has been used by any other poets, but I know I haven’t unearthed all the information. So, as I mentioned in my original post when I introduced this form, if anyone out there knows of it’s being used previously, please let me know in the comments below. Once I’m convinced it truly is a new form, I’ll need to give it a name. So if you have suggestions for that as well, let me know.

Just to review, the form is as follows:

5 Lines.
The first, third, and fifth lines have to rhyme.

Line 1 has 3 syllables
Line 2 has 6 syllables
Line 3 has 12 syllables
Line 4 has 6 syllables
Line 5 has 3 syllables

Meter for lines 1 and 5 is dactyl.
Meter for lines 2, 3, 4 is iambic.

I’m still finding this form pretty difficult, but I like a challenge once in a while. If you want to try it and write your own poem in this form, please share it in the comments section or by a link to your own blog.

Here’s this newest effort:

HEALING HAND - DARK SEPIA - FEATHERED

PARAMOUNT KNOWLEDGE

Knowing God:
Oh, what a wondrous thing
To comprehend such pure love; I’m completely awed,
Learning I am priceless
To my God.

 

 


 

New Poetic Form???

QUILL & BOOK - SEPIAI’ve been experimenting with some unusual, new (I think) poetic forms. The following form is one of my experiments, and I haven’t found any indication that the form has been used previously by any other poets. If readers are aware of this exact form already in use somewhere — anywhere in the world — I’d appreciate your letting me know. This particular form is difficult for me, but I’m working with it as a way of stretching myself and forcing myself out of a too-comfortable rut.

Here are the details of the form:
The poem must consist of 5 lines with the following syllable count:
Line 1 — 3 syllables
Line 2 — 6 syllables
Line 3 — 12 syllables
Line 4 — 6 syllables
Line 5 — 3 syllables

Meter in lines 1 and 5 is dactyl. But meter in lines 2-4 is iambic.
Rhyme scheme:  Lines 1, 3, and 5 must rhyme.

Following is one example of a poem using this pattern.

TAKING A SNOOZE

Lullabies
Encourage babies’ sleep.
But often as I sing I also close my eyes,
And sleep myself until
Baby cries.

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If you’ve come across this pattern previously, let me know.  Or if you’d like to try it yourself, leave your own poem in the “Comments” section below — or leave a link to your own site with your poem in a post.

 


Also posted this on my ‘Ahyoka’ site.

 

 

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A Little Bit More of My Shameless Marketing

PROFESSOR'S EDUCATION FOR AMAZON FRONT ONLY - 2Just wanted to let readers know that the inspirational novel The Professor’s Education is now selling on Amazon in paperback and digital. Many of you read the novel free right here on this site a few months ago. And many of you expressed your enjoyment of it as well. Thank you again.

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And thanks in advance.