Monday, January 01, 2018

New Year, New Goals

So, it is now 2018. Feels a bit anti-climatic, but then as one gets older the changing of years kinda does.

Having said the above, I'm looking forward to what 2018 has to bring. And there is good stuff, writing wise, on the new 365 day horizon.

First one is not actually about writing; it's about art. In this case my new logo/icon. It was created for me by my son-in-law as a Christmas gift. You have probably noticed the change here on the blog. Here is the full size version.



The next is that on Hubpages, I ended the year with 9500 lifetime views of my essays. That is around double what I started the year with. So the coveted 10,000 should be achieved somewhere in January if my numbers hold where they have been. (I was hoping to hit it before the end of 2017, but am happy where it did end up.)

I have some articles that are ready to be send out into the world, and some publications lined up to send them to. Hoping to get something beyond rejection, wait-listed, or no response at all.

Last but most definitely not least, I will be finishing my short story collection editing and get that bad boy published. The line up looks good. Got a few pieces that need the first draft finished. Some finished first drafts have gotten good feedback from first readers. I'm at about 21,000 words at the moment. So the work is moving along.

So, for the moment, may you have a Happy New Year, and I'll be typing at you again soon.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Random Thoughts on The Who, Christmas, and Serious Plot Holes

So I was driving home from school on the last day of the semester, and this starts playing in the radio station's 30 minute Christmas music block.


My first thought upon hearing the first notes was, "I have always said this is a Christmas song! Good on this station for recognizing it!" Then the next thought came.

Now understand, by the end of my day, much less week as it was at this point, I am physically and mentally exhausted. Therefore not a lot is going on in my poor brain except going home and chilling out. Basically, my brain is pretty empty at this point of my day. Thing is, there is my writer persona. AND. THE. WRITER. NEVER. SLEEPS.

So the next thought was, "Wait, this song makes no sense. Do these people have the memory span of a newborn? What are they talking about?"

To understand where this is going, let me give a quick rundown of the rock opera to this (the song's) point in the story. (Spoiler Warning, though it seems silly to issue one on a nearly 50 year old album. I mean, really guys.) So, Captain Walker of the British Army, Tommy's dad, disappears while she is pregnant with Tommy. In "1921", (both song and year) she takes on a lover. Captain Walker shows up and kills the lover in a rage. (The random showing up is a problem for me too, but that is a different issue I will briefly cover at the end.) Tommy sees all of this, so his parents, in desperation, convince him he didn't see or hear anything. This causes a psychosomatic response where he becomes "deaf dumb and blind." This is explained in the next song, "Amazing Journey." This song also states Tommy is 10 years old. The third song after this one on the album is "Christmas."

The bothersome lyric for me is the chorus, which goes:
   "And Tommy doesn't know what day it is.
    He doesn't know who Jesus was
    Or what praying is.
    How can he be saved
    From eternal grave?"

Okay, so the song where the murder and coverup happened, this kid was old enough to get out of bed and walk to the room where he got to witness all of the carnage. And he was old enough for these "parents of the year" rejects to know he was capable of understanding what just went down. And the next song clarifies that by actually stating the boy's age. So it is safe to say that Tommy had celebrated 10 Christmases before "the incident." Since he has experienced the holiday, it's also pretty safe to say he knew about Jesus too and all the fun stuff that goes with it, like praying.

Then there is this winner of a lyric:
   "But how can men who've never seen
    Light be enlightened." (Emphasis mine)

This lyric would not bother me if the highlighted word was not included. But it is, so it does. Never seen light? As the French say, que? Once again, Tommy is 10 years old when he goes catatonic on us. I seriously doubt Great Britain had a decade in total darkness. Then as soon as his parents traumatize him, the sun appears. Which leaves them to say, "Damn,wish Tommy could have seen this." Really? Why? Why? Whywhywhywhy?

So that is my problems with the song.

Quickly on my above mentioned issue with "1921." Though I will admit to not knowing how the British Army handles the return of their missing, I don't think it is to just send them home with a pat on the back and a handshake without first notifying the family. I'm fairly sure there were phone calls and meetings, not a "Hey, good to have you back, Captain. Just go on home. Sure the wife will be happy to see you after thinking your were dead for years." What were you thinking, Pete Townsend?

So that is my random rant on Tommy. Sorry if this ruins the future listening experience for you. Welcome to my world after taking Lit Theory. Merry Christmas!



Saturday, December 16, 2017

So, I planned a writing day...

...and the furthest I got is just staring at the pages. And staring. And staring. And...nothing.

So I posted another poem to the website. And updated my bio, which really needed it. Then I came here, because this seemed like the best place to commiserate about this.

I also know that I have not been here in awhile. Though I love teaching, it is a serious time suck. So, I cannot promise when I will be able to post, despite all of my good intentions to do so. Therefore, I will stop saying that I will be posting by certain times. At least till I can hit a rhythm to my schedule. (As I typed that I heard maniacal laughter in my head.)

So, if I do not get a chance to see you all before the end of the year, Happy belated Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year. Or just in a nice summary, Happy Holidays!!!!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Skipping August, Going Straight into September

Yet, so somehow I lost a whole month here.

Part is due to starting a new job on August 1. I now teach 6th grade. Crazy, right? Part is due to a busy hurricane season. So far, so good. Liking the new challenge.

The son-in-law's family resides in the Houston area, so we have been dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. And now I am sitting here blogging while dealing with the NE quadrant of Hurricane Irma. Still got about a minimum of 12 more hours of this, and the strong stuff ain't here yet. And for some reason, Florida prefers her hurricanes at night. Just how it goes...

So, don't know when I'll be back, but I will be back. Stay safe and dry fellow Floridians, and see everybody on the other side of the storm.

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Month That Got Away From Me

So, yeah, I didn't get everything done writing-wise that I had hoped or planned to do. I few things have put me off my game a bit. Some of them good, like getting a teaching job and someone very dear getting their own place & helping them move. But then there was the no good, very bad that was the stomach bug I caught that had me spewing red, white and eww for a few days. And the taking of a family member to the ER and urgent care didn't help with the time management either. But I'm hoping for a more productive and calm August that will also allow me to catch up. Hang in there, I love ya'll like chicken and more than my luggage.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Happy July Update!

So, as promised, here is all the stuff going on with my other web writing activity.

More poems have been moved from here to their happy home to their homestead on the website. And I am happy to report they are getting along well with the others. Here are the links for them.
  And I have had four more essays promoted to LetterPile.com. This now make ten total. Woot!
Also, on June 23th, HubPages awarded moi with the Engaging Writer Accolade. I'm pretty stoked about it.


More good things are a comin', so hang tight.

Just as soon as I can get the cat to stop laying on my writing materials! 😁

Sunday, July 02, 2017

What...it's July Already?

So I just noticed that I kinda neglected the ol' blog here overall for about six weeks. This is not to say I haven't been doing stuff in the writing realm. Oh, quite the contrary. To paraphrase Bill & Ted, exciting things are afoot at the homestead K.

Things are happening over at HubPages/LetterPile (to be covered in another post), poetry is being put up on the website (to be covered in another post), and I am going through my writer's reflections from my writing workshops to post here. I thought it might be fun to share and look back on how I felt about my writing and myself at certain periods over my four year journey of higher education.

(Side Note: if ya'll want to peak at the stuff "to be covered in another post," you could hop, skip and jump over to the aforementioned sites before then. The links are listed below the "Commenting Rules." Just sayin'.)

I am also working on a new piece for the blog. I though it would be about 500 words and ready for prime time last month. Such is not the case. It has grown to be longer than originally thought, and therefore taking more time. Such are the best laid plans of mice and (wo)men. But it's coming along nicely and totally worth the extra time and effort. I hope to have it up before the month is over.

So, I'm gonna get back to work now. Until then, here's a picture of my cat to hold you over.

So cute, don't ya think?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Long Lost Rant from 2015


Here's something that I wrote back in June 2015.  I found it recently as I have been looking through my saved writings and felt that, given the current political climate, it is just as relevant today as it was then.

When did it become okay to be uneducated? When did it become the norm, the preferred state of existence here in the United States? When did it become the desired status to not look beyond the borders of your own state, your own town, or even your own neighborhood? Why are the loudest voices in the room screaming at the top of their lungs about the small issues, and relegate to lunacy anyone who wants to look at the bigger picture?

I remember when I was attending high school in Alexandria, LA (Go Trojans!) in my World Geography class. It was mostly Sophomores, but Juniors and Seniors were in attendance as well. Our teacher decided to perform a simple poll of the class during the first week. It was to see the demographic of the travel the students had done to that point in their lives. We all started out by raising out hands, and we were to put it down as the teacher would expand the range of the geographical area based on the limit of our travels. For fun, he started out with our homes, as it was pretty obvious we all had as we were all at school. When he got to all that had left the town, a third of the class’s hands went down.  At left the state, less than half the hands were still up. When it was down to left the country, I was one of the two hands that was still up. I put mine down when we got to the next and final question, have you been outside the continent. (My fellow international traveler had. My excursion beyond our borders was to Canada.)

Here I am, thirty some years out from that moment. And it still resonates with me. As I view it with my seasoned middle-aged eyes, I can see this as the beginning of where we are today.

Somehow, we have gotten to the point where truth and facts are only as good as the person who says them. Really? Last time I checked, truth is truth and fact is fact. Should it matter who says it? So, here is part of a commencement speech given to the class of Spring 2015,

“Along with the evidence of common sense, researchers have proven scientifically that humans are all one people. We’re a lot like dogs in that regard. If a Great Dane interacts (can we say interact?) with a Chihuahua, you get a dog. They’re all of the same species. Same with us. The color of our ancestors’ skin and ultimately my skin and your skin is a consequence of ultraviolet light, of latitude and climate. Despite our recent sad conflicts here in the U.S., there really is no such thing as race. We are one species — each of us much, much more alike than different. We all come from Africa. We all are of the same stardust. We are all going to live and die on the same planet, a Pale Blue Dot in the vastness of space. We have to work together.”

Powerful word, are they not? So, if I told you that they were spoken by Bill Nye, an engineer and scientist, do they lose meaning due to the speaker? Well, in posting this on my Facebook page, mainly in response to the Charleston, SC shooting, I was informed, via comment to the post, that they lost depth and humility because they were.  The comment was even getting likes. When I was past the initial stage of wanting to respond in a rash manner and allowing myself to return to a rational state of mind (looking at cute and funny animal pics helps) I wrote a response. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I normally would blow off something like this. But I felt I could not ignore this. This type of thinking is dangerous to intelligent thought and debate. Here is my response. “When the words are true, when a fact is a fact, does it really matter who said it? Whether this is said by Bill Nye, the Dali Lama, a scholar or my cat, the fact that we are a carbon based life form and carbon comes from dead stars is humbling to me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Housekeeping & News Update for May

Not too much to say. Just wanted to let you know that three more of my poems have been moved from here to the website.


I have also had three more of my essays promoted to LetterPile. Here are the links.



So, that is all I have for now. TTFN!





Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The LetterPile Hat Trick

So for the last couple of months, I've been going through my essays, re-reading them, tweaking them where necessary, and started posting them on Hubpages. (It will probably take a few more months to post all the existing ones.) Well, in the past few weeks, some of those essays have been deemed sparkly and magnificent enough to be featured on LetterPile. So, here they are...

 

If you're feeling up to checking them out, just click on the links. If you are a member of Hubpages, feel free to leave a comment. If you are not a member, you may comment here, as an open post for the essays.

On Commenting on Essays:

I do ask that you are respectful in doing so, whether you agree with me or not. I am very much a supporter of free speech. I like to hear both sides and love a true debate of ideas.

Having said that, comments that are just there solely for the purpose of trolling will be, in the wise words of Jim Wright, sent out the airlock. Yes, I do moderate. Why, two reasons.


  1. When I said respectful debate, I meant it. "You suck." and it's ilk are not helpful nor promoting a meaningful discussion by any means. All my essays have been researched with sources sited. I did the work, I expect you to do so as well.
  2. It's my blog. I know the argument is totally weak and right up there with "Because I said so," but it is also true.