Friday, September 28, 2012

Poetry Friday: Margaret Atwood

This has been a week of moments. Some harried and addled. Some bright and beautiful. Some quiet and still. I've tried to enter each one with purpose, to find a place to plant my feet and dig my toes into the shifting hours, brace against the slapping waves of responsibility, and plunge into the next thing with joy.

This morning, the next thing is to take my dad to the doctor. The next thing after that is time with the lovely Irene Latham this weekend and the Chattahoochee Valley Writer's Conference. 

Wishing you wondrous moments today. And plenty of Poetry Friday at Paper Tigers.

The Moment
Margaret Atwood

The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can't breathe.

Read the rest here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Poetry Friday: Elizabeth Bishop

I'm slow to Friday. Slow to Poetry Friday. Just plain slow today. 

While getting ready this morning, I realized I couldn't find my phone. I looked in all the probably places. Hubby helped me look with different eyes. I called myself. Nope. No one home. So I sat down to breakfast.  Hubby says, "When that happens to me, I have to retrace my steps." So between bites of scrambled egg and yogurt and strawberries, I mentally walked myself back in the door from last night. Clothes. I put clothes in the dryer. Went to check and there it was, on top of the dryer, lying on a folded towel. No wonder I couldn't hear the thing vibrate.

So we're getting ready to go out the door and hubby says, "I can't find my watch." We looked in all the usual places. No watch. I said, "You know, when that happens to me, I have to retrace my steps." We cracked up laughing. No time to retrace steps, so he's probably been retracing them all day long. Hopefully the watch will show up tonight.

I got in the car, planning to plug my phone in, since it had been on battery power all night and was nearly dead. I couldn't find the phone charger. 

So here is the perfect poem for losing things.

One Art
Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Read the rest here.
More Poetry Friday witRenĂ©e over at No Water River.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Poetry Friday: Tennyson

I took an online class this summer on plotting and outlining a novel with Dennis Foley through It was a really good class and Dennis recommended Scrivener as the tool of choice. So I've played around with it for a couple of months and finally decided to buy the version for Windows. This program is really involved, very powerful, and I needed more than a tutorial, so I'm taking the class offered by Gwen Hernandez. It's a pretty cool program and Gwen is a good teacher. If you write fiction, it's worth checking out. I use OneNote for research on my nonfiction projects, but I can see where Scrivener can be useful here, too. Even for keeping up with blog posts, Scrivener looks like a great program for making life easier.

Gwen recommended a wonderful blog post by a friend about using Scrivener. It's definitely worth reading. Check it out at The Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood.

There is no theme to this post. I just felt like this poem today. Enjoy. More Poetry Friday at

The Oak
by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Live thy Life,
Young and old,
Like yon oak,
Bright in spring,
Living gold;

Then; and then
Gold again.

All his leaves
Fall'n at length,
Look, he stands,
Trunk and bough
Naked strength.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Musing

Random musing going on for Labor Day!

1.  If you have an iPhone, there is an app called Viber that lets you talk to anyone around the world free who also has an iPhone with Viber.  Stephen called on Saturday morning to say they had arrived in Lagos, Nigeria. They made all their flights and connections and managed to get through customs despite the fact that the forgot to take proof of the vaccines. He called again Saturday afternoon to let us know the had reached Fiditi, where they would stay for the night.  By now they should be settling in to the school and working to get the wifi up and running. I'm grateful for their safe travels. Fiditi is between Ibidan and Oyo. 

2. My dad is feeling a little better in a rehab facility. I think he's decided to stick around for a while longer. In a few weeks. We may be able to bring him home. My brother and I will put a refrigerator downstairs in his tri-level house, along with a microwave and toaster oven, so that he doesn't have to get up the stairs. I live four houses down from him and in a couple of weeks, my brother will be moving back to town and will be living in his house for a while.  

3.  I once sold a book called "In Your Genes" to a fifth grade teacher for teaching science. Unfortunately, it was a bit too graphic about what was in your jeans for a fifth grade classroom. We exchanged it for something more appropriate.  I was sitting in my dad's room this week and noticed he was sleeping with one foot out from under the bed covers. That's how I sleep. So is that in the genes, too?

4.  There are secrets grandparents keep. Until you're a grandparent, you don't even know they exist. If you're a grandparent, call me and we'll break open a bottle of wine. If you're not a grandparent, you 'll just have to wait.

5. I saw the cover of one of my new books this week. It's a series with State Standards on Native Peoples. I wrote the Inuit, Kwakiutl, and Nez Perce. Love the cover!