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Where have I been?

Where have I been?

This past October I was sitting at a red light, near my doctor’s office, which I had just left. When our car was rear-ended. I was told by the police officer my car was drivable. It wasn’t. Oh, I made it home all right. Then it fell apart like a cartoon character. It was declared totalled by my insurance company, the frame looked like and accordion. I was told we were lucky.

Lots of pain, lots more physical troubles. Our savings for taxes went into the buying a used, 100,000-mile new car, new to us car.

***

I tend to growl a lot like my  American shorthair cat, Sanosuki.  We call him Sano or Suki,  he grumbles and hides in the closet. If he would let me I would be in there with him.

***

I hope that all of you are well, happy- alive and breathing. Please put down your cell phones when you drive. Turn the insane things off. Notice the cars around you. Watch the trees, animals, people and all the fun things you will miss by being electronically connected. Check out the odd things people do in their cars when they think no one is watching.

***

This wasn't from today.  I missed the picture. So you see how the deck is swept off to feed the birds. Sano is to the bottom left.
This wasn’t from today. I missed the picture. So you see how the deck is swept off to feed the birds. Sano is to the bottom left.

This morning I decided to feed the birds off the deck, right outside the kitchen doors. There was one major problem. The ice, rain, sleet, snow that fell on December 30…froze solid. I couldn’t open the door.

No, problem, right. I pulled on my boots, heavy coat, hat, gloves and muffler and walked outside like some two-year-old, stuck under a mountain of clothes. I was  barely able to move my arms. I had the bread and birdseed wrapped in a piece of paper towel and carefully place in my side pocket. I grabbed my old ski poles and walked into the cold.

The blast of air that hit me had me ready to go back inside. (16 degrees Fahrenheit/ -8 degrees Celsius)

The sun was out and the air was clear and fresh. The snow was white, shining crystals of blue-grey and white. The taller grasses and wild foliage poked up a dried, frozen brown -beige, out of the layer of ice and snow. As I walked I didn’t crunch through the ice, I walked on top.

The deck was covered with three inches of ice and snow. I noticed something odd, the snow didn’t lie flat on the deck it was rounded. When I stepped on it I didn’t have a strong foothold. I had to slowly move up the deck holding tightly to the rail. This time, I was a child learning to walk hand over hand, unsteady worried about gravity.  I never made it up to the kitchen door. I couldn’t move the frozen snow/ice off the steps. It was as if the snow, ice and wooden deck  ‘were one’ and that was a force I didn’t want to slide on.

I removed the birdseed and shredded bread from my pocket.  Reached through the slats placing it carefully on the rounded- sloped mound of ice.

From inside the house, my cats were waiting impatiently for the birds. They didn’t have to wait long. Sanosuki chirped, mewed, purred as he ran up and down the cat tower, excited and hopeful that one bird would come inside. He sat and watched as the bread and seed disappear.

My blog post for DFW business writing course contest. ~Or, Hey teacher, look at me! Look at me!

Writing on bits

The founder and owner of, Men with Pens, James Chartrand, (her pen name) has a business writing course, Damn Fine Words, which is starting on September 3rd

She is also running a contest; it ends as the business-writing course begins on September 3rd.

Information on the contest:

  • Blog post article of at least 450 words on why writing is important to you and how better writing skills would change your business”
  • Two people will win a scholarship to the September edition of the Damn Fine Words writing course. (Retail value $1,599 each.)”

Writing is important to me because … I ‘need’ to use the written word to make money.  Luckily, for me the very act of writing makes me happy, because it is not generating any income.

At this point, I feel like I am writing something for school. You know, that dreaded paper that every teacher asks you to write.  ‘How I spent my summer vacation…’

I have no idea where I am going with this, so I might as well ramble on.

Last year, my fifteen year old complained about how much homework she was getting in her English literature class. When I had her show me the offending material, I was amazed and jealous of all the tutoring she was getting, everything from how to write a plot and characterization, to the ability to read and discuss literature at a college level.

We talked about how well she understood the class and her only complaint was that some of her classmates were trying to get out of doing their own homework. They would use sibling’s old papers or even get their parents to do their homework.

“Wouldn’t it be great,” I said.  “If the schools made parents take one class with their kids?”

Her answer was a silent glare. Teenagers can speak volumes without moving their mouths, and say absolutely nothing after talking for an hour.

“I would sign up in a heartbeat to take this class.” I said that aloud.  She said nothing.

I took my high school years for granted. The classes were just something I had to get through on the way to life, not realizing that life was right in front of me, never behind never ahead, just now.

I never know when to shut up so I added.  “My classes never had the content that yours have.”

Having an adult tell you that ‘your’ schoolwork is harder than theirs ever was, well, all the rolling eyes and heavy sighing let me know she was not taking it as a compliment.

Writing, for me, was something I wanted to do after I opened that first page of my mother’s encyclopedias, neatly placed, on a small bookcase in the living room.   I remember asking who made the books.

The answer I got was, “A writer.”

I often wonder if I were told, salesman or bookbinder or even garbage man, would I have felt that tugging at my soul.   Maybe it was God who whispered ‘Writer’ in my ear.

Let me try again.

  • Why writing is important to me… because I can’t see my life without that spark of creativity, pushing my hands to write.

Second question:

  • How will better writing skills change my business?   This one is easy. It will give me focus on the direction of my writing.

In order to take my writing to the next level, which would be marketing and ‘what-ever’ I am missing. I just know that I need to learn a completely new way of looking at my writing, and my life. Doing anything well is a progress, steps need to be taken, no jumping ahead I may miss something important. Learning the right steps helps keep me on the right track.

Earlier this year

  • I grabbed my domain name.
  • I have a couple of logos drawn out.
  •  I have ideas and a love of nature.
  •  I just need something or someone to help me pull it all together.

*I posted another article on this contest here…WikiHook  come by and read.  🙂

Anyone interested in trying out for a free class. Paste your link on the Men With Pens site. Do it soon! The contest ends on September 3rd.

Good Luck to all

Rainbow’s Edge a poem for today…

Image

Rainbow’s Edge

by Gerardine Baugh

 

Rain,

moments before had pounded the roof and quenched the needs of my garden.

As the rains    slowed     the setting sun   slipped    around    the fast moving clouds.

Clouds

bluish-black tinged with yellow edges of gold,

bright,

quiet pillars of God’s rays mirrored inside those clouds painting a rainbow and exposing an invisible edge.

An edge of a planet that stays out of sight,

except when the earth drinks from the sky,

soaking up color,

then spiraling back to the Earth.

Giving rise to songs as it appears,

shimmering,

within a semicircle of color and hope.

                       Then quietly disappears.

Poem for April 16th~ Old Saying In the Mid-West if you don’t like the weather wait a minute!

I couldn’t believe the way the snow came down today, and just last week it was hot, and I mean uncomfortably hot, somewhere near ninety..

I posted this poem for today’s prompt “write a snapshot poem” this afternoon I also took this video with the new camera, – it’s a Nikon.  

Link to poem a day challenge: http://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/2011/04/16/2011AprilPADChallengeDay16.aspx

 I used up the Cannon after eight months and the Sony barely made it a month.  I had bought the extended warranty at Best Buy so I was able to try different cameras. So far the Nikon is the best.

Michael is beginning to think cameras don’t’ like me. I keep explaining that some electronics have gremlins in them

I thought I would have trouble with setting up a video, then I found using, Microsoft Live I could fix it and upload it to YouTube

Here’s April 16th, 2011’s poem..

“Freeze Frame”

by Gerardine Baugh

It is snowing

Uriah runs up to me

His thick coat is covered in water droplets

Looking up, he gives me a doggy grin

Knowing what’s coming I cringe and step back

He begins to shake

That, slow movement

Only his pudgy, furry body can accomplish. 

Where he turns his head one way, and

His body fat slips in the other direction

Water is launched from the ends of his fur

Encompassing him in a shower of reflected light 

I turned my back on him and the wind  

Time stops…

My hair covers my eyes

Snow blasts past me

An invisible serpent writhing as an updraft

Bellowing out my coat it slides up the naked trees.

Gathering up dry leaves from the ground, and

Playing with them around the tree tops

In a millisecond, sound stops

Then, the winds skate back down the trees

Letting go

Raining brown leaves within the white snow

Slipping across the grass, then

Like a playful child, pulls at my legs

Snowflakes hit my face stinging cold

Uriah doesn’t seem to notice the wind, or the cold snow

Staring expectantly

He whines and nudges at my hand for a treat

April poem a day challenge!~

 I haven’t posted since the end of the Haiku challenge. I have been busy, busy, busy- pulling my hair out and wondering what sort of blockage is holding my muse for ransom..

Then a couple of days ago I stumbled on an article, then lost it later or I would post the link here:-( That article was an interview with a new author  he or she was asked when the next book would be out, the writer said “never!” That writing that one book was horrible, he/she had no life and the mental distress it caused him/her was over whelming.  I had a good laugh, then pulled out my crumpled up chapters and started over.

“You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.”
~Isaac Asimov    I also decided to make an attempt at a daily poem for April- April is the month for a poem a day challenge. I wrote a little blurb on the examiner.http://www.examiner.com/writing-179-in-chicago/gerardine-baugh I started-I am following, Poetic Asides by Robert Lee Brewerhttp://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/

 

I have been sending my submissions to him through email, instead of posting on his site in the comments section. But today, I will post that poem here, and on his Blog.

 

I don’t get feedback by emailing him, I really don’t even know if he is getting the emails. I wanted to keep some poems unpublished, and that would be done by entering his poem a day challenge by email and not on a public forum.

 

I have great admiration for William, his muse never sleeps. http://www.williamm49.blogspot.com/

 

Uriah is doing well, he wants the weather to warm up so pecan go hunting rabbits  not that he ever caught one.

 

 

 

For April 4, 2011, Robert’s instructions were to “pick a type of person and write a poem about him or her”

I picked it apart so many times I didn’t know what I started with, I cut it up to only a few words then decided on the longer version.

 

Without further ado here’s todays poem.

“Teenager”

By Gerardine Baugh

None is more obvious than in the stance of a teenager waiting for the morning bus,

Dragging her feet across the gravel driveway she stops and stares down the road, facing away from the winds that burned her cheeks and lodged dust in her hair and eyes.

With a heavy sigh she brushes hair from her face she was hoping for a few quiet minutes on the bus to study for an algebra test, all but forgotten last night, opting instead to spend hours on the phone texting about guys.

The bus pulled to a squealing stop floating heads lean asleep against the windows no one is talking that morning ritual was left back at middle school when everyone was a chattering cercocebus.

Now excited banter is used on the ride home, an unspoken rule set by upperclassmen studying or partying or sleeping in unison, until they wake up to off color humor and mistrusts.

In one fluid movement she sets her book bag on her lap as she takes the last empty seat behind the driver hoping for a day free of surprises.

Fishing around in her bag she pockets change for the cafeteria, and pulls out a math book falling into its pages unaffected by her growling stomach and the erratic rocking of the school bus.

The last day, day 28 for the Haiku Challenge

Day 28 for the Haiku Challenge

Life makes a sound

Rattles, Sings, Roars and Whistles

Can you hear your life?

 

Rush, rush, rush!  Ease up

Life comes at you full speed,

Step off the tracks and rest

*

Walk the rail, kick the gravel

Dance forward, feel the vibration

Just don’t forget, home

*

This is the last day of The Haiku Challenge. I had fun!  I hope you enjoyed reading my Haikus and you followed the links to other poets. Maybe you wrote a few yourself, If not, try it!  

The snow is melting, sort of. Everything is covered in a very,  slippery coating of ice, right now it’s glistening in the sunlight. Such dangerous beauty!  I finally got a camera that works; now I need to set up the software and start snapping pictures.  See you outside on our walking path..:-)

Here is the link to the last day of the Haiku Challenge Blog…http://pendownmythought.blogspot.com/2011/02/haiku-challenge-28-days-28-haikus-day_8843.html

Lost days of Haiku challenge day 3, 2, and 1

 
 
 
 

Haiku Challenge day 3 Mother

 

Life, love comes from two

Mother, father blending us

Who have you become?

 *

 Here is the link to day 3 of the Haiku challenge..http://pendownmythought.blogspot.com/2011/02/haiku-challenge-28-days-28-haikus-day-3.html

 
 
 

Haiku challenge day 2 Angel

 

Dream of today’s fun

Angel rest, the sun is rising

Tomorrow you walk

*

Here is the link to the Haiku challenge day 2..http://pendownmythought.blogspot.com/2011/02/haiku-challenge-28-days-28-haikus-day-2.html

 
 

Day One of the Haiku Challenge Freestyle

 

Water laps at my feet

Winds sing pulling my hair, and my mind

Uriah wanders off

*

Here is the link to day 1 of the Haiku challenge..http://pendownmythought.blogspot.com/2011/01/haiku-challenge-28-days-28-haikus-game.html

Day 27 of the Haiku Challenge~Eternal

Logo for Haiku Challenge

 

Eternity’s a clock 

By day 27 the clock is nonexistent

Stop staring at the sun!

*

Grab a broom and sweep

With each step, sweep away doubt

Count your words not the days

*

Here is the link to the Haiku challenge site..http://pendownmythought.blogspot.com/2011/02/haiku-challenge-28-days-28-haikus-day_27.html

Day 26 Haiku challenge~Bird

Haiku challenge day 26

 

Free spirits wings draw me up

I soar and sing in my bird’s heart

I dance in this life

*

 Here is the link to the Haiku challenge ..http://pendownmythought.blogspot.com/2011/02/haiku-challenge-28-days-28-haikus-day_26.html

Haiku challenge day 24 with a hemp rant~ and Day 25

Haiku Challenge day 24

 

Pieces of graphite

Enclosed wooden cylinders

Draw in a spelling bee

 

Bold yellow pencil

Watch me write my way across a page

On ecofriendly hemp

 *

I wonder why we aren’t using Hemp for paper…won’t using Hemp save a lot of trees?

“Hemp is a wood substitute that has a rich history in the paper making industry from paper’s origins in China in the first century AD to the Declaration of Independence, which was written in the 18th century on hemp paper. Hemp is now used to make rope and clothes as well as paper. Unfortunately, it is illegal to grow hemp in the U.S. because it is a non-intoxicating variety of cannabis sativa, the same plant marijuana comes from. For that reason, hemp must be imported for use in the U.S.”..http://ecology.com/features/paperchase/

Here’s a thought.. save trees by growing Hemp!  You can make money, make new jobs and help  people in pain  just by making this legal in Illinois.

Am I wrong..then tell me.

*

Here is the link to Day 24 of the Haiku challenge …http://pendownmythought.blogspot.com/2011/02/haiku-challenge-28-days-28-haikus-day_24.html

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Haiku Challenge day 25-Hazy

 

 

 

In pink hazy she dances

Joyful with laughter she flutters

Butterflies whisper

 *

Here is the link to day 25 of the Haiku Challenge..http://pendownmythought.blogspot.com/2011/02/haiku-challenge-28-days-28-haikus-day_25.html