By hook or by crook, I’ll create a chapbook


My dear blogging friend, Mike Allegra, made a particularly interesting comment after reading one of my blog posts.  I had published a poem that day and he recommended that I get working on a chapbook.  I was humbled by his comment and embarrassed that I had never heard of a chapbook.  (Thank you to the kind people at Google for making me slightly more knowledgeable!)


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I rolled the thought around in my head for a while and then that thought, like all the other unrecorded ideas, escaped the confines of my brain.  Much to my delight, the idea had not completely exited my cranium.  The word chapbook popped up again on my radar and made me ponder the thought once again.

I began to go back through my previous posts to reacquaint myself with my poetic entries on this blog.  I was actually surprised at how many poems I have published and I enjoyed reading some of the poems I had completely forgotten.

When I began my writing journey I was a slightly awkward sixth-grader who really knew nothing about stanzas or rhymes.  Words just seemed to come from somewhere and I gravitated more to poetry than I did to storytelling.  Thankfully I have since embraced both but there is always a draw to poetry when I feel the need to express more emotion.

Poetry allows me to tell tales of love and loss.   It gives me permission to dream.  It lets me hope that the world will be a better place.  And it lets me believe in my desires.   By clicking on those links, you’ll see how much I enjoy poetic expression.

I think a chapbook is just the project I need to begin 2016 on the right foot.  Any thoughts or advice in the comments section would be very welcome.

Happy New Year to all and may 2016 bring you all the things you desire!


A big ol’ bowl of Christmas


There are many Christmas traditions I miss – those familiar happenings that only my dad could have created.  He was the biggest kid when it came to Christmas.  He would bravely face the busiest malls leading up to the holidays and no expense was spared. Our tree overflowed with gifts,  the food and drink were abundant and the festivities began bright and early each year with a barrage of Beach Boys music at 6:00 am on that merry morning.  And in the subsequent years, long after I had moved out of the house, that music still sounded when he called me at that same hour to make sure I was up and getting ready to head over.  (side note:  I took a break after writing this paragraph to surf Facebook and one of the videos I turned on was Beach Boys music – got the message loud and clear Dad!)

Our Christmas dinners were much-anticipated.  The turkey was always perfect, the mashed potatoes and gravy were unrivaled and nobody made stuffing like my mom.  We were always thankful for copious amount of food because that meant turkey sandwiches, Turkey Tetrazzini and, of course, my dad’s famous Turkey soup.


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It took me years to figure out why his soup was so good.  I’ve known lots of homes that had the stock simmering and the soup ready the next day but none of those creations even held a candle to my dad’s soup.  It wasn’t until I paid faithful attention that I realized his closely guarded secret when it came to his ingredients.

Each holiday celebration when we have a turkey, I happily pack up the leftovers to recreate dad’s soup and I am confident that my dad would be proud of the results.  When all is said and done, our turkey soup tastes just like Christmas dinner in a bowl.  It’s thick and it has all the components of a full turkey dinner.

I no longer call it Turkey Soup.  It is called Christmas soup, and for good reason.  It takes all the elements of our celebration from the carefully cooked bird, to all of the tasty side dishes, to the laughter at my nephew pointing out that his Under Armor Boxers were on backwards, and simmers all of that magic together in a pot.  It is a soupcon of memories, a fragrant blend of cherished moments, tears and laughter that make up our holiday season.

This years’ Christmas soup is simmering on the stove as I type this blog entry and I’m sure my dad would be happy that his post-festivity creation lives on in the kitchen of our past, present and future holiday celebrations.





An answer with a question


“You can keep asking.  I’m not going to tell you.”

She practically begged him, “I just want a hint.”

“I did not purchase a ring.”

Her shoulders deflated.

“I bought you a circle of gold.”

He knelt and handed her the box.







When I saw the tree



She left before I was ready.

Perhaps her smile veiled her true emotion,

shrouding me from the reality

that she had been ready for a while.

Maybe she heard him calling to her,

soft whispers as she slept,

telling her it was okay to let go.

Conspicuous reminders of her appear,

like songs long forgotten

playing on a broken radio.

Repressed smells tickle my senses,

transporting me to another time,

and they render me paralyzed.

She came to me in a dream.

She embraced me as I slept

and whispered words she knew I needed to hear.

 When I saw the tree, I knew.

She was here,

in this place,

in the way she would have wanted to be,

in the form she loved so much.

Her sentinels lay in wait,

their wings ready at a moment’s notice,

to be at my side if I needed them.


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It’s not just about the big picture


As I am uncharacteristically sitting in my office on a Sunday morning, dog asleep at my feet, it occurred to me that I don’t have very much to say today.  I am enjoying the quiet moments of looking after the lodge while the owners enjoy some much-needed down time after a busy season and the other employees are busy shopping for the holidays and on their way to spend time with loved ones.

I saw this quote and it seemed to sum up what I was trying to say.  Enjoy your Sunday and make sure to enjoy all the little things.

the little things

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I remember you!


A little over a year ago my mom did something that I thought was impossible.  What was most impressive about it was that she did it from beyond the grave.


I wrote this post marveling at how things seem to happen in random ways.  After searching for a friend for an extended period of time, I had all but given up.  It seems like just last month his email showed up in my inbox at work and it made me believe that my mother had pulled some major strings in Heaven to make that happen.

Remarkably, the calendar has moved forward by a year.  We have been in constant contact since then and have developed a wonderful friendship.  I hadn’t realized by rekindling our relationship twenty-five years later we would become such close friends.

In August he had asked me to write a blog post – I can’t remember if he said for him or about him – and this post is what came out.

It’s been a pleasure getting to know him all over again and I thank my mom for all the fairy dust she must have bartered for to be able to make our reunion happen.



The Christmas Poem – 2015 Edition


Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the blogs
Edward Hotspur had his bacon, Angie’s Grapevine had her dogs.
The synonyms were used by Idioglossia with care,
And Conscious Cacophony, her feelings she would share.

Short Stories was nestled, all snug amongst his words,
While Susie Lindau had artistic visions taking pictures of the birds.
Graceful Press was getting poetic, authoring memorable scenes,
And Drinking Tips was creating while snacking on Poutine.

JannaTWrites newest blog had created such a clatter,
And Carrie Rubin’s comments only added to the chatter.
Away to the keyboard YeahWrite flew on its quest,
Tore open the gates of creativity posting its newest contest.

The Modern Philosopher, his brilliance did show,
And masterful words from Dianne Gray, were shared from below. (well, Down Under, but it didn’t rhyme)
When, what to YarnSpinner’s eyes should appear,
Ned’s Blog, in all its glory, showing no WordPress fear.

With a well-versed writer, so lively in blog,
I knew in a moment it must be Trudging Through Fog.
More majestic than eagles the stanzas were put,
And I knew in a heartbeat, Campari & Sofa was afoot.

“Now Grammar Ghoul! now Wordy! now Moi and Leigh!
On, Margie! On, Harlon! On, Bad Guy! on, Wine and Cheese!
To the top of the Fresh Press! to the top of the wall!
Now write away! Write away! Write away all!”

As Rarasaur roars before the wild hurricanes fly,
When they meet with Two Sentences, and mount to the sky.
So up to the Matticus Kingdom they flew,
With Yadadarcyyada and a Writer Fellow too.

I didn’t have my glasses on but I thought I still had heard,
Nicole Marie and Candice Curry happily sharing their words.
As I closed my keyboard, and was winding it down,
The Silver Leaf Journal was making a sound.

Jill Weatherholt spoke with a great deal of fervor,
And words were carefully crafted by The Mercenary Researcher.
A bundle of phrases HastyWords took from her stack,
And Shouts from the Abyss, the words he attacked.

With their keyboards they created with zest and with zeal,
They wrote just as passionately as brunch for every meal!
It was Apoplectic Apostrophes, the words she did reap,
And, in between writing, they read shrinksarentcheap.

They wrote from their hearts, like it was their favorite job,
And inside of them all lurked a Geeky Book Snob.
The Cutter rambled and wrote to make you think,
While a little Fish of Gold was readied with paper and ink.

On The Homefront took a few precious moments to reflect,
While somewhere during Red’s Rants and Raves their writing they did perfect!
JoeTwo spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Blending a symphony of phrases, responsibilities they did shirk.

The Lonely Author pounded endlessly on the keys,
While Scraps of Paper were tossed at the typewriter with ease.
 You’ve been Hooked had amused us, EagleAye surely did see,
And we quickly lost H.E. Ellis to the feeling of writer’s glee.

Inspiration sprang to its feet, to its words gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like a high powered missile.
But I heard it exclaim, as our brains turned to fog,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good blog!”


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Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays.  All of the links should take you to a large number of the blogs I follow, so if you are looking for new things to read, they are just a click of a mouse away!!