Finding My Location

Thirteen days into our observance of National Poetry Month 2024, I think this is a good occasion for review. A dear friend and reader asked me recently about the name of this blog. Where does it originate, why did I choose the name, etc.? Others may have had similar questions, so let’s pull back the curtain (so to speak).

I launched this blog in July 2010. Names are always tricky but my vision for this writing platform was to share my thoughts, my poetry and my faith and, in the process, possibly earn an audience. I chose the name Wiseblooding as an homage to Flannery O’Connor, a writer I greatly admired. Her first novel was titled Wise Blood. Continue reading “Finding My Location”

Anyone Can Blog

Almost eleven years ago, I began the Wiseblooding blog with my younger daughter’s encouragement. If you’ve been on the internet at least a week or two, you know anyone can “publish” a blog. Figures differ on the total number of blogs worldwide (500 million? 600 million? More? Less? Honestly, who can say for certain?) Did I mention, anyone can blog?

Image by Firmbee from Pixabay

Interestingly, there’s a website which counts the number of blog posts written today! The website asserts their statistics are based on blog activity published by WordPress.com (WordPress is the platform I use for my posts.)  As I type these words, the number of “blog posts written today” blog-blasts its way toward 5,000,000! The website explains this is only an estimate.

My mission (since I chose to accept it … tip of the hat to the Mission: Impossible genre) was designed to be a place (maybe even a showcase?) for my writing. Because I’m a person who can’t NOT write, I’ve filled notebooks and file cabinets full of my writing. (As I got older, that seemed a pointless exercise.) For me, blogging has scratched my itch (so to speak). Continue reading “Anyone Can Blog”

Intractably Distractible

The oft-blamed bugaboo “writer’s block” can be (and often is) an unfortunate misnomer. A recent email from writer/editor Katie Holmes spurred my thinking about this designation. Editor Holmes referred to my 2012 post in which I fessed up to a lack of production disguised as “writer’s block” but was (is) more precisely my intractable distractibility!http://quotesgram.com/blocking-haters-quotes/

One of the discussions hosted by Editor Holmes at Outwittrade.com offers helpful tips for (and from) writers on the topic of writer’s block. Holmes provides an excellent distillation of hints, work-arounds and motivators designed to help a writer work past his/her perceived lack of production. The tips are practical and constructive for the new writer as well as for experienced writers. Continue reading “Intractably Distractible”

My Days Are Numbered

Given the bleak title, people may automatically expect to read a wretched tale announcing I’ve contracted a dreadful (probably incurable) illness. Not so for this post, though there’s no avoiding the truth:  my days are numbered.

Frankly, so are yours. Though we try to forget it, we are all mortal. As 2016 wound down and the obits began to stack up, we became ever more cranky reading the list of friends, family, celebs and high-profile individuals whose days had ended, some whose days were seemingly “cut short.” Mortality sucks, doesn’t it?

Bad-temper seems incompatible with ushering in a New Year. Usually, it’s celebrations, parties, champagne and fireworks, plus people flocking to New York City for the Times Square Ball Drop. But this year, people expressed open animosity toward the waning year. A headline from WIRED proclaimed:  Goodbye, 2016. We Couldn’t Take It Anymore. Continue reading “My Days Are Numbered”

Random Vicissitudes

Most people understand – at least in a theoretical sense – how quickly life can change. In the two months since I last posted, the silence hasn’t come about due to a lack of blogging material. No, no, no. Furthermore, every single day without a post brought a deeper sense of unease … the pattern of my life seeming slightly upended! Red-Pencil

But the respite from my daily pattern was necessary and welcome … necessary because life demanded I attend other matters and welcome because it freed me (somewhat) from my irrational obsession to slavishly maintain daily posts – no matter what! With each day that passed, my figurative pencil grew more insistent and red-faced. Much to my surprise, people continued to drop by and read previous posts. (I am gratefully humbled by your interest.) Continue reading “Random Vicissitudes”

Home.Edu

Chances are good that sometime in the last week you’ve interacted with at least one adult (perhaps more than one) who was educated at home. People in the workplace, teachers and professors, business owners … don’t be surprised to find some of them are products of home education.home-schooling-header-copyWhile schooling within the home and family has been a common practice for centuries, states began adopting compulsory attendance laws about 1852, ceding broader oversight of education to towns and local governments. Though precise figures are hard to nail down, as many as 2.2 million children are currently being taught in the home.

From about the 1970s (give or take), the home school movement has grown. That being the case, the earliest home schoolers are now in their early to mid-40s. Yes, there were home educated students before 1970. In fact, HuffPo provides a 2013 short article and pictorial of eighteen successful people who received their education at home. Long-time observers of home schooling could probably add to that list. Continue reading “Home.Edu”

Rookie Adventure

The continent of Africa has been much in the news lately … stating the obvious, in case no one has noticed. It’s been kind of a surprise that Africa is a topic on everyone’s minds and frequently in our conversations, because (in my view) it’s rare – in general – for the vast majority of us living in the US to even contemplate what might be going on half a world away. Our lives are busy, we’re focused on our activities in the here and now … that’s the way life is most of the time.africa

If we even spend the time thinking about pressing events around the world … and specifically, on the continent of Africa … it might involve sending a tweet – #BringBackOurGirls – or a series of tweets if we’re deeply concerned. The troubling situation with Boko Haram in Nigeria or the fight against Islamist militants in Mali that has resulted in 31 UN peacekeepers being killed since 2013 … these are the news stories that generate attention. And, as if anyone could forget, the Ebola outbreak that has caused deep concern around the globe also carries danger for us, not just people in Africa. In a sense, all eyes (and prayers) are focused on the African continent right now. Continue reading “Rookie Adventure”

Father’s Joy

Throughout the years I’ve written poetry, I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with different forms. I came across a little book my younger daughter had given me for Christmas one year. The blank book isn’t really a good size for a journal but is just the perfect size for short, one-page poems!2014-09-15 21.03.15

Sure enough! I opened the small book and therein were several short poems I’d written (and forgotten about). They were all written using the same form. When the poems were originally written, this form was unfamiliar to me, but I made a notation in my Rhyming Dictionary/Poet’s Craft Book where I keep a record of forms not mentioned within the text. The information in my note is sadly incomplete. It says simply:  Jaleen (6,4,4,6 … 6,4,4,6) two stanzas, rhyme scheme abbc, addc, iambic.

No information about who originated the form, nor even a hint about the unusual name. So I decided to do a Google search today to see if additional information was available. There wasn’t much … Continue reading “Father’s Joy”

Tin Can Alley

One of the amusing things about blogging is the Spam that seems to be an integral part of the territory. Spam … that delectable Hormel product introduced in 1937 and popularized during World War II … isn’t just for the food pantry anymore. It’s an indispensable element of the World Wide Web experience!spam_can_open

Given his experience in World War II, my dear daddy enjoyed Spam. He’d slice it up, arrange it in a skillet and fry one side and then the other to a golden brown. Usually, he’d serve the slices on bread. I don’t recall him using any condiments, just fried Spam and bread. (And he wasn’t much for vegetables, so this would be a complete meal for him.)

Looking through my blog folders today, I got to thinking about Spam. I have a plug-in set up to move what appear to be Spam comments into a trash folder. So far, I’ve set up the folder so that I decide when and if these comments are permanently deleted. This could be done automatically if I changed the setting, but I’m the curious type and these comments can be perplexing … hence my curiosity. There are certain common themes and the language usage leads me to believe these messages are machine generated, or else originate from a non-English-speaking country. I’ve never researched them, but have my suspicions. Continue reading “Tin Can Alley”

Penitent Sister

Hill-coverAfter yesterday’s post, I laughed and laughed because that was a fun post to write! I told my Beloved, I don’t care if anybody else enjoys the post, I had fun writing it!

But suddenly, in the midst of my laughter, it occurred to me the joke actually might end up being on me! There’s sort of an unwritten rule about lampooning … if the object one uses hasn’t earned iconic status, the joke almost always falls flat.

In my case, I got to thinking about the news reports I’ve been reading that indicate Hillary Clinton’s recent book release isn’t getting the numbers (in sales) that everyone hoped. Uh-oh!

One headline reads:  No one is reading “Hard Choices,” either. The article beneath the headline notes people may purchase but fail to complete the tome. Using a metric that gauges how far into a book readers progress before setting the book aside, Amazon rates Hard Choices as averaging a dismal 2.04%. That’s about 33 pages through this volume of 657 pages!

Another headline says:  Execs on notice after Hillary’s book sales tank. Let me quickly point out that “tank” is a relative term. It would probably be kinder to say the book has not performed as publishers and booksellers had hoped, but its fourth-place standing on the Nielsen book-scan list is hardly the tank.

However, as I began to think about whether or not the book (cover art shown above) has yet to earn “iconic status” – as in immediately recognizable by almost everyone who sees it – I’m not comfortable believing the book has yet reached that pinnacle. Hence, my need to admit the joke’s probably on me, because few may have understood my silly effort was meant to lampoon! Silly me!

Egg on my face, yep. But did that stop me? What do you think? Continue reading “Penitent Sister”