Tag Archives: Lists

Opened

I’m having serious writer problems.

Nothing inspires me to write at the moment.

For the past 6 years, I have had a run of productivity that was enjoyable and creative.  I looked forward to the times I could sit down and craft a poem or write a quick blog post.  There was the period in 2014 (while job hunting) that I put together a chapter book of poems and I wrote about everything from gardening tips to snippets about life.  Heck…I even wrote a short story earlier this year.  I once told myself that I would never write long pieces – I didn’t have the attention span.  I probably shouldn’t doubt my ability like that, or make a big deal about “can’t/won’t do” something.  The universe typically calls your bluff.

I’ve been reading more posts lately.  It seems that many of my past favorite blogs have faded as well, so I’ve been searching for new things to read – and I’ve found a few.

The Haunted Wordsmith
Some prolific output in short fiction by a talented writer and engaging posts.

O at the Edges 
Mr. Okaji writes poetry in eloquence and brevity. I’ve been following him for some time now, and I aspire to the ability he demonstrates (and frankly, the output of poetry he produces).

Derrick J Knight
A blog diary of sorts. Mr.Knight is recovering from knee surgery at the moment and writes about his day. He has a beautiful garden.

One of my favorite blog entry formats is the list.  Other people’s lists are ways to get me to open my mind again and thinking of my own. Perhaps it will get me back on the path of writing.

Thanks for reading.

//John

Bells

bellsThings I’ve done in the last 48 hours.

– Baked 6 loaves of special holiday whole wheat bread, with cinnamon and brown sugar*.
– Delivered 4 loaves of the aforementioned bread as gifts to friends
– Ate 3/4 of 1 loaf of the aforementioned, remaining bread
– Searched TV menu for decent Christmas programs, finding none.
– Watched 1/3 of each of the LOTR movies
– Finished Christmas shopping for 6 gift cards, 1 bracelet, 2 sweaters, 6 bottles of shampoo/lotion that I can’t smell, and 2 or 3 things that were bought that I’m not sure what happened to them.
– Drank 1 bottle of Magic Hat #9
– Bought 2 large packs of AA batteries
– Watched the final 2 minutes of 2 different NFL games
– Washed 3 loads of my son’s college laundry to get it out of the floor
– Listened to 1/9th of my 9 hour Spotify Christmas playlist
– Played ukelele for 5 minutes
– Assembled 1 rolling rack
– Ventured out twice to the local megamart after I specifically stated that I wanted my errands completed early, so I would have to experience the last minute madness…yet I forgot 2 things…at 2 different times.
– Pondered how to write a 1 Christmas post that could accomodate my desire to recognize one of my favorite carols/poems.
– Wrote the following sentence – Henry Wadsworth Longellow wrote a poem in 1863, entitled “Christmas Bells.”

It was written on Christmas Day 1863, likely as a result of the news that Longfellow’s son Charles had been wounded in Civil War action earlier that year…and the recent loss of his wife Frances. There is just a snippet below. I encourage you to search out the poem and read all of it. It is short by Longfellow’s epic lyrical poem standards**.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and mild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It has been set to music twice. In 1878, the English organist, John Baptiste Calkin, used the poem with a melody he previously used as early as 1848. The more familiar version was set to music in the 1950’s by Johnny Marks (he of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer fame). I’m partial to the Bing Crosby recording. However, google the recent recording by The Civil Wars, which is very inspiring, and in light of the poem’s origins, somewhat “poetic.”

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas.

********************
*A recipe handed down in the oral tradition from my father to me. Though it has origins in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.
**Pun intended

Now comes the part where…

We all make lists.

I like lists because they 1) help me remember things and 2) I have a sense of accomplishment when I can mark something off the list. This is particularly true with activities and goals. I like seeing a piece of paper with lines through items.

So with the new year rapidly approaching, I thought that I would put a list here on the blog…not that I have a tremendous following that cares. It seems like a natural place to put stuff like that.

Things I want to do better in 2012
So here goes…
1. Read more books, one at a time – I am a bad parallel reader. I try to read too many things at once. It doesn’t work. Best thing ever – Books on Audio for commutes.
2. Get more exercise – Yeah I know, this is used every year and I give up the ghost every March or so. Consistent, paced activity…that’s all I’m shooting for this year. I want to be healthy, shouldn’t you?
3. Make more money – I know that sounds materialistic. Be real, we all want that, especially in this era of poorly performing stock funds. Actually, I want to be a better steward of what I have been blessed to receive. In that way, it would seem like I am making more money.
4. Have some more poetry published – I do write because I enjoy it, but everyone craves acceptance. I’ve had one item published online (see links), and I’ve been notified that a couple of other poems will be also published online during the first few months of 2012. Stay tuned for more information.
5. Come up with a 10 year plan – I’m approaching what should be the twilight years of my career and I want to have more goals in my back pocket. New interests, travel, any ideas?

What about you? You hearty few who might stumble upon or follow this blog…:)

What are your goals? How do you feel about lists?

Happy New Year to you. I wish you the best in 2012. Work hard, have fun, and be safe.

John