See You on the Other Side

Did anything happen this year?

however improbable

You know, besides good friends and amazingly inexplicable children and a lot of poetry and snark and support and laughter.

Along the way, I seem to have acquired a live-in sister-in-law, a couple of tattoos, a reading list like whoa (or whoa-er, because who are we kidding), a really big dog, a significantly higher lifetime word-count, a couple month’s supply of HobNobs (thanks, Mom and Odie!), a few more rejections, many more possibilities, some uncertainties, and a bit more courage.

I have a finished novel—maybe two.

I don’t have cancer.

I’m on Facebook, of all the ridiculous things.

Last year, I said that 2012 was going to be a blast—and it was.  Maybe not in the way I’d envisioned, but that was half the fun.  You know, once I recovered.

A lot of the credit for that goes to you all.  Thank you so much for your encouragement, wisdom, humor, videos, links, timely kicks in the rear, images, commiseration, feedback, and oh, the poetry.

I’m tickled that y’all seem to think this small blog is worth your time.

Because 2013 just won’t rock as hard without your company.

See you on the other side.

Into 2013

A Song for New Year’s Eve
(William Cullen Bryant*)

Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay—
Stay till the good old year,
So long companion of our way,
Shakes hands, and leaves us here.
Oh stay, oh stay,
One little hour, and then away.

The year, whose hopes were high and strong,
Has now no hopes to wake;
Yet one hour more of jest and song
For his familiar sake.
Oh stay, oh stay,
One mirthful hour, and then away.

The kindly year, his liberal hands
Have lavished all his store.
And shall we turn from where he stands,
Because he gives no more?
Oh stay, oh stay,
One grateful hour, and then away.

Days brightly came and calmly went,
While yet he was our guest;
How cheerfully the week was spent!
How sweet the seventh day’s rest!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One golden hour, and then away.

Dear friends were with us, some who sleep
Beneath the coffin-lid:
What pleasant memories we keep
Of all they said and did!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One tender hour, and then away.

Even while we sing, he smiles his last,
And leaves our sphere behind.
The good old year is with the past;
Oh be the new as kind!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One parting strain, and then away.

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*Who looks just like Father Time.  Poetic, no?

William Cullen Bryant

Six Sentence Sunday: Full Metal Librarian LV (The Other Side)

Six Sentence Sunday is open to all writers. Just pick a six sentence passage from anything you’ve written—published, unpublished, whatever—and post it on your blog on Sunday.

Registration for the upcoming Sunday list opens the previous Tuesday evening at 5pm CST. More information is here.

Check out all the talent!

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Once again, I forgot to sign up for Six Sentence Sunday in time this week—I’m blaming the holidays, this time, instead of my faulty brain—so an extra thank you to you all for coming by!

Happy New Year!

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I’m skipping ahead a chapter or two, because it occurred to me that spilling the mystery of the birthday card wasn’t a good idea, if I ever want anyone to buy the book, supposing I can get my act together—New Year’s Resolution, anyone?

Clyota and Reynard, the Pressman, need a secure ‘Net connection to test out their theory about the papers in the lockbox.  So they head to the Library . . . where Clyota is reminded that Librarians and Pressmen often mix like napalm and gasoline:

SecurityGate

 It was strange, coming into the Library as a Patron, going through the weapons detector, putting my carryall through the sensor.  It felt wrong, alien—like seeing Alice from the viewpoint of the Looking Glass.

Patricia at the Customer Service Desk waved at me as I passed, nudging Thomas with her elbow.  He glanced up, registered my presence, and nodded.  Then they saw the Pressman. 

Patricia stiffened to attention, and while Thomas did not actually go for his weapon, his hand did hover near it.

_________________

Previous Installments:

First ♦ Second ♦ Third ♦ Fourth ♦ Fifth ♦ Sixth
Seventh ♦ Eighth ♦ Ninth ♦ Tenth ♦ Eleventh ♦ Twelfth ♦ Thirteenth
Fourteenth ♦ Fifteenth ♦ Sixteenth ♦ Seventeenth
Eighteenth ♦ Nineteenth ♦ Twentieth ♦ Twenty-first ♦ Twenty-second
Twenty-third ♦ Twenty-fourth ♦ Twenty-fifth ♦ Twenty-sixth
Twenty-seventh ♦ Twenty-eighth ♦ Twenty-ninth ♦ Thirtieth
Thirty-first ♦ Thirty-second ♦ Thirty-third ♦ Thirty-fourth ♦ Thirty-fifth
Thirty-sixth ♦Thirty-seventh ♦ Thirty-eighth ♦ Thirty-ninth
Fortieth ♦ Forty-first ♦ Forty-second ♦ Forty-third
Forty-fourth ♦ Forty-fifth ♦ Forty-sixth ♦ Forty-Seventh
Forty-Eighth ♦ Forty-ninth ♦ Fifty ♦ Fifty-one
Fifty-two ♦ Fifty-three ♦ Fifty-four

Random Thursday: Angry Mobs, Future Gifts, and a Loss of Leverage

Last Random Thursday for 2012!

Anybody still reading these things?

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Four Minutes of Leverage

I loved this show.  I bought a DVR so I wouldn’t miss this show.*

I wrote fanfic for this show.

I stalked the Head Writer of this show.

The Pigeon Drop is based partly on something that was once said about one of the consultants for this show.

And now it’s gone.

Sigh . . .

oooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooo

Christmas List 2013 #1:

Hobbit feet!

Hobbit feet!

oooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooo

Let’s Start an Angry Flash Mob!

But watch the azaleas.

Angry Mob!

(Wondermark is the brainchild of the brilliant and non-litigious David Malki !, who is also responsible for one of my tattoos)

oooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooo

Christmas List 2013 #2:

Star Trek Bra

But I want it in Command Gold.

Never mind why.

oooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooo

Humor Me

Because I’m seriously going to miss the team—by which I mean the actors, writers, and crew.

Thanks for a great five year run, guys.

(How about a spin-off—or reunion movie—for  Christmas List 2013 #3?)

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*Literally.  If you look at our series recording queue, there are fourteen children’s shows and Leverage.  I keep them there until the season comes out on DVD.

Poetry Wednesday: Kid Stuff

I don’t know whether the appreciation of poetry depends on nature or nurture, and I’d argue that it probably doesn’t matter as long as it happens—but if nature provides the spark, then nurture offers the opportunity.

For me, I think, it was both.

My Dad passed along a love of haiku and questionable limericks and Mom an interest in Chaucer and Shel Silverstein, and both of them pushed the Seuss and Lewis Carroll like whoa. Poems were there to be enjoyed, or not, and read aloud and questioned—and occasionally sung, though the less about that the better.

This casual familiarity meant I had fewer objections—and maybe a little less impatience—when my teachers forced told me to take up the knife and dissect them for cultural clues and subcutaneous meanings that had to match whatever was on the homework key.

And despite my persistent belief that over-analyzing poetry is like yanking out the innards of a golden goose to see how she used to do what she would have done gladly if we’d only left her to it , I managed to get through the experience with fewer scars than some and almost no PALD.*

In short (too late) I credit my parents with instilling an appreciation for poetry and I’d like to foster than in my own kids. Luckily, Mom and Dad are more than willing to help.

Before either of my two daughters were born, my folks—helped by my in-laws—made sure we were stocked up on almost every Susan Boynton and Dr. Seuss book ever, down to replacing the family heirlooms that had fallen apart from a generation or two of readers (and chewers).

And every year since, they’ve given the gift of poetry—not only picture books in rhyme, but collections that are modern-child** and also parent friendly, like Oops by the brilliant Alan Katz, which was last year’s treasure.

Flamingos on the Roof This year, they gave my nearly ten-year old, Jane, a collection called Flamingos on the Roof by Calif Brown, which is riotously illustrated to fit the verses.

These are fun poems—they don’t take long, and you can dance to ’em. They aren’t particularly age-specific, either: when I couldn’t remember the title on my way out the door this morning, my five -year old, Sunny, answered before her sister could, and told me her favorite poem was about the Allicatter Gatorpillar.

I’m not sure who read the collection to her, or if she just eavesdropped, but either way, she obviously enjoyed it. Victory!

StanzaSunny received a picture book, Stanza by Jill Esbaum and Jack E. Davis, that Jane insists isn’t really a poem, even though it rhymes—I’m planning on following up her reasoning on this, but I was rushed for time and it’s about a poet and this is my blog, so it counts.

Stanza is a dog who swaggers through the neighborhood with his two brothers, bullying everyone they meet. But Stanza has a secret—he writes poetry about fire hydrants and starlight, and chicken pot pies. He knows his brothers will never give him any peace if they find out, so he hides it all, until he decides that the potential rewards for sharing his work is worth the risk. He doesn’t win the contest, and his brothers react about the way he’d expected, but he also wins some admiration from other and quite a bit of self-confidence.

I like the realism of the message. Bullying aside, I don’t know of one poet, one writer, who couldn’t relate to the idea that there may be real risks to sharing one’s passion, including ridicule, but in the end, it’s worth it.

Plus, I’ve read it seven time since Christmas morning and I’m not sick of it, yet.

That’s some pretty high praise, right there.

Anyone have any other suggestions to encourage kids to read—or write—poetry?

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*Post-Academic Literary Disorder. Just because I made up the name, doesn’t mean it’s not a real thing.

**There are a lot of ‘classic’ children’s poetry collections out there that are supposed to enlighten young minds, which they do about as well as liver and onions will enlighten the average child’s palate, if by ‘enlighten,’ we actually mean ‘close the borders and put up roadblocks and sow anti-personnel mines.’ Please read carefully before you buy.