April is National Poetry Month. I always enjoy taking the time, each day in April, to jot down a few new poems. I will be following the prompts onhttp://www.napowrimo.net/
I am a few days behind, but I will catch up. For day 5, here is a poem about nature.
As I round the bend, I know I am almost
Soft pines hang along the roadside,
while rock hard mountains reach for the
In the spring they are covered in
in the fall they wear a much more
and of course during winter they shiver
The bridges that stretch out along the
offer easy passageway to either side.
I've crossed them thousands of times on
The smell of the upstate air is a bit
not heavy like the city, nor salty like
It seems to fit in place, a warm
Whether driving, flying, or arriving by
the ground beneath can be giving in
hard in others, but always solid and
The night sky is one of my favorites.
I see Orion's belt, I see my sign;
and I imagine the battle to protect the
Maybe I don't think about it everyday,
maybe because it is too familiar, but
when I stop,
I don't have to think; my senses tell
me I'm home.
Growing up as a kid, we used to enjoy a plethora of Ronis. There was Rice-A-Roni, Beefaroni, pepperoni... the list goes on and on. But where did they all go? It seems that everyone now is either a vegan, gluten-free, or just plain opposed to roni supplements added to their diets. The madness must stop.
Sure, you can search the grocery store aisles for these products, but damned if you'll find them. Perhaps, if you are lucky enough, or conniving enough, you can sneak behind the scenes. You may be able to find an old dented can, with Chef Boyardee's face on it, rolling around under a shelving unit. Maybe you can find an open box of Rice-A-Roni, that the mice have been picking at for years, back in the dark corners of a deserted warehouse.
I've invited some guests here today to speak out against this atrocity.
"Peppa, would you like to come up and say a few words?"
"My name is actually, Peppa Pig, not Peppa Roni."
"Well, your agent told me that you were looking for work. You're free to leave if you want, or you can come up here, read the cards that were given to you when you walked in the door, and collect your paycheck. Otherwise, you can leave right now and not get paid."
"Okay. Just let me get my reading glasses."
"Yes, I see a hand in the back. Sir, do you have something to say?"
A gentleman in the back row stands up, "Ayyy."
"Oh, Mr. Fonzaroni, I didn't know you were going to be here."
"Whoa," he says as he sits back down.
Anyway, if you love roni, as much as I do, make a New Year's resolution that you can keep; seek out and consume roni!
And remember kids, Rice-A-Roni is the San Fransisco treat, but you don't have to be from California to enjoy it.
Please join us next week when we discuss You'll Never Find Another Pasta Like Mine; Prince Spaghetti Day VS. San Giorgio: the Great Spaghetti in a Great Spaghetti Town.
The sidewalk in front of the post office was speckled with frozen bits of ice. The outside walls were still decorated with wreaths and snow blanketed the lawn. The journey up the steps never seemed so long. Not because it was cold out or that I had any trouble negotiating them, but because of the paper I held in my hand.
It was my last submission for this year.
I milled around the lobby looking for an appropriate envelope. Finally, after about 10 minutes, I asked the clerk. I held up an envelope and asked how much it would be to send it. $22, she replied. I just wanted an envelope and regular delivery, so she pointed me in the proper direction.
I wrote my address in the top left hand corner, then proceeded to address it to Boyds Mills Press in Honesdale, PA. Boyds Mills Press publishes children's books. The magazine, Highlights, is also part of their publishing family.
After I finished addressing the envelope, I walked up to the counter, handed it to the clerk, paid the postage, and then watched as she carefully placed it on a shelf to be swept away some time later. I could barely breathe as I thanked her, turned around, and walked outside.
The cold air hit my lungs and after a few deep breaths I was feeling a little more at ease. Obviously, the hope of any writer is to become published, but putting your work out there to be judged and critiqued can be trying.
I am glad I sent it out. The worst thing that could happen is that it gets rejected and I get a form letter stating that fact. If that happens, I can just put it in the pile with the other rejection letters. If my work passes the test and it is to be published, then of course it was worth it.
We miss 100% of the shots we don't take. So say goodbye to 2016, you can cherish your memories, but it is time to look forward. If you want to make a resolution for 2017, let it be this; take a shot.
Happy New Year!
If you haven't heard of Grace VanderWaal yet, you will soon enough. She won America's Got Talent this past year and now she has an album scheduled to be released on Dec. 2nd.
So what's the big deal?
Maybe it is the fact that she plays the ukelele, not an instrument played by many modern musicians.
Maybe it is the fact that she writes her own music. In fact, during every round of AGT, Grace performed a new original song each time.
Maybe it is the simple fact that she has a unique voice, she is musically talented, and she is a gifted songwriter.
And oh yeah, she is only 12.
If you listen to her perform, you'd never guess she is so young. On the bright side, it looks like she is just beginning her new found career, and fans will get the privilege of enjoying her music for many years to come.
On a personal note, I was lucky enough to see Grace perform live. It was in July, during an open mic night, at a coffee shop, not far from her hometown of Suffern, NY. I went with my sister and two nieces, who are around Grace's age. After her performance, she was gracious enough to sign an autograph for each of them and take a picture with them.
To me, it seems like seeing The Beatles before they became famous enough to play at Wembley Stadium. She is very talented, humble, and appreciative of her new found success.
If you are already a fan of Grace's, you've seen her website and YouTube channel. If not, just follow these links.
If you go to Grace's website you can pre-order her new album, due out Dec. 2nd; Perfectly Imperfect. As a bonus, if you pre-order, you will instantly receive the song that made her famous; I Don't Know My Name.
Just like many of her fans, I am looking forward to her first album, and also seeing what the future holds in store. Good luck Grace!
If you used Ticket Master between 1999 and 2013 you may be entitled to receive compensation, from a class action lawsuit, due to Ticket Master charging excessive processing and delivery charges. The compensation is in the form of a credit on your Ticket Master account, $2.25 per transaction, up to 17 transactions. The credits can only be stacked twice when redeemed. There are other credits for delivery fees, and free tickets, but the free tickets will only be distributed on a first come, first served basis if less than 9% of the credits each year, over a 4 year period, are used.
Bottom line, Ticket Master may owe you a few dollars, but it is probably not something you will never collect on. The case alleged that TM was charging too much for the processing fees, which were essentially profit centers for the company. At the time fees were as low as $4 per transaction. My question is, if they were found guilty of charging too much then, how are they getting away with charging over $20 fee per ticket now?