Saturday, December 31, 2016

Take a Shot

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!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Silently, I Sleep Not

And it seemed so different,
that night, though early,
in the morning

I'd never seen a bag,
move so swiftly,
as it did

With speed, and velocity
one sitting in the drive,
the other met up

In the street it sat,
still, as it waited, and I
looked upon them

They both sat there,
waiting, and then one
danced away, out of sight

I moved cautiously,
alone in the dark,
she had vanished

But then I caught a glimpse,
briefly, 'til I realized
I was the one, lurking

The shadows held my light,
but briefly, silently,
and I was not alone

The sound from the plastic roof,
rippled and ran, rapidly.
Never ending in this wind

And as I thought,
I wondered what their thoughts were,
of me

And I closed my eyes,
turned, and saw
more eyes, staring back at me

A light flickered,
and immersed,
and I wondered, why?

For I was not alone,
that night, with my thoughts,
the wind, some fear?

I sank back into the shadows
the bags seemingly met,
time we shall all depart

And as I extinguished
my cigarette, they moaned
and moved away

I not knowing, what they thought
gathered my own,
and moved back inside

WLM 3/30/15

To read the story behind the poem, click to read more. To delight in it, as it is, stopping reading now. :) 

Sunday, November 20, 2016


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.

YouTube: Oh Never mind it's just me/ Grace VanderWaal


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!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Ticket Master

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?
Below are links to related articles:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

PAD 2016 - Part 3

Day 21 -
She scares me,
but I'm too little
to do anything
about it.

Why won't
just leave me alone?

Just let me play
with my toys,
she buried all
of hers.

It's not my fault.
Can't she be nice,
just for one day?

Day 22 - Home

The robin who builds his nest
in the tree outside my door.
The one tulip that bloomed,
I guess the deer ate the rest.

Kids playing baseball,
behind the fence between the yards.
The groundhog that scurries off,
at even the slightest sound I make.

A dozen feral cats, at least a dozen,
they come and go as they please.
I cut down all the brush,
picked up all the trash from winter.

I hope the woodpeckers are still hungry,
enough to visit as much,
even though the town cut down some
of the trees they used to feast upon.

In the front, a small patch of grass,
sidewalks and the main road through town.
It can get busy, especially in the summer,
Cars, bikes, people visiting the Catskills.

I like to watch people sit at the light
because they don't know where the sensor lies.
I should put up a sign, but like other things,
around the house, I just haven't gotten around to it.

The house needs some work, I want to spruce her up,
but I enjoy my surroundings immensely.
My old dependable van parked in the driveway,
I have everything I need right here.

Some new windows and siding,
will do the place good.
The trees, the animals, the quite serenity; 
my own little slice of heaven on earth.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

PAD 2016 part 2

Day 15
There used to be a
commercial; Doublemint gum.
Where are those twins now?

Day 16 – NYC
We saw Washington Square Park,
we saw the Statue hold her torch high.
We saw where the mighty once stood,
now a fountain where you can say goodbye.

We saw churches, and restaurants,
little shops along our way.
We saw the 2nd Ave. subway.
Will it be completed some day?

As we crossed through the city
one thing still remained,
the notion that a place so great,
can never stay the same.

Day 17
Our language is constantly changing,
some think for the worse,
Some say it's worser,
seems all they do today is curse.

People type in acronyms,
too busy to completely speak.
No use of punctuation,
the whole situation seems rather bleak.

As with everything else, it continues
on course to change and evolve.
Some would say they're all stupid,
a worthless bunch of Solves.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

National Poetry Month - April 2016

I hadn't realized, but I have not made a blog post since last year. So, what better way to start the year than with a month of poetry? Each day I will post a new poem, written from the prompts found on the NaPoWriMo website.

Day 1 – Lune

Live in New York State?
New York City:
a great place to vacation.

They may be worlds apart,
but they are
conveniently located to one another.

Day 2 – Family Portrait

We lost all of our pictures,
in the basement flood,
but we still have each other.

Day 3 – Fan Letter

No offense meant to
Meryl, she won't be here
forever, sadly.

She's entertained us
for decades, with memories
that we will cherish.

one will rise to fill her shoes;
Kathleen Littlefield.