Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Speaking of Heavenly Bodies...

This photo of Engelbert tweeting was taken during his recent trip to Singapore.

BTW if I seem more than usually disconnected from the ground the past few days, it's because Engelbert answered one of my comments on his web site! Over the moon doesn't begin to describe my state.

New Horizons update

The New Horizons mission to Pluto is right on course for its 2015 close encounter with the king of the Kuiper Belt. Read the latest update:

New Horizons Mission Update

Monday, August 15, 2011

Puzzling New Exo-Planet Reflects Almost No Light

An exo-planet has been discovered which is coal-black and reflects less light than black enamel paint.

Darkest Planet Found: Coal-Black, It Reflects Almost No Light

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New Poet Lauriate Named

The PBS News Hour interviews the new U.S. Poet Laureate.

Congratulations, Mr. Levine.

Working-Class Poet Levine Named Nation's Next Laureate

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


It’s not a bad day. I’m not sick, though I am unaccountably tired. But it’s one of those days when nothing seems to go right.

All excited to get back to work on “Should I Lie?” and “Forgotten Promises,” I found that Cakewalk has no sound. The computer itself has sound, and Window-eyes is talking, more or less. But there’s no sound in Cakewalk. As always when this happens, I can’t remember how to fix it. As far as I can tell, nothing is muted, in Cakewalk or in the system as a whole; and, with that discovery, my invention and imagination failed utterly. I have no idea what else to check. So, no songwriting.

Next I went to purchase my e-tickets for Engelbert’s webcasts on Wednesday and Friday, and found obstacle after roadblock. Finally got through the process, but the promised confirmation e-mail hasn’t arrived. So, it’s a matter of conjecture whether I’ll be able to tune into the webcasts. Of course, it’s a totally different question whether my computer can sustain the webcasts. But, that’s something only time will tell.

Guess that’s all I have to complain about just now, except that I suddenly can’t keep my eyes open. Time for a nap, or at least a lie down.


It seems I neglected to report that, in the Spring, I sold, yes sold, for real, cash money, my two, interrelated Sestinas, "The Troubadour's Song" and "The Lady's Song," to Breath and Shadow an online, semi-pro journal. Here's the link:


Monday, August 01, 2011

Reading and listening.

Current bedtime reading/listening (both being commercial audiobooks from Audible) is Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar by Edgar Rice Burroughs and The Farthest Shore: the Earthsea Cycle, Book Three by Ursula K. Le Guin. Each is enjoyable in it's own way, though they are very different.

Burroughs was a fine writer. His early books reflect their pulp origins, but his later books show sophistication of both craft and thought. As to Le Guin, what can I say? She has long been one of my favorite writers from the reader's standpoint and one of my heroes from the writer's standpoint. The Earthsea Cycle, so far, is a wholly lovely series, engaging and absorbing. Recorded Books' choice of Rob Englis, narrator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to read The Earthsea Cycle shows sensitivity and discernment; for Le Guin's work is very much in the spirit of Tolkien's, though different and distinctive. Both Earthsea and Middle-earth are worlds one can imagine living in which, to me, is the mark of a gifted storyteller.

I've also been listening to two new, to me, LPs that arrived over the weekend, The Very Best of Engelbert Humperdink and I Wish You Love, also an Engelbert compilation. I Wish You Love is a particularly excellent record. The first cut on Side One is "After the Lovin'" - How much better can it get than that? The record also includes "quiet Nights," "Winter World of Love" and "Quando, Quando, Quando," to name a scant handful, as well, of course, as the title song. The compilers might have created this record just for me. It's not on RYM though, so I'll have to add it. Irritatingly, my scanner isn't large enough to accomodate LPs, which means I won't be able to upload the album cover. But, you can't have everything. *sigh*

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Prize Winners

Here are the poems that took First And Second Prize in this year's NFB Writers Division Poetry Contest.

When You Were Mine

When you were mine every day was Summer
The night always overflowed with stars
Each kiss and every touch was newborn magic
Nothing blocked our way; the world was ours.

When you were mine the shadows couldn’t scare us
The future spread before us bright and clear
My light was just your smile; my music was your laughter,
Nothing else meant anything to me.

There’s nothing now except your memory
My heart is bleak as Winter but still sometimes
You call to me across the years and again
I’m with you in the sweet days when you were mine.

It Doesn't Matter Any More

The afternoon’s last sunlight lies in bars across the floor
Soon it fades and melts away as twilight falls once more.
This used to be the time of day I always loved the most,
But now it’s just the nightfall, that doesn’t matter any more.

The dawn is soft with silver mist and soon the rain appears
It blurs the edges of the day and merges with my tears.
This used to be the time of day you always held me close.
But now it’s just the morning that doesn’t matter any more.

My friends say that I should find a new love.
They tell me I’ll be happy once again.
But my heart could never part with you, Love
Where’s happiness when the world is cold and dead?

So now I watch the nights and days go spinning by.
At times I cry, but mostly I just wonder why,
Why you were taken from my arms when we finally had it all
I love you so but now, it doesn’t matter any more.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Cave Girl

Yesterday afternoon and evening I read Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Cave Girl, a thrilling tale of how a pusillanimous ninety-pound weakling becomes a man under the influence of a good woman and the hearty outdoors life. The young lady of the title is no slouch either. 8) In fact, not only is she beautiful, athletic and spunky, she turns out to be not quite what she initially appears.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Restoring Eden

60 Minutes reports on the remarkable efforts of one engineer and the group he has formed to restore the marshlands of Iraq.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Quiet Day

Quiet day today. The weather was gray and kind of gloomy, which I suppose I can blame for my having accomplished next to nothing.

No writing per se, but I have been working a bit on harmonizing “Should I Lie?”

Reconnected with one of my e-mail discussion groups. Tried to reconnect with another, the MusicTalk list, but the message didn’t go through. I hope that when the daily digest comes through tomorrow, the system will allow me to “reply.”

I’ve resumed doing a little gentle exercise. Hoping the key is to have modest goals. Three simple, non-strenuous exercises, starting with only a few repetitions each, surely shouldn’t be too overwhelming, and so not difficult to maintain. We’ll see. We can but hope.

I’m also going to try not to use any bad language. With as irritating and frustrating as it is dealing with my computer, that one may be pretty tough to maintain. But, it can’t hurt to try.

Nothing else really.

I had a Stouffer’s Mac and Cheese for supper, and I feel like I ate a twelve course dinner, really stuffed and sleepy. I don’t understand it. But there doesn’t seem much point in fighting. I’ll have a bit of a lie down and maybe get back to work later in the evening.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone all the best for the year just begun.

I got to work almost immediately upon waking with a new song, “Forgotten Promises.” The lyric is finished, the melody not quite, but it's getting there. This one has a Country feel, which is new for me.

Lots to do this year, what with songs and stories to finish. I also want to participate more regularly in my discussion lists and groups, as well as to blog here more reliably. I need to try again to join the NFB Music Division. Strangely, the couple of times I’ve e-mailed to inquire about joining, my message has gone unanswered. But, this time I’ll be more persistent. Maybe an inquiry to the musictalk list would be fruitful.

Anyway, I start 2011, as I start every year, with good intentions. Sold two poems in 2010. This year, may the momentum continue and grow!