I know I’m supposed to write my own stuff occasionally, but there are so many really good bloggers that I’d rather share with you. So today, another poet.
Reblogged from Opinionated Man —supporting other bloggers.
1 – Promoting other bloggers through reblogs and pingbacks is an awesome way to network and grow your community.
2 – WordPress has a forever growing group of bloggers blogging on every topic you can think of. Promoting new bloggers and new topics helps to spread ideas and cultures around the blogosphere.
3 – When you actively network and help promote others your readership in turn benefits. You will see incoming traffic, views, and even more special are the comments that come from actively engaging other bloggers.
4 – Promoting other bloggers effectively can give you a small break from when you are out of blogging ideas. It may also help to inspire some ideas of your own!
5 – The Reader might look like a mess of advertisement and spammy posts, but if you sift through it you can find some great nuggets of inspiration! Personal bloggers are still…
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Time for another poet that has greatly affected me.
This time a well-known classic, Walt Whitman.
One of the greatest poets of all time, he’s been compared to Homer and Shakespeare. He is probably best known for Leaves of Grass, a collection of poems that includes my favorite, “Song of Myself.”
While I was pregnant, I read aloud many poems from Leaves of Grass to the babies. I think all babies should hear great words while they’re still too young to object.
The poem, “Song of Myself,” should be required reading for all ages. I’ve included a link below to the whole poem since it is quite lengthy. But for right here, one of the best and most often quoted stanzas.
“Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then, I contradict myself.
(I am large. I contain multitudes.)”
“Rusty and the Raccoon”
This adventure happened about 4 years ago, but I was so traumatized I’m going to tell it to you, too.
Our sweet, mixed breed, lumbering, greying Rusty was a more svelte and peppier dog. Of course by svelte I mean more like a beer keg and less like the whiskey barrel he is now. (Clover the loony dog was obviously just a little puppy; I was still “taking” her out to do her nightly business.
We live in a suburban area, but there’s still some wildlife, including squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, and the occasional raccoon. We suspected the raccoons were getting up on our deck at night and polishing off the dry cat food, but didn’t really care. Raccoons have to eat too, right? They came and went without disturbing anybody (including the cat whose food they were eating).
Rusty, however, did NOT like squirrels or raccoons in his yard and has chased them several times, running them out up over a fence or up the occasional tree. We thought it was humorous, because he never even got close, and we “knew” he wouldn’t.
Until last night! I took Rusty and Clover out for the last poop of the day later than usual by a good hour or more. As we came out the door, I saw a striped tail disappearing over the edge. Rusty went nuts getting down off the deck. Apparently this raccoon turned the wrong way or hesitated or something, because next thing I knew Rusty had him! There was a lot of growling and barking and puppy yipping and screaming (that was me). Mark rushed out shouting and waving the fire poker.
Thankfully, either him opening the door or me screaming or something distracted Rusty and the raccoon got away. We checked the dog over carefully and there were no scratches or blood and he’s up on all his shots. So all was basically well. But it was WAY too exciting for me and now the cat food is picked up before dark.
By the way, did you know that raccoons are more likely to carry distemper than rabies? So make sure your dogs get all their vaccinations, not just rabies.
My child and I had an errand or two to take care of the other day. The last couple were on a college campus. By the time we reached the last errand, I couldn’t make said child go back in one more time. He’d had all he could handle of strangers, waiting, walking and bureaucracy. So I told him to wait in the car while I dashed back in. I found the office I was looking for and met the newest of a string people heading it up. I was brief. I talked to the woman for less than 10 minutes. We didn’t even sit down.
Thomas was sitting in the car, listening to the radio when I got back. Of course, when I go to start the car, it just goes click, click, click. We don’t want to call for help, again. This is the fourth time this year someone’s had to come jumpstart the Versa. But we’re stuck. I call AAA, and they are very nice and promise to have someone out in an hour and a half, which is an hour more than we have. We have to call the husband. He hates to come to that campus because it is weirdly laid out and he can never find anything there. And he has to leave work to come. And he’s tired of rescuing us so often. Consequently, by the time he gets there in his much more reliable, twenty-year-old Maxima, he’s already all grumpy.
Just to add the icing to the cake, of course, we are parked nose-in, in a space next to a wide berm. With cars on either side.
Nothing to do but push it out of the space so that we can reach the battery. My two guys start pushing the car out of the space, while I am doing my best to turn it toward a curb so the parking lot traffic could get by us. Add in that the power steering doesn’t work without the battery, of course, so steering the thing backwards over to the curb was going to be tricky, even if we’d had a lot of room to maneuver. Which we did not.
Just as we are starting this procedure, suddenly the traffic in the parking lot is twice as heavy and worse than awful. Because of course, when I have to get rescued, I like to make it as difficult as possible. Thus, just for maximum comedic value, we are trying to back up two cars in a campus parking lot, at the most popular class change time, 10:30 AM.
There I am, manhandling the steering wheel as best I can but still not turning enough and the Versa hits the curb instead of lining up nicely beside it. We call it good, because students are dashing around and between us and fighting over our newly emptied space. One squeezed his car across the path of the Maxima as it was backing up to get in line with the Versa. There was almost a wreck. I mean, the Maxima was OBVIOUSLY going backwards. The kid couldn’t wait the 3 seconds for our car to stop? So Husband was really grumpy by then.
There’s the usual jumper cable business, and eventually, we did get the car started. The child and I decided we needed something to perk us up after that adventure. We stopped at Sonic to get hot fudge cake sundaes and onion rings to console ourselves. The perky little car hop brought us our stuff and offered us catsup, which we didn’t need, and then bopped off before we realized we had no spoons or napkins. It was that kind of day. We just brought our ice cream home. That was all the fun we could stand in one day.
You know I’m not a writer, right? I’m an editor, a proofreader, a beta, someone good to just talk to about the structure of your article or novel. That’s my real talent. I can take something good and help make it great. I know how to say what you wanted to say, but more clearly. Moreover, I know how to keep it in your voice while still making it correct. I know a dangling modifier from a squinting modifier, an adjective from an adverb. I know how to spell weird words that don’t follow the rules. I know examples of better words to help you make your point, exactly. It’s my superpower.
All writers need good editors. Don’t think you can proof your own work, or your mom can. A good story, or an excellent novel, has had many eyes looking at it, finding things the others missed. The more experienced and trained an editor is (sorry moms) the better your final creation.
Don’t say, “I don’t have the money for an editor. I can’t afford editing.” You can’t afford not to have your work edited. Scroll through a few reviews of self-edited works. Someone will always mention the mistakes and errors. Mistakes make people stop and look at the error. They jar the reader out of your narrative and out of your control. It takes away from the possibly excellent piece of work. It makes you look like an amateur.
Your editor doesn’t have to be me (though, of course, that’s what I’d prefer). However, it needs to be someone experienced, someone not vested in the piece, someone with enough distance to be ruthlessly honest. Someone who notices details. And of course, someone with impeccable spelling and grammar.
I’m an editor, and I still have someone else proof everything I put out there. You should too.
I took a dog pill this morning!
I was blearily getting all my morning pills together on the counter (which I will never again do before coffee.) The dogs came over to beg. Anything small is a treat in their minds. They did remind me about the glucosamine pills that I try to give the older dog frequently. Since I forget things like that if I don’t act immediately, I stopped in the middle of taking my pills (never a good idea) and gave her the glucosamine tablets. They are large, good tasting (to dogs) chewable tablets. All done with that, I turn back to taking mine. As I swallowed that last one, I thought, “What was that big round tablet?” Suddenly it hit me; I’d dropped one of hers in my pile! It stuck in my throat but finally went down, still, I’ve burped dog food flavor for 2 hours now.
Yes, my life is often this confusing and amusing. It’s a learning experience. This one taught me never to stop in the middle of one thing to do some other, similar thing. Additionally, I learned that trying anything harder than making coffee, before the drinking of the coffee, is not worth the danger involved.
Be warned. If you ever visit me, do not get between me and the coffeepot.
Of course I play Pokémon Go. My kids play. I want to be the cool mom. Easy equation. I knew that even if it turned out I hated the game, if they included me in anything they were doing, that I would at least enjoy the time and conversations with them about their new interest. Thus, I’ve tried a good many types of kid stuff.
The surprise is that I’m having a ball. I love this silly little time-wasting game. It means nothing, profits me nothing, doesn’t sharpen my brain or even my hand-eye coordination. I don’t care. It makes me happy.
Too many adults get caught up in the trap of “not wanting to look silly,” or tending only to the “important stuff.” That’s how we lose our flexibility, our mental genius, our creativity. And our happiness.
Ironic, since we all claim we want to be younger. Silliness is a defining characteristic of young. The ability to play, and enjoy, and be free from all those grown up constraints for a while. Nothing makes you look younger as much as thinking younger.
Playing keeps your heart young. No, not the watch-your-cholesterol heart. I mean the inner you, your soul, whatever you believe keeps you alive and youthful.
So the next time you see children or teens playing, don’t just dismiss them. Join in. Expand your imagination. Give your brain and yourself a much needed break from the heavy stuff. It will invigorate you and lift your spirits like you can’t imagine. Not to mention how awesome it feels to be the cool mom or dad.