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5
Nov

Grand Central Station of the Universe

This is one of four photo images suggested for my Writing101 class, Word Press Blogging University.  The assignment was to choose a photo that reminds us of something, and to write about it.  I was in my living room, working on my little Kindle Fire–which I love, although it is not really helpful to me when writing posts for my blog, that need formatting and new images.  The Kindle has an operating system that is different from my laptop, and from my Main Frame (as I call my PC.)  This difference leads me to some grave errors, like publishing a DRAFT prematurely.

Here is the case in point: http://mumbletymuse.com/2015/11/04/grand-ceentral-station-draft/

grand central station photo

Anyway, back to the assignment for the day’s post.

I liked the photo of Grand Central Station, and started making an on-screen list of ideas and trial phrases.   A pattern started to emerge, and I thought I might play around with that idea.  I have NO idea why the first stanza is indented the way it is.  That was something the computer gremlins did all by themselves.

It was easy enough to get the machine to save the image, and I was able to locate it quickly.  But I could not get the picture ID to move into the draft post I was writing into WordPress.   Not wanting to get onto another device last night, I decided to wait until this morning, when I began working on my Main Frame, as I always do.

Well…imagine my shock as a couple of my main Followers commented in my message board this morning.  OH NO–that post was only in draft form, and not intended to see the morning light any time soon.   My intention was to see if I could get the image (or ask for help on the Commons,) clean up the verse or rewrite it completely before publishing it.

It even has a terrible typo in the Title!   (While I’m making excuses, I must say that my little tablet keys are quite sensitive, and tend to tap multiple letters when I only want one.)

OK, here comes the Writer part… like most writers, we do get attached to our words and phrases, and clever trips of the tongue.  We read something we have written and say to ourselves “…that isn’t bad…tweke a word here, put in a punctuation mark there, read it aloud to hear the smooth rhythm…”   OR (horrors) we read a piece of off-the-wall writing and say to ourselves “WHO wrote that junk?”

Yep, you guessed it–I LIKE the poem I wrote.  Oh sure, I could tweke it and punctuate it to death and take all the impromptu momentum away–thereby ruining it completely.

Having made that admission, I will also say that as I was composing the post last night the thought was still implanted that it was just a draft, maybe even a laundry list of possible ideas for a story.  I love the image, which reminds me of something–as intended by the assignment–and the people in the picture began to telepath to me their emotions, confusion, fears, disappointments.   Of course the general human hub-bub inherent in the image rather quickly became personal…their thoughts were my thoughts and vice-versa.

Isn’t everything personal at some level?

1
Nov

Who Needs Punctuation??? (Yes–We Do!!!)

Punctuation is one of my most favorite topics.

I regularly yell at signs posted on businesses along the roadway who declare such comments as WE HAVE WATERMELON’S TODAY.  Or worse yet SUNDAY SERVICE’S, or even… 4 SAIL SHOE’S.

Yep, the culprit–misuse of apostrophe’s.  (Yes I spelled it on purpose…just sayin’.)

Wrongly spelled words bug me.  Especially when  posted on a SCHOOL sign!!!   Once I actually did a wheelie and turned around to go into a school and discuss their spelling… CORNGRADULATIONS!!!  OK, I didn’t even see the “corn” part of the word.    The school principal and a teacher happened to be in the office when I entered (yes, I really did!) and I explained the error on the sign.   They blithely explained that the sign was advertising a Fall wing-ding of some kind, and that the “CORN” was a pun.

So I explained…it is the GRAD part that is in error.   It was supposed to be “congraTulations.”

Blank looks… “oh,” said one of the educators… “I missed that.”    The luke-warm response only echoed their shocked expressions….ALSO–they did not seem to “get it” as when I passed later in the day the sign had not been corrected.

I love punctuation, especially elipses (the little line of three dots) and I try not to confuse them with dashes–,  or with parentheses.    English teachers and college professors are always so serious and narrow-minded about such things.

When I graded students’ papers I usually noted misplaced punctuation or corrected it…on the premise that since it was a History exam, dealing with something like the Sedition Act for example, it was over-kill to expect proper spelling and grammar.  Some of my fellow teaching assistants leaned heavily on bad commas or misspelled words… I just clearly wrote the word Sedition over their “Cedision” or other invented word.    One said he never counted or even marked bad spelling because he was not a very good speller himself, and usually didn’t notice.

I love exclamation points!!! and don’t ya love question marks ???  CAPITALS, italics, bold, color, ♥, or ℘ (which is the symbol for Weierstrass p (in case ya ever need it…one never knows!!!) NOTE: on the WordPress editing page the symbol to bring to your fingertips (I guess every one in the world?) is the  Ω .   It’s on the chart by the indent keys on the second line.   DISCLAIMER: I’m going to quit while I’m ahead there…it’s not at all confusing if one knows what they are looking for, but a little voice is whispering to me that I’m getting dangerously close to silly.  

Seriously, this is really a wonderful collection,  and one I would have welcomed when writing in Spanish.  There was a way to manually “build” a system of characters into a regular WordPerfect set-up, and I did so…and I could use the normal keys for adding accented vowels by using the CTRL key (or other)  and capital and lower case letters.   Also the ñ Ñ ¿ ¡ and
others.   This was very convenient when working with these characters.    The trick worked on the computer keyboard, and when I got a new computer I’d have to re-set my shortcut system.

Yes, this WAS before Word was even a twinkle in Microsoft’s eye.   WordPerfect was the industry standard, and the word processing system required by Cleveland State U, and which we were able to learn in the CSU computer lab free of charge.  Prior to WordPerfect I had used WordStar, which was an excellent system that came with early home computers.  I have written about that elsewhere, if anyone is interested.  https://mumbletymuse.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/rise-of-the-machine/

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/by-the-dots/”>By the Dots</a>

30
Oct

More Tree Garden Gallery…

DSC04644

To the West

30
Oct

Tree Garden Gallery

WELCOME TO MY TREE GARDEN

29
Oct

Generosity!!! Reblogged from Autumn Ambles … with The Bride

This lovely flower photo reminds me of a beautiful dress…perhaps a wedding gown. I enjoy the photo and the poem so much that I was inspired to write a short rhyme of my own. Thanks to Bushka, of Autumn Ambles, for allowing me to re-blog.

[My poem, entitled The Bride, is below.]

THE BRIDE

A teardrop fell on her beautiful dress,
she saw it not, under her stress.
Her hand she could give, but not her heart
for that belonged to another to live
far and forever apart.
She smiled through her tears,
as she said her vow
and gently resigned herself to tomorrow.
©Sometimes,2015

Autumn Ambles

smile emoticon kolobok

No fairer lass there ever be
Than Generosity,
Her comeliness for all to see,
Sans animosity –
Patent felicity!

 ©Meanderings 2015

smile emoticon kolobok

View original post

29
Oct

subversive

I love this! I relate, I guess. I hit the reblog button…thanks in advance!

28
Oct

On Writing Poetry… with a nod to Miss Edwards

I have always been a writer.  At age twelve, more or less, I wrote a novel.  Although I don’t recall any details of the plot, or characterization,  I do remember a name…Joyce Reena Phane.   That was to be my pen name, I believe.  To me that name was beautiful, and the very essence of sophistication.   I was quite proud of my novel, such as it was, and when my aunt asked to read it I was delighted.   Aunt Jada was a writer herself, and was working on a novel dealing with a group of Kent State students during the Vietnam War.  She loved my novel, and was impressed enough to talk with her sister, my mother, about it.

That was the end of that.    My mother was a very practical and down-to-earth woman, whose no-nonsense beliefs had no room for frivolous or non-productive pursuits.   As far as she was concerned no one made a living from writing books, especially if they had no college education–and the prospect of ME going to college was out of the question.   Besides, my writing was childish, the plot far-fetched and the characters unrealistic…and the pen name I had chosen so carefully was silly and unlike a name any real person would have.  The early….and only…draft of that novel consisted of several notebook paper pages, which no longer exist.

I did continue my creative writing, with encouragement from my seventh grade English teacher, Mr. Wilkinson.

I have some early poetry written in a brown notebook, one of those old dime-store notebooks  that were cheap and plentiful.  In addition to my own works of poetry, I have in those pages the complete Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven, copied in my neat and even cursive handwriting.   Also much of Macbeth, Shakespeare’s masterpiece which had also been immortalized as our high school play.  I was so enamored of that classic that I saw fit to enter much of the original play into my notebook.  There is also some poetry that I can still recite in part this many decades later…I was quite proud of my poems which also immortalized some of my early loves in my handwriting.   I used a fountain pen with real ink, and when I made an error I ripped out the notebook page entirely and started over.  I still think that the handwriting on those pages are perhaps the most endearing aspect of the whole brown notebook.  I wish I still loved my handwriting as well as I did then.

As for Shakespeare, my exposure to his works were in my Junior or Senior year of high school, when the truly marvelous reading by our English Literature teacher–who was also the school principal–sends shivers up my spine to this day.  I always stayed on Miss Edwards’ good side.  She was a small woman in stature, tough as any marine sergeant, and did not need any police personnel to maintain order over her classes–or her school.  One of the things I liked about Miss Edwards is that she liked my writing…she is definitely one of my mentors who had a positive effect on my life.

Ah well– I will never make it as a poet, but as long as I like my poetry and other bloggers occasionally say something nice about it as well–it is worth the oft-times lame verse that escapes my fountain pen….er, keyboard.

28
Oct

Cycle of Red

DSC04624.jpg

Red Maple

CYCLE OF RED

Maple tree dressed in Red

remember the warm days of Fall

dream forward to Spring

when new buds have unfolded

and Green leaves look forward to Red.

28
Oct

Photographer or Pitcha-taker?

Once, decades ago, the Chief Photographer at the newspaper where I worked  asked me a question that has remained in my thought-processor to emerge every once in awhile:

“Do you want to be a Photographer?  Or just a Pitcha-taker.?”

At the time I had only recently began providing photos to accompany my news stories.  I had a Yashika-Mat camera, which I had bought for the purpose.  It cost $85, which was a considerable amount of money for me, but in retrospect it was a good investment, because during the years I used it,  the Yashika paid for itself many times over.   I was supporting five children with my earnings as a reporter  for the newspaper, and for two years in 1970-1972 my meager pay was most of the time my sole source of income.

At that time I had no formal education beyond high school, although fortunately I had some ability to write cohesive articles and took to news reporting like an Owl to being a bookstore mascot.  For 18 years my career as a Journalist survived without higher education.  I’m a quick learner, more or less, and passed my trial-by-fire–a tax levy meeting by our local Save Our Schools (SOS) committee and the school board.    This was a momentous occasion in shaping the rest of my life beyond then.  That meeting coverage, and a feature story anout  a meeting at the State Prison Farm, directly led to my position as a reporter.

In October of 1972 (he 28th, forty-three years ago today, in fact) I got remarried.    I continued with the newspaper part-time, until my decision to enter community college…to see If I could cope with all that entailed.   But that’s another story…

Back in the day of film cameras…which was really not so long ago…my work film was developed and printed by the newspaper photo lab, and I did not do much private family/kids/travel work on company time.    Most of those photo shoots featured my late husband’s photos taken with his Konicas and/or others of his cameras…he had been into photography since he was in France during World War II, and did his own developing and printing back then.  (Before my time.)  Then when we began traveling extensively, we bought roll film and sent it away to be developed and printed.  It would take a few days or a week to return.

My skills at photography never really excelled, for a couple of reasons.  One is that I did not take the time required to learn technical details of appropriate exposure techniques.  The cost involved with print film was also high, so I did not experiment with the camera like I do now in the advent of digital photography.  So that meant that the best photos we had…and the greatest number…were Bob’s.  We did some Sunday spreads featuring his photography, and my writing.

Photographer or Pitcha-taker?     The difference being that a photographer will take the time and effort to acquire as much knowledge and practical skills as possible, and apply it to his or her work.  The Photographer works toward capturing the nuances and minute details of the subject, and fuss about color saturation and light conditions, etc., in order to produce work that is as esthetically pleasing as possible.

A Pitcha-taker, on the other hand, points the camera lens at the subject–and shoots.  The Pitcha-taker has albums which include coat sleeves, sun-glare, hands in front of faces, cut off heads, weird colors, and pictures of Aunt Bessie with her eyes closed or her mouth out-of-joint.  Over-exposed, under-exposed…all kinds of issues that ruin their photos.

Not to say that the Photographer, even professionals, don’t make mistakes…they just discard the “bad” shots, rather than showing them off to audiences and apologizing for their bad quality, as the pitcha-takers do:   “Ok, this should have been a really good photo, but this lady moved out of the frame too quickly…see her hat?  It was really a nice blue.  Sorry its blurry..”

26
Oct

Direct Line

The Moon, far away as it is bright
dims the brighter light of the stars
My eye sight follows the path of that light
passing the light-years between

Knowing full well the facts of the Moonlight
reflecting the light of the Sun,
it nevertheless leads me to imagine
that the Moon makes its own light from within.

Even if Galileo himself, who charted the Sun,
were to explain with patience and tact
I still would ignore him and blissfully say:
“Please dont confuse me with facts.”