Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Book Release- Navigating Life

JOE: Good morning Calliope. I have some news for you to read.
CALLIOPE: I'm ready. Go ahead.

RELEASE- FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

Do you hope for a new America? A crisis in how the world sees us, economic upheaval and feeling stuck with our problems tosses us in a perfect storm on troubled seas. How can you set a new course for yourself and make a contribution to the world community?

Are you ready to change your life and help create a new society? Navigating Life: Commonsense Reflections for the Voyage shows you 13 ways to do it:

  • Appreciate the life you have.
  • Take your goals with you into each new day.
  • Discover your powers and use them wisely.
  • Find your place in the world community.
  • Live each day with passion.
  • Fire up your creativity.
  • Let stress spur you to action rather than cripple you.
  • Meet people who have taken the first step.
  • Say what you mean. Hear what others say. See where silence fits.
  • Treasure the people who mean the most to you.
  • Hear what it feels like to be different.
  • Set boundaries on toxic people.
  • Sort out what's important to you.

Navigating Life: Commonsense Reflections for the Voyage by Joseph G. Langen is available from Booklocker.com in paperback or e-book format and from Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com in paperback format. Read the first chapter at:

www.commonsense-wisdom.com.

What readers say about Dr. Langen's writing:

  • "Lovely thoughts."
  • "I Thank God for your light in my life."
  • "I wanted to thank you for being honest with your writing."
  • "Very inspirational and thought provoking."
  • "I keep your book by my bed and read a selection each night."

Contact: Joseph G. Langen
5 Franklin Ave.
Leroy, NY, 14482
Phone: (585)768-9966
WEB: www.commonsense-wisdom.com
Email: jlangen@commonsense-wisdom.com

About the author:

Dr. Langen learned to reflect on life living in a monastery. He has worked as a psychologist for many years with individuals, couples and families.He has written a previous book of reflections, Commonsense Wisdom for Everyday Life, a memoir of his seminary and monastery experience,Young Man of the Cloth, and a novel about an abusive priest's search for redemption, The Pastor's Inferno. He writes a biweekly column on commonsense wisdom topics and maintains a blog, Conversations with Calliope, a dialogue with his muse about the writing life. See more about his writing atwww.commonsense-wisdom.com.

Watch a brief video of Dr. Langen introducing his book at www.commonsense-wisdom.com/Navigating_Publicity_0001.wmv

Available at: www.booklocker.com/books/3803.html
$14.95 paperback, $8.95 e-book.

Coming soon to:

Amazon.com
Barnesandnoble.com
Borders.com

JOE: Talk with you on Friday.
CALLIOPE: Thanks for the info. See you then.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Liber Natus Est

(Sunrise on Nantucket Sound)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Help me out a little. I'm more familiar with Greek than with Latin.
JOE: The title above translates as, "The book is born."
CALLIOPE: Sounds like good news.
JOE: It is. I received the revised bound galley of Navigating Life in the mail yesterday and am ready for my sales promotion.
CALLIOPE: Where do you start?
JOE: I sent a message to Booklocker saying everything looks fine. I am waiting for them to set up my sales page. I also have some personal orders to fulfill locally.
CALLIOPE: Congratulations. It seem like it has been a long haul.
JOE: It seems that way to me too. I don't seem to be getting any more patient as I age.
CALLIOPE: At least you know your limitations. What's your next step?
JOE: Publicity. I almost have my flier ready. Today I will work on recording a video clip to include.
CALLIOPE: Anything else?
JOE: As a matter of fact there is. Last night I ran across a wonderful little passage on Reflection by a fellow member of one of my online groups.
CALLIOPE: And?
JOE: I have asked his permission to use his passage in my promotional materials. I'm waiting for his response. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Cranking up publicity

(Sunset- San Juan)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Rested. I enjoyed my social activities the past few days and I'm ready to get back to work.
CALLIOPE: You mean you put aside anything literary?
JOE: For the most part. I spent some time yesterday painting. The rest was at church and out to friends' house for dinner and cards.
CALLIOPE: What do you have planned for this week?
JOE: I have a column to get out for Saturday and think I might start with that.
CALLIOPE: What are you writing about?
JOE: I think I mentioned my idea about creativity, inspiration and perspiration. I think I will use that theme.
CALLIOPE: I recall it. Sounds like a good one to start the new year. What else is brewing?
JOE: My idea about videos for publicity. I'm still waiting for my new bound galley for Navigating Life. I expect it sometime this week and want to be ready when it arrives.
CALLIOPE: Give me some specifics.
JOE: I told you about the introductory video I plan to add to my publicity flier. I haven't decided where to post it but am considering YouTube. That's first. I'll tell you about the rest tomorrow.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Inspiration and Perspiration

(Sunset- St. Lucia)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Inspired. By the way, what time were you at work this morning?
CALLIOPE: Why do you ask?
JOE: I was up at ten to five with two inspirations floating in my consciousness.
CALLIOPE: Well...
JOE: I thought so.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about the inspirations.
JOE: One was about inspiration and perspiration which had thought of for my next column. I realized I was on the right track.
CALLIOPE: And the other?
JOE: My friend Gerry had suggested a conversational tone for my publicity flier I am preparing for Navigating Life.
CALLIOPE: And?
JOE: I wasn't quite sure how to do it.
CALLIOPE: And that was your second inspiration?
JOE: It was. Since I am distributing my flier mostly on the internet, why not embed a video where I can introduce myself and my book?
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a good idea.
JOE: I think so. I'm on it. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Boxing Day and Feast of Stephen

(Visitors' Lamp)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How was your Christmas.
JOE: Quite nice, I spent the last two days enjoying the company of friends and relatives and did not get near the computer (at least not for very long.)
CALLIOPE: Sometimes it's a welcome break.
JOE: My friend Gerry keeps reminding me that I tend to become overinvolved in writing and thinking about it and need a little variety in my life.
CALLIOPE: Do you pay attention.
JOE: Usually for a brief time and then jump right back in to the literary part of myself.
CALLIOPE: And today?
JOE: I think I might take a little time for myself now that I've been fully immersed in socialization for a couple days.
CALLIOPE: And do what?
JOE: Perhaps I will do some painting. I think I might spend at least some time at the next table where my art materials wait patiently.
CALLIOPE: Do you have any projects in mind?
JOE: I started a lighthouse sketch. Maybe I'll work on it. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Christmas Greetings

(Back Yard in Leroy)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine. I just got back in the house with Carol from our fourth day in a row cross country skiing.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like fun.
JOE: It is, especially when we can do it in the local streets.
CALLIOPE: Anything particular on your agenda today?
JOE: Just preparing for Christmas. I created a few Christmas cards with Printmaker and also a few gift certificates for Navigating Life.
CALLIOPE: Is the book ready yet?
JOE: Not quite. I am waiting for the final proof which I expect to arrive any day. That's why I'm giving out gift certificates. I thought I would have the book in hand but not quite.
CALLIOPE: You sound remarkably patient.
JOE: I'm working on it. I think it goes hand in hand with maintaining a sense of peace which is my goal lately.
CALLIOPE: Do you feel at peace today?
JOE: I do and hope to stay that way. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to you and all readers who wander by.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Notes on Democracy

(Moorish Castle- Gibraltar)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Energized.
CALLIOPE: What brought that about?
JOE: I have started each of the past two days and this morning with cross country skiing in the streets around our house.
CALLIOPE: I guess that's a benefit of feet of snow. What else is going on?
JOE: Marketing. I have concluded that there are two possible audiences for my book. One thoughtful and one less thoughtful.
CALLIOPE: How did you reach that conclusion?
JOE: Through my review of H.L. Mencken's' Notes on a Democracy.
CALLIOPE: What did you learn?
JOE: Glad you asked. Here is the review:

Review- H.L. Mencken- Notes on Democracy

H.L. Mencken's Notes on Democracy reemerges in a new edition just in time to pillory the ravages of what democracy has become in our country, in practice if not in theory. I have always been an undying optimist and therefore approached this volume with some trepidation. Do I want my cherished beliefs shaken? Mencken assures us that none of us do, whether there is any reasonable basis for our beliefs or not. He categorizes "democratic man" as having an eighty percent chance of being by nature unable to think critically. He goes on to examine the faults of every aspect of our democratic form of government and of those who inhabit its various offices as well as those responsible for electing and/or appointing them.

In the end he leaves us with no suggestions for how to proceed, seeing himself as "not engaged in therapeutics, but in pathology." How can we respond to his scathing attack on democracy other than to throw up our hands in despair? This question haunted me throughout my reading of this volume. In the end I decided Mencken's work is best approached as one does a political cartoon. Lampooning our beliefs prods up to reexamine them with two thoughts in mind. One is Socrates' statement as his heresy trial, "The unexamined life is not worth living." The other is John Adams' observation, "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself." Is there a way we can create an exception?

CALLIOPE: Interesting thoughts. Sounds like you stretched yourself in reading it.
JOE: I did. I found it challenged some of my closely held beliefs about people and their capabilities.
CALLIOPE: Did it help you in writing your publicity flier.
JOE: Yes. It's not quite ready yet but I'll share it with you when it is. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Lessons of Cancer

(Sunset in Leroy)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Not bad. Yesterday was quite a reflective day.
CALLIOPE: What was going on?
JOE: I attended a memorial service for a friend at Unity Church.
CALLIOPE: How did she die?
JOE: Metastatic breast cancer. Three members of our church were diagnosed with breast cancer in quick succession, including my life partner, Carol. Kat was the second one to die and Carol is the only survivor of the three.
CALLIOPE: Scary.
JOE: I've discovered there is no way to predict what will happen in life. Carol and I are grateful that things turned out the way they did for her but are sad to lose the other two.
CALLIOPE: What did you learn from yesterday?
JOE: That life is precious, unpredictable and to be treasured one day at a time.
CALLIOPE: All good lessons.
JOE: I think so. It's easy to take life for granted when things are going well. It takes incidents like this to remind us that we don't live forever and have only today to count on for sure.
CALLIOPE: I hope you use your day productively.
JOE: I will do my best. Talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Let Us Rejoice

(Westminster Abbey)

JOE: Good morning Calliope. Haec dies quem fecit Dominus.
CALLIOPE: Help me out. My Latin's a little rusty.
JOE: Okay. "This is the day the Lord has made."
CALLIOPE: You sound excited.
JOE: I am. Finally my book, Navigating Life is on its way back to the printer, text, cover and corrections.
CALLIOPE: Great. Now back to the waiting.
JOE: Still, it's a relief. I suppose this gets easier with time. I find getting everything just right a challenge.
CALLIOPE: I take it you're not the obsessive compulsive type.
JOE: Right. I am more the impulsive type. I think my personality is more suited to the freewheeling process of writing.
CALLIOPE: And less toward the minutia of publishing?
JOE: Exactly so. As Clint Eastwood put it, "A man's got to know his limitations."
CALLIOPE: Glad you recognize yours. Have you thought of seeking a traditional publisher for this aspect.
JOE: I have, but so far it only led to frustration on my previous attempts. This time I did not even seriously consider finding an agent or publisher. Maybe one of these days I'll have a go at it again.
CALLIOPE: At least you got this far. Now what?
JOE: Back to work on marketing and publicity. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Inspiration and Perspiration

(Geese resting for the voyage)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's with the new title above?
JOE: It's a long story. My friend Gerry and I were corresponding about my publicity for Navigating Life.
CALLIOPE: And?
JOE: We got to discussing how to get people's attention with hooks, a skill which does not come naturally to me.
CALLIOPE: I'm with you so far.
JOE: He suggested that I was working too hard and expecting results when it might be more important to sit back and listen for inspiration.
CALLIOPE: I could have told you that.
JOE: I now realize it. I know you are constantly whispering in my ear but I'm too busy blathering to hear you.
CALLIOPE: So what did you do?
JOE: I started rereading Lao Tzu's Tao Teh Ching yesterday.
CALLIOPE: Then what?
JOE: I woke up at 3:00 Am this morning with my head full of ideas which prompted me to get out of bed and write them down before they disappeared.
CALLIOPE: I'm glad Gerry, Lao Tzu and I could help.
JOE: So am I. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Fuzzy the Clown at Oatka Festival Parade)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine. I'm glad not to have a doctor appointment as I have had each day this week.
CALLIOPE: Anything wrong?
JOE: No. Two visits were checkups with my primary and arthritis doctors. All is in good order in my body as far as I can tell. I even came away with one less prescription than I had before. The third appointment was to give blood for an arthritis study on markers for arthritis. I don't quite understand the technicalities but I guess I don't need to.
CALLIOPE: Glad to hear things are going well. What do you make of it?
JOE: I remember my friend Steve D'Annunzio saying that misfortune in your life can be taken as a sign that you need to change something. I was just wondering if there is a message from God in good fortune too.
CALLIOPE: What do you think it might be?
JOE: Maybe that I am on the right track with alerting people to consider how they live their lives and what the effect is on people.
CALLIOPE: That's the goal of your book, Navigating Life, isn't it?
JOE: It is.
CALLIOPE: So now what?
JOE: I had been thinking about what direction to take with my writing once this book is published.
CALLIOPE: And?
JOE: I think I should continue with this theme. I have started on a book of commonsense wisdom for teens and think I should get back into that project. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(West Chop Lighthouse- Martha's Vineyard)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Trying to stay calm and focused.
CALLIOPE: What's making it difficult?
JOE: Continuing work on revisions for Navigating Life. We're getting closer to it being ready for publication with the exception of a few small details still in the process of being worked out.
CALLIOPE: Anything you can't handle?
JOE: No. But the closer I get to publication the more excited I get about the adventure and the harder it is to keep myself calm.
CALLIOPE: Understandable. How is the publicity coming?
JOE: I worked on a one page publicity blurb which I want to run by Carol before I share it with you.
CALLIOPE: When will that be ready?
JOE: Hopefully in the next day or so.
CALLIOPE: How about your column on Peace?
JOE: It is just about finished. I heard from a good number of readers what gives them a sense of peace. It turned out as well as I expected. Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Aquinnah Lighthouse- Martha's Vineyard)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: A tad rushed.
CALLIOPE: How so? I thought you would be more relaxed with the book revisions submitted.
JOE: I am. But I have two places to go this morning and also have evening plans.
CALLIOPE: So it's hard to plan any marketing activities.
JOE: That doesn't mean I can't be thinking about them as I drive around. I decided on an approach to marketing Navigating Life this morning before I even got out of bed.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE: Now that we have elected Obama and expect him to make some changes in the world, what are we going to do on our part?
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a good approach. How are you going to go about it?
JOE: I plan to list thirteen things we can do, one of them outlined in each of he chapters of Navigating Life.
CALLIOPE: I'd like to see it when it's done.
JOE: No Problem. I'll share it with you. Time to get going. Off to the races. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Cover design- Navigating Life)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I was beginning to fear you would not show up today.
JOE: Never fear. I had some early morning appointments in Batavia.
CALLIOPE: What's up for today?
JOE: Even before I left for Batavia, I was up finalizing revisions on Navigating Life.
CALLIOPE: So is it ready now.
JOE: It is. I just now sent it off to Booklocker.
CALLIOPE: When will it finally be ready?
JOE: That's out of my hands. I need to wait for the printing wheels and presses to do their thing. I'm practicing patience.
CALLIOPE: A good idea. Any other developments over the weekend?
JOE: Yesterday I attended an Author Extravaganza at Lift Bridge Book Store in Brockport.
CALLIOPE: And?
JOE: I found it most productive. I got to read a selection from Navigating Life and also talked with some other authors about writing, publishing and marketing.
CALLIOPE: Anyone special that you met?
JOE: I finally met Bob Fussell, an attorney and author from right here in Leroy. I figured I would meet him sooner or later. We had a great talk and plan to get together. Talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(More Sunset over Lake Erie)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you this morning?
JOE: Struggling to stay calm and focused.
CALLIOPE: How so?
JOE: I received my bound galley of Navigating Life. After discussion I realized I had made some glaring errors in the manuscript.
CALLIOPE: And?
JOE: The bottom line is that I will need to correct them at an extra expense.
CALLIOPE: How did that happen?
JOE: ADHD strikes again. I thought I had that part of me under pretty good control.
CALLIOPE: Doesn't sound like it.
JOE: No it doesn't. I let my excitement about the project and rush to get it into print by Christmas lead to premature submission of the manuscript.
CALLIOPE: Now what?
JOE: I have been working steadily on corrections but taking breaks so as not to become fatigued.
CALLIOPE: How is it coming?
JOE: I think I have them done. I will look over the manuscript one last time to be sure I didn't miss anything. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Sunset over Lake Erie- Dunkirk, NY)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Not half bad.
CALLIOPE: What have you been up to?
JOE: Puttering around while waiting for my book proof to arrive. I've been catching up on my writer and marketing communities, listening to a marketing broadcast and preparing publicity for Navigating Life.
CALLIOPE: You have been busy. When do you expect your proof?
JOE: I was just getting to that. It arrived yesterday afternoon. Technically it is a bound galley. I was quite satisfied with how the cover turned out after all my grief in developing it.
CALLIOPE: Why didn't you just pay to have it done?
JOE: I'm not yet in a financial position to pay people for such services as design or even proofreading. Sometimes I wish I were.
CALLIOPE: Did you learn anything from doing all your own design work?
JOE: I learned to appreciate all that goes into it. I also got to think about each component of my book more than I would have if I had farmed out the work.
CALLIOPE: There are those benefits. How about proofreading?
JOE: That is the one place I wish I had been able to hire someone professional. Many of the sections were proofread in the past. I didn't feel I could impose on friends to proofread this text. Maybe I will regret it. I think in the future that I will try to budget money for this.
CALLIOPE: Good idea. When do you expect the book to be available.
JOE: You'll be the first to know. Perhaps in another week or so. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Nineteenth century tavern- Genesee Country Village)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you this morning?
JOE: Good. I have my Christmas shopping and report writing done and am ready to get back to work on my writing.
CALLIOPE: Did you get anything literary done yesterday?
JOE: I finished posting the reading guides I developed and shared with you a couple days ago.
CALLIOPE: Did you do one for Navigating Life?
JOE: Not yet. I need to wait until my book is listed on Amazon so I can include it.
CALLIOPE: I see. What plans do you have for today?
JOE: I think I will start posting this blog on the sites where I previously did.
CALLIOPE: Don't you still have links there to this site?
JOE: I do but decided it was too much to expect readers to travel here. I thought it might be best to just post them where I did before.
CALLIOPE: Why did you change your mind?
JOE: It had to do with Google. I thought that by listing my blog in several places it reduced the Search Engine Optimization qualities of the blog.
CALLIOPE: Doesn't it?
JOE: I think so but decided it made more sense to have greater visibility than to count on it optimizing visits to my web site. Talk to you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Nineteenth Century Schoolroom- Genesee Country Village)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you this morning?
JOE: Good. Ready to work on marketing.
CALLIOPE: What happened yesterday?
JOE: I spent most of my time traveling out of town to do some psychological evaluations. Then I had to work to get my computer willing to score them.
CALLIOPE: Did you get a chance to work on writing?
JOE: To some extent. I posted the guides I shared with you yesterday on one of the business community sites and plan to continue that today as well as posting them on my own site.
CALLIOPE: Anything else going on?
JOE: I am reviewing a new edition of H.L Mencken's Notes on Democracy.
CALLIOPE: What do you think so far?
JOE: He seems quite cynical about our society and as far as I can gather questions the wisdom of the proletariat. I do find it useful to have my assumptions challenged and to have to reconsider them.
CALLIOPE: So it is a useful project?
JOE: I think so.
CALLIOPE: What's up for today?
JOE: More marketing efforts and waiting for the printed galley of my book, Navigating Life. Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Christmas decorations waiting)




JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today.
JOE: I have to rush off to Tonawanda to do some evaluations. Before I go I wanted to share with you some guides I have been working on. They relate to my published books. Hope you enjoy them.

So you'd like to know why some priests are abusive link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/community-content-search/results?ie=UTF8&flatten=1&search-alias=rp-sylt&query=know%20why%20some%20priests%20are%20abusive

So you'd like to live life with commonsense wisdom link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/community-content-search/results?ie=UTF8&flatten=1&search-alias=rp-sylt&query=live%20life%20with%20commonsense%20wisdom

So you'd like to learn about seminary and monastery life link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/syltguides/fullview/R1P2DP9QD8PU2Y

CALLIOPE: Thanks. I'll look them over.

JOE: Thanks. Talk with you tomorrow.


Monday, December 08, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Plants in Winter)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Rested. I took the weekend to unwind and restore myself.
CALLIOPE: How did you go about it?
JOE: I planned no major activities this weekend.
CALLIOPE: Did you just flop on a couch?
JOE: Not quite. I worked on some Christmas presents for a while. I also did some reading.
CALLIOPE: What did you read.
JOE: I caught up on some of my recent New Yorkers. I also started reading Rita Mae Brown's book, Starting from Scratch.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about it.
JOE: Her subtitle is "A different kind of writers' manual." She shares some good learnings and thoughts about writing I had not considered. She published it in 1988 but I have never heard of it.
CALLIOPE: Where did you find it?
JOE: At Borders Books used section. I just happened upon it.
CALLIOPE: Do you find it dated?
JOE: Just the brief section of computers which of course is from a different era. The rest of it is fresh and refreshing. Talk with you tomorrow.


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Rocky Mountains- Estes Park, Colorado)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Somewhat rested.
CALLIOPE: Did you accomplish anything yesterday.
JOE: I accomplished taking it easy.
CALLIOPE: What else did you do?
JOE: Some Christmas shopping and completion of gifts.
CALLIOPE: Anything exciting?
JOE: I had planned to give my new book, Navigating Life to a few people. After some difficulty with the cover, I think it is about ready for the printer, but I haven't had final word yet. I'm not sure I will have copies in time.
CALLIOPE: There's always New Year's.
JOE: True. Part of the focus is what we can do personally to improve our own lives, the country and the world. Perhaps releasing it just before the inauguration would be timely.
CALLIOPE: Perhaps. It's sensible to make the best of whatever circumstances present themselves.
JOE: You're right. That's what I tell everyone else. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Geese on Oatka Creek)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine. I'm in high gear today I also have a surprise for you.
CALLIOPE: I'm ready.
JOE: Here goes.


An Ode to Calliope
by
Joseph G. Langen

Back when I floundered in faint hope of finding my way in the forest
searching for ways to express what so grabbed me and spun my deep thinking,
you came along to shine light on what stirred in me, mindlessly musing,
waiting for me to start waking and know that I needed to write it.

You and not I could at last for once venture to speak through my writing.
Stirring to life I could now find a voice so long hidden in silence.
What has lain dormant inside me refusing to come to the foreground
daring to challenge my wordless and courageless way of not seeking?

Me as a spokesman for challenges forming to question life's torpor?
How could I finally find my weak voice and thus let it now free me,
daring to note my own carefully hidden, forgotten life message?
Can I now, must I now say what I thought must stay locked up inside me?

You have now found me and made me stop twiddling my thumbs as I notice
all of life's treasures and bounties which call me to finally voice them.
Help me now share them with readers who travel alongside my path stones seeking together some ways to make holy our journey in friendship.

CALLIOPE: Wow! I'm flattered. Thanks for the recognition. Did you write that in dactylic hexameter.
I did. I know it is a favorite meter in epic poetry which you champion.
I'm impressed.
JOE: You're welcome. It's only fair. Without inspiration I doubt I would have anything to write.
CALLIOPE: That's what muses are for. Did you spend the whole day yesterday writing this?
JOE: No. Phil Davis of Authors on the net suggested an amazon program called "So you want to...: I tried it and developed a list of readings regarding priest abuse, including my own of course. I also discovered a series of reader communities on a variety of topics and started posting there.
CALLIOPE: Do you think that will benefit your writing?
JOE: What better place to hang out than with readers already in an online bookstore?
CALLIOPE: I can't argue with you there. What do you have planned for today?
JOE: I'm recovering from a late night revision of the cover for my new book, Navigating Life. I hope it will be ready soon. I feel a need to relax today.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you earned it.
JOE: I think so. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Seaside Fort- Condado, Puerto Rico)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What news?
JOE: Plenty. Yesterday was busy. I managed to finish and post my column, Rebuilding Our World Standing and Self Respect. I also finished writing and revising my ten reasons for and against reading each of my books. Now I'll try recording them.
CALLIOPE: Good progress. Anything else going on?
JOE: Yes. I had a chance to browse Barnes and Noble yesterday and found Thunder and Lightning: Cracking Open the Writer's Craft by Natalie Goldberg and Starting from Scratch: A Different Kind of Writers' Manual by Rita Mae Brown.
CALLIOPE: What prompted you to buy these?
JOE: I thought I could use a little inspiration for my writing.
CALLIOPE: I guess all writers can. What are you up to today.
JOE: In addition to working on marketing, I found two challenges.
CALLIOPE: Which are?
JOE: One is a new online group coordinated by Ann Maid for local writers, some of whom I have met. The entrance fee consists of a poem, a genre generally scary for me.
CALLIOPE: How will you approach it?
JOE: I plan to write in dactylic hexameter in your honor since this meter is generally used in epic poetry. Maybe it will end up as an ode to you for your help.
CALLIOPE: I would be honored. And the other challenge?
JOE: Phil Davis suggested I write some entries for "Amazon's So You'd Like to..." I think it has possibilities and I plan to try it. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(East Chop Lighthouse- Martha's Vineyard)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Ready to get going again.
CALLIOPE: What did you accomplish yesterday?
JOE: A fair amount. I finished working on ten reasons to read and not to read each of my four books. I want to let them percolate a bit before recording them.
CALLIOPE: Anything else?
JOE: Yes. I started on my column for this Saturday, tentatively titled Rebuilding Our World Standing and Self Respect.
CALLIOPE: That sounds like a large topic, maybe enough for a book.
JOE: I agree but I'm in the middle of another book at the moment. I would like to at least stick my toe in the water of this topic first by starting with a column.
CALLIOPE: What prompted this venture?
JOE: I read an article recently about the recent proliferation of lying, stealing and cheating by teens. It got me thinking about where these trends originate. I concluded it must be in our eroding culture.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a worthwhile project.
JOE: I hope so. It is part of my plan to raise people's consciousness about how they live their lives.
CALLIOPE: You've got quite a mission.
JOE: I do but I'm not alone. Sometimes I feel like the "voice of one crying in the wilderness." Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Sunrise- Martha's Vineyard)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Glad to see you up and at 'em early.
JOE: I have been the last couple days, just not at the computer.
CALLIOPE: How did you do with marketing yesterday?
JOE: I looked over my ten reasons for and against reading The Pastor's Inferno. I also wrote lists of reasons for Commonsense Wisdom for Everyday Life and Young Man of the Cloth. I plan to write some for Navigating Life although I still have a little time since it is not available for sale yet.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like good progress. What's on the agenda for today?
JOE: Other than yoga class later this morning, I would like to work on refining my reasons and prepare to record them for distribution. I have a column to write and hope to at least get started with it.
CALLIOPE: What's the topic?
JOE: That's why I haven't written it yet. I'm still a little up in the air. I am considering our ethical crisis with more bad news than good and more notoriety for bad behavior which seems to be more prevalent lately.
CALLIOPE: Good luck with it. Anything else going on?
JOE: I'm waiting for news that Navigating Life is ready for distribution which could be any day now.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like exciting times.
JOE: It is. There's plenty to do. Back to work. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Sunset- Leroy, NY)

JOE: Good afternoon Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon Joe. I never know when or if to expect you these days.
JOE: Sorry. I had an early morning meeting and was wandering around doing some Christmas shopping. But now I'm back.
CALLIOPE: You said this was your week to work on marketing. Any progress?
JOE: It is turning out to be a busier week than I thought but I'll do my best. I did think of an approach.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE: Some time ago I wrote ten reasons why and why not to read The Pastor's Inferno.
CALLIOPE: Yes?
JOE: I thought it might be good to expand on this theme.
CALLIOPE: How?
JOE: I plan to develop reasons to read and not to read each of my books and then post them as videos on MySpace and my website.
CALLIOPE: Sounds ambitious.
JOE: I suppose it is, but I've got to start somewhere. I had better get at it. Talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(St. Michael's Cave, Gibraltar)

JOE: Good evening Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good evening Joe. I've never known you to show up so late.
JOE: I haven't. I started out several times to talk with you and got sidetracked several times.
CALLIOPE: To do what?
JOE: I relaxed for a while this morning. Then I went to the gym. After that I got involved in marketing.
CALLIOPE: What are you doing with marketing today?
JOE: Networking. I am working on forming new Internet connections and resurrecting old ones.
CALLIOPE: How will that help with marketing?
JOE: Next week I will be working on more formal marketing activities but I need people to spread the word about my activities.
CALLIOPE: And?
JOE: My network of people will help, I hope.
CALLIOPE: I see.
JOE: That's about all I did today. Tomorrow I will gear up for my marketing activities next week. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Cabo San Lucas)

JOE: Good morning Calliope:
CALLIOPE: Good morning, Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Not very ambitious. I struggled to find much to write in my journal this morning.
CALLIOPE: What's that about?
JOE: I think I am still in my holiday mood from yesterday when I spent the bulk of my time visiting, socializing and eating.
CALLIOPE: So you're not back in the groove yet?
JOE: Nope. I feel like my mental field should lie fallow for a little while.
CALLIOPE: Perhaps so. You have been in high gear lately.
JOE: Right. I have been working hard to get Navigating Life prepared for publication and finally have my files submitted.
CALLIOPE: Is marketing your next task?
JOE: Yes. I have been reviewing marketing materials and gathering more. I haven't set up a clear marketing plan for Navigating Life yet.
CALLIOPE: When do you plan to start?
JOE: I think that would be a good task for Monday morning.
CALLIOPE: And this weekend?
JOE: Maybe some relaxing and continuing to read Patterson's Sail. I need to recharge my batteries. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Apple Umpkin Festival- Wyoming, NY)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine. I negotiated our two seatings of company yesterday and enjoyed the experience. I like not being quite so isolated.
CALLIOPE: Do you find yourself isolating as a writer?
JOE: Yes. I spend more of my time in front of the computer than anywhere else.
CALLIOPE: Doing what?
JOE: Writing, editing, marketing, research.
CALLIOPE: How about interaction online?
JOE: I have gotten away from it. I joined a number of online writer and marketing communities but have not spent time there developing relationships.
CALLIOPE: What about spending more time interacting?
JOE: A good suggestion. I'll try to keep it in mind.
CALLIOPE: What's up for today?
JOE: I was just thinking about that. I think my chief goal is to explore and try to pin down a marketing approach for Navigating Life. I'll talk with you Friday after Thanksgiving is over.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Butterfly Museum- Niagara Falls, Ontario)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine. I was up early to start soup and bread. Today is the beginning of our holiday entertaining. We have a noon and dinner seating.
CALLIOPE: Sounds busy. How about the book?
JOE: Yesterday I sent in the final manuscript and cover files. Now someone else's technology takes over and out will come a book.
CALLIOPE: When do you expect it?
JOE: I'm hoping it will be ready in a week or two.
CALLIOPE: So what are your plans in the mean time?
JOE: Yesterday I modified my web site to include Navigating Life. I also started working on some marketing materials I have accumulated but not yet perused.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a good plan. Do you have any other writing projects in mind?
JOE: I have been thinking of doing a book of our conversations. I would like to take a little break until Navigating Life is in print. Then I'll start working on our book.
CALLIOPE: I can't wait. Have you looked back over our conversations?
JOE: No, I haven't. But I think they give a glimpse into the ongoing progress and frustrations a writer faces on a day to day basis.
CALLIOPE: There have been some of each.
JOE: No question. Right no I'm happy with the progress. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Geese preparing for migration)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How was your weekend?
JOE: Busy but productive.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more?
JOE: I was gone most of yesterday. Saturday night I received an online proof of Navigating Life. I did a little editing and returned it as a final copy for publication.
CALLIOPE: Is your book ready for printing?
JOE: Almost. There are a few details to settle such as the price, advertising copy for Amazon, etc.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you're getting close. Did you have time to do anything else?
JOE: Yesterday morning before I left for my travels, I composed a marketing brochure for Navigating Life. The brochure is getting good reviews from the few people to whom I showed it.
CALLIOPE: Do you think it will help with sales?
JOE: Yes. I have already sold some copies even before the book is printed.
CALLIOPE: To what do you attribute this?
JOE: The title, cover art, spiritual theme and my reputation based on selections from the book which I previously published.
CALLIOPE: Great. What's next?
JOE: I plan to start developing other promotional materials such as a sample chapter on my web site, print and video materials for MySpace, YouTube and other sites. Talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Paphiopedilum Orchid)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you this morning?
JOE: Relieved.
CALLIOPE: On what account?
JOE: My book finally stayed fixed, paginated and indexed long enough for me to send it to Booklocker.
CALLIOPE: And the cover?
JOE: Converted to PDF form and also sent.
CALLIOPE: Congratulations. Now what?
JOE: Now I wait for the proof copy.
CALLIOPE: What will you do in the mean time?
JOE: I have already started on marketing. I am exploring key words to use in the text of my promotional materials.
CALLIOPE: What do you plan to do by way of marketing?
JOE: Publicity on my website, notification of my mailing list and friends on social sites. I also plan to request a spread in the local paper and some promotional videos to post on the Internet. I might be able to get some coverage in the Rochester papers as well.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a good start. Anything else?
JOE: Perhaps, but this weekend I would like to catch my breath before going further. Talk with you Monday.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(My writing desk)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I'm anxious to know how you made out with your book.
JOE: You will be happy to know that I have solved the problem. I now have correct pagination and a working index in Navigating Life.
CALLIOPE: Congratulations. How did you do it?
JOE: Trial and error. I don't think Word has entirely clear directions.
CALLIOPE: What was the problem?
JOE: The section break seemed to be causing the problem. I had to format it in a certain way and then suddenly everything worked.
CALLIOPE: Great. Is the book ready for publication?
JOE: I want to look it over and possibly make a few minor changes.
CALLIOPE: Such as?
JOE: I realized from the index that the book is more spiritual than I had thought. I want to make that clear in the Prologue and in the back cover text.
CALLIOPE: Do you mean religious.
JOE: No. There is a distinction between religious and spiritual and I want to make that clear.
CALLIOPE: We should talk about that more.
JOE: How about tomorrow? See you then.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Old San Juan- Puerto Rico)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I missed you yesterday.
JOE: Sorry I didn't make it. I had an early breakfast with my daughter.
CALLIOPE: All day?
JOE: Well, no. When I got back I decided to work on finishing Navigating Life before we talked.
CALLIOPE: And?
JOE: I worked until late at night and never did finish.
CALLIOPE: How far did you get?
JOE: The cover is ready. No small feat. I used a template from my last book.
CALLIOPE: And the text?
JOE: I have it in a form I would like. But I still have one little problem.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE: I can't seem to get the pagination and index to work together. I seem to have a choice of one or the other but not both.
CALLIOPE: What do you plan to do about that?
JOE: I'm not sure. I have been working on it for quite a while but no success yet. I have a book and a CD on Office 2003 which includes my version of Word. I plan to research this and see if I can solve the problem. Otherwise the book is ready to go. Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Caribbean Sunset)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine, but busy.
CALLIOPE: What have you been up to?
JOE: Finishing up Navigating Life.
CALLIOPE: What did you work on yesterday?
JOE: I figured out how to make an index. It's the first time I have done one.
CALLIOPE: How did it turn out?
JOE: Good so far. I have some editing to do on it but it is progressing.
CALLIOPE: What's up for today?
JOE: First I want to finish the index which I think I can.
CALLIOPE: And then?
JOE: I have the cover to produce. I also plan to convert the book to a PDF to see how it will look in that format.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you are reaching the end. Any other projects on tap?
JOE: I just received book of photographs to review. I'm looking forward to it. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Lighthouse- Portugal Coast)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How was your weekend?
JOE: Busy. Carol and I did some shopping yesterday. I found a set of Bose speakers for my computer to enhance my many hours in front of the computer screen with listening to the radio stations I have created for myself through Pandora.com.
CALLIOPE: My sister Euterpe would be proud of you.
JOE: We also attended calling hours for the mother of Carol's coworker and dined out for our sixteenth anniversary of being together.
CALLIOPE: Did you have any time for your Navigating Life?
JOE: Yes. I worked hard on it on Saturday and had a little time yesterday as well.
CALLIOPE: How far did you get?
JOE: I finished reviewing the manuscript and worked on format as well as the table of contents. I am considering an index as well although I have never created one.
CALLIOPE: Good luck. What else awaits?
JOE: The only outside information was my Library of Congress Control Number which just arrived by email seconds ago. I still have the cover design to complete but have the template from The Pastor's Inferno which should save me quite a bit of time.
CALLIOPE: What did you decided about outside review?
JOE: Most of the text has already been reviewed for prior publication as columns. I think it's in pretty good shape.
CALLIOPE: Better read it one more time just in case.
JOE: I will. Talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Nina Replica)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Thank you but it's fading fast.
JOE: It is. I have been a bit of a lazy bone this morning. I got watching the movie Kramer vs. Kramer. Yesterday I watched Marty.
CALLIOPE: Into old movies?
JOE: To some extent. But I have been wondering what makes movies and books successful and was doing a little research on the side.
CALLIOPE: Why this sudden interest?
JOE: James Bell's book, Revision and Self Editing prompted me to pay more attention to successful works and approach them from a critical stance.
CALLIOPE: That seems like a good idea. Are you taking notes?
JOE: I did yesterday with Marty and realized movies are not what they used to be.
CALLIOPE: How do you see them as being different now?
JOE: There seems more emphasis on being slick, fast moving and plot driven rather than character driven.
CALLIOPE: Good observations. How does that affect your approach to writing?
JOE: I'm still evaluating it. I realize what people are used to in movies as well as books. Still I am not sure there is much substance left in most newer works.
CALLIOPE: So what do you plan to do?
JOE: Incorporate some of the more glitzy approaches while making sure my work still has substance. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Incan road- Cozumel)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Doing well. I worked on reviewing Navigating Life yesterday a little at a time and should have it finished in a few days.
CALLIOPE: How is it coming?
JOE: Pretty good. I realized I had forgotten to include a story I wrote about discovering you and added it yesterday.
CALLIOPE: Thank you. Any discoveries?
JOE: I don't know about discoveries. I stopped to think about my writing in the middle of my revision and realized a few things.
CALLIOPE: Such as?
JOE: I came to see how repetitious I am at times and how I add tentative qualifiers to most of my statements. I am working on being more definite.
CALLIOPE: What do you suppose that is about?
JOE: I think I don't want to offend or stir up any of my readers.
CALLIOPE: Is that such a bad thing?
JOE: No. That's why I write in the first place. I'm not sure what I have been afraid of. If readers challenge what I say, at least I got them thinking.
CALLIOPE: Good point.
JOE: Thanks. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Lightship- New Bedford)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: A little bleary.
CALLIOPE: Too much proofreading?
JOE: Exactly. I don't usually do this much concentrated reading in one day.
CALLIOPE: How did you approach it?
JOE: I divided it into chapters and worked one at a time. Then I took a break to rest my brain and eyes.
CALLIOPE: How far did you get?
JOE: I have finished the first four chapters. It seems like slow going.
CALLIOPE: Slower than other tasks?
JOE: It seems so. It was easier selecting columns and pasting them into the manuscript. Now I am poring over words and grammar to make sure it sounds right.
CALLIOPE: That does seem like work. Have you come to any decision about outside readers?
JOE: I am leaning toward putting out a request to my column list to see if anyone is interested. I haven't done it yet but think I might.
CALLIOPE: What's keeping you?
JOE: I'm not sure. But I'm getting on with my own revision and need to make a decision soon. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Ernestina- New Bedford)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Ready for more work.
CALLIOPE: What did you accomplish yesterday?
JOE: I completed all the tasks for Navigating Life except final reading and I started on that.
CALLIOPE: Did you decide on outside readers?
JOE: No. I haven't come up with anyone to ask yet but am still thinking about it.
CALLIOPE: Did you have any trouble thinking of introductions to the book and to the various sections?
JOE: No, it all went smoothly. I also found a painting my son Peter did which I am thinking about using for the cover.
CALLIOPE: Have you showed it to anyone?
JOE: To Carol. She liked it. That's a good sign.
CALLIOPE: Any other progress yesterday?
JOE: I looked through James Bell's book Revision and Self Editing. I think it will be quite useful in reviewing Marital Property but it is geared to fiction and not specifically useful for Navigating Life.
CALLIOPE: I see. What's up for today?
JOE: More work reviewing Navigating Life. I plan to work a chapter at a time so I don't get bleary. I have a few other things to work on in between. Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Fishing boat- Dunkirk harbor)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Good. I felt like I accomplished quite a bit yesterday.
CALLIOPE: Details please.
JOE: I have all my selections in the right place and have the headings correctly formatted according to the table of contents I generated. I also wrote introductions to the book as a whole and to each section.
CALLIOPE: Good progress. What's next?
JOE: Proofing. I will read the whole manuscript out loud as I have done successfully in the past.
CALLIOPE: What about outside readers?
JOE: That's under consideration. I don't feel I can pay anyone for a professional reading right now as I would like to.
CALLIOPE: Who read for you in the past?
JOE: Carol and Gerry, both excellent at the job.
CALLIOPE: So what about them?
JOE: They are both familiar with most of the material in Navigating Life. I was interested in a fresh look.
CALLIOPE: Don't you have others you could ask?
JOE: I do. But I think they are all quite busy right now. I am afraid it might be an imposition, especially since I want to get the book in print for Christmas. I'll have to think about this further. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Oatka Creek through the reeds)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How was your weekend?
JOE: Very productive thank you.
CALLIOPE: What did you accomplish?
JOE: In addition to raking leaves, I finished most of the draft of Navigating Life.
CALLIOPE: What did you do specifically.
JOE: I started with the list of articles I wanted to include. Then I organized them into themes. I found quotes for all the articles and also added "life lab lessons" to the articles which didn't have them. I also generated a table of contents.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you made quite a bit of progress. What's left to do?
JOE: This week I plan to start with introductions to the chapters and to the book as a whole. I also want to review the chapter and topic headings to make sure they are both catchy and informative. I would also like to add suggested readings and possibly an index although I'm not decided on that.
CALLIOPE: Sounds ambitions. You plan to do all this in a week.
JOE: Yes. Then there is the proofreading. I would like to have someone do it quickly and thoroughly. Carol has already reviewed the articles but is willing to review the introductions as well. I am still considering another reader, but haven't decided on this.
CALLIOPE: It's probably a good idea.
JOE: I agree. However I would like to get the book in print by the beginning of December if possible.
CALLIOPE: You will have to decide between thoroughness and expediency.
JOE: You're right. Always a tough choice for me. Talk with you tomorrow

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

(Geese resting on Oatka Creek)
JOE; Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Just barely. I missed you yesterday.
JOE: It's nice to be missed. I got quite excited about the prospect of finishing my new book in time for Christmas and spent most of yesterday working on it.
CALLIOPE: You must be excited. Did you come up with a title?
JOE: The tentative title is Navigating Life: Reflections for the Voyage.
CALLIOPE: I like it. Tell me more.
JOE: It is a collection of columns I have written over the past few years. I found over a hundred I would like to include.
CALLIOPE: How will you organize them?
JOE: A fair question. I have sixteen categories and have grouped them according to them.
CALLIOPE: Will they all have the same format?
JOE: For the most part. They generally start with a relevant quotation and end with Life Lab Lessons.
CALLIOPE: Which are?
JOE: Practical suggestions for what to do about the reflection I have just offered.
CALLIOPE: Where did you get that idea?
JOE: I'm not sure. I think it occurred to me at one point that life reflections are not much practical use unless you do something about them. I offer some ideas. Talk with you on Monday.