Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. You seem to be running a tad late this morning.
JOE: Well, a little. I had planned to talk with you earlier. Then I remembered unfinished business from yesterday and decided to finish it first.
CALLIOPE: What was your business?
JOE: I had planned to deliver promotional materials to the Daily News for them to consider coverage of The Pastor's Inferno's release. I had to change my writing brochure to include my new logo and also print a copy of the Ten Reasons For and Against Reading The Pastor's Inferno.
CALLIOPE: I see. Speaking of which, have you had any further thoughts about the reasons.
JOE: I made a few minor changes in the wording and decided I can always change them in the future if need be. I have been planning a series of videos for YouTube and MySpace. I thought I would try one on the Ten Reasons as a practice run. If it turns out okay I will post it and consider some other videos.
CALLIOPE: Rather high tech these days, aren't we?
JOE: I suppose so. If you're not up to it, let me know and I'll try it on my own. But I would like your help.
CALLIOPE: I was thinking of the quote from Alexander Pope, "Be not the first by whom the new are tried, not yet the last to lay the old aside."
JOE: So what kind of a response is that?
CALLIOPE: Just to say I am with you in this relatively new adventure. We can both learn along the way and benefit from the experience of those who have proceeded us.
JOE: You're rather philosophical this morning.
CALLIOPE: Remember I have been around for a long time. Someone has to remember the old sayings.
JOE: Thanks for your contribution. On to the day's events.
(Westminster Abbey- London)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What have you been up to?
JOE: I decided to install Firefox browser yesterday and ended up taking quite a bit of time getting used to it and organizing my favorites, now known as bookmarks.
CALLIOPE: All well and good. How about your writing?
JOE: I did some editing of Marital Property yesterday. I also thought about the idea John Kremer mentioned in his blog for April 20 about listing reasons for and against buying my book. I was intrigued and gave it some thought but didn't get around to writing any reasons down until this morning.
CALLIOPE: So let's see what you came up with.
JOE: Okay. Ten reasons to buy The Pastor's Inferno are:
  1. Start to understand about how abusive priests think
  2. Take some of the mystery out of the abuse epidemic.
  3. Discover some of the influences on the development of abusive behavior.
  4. Learn how temptation seduces people to abandon their morals.
  5. Understand why moral values sometimes fail to control our behavior.
  6. See the relationship between pride and humility.
  7. Appreciate how people come to ask for help with their shortcomings.
  8. Explore the possibility of redemption.
  9. See how you can benefit from those willing to help, no matter what happened.
  10. Learn more about the human condition.

CALLIOPE: Very interesting. And how about reasons not to buy your book?
JOE: Here goes:
  1. I don't want to even think about evil.
  2. Abusive priests should be punished, not understood.
  3. It's not my problem.
  4. Who cares? The crisis is over anyway.
  5. There's nothing I personally can do about it.
  6. It's up to the pope and bishops to handle.
  7. These priests are hopeless. Lock them up and throw away the key.
  8. They don't deserve a chance for redemption.
  9. Counseling doesn't work for these people.
  10. It has nothing to do with how I live my life.
CALLIOPE: Wow. I'll have to reflect on those. What do you think other readers would make of them?
JOE: I'd love to know. If you run across any muses, or even people who have any reactions, please ask them to come here and share them with me.
CALLIOPE: I will. How about if we talk about this idea some more tomorrow after I've had a chance to think about it?
JOE: Fine with me. See you then.
(Outer gate- The Tower of London)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How did the short story context go Saturday?
JOE: Very well. As you may recall it was conducted by Writer's Weekly online. Just as promised, the them and expected number of words appeared in an an email promptly at 1:00 PM.
CALLIOPE: Then what?
JOE: I got right to work. It was a 24 hour contest, but I had my story finished., edited and submitted in three and a half hours.
CALLIOPE: What was the title?
JOE: The Child Bride.
CALLIOPE: Will I get to see it?
JOE: Eventually. I won't know for about a month how the contest works out. The magazine keeps first electronic rights and will publish the winners. After that, I should be free to publish the story and make sure you see it. I am quite proud of it and can't wait for you to see it.
CALLIOPE: I do have some idea what it's about.
JOE: I thought you might. It was very easy to write. I thought you might be whispering some suggestions in the background somewhere.
CALLIOPE: What else does a muse have to do on Saturday afternoon?
JOE: Well anyway, thanks.
CALLIOPE: What's up for today?
JOE: Editing Marital Property which I didn't get a chance to work on Saturday due to the contest. I also have a new marketing idea I learned from John Kremer.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE: I want to work on it for a while before I share it. I'll tell you tomorrow.
(Harbor- Cascais, Portugal)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Raring to go again.
CALLIOPE: You didn't tell me how you made out with the column you were working on.
JOE: I thought about it quite a while and finally decided I was ready to write it. I told you it was to be on priest sexual abuse. I have pondered this issue in the process of planning and writing The Pastor's Inferno. It was hard to distill into 500 words.
CALLIOPE: So what did you decide?
JOE: I focused on the aspect of the mystery of priest motivation for abuse and limited myself to exploring just this.
CALLIOPE: And were you happy with the result?
JOE: Yes. You can see it in the usual place on my Commonsense Wisdom website.
CALLIOPE: I'll look at it. What's up for today?
JOE: I have been making some new Internet friends this week in the various groups to which I belong. I want to get to know them a little better and might start this process today. I also want to continue responding to blogs as I find them of interest. I signed up for a 24 hour short story contest starting this afternoon through Writer's Weekly online magazine.
CALLIOPE: Have you ever participated in something like this before?
JOE: No. It will be a new experience but I'm looking forward to it.
CALLIOPE: Good luck.
JOE: Thanks. I'll let you know how it goes on Monday.

(Sunrise in Batavia, NY)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today.
JOE: Okay. I am starting to feel a little overwhelmed though. I have joined a number of writing and marketing groups all of which have active conversations. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with them all.
CALLIOPE: Maybe you have to be a little more selective.
JOE: I think you are right. It would probably be a full time job to correspond with all of them and leave me little time for writing and editing.
CALLIOPE: You do need to decide what is important.
JOE: Where have I heard that before? It brings to mind something Eckhart Tolle stresses, awareness being more important than thinking.
CALLIOPE: Care to elaborate?
JOE: He talks of identifying with you thinking as a distraction. If you think you are your thinking, you can get lost in it. Actually we are our awareness which includes awareness of our thinking, and seeing it as separate from who we are.
CALLIOPE: A rather deep topic. It bears some reflection.
JOE: That's his point. But not reflection in terms of ideas or words but just being with things, ideas or emotions and just experiencing them.
CALLIOPE: So how do you balance that with writing? Doesn't that necessarily involve words?
JOE: I guess I'm not sure and it does to answer your two questions. Maybe it is important to be with events, feelings or thoughts first in an experiential and nonjudgmental way and then write about the experience if proves useful to do so.
CALLIOPE: Where did you learn all this?
JOE: Tolle recently wrote a book called The New Earth which has been the topic of ongoing podcasts with Oprah. I have been watching them with Carol and was prompted to reread his earlier book, The Power of Now. Both books seem to be talking about meditation with which I struggled in my monastic days. Now I am starting to understand it. Talk with you tomorrow.

(Me as a monk)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you this morning.
JOE: Again I have been busy early.
CALLIOPE: What is occupying your brain in the wee hours?
JOE: I have a column to write for the Daily News and decided to write it on priest sexual abuse.
CALLIOPE: What prompted that?
JOE: The pope's remarks as well as frequent articles on the subject in the papers.
CALLIOPE: What do you plan to say?
JOE: I want to talk about what I think has been left out of the discussion.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE: The whole issue of what explains why priests, or anyone else for that matter, might engage in sexual abuse.
CALLIOPE: Why priests specifically?
JOE: Statistics I have seen suggest that priests abuse at about the same rate as other men in the general population. But they are vowed to celibacy and consciously choose to renounce sexual expression as a way to free them to concentrate on their ministry. Yet this does not seem to diminish their abuse to a point any lower than the rest of the population.
CALLIOPE: So what is your point?
JOE: I think that in order to find an appropriate response to sexual abuse, whether among priests or others, it is important to understand why it happens. People can speculate about it, but the motivation lies in the thoughts, perceptions and emotions as well as behavioral control of those who engage in such practices. So far no one has been willing to explore this issue with priests although there has been some attempt to interview other abusers. My book, The Pastor's Inferno, was designed to stir up some conversation about the issue but so far no one seems to want to talk about the whys. I guess I'll just keep trying to get some interest stirred up.
(Lisbon Skyline)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I've been expecting you.
JOE: Don't make it sound like I have abandoned you. Actually I was off in Rochester participating in an interesting study of the relationship between flu shots, arthritis and bio terrorist invasions. CALLIOPE: Do you understand the study?
JOE: Not really. But after all the help Strong Hospital Immunology program was to me with my arthritis in a former study, I am glad to help in any way I can.
CALLIOPE: I'm glad you are making a public contribution. So what's happening on the literary front?
JOE: I started with editing yesterday as I said I would. I'm glad I did. If I had put it off, I am sure I would never have gotten to it.
CALLIOPE: What else is going on?
JOE: I am continuing to explore MySpace and a number of groups for writers.
CALLIOPE: What kind of sites?
JOE: I found a critique group, Critique Circle Online Writing Workshop and have been exploring marketing forums for authors. There is quite a bit to choose from.
CALLIOPE: How will you decide what is useful?
JOE: I think I will follow the conversations for a while and also participate. Then I will see what is of most use to me. I am mainly interested in improving my writing and in marketing it. I will concentrate on those areas.
CALLIOPE: Sounds good.
JOE: I sometimes feel it is more than I can handle, but I'll do my best to keep up with it all. Talk with you tomorrow.

(19th Printing press- Genesee Country Village)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Excellent. I have been quite busy already this morning.
CALLIOPE: Doing what?
JOE: I was accepted for Critique Circle writers group and was busy listing my personal information as well as information about my writing.
CALLIOPE: What is the purpose of that group?
JOE: It is designed for writers to critique each others' writing and gain wider feedback than might be possible otherwise. So far I have been limited to asking people I know and the other members of my writing group at Lift Bridge Writers. I am looking forward to the input and also practice reviewing others' work.
CALLIOPE: Sounds interesting. Keep me posted. What about your editing of Marital Property?
JOE: To be honest, it was difficult yesterday to drag myself away from my marketing efforts and get busy on editing. I know I am trying for a balance, but I think my excitement about marketing has quite a strong pull despite my best intentions.
CALLIOPE: So, did you work on your novel or didn't you?
JOE: Sorry. Yes, I did at least for a while. Today, right after I get done with this posting, I will get busy on editing before delving again into marketing. I better get at it before the momentum fades. See you tomorrow.

(Plants anxious to get outside for the summer)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Ready for another week?
JOE: I guess. I have been making some changes but having trouble incorporating them. I have a new logo which I created yesterday.
CALLIOPE: I noticed. So you are doing a little drawing and painting as well as writing?
JOE: Yes. I thought I needed to do something a little different.
CALLIOPE: What else did you do yesterday?
JOE: Quite a bit of yard work with Carol. Later, I finally got to read the current issue of Writer's Digest and enjoyed finding a raft of websites related to writing. I will have to explore them when I get a chance.
CALLIOPE: When will that be?
JOE: Little by little. I will start with some editing of Marital Property this morning. As I mentioned last week, my editing work tends to end up on the back burner with all my excitement about marketing. Sometimes is is hard to keep a balance.
CALLIOPE: I can't argue with you there. I'll try keeping you upright in you chair and your fingers in motion.
JOE: Thanks for the steadying influence.
CALLIOPE: What else is on the docket this week.
JOE: It's time for another column. I was thinking of writing one about priest abuse in reaction to the Pope's comments the other day.
CALLIOPE: That's a bit controversial, isn't it?
JOE: I suppose so. But this is an issue I have been thinking about for some time and just finished Marital Property about this issue. I think it's about time I said something public about the issue. Guess I had better get on with it. See you tomorrow.

(Lillian Hellman's Cabana- Aquinnah, Martha's Vineyard)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Running a little late today?
JOE: Just trying to catch my breath. The whole week has been extremely busy and I'm just catching my breath.
CALLIOPE: So tell me about yesterday.
JOE: I had to drive to Tonawanda to do a psychological evaluation. I had lunch with my son and helped him set up his Internet connection and then worked a little on marketing and editing.
CALLIOPE: What are you working on specifically?
JOE: Making connections. I started exploring MySpace to look for other writers and groups which might fit my needs.
CALLIOPE: Sounds time consuming.
JOE: It is. There is quite a bit to wade through to find what I want. But I think I will get better at it with experience.
CALLIOPE: Did you find some interesting people?
JOE: A few. Some of the marketing people I know are listed and I worked on connecting with them.
CALLIOPE: Good. Any work on you novel?
JOE: Yes, I did some editing of Marital Property yesterday but I think I need a little more scheduling. I seem to get lost in marketing and run out of time.
CALLIOPE: Maybe you need to do the editing first.
JOE: Good suggestion. I will try it next week. I think it would help to be a little fresher when I am concentrating on my manuscript. I have plenty to do this weekend. I think I will get going. Talk with you Monday.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: In high gear. it has been a very busy week and today does not look any quieter.
CALLIOPE: How was the training conference yesterday?
JOE: Interesting. I was looking for some more marketing ideas. Most of the ones mentioned were already familiar to me. I guess I am beginning to know my way around the Internet marketing field, at least a little.
CALLIOPE: Did you learn anything?
JOE: Yes, but it was a bit of a surprise. I learned what was important to me. The focus of the training was on making money. One point early in the presentation was that your book was one of the least important elements and that it was leverage for making real money. I realized that I am not in this for the money. I would not mind earning some from my writing but my main focus is on what I have to say.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE: My mission is to help readers understand themselves and their impact on others. I realize I need to do marketing to make people aware of my writing and also meet my expenses along the way.
CALLIOPE: Noble of you. How do you balance your communication and the business aspects of writing?
JOE: Good question. I have been thinking about that one for quite a while. There have been times I have been tempted to try writing something which would make a lot of money. Then I realized this was a distraction from what my writing is really about. I am struggling to keep a balance and stay focused. I wonder if there are other writers with this same dilemma. I would like to hear from them.
CALLIOPE: So what are you up to today?
JOE: I am off to Tonawanda shortly to do a police candidate evaluation, one of the few remaining psychological tasks I have. Then I will be back at the computer exploring the writing world and my place in it.
CALLIOPE: Any specific goals for today?
JOE: Yes. I have been planning to design a logo for my writing and plan to at least start working on it today. Time for work. Talk with you tomorrow.

(Sitting in Herman Melville's pew- Seaman's Bethel, New Bedford, MA)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good afternoon Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon Joe. I thought you had deserted me.
JOE: No. This is just one of these days. I had an early morning meeting on criminal justice this morning. and just got back.
CALLIOPE: What was it about?
JOE: Cybernet crime, especially concerning sexual predators.
CALLIOPE: Is this a particular interest of yours?
JOE: Not exactly. Sexual predators are as you know from my novel The Pastor's Inferno. I was interested to see if anyone had any understanding of them which has escaped me.
CALLIOPE: And did they?
JOE: It never came up although I did add it to my suggestions f0r future programs.
CALLIOPE: Anything else of interest.
JOE: I talked with a judge who was interested in reading The Pastor's Inferno and might be willing to write a review.
CALLIOPE: That would be helpful. What about yesterday.
JOE: I was busy with Internet marketing and ended the day with in extended conversation with Phil Davis of Authorsonthenet.
CALLIOPE: No editing yesterday?
JOE: No I didn't get to it. I don't think I will today either. I have an Internet training call at 2:00 with Steve Harrison and hope to gain more information about Internet marketing. I also joined Nothing Binding, a site for writers, and Facebook for marketing purposes. I had better run. It's almost time for my call. See you tomorrow.
(West Chop Lighthouse, Martha's Vineyard)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I hope you are well, but I have a bone to pick with you.
JOE: I am well. What is your bone?
CALLIOPE: You said you would share your column with me and I am still waiting.
JOE: Sorry. Rather than post the whole thing here, I will just leave a link for you, It's called Stop Making Problems of Life Situations. If it would make you feel better, I can start leaving you links whenever I publish a new column. Would that make you feel better?
CALLIOPE: It would. Now, on to what your are up to today?
JOE: Yesterday I did some editing of Marital Property. I must admit my mind has been more on marketing lately. I decided to set up a separate MySpace page for my publishing company, Sliding Otter Publications.
CALLIOPE: How did that go?
JOE: I was happy with what came out of it after reading Dennis Prince's book, How to Make Money on MySpace. But I had trouble activating my new account for some reason. Maybe it was too close to my personal page. In any case, I decided this morning to combine the two pages into one. I think that would be simpler. I am happy with the results.
CALLIOPE: Can I see it?
JOE: Of course, it's at See what you think.
CALLIOPE: Now what?
JOE: The next step is to start looking for friends, people on MySpace who might be interested in what I am doing. I will start the search today.
CALLIOPE: Busy, busy, busy. Anything else going on?
JOE: That's about it for now. But of course I will keep you posted. Talk with you tomorrow.
(Spring- Batavia, NY)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today.
JOE: Working hard.
CALLIOPE: Doing what?
JOE: Mostly further exploring Internet marketing. I worked on spiffing up my MySpace page yesterday and think I have it about the way I want it.
CALLIOPE: What else do you have to do to it?
JOE: I would like to add some video about my books and forthcoming teen book project. I will have to do a little work on the technology though.
CALLIOPE: Where do you think you can find that?
JOE: I saw a section at but haven't had a chance to explore it yet.
CALLIOPE: Do you think you can do it?
JOE: I don't see why not. I have a digital video camera and have made windows movies as well as converted them to DVD movies. I am hoping that is enough knowledge. I guess I will have to see.
CALLIOPE: Good luck. It sounds like a challenge.
JOE: Maybe. But I seem up for a few challenges today.
CALLIOPE: Did you get to work on your editing.
JOE: Yesterday I edited a few more chapters and am now up to Ch. 15 in Marital Property.

It gives me a little variety from Internet marketing although I like both. Time to get back to work. talk with you tomorrow.
(Alley's Store- Up Island, Martha's Vineyard)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Ready for another week?
JOE: Yes, but I have already been quite busy this week. I read about marketing most of the weekend and feel like I am starting to have my marketing plan come together. I also found a couple useful books.
CALLIOPE: Such as?
JOE: Well, I decided that MySpace and this blog should form two of the main pillars of my marketing approach. I found a good book by Dennis Prince, called How to Make Money with MySpace. I have registered there and started a site with my blog included. But I am finding the approach for marketing is different from a personal page on MySpace. I'll have to make some changes. I also found a book by Jeremy Wright called Blog Marketing.
CALLIOPE: Does that mean we will have to make some changes in our blog site?
JOE: We'll see. Right now I'm concentrating first on MySpace which is more of a mystery to me than blogging. By the way, Phil Davis left us a nice note yesterday and will mention us in his blogs. I hope you don't mind if we have a few visitors.
CALLIOPE: The more the merrier. I was getting to feel it was a little lonely with just the two of us here.
JOE: I guess we could use a little help in our efforts. I would not mind some visitors either. Let's see what develops.
CALLIOPE: How are you coming with Marital Property?
JOE: I had time to edit a few more chapters on Saturday. I am up to Chapter 13 now and am still trying to balance time for marketing and editing. I'm pretty busy these days.
CALLIOPE: That's what you get for retiring from psychology.
JOE: I am glad to be this busy. I know people who retire and then just sit in a chair. Not for me.
CALLIOPE: Me either. I'm glad we have a lot to work on.
JOE: Me too. I'm glad you're sharing this journey with me. Enough of the mutual admiration for today. We've got work to do.
(Rocky Mountains- View from Estes Park, Colorado)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Busier than ever.
CALLIOPE: What did you get done yesterday?
JOE: I worked most of the day on my marketing plan. Strange to say, I felt disorganized about making my plan and it took quite a while.
CALLIOPE: How did it turn out?
JOE: I got a good start. I developed some goals I thought were realistic and measurable, identified a target audience, and developed some strategies.
CALLIOPE: Is it finished?
JOE: No. I am still exploring tactics to decide which ones I will use. I also need to understand my target audience a little more to know what they want and what would attract them. Then I will try to match tactics to my audience to fill out my strategies.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you have thought it out pretty well.
JOE: I can't take all the credit for it. I learned a great deal from Phil Davis and the marketing plan information he has posted at I am very grateful for his work and for the first time feel like I have some direction in my plan.
CALLIOPE: Will you use the same plan for all of your books?
JOE: No. Since they include an inspirational book, a memoir and a novel, I think they will have to be tailored quite differently. The target audience might vary widely as well.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you are making good progress.
JOE: I think I am. This weekend I will work more on my target audience and understanding the various tactics available and working toward matching the two. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you this morning.
JOE: Raring to go. I've already added new friends through Writer's Cafe and responded to some reviews of stories I posted there yesterday. It is heartening.
CALLIOPE: What's the best thing about all this?
JOE: Being in contact with writers who appreciate what I write and from whom I can learn by the example of their writing. It's good to be part of a community after working alone for so long.
CALLIOPE: There certainly is something to be said for it. I can't be your total inspiration.
JOE: I don't expect you to be. But I do appreciate you. I just heard from another writer who hates his muse. I wonder if it could really be a muse or perhaps a harpie or some other vile creature.
CALLIOPE: Perhaps. He should complain and get a proper muse.
JOE: I thought so too and told him the same thing. I have been working on a marketing plan for my writing.
CALLIOPE: Is it done yet?
JOE: Not quite. I think the elements are coming together. My mentors at suggest "a written goal, a strategy to support that goal and tactics to use to execute the strategy." I am working on getting that together and plan to have it finished by tomorrow.
CALLIOPE: Will you keep me posted.
JOE: Yes. I don't know if I will have it completed by the time we chat tomorrow but I'll be sure to let you know how it's coming.
CALLIOPE: Thanks. I would appreciate that.
JOE: I have plenty to do today and better get at it. See you tomorrow.
(Butterfly Museum- Niagara Falls, Ontario)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Excellent. Also excited.
JOE: I feel like I am making some progress with marketing. I have been working on a plan as outlined in the information on It feels good to finally be getting organized.
CALLIOPE: I suppose it does. Fortunately I don't have to worry about it. I am strictly in the creativity department.
JOE: I guess I have to rely on myself and other mortals in this endeavor. I have been exploring and posting my works on free sites and also making contacts with other writers on the Writers Cafe and Writers Marketing Network websites. I am beginning to wonder whether I will need to limit this activity or whether it will regulate itself.
CALLIOPE: I can't help you there. Maybe you should just see how it goes for a while. What did you get accomplished yesterday?
JOE: I wrote a column with no trouble at all about how to stop making problems of life situations based on Tolle's Book, The Power of Now.
CALLIOPE: I assume I can read it in the usual place.
JOE: Yes. Saturday on my website Please do and let me know what you think.
CALLIOPE: What are you up to today?
JOE: I don't have anything out of the ordinary planned. I will work on editing Marital Property and also continue pursuing marketing connections and my marketing plan.
CALLIOPE: That should keep you busy for today.
JOE: It should. If there is a lull I might do a little painting as well. As some emailers and instant messagers say, TTFN.

(Recorder Group-Richmond Library- Batavia, NY)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine and ready to go. I am planning a trip to the Strong Play Museum with my grandson for his birthday today to see the Grossology exhibit. So I'm not sure how much time I will have for literary pursuits.
CALLIOPE: Grandchildren are important too. Have fun with him. How about yesterday?
JOE: I was quite busy. I started working on a comprehensive marketing plan I found at Authors on the Net. I am excited about the prospects of getting organized.
CALLIOPE: Good. What else is going on?
JOE: I started corresponding with some other writers at Book Marketers' Network. I am starting to develop some contacts. As part of my marketing plan, I set a goal of fifty network contacts in the next three months. I also found time to edit a couple chapters of Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: You are busy. What's on deck for today in your limited time?
JOE: I have a column due Saturday and plan to do it on what I have been reading of Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now.
CALLIOPE: What did you like about his book?
JOE: I haven't finished it yet but was impressed by his statements that depression is associated with the past and anxiety with the future, while all we have to live in is the present. I thought it was a profound insight.
CALLIOPE: I can't wait to hear what you do with it.
JOE: I will post the column on my website on Saturday. Let me know what you think.
(Carol contemplating Lagoon Pond- Martha's Vineyard)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Excellent. I am feeling full of energy and ready to go.
CALLIOPE: To what do we owe the honor.
JOE: I had my last watercolor painting class last night and was quite satisfied with the nautical scene I painted. I think other forms of creative expression enliven my writing.
CALLIOPE: Good point. I hope that is true. I was a bit concerned about you not writing during the revision process for Marital Property.
JOE: I am too. I think it would be safe to say I am still writing even though new ideas are not the focus. In working on the manuscript yesterday, I was able to find some more creative and specific ways of stating what I had in the initial draft. It still feels creative to me.
CALLIOPE: I can't argue with that. I still wonder whether it would be a good idea for you to keep up writing for ideas.
JOE: I think I am keeping my hand in. I still have my biweekly column to write and got out the materials for Commonsense Wisdom for Teens yesterday. I could always work on that or possibly do an occasional short story to keep the wheels from getting rusty.
CALLIOPE: Now we're talking. I guess I would like to see you keep creative writing as part of your daily work rather than just spending the next few months on revision.
JOE: I can't argue with you. I will consider this and see if I can incorporate it into my plan.
CALLIOPE: What plan?
JOE: I am trying to balance revision, creative writing and marketing in my daily schedule. I could use more hours in the day, especially when I have outside commitments as well. Still, I will work to do my best to incorporate all this into the hours I have. Speaking of which, it's time to get to work. Talk with you tomorrow.
(Swordfisherman monument- Menemsha, Martha's Vineyard)

Monday, April 07, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How was your weekend?
JOE: Good. In addition to losing three pounds last week while successfully negotiating parties and cakes, I got to work on some reading yesterday.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about it.
JOE: I continued reading Eckhart Tolle's book, The Power of Now. I am watching his series with Oprah and decided to reread his other book.
CALLIOPE: What have you discovered?
JOE: He presents a way of looking at and living life which frees us from guilt about the past and anxiety about the future. His ideas fit nicely with mine about commonsense wisdom.
CALLIOPE: Are you thinking of using this in your marketing?
JOE: Yes. I think it would not hurt to make the connection between what he has to say, what I have to say and also what Teilhard de Chardin and Thomas Berry have said.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like quite a group.
JOE: It is. I don't have the fame or reputation any of these other authors have but I feel a kinship with them and it is good to have them in my company.
CALLIOPE: Maybe they will inspire you to keep doing what you are doing.
JOE: They already have. Reading their works has helped me focus what is important to me and what I want to share with others.
CALLIOPE: How would you put your mission in a nutshell.
Joe: My mission is to help people look at themselves and their impact on others. I think I have been doing this in everything I have writes so far. Talk with you tomorrow.

(Paphiopedilum orchid)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine. It is starting to look and feel like Spring. It brightens my spirit and adds to the good feeling I have from finishing the draft of Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: Have you started with the editing yet?
JOE: I have read that it is best to let a book rest for a while after finishing a draft. I guess I'm anxious to get on with it. The beginning of the book has had plenty of time to rest. I'll work on the editing for a while and see how it goes.
CALLIOPE: What if it turns out it is too soon?
JOE: I can always put it aside and do more with Commonsense Wisdom for Teens which I was working on before.
CALLIOPE: Why did you stop working on this book?
JOE: I was getting a little frustrated. I talked with a publisher but we had trouble agreeing on how I should go about it. He wanted me to try to gather input from teens online and I had no idea how to go about it then. So I just put the book on the shelf.
CALLIOPE: And now?
JOE: I have learned more about how to get input and am ready to renew my efforts.
CALLIOPE: Good luck.
JOE: Thanks. Things always turn out to be more effort than I thought. But I have plenty of stamina these days. And so to work. Talk with you Monday.

(Sunrise- Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Elated.
JOE: I sat down yesterday to write another chapter of Marital Property and could almost smell the ending of the book. I wrote until the last word was typed. Now I have a finished draft.
CALLIOPE: Congratulations. What's next?
JOE: Trying to stay in balance. I will start the editing process. I have already made corrections based on comments of the Lift Bridge Writers' Group to the six chapters I have read to them. Now is the process of crafting the right ambiance, characterization, phrases and words.
CALLIOPE: You sound excited about the prospect.
JOE: I am. I enjoy it. Even though I don't feel I know much about poetry, it seems to me that editing is more like poetry than fiction. I have to be very attentive to the nuances of each phrase and word in a way I don't when writing the story.
CALLIOPE: Good observation. Maybe you need to invoke some help from my sister muses.
JOE: I am happy with your input. If you would like to consult with them as we go along, I would appreciate all the help I can get.
CALLIOPE: Will do.
JOE: Thanks. Now on to the next phase.

(Menemsha Harbor-Lobster Pots-Martha's Vineyard)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's new today?
JOE: Actually it was new yesterday. I finally finished my chapter of Marital Property about the family's trip to Nantucket. It took me quite a while to write since I included many details of the island. I have been there a couple times and was quite distracted by all I was learning. I wanted to take off a few days and visit.
CALLIOPE: When do you leave?
JOE: Not right now. I prefer going there in the Fall, although we have other plans this year. It is down to Gananaque, Ontario or Baden Baden, Germany.
CALLIOPE: Wow. Quite a choice. I will be interested to hear what you decide. What's going on closer to home?
JOE: Other than finishing the chapter, I have been working on marketing. I feel like my efforts have been rather scatter shot. But I did find a site, Book Marketing Network which looks quite promising. I have already made a few contacts.
CALLIOPE: How do you think your promotion efforts are going?
JOE: Like I said, scatter shot. I don't feel I have a consistent strategy and have a great many ideas floating around in my head. I think I need to get focused and plan to work on this in the next week or so.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a good idea.
JOE: Glad you agree. I am also starting to think about my next project.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE: Return to my nonfiction book, Commonsense Wisdom for Teens. I plan to seek input from teens on MySpace. But that's a whole other project. I guess I better get to today's work. Talk with you tomorrow.

(Great Point Lighthouse- Nantucket)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: My mind is full. I met with my fellow Lift Bridge Writers last night and had a good discussion of print on demand publishing, publicity, platforms and even got to read a couple chapters of Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: Have you been working on the book?
JOE: Yes. I wrote part of the Nantucket chapter but am busy incorporating all I learned about the island. It takes extra time. My couple is still wandering about Nantucket enjoying their visit.
CALLIOPE: Good. What's on the docket for today?
JOE: As soon as we finish writing, I plan to return to Nantucket and continue explorations with the family. Their tale is nearing the end and I am looking forward to the revision process.
CALLIOPE: What brought that up?
JOE: When I read from my original draft last night, I realized how much work there is to do in making it more immediate, accessible and specific. It's always a challenge.
CALLIOPE: I'm glad you enjoy it. Anything else you are up to?
JOE: I was exploring Google Mail yesterday and discovered Google Reader. I have been looking for a good news aggregator. Windows doesn't seem to do a very good job. I have been assembling useful sources of information for publishing and for publicity of The Pastor's Inferno.
CALLIOPE: Never a dull moment.
JOE: Certainly not. Time to get to work. Talk with you tomorrow.
(Brant Point Lighthouse- Nantucket)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Conversations with Calliope

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you this morning?
JOE: Fine. I'm ready to get to work.
CALLIOPE: What have you been working on?
JOE: Mostly marketing yesterday. In the afternoon I sat down to write my Nantucket chapter of Marital Property. I looked over my research notes on Nantucket and came up with some other questions. I spent the rest of my time finding out about the fascinations of Nantucket and never got to writing.
CALLIOPE: What about today?
JOE: I just have decide where the family will have dinner and will then write the chapter. It is first on my agenda this morning.
CALLIOPE: Then what?
JOE: I am starting to think about the ending. I think I am approaching it but don't have any firm ideas about how it should end yet. But I'll think of something.
CALLIOPE: I'll give it some thought too. Maybe we can talk about it tomorrow.
JOE: I'd like that.
CALLIOPE: What's up after writing today?
JOE: I have an appointment this afternoon and my writers' meeting tonight in Brockport. Other than that I plan to continue working on marketing. Talk with you tomorrow.

(Nantucket harbor)