Saturday, January 31, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Newsletter Launch

(Otter at Play- Photo courtesy of

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Ready to relax.
CALLIOPE: From what?
JOE: A busy week of working on my writing and its business aspects. I'm sure my friend Gerry would think I am going overboard with it.
CALLIOPE: What did you accomplish this week?
JOE: I overhauled my website at, put the finishing touches on my free newsletter, Sliding Otter News, whose inaugural issue goes out today, sent a column to The Daily News. Those are the major things.
CALLIOPE: You have been busy. Why the newsletter?
JOE: I have been sending copies of my column to people around the country. I thought It was about time I formalized it and used it as a way to communicate with people interested in my writing.
CALLIOPE: I see. Now what?
JOE: It's time to relax, at least a little.
CALLIOPE: I guess you earned it. How will you relax?
JOE: I am planning a week in the Caribbean on a cruise.
CALLIOPE: Will I hear from you during the trip?
JOE: Good question. I'll try to keep in touch but no promises. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Sliding Otter Website

(Otter at Play- photo courtesy of

JOE: Good Morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What news?
JOE: I shared with you my recent reading of Seth Godin's books, The Purple Cow and All Marketers are Liars.
JOE: I have been learning ways to make websites more interesting and accessible to visitors.
CALLIOPE: I'm with you.
JOE: I have been working on a redesign of my website.
CALLIOPE: What have you come up with?
JOE: The current incarnation is available at
CALLIOPE: Is it finished?
JOE: I don't know. I will try it for a while and see what response it gets.
CALLIOPE: It will be interesting to see how it compares to your other site, www.commonsense
JOE: It will. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- The Aging Purple Cow

(Original Wall- Tower of London)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: I'm fine other than being a little sore from shoveling mounds of snow.
CALLIOPE: That's what you get for living in Western New York. You have a rather intriguing title for our discussion today.
JOE: You noticed. I suppose you would like an explanation.
CALLIOPE: Indeed I would.
JOE: Okay. I have been reading two books recently, Seth Godin's Purple Cow and Joan Chittister's The Gift of Years.
CALLIOPE: What do the two have in common?
JOE: Not much on the surface. Godin's book is about marketing and how what works is being unique and appealing to those who appreciate your uniqueness. Chittister's book is about reevaluating aging, looking at as the freedom to be creative after the demands of earlier life are relaxed.
CALLIOPE: Got it. So what's the connection?
JOE: I'm working on marketing for my writing and also not getting any younger. Aging is an opportunity to let my uniqueness shine without worrying so much about what people will think about it. It's a freeing idea.
CALLIOPE: What do you plan to do about it?
JOE: Stop censoring my ideas so much and start making better use of the unique insights I have gained over the years.
CALLIOPE: Sounds good.
JOE: Stay tuned. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Moving Right Along with Web Development

(Fishing Boat- Dunkirk Harbor)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What news?
JOE: Not a lot. I was out for yoga and shopping most of the day yesterday.
CALLIOPE: All day yoga?
JOE: No. Just an hour and a half. The rest was running around.
CALLIOPE: Doing what?
JOE: Exploring internet hosting, web development and e-mail accounts.
CALLIOPE: What did you discover?
JOE: I either need to learn how to do these things myself or pay to have them done.
CALLIOPE: Was that any surprise?
JOE: Not really. Nobody does much for free these days.
CALLIOPE: So what will you do?
JOE: Follow my usual approach.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE: Try to figure out what to do on my own through research and asking for suggestions. If that doesn't work, I will have to bite the bullet and get out my my wallet. Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Conversations with Calliope-Newsletter

(Sea Lions- Pier 39, San Francisco)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: A little sluggish.
JOE: Hard to tell. Sometimes I get off to little slower start. Today is one of these days.
CALLIOPE: What are you up to today?
JOE: Now that I have my column on perfection finished for Saturday, I will turn to other matters. I have been thinking about a newsletter.
CALLIOPE: What are you thinking?
JOE: I have been sending my column to a growing list of people. I have considered making it into a newsletter with quotes, photos and writing news as well as the column.
CALLIOPE: Sounds interesting. Who would you invite?
JOE: People already on my mailing list as well as people I have met in various online groups and whom I have established as friends.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a good start. How are you doing otherwise with making people aware of your work?
JOE: I've been thinking about that too. I haven't done any local publicity for my book yet but have started exploring options for radio stations and the newspaper. I am also looking at a reader forum at church.
CALLIOPE: So at least the wheels are turning.
JOE: They are. Now I'm ready for the day. Thanks for listening. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Conversations with Calliope-Perfection and the Beam in Your Eye

(Muir Woods, California)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's this about a beam?
JOE: I was reading the newspaper yesterday and noticed all the criticisms people come up with regarding public figures.
CALLIOPE: Including our new president?
JOE: Especially him. It seems some are looking for any flaws they can find.
CALLIOPE: And the above title?
JOE: I was reminded of the bible passage, "Why do you see the speck in your brother's eye but fail to see the beam in your own eye?"
CALLIOPE: I see. Where are you going with this?
JOE: I plan to use this theme for the column I am writing this week.
CALLIOPE: What will be the message?
JOE: Take care of your own business before looking at others' shortcomings.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a good focus. Good luck with it.
JOE: Thanks. I've got a lot to do today. Time to get to work. Talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Sending My Book to the President

(West Chop Lighthouse- Martha's Vineyard)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: A little cold with the weather around here but I'm at least warming up my fingers typing.
CALLIOPE: What are you busy typing?
JOE: Other than our discussion, the next item on my agenda is a letter to accompany the copy of Navigating Life I am sending to President Obama.
JOE: You sound surprised.
CALLIOPE: Isn't that a bit presumptuous?
JOE: I don't think so.
CALLIOPE: How come?
JOE: In his inaugural address the president said, "On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord."
CALLIOPE: I'm not sure how that fits in with your sending him your book.
JOE: The whole point of my book is to encourage people to look at the meaning of their lives and how they affect others. I want to let him know that I am working toward the goal he has set for us and which we have set by electing him.
CALLIOPE: I see. Then what?
JOE: I will continue pursuing this goal through my writing in whatever form it takes. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Social Marketing

(Schooner- St. John)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: A little befuddled.
JOE: In my attempts to understand the marketing world, I seem to understand less the more I read.
CALLIOPE: Any specific concerns?
JOE: I've been pursuing social marketing as I understand it. I see some people using internet contacts merely as a way to peddle their wares and solicit customers.
CALLIOPE: What's your approach?
JOE: I would like to interest others in what I do but also want to share with them what I have learned about life and work together for the common good.
CALLIOPE: Sounds noble. How do you go about it?
JOE: I try to make sure my posts are of benefit to those I address rather than just asking them for something.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about your befuddlement.
JOE: I am starting to make a fair number of contacts. The problem is that I'm not sure I can keep up with them all. Many of them are just names at this point.
CALLIOPE: So what's your plan?
JOE: That's just it. I don't have one. In theory I would like to be selective about which groups I belong to so I can be an active part of the ones I choose. I wonder how others approach this concern and would like to hear from them. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Life and Writing Priorities

(Oatka Geese)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. You mentioned Joan Chittister's book yesterday. Any further thoughts about what she has to say?
JOE: I haven't finished reading The Gift of Years yet but so far I have read about her thoughts on the challenges and fears of growing old and look forward to reading her thoughts about the opportunities.
CALLIOPE: What do you think got you interested in this topic?
JOE: I just celebrated ( I was going to say "had") my sixty-sixth birthday. It seems like it crept up on me. Joan would say that people perceive us as old even if we don't feel old.
CALLIOPE: Do you feel old?
JOE: Not really. I have some difficulty with arthritis which I never had when I was younger.
CALLIOPE: So you're doing okay physically?
JOE: I can't complain.
CALLIOPE: What about psychologically?
JOE: I feel released from family and work responsibilities and able to set my own direction without anyone else getting upset about it. That's a freeing feeling.
CALLIOPE: What are you going to do with it?
JOE: I was thinking this morning that none of us knows how much life remains. There's no point fretting about it. Many people don't live as long as I have already.
CALLIOPE: So what challenge remains for you?
JOE: Right now, to use my writing to continue unfolding life's mysteries for myself and helping readers make the best of their lives for their benefit and that of others they encounter. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Golden Sexuality

Key West Sunset

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: I thought you took the day off.
JOE: Actually I was up before five, read the paper and went back to bed. I got back up and went shopping. Now I'm here.
CALLIOPE: Okay. I'll let it slide for today. Catchy title for today's blog. Care to explain it?
JOE: Okay. In my travels yesterday, I ended up at Preferred Care (health insurance) in Rochester yesterday afternoon for a presentation on the topic.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about it.
JOE: Eileen Merges, a psychologist from St. John Fisher College presided over a presentation and discussion of myths, perceptions and enhancements regarding sex for seniors.
CALLIOPE: Did you learn anything new?
JOE: I mostly confirmed what I had already learned in my psychology practice with couples, some of them older. We discussed the importance of communication critical to the success of any sexual relationship and expanding our definition of what constitutes sexual activity as well as hindrances and enhancements of senior sexuality.
CALLIOPE: What else?
JOE: I was surprised to see the rate of sexually transmitted diseases among seniors. Current patterns suggest that two and a half million people over 40 will contract an STD.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a worthwhile presentation. Have you been concerned about aging lately?
JOE: Of course. I'm not getting any younger.
CALLIOPE: Have you run across any good books on the topic.
JOE: I have found some not so good. One I thought was excellent was Joan Chittister's book, The Gift of Years: Growing Old Gracefully. She stresses the wisdom, freedom and prosperity of old age. She also sees this as "the time in which a whole new life is in the making again. The gift of these years is not merely being alive, it is the gift of becoming more fully alive than ever." I would recommend it to anyone facing older age or who has older relatives facing it. Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Daring to Hope

Lincoln Memorial)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Excited.
CALLIOPE: About the inauguration?
JOE: Of course. I became frustrated and worried about the direction we have been taking as a nation.
CALLIOPE: Do you think Obama can change our direction?
JOE: Not by himself of course. But he can bring new leadership, inspiration and example.
CALLIOPE: What do you dare to hope?
JOE: That we can start hearing, seeing and feeling each other and become connected in seeking common goals rather than each grabbing whatever we can without concern for each other.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a lot to hope for. Do you expect our whole nation to suddenly start acting concerned about each other rather than just themselves?
JOE: Of course not. Not everyone seems to accept that change is even possible. Some will keep grabbing what they can. Some will not even notice others in the same boat with them. Some have given up on doing anything different and will remain hopeless at least for the time being.
CALLIOPE: Then what is possible?
JOE: I think it's possible for those of us with hope to show how we care for each other and set a good example of the rest.
CALLIOPE: And you think that's possible?
JOE: I do and I plan to do my part to the extent I can through my writing. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Stories and Friendship

(Me as a monk)
JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How was your weekend?
JOE: Fairly calm. I enjoyed some cross country skiing and watching football.
CALLIOPE: Anything of a literary nature going on?
JOE: I've been thinking about stories, my theme song last week.
JOE: I told you I wanted to work on revising an article I wrote for possible inclusion in a new magazine, Two Words.
CALLIOPE: How did that work out?
JOE: I was very happy with the result. Interestingly, the editor was interested in a more personal approach.
CALLIOPE: Was that hard?
JOE: Not once I got to it. I think I tend to be somewhat impersonal an academic in my writing.
CALLIOPE: So how did it end up.
JOE: I told a story about when I left the monastery in 1965 and how I came to value friendships.
CALLIOPE: I'd like to see it.
JOE: I'd like to show it to you but since it's being considered for publication, I guess I can't right now. I'll let you know when it's ready for distribution. Talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Writing and Feelings

(Butterfly in a museum)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Anything exciting going on today?
JOE: Maybe, but not here. It's a quiet day and cold too. Carol and I did get out for some early morning cross country skiing.
CALLIOPE: Sounds adventurous of you.
JOE: We try to make the best of whatever comes our way. It seemed better to ski than to curse the coldness to paraphrase one of my favorite bible sayings.
CALLIOPE: Can't argue there. What else is going on?
JOE: I had lunch with a fellow Leroy writer yesterday, Bob Fussell.
CALLIOPE: How did that go?
JOE: Quite well. We have a fair amount in common in our life outlooks but have taken different tacks in our approaches to writing.
CALLIOPE: That's what makes life interesting.
JOE: I can't argue there.
CALLIOPE: What are you up to today?
JOE: I wrote an article for a new magazine which is still in the developmental stages.
JOE: As they develop, they are refining their focus. As a result they asked me to refine the piece I wrote for them.
CALLIOPE: How do you feel about that?
JOE: Okay. The longer I write the less sensitive I am to comments and suggestions about refining my writing. I plan to work on it today to see if I can adapt to their needs. They too were interested in my feelings and wanted a more feeling oriented piece. We shall see what emerges. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Podcasting

(Diverse Audience)
JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I wasn't sure I would hear from you today.
JOE: It turns out I was busy for a while.
CALLIOPE: So early? What were you up to?
JOE: I was engaged in a Podcast about my writing.
CALLIOPE: With whom?
JOE: John Murray for his now podcast series Rambling Verser, associated with Story Institute.
CALLIOPE: I see. How did it go?
JOE: Quite well. He sent me a series of questions he wished to explore and I was ready when he called.
CALLIOPE: Do you like having the questions ahead of time?
JOE: It made the interview much easier. I could concentrate on expressing myself rather than being nervous about what to say or what was coming next.
CALLIOPE: Did you get to say what you wanted to?
JOE: I did. I have had a little experience with podcasts in the past as well as a recorder interview about my writing. I think I am becoming much more comfortable with the process.
CALLIOPE: What did you learn from the experience today?
JOE: One of his questions was what made my readers unique? I hadn't thought much about this until he posed the question. I realized that my readers were thoughtful about their own lives and concerned about their effect on others. They also approach life from a spiritual perspective, which I define as "awakening to the goodness and joy for which you were created." Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Authentic Lies

(Wall sculpture- Santillana, Spain)
JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are things in the frozen north?
JOE: I'm making the best of it. I went cross country skiing yesterday. Fortunately, my brain isn't frozen.
CALLIOPE: Glad to hear it. What's rattling around there?
JOE: I keep thinking about what Seth Godin had to say about liars as marketing.
CALLIOPE: What are your current thoughts?
JOE: I think they are evolving. As I understood what him, he describes consumers as lying to themselves. Marketers do well when they resonate with consumers' lies.
CALLIOPE: How does that sit with you?
JOE: The word "lies" got my attention. But he also talks about being authentic in marketing. I am a little stuck with what looks to me like an oxymoron, authentic lying.
CALLIOPE: I see what you mean. Where are you going with it?
JOE: Toward the end of his book he admits he didn't quite mean lying. As I see it, people do have world views which they don't always put into words. I believe that people's world views are quite instrumental in shaping their response to marketing efforts and anything else which comes their way.
CALLIOPE: So where does that leave you?
JOE: I have come to realize that in order to be an effective in marketing my writing I need to understand the world views of my readers and how they relate to my writing.
CALLIOPE: Any specific thoughts on how to do this?
JOE: I'm still working on it. I'll tell you more tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Alpine Americas

(From Alpine Americas Cover)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Still thinking about how people's world views shape their perception of reality.
CALLIOPE: Sounds involved.
JOE: Not really. For example, focusing on nature's wonders can affect how you deal with the world.
CALLIOPE: Show me how.
JOE: Okay, I'll share with you a review I did recently. Here goes:

Alpine Americas: An Odyssey Along the Crest of Two Continents by Don Mellor and Olaf Soot, Horizon Editions, 2008.

Recently I had the opportunity to review Alpine Americas. I have always been more fascinated by the sea than by mountains, that is until this book arrived. I was immediately drawn to the grandeur, hidden recesses and inhabitants of the mountains which the authors took years to document in photos and words, based on their exploration on foot and by air. I was glad to see the wonders of the Denali Range which I hope to visit some day. I was surprised to find glorious photos of hidden mountain recesses from Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego.

I had not imagined such wonders existed. Exotic photos of these mountains matched my favorite sunsets over the Pacific Ocean. Tearing myself away from the photos long enough to read the text proved a challenge. When I finally succeeded, I was rewarded by glimpses of the peoples inhabiting the various ranges and their ways of life. I enjoyed meeting the explorers who discovered, mapped and photographed these environs which remain mysterious to most of us. I also relished up-close meetings with the wildlife and domestic animals in these high places. High mountain ranges always seemed to me lonely, desolate places. The text makes clear that most of them are not easy to access. Once you do, either in person or through this wondrous volume, the trip is well worthwhile. I closed the last page captivated and humbled by nature's vast spectacle.

While many of us are prone in our day to day life to lose sight of all but our personal microcosm, Alpine Americas helps us maintain a healthy respect for the glory of our hemisphere and a spiritual context in which to view our own small lives. I would highly recommend this book to anyone needing a reminder of the breathtaking environment we take for granted.

JOE: Reading Alpine Americas brought me out of my preoccupation with the writing grind and gave me a larger perspective on life.
CALLIOPE: Thanks for sharing your review.
JOE: You're welcome. Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Authentic Marketing

(Marketplace- Marigot, St. Martin)
JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Did you finish Seth Godin's book, All Marketers Are Liars?
JOE: I finished it this morning.
CALLIOPE: So what did you think?
JOE: It was a wake up call and challenged what I thought I knew about marketing.
JOE: I want to convey to my readers encouragement to live authentic lives by using their talents for good purposes.
CALLIOPE: So what's the problem?
JOE: I have been concerned that there are many people who don't care about living their lives this way but just want to grab what they can.
JOE: Godin encourages marketers and by extension writers to address people with a worldview consistent with their message rather than trying to change people with entrenched worldviews not open to their message.
CALLIOPE: How does this change your approach?
JOE: My goal will now be to speak effectively to those who are willing to listen rather than beating my head against a wall trying to interest those who think I'm crazy.
CALLIOPE: Sounds good to me.
JOE: Me too. I will get working on it today. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Marketing Lies

(Sculpture- Vigo, Spain)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Ready for another week?
JOE: Yes. I'm ready to go.
CALLIOPE: Did you finish Seth Godin's book, All Marketers are Liars yet?
JOE: Not yet. I'm about half way through it.
CALLIOPE: What do you think so far?
JOE: The title intrigued me. So did the picture on the front cover of Seth with a pinnochio nose attached.
CALLIOPE: Is that what got you to buy the book?
JOE: Mostly. I looked inside and thought the approach looked interesting.
JOE: I have been trying to approach marketing my books in a scientific way as if there were a logical way to go about it.
CALLIOPE: We muses don't get too involved in marketing. So it's not a scientific endeavor?
JOE: It doesn't seem to be. Seth's writing indicates that it is more an appeal to the emotions.
CALLIOPE: In what way?
JOE: When people consider buying something, they concern themselves more with whether having it reinforces their world view (lies they tell themselves) and confirms what they already think rather than due to benefits, features or anything else logical.
CALLIOPE: I never looked at it that way before.
JOE: Neither did I. But the more I read the more sense it makes. Talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Marketing Fantasies

(Sailing Sculpture- Charlotte Beach- Rochester, NY)
JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Up a little late this morning, aren't we?
JOE: At least I'm here.
CALLIOPE: What's going on in your head these days?
JOE: I've been thinking about the field of marketing, talking with people about it and reading.
CALLIOPE: What have you been reading?
JOE: Interesting you should ask. I was wandering around Borders with my brother a couple days ago and ran across Seth Godin's book, All Marketers Are Liars.
CALLIOPE: Sounds interesting.
JOE: It is. He poo-poos the idea that people respond to marketing efforts on the basis of features, benefits, or anything else tangible.
CALLIOPE: Then what does attract potential customers?
JOE: He believes that people respond to whatever matches the fantasies they already have.
CALLIOPE: Interesting idea.
JOE: Yes it is. I haven't finished the book yet but find the idea fascinating. I plan to read more of it this weekend.
CALLIOPE: Then what.
JOE: If it continues to make sense, I will rethink my fantasies about marketing and see what I might need to change. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Work and Socialization

(Butterfly in the trees)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Tell me about yesterday.
JOE: As I expected, I had little time to work on anything. I had to shovel my way out to go visit my brother in Rochester who is here on his visit from Hawaii.
CALLIOPE: What did he make of the snow?
JOE: It's the first he's seen in two years. He seems fascinated.
CALLIOPE: What else did you do?
JOE: We spent most of the day visiting at my mother's house and my aunt's and ended up in a bookstore at night.
CALLIOPE: Did you bring up your book in conversation?
JOE: It came up a couple times and I shared my experiences and the book itself with a few people.
CALLIOPE: How did you feel about doing it?
JOE: A little strange. I waited for quite a while for it to come up in conversation which it finally did.
CALLIOPE: What's your discomfort about?
JOE: I feel like I am in a sales rather than social conversation. It feels a little awkward. Still I hate to miss an opportunity to tell people about my writing since it is the main focus of my life right now.
CALLIOPE: Anything you can do about it?
JOE: I don't think so. I wear several hats as most people do. I guess it's just part of life. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Commonsense Wisdom- Good Fortune

(Cavorting with Carol at Mardi Gras World)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Feeling good. I had a pleasant surprise yesterday. I received some scratch off lottery tickets for my birthday. One of them left me a hundred dollars richer.
CALLIOPE: What do you plan to do with the money?
JOE: I am inviting Carol and her brother and sister in law who gave me the tickets out to dinner.
CALLIOPE: Don 't you have something more practical you can do with the money such as invest it in your publishing efforts?
JOE: That would be a possibility. However I believe in sharing good fortune. I am trying to think of others besides myself.
CALLIOPE: Noble of you. Are you always that way?
JOE: This is a philosophy I try to share in all my writing. I don't think my words are worth much if I don't walk the walk as well.
CALLIOPE: I can't argue with you there. What's going on in your publishing world?
JOE: I'm working on contacts. I set up two lunch appointments for next week.
CALLIOPE: With whom?
JOE: One is with a local author. I would like to share ideas with him regarding local marketing which I have neglected so far. The other is with a former psychotherapist who now writes among other things. He contacted me and we seem to be kindred spirits.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like good progress.
JOE: I think so. I will be spending today with my brother who is visiting from Honolulu so I'm not sure how much work I'll get done today. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Teen Project

(Teens at Cancer Walk)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I hope you enjoyed your birthday.
JOE: I did. Many well-wishers sent their regards. Carol and I got out on our cross country skis and her niece Erin came for dinner last night. All in all a delightful day.
CALLIOPE: Any more thoughts on the teen book?
JOE: I was mulling over a title earlier this morning. I would like to include the ideas of idealism and anxieties, both of which seem prominent in teen thinking.
CALLIOPE: Did you come up with a title?
JOE: Not yet. The idea is still percolating.
CALLIOPE: What did you learn from your visit with Erin?
JOE: She is a senior in college and about ready to face the real world. It reminded me of being her age and having the same mixture of idealism and fear I just mentioned.
CALLIOPE: Sound's like you're on the right track.
JOE: I think so. I plan to do some more exploration of the topic of writing for teens.
CALLIOPE: Any specifics?
JOE: I am perusing some teen sites and will also look at some books popular with teen to explore themes of interest to them.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a good approach.
JOE: I'm glad you agree. On to the day's work.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Birthdays

(Bridge over Oatka Creek)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Happy Birthday.
JOE: Thank you for remembering.
CALLIOPE: What's it like to be a year older?
JOE: I'm happy to still be alive. As time goes by I appreciate each new year much more than I did when I was very young. Once I lived as if I would be here forever. Now I am realizing that I won't be.
CALLIOPE: Does that frighten you?
JOE: I am starting to come to terms with it. I enjoy life and will miss it I think.
CALLIOPE: What plans do you have for the immediate future?
JOE: Working on my teen book.
CALLIOPE: Did you make any progress yesterday?
JOE: I found some good materials on writing for teens and some thoughts on how to approach such a project.
CALLIOPE: Anything else you need?
JOE: I am still looking for more teen input. It occurred to me this morning that I have many writing and business contacts online. I could contact them to see if they have teens who might be interested in contributing to my project.
CALLIOPE: What's the next step?
JOE: Being clear about which I should be the one to write it, what I would like to say, how teens can contribute and why they should. That will keep me busy for a while. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Marketing

(Herb Market- Vigo Spain)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Ready for a new week and a new year.
CALLIOPE: What did you do over the weekend?
JOE: Nothing too taxing. I relaxed, skied, watched some football and sat for ideas.
CALLIOPE: I'm glad you're pacing yourself. Did any ideas come to you?
JOE: I've been thinking about marketing. I concentrated on announcing my book on the internet and have covered all my current contacts.
CALLIOPE: Now what?
JOE: I'm continuing to work on article marketing.
CALLIOPE: Did you submit any articles lately?
JOE: Yes. I sent my article on creativity being a result of inspiration and perspiration to Article Marketing and Ezine.
CALLIOPE: Have you thought of other article marketing sites.
JOE: I have a long list of them and am just beginning to explore the possibilities.
CALLIOPE: How about local publicity?
JOE: I have been considering local service groups, the library, bookstores and the local radio station. I will work on those outlets this week. Talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Conversations with Calliope-Reflection

(Oatka Creek Reflection)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine.
CALLIOPE: What are you up to?
JOE: Savoring a find from the other day.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about it.
JOE: I was looking for some way to capture what I tried to convey with my book, Navigating Life.
JOE: I ran across a wonderful passage by Abdullah Muhammad on an Internet site to which I belong, Iseecolor. I think it captured the essence of my book, almost as if it were written especially for me.
CALLIOPE: Are you going to share it?
JOE: Of course. Here it is:

Reflection provides an opportunity to make the right decisions, correct the wrong decisions or just make a decision in general. Reflecting offers a view of things to come to the possibility of the way things can be. Life can at times become fast paced and before you know it, we are left to deal with issues that have been given no thought, and leave us with situations we dread being in. Reflection offers a gateway into oneself that is needed in order to maintain a balance in our lives, while continuing to move forward regardless of the circumstances. Reflection is rewarding and we must acknowledge its importance. Not only when things are going well should we exercise this gift, but when things aren't so great also. Reflecting gives us an image, and that image through our reflection be it good or bad has the potential for change. Whether this change be for positive things already existing in or surrounding our lives, or some tragic incident for which there seems to be no immediate solution; our reflection provides a moment to consider all possibilities, chances are we will give ourselves the opportunity and the information to succeed.
(by Abdullah Muhammad)

What more can I say. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- A New Year

(St Mark's Church and Oatka Creek)

JOE: Happy new year Calliope.
CALLIOPE: And to you. How did you end the year?
JOE: With quite bit of socializing. A lot more than is usual for me. But I enjoyed every bit of it.
CALLIOPE: And now back to the keyboard?
JOE: Yes. I spent some time over the past couple days refining my publicity release and brochure.
CALLIOPE: So that's finished?
JOE: For now, but there's always room for improvement.
CALLIOPE: Now what?
JOE: I will keep working on marketing. I have been concentrating on the internet but have thought a little about local publicity.
CALLIOPE: In what regard?
JOE: I have not approached the local newspaper or radio yet but plan to.
CALLIOPE: Anything else?
JOE: I haven't done much by way of public appearance with my previous books.
CALLIOPE: Are there some opportunities?
JOE: I've been considering that. There are service groups like Kiwanis and Rotary as well as senior centers and perhaps religious groups. I have also considered a reading at the library.
CALLIOPE: Lots to explore.
JOE: There is. I'd better get working on it.