Saturday, May 30, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Weaving Dreams

(George M. Cohan with Pigeon)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Exhausted from my search.
CALLIOPE: Search of what?
JOE: The internet and bookstores to decide what to do about my website.
CALLIOPE: Why do you have to do something about it?
JOE: My website host will no longer support Front Page, the program I used to develop and update my website aft the end of June.
CALLIOPE: Have you come to a decision?
JOE: Yes, Your Honor.
CALLIOPE: How does the jury find?
JOE: In favor of Dreamweaver. I considered paying someone to do what I needed (too expensive for my taste), using a free program (too limited), using a combination of program and hosting (I like my current service provider), Microsoft's Expression (unintelligible for me).
CALLIOPE: So Dreamweaver is the least of the evils?
JOE: That's one way to put it. It is also the gold standard of web development. I downloaded a trial and decided it was manageable with some practice.
CALLIOPE: So you have a month to learn the program?
JOE: I don't expect to become an expert in a month, but I'm ready for the journey. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Something Personal

(El Morro Castle- San Juan)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Mulling a self revelation.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like there might be a story to it.
JOE: There is. Yesterday I spent the morning at a meeting with mental health staff and fellow board members.
CALLIOPE: How did it go?
JOE: Mixed. The first part was a pleasant exchange and presentation with the staff. The second part turned to some thorny issues.
CALLIOPE: Where did you find the revelation?
JOE: We were discussing staffing and the issue of Americorps came up. Someone wished I was available for their project rather than already committed to the arts council.
CALLIOPE: And your response?
JOE: I realized only as I said it that there are many personal issues related to mental health involving my family which make it hard for me to be any more involved with the field than I am now.
CALLIOPE: Is that what made you turn to writing instead of mental health?
JOE: In retrospect, I think so. I have plenty of experiences to draw on but don't want to revisit them, at least the personal ones.
CALLIOPE: Good realization.
JOE: I thought so. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Coping with Technology

(Joey and the Robot)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I was wondering where you found the title “Notes to Myself” for yesterday's blog.
JOE: I was hoping you might know. I went to post it on my site and there was the title.
CALLIOPE: Can't help you.
JOE:Hmmm. Mysteries still abound.
CALLIOPE: Apparently. Did yesterday's outing restore your creativity?
JOE: I made stopped at Barnes and Noble on the way home from helping my friend with his pool to do some research on web development programs.
CALLIOPE: I thought you used Front Page.
JOE: It will no longer be honored by my web host after the end of June.
CALLIOPE: What are your options?
JOE: Get a new program, become proficient in HTML or pay someone to do it.
CALLIOPE: How are you inclined?
JOE: Microsoft has a program, Expression, which looks like it has possibilities.
CALLIOPE: Gilda Radner was right, There's always something.
JOE: No doubt. Anyway, I did some painting when I finally arrived home. I'm trying an abstract expression style.
CALLIOPE: How did it turn out?
JOE: That's not the point. I had fund doing it. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Messages to Myself

(Old Factory- Leroy, NY)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Matching the weather.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE: Overcast.
JOE: No particular reason. Sometimes I'm affected by my surroundings. Today is one of those days.
CALLIOPE: How do you plan to handle it?
JOE: This morning I will be busy helping a friend open his pool.
CALLIOPE: And then?
JOE: Hard to say. Perhaps I will be in a more creative mood when I get back.
CALLIOPE: Does your mood bother you?
JOE: No, Sometimes I think a little down time gives me a chance to regroup and return to creativity.
CALLIOPE: We shall see.
JOE: I'll keep you posted. Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Ars Gratia Artis

(Fishing Nets)

JOE: Good Morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Welcome to a new week.
JOE: Thank you. You will be happy to know that I followed through on my art commitment.
CALLIOPE: I'm all ears.
JOE: I found a brief period to work on drawing and sketched a lighthouse in my handmade paper notebook.
CALLIOPE: Were you satisfied with it?
JOE: I aimed to draw not to reach perfection. I enjoyed the process and tried not to judge the outcome.
CALLIOPE: Good move. Was that it?
JOE: I enjoyed it so much that I went back later to practice painting in the style of Linda LeKinff, an artist I have liked for some time.
CALLIOPE: Did you stay with the experience here too?
JOE: I did and for a longer stretch of time. I also worked with matching colors, not an easy task at least until I get more practice.
CALLIOPE: I'm glad you're back into it. By the way, being a Greek Muse, I'm not quite sure about the translation of your blog title.
JOE: It means "Art for Art's Sake."
CALLIOPE: I thought so. On with the show.
JOE: I agree. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- The Gift of Time

(Big Ben)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I thought you might take today off in honor or Memorial Day.
JOE: No, I'm up early.
CALLIOPE: What thoughts entertain you today?
JOE: Who, not what. I read Julia Cameron's thoughts about time in her Vein of Gold.
CALLIOPE:Tell me about it.
JOE: She talked about the excuse most of us find from time to time not to create. “If I only had more time!”
CALLIOPE: Sounds familiar.
JOE: It is. I tend to wast time wishing I had more of it instead of using the small chunks which come available to create something even on a small scale.
CALLIOPE: Where do you lose out the most.
JOE: In visual art. I find time to read, write and photograph. Ten feet from where I sit wait my drawing and painting materials, gathering dust while I procrastinate.
CALLIOPE: What do you plan to do about it.
JOE: Redefine my time requirements.
JOE: By using small chunks of it to create something even if it's only a beginning rather than a finished work.
CALLIOPE: Go for it.
JOE: I will. Wait for tomorrow's report.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Nature and God's Mystery

(Central Park Lake)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. It sounds like you had a busy week.
JOE: I did. I finally sent in the final draft of Meeting God in Nature yesterday for publication in Christian Schaal's book, Meeting the God of America.
CALLIOPE: How was it received?
JOE: Enthusiastically. He posted it as a sample from the forthcoming book.
CALLIOPE: Can I read it?
JOE: Sure. It's posted at
CALLIOPE: Thanks. I'll take a look. What else are you up to.
JOE: I planned to organize my desk last Saturday but didn't get to it. Today it's time for another go at it.
CALLIOPE: Sounds ambitious. How's the floor coming?
JOE: Just about finished. Other laborers were called to the vineyard so I didn't have to work on it last night. I'm on call today if needed.
CALLIOPE: Anything else on the agenda?
JOE: Church in the morning and then a graduation party in the afternoon.
CALLIOPE: I hope you have some time to relax.
JOE: I do and have some reading planned. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Laying Floors and Writing Books

(Giacometti Sculpture)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Still in somewhat of a trance.
CALLIOPE: On what account?
JOE: I just came in from the back porch, sitting with the warm spring breeze, clear blue sky and the birds' morning serenade as I sat writing in my journal.
CALLIOPE: Did you come to any realizations?
JOE: Only that I am grateful to God every time In find myself amid the wonders of nature.
CALLIOPE: Well said. What about today's blog title?
JOE: Last night I volunteered to help lay a laminate floor.
CALLIOPE: What did you learn from the experience?
JOE: It's not so easy. Jerry and I agreed there must be some easy ways to do it, but between the two of us we weren't able to arrive at them.
CALLIOPE: What does this have to do with writing?
JOE: Although there are quite a few ways to approach laying a floor, there is only one way it should end up. With writing, there is no one right way to do it. Many approaches and final products can entertain and enlighten readers.
CALLIOPE: Was that a revelation to you?
JOE: No but the floor provided a good reminder. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Juggling Words

(Columbus Circle)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What news?
JOE: A surprise in my inbox.
CALLIOPE: What was it?
JOE: An email from William Safire thanking me for my post about the word marriage and welcoming me as a Lexicographic Irregular.
CALLIOPE: How nice. Did that make your day?
JOE: It did. I have always enjoyed his New York Times language columns but have had difficulty finding them due to limited distribution of the Times in a small town.
CALLIOPE: Is there any way you can still find access?
JOE: Interesting you should ask. I found a link to notify me by email when he publishes anything. I am looking forward to keeping up with his comments.
CALLIOPE: What else is in the fire?
JOE: I sent in my column about the word marriage which will appear in Sliding Otter News this Saturday (request a free subscription at
CALLIOPE: What else?
JOE: I am finalizing my article on Finding God in Nature.
CALLIOPE: Where will that appear.
JOE: In a forthcoming book, Meeting the God of America by Christian Schall. I'm trying to be patient. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- What Words Mean

(Wedding Bower)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Were you serious about contacting William Safire or just kidding?
JOE: Serious. After some sleuthing to find his email address at the New York Times, I sent him a post suggesting he consider the meaning of the word marriage.
CALLIOPE: Do you think he will?
JOE: I am sure he has many requests for topics. I always appreciate requests from my readers and usually end up honoring them in one form or another.
CALLIOPE: That's a good way to be sure you aren't just talking to yourself or me.
JOE: I agree. Although I enjoy our talks, I like it when readers chime in as they have lately on the topic of marriage.
CALLIOPE: Are you done with this topic?
JOE: Hard to say. My column for Saturday, also to appear in Sliding Otter News, looks at the issue further.
CALLIOPE: What feedback have you gotten from your readers?
JOE: Some didn't see what the big deal was. Just let everyone choose whatever relationship is comfortable.
CALLIOPE: What's the likelihood of that?
JOE: Not so great, I'm afraid. Some people feel threatened by people messing with their institutions and cherished beliefs.
CALLIOPE: Any other thoughts on marriage?
JOE: I found a good brief history which gave me food for thought at Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- The Word Marriage

(Wedding on the Veranda)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. You had more to say about marriage?
JOE: I did. It seems to me that the word itself is confusing the debate about who should be allowed to use the word "married."
JOE: Most people don't object to other than heterosexual couples having civil unions. They just object to calling it marriage.
CALLIOPE: I see. Civilly, Marriage refers to a legal union regardless of whether there is a religious ceremony.
JOE: Right. It also refers to a religious ceremony, regardless of whether it is legalized with the government.
CALLIOPE: So you can be married in the eyes of the government alone, a church alone or both.
JOE: Right. I think it's too much work for one word to do.
CALLIOPE: What would you call it then?
JOE: Good question. Reserving the word for people in one set of circumstances is likely to alienate everyone else. Maybe we need several words to make everyone's situation clear.
CALLIOPE: Is anybody even discussing this possibility?
JOE: Not that I know of. That's why I brought it up.
CALLIOPE: Do you think anyone else is interested in the issue?
JOE: Perhaps William Safire would be. I'll ask him. I'm not sure anyone else has the emotional energy to enter into such a debate. We shall see. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Arguing about Marriage

(Outside Marriage)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Raring to go.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you're charged up about something. Tell me about it.
JOE: Marriage has been on my mind.
CALLIOPE: Don't tell me you're getting married again.
JOE: Relax, No such plans are in the works.
CALLIOPE: What then?
JOE: Yesterday I read in the newspaper more about the ongoing debate over gay marriage and its implications.
JOE: I realized the problem was one of semantics.
JOE: Civil, legal, societal and religious views of marriage have become entangled the the point where people are talking about different things using the same word.
CALLIOPE: I see. What would you suggest?
JOE: It's time we had different terms for civil and religious views of marriage and what they imply. More tomorrow.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Nature's Mysteries

(Lagoon in San Juan)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Just barely.
JOE: Now, now. It's Saturday and I'm taking my time getting going today.
CALLIOPE: Okay. What's this about nature's mysteries?
JOE: Another part of the topic from yesterday.
CALLIOPE: Explain please.
JOE: I told you that I eventually learned to connect with God through nature. Specifically the mysteries I found in nature led me to God.
CALLIOPE: I see. How did that happen?
JOE: After wrestling with thoughts for years, I finally let myself go in the magnificence of nature. For a while I just enjoyed communing with it and finally realized it was a manifestation of the glory of God. Then I appreciated it even more.
CALLIOPE: Very interesting. So now whenever you need to connect with God all you have to do is be alone with nature and its glory.
JOE: Correct. But it took me a long time to find such a simple approach.
CALLIOPE: Sometimes the most obvious things lie right in front of us.
JOE: No question.
CALLIOPE: Thanks for the explanation.
JOE: My pleasure. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Finding God in Nature

(God in Nature)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I understand there are people waiting to hear our conversation today.
JOE: That's what I heard too. I think they want to know about God in America.
CALLIOPE: So tell me already.
JOE: Yesterday I finished my piece, Finding God in Nature. It's about my path to discovering God.
CALLIOPE: I'd like to know more.
JOE: I started by wrestling with institutional church teachings, prescriptions and proscriptions dating back to childhood through my early twenties.
JOE: I finally realized I could find God in the mysteries of nature and relate on that level with a God who reached out to me in ways to which I could respond.
CALLIOPE: Can you share the whole piece with me?
JOE: It's rather long for a blog. Also I wrote it for inclusion in a book. I'm not sure the author would appreciate my unveiling it before publication.
CALLIOPE: I understand. Where will your piece be published?
JOE: I wrote it for Christian Schall's book in progress, Meeting the God of America.
CALLIOPE: I assume there will be other contributors.
JOE: There will. He has some but from what I understand is still looking for more. He describes his project at

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Juggling Projects

(Sunrise in Leroy)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: I feel like a juggler.
CALLIOPE: What are you juggling?
JOE: Several projects.
CALLIOPE: Anything we haven't discussed yet?
JOE: I have agreed to write a piece for a new book, Finding God in America.
CALLIOPE: How's it coming?
JOE: I'm doing better with it than I thought I would. It's quite a topic.
CALLIOPE: I agree. How are you approaching it?
JOE: I started with how I see God these days and where.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE:In nature. I have concluded that most religions become stultified and moralistic with age. Keeping in touch with God through official channels becomes more of an obligation than a joy.
CALLIOPE: So how do you find God?
JOE: That's what my piece is about. I'll tell you more about it tomorrow. See you then.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Staying Afloat

(Nantucket Lighthouse)

CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I missed you yesterday.
JOE: Sorry about that. I had some web difficulty I was unable to resolved before I left for the day's activities.
CALLIOPE: I see. Glad to have you back. What's new.
JOE: Beth Cahaney's review of my book Navigating Life just arrived.
CALLIOPE: I would like to see it.
JOE: I thought you might. Here goes:

A review of Navigating Life: Commonsense Reflections For the Voyage by Joseph G. Langen

Psychologist and author Joseph Langen discusses life and relationships in his latest book, Navigating Life: Commonsense Reflections For the Voyage. People and places in western New York figure prominently in the book, and as a native of the area, I am amazed at his insight as he examines lives well lived, including his own. Langen reflects on his years of practice, his life in a monastery, and his own spiritual journey in his attempt to help us navigate our lives.

The book is a deceptively easy read, many of the essays having appeared in his weekly newspaper column. They are arranged in chapters with titles such as “Appreciating Life around Us” and “Making Sense of Society.” Within the chapters are essays, each followed by Langen’s Life Lab Lessons. While Langen captivates us with each well written essay, his Life Lab Lessons force us to confront our own lives in reaction to the essay. It’s no easy task as Langen directs us, for example, at the end of “The Power of Will” to list our most important values and then to list the most important values of a person with whom we are in conflict. Listing my most important values—what a good idea, yet one I hadn’t attempted since my sophomore year in high school when my all-time favorite teacher encouraged me to do that very thing as I tried to understand a difficult novel. Perhaps I should have listed my values more than once every fifty years, but I thank Langen for exhorting me to do so.

Langen uses an excellent format for each of his essays. He begins with a quote from an intellectual or spiritual leader or perhaps an anonymous source or even a sports or media personality, then his own well chosen words, often with reference to noted scholars, then wrap up with the Life Lab Lessons. Imagine my joy to find some of my favorite writers imbedded in Langen’s essays: John Eudes Bamberger, Karen Armstrong, Teilhard de Chardin. But perhaps my greatest joy is to read about everyday folks in Langen’s work, folks such as Carol Gomborone and her aunt, Lucille Rider, and to see Joe Langen’s love come shining through. That is the true measure of a life well lived and one from which we can learn to appreciate our own lives.

Elizabeth Cahaney, Professor of Humanities
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

CALLIOPE: Great review. Thanks for sharing it.
JOE: Glad you liked it. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Decisions, Decisions

(My Writing Space)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Well, thank you.
CALLIOPE: What did you do yesterday?
JOE: I had lunch with Carol and her son on top of the mountain in Oramel and dinner with my mother in Rochester.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like quite a bit of traveling.
JOE: It was. In addition to a thorough celebration of Mother's Day, I got to do some photography in the woods.
CALLIOPE: What about your writing?
JOE: I did talk about it with two of my nieces yesterday. I am still wrestling with my options for our book of dialogues.
CALLIOPE: Are you any further on toward a decision?
JOE: Not really? I still see the pros and cons of the various possibilities. I'm not sure yet what would be best.
CALLIOPE: How do you plan to approach the problem?
JOE: I am waiting for inspiration if you have any. I also plan to discuss it with a few people who know about my writing. I'm sure I come up with a plan eventually.
CALLIOPE: I'll ponder it and let you know if I come up with anything.
JOE: Thanks, talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Gone Fishin'

(Joey Not Fishing)
JOE: Good afternoon Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon Joe. Where have you been?
JOE: Gone fishin'.
CALLIOPE: Likely story.
JOE: It happens to be true. My grandson Joey just turned seven. I bought him some fishing tackle for his birthday and took him fishing for the first time today.
CALLIOPE: How was it?
JOE: We both enjoyed the adventure. So did the fish. They were somewhere else besides under the bridge where we fished.
CALLIOPE: I thought you would be hard at work on our book.
JOE: Patience. I spent most of yesterday working on it. I checked the size of the book with reduced size pictures and realized it was still way too big.
CALLIOPE: So now what?
JOE: I have to decide whether to eliminate all the pictures and proceed or publish it myself with pictures.
CALLIOPE: What are the pros and cons?
JOE: If I do it myself, I can include all the pictures in a PDF. If I have Booklocker do it, I will have a distribution channel.
CALLIOPE: What's your inclination?
JOE: I'm still waiting for the jury in my head. You are invited to vote. Talk to you Monday.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Publishing Details

(Sunflowers- Leroy, NY)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Energized.
CALLIOPE: Excited about publishing?
JOE: Yes. I have been relaxing a bit lately and not forging ahead.
CALLIOPE: What got you back in gear?
JOE: Who knows? Writing is a mysterious business at least for me.
CALLIOPE: In any case I'm glad you're back at it. Tell me of your progress.
JOE: The entries are ready. I finished the introduction including the ode I wrote for you and the story about rediscovering you as well as a very brief introduction.
CALLIOPE: Did you contact Booklocker yet?
JOE: Yes. I was curious about the particulars.
CALLIOPE: Anything interesting.
JOE: One little surprise. The size of the book can't exceed 3 megabytes.
CALLIOPE: Is that a problem.
JOE: It is when you take into account the pictures I have attached to each entry. I'm working on my options as we speak. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Publishing Time Approaching

(Broadway Street Sculpture)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Excited.
CALLIOPE: On what account?
JOE: I'm getting ready to publish our book.
CALLIOPE: Do you mean Conversations with Calliope: A Writer's Year with His Muse?
JOE: Exactly so.
CALLIOPE: How did the manuscript suddenly emerge from the mothballs?
JOE: I had difficulty knowing how to organize and format it.
CALLIOPE: And now those issues are resolved?
JOE: They are. I think I know how to proceed and have started putting on the final touches.
CALLIOPE: Then what?
JOE: I will proofread and print the manuscript and then have my two human muses review it.
CALLIOPE: You skipped that step the last time.
JOE: I have learned from my mistakes. I'll keep you posted. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Connecting with Joe Cocker

(Oatka Creek Falls)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Still savoring last night's adventure.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about it.
JOE: For the first time, I heard Joe Cocker perform. It's been a long time since I had an experience which defies words.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: We have been discussing words, writing and reading lately. Last night reminded me that there is more to experience than words and ideas.
CALLIOPE: Such as?
JOE: The visceral aspect. The rumbling of the percussion resonated in the core of my being without conveying any words.
CALLIOPE: Did that surprise you?
JOE: Not really. I just tend to forget sometimes that words are not everything and that experience can surround me in many ways besides verbal.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you enjoyed it.
JOE: I did. The volume of the performance eclipsed any thoughts I might try to have. The music filled me and took over my consciousness.
JOE: That's what I thought. I think I need to be more aware of my surroundings and what they have to offer to all my senses. Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- The Cult of Immediacy

(Immaculate Conception Monastery Garden)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I was confused about something in your blog yesterday.
JOE: Oh?
CALLIOPE: You talked about e-book readers but then you attached a picture of a young man talking on his cell phone and ignoring the attractive girl sitting next to him. I didn't get the connection.
JOE: I guess it was a bit of a stretch. I was thinking about our need for immediate communication which I think detracts from our thinking about what are communicating and to whom.
CALLIOPE: I see. Do you think the almost immediate availability of information through machines such as an e-book reader or cell phone a bad thing?
JOE: Not necessarily. Other than getting used to the new technology, I am concerned that being in such easy touch with data makes it more difficult for us to think about it in any sort of context.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: It is as if we are part of the machinery conveying data bits but not evaluating what we are saying.
CALLIOPE: What would you suggest?
JOE: I'm not sure I have anything to offer right now. It's just a concern I have.
CALLIOPE: What do you plan to do personally?
JOE: Make sure I have time to digest information by stepping back from the data stream and reflecting on information as it comes in and relating it to what I already know or suspect.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a good plan.
JOE: It's the only one I have at the moment. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Plasma Readers

(Cell Phone)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Ready for another week?
JOE: I am.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about your weekend.
JOE: Last time we talked, I was pondering the future of writing in terms of paper or plasma.
JOE: I discovered an Innovation and Creativity Festival taking place at Rochester Institute of Technology on Saturday.
CALLIOPE: Did you attend?
JOE: I took my grandson who I thought would be interested in the robots and of course he was.
CALLIOPE: I'm glad you got to spend some time with him. You were talking about the future of writing.
JOE: Oh, yes. The first exhibit I found was one on the RIT Open Publishing Lab and the future of publishing.
CALLIOPE: What did you discover?
JOE: I finally got to hold an e-book reader and examine it.
CALLIOPE: What did you think?
JOE: I'm ready for one yet. It would be like reading from an etch a sketch. I'll tell you more tomorrow.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Paper or Plasma

(At the Penthouse)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you this morning?
JOE: Pretty good. I woke up early and today's blog topic stuck in my mind.
JOE: Don't be coy. I know you put it there.
CALLIOPE: Okay. So what did you think?
JOE: It's catchy and timely. I have been wondering about it lately.
CALLIOPE: Tell me.
JOE: Last Sunday at a penthouse party in New York I discussed with people the advent of several e-book readers and their potential effect on the publishing world.
CALLIOPE: Do you think that's a good thing?
JOE: Like anything new, it's a mixed blessing.
CALLIOPE: What about for you?
JOE: I like the feel of books and am used to holding one while reading. I also like seeing my favorites around me as I write.
CALLIOPE: I understand the emotions. How about practicality?
JOE: That remains to be seen. I like the idea of having information at my fingertips and being able to carry a library with me. The jury's still out as far as I am concerned. Talk with you Monday.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Humility and Semantics

(Sitting in Herman Melville's Seaman's Bethel Seat)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Still digesting yesterday's lesson in humility and semantics.
CALLIOPE: I think there might be a story behind that statement.
JOE: How astute. I told you about my go around last week with some traditionally published authors.
CALLIOPE: I recall. You called them elite authors and decided you must be a pica author.
JOE: Correct. I decided to start a group on Linked In ( for pica authors.
JOE: And nothing. Prospective group members either had no idea what I was talking about or didn't care. No response at all.
CALLIOPE: Perhaps a little of your own hubris showing.
JOE: Perhaps. In any case I removed the Pica Authors Group and replaced it with a group for Non-Traditional Authors meeting with immediate enthusiasm.
CALLIOPE: What do you think made the difference?
JOE: Setting aside my vitriol and appealing to the needs and interests of fellow non-traditional authors.
CALLIOPE: Congratulations on learning an important lesson.
JOE: Thanks. I'll keep you posted. Talk with you tomorrow.