Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- The Right to Write

(Giant Caterpillar)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Quite well thank you.
CALLIOPE: What transpires?
JOE: I'm continuing to take stock of my writing and its place in my life.
CALLIOPE: A big order. How are you going about it?
JOE: I recalled that I had quite a few books on writing and decided to peruse them?
CALLIOPE: Find anything interesting?
JOE: Yes. Julia Cameron's book, The Right to Write.
JOE: Years ago I read her earlier book The Artist's Way and found it quite helpful in directing my writing, focusing on its joys.
CALLIOPE: Isn't this a book for beginning writers?
JOE: Both books are actually. But I have learned that I am always a beginning writer if I approach it with a child's mind.
CALLIOPE: I've heard that expression. What do you think it means?
JOE: To me it means approaching a task with no preconceptions and being open to the experience on its own terms. Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Writing and Meaning

(Allegheny Sunset)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I wonder about your wisdom project and why you chose it.
JOE: Good question. I think it sprung from my mother's recent ninetieth birthday. It made me stop to think what's important to me at this point in my life.
CALLIOPE: What did you discover?
JOE: First, I discovered what's not so important. I have been pursuing marketing as a way to make money.
CALLIOPE: Something wrong with that?
JOE: No, but to do justice to the Guerrilla Marketing I have been reading about as a path to making money, I would need to devote the bulk of my time and energy in the pursuit, pushing writing meaningfully to a secondary importance.
JOE: I am starting to see what's important to me. I think more money would be nice but would also distract me from my goal.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE: To help other see the value of the collected wisdom of the ages and live in tune with our earth and its community rather than selfishly grabbing what we can.
CALLIOPE: A tall order.
JOE: I know. It's not one I can do alone. Others have gone before me in the effort, others are active now and I am sure others will follow. But I want to do my part.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you want to make your contribution to living meaningfully.
JOE: Correct. Now to do it. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Wisdom Project

(Allison and Joey)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I've been scratching my head all weekend.
JOE: About what?
CALLIOPE: About the new project you alluded to.
JOE: Oh, yes. It's about wisdom.
CALLIOPE: You mentioned that Saturday. Tell me more.
JOE: I haven't settled on a title yet although that might be better to decide later anyway.
CALLIOPE: And the focus?
JOE: It seems to me that each time of life has a store of wisdom.
CALLIOPE: Do you mean from childhood on through old age?
JOE: Exactly. Although our culture tends to focus on immediate gratification, Each season of life also has its own perspective and contribution to make to better ways to live.
CALLIOPE: I can't argue with that. How do you plan to go about it?
JOE: I have begun searching what has been written so far. Books on the subject don't look overdone.
CALLIOPE: So that's where you are now?
JOE: I am. After my research I will plan my strategy and develop an outline. Talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- New Project

Apple Umpkin Festival

(Apple Umpkin)

JOE: Good evening Calliope.
CALLIOPE: I had just about given up on you for today.
JOE: We expect rain here for the rest of the week. I made hay while the sun shone.
CALLIOPE: Doing what?
JOE: Visiting the Apple Umpkin Festival in Wyoming.
CALLIOPE: I'm glad you finally got here. You said something about a new project.
JOE: Indeed I did.
JOE: I have been trying to find a way to integrate marketing and writing. I think I may have found one.
JOE: I am exploring the possibility of a series of books on wisdom, building on a theme I have followed for years.
CALLIOPE: So you will not be starting from scratch.
JOE: No. I already know my theme and also have become associated with it through my previous writings.
CALLIOPE: A kind of platform.
JOE: You guessed it. It's still in the infancy stage but I have started doing some research into what has been written in this area and will continue exploring it next week. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Directions

Letchworth Park


JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How goes it today?
JOE: Other than a leaky faucet the day's off to a fairly good start.
CALLIOPE: Did you tend to the faucet?
JOE; I got it diagnosed. Next is surgery, but it's in the works.
CALLIOPE: How about literary matters?
JOE: I'm continuing to work through Guerrilla Marketing for Writers.
CALLIOPE: What do you think so far?
JOE: There's enough here to keep me busy for years.
JOE: But I don't want to spend years marketing.
JOE: My current thought is to make room for marketing efforts in my schedule but not let them take over my life.
CALLIOPE: Sounds sensible. Back to balance.
JOE: Indeed. Now to do it. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Rural Travels

W.G. Handyside Gallery of Fine Arts
(W.G. Handyside Gallery)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Did you sleep in?
JOE: No. I was busy writing and doing my yoga.
CALLIOPE: I see. What news?
JOE: Yesterday my son and I lunched at the Mennonite bulk food store in Warsaw (NY) and stopped by W.G. Handyside Gallery of Fine Arts in Wyoming (also NY) to visit with the owner Diane Burnham.
CALLIOPE: Learn anything interesting?
JOE: We chatted quite a while about running an art store, the state of art and public resp0nse.
CALLIOPE: What did you discover?
JOE: Her opinion was that people are not as interested in owning art in rural areas as they are in big cities.
CALLIOPE: Does that have to do with income?
JOE: It seems to be more a matter of values. Folks here would rather visit art than own it.
CALLIOPE: Does that apply to books too?
JOE: Hard to say. She does carry a few books, mine included, but has not done as well with them as with art, supplies and lessons.
CALLIOPE: Did she have any suggestions regarding writing.
JOE: She thought there was more market around here for audio and video materials than written ones. I had been thinking of exploring putting some of my writing on CD's and DVD's. I'll give this more thought. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- My Mother's Life

Mom's Birthday

(Mom's Birthday)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you coming with the column about your mother?
JOE: It's done and ready to post.
CALLIOPE: No trouble writing it?
JOE: None. I had a good idea what I wanted to write and wrote it.
CALLIOPE: Were you able to incorporate major historical events as you planned?
JOE: Yes. It flowed easily with a little help from Google.
CALLIOPE: The things we take for granted.
JOE: Right. I recall hours of library research to find anything useful when I attended college.
CALLIOPE: Did you get a chance to interview your mother?
JOE: I did.
CALLIOPE: Any surprises?
JOE: Just one. When I asked her if she had any regrets about her life, she thought a bit but couldn't think of any.
CALLIOPE: I wonder how many of us could say that.
JOE: Precious few I would guess. Certainly not me. That's one thing that makes her her. Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Ninetieth Birthdays

Dunkirk Sunset

(Dunkirk Sunset)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Full of ideas which flooded me throughout the night.
CALLIOPE: Such as?
JOE: My column is taking shape for this Saturday. I decided to write about my mother's ninetieth birthday.
CALLIOPE: How do you plan to approach it?
JOE: As usual I have only 500 words. My greatest challenge will be to contain myself to the allotted space.
CALLIOPE: What about content?
JOE: At first I thought of writing what I know of her life. Then I recalled the secret lives of some of my relatives of which I was not aware until after they died.
CALLIOPE: Do you plan to change that with your mother?
JOE: Yes. I will interview her and, rather than making it a tribute to her, I will tell her story in her own words, or at least the highlights.
CALLIOPE: Sounds good. Anything else?
JOE: I thought of including some of the things that have happened in the world since she was born. But this will depend on whether I have room for them. We shall see.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a good plan.
JOE: I think so. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Writing Adventures

(Searching for Coney Island)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Ready for another week.
CALLIOPE: What's on your plate today?
JOE: Continuing to plan my future.
CALLIOPE: How much of that do you think you have?
JOE: Obviously none of us knows. My mother's ninetieth birthday yesterday reminded me that I don't have forever to live.
CALLIOPE: Unless you are a muse. Have you come to any decisions about marketing?
JOE: No, but I did find Levinson, Frishman and Larsen's book Guerrilla Marketing for Writers on my bookshelf as I was perusing it for something to help me.
JOE: Yes. They present quite a few approaches which cost little or no money and don't involve spending your whole life in the pursuit.
CALLIOPE: Where does that leave you?
JOE: I'm still reading it but it suggests to me that I can incorporate marketing tasks while keeping my focus on writing.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you're working toward a balance.
JOE: I am. I'll let you know how it's coming when we talk tomorrow.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Creativity and Business


JOE: Good afternoon Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Where were you this morning?
JOE: Carol and I walked to the farmers' market and then drove to Batavia for my grandson's Pop Warner Football game.
CALLIOPE: A busy start.
JOE: Yes, but fun.
CALLIOPE: Did you think about your priorities with business and creativity?
JOE: Yes but I didn't reach any conclusions.
CALLIOPE: How will you approach it?
JOE: Hard to say. It's not something I can quantify. Making a list of the advantages of each does not seem like it would help.
CALLIOPE: So now what?
JOE: I recall Napoleon Hill talking about a man he once met who took time each day sitting for ideas. Maybe I'll try that.
CALLIOPE: You're not in any rush?
JOE: No one will starve to death or go homeless based on what I decide.
CALLIOPE: I guess you don't have to force a decision.
JOE: No I don't. If you feel like dropping me an inspiration, please do so. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Creativity or Business

(Columbus Circle)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's afoot today?
JOE: Decisions, decisions.
CALLIOPE: Of what sort?
JOE: Tuesday I learned quite a bit about business plans and marketing at a Score workshop.
CALLIOPE: So what's the problem?
JOE: I'm not getting any younger. Where to put my effort keeps nagging me.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more about the conflict.
JOE: Do I spend my time writing, developing my business skills or look for a balance of both?
CALLIOPE: Maybe you need to decide what's important to you.
JOE: As usual, you hit the nail on the head. I find more satisfaction from writing but would also like to earn more money from my efforts.
CALLIOPE: How will you decide?
JOE: I don't know yet. But I will put on my thinking cap, talk with some friends and consider the possibilities. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Next to Normal

Astoria Figs

(Astoria Figs)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Welcome back from your travels.
JOE: Thanks. We rode a whirlwind through Manchester, Connecticut to New York where we settled for a few days.
CALLIOPE: Tell me the highlights.
JOE: As for simple pleasures, eating fresh figs from Mike and Joe's patio fig tree.
CALLIOPE: Anything more complex.
JOE: We saw Next to Normal, a musical about the effect of mental illness on the family.
CALLIOPE: Sounds strange.
JOE: It sounded that way to me too. But then music, better than writing, portrays emotions and relationships which can sometimes elude words.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: The show showed musically the struggle of a woman with her emotions and the effect of her illness on her daughter and son in very immediate and graphic, or should I say musical, terms.
CALLIOPE: Words sometimes struggle to show raw emotion.
JOE: I agree. Music seems to do a better job.
CALLIOPE: Something to consider for your writing.
JOE: I will remember that. I'm not quite sure of the implicati0ns though. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- George and the Pigeon

George M. Cohan and the Pigeon

(George M. Cohan and the Pigeon)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's up today?
JOE: Packing.
CALLIOPE: For what?
JOE: I'm headed for Connecticut and New York City to visit friends and relatives.
CALLIOPE: Do you feel like you need a break?
JOE: I've been working pretty hard lately getting out Conversations with Calliope and tracking down information on marketing. Yes, I'm ready.
CALLIOPE: What have you discovered about marketing?
JOE: It quite complex. I have found endless information and now need to sort through it and settle on a plan.
CALLIOPE: How will you do that?
JOE: I am attending a workshop on business plans next Wednesday and expect that will be a chance for me to finally get focused.
CALLIOPE: Sounds good. What will you do in your travels?
JOE: Catch up with old friends, solve the world's problems and relax a little.
CALLIOPE: When will we talk again?
JOE: I will contact you on September 16 and tell you about my trip.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Decisions, Decisions

On the Beach

(On the Beach)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: No complaints. How about you?
CALLIOPE: I have one. You told me yesterday that you would share your column idea about seventh generation decisions and you didn't.
JOE: My apologies. The idea came from an Iroquois tradition which formed part of their Great Law.
CALLIOPE: Which was?
JOE: "In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation."
CALLIOPE: An interesting thought. Tell me more.
JOE: I have been concerned and written before about the cult of immediacy. We need to have everything right away and don't stop to consider the consequences.
CALLIOPE: Such as?
JOE: Destroying the earth's resources and leaving a pile of toxic garbage in our wake.
CALLIOPE: Have you been reading about it?
JOE: Yes. Lester Brown lays out the problem and proposes solutions in his book Plan B 2.0.
CALLIOPE: I'd like to see what you have to say about it.
JOE: You can read my thoughts in this weekend's Sliding Otter News at Talk with you tomorrow

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Getting Organized

Work Space

(Work Space)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Ready to go again after the Labor Day weekend?
JOE: I am. I started my day yesterday with an organized list of things to accomplish.
CALLIOPE: How did that go?
JOE: Very well. I finished my two top priorities, writing my Seven Generations column for this Saturday and finishing Plug Your Book by Steve Weber.
CALLIOPE: Anything else?
JOE: I also explored Barnes and Noble's e-reader which I think has possibilities.
CALLIOPE: What's up for today?
JOE: Getting organized. I have too many piles of papers. I've lost track of what they are about. I did start putting them in files so I can find things, but have quite a bit more to do.
CALLIOPE: That should keep you busy. Anything else on the agenda.
JOE: I plan to visit the web sites and groups which I joined but with which I have not been very involved lately.
CALLIOPE: I hope you are enjoying all this.
JOE: I don't enjoy the process of getting organized but work much more efficiently when the process is done.
CALLIOPE: Good luck with it.
JOE: Thanks. I'll talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Seven Generation Decisions

Native American Dance


JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good Morning Joe. I missed you Saturday.
JOE: I wanted to stop by but was worn out from wrestling with my computer all day Friday.
CALLIOPE: Over what?
JOE: E-mail post and general slowness.
CALLIOPE: Is all back to normal now?
JOE: I hope so.
CALLIOPE: So what's up this week.
JOE: Yesterday I set a list of priorities for the week and began working on them.
CALLIOPE: What's on top of your list?
JOE: This week's column on making decisions in light of how they will affect the next seven generations.
CALLIOPE: Where did that come from?
JOE: The Great Law of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy.)
CALLIOPE: Sounds like quite a context for our decisions. Why did you choose that topic?
JOE: Because of our society's trend toward making decisions based on the next seven seconds. I'll report my progress tomorrow.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Online Book Marketing

(Vigo Herb Market)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine. Yesterday I talked with you about getting serious about the business aspect of writing.
CALLIOPE: Was that just talk or did you do something about it?
JOE: I did something. First I signed up for two workshops through Score in Rochester on Writing a Business Plan and Marketing on the Internet.
CALLIOPE: Good start. anything else?
JOE: I started looking for what I could find on Internet marketing in the obvious place, the Internet.
CALLIOPE: What did you find?
JOE: Lots of things, mostly advertising for expensive programs. I started wading through some of the offerings.
CALLIOPE: Did you reach any conclusions?
JOE: No. I felt overwhelmed and had to take a break.
CALLIOPE: And then?
JOE: Then I looked through my bookshelf to see if I had anything useful.
CALLIOPE: What did you discover?
JOE: Steve Weber's book Plug Your Book: Online Book Marketing for Authors, which I read a while ago. I realized that most of what I have done so far to market my book was based on his excellent suggestions. I started reading it again and found a treasure trove of ideas I did not explore before. I'm excited about the find. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Business Plan

Oatka Creek Bridge

(Oatka Creek Bridge)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Where do things stand today?
JOE: My computer seems back to normal and functioning well. I finished posting online announcements of our book, Conversations with Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good progress. Now what?
JOE: My friend Dick has pointed out several times the advantage of a business plan. It's like taking a trip without knowing what transportation you will use or what roads to take or how much it will cost.
CALLIOPE: Is that something new to you?
JOE: No. I have had plans for my psychology business and have made some cursory attempts at a business plan for my writing.
JOE: But I don't like to think of what I do as a business.
CALLIOPE: What are the associated consequences?
JOE: I enjoy writing but am not making any appreciable money.
CALLIOPE: And you think you could with a good business plan?
JOE: I don't know of any businesses which make money without one?
CALLIOPE: Where does your reluctance come from?
JOE: I think from living in a monastery for a while with a vow of poverty. Maybe I haven't gotten past it yet. But I guess it's about time. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Back to Work

Lifting Fog

(Lifting Fog)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Better.
CALLIOPE: On what account?
JOE: Whatever was wrong with my computer isn't any more.
CALLIOPE: What was the problem?
JOE: I wish I knew. I don't even have a guess.
CALLIOPE: How did you fix it then?
JOE: I kept cleaning it and deleting everything I didn't need until it was back to normal.
CALLIOPE: That's a relief but also a mystery.
JOE: Right on both counts. Now back to work.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE: Finishing my announcements for Conversations with Calliope- the book.
CALLIOPE: Anything else?
JOE: I have a new idea which I'll tell you about tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Earth Connections

Orange Butterfly

(Orange Butterfly)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you this morning?
JOE: A little frustrated.
CALLIOPE: Not with your writing I hope.
JOE: No. My email program is acting up for some reason and refused to cooperate.
CALLIOPE: I assume you are working on the problem.
JOE: I am but I don't like all the time it takes from something productive.
CALLIOPE: Like what?
JOE: Lately I have been thinking about how our issues with the economy tie in with concerns about the environment and with how we treat each other.
CALLIOPE: A big order.
JOE: It is. I have been wondering just how they fit together, what we can do about our world and relationships and what I can contribute.
CALLIOPE: That's quite a bit to think about all at once.
JOE: I agree, but I don't think any of our earth problems can be resolved in isolation.
CALLIOPE: I expect I will hear more about these ideas.
JOE: You will as I am able to digest them. Talk with you tomorrow.