Saturday, October 31, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Progress on my CD

Fishing Nets

(Fishing Nets)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Happy Saturday. How are you doing today?
JOE: Pretty well. I finished editing selections for my CD yesterday.
JOE: I decided to record an audio CD of some of my writing selections.
CALLIOPE: What's the theme?
JOE: My articles on topics related to Spiritual Wisdom.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like an interesting area. Do you have a title for the CD yet?
JOE: I might just call it Spiritual Wisdom but I'm not sure yet.
CALLIOPE: How will you choose a title?
JOE: I'm doing a little keyword research on related phrases. Perhaps one will emerge from the process.
CALLIOPE: Any other avenues?
JOE: I have mentioned the project to a few people. Perhaps one of them will have a good suggestion.
CALLIOPE: You never know.
JOE: I have been fortunate to have good suggestions for my work in the past. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Baseball and Writing Slumps

(Pumpkin Bottom)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Good but a little weary.
CALLIOPE: From what?
JOE: Watching the world series two night in a row rather than getting to be early. I was still up at the crack of dawn or before.
CALLIOPE: I didn't know you were a baseball fanatic.
JOE: I'm not. I don't usually get interested until sometime during the world series.
CALLIOPE: Anything especially fascinating to you?
JOE: Yes. Commentaries discussed hitting and pitching streaks and slumps. I saw a parallel with writing.
JOE: I wanted to write over the past week but just couldn't seem to immerse myself in it.
CALLIOPE: You have been writing.
JOE: Yes but not with much enthusiasm as much as I tried to generate some. Suddenly my boiler fired up and I'm back at it with full energy.
CALLIOPE: Another of life's mysteries?
JOE: I suppose so. I'm just glad my writing energy is back. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Brain Optimization

Wedding Conversation

(Wedding Conversation)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Thinking.
CALLIOPE: About what?
JOE: Yesterday I worked on search engine optimization (SEO), what it is all about and how to do it.
JOE: As I was considering what to write this morning, the term "brain optimization" popped into my mind.
CALLIOPE: What do you mean by it?
JOE: How should I know. I've never heard these two words together before.
CALLIOPE: Then speculate?
JOE: Fair enough. I found a definition of SEO yesterday, "altering and improving the natural search listings that will be returned for various keywords and phrases."
CALLIOPE: Sounds rather stodgy to me. How could it apply to brains?
JOE: We could arrange our brains to respond to others by giving something important to them.
CALLIOPE: Interesting.
JOE: I think we often tell people what's important to us and forget about their needs. Something to work on. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Suicide Bombers

(Storm Clouds)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Wondering about suicide bombers.
CALLIOPE: What brings them to mind?
JOE: A program I happened on this morning on TV about the psychology of suicide bombers.
CALLIOPE: What was the jist?
JOE: Sometimes cells of people with similar thinking form bonds not necessarily at the behest of al Qaeda or other influence.
CALLIOPE: How do they get to suicide bombing?
JOE: They seem to form tight bonds beyond consideration of family or even strangers and depersonalize others. The group bond becomes the only thing in their life.
CALLIOPE: How does the suicide part fit it?
JOE: If they explained that, I missed it. The program stressed the importance of the group bond but did not address other motivation.
CALLIOPE: Does it make sense to you?
JOE: No. But then I'm not a suicide bomber. It's hard for me to even imagine.
CALLIOPE: Perhaps it is too complex to understand. Once people explode themselves it's too late to explore their motivation.
JOE: I agree. Another of life's mysteries at least for now. Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Fallow Fields

Belly Flop Contest

(Belly Flop Contest)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: I went to bed last night mad at myself for not accomplishing much.
CALLIOPE: How did that come about.
JOE: First I woke up tired after going to bed late Sunday night. My store of energy was nowhere to be found.
CALLIOPE: How did you spend the day?
JOE: Watching television in the morning and doing yard work in the afternoon.
CALLIOPE: Was it a total loss?
JOE: I realized this morning that it wasn't. The exercise of course was good for me. On TV I watched classic movies and studied their approach and technique. I also looked at the many commercials from a marketing point of view.
CALLIOPE: So you did accomplish something.
JOE: I didn't produce anything but did recharge my creative batteries much as a field is rejuvenated by being allowed to lie fallow for a time.
CALLIOPE: Is your field still fallow?
JOE: Not this morning. I plan to get back to work exploring several projects on the coals.
CALLIOPE: That's the spirit.
JOE: Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Conversations with Calliope_Musicophilia

Columbus Circle Statues

(Columbus Circle Statues)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Ready for another week?
JOE: I am.
CALLIOPE: What have you been up to over the weekend?
JOE: I started reading Oliver Sacks' book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain.
CALLIOPE: What did you discover?
JOE: A provocative line toward the beginning raising a question about what use music is and why does it exist and enchant us. Then I spent Saturday evening enchanted by the Dady Brothers, Roxanne Ziegler and Irish Dancers.
CALLIOPE: To what end?
JOE: I reached the conclusion that sometimes words fail us and we must think and communicate in other ways.
CALLIOPE: As a champion of epic poetry, I must remind you that the arts were originally ways of relating our heritage, ideas and culture.
JOE: No doubt. But there is something else too. Even writing does not just convey information. It touches our souls and hearts and brings us together.
CALLIOPE: So you see the arts, including literature as a way for our minds and souls to communicate?
JOE: I do. I'm not sure I can explain it any further. Maybe it is something to contemplate without words.
CALLIOPE: Perhaps so. Let's both meditate on it.
JOE: Agreed. Talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Social Networking

Columbus Circle Sculpture

(Columbus Circle Sculpture)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Quite good.
CALLIOPE: What have you been up to?
JOE: My major accomplishment yesterday was completing a critique of a friend's new book. I also posted my Sliding Otter News newsletter to my mailing list although I still need to post it to my website.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you have been busy.
JOE: I have. I also found some good information in internet marketing and development of keywords. Steve Weber also sent me a very useful link for small business resources at
CALLIOPE: So you social networking is paying off.
JOE: It is. Also Writers Digest recently opened a site for writers at It is already quite active and appears to be a very promising online community. I'm excited about it.
CALLIOPE: It's about time you got excited.
JOE: I agree. Sometimes I seem to just plod along. It's nice to have some enthusiasm.
CALLIOPE: Use it to good advantage.
JOE: I will. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- All Systems Go

Astoria Station

(Astoria Station)

JOE: Good m0rning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine. Everything seems in order and I have no distractions facing me today.
CALLIOPE: Glad to hear it. What do you have planned?
JOE: Getting back to work.
CALLIOPE: Specifics please.
JOE: I have been gathering materials about search engine optimization and plan to start using them to my advantage.
CALLIOPE: Anything that still puzzles you?
JOE: I received a post from Ezine which listed search terms which their visitors used to find my articles.
CALLIOPE: Interesting.
JOE: I thought so. If I could find such a listing for terms visitors to my web site use, I would be quite grateful.
CALLIOPE: Where could you find such a list?
JOE: I'm not sure I could. So far I don't know how to look other than using a trial and error keyword program through Google keywords.
CALLIOPE: Something to explore.
JOE: There's always something. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Dealing with Distractions

(Seaside Setting)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What are you thinking about today?
JOE: Distractions. I have been reading what Julia Cameron has to say about necessary surroundings for writing.
CALLIOPE: What does she have to say?
JOE: Among other things that there is no ideal writing environment. Even if there were, it would not guarantee that our writing would be any better than in the midst of distractions.
CALLIOPE: What do you think?
JOE: I think she's right. I sometimes dream of an ideal writing environment. Before you ask, it would be a seaside villa in the Caribbean with a breeze strong enough to rustle but not rumple the pages I am working on.
CALLIOPE: Have you ever had that experience?
JOE: I've been in such an environment, but found it too peaceful to bother writing. There's something about the bustle of everyday life which stirs me to action.
JOE: Everyday events give me topics for my columns and also a context for other writing.
CALLIOPE: Don't they distract you as well?
JOE: They do but the also keep me from getting bored with long hours of writing.
CALLIOPE: I guess there is no ideal context for writing.
JOE: Not that I know of, but I keep plugging along. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- The Mystery of Suffering

Cognac Still

(Cognac Still)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's on your mind today?
JOE: Suffering?
CALLIOPE: Please elaborate.
JOE: I'd be glad to. As I attended Laney's wake and funeral, I kept thinking of all the suffering he endured over the last few months.
CALLIOPE: Did you have any particular questions?
JOE: I wondered about the point of all his suffering. Was it for any particular purpose?
CALLIOPE: You're not the first person who has puzzled about this issue?
JOE: I know. I have heard quite a bit about it over the years but nothing which adequately explains it.
CALLIOPE: You know that pain signals that something is wrong and needs corrective action.
JOE: I do. Where I get stuck is if nothing can be done.
CALLIOPE: Maybe the answers are just not evident yet and pain is an invitation to the medical community to keep searching.
JOE: That makes some sense. But it doesn't seem to be much benefit to the person suffering.
CALLIOPE: I can't argue there. Somethings are beyond our understanding.
JOE: I realize that. I guess it's just one of life's mysteries at least for now. Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Beyond the Self

Crawford Creek

(Crawford Creek)

JOE: Good afternoon Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon Joe. I wondered where you where.
JOE: I was attending the aforementioned funeral.
CALLIOPE: How did it go?
JOE: As well as can be expected for a funeral. Nothing I didn't expect.
CALLIOPE: Did you finish your article about weddings and funerals?
JOE: I finished it this morning. I wasn't quite sure what I would say but woke up this morning and found the title as well as the gist of it on the tips of my fingers. All I had to do was type it.
CALLIOPE: Strange how that just happens sometimes.
JOE: Don't be coy. I know about you muses and your ways.
CALLIOPE: Glad you appreciate us.
JOE: I do. I try to keep paying attention but sometimes my mind wanders.
CALLIOPE: Keep doing your best.
JOE: Another interesting thought. Sometimes I wonder how good I am but then I recall what Julia Cameron said about doing your best regardless of what you think about yourself.
CALLIOPE: Authenticity usually comes through somehow.
JOE: So I have come to understand. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Marriage and Death

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. That seems like an odd title for you entry.
JOE: I suppose it is But those are the two events which kept me busy this weekend.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: Families get together quite often for marriages and funerals. Sometimes they are the only places I have seen some of the people I know.
CALLIOPE: What else do they have in common.
JOE: I was just thinking about that for my Saturday column.
CALLIOPE: What did you come up with?
JOE: Both are significant way stations in life. Birth is the other major one but I didn't have one to celebrate this weekend.
CALLIOPE: Anything else.
JOE: The ideas is still percolating. Let me think a moment.
CALLIOPE: Not too long. You have work to do.
JOE: Right. Marriage is an occasion for a couple to join their lives and for their community of friends to join in support of their union.
CALLIOPE: And death.
JOE: Death and funerals provide families with a chance to remember the life of their loved one, say goodbye and comfort each other. I guess that's my theme. Talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA: Why Do You Blog?

Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA: Why Do You Blog?

Conversations with Calliope- Back in Business

Fall Foliage

(Fall Foliage)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I hope you are doing better than you were yesterday.
JOE: I must admit I was discouraged and frustrated with my technology but I got it figured out.
JOE: Strange you should ask. In trying to use various FTP programs, I kept seeing a troubleshooting question asking whether my web hosting had expired. I thought that was ridiculous.
JOE: Well, I called my internet service provider who checked and discovered that my web hosting had expired since I had not paid my bill.
CALLIOPE: On purpose?
JOE: Of course not. I just forgot it and like everything else, the service stopped when I stopped paying for it.
CALLIOPE: How was it resolved?
JOE: I paid it and had my services turned back on. I was then able to update my websites and was back in business.
CALLIOPE: You have to be more careful.
JOE: It would save me some trouble. But I tend to be more the artistic than business type.
CALLIOPE: At least you realize it.
JOE: I do. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- The Best Laid Plans

(Water Over the Dam)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How's your organizational plan going?
JOE: I got through one day and started yesterday on some changes to my website.
JOE: Technology tripped me up again. My FTP program updated and then I was unable to log into my server.
CALLIOPE: Did you get it fixed?
JOE: No. I'm still stuck and will ask for some help from my internet service provider.
CALLIOPE: Sounds frustrating.
JOE: It is. I worked on that and a problem with one of my e-mail accounts. Neither problem is resolved yet.
CALLIOPE: I take it that means you didn't get to work on your writing yesterday.
JOE: You take it correctly. So much for that plan.
CALLIOPE: You sound frustrated.
JOE: I am. Just when I start taking technology for granted it rears its ugly head and reminds me who's in charge.
CALLIOPE: I hope you get some answers and get back to work today.
JOE: I hope so too. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Getting Organized

(Organizing Pigs)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How's the writing coming?
JOE: I'm working on getting organized.
CALLIOPE: How are you going about it?
JOE: I am trying to keep up with marketing and writing and find myself flopping around like a fish on the shore.
CALLIOPE: How will you unflop.
JOE: Organization. I decided to split my day. In the morning I will work on correspondence and marketing as well as related activities.
CALLIOPE: And the afternoon?
JOE: I will devote it to working on my writing and reading.
CALLIOPE: Have you started yet?
JOE: I tried it yesterday and it worked fairly well. But I think it will take practice to get in the habit.
CALLIOPE: Everything does.
JOE: I can't argue with you there. Today I will work on plans for revising my websites in the morning. This afternoon I will continue working on my audio recordings and later read to restore my spirit.
CALLIOPE: Best of luck with your plan.
JOE: Thanks. I'll report back tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Score Internet Marketing


JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: I missed you yesterday.
JOE: My apologies. I was off early for a workshop on Internet marketing.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about it.
JOE: Mary Anne Shew, president of Business Vitality, presented an all day SCORE workshop on Internet marketing.
CALLIOPE: What did she have to say?
JOE: Plenty. I left with my head full. I'm still digesting it all. I have been working for quite a while to make sense of the topic with little success. She brought it all together in a comprehensive and simple way which clarified the process for me.
CALLIOPE: So now you've mastered Internet marketing.
JOE: I didn't say that. Not by a long shot. But now I have a road map of how to start and where to go next.
CALLIOPE: What did you like best about her workshop?
JOE: Her "Idea Collector" where she invited us to write down ideas as they occurred to us during her presentation along with specific applications and expected results. I came away with two pages of specific actions, how to do them and what to expect. No one ever suggested that to me before. As a result what I learned got lost in my pile of papers.
CALLIOPE: What do you think will be your biggest challenges?
JOE: The two which come to mind are search engine optimization and implementing e-commerce.
CALLIOPE: Big topics.
JOE: I need something to work on. They will both keep me busy for a while. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Spiritual Wisdom

Boston Twilight

(Boston Twilight)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How was your weekend?
JOE: Excellent. I spent it communing with nature and with people I enjoy being with.
CALLIOPE: Taking a break?
JOE: Not really. It's my way of refreshing myself and reconnecting with what really matters.
CALLIOPE: How does that affect your writing?
JOE: It gives me a sense of perspective on why I do what I do.
CALLIOPE: Could you be more specific?
JOE: Without a larger perspective it is easy to become lost in details and spin my wheels.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about your perspective.
JOE: I think we might have talked about it before. It has to do with my spiritual focus or context for living my life as well as for my writing.
JOE: My focus is on understanding life, my own and that of others, and sharing insights which occur to me.
CALLIOPE: Is that what you mean by wisdom.
JOE: Precisely. Now back to work. Talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Wisdom Project

(Cabin in Oramel)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's up today?
JOE: I'm resting from all I did yesterday and plan a day trip to the Southern Tier of New York after I finish this post.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like fun. What did you get done yesterday?
JOE: I am working on becoming more familiar with the recording technology including my microphone and the editing software I found. I am beginning to feel more comfortable with it.
CALLIOPE: What else?
JOE: I found a source of free royalty free music I can use on my CD's at the beginning and end. I was able to download some clips successfully.
CALLIOPE: What about content?
JOE: Ah. The crux of the matter. I started brainstorming about the content and decided on a number of CD's for various age ranges.
CALLIOPE: Where will you start?
JOE; With seniors. They have had the most time to become wise.
CALLIOPE: What will you offer them?
JOE: Stories about wise seniors, definitions of wisdom, quotes through the ages, and some of the writings I already have. I will supplement these with thoughts of other writers.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like more than you can fit on one CD.
JOE: I realize that. I will start with one and then develop others depending on the response to the first. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- The Writer as Transmitter

Ship Communication Tower

(Ship Communication Tower)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Energized.
CALLIOPE: On what account.
JOE: I'm proceeding with my latest project.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE: A series of recordings on wisdom for various ages.
CALLIOPE: Sounds interesting. Where are you with it now?
JOE: Back to working on technology. I found a good microphone and editing software as well as a company to reproduce and distribute CD's.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like the mechanics are coming along. How about the substance?
JOE: I have been wondering whether I have enough to say. Then I read Julia Cameron's wisdom in The Right to Write. She sees creativity as a process of listening, recording and transmitting rather than trying to think everything up yourself.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a humble stance.
JOE: It is but I can identify with it. I often wonder where I get ideas. Then I realize that if I pay attention they come to me. My job becomes a simple task of taking dictation from my experience.
CALLIOPE: Interesting way to put it.
JOE: It's a lot less responsibility and more fun to boot. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Between Me and the River

(Between Me and the River- Cover)

JOE: Good morning Calliope. I have a book review to share with you today.
CALLIOPE: Great. Let me see it.

Between Me and the River by Carrie Host

In The Right to Write, Julia Cameron observes, "My body which carries a knowledge deeper than my mind, has answers for me as an artist and a person." In her new book, Between Me and the River, Living Beyond Cancer: A Memoir (Harlequin, 2009), Carrie Host chronicles her encounter with the river of cancer, sometimes paddling along, sometimes caught in the rapids and sometimes grasping desperately for the shore.

Her account reminds me of Dante's Divine Comedy, especially the Inferno with its River Styx and the Purgatorio where her body, mind and soul are purified. She never quite makes it to the Paradiso, although none of us do in this life. From the start of her account, I wanted to push or pull her boat to safety or paddle with her.

Before her encounter with cancer Carrie wrote poetry. She learned to watch, listen, smell, touch and taste the joys, frustrations, fears, defeats and victories punctuating her voyage. She shares with the reader her poignant observations, thoughts and feelings as her body experiences them. You will share with her the sting of each setback and the glory of each victory. As Julia Cameron says, "We store memories in our bodies. We store passion and heartache. We store joy, moments of transcendent peace."

Carrie's book shares her perspective on wrestling with cancer, from the loneliness of facing it alone inside her body to the loving support of her thirty-eight muses who helped write her story. She starts writing with the goal of finding an ending to her story. Eventually she does, "Radiating pure light, I've surreptitiously come to a place with winter clarity along the banks of a magnificent river, its roar a vague whisper, a place with all words sleeping."

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Fall Fling

Fall Fling

(Fall Fling)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Feeling productive.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: I finished my current column about the Fall Fling.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE: A community event hosted by City Church in Batavia. They had booths providing information to needy people on services available in the community. They also gave away an enormous amount of food, clothing and household goods donated by businesses, agencies and individuals.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like quite an experience.
JOE: I found it heartwarming. I have become somewhat cynical about how much people even notice struggles their neighbors endure.
CALLIOPE: That's a nice feeling.
JOE: It helped restore my faith in humanity and caring for fellow members of our human community.
CALLIOPE: Do you think selfishness is on the wane.
JOE: I don't think so. But at least there are corporations and individuals who do care. At least there is hope.
CALLIOPE: So now what?
JOE: It's time to keep reminding people of their struggling neighbors and to do what they can. Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Getting Personal



JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Thinking about yesterday's post and realizing I shared more personal information than usual.
CALLIOPE: Is that why you had to think about it a while before posting?
JOE: It is.
CALLIOPE: How do you feel about having done so?
JOE: I think it's a step in the right direction. Writing in generalities keeps my writing impersonal and harder for readers to feel a personal sense of contact.
CALLIOPE: I think you might be right. What's leading you in this direction?
JOE: I'm still reading Julia Cameron's book, The Right to Write. She has been quite an inspiration to me.
CALLIOPE: How specifically?
JOE: She shares quite a bit about her personal life especially as it affects her writing. I feel a kinship with her I would like to establish with my readers.
CALLIOPE: Ah, she's setting a good example for you.
JOE: Exactly. I hope to learn more from her. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Ravages of Mental Illness

(Statue- San Juan)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I missed you on Saturday.
JOE: I learned that some experiences are like some books. They need to be chewed and digested. I needed some time before addressing what happened Saturday.
CALLIOPE: Sounds rather dramatic.
JOE: It wasn't so much dramatic as profoundly affecting me.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about it.
JOE: Okay. I met a woman I had once loved and had not seen in ten years.
CALLIOPE: What happened?
JOE: She was a shell of her once vibrant and bright self. Only faintly glowing embers remained of her personality.
CALLIOPE: What happened to her?
JOE: Mental illness ravaged her and she almost disappeared.
CALLIOPE: Did finding her in this state surprise you?
JOE: No. I knew what to expect. Still it is sad to see the remnants of a once promising life now tenuous at best.
CALLIOPE: Sorry to hear it.
JOE: I have known it all too well as a psychologist but it's still hard to accept. Talk with you tomorrow.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Visit to the Real World


JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's on your mind this morning?
JOE: I was just reflecting on yesterday's field trip.
CALLIOPE: Where to?
JOE: Spiritus Christi Mental Health Center in Rochester.
CALLIOPE: What prompted that?
JOE: Several things. I had wanted to see what they were doing. I have considered volunteering there. Mostly I went since I committed myself to doing so as part of my involvement in the Mental Health Board in Genesee County.
CALLIOPE: What did you discover?
JOE: A unique undertaking. As far as anyone knows, they are the only such operation in the country.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: They have two full time employees. All of the psychiatrists and therapists volunteer time to see patients. They are funded by Spiritus Christi Church donations and a second hand furniture shop. They don't have to deal with any of the state, federal or insurance company regulations and treat uninsured and underinsured patients for free.
CALLIOPE: I never hear of such a thing.
JOE: Neither have I before discovering them.
CALLIOPE: Are you still planning to volunteer?
JOE: I want to see how things go with Americorps first. But that's a story for tomorrow. Talk with you then.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Writing Freedom

Mississippi Riverboat(Riverboat)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Still feeling good about my writing decisions.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: Writing for money or with an agenda confines my writing. I become responsible for finding what to write.
CALLIOPE: As opposed to what?
JOE: Letting my observations of life and the human condition guide me.
CALLIOPE: Is that a new approach for you?
JOE: No. It's where I started when I began writing. It's more a question of getting back to my roots.
CALLIOPE: Could you elaborate?
JOE: At the beginning I saw myself as a channel for observations rather than being in charge of deciding what to write.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you chose to follow your muse rather than try to force anything.
JOE: Exactly. That's how our conversation started in the first place.
CALLIOPE: I'm happy to lead you where life takes us.
JOE: Glad to have you as a guide again. Talk with you tomorrow.