Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Writing, Reading, Understanding

Just Stuff

(Just Stuff)

I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.~Robert McCloskey

JOE: Good afternoon, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon Joe. Did you sleep in?
JOE: Not this long. I was busy getting some exercise and ordering a new computer.
CALLIOPE: I see. Sounds like you have communication on your mind.
JOE: Here's a little story. My girlfriend received an MP3 player for Christmas. She asked me to load some songs on it for her.
CALLIOPE: Sounds simple enough.
JOE: I thought so too. In order to load songs, the device must be synchronized with Windows Media Player (WMP). Although the computer recognize the device as attached, WMP did not.
CALLIOPE: A problem.
JOE: Indeed. The directions referenced a website URL where all was to be explained. Of course there was no such site attached to the URL.
CALLIOPE: Still stuck.
JOE: Well, I found the site eventually and downloaded a PDF manual for the device. The first instruction advised opening a file which does not seem to exist.
CALLIOPE: Customer Service?
JOE: There was no number to call but I did find an e-mail address. My post was acknowledged but no help has been forthcoming. After much ado I discovered that the files I wished to download had indeed ended up on the device along with quite a few other files I did not wish to download. They were a mishmash instead of being in any particular order.
CALLIOPE: So now what?
JOE: I'm done. We agreed that it is going back to the store in favor of something with directions which make some sense. Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Writing Prompts

Zamboni at Sea

(Zamboni at Sea)

Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.
~ Unknown

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Is your mind still resting?
JOE: It is but I had a new strategy. I looked at prompts on my Firefox start page for inspiration but did not fine either prompt inspiring. Stuck, I found the above quote and decided to use it as a theme for today.
CALLIOPE: I'm glad you found something. I wouldn't want to just sit here and stare at each other. It's even less interesting in cyberspace.
JOE: Agreed. In any case, the quote led me to think back over my life to stupid things I have done, some embarrassing and some to my detriment.
CALLIOPE: Want to talk about them?
JOE: I already have in my memoir, Young Man of the Cloth. No need to drag them out again.
CALLIOPE: I suppose not. Have you ever repeated these stupid actions?
JOE: I must say I learned from each of them and went on to make new stupid mistakes. Fortunately I leaned how to make good decisions in the process.
CALLIOPE: So you are generally happy with the course your life has taken?
JOE: I am. For the most part I set me own course but did remain open to opportunities I could not have anticipated.
CALLIOPE: Perhaps new opportunities will await you in the next year.
JOE: I certainly hope so and plan to make the most of them. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Winter Doldrums

Nantucket Dawn

(Nantucket Dawn)

A doldrum is a period of inactivity or failure to make headway.

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What are you up to this morning?
JOE: Sitting at my computer this morning, I tried to decide what to write. Nothing came to mind except the word "doldrum."
CALLIOPE: Doesn't sound good.
JOE: That was my first reaction.
CALLIOPE: Are you dead in the water?
JOE: In the sense of not making progress, yes. However the other part of the definition (a period of inactivity) isn't necessarily bad.
CALLIOPE: You mean like taking a break.
JOE: Precisely. At least for me, pushing myself all the time leads to burnout.
CALLIOPE: Good point. How long will your break be?
JOE: Until next Tuesday when I start my AmeriCorps project.
CALLIOPE: So you plan to do nothing over the next week?
JOE: I didn't say that. I will just stop pushing myself to get things done. My brother is coming to town tomorrow from Hawaii and I plan to enjoy some time with him.
CALLIOPE: I hope he doesn't go home frozen.
JOE: It will help him appreciate the tropics. Talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Cyber Boxing Day

(Aquinnah Light)

Cyber Boxing Day- The online version of Boxing Day is sometimes known as Cyber Boxing Day. In the UK in 2008, Boxing Day was the busiest online shopping day of the year.”[18] In 2009, many retailers with both online and High Street stores launched their online sales on Christmas Eve, but their High Street sales on Boxing Day.

JOE: Good morning Calliope. Happy Boxing Day.
CALLIOPE: You mean Cyber Boxing Day?
JOE:I was just thinking about how the original Boxing Day in England started as a day to share gifts with the poor.
CALLIOPE: A far cry from what it is now.
JOE: Right. Now it's a mad scramble to see how much one can buy on the Internet for how little money.
CALLIOPE: Seems out of whack for the Christmas season.
JOE: It depends on whether you mean the original spiritual meaning or the commercial explosion.
CALLIOPE: Can't argue with you there.
JOE: I wonder if it could be different.
CALLIOPE:What would you suggest?
JOE: A reverse Cyber Boxing Day in which people would take time to share spiritual resources with those less fortunate without expectation of remuneration.
CALLIOPE: An interesting thought. I wonder what its chances would be.
JOE: Hard to know but worth a try. Talk with you on Monday, the Feast of the Holy Innocents.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Quod Scripsi Scripsi

Oak Bluffs Sunrise

(Oak Bluffs Sunrise)

I never know what I think about something until I read what I've written on it
~ William Faulkner

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Merry Christmas. There you go with your Latin again.
JOE: Sorry I couldn't resist after reading what Faulkner said.
CALLIOPE: Translation please.
JOE: It means,"What I have written, I have written." For the whole story, see John 19:22.
CALLIOPE: So share your thoughts on Faulkner.
JOE: Okay. What he said resonated with me, especially in keeping my journal.
JOE: I often write to myself about issues, concerns or possibilities I don't quite understand. Writing about them helps clarify my thinking.
CALLIOPE: Why do you suppose this happens?
JOE: I often shared my understanding of the process with clients during the course of my psychology career. The way I see it, my mind often swirls with partially formed ideas sending me in many directions. In contrast, I can only write one thing at a time, focusing my thinking and clarifying it.
CALLIOPE: Interesting perspective. Are you ready to let the wheels rest for a couple days?
JOE: I am. I'm looking forward to Christmas with those I love and care for.
CALLIOPE: I hope you find it joyful and peaceful.
JOE: Peace and joy to you as well and to all my readers.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Peace for Planet Earth

Nantucket Sunrise
(Nantucket Sunrise)

Life is all about stewardship. It all belongs to God - he just loans it to us for a short period of time. The first command God gave to man was to take care of the Earth, which includes managing and protecting the environment.~Rick Warren

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's on your mind today?
JOE: I've been thinking about the newsletter I published this weekend about peace and how we can achieve it.
JOE: My focus was on how we approach each other. I neglected to say anything about how we approach the earth itself.
CALLIOPE: Tell me.
JOE: It's like I'm suggesting people treat each other with respect and then go trash their homes.
CALLIOPE: You think it's that bad?
JOE: When we allow the earth to poison its inhabitants due to the way we treat it, I think it is that bad.
CALLIOPE: What can you do about it?
JOE: I think of John the Baptist, the voice of one crying in the desert.
CALLIOPE: That's how you feel?
JOE: Sometimes I do. Many people are beginning to take environmental concerns seriously while others poo-poo them.
CALLIOPE: Getting upset won't help.
JOE: I realize that. I guess I can just keep doing my part. Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- A Fuzzy Tale

Fuzzy the Clown

(Fuzzy the Clown)

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.
~Ernest Hemingway

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What news?
JOE: Yesterday I mentioned my search for a name badge for my lover, Fuzzy the Clown.
JOE: I wanted to tell you more about the search.
CALLIOPE: Be my guest.
JOE: I started at an office supply store which I knew did a variety of printing tasks.
CALLIOPE: Sounds logical.
JOE: I thought about how to explain what I wanted although it seemed obvious to me.
JOE: I approached a very attractive young clerk and looked forward to our transaction.
CALLIOPE: Were you disappointed?
JOE: I explained that I wanted a personalized name tag for a clown. She went to consult one wiser than she and returned to say that they had plastic sleeves with pins in a certain aisle. I explained that I wanted to provide my own graphics and also wanted a more substantial tag. This seemed to flummox her. She called a still wiser person and then showed me her catalog which did not seem to offer the option of providing my own graphic, even though there were examples of what seemed to be customer provided graphics. I again explained that I would like to provide my own graphic. She offered to have me fill out a form which they would send to their reproduction company to create the badge. She seemed annoyed when I asked her how a form could convey my graphic. I offered to provide it on a disc or by e-mail. She said she would have to check into it and call me back. We both ended the discussion frustrated. So far I have not heard back from her and have made other arrangements on the Internet.
CALLIOPE: The moral being that listening is not so easy?
JOE: It is. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- What's in a Name

Navajo Code Talkers

(Navajo Code Talkers)

What's in a name?
That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Great weekend newsletter.
JOE: Thanks, I had a variety of nice comments.
CALLIOPE: What's on your mind today?
JOE: Saturday I tried to track down a name badge for my lover, Fuzzy the Clown. I had meant to order her one for Christmas and forgot to. Now I'm in a last minute search.
CALLIOPE: Good luck.
JOE: This morning I woke up thinking about names and their significance.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: In fiction and real life, some names bring to mind whole stories while stories bring to mind certain names.
CALLIOPE: Were you thinking of any names and stories in particular?
JOE: I thought of quite a few. One connection which comes to mind is Tom Sawyer and the Antebellum South.
CALLIOPE: Do you think fiction and reality intersect?
JOE: I named my youngest daughter Becky after Becky Thatcher. Talk with you tomorrow.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter Scene

Peace on Earth and In Our Hearts

Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one. ~
John Lennon.

At Christmas time we hope and pray for peace. But is it only a dream? In pursuing inspiration for this topic, I found that others have preceded me and spoken more eloquently than I can. Let me share some of their words with you.

What Peace Is Not

Indira Gandhi said, You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist. How can we reach out to others if we harden our hearts? Mother Theresa added, If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Instead of living as a world community we have divided into factions set against each other.

Jimi Hendrix seemed to quote William Gladstone, When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will have peace. Power once grasped is hard to release but power over others sets us against each other. Albert Einstein elaborated, Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. Not knowing and understanding our brothers and sisters leads us to fear them.

Francisco Petrarch wrote, Five enemies of peace inhabit us- avarice, ambition, envy, anger and pride; if these were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perfect peace. It is easy to blame others for conflict. How often do we look for our own roadblocks? The Dalai Lama said, This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. Waiting to be shown the way to peace keeps us from starting on a peaceful path.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it. Others can hear us talking about peace but won’t take us seriously until they see our peaceful acts. Henri Nouwen added, Much violence is based on the illusion that life is a property to be defended and not to be shared. Once we try to grab peace for ourselves rather than share it with others, it shatters.

What Peace Is

Dorothy Thompson moves us toward a positive understanding of peace. Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict. We can’t expect to agree on everything but must find ways to connect with each other. Albert Camus agreed. Peace is the only battle worth waging. What if we spent as much energy and money enhancing each others’ lives as we do trying to destroy each other?

Elsewhere Mother Theresa said, All works of love are works of peace. Somehow we must find a way to move from fearing and hating each other to mutual love and respect. Joan Chittister shares a key to peace, Awareness of the sacred in life is what holds our world together and the lack of awareness and sacred care is what is tearing it apart. She reminds us that peace involves a shared spiritual understanding of our world community.

Malcolm X said, You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has freedom. Our challenge is to find a way to make us all free. Pope John XXIII took this to an international level. The true and solid peace of nations consists not in equality of arms, but in mutual trust alone. The arms race made for a very nervous world. Opening our arms invites others to our embrace.

How We Can Find Peace

John Kennedy said, But peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. Finding peace is not the job of just a few statesmen but the quest of our world community. Cicero wrote, Laws are silent in times of war. We are born to unite with our fellow men and to join in community with the human race. We can’t beat peace into each other. We must join hands and search for it together.

Henry David Thoreau wrote, As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness. Being alone and needy gives us a chance to meet each other’s needs. Francis De Sales said, Do not lose your inward peace for anything whatsoever, even if the whole world seems upset. Approaching each other with our own peace helps us to work together for world peace.

Thomas Paine wrote, He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself. None of us is at peace unless we all are. Yehudi Menuhin challenges us, Peace may sound simple- one beautiful word- but it requires everything we have, every quality, every strength, every dream, every high ideal. Are we ready for the challenge?

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. ~ Matthew, V:9

Life Lab Lessons

  • How can you find peace within yourself?

  • What can you bring to the peace table?

  • What fears and hatreds keep you in turmoil?

  • Dare to risk opening yourself to those you don’t understand.

  • Work together to find a common path toward peace.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Long in the Tooth

Preservation Hall(Preservation Hall)

It is sad to grow old, but nice to ripen.~Brigitte Bardot

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Not bad. I had my annual physical yesterday and found that I had few signs of aging.
CALLIOPE: I suppose that's not surprising.
JOE: It's better than the alternative.
CALLIOPE: Anything serious?
JOE: No. Just little things that most people face as they grow older.
CALLIOPE: How do you compare with others?
JOE: I don't have any life threatening or debilitating conditions. I did have a bout with rheumatoid arthritis but now that's under control.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you're doing better than most people.
JOE: I think so. I count myself fortunate to be in such good health.
CALLIOPE: Do you need to make any adjustments?
JOE: I will have my vision checked to make sure nothing serious is going on. I also need to get back on the track with my nutrition since I have put back on some of the weight I lost.
CALLIOPE: In other words, you just have to be a little more careful.
JOE: Correct. I can't just take my body for granted. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- New Challenges

There is no greater challenge than to have someone relying upon you; no greater satisfaction than to vindicate his expectation.~Kingman Brewster

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Exhilarated. I completed all my registration procedures at AmeriCorps and planned my initial activities at my GoArt placement yesterday.
CALLIOPE: Congratulations. Any surprises?
JOE: I wasn't expecting any and none appeared.
CALLIOPE: I guess that's good.
JOE: It is.
CALLIOPE: What are your duties.
JOE: I will work three days a week. One task will be working on web presence. Another will be to develop more interaction with the artists.
CALLIOPE: Anything else.
JOE: I most likely will be working with teens on creative writing. The program is still at the idea stage.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you will have plenty to keep you busy.
JOE: I think so. If not, new challenges always arise.
CALLIOPE: Good luck with you project.
JOE: Thanks. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- AmeriCorps at Last

Peter Langen Drawing Drawing

There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting. ~Buddha

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's up for today?
JOE: A new beginning.
JOE: You recall that in May I explored the possibility of involvement with AmeriCorps?
JOE: Well, it's finally time. I am going this morning to sign up and get my schedule so I can start my placement in January.
CALLIOPE: Remind me what you will be doing.
JOE: I will be working at GoArt in Batavia. It is the local arts council. I think I will be doing mainly publicity but I'm not entirely sure yet.
CALLIOPE: So you will become familiar with my fellow muses.
JOE: I will. GoArt focuses mostly on visual art, but also music sometimes and community events.
CALLIOPE: Anything special you would like to bring to it?
JOE: I am interested in working with teens interested in developing their creative writing.
CALLIOPE: Would that be something new.
JOE: It is there. We shall see what interest there is. I'll update you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Finding Peace

Vineyard Sunrise

"Blessed are the peacemakers. For they shall be called the children of God."~Matthew, V:9.

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: I've been quite busy. I woke up at 2:00 AM, my mind churning with ideas for this week's column.
CALLIOPE: As I recall you were writing about peace.
JOE: Correct. I usually start with a relevant quote and went in search of one.
CALLIOPE: What did you discover?
JOE: Hundreds of quotes about peace. I just couldn't decide which was best.
CALLIOPE: So what did you conclude?
JOE: To write a column consisting entirely of peace quotes and brief commentary. Even then I went over my space allotment and still did not include all the quotes I had chosen.
CALLIOPE: Anything surprising?
JOE: Yes. William Gladstone said, "We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will the world know the blessings of peace." Jimi Hendrix said, "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."
CALLIOPE: How do you suppose both came up with almost the same quote?
JOE: Beats me. The only think I can imagine is that Hendrix read Gladstone or heard about him. After all he did become famous in England in the mid sixties and became friends with The Rolling Stones, The Who and Eric Clapton.
CALLIOPE: Quite interesting.
JOE: As Cicero said over two thousand years ago, "Laws are silent in times of war. We are born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Pondering Peace

Monastery Garden

(Monastery Garden)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Ready for another week?
JOE: I am. With plenty to do.
CALLIOPE: Such as?
JOE: I'm nearing the end of my latest review of Marital Property. Then I'll read it aloud and make copies for a few readers.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you are making good progress. Anything else on your plate?
JOE: It's column/ newsletter time again.
CALLIOPE: Do you have a topic ready?
JOE: In a general sense. I would to write about peace.
CALLIOPE: A common topic this time of year.
JOE: Indeed. I don't want to offer platitudes.
CALLIOPE: What will you offer.
JOE: Perhaps some of my musings about how peace can be achieved. No matter how many people reach for it, terrorists and other ne'er-do-wells continue to prowl the earth.
CALLIOPE: Do you think you have the answer?
JOE: I wouldn't be that presumptuous. But perhaps I can help clarify the question. Talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- The Tale Continues

Butterfly Museum, Niagara Falls, Ontario

(Butterfly Museum, Niagara Falls, Ontario)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How is the review of your manuscript coming.
JOE: I am happy to report that Marital Property has aged well over the past few months.
CALLIOPE: I take it you have found time to continue working on it.
JOE: I have.
CALLIOPE: What have you discovered?
JOE: Mostly typos and weaknesses in phrasing at points.
CALLIOPE: Other than fixing those, anything else?
JOE: I found a few places what I assumed the writer knew what I did.
CALLIOPE: Bad assumption.
JOE: I realize that and fixed it when I came across passages where there was no foundation for a character acting or talking a certain way.
CALLIOPE: That's good.
JOE: I also found a couple actions which I foreshadowed but did not include in the story. If I didn't fix that some readers might finish the book wondering what happened.
CALLIOPE: Also a good catch. Best of luck with the rest of the manuscript.
JOE: Thanks. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Winter Bread

(Herb Market- Vigo, Spain)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Pondering bread.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like there might be a story behind that.
JOE: Nothing too profound. Carol and I are having friends over tonight who will be away from Christmas.
JOE: I am making bread for the occasion.
CALLIOPE: I see. How about the pondering?
JOE: I thought about the various flours, yeast and other ingredients and how it would be to put them on a plate and serve them.
CALLIOPE: Not too appetizing.
JOE: Yet with the correct balance, rising and baking, a wonderful result ensues.
JOE: The same is true of a pile of words, phrases, editing and revision. Each in itself is rather boring.
CALLIOPE: But with care they result in an intriguing story.
JOE: Precisely so. With the bread in the oven, I will return to writing. Talk with you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Facing Winter

The Rockies

(The Rockies)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Bracing for winter.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: Just as I am reviewing late Fall and Winter scenes from Marital Property, the first winter storm arrived here in Western New York.
CALLIOPE: A double whammy.
JOE: Indeed. My real and fantasy worlds are both preparing for a long siege of blustery weather.
CALLIOPE: Does that depress you?
JOE: I must admit I prefer sitting in the back yard in shirt sleeves.
CALLIOPE: Any advantages to winter?
JOE: Overall I do less traveling and become more focused on indoor activities such as writing.
CALLIOPE: Not a bad thing.
JOE: No, it isn't. Sometimes I wonder if I would appreciate summer if I did not have winter for contrast.
CALLIOPE: You might take it for granted.
JOE: Perhaps. But I'll use whatever incentives I can find. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Progress in the Vineyard

Cruise Ship off Oak Bluffs

(Cruise Ship off Oak Bluffs)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How goes it today?
JOE: Well. I'm hard at work.
CALLIOPE: Continuing to review your novel?
JOE: Correct. I have pored over eighty-eight pages of Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: What have you discovered?
JOE: I am happy with the plot, character development and the rotating point of view.
CALLIOPE: Did you encounter any difficulties?
JOE: Nothing of much importance. I did find minor typos and ways to improve wording and phrasing.
CALLIOPE: So you are happy with what you see?
JOE: In general, yes. I think my characters and I were getting a little too familiar with each other. The break has been good for all of us and we are ready to get back to work.
CALLIOPE: Do you have a deadline for finishing work on the manuscript?
JOE: No. I have learned from past projects that pushing myself leads to mistakes although I satisfy my impulsive nature. I'm working on patience.
CALLIOPE: Good for you.
JOE: Talk with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Cynthia and Denis

Menemsha at Sunset

(Menemsha at Sunset)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What are you up to today.
JOE: Continuing my visit with Cynthia and Denis.
CALLIOPE: Those names sound a little familiar.
JOE: They are two of the main characters in my book, Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: I see. How are the three of you getting along?
JOE: Pretty well considering their dire circumstances with their marriage crumbling around them and their children at wit's end wondering what will become of them.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a mess.
JOE: It is. Fortunately they are just characters I invented.
CALLIOPE: From what raw materials.
JOE: Partly from couples I have met over the years and partly based on how I would feel in their predicament.
CALLIOPE: How does the manuscript look after a rest in the wine cellar.
JOE: Not bad. I'm going through it sprucing up the grammar here and there but the plot and description don't sound too bad to me.
CALLIOPE: Keep at it.
JOE: I plan to. Talk with you tomorrow.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- A Novel Idea

New Bedford Fishing Boats

(New Bedford Fishing Boats)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How was your weekend?
JOE: Relaxing. I took a break to catch my breath before the next project.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE: I decided to get my novel, Marital Property, out of mothballs and think again about publishing it.
CALLIOPE: Have you looked at it lately?
JOE: No. I planned to but then became absorbed in working on my CD.
CALLIOPE: Where did you leave off with it?
JOE: My first draft seemed dull in the third person.
CALLIOPE: I recall that you changed the voice.
JOE: I did. I let several of my characters take turns narrating from their points of view.
CALLIOPE: Did you think that improved the story?
JOE: The story hasn't changed much although I think the various points of view enhance it.
CALLIOPE: Let me know what you decide.
JOE: I will be sure to. Talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Coversations with Calliope- Now What

Art Show

(Ice Show)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's new?
JOE: Nothing much. I'm just considering plans for the winter.
CALLIOPE: Anything different about this one?
JOE: For one thing, I will be starting my Americorps placement in January.
CALLIOPE: The one at the Arts Council?
JOE: Yes, GoArt in Batavia.
CALLIOPE: Do you know what you will be doing there?
JOE: Not yet. We talked about some ideas. I will meet with the director on Wednesday to discuss schedules and goals.
CALLIOPE: Sounds interesting.
JOE: I'm looking forward to it. I have spent most of my time alone lately with my writing. It will be good to be back in circulation.
CALLIOPE: How will it affect your writing?
JOE: I imagine I will have less time and might need to plan better. I will try to include some creative writing in my duties at GoArt.
CALLIOPE: Good luck with it.
JOE: Thanks. Talk with you on Monday.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Writing and Marketing

Weather Vane

(Weather Vane)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I missed you yesterday.
JOE: I missed you too.
CALLIOPE: Where were you?
JOE: On the road.
CALLIOPE: To where?
JOE: Marketing my new CD. I visited some stores I thought might be interested in selling it.
CALLIOPE: How did that go?
JOE: I made some new contacts and renewed old ones.
CALLIOPE: Any success.
JOE: I found a few stores. What I found interesting was the great variety in arrangements.
CALLIOPE: Such as?
JOE: One bought CD's wholesale. One took copies on consignment. Two wanted review copies first. There was also quite a variety of percentages requested, some quite reasonable and some beyond what I could afford to do.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you are getting to know the real world.
JOE: I am. It's a fascinating place. Talk with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Conversations with Calliope- Saint Nicholas and My Grandfather

(My Grandfather)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I missed you yesterday.
JOE: I was wrestling with a virus.
JOE: No my computer's. But its better today.
CALLIOPE: What else have you been up to?
JOE: Working on my column for Saturday.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE: I started thinking about the words Shakespeare put in Mark Antony's mouth after the Roman Senate assassinated Julius Caesar.
CALLIOPE: The evil men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.
JOE: Precisely. Then I thought of two exceptions although there are many more.
CALLIOPE: Tell me.
JOE: Saint Nicholas was renowned for his secret gifts to the poor in the fourth century. My grandfather left a quieter legacy in 1959.
CALLIOPE: Sounds interesting.
JOE: You will see it on my website Saturday. Talk with you tomorrow.