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Writing on bits

The founder and owner of, Men with Pens, James Chartrand, (her pen name) has a business writing course, Damn Fine Words, which is starting on September 3rd

She is also running a contest; it ends as the business-writing course begins on September 3rd.

Information on the contest:

  • Blog post article of at least 450 words on why writing is important to you and how better writing skills would change your business”
  • Two people will win a scholarship to the September edition of the Damn Fine Words writing course. (Retail value $1,599 each.)”

Writing is important to me because … I ‘need’ to use the written word to make money.  Luckily, for me the very act of writing makes me happy, because it is not generating any income.

At this point, I feel like I am writing something for school. You know, that dreaded paper that every teacher asks you to write.  ‘How I spent my summer vacation…’

I have no idea where I am going with this, so I might as well ramble on.

Last year, my fifteen year old complained about how much homework she was getting in her English literature class. When I had her show me the offending material, I was amazed and jealous of all the tutoring she was getting, everything from how to write a plot and characterization, to the ability to read and discuss literature at a college level.

We talked about how well she understood the class and her only complaint was that some of her classmates were trying to get out of doing their own homework. They would use sibling’s old papers or even get their parents to do their homework.

“Wouldn’t it be great,” I said.  “If the schools made parents take one class with their kids?”

Her answer was a silent glare. Teenagers can speak volumes without moving their mouths, and say absolutely nothing after talking for an hour.

“I would sign up in a heartbeat to take this class.” I said that aloud.  She said nothing.

I took my high school years for granted. The classes were just something I had to get through on the way to life, not realizing that life was right in front of me, never behind never ahead, just now.

I never know when to shut up so I added.  “My classes never had the content that yours have.”

Having an adult tell you that ‘your’ schoolwork is harder than theirs ever was, well, all the rolling eyes and heavy sighing let me know she was not taking it as a compliment.

Writing, for me, was something I wanted to do after I opened that first page of my mother’s encyclopedias, neatly placed, on a small bookcase in the living room.   I remember asking who made the books.

The answer I got was, “A writer.”

I often wonder if I were told, salesman or bookbinder or even garbage man, would I have felt that tugging at my soul.   Maybe it was God who whispered ‘Writer’ in my ear.

Let me try again.

  • Why writing is important to me… because I can’t see my life without that spark of creativity, pushing my hands to write.

Second question:

  • How will better writing skills change my business?   This one is easy. It will give me focus on the direction of my writing.

In order to take my writing to the next level, which would be marketing and ‘what-ever’ I am missing. I just know that I need to learn a completely new way of looking at my writing, and my life. Doing anything well is a progress, steps need to be taken, no jumping ahead I may miss something important. Learning the right steps helps keep me on the right track.

Earlier this year

  • I grabbed my domain name.
  • I have a couple of logos drawn out.
  •  I have ideas and a love of nature.
  •  I just need something or someone to help me pull it all together.

*I posted another article on this contest here…WikiHook  come by and read.  🙂

Anyone interested in trying out for a free class. Paste your link on the Men With Pens site. Do it soon! The contest ends on September 3rd.

Good Luck to all

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A walking path is never even. That was the thought in my head this afternoon when I headed out through the garage. The winds were coming at me from the northwest, cold and strong. First thing I wanted to do was collect one large bag of trash from the pole barn, there seems to be a never ending supply of junk in that barn.
As I opened up the barn I kept talking out loud to myself, I was hoping that the skunk who lives around the barn would scurry away when it heard me coming.

I consider it a good outing when nothing furry tries to chase me down:-)

After I had one bag stuffed and tied off I looked off towards the back path, or what use to be the back path. My tractor had stopped working this summer, as well as the gas mower. So parts of my lawn /field grass were ankle to waist high, making my walk an arduous excursion. I still had the narrow path that Uriah had carved. I decided to take a walk, before deep snow erased that path.

I stopped my non-stop, keep-away-animal chatter as I hit the lowest part of the path. I followed a line though the grass then turned to the left and walked on the incline, sidestepping a section riddle with burrows.

I made a mental note to bring with a small saw or heavy clippers next time, and cut the invading Bog Willows away from the old path.

I continued on towards the east invisible fence line. I turned towards the north and a wave of sadness hit. I kept walking.

I was in an area where, years before, I had been charged by a forty pound raccoon. At that time I had three dogs with me, they all saved my life.

I stopped and listened. Winds blasted over the oldest Bog Willows and rustled the tops of the four to five foot dried grass , then blew past me.

“ I think I need to walk a different path …” I said that out loud.

Instantaneously, a buck stood up, not more than forty feet from where I was standing.

I can’t speak for the buck,..for me, that moment moved in slow motion.

I stopped breathing and froze! I was hoping that he wouldn’t notice me standing in front of him wearing a bright orange jacket, I closed my eyes ..I really wished that would make me disappear!

A male deer’s mating, or rutting season is around November. Bucks are attitude with pointy antlers. And I found myself standing too close to one. If he charged at me he could use those antlers or stomp on me, yes they do that! Ouch!

When the buck rose up from where he had been resting, he slowly turned in my direction. I could see the wind slightly ruffling his fur as it blew towards me, lucky for me I was down wind. He snorted as he stood up and again as he faced me. He stomped the ground, and raised his head up and smelled the air.

At this point I was trying to become a turtle and shrink into my coat.

I didn’t breath! I didn’t move, that is supposed to work right? Or it that only for bears?

After a minute he turned and took a couple of steps away, snorting indignantly. Then with three effortless jumps, he disapeared in the trees. I got an impression he had springs for legs.

It took me a couple of minutes to relax and head back to the house.

Note to self… Tomorrows walk will be taken in the open, empty farm field next door.

oct pic. leaves have fallen off

Tall grass hidding deer

Male deer are called bucks, bulls, stags or harts. Female deer are called does, cows or hinds. Young deer are called fawns or calfs.~ http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_facts/Deer.htm

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The sun slipped behind a dark cloud, and for a moment I felt
the gentle rain cry down.  I closed my
eyes and listened to the large droplets patter across the dried leaves.   I
opened my eyes and looked to the Bog Willows and four year old Maples whose
leaves were a deep gold and red.

In my mind I saw as the ghost of time replayed their planting:  Uriah grabbing a sapling running off with a happy bounce, expecting, hoping I would chase him down.  Zeus ran in a circle teasing Uriah with his favorite stuffed toy hanging from his mouth.  Samson barked at the trees keeping real and imagined foes hidden in the trees.

Pain shimmered as reality stopped and slid around me like
the mists that form over the dew laden grass.

Maple leaves clapped in the reappearing blue sky and sunshine,
and a warm breeze drifted past.

I felt the ghosts of
my dogs move through the tall grass.  I heard them panting as they ran, happily barking and playing between the trees, sounds that drifted from my memory into this warm October afternoon.

I fell to my knees as tears streamed down my face.  I stroked  Uriah’s thick fur  gently as he lay panting. He looked up at me then looked away towards the trees. I felt we were both hearing the same echoes.
He drank from his water bowl.  I whispered how happy I was to have known him
and what a good dog he had been.

He didn’t cry. I was the one who moaned as I pulled myself upright, leaning on my cane, he watched with a worried look and tried to stand.

I told Uriah I loved him so much, and it was time to run and
play with Samson and Zeus, and one day we will all walk together again.

I helped him into the house, where he fell asleep and never woke up.

When Uriah died tonight I thought of everyone here, and how much this blog kept me writing. I hope everyone is doing well.

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I couldn’t believe the way the snow came down today, and just last week it was hot, and I mean uncomfortably hot, somewhere near ninety..

I posted this poem for today’s prompt “write a snapshot poem” this afternoon I also took this video with the new camera, – it’s a Nikon.  

Link to poem a day challenge: http://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/2011/04/16/2011AprilPADChallengeDay16.aspx

 I used up the Cannon after eight months and the Sony barely made it a month.  I had bought the extended warranty at Best Buy so I was able to try different cameras. So far the Nikon is the best.

Michael is beginning to think cameras don’t’ like me. I keep explaining that some electronics have gremlins in them

I thought I would have trouble with setting up a video, then I found using, Microsoft Live I could fix it and upload it to YouTube

Here’s April 16th, 2011’s poem..

“Freeze Frame”

by Gerardine Baugh

It is snowing

Uriah runs up to me

His thick coat is covered in water droplets

Looking up, he gives me a doggy grin

Knowing what’s coming I cringe and step back

He begins to shake

That, slow movement

Only his pudgy, furry body can accomplish. 

Where he turns his head one way, and

His body fat slips in the other direction

Water is launched from the ends of his fur

Encompassing him in a shower of reflected light 

I turned my back on him and the wind  

Time stops…

My hair covers my eyes

Snow blasts past me

An invisible serpent writhing as an updraft

Bellowing out my coat it slides up the naked trees.

Gathering up dry leaves from the ground, and

Playing with them around the tree tops

In a millisecond, sound stops

Then, the winds skate back down the trees

Letting go

Raining brown leaves within the white snow

Slipping across the grass, then

Like a playful child, pulls at my legs

Snowflakes hit my face stinging cold

Uriah doesn’t seem to notice the wind, or the cold snow

Staring expectantly

He whines and nudges at my hand for a treat

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 I posted todays haiku Challenge day 18..on the Examiner site.   Come by, tell me what you think.

http://exm.nr/hWqrai

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope, that someone special has said those three wonderful words today… “I Love you!”

I try to say them every day, even if I’m miffed. Michael got me a cake and candy; he is being a real sweetheart.  I just gained an extra ten pounds this weekend.

The snow is slowly trying to melt. I walked around checking out the status of the drifts.  I can’t walk anywhere off the driveway. The snow has melted to about waist level. 

No worries! Spring is just around the corner and I am happily looking forward to a long walk on the back path.

Uriah decided he wanted to run.  He took a leap into the snow and sunk. I had to dig him out. He wasn’t happy.

For day 14 of the Haiku Challenge the word is ‘LOVE’.

Haiku Challenge Day 14Love

Love is a dodo

Chasing it won’t make it yours

Put out some bird seed

  

A flame that burns brightly

Will one day set fire to the house

 You have to repaint

 

Here’s the link to the Haiku Challenge Blog…http://pendownmythought.blogspot.com/2011/02/haiku-challenge-28-days-28-haikus-day_14.html

 

I noticed that the date of my Blog Posts is off-way off. What’s up with that? The last two were posted on the 13th …I hope this one shows it to be the real 14th…

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Haiku Challenge day 13 grumble

 

 

 

Stuck in a tiny cell

Without food, water or shoes

Wonder what the rats think?

 

Hear the grumble of strife

Shuffling in corners and walls

Watch out the doors open!

Here is the link to the Haiku Challenge Blog:…http://pendownmythought.blogspot.com/2011/02/haiku-challenge-28-days-28-haikus-day_13.html

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