Men Too Gentle To Live Among Wolves…


Men Too Gentle To Live Among Wolves….

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It’s a “blog hop” … let’s get hopping!


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I was nominated by Daniela Elza (or I may have invited myself by answering Daniela’s call on Facebook for writers who blog… and I do) to participate in a global blog hop that has its roots in Young Adult Fiction. Daniela and I share similar geographies, she in Vancouver and I in Kelowna, both writing from spectacular British Columbia. I had the opportunity to attend one of Daniela’s poetry readings in Kelowna a couple of years ago and purchased her compelling book of poetry, The Weight of Dew.

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Daniela Elza is a talented, widely published and awarded Canadian poet who keeps a blog called “Strange Places.” You can read Daniela’s answers to our four vital blog hop questions about writing HERE. Thank you for allowing me to jump on board with you, Daniela. This is fun!

Now a wee bit about me. My writing genre is poetry, although I write non-fiction and technical pieces occasionally. I was born in Northern Ireland and have roots in rural Ontario farm life. A sensibility toward land stewardship and the arts led me to a degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph in 1987. I find myself revisiting themes of land, spirit and human narrative often in my poetry. Photography, gardening and cooking are other creative pursuits I enjoy, and family life with husband, three young adult children and a dog keep me from getting too serious about things.

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On to my blog hop answers now;

1. What am I working on:

This month is heavy with poetry readings and performances so my current work involves creating lists of what I will read, then editing and more editing and reading the poems aloud until they roll off the tongue. Earlier in the month I participated in a short poem a day exercise with a friend and poetry mentor, Heidi Garnett. We met and worked through several draft poems together and discussed how they could be made better. Great fun and stretching for me! I am working on a collaborative poem to performing at a music and arts festival this summer. And I get out regularly with another photographer and shoot photos. I see better that way. The details of things.

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2. How does my work differ from others of its genre:

I believe in the process of discovery and unearthing one’s voice, and the more I lean into this, the more I see my poetry is primarily different because of my voice, but also in message, theme and musicality. I tend toward lyrical poetry but I am also attracted to the avant guard, the idea of words/typeography as artistic objects on the page, although I have not yet pursued this past thought. I’m always learning, and hungry to learn and apply new ideas to my work. I enjoy writing workshops, lectures, conferences, and just finished taking a fantastic Brit. Lit Survey course at Okanagan College.

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3. Why do I write what I do:

I find writing poetry is like an archeological process, one digs away and does the hard work of digging sometimes for days with nothing to show, but suddenly, there it is, a corner of some compelling artifact peeking out. So you continue to dig, but in that particular area, carefully, gently, and something more is exposed, something meaningful discovered and brought into the light. Poetry is about digging away and stockpiling all the extras that aren’t really needed, or maybe again but later, and polishing the little itsy bit worth keeping. I love the sparseness of it, although I’m still learning what this looks like. The scariest part for me is taking apart at draft poem that I thought was going somewhere and turning it on it’s head. My mentor suggests this and it makes me quake but I know she’s usually right.

4. How does my writing process work:

The above metaphor explains it well, but I find I have to make space for it. For a couple of years now I’ve created a daily space of 3 or 4 hours each morning. Then I go to work, putting in the dedicated time of writing, editing, submitting, promoting, and also getting out into the community with my work. If I have a project with a particular theme, I just start writing things down. Sometimes in a journal, sometimes on my laptop. I think on it a lot. I chew and chew. Even when my writing time is up I am in the head space of writing, leaving myself notes on my cell phone that I return to later. I am a little lost to regular life sometimes. A bit of a dreamer. And I read poetry almost every day. It’s the last thing I read before I go to bed. I read lots of different poets that come across my path. And I live my life with my family. I watch what’s going on around me. Absolutely everything can become fodder for future poetry.

My three nominees to continue this blog hop are Robert Rife, Kathie Thomas and James Bell.

Robert Rife and I go way back, back to this side of the border. Rob is, among his many talents, a lyric poet of great sensitivity and grace:

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Calgary native, Robert Alan Rife, works as the Director of Music and Arts at Yakima Covenant Church in Yakima, Washington. He is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist (including Highland Bagpipes!), poet and, writer here, here, and here. His life and art are dedicated to discovering those places where life, liturgy, theology, and the arts intersect with and promote spiritual formation – who we are becoming. Rob’s blogs primarily at Innerwoven. www.innerwoven.me.

Kathie Thomas is a high energy and big hearted writing friend from Australia who has published several books. Kathie and I met online through a writer’s community and have since met in person when she did a Canadian Tour:

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My name is Kathie Thomas and I live in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, 50kms east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Surrounded by natural bushland and rainforest and visits by native bird life and wildlife – who could blame me for wanting to live here? And it’s here that I run my full time business as a Virtual Assistant. Not only that, but I provide VA training and web design and hosting services as well. Why did I start working from home? So I could bring up my 5 daughters. They are all now grown up but I continue to work at home because I love it.  My blog can be found at http://vadirectory.net/acsblog/

James Bell lives just a few mountain ranges over on the B.C. coast and we have only met virtually, though he knows my family well over many years. Jim has fallen head-over-heels in love with my country of birth, Northern Ireland, which has become his writing focus of late:

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Jim finds inspiration in many areas of his life: the education and tutoring of youth, literature, family, God and of course Ireland. He was born of Scottish descent, is a true Canadian (Brantford, Ontario), but when he married into his Northern Irish family, his focus changed. He has visited Ireland some 25 times with some stays as long as 2 months, and during those periods, his love for Irish authors grew. Jim lives with his wife, Esther now that his two daughters have married, both to men of Irish descent! His recent book, “A Year in Eire” is available here through his new blog! This blog hop will be Jim’s first post!

images-13Thank you for coming by. I hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little bit about my three writer friends and me. In two weeks time you can visit Rob, Kathie and Jim at their blogs to discover their insights into the writing life and see what three writers they highlight, and so on, and so on, every two weeks while we keep hopping along. And of course, you can go back to Daniela’s blog and work your way down other rabbit trails of writers. Everyone knows how things that hop get prolific very quickly! Just go with it.

Best for the journey,

Lesley-Anne

Party time!!!


The Party Group

The Party Group (Photo credit: theirhistory)

I’d like to invite you to drop over to bentlily, where blogger and poet and inspirational human being Samantha Reynolds shares thoughts on creativity and living mindfully.

Samantha writes among other things, a poem a day, and features a new poet every week on her blog. This week, I’m the one. And I’ve really quite excited about it!

Here’s the link!

And, if you haven’t visited my new poetry blog, find it here at Pop-Up-Poetry.

In the party mood,

Lesley-Anne, SDG

More information on posting photos on your WordPress blog…


Today’s photo information has, believe it or not, already been written about by WordPress… today!

I’ve never actually hijacked/borrowed/piggybacked content before… but here goes. Hope you find it helpful, and I’m going to dig in myself and see if I can trouble shoot one particular problem I currently have… photos being included in my photo gallery that I do not want included, but only posted singularly in my blog. So…

Here’s the link to everything you’ve ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask about posting PHOTO GALLERIES (and slideshows).

I posted this gallery yesterday.

Well… shoot… ma’am!  That’s pretty darn helpful! Thanks WordPress!

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WordPress (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)

Lesley-Anne

Top (10) reasons why Blogs fail…


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Image by Ed Yourdon via Flickr

1. It’s all about you…it’s all one-sided… you forget that a relationship takes both parties.  Your readers will know if you care, or if you are just looking for more traffic.

2. Your content is boring, yes BORING… I mean how many people really want to read all about your ingrown toenail and what you ate for dinner last night, day after day after day… come on!

4. Your content is too serious, you don’t keep it light and fun. Or, you take yourself too seriously. Even worse! (I need to work on this one!)

5. You don’t use photographs or any kind of visual images to break up the text. Borrow pics from friends, or use a photo app like Zemanta”. It really helps break up the words!

6. You talk too much… it’s got to be quick facts, not essays. I still struggle with this. Edit, edit, edit! My midweek random rambles are good examples. Many of my other posts are not.

7. You never answer questions or respond to reader comments. (see #1)

8. You are irrelevant. (see#9)

9. You don’t get out much. (see #8)

10. You only have a virtual network, not a real life group of friends, and they are only about networking, not relating.

OK, THAT’S 10, SO YOU CAN STOP READING NOW IF YOU WANT TO!!! (or keep going…)

11. Your motives are questionable. (see #1)

12. You are too busy blogging (networking, facebooking etc) and forget your real friends, which brings you back to #10.

13. You engage in many meaningless conversations rather than a few meaningful ones.

14. You pretend to be someone you are not, use old photos of yourself (or someone else entirely). I mean, someone’s going to want to meet you in real life someday… so be prepared!

15. You steal content from other blogs, and your readers find out (or not, but you still do it!).

16. You try too hard to be cool, trendy, edgy, sophisticated, ___________ (you fill it in) rather than just being yourself. Be yourself!

17. You are stale… don’t read anything, don’t stay on top of what’s going on the world, don’t respond to current events (see #9).  Does this mean I have to start watching the news?

18. You appear to be better than others, preachy in your content, hypocritical, judgmental, like you have it all together. This is never attractive!

19. You put expectations on people you don’t really know… make demands.

20. You mistake online relationships for friends (see #19)

21. You take a stand on something, but don’t back it up with factsYou have the audacity to hold out things like faith as an answer to real life problems. (I guess I fail here… but I’m not going to stop doing this!)

22. You state moral absolutes (I guess I fail again!)

23. You talk about people in your real life without asking their permission… you embarrass them, frustrate them, confuse them. You have to ask their forgiveness.

Thanks for reading… all the way to the bottom!!!

Lesley-Anne

Voice Two – Anne Linington


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Image via Wikipedia

Anne Linington and I have known each other for about 8 years… but have never met in real life! Maybe one day we will!

We first connected on a writer’s network called ‘Faithwriters’, and discovered each other’s love for poetry.

Anne lives in on the Isle of White, UK, with her husband Russel, and is licensed as a Lay Minister in the Church of England.  Anne’s heart is wide open for the adults with learning disabilities that she works with. Anne is inspired by the writing of Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, and Bernard of Clairvaux.

My friend Anne is a tireless encourager, and she speaks into my life as a poet and a Christian, adding to a growing sense of confidence in writing. I’m forever thankful to her for the gift of virtual friendship.

Anne continues to post her beautiful poetry online at Faithwriters and  Premier Christian Community.

With thoughts looking toward Easter, I gladly share Anne’s poem, “A bold move”. Thank you, dear Anne, for taking us there.

A bold move

It was a bold move
To welcome the news the angel brought
That the long-awaited Messiah
Foretold by her nation’s prophets
Would become incarnate
In the womb of her adolescent body
And through her
Be born into the world he loved
And longed to save

It was a bold move
Wearied and weakened in body
To make her way through the pressing crowd
Each vying for a better view
Of this man of oracle and miracle
Through the press of sweating bodies
The twist of dusty feet
She stretched her arm
And her hand touched his robe

It was a bold move
To enter the house
Where the men had gathered
Knowing that all eyes would fall on her
That her reputation would scream out
That she of all people was not fit
To touch such a person
Let alone pour her precious offering
Upon His feet
And wipe them with her hair

It was a bold move
To return to the garden alone
Searching for her beloved
Whom she had seen die
Whom she had loved in life
And so recently loved in death
To view the now empty tomb
And ask if He had been taken away
Or where she might find Him

It was a bold move