Poem Stories: The Cosmos by Han Yongun; Celebrate

Celebrate blog hopThe Cosmos

The cosmos is swaying
in the autumn wind.
Are your petals wings
or wings your petals?
Your soul is a butterfly —
as far as I can see.

The Korean poet Han Yongun (1879-1944) was a Buddhist monk, and also one of the 33 who signed a historic document in 1919 declaring the independence of Korean from Japanese rule.

This poem is a sijo. A sijo is a traditional Korean type of poem, just as haiku and tanka are traditional Japanese types of poems.

How do you understand this poem or other poems? Forget all the English class nonsense where there were ‘right’ answers about the hidden stuff that was in a poem that only an English teacher could work out. A poem is more like an ink-blot test, and there are no right and wrong answers when it comes to what you see in a poem and what you think it means.

Here are some things the poem awoke in me:
I wondered about the word ‘cosmos.’ I looked it up in the dictionary. It can mean an orderly universe. Or it can mean a variety of flower. Is the ‘cosmos’ in this poem the universe, the flower or both? (It makes me wonder what the original word was in the Korean and if it had these two meanings.)

I wonder who the Speaker of the poem is talking to that either has wings or petals. Or both. Are the wings/petals literally. And the soul is a butterfly thing— ‘as far as I can see….’ Interesting.

So, now, your turn. What does the poem mean to you? If you had one question for the poet Han Yongun about the poem, what would it be? Post it in a comment!


This is  a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop.

What am I celebrating? Well, it’s kind of hard these days. I’ve been sick and it’s been very hot and uncomfortable by me. And then I heard the word about the terrorist attack in France killing 77 (Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord.)

But I wrote a good poem last night after I studied the sijo poem above, so that’s something to celebrate. Can’t come out with a new poetry book if I don’t generate enough new material.

And on Lexa Cain’s blog, my friend Robert Mullin’s novella Blood Song was featured on a list of ‘freebies.’ I liked the book so much that I hope some more people will download and read the book.


My email list:

I’ve temporarily taken down the pop-up for my email list. I was hoping to put up a less annoying one but the one I wanted was not compatible with WordPress.com, just WordPress.org. If you want to join my email list without a popup to prompt you, the form is at: http://eepurl.com/FN2hr

Lesser of Two Evils; Celebrate

Bernie-Sanders-Called-Communist-by-New-York-PostSome people are fussing ‘why do we always have to vote for the lesser of two evils?’ Well, Romans 3:23. (For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.) If there is a candidate out there that you think isn’t an ‘evil’, maybe you just don’t know enough about him yet.

Then there is this: the ‘evil’ side of candidates is newsworthy. If a candidate says something the news guys think will get that candidate in Big Trouble, that is Big News and the news guys will cover it to death. If a candidate does something nice or kind or humane— media silence. Not news worthy. So by the time we get from the primaries to the general election, any candidate left standing is a greater or lesser evil.

We need to grow up and realize that no candidate is perfect. Moreover, no candidate can deliver on promises that don’t make sense (free college for all.) More voters need to educate themselves instead of relying on the media to propagandize them, and find a candidate and a party platform they can get behind based on issues, not media hype.


Celebrate blog hopCelebrate the Small Stuff: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/2015/01/celebrate-small-things.html

Today I’m celebrating doing the A to Z challenge last month. I didn’t post every day, but I posted a number of days and mostly stuck to my topic, zombie apocalypse. I got some good comments, even though I was taken off the blogroll for no reason I could figure out. And I’m blogging more as a result. This month, I chose 3 topics with the intent of rotating through those topics over the course of the month. Will I get blog readers? I don’t know. But at least I’ll be blogging.


???

 ĉar ĉiuj pekis kaj maltrafis la gloron de Dio;

Hints:

gloro = glory
pekis = sinned
ĉar = because

Celebrate; Important Political Announcement

Barack-Obama-in-The-Lying-King--110199In honor of today’s national holiday, I am making this announcement: I am GIVING UP my writing forever, even though I have 3 good works-in-progress.

I am going to devote the rest of my life to starting a new political party, the American Monarchist Party. We will amend the US Constitution to replace the President with a King or Queen. We will ask all the remaining royal families of the Earth to donate spare genetic material and create our first Monarch in a test tube.

Until our Monarch comes of age at age 31 (another new Constitutional Amendment), I volunteer for the thankless task of serving as Regent and exercising absolute power. (Run and hide, Disney.) So, in 2016, forget the Dems, the Communist dude and the GOP. Vote Monarchist!

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This is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. Sign up here: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/2015/01/celebrate-small-things.html

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I have just been reminded about the A to Z blogging challenge which starts TODAY. I will post the first post in that later today. Can’t decide on a theme and am open to suggestions. Thinking of doing politics, zombie apocalypse, or both.

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Celebrate: Poem published!

Snapshot_20160304 (2)Today I’m celebrating an unexpected poetry publication. Many moons ago, I sent off a group of poems to the periodical Scifaikuest, a zine of sci-fi related haiku and other minimalist forms. I’d forgotten about it and assumed I’d been rejected until I got an envelope in the mail with the February edition of Scifaikuest. One of my poems was in it.

More than that, not only did I get a contributor’s copy of the magazine, but they enclosed PAYMENT!!! OK, it was a dollar. But it’s only been the second time I’ve gotten money for a poem of mine.

Check out the web site ‘Sciefaikuest’ for more information on subscribing to the zine, or on how to submit your own poems to Scifaikuest.

This is a blog post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. Go to: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/2016/03/celebrate-200k-page-views-giveaways.html   to read the other posts in the blog hop, join the hop yourself, or find your missing pink sock.

Celebrate blog hop


Writing a haiku for Scifaikuest

Step One: subscribe to Scifaikuest and read it faithfully. Or, if you have no money, read their abbreviated online version at their web site.

Step Two: read a few books of traditional haiku. Copy out some of your favorites.

Step Three: Start writing haiku of your own. Write two or three a day. Expect most of them to be bad.

Step Four: Make lists of keywords. One list should be your ordinary list of words. The other should have science fiction related words in it.

Step Five: start writing haiku using the sci-fi keywords (along with some from your other list. Write one every day. Expect most to be bad.

Step Six: After a few months, pick out the very best haiku you have written and revise and rewrite them as needed. Put them aside and then revise again. After this, select a small number of your very best haiku with sci-fi themes for your submission.

Step Seven: Submit. Be sure you have read the current policy of Scifaikuest on submissions, and have followed the instructions exactly.

Step Eight: When rejected, go through the steps again until you are published.

Fighting Censorship: CTRL ALT Revolt.

 

66e97ea9f8371e1ba7fb1f7470515d72-bpfullhttp://www.amazon.com/CTRL-ALT-Revolt-Nick-Cole-ebook/dp/B01BKWKBCS/

Once upon a time, science fiction was the genre for the thinking man. Now, some thoughts are forbidden— thoughtcrimes— at least as far as megapublisher Harper Collins is concerned. In ONE CHAPTER of Nick Cole’s book, a Thinking Machine decides that if humans abort their own young, they might react to the advent of Thinking Machines the same way. It wasn’t a major theme of the book. Just a moment. But it had to be censored. Read more about the story here: http://www.nickcolebooks.com/2016/02/09/banned-by-the-publisher/

But there are some things to Celebrate about this sad situation. Nick Cole turned to self-publishing, and his book is now available to the public both in Kindle and in paperback version. As Stephen King, a left-wing writer once said, if you find that they are banning a certain book, READ THAT BOOK. As trad-publishing becomes more and more centralized in just a handful of companies, we need to become indie readers, and not just suck off the politically correct publishing teat.

Another thing to Celebrate is that it is SO easy to fight back against censorship these days. Even if you are a ‘nobody’ as far as the world is concerned. You can just start Tweeting Nick Cole’s blog post (link above) and sharing it on Facebook and blogging about it. For that matter you can Tweet/share THIS blog post. You don’t need to leave your house or even get dressed. Just do it!

This is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. You can find the blog hop here: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/2015/01/celebrate-small-things.html

Do you have a Facebook author page? I have one, here: https://www.facebook.com/nissalovescats/        Please visit sometime! There are kitten pictures. And you can share a link to your author blog and I will like it if possible.

September 11th Anniversary: Not a Small Thing

world-trade-center_1986818cToday is a day which will forever live in infamy, like Dec. 7th, 1941 (attack on Pearl Harbor.) Many in the media don’t want us to remember this day. They won’t show us images of that day for political reasons.

But it’s just the things that the mainstream media want us to forget that we need to remember. Americans tend to be in an isolated bubble when it comes to events in foreign countries. In 1941, most Americans thought that the news from Europe and Asia was sad, and that the dictators of Japan, Germany and Italy were bad men. But they didn’t think it could touch them until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

In the same way, Americans in 2001 thought that events in the Middle East were sad, and the terror organizations in operation, from the PLO to the new Al Queda, were a bad thing. But who on September 10th ever thought it could hit home in such a big way?

The world is becoming an ever more dangerous place, but our national leaders say ‘peace, peace, peace’ when there is no peace, and when saying ‘peace’ is only increasing the chance of war. The genocide against Christians by ISIS and Boko Haram is all but ignored, and even the flood of refugees in Europe is only a news story until Donald Trump’s next shockingly uncivil Tweet.

It’s not enough to stop and say ‘how sad’ about the September 11th victims. We must, each of us, make a daily effort to know what is really going on in the world that the mainstream media doesn’t want to bother us with. It’s our duty to know. And we need to pressure our political representatives, the President, and the various presidential candidates to do something about the refugees, about ISIS, and about keeping our country safe in ways that don’t take away our freedoms.

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CELEBRATE THE SMALL THINGS blog hop

Today is a very serious occasion, but it’s still a good time to thank the Lord for the good small things that are going on. For me, I am celebrating the return of my therapist, John Lindt, to work after a few months off when he and his wife were in a serious car accident.

I had my first appointment in months yesterday, and John seemed pleased with some of the progress I’d made in his absence– I’d finished a short story, which I hadn’t done since I’ve known him, and I became involved with the Legion of Mary at my church and did some evangelization home visits with some nuns who came to our parish.

We also touched on the existential horror of my house with its electrical, plumbing and hot water heater problems. John seemed to think that I would find a way to get all these problems fixed. I’m not sure I share his confidence— I’m afraid I may be stuck with no hot water and no working stove for the rest of my life— but it’s nice to know someone thinks there is a solution to my problems in this area.

Believe it or not, this is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. It takes place on Fridays and is a good way to get some more readership for your blog.

QUESTIONS:

Where were you on September 11th, 2001? What do you remember most about that day? Do you think America has learned something about the importance of overseas events from September 11th? Are we more likely or less likely to experience *Islamist terrorism again in the US?

*Islamist terrorism: Terrorism perpetrated by terrorists who are Muslims (or claim to be.) These terrorists may be operating under beliefs rejected by mainstream Islam, and non-terrorist/Islamist Muslims are not to be blamed for the deeds of Islamists.

Celebrate The Small Things: SP Anthology

Celebrate blog hop

The small thing I’m celebrating today is that I got up the courage to volunteer to write a story for an anthology called No Award, a science fiction and fantasy anthology for supporters of Sad Puppies, which is an attempt to push for a more diverse set of authors getting recognized by the Hugo Awards.

I don’t normally volunteer to write stories for anthologies. I don’t normally know about anthologies I could possibly write stories for. But this time, since I’m now a member of an online writers group for conservative and/or libertarian writers, I found out about this one.

I even mentioned the idea I had for the anthology story. It will be set in the not-too-distant future and center around a scientific discovery— a gene that causes homosexual orientation. And the social fall-out as gay people discover they are biologically straight, and straight people discover they are biologically gay. A situation made hellish by an intrusive government which keeps DNA records on all citizens and which also requires that one-tenth of government jobs be filled by licensed and registered homosexuals.

Anyway, I mentioned a bit about my idea and a couple of group members told me to go for it. And since they are group members I respect, that’s really encouraging to me.

I know I have no guarantee that my short story will get published in the anthology. But I feel optimistic that I could come up with something well-written. And since I’m a gay woman I add diversity to the anthology— not that this ought to be a major consideration.

My life has been a history of writing attempts failed due to either writer’s block or writing avoidance. I think I may have a handle now on improving that, but it’s a little fragile at the moment. I’m going to be starting the story this morning, and I hope my writing day goes well.

If you are a writer, how is your writing life going? Any new projects you are feeling enthusiastic about? Or is your writing energy waning lately?

 

This is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop.

Celebrate the Small Things: The Power of a Little Human Kindness

Celebrate blog hopCelebrate the small things: a blog hop.

This week our parish is hosting two Sisters from the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate. These Sisters have a charism (spiritual gift) for going out into the community to find fallen-away Catholics who have unmet spiritual needs.

What they are doing in our parish is going door-to-door and asking if anyone in the household has been baptized Catholic. If there are any Catholics, we ask about their needs— if there are children who haven’t yet had religious education, if there is a couple in a mixed marriage who might like to get their marriage blessed by the priest, or a sick person who needs a visit from the priest.

The Sisters take members of our parish out with them on this mission so that we can learn to go out into the community as they do. I’ve gone out twice so far— once with each Sister.

We have talked to several people. Some of them are older, sick people who just seem to welcome someone to talk to. In one household we encouraged a man to talk to his adult son about having a child baptized. This man talked to us for close to an hour. I think he was lonely, and I think reaching out to him— to let him know that the Church cares about him personally— was a good thing.

Yesterday we were warned by a lady not to bother going to a certain house because the man who lived there didn’t like organized religion. Sister Mary Lucia went and knocked on the door anyway. It turned out that the man who lived there had become Catholic when he married, had raised his children in the faith, but after his wife died of cancer did not go to church and considered himself agnostic. Yet he was willing to talk to the Sister for quite some time. She made it clear that he would be welcomed back at the church if he chose to go back.

What impresses me is how a small thing like going to visit with a person in their home can be a help to lonely people. I know that when I am suffering from lack of human contact, I don’t always go out of my way to do things like go to church or ask people for attention. It’s hard to do that. But if someone comes out to such people and is willing to listen to them and shows concern— well, even if you don’t believe there is a God you can see how this can help some very lonely people.

I’m going to be going out with the Sisters again today. This will be the last time, and the Sisters will be leaving soon. But I hope other members of the parish will continue with the work of home visits. We just don’t know how many people there are in our community, suffering from loneliness, that we could help.


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Celebrate the Small Things: Short Story Finished

Celebrate blog hopThis is my first time with a new blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things, and what could be smaller than a short story? Once there were so many short story magazines that many writers made a full time living at them. Then the magazines disappeared, and the few who were left didn’t raise their pay rates in decades.

Author and writing-coach Lawrence Block in 1979 wrote in ‘Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print’ that young writers ought not to bother writing even one short story. They should go straight to the novel.

I followed that advice with the result that I’ve written a large number of novel-beginnings with no endings. Not surprising. As a poet I mostly write short poems. I’ve even started writing haiku in the past couple of years. And so for many years the only thing I’ve published were poems and I felt like a failure.

Recently I was sick and a kindly doctor actually prescribed some hardcore pain pills for the accompanying pain. In the drug-fog I watched television reports of the race riots in Baltimore and I thought that the color of people’s skin was about as significant as the color of their shirts. There might as well be headlines: ‘Green-shirted Man Dies in Custody of Red-shirted Police Officers’.

Which in my drug-altered state led me to a weird idea of a city with people in all sorts of exotic skin colors, blue, violet, aqua, orange, red…. and the people change their skin color by means of skin shirts. I wrote the story and have now got with it to the point that I put it up as notes on my Facebook page, so a few friends of mine could read it and perhaps give me reactions before I do the final edits before e-book publication.

You are welcome to read it also (and more than welcome to ‘like’ my author page): https://www.facebook.com/notes/nissa-annakindt-poet-aspie-cat-person/the-skin-shirt-a-short-story-thats-not-about-race/449762488528479 As of this moment the first two parts of the story are up, and the third and final part will be published tomorrow. I also have a book cover— simple, but functional.

I’m wondering if perhaps the new publishing age we live in will create a renaissance for the short story. We can self-publish them as e-books, and even make them available for free (on Smashwords at least, Kindle insists on 99 cent minimum.) And writers of novels can write a short story in the same world as their novel, and make the story a ‘free sample’ for their full-length book.

Do you read short stories? Have you written one? How do you feel about short stories, as a reader or as a writer?

Find the other ‘Celebrate the Small Things’ blogs here: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/2015/01/celebrate-small-things.html


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Are you a writer, and do you feel your author blog could be better, or have more traffic? I feel the same way. And so I’ve started on a massive blog-improvement project which I am documenting in my blog post series Antimatter Blogs: How to Make your Blog Explode.

Each week (or so) I will post about something practical in relation to blog improvement. For example, next time I think I will cover how to use Twitter to get more blog readers.

‘Antimatter Blogs’ also has a linky list, which is at: http://linalamont2.blogspot.com/p/antimatter-blogs-linky-list.html It’s on a Blogger blog since WordPress.com is notoriously uncool about making these type of lists appear in posts. Once we get a few ‘Antimatter Bloggers’ on the list, it will be a great place to consult if you are looking for blogs to comment on.

To participate in the Antimatter Blogs blog improvement project:

  1. Follow this blog, using whatever method you use to follow blogs.
  2. Sign up on the linky list.
  3. Begin to follow the suggestions to help your blog improve and get more traffic.
  4. Suggestion One: Comment on other people’s blogs daily
  5. Hashtag #AntimatterBlogs