The Month in Review, February 2022: At Home & Work, My Debut Poetry Book, A Spillwords Nomination & A Poem, and Spark

At Home & Work

Photo by 422737, Pixabay

At home this month, I’ve been continuing to stay vigilant about the pandemic, which simply means that I am home often. The paradox about this reality is that the State of Oregon recently announced that they will be lifting the mask mandate by the end of March.

The news about lifting the mask mandate fills me with excitement and anxiety, which is very normal as these two emotions are closely related to each other. I also know wearing a mask is an individual choice, and I will continue to wear my mask until I choose differently.

Exciting news came by way of my oldest son Justin this month, as I learned that he has been placed at Mercedes Benz for his second and last University internship. Justin is extremely excited, and I am as proud as a parent can be.

The team and I have also just recently produced the Spring Term schedule of classes, which is always a lot of work, and is an exciting time in the department. Lastly, I’ve been preparing to welcome our new hire to the team, which will occur in about two weeks. 

All in all, it’s been super busy, and, yep, super fun.

My Debut Poetry Book

Photo by Mysticsartdesign, Pixabay

As you all know, I’ve been contemplating compiling and publishing a debut poetry book for some time.

When I learned about Ingrid Wilson’s new endeavor with Experiments in Fiction, which you can read more about here, it felt like the perfect opportunity and partnership.

Ingrid and I have signed an agreement, which means that sometime this fall/winter my debut poetry book will be available. I will keep you all updated as this moves forward. 

I am so excited!

A Spillwords Nomination & A Poem

I was elated to find out Saturday that I was nominated for Author of the Month at Spillwords Press. If you have a moment, I would be honored if you would go here and cast your vote. Thank you!

Voting is open through Monday, February 28.

Spark

Phtoto by guvo59, Pixabay

I’ve been reflecting upon and contemplating the concept of Spark the past two weeks. The concept arose organically within the team about two weeks ago. 

In the youth developmental literature, Spark is associated with the Thriving theoretical framework. In short, developing a youth’s spark is positively correlated with thriving indicators and outcomes. 

The above referenced article is decent, and here is a short two page theoretical framework, which includes the definition of spark listed below, developed by my graduate school advisor, Mary E. Arnold.

“A spark is a passion for a self- identified interest or skill, or a capacity that metaphorically lights a fire in a young person’s life, providing energy, joy, purpose, and direction” Mary E. Arnold

Oregon State University 4-H

What does all this mean?

Pragmatically, it simply means that when a person is ignited and excited from within, they feel better, and are more engaged and empowered.

It’s a very important practice to develop this kind of excitement on teams and within organizations. Actually it’s important for each of us as human beings on this planet to make sure our spark is always ignited, which is why I wanted to write about it this month.

If you have a spark and know what it is, amazing; if not, you can develop it at any time, and if your spark has dwindled, which happens, you can also reignite it at any time.

Spark is not a static concept, following a linear trajectory. Passion and excitement wax and wane, and they also change directions; and, that is okay. What’s most important is to always fuel our passion for life; and when that passion wanes, to reimagine and reignite it.

Photo by oleg_mit , Pixabay

I felt impelled to write here that I stand with the citizens of Ukraine, and vehemently oppose the actions Russia is taking. Strength and power come through peace and love, not through war and violence. The latter are the products of egotism and narcissism, the former, of beauty and solidarity.

My love, blessings, and prayers for safety go out to everyone in Ukraine.

Alright, that’s all for this month.

Sending you all love, and wishing you a beautifully blessed March.


#poetry, #blogging, #debut-poetry-book, #education, #experimentsinfiction, #february, #humandevelopment, #leadershipdevelopment, #peace, #poem, #publishing, #review, #safety, #spark, #thirving, #youth-development

A Few Reflections on 2021, Contemplations on 2022, and a Twitter Poem

As I reflect upon 2021 and contemplate 2022, there are so many wonderful things to write about. Choosing among them is difficult, yet worthwhile. Let’s take a quick look at this past year.

2021

Living Alone

Personally, this past year was one in which I learned about living alone. Now that the boys are grown, and I am recently divorced, after being married for over 20 years, living alone has been painful and beautiful. Both, wouldn’t you know.

It’s been a time of great reflection for me, contemplating my life up to this point. A time of grieving, and a time of great joy. I’ve learned more about myself as a human being on this planet this past year than I have in the past 20 years. Solitude is like that. A gift.

I am looking forward to more time alone, and to the learning that comes as the days, weeks, and months unfold this next year. I look forward to all of it.

The Team

The team is healthy and well, and is, quite frankly, one of the best noncredit education teams in the State of Oregon. Some would argue in the Nation; and, I wouldn’t argue, as it is quite possibly true.

We’ve been through a lot as a team these past 4.5 years, and the resiliency, innovation, and heart this team has displayed and continues to display is astonishing.

We are currently working on many new projects, the output of which will continue to increase access to education for many populations that face barriers to education in this country. That we continue to create bridges to education for our local community, and across the state, nation, and globe through our new remote program models fills my heart with joy.

The Blog

Well, if someone would have told me in the summer of 2020 that at the close of 2021 the blog would have acquired almost 2,400 followers, which it has, I would have listened carefully, yet would have set a more realistic goal, which I did.

My goal to close this year was 1,600 followers, and we have surpassed this number quite substantially, and I owe that to each of you. You have built this blog and the wonderfully thriving space we share together, and I honor and appreciate each of you for being here.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting me, and for creating a space full of love, light, and compassion.

Writing

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I would be writing poetry at the rate I am today. Writing poetry began in the summer of 2020 as a way to continue to process my own internal work, which is a part of my spiritual practice.

It started with a poem I wrote in response to another blog, I think, and from there began to blossom in my mind and heart, and today, I write poetry all day. Seriously. You should see the post-it’s I have laid out everywhere. It’s quite comical, and lovely.

This year I was blessed to be a part of our beloved Astha’s Anthology, Utmost Feelings, and several other Anthologies through True Dreamster. I was also blessed to have been published at Spillwords Press three times, at Word Weavings, and at MasticadoresUSA, and MasticadoresIndia, several times each. As you know, I am now a regular monthly contributor to MasticadoresIndia, which is a dream come true.

I am grateful to each of these wonderful editors for believing in my work, and for supporting me. They are amazingly talented people, and I am lucky to know them and to have my work published in their respective publications.

2022

I look forward to this coming year and know that there will be challenges, just as there will be many blessings. I’ve learned a lot this year, and I am grateful for each lesson.

I plan to continue to learn more about myself this year, continuing to dive deep within, uncovering more aspects of my human beingness, and the love I have for everyone and everything on this planet.

The team will continue to thrive and grow this year, as we set our sights on making 2022 another year of exceeding service capacities to our local community, by making noncredit education available to everyone, everywhere.

The blog will see a lot more poetry this coming year, and will likely see the Blogger’s Diary post continue, yet I am reflecting upon iterating the latter. I’ve not yet had the insight needed to do so, however, so we will see.

I am currently looking for new publications to submit poetry to this next year, and have already happened upon one, which I will submit to soon. I was planning to compile a book over this winter break, alas, that is not going to happen. Thus, it may be in 2022 that a debut book is forthcoming. All I can write now is that I will know when the time is right.

I am closing this 2021 reflection and 2022 contemplation with a Twitter poem.

as the earth swallows me whole
it is our love to
behold

a spotlight drowned

like
in the east
the sun rising &
the love deep within me
arising

a destiny ground
as mind & heart
are brokered with peace
no sound

needed
for it is in this display
of love where we are
found

You can see the original Twitter poem here, amongst other poems, and follow me on Twitter here.

I want to thank each of you again for being a part of my life. Being here is a blessing, and I cherish each interaction I have with you. You are appreciated immensely.

Alright, that’s all for now.

May the New Year bring you joy, peace, love, and many blessings.

Sending you all my love.


Photo by Tumisu, Pixabay

Photo by MAKY_OREL, Pixabay


#poetry, #2021, #2022, #blogging, #contemplations, #development, #leadership, #life, #love, #masticadoresindia, #masticadoresusa, #noncrediteducation, #poems, #publications, #reflections, #spillwords, #wordweavings, #writing, #year-in-review

A Blogger’s Diary 11/7/21: On the Week, Writing and Reflecting, Social Media, the Coast, and the Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: | Love Poems and Poetic Prose Contest

The Week

Photo by RandallBillings, Pixabay

Well, we are now five weeks into the fall term, and having face-to-face classes for the first time in 22 months. It is both wonderful, and a bit stressful. Thus far, things are going well, and we are now planning to double the amount of face-to-face classes for winter term. All the while realizing that at any moment these classes may need to be switched to remote delivery. We will see.

I’ve also been working on a new partnership with a regional corporation for employee training, which I am excited about. The training program would increase access to education and employment for many in the local workforce. A wonderful opportunity.

Writing and Reflecting

Photo by Nile, Pixabay

As you all know, my focus, passion, and creative energies are still focused on poetry, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I am in love with the creative process that has developed within me over the last year, and actually have amassed quite a lot of poetry, which may serve as the basis of a book.

I am planning to reflect upon the book, which does already have a title, and go through all of my poems over the winter holidays; the idea being that a book may take form sometime in the spring.

Of all the poems that have been published over the past month or so, unknown, and already unbound, and dusty, and delicious, are the two I’ve chosen to write about today.

The poem unknown, already, unbound, was a concept that occurred to me while reflecting on my dreams and how worlds (and our associated realities) are socially constructed through our perceptions. Meaning, that, though we’ve always been unbound and limitless, conditioning and socialization creates perspectives of limitation and boundness, if you will.

However, when we recognize that we are just like the tree, the sapling, and the seed, unbound, and already always walking into the unknown, so much of life becomes available. Increasing our awareness of these truths, creates a world, reality, and visceral experience of aliveness. Is beautiful.

The poem dusty, and delicious, was inspired by the WDYS#103 photo prompt from Keep it Alive, by Sadje. I think it is pretty obvious from the poem that the inspiration was, in fact, a reflection of my time as a child living in Los Angeles. My parents would always get donuts on Sunday mornings, and I would await the delivery of these tasty treats with bated breath. Seriously!

Reminiscing about my childhood and writing the poem was much fun, and, well, tasty, even. Ha!

Social Media 

Photo by geralt, Pixabay

In my last diary entry, I wrote about posting on more social media sites, Insta and Twitter more specifically; and that is now happening. I am getting the hang of both of these platforms, with, of course, support from some of our dear blogger friends – thank you!

These social media platforms are quite different from each other. With Instagram, I plan to continue to post each time I post on WP; yet with Twitter, it’s a completely different strategy. 

There is a 280 character limit on Tweets, which makes writing a complete poem a challenge, which is the fun of it. I am committed to writing one “Twitter Poem” each day through the rest of this calendar year.

Here is an example of one of my recent Twitter Poems.

love lives
in the unseen,
in the moments
in between, in the stars, and
galaxies, inside of you and me, and
in every living thing,
seen…

Super fun. I’ve connected with some of you on both of these social media platforms, yet, if we’ve not yet connected, I invite you to follow me, and then, of course I will follow back. You can reach me on Instagram here, and on Twitter here.

The Coast

Photo by agape357, Pixabay

As most of you know, I love the ocean; and, I am taking a trip to the coast in about two weeks. I am super excited. I am staying in a different town this time called Waldport, which is just next door to Yachats, which is one of my favorite places on the Oregon coast.

Of course, I will take lots of pictures while I am there, and will post about the trip when I am back. It’s been a while since I’ve been to the coast, and I am eager. When you grow up close to the coast, or the beach, sea, or whatever the ocean is called where you live, you yearn to be with the water, the waves, the salty air and mist, and the wondrous sea life. I cannot wait.

Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: | Love Poems and Poetic Prose Contest

Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: | Love Poems and Poetic Prose

I wanted to take a moment here to thank Gabriela Marie Milton, and to congratulate all of the finalist of the Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: | Love Poems and Poetic Prose Contest.

I am deeply touched and honored to be a finalist in this contest, and to be included in a list of such talented poets. I am humbled. Much love to all of my fellow poets, and to Gabriela for being such a wonderful support to our lovely community.

Alright, that’s all for this week.

Have a beautifully blessed week, everyone.


#poetry, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #keep-it-alive, #limitless, #perception, #poem, #reality, #reflecting, #reminiscence, #short-prose, #socialconstruction, #writing