Honorable Mention

I’m honored that judge Marge Piercy selected my poem “The Shape of Shadow” for  an honorable mention in the Joe Gouveia Outermost Poetry Contest.




Something New for Me

Today’s post is a plug for my favorite duo, Straight BS (https://www.facebook.com/Straight.BS.Duo.Different/), and for a new writing skill I was able to practice, thanks to them!

West Virginia Eastern Panhandle musicians Bruce (B) Reich and Steve (S) Van Order blend vocals with mandolin and mandola, melodica, fiddle, dobro, guitar, cello and electric and piccolo basses to deliver a uniquely creative and energetic performance. They feature Bruce’s melodic originals as well as creative arrangements of fiddle music, American standards, bluegrass, country, and rock tunes.

Bruce recently asked me to write lyrics for what was then one of his unnamed compositions. Though I’ve written my own songs before, it was challenging to find the words that not only fit the melody but matched its mood. Here’s a video of “Somehow,” the end result:


It was really a fun experience collaborating with the two of them to come up with the finished product!

For more videos of their different take on some old favorites as well as some of their originals, check out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTg3jYTF1J8QMlG5_s5WOJw

Straight BS will be performing at the Berkeley Springs Brewing Company from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 26. 

Thank you!

First, I have to thank my dear friend Rev. Sarah Anders for turning me on to “A Year of Being Here, ” a daily email subscription curated by Phyllis Cole-Dai. Each day, Phyllis sends an email with a poem dedicated to mindfulness, and I find it to be a nice way to start my morning.  I sent her a few of my own poems for consideration, and Saturday morning my inbox had my own poem coming back to me.  So a second thank you to Phyllis.  Here’s the link to her web site and my poem “Another Moment.”


More About Writing (and changing) our Life Narratives

An article in today’s Washington Post explains how writing down our “life narratives” can be the first step in changing the parts of those narratives we wish were different.  For example, if you’re always telling yourself that you can’t see a project to completion, try creating a story about yourself where that isn’t the outcome.  Quoting from ‘Redirect: Changing the Stories We Live By,’ written by University of Virginia psychology professor Timothy D. Wilson, the article’s author writes:

In the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, “small edits can lead to lasting change.”

There are some interesting exercises at the end of the article to help get you started.  Check it out!