Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Prayer/Poem

This prayer/poem is an excellent follow up on the preceding blog because it's about giving meaning to your life. It comes from Donna McDine's website. I consider Donna a wonderful writer and friend. The more you know about Donna, the better off you will be as a writer and person. Please check the poem out and her site. It's a great way to start your New Year. Her site is listed below the inspirational poem.

O God of new beginnings and wonderful surprises,
thank you for the gift of a new year.
May it be a time of grace for me,
a time to grow in faith and love,
a time to renew my commitment
to following Your Son, Jesus.
May it be a year of blessing for me,
a time to cherish my family and friends,
a time to renew my efforts at work,
a time to embrace my faith more fully.
Walk with me, please, in every day
and every hour of this new year,
that the light of Christ might shine through me,
in spite of my weaknesses and failings.
Above all, may I remember this year that
I am a pilgrim on the sacred path to You.

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

The Arena Culture

This is the fourth paragraph in the "New York Times" article about our "Arena Culture." The whole article is rather interesting, and it has implications for writers, poets, and other groups in terms of what we write about and where we find meaning in our lives. You can find the article online below the next paragraph.
"For the past hundred years, we have lived in a secular age. That does not mean that people aren’t religious. It means there’s no shared set of values we all absorb as preconscious assumptions. In our world, individuals have to find or create their own meaning."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Best of the Internet: Greeter at Wal-Mart

Charley, a new retiree-greeter at Wal-Mart, just couldn't seem to get to work on time.Every day he was 5, 10, 15 minutes late. But he was a good worker, really tidy, clean-shaven, sharp-minded and a real credit to the company and obviously demonstrating their "Older Person Friendly" policies.

One day the boss called him into the office for a talk.

"Charley, I have to tell you, I like your work ethic, you do a bang-up job, but your being late so often is quite bothersome."
"Yes, I know boss, and I am working on it."

"Well good, you are a team player. That's what I like to hear.

It's odd though coming in late.  I know you're retired from the Armed Forces.  What did they say if you came in late there?"

"They said, "Good morning, Admiral, can I get you coffee, sir?"

Author: Unknown 

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Best of the Internet: What Love Means to a 4-8 Year Old

What Love Means to a 4-8 Year Old . . .
Slow down for three minutes to read this.  It is so worth it.
Touching words from the mouth of babes. 

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, 'What does love mean?'
The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.
See what you think:

'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. 
So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.'                              
Rebecca- age 8

'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'
Billy - age 4
'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.'
Karl - age 5

'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.'
Chrissy - age 6
'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.'                                
Terri - age 4

'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.'
Danny - age 7 
'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. 
My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss'                              
Emily - age 8

'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.'
Bobby - age 7                      (Wow!)

'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,'
Nikka - age 6         (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.'
Noelle - age 7 
'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.'
Tommy - age 6 
'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.  He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.'
Cindy - age 8

'My mommy loves me more than anybody.  You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.'
Clare - age 6

'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.'                         
Elaine-age 5 

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.'
Chris - age 7 

'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.'
Mary Ann - age 4

'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'
Lauren - age 4 
'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.'     (what an image)
Karen - age 7

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.'
Mark - age 6 
'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.'
Jessica - age 8 
And the final one:

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, 'Nothing, I just helped him cry.' 

We all need some kind of help in our lives. So, this is for family and friends…                                
Heavenly Father, please bless all my family and friends in whatever it is that You know they may be needing this day! And may their life be full of Your peace, prosperity and power as he/she seeks to have a closer relationship with You. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Best of the Internet: What Do Women Want in a Man? (Poet or Otherwise)

My daughter sent me this. It made me laugh aloud several times. It contains a significant amount of truth...

What I Want In A Man! Original List

1. Handsome
2. Charming
3. Financially successful
4. A caring listener
5. Witty
6. In good shape
7. Dresses with style
8. Appreciates finer things
9. Full of thoughtful surprises
10. Loves surprising me on weekends

What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 32)

1. Nice looking
2. Opens car doors, holds chairs
3. Has enough money for a nice dinner
4. Listens more than talks
5. Laughs at my jokes
6. Carries bags of groceries with ease
7. Owns at least one tie
8. Appreciates a good home-cooked meal
9. Remembers birthdays and anniversaries
10. Plans together time on weekends

What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 42)

1. Not too ugly
2. Doesn't drive off until I'm in the car
3. Works steady - splurges on dinner out occasionally
4. Nods head when I'm talking
5. Usually remembers punch lines of jokes
6. Is in good enough shape to rearrange the furniture
7. Wears a shirt that covers his stomach
8. Knows not to buy champagne with screw-top lids
9. Remembers to put the toilet seat down
10. Shaves most weekends

What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 52)

1. Keeps hair in nose and ears trimmed
2. Doesn't belch or scratch in public
3. Doesn't borrow money too often
4. Doesn't nod off to sleep when I'm venting
5. Doesn't re-tell the same joke too many times
6. Is in good enough shape to get off the couch on weekends
7. Usually wears matching socks and fresh underwear
8. Appreciates a good TV dinner
9. Remembers your name on occasion
10. Shaves some weekends

What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 62)

1. Doesn't scare small children
2. Remembers where bathroom is
3. Doesn't require much money for upkeep
4. Only snores lightly when asleep
5. Remembers why he's laughing
6. Is in good enough shape to stand up by himself
7. Usually wears some clothes
8. Likes soft foods
9. Remembers where he left his teeth
10. Remembers that it's the weekend

What I Want in a Man , Revised List (age 72)

1. Breathing.
2. Doesn't miss the toilet. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

See Joe on Saturday, December 11th at Lift Bridge Book Shop!

Saturday, December 11th, 45 Main Street, Brockport, NY at Lift Bridge Book Shop, "Local Children's Book Author Holiday Extravaganza," — Come See Many Local Authors, and invite Joe to your school! He will visit, and everyone will have fun!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Better Than Sheep Lice?

When I first read this quote, I laughed and laughed. If you haven't read BIRD BY BIRD, you need to. It's must-reading for writers.

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little."

Anne Lamott

Please leave a comment.

Friday, December 3, 2010

All Time Highest Blogs for Me

These are the most popular blogs thus far...


Sep 4, 2010
119 Pageviews
Nov 7, 2010
73 Pageviews
Jul 30, 2010
72 Pageviews
Jul 6, 2010
72 Pageviews
Nov 7, 2010
71 Pageviews

Who's Reading This Blog?

Who's reading this blog? People from all over the world. 


Pageviews by Countries

United States




United Kingdom




Poland                                                      9

Germany                                                  7                                                    

Mystery Lady of Plattsburgh

During the November book festival I was invited to perform poetry in Plattsburgh, travel expenses paid and a fee, but I hate driving, and Ralph Hunkins, my favorite undergraduate professor no longer lives there. To see him, it might have been worth the trip and then performing poetry all day for a school district. My wife, Marilyn, said that I should have agreed to do it, even without me since she has back trouble.  When the teacher or administrator whispered in my ear while selling books at the festival table, I didn’t realize that she had seen my show in the Brighton Room. I am almost positive that she is the lady closest to the viewer in the next photo. (This was a very serious moment when I was reading about my car accident in Chicken Soup. We had serious moments and humorous moments during my poetry show.)

Who knows, the Mystery Lady may contact me again. I hope so! I really enjoyed entertaining the group. Next time opportunity knocks again for travel, I will answer the door. I’ve learned my lesson.  My family thought I was nuts to say no.  Like I said: I’ve learned my lesson.

A Good Thanksgiving Poem

This poem was November's winner on my Monthly Poetry Contest for kids at The poem that wins has to simply be good and say something about our lives. This one is both, written by an 8th grader.

I Am Thankful

By Matthew Joseph Feyh

                             I am thankful for everything given to me.
                             I am thankful for a place to stay.
                             I am thankful for warmth every night.
                             I am thankful for friends that care.
                             I am thankful for food to spare.
                             I am thankful for grandparents that love.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

2010 Rochester Children's Book Festival

The 2010 Children’s Book Festival was a huge success, thanks to the organizers, volunteers, authors, illustrators, and the tremendous turnout—due  to the cold, wet weather on Saturday.  Children and adults were more than willing to meet authors and illustrators, get books signed by their favorite authors, and attend readings and workshops. It was priceless time spend inside.

I always have an excellent time at the festival. As a teen, I spent three baseball seasons in the Babe Ruth League, and I even made the All-Stars, but I never hit a homer over the fence. A friend of mine did who wasn’t as strong as I was. Right over the cyclone fence! When I am at the festival, if I look up at the right time and see the “jumbotron” with a large photo of me performing poetry, I feel as if I just hit a grandslam in the Babe Ruth League. It’s a small personal victory that brings me great pleasure. And I strive to inspire others with my poetry, and Monthly Poetry Contest for kids on my website.

Here's a more distant view of the screen on the far wall from the table I sat at...

Powerful Words Endure

These words are from Rick Frishman, best selling author, publisher, and speaker. I thought they were food for thought…

This was an interesting week. Ted Sorensen passed away this week. He was John F. Kennedy's good friend and speech writer. He wrote the words ""Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." Sorensen played a critical role in drafting Kennedy's correspondence with Nikita Khrushchev when the country almost went to war with Russia. Words can change the world.

"Powerful men die. Powerful words endure for the ages"

Reprinted from "Rick Frishman's Sunday Tips"
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