Year End Clearance . . .

Me 2014

Looking back over 2014 and looking forward to 2015 I am lost in the following thoughts:

I have noticed that poems are not drifting into my mind as they have in the past.  I asked my muse about that and got the question “well, what have you done with the poems I gave you?”  I hurried to explain that I am doing something with them.  Really.  They will be in my book in the next month or so.

That reminds me of times in my childhood, asking for dessert when I still had food on my plate.  No way, said Mom.

I’ve been wondering about the news.  When I was young we heard news, at most, three times a day.  The morning news, noon news, and evening news.  In print we saw it either once a day and/or once a week.  But we weren’t flooded with it and we didn’t hear it over and over until it became noise, something we could tune out.  Once news earned its name.It reported events that were new, opinions that were new.  I guess we still have news, but it ages faster than it used to.

I am constantly amazed at young families who so gracefully carry a heavy load. I am hearing more this year of people both young and old who are not carrying a load at all but are now adding to ours.  That can have a crippling effect on the back.

After taking a deep breath and relaxing for a couple of years, we can now start holding our breath again as we go into a year of pre-election maneuvers.  I write about that in my book, comparing it to American Idol.  Think about that.

It is beyond imagination that this year people gave up some of their hard-earned money for a good cause only if they were allowed, in front of an audience, to turn a pail of ice and icy water over their heads.  Who would have thunk it.

Some people in Hollywood continue to think their opinions are important to our society.

When it comes to marijuana I don’t wanna think it’s becoming mainstream.  I know.  Don’t judge something until you’ve tried it.  But having tried it, I’m told, some people lose their judgement.  So here we may have a conundrum.

The girls are beginning to all look alike.  The look is fine for some, horrible for others.  I’m looking forward to the next hair style.  Time to go short?  To curl?  To braid, twist, lift, or shape?  Sooner or later.  I’ve lived through all the changes since the 20’s.

Time to regroup.  What did I learn this year?  It’s all about family.  One generation helps another, and it goes both ways.  This year I was on the receiving end and I was grateful.

Best wishes to everyone for 2015!

Book ’em, Danno . . .

I know I mentioned here that I might have a book out before Christmas.  However, the process will not be complete by then, so the book will be out sometime after Christmas.  It will still be a good gift item, however, for birthdays, Valentines, Mother’s Day, etc.

This blog is a fair example of what the book will be like . . poems and stories, true and sometimes serious, sometimes humorous.  In fact, some items from my blog will be included in the book.

I am told the delay might work to my advantage.  A late 2014 book will be old in January.  A book out in January will be listed with new books in all of 2015.  Good thinking.

It would have been great if a publisher had approached me and offered to publish my book.  Duh.  It doesn’t work that way.  Even if I had sent it out to publishers I might not get a response in my lifetime.  So I had no choice but to self publish, which I find is an education in itself and a rather complicated one.

Right now I am still checking for errors and soon will be working with the design department on choosing the fonts and styles.  Then I will work with the cover designers and then the back cover people, and then the printing and final proofing.

Gads.  It is quite an investment in both my time and money to self publish, so that if the project ever gets finished I am told I will need to be a great promoter of sales in order to earn some of my money back.  Aside from my own efforts, however, the book will be carried by Amazon and Barnes and Noble, iUniverse Bookstore and others.

I can tell you this.  The book will be called Playing Life By Ear.

So watch for later developments.

– D. M.


With a banjo on my knee . . .



I know I haven’t posted for a while, and for good reason.  I am on my way to my winter home, stopping first in Alabama to spend time with a grandson and his family, then on to Florida to spend time with son and his family, then on to Texas to spend Christmas with daughter, then on to paradise.  No, not THAT paradise.  The Aloha paradise.

When I visited Alabama for the first time I was so surprised.  For whatever reason I had imagined Alabama full of bayous and alligators.  Instead I found hills and beautiful forests.  Here is a picture taken this morning of the forest that goes uphill from our back yard here in Birmingham.  When I arrived two weeks ago the leaves were thick, in reds and golds.  It was gorgeous, and the trees go on and on up into a blue sky.

When I was in grade school our class formed a friendship with a like class in Alabama.  We exchanged stories and gifts.  Our Iowa class sent them corn.  The Alabama class sent us kumquats.  And suggested we pass them out and eat them.  Skin and all.  We were shocked at the idea but the teacher insisted.  They were good.

I guess it’s true we can neither like nor dislike something if we haven’t seen or tried it.

– D. M.