Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Screens of Glass Truths

Poetry 101 wanted us to write about screens and utilize enjambments. I'm not good at just enjambing on the fly. So I wrote it in the form of a sonnet, and then I went back and changed the flow around. Here they are: first with enjambment and then as a sonnet, what do you think?

We're hidden
Here behind these screens of glass.
Few little words
Just sitting there.
They glow.
But truth is now revealed
By all
En mass.

These screens allow ideas
Free flow.
These screens they hide us
Thus allowing sights
Of our true reality
To be quite clearly seen
Through masks
In starkest lights.
But choices we make
Limit what we see.

The truth sits bare and ready
But we choose
To hide it in the screens
And not so much as look.
But look we should
For truth may break or bruise.
It's not just a word
There in a book.

The screens
They have the truth.
It's bared for all.
Do you now choose to look?
Or raise a wall?

Now as a sonnet:
We're hidden here, behind these screens of glass.
Few little words just sitting there. They glow.
But truth is now revealed by all - en mass.
These screens allow ideas free flow.

These screens, they hide us. Thus allowing sights
Of our true reality to be
Quite clearly seen through masks in starkest lights.
But choices we make limit what we see.

The truth sits bare and ready, but we choose
To hide it in the screens and not so much as look.
But look we should for truth may break or bruise.
It's not just a word there in a book.

The screens, they have the truth bared for all.
Do you now choose to look? Or raise a wall?

This was written as part of a response to Vanishing Neighbor by Marc Dukelman. If you'd like to read more of my responses try these. The essay that reflects and expands on the poem is called "All We See, is All We Want to See." The book also discusses education, which prompted me to write "Why Highschool?" Dunkelman also wonders what ethics will look like in the year 2050, but does not attempt to answer the question. So I took a stab at it in "Ethics in 2050." (Originally posted at A Geek Keeps Learning.) 

Monday, May 23, 2016

A New "About Me"

Hello, my readers!
I hope to share my forest
Of thoughts and visions.

A mother, learner, daughter, writer, all
Are slices that combine to make just me.
Like long brown hair, and stature short, not tall.
They're puzzle pieces. None are floating free.

As mother, I now learn to care for boys -
A teen, a babe, both look to me for help.
So I do teach them: "Care for all your toys."
I'd rather raise a man and not a whelp.

A reader, I learn. Study everything.
From ancient history and politics
To futurist technology, I bring
Opinions - strong and blunt. They fall like bricks.

A traveler through life, I share my days.
I'm hoping that with you my writing stays.

A girl from the valley of sun,
Who wears her long hair in a bun.
She travels around,
Her writings abound,
And never quite seems to be done.

Originally published over on A Geek Keeps Learning

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Titles and Taglines

This is where the blog started.
Part of the Blogging Fundamentals class (Day 2) was exploring your title and your tagline. My main blog is "A Geek's Eye view," partly (mostly) because I liked the sound of it and the juxtaposition of it. However, I have never had a tagline that I loved. They were just sort of there to describe the blog. However, their suggestions on how to brainstorm ideas for the title and tagline gave me some pointers on how to come up with a good idea.

Their advice is to start with two sets of words and phrases. The first should be personal to you. These should be adjectives and phrases that reflect your personality and/or what will be on your blog. For me, this group includes: geek, mother, writing, teaching, learning, education and more. Some of them are a little less desirable for googling (SE0) or paint me in an unwanted light. (I'm not perfect, but don't want to lay my faults out on display).

The other half relates to "standard phrases." For my main blog "A Geek's Eye View" that centers around the original phrase "A Bird's Eye View ." Bird, eye, and view are all words that I can play with to create a tagline (or post titles). Feathers, eggs, nest, and flight are all popping into my mind instantly. For "eye," the top of the head results are sight, orb, color, and light. View brings to mind opinion, viewpoint, vista and look out I put in four minutes looking at each word.

I did not want to leave my second blog out. After all, that's the platform where the classes are held. The idea is that is ties into the "Geek's Eye View" blog, so I am hanging onto some words for the original blog. To that list, I am adding brainstorms for "keeps," "learning," and "blogging." Again I spent four minutes looking for connecting words and phrases to create a tagline with.

After all this brainstorming I began trying to reimagine the words into phrases. I wanted about three options for each blog. It took some time to find things I liked. I found a couple that a liked. For A Geek's Eye View: "Keeping the ground in sight, while dreams take flight." is my favorite because it encompasses the useful posts as well as the fanciful posts of my stories and poetry. It also refers to the title; because "a bird's eye view" is presumed to be while they are in flight.

A Geek Keeps Learning has a new tagline too, "Because an education is never done." I wanted to work the word "grok" in, but I couldn't find any way to do, so that felt good. However, I will keep working on it.

Another day of the blogging fundamentals course is to play with the layout of the blog. I tried playing with different themes on word press, but I like mine. So it's not changing. That's for A Geek Keeps Learning. As for a geek's Eye View, I plan to update the entire blog once my life overturns again, (which is in a few months), so I was playing with the Dynamic Views templates. I know which one I want to use. The next step is to figure out a color palette.

Any suggestions on what I should use?

Originally published over at A Geek Keeps Learning

Thursday, May 19, 2016

What's the Story Here?

Write to Done posted a picture and asked the audience to tell the story. Here is my story, but I'm sure there's a whole lot more to this. I may write more to find out what's going on myself.

Edward didn’t see the cliff that plunged his car into the water, only the raging storm outside. Then cold water was streaming in the windows. Breathing deep in an attempt to push the panic back, he struggled to free the tangled seatbelt and get himself out of mortal danger.

Despite his fear that rose with the water, he continued to try to work himself free, until the water swallowed the car. He spent a moment or two still struggling with the water logged seatbelt before blackness closed around him.

He blinked his eyes open, staring up as the clouds raced across the sky. The storm hadn’t passed. Coughing racked him, and he turned on his side spitting out river water that had filled his lungs. For a few moments, he let himself evaluate his body, and to revel in the fact that he was alive before he looked around.

Sitting next to him was a young woman, soaking wet and smiling. “Are you ok?” she asked. Her smile and relaxed shoulders said she was at home in the middle of bear infested woods during a storm that threatened to break the banks of the Gray River and flood Swanton, the small town nearby.

“Who are you?” he blurted, drops of water spewing from his lips. Some of the water was from the river. Some of the water was from rain running down his face.

“I’m Cari Arbez. Who are you?” she asked, her blue eyes piercing him. She folded her hands in her lap. “You were driving awfully fast down the curve of the road in that little red car.”

“I’m Edward Bennet. Did you save me?” he asked avoiding the rest of her statement.

“Yes,” she nodded, “Now it’s your turn to save me.” She gestured down her legs. Turning Edward saw a tail sticking out from under the dress she wore.

“No, no,” he shook his head and stood up on the moss covered boulder at the edge of the river. “I have problems of my own,” and he turned to walk off.

Do you want to hear more? 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Other Side

A girl from the city of Saks
Once wandered far over the tracks.
A boy with a voice,
Then asked - quite by choice -
"So how do you stand all the cracks?"

She answered the boy from the hood,
"It looked like such fun where I stood -
Adventure and games,
With no one to blame.
I'm bored so I came while I could."

He blinked at the girl with the wealth,
So beautiful, full of such health.
He realized she -
With shopping all free -
Had had to get out using stealth.

"Your life is not perfect!" said he.
"And neither is yours," replied she.
A lesson each learned:
Perfection is earned.
The lesson set each of them free.

I wrote this for Poetry 101, "Limericks about imperfection." Originally published over on A Geek Keeps Learning.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Journey of a Cake

A journey lasts as long as baking cake.
Image from my trip to Okinawa
Ingredients are gathered, items got.
An oven hot is like a plane to take.
The clothes are packed, the items mixed you bought.

A beep, a time to enter in a plane,
An oven. Time then passes. Boring. Play
Some games, watch TV dull and bore your brain.
A ding, a landing. Out comes cake, so - Yay!

You wait for heat to dissipate, for bags
To come along. Then Joy, delicious fun!
Oh! But it leaves a mess when vigor flags.
A break from fun is needed. Baked vacation done.

A journey lasts as long as baking cake,
And now a mess. So then you need a break.

This is written for the Poetry 101 class in Daily Post's Blogger University. The topic was "journey" and we were supposed to use a simile. I'm not sure if it stayed a simile or sort of morphed into a metaphor. What do you think?

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Learning Mom

The fourth day of Blogging Fundamentals talks about identifying the "ideal audience." I hadn't given this any thought because I write for me. If other people like it - awesome. So, this is the "me" that I talk to when I write my blog.

"Mom" is a colossal word, in a tiny package. Everyone has good and bad experiences with their mom. Everyone who becomes a mom (or a dad for that matter) has days that feel like they hit parenting out of the ballpark. They also have days when they like they are the worst mother ever.

I have a sixteen-year-old and a six-month-old. When the sixteen-year-old acts like a grown up by saving his money or making a plan for a project or finding a workaround for an obstacle in his path, I have a lot of pride in him and believe him to be one of the mostest smartest, mostest responsiblest kids ever. (I know there are plenty of them, he is friends with some).

On the other hand when he forgets the simple things and I have to remind him ten times a day, I find myself internally lamenting at how horrible I am as a mother.

The same applies with my six-month-old. However, the triumphs are smaller - sitting up on his own, getting ready to crawl - and more commensurate with his size. On the other hand, the disasters feel like they are even more my fault. A blown out diaper? I probably should have changed him earlier. Screaming while shopping? Apparently, I haven't taught him how to behave.

What I forget is that I am not the only one in the equation. My sixteen year old knows what's what and what the needs to do. He needs to work on his memory and his note taking skills. Sometimes life distracts him. With my six-month-old, I need to remember that this is my first time with a baby and I'm not going to be perfect, by my standards or anyone else's. Conversely, when they accomplish something I need to remember - I helped make that. It is not my accomplishment, but I assisted it. When the teenager makes a good decision I need to keep in mind that we've talked about what a right thing is and what it means. We've discussed theoretical decisions for him and real decisions, good and bad that I've made. When the six month old figures out something new I need to remember that I showed him that over and over, he did not learn it in a vacuum.

Above and beyond all of that, I have to bear in mind that I am not just a mother I am also me. I am a writer, a reader, and a million other things for myself. Making time for myself - my writing, my reading, my gaming, and other hobbies - makes me a better mother. It is because having time for myself means that my mental health remains balanced.

For moms (and dads) who know that balance helps them be a better parent: What activity gives you the mental tranquility to keep going?

For parents who feel like they are falling over the edge: What made you feel like you before you had kids? Now think about how you can begin to fit that back into your life.


Originally published on A Geek Keeps Learning