Week Ten, Day Seven

Practicing with my son’s fancy, smancy camera . . . I’m having more technical problems than anything else. (Trying to shoot a “Reading Video”).

I decide to shoot the video in sections and then my son, who is a video expert, can put the whole thing together and we’ll post it on my youtube channel about Reading.

Yesterday I shot the whole first video and when we tried to play it back, there was nothing. Absolutely nothing besides the very beginning, that recorded. He says he’ll hold the camera and record me, but that will make me nervous.

This morning, after more instructions on how to use his old camera, I tried recording the first five minutes. It worked once, but then when I added the next five minutes . . . nothing.

So I took out my little digital camera and set it on the tripod after removing his camera. I “shot” the first three minutes of my presentation. It recorded what I was doing. I’m going to use my camera instead of his. I’m getting too frustrated trying to use the camera he gave me.


I saw on facebook that there is an inspiring book titled A Street Cat Named Bob. I want to get a copy.



Week Ten, Day Six 2016

I just spent a little time editing the 13 stanzas I have written. I put in punctuation and changed a word here and there. I moved a word or two to the next line in a couple of the stanzas. (Priority Three due end of November)


Thirteen stanzas written on a poem just now. It reminds me of my poem, “Laments of an Old Cat”, which was published in both Cats Magazine and The Morris Report Magazine. The rhyme and rhythm are similar. This poem tells a little story as well. I’m having trouble ending it. It’s about the birds who have made nests in the roof of a former meth house in the neighborhood. You just never know what your neighbors are really doing, do you?


I’m going to make a website. I may hire a professional to design it. I want to have some items for sale. I just added a product to the list of items that I want to sell to my website plans.


I’m in the Nanowrimo group on facebook. I saw where someone ordered 5,000 bookmarks and is using them to advertise books . .  .that’s an idea I want to remember.


Cleaning up, I found a paper bag with some of the supplies I had put aside for my video. Yay! I thought I’d have to order another “Spot” book. Eric Hill wrote books about a little dog named Spot. I love his books for getting children involved in the reading process. When I was in grad school, I actually did a powerpoint on him. I also used his books to do a project showing literary elements. The professor said she didn’t know if I could find enough evidence in his books. I watched other classmates announce the award winning authors they were going to use. I stuck with Eric Hill. Actually my power point on him showed how his books could be used for various lesson plan objectives. I should also write that up for the place I’m sending Priority Three writing to. I will pencil that in as #11 on my To Do List. I’ve seen that cd around here somewhere. I made 75 slides for my Eric Hill presentation. I had 15 minutes to present it and would lose points if I went over. Did I ever mention I talk fast when I’m nervous? I made it! ha, ha. That was a fun powerpoint to present. I doubt anyone would want a copy of the powerpoint, although we each shared copies of our powerpoints in that class, and the knowledge on each one was very valuable.. I learned so much from the course. Each of us read several children’s books weekly and then we’d report on what we’d read and it caused all of us to have a vast, vast knowledge of children’s literature by the time the class ended. It was taught by Dr. Schlichting. She was an awesome professor, and I learned a lot from her. She teaches at UNCW in NC.


Week Ten, Friday, Day Five

Another stanza written. Now there are 13 for that project. Priority Three – needs to be finished by end of November. I want at least 20 stanzas.


First video attempted. I’m not sure the camera was recording. I hope it was. It was exhausting. I did not have all my props ready. The background (part of it) fell down during the presentation. This was my first attempt, so it is like a rough draft. When my son comes by, since it’s his camera, I’ll have him help me check to see if it recorded and how bad it looked. I went off script. I had a speech all typed up to use like a teleprompter. I got involved in what I was doing and although I went over everything I’d planned to cover, I did not read my script. We’ll see how that looks. I’m ready to abandon this project as it was much more difficult than anticipated. But I don’t usually give up after the first rry, so I’ll watch what I hope I recorded and see if I want to try again.  I did print out a few things from the internet. I saved that website link and wonder how to show that on a video. I would think you could type over the video, but I’m not that sophisticated with video making. I’m disappointed. Writing is easier than making that video was.


The camera was not recording. It recorded until I sat down and started. My son says maybe the batteries need changing? That was a LOT of work for nothing. I wanted to practice to see how I looked and I went through the whole long presentation and now I have nothing to show for it. I am very discouraged. He says if it’s practice, why be so upset? Because I have to do it ALL over again to see if I even want to do it and it’s a LOT of work. I certainly worked hard when I taught.


Family Medical Supply Company has been pretending like they are going to get a CPAP machine for me since last October (2015). It has taken me ten months, but I’ve realized that they are liars. Every time I talk to them they need more doctor notes. I went and got them doctor notes June 30. Guess what they said yesterday (July 28) that they need in order to order my machine . . . just guess . . . ding, ding, ding!!!! you’re right. MORE DOCTOR NOTES. I don’t know how they stay in business. They certainly don’t want to do their jobs. They are on my “Sue these bastards” list if I die before I get the machine I need.


 Just wrote an email to Family Medical Supply Company’s head office. Maybe they can wake their employees up and get them to do their job. The level of work ethics I find in companies today in America is outrageous. It doesn’t help that many employees I complain to say they are not paid enough to do a good job. When employees had that attitude when I was young, they got FIRED. That’s ok. One made a huge mistake in MY favor yesterday. Did I correct her? No. I’ve complained to that company at least four times about their lackadaisical employees. I was only in that place because the heat index was 110 and I needed a few items, and they are close by. I think if I’ve told the management four times that their employees give shoddy service and they do nothing about it . . . well, what more can I do?

Birds – Week Ten, Day Four

I took the dog out this morning and sat down in my lawn chair to wait while she did her business. The air feels a little less humid than it did. They still predict high heat indices today. I noticed movement in the bush close to my carport and turned to see what it was. It was the sweetest little bird hopping around from branch to branch. I hadn’t seen any birds in a few days and feared they all had been cooked by the extreme heat we’ve had. I heard one yesterday, but it was not a song it sang, but a terrible, painful sounding, screeching sound. I could not locate it, but it was in the general area of the bush.

This morning as I sat there, several other birds began to move around in the bush. I could see the movements of the branches before the birds themselves appeared. Some of them sang their songs. I was glad to see them. I’d put fresh water in my birdbath to be sure they had access to some water every hot day. I feed them in the winter; supply water in the summer. But this summer has been brutally hot. Yesterday’s heat index here was 113 at 3:00 pm.

The birds give me hope. If they are appearing, the heat must be about to abate. I hope so. Good God in heaven, I hope so.


Camera is mounted on the tripod. Short test video made. I will make a complete first video today and look at it so I can see what needs improving. Then hopefully I’ll make the real video tomorrow. My son said he’ll help me edit it and then we can download (upload?) it to youtube. My goal on my To Do List was to get first video done before this month is over. I want to meet that goal and get it on youtube as quickly as possible. I’ll post the link to it here, when it’s done. I may have to change my profile photo on here. That photo was taken in 2005 . . . that makes it 11 years old and I have changed some. Or I may keep using it, as it’s my favorite photo of myself and who really cares?




Week Ten, Day Three

Yesterday came and went with no writing. The heat index got up to 109 here. I read this morning that the effects of heat are cumulative and it’s really getting to me. It’s been this way all week – heat indices up to 109 every day. I go out to take my little dog. My AC can’t “keep up” and it’s hot in my house. I can’t think well and I’m losing interest in everything. I actually came to this page yesterday and put a title and that’s it. Nothing got posted.

I have a terrible pain in my neck. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, but my car’s AC isn’t working and I am not sure I should try to drive to her office. I have asthma and various other maladies. I have four different medicines that help me breathe and every day I end up taking all four of them – some more than once. That’s with me mostly staying in the  house. I don’t know what riding to the doctor in an un-air conditioned car in this heat would cause.


People read these blogs and when I get a “like” on one of them, I go back and reread it to see if I would have “liked it”. Usually I am pleasantly surprised by what I wrote. I write daily, except yesterday I didn’t write anything. Some days I feel like I’ll burst if I don’t write something. Yesterday I felt like I would melt, if I tried. It’s not just the heat in the south; it’s the humidity as well. It feels like I’m walking through air that is saturated with water and it’s so hard to breathe outside. I only go out to take my dog to do her business. We don’t walk – we just step out in the yard right now. It’s just too hot to do anything else.


I looked up the signs of heat illnesses and found these symptoms:

Heat exhaustion
  • Cool, moist skin
  • Heavy sweating
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Light headedness
  • Weakness
  • Thirst
  • Irritability
  • Fast heart beat

I’ve had them all frequently this week, except the heavy sweating and fast heart beat. I’ve kept a headache all week. Nausea has been bad. I’ve been very dizzy. Under heat stroke, they listed confusion as a sign and I don’t believe I’ve had a heat stroke, but I have stayed very confused. It’s one reason I haven’t worked on my writing. The nausea and feeling weak is another . . .

Here’s what to do:

  • Have worker sit or lie down in a cool, shady area
  • Give worker plenty of water or other cool beverages to drink
  • Cool worker with cold compresses/ice packs
  • Take to clinic or emergency room for medical evaluation or treatment if signs or symptoms worsen or do not improve within 60 minutes.
  • Do not return to work that day

I should put the link where I got this

info: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatstress/heat_illnesses.html

I drank a lot of water. I’ve laid down frequently. One of the days I spent the whole day in bed.

I went ahead and cancelled tomorrow’s doctor appointment. I have no air conditioning in my old car and what I read said it takes 4 minutes for the heat to affect asthma. It would take me longer than that to drive there. Then I’d have to walk across the parking lot. This is a specialist they’ve wanted me to see since April 4. Well, he’ll just have to wait longer (or I will). I can’t make myself sicker trying to get to a doctor for tests.

I’ve done almost no sweating. I think the sweating helps cool your body. I just go out in the heat (with the dog) and begin to feel dizzy, and confused and my headache increases, and I need more medicine afterwards to be able to breathe. This heat is bad. Heat index is 106 right now. It’s 1:00 pm.


Went to mailbox just before 3:00 pm. When I came back in, I felt so bad that I checked the weather online. Heat index showed to be 113. It was 95 degrees outside with a heat index of 113. No wonder I felt so bad.


After dinner I was annoyed with myself for doing so little on my writing career today. I used to be tougher than this. So I went to the file where I have my PRIORITY NUMBER 7 book saved and I printed out 15 more pages. I punched holes in them and some day when I’m not so hot and thirsty, I’ll put them in the blindman binder. I am printing out what has already been written, putting the pages in a binder and will read it like a book when I get them all printed out. I’ll make notes about what is missing and do some editing. My file saved them in alphabetical order. They need to be in chronological order. Not sure how I’ll find each one to work on it on the computer, but I’ll figure out a way. The pages in that binder are many. It looks like a book already from the thickness of what has been written. I see there are other pages I printed out, but didn’t put where they go in the binder. I could spend an hour sorting through all those pages. They are stuck in the binder, but not put in the hooks.


As I print out pages, I change the font on that chapter/entry to red so I can tell at a glance when I open each saved document whether it has been printed yet or not.



Got this tonight (it’s still Sunday, Week Nine, Day 7 – using different format above for title because I’m beginning to bore myself) . . . but I just got this in an email. It’s about the poem the editor said to resubmit when they were reading poems again, so I did. I sent it July 22, which was Week Nine, Day five?

“Thank you for giving me a chance to read “Slumberlost.” We publish only a few poems each year, and at this time we are not seeking reprints. So I’m going to pass on this one, but I wish you best of luck finding the right secondary markets for it.”

Well, blah!

OK, I have another horror poem that hasn’t been published. I was going to send it, but in looking over the guidelines, they want you to wait 15 days to send another submission from the day you sent your last one, even if they rejected the last one . . .

I hope I can remember this on August 6. The poem I want to send it called “How Do You Say Good-bye to Death?” . . . It’s never been published.


8:20 am . . . just wrote 153 words on a new article – 9th/10th grade reading level

It might do well in a Psychology Magazine or some generic magazine. Needs finishing, but while the idea was in my head, I stopped breakfast and typed it up.



Week Nine, Day Seven

Sunday – my usual don’t work day . . . yesterday was Code Orange Air Quality and Heat Index . . . same is predicted for today. I’ve been up since 7:00 am. Went to the grocery store before it got really hot . . . stopped at Burger King for a quick breakfast and remembered why I don’t ever go there any more. Place was dirty and food was not good, but it’s close to the grocery store and I had forgotten the last time I went and how disappointed I was. Well, they won’t see me again until I forget again.


I shared my “To Do List” idea with my son at Burget King – he went with me. I don’t lift the large packages of water any more, and he does. But I told him about my “To Do List” for my writing plans, and he wasn’t as impressed as I’d hoped he’d be.

I also mentioned I had to get the video made THIS WEEK for my Youtube channel. He just smiled. I’ve talked about it before, but he doesn’t understand . . . now I have it typed up and stuck to my wall by my desk so every time I sit down, it nudges me . . . PRIORITY NUMBER ONE! is get the first video done and posted by July 31, which is a week from today. He will help me edit the video, so he needs to know the schedule. I repeated my spiel about the “To Do List” and he still was unimpressed. There’s something about seeing that list that propels me to accomplish something on it daily. More than one thing is even better.


Looking at Priority Two . . . Book of Poems . . . Many of them are about pets I’ve had who are no longer living . . . I hoped to have a picture with each poem. My scanner is not working . . . what I could do is take a picture of a picture and download that to my computer and it would be on here. I have some poems that were made up, like Slumberlost and The Yorkshire Terrier’s Tale . . . I need to figure out how to get a picture for each of those. I may be able to draw something, or I might be able to have someone else draw a picture for me. I want this book finished and published by Createspace in November . . . I don’t know if anyone will want a book of poems for Christmas, but if they do, I’d like mine to be available for purchase. All my poems tell a little story. All rhyme and have rhythm. I remember when I was teaching poetry to fifth graders and they all groaned . . . it was less than ten years ago . . . I asked if they liked rap? They did. I explained that rap is poetry . . . Songs are poems put to music. I’ve read poems I don’t appreciate either, but I still like poetry. How would you know what was really good, if you hadn’t experienced what was bad? Maybe that’s faulty thinking . . .


I had planned to include only my poems about pets or animals. I don’t have enough of those to make a book. I will have to include other poems as I did in my chapbook contest entry a few weeks ago. That would be a good place to start. Go through that list of poems and find pictures or sketches to go with each one. PRIORITY TWO worked on today. Sometimes work is writing; sometimes it’s drawing; sometimes it’s just thinking and planning it all out.


Week Nine, Day Six

Air Quality  Code Orange and Heat Index of 106 today . . . dog still had to go out a few times. It all “got to me” and I did almost nothing all day. Can’t even think in these conditions. I don’t usually work on Sunday, but if I can, I’ll try to make up for today tomorrow. Weatherman says heat index will be up to 106 again tomorrow afternoon. Maybe the air quality will be better? It’s been code orange for two days, at least.


I have given PRIORITY #7 project – Main book – Blindman – some thought today. I have printed out much of the manuscript. I want to go through and print out the rest. I’ve put the printed pages in a binder and want to go through and read it like a book and make notes, etc. to improve it. Looks like the deadline for finishing this book is February. Glad I made my list and deadlines the other day.


I’ve also given thought to the Youtube Teaching Video – It’s Priority One. I want to remember to include explaining “wait time” when teachers are working with children. Often adults are too quick to “rush in” and rescue a child who is trying to figure out a word. You have to wait longer than feels comfortable for you sometimes. I want to explain how long, exactly, to wait. My videos are for home-schooling parents, or any parent who wants to teach a child to read. I won’t block teachers from it, but most teachers have their own ideas. Perhaps a few could pick up some tips. I’m highly trained in teaching reading and over the years have told a few colleagues about methods they hadn’t heard of. I miss teaching and perhaps these videos will help fill that void. Deadline for first posted video is July 31, which is a week from tomorrow.


Public School Project . . . Priority Five . . . I need to print out what I have and see what more I can do on this.


I printed out my prioritzed “To Do” list and taped it to the wall by my desk. It helps having it there to glance at as I decide what to work on.


I went out and watered my plants and made sure there was fresh water in the birdbath. I haven’t seen or heard many birds today. Maybe they slept in all day? It’s been hot and uncomfortable outside.


Week Nine, Day Five

Recalling the words of Donald Trump’s daughter last night . . . you’re going to think anyway – you might as well think big. I think we, as writers, should do this. You can’t go where you don’t try to go. Aim high.


Trump’s final song from his convention “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” . . . stuck in my head this morning . . . no, but I sure as hell can try. And by trying, I may just get what I need.


Off to BINGO. Everyone wins something today. I’ve won a dynamite (figure of speech) pen and last week I won a neck wrap thing that you heat in the microwave and then put on your neck and it DOES help with aches and pains. I’ve had a pain in my neck for several weeks. Doctor said to put a heating pad on it. This works as well, if not better. Let’s see what I win today.


I just submitted the poem again that I submitted in June. The editor had emailed that they were not reading yet, but to re-submit it in July. This poem, Slumberlost, has already been published one time, but it was in 1988 in another horror magazine. That’s been over 27 years ago. I will post what I hear about it.  PRIORITY #6 on my To Do List was submit poems to magazines.



Week Nine, Day Four

Wrote one more four line stanza. They are getting more difficult to write. Not sure I’m satisfied with this one. Will revisit it when it’s gotten “cold”. PRIORITY THREE ACTIVITY