Job Comes to a Close

Scored standardized tests
replaced grant money we lost
no lend to repay

 

At the start of the year, we learned Rachael did not qualify for grant money from FAFSA that she was given her first year at ASU. I also saw an article about a work at home job, remote reader for standardized tests. Well over 20 years ago I received a BS in English Secondary Education and it’s been collecting dust. So I whipped up a resume. I haven’t worked a “real” job in almost 20 years either so I asked a couple friends to be personal references and then what do you know? I qualified for the work. It was nice to be able to earn some money from home. Especially when I cannot drive. I did not have to worry about how to commute to and from.

Tuesday as Gretchen started her new adventure at EMCC, Mom wrapped up her own and did well as I earned more money than was given to Rachael in last year’s grant. We are hoping to be able to finance Rachael’s four year degree so she doesn’t have to graduate in debt. Both my parents and Shawn’s parents paid for our undergrad degrees and it’s great not having to worry about student loans when you graduate. Of course Rachael is doing her part earning her AA while she was still in high school and keeping up her GPA to earn the top academic scholarship from ASU.

Meanwhile even though I only worked for a little over two months it feels strange not to log in and read papers. I got an email from my company this morning thanking all of us for our hard work. Qualified readers will get an email at the end of this year to score for the Spring 2018 test period. I’ll definitely sign up again. It was nice to bring in a little extra money.

Phoenix ComiCon 2017

 

Once upon a time, 2010, we waited in a long line to buy tickets to attend our first comicon. Thanks to the On this day feature on Facebook, I was reminded it was seven years ago today. I did not plan on buying tickets this year, between college tuition, a new car purchase, and my upcoming trip to Germany, it didn’t seem wise to make the purchase. Seven years ago we only had to buy two tickets. Sidekicks, 13 and younger, were free (now a sidekick ticket costs money) not that it matters my girls are far beyond free anymore.

When I told the girls we weren’t getting tickets this year, they took it well. Shawn, on the other hand, he really wanted to go but I told him it was an expense we couldn’t afford now. Not only are tickets expensive, but then there is the exhibitor’s hall. BTW – thanks Del Rey for the free books. Once we finally got into the convention center, yeah some idiot decided to ruin the fun for the rest of us, I got into the Del Rey author signing line. They had free sampler books. Picked up the Star Wars one for Gretchen. Then we met Scott Sigler and Rob Reid. I waited to see what the price for the books were. They were signing and giving the books away for free. I have new reading material. 😀 A little bummed we missed seeing Pierce Brown though, I brought our copy of Red Rising for him to sign.

Gunman arrested
Cosplay weapons ban creates
Long wait to enter

Seven years ago
Flashback to first ComiCon
Could not wait to see…

And a Big Shout Out and Thank You! to Bear Essential News for giving us the four passes for Friday. They asked who your favorite cosplay character was and I answered, Levi. About a week after I told everyone we weren’t going to ComiCon this year, I got an email from Julie Madden congratulating me as the winner. I read it twice then showed it to Shawn, I think we are going to ComiCon this year. He confirmed my eyes were not deceiving me. Then I told Nonnie we got passes and she purchased a Friday pass to attend with us. We had a lot of fun. And despite the almost hour long line to get in, Nonnie survived and enjoyed her first con.

Happy Mother’s Day

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It’s hard to believe the little bundle of joy who made me a mom for the first time will be 19 on Saturday! She was also the inspiration for the first story I had published. Last year at this time she graduated with highest distinction with an AA at EMCC. Then a week later graduated from high school. She just finished her first year at ASU and maintained her 4.0 GPA.

The second little one to come along three years later has two weeks left in her sophomore year in high school. She, too, has all As and at the end of the month will start taking classes at EMCC through the ACE program. Last weekend she took her accuplacer over at the college and scored a 95 in reading and a 6 on the writing. She actually followed her English teacher’s formula for essay writing. Who would have thought English teachers know a thing or two about writing. 😉 A score of 5 places a student in Eng 101 and 8 is the highest score on the test.

Mother

Woman
gives birth
holds baby tight
nurtures strong, independent person
Mother

And here is my first poem dedicated to Motherhood. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there!

Morning Ritual

Coffee Mug

Coffee
Water brews
Down into carafe
Every morning I drink
Life

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 30! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about something that happens again and again (kind of like NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo). It could be the setting of the sun, or your Aunt Georgia telling the same story at Thanksgiving every single year. It could be the swallows returning to Capistrano or how, without fail, you will lock your keys in the car whenever you go to the beach.

Good morning everyone and welcome back to the last day of napowrimo. After today we will return you to your normal programming. Wow! This is year seven for me. And I was only late on one prompt, not too bad. In case you are curious about my first national poetry month writing, it was through read, write poem and the anthology featuring a poem from all the poets who completed thirty poems in thirty days is over on issue. My poem is on page 43.

Now I shall bid farewell, I must go drink some life and get my Sunday moving.

Great Poetry Reading Day

 

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The Raven Pop-up by Edgar Allan Poe, Christopher Wormell (Illustrator)

 

Read a great poem
Don’t let it be ho hum
Poetry opens doors
The world can be yours

No – never
Will I endeavor
to read whatsoever
Quoth the child evermore

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 29 – Today, I’d like to challenge you to take one of your favorite poems and find a very specific, concrete noun in it. For example, if your favorite poem is this verse of Emily Dickinson’s, you might choose the word “stones” or “spectre.” After you’ve chosen your word, put the original poem away and spend five minutes free-writing associations – other nouns, adjectives, etc. Then use your original word and the results of your free-writing as the building blocks for a new poem.

Good Morning! Yes, it’s still Saturday morning here in Arizona. As I was contemplating the napowrimo prompt for today, I went over to my wordpress following reader page. I saw a post from elPitchford aka Bryan that today is National Great Poetry Reading day. It helps with today’s prompt as most people will pick a poem from a well known, shall I say great, poet. Then I told Gretchen it’s national great poetry reading day so go find a poem to read. To which she responded, no, never. And of course, I thought of The Raven. And yes, I know nevermore isn’t a noun, but I did stick in door for chamber door. 😉

New Glasses

Time passes
without new glasses
in many a year
now I see clear
everything near
and things far
superstar
how I look
nose in a book
why it took
years to see
I could not see
really beats me

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 28 – Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem using Skeltonic verse. Don’t worry, there are no skeletons involved. Rather, Skeltonic verse gets its name from John Skelton, a fifteenth-century English poet who pioneered the use of short stanzas with irregular meter, but two strong stresses per line (otherwise know as “dipodic” or “two-footed” verse). The lines rhyme, but there’s not a rhyme scheme per se. The poet simply rhymes against one word until he or she gets bored and moves on to another.

Day 28 of NaPoWriMo and now that I’m done – two days to go. I have never heard of Skeltonic verse. NaPoWriMo was also where I learned about double dactyl which has one stressed, two unstressed syllables (times 2 for 1 line – double). And like the double dactyl as well as any metered verse, it takes me a few tries to get the meter thing to swing. 😉 Also, in case you missed the obvious, I picked up new glasses today.

Thank you to our followers, contributors, and readers! Counting down to one million views!

Wow! What a great achievement. Congrats!

Silver Birch Press

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Some time in May 2017, the Silver Birch Press blog will reach a significant milestone — one million total views! As of today — April 27, 2017 — we have hit 990,090 views! Thanks so much to our daily followers, readers, and all of our contributors for this amazing accomplishment! We started the blog on June 21, 2012 — and it’s been a great five-year ride! Our deepest thanks to all of our supporters! Onward!

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Kumquat Funny Little Fruit

Be sure to eat peel
fruit inside will leave bitter
taste behind – I’m a…
Kumquat

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 27 – Many poems explore the sight or sound or feel of things, and Proust famously wrote about the memories evoked by smell, but today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that explores your sense of taste! This could be a poem about food, or wine, or even the oddly metallic sensation of a snowflake on your tongue.

Welcome back to day 27 of NaPoWriMo. It is the last week of classes for Rachael, final exams are next week. As her gardening class has no final it is the last week. She has been bringing home some of the harvest including a few kumquats. This morning she told me how to eat them. I never thought about how to eat a kumquat before.

Sidewalk Dig

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Concrete Sidewalk

Dug
up
concrete
slab today
thought of ancient text
Where the Sidewalk Ends, we found proof
once upon a time, people walked with their feet firmly
planted on the ground instead of
hovering above
in midair
wearing
jet
shoes

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 26 – Have you ever heard someone wonder what future archaeologists, whether human or from alien civilization, will make of us? Today, I’d like to challenge you to answer that question in poetic form, exploring a particular object or place from the point of view of some far-off, future scientist? The object or site of study could be anything from a “World’s Best Grandpa” coffee mug to a Pizza Hut, from a Pokemon poster to a cellphone.

Welcome back to day 26 of NaPoWriMo. Phew I am losing steam. Looked at the prompt this morning, then went back to bed after getting Gretchen out the door. Then when Shawn and Rachael left, I get a text, I need my powerpoint presentation emailed to me. So I had to get up and save the day. What would this house do without mom? Then Gretchen sends me a text, They’re taking my phone for AzMerit. Ahh…mom had peace and quiet to enjoy her coffee. Then I had work and then Gretchen came home. Finally after dinner, I decided to work on today’s prompt.

My Favorite Space

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Librocubicularist

Person who loves to read
lying down in bed
nose in a book
escapism
cocooned in cozy blankets

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 25 – In 1958, the philosopher/critic Gaston Bachelard wrote a book called The Poetics of Space, about the emotional relationship that people have with particular kinds of spaces – the insides of sea shells, drawers, nooks, and all the various parts of houses. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that explores a small, defined space – it could be your childhood bedroom, or the box where you keep old photos. It could be the inside of a coin purse or the recesses of an umbrella stand. Any space will do – so long as it is small, definite, and meaningful to you.

Welcome back to day 25 of NaPoWriMo. What better way to describe my favorite place than a teacup dictionary poem defining the word for my favorite activity snug and warm in my favorite space. When I first learned the word librocubicularist, I wrote a septolet about it. Love how I can use one word to describe my favorite activity in my favorite space.