Call for Submissions

Well, I wouldn’t have seen this coming back in the 2014 when Word Fountain, a lit mag for a library more than an hour away, across Penn’s Woods, accepted two of my poems for what I later thought would be their last issue. But here I am now, working as a branch manager for the library and finding myself in the serendipitous position of leading a team of editors into bringing the project back! And while it’s a local, small lit magazine we are looking for diversity in writers, and that includes geographic diversity. So, you might consider clicking on the link to check out our guidelines and see how you can submit.

Word Fountain

1225151548The long hiatus has ended, and a new editing staff is working toward a spring relaunch of Word Fountain, the Literary Magazine of the Osterhout Free Library!

We invite emerging and established writers to send us fresh stories, poems, flash fiction, essays, brief memoirs, and other short pieces. Our submission deadline is April 1st, 2016.

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‘From the Womb to the Tomb’ – at last a title. Now to get writing…

Early 19th C Apothecary and apprentice

How cool is this? My dear ol’ blogging/poetry buddy, Suzie Grogan is writing another book, and her publishers actually liked my idea for a title! Now if only a publisher would like one of my chapbook titles enough to get a collection printed!


But seriously, check out Suzie’s blog, where you’ll learn a lot about the intersection of the arts and mental health, as well as the art of persistence when it comes to the work of writing. Oh, and of course, you’ll find a lot of Keats!

Read the blogger formerly known as KeatsBabe: ‘From the Womb to the Tomb’ – at last a title. Now to get writing…

Skiing, Surfing, Journal Searching, and Jennifer Bullis

Jennifer-Bullis_sq-672x372So, since our gathering here to sing “Auld Lang Syne,” I’ve been working on one of the chapbook manuscripts. Last night I sent that out, after editing and paring it down from 20 to 16 more solid poems in a better order. That’s two chapbooks out there circling the contest world, and one more in the works. That’s good, Self. Very good. Keep at it.

Also good is the fact that I’ve been working on some new writing. I can’t say I’ve actually finished any new poems, but I have several new lines and stanzas that I am chasing around my notebook pages, hoping to see some things come together.

So I haven’t submitted to any journals in the last couple of months, and I figured I should be doing more research to that end. I’ve liked Cider Press Review when I checked it out in the past, so I returned to it last night and serendipitously found a poem there written by my poet-blogging buddy Jennifer Bullis–How delightful! Good job Cider Press Review. I approve.

Click here to go to Cider Press Review, where you can imagine “Skiing” with Jennifer.


Auld Lang Syne, the Original Words and Tune

English: Ellisland Farm Robert Burns,(1759-96)...

Ellisland Farm. Robert Burns,(1759-96) farmed here from 1788 until 1791 where he composed, “Auld Lang Syne.”(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How is this for a Flashback Friday? Happy 2016, my friends. If you sang this song just after midnight last night, my guess is that you didn’t sing all the original words (though if you did, I want to know–that’s fantastic!), nor did you sing them to the original tune.

I’m not sure about the details of how and when this changed, and I am too busy relaxing today to look it up. If you care to do the research, please give me some sources in the comments. I’d love to read more about it (later).

But this lazy first day of 2016, in which I rest with coffee, leftovers, notebooks, and music, I wanted to share this lovely version, sung by Paolo Nutini. I love the harmony, and the multiple instruments involved. I’m not sure if the video was made to look old  or if it was just poor picture quality (something else I am too lazy to look into just now), because Nutini is rather a new-ish voice, since he was born about the time I graduated high school.

By all accounts this is the original tune that Robert Burns used when he turned this old poem into the beautiful song lyrics we sing each year. has a nice write-up including the original words, and Grammarly features a pretty fair modern translation.

It’s been a hard year, and a good one both, each for many a reason. But here’s to making 2016 a year of peace, of joy, and of achieving our dreams. Let’s get to work, shall we?

Oh Holy Puddles, Christmas Songs with Puddles Pity Party

puddlesI suppose some may think this sacrilegious, but dang, doesn’t that big clown have pipes! And the band is pretty slick too. If you’ve been around this blog for a while, you’ve seen this clown before.

Now I’ve heard some folks complain that the singer here does not need this “gimmick” to make an impression, but understand that Puddles, the Sad Faced Clown is just one of many gigs that Big Mike Greer has going on.  Singer, musician, actor, announcer, he keeps pretty busy without the costume and makeup. Click here for more on Big Mike.

According to my private pianist and partner, Brian, this is not an easy song to play or to sing. You can learn more about the story behind it here.

This video was posted to YouTube on the 24th last year, but I hadn’t stumbled upon it until late December, so I saved it to come back to for this year.  Happy Christmas!