Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday Photos-Rain

We had just enough rain on Friday so that I could take a few pictures for this week's Wordsmith Studio Photo Prompt.  I love taking pictures of raindrops on any kind of leaves.
I also found a garden stone that was just starting to dry.
Is it raining where you live?  Take a few pictures, post them and put a link in the comments on the prompt page. Thanks again to Rebecca Barray for another great prompt.
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

International Jazz Day

Tuesday, April 30 is International Jazz Day. It is organized by UNESCO in partnership with the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz. Here is an interesting bit of history quoted from the UNESCO site:

Istanbul will be the official host city for 2013. Turkey has an age-old tradition of jazz.  Munir Ertegun, Turkish Republic’s first ambassador to Washington in the 1930s, opened his embassy’s parlors to African American jazz musicians, who gathered there to play freely in a socio-historical context which was deeply divided by racial segregation at the time. Inspired by this legacy, the ambassador’s sons, Ahmet and Nesuhi, went on to establish the United States’ first jazz and gospel label in 1947 - Atlantic Records - which was seminal in spreading the beauty of jazz music around the world.

The International Jazz Day Global Concert will be webcast worldwide. Check the link for details about who will be performing and when the webcast will be available in your time zone.

Here is a message from Irina Borkova, UNESCO's director general:
So take a little time on April 30 to listen to some jazz and think about who might be listening to the same music.
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday Photos-Flower

Flowers are still a little scarce because winter just doesn't want to let go this year! Today, the temperature probably won't get out of the 30's and we may even see some snow flakes!
When I saw that the Wordsmith Studio Photo Prompt was flower, I knew I would have to do a little scrounging around. I headed into the back yard and used whatever I could find.

I even looked into the trees.
Thanks to Rebecca Barray for another great prompt. If you want to participate, take some photos and post a link to them in the comments on the post.
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day, a part of National Poetry Month. It is a day designated for sharing poetry.
  The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
I remember watching John Kennedy's inauguration and hearing Frost read. He was a well-known poet and he was still alive! As it turned out, he and President Kennedy died in the same year-1963.
Frost was from New England and I lived in Buffalo, New York. I knew what birch trees were and fences and neighbors and definitely snowy evenings.
Most people probably know this poem or at least the last few lines. I love that it is about making choices and in particular, different choices. Don't follow the crowd. Make your own decisions.
I chose this link because it includes audio of Frost reading the poem. I love both doing and attending poetry readings. It gives me the opportunity to give voice to my words the way I would like them to be heard and to hear other poets do the same. Listen to the audio and start going to poetry readings if you don't already.
If you are a poet and  you don't do readings, think about it. I know it can be scary, especially in the beginning.
What I found to be most surprising and rewarding is that people will come up to you afterward and tell you a story that your poem elicited. You get to hear many different ways that individuals connect with what you have written.
It's all about sharing. Just like Poem in Your Pocket Day. 
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday Photos-Birds

Taking pictures of birds is a lot of fun so I was really excited when Rebecca Barray chose birds as this week's Wordsmith Studio Photo Prompt.
The above photo is one of my favorite pictures of a robin. I took it earlier this year.
Of course, we have plenty of crows around.

In my neighborhood, I know there is always one place I can find a bird if I need one.
Take some pictures of your favorite birds, and post a link to them in the comments on the prompt post.
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Thursday, April 11, 2013


Bebop is considered the first foray into modern jazz. It was developed in the 1940's and two of its pioneers were Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.
Bebop was made for listening rather than dancing. It is known for the speed at which the notes are played and harmony and improvisation.
Parker's 1945 recording, "Ko Ko" is on National Public Radio's list of the 100 most important American musical recordings of the 20th century.  Gillespie was going to be at the session as a spectator, but ended up playing both trumpet and piano on the recording.

Bop Bop Bebop
Bird and Dizzy played
a sound that caused a tizzy.
Bop Bop Bebop Bop
The name came from scat.
Diddily Diddily Dat
Bop Bop Bebop Bop
Harmony was key.
Started with the melody.
Bop Bop Bebop Bop
The lines became long
at the doors and in the songs.
Bop Bop Bebop Bop
When swing had swung, it
was the new sound that had won.
Bop Bebop Oh, Yeah

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday Photo-Pet Peeves

Let me tell you about sweet gum tree seed pods. They are very difficult to rake because they are covered in spikes, like the head of a mace from medieval times. Consequently, they do not move  through the grass easily.
You may think you got them all, but the first time you mow the lawn you find out differently. You either catch one with a mower blade or step on one and twist your ankle.
Lastly, you can't compost them because they decompose so slowly.
Obviously, this one has been around awhile. That's the point. It's still around!
What's your pet peeve? Take a picture of it then post a link in the comments on the Wordsmith Studio Photo Prompt blog post.
Thanks to Rebecca Barray for this prompt.
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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Celebrating Poetry

It's here! April is National Poetry Month and The Academy of American Poets has put together a list of ways to celebrate.
I have picked out five items to discuss. I think they are both a little different and fairly easy to do.
1. Revisit a poem-Whether you consume poetry on a regular basis or not, you have probably been touched by it at sometime. Even if you couldn't wait for the poetry unit in English class to be over with, you still may have had strong feelings about something you read. Go back and read that poem again. Do you still feel the same way about it? What memories does it bring back?
2. Put poetry in an unexpected place-Take your favorite poem and leave a copy in a waiting area at a hair salon, doctor's office or auto repair shop. Maybe you could leave it on a table in a restaurant or put it up on a community bulletin board. You never know who may read it and how it may affect them.
3. Play Exquisite Corpse-This is a collaborative game in which a group creates a poem. Each person contributes to the piece without knowing what the others have written. I played this game at a workshop. It only takes a few minutes, and  it is surprising how the piece comes together.
4. Listen on your commute-I'm going to expand this one to say simply listen to poetry. You may find audio or video of poets reading/performing their works. You get a different feel for a piece when you hear it rather than read it, especially if it is delivered by the author.
5. Integrate poetry and technology-Whether it is an all out blog post, a status update or a tweet, share poetry on social media. How about adding a quote from a favorite poem to your email signature or sending the whole poem to friends or family members. Search youtube and you can hear poets reading their works or talking about writing poetry.
How are you celebrating National Poetry Month?  Is there an item on the list that you would like to try?
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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tuesday Photo-One

This week's Wordsmith Studio Photo Prompt is One.  However, not just any "one" will do.
The prompt requires finding something that usually appears in multiples and zeroing in on just one. This photo is of a leaf on one of my shrubs. 
Thanks to Rebecca Barray for this prompt. Go to the prompt post and see her amazing photo of an individual snowflake.
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