Reminder: Today is the big day for our virtual blog party at Matt Forrest Esenwine’s place. Here’s the link. (I gave you the wrong one yesterday.)https://mattforrest.wordpress.com/2017/12/15/poetry-friday-welcome-to-the-2017-holiday-poetry-party Please plan to meet at Matt’s and tell everyone you know how to get there. I’m bringing sliders and I double dog dare you to say you’ve had better. See you there!
Reminder: Matt Forrest Esenwine is hosting the virtual holiday party that has been at my house the past two years. Early tomorrow morning guests will start arriving at https://www.facebook.com/MattForrestVoice?pnref=friends.search and I look forward to seeing you there!
Yesterday I passed a milestone of sorts. I filled my second record book and bought a new one. I haven’t written in it yet. I have the same feeling about a new journal. Seems like the first entry should be spectacular. Bee Cullinan and I had a talk about that once. She said to take a pen, mark all over that first page, rip it out, and get on with it. Like getting the first scratch on a new car.
I started my first record book in 1959. The first entry, From Day to Day, ran 5,600 words, was submitted to Atlantic, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and Arizona Quarterly. No sale.
The last entry, Little Boy Soup, sold to Ladybird Press on 11/30/89. At that time it was my 177th submitted work.
My second record book ended with my 354th submitted work, My Book of Little Critters. It went out on 11/29/17. Nothing to report yet.
I’ve also kept track of how many individual items I’ve finished over the years — poems, picture books, etc. That total stands at 1,701 as I begin to write in this third record book. When I think about it, my whole life’s work is recorded in these slender books. There is a lot of hope in them, heartache, celebrations.
This new ledger is larger and fancier than the others. Its pages are numbered, and there’s space enough for 400 more submissions. It means I have a long way to go before I run out of ideas . . . or get another record book.
My thanks to everyone who came to my fourth virtual blog party. Many of you traveled long distances so your efforts were especially appreciated. I thought you all might like a souvenir group photo, so here it is. Lots of smiling faces! If I left anyone out, or you were standing behind someone, I apologize.
I realized later that I had posed you in a really tough place so thanks for being patient with me, especially those who had to sit on the retaining wall, kneel between the fountain and tables, and even grin from the pool. You were all good sports.
It’s party time! I welcome you today to my fourth blog party. Come one come all. Bring something if you want, or not. Virtual parties are known for the ease of cleaning up afterward and one cupcake may well last all day and please the palates of dozens of guests.
Cool off in the pool if you brought a suit. For men with a 38 waist, I have a couple of spares. For women, Sandy might come up with one for you. I keep pool heated to 90 degrees, which is handy because when we’re not swimming we throw in a bag of potatoes and serve soup to the neighborhood. The water is only four feet deep and we have a stock of new noodles to help you bob around.
The grill is clean (by my standards more than those of my M.O.W.’s) so help yourself to it if you want to throw on burgers or brats.
You’ll find tables here and there. My two favorites are the ones closest to Goose Lake but there is one by the pool, one close to the kitchen door, and another at the far end of the patio for those who just want to enjoy the view and be left alone.
We have twenty outdoor chairs around tables and others that can be arranged to suit you needs.
I think all the plants are watered but if you’re given to puttering around in gardens, you’ll find a watering can wherever Sandy left it last. (No, my darling, I didn’t mean anything by that last “crack.” You’re just being overly sensitive. Yes, of course I apologize, Sweetheart.)
Sadly, my fallen tree is sprawling across part of the yard and down into the lake. We have someone coming to remove it next week. At some point I may offer a toast to the fallen beauty.
If you brought something in need of refrigeration, I’ve left the kitchen door open so help yourself. The counters are pretty much clear and the cutting boards are next to the coffee pot. No, the other coffee pot. The one that works. One of these days I plan to take the broken one to the garage, but it’s a long walk of twelve feet or maybe more and I’ve been busy these last two years.
So welcome! I am delighted to greet you, whether you’re a newbie to my parties or a veteran. The idea behind these events is to encourage folks to become acquainted and enjoy a chance to visit. If you spot someone you’ve been wanting to meet, march right up and introduce yourself. If you have questions to ask, ask away.
I never know how long these parties will last. One went on for three days. Please come and go as your time permits. My suggestion is that if you are returning to the party, you might want to make an announcement so everyone will know you’re back. Otherwise it’s easy to be overlooked in the crowd. And don’t forget to thank Joy Acey and Matt Forrest for dreaming up this party in the first place. Joy lives a lot of time zones away these days so you may have to shout to wake her up.
Okay, mark your calendar right now for this Friday, December 16. That’s when I’m having my fourth virtual party at our house. We had the first in June, 2015, the second in December 2015, the third in June, 2016, and now this one.
One of the many advantages of my party is that you’ll see a lot of old friends and meet new ones as you mingle through the crowd. No one has to bring anything but those who do stick strictly to non-caloric dishes. Sandy loves it because we never run out of anything and there is no cleanup afterward. I love it because so many good folks drop by and keep returning throughout the day as their schedules permit. Guests like it because they often get a chance to ask a question of get some advice or mention an upcoming book or event. And did I mention that these parties tend to last more than one day?
So please come or I’ll be disappointed and so will many others. Also, I hope you’ll invite others to come with you or attend on their own. There’s no such thing as too many guests at my virtual parties. And what better way could there possibly be to celebrate the holiday season?
P.S. You don’t have to dress up. This just happens to be a picture of my M.O.W. that I adore.