Tuesday, June 28, 2022

A Very Literary Week This Is

    On Saturday I was at a writer's event of the SCWA (South Carolina Writers Association) in Columbia, SC. Sold two copies of my novel!

     In a moment leaving for my first meeting with the Lexington Chapter of the SCWA. 

     POETRY magazine's new issue arrived today. A book by a friend came on Saturday. And yesterday Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus in a German paperback.

     Wow! It's only Tuesday!





Monday, June 20, 2022

A Few Days in the Life of This Poet/Writer

     This is a different sort of post. Not that what I do is more fascinating/important than what anyone else does, but it gives me pleasure, and might do the same for you.

     On Sunday I attended a virtual Poetry Salon event where my friend Kelli Russell Agodon gave a reading. There was an Open Mic afterward, and we had an international group: US, Canada, Zimbabwe, and Greece.

 https://t.co/MJEDdjf2RK- The Open Mic begins about 40 minutes; I am the second poet. I shared something from Gemini. 


     This afternoon I submitted a review of a superb forthcoming book of poetry from Leafolio/Tupelo Press. More on that later.

    I have a Zoom for Fiction Readers for the Northern Appalachia Review in half an hour. This region encompasses all of my native Western Pennsylvania and more. Since place plays a major role in my writing. I am honored to be associated with this publication. Their most recent volume:


And my novel......https://www.blurb.com/b/10799783-the-botleys-of-beaumont-county#:~:text=About%20the%20Book&te


Saturday, June 11, 2022

Southern Baptist Strategy to Evangelize US Military


     FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Retired Army Reservist with Veteran Status who served nearly 23 years as a chaplain in the National Guard, US Army Reserve, and on Active Duty. My rank at retirement was Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel). I am a retired but active pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). 

     During my military career, I ensured that my Soldiers' needs (and families when applicable) were met. Chaplains are to perform or provide. That means that if a Soldier wanted something that I could not handle for whatever reason, I found someone who could. For instance, a Latter-Day Saints soldier in the hospital I served in Germany wanted a certain prayer. I asked an LDS chaplain, but since he could not I found an LDS civilian who worked at the hospital to offer the prayer.

   Over the years there were chaplains, usually of a more congregationally-based faith group, often Baptist of some sort, who had problems with chaplains from a liturgical faith group. That meant Lutheran, Episcopalian, some Presbyterians, and Methodists. Roman Catholics and Orthodox certainly, but they were not Protestants and would not be sharing worship services. In fact, some of the chaplains from a looser faith tradition did not think that other chaplains were even Christians. That would include me.

   Now not every Baptist, for lack of a better term, chaplain felt that way. I enjoyed working with many of them. But there was an undercurrent, which sometimes surfaced, that we were not on the same wavelength. To them, Lutherans and other liturgical chaplains seemed suspect. Not really Christians, Catholics in secret, and so on.

   If that were all, well enough. But these chaplains evangelized on steroids. They infused their ministries with conservative politics, tried to convert Soldiers from their existing faith groups, and caused dissension. A number of Soldiers came to me during my deployment to me in the hospital I was at in Germany because their chaplains were judgemental. 

    The sad thing is that many Soldiers would be turned off to religion in general because of chaplains like this. I would have stayed in a while longer to push back against this false evangelism, but I knew that eventually, I would have to retire. Additionally, it was time to be more available for my family. And most of all, I knew that God would take care of it. 


Saturday, June 4, 2022

Verlaine Poem used Prior to D-Day


     The success of Operation Overlord depended also on the French Resistance sabotaging rail lines and communications in Occupied France. These brave men and women were very effective. Verlaine's poem was used several lines at a time to specific groups as a code. The Germans heard and realized the liens related to the coming invasion, but did not know anything more.

     Verlaine is worth reading. I have some of his poetry on my Kindle. More about him and selected poems:


Thursday, June 2, 2022

"Not Fade Away"- film

      How could a movie with the same title as the Buddy Holly song miss? After all, the Stones, the Grateful Dead, and many others covered it. 

     The movie does not miss. I found the first part a little slow in developing, and the ending is not what I completely expected (no, I will not say more). The performances are effective, and the mood of the 1960s is vividly there. Anyone who lived through those times either had these experiences or was told not to (and likely knew people who had).


     Steven Van Zandt was the executive producer and selected an outstanding soundtrack. While not every band hit the big time, the music of this era impacted lives. I saw it n Amazon Prime Video. Check it out.

Reviews Are So Very Important to Writers, and So Hard to Get

      When my first poetry book was published seven years ago, I dutifully asked readers/friends to review it. That book, Places and Times, ...