3.14159 26535 89793 23846…

Happy Pi Day. Try some March Mathness, and put some Pi in your poetry..


It is Pi Day, that is in the states where we write today’s date 3/14 it is. (Another fun fact is that Einstein was born on this day in 1879.) In another life of mine I sometimes teach math. Kids of all ages have heard of Pi and are fascinated with it. I have had them write Pi-etry and Pi-ku using the digits of Pi to determine either syllable or word-count. Below is my take, using the first 21 digits to dictate syllable count. The second poem is my more free form ode to Pi, or M’ode à la Pi . 

My math students did a remarkable job of writing with the Pi-ku challenge. I challenge you to take a cross-curricular leap and use Pi or the digit sequence of Pi as your inspiration to write a poem today. Use as many or as few digits as you wish…

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Currents of life have kept me away from Marcia’s resplendent lagoon lately, but I have drifted back today. I had resolved in the beginning of the year to get out a bit more than I am used to, so here I am and it is here that I will share some of my outings.

I was recently featured at Pure Haiku, one of my haiku being chosen to represent Freya’s theme of Ocean. That new association got me an invitation to participate in Freya’s Escape Pod Emulation. While I am not much for science fiction, the idea of being left alone in an escape pod was kind of appealing. (You’ll have to read her post in April to see what five items I take with me.) But in thinking about that escape pod I was led back to this post.

Don’t we all dream of alone time to read and write in, of having no interruptions? Yes, that e-pod does sound good, doesn’t it?

The metaphor commonly used isn’t e-pod, but island. I can tell you from personal experience that in filling out your wish fulfillment form, be clear that it be a deserted island, for an island is, somewhat ironically, more of a fishbowl. But if we were truly interested in being on a deserted island, we wouldn’t be reading and writing in the blogosphere, would we? If we are all islands, then the blogosphere is a series of bridges, or boats. No matter what we tell ourselves, we instinctively reach out to others, to give and to get help. Freya mentions that the E-Pod Emulations, a fun interview format, is a way to give back to the writing community.

Sound familiar? I am here at Marcia’s blog where her tag line is “writers helping writers”. Marcia has graciously featured me here at the Write Stuff and encourages my poetic leanings. I have been dabbling more with that genre lately, responding to various prompts from different blogs. Each place has its group of respondents who write and also read and reply to one another; I have yet to stumble upon an unfriendly place and am grateful to the individuals that host these groups of writers and provide the prompts that inspire me to lift a pencil.

So while alone time in an e-pod or a deserted island is attractive, and even necessary at times, we do all benefit from the support and camaraderie of one another.

Meanwhile… You may have seen festive balloons dancing in the blue skies over Carrot Ranch. They are celebrating more than the publication of the Volume 1 Anthology; Charli and her buckaroos are celebrating four years of what is a ballooning literary community that welcomes readers, writers and those interested in the discourse. This community dispels the myth of the insular lone wolf writer; they provide a pack, a tribe of like-minded people who want to try their hand at flash fiction. In the year since I stepped into the blogosphere via the Ranch I have learned and grown so much because of that community. I wouldn’t be much of anywhere without them and am proud to join in the celebration.

I am sure that we all celebrate the groups that we are a part of and the individuals that keep things going. We know that a comment is worth a hundred balloons. These celebratory balloons are markers, beacons for those who might want to reach out from the shores of their own island and share with others their writing, their thoughts, and their encouragement.

Thank you Marcia!

Confessions of a Bibliophile

I like books. I have a few. Okay, quite a lot of books have found a home with me over the years.

I like books for what’s on the inside, yet I admit to judging books by their covers. A bad cover or title can be hard to get past.

I like real books, the ones that don’t have a lowercase /e/ or /i/ associated with them, ones with pages and ink, books that hold some memories of trees.

I buy books. I buy professional books that inform my teaching. I buy books that are recommended to me by others, or books whose author I know I like, or books that just seem interesting, that maybe leap off the shelf at me. I like to buy in local bookstores, and do. I also buy from online second hand book dealers who probably get some of their inventory from the brick and mortar stores that go under. And yes, because it is convenient and expeditious to use them, I sometimes buy books from that huge online place that gets blamed for the demise of our local bookstores. (And they sometimes, but not often, sell my books.)

I buy books but mostly my books find me. They find me at yard-sales and flea-markets, and the Take-It-Or-Leave-It at the dump. These findings, this being found, is the most beautiful way of acquiring books. It cannot be forced; it is a serendipitous, Zen-like connection, to be recognized and acknowledged when it happens and to be counted as another blessing. The book that finds me may be something I had been looking for, or may appear as something I was not looking for, never heard of, but upon reading it realize it is just what I needed. These books might be part of a direction I was already reading in, or they may lead me off in another direction, gathering like minded books along that way.

These books, up for adoption, have plenty to say about where they came from. They reveal the interests and inclinations of their previous owners, the phases that that person went through, the predilections and interests they held. And if those interests and predilections were similar to mine, if I am found, I take these books home where they are introduced to their new bedfellows on my shelves. There may be some shifting around; this placing is important. I don’t impose the Dewey decimal system, but there are themes. Books are placed with other books where they will have something to say to one another. The books are additions to collections, which are really ongoing conversations among books, conversations with my books and myself. Because of course they are read, sometimes prior to shelving sometimes afterwards.

There’s no real point to this. Except to say that I like books. I suppose one day I will have to downsize and put my books up for adoption, to put them back in the same channels they came to me from, otherwise someone else will have to deal with the collections when I’m dead. Come that time, I hope that my books end up finding someone who appreciates them, even as that someone might be wondering about the predilections of their previous owner.


What about you? I have yet to use kindle, but what do you prefer? With print books, do you shelve, share, or sh_t-can? Where do books go once read? 

This had been idling at shiftnshake. I was inspired to post it by Marcia, who had posted this meme, and whose book is still beside my bed, waiting for me to order the sequel. 






Marcia’s Resplendent Lagoon

Never been much for swimming

My style likened to that of a log

Don’t know what I was thinking

When I dove into my own murky blog.

The waters finally cleared some

I floated and began to look around

Saw a blog isn’t so boggy and scare-some

Well, let me tell you just what I found.

I was first picked up by some buckaroos

Who taught me more refined strokes

Finer teachers I couldn’t choose

They introduced me to other fine folks.

Like Florida waterways connected

By rivers, creeks and canals

I found that many blogs intersected

And met even more swimming pals.

I stopped being a bump on a log and

Bumped into friendly folks so kind

Who helped me figure out this blog-land,

Gave gifts of their space and their time.

And now I’m swimming at Write Stuff

In Marcia’s resplendent lagoon

so come on by for a swim often

and then return again real soon.

***D. Avery

Hi. I found Marcia’s hide-a-key, so may be showing up here now and again. I look forward to spending some time here with you and would enjoy interacting with the wonderful people that come by, but sometimes may have to just drop something off and then off to work or sleep, or both. If I am slow to respond it is not because I don’t appreciate your comments, it’s just life. But you know this lagoon. Come on in, the water is 

(I did that on purpose; adjectify your own water)