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So far irvinjgdm has created 102 blog entries.

October Song

A sense of hunkering down settles over the house. Cool mornings cede passage to warm afternoons, the heat rising and falling like the tide. I feel the yawn of summer, the way the earth withdraws beneath the smokescreen wisps above the pond. On the horizon, a large brown heron throttles westward, determined to make land before the sunset drops its carmine and purple veils. The dark comes early, sometimes like a curtain at intermission, sometimes hidden behind clouds that glower sternly as they slip across [...]

By |2021-09-30T16:22:58+00:00September 30th, 2021|contemplative, emotive, Essays|0 Comments

October 2021 Author of the Month: SHULY XÓCHITL CAWOOD

Dayton, Ohio, and its environs host a large, diverse, talented pool of writers. The small town of Yellow Springs has given birth to many of those talents, the comedian and philanthropist Dave Chappelle, for one. This month I want to introduce you to another of the Springs' delightful creatives, author Shuly Xóchitl Cawood, whose beautiful and insightful work includes poetry, essays, and short stories. She is also a gifted teacher who shares her expertise with others through workshops and conferences as she mentors aspiring writers [...]

By |2021-10-01T16:30:19+00:00September 30th, 2021|Author of the Month|0 Comments

An Attempt to See Clearly in the Fog…

In May I had surgery on the muscles in my left eye to correct the strabismus that has dogged me since before and after my brain surgery on the torturous blood vessel rubbing against one of my cranial nerves. (Yes, that is the official wording on the MRI analysis...torturous!). I also had the cataract removed. In August, the surgeon completed the trifecta by implanting a new lens in the right eye. Wow! I can see to infinity and beyond...if infinity is the sky above the [...]

By |2021-08-31T14:52:01+00:00August 31st, 2021|Essays|0 Comments

September Author of the Month: KEN SCHNECK

For a teacher like me, September has always meant beginnings...the opportunity to meet a bright new crop of young minds and watch them grow. For this journalist, the month also allows me to introduce you, dear reader, to an author and comedian I met virtually during this past year of Zooming. I was so impressed by his presentation and his personality that I invited Ken Schneck to be a guest...and he agreed! Ken wears many hats. He is a tenured professor of education at Baldwin [...]

By |2021-08-31T14:47:34+00:00August 31st, 2021|Author of the Month|0 Comments


If I have learned anything over the past eighteen months, it is the simple fact that life can change in unexpected ways in the space of a hiccup. Making plans to travel, sending deposits for tickets, and planning to attend conferences, may or may not work out. Yet I persist, penciling in dates and researching airplane flights, trusting in the belief that things will work out as they should. In other words, I'm an optimistic pantser! Is this any way to go through life? Let's [...]

By |2021-07-31T17:32:38+00:00July 31st, 2021|Essays, Uncategorized|0 Comments

August Author of the Month: JEFFREY MARKS

The dog days of August are here, dear reader, and so is our wonderful August author, Jeffrey Marks, who identifies himself on his website as an author, publisher, husband, and doggie daddy.  Retired from teaching in 2020, Marks is the author of two series, both mystery novels. One features a department store cosmetics department, and the first book in that series was awarded the very first Malice Domestic Grant. The other series comes from his short story work and features US Grant as the historical [...]

By |2021-07-31T17:29:55+00:00July 31st, 2021|Author of the Month|0 Comments

July 2021 Author of the Month: JOE OESTREICH

Okay, readers, I have a real treat for you this month...my first ever musician-author, the personable, talented Joe Oestreich. I met Joe at the now-defunct Antioch Writers Workshop and came away very impressed with his ability to make a large audience feel comfortable and eager to share their thoughts and writings. Joe is the author of four books of creative nonfiction: WAITING TO DERAIL (co-written with Thomas O’Keefe, 2018), PARTISANS (2017), LINES OF SCRIMMAGE (co-written with Scott Pleasant, 2015) and HITLESS WONDER (2012). His work [...]

By |2021-06-30T13:23:58+00:00June 30th, 2021|Author of the Month|0 Comments

Are We Really Back To ‘Normal’?

As I sit to write this post, Independence Day beckons. News stories about picnics, gatherings, and fireworks abound. How comfortable do we feel moving among a crowd when we know so little about the health and vaccination history of the people crowding around us? I confess to a bit of trepidation, yet I have already stepped out, joining other writers for an event in Columbus June 24. Almost everyone removed their masks, and the atmosphere was one of celebration and thanksgiving. We the people were [...]

By |2021-06-30T13:17:11+00:00June 30th, 2021|Essays|0 Comments

Slinking Into Summer

OMG, it's June...summer sun, sweat, sandy beaches, sweet tea, and Slurpees...this year a languid slide replacing the frenzy of the regular routine...remember bursting from the schoolroom doors, cheering the arrival of the long vacation? With all things virtual that have filled our days, how, I wonder,  will it go this year? Now, I do live in Ohio, so counting on normal on any given day is a little like playing craps. You shoot for a temperature point and hold your breath. This Memorial Day Weekend [...]

By |2021-05-31T15:33:31+00:00May 31st, 2021|Essays, Uncategorized|0 Comments

June 2021 Author of the Month: ELLEN BIRKETT MORRIS

Connecting to other authors during my extended homestay has been both challenging and rewarding, especially since my introverted personality enjoys closing off the noise of the world and living the stories in my head. Last year, however, I had the good fortune to review fiction by Ellen Birkett Morris and found a new colleague and friend. This month I'd like to introduce her to you. Ellen is the author of Lost Girls, a collection of short stories called "a varied set of tales from a [...]

By |2021-05-31T15:05:23+00:00May 31st, 2021|Author of the Month|0 Comments
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