Entries from blogs tagged with “The Sciences”

Prickly Pear

This is a prickly pear cactus from my garden. It is in a pot but I leave it out all winter since it is supposed to be hardy here in Kansas. Of course with this mild winter and the steady movement north of the hardiness zones due to climate change, the plant certainly was not challenged by this last winter.

Opuntia-1

Opuntia-1 by pdecell

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You saw it here first.

OK. I know it been a long time since I've posted any photos. I keep meaning to...really, I do.

I happened to see this link on CNN where my idea has been used on a more global scale.

For those of you who don't what I'm talking about, I had a long series (spanning more than 3 years, starting in 2007) where I posted a small photo (or portion thereof) and invited readers to try and identify it. Here is a link to the last (or I'll hopefully say latest?) in that series of posts..

Where did I put that camera anyway....

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District Two Kansas Authors Club Writer’s Retreat Enrollment Deadline Rapidly Approaching

retreat: 'the act of withdrawing or going backward (especially to escape something hazardous or unpleasant), withdrawal for prayer and study and mediation, withdrawal of troops, an area where you can be alone, a bugle call, a military signal for withdrawal, a place of privacy, make a retreat from an earlier commitment or activity, pull back, move back, move away for privacy....'

Urban Dictionary - retreat: move forward, progress in self awareness and creativity, the act of writing the best damn prose and/or poetry you ever dreamed possible, to bond with other writers, professional and novice, to enjoy the guidance and camaraderie of like minded and accepting spirits, to delight in the healing and creative aspects of nature, to form new friendships and strengthen existing ones, to become a vessel of newly written material.

Where: scenic Lake Doniphan Conference & Retreat Center, 12856 Doniphan Lake Road, Excelsior Springs, Missouri.

When: June 1 - 3, 2012. Registration forms should be completed and submitted by May 15, 2012, for the June 1-3 retreat.

How much: the one day retreat is available for $65 and includes breakfast and lunch Writers may additionally choose to stay Friday night and/or Saturday nights for an additional fee.

The retreat is sponsored by Kansas Authors Club District Two as a yearly fundraiser, but one need not be a member of KAC to attend. (membership fee is $25 annually)

Background information on KAC:

Kansas Authors Club has several hundred members statewide within the 7 Districts.

District 2 has approximately one hundred members. District Two encompasses the following counties: Anderson, Boubon, Coffey, Franklin, Johnson, Linn, Lyon, Miami, Wyandotte, Osage in addition to Douglas.

The statewide association has been in existence since 1904. The club offers writers from all walks of life the opportunity for a discussion of problems unique to writers. Writers from backgrounds such as creative, technical, academic, journalistic and poetry are welcomed.

Districts offer contests as well as support.

As Susie Nightingale, District Two President, states, "I think the main thing the club provides is networking with other writers and opportunities for improving writing skills."

Well known poet Bill Karnowski will be Master of Ceremonies.

Questions may be directed to Susie Nightingale, District Two President, at swimmer10@sunflower.com or (785) 760-1274.

Additional information can be found at: kansasauthors.org "District Two News"

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138th Running of The Kentucky Derby - Under a Full Moon

I know the 138th running of The Kentucky Derby is going to take place this afternoon, not this evening. I also know the way my mind works. Years from now, I'll picture all those pretty thoroughbreds running on a blazin fast track under the largest moon 2012 has ever known.

For now, I won't let the reality of a hard rain falling overnight in Churchill Downs, knowledge of a humid, 86 degree day with continued chance for thunderstorms and a questionable run by some of the horses this morning affect that photo finish I have going on in my mind.

Like most people, I have used several methods of picking Derby winners over the years. I've gone from choosing the filly, merely because she was a filly (Eight Belles was a tragedy), to a pick of the horse reminding me most of the stallion from The Black Stallion series, to just picking one based on best personal, and often heart wrenching, story about jockey and or trainer/owner.

This year, I'm going with the alignment of the stars and the moon as to which horse will be pulled into the winner's circle.

Here we go: the Kentucky Derby is a 1 and 1/4 mile race - ten furlongs (and you can bet your mint julep the track will be fast and dry by gate time), the super moon is 221,802 miles from Earth this evening, it is referred to as the Perigee which sounds like pedigree which remind me of thoroughbred......Have I lost you?

Even the names of the ten most likely horses to win (isn't that a larger than average field), seems to reiterate the cosmic connection: Alpha, Liaison, Creative Cause, El Padrino and SaberCat. (that last because I think cats are cool)

So....I may go with the horse in second post position because of all the twos in the above mentioned series of moon and earth and track alignments, or Liaison, because it sounds like it's meant to be, or Creative Cause, as that is what my life is about, or El Padrino - the Godfather should rule on Cinco De Mayo.........ok, the last didn't work.

Crap, does anyone have a coin I can borrow......

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Lawrence Public Library Reading April 25th with Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg: 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Dr. Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Poet Laureate of Kansas, will be reading this evening, April 25th, at the Lawrence Public Library from seven to eight p.m.

April is National Poetry month and Goldberg will be reading old poetry as well as some new material. I for one can't wait to hear some of her new material. Goldberg, whose book, "The Divorce Girl" will be available from Ice Cube Press in July (preorders can be placed by going to www.icepress.com), will be reflecting on a month of poetry.

Goldberg read an excerpt from her novel, "The Divorce Girl" at The Raven bookstore this past Saturday night, and I'm hoping she will find time to read an additional chapter tonight. The book is referred to as 'A story of art and soul' - it certainly is artfully and soulfully written. Main character Deborah Shapiro, a New Jersey teenage photographer, tells the story of her parents' divorce and where that takes her. A coming of age story about a quirky and extremely intelligent teen, Goldberg has found the perfect medium for Shapiro to convey her story. Giving the main character access to the inner most workings of everyone and everything around her through the use of a camera lens is brilliant. The book is as delicately and intricately woven as life itself as the reader follows Shapiro from one hilarious adventure to another. It isn't just about laughs, however. Goldberg brings the same intelligence, compassion, all encompassing acceptance of cultures and the world at large to "The Divorce Girl" that she does to her poetry.

For additional information, call 785-843-1178. The Lawrence Public Library is located at 707 Vermont St. The reading will be in the auditorium.

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Mary Stone Dockery’s Mythology of Touch - a poet to be reckoned with - Reading at The Raven, Saturday, April 21st

If there is one reading you should catch this month (April is National Poetry Month), then it is the one that includes Poet Laureate of Kansas, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg - check out her July release, "The Divorce Girl" www.icecubepress.com, Cassie Premo Steele, South Carolina, reading from her newly released, "Pomeganate Papers", and Mary Stone Dockery reading poetry from a new Woodley Press release, "Mythology of Touch".

I've become a huge fan of Goldberg over the years and have heard her read aloud enough times that I'm able to hear her voice when I read her poems - yes, she is that good. Her poems always leave me feeling like a better person. Though engaging and varied in topic, they are profound, spiritual (in a nontraditional way) and lift me above the human condition. Her absolute love of every living creature, family and Kansas shine through. Even her beautiful sing song delivery lulls me to a peaceful world. She is a healer.

Mary Stone Dockery presents a different style of poetry. Honestly, I wanted to negate it, somehow be able to question how and why someone so young could be winning so many contests (to refresh your memory, Mary won the 2011 Langston Hughes Award), have so many poems in print, and now......a 90 page book of lyrical narrative poetry! Dare I add she is not yet thirty years old?

Mary Stone Dockery grew up in a small town and farming community in NW Missouri, living in St. Joseph and graduating from Missouri Western State University in 2009 with a BA in literature. She married husband Dustin the same year, and they moved to Lawrence because of KU's MFA program. She graduates this May.

Here then are a few lines chosen at random from Mary's Mythology of Touch poem

You have always been cranberry,

soft jazz swaying in front of me

your mouth wings of a moth

carcass that dreams itself

across my shoulder blade.

and an excerpt of a personal favorite of mine...

Almond Milk and Rosemary

...It was another blue bird perched on its marble bath in the backyard then flying away when she whispered its name....another Bob Marley lookalike chaffing his fingers up her thighs and into her, saying, Redemption. It was another bug smashed against a windshield, splattering, oozing across glass, its blackness etching along her ribs, or was that her lung revealed, her kidney, her liver?.....

It was her heart, Mary, your heart revealed. I went to sleep last night trying to think of a reason not to like Mythology of Touch. I woke up filled with new ways to create with words, a new awareness of how words and life can be observed, shared and lived. I have Mary to thank for that.

It's almost 24 hours until I hear Mary Stone Dockery, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and Casssie Premo Steele reading at The Raven, 6 E 7th St., Saturday evening at seven. But who's counting.....

Mythology of Touch may be purchased at The Raven, or online from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is 12 dollars spent that will change your world forever.

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Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and The Poetry Caravan Cancels Emporia Reading 4-14-2012 due to weather conditions

Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, and members of The Poetry Caravan, has made the decision to reschedule the Emporia, Kansas reading previously scheduled for Saturday, April 14th, at 7:00 p.m. at Emporia State University due to the high probability of tornados and severe thunderstorms forecast to move through the Oklahoma City area and north into the Salina, Kansas regions that evening. Many of the predicted (CNN is reporting a hundred) tornadoes are expected to stay on the ground for a lengthy time period and form after dark.

Goldberg will reschedule the event which called for Art Funding reinstatement for the state of Kansas, as well as readings of BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas Poems and an on-line in concert Renga project, and will announce the date soon.

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Saturday, April 14th, READ-OUT, SING-OUT, SPEAK-OUT, ACT-OUT, DANCE-OUT On EARTHCARE Schedule of Events

Well known local poet and educator, Beth Schultz has once again been instrumental in compiling an exciting list of presenters for the fifth annual Earthcare celebration. Presenters will have approximately ten minutes each in which to celebrate good old Mother Earth in about any means they care to.

The following is the list of performers and the times they will perform on the east side of South Park, Lawrence, Kansas, opening with Schultz at nine a.m.

9:00 am Opening: Beth Schultz

9:10 am Sarah Hill Nelson -- Presentation

9:20 am Jean Grant -- Reading

9:30 am Bob Fraga -- Reading

9:40 am John Poertner -- Reading

9:50 am Ronda Miller -Poetry Reading

10:00 am Rick Mitchell -- Reading Rudolf Steiner

10:10 am David Hann -- Reading Stories

10:20 am Roger Martin -- Reading

10:30 am Charles Gruber -- The Directions

10:40 am Ann Haehl -- Story Telling

10:50 am EARTHDAY PARADE

11:40 am Jerry Jost-- Speaking on Kansas Land Trust

11:50 am Cleta La Brie

12:00 pm Mary McCoy -- Reading on Sandhill Cranes

12:10 pm Kelly Barth -- Reading

12:20 pm Laura Caldwell -- Presentation on Kansas Rivers

12:30 pm Group Poetry Reading includes: Iris Wilkinson, Dixie Lubin, Micki Carroll, Kimberli Eddins, Libby Tempero and Louie Gallaway followed by Iris Wilkinson in separate poems

12:40 pm Micki Carroll -- Reading Poetry

12:50 pm Kimberli Eddins -- Reading Poetry

1:00 pm Dixie Lubin -- Reading Poetry

1:10 pm Libby Tempero -- Reading Poetry

1:20 pm Louie Galloway -- Reading Poetry

1:30 pm Eileen Jones -- Compost Demonstration

1:40 pm Eileen Jones -- Compost Demonstration

1:50 pm Daryl Nickel -- Singing and Guitar

2:00 pm Juliet & Isaac Outka -- Dinosaurs & Other Creatures

2:10 pm Sarah & Sophia Walsh -- Lima Beans & Fossils

2:20 pm Lana Maree & The Prairie Moon Singers

2:30 pm Sandy Sanders -- Research on Nature and Children

2:40 pm Thad Holcombe -- Speaking and Reading

3:00 pm Rabbi Moti Rieber -- Speaking

3:10 pm Dan Bentley -- Speaking on Ecosapiens

3:20 pm Stephanie Barrows-- Reading Poetry

3:30 pm Loring Henderson--Reading

3:40 pm Dee Miller -- Kyoto Solar Cook Stove Demo

3:50 pm Stan Roth reading Paul Jantzen

4:00 pm Soka Gakkai International -- Dramatic Presentation

4:10 pm Elm Dance – Led by Joan Stone

(Reminder): Approximately thirty poets gather from across Kansas in Emporia at 7 p.m., Saturday evening, April 14th, at the Emporia State University Memorial Union (Room Lower 048), for a reading of BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas Poems, the ongoing renga project, singing of "Home On the Range" and a request that the Arts Funding in Kansas be restored.

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Poetry Caravan Lands in Emporia at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, April 14th. A call for reinstatement of Arts Funding in Kansas

The Poetry Caravan -- poets published in the Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems edited by Poet Laureate of Kansas Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg -- is landing at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 14th in the Emporia State University Memorial Union (Room Lower 048) to give its 20th reading and call for restored state arts funding. Approximately 30 poets will be caravanning to Emporia State University for the reading from throughout Kansas, both to share their poetic vision of Kansas and their collective belief in state support for the literary arts.

"We have been touring the state since last November when Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems debuted, and the Emporia reading, our 20th statewide event, seemed the perfect moment to speak through our poetry about the importance of the arts," Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg explains. As poet laureate of Kansas, she has continued on in her post despite the loss of the largely dismantled Kansas Arts Commission, which previously housed the state poet laureate program. "We come together from many walks of life because arts matter. Through our poetry, and through how our lives are continually changed for the better by what we write and read, we know how essential the arts are in helping Kansans live lives of connection, meaning and joy.

The poets will each read a poem from the anthology, which was based on 150 poems Mirriam-Goldberg curated on the website www.150KansasPoems.wordpress.com throughout 2011 to celebrate the state's 150th anniversary of statehood. The year, the website, partnered with the national organization America: Now + Here, is focused on a renga entitled "To the Stars Through Difficulty" -- a conversational poem in which 150 Kansas poets each write 10 lines as part of one large poem. Poets reading in Emporia will also read their renga portions, and the readings will conclude with all the poets singing a special version of "Home on the Range."

Poets reading include from Wichita: Roy J. Beckemeyer and Diane Wahto; from Pittsburg: Steve Meats and Olive Sullian; from Lawrence: Karen Ohnesorge, Ronda Miller, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Gary Lechliter, Brian Daldorph, Elizabeth Black, Iris Wilkinson, William Jo Harris, Peter Wright, Nancy Hubble and Ken Lassman; from Hutchinson: Bill Sheldon, Jo McDougall and Daniel Pohl; from the Kansas City area: Al Ortolani, Linda Rodriguez, Maril Crabtree, Donna Wolff, Wyatt Townley, Roderick Townley and Thomas Reynolds; from Emporia: Kevin Rabas; from Leavenworth: Rick Nichols; from Topeka: Carol (for Max) Yoho and Eric McHenry; from Salina: Hazel Hutchinson; from Cawker City: Lee Mick; and from Bridgeport: Jackie Magnuson Ash. ` The reading, organized by Kevin Rabas (one of the poets and a professor at ESU) is free and open to the public and will conclude with a reception.

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Recess: Studies confirm common sense

This article from CNN, describes some elementary schools that reduced or eliminated recess--and parents efforts to rectify the situation.

I recall when my youngest son was in sixth grade here in Lawrence. Recess was eliminated or drastically curtailed because of the time it would take from academics.

Now, having read the article below and reconsidered, I deeply regret not taking action. I'm older, crankier, and more confident that I don't (always) need studies to make decisions. It shouldn't have taken something like this to wake me up. I, and all the other parents in that class, were persuaded that it was for the best.

Let me say now, what I should have said then. THEY'RE SIXTH GRADERS, PEOPLE! Or second graders, or ...

If you have elementary age kids, how much time do they get outside at school? Is this an issue in Lawrence? In my, or actually my son's, case, it was ten years ago. Is it still going on?

Does this have anything to do with the U.S. being the most obese country in the world?

One final, and somewhat satirical question. Is there anything our educational system does right?

(Hey, I know there are a lot of good teachers out there doing their best under difficult conditions).

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Redbud Spring

Went to Clinton Lake today to take pictures and enjoy this nice Spring(?) weather. I am going to be really interested in the state March average temperature data. Looks like this month could be a hundred year event. Here is a brief slide show of my pictures from today:

Enjoy!

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Abdicating Responsibility

http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2012/mar/should-teacher-larger-class-be-paid-more-teacher-s/

(I consider this to not be one of my usual rants, but an insightful analysis. Your opinions may vary)

Does anyone think that the suggestion in this poll has any merit whatsoever?

Using such a simple method for adjusting, or maybe even determining, teacher salaries is a symptom of the mentality that has come to dominate our dysfunctional culture. Although I suspect, or at least hope, that no one would consider making this the primary factor in determining a teacher's salary, it is just an extension of the common practice of trying to find measurable, and preferably "simple" metrics to free us from having to make difficult decisions.

We all know that decisions like this just aren't simple? Right? Just as in private industry, a supervisor or manager is usually responsibile for determining an employees performance and their worth to the business. This worth equates to the amount of money the company is willing to pay to retain them--at least in theory-- assuming competent management (not a safe assumption).

So why do we think that should be different in education? Because it might not always be fair? Because it could become political?

Guess what, that's life in the real world.

My contention is that our "leaders" most fervent desire is to find ways to avoid responsibility--to put everything they can on someone else. In essence, the goal seems to be to come up with a complex series of rules and policies so that the effort consists of evaluating the problem in the context of those rules and policies instead of looking at the actual facts and merits of the situation under consideration.

Why is it we have to make everything so hard...so complex?

We all know that there are many factors that affect how effective a teacher is, right?

Let's face it, some of our students come from backgrounds where they have tremendous disadvantages, and to expect a teacher to overcome those is criminally naive.

Let's not forget some of the some others. How many teachers have the support of their administration? How many times to they get the backing of their principal or district superintendent when their is a parent complaint? Some students just don't care, while others are motivated to learn on their own. It's a much larger and complex problem than I can do justice to here.

Is it just human nature to look for easy answers to difficult problems?

Has the time when we met challenges head on come to an end?

Are we unwilling to accept the possibility that it is possible for someone to make a decision with the best intentions, using all the information they have, and still have it turn out badly? I see enough decisions turn out badly (enough for hundreds of blog posts), that I'd be happy about a bad decisions, as long as it was acknowledged and the maker learned from it.

Heck, I have to admit I've made bad decisions. I know I leared from at least some of them. Maybe they should be the subject of another post.

Leaders are those people who make decisions and take responsibility. Maybe if we can find some, then everyone else won't really mind because it will just make it easier for the "shirkers" to avoid their responsibilities.

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A New Convenience

I write this will sitting on the K-10 connector to Lenexa/Olathe. I started a new job in November of last year and since then have had the mind numbing drive each day from near Stull to College blvd near I-35.

When I first started, the "Jo" routes in Johnson County didn't make using the bus feasible. Recently, though, they have extended the routes and now I can go from 23rd and Crestline to JCCC, change busses and be dropped off a block from my office.

The travel time is longer, but since I just filled my tank at $3.65/gallon yesterday, and I hate burning 2 hours a day behind the wheel even more than paying for gas, this is a great alternative.

Who knows, I may finally fulfill that dream and write the great American novel in those two extra hours I now have each day.

And if not, at least I've left the ranks of the morning zombies who accompany me each morning (and evening) on K-10.

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“Art After Words” Premier - Abstract Artist Jennifer Rivera - SouthWind Gallery - Friday from 6 - 8

When forty-two year old abstract artist Jennifer Rivera put out a call for poetry last year, she wasn't disappointed. With over two hundred submissions, she had more inspiration than she needed.

Rivera, who was named in KC Magazine's Top 5 Best Visual Artists of KC for both 2010 and 2011, says, "....there is a freedom in abstract art that doesn't exist in many other art forms...a marriage between the artist's freedom of expression and the viewer's interpretations." That's a whole lot of marriages, Jennifer!

Self taught artist and mother of three, Rivera is making a splash in the world of abstract art. When asked how a poem is chosen, Rivera states that although she can't pinpoint why one poem may inspire her more than another, she chooses poems that illicit emotions of sadness, anger or joy. She says a poem may even remind her of a specific time or place in her life.

"As an abstract artist, I tend to paint from an emotional place." Rivera says she tries not to visualize the end result as it hampers the process.

Rivera narrowed her selection to twenty-two individual poets, poems and paintings. How many words does it take to inspire Rivera? Poet Richard Twillman's untitled poem is the shortest at a mere thirty words, while Kevin Rabas', "For the Estranged" is the longest of the chosen poems with 214 words.

While many poets plan to attend this evening's premier (SouthWind Gallery, 3074 SW 29th, Topeka, Kansas, 6 - 8 p.m.) there is a VIP reading of the poems by the poets planned for Wednesday, March 14th, from 6:00 - 7:30.

Poets who had poems chosen include: Tom Averill, Dennis Etzel Jr., Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Mary Stone Dockery, Steve Brisendine, Aaron James McNally, Kevin Rabas, Richard Twillman, Nikki Allen, Tim Pettet, Isreal Wasserstein, Al Ortolani, Maria Vasquez, Donna Potts, Elizabeth Dodd, Holly Bonasera, Ronda Miller, Matthew Porubsky, Stephanie Barrows, DaMaris Hill, Danielle Smith, Catherine Malcolm Ellsworth, Maria Vasquez Boyd.

Rivera's art will remain at SouthWind Gallery through March. This is her second poetry inspired series. Last year, she did a similar project in the KC Crossroads Art District. To read more about the artist and view her art, check out her website: www.wix.com/artistjennifer/rivera

For additional information about tonight's premier showing and the SouthWind Gallery, contact Gary Blitsch at 785-273-5994.

Where does one hang such an inspirational piece of art work? I'm thinking the Governor's Mansion.......

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Kansas Authors Club, District Two Contest - submissions open 2-01-2012

I found out about Kansas Authors Club in 2010 - just in time to attend the conference hosted by our local district, District Two, just a couple of blocks from where I live. I was not only surprised that I had no clue it existed, but I continue to be surprised by how many other people don't know about it.

So then, this is a call not only for submissions for the yearly District Two contest, but for writers across the state of Kansas to become members of KAC (Kansas Authors Club). Reasons to join Kansas Authors Club? Comradeship, a shared knowledge base that ranges from contests, to grammar and writing styles, new poetry styles such as the Loku, how to become published, presentations about understanding, writing and submitting e-books, making your own chapbook, shared work and critique groups, travel to area districts, etc.

For information about becoming a District Two member, please contact New Member Chair Susie Nightingale: swimmer10@sunflower.com

Membership dues are $25.00 annually and include a year book, newsletters, information about contests, monthly meetings with area writers, yearly District Writers Retreat (District Two welcomed state poet laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg as guest speaker in 2011), and a multitude of other benefits.

Co-chairs of the District Two Writing Contest, Sally Jadlow and Ronda Miller, are proud to announce that D2 is sponsoring a writing contest open to all Kansas Authors Club members and nonmembers. Submissions open February 1st, 2012 and must be postmarked no later than April 1, 2012.

Entry fees: members - $3.00 per entry for members, non members - $5.00 per entry. There is no limit on the number of entries you may submit, but no manuscript may be entered in more than one category. If you plan on attending the award ceremony on May 12th (location to be announced), no postage on SASE is necessary with submissions.

Categories for poetry: Rhymed verse, Free verse, Haiku, Narrative.

Categories for Prose: Short Fiction, Memoir, Feature article, Inspirational.

Prizes - $20 for first place, $10 for second place, $5 for third place. (In categories with fewer than five entries, there will be only a first place award.

For detailed rules for submission, please email me: coachinforliferonda@yahoo.com with the words, 'D2 writing contest' in the subject line.

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Life Saving KCPT 4-Part Series On Suicide Prevention and Bereavement begins tonight: Bipolar Disorder And Suicide Risk

I had word Wednesday morning that my cousin Teresa and her family were heartbroken. A close friend of her son and daughter had died by suicide. Unfortunately, it seems barely a month or two go by without having word of someone I know experiencing the same loss and tragedy. This was the second such loss Teresa's family has experienced in the past year. Both individuals were male and in their early twenties.

The United States has thirty thousand suicides each year. Suicides per states are believed to be based on five main factors: mental health resources, barriers to treatment (yes, this includes health care), mental health treatment utilization, socioeconomic characteristics and mental health parity - this deals with generosity of the state mental health parity coverage so the population can receive mental health treatment.

Please watch the KCPT 4-Part series with your family and friends. Please help spread the word about the series. It could be a life saver.

KCPT 4-Part Series On Suicide Prevention and Bereavement

Part 1 Bipolar Disorder and Suicide Risk - Thursday, January 26th @ 7:30.

Part 2 Depression: How To Identify It in Yourself and Others: How To Help A Friend; How To Help Yourself - February 16th.

Part 3 Suicide, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, What to Say To Someone Who is Considering Suicide - February 23rd.

Part 4, Survivors of Suicide Loss - March 1st.

The series features people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and suicide loss. Dr. Linda Moore, a Kansas City based psychologist, Bonnie Swade, Suicide Awareness Survivor Support MO-KAN and Marcia Epstein, Director of Headquarters Counseling Center (211 E 8th St. #C, Lawrence, Kansas) will be presenters during the series.

Headquarters Counseling Center for free life support counseling: 785 - 841-2345 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline center for Kansas: 1-800- 784-2433, or 1-800 - 273-8255.
All discussions remain confidential.

Did you know Headquarters offers free bimonthly suicide survivor group meetings?

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BEGIN AGAIN: 150 KANSAS POEMS book winners: Holiday Haiku, Loku, KUku, Politiku, Felisku, free verse or rhyme

Yeah, yeah! I know this is two weeks late, but I have the list of winning poets in hand!

First Place goes to:

rockchalker52: congratulations, rock! you win for amount of entrees, bantering within poems and sheer enthusiasm.

jay_lo: in particular for the poem beginning....cup them, the children's......, and for your good sportsmanship, ability to rhyme and humor.

cait48: "The Wild Hunt" is hauntingly beautiful and I will read it again and again.

autie: humor always works for me.

DustyAcres: this is Kansas after all!

riverdrifter: for his astute eye for beauty and his love of Kansas.

ShePrecedes: because I fear I'll be struck by lightning otherwise! (just kidding)

roe: for his support in all poetic endeavors, good nature and his blogs in general.

Ron Holzworth: for writing poetry when he's told me he does not and can not. You outdid yourself, Ron!

lonelane_1: so she won't be lonely through the upcoming snow and ice filled nights.

A special thanks to my friend and fellow poet, Lee Mick, for his help in deciding on the winning poet. Rock is our winner, but Jay_lo came in a very, very close second.

Lee has a poem in BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas POEMS, "Having a Ball" as well as several poems in TallGrass Voices.

To receive your copy, please contact me through the ljworld.com site and we'll work out arrangements. Thank you for playing!

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Common Sense Isn’t: What is a Session?

If the hottest topic in the news is whether or not one person going into the senate chamber every 3 days constitutes the aforementioned body being "in session", then this country is in deep trouble.

If a significant number of people think that such actions really mean that the body (Senate) is "in session", then this country is in deep trouble.

I can define the current behavior of the the House and Senate as bipartisan and productive. That does not make it true.

Even Rush Limbaugh had an appropriate phrase "Symbolism over Substance". That was back when I considered myself to be a Republican, now I must force myself to capitalize House, Senate, and Republican (Democrat, too for that matter). I'm sure Rush is taking the side of symbolism now, though.

Not that I have an opinion, one way or the other on "recess appointments". Is it just me, or are they just making up the rules as they go along?

Oh, and the punch line?

This country is in deep trouble.

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Simplify (Wall Street?)

Don't know where that title came from, except maybe in a bolt of blinding inspiration???

I don't have any resolutions this year, but I've been conscious of reducing the stress and hassles in my life these last few years. So when I saw this article on CNN, it caught my attention.

8 ways to simplify your life in 2012

Although this article is aimed specifically at women, I think the stresses of "modern" life hit everyone.

My big prediction, not necessarily for this year, is that computers and technology will actually be used to simplify and improve our lives. In my opinion, that isn't happening yet... (I've probably said it before and I'll say it again)

What things in your life cause the most turmoil, aggravation, and stress? Or what things do you want (or hope) to change?

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Holiday Haiku, Loku, KUku, Politiku, Felisku, free verse or rhyme - just make it seasonal

Tis the season to embrace them all - people, cultures and religions that is.

Allow your loving, forgiving hearts and minds the ability to extend over space and time.

Stretch your belief system, drop tradition and wrap your mind around the endless possibilities of poetry.

Today's poetry blog will encompass whatever form your words and thoughts want to take.

So be it Haiku, Loku, KUku, Felisku, free verse or rhyme, all is fine - just make it seasonal. I will pick twelve winning entries (with a little help from my friends), to post in an online blog 12-26-2011.

Viewers may then cast a vote for whom they think should win. (I'm sorry, but there can only be one winner. You may post as many poems as you wish) The winner receives an autographed copy of BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas Poems (edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and published by Woodley Press).

Have fun! Safe travels this holiday season. Ku ku ka jube!

Examples:

Haiku: (remember the first line is traditionally five syllables, the second line is seven syllables and the third line is five syllables)

Winter solstice bliss

Say goodbye - a final kiss

Stark lunar eclipse

Loku: a poetic form made up of three mono syllable words: the first two words are separated from the third word by a comma. Each line is complete, but additional lines can be used for a more complex story.

Snow comes, white

House full, friends

Sit round, eat

Join hands, pray

Tree bright, lights

Red nose, deer

Stops roof, gifts

Man suit, fat

Friends leave, belch

Shows on, snooze

Night cap, booze

Next day, cruise!

KUku

Gill is gone,

Weis now further west

I hear he's best anyway

What else do I hear

From up on the hill?

Raises for staff - nil

More work, less pay

Makes those who stay

Swallow pride, a bitter pill

Those who can, retire

Others left to inquire

Why? It's just not fair

With increased cost of living

All the knowledge and sweat

They give and share.

Have fun! I'll stop by to insert my own poems from time to time as well as read and enjoy yours. The contest ends Christmas Eve at midnight!

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