Category Archives: Blog

Akismet—Was it Fate?

Stemming the Onslaught of Spam

When I started this blog, I researched before taking certain set-up steps. WordPress encouraged Akismet as a spam-blocker and JetPack as a good assortment of plug-ins. Because I encountered many “pro and con” discussions of both items online, I decided to wait before installing either one.

Intro Key

As a result, I soon became inundated with spam comments … and the volume kept escalating. Within a short time-frame today, I accumulated 127 spams and they were cumbersome to delete. Rather than go far afield in researching Akismet alternates, I looked at only the one that sounded like the best option. It was controversial too, subject to bugs and difficulties. So I went ahead with Akismet.

I have a couple of library books checked out about WordPress. As time allows, I’ll delve into that information to learn how certain other plug-in components can help this blog … because it’s pretty bare-bones at the moment, which also means pretty hidden. For now, though, that’s fine with me.

By the way, the top definition of “kismet” that appears in a Google search is “destiny; fate” and the usage example given is: “what chance did I stand against kismet?” I conclude that the Akismet software is aptly named.


P.S. I wish WordPress offered a plug-in that would keep the paragraph font from going wacky sometimes and appearing more bold or condensed. (Sigh.)

P.P.S. It has now been a full day later and I have NO spam comments. Ahhhhh-kismet!

Photo Credit: “Intro” key cropped image from Alvimann at




Writing and Writing Tools

Pens, Pencils, Computers

When the U.S. first planned to send its astronauts up into realms of zero-gravity (I’ve heard), they spent mounds of money designing special pens that would operate there. The Russians, sensibly, sent their cosmonauts up with pencils.

Keyboard and pencil

Pencils are my favorite writing tools, especially when I write in bed at night with legs drawn up and tablet propped against them. Ballpoint ink doesn’t flow at the near-horizontal angle this arrangement requires. Years ago, I kept a journal in a hand-made book that was made of a luscious high-grade soft archival paper. I used a porous fiber tipped LePen, which I considered equally luscious. That writing experience was sensually and emotionally satisfying, in part because I recorded so many dreams (literal) and aspirations.

If you’ve ever begun to pay close attention to your dreams, you know that you soon have enormous quantities of material. One memorable night’s dream transported me to an art gallery on a foreign planet. Items on display there were wildly unusual, exquisitely beautiful, and ingeniously made.

Computers are good tools … when you have them. Ethan’s notebook was in the shop last week; mine is there now. This is being written at a computer station in a local wellness center. I figure if I don’t find ways to keep involved with this blog, it will lapse. (My poems have, on occasion.)

Regretfully, Ethan’s notebook doesn’t accommodate my camera’s flash drive, so if I add photos to this post they will come from another source. In that case, I may just pick ones that are eye-catching rather than topical; I think everyone knows what a pencil looks like.

Penciling You In

Basically, I’m just touching base with friends of this blog. I think I have one reader so far … an immensely valued one. Wait—make that two, plus Kate who’s made the only non-spam comment so far. Bless you all, and future readers as well.  ~ ♥Jo

* * *


Joint Explorations

Why this Website? Why Poetry?

They both have the same prompt: Oprah.
Poetry is a response to a life-mission remark she made. The website is a response to her recently-issued “Grow Your Life” challenge. In 150 words or less, entrants told which of their dream(s) they most wanted to advance. From the submissions, a winner will be chosen to have lunch with Oprah in Hawaii.

Machu PicchuI resonated with the challenge and entered, via a poem. (Creativity will figure strongly in the judging.) The dream I described has two parts: to fulfill a long-cherished wish to visit Machu Picchu, the ancient sacred city in Peru, and to combine that wish with my everyday poetry. I envision approaching the Inca site from a spiritual perspective, recording the experience in an art-and-poetry journal.

The website is a further outcome of my spirituality and writing liaison.

Writing Tools file00077014446

Part of my yearning and resonance is to keep very private with these joint explorations. That is counterbalanced by another part encouraging me to become more open and visible. I wonder which part invites more vulnerability, growth, and/or learning? We shall see. I already enjoy the creativity.

♥  Jo

* * *

Decisions, Decisions … and Revisions

Today I abandoned two out-of-date poem blogs due to password nonacceptance. I thought a good alternative would be to simply start a new blog. But some research convinces me that I can jumble all kinds of content here, letting readers sort their favorites by selecting categories. If so, that is a wonderful solution. In keeping with my learning-by-doing orientation, I will proceed along those lines.

Since you will experience the outcome, wish us luck.

♥ Jo

* * *

Learning by Doing

“The work will teach you how to do it.”

This Estonian proverb is my motto. In the case of this blog, I’m learning how to produce one by doing it. … I got my first viagara comment today. Since comments are integral to having a blog, that was a good piece of learning.

I’m off to a slow start today but, actually, that is pretty typical. By the time I do what I call my “dailies”—planning, journaling, and everyday chores—the morning is often half gone. The dailies usually include a poem and the time to complete one is always unpredictable … some have taken the whole day.

My daily planning includes a lengthy gratitude list and a fresh affrimation accompanied by a photo. This creative time is my delight and dearest luxury. Of course, if a time comes when this indulgence must be dropped, it will be surrendered. I’m convinced that necessity of letting go (or going beyond) is true of all egoic traits and activities. This was my thinking as I wrote today’s poem.

* * *


If I want to be
completely free,
that even means
free from me.

* * *  

Someday, I expect, my blog posts will be read. You may even be the first reader! First or last, I’m thinking of you today and hoping we will connect with good things to share.  ♥ Jo


About Poems – A Decision

I decided, for the present, not to post daily poems here … unless as commentary on my life or writing process.

As I nudge myself further toward blog writing (and other projects), I’ve found some apropos advice. These tips are from Wayne Wirs:

If you are having a hard time starting a task, then you are focused on you and not on the task before you.

If you are resisting, try to notice your conditioning: “I want. I want. I want.”
Once you see it, it is a lot easier to drop it.

If you still find yourself thinking about a completed task, then you are attached to
the outcome.  Surrender that too.

Excellent insight, don’t you think?.

* * *


Poems or About-Poems?

I used to have a separate blog (which I may revive) where I entered my daily poems. They are not works of high art, so I call them “pomes” and I call myself an everyday poet. To give you a flavor of the range, though, here are samples from yesterday and today:


As I write
these poems
each day,
I wish I knew
what I were
trying to say.

* * *


On this side darkly are we caught,
but for the winking coded messages
we emit.

Here, through flimsy body-masks
and near-unbearable yearning,
we incessantly scan for matched pulsations—
for the homing signals of our
love-mates, life-mates, playmates.

Flying or not,
we all have wings.

* * *

In this blog or journal, I will probably write more about the writing process than post the actual writing. I hope you are enjoying your own and making progress with it. Today I met a young man, Adam Bolander, who already has a half dozen books up on Amazon at the age of 21. Inspiring that he is so creative so young and so eager to share his work.

Test to Resize Photo

Poem 130623 Onboard Guidance

I think I’ve solved the size problem. But now the picture is fuzzy, whereas the original is not. Why isn’t this photo as clear as the image you get if you click on it and it opens in another window???

Still struggling. There is SO much to learn, in spite of WordPress and YouTube tutorials that claim setting up a website is easy. For example, the information on backing up data is prodigious.

Blog Post Sequence

This is my third post today as I experiment with how WordPress works. The first two posts appeared on the page in reverse reverse order. In other words, the second post was not in the expected reverse chronological order, which would have been higher on the page. Instead, it appeared lower on the page than the first one.

Maybe the solution is to only post once per day. But, out of curiosity, I want to discover whether this third post will appear at the top, middle or bottom of the day’s postings.

I am relying on other people’s advice to learn and sort out these oddities, and I hope my experiences will someday be useful to others as they learn.

Result of this test: The posts I made today in the sequence 1-2-3 appear on the page in the order (from top to bottom) 3-1-2. Dunno why.

Webpage Photo Quality


Illustrated Poem of 6/23/13 


Test Two – Inserting Webpage Photos Without Losing Quality

Things are easy AFTER you learn how … in this case via some kind soul on a YouTube video.

Next I want to learn to have more control over how things get displayed on the website pages, e.g., more font size variation, different placement of text such as in extra columns, etc. Things have sure changed sine the ’70s when I wrote my own HTML. I guess the harder a problem is, the greater the thrill of solving it. As far as WordPress goes, I’m still probably in the foothills. No telling how big the mountains will be.