In 2014 I featured a series of blog posts introducing you to 2,014 names. For the most part they were names that were brand new to me as well. Some names may be more familiar but I found the meaning or origin or some other aspect of the name made it worthy of inclusion here. You may love some of the names, you may hate some, but hopefully you enjoy learning about all of them.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

new poem in the works

As the British might say, "have a read". It's hardly finished and needs lots of work still, but, I do enjoy it enough as it is to share it. Some things just inspire me, but if your inspiration is a documentary on a serial killer, do not expect me to write a poem about pretty fall leaves and the nobility of the human race.

Into the woods, and away we go,

Into the darkest part of Skid Row.

I flee with you, my untrustworthy friend

Knowing you’ll guide me unto my end.

An end of existing in constant pain, though I suppose

You’re not leading me to fountains of bliss or fields of Elysium

Nor even to halls of Valhalla’s great Victors.

But Hel’s realm of horror of unending woes

Of waking each morning to a new vicious vector

Where nightmares are real and reality seems

A far distant fantasy of minor defeats, of melancholy and madness

And maybe some sweet

Bitter memory some gut wrenching knowledge of how things might have been.

But for now, I flee with you friend, I flee for the fleeing, the flight away

From all that defies me this middle of day.

Lead me, I beg you, to the house on the street

Where angels and demons are wont to meet

Where I might just as well be one of the victims

As one of the victors and ever so gladly partake of the nectars

Of forbidden fruits and of follies and vices

Of please make me forget all of my nicest

Laces and linens.

And don’t you think

I fit ever so well on this street of hell-bent

Heaven in Hell?

On with you I glide, ignoring the signs of ignominy

And depravity, of vicious beyond my wildest imagining.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Support Reading and a Whole Lot More

So, go to the above link to read about an idea sponsored by Heifer International, an organization that works to provide people in some parts of the world with things like cows and goats so that families have a way to have food.

My idea is this: Put spare change in a cup or jar. Label the jar even - maybe 'money for other people'. I don't know. If you know a child learning to read or who you want to encourage to read, or reward for being an amazing natural reader, offer to let them take money from the jar when they read to you (because what's the fun of the kid reading and you not getting to share in the experience?). If you don't live close to them, have them read to you over the phone or webcam or they can even record themselves reading or videotape it and send it to you. However you want to do it (turns out that reading to someone who is intent on hearing you read, is a great motivator). Anyway. Explain that the child needs to keep the money safe to give to this cause (because we are not paying the child to read. No need to bribe them. But it's also okay to let them see that something relatively passive, like reading, can affect the world. Or our role in it.)

Find out what the minimum donation level is for an organization like Heifer International. It's just an example. You can let the child donate the money to a different organization, they may even like to take the money to buy books or toys or clothes to donate to toys for tots or some similar program.

the idea is, start this with a child capable of not putting the money in their mouth - start young. You do not need to wait til the child is 9 or 10 to encourage reading, reaching out to others, or saving money. Any child who won't choke on the penny can participate. How? If you've got a two year old, let them read a book to you. No, they do not have to say the words on the page yet, though there's nothing wrong if they can or want to try. But they should be able to turn pages, hold the book themselves, and maybe make up a story or point to pictures. For that matter, a 12 month old should be able to start learning how to point to pictures. If you start developing the skill in the child and focus on how important it is, it will be important to the child.

Anyway. Haven't got any kids of my own, but, this is an invitation to clean out my spare change kids! The money is only available if you have a plan of how you will donate it to change the world. you can read pretty much anything you want.