LIFE IN AUTUMN

LIFE IN AUTUMN

Yellow
Leaves in free fall,
Released from summer toil,
Wind-dancing down, to rest and feed
The soil.

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FIREFLY LOVE

Firefly in grass

Author @yb_woodstock さん http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellow_bird_woodstock/

FIREFLY LOVE

Nightfall.
Sparks rise, lit for
A breath, then out. Repeat.
Summer’s brief: Hide and seek. Find me
Tonight.

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OUT OF BOUNDS

 

photo from Tom Burke from Morgan Hill, CA, USA via Wikipedia Commons

photo from Tom Burke from Morgan Hill, CA, USA via Wikipedia Commons

OUT OF BOUNDS

You might have lived
If you had stayed
     in your terrain
And hunted, as you do best,
     from ambush
In dark corners
Above my notice,
Laying for high flyers
     that ventured
     into the sticky tangle
Of your killing fields.

But you ventured too,
     and now are slickly caught,
Eight legs splayed,
     against the vast
     white porcelain
Of mine.

R.I.P.

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THE HORSE TRAINER

From a photo by Heather Abounader www.abounaderphoto.com (posted to Wiki Commons)

From a photo by Heather Abounader www.abounaderphoto.com (via Wikipedia Commons)

THE HORSE TRAINER

I have watched you,
On a cold February morning
In the quiet barn,
Begin to sculpt a star.

In the round pen,
Breath steaming in the still air,
Attached to you with slack lunge,
Is a frightened chestnut colt.

Next year, he will burst through the in-gate
Wearing his fine harness like royal robes,
Head high, neck arched, chiseled body
Flashing gleaming angles and planes on his slick coat,
Mane and tail bold banners, announcing that he has come
To demand his due, and take the blue.

But now, undeveloped muscles tense,
Ears active as semaphore flags,
He listens to your voice,
Hardly louder than his own breathing

But strong enough to hold him
As he flickers,
Thinking he has a choice,
Between bolting and believing.

 

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Some German Grammar

Here is a little something for my friends on Duolingo…. a page full of tips for German word endings.

German grammar

 

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Excel 2010 Flashcard worksheet

Entry screen for Flashcards Excel worksheet

Entry screen for Flashcards Excel worksheet

This site is supposed to be about my creative writing, but lately I’ve been sidetracked with learning German on Duolingo. For a few months now, the Duolingo vocabulary function has been disabled, and that is painful for a left-brainer like me.

So…I decided to design my own spreadsheet that would let me drill vocabulary words, and I thought I would share. It’s not perfect. (I’m not a “real” programer, I only play one on TV.)

It works in Excel 2010. It hasn’t been tested in 2007. If you try it out 2007 and it works, please let me know. It will probably be fine in 2013. Oh, and it contains MACROS. That means your computer will probably give you warnings about potentially unsafe content. Don’t forget to click the “Enable content” button if you get an error message.

So far, this contains words and phrases from six Duolingo lessons. (Three early ones and three later ones.) I have included the article to show gender on all the nouns, and also added the plurals at the same time as I added the singular version, so plurals show up earlier than the actual lesson when they are presented. Also, some words are added twice, like Mann. One German to English prompt reads “gender”, the other reads “husband”. The program isn’t smart enough (yet) to give you points unless you exactly match the answer it is expecting.

One thing I’m on the fence about is that if the German prompt is “das Haus” , the English answer is just “house.” I am reconsidering, because I find myself typing “the” into the English answer, and perhaps its simpler to include it in the first place.

Features include:

  • It is case sensitive, to make sure you capitalize those German nouns!
  • If you get an answer wrong, the correct answer shows up in red on the side.
  • If you get an answer right, the correct answer will also show up, but it’s in normal type.
  • There is a “strength” indicator. It starts at zero, and goes up one point for every right answer, and down one point for every wrong answer
  • You can switch between English and German prompts with a drop down list
  • You can filter the list for a specific lesson. If you leave that blank, all lessons will be presented.
  • You can filter the list to give you words with a strength rating of less than whatever number you choose. If you leave that blank, all strength ratings will be presented.
  • When you click the “Clear and Resort” button, the list will clear out the “Type here”column, apply your filters and randomly resort itself.

If you open up the edit mode, you can do the following things:

  • Clicking “Open Edit Mode” will unprotect the worksheet.
  • Be careful not to change any cells that have formulas in them. (I made these orange in edit mode, so you can see what they are when the worksheet is unprotected.
  • You can change any existing entry or prompt.
  • You can add new entries. Just type them  under the last existing line, and they will automatically be added to the table.
  • You could could change this to another set of languages (or anything else you might want to use flashcards for) by changing the names in “Element 1″ and “Element 2″. (But of course, you would need all new data entries.)
  • You can make multiple selections in the filter for columns by using the dropdown lists in the header row. (For example, you could choose Lesson 1,2 and 3). This kind of change will be erased if you click the “Clear and Resort” button again, though, so clear the answer column before you do something like this.
  • When you are done editing, click the “Close Edit Mode” button to protect the worksheet again, and you are ready to enter stuff.

Anyway, if you would like to try it, here is the link: Flashcards-German

Comments and suggestions appreciated!

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Driven

This story was inspired by a headline. I thought it was intriguing and suggested it as a prompt to my writing group. Nobody took me up on it, and I think I’m the only one who got a story out of it. The story went in a direction I never suspected. I love that!

Read the whole story here: Driven.

Posted in Fiction, Short story | 1 Comment

LEADERSHIP

Thanks to Karen Arnold for making this picture available on PublicDomainPictures.net.

 

LEADERSHIP

Heeling
Dog matches me
Turn for turn, stride for stride.
I can’t lose him when I lead from
His side.

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FIREFLIES

Thanks to Quit007, who posted this time lapsed photo of fireflies on Wikipedia Commons.

Thanks to Quit007, who posted this time lapsed photo of fireflies on Wikipedia Commons.

FIREFLIES

Lanterns
Weaving, winking,
Light the dark, hopeful glows
In peripatetic search for
True love.

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THE TEACHER

Whitework

Thanks to Spartanbu, whose Sample of St. Gallen Embroidery was repurposed from Wikipedia Commons for this post.

THE TEACHER

 Your silver needle flashes
Through tight-stretched linen,
Anchoring silken floss
In fancy stitches,
White on white,
Subtly embroidering
The fabric of my life.

 

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