Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rusty and CJ Write Some Poetry Together

Rusty and Kathleen
I have a poet friend I've known for almost forever.  His name is Rusty Daily and he and his wife, Kathleen, live in Indianapolis.  That's a long way from Florida, and the only reason I've never had the pleasure of meeting them.

Between us, Robert and I have four children in four different states, and that pretty much takes up whatever free time we have, just to visit our kids and grandkids.

But I digress ... I first met Rusty years ago at an online writing community called  We were both posting poetry for children and often commented on each other's work.

Our tastes were very similar, running everywhere from the silly, insightful, or outright goofy, and somewhere along the way, we started doing some co-writing.

One of us would write a couple of lines as a starter, then email it to the other one.  Back and forth the poem went between us, until it felt right.

I want to share a few of those poems.  Oh, and I've emailed Rusty, to try and nudge him into writing a few more poems with me.  Like me, underneath that senior exterior, he's also just a big silly kid ...

by Rusty and CJ

You know what makes me laugh
and puts me into stitches?
It's when I grab ahold and pull
the waist of someone's britches.

It’s fun. It's called a wedgie
and what a super name,
just pull and yell out WEDGIE!
It‘s really the coolest game.

Hmmm, now who should I get,
lil sissy or my big brother?
Or maybe I should get my dad
but definitely NOT my mother!

And you NEVER do grandmas and grandpas.
To do that you‘d have to be nuts
('cause everyone knows that old people
don't even have any butts).

All By Myself
by Rusty and CJ

I gotta play by myself today
cause Mommy is cleaning and mopping.
Then she’ll be calling a sitter
for when she goes grocery shopping.

The sitter, she’s really boring.
She’s always on the dumb phone,
or painting her nails or combing her hair
so I guess I’ll be playing alone …

I think I will get out my play dough
and make a spaghetti pie.
Or maybe, I'll feed all my dollies
so they won't be fussy and cry.

At two, I’ll watch my TV shows.
Till then, I'll build with my blocks.
When I'm done, I'll pick them all up
(if I can get 'em all back in the box).

Maybe later, my secret friend and me
will draw a picture or two
with all my favorite crayons,
specially the reds, greens and blues.

I really like my toys and games
and my other good stuff … but gee,
I think ALL playing’s is funner
when Mommy is here beside me.

by Rusty and CJ

After all my books are read,
Mommy says it's time for bed.

Teeth are brushed, all pearly white,
and now I have to go night-night.

Daddy walks me up the stairs,
and helps me say my bedtime prayers.

He fluffs the pillow for my head,
then lifts me up into my bed.

Mommy tucks me in real tight
cause monster visits me at night.

Tippy-toe, the monster hovers,
and tries to slip beneath my covers.

Round my bed the monster dances
waiting for his little chances

to see a gap, then in he'll go
to grab my finger or a toe.

I feel him crawling up my bed!
He's started licking at my head.

If I don't run, I know that he'll
have me for his monster meal.

And in the dark, what's that I see?
Two glowing eyes stare back at me!

Should I yell with all my might
for Dad to come turn on the light?

He might get mad if I did that...
Come here, Monster, you silly cat!

More of our co-written poetry can be found on my website, Barking Spiders Poetry on the CJ and Rusty Poetry Page.  If you enjoyed these, you'll also enjoy the others!

"A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write." ~CJ Heck

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

When I Get to Heaven, I'm Gonna Ask ...

"Life is unfair, and it’s not fair that life is unfair." ~Edward Abbey, 1927~1989

Why is it ...

Someday, when I get to heaven, I'm going to ask God a few questions. I've been saving them all up. There are things that really bug me and I've never found answers to them on this human plane called earth.

Why is it that innocent children are allowed to be born to parents who don't give a darn? For the most part, the children raise themselves. They're slapped around and abused, and worse yet, they're shown no love or affection at all by the so-called parents.

Then on the flip side, there are hundreds of thousands of couples who would give most anything they have, just to be able to conceive a child. They wait with unconditional love to pour into a child, if only they were given the opportunity to have one.

Here's another question I'm going to ask. Why is it that prisons are full psychotic people who live long and wasted lives and there are so many men, women and children who die young, their goodness and talents never to be realized, nor shared with the world.

I'm also going to ask: why is it that as women, we spend our lives shaving and waxing various parts of our anatomy to fit in with society's norms and then, when we finally manage to make it to our golden years, the only places hair will even grow is on our heads, our upper lips and our chins? Why is that?

For men it's just as bad. The hair on their heads thins out, or is non-existent, and when they reach their golden years, the only places hair WILL grow -- and profusely, I might add, is on their ears and in their nostrils. Why is that?

Why is it that there are people who don't value life and who hate others, based on religion, sexual orientation, or the color of their skin? They spend their lives planning ways to unleash their hate on innocent people, like with the Twin Towers in New York City. Why is it?

Spiritual counselor, Gary Zukav, says that everything is as it should be. He says things happen for a reason, and that reason is, for our spiritual growth and awareness.

Maybe so, but I'm still going to ask the questions anyway ... 

"A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write." ~CJ Heck

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Warning About Stalkers

Authors and Speakers: 
Do Not List Your Appearance Schedules Online

This article is being written to all who do, or are planning to do, any type of public speaking engagements. It is based on a negative experience I had several years ago when I lived in New Hampshire. I learned from it, and I want you to learn from it.

My reason for writing it is to help other authors and public speakers so they won't have a similar experience.

I belong to many online social, book, and writing communities. In some of them, there is a special place allotted to authors for posting upcoming appearance schedules -- and they're encourage to do so. This includes dates, venues, and times, and all are visible to the public.

While I understand the purpose, and realize their intentions are honorable, my future schedule is something I'm hesitant to post now and I would like to caution other authors not to do it. Here is why...

Do Not Post Speaking Engagements Online
I've had my website, Barking Spiders Poetry, since 1998, even before my first book of the same title came out in 2000.

Once the book was published and released to the public, I created a separate page on my website dedicated solely to my upcoming book signings, poetry workshops, speaking engagements, interviews, and author school visits.

A problem arose quite suddenly and lasted for a couple of months.

Everywhere I went, to any of my speaking engagements, or personal appearances, I noticed a man lurking along the sidelines. It didn't matter whether it was at a bookstore signing, a school visit, or eventually, even in a different town and state.

Wherever I went, whatever the event, the same man was somewhere in the room within eyesight, standing and silently watching.

At first, I thought he was merely a devoted fan, or maybe a reporter, but when he followed me to another state, I realized something very different.  I had a stalker.

Do Not Post School Visit Dates and Places Online
Be extra careful, authors and public speakers. The venue, time and date of your appearances should already be advertised by the school, bookstore, (or any other place you will be appearing), in their town's paper and in the local media (TV and radio).

I can't caution you enough to be wary of also posting the same information online.

Stalkers stalk you first online. You can never be too careful ...

Best wishes for safe speaking ...


Barking Spiders Poetry Website - CJ Heck Books

"A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write." ~CJ Heck

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Who the Heck is CJ Heck?

Who the heck is CJ Heck?

With a bored sigh, you probably think, "Oh, she writes children's poetry ... just like hundreds of other children's poets."

My Inner Child
I've been told that my poetry IS different.  I don't write what I think children should read, or what I think they want to read.

I write poetry from a child's point of view, (probably because my own inner child is doing the writing), and it addresses many different issues that children have.

My inner child remembers what children think and wonder about in the world around them. What were we frightened of? What did we think was funny, sad, puzzling, or scary, and what made us most angry?

I love writing all kinds of poetry, but my favorite is, and always will be, poetry for children.

There is nothing as powerful as the truth and gentle honesty of a child. They have such an innocent view of their world and surroundings, sometimes with thought-provoking insight. That is what I love writing about, and from their point of view.

Please visit Barking Spiders Poetry

Pull up a chair, get comfy, put a child on your lap, and have a look.

I think you'll be surprised.  I'm really not like the other children's poets 'out there' ... and, who knows, just maybe you'll get reacquainted with your own inner child again.
~Hugs to all, 

"A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write." ~CJ Heck