But what if I don’t WANT to enter title here?

I’m running out of post title ideas.

Three days after promising more later, I’m sorry to say that all I have for you is another sloppily designed (at least graphics-wise) re-post. “Sticks and Stones” is back up under the poetry tab, and if it wasn’t so long I’d make another recitation video just because it’s fun to say out loud. You can recite it for yourself by jumping over here:

Sticks and Stones

As has been the case lately, I used my art program not to draw anything, but to slap together something that’s vaguely reminiscent of the words. I spent a grand total of forty minutes on this one, folks, and that includes reading through the poem five or six more times to make sure I was pleased with the minutiae of my word-choice. I changed a few things around, as always, and can officially never read the poem again. If I did, it would be beyond my self-control to stop from pulling up Word to fuss with the “while”s, “and”s, and “but”s. Presumably God will not allow me to be tempted beyond my ability, but I’m going to go ahead and assume that “not looking at it” is the way he has provided for my escape.*


*1 Corinthians 10:13

No, really: THESE ARE NOT THE DROIDS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR

I receive three or four spam comments a week. The system default is set so that I have to approve any emails I don’t recognize, which keeps them from cluttering up my website with delightful offers for sexy videos (and/or POWERFUL and PRIVATE web traffic services). The strangest part of this isn’t the offers themselves – I’d be almost hurt if the spambots weren’t on to me – but that in the past three months every single one of them has been posted to either “These are not the droids you’re looking for” or “These are possibly the droids you’re looking for, but no money-back guarantee.”

In other words, my Jedi mind powers aren’t working. I’m not entirely certain how to get them to move along, but FOR THE LOVE OF PETE THESE ARE NOT THE DROIDS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR.

The best part is the amateurish attempts these spammers use to wholesale spam different blogs across the spectrum using the same canned response. I have received the most wonderfully generic compliments and/or criticisms this way. And yes, I actually received criticism from a spambot.”In my opinion you are not right. I am assured. I can defend the position. Write to me in PM.” And then a follow-up comment from the same fake email: “And you have understood?”

Uh…no. Not really. You disagreed with me on a post announcing that I had created an art portfolio on my website.

Spam is written with the same specificity that horoscope forecasters use to fake you into thinking there’s something particularly cosmic about the idea that it might behoove you to keep an open mind when meeting new people and/or opportunities that day. It’s worse though, probably because it’s written in second-hand English, and isn’t quite generic enough for one-size-fits-all. Mind you, I am a little tempted to have Vera at sexybang defend her position on why I shouldn’t have a tab for art on TheStoryFolder. She sounds so confident of her opinion. I do admire that kind of self-assurance.

In other news, this entire spiel is to deflect my two watchers from the realization that I didn’t feel like illustrating the next poem I’m uploading, but instead went insane with the gradient tool in Clipart. “Already Done” is a poem about the unfathomable depths of forgiveness, and if I’m not careful people are going to start assuming all I do on my website is write religious poetry. Scout’s honor, I really do write stories for The Story Folder. I’ve got a couple of excellent ones on the back-burner while I work on my novel, but in the meantime here is another basic tenet of my faith as written by Dr. Seuss.

Already Done

I meant to have a more intricate border to try and goad my watchers into thinking I’d put some effort in, but I’ve spent way too much time fighting with Clipart this morning as it is. It’s still a good idea to upload these poems as media files, just because it keeps the lines in each verse from spilling over into oblivion and confusing my readers about the underlying rhythm of the piece, but I just could not visualize a good design for this piece and it shows. Yes, that’s right folks; not only am I apathetic about my poetry this morning, I have the great gall to admit it.


Bonus fact:

“These are possibly the droids you’re looking for, but no money-back guarantee” is actually listed under the url “/this-is-not-the-update-you’re-looking-for-2” because there is actually a “/this-is-not-the-update-you’re-looking-for-1.” I actually used the same post title twice, not realizing that I was plagiarizing not only Star Wars in that instance, but myself. I disguised the incident by my usual methods: word-vomit.

In Daily GET ON WITH IT

Thanks go to The Sister (aka Boonder) for making today’s update easy. I’ve re-uploaded “In Daily Prayer” to the poetry tab.

In Daily Prayer

You can tell this was not only a Christmas present (Advent wreath in the bottom left corner, anyone?) but an old Christmas present, back when my sister and her husband had only one child. They’re up to three now, but The Sister was good enough to scan this and pass it on anyways when I called, lamenting loudly about how much I hate drawing. I’ll be haranguing IT Guy and his wife for a chance to scan their poem/picture, created the same Christmas this one was – it was a theme year. If all goes well “Lessons in Counting” will be up next week.

Actually, in a fit of pique* – before I called my sister – I almost re-uploaded all of my old poetry today, tired of stretching it out like this. I’ve discovered that not all of the poems conjure any particular visuals to go with them, so I probably will be uploading them a very small handful at a time. There’s a few I have vague picture ideas for, but many of the remaining poems just don’t really lend themselves to illustration. Also, I’m back in I-hate-art mode, probably because I’m gearing up to start illustrating my next picture book project.

In other news that will interest probably no one but me, I’m planning on posting my religious/political poetry on my personal Facebook page, rather than through TheStoryFolder business page like I have been. While my religious (and subsequently political) views form the bedrock of my worldview, I’ve always intended my writing to be for a secular audience. In other words, I’ve never planned on becoming a Christian writer – instead, a writer who happens to be Christian. The religious/political poetry will go up as-is on my site (I really do write poetry for my own pleasure – and when I’m short on cash and need a Christmas present idea), but I’m not planning on promoting them through my business page on Facebook. Thus they’ll go up on my personal page instead.

The distinction is perhaps silly, considering that I write under my real name. Also, that anyone following me on TheStoryFolder Facebook page was invited through my personal page. Still, it helps me to organize my writing intentions in my head, and that is excuse enough for me.


*Clearly I’ve been reading too many historical romances lately.

What say we milk this cow one more time?

Yesterday was Trinity Sunday, so like a farmer on the edge of ruin, I’m going to milk this cow for the third time running, and re-post my poem “Apples are Apples” once and for all:

Apples are Apples

The illustration running through the middle of the page is sloppier than I’d like – my surface touch screen has been giving me fits, and I tried to hide that fact by using the calligraphy tool, with mixed results – but so be it. Someday I’ll probably replace the illustration with a scanned copy of the original (done in regular old pen and paper; the version here was traced over a badly pixelated picture of the original), but I’ll do so quietly. There’s only so many times I can re-upload the same content. Mind you, I might get away with it more if I didn’t announce my regurgitated content with a running post-count every time.

Actually, in all honesty this is probably not the last time I talk about this poem. It’s third on my picture book project list, because there’s nothing like pretending a theological diatribe on Trinitarian heresies, written in rhyme and targeted at adults, might somehow have an audience anyways.

But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Luke 18:16-17

In Weekly Despair

I am very nearly officially out of poems to upload. I think I’ve said that before, but I’m actually starting to mean it. Good gracious, I’m actually going to have to write original content again. While I’m lamenting that, here’s a poem I wrote for my sister and her husband:

In Daily Prayer

Another Christmas present from a couple of years ago. I know how long it’s been because there are now two children in the household rather than just the one mentioned in the poem, though they’re still getting up by the light of moon (because my three-year-old nephew is apparently just a naturally early riser and the baby has an internal alarm that’s triggered whenever her mother is about to drop off to sleep; my brother and his wife, on the other hand, managed to produce a child that gets up after eight, so if I ever have children I’m going to be asking them for advice).

Also, this one is practically plagiarism, as you may have noticed (if you’re at all familiar with common Lutheran prayers, which, of course, everybody totally is). I love borrowing other people’s work, putting together a mashup, and calling it an homage. Good times. Actually, the more structure a poem has the more I like writing it. It’s fun to try and work around whatever rules I’ve chosen for a particular project. Sometimes I think I have such a hard time focusing on any of my novels because the playing field is just too open-ended. The amount of options bog me down when I write general fiction (I have spent years arguing with myself about the best way to start chapter one in a novel that I threaten to deep-six every other month), whereas a poem is both short and girded by pretty strict rules. You want to say something long and complicated? Oh, I’m sorry, you have ten syllables and a rhyming word to work with, now describe the difference between sanctification and justification in five words or less.

(Well, shoot, I just realized now I’m going to have to try that at some point. If only to find out if it can actually be done.)

In the meantime, enjoy, even if you’re not into the common table prayer. Just try not to focus too much attention on all the slant-rhyme.

Law, Gospel, & Double Posts

I’ve had on ongoing argument with myself over the past few months, trying to decide when I should post these poems. I meant to wait until January 22nd, but the 4th of July got me thinking about freedom, liberty, and The American Way. I love my country – this, my earthly home – for its history and its ideals, for the people who make this my home and the purple mountain majesties (across the fruited plains etc.), but this, like everywhere, is still a broken land.

I am pro-life. The following is a deeply judgmental poem about the price we, as a nation, pay for our inhumanity. It was written a couple of years ago, begun in December 2012 and finally completed after the shooting at the Umpqua Community College in Oregon, in an attempt to answer a question that arose following these awful tragedies.

Fools, We

However, as a Christian I recognize that condemnation does not get the last word. God – the God of law, order, and, above all, love – seeks to grant pardon and peace according to His great mercy. Where there is repentance, there is forgiveness. While we often have to live with the earthly consequences of our sins, Christ has paid the ransom in full. We are without blemish.

Take comfort, dearest. There is no crime that has not already been forgiven.

Already Done

“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
~Luke 7:47~

God Math

A day may come when I run out of rhymes to post on this website, when my stockpile of poems fails me and I have to write something new. But today is not that day!

One + One

Here’s another one dealing with what I call God math – when one + one doesn’t equal two. I wrote it for my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas a couple of years ago (apparently I need to do another round of poems for my family members, if I don’t actually want to run out of poems). I keep re-gifting it to my married friends because it deals with the Christian view of marriage, and the impossibility of the math involved.

Bear in mind that it is slightly inaccurate; I didn’t bother counting the slats of wood that make up their fence (though I did help stain them). Also, they have no curtains that are deft of fold, because their windows are covered by wood blinds instead. However, the idea of the poem is true, even if I drop-kicked some of the smaller details to make it fit my rhyming scheme. Close enough for government work.

Happy Friday! And have a good Memorial Day weekend!

Faith for Fools

But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

~Luke 18:16-17

I absolutely love apologetics. Apologetics (from the Greek apologia, meaning “to make a defense”) is the discipline of defending the faith by using rational arguments backed by reason and information. It appeals to the part of me that finds it extremely satisfying when all the pieces in a jigsaw puzzle fits. I also like proving that I’m not an idiot, despite what Richard Dawkins may say.

But the fact of the matter is that the basic tenants of my religion aren’t reasonable to anyone who lives in the physical world. God as man? Life eternal? Not to mention that the math is all wrong. Three, as anyone can tell you, is not the same as one. But I’ve gone ahead and added a “Religious Poems” subsection to the Poetry tab anyways, and here’s this poem:

Apples are Apples

Acknowledgment where acknowledgment is due: This was inspired in large part by the Lutheran Satire video “St. Patrick’s Bad Analogies” (found here – I originally sent this poem to the creator of the youtube channel as a thank you for all the laughs, which he graciously posted on his Facebook page), but also by my Sunday School teacher from many, many years ago. She was a dear, loving woman who felt compelled to explain the Trinity to her class using the apple analogy. I still remember thinking that, while interesting, I already got the whole three-in-one, one-in-three thing, apples aside.

Adults so often like to rationalize concepts to children who have already accepted the unexplainable as fact.