Margaret Fieland: Poetry and Prose


Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the September 29th, 2008

It rained buckets, and partly as a result of this I got a fair amount of writing done. I wrote up two out of three of the “FIXME” chapters in my book, ones that I’ve been dragging my heels on writing.

I started using “FIXME” when I was porting a software product years ago and found these nice “FIXME” comments in the code I was re-implementing “/* FIXME: Reimplement this using new library … */ It’s handy, as it’s easy to search my code (or text, in the case of the book) for the places I want to work on.

I still need to work on the poetry book I’m trying to put together.

It’s slow, but it’s progress.


Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the September 15th, 2008

Bob’s comment on my interview got me thinking about spelling. I am not a natural speller, and memorized many lists of “100 most common spelling errors” as a kid. I’m better, but I still find MS Word noting some mistakes from time to time. Of my three sons, only the middle one, C., is much of a writer. He’s a good speller; the other two aren’t.

When my oldest son was about 12, his best friend’s mother, B, bought M’s  friend D. the book (paper) version of Dungeons and Dragons. It was an immediate hit with M. and his friends. M. spent his Christmas vacation making up character role sheets on our computer and filling them in. His typing improved a great deal over that vacation.

Soon the boys were taking turns creating their own “adventures.” One day M. called me over and asked me to check his current opus for spelling errors. Lest you laugh, let me just say for the record that my spelling errors were of an order of magnitude less, well, bad, than M’s were at the time.

I asked him why he wanted me to check — after all, this was just for fun. He answered that his buddies were all good spellers, and they teased him if his work had mistakes.

In fact, All M’s writing skills improved by leaps and bounds as a result of this “play.”  Practice, as they say, makes perfect, or anyway, better.

Oh, yeah, and when I was in high school, they had us all take these aptitude tests. I came back as having poor manual dexterity. They told me never to become a secretary.

After college, and before I settled on a career, I learned shorthand (speedwriting) and got my typing speed up over 50 words a minute and got a job as a secretary. It took me quite a bit longer than most of the others to get my typing speed up, but, hey, what’s a couple of months in a lifetime? And what with computers everywhere the way they are now, typing is a survival skill, but it sure wasn’t at the time.

Boy, am I ever glad I can touch type!


Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the September 15th, 2008

Maybe y’all have noticed that my posts aren’t divided into categories. Too bad I didn’t start doing this at the beginning, ’cause if I want to start now, I’d have a *lot* of catching up to do.


Interview up

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the September 15th, 2008

You can read my interview at Abandoned Towers ezine:

Check it out, and while you’re there read the other stuff too.

More on poetry, and organizing

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the September 11th, 2008

This morning on the way to work I wrote a poem as a  thank you for an instructor whose course I just finished, and it got me reflecting on a couple of things: how much I just plain enjoy writing poetry, and how much of it I’ve written as “one-timers”: thank yous, birthday poems, holiday poems for the family, goodbyes for departing co-workers and the like. It’s given me a lot of practice in poetry writing, and a lot of just plain pleasure in the writing for writings sake.

I also recently read a blog containing some excellent advice on organizing submissions — and I sort of got the “I can’t cope” cold sweats thinking about actually following their suggestions. This is very likely the same piece of me that can’t cope with my accountant’s tax organizer and thus puts all the relevant bits of paper (I have a system for identifying relevant bits of paper) into an envelope and handing said envelope over with the words, “please tell me what other information you need.”


Poetry Progress

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the September 3rd, 2008

After somewhat of a lull, I’m writing (more) poetry again. I’ve written three poems in the last ten days, two of them rhymed.

Yeah, I’ve quit fighting it — that irresistible urge to rhyme. I know, it’s unfashionable, but when ya gotta, ya gotta.

Ailing Appliances

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the September 2nd, 2008

Sometimes things stop working and then mysteriously start again, like my coffee maker and my car keys.

Well, actually I do know why my coffee maker stopped — it was because the coffee overflowed and flooded the counter and itself;  by the next morning it had dried out and recovered. What I still haven’t figured out is the car key. Last night the remote lock/unlock didn’t work, this morning it did.

Maybe it was just tired. Like me.