An 1878 poem by Sidney Lanier

An inland marsh on Jekyll Island, Georgia. Image by Matrixboy84 at English Wikipedia, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Note: This is a much shorter read than 8 minutes if you don’t care to peruse the entire poem, which follows my quotes and brief reflections.

My enjoyment of this poem’s cadences and imagery doesn’t depend on figuring out what Lanier meant or parsing the poem’s religious aspects. I like to go with its flow — relax into its rhythms — and feel the emotions engendered by its peaceful, natural images and Lanier’s confidence that there’s more to the universe than we can, or need to, comprehend. I hope you can enjoy it that way too.

It’s difficult to pick…

Whatever I’m thinking is apt to come out of my mouth

Me waving Hi, seated on a low stone wall next to a bridge with my beloved black standard poodle while on a camping trip. Trees and a path are in the background.
Me waving Hi, seated on a low stone wall next to a bridge with my beloved black standard poodle while on a camping trip. Trees and a path are in the background.
Here I am with Bridgie on a camping trip in 2018. Photo by author.

Voracious reader, music and dog lover, wife and mother, former editor at a national healthcare consulting firm. Retired 6/3/20 after 41 years. AKA editor fairy.

First, Reading

My passion for reading comes from my mother. After learning to read at age 4, she consumed every book she could get her hands on. She encouraged me to “read whatever you want” because her parents believed kids should read only children’s books. When Mother’s younger siblings tattled — “Marj is reading something too old for her!” — they snatched it away. She was born in 1916, and I didn’t realize her policy was unusual…


A memoir by Sister Helen Prejean

Image by issamo_15 from Pixabay

I’m not a big reader of nonfiction, but sometimes my attention is caught and a nonfiction book sneaks onto my To Read list. I became aware of Sister Helen, who’s been a nun since 1957, through hearing her interviewed on NPR. She’s a social justice activist working to abolish the death penalty. Have you heard of the award-winning 1995 movie, Dead Man Walking? It was based on her 1993 memoir, which I plan to read too — River of Fire is its prequel.

Most of what I knew about Catholicism came from comments by the four older girls living next…

Musings inspired by a fridge magnet

I’ve never been glamorous in my life but love that hair. Any resemblance to Cruella de Vil is unintentional. Photo by Josiah Lewis on Unsplash

My Anne Taintor refrigerator magnet, depicting a mature woman coiffed, made up, and dressed in 1950s fashion, serves as a daily affirmation though I have no desire to attain that level of grooming. This piece is dedicated to Quasimodo, Michael Trigg, and Nancy Peckenham — you’re inspirational, and perhaps you, too, see no good reason to “act your age.”

Hubby, who is 66, likes to listen to a radio show called The Mens Room on 99.9 KISW, The Rock. …


Let’s go down a musical rabbit hole of brokenness

Photo by Haley Lawrence on Unsplash

I followed a sudden urge last month to listen to Everything Is Broken on my blues playlist — all three versions, by Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Sheryl Crow featuring Jason Isbell, and R.L. Burnside. It’s far from the only song I enjoy multiple versions of, though usually not just covers. Bob Dylan’s voice generally grates on my nerves, but I admire his songwriting. Of the three, Burnside’s — below — is my favorite at the moment. Love that harmonica. I’d never heard of him until finding it on Amazon Music last year.

Then I played another song with a similar…


I’m joining the conversation

We’re all on different paths leading to the same place. Image by jwvein from Pixabay

What is the Proust Questionnaire? I didn’t know until I found Tree Langdon’s Illumination writing prompt while investigating how to structure a story index. If it’s new to you also:

Marcel Proust was a famous French essayist and novelist. He frequently played a parlor game that asked a set list of questions intended to reveal someone’s true nature. It’s said that his friend Antoinette introduced him to these questions when he was a young teen.

It became a popular diversion and is known as the Proust Questionnaire to this day.

Tree also said, “Keep your answers short and don’t overthink.”

TO (?) … OR NOT TO (!)

But I’m afraid to tell anyone

Image by ELLE RITTER from Pixabay — cropped + edited background

Until recently, only her immediate family knew of Susan’s unfortunate childhood experience with the rogue parenthetical that terrorized her entire first-grade class. Confidentiality concerns keep me from detailing it here; but according to Susan, the only good parenthetical is an absent parenthetical. Our formidable captain is famous for denying her writers, AKA Outlaws, the use of parentheses and ellipses — which, upon reflection and some enforced editorial education, I’m about 98% on board with.

Regarding ellipses, I strongly suspect Susan enjoys a mild form of pistaphobia — fear of periods — because she also expunges periods at the end of…


If I can do it, you can too!

Dogecoin image by Aranami from Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Last week I decided: it’s time to stop pussyfooting around and get rich enough to live life like Matt, the wealthiest writer in the world. So I memorized every one of his 997 fascinating articles on how to get rich quick.

Matt’s methods are so simple, anyone can use them. By internalizing them on Tuesday then staying up very late last Wednesday, I literally made a ton of money through:

  • Investing in cryptocurrency — Dogecoin! I love dogs! — and gambling
  • Selling self-help books on Amazon and online courses on LinkedIn
  • Creating content on YouTube
  • Promoting myself on billboards and…

Love the way this index looks! I've read a few other stories about indexing, and yours has the most appealing appearance I've seen so far. Thanks for the inspiration, Josh - and now I know to submit my index to Illumination once I write it. I thought it'd need to be a self-published piece.


I’m wandering in a reader’s dream and a writer’s heaven

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Where am I? YOU know where I am. Welcome to 30 bits and pieces of my world.

Advice columns have entertained me, reassured me I’m not alone, and to some extent made me think. I get that here in spades — with no waiting for new stories to appear — plus I can write, comment, and be an editor fairy. And it always makes me think.

Not being quite so ambitious as before, I’m subjecting you, Dear Reader, to a mere snippet of my mental peregrinations: 30 titles, not 50. You can thank me later — if you insist. …

Holly J See

Voracious reader, music and dog lover, wife and mother, former editor at a national healthcare consulting firm. Retired 6/3/20 after 41 years. AKA editor fairy.

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