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March 3, 2009 - 9:18am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, priorities, juggling.


(San Juan Surf)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: On the mend finally. This cold just doesn't seem to want to let go.
CALLIOPE: What's up today?
JOE: Plenty. I have a full schedule and hope I have energy for it all.
CALLIOPE: For example?
JOE: I have yoga class at 10:30, lunch with a writer friend at 12:00, my daughter coming for help preparing her taxes at 2:30 and a funeral home to visit tonight.
CALLIOPE: Is that it?
JOE: No. I have some calls to make in between.
CALLIOPE: Any time for writing today?
JOE: I might be able to work on our book for a while.
CALLIOPE: How far are you?
JOE: I have finished our conversations through July.
CALLIOPE: That sounds good.
JOE: I'm glad I am this far. I try to work on one month each day. It should be finished next week, or at least the draft should. Talk with you tomorrow after I catch my breath.
January 22, 2009 - 9:23am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, priorities, life, challenge, aging.

(Oatka Geese)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. You mentioned Joan Chittister's book yesterday. Any further thoughts about what she has to say?
JOE: I haven't finished reading The Gift of Years yet but so far I have read about her thoughts on the challenges and fears of growing old and look forward to reading her thoughts about the opportunities.
CALLIOPE: What do you think got you interested in this topic?
JOE: I just celebrated ( I was going to say "had") my sixty-sixth birthday. It seems like it crept up on me. Joan would say that people perceive us as old even if we don't feel old.
CALLIOPE: Do you feel old?
JOE: Not really. I have some difficulty with arthritis which I never had when I was younger.
CALLIOPE: So you're doing okay physically?
JOE: I can't complain.
CALLIOPE: What about psychologically?
JOE: I feel released from family and work responsibilities and able to set my own direction without anyone else getting upset about it. That's a freeing feeling.
CALLIOPE: What are you going to do with it?
JOE: I was thinking this morning that none of us knows how much life remains. There's no point fretting about it. Many people don't live as long as I have already.
CALLIOPE: So what challenge remains for you?
JOE: Right now, to use my writing to continue unfolding life's mysteries for myself and helping readers make the best of their lives for their benefit and that of others they encounter. Talk with you tomorrow.

October 21, 2008 - 8:45am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, priorities, marketing.


(Exercise in Astoria Park, New York)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Relieved.
CALLIOPE: On what account?
JOE: Because I finally decided I was spending entirely too much time on web site development. I was interested in web site optimization but everything else took a back seat including writing and editing. I realized I have other priorities.
CALLIOPE: Sounds sensible. What did you work on yesterday?
JOE: After I realized my morass, I worked on editing Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: And today?
JOE: I will be out for a while today. However I have a column to write and plan to make it a priority today.
CALLIOPE: What are you writing about?
JOE: I found a newspaper article about dirty tricks college applicants and their parents use against their competition, quite reminiscent of recent political ads. I thought I would write about the implications of such tactics for the author as well as for society and maybe some alternatives.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a good topic. Good luck with it. Anything else going on?
JOE: I plan to continue working on editing Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: Is you website functional for now?
JOE: I think so. Why don't you take a look. Talk with you tomorrow.
September 26, 2008 - 7:44am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, priorities, marketing.


(Mini Conservatory)
JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine. I'm ready to get going on my writing.
CALLIOPE: What did you accomplish yesterday?
JOE: Less than I hoped. I wrote my journal entry, posted our blog and finished my newspaper column for Saturday. I was ready to get going on marketing but decided to check my calendar first to see if I missed anything. I almost did. I had fifteen minutes to get to Rochester for an arthritis study appointment. Needless to say I was a bit late.
CALLIOPE: When you got back did you get to work?
JOE: Sort of. I had some shopping to do in Batavia and decided a bedroom wall needed to be painted before our new bed was delivered.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like distractions.
JOE: I suppose so. But I at least took a little time to think about writing priorities even though I did not make any concrete progress.
CALLIOPE: And your plans for today?
JOE: Fortunately I have nothing on my schedule. My first task will be to develop a list of tasks, priorities and time lines for my marketing activities (once again.)
CALLIOPE: Do you have any general plans.
JOE: Yes. My marketing efforts have been sorely neglected with the exception of sprucing up my web site. I plan to lay out specific marketing videos and get them recorded and posted by the end of next week on My Space and You Tube at a minimum. I am also thinking of posting them on my Sliding Otter website. I would like them available but don't want to slow down my Commonsense Wisdom website. That's my current plan.
CALLIOPE: Sounds good. Keep me posted.
JOE: I will. Talk with you tomorrow.
September 25, 2008 - 8:19am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, priorities, organization.


(My new work space)
JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I've missed you.
JOE: I've missed talking with you as well.
CALLIOPE: Is your move finally completed?
JOE: It is. Yesterday I finished cleaning my old apartment and handed in the keys.
CALLIOPE: And your new space?
JOE: Also fully functional. Tuesday the cable people people came to hook me up to the Internet, VOIP phone as well as television, such as it is.
CALLIOPE: So, back to work?
JOE: Yes. I'm ready and have been a little restless during my hiatus.
CALLIOPE: Where do you plan to start?
JOE: By getting specific. I know the general commitments I have made to myself- blog, newspaper columns, marketing and working on Marital Property as well as Commonsense Wisdom for Teens.
CALLIOPE: How do you plan to get specific?
JOE: By laying out objectives, tasks and time lines.
CALLIOPE: Do you feel that is necessary?
JOE: Yes. Lately I have felt like I have been spinning my wheels with all the balls I'm trying to keep in the air. I often don't know what to do next. I need to get organized. That's one of my goals for today. Talk with you tomorrow.
July 28, 2008 - 7:56am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, priorities, life purpose.


JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I thought we were to talk on Saturday.
JOE: We were. However it turned out to be a nicer day than I thought it would be and I decided to go the air show with my son.
CALLIOPE: I guess I can't compete with family. What's going on in your writer life?
JOE: I continued the theme I started last week, evaluating where I am with my life, including my writing life.
CALLIOPE: Have you reached any conclusions yet?
JOE: Not really. I don't want to rush the process. There's no hurry.
CALLIOPE: I guess not. Any work on your writing?
JOE: Not this weekend. I have been busy with people- Air Show, church, visiting friends.
CALLIOPE: It's good to be with people. As I recall that was one of the areas of your life you wanted to expand.
JOE: Correct. I also had a chance to do some reading- Poisonwood Bible and The Power and the Glory.
CALLIOPE: I don't recall you mentioning the second book.
JOE: I haven't. It is about the abuse of power in the reign of Pope John Paul II, whom many people revere as a saint.
CALLIOPE: What does the book say?
JOE: Despite the reputation, he ruled with a conservative iron fist. That was not a surprise. The papacy certainly has had a checkered history. Talk with you tomorrow.
(Rocky Mountains- Estes Park, CO)



July 25, 2008 - 8:26am
posted by Joseph Langen in priorities, life purpose, goals.


JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine. I'm off to a good start.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about it.
JOE: I have been thinking that it's time to consider where my life is headed and whether I'm satisfied with my direction.
CALLIOPE: How far did you get?
JOE: Not very far other than having the idea. I thought about it this morning and remembered the guided journal, What Really Matters to Me by Robyn Conley-Weaver.
CALLIOPE: Did you complete the assignments?
JOE: No. I just started the journal. I think that was when I switched to a regular journal and eventually to our conversations.
CALLIOPE: So now what?
JOE: I will review the journal. I think it might give me a framework for re-evaluating where I stand right now and where I'm headed.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a good idea. Why now?
JOE: Several reasons. I am planning a move fairly soon and I have been weeding out the detritus of my life- deciding what to keep and what to discard. That has brought to mind reconsidering my life direction. I also feel a little unfocused and sometimes overwhelmed by my daily activities. Time to get organized.
CALLIOPE: I'm all for it.
JOE: I plan to start this morning. I'll keep you posted. Talk with you tomorrow.
(Original Erie Canal Lock- Lockport, NY)
July 24, 2008 - 8:08am
posted by Joseph Langen in priorities, planning and land use, life purpose.


JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Okay. I am coming to some resolution of my video camera mystery.
JOE: I visited the dealer yesterday and learned that the camera is working fine. The problem seems to be with my computer.
CALLIOPE: Does that surprise you?
JOE: Not really. I have been having some other problems lately and think it might well be difficulty with an outmoded operating system.
CALLIOPE: And the solution?
JOE: Replace it with a more up to date one. It is rather a bother however since I will have to reload all my programs.
CALLIOPE: Is that such a big deal?
JOE: Not really. It just takes time, and time is something I have been thinking about lately.
CALLIOPE: In what regard?
JOE: I am beginning to realize I won't live forever. I can keep sailing on or decide how I want to spend whatever time I have left.
CALLIOPE: Do you need to make a decision?
JOE: Probably not. But I feel I am drifting lately and would like to be more focused. I will give this issue some thought in the next few days. Talk with you tomorrow.
(Ernestina- New Bedford, MA)
July 11, 2008 - 7:39am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, priorities, time management.

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you this morning?
JOE: Plotting.
CALLIOPE: Plotting what?
JOE: How to best use the limited time I have available today.
CALLIOPE: What's limiting you?
JOE: I have a massage scheduled this morning. This afternoon I will be doing a police candidate screening in Buffalo. Tonight I am attending a neighborhood concert.
CALLIOPE: I see. So what do you plan to do with the time in between.
JOE: I have two priorities today. One is to outline a video promotion for The Pastor's Inferno. The other is to continue revising Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: At least you have a focus. Will you have more time tomorrow?
JOE: No. I will probably have time to talk with you but I am delivering Carol to the Oatka Festival Parade where she will march as a clown. Then we are visiting friends with a pool to make the heat more bearable.
CALLIOPE: And Sunday?
JOE: I might have some time then and can do some reading. I am continuing with The Poisonwood Bible as an example of first person narration.
CALLIOPE: At least you're keeping busy.
JOE: I am, but sometimes I feel scattered. I think I need to be more careful about planning my time. Talk with you tomorrow.
(Sculpture- Charlotte Beach, Rochester, NY)

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