And in the beginning was the Word……


Flash Back : April 2010

Today we start our blog. For years we’ve met as a group, sipped coffee, nibbled tasty treats, talked through life’s dramas, and read our writing to each other. Frequently we have a silent partner in all this: Ted Kooser, Jane Yolen, Lary Bloom, Art Plotnik, Wordnik of The Day. We read their books about writing and let their wise words inspire us. This blog is going to be another silent partner, we think, but right now getting it going is a bit like trying to get clear, cool water from the faucet. We need to run the water for a while to swish out whatever’s been lodging along the old pipes. Sometimes those pipes clank and the water sputters. Sometimes we curse and talk about whether or not the plumbing’s ever going to be right. And then it happens. Luscious, clean, boy-is-this-well-good-or-what water. That’s the way it will be, this fussing with a writing blog. Just keep the tap on we’ve decided. It’ll come.


Patty and I sit at a table in the Apple store, and various Mac Geniuses tutor us in how to set up the blog. For several hours we get pointers, run with them, hit a speed bump, sink into that uh-oh-we’ll-never-get-this funk, and then plow ahead ~ again ~ after another quick tip from a passing Genius. There are tons of things the Geniuses can teach us, but they zero in on That One Exact Skill we need next.


Flash forward.  April 2012.


It’s almost time to celebrate our Second Blogaversary. We’ve come a long way, baby.  Actually, we’ve come a dirty huge way.  And still, we go to the Apple store, sit at the the happy-go-larky project table and schmooze with the drive-by Genius who continues to feed us what we need next. There’s a continental-shelf-sized Skills-We-Need list, an infinite goozle of things to learn and, lucky us, a mother lode of time for us to learn it all.




So, the tap is on. The water flows. The words come.

Readers, we’re glad you’re here.  Second Mad-Glamorous Blogaversary ahead ~ our cup-runneth over-ish, do celebrate with us.  But how?  Send us your Superbissimo Idea.  Who knows where it might lead.  Wink. Wink.

Toni 3/6/12


I get a kick out of my inbox. There might be a freecycler is looking for an ab lounger ~ I promise not to hang clothes on it.

Or the wisdom of Steve Jobs, courtesy of The Daily Lit (, breezes in ~ Picasso had a saying. He said, ‘Good artists copy, great artists steal.” And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas and I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.

Today, the Container Store promises joy for that certain someone on my list ~ You know that feeling you get when you find the perfect gift? Yeah, we thought so ~ and Panera invites me over (read:undermines my resolve to eat more grains) to enjoy a pick-me-up that involves cream cheese.

Actually, the most gulp-worthy feast I wolf down is from AWAD~ A Word A Day.

It delivers a rarified word along with its definition, pronunciation, information and audio clip, etymology, usage example, quotation, and interesting tidbits.

Recently, AWAD dished out this plumbed-and-squared little gem ~ ort. (Oh, did I mention that there’s a theme each week? Thus one was short words like fug, birl,bap and cwn. I told you, AWAD is an emerald among the M&Ms.)

So ~ back to ort.  A word that’s even shorter than short.

An ort is a scrap of food left after a meal. On the table in front of him was a plate, a few orts of supper nosed round by a pair of cats.  (Bill Mesce Jr; Officer of the Court; Bantam Books; 2002.)

But, to a stitcher, orts are the snippets of floss and fiber, the leftover bits and pieces that remain in the needle, pieces too short to be useful and likely to be tossed….or not.

Saved orts need a place to be stored. And so, the ort port was born.

Crafters use orts for texture in handmade paper…

….or as filling for a clear glass Christmas ornament. They mark it with the year and fill it with orts from that year’s projects.

WWWW loves words. We can’t ever have too many, so we save them all. Some people save bird bones or shark teeth, stamps or coins, matchbooks or bottle caps. We all have a passion. What’s yours? Holla back!

I love bonne locutions, punchy tropes, and words with umami.  The AWAD website is full of these inspired sneaky surprises. Ask Art Plotnik. He’s The Master of invigorating vocabulary. ( I know he approves of this ‘eyedropper enrichment’. He says, go ahead, get acquainted with seven new words a week, savor them, test them out. And so I do. But, I can’t use them all.

So, here’s my ort port for those leftover AWAD words.  A place where they are corralled, so they don’t stray onto scraps of paper, to be lost forever.

There’s nothing like a prompt to send me off to loot my ort port. (Yes, it’s Day 20 already. As Robert Brewer says, 60% of the way through November? C’est impossible! Even if you’re just now learning about this challenge, it’s not too late to jump in.)

One November Poem-a-Day Challenge is to write an “it’s too late” poem.

Today’s the day to write that poem ~ before it’s you-know-what.

Toni  11/20/11