do-it-yourself 2016 summary

Once upon a time, I think I got a year-end summary from WordPress that compared how many people visited the site to various buildings or transportation modes, like trains. You could share it to your blog.

I assumed that WordPress sent us an email with a link to our personal information, although I didn’t remember. I have been on the lookout, though.

I finally searched for my 2015 summary and realized that I had the info well before now. I started searching and found out that, unfortunately, WordPress is not sending out year-end summaries for 2016.

As a (less fancy and engaging) substitute, I am taking a (rare) look at my stats page to share a bit.

In 2016, Top of JC’s Mind had 226 posts, which garnered 7,507 views from 3,578 visitors from 62 countries.  (Or thereabouts, given that people who read my blog via email don’t show up in my stats.) The United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada were the top three countries.

The top posts were:
Shock 
crying does not help dry eyes
Poem: Crowning Glory
Feeling the Bern in Binghamton
the legacy of Father James
April 8

It’s a fairly eclectic list, albeit a bit heavy on the personal trauma scale, but that was the kind of year that 2016 was.

I want to thank everyone reading this post and everyone who visited Top of JC’s Mind in 2016.

And thank you to Linda for once again motivating me to get off to a good, energetic start in January with Just Jot It January. No promises, but I’ve made every day so far…
*****
Linda is hosting Just Jot It January again this year. Join us! Details here:  https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/06/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-617/

jjj-2017

 

making an attempt

2016 was extraordinarily busy, stressful, and unpredictable. My blog persisted, although with not as many posts as I intended. My blogging practice of reading and commenting fell off a cliff.

I am not a new year’s resolution person. Life has taught and continues to teach me that life is unpredictable and I don’t want to make promises I won’t be able to keep.

Last year, I did manage to post every day for Just Jot It January – January was before the first life-changing event of 2016 struck – so I thought I would at least start in again. Three days so far! But no promises for the whole month, which seems like a long time in the midst of winter.

I am also trying to reclaim a bit of my practice of reading and commenting on other blogs, albeit with no illusions of getting back to visiting dozens of blogs on a daily basis.

I am so thankful for my readers who have visited and commented when I haven’t been able to reciprocate. Your support has kept me blogging, however imperfectly.

I also want to thank Linda, whose One-Liner Wednesday and Stream of Consciousness Saturdays got me posting on some weeks when I didn’t have much time or mental energy to spare. Linda and her blog community rock!

Latest example: Just Jot It January!
*****
Join us for Linda’s Just Jot It January! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/03/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-3rd17/

jjj-2017

 

2016 in Poetry

2015 marked the first year that I published poetry available outside the Binghamton area. I had planned to submit to journals on a regular basis in 2016, but lots of unexpected things happened and I submitted very little.

I did have two poems in Eunioa Review, a new poem “The Last Night” and a reprint “Fifty-four”.

My poem “Crowning Glory” appeared as part of Silver Birch Press’s “My Mane Memories” series.

I did keep up my participation with the Binghamton Poetry Project and published in both the Spring and Fall anthologies.

Binghamton Poetry Project also brought me an unexpected and wonderful opportunity to write and present a poem at the annual Heart of the Arts award ceremony. This blog post contains the poem, as well as links to a video of my reading and the story of how the poem came about.

I was thrilled to return to North Adams and MASS MoCA for a reunion residency of the Boiler House Poets. It was fantastic to be back and to have a chance to work on my collection under development. There is a series of blog posts on the residency beginning on September 30th.

There are two exciting developments that bring the Boiler House Poets out to a wider audience. The first is the publication of Verse Osmosis, an anthology that grew out of an exercise from our first residency in November 2015 in conjunction with Tupelo Press. The second is a new collaborative videopoem that Marilyn McCabe produced which we recorded in and about our beloved Boiler House. It is currently entered in a contest, but when the link becomes publicly available, I will return to this post to do an update.

Given my track record with making plans, I know better than to make any firm commitments for 2017. The three things that I will dare to state here are that I will continue to work on my collection under development, I will attend the Boiler House reunion residency this fall, and I will continue to stay active with my local poetry groups, Binghamton Poetry Project, Bunn Hill Poets, and Sappho’s Circle, to which I owe a debt of gratitude. I have learned so much from you all and admire your work and generosity in helping me become the poet I am today and the poet I am becoming in the future.

Update 2/22/17:  The Boiler House Poets’ videopoem is once again available to the public. You can find it here:  https://vimeo.com/187387583

A new look

I’m trying out WordPress’s 2016 theme. I had been using Plane, but decided to give this new theme a go.

You don’t have to look at a header image of the top of my head!

I like that my tagline is more readable now, but I wish the title font was larger.

This theme does meet my main criteria for readability, black print in an easy to read font on a white background.

What do you think? Please let me know in the comments section.

With thanks,
JC

Welcome, 2016!

Happy New Year, everyone! We began our celebration toasting at midnight GMT, also known as 7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, as I write about in my new poem on Silver Birch Press. We drank the very bottle of sparkling apple cranberry juice that I used in the photo, along with the wine glasses pictured. I did use some poetic license in the poem, as we do still have daughter T here celebrating with us this year.

I woke up early this morning with part of the middle of a poem for the collection I am working on this year swirling about in my head, so I got up to  type it into google docs before I lost it. I’m hoping it is a good omen for my poetic work this year to start January first by drafting new work for my first ever collection.

Later this morning, we will head up to GSV, the senior community where our elder generation live, to pick up Nana for 10 AM Mass. January 1st is a holy day in the Catholic Church, dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. After church, we will have brunch at GSV with Nana, Paco, Grandma, and Grandma’s neighbor Ann.

There aren’t plans for the rest of the day, although I expect it will be low-key. As you can see, we are not the wild and crazy types!

I wish everyone the gifts of peace, joy, and contentment in 2016!
*****
This post is part of Linda’s Just Jot It January. Join us! Visit this link for more info:  http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/01/just-jot-it-january-1st-persnickety/
JJJ 2016