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Sabbatical & An Honor

Hi Y’all!

Yes, I’ve been absent from Jilly’s for a few weeks and I want to express my appreciation to all who have been in touch.  January turned out to be a month of bugs – both viruses and editing bugs struck.  I took some time off to drink lots of hot tea and really dig into some writing and editing projects that have been calling my name.  It has been a very fruitful time.

I would like to mention two things:

Firstly, the February Edition of Casting Bricks did not happen during the course of my off time.  I may make some changes to our collaborative poetry challenge, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know!

I would also like to let you all know that my poem, Fervency, which posted here in November, was selected as the Second Place Winner of the January Contest over at Vita Brevis!

I mentioned above that I have spent some time in the editing process recently.  Fervency was poem that went through a good deal of editing, with the help of a couple of good friends in the WP community.  It is a pleasure to work with fellow poets in the writing process.  Thank you!

Jilly 🙂

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How to Create an Audio Link

Creating an Audio Recording through Sound Cloud

Disclaimer:  I work from my laptop and it is Windows based.  Also, I have not upgraded to Windows 10 out of sheer stubbornness, so some things may be different.  If you work from a Mac, all bets are off.

  1. You need an app for recording your voice. I use Sound Recorder and it was already on my computer as part of the Windows package. The Google Voice Recorder is also popular.  After I opened Sound Recorder and told it to go ahead and use my microphone, I ended up with this little microphone that I could pin to my taskbar.  Pretty easy – I just click on the ‘Start Recording’ button.Sound Cloud 1

You also need a microphone. Perhaps you work from a computer (desktop) that doesn’t have a built-in microphone.  (My laptop does, but my PC doesn’t.)  No worries!  You can purchase earbuds that have a tiny microphone built into the cord.  Or you may have something like that already that you use for your cellphone.  It’s a pretty cheap little thing and it actually gives a better quality recording than my laptop microphone.  Just plug it into your computer and then get that Sound Recorder or Voice Recorder and move on to step 2.       UPDATE:  If you look at the comments below from Frank & Bjorn, you will see that they both use Audacity, which is a free upload.  Much appreciation to both for this essential bit of information!

2. Practice/Record/Save If you are not used to the sound of your own voice, no worries!  Most of us are a bit put off by our recorded voice.  No, that is not exactly what you sound like – your real voice is much better than that! The Delete button is a wonderful thing.  Speaking of which, once you Stop Recording, your file goes into the Save / Save As process.  NOTE: Pay close attention to where it saves the file once you name it.  Mine defaults to OneDrive, which I don’t use often.  It took me a few minutes to locate my file the first time.  Because I work in a Windows environment, my files save as a .wma (Windows Media Audio).  You may also find that your file is an MP3 file or M4A, depending on your computer.

  1. Sound Cloud! So now you have this file on your computer. How do I put it on my blog? Sound Cloud works with your Gmail / Google account, so be sure you are logged into your Google account and they will like each other and work happily together!  Setting up a Sound Cloud account takes a few minutes. The hard part is it wants to be sure you are not a robot.  You have to verify some visual figures & etc.  It is a PAIN, to say the least.  It will test your patience; hang in there and keep trying.  Once your account is set up, I recommend you log out.  Now, Google ‘Sound Cloud’ and one of the options will be  This means it now knows you – hooray!  Almost there!
  1. Upload to Sound Cloud. Once you are in your sound cloud account, you will need to upload your file (the one with your awesome voice!) The taskbar across the top has an Upload button next to your name. Go ahead… click that baby!  Then click the orange ‘Choose a File To Upload’ button and find your file.  Whoop!  Sorry, but I get excited when we have victories!  A screen will pop up like this one: Sound Cloud 2

You can update the image (not necessary at the moment, but nice once you get comfortable with Sound Cloud).  You can also assign a genre.  I go with Custom & Poetry or sometimes just use Story Telling or Entertainment.  You can describe your track.  You can do none of these things; it’s all optional.

Click SAVE.  Now click on Go To Your Track. Click the Share button.  Now click Embed.  Three images come up.  Choose the one in the middle – Classic Embed.  (The one on the left will give you this HUGE sound cloud image on your blog.)  A little box is there that says CODE:  Sound Cloud 3

Click it and it will highlight like you see in this image.

  1. Put my file on my blog. Head on over to your blog post. Find the spot where you are going to put your Sound Cloud audio link and paste (Ctrl V) that link.  In Word Press, you need to go to the top of your post page and click HTML before you paste the code.  It will know what to do with it!  After you paste the code, go back and click Visual:Sound Cloud 4
  2. Now do your End Zone dance… or just run around the house yelling, “Goal! Goal!”
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Renga – Winds Can’t Heal (Jilly/qbit)

A Collaborative Renga that qbit and I completed as part of the December Casting Bricks Challenge. It took us a week to get through it, but the outcome was worth the work! (It also plays nicely with my Wordless Wednesday post today.) Look for Jilly’s January Challenge on Friday of this week. All are welcome to join in with some collaborative poetry!


What the winds can’t heal
The contrails sever

Winter howls
from a wounded sky

Spliced fragments of discontent
litter the cutting room floor

Of the hunched and hungry

light that has never shone
Moloch’s restless domain

Its bitter meal
usurps our Threnody

Offspring of the beatnik fringe
slice their tongues on prosody

Their teeth drowned red
from parsing wine

The young so wise
abbreviated flights in time

Dovetail earth an sky
mulled, singular, primed

Jilly, qbit

Jilly’s Renga Challenge – Winds Can’t Heal
For Jilly’s December Casting Bricks

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Cobalt Red Trane

In the September Casting Bricks Challenge, NoSaint has managed to lasso the illusive Coltrane in his completion of my Challenge Poem. I’m impressed! Take a look at what my talented friend accomplished!

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Paleo Blues

Uniquely crafted words from one of my favorite poets. This deserves a close read for the allusions and the musical quality. Qbit really kicked it with this poem!


She said I had
Paleo blue eyes,
Light the color of water
From before Fire –

Then dawn over Manhattan
Greeting us
Like the oldest sunrise
In history,

Where my ribs, ancient,
Are stuffed in the mud
Of Olduvai Gorge,
Aching for excavation,

The sun
Day Ten Million
With ten million more to go –

I pull my bones out of bed,
To go walk the dog.

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 406

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Posted in Photos, Poetry, Uncategorized

Aye; Eyes

In faces we see years, or the lack thereof, tones of skin, lips of color and grin stretching out to welcome us or drawn tight to hide away the pain of days and nights, winters and spring, of living too much or not enough, walking the path to the river or the River, the dip of birth or the dip of death, the planting or harvesting, and as we walk by them, in the water, in the grass, in the tree or air, it is not in their faces that the story lies, it is in their eyes, their eyes, their eyes.

Eyes looking outward

Skeptical angry or no

The tale is thereby told

We are writing Haibuns over at dVerse tonight.  Join us!

© Words & Photos by Jilly  All Rights Reserved

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry, Poetry, Uncategorized

Casting Bricks …and the story goes on!

Hello My Collaborative Poetry Friends!

The continuation of Casting Bricks is not forgotten.  I wanted to share my plan and get any feedback you might care to include.  We began with the July Challenge and I would like to continue with a once a month challenge posted on the first Friday of each month.  That means our next collaborative writing challenge would post on Friday, August 4th and remain open for the entire month.

I know that I ran gleefully into completing all 11 challenge (half) poems from July, finishing them in about a week.  That writing frenzy was followed by the clear dull thud of my head hitting the keyboard of my laptop!  I also did not have much original poetry to my credit during that week, and while I loved the collaborative challenge and learned much from it, I like the idea of pacing myself.

We now know that our Mr. Linky works very well and that will make it all much smoother.  I will give more detailed directions on August 4th for the nuts and bolts of it all.

Please feel free to extend the invitation to any poet who might be interested in joining in with Casting Bricks; the more, the merrier! 

Cheers!  Jilly

Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized

A Bird Flies Through Me


The calculated
unpredictable dissonance
of Monk
balloons off the living room walls
as we toast marshmallows
arguing about whether you or I
are right-brained or left
wondering if that bird that launched
from the trees across the lake
were an eagle or early owl

IMG_0088Poem & Photo
© Jilly's 2016
A Quadrille
Join us over at dVerse!
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on Birds, Birches, and the Joy of Eating Eggs

“It is the birthday of Robert Frost,”
You said over a bowl of soup
and I heard it as though
Garrison Keillor was sitting there, perhaps
because you are both from Minnesota,
and then, in that way of yours you added
“And I didn’t buy him anything.”
We both laughed and then fell silent
each working on poetry in our heads
tearing bread, spooning soup
Frost, like Dickenson, taking me back to my childhood
because they were the poets of my elementary
classrooms and I loved their words overtly
until sometime in college I was told
they were passé and of the lesser
poets and I felt my smallness of mind
but loved them still until
in later years they became fashionable
once more and I learned anew what
I always knew
that what I love, I love
whether it be poets or jazz or eggs
which are bad for you and then good for you again
which brings me back to that first poem
I ever wrote, in third grade
something about a bird on the walk or
birches bent by ice and, I image in all my pride,
a lesson about being true to my own heart 
and eating eggs any way.

© Jilly
March 26, 2017


Posted in Uncategorized

All is right


On the second day of 
after a dry
dry winter when the
rivers and lakes
have given their life
to the dry
dry sky

A feather dusting of 
in flat wide drops
is given back
at last
at long last

We drove homeward
through a flashing
orange pink sky
of silent bolts
to find them
on the lake and in the hollow
swamp beyond
in such fullness of voice
that the window panes
vibrated clean through
to the kitchen sink
where I washed
vegetables and swept

We lit three candles
on the back porch
poured two glasses
of pinot noir
drew the darkness
into our lungs
until our chests
ached with the voices

The sound of our neighbors’
voices speaking
Hindi on one side
Spanish on the other
the wheels of the trucks
on the highway
all drowned under
the layers of rasping
with one mezzo soprano
speaking a descant of
louder than
the billboards
on Orange Avenue tonight.

Poem & Photo © Jilly's 2016