Practicing Bibliomancy

Do you do this? What does “bibliomancy”mean?

I’m familiar with the concept, but until recently never knew what it was called. Nor did I realize so many people practiced this in an alternative form. I’ve done this countless times in the past and still occasionally explore new knowledge through this practice, although not in the classic dictionary definition:

Divination by means of a book, especially the Bible or a holy book

The religious practice was (or still is?) to place a Bible or holy book on its spine then let the covers fall to reveal a random page. Then with eyes closed, using a finger to pick a random verse and interpreting the meaning. Ancient Greeks did this with the works of Homer and Virgil, using the results as predictors of future  events.

I, and many others, practice bibliomancy to serendipitously explore for ideas, inspiration, or to just learn something completely new. A favorite of mine is to do this with my large dictionary that resides on a stand and never fails to find an interesting word I didn’t know (with some liberty as to what’s near where my finger lands!). Other times I’ve used it in compilations and anthologies (more…)

Writer’s Muse

I’m working on a piece about the creative muse, and recalled this fun piece I wrote back in 2011. Thought I’d dust it off and reshare. Enjoy!

facewallShe sits there drinking beer, slumped in my papasan chair, leg bouncing up and down hinged at the knee, while staring out the window in feigned boredom. Some muse I have. I’m stuck with this blank page and she’s more intent on a beer buzz.

Where’s the practiced wave of her hand causing perfect verbs and nouns to spew forth like gold flowing out of a Leprechaun’s bottomless pot? Where’s the creative doyen intent on ordering my thoughts into clever, succinct, and dare I say, sellable prose?

“So what have you written so far,” she says without looking at me, lips smacking from giving her gum a workout. “Give me something to work with.”

She wasn’t this lazy back when I had that run of published articles, when everything submitted seemed to catch ink. Then she was sophisticated, sipping champagne and daintily nibbling gourmet noshes while patiently offering inspiration. Words fell out easily and she did her job well. Now she seems content to slop random words up against the wall and see what sticks, if she puts that much effort into it. No wonder I can’t write lately. Who can work like this?

I concentrate, trying to ignore her. My god, is that “Feelings” she’s humming?

“So this is writer’s block,” I think while pondering how I can coax her into working or get her out of here before she drinks all my brews. “At least it’s not expensive champagne,” I mutter, hoping she won’t hear me.

“Seriously, whatcha got? I got some good adverbs and adjectives you can use to spice things up,” she offers, pulling her gum out and stretching it away from her clenched teeth. Clearly she’s far more interested in how long she can make the gum-string before it breaks than helping me with pearly prose. She never, ever offered modifiers before. She was always at the ready with vivid nouns, and precise active verbs.

I close my eyes, hoping this is all a dream and when I open them the old muse will be sitting there with perfect posture, supportive manners, and ready once more to push my writing to new levels.

Her soft burp and follow-up giggle jerks my eyes open. She’s still here. So how does one fire a muse? And can I find a temp agency that will send another over, even on a Friday afternoon?

I stare back at the blank screen and realize it’s going to be a long weekend.

The Truth About THE Vaccine

As someone who as of January 11 is eligible to start the vaccine shots, I’ve been reading up from articles quoting experts from the CDC, and medical and science fields. What follows about the specifics of the vaccine is not my opinion but from what I’ve read.

I’m summarizing this and sharing for my own edification and in hopes more will understand. Many of us skim too much these days, especially on the Internet, and I fear many will just see “covid vaccine” and think “no more masks!” Thinking that completely misunderstands what the vaccine is and what it is not.

There’s that large swath of our public who continue to aid and abet the unfathomable ramping-up of contagions and deaths thorough their behaviors:  science denial, not wearing masks nor distancing, and continuing a selfish attitude of “masks infringe my rights.” Apparently they also feel (more…)

Seven Mental Elements

The ancient Stoic Epictetus conceived these seven elements of the mind as ones that should be used when the mind is functioning properly. But clearly Epictetus lacked the marketing savvy of today’s social media savants, since his list creates the less-than-easy-to-remember acronym of CRYRPPA (although in fairness, I couldn’t jumble it to do much better).

Nevertheless, it is an excellent checklist to assess one’s thinking about any ethical or decision-making stand on just about anything. These seven are timely in assessing (more…)

Guided Journal Fun

I’m not usually a fan of guided journals. Writing prompts in general are helpful, but a guided effort in a bound-book is not something I would use. Such preprinted journal pages guide someone through various activities and exercises toward a thematic purpose, e.g., life correcting, internally therapy, goal development, and many others. Not saying these aren’t helpful for many, just not something I find useful for myself.

Until now.

As a journaler in active practice going back many decades, I’ve never felt the need to be led by such guidances. Not one for whom writer’s block ever existed, I never struggle to get words down on paper, be it paper or digital.

So it’s a much a surprise to me as it might be to you who see this post’s opening image (more…)



I fear the cold
The kind that’s deep;
Preserves or kills,
While fast asleep.

Yet as the snow
Settles from the sky,
My mind finds peace
Without knowing why.

Pure white innocence
Lingering pleasantly,
Is but a ruse
To fool us presently.

The wind that’s harsh
Is a prick of pain,
Those long, choking fingers
Of the ice king’s reign.

This field of beauty
A joyful moment,
Blinks life to death,
A shock, a torment.

Yet winter’s renewing grace,
Its universal task,
Revives us all,
If we wear its mask.