Saturday, February 21, 2009

Unleashing the Poet on the PMs!

I think it's OK to talk about this, as the commitments have all been made. Did you notice a few days ago where I mentioned channeling the creative impulse over to the professional side of myself? (Not that we're not all professionals as published poets, that is... Oh, you know what I mean.) Well, I'm happy to report some positive outcome of said channeling.

My proposal for a talk to be given as part of the Project Management Institute's annual New Jersey Chapter Symposium has been accepted! Now, some of you are wrinkling your noses; don't lie, I understand completely. But I can promise you two things: First, those of you who have also spent some time with creative nonfiction understand that there is still impulse and the talent required in that arena.

Second, you can bet your tercet that the folks who attend my talk are going to know they've been hearing from a poet. Well, maybe not that, exactly, but they're sure as heck not going to get the same old same old that professional conferences tend to offer up. This particular conference is known for being a bit irreverent; several years ago one of the talks was "Management Lessons from Meatloaf" (the singer, not the supper). If I don't come across in the same useful but entertaining vein, I will have failed myself.

I'll sit on the details until the conference materials are available on the website, but if you're local to NJ and can provide a passable definition of the term "Earned Value Management" without following the link, you may want to keep May 4 free and visit for more details.

I'm very excited about this. Does it show?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Heart day (in progress)

Sorry, this draft has been removed!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Bits and More Bits

Leafing through the Poetry Speaks 2009 calendar, a screenwriter friend came upon Billy Collins' haiku:

midwinter evening
alone at the sushi bar
just me and this eel

She asked "So what's so poetic about this?"


While it is true that creativity breeds creativity - that the act of creating makes the next act of creating easier for me - it is equally true that the creativity will come only in the form it wants to. The task, which has gotten a bit easier for me, is not to try to force the flow into a poem when it wants to be something else. Lately, the flow has taken a more professional slant, resulting in article and presentation ideas. Proposals have been made; more on that at the end of the month.


My screenwriter friend (see top) remarked elsewhere in our conversation that I was an aberration, being both creative and an engineer. That's an observation that usually gets the hair on the back of my neck up, but instead of my usual lecture on the creativity required to be a good problem solver (not to mention an inventor), let me offer a different exhibit. Here is the game company of a classmate (approximately) of mine; I've written before how a good game design is a good piece of writing, and I leave you to explore Blood and Cardstock's games to support my thesis. Let the Queen of Cards know if you think I'm right.


OK, I'll vent a little on creativity in engineering. Or let IEEE do it for me.


5 days to pitchers, catchers and KFC.


You think of an answer for my screenwriter friend yet? I surely haven't.


My grandmother would have been 95 today. At least a dozen times that I remember, she said to me "Do what you like. Dig a ditch. But dig the best ditch you can." So I keep digging.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Brief Bits at the End of Football Season

If you didn't like this game, please don't ever bring up football in my presence. Seriously.


Matt Thorburn calls attention today to an interesting anthology called Bridging New York City. If you, like me, had relatives in all five boroughs at once at some point in your past, it's worth a look.


Anxiously awaiting Ray Bradbury's new collection of short stories. I've written here before of my affection for the master's stories, and this one will help fill the gap to pitchers and catchers.


Have you figured out my "picture" yet? It's not hard, really. If you're thinking some kind of 80s-style, wide-shoulder, 3-chord rock band member's big-shouldered suit, you're both on the right track and amazingly off.


It's going to snow somewhere between a coating and an avalanche in the next two days, depending on which report you read. I'm going to log off now and sharpen the ice-edge on my shovel.