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by Harry
Rated: 13+ · Book · Opinion · #1490694
HarryG's blog.
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October 25, 2009 at 3:02am
October 25, 2009 at 3:02am
VBT's November Anniversary Tour Schedule

Well, it's a YEAR! That's right, the VBT Writers on the Move group on Yahoo have been cross-promoting and helping one another for a year now.

To celebrate this accomplishment, we will have a SUPER-DUPPER Anniversary Tour!

The number before the host's name is the day in November that he/she will post in the tour.

But, before I explain more about it, here's the schedule:

1 Dianne Sagan is hosting Heidi Thomas
2 Harry Gilleland is hosting Karen Cioffi
3 Karen Cioffi is hosting Martha Swirzinki
4 Kathy Stemke is hosting Brigitte Thompson
5 Nancy Famolari is hosting Deborah Weed
6 Margaret Fieland is hosting Elysabeth Eldering
7 Crystalee Calderwood is hosting Harry Gilleland
8 Katie Hines is hosting Heather Paye
9 Helena Harper is hosting Steve Tremp
10 Liana Metal is hosting Crystalee Calderwood
11 Carolyn Howard-Johnson is hosting Marvin Wilson
12 Gayle Trent is hosting Dianne Sagan
13 Mayra Calvani is hosting Carolyn Howard-Johnson
14 Marvin Wilson is hosting Gayle Trent
15 Linda Asato is hosting Mayra Calvani
16 Heather Paye is hosting Katie Hines
17 Steve Tremp is hosting Helena Harper
18 Elysabeth Eldering is hosting Linda Asato
19 Darcia Helle is hosting Liana Metal
20 Deborah Weed is hosting Nancy Famolari
21 Brigitte Thompson is hosting Margaret Fieland
22 Martha Swirzinki is hosting Darcia Helle
23 Heidi Thomas is hosting Kathy Stemke

Please go to the VBT blog for all the links to the daily blogs above:

Each day there will be prizes offered. All you have to do is leave a comment on the host's site on the day he/she is posting for their guest and you may be a WINNER!

The Winner will have a choice of ONE of 2 or 3 books of our members or other related gifts, OR a one day guest spot on the group VBT blog site!

Prizes being given away EVERY Day from November 1st through November 23rd!

OH! Wait a minute! That's not all! We are still having our Mystery Site Giveaway and the SUPER-DUPER PRIZE is a $25 (US) GIFT CARD to either Amazon, Target, or an American Express Gift Card. I'll know for sure by the end of this month.

Winners will be notified the day after each posting. The Mystery Site Winner will be notified Sunday, November 29th.

Come celebrate with us next month and maybe be the WINNER of a great gift in the process.


October 8, 2009 at 4:20pm
October 8, 2009 at 4:20pm
Greetings, All ~

I have one poetic item in my portfolio that since 2002 has received 3,503 views. It is a poem entitled The Mockingbird Poems ( http://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/436279 ). My next most viewed poem, The Candiru ( http://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/974253 ) has recently only 1,308 views since 2005. I only have five storoems/poems that have received more than 670 views, out of the more than 350+ storoems/poems posted in my portfolio. I wonder what makes a bird and a fish so popular?

How about you? How many views has the most viewed item in your port received? You can select under 'sort' the 'Most Viewed First' and go to page 1 after the resorting to see your most view items in order. This 'sort' is in the area just above the listing of your portfolio items.


October 1, 2009 at 2:01am
October 1, 2009 at 2:01am
Greetings, All ~

Anyone interested in inspirational novels should drop in at my other blog http://harrygillelandwrites.blogspot.com/
and read about author Marvin Wilson and his novel "Owen Fiddler". Please come & check it out.


September 26, 2009 at 11:50am
September 26, 2009 at 11:50am
My wife Linda and I drove over to Dallas last week to get together with daughter Ginny and her boyfriend Cliff to drive down to Austin to go tubing on the Guadalupe River at San Marcos. It rained all week, but we were lucky on Friday, the day we went tubing. That day was party cloudy with periods of bright sunshine and perfect temperature in mid-80s. We got to the tube-renting place about noon. There were few others going tubing that day; we pretty much had the river to ourselves.

Linda and I rented tubes with bottoms in them, as well as another for the coolers (got to have my Tab). Gin and Cliff got open-holed tubes. The water was cold when we first stepped in the river, but it quickly became comfortable. We had a great float down river. It was a slow, lazy, lie back and take in the blue sky and tree canopy passing overhead sort of experience…until we came to the first rapids. The river’s water level was fairly low, so the rapids had exposed rocks and rocks just under the surface. I got caught up on every blamed rock in the rapids and had to fight hard to free myself. Still it was fun. Then we floated leisurely along for a long while…until we heard the next set of rapids. The current quickened so that we didn’t have to paddle with our hands any more. Next thing you knew, the current grabbed your tube and rushed you into the rapids. More rocks, more struggling to get free, some cursing, some laughing…through the rapids into calm water again. I was sure glad Linda and I had bottoms in our tubes. It kept the rocks from scraping our fannies. (That, plus Linda was worried a snake might bite her butt if it were sticking through the tube while she floated along. LOL.)

The river is a beautiful scene, with tall trees lining its banks. There were birds, numerous turtles, and even a deer drinking at river’s edge. We really enjoyed ourselves. The last set of rapids was all too soon upon us. The outfitters had told us to be sure and stay in the middle as we went under the bridge leading into this set of rapids so that they current would carry us to the right side where the water was deeper, the current stronger. It just so happened that I went over the waterfall first, and, of course, the current took me to the left into shallow water. I was grounded! I watched as the three others rushed down the right side and nearly out of sight. I could faintly hear them all shouting at me and laughing and waving bye-bye. While they floated along slowly, I struggled mightily to get my tube free from the rocks and back into the current. I’m a big fellow (all right, an obese, 65-year-old man with arthritis in my knees and shoulders). I looked like a turtle on his back flailing the air trying to flip itself over. I’d push with my legs and pull with my hands against the rocks. As soon as I’d get free from one rock, I’d encounter another. It took me a good ten minutes to get free and back into the current. I still have no idea how I ended up going left instead of right like the other three. Things like that just happen to me. All in all, it was a great experience and much fun. I’d like to do it again…when the river’s water level was higher! The trip took about four hours and covered about two and three-fourths miles of the river.

[We also enjoyed seeing Austin for the first time. It seems like a really nice city. We toured U of Texas, the establishments along Sixth Street, and attempted to see Austin’s number one tourist attraction: thousands of bats flying out from under a downtown bridge at sunset. We waited an hour and a half at dusk. Finally, about five bats flew out! There weren’t the thousands of bats promised…just five. What a disappointment! Maybe next trip to Austin we’ll get to see the bat-spectacle.]
September 13, 2009 at 11:29am
September 13, 2009 at 11:29am
Today's Yahoo VBT group blog topic is "Are You a Real Writer?" It is hosted at the blog of Nancy Famolari. ( http://nancygfamolari.blogspot.com/ )

An excerpt: "One of the writer's groups I belong to wanted people who had been published to sign up as “Published Authors.” I checked out the criteria and discovered, to my surprise, that the only criteria for becoming a”Published Author” was having an advance from a publisher. This seemed a rather narrow criterion, so I asked the person in charge if I was reading it correctly. I was assured that I was, and further, this meant anyone published by a small publisher, e-book publisher, self-published, or unlucky enough to have a NY publisher who didn't give advances, wasn't a “Published, or Real, Author."
"This experience led me to ask the question: What makes you identify yourself as a real writer?"

Please come read the remainder of Nancy's comments, as well as the comments added by readers, including mine. You can add your opinion to the discussion. What makes someone "a real writer"?
September 13, 2009 at 5:28am
September 13, 2009 at 5:28am

Sometimes I am asked how do I come up with ideas for my poetry. Here is one example:
My wife Linda and I enjoy going to estate sales, both to tour the houses and to shop for interesting items. Linda collects salts and their silver spoons. I collect old bottles, old small tins, and metal bells. I must own 150 bells now of all sizes and shapes. I have them divided into groups, such as animal bells topped with various animals, lady bells (ladies in full skirts and bonnets), bells of differing heights, etc. I have become more selective in deciding to buy a bell when I see one nowadays. Friday we hit three estate sales. At one sale, I found an old bell that didn't look like much. The handle had been replaced long ago with a wooden barrel with a metal bolt and nut to hold it in place. The top nut was exposed and quite rusty. The wooden barrel handle had a big crack down one side of it. The clapper was missing, with only an old, dirty piece of cord left behind, having the end that had held the clapper showing left-over rust. The top (handle part) wasn't much to look at, for sure. The bottom part appeared very old and was dark green in color. The bell was heavy. The handle was 4 and 3/4th inches tall, with the bell being 3 and 1/4 inches tall with a diameter of the bell opening being 4 and 1/2 inches across. A heavy, eight-inch tall bell! Closer examination revealed the bell to be made of copper, quite heavy and thick-walled & quite well-made. I decided to buy the bell. It cost all of $3.50. The lady at checkout said that it was copper and should shine up nicely. However, I prefer to leave the decades old green patina untouched. I can just imagine that this bell was once a grand bell and was probably quite expensive when new. I, of course, wondered about its history -- who bought it new, who all had owned it, how/where it was used, who repaired it, how it came to be sitting on a den shelf in Shreveport. The result of my imagination answering such questions is the following storoem.

 An Old Copper Bell  (13+)
A long storoem about a copper bell bought by a collector at an estate sale.
#1599041 by Harry


September 9, 2009 at 4:18pm
September 9, 2009 at 4:18pm
Everyone needs to read Jim Hightower’s article “Taking Us for a Ride on Health Care ‘Reform’” in the September 15, 2009 issue of The Progressive Populist. It should open your eyes. Section 1233, the so-called “death panel” provision, was a Republican idea!

I was stunned today when I learned that Section 1233 of the Health Care bill in Congress -- you know, the one that Conservative Republican pundits are claiming is really to set up a “death panel” that will decide the fate of all old people in need of heath care and will kill Grandma and have labeled it as an evil plot of President Obama and Congressional Democrats that should scare us all. Yeah, that section – was not put in the health care reform package by President Obama, not even by Democrats, but was championed by a Republican pro-life senator from Georgia, Johnny Isakson. As for the claims by Palin, et al that the section hides death panels within it, Isakson calls them “nuts”. Remember Sen. Isakson is a REPUBLICAN. Any such claims are pure nonsense and fabrication, i.e., a lie. People making these claims have either never even read Section 1233 OR they know they are lying through their teeth but assume their followers will never bother checking the section for themselves to see whether they are being lied to. (Great assumption on their part!)

Furthermore, a quite similar provision has already been included in Medicare law. Now get this: Who do you think added it? The 2003 Republican-dominated Congress passed it and President Bush signed it into law. HENCE, the Republicans were supporters and proponents of the contents of Section 1233 then, but, for some reason (politics, you think?) now vehemently oppose it. This situation would be funny for its absurdness, if it weren’t threatened to derail health care reforms.

One more tidbit worth knowing: The current TV ad blitz that has Rick Scott portrayed as a “health care expert” who attacks Obama’s plan for “Government-Run Health Care” is being handled by the same PR group that handled the “Swift Boat Veterans” campaign to discredit Kerry in 2004. Hey, it worked back then. They managed to convince a large portion of voters that Kerry, a true Vietnam war hero, had something to be ashamed of, whereas Bush, whose daddy got him into the National Guard, from which Bush then went AWOL so that Bush never served his country in Vietnam, was somehow the real hero. Is the American public going to be that gullible again?

[FYI: Rick Scott, the so-called expert, was CEO of the Columbia/HCA hospital chain until he got fired in 1997. Under Scott’s guidance, Columbia/HCA over-billed Medicare, paid off doctors who sent patients to his hospitals with illegal kickbacks, cut hospital staffs to dangerous levels in order to save money. When sued, Columbia/HCA pled guilty and had to pay $1.7 billion to settle fraud claims made against them. You sure you want to get your health care information and advice from such a health care company’s ex-CEO. You think he has your or the American public’s true best interests in mind?]

Come on, people. Do some reading and checking of facts for yourself. Just because the Republican Party or the likes of Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Coulter, Hannity, or any other Fox news entertainer says it’s true surely doesn’t mean it is true. Start verifying for yourself!
(Don’t you just love the way that these clowns like Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, etc spout their opinions as though they were facts, but then, when confronted, wheedle out by saying “I’m paid to be an entertainer, not to report hard news.” Gag me with a spoon, as we used to say thirty years ago.)



Published 2008: "Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man". A collection of my poetry. Lulu Press.
2008 Reader Views Literary Award winner - Honorable Mention in Fiction, Poetry category

September 4, 2009 at 6:08pm
September 4, 2009 at 6:08pm
There is a letter to the editor that everyone should read:


Finally a voice of sanity amidst all the lies and distortions. He simply says check out the "information" you receive / hear before you believe it (or circulate it!). I wholeheartedly concur with this.

Please read this letter!


September 2, 2009 at 11:03pm
September 2, 2009 at 11:03pm
There is a real Breakthrough on my VBT blog tomorrow, September 3rd. Come and check it out: http://harrygillelandwrites.blogspot.com/



September 1, 2009 at 3:20am
September 1, 2009 at 3:20am
Today on my VBT blog I am hosting Stephen Tremp, the author of Breakthrough. Please drop by, read all about Stephen, and leave a comment. You may be a winner!


REMINDER: My VBT group is starting a new feature this month. One site out of all the group blogs is designated to be the mystery site for that month. One person from among those non-VBT-group members who leaves a comment at the mystery site will be selected to win either a book from the blog owner OR to have his/her own book promoted at the VBT group blog site. It's win-win! Either you get a great book or you get free promotion for your own book -- whichever prize you choose. Get more details at:
There you can also get a listing of the blog sites involved in the VBT group to allow you to visit the various sites and leave a comment for a chance to be the mystery site winner. So, drop by the sites (especially mine), read today's posting, and leave a comment, and you may be the winner!



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