New Blog Photo Gallery Finally Implemented!


A protracted search to find just the right WordPress plugin to redo my photo gallery has finally come up with a winner! OK, it really wasn’t so much protracted as I was just too lazy to get around to it! But I got it done. I did resort to buying a premium plugin but it was affordable and had all the features I required. Not that you care about any of that. My old photo gallery had become unwieldly and fragmented making the task of browsing more trouble than it was worth. The new gallery, I trust, will be much easier and quicker to navigate.

I also took the opportunity to add additional photos to the main gallery and to add a separate gallery for my panoramic photos. I hope you will enjoy browsing my work in this much easier format. I am looking for feedback, i.e. do the photos take too long to load, should I break the photos into smaller themed galleries, any problems you may experience, etc. Like any project, it will evolve and hopefully your feedback will help that evolution occur more quickly.

A few quick tips:

  • enlarge your browser to full screen in order to enjoy larger images
  • you may click on any image to enlarge it or your may browse through them all
  • you can navigate forward or backward by clicking the arrow buttons (< or >) but it’s easier to use the left and right arrow keys
  • you can share a photo on social media sites by clicking on the “+ share” button in the upper right corner
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    Now Comes the Hardest Part of Self-publishing

    frontcover_webI’m pleased to announce that my first book of poetry, “The Ramblings of a Poetic Fool” is now available on Amazon, Amazon Europe and CreateSpace eStore. It’s actually been available for a few days but the busyness of life has kept me from telling you all about it.

    For me, this is the most difficult part of writing. When I finally finished this project I realized that I wasn’t truly finished. In fact, the real work had just begun. If you’ve self-published, you know exactly what I speaking of; promoting and publicizing your book. This is the difficult me because I’m not comfortable tooting my own horn. Unfortunately, being self-published means that task falls squarely and firmly on my own shoulders. If I don’t do it, no one will. There is no publishing house behind me with a team of professionals crafting a marketing campaign for my little book. No, without any experience in promotion and marketing, I have to do that myself.

    It’s a challenging and scary process. How do you promote your own book without sounding self-serving? How much promotion is too much promotion? How do I promote my book in the first place? When? Where? How and how often? Questions fill this newbie writer’s head. I’ve found I have far more questions than answers. Fortunately, there are answers out there. Google will help me find some. There are online guides, blogs and books with oodles of suggestions. I can ask fellow writers for their experiences and what worked for them. With time and experience I’ll learn the ropes and the how and why of it will become easier.

    Unfortunately, the core problem still remains for me and that’s being inherently shy. Yes, shy! As I mentioned before, I’m very uncomfortable tooting my own horn. Self-publishing requires it, however. The truth is that promoting and publicizing my book isn’t technically difficult. Sure, I need to learn how and where and when but I know I can learn that. Anyone can. It just requires time, effort and willingness. Willingness. The hard part is willingness and overcoming my shyness and the fear of appearing self-serving and self-absorbed by doing it.

    The reality is that it is self-serving to promote your own book. Those who choose to self-publish need to come to that conclusion and realize that it’s OK. I wrote a book. If I want people to read that book, it’s up to me to show it to them. No one else will do it for me. For some this isn’t an issue. Indeed, many enjoy it as much as the writing. That’s not me and likely never will be. It is a skill I am willing to learn, however. So please bear with me as I learn the ropes. Hopefully, I won’t be too obnoxious in the process. If I learn anything worth sharing along the way, I’ll post about it here. Maybe it will save some other soul a little time, effort or embarrassment.

    So, about promoting my book …

    “The Ramblings of a Poetic Fool” is a collection of 44 poems, including some of my personal favorites, on a variety of topics. Through them runs a theme of the uncertainty in life and love. Life doesn’t come with guarantees, my poems reflect that. Life has highs and lows and they reflect that too. I hope you will be able to relate to my poetry and enjoy them as much as I enjoyed writing them. So take pity on this poor, shy Poetic Fool and check out my poems. Be sure to let me know what you think, especially if you feel you connect to any of them. That is, after all, why I wrote them in the first place. I’d love your comments here or in an Amazon review (subtle hint). Your thoughts and, yes, criticisms are always welcome. Thank you so much!



    Snowy Egret

    Snowy Egret

    Snowy Egret
    Click to enlarge image
    Photo: Richard Stephen 30-July-2013

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    A Bee About His Business

    Busy Bee

    A Bee About His Business
    Click to enlarge image
    Photo: Richard Stephen 30-July-2013

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    Shasta Daisies

    Shasta Daisies

    Shasta Daises
    Click to enlarge image
    Photo: Richard Stephen - 1-April-2013

    The Daisy – On Finding one in Bloom on Christmas-day
    by James Montgomery

    There is a flower, a little flower
    With silver crest and golden eye,
    That welcomes every changing hour,
    And weathers every sky.

    The prouder beauties of the field
    In gay but quick succession shine;
    Race after race their honors yield,
    They flourish and decline.

    But this small flower, to Nature dear,
    While moons and stars their courses run,
    Wreathes the whole circle of the year,
    Companion of the Sun.

    It smiles upon the lap of May,
    To sultry August spreads its charms,
    Lights pale October on his way,
    And twines December’s arms.

    The purple heath and golden broom
    On moory mountains catch the gale;
    O’er lawns the lily sheds perfume,
    The violet in the vale.

    But this bold floweret climbs the hill,
    Hides in the forest, haunts the glen,
    Plays on the margin of the rill,
    Peeps round the fox’s den.

    Within the garden’s cultured round
    It shares the sweet carnation’s bed;
    And blooms on consecrated ground
    In honor of the dead.

    The lambkin crops its crimson gem;
    The wild bee murmurs on its breast;
    The blue-fly bends its pensile stem
    Light o’er the skylark’s nest.

    ‘Tis Flora’s page, – in every place,
    In every season, fresh and fair;
    It opens with perennial grace,
    And blossoms everywhere.

    On waste and woodland, rock and plain,
    Its humble buds unheeded rise;
    The Rose has but a summer reign;
    The Daisy never dies!

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    The Ramblings of a Poetic Fool

    frontcover_webI’m pleased and proud to announce that my book, “The Ramblings of a Poetic Fool”, will be released in the very near future. Monday, July 29th is the targeted release date for this, my very first collection of poetry.

    “The Ramblings of a Poetic Fool” is a collection of 44 poems including many of my personal favorites. These are poems that run the gamut from the romantic to the tragic, expressing hope and disappointment, ecstasy, desperation and much more. After many trials, much soul-searching and with the support and encouragement of a few dear friends, “Ramblings” is the result. It is my hope that you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    “The Ramblings of a Poetic Fool” will be available on Amazon, Amazon Europe and CreateSpace eStore. Additionally, you will be able to order my book from thousands of major online and offline bookstores and retailers.



    Veronica Speedwell

    Veronica Speedwell

    Veronica Speedwell
    Click to enlarge image
    Photo: Rick Stephen - 3 July 2013

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    Dying Inside – Micropoetry – 4 July 2013

    There’s a gnawing within me
    devouring the man that you see
    leaving behind not more than
    a mere shell of a man

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    Carousel of Dreams by Rick Stephen

    brasssangDreams die hard and they should. Our dreams are things that should be worked at, strived for and not given up on easily. Sometimes though, they just aren’t going to happen and it takes a certain level of awareness and maturity to recognize when that point has been reached. It’s not easy to give up on a dream, to rearrange your priorities and decide to pursue something else. Sometimes our dreams seem to take on a life of their own. Though we may know a dream is out of reach sometimes hope just won’t die. This poem, Carousel of Dreams, is about just that. I hope you enjoy it!

    Carousel of Dreams

    desires, wishes,
    wants and needs
    a life full
    of sterile seeds

    dreams implanted
    that shanll never be
    fruit that the sun
    will never see

    yet hope strives
    for those dreams
    but never grasps
    the brass ring

    read more …

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    Empty Still by Rick Stephen

    here at work
    wasting time
    hours after quitting
    because I’ve no reason
    or desire to go home
    where no one waits for me
    the only sounds
    my footsteps echoing
    off darkened walls
    breaking the sterile silence

    read more …

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