Heart Work

I hear you. Tapping on the glass. You
Want to be let in. You’ve been patiently
Waiting on the stoop for so long, and you’ve
Done your job, enjoying the passersby and
Soaking up the sun. You’ve done all the
Cataloging of songbirds and counting the
Shades of sky as it shifts from dawn to
Dusk. You’ve had your fun, your rest,
Your respite from the toil of
Life. You’ve had your walkabout and
Now are tapping on the storm door
And asking to be let back in to
Work. My heart, I am saying
I hear you. … Read on…Heart Work

I’m Not at Supper

I’m not at supper tonight and
I hide from it often, maybe because
You said we must gather together
At the end of the day, but by then,
I’m done with togethering. I wished I’d stayed at
Target (the kids and I were happy there,
Sort of) playing house in Seasonal,
Opening and testing folding chairs.

I’m not at supper tonight but I
Hear it still, the flatware
Striking the porcelain, and in between your
Even-keeled voice, which is just a mush
Of instructions– like all our life now: one
Duty repeated after another, from
Alarm till bathtime, with a toe of
Laughter, and a few bars of “How do you
Solve a Problem like Maria?” elbowed
In between. … Read on…I’m Not at Supper

The Two Men

Before JD left, last time, to go back
To Kansas City, he and Colin
Agreed that moving the laundry
From the basement to its new
(Though not finished) room
On the 2nd floor, was the most
Important last and final chore
To complete before the
Two men who love me most
My dear friend and my husband
Parted ways for another
Four months. I hear the rocket engine
Squeal now of the washer drum spinning–
Hard at work
Reminding me a good deal of
The world’s sweetness is
Positively mundane. … Read on…The Two Men

How I Built My Website, By Accident

A February Goal, Met

But I’ve never considered myself a web designer. I’m not, right?

So when I started thinking about “building” my home page, I got really nervous.

What the hell do I know??

As part of my ongoing affair with the illustrious creative action guru, Tara Gentile, back in December, I set a goal of having my own website up and running by February.

I have owned the domain elizabethhoward.net for literally years, but have done nothing with it, other than to build my blog “Letters from a Small State (previously “Letters from London, and Elsewhere”) on the subdomain: http://blog.elizabethhoward.net. It’s a good blog and it’s changed a good bit over time with new themes, occasional videos, and many design updates.

So I guess I am not a newbie… but.

The Work of Intentional Unintention

So in January, I started emailing designers to ask them for estimates on the cost of building my website… I mean, I don’t think of myself as a designer and what the hell do I know about CSS and such?

In the meanwhile, I took some advice from Tara and chose a theme in Wordpress (my current web editor) that was highly customizable and seemed easy to work with. (Thanks, Sayontan Sinta for Suffusion!)

Designers gave me estimates and I couldn’t get myself to commit to the cash… more procrastination!

Meanwhile, I filled my procrastination time with what appeared to be unintentional futzing… playing with my domain, adding widgets, using the beloved Picasa to create a header, writing an “About Page” and even adding a “Buy Now” Paypal button so friends and strangers can own their own Demand Poetry and decorate their life with more beautiful writing.

The result of my goal setting and my “unintentional futzing” was a completed website! One day, in February, I realized that despite my very busy schedule — and my attempts to stop myself with procrastination, fears, the certainty that I CAN’T DO IT — I had put together a home website.

Whoa. I mean, literally one day I was sitting at my computer looking at the site and I thought “Dude, look what I just did.” It was like waking up from a dream. Only when I look back I see the action is the real life, and the noisy voices trying to distract me are more like the dream.


I haven’t fully moved in yet. I’ll continue to use Tara, Problogger, and other website greats to build on.

I want to add a FAQ, beef up my Demand Poetry page, and add an online portfolio, along with a photo gallery. So for now, this is more like a quirky crash pad with IKEA furniture than my dream cottage on the hill. But it is home.

I haven’t ruled out hiring a designer to reorganize and repaint the entire spread, but I am thrilled that I, seemingly magically, completed a job I thought I couldn’t do! … Read on…How I Built My Website, By Accident