October 12, 2020

Upcoming publication

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 1:38 pm

I sent my poem to Avocet too late to get into their print edition but Charles Portolano said Autumn will be in their online weekend edition and he told me I can copy it, so look for it soon. I would appreciate getting some feedback.

October 10, 2020

New Writing Projects

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 12:08 am

I just entered a story of mine; Smidgeon Pigeon: The Great Migration to a Reedsy contest. Originally I planned to have this published as a picture book, or chapter book, as my instructor from the Institute of Children’s Literature had said it sounded like to her. None of the publishers I submitted it to wanted it though and I quit sending it out, (at least temporarily). This contest had a prompt (one of several) about a bird migrating, so I thought my story would be a nice twist about a bird trying to migrate.

I also signed up for a free Reedsy course on publishing picture books and will take more of their courses. I love taking advantage of free advice and information since I can’t afford to pay for courses taught by schools, or writing coaches who have their own businesses.

Next week, the new GeNarrations class begins. It will be a virtual class again. I am looking forward to finding out what the theme will be and hope that it will be one I will not have a problem identifying with, as I have with some of the themes they used. I will be keeping you informed about my progress.

I also submitted a poem about Autumn to a publication called Avocet, which accepts previously published poems. That poem was the one Halcyon Days used. I haven’t heard if Avocet will or not. Again, when I do hear from them, I will let you know what they decide.

October 1, 2020

God’s Armor

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 10:14 pm
This poem was started years ago and just this morning I made revisions. I would appreciate any comments and/or criticism.

God's Armor

Put on the whole armor of God.
Don't depend on self defense.
You can't see what you're up against.

The helmet of salvation will guard your thoughts.
When you are saved, they can't be bought.
Knowledge needs to be protected
and our  motives be inspected.
In a world teaching us to self-serve,
will you obey God without reserve?

Your heart is covered by the breastplate.
Righteous eliminates all hate.
Love all others, as you've been told.
Do not let your heart grow cold.
Selfishness is not an option
if you would hear God say, "Well done."

Your loins must be girt about with truth.
Telling lies is quite uncouth.
Deceipt and cunning is a demonic snare
of which you need to be aware.
Say what you mean, mean what you say.
You will keep the enemy at bay.

The shield of faith will stop the spear
Satan uses to cause you fear.
Hold it up, don't let it fall.
Keep it close and then stand tall.
It will give you strength and power
in your deep and darkest hour.

Your feet wear peace, for they must travel
over smooth roads and rocky gravel.
Wherever you go, take peace with you,
regardless of the circumstance you go through.
People you meet along the way
may want to walk with you someday.

Last, the two edged sword, God's Word,
which everybody should have heard.
The Bible will be your guiding light,
exposing all that isn't right.
It's blade is sharp and quick to sever
any and all ungodly endeavour.

Put on the whole armor of God.
Don't depend on self-defense.
You can't see what you're up against.

Photo by PhotoMIX Company on

Forbidden Words: Try

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 3:18 pm

I’ll try is the most dangerous word I was using too often in my vocabulary. I would tell God I was going to try to do something, I really did not want to do and make a poor attempt at it. Then I would apologize and tell God I tried. God showed me that it was an excuse I was makng for failing and told me that word is forbidden. Because we:

T hink wordly thoughts

Rationalize them

Yield to them

That fulfills our fleshly desires. God wants us to say, I will, not I’ll try. Philippians 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you to both will and to do of His good pleasure.”

So, God wants us to say: I understand, not I feel; I trust, not I guess; I believe, not I hope; I know, not I think; yes or no, not maybe; and above all I will, not I’ll try.

September 8, 2020

Forbidden Words: Maybe

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 8:47 pm

“Maybe” If you reply maybe, remember God knows your thoughts. He wants yes or no answers. He will wait, and keep you waiting until He gets it. Matthew 5:37 “But let your communication be Yea, yea and Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than this cometh of sin.”

Photo by Marcelo Dias on

September 5, 2020

Forbidden Words: I think

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 10:58 pm

“I think” If you think you know something about God’s will, God says you’re a fool. He makes it possible for us to know His will. I John 2:20 “But ye have an unction from the Holy One and ye know all things.”

Photo by Martin Pu00e9chy on

September 3, 2020

Forbidden Words: I Hope

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 12:25 pm
  • “I hope” If you hope you are doing God’s will, hope can be misplaced, often on your own efforts. God wants us to believe Him. Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Photo by Wallace Chuck on

August 27, 2020

Forbidden Words: I guess

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 3:50 pm
Photo by Mike on

“I guess.’ If you “guess” God’s will, you can always say you guessed wrong if things don’t go as You planned. God wants us to believe Him. There’s no guessing allowed. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

August 25, 2020

Forbidden Words: I Feel

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 3:17 pm

Many years ago, God showed me that words I was using in talking to myself and Him were hindering me from doing His will. He told me what they were; why they were causing me problems and what I should say instead. I will share these with you one at a time and I would appreciate any feedback you would like to give me or examples of your own experience with such words.

“I feel” Feelings are fickle and changeable. To say I feel enables one to change their mind later when one doesn’t feel the same anymore. God wants us to understand His will, not feel it.

Ephesians 5:17 “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of God is.”

If we don’t have the wisdom we need, He promises to give it to us if we ask Him.

James 1:5 says, ” If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

Photo by Alexander Dummer on

June 30, 2020

Pets: A Remedy for Lonely Solitude

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 6:04 pm
This was my GeNarrations story for the Spring 2020 session on the subject of Solitude.

When I was I my teens, I longed for a day when I would have a place of my own. I wouldn ‘t have anyone telling me what to do, where to go, or when to come home. The only one to bear any consequences for my choices would be myself. I didn’t, however, get that freedom until both of my parents had died. My father in 1987 and then my mother in 1997 Now. I was alone, but I wasn’t lonely. I had three cats to care for and keep me company. We didn’t have them while Dad was alive but Mom and I took them in and now they were my sole responsibility.

The cats died, one by one, and I thought it was probably better for me to not have a pet. They were somewhat of an encumbrance. I couldn’t take t the cats with me when I wanted to go anywhere. I had no one to cat sit for me, so I had to be home to make sure they were fed.

When the last of the three cats had died, I had total freedom again and I enjoyed it for a time. But, I began to get lonely after a few years. I’d always had pets growing up and I missed having them to talk to and love and care for.

My first real pets were parakeets. My father had been very good at teaching them to talk and sit on his finger,or shoulder. I thought maybe I should try that. They were easier to care for and less expensive than dogs or cats. So, I bought a blue and white bird I named Tweeter, after a parakeet I had written a short story about. The bird, however, would not come on my finger or copy my speech. I lacked the patience my father had with animals.

When Tweeter died, I again spent a little time alone before deciding to try again , This time I bought a pair, because I heard they needed to have company and I did not spend a lot of time at home. Those two I named Twitter and Chitter. Since they had each other for company they weren’t interested in me, but I liked hearing them chattering to each other in the morning. I had them a couple of years . Twitter died first and the next year Chitter did. I again went without a pet but broke down and bought another parakeet I called Chatter. About a month later, I bought a companion bird for Chatter and named it Pratter.

One morning, when I went to check on them, I only found one bird. I searched all over but did not find the other one. A window in my apartment slips down from the top on windy days and there is no screen at the top. I saw that the window had opened and realized that the bird must have gone out through it. In another day or two, I did not find any birds in the apartment. I don’t know if Chatter saw Pratter and went to join him or if she just found out she could get out the window on her own, but I hope they found each other. I put their cage and food on the back porch hoping to entice them back, but I never did see them again and gave up. I was through with parakeets and I determined to go pet less.

I had been volunteering at Chicago Animal Care and Control and I felt that I could get my needs met doing that. Because the dogs there are mostly large, muscular breeds that I didn’t feel I could safely control to walk on a leash I preferred to stay in the room with the cats, and liked interacting with them, especially the younger ones. But I felt bad for the older ones owners have surrendered and people didn’t want to adopt. That ‘s how I wound up getting Squeakie.

About once a quarter the shelter has an event to try to get as many animals as possible out of there and into homes, so they waive the adoption fees for a weekend. Usually, they are very successful, bringing in many people and it ‘s great to see happy people taking happy animals to begin new lives together. It was at one such event that I met Squeakie. . After my Saturday volunteer shift, I mentioned on our volunteer Facebook page that I was considering getting another cat and asked for suggestions. Squeakie was mentioned. She was one of the older cats of 12 years and most people only want ed kittens or very young, playful animals, so she has been there longer than most and would likely remain there many more days..

I empathized with her, being a senior citizen and needing to have companionship and love, so I decided that if she was sill there I would go back to get her on Monday, The adoption fees were being waived for the rest of the month, so she would be free. That morning I checked the Pet Harbor page that shows what animals are available for adoption and she was still listed.

On September 10, I2019, I brought Squeakie home with me. She settled in very quickly. Squeakie likes to be close to me and loves being petted, even though she doesn’t sit on my lap. She sleeps in the bed with me and naps on a cat bed a volunteer gave me, or on the couch. We are good match, both about the same age and we each needed the love and attention of the other. It ‘s especially good to have her now that I am spending all of this time at home. I don’t feel lonely and I am pretty sure she doesn’t either.

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