Our winners for The Big Poetry Giveaway! 2011!

Posted in Poetry, The Lives You Touch Publications, Touch: The Journal of Healing at 7:36 pm by admin

The Big Poetry Giveaway! 2011!

Our winners for The Big Poetry Giveaway! 2011!

Tawnysha Greene, from the blog, On Writing, will receive How to photograph the heart by Christine Klocek-Lim, Strong Voices: a Year of Touch: The Journal of Healing 2010, and Uncommon Refrains by Gregory W. Randall.

Sherry Chandler, from the blog, Weaving a New Eden, will receive Spiraling into Control by Alarie Tennille, Strong Voices: a Year of Touch: The Journal of Healing 2010, and Cutting It by Tina Hacker.

Janeen Pergrin Rastall, from the blog, Lessons from the Lakeshore, will receive One Tree Bridge by Dennis Greene, Strong Voices: a Year of Touch: The Journal of Healing 2011, and Guitar Without Strings by Larina Warnock.

Donna Vorreyer, from the blog, Put Words Together, will receive A Transit of Venus by Ed Bennett, Strong Voices: a Year of Touch: The Journal of Healing 2011, and Preparing to Leave by Stephen Bunch (currently in production).

I wrote down numbers on pieces of paper to coincide with the number of entrants we had in our contest then I drew 4 of those numbers from a bowl. The contest winners were the drawn numbers in the order in which the first of their posts were made.

O.P.W. Fredericks


The Big Poetry Giveaway! 2011

Posted in Poetry, The Lives You Touch Publications, Touch: The Journal of Healing at 9:00 pm by admin

Big Poetry Giveaway 2011
The Big Poetry Giveaway! 2011 Image




Note to The Big Poetry Giveaway! 2011 participants:
Because of the tremendous amount of SPAM posts this blog receives, in order for you to participate in the contest, you must include your name, email address, and website or blog in the required fields above your comment post. You cannot post a comment without these identifiers.


I was alerted to a great effort to promote poetry through the creation of a contest by my good friend and fellow poet, Christine Klocek-Lim who is the editor of Autumn Sky Poetry. It’s called The Big Poetry Giveaway! 2011, and it was started by Kelli Russell Agodon in 2010. You can read about Christine’s participation in her blog post.


Here’s what Kelli wrote about the contest:

The goal is to share our favorite poets with others as well as to visit different blogs and see who others are reading. There is also a benefit for those who participate as it will bring people to your blog and share your work and/or the work of a favorite poet with them.


Daniel and I discussed the contest, and we are enthusiastic about participating because we believe it speaks with great clarity to the missions of both our journal, Touch: The Journal of Healing, and our press, The Lives You Touch Publications. Tremendous comfort and healing can come from the reading of poetry. This is why we publish both our journals and chapbooks.

Here’s an overview of the contest and how our press is going to participate:

After extensive discussion, we have decided that we’re going to give away four prize groups.

Each prize group will consist of three books of poetry; two of these books of poetry will come from the chapbooks we have published by the closing date of the contest and one of these books of poetry will be a copy of Strong Voices – A Year of Touch: The Journal of Healing, two copies of which will come from our 2010 issue and two copies will come from our 2011 issue.

Below you will find an image of the poetry books included in each prize group with links to them or a few words about them.

If you want to participate in our sponsorship of this contest, you must leave a comment by clicking the link below this post.

Be sure to include your name, your email address, and a link back to your own blog in the required fields above your comment post so that we can contact you.

You cannot post a comment without these identifiers.

If we can’t contact you, we can’t send you your poetry books if you win.

Please do not include your email addresses in the comments section when you post.

Personally, I think it’s crazy to post a personal email address in plain view anywhere on the internet.

Remember SPAMMERS can easily get ahold of this information!

Please note all comments are screened for SPAM and must be approved before they will appear on this blog.


Here are the prizes:

The Big Poetry Giveaway 2011 Prize 1
How to photograph the heart ~ Strong Voices: a Year of Touch: The Journal of Healing 2010 ~ Uncommon Refrains

How to photograph the heart by Christine Klocek-Lim.

Uncommon Refrains by Gregory W. Randall.

Strong Voices – a Year of Touch: The Journal of Healing – 2010:
Each of the pieces in this collection has brought to light a unique voice, and each voice has spoken to a different aspect of touch and of healing. From birth to death, loss to acceptance, and from looking within to searching beyond ourselves; through these works, we have traveled many paths. So how did we choose? The answer began with the choice of the name: Strong Voices.

Strong Voices comes from the authors and poets whose works were represented most often, were showcased as the Editor’s Choice, or followed our Publication Selection Criteria the closest. From the first and second of these groups, you will find two representations of these authors’ works. From the last, we found these authors’ works identified perfectly or near perfectly with what we envisioned when we first conceived Touch: The Journal of Healing, even if they were published only once over the past year. From those in this group you will find one representation of the author’s work. Once the selection was narrowed down to these groups, we chose pieces from each author or poet we believed reflected the unique style we’ve come to appreciate in their work.


The Big Poetry Giveaway 2011 Prize 2
Spiraling into Control ~ Strong Voices: a Year of Touch: The Journal of Healing 2010 ~ Cutting It

Spiraling into Control by Alarie Tennille.

Cutting It by Tina Hacker.

Strong Voices – a Year of Touch: The Journal of Healing – 2010. (see above)


The Big Poetry Giveaway 2011 Prize 3
One Tree Bridge ~ Strong Voices: a Year of Touch: The Journal of Healing 2011 ~ Guitar Without Strings

One Tree Bridge by Dennis Greene.

Guitar Without Strings by Larina Warnock.

Strong Voices – a Year of Touch: The Journal of Healing – 2011. (In production)


The Big Poetry Giveaway 2011 Prize 4
A Transit of Venus ~ Strong Voices: a Year of Touch: The Journal of Healing 2011 ~ Preparing to Leave

A Transit of Venus by Ed Bennett.

Preparing to Leave by Stephen Bunch is forthcoming.

Strong Voices – a Year of Touch: The Journal of Healing – 2011. (In production)

Here’s some information About me.


BIG POETRY GIVEAWAY! ~ Participating Blogs:
The list will be updated every few days.

Book of Kells: Kelli Russell Agodon

Jessie Carty Blog: Jessie Carty

November Sky Poetry: Christine Klocek-Lim

Being Poetry: Erin Hollowell

WordGathering: Margo Roby

Danka’s World: Danica Grunert

Utopian Fragments: Guy Traiber

Ribbons of Intonation: Jim K

Wait! I Have a Blog?!: Kathleen Kirk

Latoyalikestowrite: LaToya Jordan

Modern Confessional: Collin Kelley

One Poet’s Notes: Edward Byrne

Tribe of Mad Orphans: Ren Powell

Ophelia Unraveling: Carol Berg

The Scrapper Poet: Karen J. Weyant

The Alchemist’s Kitchen: Susan Rich

Matthew Thornburn Blog: Matthew Thornburn

Naming Constellations: Joseph Harker

Drowning the Field: Katie Cappello

Who are “They” & Other Writing Advice: Laura Moe

Red Lion Square: Amy Watkins

Poet 2.0: Iris Jamahl Dunkle

Art Happens 365: Margaret Bednar

Alphabet Soup: Jama Rattigan

The Lizard Meanders: Luisa Igloria

Fredericks’ Reflections: O.P.W. Fredericks

One Man’s Trash: Justin Evans

Joe’s Jacket: Stephen Mills

Myself the only Kangaroo Among the Beauty: Sandy Longhorn

Risa’s Pieces: Risa Denenberg

Ghosts in Parentheses: Barry Napier

Notes fro the Gefilter Review: Jehanne Dubrow

A View from the Potholes: Marie Gauthier

Habit of Poetry: Rita Mae Reese

Desire Seven Small Delicious Fruit: Cati Porter

The Graphic Haibuneer: Cindy Bell

Dear Outer Space: Laura E. Davis

Lorna Dee Cervantes Blog: Lorna Dee Cervantes

Jeannine Blogs: Jeannine Hall Gailey

Kristin Berkey-Abbott Blog: Kristin Berkey-Abbott

Writing With Celia: Celia Lisset Alvarez

Weaving a New Eden: Sherry Chandler

Rachel Dacus: Rocket Kids

Poemeleon: Cati Porter

Brian Spears Blog: Brian Spears

On Writing: Tawnysha Greene

32 Poems: Deborah Ager

Put Words Together. Make Meaning.: DJ Vorreyer

Shiva’s Arms: Cheryl Snell

Proof of Blog: Luke Johnson

The Monster’s Flashlight: Nancy Lili

Frontal Junkyard: Marie-Elizabeth Mali

Feather’s From the Muse’s Wings: Odilia Galván Rodríguez

Pokey Mama: Amy Dryansky

One Hundred Forks: Tess Duncan

Universe of Sound: Mary Virginia Cooley

The Perpetual Bird: Joseph Hutchinson

Battered Hive: Shawnte Orion

Natural Parents Network: Lauren Wayne

Elizabeth Austen Blog: Elizabeth Austen

Life is a Patchwork Quilt: Valerie

Selvage: Linda Dove

Hobo Mama: Lauren Wayne


O.P.W. Fredericks


Planning a Vacation

Posted in Touch: The Journal of Healing at 11:55 pm by admin

Daniel started his vacation today, although I think it would be more correct to say it started when he got home from work last evening. I spent this afternoon filling another order we received today for more copies of Issue 1 of Touch. I’m very pleased with the appearance and feel of our publication. The cover stock and paper we’ve chosen to use in the printing and assembly process is of a nice weight and texture which gives the books a degree of quality I haven’t seen in many of the chapbooks I’ve purchased over the past two years. I also purchased a business class paper cutter a few weeks ago. It has allowed me to produce exceptionally clean and uniform edges, something I was unable to achieve with the small Fiskars wheel paper cutter I had used in the past on smaller print projects. Even though the Fiskars is rated at a maximum of 10 sheets per cut, I haven’t been able to cut more than 8 sheets of 20 lb paper at a time. We’re using 67 lb cover stock and 24 lb 100% recycled paper for the body pages. Both Issue 1 and 2 have a total equivalent of just over 32 sheets of 20 lb paper, and I can easily cut up to 11 books at a time with the new cutter.

After dinner, we spent the evening discussing a vacation while we looked for a place to go. Daniel’s priority for a location was the Atlantic coast with a beach so he could swim in the ocean. My priority was a hot tub and a high speed internet connection. Both of us surfed the web on our computers as we tried to decide on a town to visit that would accommodate us both. After a few hours we settled on Atlantic City, NJ. It’s only a few hours away and the forecast is for temperatures similar to those of home. After I called the hotel to clarify a few of their amenities, Daniel confirmed the reservation. He’s really looking forward to this time away to have some fun in the sun and surf.



The Lives You Touch Publications

Posted in Poetry, The Lives You Touch Publications, Touch: The Journal of Healing at 11:00 pm by admin

Today we officially began our print publication business, The Lives You Touch Publications, with our first printed copy of Issue 1 of Touch: The Journal of Healing. We are printing copies for the contributors to Issue 1 as a way to thank them for helping us to get started, and more copies for the orders we’ve received for this issue from other folks. Next we’ll begin to print Issue 2 of Touch. Both issues are for sale on the website of the print journal.



The Blue Heron cometh – to Touch: The Journal of Healing

Posted in Touch: The Journal of Healing at 11:45 pm by admin

Wow, it’s been 6 months since I posted here!

Much has happened in the past 6 months. Not only did our launch of Touch: The Journal of Healing go well in May of this year, it was even better than we had hoped for. We actually received over 120 submissions in the three categories we publish, poetry, prose, and graphics. From all of these we published 25 pieces created by other writers and photographers. We also dedicated the journal to a professional colleague of mine.

Just a few minutes ago, I uploaded issue 2 of Touch. This issue features many new poets as well as several who were published in issue 1.

At this point you might be scratching your head as you wonder what in the world a Blue Heron has to do with Touch: The Journal of Healing. Several days ago I found the bird control netting that I use to keep the koi and goldfish in the pond and the birds – i.e. ducks & geese out – laying in the water. We have a bullfrog who has taken up residence at the pond. He or she has appeared every spring for the past few years. I wouldn’t be surprised if the frog actually stays at the pond over the winter because several years ago I found one half frozen at the bottom of the settling chamber when I was cleaning out the sediment before I closed the pond for the season several years back. On occasion I will find him/her hopping across the net. This causes the net to be pulled down into the water, and it happens most often in the evening hours when the frog comes out to feed. The following morning I’ll find the frog sitting on the net sort of wading, but I’ve had this subtle nagging in the back of my mind about a Blue Heron. It’s been about 5 years since I’ve seen a Heron at the pond, and there had been no evidence of one, but I still had this nagging suspicion.

This morning, my nagging suspicion turned into my worst nightmare. At 8:30 AM I went out to the pond to feed the fish and there standing at the edge of the settling chamber – which has no net – was a friggin’ Blue Heron. As soon as I opened the door, the bird took to flight, but it was too late. If you’ve ever seen one of these things in flight up close, you’ll be reminded of a Pterodactyl. As I approached the pond, there on the bottom of the chamber were fish scales. The weren’t big enough to have come from a koi, but I counted the koi anyway. The damn bird got goldfish.

A few goldfish wash over the spillway between the pond and settling chamber from the spring to late summer whenever they spawn. I leave a few of them in the settling chamber to eat the filamentous algae that grows abundantly and the settling chamber is also where the goldfish fry (babies) grow into adolescence. At no time have I found a Heron at the pond of seen any evidence of one during this year. So during the past two weeks while we’ve been working to get issue 2 of Touch online, one of these damn birds has been visiting.

All day today, this bird harassed the pond. Whenever I’d see it approach the pond. I’d run out to scare it off. Sometime this afternoon, it seemed to come straight down from the sky before I chased it away, so I left the front door open so as not to alarm it for the next encounter and about 15 minutes later I saw it again. After I chased it away, I waited under the porch roof for about five minutes then slowly walked out to the yard as I looked up at the house roof. Sure enough, the damn bird was perched on the front peak of the roof. Here I was blaming the frog for sitting on the bird control netting. Heron usually feed most aggressively at dawn and dusk, so every 30 minutes or so I would go out into the yard to chase it away. After dusk, it didn’t return.



Sunday afternoon poetry

Posted in Poetry, Touch: The Journal of Healing at 11:33 pm by admin

Daniel and I planned to spend this afternoon reviewing the submissions we had received up ’til noon today. The afternoon progressed into evening and then nighttime with a 45 minute break for dinner, during which we continued our discussion. When the clock said 11:00 PM, we called it quits for the day. From the 40+ poem and prose submissions we received, we reviewed 24. It was an arduous task, but it was also a labor of love. I found it humbling to have these writers and poets offer their work to us for review. As we moved from piece to piece, it became apparent how much effort the writers and poets put into their writing, and how different each writing style was. It was a no-brainer when we both rated the same piece with high marks, but when we came to work that we disagreed on, we spent a lot of time discussing why we thought each piece fit or didn’t fit the journal and the merits of the piece.

We will continue to read each piece individually at our own pace, and for the next several weeks, our Sundays are scheduled for the preliminary selection process. The most difficult task is still in front of us, and that will be to select from these pieces which ones will make it into the debut issue. I have gained a new respect for the editors I have submitted my own work to in the past. The selection process is a difficult row to hoe.



First Graphics Submissions

Posted in Poetry, Touch: The Journal of Healing at 10:25 pm by admin

Along with submissions from three new poets today – one from out of the country – we received our first graphics submissions as well. I forgot to mention that I added Hanging Moss Journal run by Steve Meador to the Literature Publications page yesterday.

I’ve spent the last few days researching different poetry and literary publications to learn how the editors put their journals together. One thing I’ve noticed is that quite a few use a dark background with white or light colored text to display the poems. I have personally found this to be very difficult to read in the past and I tend to avoid these kinds of pages. Daniel on the other hand likes them.

My next task will be to learn how to create pdf versions of the journal once we approach our publication date to send to the authors. A pdf document of each issue will become available to visitors at the time the next issue goes to publication.



We’re on Duotrope!

Posted in Poetry, Touch: The Journal of Healing at 11:11 pm by admin

I spent several hours registering Touch: The Journal of Healing at Duotrope this afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from the Duotrope staff this evening advising me the journal could now be found on their site. The information on the Duotrope Editor’s page stated it would take up to two months before a new site – “market” in their terms – would be added.

We received five more poem submissions today, and Daniel and I are going to begin to review the submissions on Sunday. Sunday afternoons will be our review and preliminary selection day.

After serious thought, I’ve removed the Amazon widgets and links from the home page. They detracted from the overall image a visitor would view when they first arrived at the site, and after all, this is a poetry and prose journal. The links can now be found on the Literary Resources page further down the Directory. In addition, I’ve added a few more books written by healthcare professionals and patients to the scroll bar.  I personally selected the books (and music) that are displayed after researching them.

The only external link you’ll find on the home page how is for Duotrope



Slowly rolling in

Posted in Poetry, Touch: The Journal of Healing at 11:55 pm by admin

Submissions for Touch: The Journal of Healing are slowly rolling in, and I’ve added a few links to poetry journals and blogs I frequent. Of note are Feel Good Lost Blog and Tilt Press Blog, and Tilt Press which publishes chapbooks, all operated by Rachel Mallino. Rachel’s Tilt Press co-editor is Nicole Cartwright.

Good night.



Amazon Links added to Home Page & Italian rolls

Posted in Poetry, Recipes & Cooking, Touch: The Journal of Healing at 11:06 pm by admin

This morning I began to add Amazon.com links to the home page of Touch: The Journal of Healing, but I didn’t like the way the page was laid out. It was very crowded, and Daniel told me it wasn’t balanced. I added the links for two reasons. The first reason is that most of my literature and poetry books purchased over the past two years have come from Amazon. I found it a lot easier to order them online than it to drive the ten miles to the nearest Barnes & Noble or Borders. I’ve gotten some great deals from Amazon, and I wanted my visitors to receive the same benefit. The second reason is, I learned late last summer when someone clicks on a link to Amazon and then purchases something, the owner of the site where the link was posted will earn a small percentage of the sale in the way of a “commission” so to speak. Since August of last year, the fee I’ve received for the link here has come to less than the cost of one month of my website hosting server charge. Now that I’m nearly retired, my income isn’t close to what it used to be, and every little bit helps. I thought if the fee covered the cost of hosting my websites, it would be one less expense I would have to find the money for.

Daniel told me there should be a option in the software to enlarge the dimensions of the website and sure enough it was there. I didn’t realize the software allowed for changes in the dimensions of a page, and I’d been trying to squeeze everything onto a page that was 700 px wide. The new home page is now 1,000 px wide. I may make it larger, but Daniel told me that 1,000 px is a width that most computer screens can display. After enlarging the page, I experimented with placement of the Amazon links and was able to replace the ones I had with vertical links that fit on the far right side.

Several years ago I asked several poets I know which reference books they had in their library. The scroll bar I added includes many of these titles as well as two poetry books written by poets I’ve corresponded with from Poets.org, The Red Light Was My Mind, by Gary Charles Wilkens and Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree by Steve Meador. I also added in a little Ella Fitzgerald and ABBA music to the scroll, an Amazon search tool, and another poetry/poets book widget.

I haven’t decided whether I want to have these links on the page to begin with. I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with this idea after seeing what they look like because the links detract from the overall appearance of the page, and they could detract from the whole experience of reading poetry. Also, I don’t remember visiting any online poetry journal where these kinds of links are present. Now that the links are off to the side and at the bottom, they aren’t as distracting as my first attempts were, so I’ll have to think on this a bit.

Italina Sourdough Rolls copyright OPW Fredericks

After frying my brain with web design, I decided to do something therapeutic so this afternoon I began to mix a batch of bread dough with the sourdough sponge I set to proof last evening. Daniel had mentioned rolls earlier in the week and I haven’t baked rolls in years. Half way through the kneading, I decided to give the rolls a try, just to shake things up a little. In the photo above, the rolls on the right are Italian-Honey-Walnut Whole Wheat Sourdough and on the left are Italian-Honey Whole Wheat Sourdough.

Here’s the recipe:

Italian Honey Whole Wheat Rolls


1/2 c. sourdough starter
1/2 c. warm water
1 c. whole wheat flour

Mix above in glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap leaving a little space for gas to vent and place in warm spot over night.

Combine above with:

1 tsp. granular yeast – let sit 15 minutes.


1/2 cup EV olive oil
2 large eggs
1/2 c. honey
1 tblsp. barley malt syrup


1 tsp. salt
1 c. warm water
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. unbleached all purpose or bread flour

Combine in electric mixer bowl using dough hook or mix with hands in a large ceramic mixing bowl. Divide dough in half and reserve 1/2 wrapped in plastic wrap.

Add 1/3 c. chopped walnuts to first 1/2 of dough.

Continue to mix or knead first 1/2 of dough adding unbleached or bread flour as needed 1/4 cup at a time until dough is the right consistency then knead until dough is formed. Place in ceramic or glass bowl lightly coated with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm spot until double in bulk – about 1 hour.

Repeat with reserved 1/2 of dough omitting walnuts.

When dough has risen, remove from bowls deflate and allow it to rest about 10 minutes. Cut palm size pieces from dough and form into rolls. Place on a floured bakers couche or linen towel, cover with floured towels and allow to rise until double in bulk.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit with baking stones or tiles covering rack at mid level.

Remove roll dough from couche with a metal turning spatula – like what you would turn hamburgers with – and place in a row of 4, spaced apart along the edge of a long wide thin bread peel – a piece of wood 1/4 inch thick x 14 inches long by 5 inches wide. Transfer to baking tiles starting on the right side of the oven by tilting board and allowing them to slide off. Repeat until the oven is full. Spray interior of oven with water from a spray bottle beneath the rack and repeat this every 3 minutes for the first 9 minutes taking no more than 10 seconds each time.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven to cooling rack.

Repeat until all the rolls are baked.

Store in plastic or paper bags until they’re all gone. This bread remains fresh tasting for one week when stored in plastic or zip lock bags.



I’ll let you know tomorrow how they tasted.



Blog & RSS feed is up

Posted in Poetry, Touch: The Journal of Healing at 11:00 pm by admin

The blog attached to Touch: The Journal of Healing is now up and running. As if I didn’t need another thing to keep me busy … At least it will allow me to keep a running dialogue of what I did and when to the journal site. The only problem is that I now feel obligated to post a new photo with each blog entry.



Another blog?

Posted in Poetry, Touch: The Journal of Healing at 11:33 pm by admin

The software I use to create and edit Touch: The Journal of Healing allows for RSS feed in a limited capacity. One of the page types that does provide RSS is a blog which can be incorporated with the journal or as a separate site. I’m experimenting with the software to see if I can taylor it to duplicate the journal appearance, but so far, my success is limited. One advantage a blog would offer is the ability to post announcements about the journal without affecting the integrity of the journal pages. Another page type that provides the RSS feed is a photo album theme. I don’t think this is the way I want to go because the journal is literature not photography and the graphics used in the journal will be imbedded within the poem and prose pages. At this point I don’t think a separate album page would benefit the journal in any way.

I’ve made a few changes in the appearance of the journal that will be uploaded once I’ve tested each page for functionality and appearance. I’ve found that some browsers are able to enlarge the page if a user needs to see text larger while others aren’t able to do this. As a result, I’ve increased the font size a few points. I’ve also made minor text changes on several of the pages where I found the language didn’t flow as well as I intended it to flow. I’ve received feedback from a few folks so far and it has been positive. I want to get all the bugs worked out well before the first issue is published, and I remain hopeful that folks will advise me of any difficulties they experience.



We’re up and running! Call for submissions.

Posted in Poetry, Touch: The Journal of Healing at 11:45 pm by admin

It’s now official.

Touch: The Journal of Healing seeks poetry, prose, and graphics submissions for its debut issue intended for publication May/June 2009.  Within our pages you will read works from people who have committed their lives to the vocation of caring by touching the lives of their fellow human beings, be they health care professionals, family members, spouses, lovers, partners, or friends, and from patients themselves. Please visit our journal site and send us your poetry, prose and artwork for consideration.