The other day Azfree wrote a poem about bubbles, which happens to be one of my favorite words. Of course this started an obsessive thought train that leads me to this post. What are your favorite words, and why? I have always loved:




There are more but these are the words that pop (pun intended) into my head. I just love the way they roll off my tongue. Especially soliloquy. Say it slow. Isn’t it lovely???  Bubble sounds like a good joke. And lollipop is just plain fun to say.

So how about you?



My children are obsessed with people’s names. At least once a week, we have the same conversation. It goes something like this:

“What’s your favorite girl name, Mom?”

“Gabrielle and Sophia.”

“No, just one!”

“I can’t choose just one.” (For obvious reasons.)

“Why do you like them?”

“Because they sound beautiful and I love what they mean.”

“What does my name mean?”

“Child of God.”



“And my middle name means “born again,” right?”

“Yes, Gab.”

“What about mine, Mom?”

“You’re named after Mom-Mom.”

Then I quickly change the conversation, before Sophia can ask me what it means.


In my state, hours after you give birth, while you’re still feeling like you’ve been run over twice by an 18 wheeler, you receive a phone call from some state employee asking you to confirm your baby’s name. This was not the case in the state where I had my first daughter, so I was not prepared for this phone call. I was banking on a little more time to convince my husband that it was really not necessary to name this child after his mother. It’s not that I dislike his mother. It’s just that her name means “bitter and warlike” and when coupled with the name Sophia, it sounds like I just gave birth to a Spanish toreador whose last name should be “Ole.” This doesn’t seem to upset him in the least.

                “It’s only a middle name, Dee, what’s the difference? It will mean so much to her. Don’t I have a say in this? She’s my daughter, too. I think I deserve a say here too, don’t I?”

Listen buddy, come talk to me after you’ve pushed a bowling ball out of no-man’s land and need to send out a search party to find your feet before you can get dressed. Then you’ll have your say.

This is what I’m thinking. But what comes out of my mouth is “Of course you do, honey.” Because given a little more time, I know I can use my feminine wiles to help him see the light. 

So when the phone rings, my husband picks it up, mumbles something to the caller and hands it to me with a huge smile. I’m expecting to hear “Congratulations!” or a “Dee, is it okay if I teach Gabby how to make homemade spaghetti?” from my sister who is watching my 3 year old daughter.

“Ma’am, what is the baby’s full name?”

“Ummm, yes.”  I look at my husband. He’s still smiling.



“Full name, Ma’am?”


“No middle name?”

I snap my fingers at my husband and point to the open door, hand flapping wildly, and mouth the words “Can you go get the nurse for me?” then put the back of my hand against my forehead, like I’m going to faint. I need to get him out of this room.  Now.

He nods his head, gives me the okay sign and quickly gets up and shuts the door. And sits back down across from me.



I blurt it out quickly and end the call. My husband is wearing a nauseating smile that takes up his whole face. I want to smack him.

“Thanks, Dee. I love you.”

I hate you.  I’m tacking 16 weeks onto the post-partum recovery schedule and cancelling your Sports Illustrated subscription.

“I love you, too, honey. Can you do me a favor and please go get the nurse? I’m feeling really nauseous.”


Now, how do I tell my daughter, who knows how much thought I put into finding a name with just the right meaning for her older sister, that her name means “wise and bitter and warlike?” It’s bad enough that you can’t say her name without singing it because it has so many stressed, long vowel sounds. I’m sure most people don’t worry about things like this.  Most people probably don’t even have this conversation with their kids. But like I said, for whatever reason, my kids are fascinated with names.

This leads me back to the original intent of this post. Today my daughter asked me what name I would choose if I could name myself. This is not the same question as “What’s your favorite name?” My favorite name wouldn’t “fit” me. It’s too glamorous and is meant for a full-blooded, very cosmopolitan Italian woman with long and lean legs, a body that would stop traffic and long, flowing black hair (and now you all know that is definitely NOT me.) I do know that it isn’t Danielle, because I don’t like the sound of it –“Dan Yell” (although my mother pronounces it “Den Yell,” unlike the rest of the universe.) I don’t like the meaning, either. My name means “God is my Judge,” and that’s not something I prefer to think about. So I don’t particularly like my name and I don’t feel it fits me.

That’s what I am thinking about today. If I could name myself, what name would I choose? What name fits me?

 I’m asking all of you the same question—what name would YOU choose, and why?

Greetings all!

Some of you may know that I’ve been looking for work for almost 9 months. Well, I found some–temporary and a short term project, but at least it is “real work” that pays.

This is decidedly good.  😀

Of course, having a “real job” means I am not going to be able to spend as much time hanging out with my buddies here in cyberspace. This, to me, is badreally bad. I enjoy our discussions immensely. 😦

What’s a girl to do? I guess the only choice I have is to attempt to burn the midnight oil to squeeze in some reading and writing time.  I just don’t think I can put aside blogging and commenting for a few weeks. Nope, can’t do it. So I’m giving you all fair warning that my comments or posts may seem like they were written by a sleep-deprived, stressed out lunatic who is trying to adjust to a work schedule.

In short–this could get ugly. Bear with me, friends 🙂

Good vibes out to all!  For now, I’ll leave you with another of my favorite poems by Hafiz. I actually have it on my “inkspot” page, but it bears repeating:


Even after all this time

The sun never says to the earth,

“You owe Me.”

Look what happens with

A love like that,

It lights the Whole Sky.

– Hafiz

You are what your deep, driving desire is.

As your desire is, so is your will.

As your will is, so is your deed.

As your deed is, so is your destiny. 




This is one of my favorite quotes from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad . I’ve been trying to identify my own driving desire, and in doing so realized that I have never really taken the time to get to know myself. Sound strange? My daughter asked me some simple questions about myself that I couldn’t even answer: favorite color, favorite food, favorite book, happiest memories besides the birth of my girls and wedding day. I realized I had never taken the time to consider how I feel about any of these little things, much less try to identify what it is that I truly desire beyond the obvious good health, happy family, etc.

So, what is your deep,driving desire? Do you know? Do you have one? If not, maybe it’s time to step away from the daily chaos and spend some time thinking about who you are, who you want to be, and what you truly desire.

Good vibes to all,



Hi everyone!

We’re back from vacation and I am trying to get back into the swing of things, so I thought I’d pose a question for discussion to get my fingers warmed up.

I’ve always believed that things “happen for a reason,” and that no coincidence is meaningless or entirely random. Over the years I’ve experienced many coincidences that seem to have shaped the path of my life, or validated a path I was considering. Some are “big” and some are “little,” but I always try to figure out the meaning behind them. For example, as many of you know I’ve been thinking about my grandmother (the subject of “Camelot”). We called her “Nanny” or “Nan,” which in my experience is a rather rare term. In any event, while strolling the boardwalk recalling memories of my childhood, a man caught my eye. He had a tattoo on his arm with the word “Nanny” above a cross and two dates–one of them being my birthday. Later during the week, we went boating, and my husband helped a man anchor his boat. They chatted for a bit, and it turned out the man and my father shared the same name.

How about you? What do you think about coincidences? Are they completely random, or evidence of a greater orchestrating power? Have any altered the course of your life?

Do tell!

Warning: This is a set-up. Your answer may be used in an upcoming poem. Just thought I’d warn you:)

So I have a poem on simmer right now but need some help from the peanut gallery.

What do you find humorous? What makes you laugh? You may reference things that give you a slightly turned up mouth or things that make you commit  the unthinkable–snort from laughing so violently. Come on, you know you’ve done it….

Do tell. Inquiring minds want to know:)

Thank you for participating in this little research project. I shall inflict my findings on you as payment:)

Something amazing happened today.  Sara Fryd asked for my name in response to a comment I left on her blog.  It is the first time this has happened, and quite frankly, it scared the hell out of me.

When I decided to start a blog, I knew there was no way possible for me to disclose my real name. I had never shared anything I wrote, other than a few poems with family. (In fact, prior to blogging, I had written just a few poems, and they are included in the early posts on this site.)  Putting my name on my words was the equivalent of committing ego suicide—after all, I am no writer, just a wannabe. Yes, on my “about” page I invite critiques, good and bad, but the truth of the matter is that a negative comment would have crippled me. It would have been the final nail in my coffin of self-doubt I had constructed over the years.  But I had to write, it was just eating at me for so long that I had to start putting words out there, or risk what felt like a brewing spontaneous combustion in my gut. So I became Calliopespen, and in choosing that name not only did I hide my identity but I also subconsciously took no credit for anything written—after all, I’m just a scribe for a Muse that visits every writer.  Totally safe.  Anonymous.

Since blogging here I have met the most talented writers, prolific and filled with the spirit of generosity.  Not a day goes by that I am not immensely and immeasurable grateful for being a part of such a wonderful community. It has been a life-changing experience for me.  And today, because of an ordinary question, I recognized the fact that I have been a coward amongst the brave, and a deluded one at that. I can hide behind a penname, but that gossamer veil of anonymity I have wrapped around myself will not stop an arrow from piercing my heart—it only makes it harder for me to embrace people.  I thought of the many writers I respect and realized that the vast majority of them have one thing I don’t—a name and a story.

I’m not sure if it’s because I no longer fear criticism the way I used to because I’ve been the fortunate recipient of praise, or if it’s because I have grown and matured since letting my words flow…but whatever the reason, I don’t want to be Ms. Anonymous. I want a name, and I want a story. I want to jump into this ocean of talent and not just get my feet wet standing safely on the shore. I want to take credit for my successes and failures. I don’t want to be a coward.

My name is Danielle Cross. I live near the Atlantic Coast in the Northeast US. I am 38 years old, a wife and a mother of two beautiful girls who are growing up entirely too fast. I am a Talent Acquisition Consultant by profession. I want to be able to call myself a writer but I can’t seem to utter those words in relation to myself.   I have never been published, but it has been my lifelong dream to write a book.  Someday, with the help and encouragement of wonderful people like you, I will.

I realize this sounds completely self-indulgent and probably a bit silly to people who have not suffered from the same fear of failure that has plagued me. I actually hope that most people reading this will not be able to relate because it is such an awful feeling.

Sara, thank you for asking me who I am.  I am quite sure you didn’t realize the power behind your words. They liberated me. It’s Independence Day. 🙂