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Written Ramblings

John is a freelance writer, ghost-writer, storyteller, and poet. He always tries to include a message or social commentary in his writing


If I ever saw my muse she would be an old woman with a tight bun and spectacles poking me in the middle of the back and growling, "Wake up and write the book!

— Kerry Greenwood

Written Ramblings

Each day, after breakfast and doing the washing up, I grab a cup of coffee or mocha and sit down at my desk in the hope of beginning my writing for the day. I turn on my computer, check the news headlines, and my emails, maybe read a couple of articles or comments by fellow HubPages writers, while preparing myself to be inspired or prodded by my muse.

I always have a notebook (and often a cat) beside my computer where I jot down notes and ideas whenever they spring into my head. That is in the notebook, not the cat. She likes being the centre of attention but I don’t think she would appreciate being scribbled on and covered in writing.

Apart from a couple of enquiries that haven’t been confirmed, I am up to date with my paid freelance writing projects. That is when I like to concentrate on writing for myself, and HubPages. I just have to hope my muse is in tune with my schedule and ready to help out at short notice.

Recently, I have been writing mainly poetry from suggestions for my ‘Poems From the Porch’ series, or inspired by Brenda Arledge’s weekly word prompts, but I have a growing yearning to write something different. I sometimes actually miss writing my ‘Cackleberry Farmer’ and ‘Lamb Street Chronicles’ series, even though they didn’t get a lot of views.

My cat Phoebe

My cat Phoebe

I enjoy writing poetry but today I just needed a change, to put my rhyming pen aside and write a bit of random prose about the myriad of things bouncing around in my head, or happening in my day. How interesting (or not) that might be varies greatly from day to day, and depends on what, if any external stimuli takes place.

Spring is here! It started officially on September 1st in Australia, though the weather is trying to fool us, and temperatures have actually dropped over the last few days. I really think the seasons are changing, in fact, I am sure they are, but I am no climate expert, just a climate observer, so you can take my opinion with a grain of salt.

I am trying to decide on what topics to choose for my next edition of ‘Poems From the Porch’ but I can’t force that. It seems to be getting longer between articles, but I need to wait for some form of inspiration. When that comes I will head out to join the cats on the porch, and write some more poetry.

Chairman Meow on the porch

Chairman Meow on the porch

COVID is still hogging the news headlines, though I try to skip most of that and watch something I find more enjoyable, like sport (football, tennis, and most recently, the ParaOlympics.) My wife begs to differ. She is so obsessed with knowing everything about the virus, current number of cases in each Australian state etc, saying we need to be prepared and can’t have too much information. So, I’ll leave that to her.

Our son, Jared, was supposed to get married in August, but that has been postponed due to lockdowns, first to October, and now until sometimes next year. It is a pain having to continually make and cancel wedding venue, accommodation, and honeymoon bookings etc etc. Many of the invited guests (especially from interstate) would have been unable to attend, so it makes sense to put it off until things are more stable.

Yesterday, I weeded part of the garden and planted two tomato plants and some silverbeet, then mowed half the yard. I am contemplating finishing today..maybe later this afternoon. The awning over one of the cars is perished and ripped (helped by the cats using it for a bed or slide) and needs replacing with a tarpaulin, too. So, this is also on the agenda, unless my muse becomes insistent that I have something urgent to write and gives me an excuse. Did I say how much I love my muse?

Instead of discussing with myself every morning whether I feel inspired or not, I step into my office every day at nine sharp, open the window and politely ask the muse to enter and kiss me. Sometimes she comes in, more often she does not. But she can never claim that she hasn’t found me waiting in the right place.

— Peter Prange



I have been trying to read the novel “Coldheart Canyon” by Clive Barker. It was recommended to me by a friend, so I purchased a copy, but after reading the first five chapters, Part One, it still hasn’t got me hooked. The book does have 751 pages though, so maybe it just takes a little time to get warmed up. I usually do enjoy Barker’s writing and imagination so I will give it a chance to prove itself.

I used to have no problems reading at least one novel a month but recently that is a different story. Apart from ones that really got me hooked and I had trouble putting down like the Millennium series: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo etc. by Stieg Larsson and later continued by David Lagercrantz (or Bill Holland’s ‘Resurrecting Tobias’) each of which I finished reading within a few days, I am lucky to even complete one.

That is chiefly due to, I think, my writing commitments, and that most of my reading is confined to the works of other authors on HubPages. I am sure there will come a time when I need a short break from that and I will catch up with my novel reading. I need to start reducing my overflowing book collection sometime before I am called up to that giant library in the sky.

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Coldheart Canyon by Clive Barker

Coldheart Canyon by Clive Barker

So, apart from reading, wrting, and gardening ( got ya…you thought I was going to say ‘rhythmetic, didn’t you?) I have spend some down-time watching The Voice Australia. This year it has been taken over by a different TV channel and the format has been greatly head to head sing-offs, no judges saves that part is disappointing.

The talent though, this year, is out of this world, and I don’t know how the winner will be decided from the final four. I know there won’t be any Aussies reading this, so I am virtually writing for myself, but I will go for Arlo (with a name like that how can he not be great) or if not him, Bella.

Oh, something that just popped into my head, and I am glad it did. I have been wondering lately what has happened to some long-time hubber friends.. Eric Dierker, and Ruby Richert. If anyone has heard anything from them I would be most grateful for any news. It is always a worry when people suddenly lose touch.

Well, thanks for reading my ramblings. Hopefully, I will have another 'Poems From the Porch' published later this week, or Brenda will come up with another word prompt I can’t resist, or Bill will tempt me with another photo prompt or…..

Where Have All the Flowers Gone

© 2021 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Hello Mary. I am glad you enjoyed my piece of prose. Much appreciated.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 13, 2021:

I enjoyed reading your ramblings as much as I enjoy your poems. Prose well written is always a delight to read.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 11, 2021:

Thank you for reading my ramblings, Maria. I am glad you also found my writing to be poetic. It is a pleasure to follow you also, in fact I read your review of “Last Dance on Starlight Pier” but was unable to leave a comment. I did enjoy your review of the book and would be tempted to read it providing they fix those grammatical errors you found before publishing. Have a great day.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 11, 2021:

Thank you for reading my ramblings, Maria. I am glad you also found my writing to be poetic. It is a pleasure to follow you also, in fact I read your review of “Last Dance on Starlight Pier” but was unable to leave a comment. I did enjoy your review of the book and would be tempted to read it providing they fix those grammatical errors you found before publishing. Have a great day.

Maria Logan Montgomery from Coastal Alabama, UsA on September 11, 2021:

Hi Jodah. You were the first person to follow my new (2nd) HP account, and I sincerely appreciate it. I just read "Written Ramblings" and enjoyed it. Shauna is right: it is poetic. I have tried poetry only once, and wasn't very good at it, so I'll stick to prose, and enjoy the poems of others like you.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 08, 2021:

Thank you so much for contacting her, Shauna. I am just glad Ruby is ok. I thought that grieving her son was probably the case.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 08, 2021:

John, I heard back from Ruby. She's physically fine, but has lost all desire to read and write since losing her son. She says she does miss us, tho. Glad to hear she's okay.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 08, 2021:

Thank you for reading my thought process, Teodora. I appreciate you finding them poetic. I guess I write so much poetry I tend to think that way. Whether we capture our thoughts on paper or not doesn’t always matter as long as we manage to set them free.

Teodora Gheorghe on September 08, 2021:

I really liked your "ramblings". As MsDora said, they are poetic. "(...) the myriad of things bouncing around in my head" - I can relate. Sometimes my thoughts manage to form ideas that I can put on paper. Other times they just...bounce around. At least they are free.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 08, 2021:

Hi Ravi. I am glad you found this interesting, and I appreciate you saying That you love the "porch" series. I do have a lot of prompts for poems and at the moment I am trying to choose suitable ones for the next edition.

Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on September 08, 2021:

Thanks for the great write. It was really interesting to know the stream of thoughts going through your mind and what inspires you to give in your best work. I have ways loved your "porch" series of poems. They seem to bring the best out of you. Thanks for sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 08, 2021:

Hi Farah, thank you for the congratulations for my son and his bride. The wedding is supposed to be at a resort function centre but if it keeps having to be cancelled, who knows, it may end up being on the porch haha. I doubt it can be made elaborate enough, though, no matter how well decorated it may be.

Farah N Huq from Dhaka, Bangladesh on September 08, 2021:

Just got to know about your son’s wedding. Big plans ahead! Congratulations to the couple in advance and also to you all. Wedding festivities are a wonderful way to meet up with friends and family. So hope you all have a good time...are you going to decorate your porch for the guests to come? Post a pic if you do :)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 07, 2021:

Hello Shauna, thanks for visiting today. The suggestion that my son should just have a small wedding in the back yard with a celebrant and then have a big party or celebration later when all is clear also crossed my mind. That is what I would do.

Linda said she had sent two emails to Eric some time ago and he had not replied. Yes, please email Ruby if you have time. Got more paid gig requests overnight, so I guess It will be back at work. Take care.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 07, 2021:

Thanks for the conversation, John. I enjoyed getting inside your mind.

I, too, used to be an avid reader, but haven't picked up a novel in a couple of years, now. I'm not sure why. Like you, I read what my HP friends post (when I can find them), but that's about the extent of my reading of late.

I love The Voice. I ditched cable a month or so ago, so I'm not sure if the new season has started or not. I'll have to look into that.

Spring is certainly the time of year to get outside, spruce up the garden, and get some fresh air. I'm sure your kitties enjoy the gardens as much as you do.

Have you reached out to Linda with regard to Eric? I know she was in touch with him a while back by phone. I haven't heard from Ruby. I'll shoot her an email and see if I get a response. I worry when we don't hear from our friends.

It must be very frustrating for you and your son to keep postponing the wedding due to COVID. Perhaps have a ceremony in your back yard, or his, now and throw a big event when things calm down later.

Glad to hear you're caught up on your paying gigs. Now you're free to do what you want. But, therein lies the problem, right? What is it you want to do?

Have a great week, my friend!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on September 06, 2021:

I would love a Winter with not much snow and the temperature staying like sounds mild.

I'll be letting you know when that dreaded time comes.

I do love those first snowflakes. They are beautiful to watch with a peacefulness as they fall to the ground.

But shoveling snow to unburying the car is not a chore I look forward too.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 06, 2021:

Thanks for reading this, Bill. Yes, hopefully the wedding goes ahead without a hitch next year. I like Fall and Spring equally I think, much better than Summer or Winter. Enjoy your day too.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on September 06, 2021:

I enjoyed your ramblings, John. We’ve had a few weddings here that have been pushed out to 2022 also. Hopefully your son’s wedding will go as planned next year. While you are just planting tomatoes ours are winding down as the days get shorter and the nights get cooler. But, Fall is my favorite time of the year so I am looking forward to the next few months. Beautiful cat and I love the name, Phoebe. Have a great day.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 06, 2021:

Thank you for reading this Flourish. Yes, Phoebe is a pretty girl. I hope we hear something about our absent hubbers soon, and that it is all positive.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 06, 2021:

Thank you for reading and enjoying these random musings, Rozlin. The wedding will go ahead when the time is right I am sure. I hope you and your family is well. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 06, 2021:

Linda, thank you for reading my ramblings. I enjoy sometimes just sitting and writing about whatever comes to mind. It seems to be relaxing and freeing to just let the pen flow without having to plan or think too much.

Glad to hear you reread Tobias. It is a good book I must say.

The wedding will go ahead when the time is right I am sure. There just hasn’t been a time yet when all invited guests, especially from Interstate, could get there due to restrictions. It is a pain to keep cancelling and rebooking, and always having to forgo cancellation fees.

I too hope Eric knows how much he is missed, wherever he is. Blessings.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 06, 2021:

Diana, I wait very impatiently sometimes for inspiration to arrive. A change of routine, such as gardening, often helps. Thanks for reading.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 06, 2021:

Hi Chitrangada!

The lockdowns has cause countless cancellations and postponements and I can’t see that changing anytime soon around here. It is hard to plan anything, but the wedding will happen eventually.

Yes, it is concerning there has been no word from Eric or Ruby. I am glad you enjoyed these ramblings. Enjoy your week.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 06, 2021:

Hey Brenda, I can understand how you would not look forward to Winter. Fortunately ours was very mild with just a few very cold days..and for us very cold means about 3 or 4 degrees Celsius…it never snows. It is very windy here though the last couple of days.

As for Eric and Ruby, that is concerning. I know Ruby had been depressed and had lost her inspiration to write after her son’s passing. Eric responded to one of my emails saying he hoped to be back soon with a new direction, but then nothing. The fact others have no replies to emails is also a worry.

We will just take the wedding plans as they come. Have a great week.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 06, 2021:

Misbah, I always appreciate your blessings. We can’t have too much of them can we? I am glad you enjoyed reading these ramblings and a bit more about my life.

Yes, most of my reading presently is other people’s hubs, but that isn’t a bad thing as it offers a lot of variety.

Now Spring is here I need to spend more time in the garden. More poems coming soon I promise. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 06, 2021:

Hi Rosina, I hope all is well with you. I guess things happen for a reason, so I am sure my son’s wedding will be perfect when it does go ahead. Thank you for reading and enjoying.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 06, 2021:

It’s good to read about your life and oh how beautiful that Phoebe is! I also wonder about the fellow Hubbers we haven’t heard from in a while.

Rozlin from UAE on September 06, 2021:

Hi, John. I enjoyed reading your hub. Thank you for sharing your ramblings with us. Sorry to know about your son's marriage. I hope everything gets better soon.

May you stay safe and happy always.


Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on September 06, 2021:

John this was just as fun as a Poem from the Porch. I love that you shared your ramblings (a creative mind is never at rest). As you welcome Spring we are saying goodbye to Summer and watching the trees drop their Autumn leaves.

I'm so sorry your family has had to cancel (and re-cancel) wedding plans. We went through that one year ago, but on August 8 of this year my younger daughter married her soulmate.

Funny that you should mention Tobias--I reread it just last week while I was on jury duty.

I too wonder about Eric. I wrote to him in May and have heard nothing. I hope somehow, somewhere he knows how much he was loved and is missed.

Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on September 06, 2021:

Thanks John for sharing your daily routine with us. Love the way you wait for your inspiration to visit you.

Gardening is also very fulfilling and I am sure creates a space for your muse too:)

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 06, 2021:

Hello John!

This was an engaging read. Thank you for sharing about your written ramblings.

Sorry to know that your son’s wedding has been postponed, due to the lockdown. I wish and pray that life is back to normal soon.

I am also very much concerned about Eric. I have sent emails to him twice, but there was no response. I am concerned about Ruby as well. I hope that they are fine.

Thank you for sharing this. Good day to you!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on September 06, 2021:


It's always nice to see what your hope to with your writing.

I love your kitty cat helping you.

As much as I'm happy for you that Spring is on your makes me a bit sad that fall is on mine.

That means Old man winter is not too far behind

Quite honestly, I love the warmer weather.

This covid definitely creates havoc on Weddings. I hope your Son will get his special day soon.

No word here on Eric or Ruby.

Seems like months back Eric took time off for health but was getting better.

Take care in Ausieland.

If someone great gets picked on your voice...I'm sure we will hear about it in the United States.

Misbah Sheikh on September 06, 2021:

John, thank you for writing this hub. It's lovely to read something about you. It's as if you're talking with us. It's wonderful. Your poems always make me smile. And I greatly value your efforts and skills.

It's sad to hear that you've been delaying your son's wedding due to covid. I'm hoping it'll be over soon.

Your cats and plants are beautiful. I also like to do gardening sometimes though, I am not very experienced.

When it comes to reading books and novels, I am far too slow. However, I am constantly reading hubs from our fellow authors here.

I liked the quote by Kerry Greenwood.

Thank you for sharing. Take care and stay safe and happy.

Sending blessings to you and your loved ones.

Rosina S Khan on September 06, 2021:

I found your written ramblings very interesting and pleasant to read, John. It's sad that your son's marriage has finally been postponed to next year.

Looking forward to your next edition of "Poems from the Porch" and other poetry. They are always delightful to read.

Thank you for this essay. I really enjoyed it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 06, 2021:

Hello Peggy, thank you for the wonderful comment. I am glad you enjoyed the read and that the song “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” reminded you of your dear brother. Have a lovely week.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 06, 2021:

Hi John,

I enjoyed this post from you about your muse, cats, gardening, and more. I'm with your wife about keeping posted on world events. I'm also a lover of watching The Voice. We have our own version over here, as you know.

Covid is still raging. So sorry that your son's wedding plans have been affected.

As to climate change, I think that the doubters are fewer these days. We have had our share of disasters this year in the U.S., and also worldwide.

I loved listening to that rendition of "Where Have All The Flowers Gone." My brother used to strum his guitar, and we used to sing that together. It was popular during the Vietnam war era. It always makes me think of him now that he is gone.

I hope Eric is OK. It seems many people keep reaching out to him. Enjoy your week!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 06, 2021:

Hello Pamela, thank you for reading and the well-wishes for my son’s wedding. COVD has certainly put a spanner in the works of a lot of lives, and disrupted plans. It is a worry that Eric didn’t reply to your email. Poems From the Porch shouldn’t be too far away. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 06, 2021:

Hey Bill, don’t mention it. Tobias was a great read. Hopefully no news is good news with Eric and Ruby. Yes, I will say hi to my muse from you when I see her next.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 06, 2021:

Life has a way of changing some as time goes by, but I do love your poems from the porch. I wrote an email to Eric a little while back, but I have not heard from him. I hope he is okay.

I watch The Voice when it is on also, but my husband doesn't like it. I like seeing those singers who are trying to make a career for themselves.

Covid has messed up the plans for many people. I hope it subsides soon and your son can get married. I enjoyed reading your article, John. Have a good week!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 06, 2021:

Aww shucks, John, that was nice of you to mention Tobias. Thank you very much.

I wish I had an update on Eric and Ruby, but I don't. I suspect the update on Eric is not good, but I don't know that for sure.

As for reading books, I was the same as you, at least one per month, but I haven't read a book, now, in a year. I don't know why. I suspect that will change, but for now I just don't read very much if at all.

Anyway, good luck to you. Have a great week ahead. Say hi to your muse for me.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 06, 2021:

Hi MsDora, thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings and a bit of how my mind works.

I also reached out to Eric a few months back, as with you he didn’t say much other than he had some revelation and hoped to be back soon. Though I have seen nothing on Facebook either since. Let us hope for the best.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 06, 2021:

John, your ramblings make such a good read. They are even poetic at times. Thanks for giving us a view into your thought processes during the day. Helps us know you better and appreciate you more.

I reached out to Eric Dierker on Facebook, probably in April. He responded but didn't say much. Looked at FB page today. He hasn't posted since May. I wonder about him too.

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