Happy 450th Birthday William Shakespeare!

The “Willy” most of us don’t know. Today he’d be a prolific world class blogger for certain.

William Shakespeare

Everyone knows of him, the famous playwright who wrote timeless words.

But the real man behind the words – a different story. Looking at historical documents dated no later than 1635 (The Tudor English kept everything documented) and written comments of people who knew him, he was a “gentle” man who loved life and people. He was warm, friendly, and outgoing. He was also practical and highly intelligent!

He left his town, Stratford, for the city of London. He left to become an actor.

He came to London during a time of great change in the world. Books were now available to the middle class (this was exciting and relatively new). In addition to books, Shakespeare’s London offered fresh and unique information and inspiration – people of many cultures from other lands – arriving daily.

It is easy to imagine that Shakespeare watched and learned from them all, crafting his own style of writing. A drastic change in how authors of that time period were influenced! Huge!

Much of his audience were gentlemen apprentices (who had also come to the city to earn their fortune) or (this was a surprise to me) the women of London.

The Elizabethan women had far more freedom and they took advantage of it. They were intelligent, curious, and playful – like their Queen.

Shakespeare knew this. He knew them. Again, one can imagine him being on stage viewing the varying emotions of those in the audience, especially the women. In one of his surviving epilogue he states …“If they smile and say ‘twill do” he knew the play would be a success.

These were the audience he knew and could relate to – and his words? The particular words he wrote … they were crafted for his fellow actors. He knew and felt what was needed (as an actor himself) to get the emotions out to the audience.

He used no rule books for the proper way to write. His education had been gathered from the many peoples and cultures around him during a time of great change! The Willy…you never knew!

Think about the many similarities happening today in the blogging world. A climate of change with merging cultures reaching out to one another sharing experiences and information. Shakespeare would have fit right in.

The Written Word – Yours?

So think on this the next time you post your thoughts, a photograph, a video, fiction writing or other. Who knows what influence you may be giving to future generations? Something to think on!


Thanks for stopping by, I hope your day is filled with discovery.


We the People, of the United States of America …

… are surely one of the most diverse group of people on this planet. As a result we are also highly innovative and creative due to the rich blending of ideologies, cultural heritages, ancestry, history, language, and so on.

Credit line: © Red | Dreamstime.com

Democracy Isn’t Easy, but it’s worth the Fight!

Of course, this diversity does come with it’s own set of parameters (and problems) regarding our perception of how we view things. Such as the governing of our mighty country and our people (all of us).

The tenets of our country (Declaration of Independence) proclaim loud and clear the very substance of our land that moves our democracy forward (‘lo these many years of alternating strife and prosperity)  is the proclaiming and achieving of individual freedoms.

It hasn’t stopped or diminished. Just changed. We have freedom of speech in this country. This means we are a people accustomed to sharing our  opinions, of airing our grievances –  we aren’t afraid to say them. This in turn, generates (on any given time period) outrage, anger, distention and conversely hope, potential and ultimately, through discourse, resolution.

It is quite the amazing thing, if you think about it. The freedom to express our thoughts on any subject reins supreme. Chaotic, highly uncomfortable, and rife for potentially strong emotions to give rein.

There is never a smoothness to democracy. Being “fair” for everyone just doesn’t happen. But it’s a never ending goal with many balances and counter balances as we work our way to greater understanding and acceptance of changes in our lives.

Fundamentally what drives, (moves) us and our country forward is this exchange of opinions, ideas, concerns and desires. This is what makes our country the greatest on the planet. A heritage that all Americans share in.

And that means we are going to get it wrong, sometimes a lot, but we don’t stop working on getting it right.

Because we all have a “voice” democracy stays permutable, that is to say, a constant work in progress. No easy or permanent “fixing” of the whole.

Credit line: © Edward Hughes | Dreamstime.com

Democracy isn’t easy. You better want it bad and you better be prepared to weather the storms of differing opinions that may not be your own. Just remember, It’s these differences that lead to change and further growth.

Right now we Americans and the entire planet are watching our democracy in action, perhaps at it’s worse but perhaps also at it’s best. As for us, we the people … be concerned – it’s important. Voice your opinion – it’s important, be engaged – it’s important, but never, ever stop being proud of being an American, of your Country, your home, your people. It’s yours and mine.

Thank you,

~ Penny

Ligo Haibun Challenge – If I were flesh and blood …

Exploratorium Museum, photo by Penny L Howe, 2013

I am the statue of a Goddess of Mythology. But if I were real …

As flesh and blood, you’d find me running barefoot through open fields and meadows. I’d be scaling the tallest majestic mountains, breathing in the beauty of never-ending surrounding vistas.

If I were alive I’d swim to the bottom of the ocean, meet mysterious creatures residing in the murky, dark and sometimes luminous “other worlds” of the ocean’s depths.

Walking the earth as a human, I’d explore, without hesitation, the wonder and uniqueness of every single living entity … and glory in its creation. I’d meet as many forms of life in the wild and learn of their ways in nature. I’d embrace the natural behavior and order of things. The flow, the balance.

And if indeed I lived life as a female human on the planet earth, I’d question.

I’d question why there is a need for my question! Why in all human society on a global level, am I as a “female” of the species considered “less than” “unequal to” “have fewer rights then” and most of all – how could this thought process have begun (so long ago) and still continue into this day of today.

Over half of the planet is made up of female humans. Intelligent, capable, nurturing individuals doing (often more than) their equal part to love, encourage and shape humanity (moving it forward through their courage and amazing strength of will) after each adversity and war that eventually involves all humans as they deal with personal struggles, for not just survival but their place in life.

We need each other as equals, so I must ask why it is that females of “all” racial groups (without exception) are treated less than the whole of what they clearly are – a part of the wonder and richness of the planet they live on – every single one.

For all those other groups of “minorities” treated as “less than” through misguided ignorance, wrongful discrimination and cruel manipulation, each of them are also composed of women. Making my question again the predominant one. Why?

nature of life
essential for survival
is value of worth


Thanks, I hope you enjoyed my haibun entry for this week. If you haven’t given this writing challenge a try yet, and would like more info, click on this link here! To visit the other judges, click here or here! If you’re ready to submit your written entry just click on the blue box below!

Have an excellent day and better tomorrow,

~ Penny

My Thoughts on Writing haibun and haiku

Form, Balance, Flow

I have spent the last several months researching and studying the history of both the haibun and the haiku.

For those of you interested in reading a very brief understanding of these two writing terms, I have added this information today into the Ligo Haibun section (tab) at the top of this blog.

From the research, I learned the narrative (prose) portion of the haibun began it’s life, hundreds of years ago, as mere jotted down notes and comments in the journals of Japanese travelers. Later to be used for the purpose of assisting with the composition of the haiku (poem) of his experiences.

Eventually these notes evolved into what became it’s own literary style of work along with the haiku and thus the haibun was created and began to evolve.

I have kept a journal for much of my life. It was recommended to me, when barely out of my teens. And it became a life style habit of mine.

I’d write my thoughts, of the previous day, first thing in the morning (on days I didn’t work) or my thoughts, of the day, that evening when I would retire.

The interesting thing is I always felt the need to summarize my thoughts at the end. And yes, it appears that I was doing my own version of a very rough form of the same methodology of how the haibun originally came into being.

It didn’t take me long to realize, that I enjoyed the haibun style of writing because I was very much at home with it. Perhaps in a less refined style, I have still been writing in a similar way, in my own journal, for years.

My advice to those (and I do encourage you to begin to keep a journal for yourself) who write, is to give a try to writing a haibun. Join the Ligo Haibun Challenge. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Proceeding on:

(some hints)

~ free yourself from a preconceived mindset of what you want to accomplish when you write ~
~ be there, in the moment ~
~ start with your own creative energy and think about how you feel about what you want to write ~
~ with the image in mind, view your interpretation of how you’d like to present it ~

~ write ~


My personal view:

The haibun: A meaningful narrative – ‘the body‘ and the haiku – ‘the heart’ of the piece. It is a work of art, a song in “word expressions” relating to your emotions/feelings in the form of a short story, opinions or series of thoughts. The haiku – the essence.

“In summation, to me, writing a haibun is about extending yourself within the form/balance/flow of the haibun (writing style), which can, in turn, expand the value of your presentation.

In other words you have the ability to improve both yourself and your writing skill as well as illustrate how powerful the haibun, itself, can be – through your own written words.” Penny L Howe, 2013

Thank you,

Penny L Howe

Celestine’s words of wisdom – the value of life!

In a very recent post An angel’s tears of gold, I told a tale about an angel crying tears of gold each time one person took another persons life (for any reason). I received some very moving comments. But one in particular was so outstanding that I felt the need to share with you.

Celestina Nudana, a loving and talented individual, (her haiku is outstanding) is one of the small handful of bloggers I followed early on. Her home is in Accra, Ghana. Her comment regarding the belief system and culture/history of one of the tribes of Africa is important. I think we can lose some important values from the past if we move into the future too quickly!


With no further introduction I give you Celestine’s words (copied with “her permission” from the comment section exactly as she wrote them):

In Ghana, one of the tribes is the Ewe tribe from the Volta region. In naming their children, they always give names that have meanings and tell a story like ‘God is great’, ‘Except God’, ‘there is time for everything’ (my husband is from this tribe and that is the meaning of his name, though his Christian name is different). The meaning of my first son’s name is ‘Destiny has made me a king’ (though his Christian name is Cedric).

The point to all this is that one of the names given to Ewes at birth is translated to mean ‘A human being/life is more valuable than riches’. Human life is precious, the blood that flows in us cries out to heaven any time a human life is taken. Our culture tells us that blood is life and it has soul so when you spill blood you have murdered the soul and blood that cries for vengeance is always revenged and thus appeased.

At the same time we are told that money is blood so yes, the angel will cry tears of gold, tears of blood, all the blood we shed when take a human life for greed, power and evil deeds.

A powerful, moving and beautiful story, Penny. :-)


The Beautiful sun of Ghana

Thank you Celestine for your story and allowing me to share with others. We are richer for the knowledge my friend! 🙂

~ Penny


This Post is brought to you by the color RED!



What is it about the color red? Apart from it being such a bright color that is. Red is the color associated with passion. No doubt because of its pure vibrancy. There is such a richness to the color.



The word fiery comes to mind when thinking of redheads (According to some there may be truth in that statement, but being blond, I’d not be the first to agree with what others may say in association with a hair color. lol)


In China and many other cultures red is associated with happiness.


Red is frequently associated with love. Red roses for example. And red is certainly one of the favorite colors used around Valentine’s Day.


Red is used when we want others to pay attention. Stop signs and fire trucks to name but two.


In both fruit and vegetables, red is indicative of a food loaded file9021344553210with all sorts of vitamins and nutrients that are good for the body.


Red was among the earliest colors to be used by humans as natural pigments were readily available.


Of the three primary colors (red, yellow, blue) red is the most dominant and the one usually used to make a personal or strong statement!

If given a choice from the three primary colors most people would vote to have their vehicle painted … red!

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Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a red-letter day today!

~ Penny


The Penny Howe Portal – (google this, it’s real)

Portals to Imagination

If you google the words “Penny Howe Portal”! Yes, For real … you will end up here at this website  The Megalithic Portal!

Okay so here’s the real scoop. Penny Howe is the “site” (geographic location) for a Round Barrow:

Bowl Shaped Barrow

( Hemispherical mounds of earth and/or stone raised over a burial place) In the British Isles, round barrows date to the Bronze Age, although Neolithic examples also exist. Later, round barrows were also used by Romans, Viking and Saxon societies. The site is located in the County of Yorkshire (North) England.

Any now if you click here Penny Howe Portal location you can “see” (lol) the very specific location of the Penny Howe Portal complements of Wikimapia. I do not make this stuff up! Although I could I suppose!

I am still trying to figure out the Portal reference (I think it was met literally,the website with the name being a Portal to other historic barrows), Still it spooks me out a little! So here goes my imagination.

If I did have a portal (Penny’s Portal lol) it would probably happen when I open a book and then it would take me or anyone to somewhere magical – filled with wonderful and imaginative places where the mind can have a most awesome time (Oh wait I think that already happens!) Yes it does, for all of us, how wonderful! Books, YES!

Penny’s Portal – Books!

You know now that I think about it I may change my moniker (pennycoho) to pennysportal. lol

Everyone have a most excellent weekend, thank you for stopping by!

The “Penny” of “The Portal”

With much affection,