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Cyndi MacMillan's Blog

About Cyndi MacMillan
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 I have been a member of Poetry soup since 2011. 


Though my forte is fiction, verse has always appealed to me. There is nothing like a play of words to rattle the ordinary, to tickle away the dust of stagnation. My favourite form is the contemporary sonnet, but I also enjoy free verse. Also, I love the zen experience of haiku, its seizure of a moment, how it can hold a universe in so few syllables. And I admit to a fondness for the Rondeau.




My life is simple, but busy. I’m a writer and stay at home mother. Days are full. 


Currently, I am working on a novel or ... ha ha... should I really say that the novel is working on me? Characters! They have a way of turning a world upside down.


There are some amazing poets on the soup. I am blessed to call many my friends ~~ Cyndi




WERE ANY OF YOU 12- 17 in 1954? WOULD YOU BE AVAILABLE FOR OCCASIONAL QUESTIONS?


Blog Posted:2/19/2014 9:28:00 AM

Hey all,

I'm hard at work on my novel which takes place in 1954. The story's setting is Southampton, Ontario, a small town on the shores of Lake Huron. It is about a tender, once-in-a-lifetime friendship between a teen girl and the last lighthouse keeper of the Chantry Island Lighthouse. The bond changes both.

It was inspired, in part, by the novella the Snow Goose by Paul Gallico. This is probably my all time favourite story.

I will be spending less time on the Soup, more time writing, so you will see less of me- but I won't disappear all together! It is time for me to write something that may just pay a few bills ;)

Now, I am a stickler for accuracy with my fiction. The story and characters are fictional, but the setting should always be realistic, sound authentic. There is something called artistic license, but whenever possible, a story should not be weighed down by faulty information or gaps in research.  

I am listening to music from that era, and I'm doing research on the slang, clothing, aspects of day to day life, entertainment, world news, weather trends etc etc

I am wondering if you are available for the occasional question. Things like, oh, do you remember your favourite movies, who your idol was, what school was like, food faves, things like that.

I will have to 'filter' that info down through a more rural area of Southwestern Ontario, but your memories would be so appreciated.

If you'd like to share anything about 1954 here, please do! I am listening, attentively!

Hugs and love

Cyndi

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  1. Date: 2/20/2014 10:37:00 AM
    Cyndi,Another key thing was that 1954 was probably a watershed in many respects.BeforeTV become widespread,the visual news was via 'newsreels' at the weekly cinema visit,imagination stimulated by regular radio shows and in England by childrens hour,radio shows and reading borrowed books from the free local library (these replaced pay as you go lending libraries) and by comics,Dandy,Beano,Wizard&Hotspur.There were no sports fields,we created our cricket & football games on any local green space,and studied nature in the nearby farm fields & brooks.See my nostalgia poems here on PS.Folk did not have cars,trains were expensive,not being mobile, holidays were daytrips to the seaside.Rgds Brian

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    Strand Avatar Brian Strand Date: 2/20/2014 10:44:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Music wise,the top twenty(78's) show was Radio Luxemberg on Sunday nights,very few folks had record players so again radio shows was the place to here the latest.I well remember Bill Haley whose record create 'Rock&Roll' a year later.
  1. Date: 2/20/2014 9:35:00 AM
    just a few yrs before my time, but...in 1956, my dad worked as a short order cook in a truck stop called "The Flying A" Maybe these were in Canada too. I do remember a tall sign along the highway road side with a big red "A" at the top, which had white wings, like Angel wings. Maybe it's helpful....

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    Lindsey Avatar Catie Lindsey Date: 2/20/2014 9:37:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    that song...my dad loved it, and mimicked it ...."See ya later alligator..." and we would all reply, "After while, crocodile..." yes, we were a strange brood... LOL
  1. Date: 2/19/2014 7:52:00 PM
    I was actually 18 in Oct. of 54 but was in the 11th grade due to the birthday thing. So, I can give my slant to you, well between me and Carolyn, some of the questions you may have. I have your email so, I can answer there and then you will have mine, if you didn't keep it.

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  1. Date: 2/19/2014 7:25:00 PM
    Lassie, Rin Tin Tin & Flash Gordon- bobbie socks, poodle skirts, saddle shoes? rag curls? pointy bras! patent leather

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  1. Date: 2/19/2014 7:19:00 PM
    Cindy, The worst one I was in they call the great hurricane of 1944. The worst or 2nd worse ever. We were in Wilmington, NC in prefab homes built for shipyard workers. My dad and two of his brothers took family and moved from, highlands NC to Wilmington. I went to 1 - 4 grade there. My unk came home about 2 PM that day and couldn't speak til about 8 that evening, so terrified. He--up in a traversing crane when storm hit. This type crane anchors at two ends about 60/70 feet *guess/ off the ground. Was tall enough he was above the wheel house of the ship. He said was swinging so they could not get him down fast enough and he thought was going to die. I was 8 or 9 he was about 18/20.

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  1. Date: 2/19/2014 6:56:00 PM
    Cindy, if you computer search "myrtlebeach, hurrican hazel, I had one site come up that had about 200 pictures. Boats turned upside down, condos laying in wreakage. We were down there and were stranded on the one way in and out highway for hours. But we got away before the big blow hit. We were sitting about 5 or 6 miles from the beach.

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  1. Date: 2/19/2014 4:14:00 PM
    Even though I was just a kid I remember the drive in and between the movies everyone would play with their spotlights on the big screen. People had spotlights on their cars because signs were not lighted nor reflective. It's the birth of rock and roll, the transition in almost everyway between more than generations but almost between, how do I put this, times, ages, whatever! It was a significant turning point in life and times for everyone. In 1960 there were still ushers with flashlights leading people down the aisles and throwing people out like me that crept down the aisle to grab my girlfriend's ankle during a scary part. Good choice of years Cyndi.

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  1. Date: 2/19/2014 2:51:00 PM
    That's awesome...better tell me when it's for sale because I want one. Of course, I'm a little young for 1954. I DO know a couple of sports related events of that year...the baseball great Joe Dimaggio married Marilyn Monroe that year...ha. Some lady(I can't recall her name) was the first person to swim across Lake Ontario...and that's cool. I used to collect baseball cards, so I know that Topps Canadian Series cards came out that year. But that's about all I can contribute off the top of my head...haha

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    Smith Avatar Caleb Smith Date: 2/19/2014 2:58:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Yeah, I used to be totally ate up with baseball...I'm full of baseball facts.
  1. Date: 2/19/2014 2:51:00 PM
    well, I am very thankful that I can answer no to this one, because it means I was too young for SOMEthing. hahaha. It's awesome what you are dong, Cyndi.

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/19/2014 6:16:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Scary as all get out, hon. It's like standing at the BEGINNING of mount Everest wearing a pair of sneakers you bought at Walmart. Holy crap. LOL. I'm lovin' it!
  1. Date: 2/19/2014 2:02:00 PM
    Hog Dog! Thanks everyone, my girl comes home soon and I've been busy speaking to the museum in Southampton, who can supply me with some crucial information... but I am loving all your replies! Brian, I will soupie you tonight, my friend. Ruben, the title is one of those ones given to books striving to be slotted into the literature category here in Canada, the tentative/working title is The Trim of Wicks. Many outside the book industry don't know publishers often change titles to titillate readers, so we'll see what happens. I am keeping the content as Canadian as I can, so as to ensure I can find a publisher with arts grants. Brian, love the radio... a scene unfolded the moment I read that

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    Williams Avatar David Williams Date: 2/19/2014 2:47:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    and Shirley Temple....
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/19/2014 2:06:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    PS-- one of the duties of a lighthouse keeper was to trim the wick and the glass of the light lens as well as the windows had to be spotless.. constant upkeep. The Trim of Wicks is also metaphoric... hardships and their role in building character... we, too, are in essence trimmed. :D
  1. Date: 2/19/2014 1:19:00 PM
    I was only 6 dear and my wife was born in '54 but don't forget that one of the most iconic and cult monster movies of all time next to King Kong and the like, was born that year--Godzilla!!

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/19/2014 2:09:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Godzilla, very cool! I need to find out if they had a cinema at that time. Port Elgin is five minute drive ... they CURRENTLY have a cinema, but I am not sure if they did in the fifties. And Doris Day was big, yes? Hugs!
  1. Date: 2/19/2014 11:31:00 AM
    One key thing about 1954 so far as England goes,it was a pre-tv era(most folks did not get a Tv until 56/57, so radio was still king and the weekly 'flicks' of Hollywood reigned supreme.Rgds Brian

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/19/2014 2:11:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    The coronation was huge here, too, David! Good points from both of you... I believe probably 1 out of 5 homes had TV in this small town around 1954 -- Cities it was more, like, 1 out of 3. Yes, I imagine that movies were HUGE. Thanks guys!
    Williams Avatar David Williams Date: 2/19/2014 11:45:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    only a slight point Brian, a lot of people got TV's for the coronation in 1953...
  1. Date: 2/19/2014 11:01:00 AM
    1954? I was "-15" years old! : D However, I remember that in that year, Ontario suffered the rage of hurricane Hazel. (Im not Googleing it! LOL). One of the characters should have hazel eyes. : ) What about the title? Hazel in your eyes ... Sepia and Hazel ... : D You should visit the Ontario's newspapers, you never know, they might allow you to have access to their archives.

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/19/2014 2:13:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Yes, the hurricane actually caused soil erosion in Southampton which, in turn, led to a tragic train derailment in the small town. This will most likely factor into my story, especially as one of the main characters is a lighthouse keeper... the lake would have been WILD!
  1. Date: 2/19/2014 10:06:00 AM
    Yes count me in Cyndi you are welcome to soupmail me and I'll give you my email.Best wishes with your creative endeavours.You are clearly on the button trying to ensure accuracy of an era.Nothing is more frustrating to us 'old timers' to read or see faulty data in period movies and books etc.Rgds Brian

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My Past Blog Posts

 
WANNA WIN? How I judge Contests (YES, LONG and SURE TO MAKE SOME GRUMBLE) by Cyndi MacMillan
Date Posted: 9/10/2014 9:58:00 PM
A RESPONSE FROM MAUREEN HYNES... I am speechless, teary eyed and stunned. Please, if you read my analysis and commented, READ THIS!
Date Posted: 9/8/2014 8:54:00 PM
OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!! SHE SAYS SHE LOVES MY RESPONSE TO HER POEM!!!
Date Posted: 9/8/2014 10:25:00 AM
***EDIT****HOW TO READ A POEM LIKE A POET, INCLUDES AN ANALYSIS... INSPIRED BY ROY
Date Posted: 9/6/2014 6:23:00 PM
PUNK TUATION IN POETRY
Date Posted: 9/4/2014 9:39:00 PM
Grammar and poetry: a Fiction Writer’s Oddball View
Date Posted: 9/2/2014 10:52:00 AM
I HAVE TO SHARE THIS... BEST ARTICLE ON FIGURATIVE WRITING EVER!!! Worth the read!!!
Date Posted: 8/22/2014 10:47:00 AM
THIS IS POETIC PROSE
Date Posted: 8/20/2014 9:28:00 AM
Death in Family
Date Posted: 7/23/2014 8:30:00 AM
A CHANGE REQUEST FOR MEMBER CONTEST WINNERS PAGE... Me... upsetting another applecart... or a good idea? Thoughts?
Date Posted: 7/22/2014 3:57:00 PM
GARDEN PARTY CONTEST WINNERS... YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!
Date Posted: 7/15/2014 9:57:00 PM
CONTEST JUDGES: A WAY TO FIND AN ABUSER
Date Posted: 7/15/2014 10:32:00 AM
NEW CONTEST: HARD SHELLS: TURTLE INSPIRED FREE VERSE
Date Posted: 7/13/2014 5:19:00 AM
LEATHERBACK BOY, FREE VERSE, CONTEST SOON TO FOLLOW
Date Posted: 7/11/2014 9:53:00 PM
SONNET TITLE FOUND..THANKS TO CHARMAINE... MINDING MANNERS
Date Posted: 6/11/2014 6:17:00 PM
THANK YOU FOR THE SONNET ENTRIES...short short blog
Date Posted: 6/9/2014 3:27:00 PM
TORRENT: A CONTEMPORARY SONNET, example for my contest
Date Posted: 6/7/2014 6:56:00 AM
NEW CONTEST- Garden Party: VERB-alized NOUN-sense with FLORAL accents. Hungry for summer!!!!
Date Posted: 6/4/2014 10:19:00 PM
UPDATE ON THE HELPLESS CONTEST-- My apologies to all. Exhaustion has hit the household- possible heat exhaustion
Date Posted: 5/29/2014 1:40:00 PM
GENITALS in PRINT, AN OPEN DIALOGUE
Date Posted: 5/27/2014 3:20:00 PM
CONTEMPORARY PUBLISHED HAI_KU TO SHARE
Date Posted: 5/21/2014 2:24:00 PM
UPDATE ON THE HELPLESS/KYRIELLE CONTEST - please check your entries
Date Posted: 5/16/2014 8:47:00 PM
A CARD FOR FRANCINE ROBERTS, who is recovering from a car accident!
Date Posted: 5/9/2014 8:10:00 PM
A WORD PAIRING POEM- THE CLEARING, PAIRINGS BY CARRIE, AE RIVENBANK, CALEB, RUBEN & ANDREA
Date Posted: 5/8/2014 10:21:00 PM
PROMPS FOR WORD PAIRINGS 2 - COME AND PLAY
Date Posted: 5/7/2014 8:50:00 PM

My Poems

12345678
Date PostedPoem TitleFormCategories
9/4/2014I COMESFree versesexy,
9/2/2014cummings and i- for Andrea n' CharlotteVersepoetry,word play,
8/25/2014LIFE WILL BE A HONEYMOONLyricparadise,passion,romantic
8/25/2014HOSTEL, QUEBEC CITY, 1978Free versehistory,places,
8/21/2014DEGREESSonnetbooks,sensual,words,
8/7/2014NEUTRALIZEDSonnetcolor,home,
7/17/2014CRADLEDTrioletbaby,love,
6/9/2014THE RETURNSonnetdepression,giving,life,lo
6/7/2014TORRENTSonnetcelebration,life,women,
4/21/2014LA MARQUISEFree versepsychological,
4/8/2014BUKOWSKI CONTESTFree versemoving on,power,teenage,
4/4/2014GINGHAM AND LACE, A BLITZ POEMVersedaughter,love,
4/4/2014NUDE, THIRTY DOLLARS, A BLITZVerseart,imagination,lost love
3/24/201450 GODSFree versegod,peace,philosophy,
3/15/2014WINTER IN PORTLANDFree versedepression,winter,
3/11/2014FREEDOM BLUESTail-rhymefreedom,
2/28/2014WELCOME TO THE BLUENOSEAcrosticfish,history,journey,sea,
2/25/2014PITY THE PIRANHAFree verseintrospection,people,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY, LINDA MARIE, EASTER WALK, 7th REPOSTRhymefamily,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY 6- DEDICATED TO LINDA MARIE, REPOSTRondeaufaith,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY 5 - FAMILY TREE, REPOST FOR LINDA MARIEVersefamily,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY 4- A REPOST DEDICATED TO LINDA MARIERhymefaith,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY 3- EASTER LILY, A REPOST FOR LINDA MARIEVerseeaster,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY 2-- A REPOST AND TRIBUTE TO LINDA MARIESestinaheaven,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY-- A REPOST FOR LINDA MARIE- WE MISS YOUVersefaith,
12345678

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Fav Poems

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Nocturnal PoetryRhymeimagination,life,poetry,
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FROSTY NIGHT STROLLCoupletinspirational,seasons,
Our ThanksgivingLight Poetryholiday,
Tomorrow's GraceEthereepeace,
A New Star Shines Above HawaiiRhymededication,music,
Jesus, Our SaviorShapereligion,life,
Monarch of SummerHaibunanimals,devotion,inspirat
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Midnight PearlsThan-Baukintrospection,love,
Beaucoup BloomsTerza Rimanature,spring,spring,
On Heaven's DoorwayNarrativeinspirational,life,care,c
WALKING ON FAITHVersefaith,for children,
BeachworldFree verseplaces,sea,sun,
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