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New to blogging. - Mark J. Halliday's Blog

About Mark J. Halliday
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My Name is Mark Halliday (Staff Sergeant, US Army Retired). 
I grew up in Garden Grove, California.  I had piano lessons as a kid, and played flute in marching bands for 4 years. My first college attended was Santa Ana College, which was interrupted for two years while I served as a Mormon missionary in north-eastern France and southern Belgium.  While finishing my first AA in Liberal Arts, I played keyboard synthesizer with my friends in a band that focused on Beatles songs, surfer music, oldies, and pop songs from the 80s.  I started learning to play guitar around 1985.

Besides being involved in music, I also like to draw.  Often my pictures have the same theme as my lyrics or poetry.  I have a series of drawings of musical instruments in fantasy/science fiction settings, for example a picture of a bass guitar fighting off biplanes from on top of the Empire State Building (based on the original film King Kong), and others of primitive man surrounding a giant set of keyboards (similar to the opening of 2001 A Space Oddessey).

My favorite hobby is reading.  I especially like military-science-fiction writers such as David Weber, David Drake, John Ringo, and Eric Flint.  I'm also fond of books by Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Tom Clancy, Harold Coyle, Harry Turtledove, Frank Herbert, Ian Fleming, W.E.B. Griffin, Clive Cussler, Jack Higgins, Arthur C. Clark, Jim Butcher, George R. R. Martin, and writers for Star Wars novels such as Kevin Anderson.
I enlisted in the US Army (1987) near the end of the Cold War to be an Intelligence Analyst/Russian Linguist.  I later cross-trained into the Serbian and Croatian languages during the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts, and spent time with UN Peacekeepers in Macedonia.  I also spent a year in Mosul, Iraq, helping train the Intelligence section of an Iraqi infantry battalion staff. I spent about a third of my service time in Germany, as well as Missouri, California, Texas, Massachusetts, Arizona, and Maryland.  I taught Russian, then Serb-Croatian, then French at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) in Monterey, California, where I finally retired in 2007. 

I met my wife Nelly while visiting Paris, France, during the bicentennial of Bastille Day in 1989 (see my quatern poem A Soldier's Foreign Woman).  We have two sons.  We are still together, and happily still best friends.

While still in the Army, I earned an AS in Ornamental Horticulture at Monterey Peninsula College (and have enough credits for another in Business Administration), and a BS from Excelsior College in Liberal Arts with an emphasis on European languages and culture.
I work full time as an Army civilian Supply Technician at the DLIFLC in Monterey, and for a few years on call as a commercial charter bus driver for a company in Marina CA (see my poem The Butterfly Flutters by).  I've been learning bass guitar the last few years and also using a keyboard workstation.  I'm slowly learning to record my songs on computers, too.

This is how I got into poetry.  I was 'in-like' with one of my French converts back in the 80s; she sent me a poem or two, so I reciprocated and started writing sonnets and songs (see my lyric Odessey), ever since about 1983.  Today my normal focus is on writing songs instead of poems, so in a sense many of my recent poems are ideas that I could not easily make into lyrics....not quite failures per se, but not successful towards my first priority.  As of this writing (January 2015), I am working on recording my songs Tropical Getaway, Something you Left Behind, Egyptian Dancer, Lady Luck Stomped Out, and the children's song Blow More Bubbles.

My dream is to create a band called the Retropolitan Underground, which plays new songs using older musical styles, probably heavily into old pop-jazz fusions.  We just bought an older quaint house in Salinas, California, near Hartnell College.  I want to apply some of my education and skills to upgrade the house, by 1) turning my garage into a home music studio, 2) organically growing vegetables and fruit trees everywhere around the house with enough sunlight, and 3) painting some murals inside.  So far I'm working on an image of a pergola covered with flowers in the master bedroom.


New to blogging.

Blog Posted:5/23/2014 11:12:00 PM
Never made a blog before.  Testing the waters.  My big toe is turning blue from the effort!  Trying to figure out how to add some of my drawings, too.

Please Login to post a comment
Date: 5/24/2014 9:21:00 AM
So nice to see you! Welcome to the bloggers!!
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Date: 5/24/2014 12:57:00 AM
Hi, Mark, hope you can think of something interesting to tell us. don't worry if you can't do pictures yet. You are not the only one!
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Date: 5/23/2014 11:24:00 PM
Well to the land of blogging, Mark........Goodnight... Linda
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My Past Blog Posts

New to blogging.
Date Posted: 5/23/2014 11:12:00 PM

My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoemTitleFormCategories
9/6/2017 I Miss Your Touch Lyricabsence,lost love,memory,
8/22/2017 West Berlin Haibunhistory,memory,places,sol
6/29/2017 Funeral For A Dying World Pantoumearth,eulogy,humanity,lif
6/20/2017 Chawanakee Rap with video Lyricamerica,father,fishing,na
4/21/2017 Liars' Moon Lyricanxiety,dedication,friend
10/28/2016 After the election Senryuamerica,corruption,depres
10/14/2016 The Gardener's Song Lyriccreation,flower,food,frui
9/8/2016 Some Sorrows--with music attached Lyricanger,betrayal,drink,lost
8/11/2016 They Just Won't Drown Lyricanger,betrayal,drink,lost
7/22/2016 Things I'll Miss Lyriccowboy,leaving,lyric,song
7/12/2016 Some Sorrows Just Don't Drown Lyricbetrayal,drink,feelings,l
7/8/2016 Out Of My League Lyricanxiety,beautiful,confide
7/6/2016 Copilot Lyricangst,confidence,hope,lov
6/28/2016 Wandering Shoes Lyricage,community,life,lyric,
6/27/2016 Blind Man's Bluff Lyricangst,hope,loneliness,lon
6/22/2016 Dark Horrors Trioletdark,fear,horror,light,
6/13/2016 Answers And Questions Lyriclife,lyric,meaningful,son
6/11/2016 Questions And Answers - a lyric Lyricangst,dream,life,lyric,me
5/16/2016 House of Cards Lyricbetrayal,fear,lost love,r
5/8/2016 This man's Jesus Lyricfaith,jesus,
4/17/2016 A Storm Is Brewing I do not know?dark,religion,society,tec
4/6/2016 Seasons I do not know?seasons,
4/3/2016 Citrus Ladies Coupletfruit,home,nature,tree,
3/30/2016 Adult Children: A new species I do not know?children,computer,humor,l
3/21/2016 Clementine Tree Haikufruit,garden,nature,tree,
3/21/2016 Serenade Lyricfantasy,love,lust,lyric,m
1/25/2016 Suicidal Humanity Coupletangst,business,earth,envi
1/15/2016 Berlin Quatrainhistory,memory,soldier,tr
12/31/2015 New Beginnings - A Shadorma Versegarden,home,new year,work
12/28/2015 Why Poetry soup Senryuaddiction,devotion,intern
12/28/2015 Tormented in a pitch black room Quaterndeath,evil,fear,gothic,ho
11/13/2015 Addicted to Starcraft-favorite vice Lyricgames,science fiction,spa
10/18/2015 Old and new Halloween poems Rhymefear,halloween,
9/30/2015 Planning more garden spaces Abecedariananxiety,environment,farm,
9/23/2015 Giving Thanks Narrativethanks,
9/20/2015 Oktoberfest In Munich--etheree Ethereecelebration,culture,drink
9/17/2015 Halloween At The Bates Hotel--revised Rhymeevil,halloween,horror,
9/16/2015 Halloween At The Bates Hotel Rhymefantasy,fear,film,horror,
9/14/2015 Joan of Arc memorials Prose Poetrychristian,hero,history,in
9/14/2015 Stove Senryufood,inspiration,
9/13/2015 Bella Haikudog,friendship,love,pets,
9/10/2015 Cannibal Morticians--A Halloween Poem Rhymebody,death,halloween,horr
8/28/2015 Guiding Star Lyricallegory,christian,encour
8/21/2015 Life Would Keep Going On Lyricintrospection,life,loss,l
8/19/2015 If You Were Gone I do not know?absence,happiness,lost lo
7/27/2015 Quasimodo Senryudestiny,loneliness,paris,
7/17/2015 Why do they do that Senryuconfusion,nonsense,psycho
7/17/2015 Freedom's Call Acrosticamerica,freedom,
7/6/2015 Becoming Something Better Senryuchange,dedication,life,
6/22/2015 Existence Senryume,
6/19/2015 She Whispered I Love You I do not know?children,family,happiness
6/15/2015 Lap Dog Haikudog,friend,pets,
6/10/2015 Weaponize Our Garbage Stuff Coupletconflict,environment,funn
6/5/2015 Music Cinquaindance,music,song,
6/4/2015 Tree Leaves Haikuenvironment,light,sun,tre
6/3/2015 Can't hold You Close Enough Lyricdeath,happiness,life,love
6/1/2015 Henry Dunant Clerihewhero,peace,
5/31/2015 Concert in West Germany Narrativemusic,
5/31/2015 unnamed song's sexy chorus Lyricdevotion,giggle,love,lust
5/18/2015 This Weekend I Accomplished List computer,food,music,song,
5/13/2015 Normandy Beaches Narrativebeach,remember,soldier,va
5/4/2015 The Last Eclipse Narrativedark,history,moon,nature,
4/20/2015 Meaningless Meaning Senryuangst,life,philosophy,
4/15/2015 Tragic Vacation 2001 Senryuconflict,soldier,vacation
4/14/2015 Einstein and the Rule of 72 Limerickbusiness,money,time,
4/7/2015 Mark Halliday: WarriorPoet Coupletart,bio,family,garden,lif
3/30/2015 Grandma the Firefighter I do not know?bio,fire,grandmother,hero
3/25/2015 Friend in exile Senryulost love,music,sorrow,
3/18/2015 Excellence Villanelledesire,education,visionar
3/18/2015 Greenish I do not know?beauty,blue,color,green,y
3/18/2015 Anachronism Senryuage,life,old,
3/17/2015 Inspiration or evolution Haikubeauty,inspiration,music,
3/9/2015 Masks and Gondolas Verseboat,memory,travel,
3/9/2015 Nature's First Law Haikuabuse,earth,environment,p
3/6/2015 Souls of our culture Rubaiyatbooks,culture,places,reme
3/5/2015 Pain Of The Night Coupletbooks,dark,light,loneline
3/2/2015 Black and white, white and black Coupletart,dark,light,perspectiv
3/2/2015 Tangoing with you Haikudance,romance,sexy,
2/27/2015 Peace Senryuconflict,peace,
2/25/2015 My Wife--An Angel In Disguise Rhymeangel,home,life,soldier,t
2/25/2015 Columns and Ranks, Fog of War intermingled Quaternbeach,death,england,histo
2/24/2015 Gathering dust on my bookshelves Quaternbooks,family,fantasy,gard
2/20/2015 Spring gardening for survival Sonnetamerica,farm,food,garden,
2/18/2015 Scar On My Heart Lyricheartbreak,leaving,lost l
2/13/2015 Spring garden prep Abecedarianfood,garden,home,life,nat
2/13/2015 The 90s Quatrainamerica,children,conflict
2/9/2015 Meaning of Life Rhymedeath,education,growth,he
2/9/2015 Namesake Tankafamily,father,grandson,hi
2/6/2015 Augmented chords Haikumusic,student,
2/5/2015 Valentine Haikuchocolate,holiday,humorou
2/4/2015 Daylight Savings Time Haikudark,day,light,night,slee
2/3/2015 Breath of Love I do not know?desire,fire,love,passion,
2/3/2015 Love and humor Dodoitsuconflict,life,love,marria
2/2/2015 Raspberry and blackberry bushes Haikufarm,life,nature,
1/29/2015 Chocolate Indulgences Coupletcandy,humorous,love hurts
1/22/2015 Heaven or Hell Dizainanxiety,christian,fear,he
1/20/2015 Love's Magic Quatrainlife,love,magic,philosoph
1/18/2015 Hidden beauty in music Haikubeauty,music,
1/9/2015 Late Rock Stars Senryuage,beauty,death of a fri
1/5/2015 This Year Quintain (English)flower,fruit,green,house,

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