“Think Like Water” Poetry Workshops

This may be of interest, if you live in the Southern California area:


Dear Los Angeles Poet Society Members and Friends,

Check out all the great poetry happenings in Eagle Rock this summer!
Come on down starting Tuesday, June 14, and every other Tuesday after that, to learn new poetic techniques and styles this summer! Each class is only $5, and you get a journal! Taught by LAPS Founder & Poet, Jessica M. Wilson MFA!

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One Poet’s Paradox – Rick Stephen

One Poet’s Paradox

I put words to paper
in relentless attempts
to persuade you
I am no fraud

But how can I
sway you when
I fail to convince
even myself?

Endless words
penned countless times
to prove that which I
can’t accept myself.



The Ramblings of a Poetic Fool Now Available for Kindle!

rpfkindleI’m happy to announce that my book, “The Ramblings of a Poetic Fool”, is now available for Kindle! That means you can enjoy my poems anywhere on your smartphone, tablet or computer using the Kindle Reader app. If you’ve hesitated or been unable to buy the print version of my book, at $2.99, I think it’s a real steal. You can see and buy the Kindle version here. Give it a look. I hope you will enjoy it and leave a review on the Amazon website. Thanks so much for reading!

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A Desert Mind – Micropoetry by Richard Stephen

will words ever flow
from this shriveled mind?



Writing, Photography and Life Priorities

Power of WordsTo say I’ve been remiss keeping this blog up is an understatement, a big understatement! I’ve let the busyness of life crowd it and other such “optional” priorities out. I say “optional” because this blog, my writing and photography in general don’t pay the bills and put food on the table. I wish they did but they don’t. So, when push comes to shove these things get shoved aside.

I’ve come to a realization though. However “optional” these things may be when it comes to life’s responsibilities, they are nonetheless necessities when it comes to my personal happiness and wellbeing. While I’ve focused on other things, I found myself increasingly frustrated, irritated and blue. I’ve realized that allowing responsibilities to crowd out these personal necessities is the cause. Writing and photography are my prime outlets for expression and creativity, things essential for my wellbeing. They are how I cope with the stress and strain of daily life.

Pushing them aside to get to my “real” priorities has been a big mistake. Oh, it may work for a while, a short while, but as my frustration and irritation levels grow my productivity and efficiency decline. In the long run, I’m better off dedicating time to my personal pursuits to ensure my mind is healthy and strong for my “real” priorities. So, what I’m really asking is this. What are my “real” priorities? What are YOUR “real” priorities? You can cut corners on some things, for a time. You can short change others but you can’t short change yourself. It will catch up with you. Just some food for thought.



I think this is true for many writers …


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Words Once Read by Richard Stephen


Words Once Read

Dead once they’re read

No one will note
nor little remember
these words of mine
and that is just fine

read more …

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“I hate writing, I love having written.” ― Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker

For me, this is often so true …

“I hate writing, I love having written.” ― Dorothy Parker

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William Safire’s Rules for Writers

William Safire

William Safire

The passive voice should never be used.

Do not put statements in the negative form.

Verbs have to agree with their subjects.

Proofread carefully to see if you words out.

If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.

A writer must not shift your point of view. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
(Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)

Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!

Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.

Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.

If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.

Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.

Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.

Always pick on the correct idiom.

The adverb always follows the verb.

Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague; seek viable alternatives.

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Distinguishing Between Writer’s Block and Your Own Writing Style

blank_journalBeing a relatively new writer (I’ve only been at this a couple of years), I assumed that every period of more than a few days without writing meant I was experiencing a block. After all, I aspired to be a writer so shouldn’t I want to write consistently and constantly? However, I would go for weeks at a time without writing a word. Sometimes a month or more would pass without a poem being produced. Such long lapses in productivity led me to question if I truly had the desire or talent or whatever it takes to actually be a writer. There were times, as Wikipedia points out, that I’ve seriously thought of abandoning this ambition!

read more …

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