22
March

“We should never fall in love with our words so much that we can’t bear to cut them out from our work.” – Sannel Larson

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13
March

Sylvia Plath on “Creativity”

sylviaplathquote

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6
March

Do Amazon and Createspace rip off Indie publishers with failure to correctly report sales?

head-in-sand1Here’s some food for thought for all you Indie authors out there. I’ve heard reports of the issue of Amazon, Createspace and other companies incorrectly reporting sales from a number of sources but they were little more than rumors. However, John R. Clark, Managing Editor of AgeView Press makes a compelling and troublesome case in his guest post, “Do Amazon and Createspace rip off Indie publishers with failure to correctly report sales?” on Jeannette Vaughan’s blog.

Jeannette Vaughan is the subject of Mr. Clark’s post and her book, “Flying Solo” was published by AgeView Press. His post raises serious and troubling concerns for any writer considering publishing independently. If you are one of them, this post is a must read.

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1
March

Poetry Offers Outlet to Cancer Patients

iv_drip_2I stumbled across this fascinating article about using poetry as therapy for cancer patients on the Dallas Morning News website and thought to pass it on to you. Thankfully, I’ve never had cancer. Knock on wood as I rap my knuckles against my head! However, I have had several family members who’ve suffered and succumbed to this terrible disease. I vividly recall the conflicting and confusing emotions this disease caused them and their loved ones. Emotions that often found no healthy and therapeutic way of expression. The article discusses not only the psychological benefits of poem therapy but also that there may be benefits for pain management!

I began writing poetry almost 2 years ago as my own form of therapy. Not because I suffered from some horrible disease but simply because I suffered from life. Life, while a wondrous and precious thing, can also treat us terribly at times. During a particularly difficult time in my life I found an unexpected emotional outlet in the form of poetry. First in the reading and then writing it myself. It helped me cope immensely.

It seems to me that writing poetry would be a natural form of therapy for those suffering not only from cancer but any other life-threatening, life-changing or chronic disease. It could provide a healthy outlet for the myriad of fears and confusing emotions as people face their own mortality and the fragility of life. The article, written by Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times, makes for an interesting read. Have a look! You or someone you know may benefit from it.

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8
February

What’s in the Spaces? by Rick Stephen

What is it about writing that makes it more than a mere collection of letters and words? I’m thinking in particular of poetry since that is what I write but the question applies to all types of creative writing. Clearly, the words themselves have meanings and words when organized properly can convey even more complex meanings and messages. This is clearly seen in textbooks, instruction manuals, newspapers and such. These are writing forms that have the intent to convey knowledge.

But with creative writing, be it a novel, short story or poem, often the total exceeds the sum of the parts. The words or something also there on the page invoke an emotional response that can’t be accounted for by the collection of words themselves; feelings that can’t be conveyed by mere words. Yet, it seems the words themselves do just that. To those that have experienced being moved in such a way the phenomenon is clear. It’s almost as if the author was able to include amid the letters and words and lines a little bit of his soul. Just enough to convey the emotion the author felt through the dried ink on the page and into the reader’s heart. My poem, “What’s in the Spaces?”, is my rumination on this topic, on this mystery. I hope you enjoy it. Better yet, I hope you experience it. Both as a reader and as a writer.

What’s in the Spaces?

What’s in the spaces
between the words
so painfully crafted
into lines and then verses?

Mere separations,
blank white spaces
or is there more
in those vacuous places?

read more …

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6
February

Time for a laugh or two …

Every so often, we all need to take a break and laugh a little if for no other reason than to release some tension. I came across this during a recent web surfing session. I laughed my ass off reading it. I’m not sure if I was laughing because, well, some of these are pretty feeble attempts or if I recognized myself in some of them. Still, enjoy. Laugh out loud, if you can. Let off some steam. You’ll feel better, if you do!

badanalogies

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16
January

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

writingI saw this quote come across my Facebook newsfeed today. Two years ago I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. Today it struck home. You see, two years ago writing was the farthest thing from my mind. Writing of any kind but especially poetry. In my mind, writers sat before their typewriters (or computers, rather) and the words flew onto the blank page from their minds or hearts or souls or wherever the words were born. Sure, I knew that writers suffered blocks, periods when the words simply weren’t there. But the dam eventually broke and the words flowed forth once again unabated. Filling page after page with the greatest of ease.

Once I’d been bitten by the writing bug, I realized just how naive those thoughts really were. I’ve suffered from periods of writer’s block which did eventually end and the words did again begin to flow. But the truth is that Nathaniel Hawthorne was dead right! Easy reading is damn hard writing! What many non-writers don’t know (and I shudder to consider myself a writer still) is that good writing is rarely easy. Even when the words flow, even with motivation and inspiration present, writing is hard work!

I am reminded of another quote by another fairly famous writer you may have heard of, Oscar Wilde. He said,

“I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.”

It is like that sometimes. Writers struggle not only with inspiration and story line and character development but with matters of language and grammar, form, style and more. We will labor over the smallest, seemingly insignificant details. We will make a change only to change it back later. Good writing is far more than inspiration, it is perspiration as well. Perspiration is the water that wets the ink well. Gaining this understanding gave me a new and very personal understanding of the phrase “labor of love”. If you write, you know and understand this all too well. If you don’t, then keep this fact in mind and just maybe the next novel or short story or poem you read you will leave you with a greater appreciation for what it took to create it.

Thanks for the inspiration, Terrye!

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