Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is the first celebration of the holiday season and I wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. For those in other countries, I wish you a safe and wonderful day.

Let’s remember all the things we’re thankful for today, and every day, and may you find yourself surrounded by loved ones.

I want to send a special thanks to all those in the armed forces and their families who sacrifice daily for our safety. If possible, stop on by the “Soldier’s Angels” site and see how you can support a soldier.


Friday, November 20, 2009

What Part of Thanksgiving Are You?

Thanksgiving is coming up, and many of us eat until our waists expand and our top button is freed. I figured this is the perfect time for me to ask, What Part of Thanksgiving Are You?

You Are The Cranberry Sauce

A little sweet, a little sour - you've got the flava!
Though, you do tend to squish in people's mouths...

Hmm… that last part doesn’t sound good.

What Dessert Are you Most Like?

You Are a Brownie

Decadent and intense, you aren't for the weak hearted.
Those who can deal with your strong flavor find out how sweet you really are.

WOW! That is so true. *winks*

Your turn!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

From an Established Writer!

John Irving wrote one of my favorite books, “A Prayer for Owen Meany.” For some reason he reminds me of one of my favorite classic novelists, William Faulkner. I bought his new book, “Last Night in Twisted River,” which I haven’t read yet and came across this interview on Big Think. Below I picked out a few highlights from the interview.

An Interview with John Irving

Question: “How often do you rewrite your books?” Mr. Irving responded saying more of his years are spent rewriting then writing the first draft. *wipes brow* Now I don’t feel so bad about my revisions taking so long. What I find interesting, and what I did with my first novel, is he writes his first drafts in long hand because it helps him slow it down—keep the pace.

Question: “What your thoughts on the future of the book?” Mr. Irving responded with if he was young and trying to publish a book today he’d probably want to shoot himself. He feels it’s much harder today to start out as a writer then back when he published his first book in the late 60s. I’ve heard this from several published writers that publishing today isn’t what it used to be years ago. I think we can safely say nothing is anymore. John Irving also said he worries about what will happen with young, good writers, but the book will survive. Hmm… does this mean I’m safe because I’m older? *smiles*

Question: “As a writer, what is your relation to America?” He responded, I’m paraphrasing, “If he is going to pick on his country, he better be here first hand instead of as an ex-patriot.” He completely won me over with that comment, since I’ve pretty much had it with hearing from foreigners about the negatives of America. Yes, we do have our faults, I’m not going to deny it, but we’ve also done plenty of great things.

Question: “What keeps you up at night?” John Irving said being a young father, from 22 to 67 he has had one of his children living with him. His principle anxieties are parental. A natural worrier. I don’t have children, but I agree that my principle anxieties are loss of family. And Mr. Irving and I have something in common, because I’m a natural worrier too.

Thank you, Mr. Irving for your storytelling and your thoughts as a writer.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Our Veterans!

For my Uncle John, a Navy man, and to all those who are with us and who have passed on, I salute you. You’re my heroes.

Picture from Life - Time Inc

I saw you from a distance
Sitting there in your fatigues

Hands clamped to hold your chin up
Eyes closed to shut out all the rest

It was then I began to wonder
What it felt like to be a soldier?

Coming home after a long time passed
With only a duffel bag at your feet

Do you feel alone in this world
‘cuz chaos hasn’t left your sight?

Am I oblivious to what is out there
‘cuz you kept immediate danger away?

Finally you opened your eyes to us
And my questions were answered

Part of you sits waiting for your flight
while war imprisoned the rest

Not sure whether you surrendered it
Or it took without your consent

Back on Freedom soil to continue on
Part of you that still remains strong

My hand on your shoulder you look up
Have I said, “Thank you for your sacrifice”

Words seem hollow compared to your actions
All I can offer are these simple things

You look at me and smile with a nod
For starters, it is good to help with the mend

Friday, November 6, 2009

Walt Whitman

Recently I’ve come across a site called Poem Hunter where you can look up your favorite poet’s poems or read new poets’ works. I’m sure anyone interested in poetry has heard of this site already since I’m a little behind on internet time. While I was browsing the “classic poet” section, I came across a poet that always touched my heart from my school days—Walt Whitman (1819-1892). Even back in the days when poetry did not entice me for some reason Walt Whitman’s did. It’s like I felt every word he put down as oppose to other poets. I’m not saying that I don’t like other poets’ works, but it was Walt’s that always stayed with me.

His poetry still affects me, which is surprising since much of his poetry is free verse. This is the form of poetry I recognize in his writings, although I’m not an expert in poetry. Free verse isn’t my favorite style of poetry and I sometimes feel it’s too free allowing anyone to throw some words down and call it poetry. Or maybe it’s about me being old-fashion and wanting meter and rhyme, effort put into a style along with the result making the reader feel and think about what was said. But I must admit, I have written a few free style poems in an effort to fit in with the popular kids.

In reading about Walt Whitman, I found he was self-educated by reading the works of Homer, Dante and Shakespeare. Due to a large family, he left school early to help support the family. I also read that he used music in many of his poems using terms, instruments and composers. This is probably part of the reason that draws me to him. Music was a big part of my upbringing, and found an appreciation for all types of music.

Do you have a favorite poet? If so, what do you like about their poetry? Is it the rhythm, choice of words, the style, or their main themes?

To end this post, I’d like to post a Walt Whitman’s poem. This one really touched me and the end is like a punch in the stomach.

I Sit And Look Out

I SIT and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all
oppression and shame;
I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with
themselves, remorseful after deeds done;
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying,
neglected, gaunt, desperate;
I see the wife misused by her husband--I see the treacherous seducer
of young women;
I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be
hid--I see these sights on the earth;
I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny--I see martyrs and
I observe a famine at sea--I observe the sailors casting lots who
shall be kill'd, to preserve the lives of the rest;
I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon
laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like;
All these--All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look
out upon,
See, hear, and am silent.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Writer's Block

It would be nice to knock on the door of Writer’s Block, enter and party with the muse. For me, Writer’s Block not only locked me out but padlocked the door. Maybe a little coddling would have sufficed. There are a plethora of prompts and ideas on the internet and in life, yet something needs to press the trigger for me to even consider it. So far, nothings pressed my trigger… well, nothing writerly anyways. *winks*

The best prompts for me are one liners or phrases. Setting up a scene then asking me to finish it freezes my thought process. A recent example that let my muse get in touch with her emotions was a prompt from The Writer’s Block – Beating the Block section. One of the administrators posted a bunch of one liners and one turned into a poem, A Soldier’s Wish, which I submitted for possible publication.

I wish this blog post offered how to overcome Writer’s Block, or convince me I don’t have it. Instead, I posted about Writer’s Block to reach out to you for a plate of prompts. If you can’t come up with anything then leave a hello with a comment about who you’d like to see on the other side of this door. I'd like to see the Love of my Life behind this door.

Take care and have a safe and happy week.