Poem from Midweek Melting Prompt

Here’s a poem I made using words from the Midweek Melting prompt at the Rosemary Mint blog :

Old Barn

Old Barn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No More Tomorrows

Far away in the remote hills
Solitary decaying old barn
The door echoed its creak
The only sound to be heard

Full extent of sorrow known
Soon she would find release
Climbed up into the hay loft
Wishing for an eternal sleep

Tied to rough hewn timber
Means to end tomorrows
Never to need remember
Put away all the sorrows

Moved braid of hair aside
Rough knot against her nape
Slowly off slipped her feet
She had made her escape

Poem from Melting Monday Prompt

This is a poem I wanted to share, which I created using words from the Monday Melting poetry prompt on the Rosemary Mint blog.  There are several unique images there as well to use for inspiration.  I loved the butterflies this week.  Go on over and get inspired.  Use your creativity to make a poem.

English: Photograph of a Monarch Butterfly.

English: Photograph of a Monarch Butterfly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fluttering Free

Vulnerable and scared
Folded into my self
Cocooned in safety
I morph into a stronger me
Making my pleas coherent
Saying, “No more of this”
Break free from fear
Flutter into living life
Flutter into being me

Of Course, More Books About Writing…

Photograph of one of Ronald Skirth's journals.

Photograph of one of Ronald Skirth’s journals. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my great loves above writing is reading.  Sometimes I’ll read one book for hours and other times I have several going at once.  Not reading them at once, but I’ll read a bit of one and then read a bit of another.  Well, I discovered some more gems at my local public library I thought I’d share.  I’m always on the look out for a good book.

I’ve dabbled in journaling through the years.  More of an on again, off again type journaler, but attempted to journal.  Usually my results are a few entries and then it may get picked up again several months or a year later.  Well, I decided to pick up my journal again and start anew, so timing was perfect to spot the book Note to Self : On Keeping a Journal and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Samara O’Shea.

I’m almost halfway through, but have enjoyed this book.  Makes me feel so much less guilty in my journal attempts and gives me some thoughts to free my mind to journal.  She says even the sporadic journal entry will shed a lot on your life through the years rather than not journaling at all.  The author is even so brave as to share many of her actual journal entries with her readers.  She even gives ideas on topics you may want to journal about if you find yourself lacking ideas.

It’s funny how small the world is and the coicidences which occur at times.  Not too long ago I saw the movie Sylvia, which had Gwyneth Paltrow playing the American writer and poet Sylvia Plath.  I  had never heard of Sylvia Plath and have been reading up about her as well as some of her works.  Well, in the book, it says Sylvia was an avid journaler and there are some of her journal entries included as well.

I’m looking forward to finishing this book and have began to start journaling at night before I go to bed.  I’m trying to do it nightly, but giving myself permission to skip a night or nights if need be.  Hopefully will fend off discouragement and plan to do what you do if you fail at dieting one day, which is just get back up and try it again the next day.  Some reasons to journal are it’s cathartic, provides some historical evidence of your life for personal reflection, and provides another opportunity to write. 

The other book I discovered was Shimmering Images : A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir by Lisa Dale Norton.  It’s a small book and is written in a good conversational tone I quite enjoy.  I finished reading it in one evening.  Thought it might give me some helpful advice as I continue to plunge into writing a couple of memoirs and personal essays.  I’m not closing the doors on fiction, but have decided I am  more of a personal and non-fiction writer.

I really like the first part of her book, which shares our right to writing truths and at the same time doing so compassionately.  This includes being soul searchingly honest with ourselves as well as not playing the blame game.  While being careful not to persecute others unjustly, we must also not overly berate ourselves.  This is probably very hard for most, as it’s often said writers are their own worst critics.  I know I’m quicker to criticize myself than anyone else.

The second half of the book she shares what she means by shimmering images, which is basically a kind of memory in your mind you can see bits and pieces of, as well as gives ideas how to fill in those memories some.    Some of the ideas are doing things like memory mapping, asking family members questions, looking at old photos, and researching what was going on in the world during the time period of your memories.  Lastly in the second part she discusses how to get to the heart of what your story is actually about, so it has meaning.

The third part of her book shares information about useful tools for the writer.  She covers such things as choosing which perspective to write from and creating scenes in your memoir, which are important in memoir writing just as in writing fiction.  There is also helpful information on imagery and ways to avoid using cliches.  This was a good book and I appreciated the examples of memoir writing included by the author.

Do you journal?  What kind of journal writer  are you?  Besides Anne Frank, can you think of any other famous journalers or writers who keep/kept journals? . . .

Hidden Words, Hidden Works

Hidden canyon5

Hidden canyon5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I’ve been trying to find homes for some of my writing, I’ve had to take into consideration which pieces I feel comfortable sharing.  There are some things, which may only ever be shared with select people in my life or may never see the light of day unless I was to die.  There are some things I’ve written that I know in my heart I want to share one day, but some time will probably have to pass first.

There is not much I hesitate to write about as I’ve spent too much of my life being quiet.  Too many days not speaking my mind and saying my peace.  Writing gives me the freedom to get things out, even if it’s not shared.  There are some things I’ve written, which I keep hidden so no one will find and read.

Even though I write about most things, there are still things I’m afraid to write about.  I don’t think it’s really the things themselves are scary, but rather I think it’s like Natalie Goldberg points out in her book Old Friend from Far Away : The Practice of Writing Memoir, we’re afraid of what others will think.  Most all of us have either secrets in our lives or things we hope for, but don’t want others to know.

In a section of her book I love she emphasizes, “You have a right to write it.  Throw it out, rip it up, swallow it down.  Build up a capacity to bear up–don’t let fear run your writing life.  Hide your notebook in a good place.”  In other words never let fear stop you from writing.  I like the freedom to be able to say and write things.  Write things even if you have to burn it after you wrote it or hide it.

Kind of a side track here, but wanted to share.  There are two other great resources I’ve found for finding homes for writing when you’re ready to share something.  Duotrope has market listings, response time stats, and you can even do a specific search to find the right place for a piece you’ve written.  NewPages.com has information on magazines, publishers, calls for submissions, writing contests, and many other useful things.

 

Tips and Markets for Personal Essays

The last couple of weeks have been very productive and I am starting to feel more comfortable writing queries and making submissions to magazines.  Not so comfortable that I don’t want my resource books near for guidance, but more comfortable none the less.  I’ve been submitting personal essays and poetry.  Made a couple of mistakes, but I’m learning still.

One mistake was easily remedied with a quick phone call.  Not a major mistake, but accidentally left the SASE out of a submission.  Luckily just wasted one stamp.  Found out just needed to reprint my submission, pop it in an envelope with the SASE, and mail everything out again.  The other mistake was one of those lost in electronic translation ones.  A place I was submitting to needed the file in .rtf instead of .doc.  I submitted it after reviewing it looked right on my end, but found out upon opening it after it was sent that the spacing in a couple of places was off.

Thought I would share a few resources with you I’ve found useful as I’m learning about personal essays and narratives.  I’ve found I really enjoy this kind of writing and for me it flows so much more easily than fiction.  I found an article, Profitable Personal Essays by Dawn Goldsmith at Writers Weekly ezine, which includes a list of the authors five favorite places to submit personal essays.  Another useful article was Tips to Help You Publish Your Personal Essays at Writer’s Digest.  The site Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow has a great list of Paying Markets for Personal Essays.

Quick Tips for Submissions :

  • Visit the actual magazine website to make sure it is still in existence and accepting submissions
  • It is preferable to become familiar with the magazine before attempting to submit to it; some will provide a sample issue for a fee and many have links to published works on their websites
  • Check if submissions are accepted year round or there is a specific submission period
  • Read and follow submission instructions closely, may accept via postal mail and/or electronic submissions
  • Remember to include SASE if requested
  • Check if accepts simultaneous submissions; if your work gets accepted by one magazine, then politely notify the other magazine

As I’ve been researching in books and online to find homes for some of my writing, I’ve been keeping a list of places to possibly make submissions.  May be a personal opinion, but I would also say to make sure the possible future home for some of your writing is a place you feel is compatible with your values prior to submitting your work.  Here’s my list of places to makes submissions to :

Do you have a favorite writing tip you’ve learned along the way?…


Thought I would share this interesting writing prompt I enjoyed…

After looking up my name, I discovered in Irish and English Sabrina means princess. In Latin Sabrina means boundary line.  Here are my writing thoughts related to the origins of my name :

I am a gentle princess who is discovering her voice and learning to set boundary lines. Raised to be caring and kind sometimes I gave too much and part of my spirit had been given away. Willingness to obey made my voice remain small and often unspoken. Slowly truths have been uncovered and helped me find an inner strength. A strength to know a princess can be both sweet and strong at the same time.

Love and obedience were not enough to shield my heart from harsh words. The tears faded with time, but I desired change while a little of me still remained. Realization of a truth came that I am a princess. Deserving of true love and to be treated as a princess. Learned to speak up, have voice, and set boundary lines. Have some power while yet remaining true to my spirit. Not be held captive by the overbearing king.

The Skeptical Optimist

The Alter Ego

Research the origins (Latin, Greek, biblical, or otherwise) of your first name and develop an alter ego for yourself based upon those origins. If your name is Alex, for example, whose origin, Alexandros, originates from the Greek root “to defend,” your alter ego could be “The Defender.” Free-write for twenty minutes from the perspective of that alter ego, writing about anything that comes to mind—and see what kind of patterns, ideas, or thoughts emerge.

Happy writing, my friends!

Resource: Poets & Writers

View original post

The Not Such Solitary Life of a Writer

Sunset at Rockaway Beach

Sunset at Rockaway Beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I may be alone a lot, but I still don’t think writing has to be as solitary as many people say.  In fact, I think the internet offers a wide open community for writers with many different options.   Yes, it’s a virtual community, but community none the less.  Lets you know you’re not alone in the world.  Now before anyone thinks I’ve lost my mind, no I’m not advocating just staying home and never venturing forth into the world, but I’m saying there are many sources of support for writers online.

There any many discussion boards on the internet, especially on LinkedIn.  Two of my favorites are the Definitive Serious Writers Group and the Poets group.  Both are supportive groups.  You can share things or ask a question or maybe learn something from a comment posted.  Sometimes there are links to articles or blogs and the Poets group even has a weekly poetry contest just for fun.

Another great source of community I have enjoyed since January, and boy have I learned a lot, is the wide world of blogging.  Many writers share their writing online, resources, and their thoughts on things they’ve learned about writing.  There are plenty of writing prompts offered on blogs as well.  Some of the ones I like are Be Kind Rewrite has writing prompts on the blog called Inspiration Monday and Rosemary Mint has prompts on Thursday Melting.  There are probably many more to be explored out there.  It can be nice to use a writing prompt on one of those days nothing is coming to mind which I want to write about or just for the fun of it or as a challenge.

Reading blogs exposes me to new things too.  Today as I was reading through the WordPress blogs I follow, one blogger called Rosemary Mint, posted an amazing music playlist.  I’m more of a country and bluegrass music kind of gal, but thought it was wonderful and I learned about music not as familiar to me.  Still sitting here listening as I write this.  I know, not really writing related directly, but it is as it inspired me to write.  Also, I’m one of those writers who would rather write listening to music than dead silence.

When I’m at the computer, I always keep paper near too, just in case I need to jot a quick note down.  I’ve learned about interesting books I would like to read, writing contests, different types of poetry forms, writing tips, and a ton of other things.  One day I’ll try to post a list of many of the links I’ve found helpful about writing.  Instead of feeling alone, I actually feel like writing has opened a big wide world.

What are your thoughts about writing as a solitary life?…