On Poetry: Happy Monday!

Reviewing old projects can be useful to see how far you’ve come as a writer.Last week I was reviewing some of my high school writings just to see what I had written when I was younger.

Turns out we ended up focusing a lot on poetry. I mean, a ton of poetry. Besides a couple short stories, a 5-minute script, and some descriptive exercises, it was all poetry. Some of it was halfway decent, too.

Why is poetry such a heavy focus in English classes? It’s not a rhetorical question. I’m genuinely curious. Is it because of the precise nature of every single word, line break, and punctuation that loads every stanza with meaning? Maybe becase it’s been around for centuries? Does it have to do with the diversity of the genre? Haikus, limericks, pantoums, and epics. Okay, I haven’t tried writing an epic poem, but my teachers introduced me to a bunch of diferent styles over the years. I’ll have to look it up this week.

Personally, the deliberate nature of poetry always intimidated me. I can write a short story fairly easily and then edit it later, but something about the significance of cadence, rhyme scheme, alliteration, and a plethora of ther things add more pressure to write the perfect words in the perfect order. That weight makes each work more difficult edit, so I always hesitate to give feedback when I see poetry in my writing group.

Then again, people grow when they try new things. Even though I don’t enjoy writing poetry, I’ve written some excellent poems in the past, meaning I have the potential to write more good poems. I’ll be trying to write some original poetry going forward while I edit Elements and develop my next book.

The rest of the week awaits. Happy Monday!

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The Day Before: Happy Monday!

Life beat me down last week, so I didn’t get very much written. That’s why I was absent all last week. There was a scare with my car which ended up resolving itself, although it threw me into a panic. Despite living in a big city, when your needs depend on owning a car, it definitely puts a hold on your life.

On top of all that, work is work and it’s now November. That means NaNoWriMo, which means a new book to start! It’s called Uncommon Eyes. It takes place in the last weeks of a high schooler’s senior year and follows his ruminations and life as he nears the end of this chapter of his life. There’s a good cast of characters that I’m having a blast fleshing out, and it’s shaping up to be a good story.

However, I’m already behind. I need to write around 2,000 words a day to reach my 50,000 word goal by November 30th. Doable, but difficult. I’m excited for everything to come together, and it should be one hell of a November.

Tomorrow, however, I have one item that absolutely has to get done: voting!

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Yeah, the President is on the ballot this year, and no matter your beliefs, odds are you find at least one of the candidates terrible, so why bother? But the President can only do so much. Congress and the Senate all have substantial power, and tons of Congressmen and Senators are up for reelection. There are also plenty of local positons and laws, as well. That’s why I’m heading to the polls. There are too many important choices to be made on all levels of government, and it’s up to us to make it.

Voting talk over. I can’t wait for this election to be over. For now, I’m done writing for the day.

Last Week Tonight (sort of): Happy Monday!

Last week caught me out of nowhere. I couldn’t write or do much of anything. That’s why I didn’t share any reviews or blog posts. I guess something like this has happened before, but I never really recognized it. Not sure what it is, but I’m working on that.

This weekend, however, I managed to bounce back. I stayed off social media and took stock of where I’m at, personally and professionally. I’m not doing too bad, to be honest, but I’ve got a long way to go.

That’s why this week’s update is pretty short. There wasn’t much that happened the past week or two, but I know if I write, even just a little bit, I’ll make one more step towards ramping up for NaNoWriMo and finishing edit 3 of Elements. Maybe then I can start searching for a professional editor or maybe even an agent. Who knows?

As I let my mind wander, I gravatated back to my travels. This is one of the less impressive, but more historical photos.

 

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Petroglyphs in Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. It’s not the most well known park out there, but you can walk through geologic and Native American history. I highly recommend visiting it when you get a chance.

I’ll have to write more about my travels at some point.

 

 

Happy Monday! 15 Minute Writings in an Old House

The mainenance guy hasn’t come by yet to prep the radiators for the coming winter, so the apartment grows colder and colder each day. I don’t mind the chill, honestly. I prefer to wear sweaters or flannels. It’s cozier, cheaper, and it makes it feels more like fall every day. The leaves have yet to change, but they will soon. I can’t wait.

This is my new place, by the way.

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Nestled perfectly between two busy streets, it’s surprisingly quiet. No car alarms going off or sirens every other day. It’s closer to my climbing gym than the old place, there are plenty of trees around, and it’s in a part of the city I have yet to learn.

The weathered linoleum in the kitchen feels good against my bare feet. Just like the kitchen back home. Every other room is old hardwood, perfect for pacing around.

My roommate acquired most of the furniture himself, either from his family or from yard sales and such. I’m grateful for it; my bed is currently two couch cushions with a sheet over them on my bedroom floor. It’s way more comfy than I expected.

The adjustment into a routine didn’t take long. I wake up, check email, open up some Write Practice tabs and maybe a tv show, make some breakfast, and figure out my day. Sometimes I write original stuff, other times it’s a review. Regardless, there’s always something to be done for work or an errand that needs to be run to break up the day.

Speaking of running, I ran this afternoon! It was only 2.5 miles, but it felt good to get back into the habit. I’m doing a 5K in November with my sister, so training for that’ll be loads of fun.

Another neat little habit I picked up is the 15-minute writing burst. If you’re looking to increase productivity or build up a habit, pick up The 15-Minute Writer: How to Write Your Book in Only 15 Minutes A Day by Jennifer Blanchard. Geared primariy towards non-fiction writers, her approach to writing and her advice on achieving bursts of productivity are surprisingly simple, yet highly effective.

Granted, I can’t get all of my writing done in 15-minutes. It usually ends up being at least two bursts, if not four or five, before I need to step back and take a quick break, especially with fiction. Character development and scene building take time to work out, especially when planning to write a novel in a month.

NaNoWriMo is going swimmingly, by the way. I have five charcters realized, with two more in the works. All that’s left to figure out is the plot. Time to comb through my resources and figure out what’ll happen to Jai. It’s not an adventure, thriller, or crime story. I’m taking a literary approach to this one, so the whole ‘incident -reaction – incident – reaction’ principle to storytelling will be more subtle here than some of my other writing. It’ll be a fun challenge to figure it out this week.

Happy Monday!