Tag Archives: creativity

Five Lessons Learned

Polishing one’s writing can be a lonely affair.

1. Enlist the aid of others–a writing critique group or even a good friend you trust. Sometimes simply reading aloud to yoruself helps, but when there is an audience, one’s own revision instincts sharpen.

2. Listen to comments on your specific piece., Evaluate, edit in light of those comments, but do not slavishly follow–trust your own creative instincts.

3. Listen to comments made to and by others. Yesterday comments made to another reminded me  that  the words “appear” and “seem” weaken everyone’s writing

4. Repeats are not necessary unless you have a distinct purpose for them. Mindlessly repeating words is redundancy and irritates readers. Repeating for emphasis awakens readers to your intent.

5. Write for your readers not just for yourself. Journals are for self-directed writing. All else should be selfless.

Who is in your kitchen?

My husband has decided he wants to be in the kitchen. He made this decision a couple of years ago and it is wonderful! He enjoys the creative outlet of cooking and his new hobby means we buy more kitchen gadgets (I love it and certainly sur le table, williams sonoma, Macy’s and the Dollar store have all benefited.)

Last night his sister and our brother in law came to dinner. Joe cooked. I did not do a thing! Wonderful–adn soooooo delicious.

Our daughter cooks–encouraged her into the ktichen when she wanted to.

Our son liked to putter in the kitchen too–he called himself the McGyver of food, putting together odd combinations when he was not pleased by what I was serving for supper.

Last year our duaghter gave her Dad a cooking class (for the three of us) at Sur Le Table for his 65th.

What am I advocating? Encourage yoru family into the kitchen–to watch, to try out combinations themselves. Cooking is a creative outlet. It’s fun and sociable–an acitivty to share.

Preparing to Teach Poetry

Getting ready to teach my poetry seminar at the library.

So excited about it! To be in the presence of children as they create is a very exciting thing!

I see myself as more of a guide, introducing them to their own creativity than a teacher, tho I will pass on to them any technique I have learned and certain aspects of poetry that can be”learned”. Mostly tho we will experience the creative process together.

Crissy, librarian at Hickman shared this book with me–if I had a textbook for the course, this is the book I would choose–it is written by Sharon Creech, award -winning children’s author of Walk  Two Moons.

The title of the book is Love That Dog and it explores poetry through the eyes of a reluctant poet, first as he learns to appreciate poetry, then to write it, then to share.

It is a small masterpiece.

Crows at Lunch

Since watching three crows attack my lawn as a smorgasboard for bugs, some years ago, I have worked on a poem to work out the malaise I felt over their arrival and the outcome of that malaise. Writing is something you do every day if you want to be a writer, but you don’t always work on the same item day after day. sometimes a piece  needs to sit–like soup or sauce–to coalesce in your heart and mind–before undergoing another revision.

Write every day–but don’t kill yourself over a piece that is not working out. Put it aside for a few days–not our of mind, just out of sight. Work over some ideas in your head and then try them out on paper. Leave enough time in your work schedule for each piece, especially the deadlined pieces, for this creative “rest” period. Some pieces do not need it, but many do –and it is usually of great benefit.

If it is a piece that is not under contract, once you have fulfilled its needs creatively, that is the time to find a market for it–often a more difficult task than the writing!