“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Is a poem ever complete? This question is one I have struggled with through most of my years of writing poetry. As much as I love revision, it’s worth locking things away or sending them off as complete, because I might go back in and change things again. I have works I considered final at one point or another, only to find myself revising it yet again, years after the fact. I learned that it is okay to do that with poetry; however, we must come to a point where we feel it is time to share with peers and colleagues. Most of the poems I have posted here are considered complete – but I cannot guarantee that a year or ten from now that will still be the case.
A few years ago, I began to assemble a tool a toolkit of sorts that is comprised of tips, tricks, and suggestions from poets I have read over the course of my education, to help my poetry become more complete. In this toolkit, aside from revision techniques, I have added ways to draw more substance with my words, by way of freshening language and creating vivid, tangible images for my readers.
Now that I have the basics for this toolkit, I can take a better look at my work after the fact to see if I created a better poem by following the advice of my peers and the experts. A mantra I use when composing poetry goes like this: “Create. Freshen. Revise. Repeat.” It gets me through the process from start to finish. (more…)
Round One, at least.
Reporting live from the Midwest… which is smothered in heavy snow! I hope if you’re in this area you’re safe and warm, and are prepared for the über cold temps to follow!
I went out earlier to snap a few photos and noticed our complex has a crew working hard to plow and shovel… unfortunately, all the good they do is just covered again within a few minutes. It’s been snowing heavily since early this morning, and isn’t expected to stop until late afternoon/early evening.
Looking outside my window, it looks like I’m living inside a snow globe. As much as I loathe winter, I love a good snow. Cold temps are only reason I dislike wintertime; I’m just not built for it. Give me a beach anytime! Anyway, I do love it when it snows like this. It’s been fun glancing out the window to watch the fat flakes fall fast to the ground, stacking on one another. (more…)
“Maybe this year, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives not looking for flaws, but looking for potential.” — Ellen Goodman
Here it is. The obligatory Year’s End post. Also, it wouldn’t be a year’s end post without the obligatory statements like “I can’t believe how fast this year has gone” or “wow, it’s already January?!”
So… wow! I can’t believe we’ve already beginning another year! 2013 was a wonderful year for me. Here are some of the highlights:
- Started a new career (which I still love!)
- Turned 29… my last year as a twenty-something. Le sigh.
- Had steady freelance work. (Here’s to hoping that continues next year!)
- Saw DMB at the best-of-the-best Midwest venues (Deer Creek, Alpine Valley, Blossom, and Riverbend, even though it’s not the best venue…)
- Celebrated friendships, both new and old.
- Added another year with my love (yes, that marks five!).
And much, much more!
My hopes for 2014? To be more successful, accomplished, and happier than ever before. Life is good; I believe it can only get better. Resolutions? I have a handful… Even though resolutions aren’t generally successful, I still give it a go year after year. This year, I’m trying something different: I’m not going say “lose weight” or “travel more.” Instead, I’m creating a list of life goals, so to speak. These are motivating me to start fresh in 2014 and be the best I can be.
- Write more. Write MORE.
- Be healthier.
- Carve more time in my schedule for things that matter most: time with family/friends, relaxation, writing, and reading.
- Practice more yoga. And more often.
- Find a better work/life balance, so I can accept more freelance clients.
- Work harder/more seriously on my novel. Or start my memoir (The Panda Adventures!).
How was 2013 for you? I hope it was marvelous! Big plans for 2014? Share them in the comments. I hope you and yours have a very Happy New Year!