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The first poem is a poetic form called an etheree. The first line is one syllable, and each of the following lines is one more, ending with the ten syllable tenth line.

OUR SHAME

Brave
Soldier
Veteran
He lost so much
Sacrificed for us
Gave of his own free will
And changed his life forever
Not losing limbs, but peace of mind
Spending restless nights haunted by dreams
Waking to the nightmare of homelessness

The second poem is an octain refrain. I’ll explain the form then share my example.
Structure – 

eight lines as two tercets and a couplet, eight syllables per line with the first line repeated (as much as possible) as the last. Line five has an internal rhyme requirement (c/c) Meter is either iambic or trochaic tetrameter.

Rhyme scheme/Structure

A-b-b
a-c/c-a
b-A

 

THE HOMECOMING

When troops come marching home again,
war torn, exhausted from the flight,
still trying to forget the fight,

Our arms reach out to take them in,
and after cheers and many tears
we’ll all give thanks and say amen,

Then beg relief from battles’ blight
When troops come marching home again.

DO YOU LIKE A CHALLENGE?

Part of the fun of poetry is putting pen to paper, staring at the blank page, and not knowing what may appear. Oh, did I say fun? Perhaps the most frustrating part of writing poetry is putting pen to paper, staring at the blank page, and not knowing what may appear!

mousebook-gkb

What is the joy of writing poetry? Putting pen to paper and seeing it fill with all those tiny symbols that come together to finally having meaning–seeing something actually appear!

There’s a very good chance that what you see will be a bit of a mess that must be cleaned up, refreshed, refined, and maybe, just maybe, turned into something you love…okay, love may be a little strong. Maybe you’ll just think it’s acceptable… it’s tolerable… it’ll do. Well, maybe I can make it better. And so it goes.

Many of us find the most difficult part of writing a poem is deciding on a topic. What shall I write about? (Except for those times when something inside drives the pen..) That’s where some real fun can begin. The Challenge – and there are many different kinds of challenges to get the word juices flowing.

Given one such challenge (five years ago) I was really stumped. The challenge was to write a quit doing what you’re doing poem. What?? Well I wasn’t doing anything but looking at that ugly, white, blank page! But then I thought about it, and this was the result.

Worry?  Why?
How does it help?
   And who?
Does it stop wars,
   Cure disease?
Does it prevent the drought
   Or stop the seas?
Does it keep a child
   From foolishly erring?
Does it stop the moron
   From drinking and driving,
      Destroying too many lives?
If worry could heal,
If worry could change the tides,
     Still the winds,
        Stop the ground from moving.
If worry could protect the child
     From harm and suffering,
        Keep fools from causing pain,

If…..

     Worry?   Why?

Is this great poetry? Oh, hell no! But it served a purpose for the poet. It brought a moment of clarity. She was satisfied… at least for the moment.

Want to give it a try? Can you write a quit doing what you’re doing poem?

I’d love to hear about it if you do. Happy writing!

allgood-gkb

What is Poetry?

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Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic, and rhythm, qualities of language—such as phonesthetics, sound symbolism, and meter—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning. (wikipedia)

Does that explain it for you? Well it’s certainly true, but to me this definition is simply too clinical. Does it share the true essence of what it means to each of us–to each of us who puts pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard to convey something from deep within. To the writer of poems (well, at least this writer of poems) it encompasses so much more.

Sometimes we use strict forms. Sometimes we rhyme. Sometimes we just bleed onto the page.

In the coming weeks, I plan to share more about poetry with examples I hope you’ll enjoy.

The poem below was born from a simple challenge: Write a poem about the autumn scene above.

Wrapped in red mist

and gently kissed

by leaves blushing lips

this enchanting encounter

so brief…

yet long remembered…

chased by bitter cold,

flies into memory’s vault

to be held fast

until heat’s passion

tinged with early chill

sings seasons’

sanguine refrain.

Wow, what a weekend!

Two fun-filled days for readers, writers, family and friends!

Saturday was a blast, but first let’s talk about the Writers Conference we had Friday.

grace-reading-2

Friday was a day filled with learning, growing, networking, and inspiration. We had workshops about travel writing, writing memoir, the ‘business’ after you’ve done the writing, and even do-it-yourself illustrations for children’s books–just to name a few.

There were two workshops provided by our best-selling author, Maria Snyder. She knows her stuff and generously shared secrets on writing exciting and realistic fight scenes as well as how to creating believable villains.

There was even a panel that provided valuable information and answered all kinds of questions on the mysterious process of becoming a successful writer and what to do once you’ve arrived.  I’d like to say: Laurie Edwards, Lawrence Knorr, Michelle Mioff-Haring, Demi Stevens, and moderator, Don Helin… THANK YOU!

We had six hours’ worth of genius thoughts and copious notes to digest… all in good time.

taking-notes-in-class-taking_notes

THEN CAME THE FUN!!!

It was on to the big day, the day we’d all been looking forward to for months. Well, to be perfectly honest, some of us had probably been looking forward to it since the day after last year’s Expo.

THE YORK BOOK EXPO

Saturday, October 15, 2016 had been circled on our  calendars and counted down to for months. Now it was finally here!

There were tables with an amazing variety of gorgeous displays and lots and lots of hugs as fellow writers greeted each other. Local authors, publishers, editors, and most important of all, lovers of books were everywhere.  There were books for all ages and interests from romance to mysteries, from inspiration to animals, for young and for the more mature. There was even wine tasting… and it was delish!

But the highlight of my day was having this charming six year old sit on my lap and read my very own picture book, The Greatest Aunt, to me.

grace-reading

The wonderful reviews and feedback I’ve received for Out of the Storm are more gratifying than I can say, but it’s moments like these that thrill me beyond my wildest imaginings.

Thank you Demi Stevens of Year of the Book for opening this new world of possibilities to me and to so many others. You are a treasure!

Finally… it’s here!

I am happy to announce the release of my romance novel, Out of the Storm, published April 5, 2016. If possible, I am even more excited than I was when my children’s picture book was published. Thanks to the support of my writing group, my friends and family, and my editor and publisher, Demi Stevens, I have achieved a goal I once thought unattainable. Now I know nothing is impossible.

For those of you who have requested an autographed copy, I can now happily fulfill those requests. I will be scheduling a book signing in the near future and hope to see many of you then.

Out of the Storm is also available in print or for Kindle through Amazon.

OOTS

What’s Next?

Nearly two weeks after our York Book Expo I am still basking in the afterglow. It was a huge success thanks to all the participating authors, but most of all to organizer, Demi Stevens of Year of the Book Press.

After almost a year of waiting for this special event, one might expect to experience a huge let-down once it was over. However, for me at least, this was not the case. So many wonderful memories were made that day thanks to all those who came out to see us. From the time the doors opened until the realization that we had reached the ending time of five o’clock, I enjoyed visits with wonderful friends, family members, and other book lovers. It was such a joy that I’m already looking forward to doing it again next year. I truly appreciated everyone who helped me celebrate the release of my first children’s picture book, The Greatest Aunt. My only regret was that the time flew by so quickly that I didn’t find time to see many of my fellow authors.

Of course I can’t continue to ride this wave of exhilaration forever, so now what? Well, I certainly don’t plan on stopping here. I anticipate releasing my first novel by December 2015!  Yes, that’s right. My manuscript is with my editor now, and it will most definitely need some revision when I get it back, but I am determined to stick to this timeline. So please watch for updates…it’s coming soon! Oh, what are you watching for, you ask? You’re watching for Out of the Storm!

Cover

 

 

 

York Book Expo

I am so excited about our upcoming York Book Expo! This is going to be a great event for the whole family with lots of fun activities for the kids. Our New York Times Bestselling author, David Rosenfelt, will be joined by so many wonderful local authors, and of course I’ll be there signing my own Children’s Picture Book, The Greatest Aunt. I hope to see you there on October 17, 2015!

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