Crowing along the way with wisdom and practical advice
All of these entries were originally posted in my Newsfeed.
Feel free to read and review any and all of them!
| Would you call WDC a business? Indeed, all of those membership fees go to pay for something. Could it be that our leaders have small estates in the Hamptons, built on the dreams of ordinary people with that burning longing to be writers? Please tell me it isn't so.
Alright, it isn't so, but it would be a perfect story for the likes of CNN. Actually, I'm not at all interested in where the fees go. It would seem obvious that someone has to pay the bills on a site this size.
But some things interest me on WDC, and that is most particularly this community of writers we have assembled. Yes, it is true that in my years here I have encountered a knucklehead or two who purpose in life seemed to be the pooh-poohing the labors of others. Yes, Virginia, they do exist. But don't let them bother you. You know how it goes; if you can't write then excrete your bile in beating up on those who can.
And what about the genuine writers on WDC? Well, they have seemed to me a close-knit group of kind, generous, and helpful people, with a love and talent for the written word. And, yes, even this old crow has made some treasured friends.
And so, to sum up, I will say that WDC is an excellent place of great people and equally great writing, a great haven for the novice and the veteran.
So, now, I have to fly down to the Hamptons to visits some buddies who always seem to have their beaks in the air. Wish me luck with that crowd.
I Can't Get No Reaction
Yes, yes, I know it's terrible grammar and reminds you of a popular sixties hit. But all that aside, why is that some can't seem to raise a reaction from their fellow writers?
Whenever one of our writing community posts anything on the newsfeed, they often get a reaction or comment from others. Sometimes they seem to get a fair amount of both, and sometimes they get nothing at all. What do you think makes the difference?
Well, owing to the capricious and often fickle nature of human beings, nothing can ever be taken for granted. Strangely enough, posts that usually get the most reactions may seem the most innocuous. However, though innocuous they may be, they do have one thing going for them; they evoke conversation and participation. The may announce a new raffle, a writing contest, or any of a wide range of activities in which others may seek to involve themselves.
The fact is, we all want to be recognized for the things that are important to us. The problem with that is, that what is important to us may not hold the least importance to others, no matter what its inherent worth.
As I have said before, I have zero interest in raffles and contest. If they never again appeared on my screen, I wouldn't miss a beat. As for others, they can't get enough of them. They love the lively party atmosphere. Well, more power to them.
Of course, there is yet another small consideration. Or, maybe it not that small. What some eager and expectant writer post on the feed may not be a good fit for the feed. It might be a better fit for the writer's portfolio.
In the final analysis, not everything is every other man's cup of tea. As my wife likes to constantly remind me: "I don't find it necessary to respond to everything that comes out of your mouth." I guess that's the way it is with the feed.
Originally posted here: "Note: As The Crow Flies I Can'..."
Today my fingers wish to play on keys of white or grey, but the trick is in finding what to say. Searching the index of a mind grown old, shall we search for sweetness or for bold. What! Sweetness is missing, misplaced in times of sullen mood. Then bold and brash we will be, and whatever arises, we will wait to see.
Have a great day of writing, everyone.
Originally posted here: "Note: Today my fingers wish to pla..."
|This is the first poem I have written in it seems forever. What think ye? And, can you guess what it depicts?
As the Crow Flies
I have wondered, nightly wandering
Over sidewalks having known so well.
But treading not upon sacred places
I did float in and out of treetop spaces,
Leaving not the faintest traces.
And as I floated I nearly gloated,
To think my soaring a gift from above.
But the morn shown garish, causing my dream to perish,
Into a fantasy of childhood love.
Originally posted here: "Note: This is the first poem ..."
Make Time To Learn
In my last post on the feed, I posed the question as to what all of you were reading and went on to suggest that you might avail yourselves of some excellent volumes of poetry
Today, I wish to inquire as to what you are learning. For weather reading, composing, or viewing a didactic documentary, learning is at the heart of the writer's craft.
Now, to be sure, a great multitude of you are much younger than I. In this fact is your decided advantage. Your young minds are fluid for the retention of those copious reams of information that is often ingested. As I have begun my journey as a writer to ancient status, I must work all the harder to do what many of you take for granted. Your youth is a wonderful gift. Use it wisely and I may soon spy your work in the window dressing of Barnes and Nobel.
Being an amateur historian, I explore the past and that which will soon be the past. I just recently finished - for the second time - 'The White Plague' which is a history of 'consumption'. I am also working to finish a novel of Berlin's history during World War ll. I believe my next adventure will be a foray into the history of 'Cholera'. All of this effort is purely a labor of love. Of course, I must not omit my cadre of poetry books presently in the works.
Whatever you do throughout your busy lives, never neglect your learning years. What those days can return to you may be beyond your wildest expectations.
Originally posted here: "Note: ..."
Wonderful Poetry Books
Hello, friends. What are you reading these days? My reading fare has taken a sharp turn over the past month. I have returned to one of those deeps roots of my beginning, that being poetry. Having done so, I have begun reading poetry in earnest. I have recently begun collecting my library of poems and poets of which I have developed an interest. These poets include the well know names of Keats, Shelly, Frost, and Henery David Thoreau, and of course, Edger Allen Poe. There are also books of haunted and bewitching themes, as well as Zen poems by the masters of that discipline. There are a host of other titles as well.
Now, let me put you onto a trail that some may find delightful. Not long ago I purchased a most unique volume called 'Poems of Mourning'. And yes, it is a small volume dedicated to mourning for the dead. The book is about six inches in length, clothbound, and with a ribbon marker and dust cover. The publisher is 'Everyman's Library Pocket Poets'. These great little books are well-bound, handsome, and exquisitely handy given their small size. Even so, the print is easily readable. Just go to Amazon and type in the publisher's name for a listing of all they have to offer. The price is most reasonable, about $12.00 to $14.00 depending on the book.
If you haven't heard of these I trust you will look them over. I feel certain you will not be disappointed.
Originally posted here: "Note: Wonderful Poetry Books Hell..."
Poets...Lend Me Your Ears
If someone were to tell me that the majority of writing on WDC consist of poetry, I would not have the least problem believing such an opinion. I truly believe that the Sun never sets on the poetry empire of WDC.
This being the case, I wonder how many of this great number would attest that they truly understand the technical aspects of what they are writing if indeed there are any such in relationship to their verses? That is to say, how many of our community of poets are poets indeed. We must all know that it is one thing to write lines of metered rhyme, prose, or free verse, but it is quite another thing to grasp the technology of what you are writing.
Right here on WDC we have our very own poetry teacher. Professor Dave heads up the 'Poet's Cafe' If your desire to learn your poetry craft, Dave will supply all the information you need. I must admit that I have not read a great many of Dave's instructions because either my discipline or mental acuity felt lacking. But maybe that was just a cop-out for being lazy.
I have always loved poetry. Back in the dawn of time when I was a young man contemplating whether I would be drafted to fight in Vietnam, I would go out at night, sit in my car and write verse. I am not of any illusion that it was good verse, but I spent many pleasant hours emptying my heart upon those pages. I still possess those ancient writings to this very day.
I continue to write rhyming verse and free verse, although I am primarily a primarily a non-fiction writer. When I do write verse it is usually free verse because I have never been one who appreciated being constricted by rules. Even so, I would very much enjoy learning the nuts and bolts of well-crafted poetry.
All of you poets out there, do you really know whether your poetry is up to the challenge of examination? Let's not whistle past the graveyard. Let's find out the truth about our poetry.
Originally posted here: "Note: Poets...Lend Me Your Ears ..."
Are You Studying?
According to King Solomon, "The making of many books is a weariness to the flesh." To what was Solomon referring? He was stating that any study can be an arduous personal task. Any of you, who, having huddled by the midnight lamplight in preparation for next day exams, knows well the labor involved.
However, for our brief exchange, we will refer to that type of study that enhances the skill of writing. In my most humble opinion, the first and foremost activity should be reading. I love to read books, flesh and bone books. I have read or listened to books in other formats, but there is nothing like holding a book in your hands. Writers should always be reading.
After reading there is the study of English composition. This is where the real work begins. If you thought you were finished with English after you completed your education, think again. If you wish to be a proficient writer, it's back to the study of English composition. As I have already said, it's work and no worthwhile work is easy. However, if you are willing to put in even a minimum of effort, you will be rewarded.
Now, let's hit the books and turn out your best work ever.
Originally posted here: "Note: AS THE CROW FLIES Are You S..."
Do You Need To Change Your Filter?
Let us take for our deliberation the community of WDC. From time to time, certain of our group will intimate that they have been confronted with people they considered rude because they said exactly what they thought about a story or poem, holding no criticism in check. It is true that some who review the work of others take no prisoners. With them, it is a no-nonsense business. As these reviewers see it, if you want to be patted on the head and told that your work is great when it isn't, get someone who is willing to do that, being that they aren't hard to find.
Many of our writing community don't have a filter on what they say about the work of others. Is that a bad thing? Sometimes it is, but not always. Speaking the truth is one thing while speaking it with cruel intent is quite another. If you drive your car without ever changing the various filters that contribute to good performance, you're going to do some damage. Speaking the truth works in the same way. The truth is absolutely essential, but it will only be accepted if it is filtered through a heart of compassion.
Originally posted here: "Note: Do You Need To Change Your Fi..."
Gathering My Children Around Me
I have always been the quintessential neatnik. My office where I read and write is usually kept in a quasi-minimalist form. I have always much appreciated a well-kept workspace.
But suddenly, something has changed. I have begun to throw off the yoke of pristine spaces for the stacked clutter of books and papers. Instead of going to the bookshelf and searching endlessly for a volume I know is there, I have chosen to gather my most treasured volumes around me for quick access. I have the benefit of a large desk, so space is not a pressing issue. It feels great to have my children forming a protective wall around me, emanating their warm solace. I have my typewriter, laptop, and the knowledge and wisdom I need at hand. I hardly need to rise from my chair to find what I desire. I'm a writer, and this is living.
Originally posted here: "Note: Gathering My Children Around ..."