by Jay O'Toole
A letter to Me, evaluating the successes of last year and hopes for this year.
Snaps on the achievement of many of your goals for 2017!
Gabriella encouraged you, congratulated you and presented you with you certificate of graduation from The Rising Stars Program, 2017.
Poetry remained your shining light for 2017. You have been known to propose the writing of prose, but poetry will always remain your way to be.
While dipping pen to well of thought
release you words so free
That when your challenges be taught
your strength is poetry.
NaNoWriMo, 2017 was a thrilling and often hair-raising race of words, characters, activities and hopeful newness. You really did no prep work, but still you wrote more than 60,000 words in 30 days! How wonderful is that?
The subject was basically your life's story (or part of it at least.) Since you already have the libretto in your core, you worked the allegory around your basic story.
Allegory is an interesting genre. One can say many things in a straight forward manner without being too overt with personal details.
Your audience was in many ways the children's market, but like Bugs Bunny some things will cause children to laugh, to cry and to shudder with a bit of fright, whereas the adults, who read your story will see all of these things on a whole new level of each emotion.
There is plenty of peril in the story without being overly graphic. This is a good mix for the child as well as the child at heart.
Linguistically, you have maintained your G-rating with only the occasional PG, which depends on the strictness of the reader's standards.
You've created the needed tension, conflict, suspense and mystery to draw the reader from page to page to page to page...However, there is still great room for improvement, regarding the tendency to overuse adverbs as is often the case with novice prosaic pilots.
Your Love of Christmas was included in your novel, but it was not the main focus. So, I think you're good on that point.
Instead of a novel about people, who overcame hardships to give themselves fully to releasing the hardships of others, you created the 50 line poem, "Klaus' Flight in April" that told the story of one very altruistic individual, who works more than one night each year.
I have no doubt that this is the reason why you are so drawn to Christmas as a recurring theme in your own life.
Now, as to the things we missed in 2017. There was the matter of returning to the myriad challenges of
As we both know the world of poetry is infinite in its twists and turns of rhythms, rhymes, characters, shapes and imagery. Sadly, you still tend to be rather proud of the fact that you have been this "great poet," since you wrote your first one at age 13. Dave , Monty and your new friend, Tinker1111 have all challenged your sensibilities, making you rethink your understanding of poetry with great encouragement and their often nudgings to achieve greater heights as well as to plumb the great depths of the heart's song that you now know to be the realm of Poetry, which will be the awesome pursuit that lasts beyond this life. Poetry is the Mariana's Trench of thought and the Mount Everest of emotion! Onward & Upward! Always Onward & Upward!
Again, Dear One, you had aspirations to attempt many forms of prose in 2017, including flash fiction, short stories, essays and even a novella or two on the way to NaNoWriMo. Few of these were in the end even on the radar as you experienced a slight writer's let-down after graduation from The Rising Stars Program. However, you are to be commended that you used the emotional and mental fatigue to spur you into a month of physical pursuits that took you out of the home into many local landmarks and onsite History lessons with Jade Amber: Busy, Busy, Busy! and her rather large family of friends, during the last half of the summer vacation. (It is amazing how refreshing state parks can be for the renewing of the mind and the reinvigorating of the body!)
Team-building in your writing career is still as important in 2018 as it was in 2017.
Gabriella remains a strong encourager and motivator in your career as a writer. Her ability to see past your "rough edges" to the gem you could become has gained her a permanent display in your Mentor's Hall of Fame.
Jade Amber: Busy, Busy, Busy! is still your "right arm." Her abilities as a writer urge you on to greater heights of writing in your own right.
Choconut is another lover of poetry, who encourages you along the way.
Marvin Schrebe aka Chris Breva knows that challenges in life are never an excuse for quitting. He encourages to greater success that overcomes every obstacle.
Golden Eagle Eye , who lives in "the land of Middle Earth" will no doubt remain one of your greatest resources to give visual inspiration toward creating literature that is an homage to J. R. R. Tolkien.
Samberine-low internet signal , my dear daughter in the faith and a truly excellent human being, writer and pursuer of encouragement, reconciliation and the building up of others on every level remains a great JOY to your heart and to mine.
Hanna ~ Ball of Sunshine 🌞 always has some sort of exciting life experience to spark the imagination.
~ Sisco ~ and PDG Rocks ♫♥♫ have been great mentors and encouragers to you. Keep them in your Mentor's Hall of Fame as contact them as often as possible, which could be every day, if necessary.
Now, it's time to get specific with your assignments for the year.
NaNoWriMo, 2017 is in the books. This means that NaNoWriMo Editing, 2018 remains a huge step in your growth as a writer. I realize that you feel a little intimidated with nuances and feathering of ideas, which can turn a novice into a best-selling novelist, but you simply need to avail yourself of some excellent resources that are all part of Writing.Com. Carol St. Ann and her
Refer to your Comma Sense class materials from the Winter Session of 2017, which inspired your whimsical parody
Start making mental preparations for NaNoWriMo, 2018. I am quite sure that Quest and his dad, Casa, have more adventures to live. There is so much more to be said in their lives. I sense that like your favorite authors of The Inklings, you have at least a trilogy to tell in
There is an urgent matter at hand! You will need to take a little time at the first of February to make you portfolio fit for
Since poetry is your respite, a cup of coffee or a spot of tea with time to reflect, challenge yourself with regular contests this year as you did during the first few months of your membership in 2016.
The weekly challenges of
For poet's skill and loving heart
require the daily use
Amazing rhymes and rhythms start
as little thoughts we spruce.
So, bring your contests! Make us grow!
These wondrous songs will dance!
And when we're through a new thing know
as eyes do more than glance.
O my Goodness! I really have been forgetting to tell you about one of your most important skills. REVIEWING. Reviewing helps you to see the way other writers think as well as how they put words together. Every time you review another writer's work you learn something new. That is without exception. Let me issue a friendly challenge to you. Every month of 2018 should include ten new reviews. That's only one review every three days! That shouldn't be a problem! (I'm setting the bar a little low for 2018, since you got out of practice, during the last half of 2017. However, the goal is to be doing one review every day by the first of 2019.)
The point is this. One stagnates, when one only receives. Growth comes from giving out to others. One of the best examples of this is the Jordan River in Israel. The Jordan River flows through the Sea of Galilee and keeps going, while stopping in the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee is vibrant and full of life. You must surely be able to drink the water. The Dead Sea, however, has no outlet. It is filled with so much salt that swimmers can float without trying. Do not ever drink the salty water! It cannot support life.
You've enjoyed myriad reviews from kind friends, regarding your writings in your profile. It's time now to give back to others with some reviews of your own. Your understand of the rules of the English language is above average. You can help people. Let's do it!
All My Best,
Word Count: 1844