Do Not Stand Forward of Line While Bus is in Motion

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For Christmas last year my wife bought me a copy of a The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises From Poets Who Teach.  It’s a collection of essays and exercises intended to challenge and inspire writers (not just poets) at all literary levels.  I’ve only recently begun to work my way through it.  Typically I can only make time to do this when the hopper managing my ‘free-time lottery’ kicks out the writing self-improvement ball.  Unfortunately, Continue reading…

How writing poetry helps me write fiction

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I am a stickler for words.  I’ve tried to pretend it’s not true, but it is.  For instance . . .

  • I hate it when people at the office chat over instant messaging in all lower case and and don’t bother to spell check. (NOT referring here to texting shorthand like ‘thx’ or ‘l8r’)
  • I cringe (just a little) when my 12YO says at the dinner table ‘Can I be excused?’, instead of ‘May I…’  (Of course she can, but whether or not I’ll let her is another matter.)
  • My hackles raise just a bit whenever anyone says to me ‘Why don’t you {fill in the blank}’.  (They’re not really asking me if I will do something; they’re asking me to tell them why I won’t.

I digress.

Often when I’m working on a story I find myself rewriting the same passages over and over again, trying to get the words just right.  Continue reading…