Wednesday, April 30, 2014

In Honor of National Poetry Month: Sylvia Plath

When I think about poetry I think about Sylvia Plath. She was a volatile, complex person and that is evident in her work.
Here’s a great example, of one of my faves by Sylvia Plath:

Cinderella – Sylvia Plath
The prince leans to the girl in scarlet heels,
Her green eyes slant, hair flaring in a fan
Of silver as the rondo slows; now reels
Begin on tilted violins to span

The whole revolving tall glass palace hall
Where guests slide gliding into light like wine;
Rose candles flicker on the lilac wall
Reflecting in a million flagons' shine,

And glided couples all in whirling trance
Follow holiday revel begun long since,
Until near twelve the strange girl all at once
Guilt-stricken halts, pales, clings to the prince

As amid the hectic music and cocktail talk
She hears the caustic ticking of the clock.

Learn more about Sylvia here:
I adored reading her poetry but I also loved her prose. Her journals are fascinating.
Check out her work here:

What poetry, or other art, do you love enough to keep in your nightstand?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Current Musical Obsession: SMASH

If I didn't make this clear, I love musical theater. In college, I had a few friends who were theater majors. Hanging out with them was a thrill. I was cool by association.

Well, as cool as a nerdy theater wannabe can be...I guess.

Anyway, I felt lucky to go to a school where I could see these amazing productions every semester. It inspired in me a deep appreciation for all things theater.

Tonight, I'm FINALLY going to see Lion King. The Broadway production is on tour in ATL. *jumps up and down* I'm so thrilled I might come out of my skin.

So to celebrate, I want to share with you another of my musical obsessions. I can’t seem to get this song out of my head. It’s from SMASH. Yeah, that TV show following a crew trying to make it on Broadway. Okay, I’ve heard a lot of arguments for why that show may not have been accurate. But I don’t care. I loved that show.

I loved Katherine McPhee. I absolutely loved her. I also pretty much adored the entire cast, except that stupid assistant guy from season 1.

Title: Broadway Here I Come
From: SMASH featuring Jeremy Jordan

Here are some lyrics (my favorite part):
The pressure it increases
The closer that I get
I could almost go to pieces
But I'm not quite there yet
See, I've been bravin' crazy weather
Drownin' out my cries
I pull myself together
I'm focused on the prize

I'm fallin', baby
Through the sky, through the sky
I'm fallin', baby through the sky
It's my callin', baby
Don't you cry, don't you cry
'Cause I'm fallin' down through the sky

And it's a tune you can hum
Oh, Broadway here I come

Will I remain the same
Or will I change a little bit?
Will I feel broken or totally complete?
Will I retain my name when I'm the biggest, hugest hit?
Or will I blend in with the rest of the street

The people all are pointing
I bet they'd never guess
That the saint that they're anointing
Is frightened of the mess
But even though I fear it
I'm playin' all my cards...
Baby, you are gonna hear it
When I give them my regards

Now Jeremy Jordan has a beautiful voice. It’s absolutely creamy and melancholy. I can’t get enough of it. And when he sings about ‘playing all his cards’ in the face of fear, I feel like it’s a battle cry for every wanna be writer/actor/musician/artist.

He might as well be Mel Gibson on a steed giving me a pep talk before leading us artist-types into battle.
I absolutely love this one.

*Yells 'Freeeeeedooom'*

What songs have inspired you or your work right now?

Want to hear more songs that inspire me? Check out these posts here, and here, as well as my guest post on The Writer Diaries blog

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

In Honor of National Poetry Month: William Wordsworh

I can’t honor poetry without giving mad props to my man Wordsworth, William Wordsworth. *said in manner of 007 with improvised British accent* See where I fan girl-ed over him last year in this post.

Wordsworth’s body of work is extensive. And by that I mean awe-inspiringly huge. Which I good, because there are so many poems to love.

I have a palm-sized collection of Wordsworth poems that I keep in my nightstand next to my palm-sized Keats and Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States. In other words, I’m a word nerd.

Here’s a great example, of one of my faves:

Among All Lovely Things My Love Had Been – William Wordsworth

AMONG all lovely things my Love had been;
Had noted well the stars, all flowers that grew
About her home; but she had never seen
A glow-worm, never one, and this I knew.

While riding near her home one stormy night
A single glow-worm did I chance to espy;
I gave a fervent welcome to the sight,
And from my horse I leapt; great joy had I.

Upon a leaf the glow-worm did I lay,
To bear it with me through the stormy night:
And, as before, it shone without dismay;
Albeit putting forth a fainter light.

When to the dwelling of my Love I came,
I went into the orchard quietly;
And left the glow-worm, blessing it by name,
Laid safely by itself, beneath a tree.

The whole next day, I hoped, and hoped with fear;
At night the glow-worm shone beneath the tree;
I led my Lucy to the spot, 'Look here,'
Oh! joy it was for her, and joy for me!

Learn more about Wordsworth here. Check out his work here.

What poetry, or other art, do you love enough to keep in your nightstand?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In Honor of National Poetry Month: John Keats

My first literary crush might have been on John Keats. I talked about it a little in my post, here.

I can’t be sure because I did an awful lot of swooning over poets when I was younger: Keats, Poe, Wordsworth, Plath, Dickenson, etc.

Keats always held a warm spot in my heart because he had a sad, short life filled with illness and heartache. His story fascinates me almost as much as his work.

Here is one of my favorites:

Faery Songs– John Keats
Shed no tear! oh, shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Weep no more! oh, weep no more!
Young buds sleep in the root's white core.
Dry your eyes! oh, dry your eyes!
For I was taught in Paradise
To ease my breast of melodies,--
Shed no tear.

Overhead! look overhead!
'Mong the blossoms white and red--
Look up, look up! I flutter now
On this fresh pomegranate bough.
See me! 'tis this silvery bill
Ever cures the good man's ill.
Shed no tear! oh, shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Adieu, adieu -- I fly -- adieu!
I vanish in the heaven’s blue,--
Adieu, adieu!

Ah! woe is me! poor silver-wing!
That I must chant thy lady's dirge,
And death to this fair haunt of spring,
Of melody, and streams of flowery verge,--
Poor silver-wing! ah! woe is me!
That I must see
These blossoms snow upon thy lady's pall!
Go, pretty page! and in her ear
Whisper that the hour is near!
Softly tell her not to fear
Such calm favonian burial!
Go, pretty page! and soothly tell,--
The blossoms hang by a melting spell,
And fall they must, ere a star wink thrice
Upon her closed eyes,
That now in vain are weeping their last tears,
At sweet life leaving, and these arbours green,--
Rich dowry from the Spirit of the Spheres,
Alas! poor Queen!

Learn more about his life here. Check out his collections of his work here.

Who’s is your favorite poet?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

In Honor of Natonal Poetry Month: Robert Frost

I personally cannot think of American poetry without thinking of Robert Frost. I talked a bit about it in my post here.

I love how I can curl up in his words and feel the very warmth of the scene. Here is a classic Frost, I hope you like it.

Carpe Diem– Robert Frost

Age saw two quiet children
Go loving by at twilight,
He knew not whether homeward,
Or outward from the village,
Or (chimes were ringing) churchward,
He waited, (they were strangers)
Till they were out of hearing
To bid them both be happy.
'Be happy, happy, happy,
And seize the day of pleasure.'
The age-long theme is Age's.
'Twas Age imposed on poems
Their gather-roses burden
To warn against the danger
That overtaken lovers
From being overflooded
With happiness should have it.
And yet not know they have it.
But bid life seize the present?
It lives less in the present
Than in the future always,
And less in both together
Than in the past. The present
Is too much for the senses,
Too crowding, too confusing-
Too present to imagine.


I just love the imagry. Need more Frost? Check out this post from last year.

You can learn more about Robert Frost and his work here. Check out compilations of his poetry here.

What do you love about poetry?

Monday, April 7, 2014

I Can Haz Productivity: March 2014 Month In Review

What can I say about March? I had a love hate relationship with March. First, I hated it because I was drowning in edits. But, I loved those edits because it helped my story really shine. Yeah, I got terrific feedback from my beta readers and CP’s so I incorporated some of that feedback into my newly polished, ready-to-query-widely MS. Which is exciting and terrifying at the same time. Those of you who have queried know what I mean *holds hand up for high five* *doesn’t receive high five* *slowly lowers hand in defeat*

But March was more than edits. It wasn’t all about writing, no matter how much I would have liked it to be. I had a lot of work, class, and working out to fit in. I traveled twice – first for a sad, family event in FL. Next, for a work conference in SC. I’m glad I was able to attend both but I wish both were under different/happier circumstances.

In addition, we had to get our taxes in order. If you’ve never done taxes I envy you. Giving more of my hard earned money to the government is a horrible, gut wrenching experience that makes my skin crawl.

I know, I know, there are a million reasons why we have to pay them (and I’m not trying to get all political here. I just really like the money we earn and I hate to see it go). Luckily, we’ve found a great CPA who helped us keep the process as painless as possible.

March is also the first of my quarterly, self-imposed, goal 'pulse-checks'. I usually spend a little time reviewing and reflecting on my goals for the year (I’ll post about my findings later, so swing back by).

And towards the very end of the month we snuck an unexpected, little 5k race in. If you follow me on Twitter you might have noticed my obsession with running is in bloom.

I’ve got big running plans for the year but I’ll have to wait to report details. (Don’t want to jinx anything).

All of that to say, I was busy. My word count suffered but my novel did not. Important distinction? Heck yes!

So what did my month yield? The productivity is as follows:

1 Query letter polished and ready

1 Synopsis polished and ready

1 MS polished and ready (all major/minor edits tackled!!)

4 blog posts written

1 novel read (which is really low for me – I feel the need, the need to read more!)

2 out of town trips

1 5k race

And words, not many words but any words are better than no words *does happy dance *

For a grand total of 5,645 words. This brings my total ‘tracked’ word count to 28,910 for the year! My writing goals are off to a good start. To tell you the truth, my total words are probably higher but I got so turned around trying to track word count while I was editing that I got confused and quit. I only tracked new words written – so new scenes, blogs, outlines for my next WIP etc. I didn’t count words cut from the MS and then the new words added.

And as I mentioned above, I have big running goals this year. Since I’m tracking my writing goals I figure I should also track my running goals. So for the first time, I am happy to report, 29.8 miles logged.

My total ‘tracked’ mileage will grow in the coming months. I’m just happy to be falling in love with running again.

How are your writing goals coming along? How do you determine you daily word goals?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

In Honor of National Poetry Month: Jeffery McDaniel

Those of you who know me know that I spent many years studying poetry in school. Poetry was my first love and it started when I was a little kid. My mother didn't read bedtime stories (well, she totally did, but still) she read bed time poems from a book of poetry for children. The rhythm, the imagery, the pulse - I was hooked.

One of my favorite contemporary poets is Jeffrey McDaniel. I stumbled upon his work because he spoke to the creative writing class my husband was taking at GA Tech (not a school particularly lauded for their liberal arts). My husband thought Jeffrey was brilliant. Here’s my post from last year.

McDaniel’s work if littered with powerful one-liner observations that leave me breathless.

Here is one of my favorite poems:

Mannequin Complex – Jeffery McDaniel
During my formative years,
my mother had this annoying habit
of taking me into shoe stores
and forgetting all about me.

She'd try on heels and pumps,
sandals and beige leather boots,
winking at herself in the mirror,
like she was Cinderella.

I'd crawl into the stockroom
behind the stacks of boxes,
until the last employee clicked
off the lights and headed home.

Then I'd emerge, place a shoe horn
in the palm of my favorite mannequin,
and sleep at her feet gleefully
because she was my flesh and blood.

It ends with such a bitterly sad image. But can’t you picture it perfectly in your mind? I love love love it.
Learn more about him here. You can buy his books from Manic D press (You totally should – I have them all and they are fan-freaking-tastic).

Do you adore contemporary poets? Share! Tell us who rings your bell:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...