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Monday, May 27, 2024

A Writer's Moment: 'Write your story as it needs to be written'

A Writer's Moment: 'Write your story as it needs to be written':   “The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. – Neil Gaima...

'Write your story as it needs to be written'

 

“The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. – Neil Gaiman
 
A British author of . . . well, almost everything . . . Gaiman was born in Hampshire, England in 1960.   A practitioner of what he preaches, he has won dozens of awards for works ranging from screenplays to short stories to graphic novels to journalism.   
 
He has homes in Wisconsin and Massachusetts and has been a longtime teacher at Bard College teaching courses in theater and performance, written arts and experimental humanities.  He also writes a blog and is a regular poster on 'X,' formerly known as Twitter.

"So write your story as it needs to be written," Gaiman says. " Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. At least, not ones that matter.”

 

Saturday, May 25, 2024

A Writer's Moment: Nature's promises kept

A Writer's Moment: Nature's promises kept:   “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” – William Wordsworth This beautiful sky greeted me as I ...

Nature's promises kept



 

“Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” – William Wordsworth

This beautiful sky greeted me as I stood at the edge of the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, and I was reminded of Wordsworth's poem.  So, for Saturday's Poem, here is,
 
                              I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

 

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

 

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought: 

 

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Friday, May 24, 2024

A Writer's Moment: 'A yardstick for the language'

A Writer's Moment: 'A yardstick for the language':   “Every individual ought to know at least one poet from cover to cover: if not as a guide through the world, then as a yardstick for the la...

'A yardstick for the language'

 “Every individual ought to know at least one poet from cover to cover: if not as a guide through the world, then as a yardstick for the language.” – Joseph Brodsky

Born in Leningrad on this date in 1940, Brodsky started writing at age 15.   Published by the underground journal Sintakss (Syntax) before he was out of high school, his early works got him in deep trouble as being “anti-Soviet” and by his late 20s the Soviet government had him “confined” to a mental institution and then expelled from his homeland. 

 

Then, thanks to the help of poet W.H. Auden, he came to live in the United States where he had a long and eventful writing career leading, ultimately, to being named for the Nobel Prize.

 

Besides writing, he taught poetry and creative writing at Yale, Columbia and Michigan before becoming a full-time faculty member at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts where he taught until his death in 1996.

 

 His 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded "for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity.”   In 1991, he was appointed United States Poet Laureate, the first naturalized citizen to be so honored.  America, he said, was a breath of fresh air that renewed his spirit and belief in his fellow human beings.

 

Cherish your human connections: your relationships with friends and family,” he advised.  “Know how delightful it is to find a friend in everyone you meet.”