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Learn more. Earn more. "Required reading" for today's smart writer! As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.
Showing posts with label Poetry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poetry. Show all posts

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Rhythm is Gonna Get You! How writers can use Poetry to hone their craft...


“The rhythm is gonna’ get you!”---Gloria Estefan

Would you like to be a better “performer” on page? To have your words “wow” today’s reader? Do you have difficulty with structure and flow? Or perhaps your goal is to be brief but substantive in your expression.

If so, you might be surprised to discover that there is much that poetry offers to writers of all genres seeking to enhance writing skills and
become more profitable. And I should know.

Long before I earned a living at doling out advice to the lovelorn, penning profile pieces, or blogging, I published poetry. Lots of it. Some good---some not so much.
Still, this “former life” and creative license has often caused editors to comment positively on my flow, smooth transitions and facility with words. Appealing like “music to their ears.”

Which ultimately translates into greater interest, a greater acceptance rate and greater pay.
If you too want your work to stand out, require less revision, and say more with fewer words, here are a few tips and poetic techniques to enhance your efforts and your bottom line.

1. Keep it short and sweet. Word economy is crucial in poetry. Crafting couplets, quatrains and Haikus requires a specific amount of lines, and sometimes even syllables. You’ll find that adhering to structured formats will help you to maintain editors’ word counts and submission guidelines for projects like anthologies and interviews.
Need a quick refresher on poetic techniques and definitions?
Check out: www.poemofquotes.com/ and experiment. You’ll also find that poetry proficiency lends itself to writing for greeting card markets as well.

2. Read your work aloud. To render a specific feel, sound and impact, poets often read their words aloud to perfectly polish their pieces. You should too. It’s the best way to detect typos, awkward phrasing, and poor structure.

3. Make use of metaphors. A Metaphor is a figure of speech that implies a connection between two unlike things. For example, life is often compared to a journey, or to a road, or to a lesson. Metaphors do to writing what spices add to cooking: they enhance the overall experience and add a little “flavor“.

4. Exercise your creative license. Poets are known for distinguishing themselves by daring to be different. e.e. cummings was noted for using lower-cased letters and breaking capitalization rules, for instance. Though you should observe most rules for formal writing, there are a few that can be broken to your benefit. I sometimes use fragments, or end sentences with prepositions, when doing so makes sense and suits my creative purpose. Word!

5. Establish symmetry by varying sentence length. Sentences that are too short throughout your piece come off as choppy. Long ones can cause the reader to over labor and become lost. Use a combination of both for greater success in your word choices.


Follow these five tips and you’ll give your work a more competitive edge and increase your earnings. Charles Baudelaire perhaps said it best, “Always be a poet, even in prose.”

Image cjansuebsri

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Tribute to Peter McWilliams


He was to poetry what Picasso was to art.
For me, his eloquence was unequaled.
Here was a man who had experienced every emotion that the heart had the capacity to feel, and unshamefully shared it with the world.
He was a “hopeless romantic”. And yet he was a hopeful romantic.

Peter’s work was raw. It was real. He spoke in a language that every human could relate to regardless of race, religion, orientation or background.
In fact, he was so gifted that I’m afraid that my words in this tribute will not sufficiently do honor to his.

As an avid reader and poet myself, I stumbled across his writings many, many years ago while browsing the selection of books at a used book store.
If I remember correctly, (because I’ve purchased quite a few), the book that began my love affair with him was “How to Survive the Loss of a Love.”
Very few poets’ work can bring me to tears; he is one of them.

Every woman longs to hear the words that he expresses, and some of us even pretend that he’s written those words for us. :-)

As I sit here today, and reflect upon his contributions to the world of creative arts, and browse through his book, “Come Love With Me and Be My Love,” I’m trying to come up with my favorite piece. I can’t.
They’re all beautiful pieces. Some are brief and playful, others are introspective and painful, and some defy description.

Here’s a sample of his work, (one of my favorites).

I wanted to
Spend the night with you
Eat with you
Take you to meet my friends
Make you one of them
Take you to bed
Make you one with me
Say I love you
Hear you say the same
Meditate, with your heart as
My mantra.

I wanted the sun,
And a goodly portion of the moon.
All I got was this poem,
Which I wanted to be
A happy one.

This year marks the anniversary of Peter McWilliams’ death.
I only recently learned of the tragedies surrounding his demise.
May he rest in peace.
May he know the many legions of fans he left behind.
May he know that his life mattered.


For more information on his works see this site: http://www.myspace.com/petermcwilliamstribute

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Little Victories and Affirmations...





I received a check the other day for royalties on one of my poetry books published with Publish America. Though it was a small one, it was good to get it anyway.

Despite the negative press associated with P.A., my experience thus far with them has been really cool.

It helped to make my day. And I treated myself to a meal with it.:-)