Writer’s Resources

resources

As I wrote in the Writer’s Bucket List post I am working to expand the blog. I want to include some resources for writers in a separate section in case anyone needs them. Fortunately, I lucked up and found some of these resources through my own search for help and guidance. Regrettably I still need these means in spite of my very expensive graduate education but that’s another post.

Writer’s Digest, Poets and Writers, and The Writer Magazine all offer so much help with writing tips, conference dates, book festivals, writing prompts, funding and tools. I just started following the blog Writer Unboxed because I stumbled across some useful information and realized that I was missing out on a wonderful resource. They have since become a favorite and I’ve learned so much from their contributors in a short time. Café Press offers a wide range of writer-centric items. I buy most of my writing inspired t-shirts from them and I am now looking at some mugs for my everlasting mugs of tea, and I also am looking for some other items that are specifically writer friendly. This was my first stop when searching for the “Reading Is Sexy” bumper sticker.

I also suggest looking for blogs of your favorite authors. I follow at least six of my favorite authors and I started following another author whose books I’ve purchased since following her. I love getting information from other authors because they motivate me and keep me on the “write” track.

I’ve found all of these resources to be particularly helpful especially the books. For the most part they are easy reading and help to spark creativity. The exception to this is Elements of Style which is very dry but also helpful.

I hope you find these tools and suggestions helpful and feel free to leave a comment if there’s a resource that you’ve found to work for you.

Writer’s digest – http://www.writersdigest.com/
Poets and Writers- http://www.pw.org/
The Writer Magazine- http://writermag.com/
Writer Unboxed- http://writerunboxed.com/
Café Press- http://www.cafepress.com
Anne Lamott- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Stephen King- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Brian Kiteley- 3 A.M Epiphany and 4 A.M. Breakthrough
Orson Scott Card- Elements of Fiction: Characters and Viewpoint
Anne Bernays/Pamela Painter- What If?: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers
William Strunk & E.B. White-The Elements of Style

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My New Motto

image

This was sent to me by a loyal reader and an amazing friend in Maine. I immediately fell in love and went online to search for my very own bumper sticker. It turns out that Cafepress has versions but not exactly like the one above. Apparently the owner of the one featured here purchased hers at a local store in Maine. I will be getting mine in July.

Part of the reason I love this bumper sticker is because I happen to truly believe that reading and intelligence are sexy. I also love the way I look in my glasses; I know that I feel intelligent and sexy while wearing them. I think that I am a good writer because I am a voracious reader. It has been one of my constant companions for such a long time. I loved stories before I could read for myself, at the age of three, and I’ve maintained that love all these years. It’s why I am such a dedicated writer.

So enjoy your sexiness, readers! It’s a beautiful thing.

Indefinable

Dictionary_Safe_Box_Red_500

You cannot
define me; with your
slang, slurs and profane
words.
I will not be put
in a box
or in the corner
to wait for you.

I am more.

I am not
merely a list of
the things you
think I am.
I am not just a
pretty face and a
nice body.
I cannot change
my personality, style of dress
or hair
to suit you.

And even if I could
I wouldn’t.

I am not
merely a
collection of
the parts you see
I am intelligent, confident and
charming too.

I will not be placed in the
the space you’ve designed
for me.
I am the stuff borne of
epics, ballads, and tall tales.
I am the lyrics of your
favorite song,
the words from
that book,
the best scene from that movie
you love.

A Moment

oklahoma

As always when something tragic happens in one part of America, that event affects the rest of the country. Prayers and love to the entire state of Oklahoma and everyone who knows, loves, or lost someone as a result of the tornado that devastated the state. It is these moments that remind us how connected we all truly are.

Stifled Creativity

frustration

So I have been writing on a few different pieces for the past two weeks and none of them are finished yet. Not even remotely. I have been eating ice cream every day (and I’m lactose intolerant) so I completely blame it on the ice cream except for the fact that I’ve had two Oreo Cheesequake Blizzards from Dairy Queen so I can’t be too upset.

So in light of my own stifled poetic creativity I have decided to call upon an old favorite Langston Hughes’ A Dream Deferred. It was probably one of the first poems I ever memorized and it still evokes a vivid sense of accomplishment in me. After reading it, I always feel that I need to work more, try to accomplish more.

Hope you all enjoy!

A Dream Deferred
by
Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

My Literary Travel Wish List

chaucer lit

paris skyline

The September 2011 issue Writer’s Digest featured an article “Great Travel Destinations for Writers.” I loved it because I was instantly inspired by the list and their reasons for each city. I love to travel so I decided to create my own list. I simply added Charleston and Ireland to their list but it makes all the difference. I grew up in the shadows of New York City and have been there numerous times but never for anything writing related so I hope to change that soon. I have also been to New Orleans, Charleston, and Savannah. I wrote in each city and I will follow the suggestions of Writer’s Digest about places to see or book to read before visiting again.

Travel Destinations

1.) London- This is my number one ideal destination, not as a writer but a traveler. I want to see 221 B Baker Street, Westminster Abbey, take the Literary London Pub Walk, and visit the British Library.
2.) Paris – I am not a fan of Paris, I have never wanted to go. Not even the recommendation of one of my favorite authors could change my mind. However, between the movie Midnight in Paris and some pictures from my favorite blogger I’ve decided that I need to visit. Hemingway, enough said!
3.) New Orleans*-WD suggests visiting the French Quarter; which I have seen but I plan to stay at the Hotel Monteleone next time or at least to visit Faulkner House Books and Galatoire’s Restaurant. And to immerse myself in seafood, beignets, and a couple of shrimp po’ boys.
4.) Venice- Much like Charleston this is a sentimental, romantic selection. I feel like Venice would inspire me to write beautiful prose and poetry. I just want to roam the city absorbing its ambience; I can absolutely imagine myself eating gelato and people watching outside a trattoria or riding the water bus.
5.) Charleston*- This is probably my favorite city in America. It was on my list of Southern cities to see and it did not disappoint. I am inspired by the city, by merely strolling down King Street or looking at the pineapple fountain or eating at Jim & Nick’s (The Pink Pig). I love to write there and that is enough for me.
6.) Savannah*- It turns out that I have seen almost all of the things on WD’s suggestions for Savannah including a haunted walking tour, walked around and dined in the historic district, saw the Mercer House, Flannery O’Connor’s house, and window shopped on River Street. So I will have to find some other literary sites to visit or mark this spot off of the list.
7.) Boston & Amherst- Boston is a literary city. I added Amherst because it is the home of one of my favorite poets, Emily Dickinson. I plan to walk through Beacon Hill, visit Boston Athenaeum, and possibly visit Walden Pond. I would also love to visit the house where Malcolm X lived with his half- sister in Roxbury because he recounted his life there in his autobiography.
8.) New York*- As I said I grew up with frequent trips into the city but I would totally be a literary tourist on this trip. I plan to walk Greenwich Village, visit Washington Park and Bryant Park, The Plaza Hotel, the Schomburg Center and Striver’s Row in Harlem, and of course the New York Public Library.
9.) Rome- Of course I want to see big tourist items but I also aim to see the Keats-Shelley House and I want to take the Angels& Demons tour if it is still up and running. I will gorge myself on pasta, wine, and gelato.
10.) All of Ireland- I have an Irish surname (supposedly) and I’ve always felt closely ties to certain aspects of the cultures so for me Ireland is a must see. A quick list of things I’d love to see courtesy of literary tourist. In Dublin: guided tour of the William Butler Yeats Exhibition at the National Library. Literary Pub Crawl. Dublin Writers Museum. Limerick: the Frank McCourt Museum; I would love to see this as a lover of history and to look at the photos. Kerry: Seanchaí Visitor Centre. I just finished reading The Parish and the Hill and am enamored with Kerry so this will be the perfect time to see the place where the characters originated.
http://literarytourist.com/2012/11/literary-tourist-visit-to-ireland-your-nine-day-itinerary/
11.) San Francisco- As a poet, of course I want to visit City Lights bookstore and the surrounding neighborhood. I also want to eat (a lot) so I will visit the Vesuvio Café as well.
12.) Key West- I have had the chance to visit several times and I keep putting it off, so hopefully this summer I will check this one off. I have to see Hemingway House, eat and drink at Captain Tony’s Saloon and the new Sloppy Joe’s. I also plan to organize a tour of other literary landmarks.

The Missing Piece

star in night sky

We are all searching for something. We are all looking for that certain special piece that is missing; from our lives, from us. One of my great, amazing, fantastic friends wrote me an e-mail last week with the title the missing piece and I was enamored with the phrase and immediately I began to think about what I could write for such a wonderful title.

So I decided to write about my missing piece.

There is nothing to plug this gaping hole.
I still go through the motions of life
Glancing at the sky hoping to catch
A glimpse of you.
Praying that this is all some incredible story
That I concocted in my head.
Yet each day slaps me with reality
The truth is
Pictures and memories are poor substitutes.
I have tried to fill the space with liquor, books,
And sleep.
But nothing works…

In the middle of the night the ache is unbearable
You are in my dreams, laughing and talking to me, and rubbing my shoulder
I wake looking for you
And tears fall on their own when
I realize that you’re not here
But…
You are.

You are always with me
I am the living proof
That you were once here
I am me because
You were you
And even though I cannot see you,
Hug you, watch your smile light up a room.
I know that you’re here.
In my smile, in my laugh, in my movie choices.
Even that doesn’t keep the pain away.

I still want to be like you
Want to be a better person.
You will always be my guiding star; the light
That I look towards.