Berryman On the Value of Indifference

While spending too much time on the Internet (which is still holding up under a lot of weight), I came across this little quote from the poet John Berryman to wannabe writers everywhere (who, small thanks to the virus, should be doing more writing than usual by not spending too much time on the Internet): …

Continue reading Berryman On the Value of Indifference

Random Wisdom for Writers: Part Two

Here are a few more gleanings from Chuck Palahniuk's estimable "writer advice" book, Consider This. Yesterday's post featured the first group of ideas that might make you better at the trade. Today, the final set. Enjoy! "If you can identify the archetype your story depicts, you can more effectively fulfill the unconscious expectations of your reader." …

Continue reading Random Wisdom for Writers: Part Two

Talk, Talk, Talk: Famous or Not

Some beginning poets are too wary, I think. Too conservative. They don't want to try new forms, sentences or lack of sentences, stanza types, subject matter, et and cetera, because they want to stay within what they believe to be universally accepted lines, the equivalent of using training wheels while they learn to bike. Truth …

Continue reading Talk, Talk, Talk: Famous or Not

Advice From 10 Who Made It to the Promised Land (Read: Publication)

I there's one thing people can't get enough of, it's chocolate. (Wait. Did I say chocolate? I meant inspiration.) This is why I like Poet & Writers Inspiration issue the most. In the Jan./Feb. 2020 issue, we get surveys of ten poets who scored debut collections in 2019. These ten are asked the same questions, …

Continue reading Advice From 10 Who Made It to the Promised Land (Read: Publication)

What We Don’t Know About the Brain Won’t Hurt Us

On Star Trek, they used to call space the final frontier. Truth is, there are mysterious frontiers closer to home, including the real estate between our ears. Go ahead. Ask any scientist. How much do we really know about that cauliflower in the skull? Somewhere between "not" and "much," from what I understand. I do …

Continue reading What We Don’t Know About the Brain Won’t Hurt Us

Writer’s Weigh In With Resolutions

I emailed all the poets and writers (as a certain magazine calls them) I know (and really don't, but I needed a lot of responses to make up a post) and asked what their writerly resolutions were. If they're anything like mine, they're an amusing mix of wishful thinking, good intentions, and, in some cases, …

Continue reading Writer’s Weigh In With Resolutions

Not Mirror, but Wobbly-Puddle Images

Have you ever written something (a letter, a poem) only to have it disappear on screen before you had a chance to save it? Poof. And so, with all these ideas in your head, you start anew. You have no choice. But the creature created in Version #2 is a relative rather than a replication …

Continue reading Not Mirror, but Wobbly-Puddle Images

Simplify to a Few Poetic Ingredients

Simplicity. It was Henry David Thoreau's word to live by, but it sure wouldn't hurt a few poets to borrow, too. Sometimes would-be poets make something simple overly complicated when all they need are a few basic ingredients. Then let these stew so the flavors can take hold. Description, our old friend, is simplicity's right-hand …

Continue reading Simplify to a Few Poetic Ingredients