Monday, April 21, 2014

Check out What Month it is!

Hey everyone! If you didn’t notice, this is Poetry Month, Autism Awareness Month, Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month and the month when Earth Day is celebrated (but should be all year…). SO I have a few websites you can browse and/or join:

 

 

 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Books I’m Reading 8

Poesía Completa de Federico García Lorca (2012).

Dear America: the Diary of Anetka Kaminska, A Coal Miner’s Bride by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. This is a fictional story about a Polish thirteen year-old whose fate is to emigrate to America and be a bride to a coal miner.

The Kissing Game: Short Stories by Aidan Chambers has included a set of flash fiction stories, such as The Kissing Game and The Tower, that can be regarded as fantasy, supernatural or science fiction or other genre.

Phonics for Teachers: Self-Instruction, Methods, and Activities by J. Lloyd Eldredge.
The book lets you study about phonics through choosing the appropriate word for the paragraph. Then, it provides quizzes for review on the subject. At the end, there are sample activities to do with students to help them understand phonics.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pet News 7: Pet Teachings

Having a pet teaches you a lot of things about yourself and the world.

My dog is very energetic. If I didn’t read his behavior, I wouldn’t know when to prevent his misbehavior.
 
Once my dog was able to take walks, I realized something had to change with our routine. We had just returned from a walk and my dog still was “wound up.” He began smelling the boxes around the patio and he pulled on one of the blankets hanging out from one of them. I quickly said, “Leave it” and said, "Here" when I gave him a chewable toy from his toy box. However, he didn’t want me to just hand him the toy, he wanted to play with me. I didn’t realize this at the time, so I left. He soon was back at pulling the blanket.

I shortly learned that whining and fussing over this wasn’t helping the situation, so one day after a walk, I handed him the chewable toy right away. I had him fetch it a couple of times and later directed him to lie down and chew the toy. At this time, I was able to say, “Good boy,” and dismiss myself while he was distracted.

This taught me to be vigilant as to the needs of my pet. I knew then that he was reading my behavior as well! I was not being a very understanding “parent” and he was trying to get my attention. He didn’t want to destroy the blanket or chew up the box lid. He wanted me to help him calm down.
 
Now, I make sure to help him release some of the extra energy he carried back after a walk. This way, we both got some peace.

 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Writer’s Workshops 6: Shoes, Show, and Tell

There was a poetry prompt a while back that asked writers to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.

I decided to take this prompt and become a friend of mine who had a crush on a waiter.

The idea was to convey the feelings of the character through images.

It’s a good exercise, especially when writers are told to ‘show more’ than ‘tell,’ which usually means to describe using the five senses. 

You can view the poem, Hidden Crush, at http://sgvpq.blogspot.com (Winter 2014, Issue 61). Scroll down to my name. The picture is of the Emerging Urban Poets group.

 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Death as Metaphor 9: Summary

Here are a couple of points about using death as a metaphor covered so far:

·         Poetry is an art form that has been around for countless ages.

·         Poetry constantly evolves and helps our understanding of love, hate, war, death, religion, cultural and political change, and much more.

·       The goal of poetry is to evoke feelings, ideas, and experiences on their readers. It builds on that connection between the poet and the reader as it uses different styles or forms, rhythm and sound for meaning.

·        Poems are geared for individuals to read and for different circumstances. It has become a good medium for discovering what death means to individuals as they use related symbols to heighten the deep feelings toward life events.


Stay tuned for future posts!
 

 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Short Stories & Such: One Very Memorable Night

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! And if you don’t celebrate, enjoy your day nonetheless.

The following short is revised and set in a bar (for obvious reasons). It was a writing prompt given by Writer’s Digest a while back.

  

One very memorable night (but not for good reasons)

What a way to celebrate the beginning of a new year, but with whiskey in hand. No goals set in mind, no wife to come home to, or any just cause to get excited about, even with tax season looming in the air.
“Another, please!”
“You’d better take it easy Stan.” The bartender poured the whiskey and wiped the counter with a cloth at the same time.
“Hey,” I pointed, “that’s a neat trick.”
I stared at the liquid and finally gulped it down in one shot. As I placed the glass down at the bar, a beautiful woman approached me in red stiletto heels. I almost fell off the stool trying to watch her curves move. Her brunette hair lay perfectly flat and covered her bare shoulders.
She placed her arm around my neck and gave me an unexpected kiss right on the lips. I closed my eyes for fear of losing her taste.
When she stopped, she smiled kind of cocky and at that moment, I realized she was my old High School sweetheart. I remembered the delicate way she placed her lips on mine and the usual fog of her name.
She placed her hand on my lap and this time, I burned with sensation at the feel of her tongue rolled into my mouth, except, it wasn’t her tongue, but something cold. I almost swallowed it when she whispered in my ear to follow her. Her breath was hot.
Dutifully, I did, but for some reason I kept the cold object that was like a metal ball under my tongue.
After going upstairs, she turned and pulled me by the belt into a room. She shut the door behind her. We didn’t bother turning the lights on. She began unbuckling my belt and I could smell the jasmine from her hair.

It wouldn’t have made a difference how far we were going. Something struck me on the back of the head and I swallowed whatever it was she put in my mouth.
I raised my head when the lights went on. Everything was multicolored on the walls and ceiling.
Next to her was a large man or other and I heard her say, “This one will do nicely.”
It could have been the whiskey talking. 

 

For the original version see under ‘Chilo’:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Why I Write 5: The Long Process of Writing

I just finished my first edit to my YA novel. Now, I’m exercising putting it aside before I do a final edit. Then, I could look for agents, editors, and publishers. And the process to get my manuscript in print doesn’t end there.

If you’ve ever written a resume for a position, you know that selling your skills and qualities is important to landing that job. It’s the same with writing, except, you sell the writing itself. That’s why I worked on my query letter and synopsis while I set my novel aside, and writing them takes a lot more effort.

In a synopsis, you have to condense a lot of information about what the whole story is in either one page or three. One thing that helped me was having an outline with a short description of what occurred in each chapter. Another thing that helped me was going online to other blogs for helpful info. There are tons of books on the subject, too that provide samples.

The query is probably the hardest to do. That’s the resume part of selling your writing. It’s where you provide the title, a paragraph synopsis, your qualifications, and contact information. If the agent, editor, or publisher didn’t find something that stands out, then they might pass on the work.

It’s good to have someone else to read your query and synopsis, and you have to go through a lot of revisions just like your manuscript.

The following are some of the websites I browse: