P is for People

ID-100200659

photo by Tanatat

“Go to every live reading, every literary party at your library, go to every book signing and open mic. Your task in all this is to learn how to be with other writers.” – Heather Sellers

This is advice I will continue to take this year. In past years I have been able to meet other writers in several ways. I attended free meetings at libraries where authors spoke on creative writing, how to choose titles, traditional vs.e-books, finding an agent, and other timely topics. Volunteering at a writing conference gave me free entry to workshops where I gained valuable tips. A few years ago I went to a function sponsored by my city’s library system and the local TV station. There we met, via Skype on the big screen, Ernest J. Gaines, a well known author who talked about writing his latest work.

Before I moved to Alabama, I was a part of a local writing group that met once a month. I also joined a writing community that was working on developing a network of writers in Jacksonville, FL. Through this community I met other local writers, some published and some not. We met together for a dialogue workshop, once a week for three weeks before I got busy with the move.

I have also interviewed four authors for magazine articles. I loved picking their brains about writing and received a lot of helpful advice.

Do you work on meeting other writers? Do you have any other strategies that help you as a writer?

For the poetry focus I have written a Pantoum. The pantoum originated in Malaysia in the fifteenth-century. The modern pantoum is a poem of any length, composed of four-line stanzas in which the second and fourth lines of each stanza serve as the first and third lines of the next stanza. The last line of a pantoum is often the same as the first.

Night Pantoum

Until the eyes adjust it all seems dark 

Slowly stars appear, constellations form 

Twinkling in a sky once barren and stark 

Until the night clouds roll in with the storm

Slowly stars appear, constellations form 

First is the Big Dipper, called The Great Bear 

Until the night clouds roll in with the storm 

And spirits drift, want to be elsewhere

First is the Big Dipper, called The Great Bear

But it becomes so very hard to see 

And spirits drift, want to be elsewhere

As gusty winds blow clouds, bend low the trees

But it becomes so very hard to see 

In all the sky no stars are to be found 

As gusty winds blow clouds, bend low the trees 

As lightning flashes, thunder starts to pound

In all the sky no stars are to be found 

Twinkling in a sky once barren and stark 

As lightning flashes , thunder starts to pound 

Until the eyes adjust it all seems dark

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