Tag Archives: writing

NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH is coming!! I KNOW that month!!

NaNoWriMo–National Novel Writing Month–begins November 1st. This is how many writers feel about it:

giphyYeah, you know that movie, don’t pretend you don’t.

I have not in the past participated in this gloriously horrific event. I just didn’t have the time, the brainpower, the energy, or the inspiration to do so.

Or so I thought.

I’ve had an epiphany the past few months that has translated itself into a big ol’ glass of NaNoWriMo Koolaid, and I’m ready to chug it like a 9-year-old sugar addict.

No one has the time for Nano. Unless you’re, say, Dean Koontz or Mary Higgins Clark or Veronica Roth or something, and this is what you do for a living.

One of my heroes, Deirdra Eden Boyd (author of the amazing new book Watchers: Knight of Light which you can check out at www.knightess.com) once said that EVERYONE has the same amount of time. No one “finds” time anywhere–what we have to do is PROTECT our time, and dedicate it to our craft. I have to protect my writing time from Facebook and anything else that encroaches on it, once a day, for 30 days, in order to write a 50,000 word novel.

Can I do it?

Oh–my epiphany.  I almost forgot. The epiphany I’ve had goes along with Deirdra’s thoughts about protecting time. I realized that I’ve been putting off writing until I have time. I will never have time. I will never have energy. I will never have brain power. Mainly, these things were just excuses.

If I am a writer, I should be writing.  That’s what we do. So my goal, at least for the month of November, is this:

1)I will PROTECT my time, and write about 1500 words a day.

2)I will write even when I don’t have “energy” because I know that I am ENERGIZED by the act of writing and creating.

3)I will write even when I don’t feel like my brain is working. The brain has to be exercised in order to gain power, and writing works it out. The more I write, the more I’ll write. The more I’ll create. The sharper my mind will become.

I saw a billboard the other day. Actually, I see it all the time. It’s been sticking with me lately though:









I am afraid of committing to NaNoWriMo–to writing 50,000 words in a month.

I am afraid of writing the story of REMNANTS–what the hell do I think I’m doing, writing a science fiction dystopian family adventure? A TRILOGY no less?

I am afraid of what happens when I finish.

I am also afraid of what will happen if I don’t do this. I worry that my creative soul will dry up and die if I don’t get back to the business of writing. Since that idea terrifies me more than the fear of failure, I am jumping into National Novel Writing Month, and I am determined to win!






The Power of Poetry, and a farewell to Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou passed away today. I wanted to post some great poem of hers, but as I read them, I realized–and this is going to be sooo unpopular–I don’t really like reading her poetry.  Now, if I can hear HER read her poetry, that’s a totally different story. Listening to Maya Angelou, even just hearing her speak, touches chords in my heart, makes me sit up and pay attention. There’s something about the cadence and timbre of her voice, the emotion in her words…… Hearing her recite her poetry gives me goose flesh, and depending on the subject, brings me to tears.  If you have the opportunity to see a video of Dr. Angelou reciting the following poem, do it.  Just reading it doesn’t do it justice. But here it is. This is “Amazing Peace” by Dr. Maya Angelou:

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes

And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.

Flood waters await us in our avenues.


Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche

Over unprotected villages.

The sky slips low and grey and threatening.


We question ourselves.

What have we done to so affront nature?

We worry God.

Are you there? Are you there really?

Does the covenant you made with us still hold?


Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,

Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope

And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.

The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,

Come the way of friendship.


It is the Glad Season.

Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.

Flood waters recede into memory.

Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us

As we make our way to higher ground.


Hope is born again in the faces of children

It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.

Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,

Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.


In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.

At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.

We listen carefully as it gathers strength.

We hear a sweetness.

The word is Peace.

It is loud now. It is louder.

Louder than the explosion of bombs.


We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.

It is what we have hungered for.

Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.

A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.

Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.


We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.

We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.

We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.

Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.

We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,

Implore you, to stay a while with us.

So we may learn by your shimmering light

How to look beyond complexion and see community.


It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.


On this platform of peace, we can create a language

To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.


At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ

Into the great religions of the world.

We jubilate the precious advent of trust.

We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.

All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices

To celebrate the promise of Peace.


We, Angels and Mortal’s, Believers and Non-Believers,

Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.

Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.

Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves

And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.

Peace, My Sister.

Peace, My Soul.”


In thinking about the power of Dr. Angelou’s words over the decades, I question: What is it about poetry that touches hearts and minds so deeply, and so easily?

I believe poetry at its heart is an exchange of emotions between the poet and the reader.  When I write a poem, I distill my emotions onto the page. I may use rhyme, meter, or various effects to convey my feelings, but that is the goal. When you read my poem, you see and feel my words through the windows of your own eyes, your own experiences, your own psychic filters (not in a metaphysical sense, just the perception of your mind). Your imagination makes its own connection, a connection made all the more powerful because it is tied to YOUR emotions.

What is your favorite poem?  Do you like traditional rhyming poems, or do you prefer free-form?