On Saying “No” & November Writing

  • Rings a bell?

Whatever anyone talked about, and there was a lot of talking, you couldn’t tell anyone that what he was saying was wrong. You couldn’t tell anyone that. You had to say, “Yes, that’s right.” To say “no” was not allowed — death. And those folks wouldn’t stop saying, “Freedom.” How strange.

K.A. Korovin, a famous Russian artist; a diary entry on the post-revolutionary Russia

  • Do you keep a diary?

Might be a neat idea for the writing month of November — starting a diary. Or, if you feel like socializing, check out ten online writing communities recommended by Writer’s Digest.

Whichever writing activity you choose — spring into action, and enjoy!

Image: K.A. Korovin, “Spring” 1917, public domain

 

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On “Delete” Buttons & November

Landscape (Paysage)

  • Think of deleting your Blogger blog?

Think again. According to Adam of Too Clever By Half, there’re at least four reasons why you shouldn’t do it. Luckily, if you’re tired of your Blogger blog, don’t want to see it, etc., you have a much better option than hitting the “delete” button.

  • It’s November — are you writing?

Whether you’re on Blogger, WordPress..whether you blog or not, if you’re a writer, chances are you’ve set some daring writing goals for November. That’s great.

However…if you feel that NaNoWriMo isn’t your thing — you aren’t alone. It’s okay to be a slow writer. Some of them are doing quite well. Heed what Anne R. Allen has to say.

Do what feels right, and write.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Landscape (Paysage), c. 1900–1905. Oil on canvas, Overall: 8 x 12 1/4 in. (20.3 x 31.1 cm). BF236. Public Domain.

All Saints’ Day

  • A message for the Pope:

“You cannot with a single stroke wipe out all of the sins people in general are committing within the Christian religion, especially within the clerical order, over whom you should be even more watchful. But you certainly can and are obligated to do it, and if you don’t, you would have it on your conscience. …

Do you know what will happen to you if you don’t set things right by doing what you can? God wants you to reform his bride completely; he doesn’t want her to be leprous any longer. If your holiness does not do all you can about this — because God has appointed you and given you such dignity for no other purposes — God will do it himself by using all sorts of troubles.”

Saint Catherine of Siena writing to Pope Urban VI in 1380.

Amen.

Those who should be in the forefront of fighting for the Church and her values — heed the warning.

  • And here’s Saint Catherine’s message for everyone:

“Start being brave about everything. Drive out darkness and spread light. Don’ look at your weaknesses. Realize instead that in Christ crucified you can do everything.”

Never despair. Never give up your faith. Never let your soul slumber.

Image: painting by Fra Angelico, 15th century, public domain

Did Poetry Need Saving?

Portrait of a Man Holding a Watch

  • Are you a poet? Read the following statements:

“A day in the life can consist of all-day writing, touring, or, perhaps unprecedented for a poet, time in the office with her team to oversee operations and manage projects.

Building their own mini brands, poets can harness e-commerce to supplement their income.”

  • Did this make you flinch? Chances are you aren’t a wealthy poet.

Most likely, not a Rupi Kaur’s fan. You probably don’t think that Instagram saved poetry. You might very well doubt that poetry needed saving in the first place.

“But poetry, like any other art, must adapt to the world changing around it.” Must it? Hmm… I wonder.

  • Don’t despair. You are not alone.

“…the man who has often been called the greatest poet of the 20th century struggled to make ends meet. He accepted money from relatives to buy underwear and pajamas, and anxiety over his finances drove him to breakdowns.”

His name is T.S. Eliot.

Just keep writing poetry.

Image: Frans Hals. Portrait of a Man Holding a Watch, 1643. Oil on canvas, Overall: 32 1/2 x 26 1/4 in. (82.6 x 66.7 cm). BF262. Public Domain.

 

It’s Not about Politics, but…

Never Again, He Remarked Gloomily

  • “The Passive Voice is not a blog about politics.”

It’s not. Still, if you’ve been following TPV for sometime, you’ve noticed that the blog is not entirely apolitical.

As Passive Guy himself admits “the heat of political dialogue in the United States…is almost impossible to avoid.”

  • My blog is about writing.

I started out with an idea that I’d never ever touch the hot topics, such as religion, politics, and the great pumpkin; but I’ve had trouble staying away from them lately.

Writing–like living, feeling, thinking–is inseparable from freedom. And this freedom is under attack.

Faith is under attack.

‘They err who say “the world is turning pagan again.” Would that it were! The truth is that we are falling into a much worse state.’ — C.S. Lewis March, 1953

Our children are not safe.

They are being brainwashed, manipulated.

  • This vicious nonsense is everywhere, including the world of the written word.

So, when I see evil, I’ll post about it. After all, my blog is about writing.

 

Image: William James Glackens. Never Again, He Remarked Gloomily, 1909. Black crayon and white gouache with blue crayon underdrawing on paperboard, Overall: 11 3/8 x 13 5/8 in. (28.9 x 34.6 cm). BF2028. Public Domain.

 

On “Delete” Buttons, November & Daffodils

  • Thinking of deleting your Blogger blog?

Think again. There are at least four reasons why it’s not a good idea.

“The Blogger Help Forum is dotted with people who regret deleting their blogs.”  

Why permanently delete your Blogger blog if there’s a much better alternative?

  • What comes after October?

November Poem-a-Day (PAD) Chapbook Challenge, the annual writing challenge from Writer’s Digest Poetic Asides. Read the guidelines, and get ready.

  • Don’t want to think about autumn?

Think spring instead. And daffodils.

Why Read, Write & Teach Poetry?

Promenade (La Promenade)

“A good poem is a delight to read because it sparks the imagination and elicits a response from the reader–a chuckle, a groan, a sigh, an epiphany. The conciseness of poetry, especially when combined with an engaging rhyme and meter, can make just about any topic memorable.”

Listen to Heidi Roemer–author of many poetry picture books and more than 400 poems published in various children’s magazines–talk about poetry, the importance of reading it, writing it, and teaching it to young children.

Get inspired, and start creating your own “Child’s Garden of Verses.” 

And don’t forget to mix a bit of mystery in. Steer clear of the–often encouraged–“quantifiable process of demystification.”  It’s okay to leave poems unsolved.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Promenade (La Promenade), c. 1906. Oil on canvas, Overall: 64 3/4 x 50 15/16 in. (164.5 x 129.4 cm). BF571. Public Domain.

One, Two, Whiteness Is Coming for You

She Gave Her Darter-in-law a Piece of Her Mind

  • Attention, parents of young children!

Is Anastasia Higginbotham visiting your child’s school?

Be advised that she doesn’t travel alone. She brings along a cardboard cutout of Colin Kaepernick — her hero, and a role model–in her opinion–for children.

She kneels beside the cutout while reading her “Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness”, and messing with your child’s brain.

While she’s at it, she might also want to teach your child about divorce, death, and sex — she’s got books on those subjects as well.

Apparently, Anastasia Higginbotham has chosen the lucrative path of a “white woman writing about the toxic inheritance of white supremacy.”

So brave. So original.

  • Want to hear something else brave and original?

“White male entitlement.” Not sure what it means? Just ask Stephen King, a white insanely successful male, and an open mind:

‘If “white male entitlement” was in the dictionary, it could be illustrated by Brett Kavanaugh’s photograph.’

There you go.

Image: William James Glackens. She Gave Her Darter-in-law a Piece of Her Mind, 1909. Brush and ink, charcoal, graphite, black crayon, and white gouache on paperboard, Overall: 10 x 7 3/4 in. (25.4 x 19.7 cm). BF606. Public Domain.

What’s Your Author Persona Mask Like?

Study of Girls' Heads (Étude de têtes de jeunes filles)

Should you wear a mask when in public?

Should you ever discuss the Great Pumpkin?

What’s the biggest benefit of having a public persona?

Even if you don’t (yet) give interviews, or do book signings, or deliver keynote speeches, etc., it’s not too early to think about your public author persona.

If you’re a writer, if you have a blog, if you’re active on social media — your public persona will protect you, and help you find the audience for your writing.

Here’s more on developing your author persona, and brand.

Go for it.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Study of Girls’ Heads (Étude de têtes de jeunes filles), c. 1893. Oil on canvas, Overall: 16 1/4 x 12 11/16 in. (41.3 x 32.2 cm). BF474. Public Domain.