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Poetry needs as much revision and editing as novels, short stories, and articles.
There’s always something in the writing that could be better. That’s why you could find yourself rewriting many drafts before coming to a conclusion that it’s the best it could get before an agent or editor gets their hands on it.
Sometimes, we have to settle for the best instead of the greatest. And you know what? It’s okay. The important thing is to get through the process of polishing the manuscript. It helps make you a better writer, and that’s what readers want: better writing.
A poem I wrote titled “Seasons” is an example of a poem I would go back and revise. There are a lot of good images, but I feel it needs tightening in the Autumn section.
I’ve gotten a lot of good responses from a poem I wrote for Valentine’s Day called “Veteran’s Wish.” I hope you enjoy it.
You can check out “Seasons” in the Fall 2013, Issue 60
You can also see “Veteran’s Wish” in the Free Love, Issue 2 on
Here's my attempt at: In the middle of the night, I heard ___________ outside.
My first thought was to do something paranormal, but I stared at a children’s book, and got another fun idea. Here’s my attempt:
In the middle of the night, I heard a rasping sound outside. I immediately pulled my covers over my head to block it, but it didn’t work. My heart pounded with each terrible rhythm against the wall; there was no controlling it. The shadows from the moonlight didn't help, either. Gulping, I mustered enough courage to check the origin of the rasp.
I threw my covers on the floor and slipped on my shoes. When I had them on, the sound got louder. I was amazed that no member of my family had woken from its clobbering, but there was no time to find out whether they had.
I slid the window up and crawled out. I stubbed my finger with the rocks beneath and came face to face with IT!
Its eyes were large, brown bottle caps.
Its nose, wet with goo protruding out one nostril.
Its sharp, long teeth were white like a crescent moon.
Its wooly fur was messy.
Its breath was grueling, like onions mixed with ice cream.
I almost fainted.
And you know what that thing did?
It licked my cheek and jumped on me!
Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels
Try the following writing prompt:
In the middle of the night, I heard ___________ outside.
Tell what you heard and what you did to investigate.
Come back next time for my attempt!
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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Wishing for something is different from wanting to reach a goal.
Wishing is like dreaming without providing any action to attain it, whereas the goal deals with motivation and a desire to succeed.
For example, “I wish for a nice birthday.” This doesn’t tell you how it will happen. In other words, you need to be a little specific.
Consider the following: “I am making my birthday a nice event by doing x and x.” Those x’s will help make the goal a success.
If you apply this thinking to writing (or work), you will see that you’re more motivated to get it done.
I, for one, have set a goal to complete my outline for my novel by making sure to add a line or two a day. Then, I can write the thriller brewing in my head.
I didn’t ask myself for much, but enough to get me wanting to do it so I could reach my goal. The reward is a great feeling you’ve been productive. Then again, a nice scoop of my favorite ice cream wouldn’t hurt.
So far, making a goal has helped me achieve a complete edit for my Young Adult novel, write ten new poems, and allow time for reading. Maybe it can help you.
Photo by Bonnie Moreland from Picography
Figurative language makes what is literally written to be more interesting. How? Through alliteration, allusion, personification, and simile. The most common type is a metaphor.
A metaphor compares two unlike things without using “like” or “as.” The way to do this is to describe or refer to a thing as something else it resembles.
For example, a poet may refer to a person as a “stone” if they do not show emotion after a loss OR a person could be referred to as a “snake” if they are sneaky and take advantage of others.
Metaphors are powerful tools used in poetry to explain or help interpret ideas or emotions that are hard to describe.
Sometimes, a metaphor can make it easy to identify the language and symbols used in a poem. It can also help facilitate the interpretation of a piece, as is the case for some poets who use figurative language to refer to mortality.
What's one way you use metaphor?
In case you missed it, here are a few places where my poetry got published. All the themes are different, so they might help prompt a poem or story of your own. Check them out!
Academy of the Heart and Mind: Next, thankful, and Miss You, July 7, 2022
Al-Khemia Poetica: I Am An Elephant, July 26, 2022
Spectrum Online: within, stop me, A tree of life, August 5, 2022
Photo by Picography in Wildlife
Do you know how you could tell which situations might get you upset or frustrated, maybe even hysterical? Well, your dog has 'situations' like that too. Except, it’s our job to make sure we don’t put them there in the first place.
Why do we want to avoid triggering these situations?
For one: it stresses our pets out (even if we get stressed).
Two: they respond by running, barking, or biting the nearest thing available (watch out for the hands!).
Third: many people think they’re at the end of their ropes and, instead of working on the problem, decide not to have their pet (big no-no).
So, what can we do when, let’s say, the person on a bike or skateboard passes right next to us dog-walking people?
For one: don’t panic yourself. It only works on transferring the emotion to your pet.
Two: make sure your dog is secure with a leash, better yet, a harness, so as not to choke them if they pull.
Third: move your dog to the opposite direction of the oncoming person (safely) or cross the street. Sometimes, giving your dog a command helps, such as “Stay,” “Sit,” or “Leave it.” Treat on hand.
If you’re inside a fenced yard, again, don’t panic. Call your pet to you and if that doesn’t work, distract them with something else. Have your dog sit next to you while keeping a hand on his collar while the person passes. Maybe consider placing a fence taller than your pet to deter them from jumping after anyone.
Certified pet trainers at local pet stores or online can assist you if the problem is severe. Always look for options. Many books, magazines, YouTube videos, and online resources are available that discuss this topic thoroughly. A little research goes a long way.
Maria A. Arana, Editor
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