The First Day of Autumn


The first day of autumn
when a young writer's thoughts turn to
falling leaves, pumpkins, and poetry.


September
by Helen Hunt Jackson

The goldenrod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.

The gentian's bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusky pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.

The sedges flaunt their harvest
In every meadow-nook;
And asters by the brookside
Make asters in the brook.

From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes' sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer's best of weather,
And autumn's best of cheer.

Biography
Helen Hunt Jackson (1831-1885) was an American poet and novelist. She was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, where her father was a professor in Amherst College, but she spent much of her life in California. She married a banker in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she lived for a few years. Her poems are very beautiful, and "September" and "October's Bright Blue Weather" are especially good pictures of these autumn months.


  • Current Mood
    cheerful
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Soul Searching


After much soul searching, I can finally answer the question in my previous post. I write because I have to. I don't know why I have to, I just do.

Something else I've  learned. I'm selfish. (I did know that already, but....)

You see, I am afraid to speak in public (I mean deathly afraid), so I have always thought that if I did sell books, I would do bookstore signings, but no school visits. Then in church today, as an illustration for his class, the preacher was talking about being 8 years old, elementary school art class, and play doh. It made me think about the author and the illustrator who visited my class when I was that young. They showed slides of their book (a beach book I recall), and how the illustrations were made, and how they came up with the text, and all that writerly stuff. I remember being so enthralled. They made such an impact on me that I decided I wanted to be an author/illustrator too. And that was 45 years ago.

Then it hit me. I discovered just how selfish I really am. If I should ever be so blessed as to have the opportunity to reach just one child... then who am I to run and hide.
  • Current Music
    Have Thine Own Way Lord (brain radio)
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Why I Write


My eldest daughter and her family moved recently. They now live 9 hours away from me. Neither of my children have ever lived so far away. I'm having a hard time getting used to it.

But I have a hard time getting used to change anyway. I think that's why I continue to write. It has become a crutch for me. It must be. I have never sold anything. Doesn't look like I will. But I'm too afraid to go out and live, so I just keep doing the same thing over and over. 

My daughter told me last night about how happy they are up there. How they haven't been this happy in a long time. I'm happy for them. Really, I am. My youngest daughter and her family are happy, too. They live here in town, but have enormously active lives. I need a life, too. Instead of writing about people with lives, I need to make one for myself.

I think further examination is needed here.

News

Don't get excited, it isn't good. I haven't found a home yet, publisher or agent, for my current PB. BUT, I am almost done with the first book in my easy reader series. I want to write a couple more in the series and then start on a MG novel. I know PBs are a hard sell for we unknown writers, but it was one of those books that just had to be written.

Back to work now.
 


Emerson


"What lies behind us, and what lies
before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson



AVATAR

I just watched the movie. Interesting. Intriguing. Fast-paced.

Reminds me of a futuristic Indians vs Cowboys movie.


Thinking about a middle grade book....


I have tried only a couple of times to write a longer book, but the expanse of the project seemed so daunting
I stopped.  And today I came across this quote by one of my favorite authors:

"The secret of getting started is breaking
your complex, overwhelming tasks into
small manageable tasks, and then
starting on the first one."
- Mark Twain



I have heard it before, but it's always so relevant.


ON THE ENLIGHTENMENT SIDE:
This I have not heard before, but found very enlightening, and interesting, and character-usable. I found it n Merriam-Websters Online Dictionary:

#1: Retrosexual

Definition: a man who adopts a traditional masculine style in dress and manners

Example:

"Think of him as the anti-metrosexual, the opposite of that guy who emerged in the 1990s in all his pedicured, moussed-up, skinny-jeans glory. That man-boy was searching for his inner girl, it was argued. The retrosexual, however, wants to put the man back into manhood." — Lini S. Kadaba, Philadelphia Inquirer, Apr. 7, 2010

Editor's Note:

Retrosexual is a word that has been used in two very different ways.

It sometimes describes an old-fashioned "manly man" – e.g. a beer and football-loving guy who cares little for his appearance.

But it has also been used, as in the example above, to describe someone who self-consciously adopts traditional masculine styles – e.g. old-fashioned manners and clothes typical of the early 1960s (think Mad Men).


Easy Readers

I have discovered that easy readers (easy to read, but not easy to write) are a joy to work on.

I took my 15 year old PB ms, and with a lot of praying, transformed it into a 40 page easy reader.

I can't believe how indepth the characterization can get in such a short space. Anyway, it was a hoot

to write and now I'm busy subbing it.