A while back I finished and published my first book, “Grandpa Stories“. Almost immediately, I recognized that while my (and all those that helped me) intentions were pure the results suffered mightily from various typos, grammar and structural flaws. So after commiserating my sad lot in life for about a year or so I embarked on a mission to clean it all up. I got some professional editors to do their thing and had some beta readers do theirs and am now ready to republish it again. SO stand by Grandpa Stories will be out there soon.
Additionally, I came up with a concept for a second novel at the end of writing Grandpa Stories, called “Artifacts“. As of June, 2017, I have formed a team to write that book but my partner has a good reputation so I will not sully it here until that deed is done and he agrees to be publicly associated with it. It is going to be a lot of fun!!!
Recently, I attended a writers workshop that covered this form of literature. I had never heard of it before, Unlike its big brother the Memoir, a Micro Memoir is typically less that 750 words long and tells only about an event rather that the whole life of someone. My writers workshop gave us an assignment to write one. I enjoyed it so much I wrote two. When critiqued at the last workshop the commentary was encouraging so I decided to put them on the UJT. Please let me know what you think of them.
Sometimes an idea or concept will pop into my head and I cannot understand it or get rid of it until I write it out. Most of the time after completing these exercises in clarity, I simply delete the document and try to forget I ever had that thought. But sometimes they stick and for some reason, I keep them. If I am going to keep them, it will be here:
I have a confession to make. I am most familiar with poetry in the form of musical lyrics. As far back as I remember, I have been writing poetry as it seemed to be the way my mind could unburden the mysteries of my life and my struggle to understand me. I used it to explain me to me. That doesn’t mean that I ever really connected too much with anyone else’s poetry. With a couple of exceptions, I never read poetry unless it was absolutely unavoidable like, “The Village Smithy” by Longfellow which was a memorization assignment in Jr High. If I heard poetry it was by accident. The work of Robert Frost was often quoted by Kennedy. Along with most other Americans in 1961, I watched when the 85 year old Frost recited “The Gift Outright” from memory because the words to the poem that had actualy written for the inauguration were unreadable in the cold winter’s glare. Or more recently, when Maya Angelou read, “On the Pulse of the Morning” for President Clinton’s innaguration. This last year, I discovered quite accidentally, that I am in love with the work of Sarah Kay. If you haven’t seen her performance on TED, please use this link.
I find a reason to tell someone one about Sarah and listen again to her 2011 TED talk from time to time. Every time I watch I feel re-inspired. My definition of good poetry is something that inspires us. Sarah gives good poetry.
Recently, I was watching a movie and was reminded of a poem that I never really thought of as a poem. I learned it as pretty young boy and have carried it with me all my life without actually thinking about it specifically or directly but letting it guide me. Please take a moment to really hear the profound words of Tecumseh, the great Shawnee Chief. You can read his poem in the Great Quotes pages on this site.
So my poetry begins with an image in my head – a word or two but associated to something deeper in the shadows of my mind? soul? psyche? I don’t know but I feel it there like an itch that must be scratched. When I write those few words in my image the others follow at different speeds. All of these randomized wordy images invade me from time to time. I enjoy ignoring the rules, any sense of dignity and letting these words find their own connections. Doing it here is easier that really publishing the poetry. Putting them here also has the added advantage of potentially be more fulfilling and humiliating than they would be left on my computer for my heirs and forensics experts to find at the scene of the crime..
Well here goes: