The 7-Link-Challenge

Right now I’m reading a book called 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. It’s author, Darren Rowse, posted a challenge on his blog today where he encourages his readers to do something similar to what he teaches in that book. It’s a neat, simple, terrifying task of writing a link-post. Of course I couldn’t resist, you know me… (Or will, if you keep reading my blog ;) )

THE 7 LINK CHALLENGE

  • My very first post on this blog was a beginning of a story, titled Dawn. Dawn is actually a story I’d like to continue some day, I like the idea of it and its characters, but for now it serves a different purpose. Got to start somewhere, right?  *grin*
  • The post I enjoyed writing the most is without doubt my ongoing story… Okay so they are multiple posts, not a single one, but you can find Triplepeak City in reading order on a single page if you want to! The story is about a girl in search of adventure who gets exactly what she asked for and more. Hidden city, horse-riding heroes, dark magic growling in the background in the form of wolves and ravens… Sound like fun?

At first it seemed like a dark cloud, but as it came closer she made out shapes and movement. It was a flock of large black birds, silently gaining on them with such accuracy it was clear what their target was. And soon enough, the first bird let out a rough cry and plunged towards them. It had barely moved from the flock when a few more mimicked its move and then the whole bunch was shooting down.

She reached for her knives, secured by her hip, but was stopped by the rider. He grabbed her arm and put it back around him as he leaned even further down, basically pinning her to the horse.

“Hold on,” he growled, muttered something and the horse broke into a gallop that seemed to be closer to flying than running as it´s feet barely met the ground. The birds missed their target but kept following them and she was about to point that out, somehow, when the rider added:

“Ravens are the least of our problems, it´s the dogs we need to worry about. The guys better have that damn tunnel ready.”

  • There was an interesting discussion on one of my poems, the first time someone actually criticized anything on my blog… Which is great! Feedback for me, some points to think about for you. The poem paints a picture of a troubled girl and it’s called Go on.

Dragging her feet
making her way towards whatever she
has to face that day.

Eyes glazed and gray
hair tangled as if soaked and woven
everything is slow.

  • The fourth part of the challenge was to link to “A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d written”. This one is a bit of trouble for me. There are too many to choose from. I think I need to start by admitting to my relentless admiration of James Chartrand.
    (James, if you’re reading this: I’m your #1 fan! Will you please sign my bookmark of one of my favorite posts you’ve written: “How to Become a Better Writer and Get Readers Loving You” ? )Yeah, so there’s this post on reading your work out loud to improve it. Did I mention it? “How to become a better…” Right. Ahem. (How embarrassing.)
    The technique is one I use with and without meaning to. My friend Vallý knows when I’m really concentrating on writing something because I start reading aloud as I type and fix bad lines or ill-fitting words out loud before I fix them on the page… It comes in handy when doing assignments and essays for class together. She knows exactly where I’m going with the text before she gets a chance to read it ;) Do I wish I’d written that post? Do I wish I had the to-the-point and witty voice the author has? You bet I do.
  • My favorite title is “Light in its Natural Habitat“. The post is a poem, a cute little abc poem in fact, and that title both fits it perfectly and sounds… Well, I think it sounds awesome ;) Don’t you?
  • And finally, the post I so wish people would read and take to heart, because it’s supposed to help people realize poetry is a form of expression anyone can use. Please go ahead and read 5 Easy Steps to Writing Rhyme-Free Poetry
    I’m telling you now and I’ll tell you again, it’s not a question of “not getting” poetry. Who does? I mean, really? Do we ever know if what we gather from a poem is actually what the author wanted to say? No. Well, not unless you ask. The point is, if you can read, you can read poetry. It uses the same words as other texts, the same symbols. The words may stand for other than the obvious meaning, but so do words in other types of writing. I mean, have you read a legal document lately?

    Reading poetry is similar to listening to music. You have rhythm and sound, emotional use of words and metaphors… All you have to do is let yourself feel what the words are saying, just like tones of the piano or the guitar.

Now you have a decent list of great posts to read, and by all means do ;) In the meanwhile, I’m writing a little Thank-You post to celebrate a comment count of 100! Yay :) All my wonderful commenters will be listed and linked to, and the top ones get a little paragraph of introduction. All lovely people, I assure you ;)

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Go on.

Dragging her feet
making her way towards whatever she
has to face that day.

Eyes glazed and gray
hair tangled as if soaked and woven
everything is slow.

Maybe she cares
but now that she’s over the first hindrance
she doesn’t listen.

Hands in her pockets
as if digging for lost treasures in there
not that she’d find any.

Dragging her feet
postponing the soon-needed decision
because of that truth.

Wish I Could Get Lost

Dawn breaks,
white mist hides the
familiar shapes of houses, trees, mountains.

Kid awakes,
the air is damp and
chilly as I drop’em off to daycare for a while.

I crawl back into bed and
convince myself I have nothing better to do
but be comfortably hidden under sheets and covers.

For a couple of hours I’ll not be here, I’ll have no voice, no presence.

I’ll greet the day at noon.

My phone rings and I
can’t sleep with it screaming for me
like a desperate reminder of my whole life of responsibilities.

I guess I’ll be here after all.

Shut up Songbird

I’ve stayed for too long
my voice is turning harsh and unforgiving.
My words don’t sound like songs anymore.
I should know better by now, after all this time,
but I couldn’t let go when the melody caught me.

I’ve stayed for too long
I can’t believe my head isn’t empty yet.
The trouble with constantly creating,
within my head or on paper slash keyboard,
is how to not.

I’ve stayed for too long
my voice is drained of all it’s juices.
I shouldn’t utter another word but
I keep singing, humming, pretending that’s not
doing any damage.

I’ve stayed for too long
the same way I always have and
probably always will.
Selfdestructive actions are,
after all,
what being an artist is all about?

Shut up, songbird.

5 Easy Steps to Writing Rhyme-Free Poetry

Image credit: Surrealmuse via Flickr

Have you ever felt like writing a poem but been discouraged by the thought of proper form and rhyme and all those things that make up a good, solid work of poetry? Or have you been discouraged by the (silly) claims that if it doesn‘t have rhyme it‘s not a poem? 

 .

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Let me help you get past that. I am not about to show you which words to use and not to use. I am not about to tell you what to write about. Those are your own challenges. I am, however, going to help you get them on paper/screen in a nice, readable way. 

Now, since that‘s cleared, here are my beginner-safe steps to writing your heart out without the constrictions of rhyme! 

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1.  WRITE SPONTANEOUSLY 

When writing poetry, you are pouring out feelings and opinions in the flexible and multi-toned form of words. This can be a true headache, since there are so many ways to express a single emotion. What works best is to write down as much as you possibly can spontaneously. It will probably be flawed and awkwardly worded, but it will be the closest you can get to your heart-song. (Anyone like singing penguins?) 

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Top 5 Things for (extremely) Shy Writers to Think About When Introducing Themselves and Their Work to Strangers.

I´ve always found it easy to talk and introduce myself to strangers, be it a single person or a room full of people. I realise that´s not the case for everybody and, as bravely posted on Writer´s Round-About, some people find it extremely hard if not terrifying. This can be a real problem for us writers, fiction and professional ones alike. For those of you who know what I´m talking about, here are a few bits of advice from yours truly.  

1. MIND YOUR MANNERS

This may seem silly. Why would I need to bring that up? Isn´t it pretty much given? Yes. Yes it is. The thing is, manners don´t mean the same thing for everybody, in every situation. When nerves are added to the equation, things might end up a catastrophe.

What I know I don´t need to tell you is: be polite. Of course you are. What I might have to remind you of is: don´t be too polite. What you have to offer, what you want to bring into this person´s life, is more than fits in a line of “hello, how do you do, very nice to meet you”. Introducing life-changing products, as I´m sure you and your writing are, takes more dramatic measures.

I´m not talking about dancing on tables. I´m talking about what good manners tell you to include in your introduction. Continue reading