POEM: SUMMERDREAM BIRTHDAY WISH

SUMMERDREAM BIRTHDAY WISH

Summerdream Birthday Wish-Cronin Detzz

Take me to a magic summerplace
Where duality does not exist
Where pale, cold pain cannot remain
And love’s warmth cannot resist

In my heavenly summer realm
Majestic thunderheads will purpley flume
evanescent rain will fall like shiny copper pennies
As amber dew drops adorn tiger lilies in bloom

I dream of a shimmering place
Where the darkness cannot comprehend
Where sunflowers laugh (and in harmony, sing!)
And beautifully long summer days never end

O take me to that place
Where stone-cold hearts cannot exist
Where mother nature goldenly smiles
And gentle jasmine breezes are sun-kissed

Where happiness cannot perish
And nothing turns to dust
Where moth and rust cannot corrupt
Games of hopscotch spontaneously erupt

Through the august fires of August
Death’s piercing eyes will go blind with shame
Warmongers and fearmongers will be vanquished
The four apocalyptic horses will go lame

The soft lichens hug strong boulders
Like verdigris upon a bronze statue
while in my summer realm, skin is not white
nor black, nor Hare Krishna blue

In my eternal summerplace
Hatred will wither and die
ice cream drips down sticky elbows
Cotton candy clouds pinkly float by

Cartwheels in the manicured green
A sparkling lake lazily licks the shore
O summer, swathed in gold and green
So full of love, I couldn’t ask for more
– Cronin Detzz, 2013

Keep writing and keep sharing!

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3 TIPS FOR FRAGMENTED WRITING: I’M BATMAN

This teenage boy I know says, “I have a great idea for story: Batman goes into this virtual reality game in a contest against Ra’s al Ghul, only Batman doesn’t know that the game actually creates real events. At the end of my story, Batman must be the one who goes back in time to kill his own parents.”

3 Tips for Fragmented Writing

So this boy writes the best parts of his juicy, action-packed story but get’s writer’s block when it comes to storyline rules, such as writing a compelling first page, creating masterful segues and crafting spine-tingling page-turners.

This type of writer’s block is okay, and very normal! Don’t let it stop you!

Go ahead and write all your favorite parts. You can fill in the gaps later. Your favorite portions are the heart and soul of your masterpiece. If you find that you are lamenting over fragmentation (how to string the pieces together), just have some trust in yourself and give it time.

Three key tips on fragmentation that I have found to be useful in overcoming writer’s block include:

  1. Before you go to sleep, write down your problem on a piece of paper. You can phrase it in the form of a question, such as: “How do I get Batman to accept a challenge from Ra’s al Ghul?” This allows your subconscious to contemplate the issue.
  2. Many writers have fragments of other stories in their treasure chests. Why not incorporate elements of your other stories into your current endeavor?
  3. Use real events. Although we have never played a virtual reality game against a villain, we have had to deal with bullies at some point in our lives. How did you meet that bully? How did he make you feel? What elements in the bully’s life formed him into such a tyrant?

I don’t normally create an outline until the primary sequence of events are clear. You may find that writing an outline is helpful at some stage, and I’d love to hear from you on this topic.

Keep writing and keep sharing! – Cronin Detzz

MY NAME IS SUE. MARY SUE.

MARYSUE
Writer’s Block implies that our creative well has dried up. When creating an epic hero, be certain to dip into your creative well and create a hero that is relatable. If main characters have depth and fallacies, readers will more easily connect. How can we create depth?

Ensure that your hero has fallacies and makes mistakes. Norwegian author, Jo Nesbo, created an award-winning series of crime fiction novels revolving around a detective named Harry Hole. Harry Hole asks probing questions, notices clues that others miss, and contains all the desired aspects of a great investigator. However, Hole is an alcoholic. He sabotages his own romantic relationships. He smokes, he makes mistakes, he struggles with depressive thoughts – in short, he is human. He is a hero, but he has depth.

Nesbo does not spend a lot of time describing Hole’s physical attributes, other than to say that he is tall and has blue eyes which are frequently bloodshot. If a writer spends too much time describing a character, the writer will be accused of self-insertion. Let the reader fill in some of the gaps of physical details, and the reader will subconsciously insert himself and get hooked.

A “Mary Sue” is a character that is simply too good to be true. Roger Moore’s portrayal of James Bond is certainly a “Mary Sue.” He gets the girl, kills the villain, saves the day, and still has fantastic-looking hair. (He had fantastic hair in the television series “The Saint” as well!) I am an admitted Bondophile, and own all of the Bond books. The books are much better than the movies because the author, Ian Flemming, created a hero who often made mistakes. In the novel Casino Royale, Bond questions whether he himself is the bad guy, realizing that a Russian spy would perceive Bond as an arch enemy. Bond is unsure of his mission in life and considers leaving the service. He doesn’t have perfect Roger Moore hair. His hair is described as dark, forming a “cruel comma” above his brow. He often gets captured and is a victim of incredible torture, and the author takes us to the dark shadows in Bond’s mind. It is an interesting journey and a great study into character development.

In short, don’t make characters too perfect, too brilliant, or invincible, unless you’re Roger Moore, who is successful despite his perfect hair.

Keep writing and keep sharing! – Cronin Detzz

FRIENDS, ROMANS, BOOKWORMS

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“Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ear…”   Those few, simple words written by William Shakespeare are well-known to casual readers and bookworms alike.  Similarly, “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?” has been drilled into our heads by our beloved English teachers.  (By the way: wherefore doesn’t mean “where,” it means “why”.) 

Banal quotes and trite cliches make us wonder why certain phrases are so easily recognized.  Why do some lines have sticking power in our brains?  We are bombarded with clever turns of scripts every day, from Facebook posts to television shows to radio ads; yet, certain quotes are indelible.

Certainly, some famous quotes stick in our gray matter due to pure rote memory.  I had a Latin teacher, Mr. Paris, who began each class by making say aloud the opening line to Caesar’s Gallic wars:  “Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres.”  Mr. Paris added a few more words each day, and promised us that we would probably remember this for the rest of our lives.  After the Christmas break, a 30-year-old student popped in just to say hello to Mr. Paris.  That adult could recite the entire first paragraph, and we were amazed.

Besides rote memory, there are other tricks that our brain uses to remember these kinds of phrases.  If we see a parody on television that makes us laugh, our brains will ease and we will absorb what we are hearing.  If we are very sad or angry, we might identify with a particular phrase or song lyric and subconsciously think about it.  If we are celebrating a holiday, our hearts can quickly recall moving sayings like Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech, or Tiny Tim’s gleeful, “God bless us, every one!”

In your writing, remember that a heartfelt phrase can have real staying power.  We don’t always know which phrases will resonate with a fellow bookworm, but chances are that if you are sincerely writing from your heart, readers will take notice.  It takes some confidence and a willingness to be vulnerable enough to share your innermost thoughts, but isn’t this what writing is all about in the first place?

Keep writing and keep sharing!  – Cronin Detzz

WRITER’S BLOCK – NEGATIVE ENERGY

WRITER’S BLOCK – NEGATIVE ENERGY

Written by The Crow’s Pen

 

“Ugh, I just cannot write today.  I am drained.”  Sound familiar?

Negative energy can be experienced as residual effects from an upsetting event, or it can be experienced as a vague feeling.  When an upsetting event occurs, such as an argument with a friend, a writer knows that energy will instinctively need to be siphoned to address the trauma.  When a writer is experiencing a more vague negativity – experiencing a mid-life crisis, for example – energy flow may be more difficult to resolve.  What can a writer do in order to overcome his black cloud and successfully complete a project?

It is important to remember that life is a continual balancing act.  We all have 24 hours in a day, yet some people are able to accomplish astounding things with their allotted time on earth.  It is amazing to think that Albert Einstein had the 24 hours that you and I have each day.   Below is a list of some key tips designed to help zap negativity:

  1. We instinctively know that we need to eat right and get enough sleep.  If your food quality is poor and you’re not sleeping well, then make it a priority to focus on these basic needs.  Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?  He suggested that we breathe.  Good advice.  TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF so that you can better serve others in your life.
  2. The best tip of all may seem counter-intuitive:  write.  If you only write a paragraph or a short poem, you can feel better that you made some small progress. 
  3. If you can find a moment to write, incorporate your negative situation into your writing.  Maybe it really WAS a dark and stormy night when Edward Bulwer-Lytton sat down and penned these infamous words.
  4. Venting to family, friends, and coworkers is a common coping mechanism.  However, be aware that when you spew venom, your poison has an effect on the listener.  Venting and spewing anger are two separate things:  venting opens the door for some camaraderie, while spewing negativity ends up snowballing and covers your friends in a toxic avalanche.  We do need sounding boards, but we do not want to pollute our immediate atmosphere.  Tip #2 encourages you to write, while this tip encourages you to write an imaginary dialogue about the negative experience itself:  “Dear Diary, you wouldn’t believe the day I had.”  Keeping a journal is important for self-growth.  “Write about what you know about” incorporates the material into your current work in progress.
  5. If the negative situation emanates from the writer’s block itself, you simply feel stuck.  Think of your writing as energy flowing throughout your body.  When you have writer’s block, the energy is constipated!  To uncork the flow, find a way to reach a meditative state.   Personally, I find that taking a walk is highly beneficial.  During the walk, I ensure that I keep an even, rhythmic pace.  I let my thoughts wander and once I latch upon something, I write it down as soon as the walk is done.  There is something about walking that seems to engage the mind in a useful activity while allowing energy to flow more freely.  If you cannot walk (due to the weather, for instance) then find another rhythmic, solitary activity such as sweeping the floor.

Negative energy is so common that there should be a vaccine!  In the end, it all comes down to attitude.  Changing your attitude can be very difficult, for it involves changing your beliefs.  Honestly ask yourself if you believe that you deserve to feel crummy.  Once you realize that you deserve a life of happiness, the universe will respond.  The problem is that we never know how long we will be in our funk.  Release any fears of inadequacy that you may have.  This block won’t last forever.  It won’t be the last time that you experience a block, so it is worth finding ways to shield and protect your life-force.  Don’t give in to the dark side.  May the force be with you. 

 

 BE WELL AND WRITE WELL

WRITER’S BLOCK: Diversions and Immersions

Writers Block: Diversions - by "The Crow's Pen"
Creative writing assistance for writer’s block

The dreaded writer’s block.  Whatever should we do?  Go to Starbucks and juice up our veins with high doses of caffeine and chatter?  Go to the mountains/the lake/the skateboard park and get all kinds of ommmm-zen going?  Or just hunker down and write?  If we force it, this might be as fruitful as squeezing blood from a stone.  BTW, if you are able to get that blood-stone thing going, be sure to let everyone know, that’s a book we’d love to read!

Here’s the bottom line:  you need a creative outlet.  If you can help it, don’t push it just to make a deadline. Writing under a deadline can certainly get the job done, but you want to put your best writing into your project. 

Here is one suggestion: Diversionary tactics can be highly successful.  Do something different for awhile, like facebooking with a few hundred friends or <gasp> meeting one in person for some real face time.  Hug a tree.  Bake cookies.  Take a nap. 

Best of all, READ.  Read an author’s writing that you are trying to emulate. For instance, there is one particular author, Gregory Maquire, author of “Wicked,” whose style really suits my next project.  I have quite a few of his books, so when I feel stuck, I stop banging my head against the wall and re-read at least one of his chapters.  This is a hybrid diversionary tactic which has done wonders for me.  However, I am not reading with the intent to get lost in the story, I am STUDYING it.  I keep pen and paper handy and jot down:

  1.  Really well-composed lines
  2. A clever string of conversation
  3. A descriptive method he uses to set the tone or setting  

Invariably, his writing energizes me and a good start for my next chapter comes flying off my fingertips.

If, after trying these diversionary tactics, you find that writing is still blocked, try the following:

  1. Ensure your room is dark and quiet
  2. Ensure that paper and pen are nearby, preferably on your nightstand
  3. Take a nap and let your subconscious work on the issue.  Say aloud, “Okay, brain, I’ve given you some inspiration.  I am going to rest my body so while I’m sleeping, let my subconscious do the work.” 
  4. After you wake up, jot down any ideas right away, no matter how far-fetched they may seem. 

 Just have the confidence that it will come back – it always does!

Keep writing and keep sharing!

PUBLISHING YOUR POETRY – by “The Crow’s Pen”

Poetry for Our Time-Cronin Detzz
Poetry for Our Time – by Cronin Detzz

I did it, and you can, too!  THANK YOU, poet friends, for your continual encouragement.  I published my first poetry book on Amazon:  “Poetry for Our Time.”  What an amazing feeling, to finally have the book in my hands. 

Below are some questions that I have received regarding publishing poetry:

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QUESTION:  “Cronin, why did you sort your poems into these 5 chapters?” 

REPLY:  Sorting hundreds of poems into is not an easy task, but one that does seem worthwhile.  I’ve read anthologies and have been disappointed by lack of structure and framework.  Consider categorizing your poems into some type of chapters.  The poems in my book, “Poetry for Our Time,” were sorted into the following five categories:

  1. The World Today – war, politics, religion, pop culture
  2. Going Off The Grid – escaping into nature, technodespair
  3. Our Families – estrangement from family, bonds with parents, siblings, and children
  4. Modern Death – agnosticism versus mysticism
  5. Modern Love – a poet’s bread and butter!

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QUESTION:  “How much did it cost?”

REPLY:  I used Amazon’s self-publishing tool, called Create Space.  The only fees that I paid were for shipping proofs.  Writers should order proofs, which are essentially previews of your book, after each editing update.  Editing takes a lot of work, so be prepared to clear your calendar and set some goals for yourself.  There are margins to consider, spell-checking concerns, artwork to view, and so forth.  Amazon does offer prepaid artwork and marketing services; however, I did not utilize them.  I did read through their member resource blog pages.  Research is vital to any writing project.

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QUESTION:  “You stated that research is vital.  Specifically, what steps did you take?”

REPLY:  After speaking with some friends, I came into contact with someone who had just written a successful book.  I grilled him on his strategies, and he recommended Amazon, blogging, and setting goals.  His first question was: “Cronin, what do you hope to accomplish by publishing this book?”  The answer was clear:  to make my family proud of me.  There are several writers in my family, and they supported my goals.  Other research included reading hundreds of pages online and reading the “For Dummies” books.

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You can easily find my book by going to Amazon and searching for “Cronin Detzz.”  You can also read the intro, view the critiques on the back cover, and read a few pages of my book by clicking “look inside.”  Additionally, you can also preview my book by visiting:  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=cronin+detzz

Keep writing and keep sharing!