Sunday, May 23, 2010

15 Tweets by @annvevera!

I joined Twitter three months ago. As of today, I have 45 followers, mostly writers, and I follow 58, same people who follow me, plus a few extra.

Twitter is really fun. It's a great place for making web-friends and networking.

Writers tweet about writing, of course, post links to blog posts and articles, post messages about random thoughts, reply to other people's tweets, and share other people's tweets (retweet!).

So what do I tweet about? As of today, I have posted 226 tweets, and I am going to share 15 of them in chronological order. (If you want to read all 226, you just click on the blue bird at the top right corner of this blog.) Remember, each post is only allowed 140 characters.

Here I go.

Mar 15th. 4:44 am. @Chumplet Thank you! Still trying to learn all this. How it works.

Mar 23rd. 1:40 pm. Ah..., I just figured out what the things do in the sidebar. I was wondering how I could see if anyone had replied on my tweets.

Mar 28th. 2:38 pm. @ACRead Thanks. I decided to follow a few people on your list.

Mar 31st. 1:51 am. Wednesday is trash-day. Do you leave neat, organized piles (control freak?), or drag it out there leaving a long trail of crap (slob)?

Apr 3rd. 8:51 am. If my mom was on Twitter: "I cleaned the hallway closet today."

Apr 5th. 5:08 pm. School is great. I am learning lots of cool stuff. But I have no time to write!

Apr 7th. 1:06 am. @BigWords88 Actually, teachers! And you never want a teacher to be your student --that's the absolute worst combination.

Apr 9th. 5:38 am. @TKToppin Great article! Very interesting. The masses are exposed to very few choices in the traditional bookstores. Not good.

Apr 10th. 4:53 pm. Skyped my mom. Have to. Every Saturday morning at 9 am. She talks for 30 minutes. I listen. Then I tell her I have to make breakfast.

Apr 11th. 6:07 am. My dad will call me at 9:30 sharp! I talk for 5 minutes. He asks about the weather, then cuts me off with: "Next week same time okay?"

Apr 18th. 4:34 am. Some people just deliver interesting and fun blog posts like it's as easy as making a ....., well something that is easy to make!

Apr 26th. 1:02 am. How about giving a 20 million dollar sign-on bonus to a writer with a promising manuscript? Why only in football?

Apr 28th. 5:10 pm. What's going on out there? I'm trapped in an evil bubble: work, eat, read, read, eat, sleep, shower, coffee, work...

May 6th. 1:04 am. The snowbirds are leaving Florida.

May 19th. 3:40 pm. First day of my summer semester. It doesn't look like I am going to get much writing or fiction reading done over the next 12 weeks.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

May Reading Update: John Steinbeck.

My goal for this year is to read fifteen fiction novels. It's mid-May, a third into the year, and I can't say that I've read five books, but I'm pretty darn close. The number is four! They are:
  1. Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand,
  2. The Hobbit by J.J.R Tolkien (Got bored, and finished half!),
  3. White Fang by Jack London (So far, this year's favorite!),
  4. What I Talk about When I Talk about Running by Haruki Murakami (This year's big disappointment!)
And now, I'm working on Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck. It's a thin paper-back novel, only 207 pages. I chose it because I wanted a quick read, but I discovered a real pearl! This is my first experience reading John Steinbeck. He and Jack London have a lot in common. They were both experts at human behavior and skillful masters at creating vivid metaphors.

Here is a little taste from Tortilla Flat:

"Pilon and Pablo entered the little house joyfully. Pilon lighted a candle and produced two fruit jars for glasses.
-Health! said Pablo.
-Salud! said Pilon.
And in a few moments,
-Salud! said Pablo.
-Mud in your eye! said Pilon.
They rested a while.
-Su servidor, said Pilon.
-Down the rat-hole, said Pablo.
Two gallons is a great deal of wine, even for two paisanos. Spiritually the jugs may be graduated thus: Just below the shoulder of the first bottle, serious and concentrated conversation. Two inches farther down, sweetly sad memory. Three inches more, thoughts of old and satisfactory loves. An inch, thoughts of bitter loves. Bottom of the firts jug, general and undirected sadness. Shoulder of the second jug, black, unholy despondency. Two fingers down, a song of death or longing. A thumb, every other song each one knows. The graduation stops here, for the trail splits and there is no certainty. From this point on anything can happen. (p.23-24)"

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Finals!

I will not be able to write a regular post this weekend. I have four final exams next week and so I have to study. That's life sometimes. This will be the first time since November that I haven't posted something, not counting this announcement. Wish me luck. Next weekend I plan to post as usual.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

How Zap Your Poetic Creativity!

Writing poetry is fun. But it's not easy. It's a matter of going to that creative zone with our senses wide open. It takes concentration. We want to avoid all those trite and tired metaphors often found in popular music, magazines, and films. We want to produce an original. But this doesn't mean we need to go crazy with difficult words which mainstream readers have never heard of, unless of course, your plan is to annoy them! A poet needs to find ways to use ordinary words in new ways.

So where does a poet find ordinary words that can be used to create new and original poems? There are a lots of ways. Have you ever seen refrigerator magnets used to create poetry? It was a popular gift for a while. The words were typed on magnetic strips. And they were sold in boxes with different themes like gardening, parenting, romance etc. But it's not necessary to buy magnetic words. You can do it yourself. Not magnets, I mean that you can decide on a theme and find words! I decided to write down words that I encountered at the office where I clean. One rule, I could only write down words that I saw written on different objects. It was kind of fun. So I created the office theme!

Now, what do we do with all our words? Sandford Lyne has written a great book called Writing poetry from the inside out. Finding your voice through the craft of poetry. Sandford uses a method that he calls Poem-Sketching. He makes word groups. Each group has four words: a couple of nouns, an adjective, and a verb.

Here are an example of a few groups from my office list.


  1. Wall, Hewlett Packard, extra wide, laugh.
  2. Knight, department, husky, love.
  3. Handicap door, mommy, perfect, lead.
  4. Xerox, budget, durable, smoke.
  5. Project, peanut, simple, injure.
  6. Tony, in-box, damp, change.


Okay, you get the idea. If you want to mix groups and change things around, go right ahead. You make the rules. The idea is to zap your creativity started and get the poetic river flowing from your brain. All the little words like: he, she, and, then, how, if, in , on, you add as needed. Let me know if this works! Which themes did you come up with?

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