Writing a novel is such a minuscule part of writing a novel. People who’ve never written anything longer than a school paper have a hard time imagining that pouring all those words onto the page isn’t the major part of the battle. Experienced authors know better. Writing the manuscript is just a fraction of the […]
Maxine Kumin 1925 – 2014, Poet, Author, Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress (now known as U.S. Poet Laureate). Pulitzer Prize winner who left us with a large and varied legacy of her works ranging from Poetry, Essays, Novels, Memoirs and Children’s Books.
How It Is
Shall I say how it is in your clothes?
A month after your death I wear your blue jacket.
The dog at the center of my life recognizes
You’ve come to visit, he’s ecstatic.
In the left pocket, a hole.
In the right, a parking ticket
Delivered up last August on the Bay State Road.
In my heart, a scatter like milkweed,
A flinging from the pods of the soul.
My skin presses your old outline.
It is hot and dry inside.
I think of the last day of your life,
Old friend, how I would unwind it, paste
It together in a different collage,
Back from the death car idling in the garage,
Back up the stairs, your praying hands unlaced,
Reassembling the bits of bread and tuna fish
Into a ceremony of sandwich,
Running the home movie backward to a space
We could be easy in, a kitchen place
With vodka and ice, our words like living meat.
Dear friend, you have excited crowds,
With your example. They swell
Like wine bags, straining at your seams.
I will be years gathering up our words,
Fishing out letters, snapshots, stains,
Leaning my ribs against this durable cloth
To put on the dumb blue blazer of your death.
– Maxine Kumin
While there is a wealth of current poets and authors, there is much to be gained by reading the works of those who have gone before us. While reading a book by the late Carolyn G. Heilbrun, I was introduced to the work of Kumin. There is a special joy in discovering another trove of treasures and perhaps some of you will stop by and mention a few that you have discovered recently.
“It’s no good going on living in the ashes of a dead happiness.” – Nevile Shute, A Town Called Alice
“She looked at him in wonder. “Do people think of me like that? I only did what anybody could have.” “That’s as it may be,” he replied. “The fact is, that you did it.” – Nevile Shut, A Town Called Alice
“Like some infernal monster, a war can go on killing people for a long time after it’s all over.” – Nevile Shut
Nevil Shute, born Nevil Shute Norway on 17 January, 1899 in a suburb of London. He was an aeronautical engineer, aviator and a writer. He spent the later part of his life in Australia where he died on 12 January 1960.
Graduating from Oxford in 1922, he attended the Woolwich Royal Military Academy, but was prevented from joining the Royal Flying Corps due to stuttering. However, he did serve as an infantryman in WWI.
In 1931, he set up his own company, Aircraft Construction Company (Airspeed Ltd.) The most famous production of his company was the horsa glider, Horsa. It was one of the battle horses of the Normandy Landing.
By 1944, he was already an established author. Due to this, he sent as a war correspondent during the Normandy landings and again in Burma. By 1948 he flew his own plane to Australia. On his return he looked around himself and felt that the United Kindom was in a decline. A decision was made to emigrate and he moved his family to a farm in Australia. He died there in 1960.
Many of his novels have been adapted into films. I am hoping to find a film based on the one I just finished reading, Pied Piper, as it has the potential to be an excellent film.
The actress, Geraldine Fitzgerald (1913 – 2005), was a cousin of Mr. Shute.
Presented, courtesy of my good friend and Professional Book Editor, Susan Uttendorfsky, the owner of Adirondack Editing.
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by Stephanie O’Brien When you start to create a novel, one of the first questions you have to ask yourself is, “Should I start by creating an outline, or just fly by the seat of my pants?” Both of these options have their merits. As I noted in a previous blog post, creating an […]
Resting a draft novel can be a challenging time for some writers.
We generally fall into two camps when it comes to letting our beloved draft novel rest. There are those of us who are relieved to see the back of our story and welcome some time apart from it, and there are some of us who struggle with the separation.
The latter fail to see the benefits of taking a break from working on something all of the time. Putting an important project away for a month makes them feel uncomfortable. Their literary babies are too precious to walk away from. They need constant attention.
This blog post is dedicated to those writers who, like me, get a little teary at the thought of being apart from their future bestseller and struggle to rest a draft novel.
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Delighted to feature another of Mary Smith’s local history books… Secret Dumfries in collaboration with photographer Keith Kirk. About Secret Dumfries Dumfries, in south-west Scotland, has a long history, much of it well recorded. However, as with most places there are more than a few secrets hidden away. First referred to as the Queen of […]