The Adventure of Writing a Book, Part 39

Describing Life (making a connection with others)

As a journalist, novelist and poet, I have written in many forms. A newspaper article has just the facts, mam. A column gives the writer more freedom to express his opinions.

A children’s story has to stay within the parameters of that particular age group. A picture book for preschoolers must be simple, amusing, and exciting. For middle grades, the plot and concepts can be more complicated. It is good to challenge the reader, but not to the point where they lose interest.

Novels are still another challenge. You want to keep the reader moving forward. A professor at Syracuse once told me that a good story teller is like a pretty lady standing by the door beckoning, inviting the reader to come in, see more, experience more. That sounds a bit tacky today, but we get the point: LURE THE READER FORWARD.

Poetry is different in that it shows the reader a slice of life, or a concept, a moment in time, an awakening. Ordinary words work for me. Some of the more beautiful poems are simple. Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe all wrote simply and understandably, but they moved us all with their words.

To me, poems are “Word Pictures of a Life” and I have a collection of my poems by that name.

On November 27, the online journal, Rue Scribe, published a poem of mine called “Evening”.
It is about a night years ago when my husband and I had a group of friends over for dinner. We laughed and talked and when it was over, and the dishes were done, I simply had to write it down. Check our Rue Scribe. They have great short stories and poems. A good quick read.

Evening

There was a night when friends were near
and, Oh Christ, we laughed as the jokes were told.
Funny quick lines of turned-around wit,
long rambling stories of salesmen weary and maidens willing. 

We drank beers and smoked cigarettes, one after another
and the laughs were like that, easy, one after another. 

Later, the talk turned sad, someone would lose a mother,
a child was ill and the Flanagans would be transferred to Saudi Arabia. 

When the evening was over, we remarked upon the fun.
Nothing was done or undone, the world remained the same,
but God, did we laugh that night. 

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