Truthful Tuesday — Authors and Books

Frank, aka PCGuy, has published another one of his Truthful Tuesday posts. This week Frank wants to know about the authors and books we like. He asks:

Do you have a favorite author? If so, who and why? If not, why not?

This is tough because it depends upon genre and my reading taste spans a lot of different genres. I like authors who transport me to a different place and/or a different time. Authors like James Clavell or James Michener. For sci-fi Isaac Asimov. Horror: Stephen King. Spy novels: Robert Ludlum. Fantasies: JRR Tolkien. Humor: Dave Barry. Shall I go on?

What was the first book you remember enjoying reading?

What three books best sum up your taste in literature?

Issac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. James Clavell’s Shōgun.

Blogging Insights — Comfort Zone

Blogging insightsDr. Tanya is seeking more Blogging Insights from our community of bloggers. She said that she read lots of posts and watched many videos on blogging, most of which advised that selecting a niche is essential for a blog to be a success. A niche means a particular subject or genre. People become expert at writing in a particular form and subject. Today’s question is about stretching your wings and flying beyond your comfort zone.

Do you ever ‘stretch’ (i.e.,expand your horizons) by writing outside your comfort zone? If not, why not?

I really don’t have a specific niche for my blog. My “comfort zone” is essentially whatever occurs to me. Sometimes I write about politics. Sometimes about religion. Sometimes about society and what’s going in my country and the world.

My comfort zone also includes responding to other bloggers’ prompts, be they song prompts, word prompts, or photo prompts, and I use these prompts for writing flash fiction posts. I even generate a few prompts of my own as fodder for other bloggers to use to stimulate their imaginations and creativity.

But Dr. Tanya’s question isn’t about what is inside my comfort zone, it’s about whether or not I stretch myself and wander outside of it. My answer is not often. My comfort zone is prose, yet I have, on a few unfortunate occasions, attempted to write poems — mostly very bad poems. So bad, in fact, that anyone who knows anything about poetry would be hard pressed to even label my feeble, misguided, and failed attempts to venture into writing poems to be poetry.

Does that answer the question?
If not, I have a suggestion
That is for your own protection
So please pay close attention
And organize an intervention
With the very good intention
Of bringing about a cessation
To this unwanted expression
And I will offer my confession
I disabuse myself of an impression
That I have in my possession
The ability and skill to write a poem

Blogging Insights — Self Doubt

Blogging insightsFor her latest Blogging Insights prompt, Dr. Tanya asks us only one question. She wants to know about self doubt, an affliction, she says, that affects writers nearly as often as writer’s bock. It’s a fear, doubt, and/or lack of confidence that attacks writers from time to time. The doctor wants to know:

How often are you afflicted by self doubt and what do you do about it?

There have been many aspects of my life when I’ve been filled with and almost paralyzed by self doubt. But when it comes to my blog, I can honestly say that I’ve never been afflicted by self doubt. That may come across as if I’m full of myself, but that’s not the case. I just love to write blog posts. What’s not to love?

I love expressing my opinions and perspectives. I love writing flash fiction pieces. I enjoy the creative challenges. It’s not something I fear and I don’t lack confidence. And I rarely run out of things to write.

I’m not saying that I’m a blogger extraordinaire or that my posts are any better than those of other bloggers. I’m just saying that when I compose a post, I don’t doubt my ability to write something that I’m proud of and that I hope others will enjoy reading.

That said, I do doubt myself when it comes to my proofreading skills, as I’m sure way too many typos, misspellings, or grammatical errors have found their way into my published posts than I would like.

Time to Write a Poem

09C450E1-B82F-4E62-9267-BA968ADACB91There was that time
I decided to write a poem
Whenever others read it
All they could do was to groan


Written for Teresa Grab’s Poetry Challenge. Teresa explains that there are more than 100 different poetic forms and she asked us to find one form and to use the picture from Susan Cipriano from Pixabay as inspiration. The form of poetry I chose is FFFP, otherwise known as Fandango’s Free-Form Poetry. And although Teresa said that there is no such thing as a bad poem, I think my poem has just proven her wrong.

What Do You See? — The Balloonman

C8A98519-F9B6-4F1B-9D8A-1E74DDE6B576As soon as I saw this week’s image that Sadje chose for her What Do You See? prompt, the only thing I could think of was a poem I remember from high school written by American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright e.e. cummings (1894-1962). In his poem, “in Just,” which was originally published in The Dial, Volume LXVIII, Number 5 (May 1920). New York: The Dial Publishing Company, Inc., Cummings refers to the “lame balloonman,” the “queer old balloonman,” and the “goat-footed balloonman.”

So, in homage to e.e. cummings, here is his poem.

in Just-

spring             when the world is mud-

luscious the little

lame balloonman

whistles         far         and wee

and eddieandbill come

running from marbles and

piracies and it’s

spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer

old balloonman whistles

far         and           wee

and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it’s

spring

and

the

goat-footed

balloonman           whistles

far

and

wee


Image credit: Alexey Avdeev.