Amherst Books Reopens

There’s nothing like your local book store for a writer. Here you find worthy books, interesting readings and events, and a place to sell your books.

Amherst Books is located at 8 Main Street in Amherst, MA. New Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm. You can order books online at books@amherstbooks.com) or by telephone (413-256-1547, 

They believe, and so do I, that books and bookstores are essential, especially in times of crisis. Support them or your local bookstore.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

A Suggestion for Writer’s Block

When I have writer’s block, I sometimes freewrite.

What is freewriting? A writing exercise in which you  write quickly and continuously, with a free association of ideas.

Freewriting is a good technique to shut down your “inner censor” and let your writing flow. The idea is to put down your thoughts as they arise, without judging them, or the way in which they get expressed.

According to  Peter Elbow, a founder of freewriting:

“If you want readers to breathe life into your writing so that they get a powerful experience from it, then you must breathe experience into your words as you write. I don’t know why it should be the case that if you experience what you are writing about–if you go to the bamboo–it increases the chances of the reader’s experiencing the bamboo. But that’s the way it seems to work.”

The basic technique is to simply write without stopping for a set amount of time, say 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t correct what you write. See what happens.

 

My latest collection of poetry is coming out soon. Check it out:

Touch My Head Softly by Eileen Kennedy – Finishing Line Press


 
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

When I have writer’s block, I sometimes freewrite.

What is freewriting? A writing exercise in which you  write quickly and continuously, with a free association of ideas.

Stephanie Shafran will be the Featured Writer for Straw Dog Writers Guild

OPEN MIC & FEATURED READER Writers Night Out In! Thursday, November 5 @ 7:00pm ONLINE *We have changed our usual Tuesday to a Thursday due to the election. We’re live and online! Join us Tuesday on Zoom at 7:00pm for Writers Night In.  RSVP wno@strawdogwriters.org to receive the Zoom link to the event.

Featured Reader – Stephanie Shafran

Stephanie Shafran lives in Western MA. Her poetry and prose have appeared in anthologies such as Straw Dog’s Compass Roads and Ophelia’s Mom, edited by Nina Shandler. And in journals such as Earth’s Daughters, Whirlwind Review, Slant and Silkworm. Her poem Pears received an honorable mention in Writers’ Digest’s 2001non-rhyming poetry competition.

Last year, Stephanie’s poem After “Since Unfinished” by Richard Blanco won 3rd place in the Robert P. Collén Poetry Competition; recently she was a semi-finalist in River Styx’s Microfiction Contest.

Stephanie published Awakening this spring.

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” 
― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

I don’t know how you deal with self-doubt and self-criticism, but I know that loving life helps.

In the midst of a pandemic, I know this is hard.  But I have been trying to come  up every day with something to be grateful for.  I live in Western Massachusetts, which has some of the loveliest landscapes and lakes on the earth.  I canoe with my partner often.  I find focusing on nature is a great antidote.  I have a porch that looks out on a beautiful meadow and even while I’m sitting in my study writing, I’ll go out to the porch and look at a tree or plant or flower.

My latest collection of poetry is coming out soon. Check it out:

Touch My Head Softly by Eileen Kennedy – Finishing Line Press

Do You Use Your Dreams in Your Writing?

In the writing process, the more the story cooks, the better. The brain works for you even when you are at rest. I find dreams particularly useful. I myself think a great deal before I go to sleep and the details sometimes unfold in the dream.” —Doris Lessing

I find since the pandemic, I have been dreaming a lot. I’ve been trying to use my dreams to generate new writing. I took a workshop about writing from dreams and it was really interesting,

I think the trick is to tap into that dream state without necessarily writing the dream literally. I may do a series of “dream” poems.

I am doing a zoom reading for the Straw Dog Writers Guild on Tuesday, October 6 at 7 pm as their featured reader. If you’d like to view, email wno@strawdogwriters.org for a link.

Straw Dog Writers Guild Writers Night In October 6

Straw Dog Writers Guild will feature Eileen P. Kennedy on Tuesday October 6 at 7 pm. Kennedy will be reading from her new book from Finishing Line Press, Touch My Head Softly:

The book is a collection of poetry about her experiences with her lover who died in his 60’s of Alzheimer’s Disease.

If you’d like to view, send an email requesting the link to:

wno@strawdogwriters.org

Is Less Better Than More?

Is Less Better Than More?

We admire a blogger who is prolific and relevant, but sometimes we just want to communicate a small snippet of information on our blog. We want to create quality on our blogs as we write, but is it worth the time writing it that could go into a poem or a novel?

What about headlines or proper formatting?  It seems like a lot of trouble for just another blog.

And how many people are actually reading the blog to the end or just passing through to the next blog post?  And do we want all those people reading your blog, or do we want serious literary people following us?

I’m in the process of having a book published, and there is a lot of work surrounding the book. I also know that consistency is important in a blog, so I’m trying to blog once a week, on Thursdays, with announcements, as they arise, on Tuesdays.

I’m going to be featured reader for the Straw Dog Writers Guild on Tuesday, October 6 at 7 pm.

If you’d like to hear me read from my new book of  poetry,  Touch My Head Softly, about my ex who died of Alzheimer’s, send a request for a link to: wno@strawdogwritersguild.org.

Straw Dog Writers Night Out October 6

Straw Dog Writers Night Out October 6

Straw Dog Writers Guild

Writers Night In – Featured Reader Eileen Kennedy

is featuring Eileen P. Kennedy, author of the upcoming book of poetry from Finishing Line Press:

Touch My Head Softly

On October 6 at 7 pm EST,

The poems sensitively portrays a man living with Alzheimer’s Disease and his partner’s experiences. To join the viewing, email

wno@strawdogwriters.org to receive the Zoom link to the event.