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.

“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.

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.

Are You Zoom Reading?

Are You Zoom Reading?

I don’t know about you but I have a new book coming out from Finishing Line Press, Touch My Head Softly, and I have been doing several zoom readings.

If you are like me, and used to giving in-person readings, the zoom reading is different and has it’s advantages and disadvantages.

You have a larger potential audience, as people don’t have to travel to get to you and can “zoom-in” from all over the world.

However, I find it’s tricky to keep facial and eye contact with so many little screen faces. I did a webinar recently, and was unable to see my audience at all.

To try to overcome this, I try reading to a live person before and/or a live practice session on zoom with another person. Then I ask for feedback. You alsohave the advantage of screen sharing with zoom. With screen share you have the advantage of offering a visual to accompany your words, but again the down-side is that you cannot see your audience at all.

If you’re interested in attending my next zoom meeting, register at:

wno@strawdogwriters.org

If you’re interested in viewing the book, look here:

Reading September 3 at 6:30 pm

This reading is Arts Night Out for the Emily Dickinson Museum, September 3 at 6:30 pm. I will read with two other excellent writers, Cheryl J. Fish and Kathryn Holzman.  I think I’m up third.

 

The Facebook event is here:

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/309599143564557?acontext=%7B%22action_history%22%3A[%7B%22surface%22%3A%22page%22%2C%22mechanism%22%3A%22page_admin_bar%22%2C%22extra_data%22%3A%22%7B%5C%22page_id%5C%22%3A131680596860548%7D%22%7D%2C%7B%22surface%22%3A%22events_admin_tool%22%2C%22mechanism%22%3A%22events_admin_tool%22%2C%22extra_data%22%3A%22[]%22%7D]%2C%22has_source%22%3Atrue%7D

 

 

Here’s the link to my new book, Touch My Head Softly

red framed eyeglasses on newspapers

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

:

 

https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/touch-my-head-softly-by-eileen-kennedy/

Emily Dickinson Museum Reading September 3

FLP CoverI will be reading for the Emily Dickinson Museum on Thursday, September 3 at 6:30 pm in conjunction with Amherst Arts Night Out. Here’s the link to Amherst Media where you can view it:

https://amherstmedia.org/channel/15/schedule