I’m Grateful that Straw Dog Writers Guild is Featuring Me on Their Facebook Page

Straw Dog Writers Guild, the largest group of writers in the Pioneer Valley, has featured my new book, Touch My Head Softly, on their Facebook Page. Take a look:

https://www.facebook.com/strawdogwriters/

The book will be out shortly from Finishing Line Press:

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

“’Speaking onto the page’ (is) letting our fingers be guided by the mental process we use effortlessly in everyday speaking.” –Peter Elbow, Vernacular Eloquence (Oxford, 2012)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For any of you who have practiced Elbow’s freewriting technique, “speaking onto the page,” is it a useful method?  Whenever I get stuck, I do this.  I’ve done it in writing groups, speaking into a recorder, or just reading aloud for myself.  It seldom fails to produce some piece of writing.  The writing may not be my best, or may wind up unused, but it’s a way of getting started and perhaps generating something that eventually will be used.

Elbow also recommends this for editing, for writing that winds up ‘correct.’ You can do this while keeping those virtues of natural speech, and getting rid of what’s not suitable for the genre you’re writing in.  This can also add a new infusion to your old writing, by speaking it onto the page, reading it out loud, and hearing what sounds easy. Sometimes when you hear it, it just sounds different than when you read it.  I used this technique in developing my new collection of poetry, Touch My Head Softly.

This is the link to my new collection at Finishing Line Press:

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

This is the link to my new collection on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3609820860https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/touch-my-head-softly-by-eileen-kennedy/

Do you listen to music when you write?

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

I can’t listen to music with words, as it interferes with my word process, but wordless music, classic or jazz, can sometimes enhance my writing. A Bach piece with choral work or John Coltrane’s horn can bring me there.

I guess combining art forms is usually a good thing. I’ve happily done readings of my poetry in art galleries. I think the art enhances the reading. How do you use the arts to enhance your writing?

My upcoming book, Touch My Head Softly is due out in early 2021;

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

Add me to your Bookshelf on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3609820860

Perspective and Art

There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” ― Aldous Huxley

For the artist, the world is shaped by perspective.  It is that ability to view things from their own unique point of view, yet contextualize this point of view in factual reality. Can everything be defined in a limited world?  Can the artist place his/her/their work in the larger framework?

As a writer, I try to contextualize my work in the larger world, but it changes so rapidly.  I find I have just gotten my pen around one situation when another arises to contradict the first.

I have been doing phone banks these past few weeks to get out the vote for the presidential election.  I try to listen to other people’s perspectives when I speak with them because if there is no dialogue, there is no bridge to unification and understanding between people. If I can’t listen to someone, I can’t convince them of my point of view.  The country is so divided that I fear we will never come together again. There are so many signs in front of people’s homes, even in my own community, that advocate different philosophies.  How will we all find a common voice after the election?

The dream state is sometimes a source of inspiration for writers, but this is the opposite of reality. But writes thrive on illusion, on an alternate view of what is.

As we pass through daily living, we pass through many―colored lenses that paint our writing with its own view. Yet how do we bring our view back to the world view, so everyone can relate?

My book, Touch My Head Softly, was recommended by Brilliant Light Publishing.  It is my perspective on Alzheimer’s Disease.  Take a look:

https://www.brilliantlightpublishing.com/eileen-p-kennedy_poet_massachusetts

“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: