“What one has written is not be be defended or valued, but abandoned”–William Stafford

By this, I think he meant that we shouldn’t judge our own work, but let it go out in the world. Others will judge it. If you think of it that way, it frees us, as writers, from nagging insecurities. There’s always someone who has one a prize for their work or gotten public recognition, and it’s easy to be envious. But if we just keep our sights on our own work, and trying to make it the best we can, we can gently return to ourselves.

I have a new book coming out soon, a collection of poetry called Touch My Head Softly from Finishing Line Press. It is about my experiences with my partner’s having Alzheimer’s. I try not to think about how other people will judge my very personal poems. I wanted to do it and now the poems are out in the world: abandoned.

Here is the link to my book at Finishing Line Press:

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

Here is the link to my book on Goodreads:

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

Real Estate by Kathryn Holzman Published Recently by Propertius Press

Store/Fiction ISBN eBook: 978-1-005-23640-3

ISBN Paperback: 978-1-716-4666

Set in the Santa Clara Valley during the turbulent sixties and seventies, REAL ESTATE is the story of how a bucolic agricultural valley is transformed into the iconic Silicon Valley.

As acres of apricot orchards are converted into suburban subdivisions, families flock to the area. Air Force pilot Joe Jackson moves his family to Sunnyvale soon after the Hopkins build their dream house. Harriet Jackson, her father’s eyes and ears, finds herself living next door to Bobby Hopkins, aspiring circus performer and math whiz. They share a side-yard fence, but the worlds they live in differ radically. A shared love of the Beatles and the loss of the inspiring young President Kennedy bring them together in an unlikely friendship, but their family’s differences soon tear them apart. While Harriet struggles to fulfill her family obligations. Bobby builds a computer in his garage.

They meet again as adults, but by then everything has changed. In the electric valley, both Harriet and Bobby learn that family is not always destiny and houses are sometimes more than a home.


eBook: ISBN: 978-1-005-23640-3

Print ISBN:978-1-716-46618-2

6″ x 9″, 186 pages. Printed on archival quality paper.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

“We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour” –Amanda Gorman

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

For any of us who watched the insurrection of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. last week, the words of Amanda Gorman, the inaugural poet, rings true. This poem was, ultimately, optimistic, portending a better future. Poetry can speak to us like nothing else when times are dark.

I wrote a collection of poetry after my partner died of Alzheimer’s Disease. It was a very dark time in my life. My partner, a brilliant mathematician, deteriorated quickly, leaving me in darkness. The writing of the poetry helped me to process what happened. I have been working on Touch My Head Softly with my publisher, Finishing Line Press, to finish the process. It has given me purpose through the pandemic.

Here is the link to the book at Finishing Line:

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

Here is the link to the book on Goodreads:

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

Culture and Writing

Culture is a fuzzy term. Some cultures just have speech, no writing. Language affects the way we write. Some writers are multilingual, and that’s a definite advantage. Speech is flexible and can be used in particular ways in a cultural setting. We speak naturally in many diverse backgrounds as babies, from the playground, to school, to home. Writing can also be a misery for a child in school who hasn’t mastered the rules.Writing is where we must be precise. Speech is where we get to be imprecise, to play.

Imagine, as writers, playing with our words the way we play with speech. We can make magical words in our writing. Witness the incantation to open the caves entrance in Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings. Gabriel García Márquez made frog kings.

So how do we make magical writing in our culture? I’m not sure. Does anyone want to answer this question, just reply to my blog.

My latest collection of poems, Touch Ny Head Softly, will be out soon from Finishing Line Press.

Check it out here:

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

You can also find me on Goodreads at:

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

Book Clubs

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A friend of mine was recently asked to read at a book club meeting. The group had adopted her book to read that month, and since she was local, they asked her to come and read excerpts.

In Seattle, a group of poets formed a group called “A Poet at the Table,”where different area poets did readings at local book clubs.

Do you have any experience with book clubs?

My new book, Touch My Head Softly, is about my partner having Alzheimer’s Disease.

I guess this might interest an Alzheimer’s support group. Do you have any experience with Book Clubs?

My book can be found at:

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

Add me to your bookshelf or review me on Goodreads:

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

Big Bear Books Opens in Easthampton, MA

Big Bear Books has just opened in the Keystone Building in Easthampton, MA, 122 Pleasant Street #132. Check out the website:

http://www.bigbearboksandcafe.com

Watch the website for events listings.

Hours are:

Tuesday – Saturday 8:30-4:30, Sunday 9-3.

This beautiful new store features a coffee bar, where up to 10 people can be seated at a time. Come in and relax, grab a coffee, and read a good book.

Big Bear will also take your book orders at:

413-320-8946 or veronica@bigbearbooksandcafe.com

You can also arrange to donate your books here. Stop by and take a look.

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.

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/