Writing Goal Week #6

The Writing Goal Update for this week is not good. I made no progress on the poem, nor any of the other ongoing projects I have. However, I did uncover some writing I stashed away in a variety of notebooks months ago and had misplaced.

So, for Writing Goal Week #6:

I have plans to work on one of the writing projects I’ve unearthed from the piles of books I’ve organized or the one I have previously been working on.

However, there is that possibility that fiction will find its way to my pen this week.

Sorry for the open-ended goal this week, but it’s been hectic.

Have a great week everyone!

Writing Goal Week #5

Writing Goal Update!

Progress! I’ve moved beyond stanza one. I can’t say for sure that the poem is complete, but it does have four stanzas now. Yippee.

Writing Goal Week #5:

Revision, revision, revision. I’m not completely happy with the poem, so its time to go back and look it over. Mull over the images to make sure they say what I want them to and to change things that are driving me crazy.

If I can get through that in the earlier part of the week, perhaps I can move onto another poem or that short story that has been locked up in the hard drive of my computer since I first revised it.

Have a great week everyone!

Interview of Me by Monica of Monniblog

I was hopping through my Google Reader a few days ago and stumbled upon a fantastic idea, interviewing other bloggers as a meme. Monica’s questions–asked by Ruth— and answers can be found here.

I offered to be Monica’s guinea pig, and she sent me five questions to answer. So here is Monica’s interview with me.

1. Why did you call your blog “Savvy Verse & Wit”?

I toyed with a lot of different names for my blog. I wanted the blog name to signify its content, which I hoped would be writing, reading, and a bit of humor. I always loved verse as a poet and I love the word Savvy, so all that was left was Wit. It is really not that great of a story to tell. Kind of lame, right?!

2. You read and review a lot of books, but what was the first book you fell in love with as a kid?

The first book I fell in love with as a kid was The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, but it was a short time later that I fell in love with Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and The Giving Tree. Those were my favorite books as a kid, but I graduated from those on my own to Hamlet and King Lear on my own before I read them in school. It was a short time later that I discovered Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.

3. If you could live anywhere in the world (money not an issue) where would it be and why?

This is a loaded question because there are a ton of places I would love to live. I think that I’m a bit of a nomad. There are three places I would love to live if I had the money. Number one on the list is Boston, downtown, in a penthouse apartment with my hubby and my fluffy Keeshond. Number two on that list is Terceira, Azores because that’s where some of my family lives, though I don’t speak Portuguese fluently. I think that would be something to remedy before moving there. Third on the list is somewhere in Ireland, probably somewhere rural. I just love the scenery of the Irish countryside and would love to soak that in. I guess I was only to pick one…never said I like to follow the rules.

4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I haven’t got a clue. I would like to say that I would have a few published books of poetry, but one completed manuscript would be fantastic. I’d like to also think I would be in Boston, living there with the hubby and fluffy Keeshond. Perhaps one kid, but you never know what life brings. I try to live my life one moment at a time and make the most of it.

5. You have joined a lot of book challenges, and hosted too… what is it that interests you about reading challenges?

Reading challenges help me focus on areas that I want to read and keep me reading even when I really want to just sit and watch television, mindlessly. The worlds created by books are far more enriching and worth spending the time on. I love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I finally finish challenges. I’ve only joined 2 challenges, officially completing one of them. The second challenge I had to switch out some books to complete it on time. The WWII challenge is one of my favorites, and I am happy to cohost it with Anna at Diary of an Eccentric. I look forward to examining this time period in depth through nonfiction works and fiction works. I can’t wait to unveil the 2010 challenge; it’s another of my favorite time periods, and it was controversial and still may be.

For those of you who might want to be interviewed, here are the directions:

  • Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
  • I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
  • You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
  • You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  • When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Writing Goal Week #4

I forgot to tell you that progress did not occur last week on the poem at all! I’m disappointed in myself once again, but perhaps this struggle to get back into the writing habit will spout new ideas.

Anyway, the goal remains the same this week to finish the poem I began.

Breathing Out the Ghost Winners & Writing Progress

Thanks to all who entered the Breathing Out the Ghost by Kirk Curnutt giveaway. I wish I had more copies of this fantastic book for you all.

However, with 44 entrants and only 3 copies available, it was up to randomizer.org to select the winners.

The winners are:

1. Literary Feline (Wendy) at Musings of a Bookish Kitty

2. Tanabata

3. Debbie of Wrighty’s Reads

Writing Goal Recap for Week #2:

A much better week for poetry writing than the previous week. I didn’t finish a whole poem, but I have honed a first stanza! I think I’m happy with it now, so it’s time for stanza two. In honor of this progress, we have a concrete Week #3 goal.

Writing Goal, Week #3:

I will finish the poem that I started! Move on from stanza one and finish out the entire poem.

Have a great Memorial Day and check back tomorrow for Mailbox Monday!

Mailbox Monday #12, Writing Goal #2

Mailbox Monday on Sunday has returned. Mailbox Monday is sponsored by Marcia at The Printed Page. I only received one book in the mail this week, which is a fine departure from the last several weeks.

From Danielle at Sourcebooks, I received:

1. Two Shall Become One: Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Sharon Lathan

Writing Goal Week 1:

Apparently last week was not the week to start my writing goals. I was sick as a dog with some kind of flu or cold. I spent a lot more time sleeping and less time reading and writing.

This time I failed to meet my writing goal, though I do have a poem idea running around in my head.

Writing Goal Week #2:

I will repeat my goal from last week and accomplish it this week. I am determined. I cannot tell you how disappointed I am in myself. Here are the goals:

a. write one poem
b. write 5 pages for my novel
c. or rework my short story that I had shelved over the last few months.

Stop back tomorrow for my TLC Book Tour stop with Kirk Curnutt‘s Breathing Out the Ghost.

Writing Goal Week #1

As promised, my writing update. This will be the first week, so there is nothing to report about my previous week’s work.

Let’s start with a goal for the upcoming week. I’m going to make a cop-out goal and say I will either

a. write one poem
b. write 5 pages for my novel
c. or rework my short story that I had shelved over the last few months.

Just a short post for today, but I promise to get caught up on everyone’s posts from the past few weeks. I’ve fallen behind in Google Reader again.

***Don’t forget about the Gods Behaving Badly Contest, which runs through January 5 at Midnight EST.***

2008 Wrap Up and 2009 Debut

I’ve seen quite a few 2008 wrap-up posts among the other book reviewing blogs. I’m going to add my two cents to the fray and offer up something for you to look forward to this year–2009.

I read 63 books in 2008, which is a personal best for me. I enjoyed many of those books, and some of them wowed me. There were others that didn’t wow me at all, and that’s where I’ll start. You can click on the titles of the books in the list to read my review.

Not Worth Checking Out of the Library:

1. The Art of Fiction by John Gardner–this is the worst book I read this year. I found John Gardner pretentious and not very helpful. Many of the passages repeat common mistakes he finds among amateur writers, which might be helpful. But his prose style left me bored and struggling through this piece.

2. Isaac’s Storm by Eric Larson–this book would have been #1 on the list if it weren’t for John Gardner’s condescending prose. While some parts of this book were really interesting, I struggled a long time to finish this one.

Worth the Hardcover Expense:

1. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson–this YA novel was well-written and had a unique plot. It raised a number of moral and ethical questions without preaching to the reader or offering a specific right and wrong answer to the central dilemma. I cannot praise this book enough.

2. Black Flies by Shannon Burke–this tale will stay with you for a long time after reading it. An in-depth look at the lives of New York’s paramedics in Harlem at the time of heavy discrimination provides the reader with both sides of the story. Ollie is a fish out of water in this multiracial community, but he eventually finds his place. Graphic elements of this novel may make it tough to keep reading, but the payoff is worth every page.

3. Testimony by Anita Shreve–Shreve uses her innate skill at alternating points of view to tell readers how one decision made by a group of private school students turns their lives and the lives of those around them upside down. She also shows how the decision impacts those not necessarily close to the teens. While portions of this novel were graphic, they were necessary to help the reader question their fundamental beliefs about certain moral dilemmas.

4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy–this tale follows a man and his son after the world is brought to an end and many in society have taken to violence, cannibalism, and other behaviors to survive. The man and his son, who remain nameless throughout the novel, do not stoop to such levels; and while the novel is dark, there is a glimmer of hope.

5. Mr. Thundermug by Cornelius Medveia surprising look at how society would interact with and English-speaking baboon and how that baboon would interact with a society that shuns and misunderstands him and his family. A great look at discrimination in a difference sense; This book may deal with some moral issues, but it also uses wit and humor to keep the read light.

Paperback Best:

1. Pemberley by the Sea by Abigail Reynolds–this modern re-telling of Pride & Prejudice is more than a re-telling. Cassie and Calder have a story of their own, a tale of misunderstanding and timidity when it comes to relationships worth fighting for. Each must learn to love and be loved without condition. Cassie is a marine biologist struggling to get her research funded, and Calder is struggling to become his own man.

2. Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips–the modern look at the Greek gods in this novel is humorous and compelling. While there are no major moral or ethical dilemmas raised, this book does provide another look at how far society has evolved or devolved. I love that Aphrodite is a phone sex operator and that Artemis is a dog walker. I’ve never laughed so much out loud while reading a novel, and my transit compatriots must have thought I was loony.

3. Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange–Grange did an excellent job staying true to Jane Austen’s characters, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, in this diary kept by the famous and misunderstood Mr. Darcy. It was great to read what could have been Mr. Darcy’s inner thoughts.

4. Cold Rock River by J.L. Miles–Adie’s life is harsh at times, but she finds her way to happiness in this well-written Southern novel. I enjoyed the cast of characters, the tension, and especially the slave journal as it is woven into Adie’s narrative.

5. The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James–a tale that provides an insider’s look at what Jane Austen’s real life may have been like in a fictionalized sense. I love the way in which James weaves in historical truth and fiction in this novel to keep the reader riveted and absorbed in Victorian England.

Audio Books to Die For:

1. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore–this audio book had us laughing so early in the morning that I actually got to work wide awake. Charlie Asher’s life takes a bad turn when his wife dies and he’s left to raise his daughter alone, but it gets even worse when he finds out he’s Death. This one will have you laughing all the way through.

2. You Suck! by Christopher Moore–is a hysterical vampire novel set in San Francisco, Calif. New vampires often have a tough time adjusting to life of the undead, but this novel has them stumbling through the dark seeking solace and contentment.

3. A Soldier’s Promise by Daniel Hendrix–is a nonfiction audio book with heart. Not only does it take the listener inside the war in Iraq, but it also illustrates the human side of the war, which many Americans forget about. The language in this book is easy to understand and is not overly militaristic.

Poetry You Must Have:

1. Hip Hop to Children for Nikki Giovanni–a trip down memory lane for many readers who grew up when rap and hip-hop music were just taking shape and gaining in popularity. This book and audio CD will help children gain an appreciation for poetry.

2. Human Dark With Sugar by Brenda Shaughnessy–is a mix of dark imagery and content and light humor. Each poem carries a surface meaning as well as a deeper meaning beneath the simple words selected. The sarcasm and bleak language speak to the reader to convey the meaning within each of the three sections.

Ok, now that you’ve got my recommendations from 2008, let’s move onto to something vastly more important–2009.

These are my goals for the blog this year, and I hope some of you will take the time to keep me on my toes.

1. Include more poetry book reviews and interviews

2. Offer personal writing updates on Sundays; I’ll be posting my goal for the new week and whether I achieved the previous week’s general goal, surpassed it, or failed to reach that goal.

I know there are only 2 goals, but with the WWII challenge and blog, I don’t want to over commit myself, which I am known to do from time to time.

My overall goal for 2009 is to complete my poetry book manuscript and prepare it for editing so it can be submitted to publishers in 2010. Anyone willing to give me a kick in the butt, please feel free. I’ll need it.

***Don’t forget about the Gods Behaving Badly Contest, which runs through January 5 at Midnight EST.***

Word-Nerd Fiction Prompt

Hello All:

I wanted to provide the fiction writers in the Word Nerd Co-Op with a prompt this week, so here it is.

Think back to either one of the worst or best moments in your life and write about it from the point of view of the opposite sex. How would they react differently; what would they say that you didn’t; what emotions would they express or keep inside that you wouldn’t have?

Try to explore what you think are the different ways in which men or women cope with the same situation. You can feel free to embellish and change facts to make it less like your life if you prefer. Additionally, you could write a piece from a woman’s point of view and then use the same situation to write another piece from a man’s point of view.

Anyone who feels free to post their attempt (even if it is in rough draft form), feel free. I think it would be great to see what everyone comes up with.

Most of all, Have fun and keep writing.

Word Nerd Co-Op Update, Contest, and Giveaway

Here’s the June update of my experience with the Word Nerd Co-Op:

First, I have a great writing partner, who happens to be a teacher in New York. She enthusiastic and committed, which is great. I’ve been in writing groups before where some of the members are committed and some are not. It’s good to be in a summer online writing group with committed partners.

Initially my goals for June are as follows:

1. write or edit at least 3 times per week
2. finish my short story by the end of June
3. revisit one of my novels

Week one–June 1-7–was successful in terms of goal #1. I edited on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Week two–June 8-14–was a bit less successful. I only edited on Monday and Wednesday. I fully hoped to get more editing done on Saturday, but we had planned a cookout, which was cut short by thunderstorms. It was fun picking up all the stuff and heading out on a hike, coming back in the rain was not so much fun. We made it to the car from the hike without being soaked, which I guess is a plus. Heading into the house with all the cookout stuff, we got soaked. Then I was too tired and fell asleep on the couch after the stressful workweek.

This week, I vow to make the three times per week goal. And I hope to get the story at least through the second round of edits before I head up North to Massachusetts for bridal shower festivities. So, I may fall short of my third goal for the month, but I am hopeful.

On the other hand, my writing partner, met her writing goal for the week. I’m very proud. I hope that she continues to meet her goals, and that her success will keep me motivated.

I will close with a photo of a deer we saw on the hike. She’s a bit far off in the distance, but she was gracious enough to stick around for me to take her portrait. She is a bit blurry because I keep forgetting I need a tripod with my zoom lens…my hands shake a bit too much.

Look forward to an upcoming book review later this week. And as always, fellow book bloggers, remember that I will add your links to my review posts if you review the same book.

Also, Please feel free to enter my Blogiversary contest.

And like a good blogger, I am posting information about a giveaway on The Written Word. Feel free to enter the giveaway and spread the word about her contest.

Word Nerd Questionnaire

Word Nerd Questionnaire

1. At what level would you describe yourself as a writer (for instance, just starting to take myself seriously; searching for a graduate program, etc.)?

I would love to finish a novel. I have three started, and none are finished. I am a published poet with several poems published in online and print journals.

2. What genre(s) do you write?

Poetry, novel, and short story

3. How do you fit writing into your life right now?

Usually on Wed. nights because the Hubby is off at class.

4. What is your goal for this project (June 1-Aug. 31)?

To finish a novel or get so close I can taste it.

5. What steps do you plan to take to reach that goal?

Set aside more writing and editing time, make definitive efforts to keep to a schedule

6. How do you reward yourself (or how would you like to be rewarded) when you meet a goal?

A stop at the library or bookstore for a book I am dying to read. Chocolate or cheesecake are good as well.

7. What writing craft books do you have/like?

I have a ton of writing books, but the 3am Epiphany has helped with my writer block.

8. Any craft books you’re interested in checking out?

I’m open to most any book, particularly those dealing with the long haul of writing novels, though I cannot outline to save my soul. I would really love to get the Art of Fiction by Gardner.

9. What inspires your writing?

My muse; honestly, I have no idea…things I observe in life

10. How would your author’s blurb read?

Small town girl with big dreams writes larger-than-life stories

11. Tell us about your family (partners, kids, pets, etc.)

One husband, one dog, two cats; that’s enough; some great and not so great friends.

12. Have you ever participated in Nanowrimo (finished or not!)?

twice, never finished. (one of the unfinished novels is a result of Nanowrimo)

13. What can you do to make it easier on yourself to meet your goal for this project?

Set an achievable writing goal for three days out of the week.

14. What are you looking for in terms of support from a writing partner (ex. Exchanging work for critique, being held accountable for meeting a word count goal, etc.)?

critiques and being held accountable to the writing times

15. What crafty pursuits do you enjoy when you’re not writing?

Photography and scrapbooking

16. What other hobbies/past times do you like?

Reading and tennis and hiking

17. What non-writing-craft books have you enjoyed?

Pride & Prejudice is my favorite.

18. What else would you like to share with us?

I cannot wait to get started.