September 25, 2008

Poetry Group, Guidelines for Critique – Updated

Filed under: Poetry,Writing — crcb @ 9:44 pm
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Suggested guidelines for critiques in a poetry (or other writing) group:

  1. A critique must be polite; no building yourself up by tearing somebody else down.
  2. A critique must be specific; if you think the tone doesn’t work, point out specific words, phrases or lines that make it wrong.
  3. A critique must be about something fixable. It is not helpful to object to the subject matter, for instance — the poem is about what it is about.
  4. The poet must be willing to accept critiques of the poem as a poem; if it’s too personal and tender to submit to criticism, keep it locked away or wait for a more sentimental occasion to share it.
  5. The poet must be willing to listen to reasonable critiques, but is not obligated to agree; the poem’s final form is the poet’s responsibility, not the group’s.

Update: I failed to credit my writing group, The Collaborators, for the first three items. Those principles have worked for them for 20 years.


What I’m Reading 9-25-2008

Filed under: reading — crcb @ 9:29 pm
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Recently started:

  • On Writing, by Stephen King
  • Yoga for Dummies, by Georg Feuerstein & Larry Payne

September 19, 2008

63 Things # 19.1: Song Lyrics: Whatever Happened

Filed under: 63 Things,Writing — crcb @ 5:53 am
Tags: , ,

I’ve taken my first try at writing a song lyric. Perhaps the best I can say is that few inversions poetic does it use. (Have you ever noticed that poetry sometimes like Yoda sounds?)

Here’s the rought draft… copyright 2008 by Carl Bettis and all…


Whatever happened to spring
in April birds used to sing
but now I don’t hear a thing
if I can’t hear it with you

What happened to all the bouquets
flowers used to be bright in May
now their colors all are gray
if I can’t see them with you

Wine has no taste
and music’s out of key
the mirror’s lost my face
there’s no place
for the guy I used to be
without you

Whatever happened to all of
those years together we dreamed of
whatever happened to love
I used to share with you
–Carl Bettis

Link of the Random Interval of Time (LotRIot): Ida’s Web Site

Filed under: General — crcb @ 5:42 am

Bias alert: Ida’s Web Site, where I wear my Writer hat is my younger sister’s web site. Is a small site, but I expect it to grow. Ida is a fine writer. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the essay and poems posted here.

What I’m Reading 9-19-2008

Filed under: reading — crcb @ 5:36 am
Tags: , ,

Books recently started:

  • Speaking French in Kansas, by Robert Day

Books recently finished:

  • Speaking French in Kansas, by Robert Day

September 9, 2008

Shock Art

Filed under: art,General — crcb @ 10:33 pm
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The fallacy of shock art is that it wants to disturb without the audience’s participation. Like (other) preachy art, it wants to do something to the audience, rather than create something with the audience.

63 things to write or write about: a change

I’ve changed #19 (in my previous post) from “A nursery rhyme” to “The lyrics to at least 3 songs.” My wife will write the tunes.

Should be a fun collaboration, as long as she realizes every syllable is sacred. 😉

September 8, 2008

63 things to write or write about

I’ve come up with a list of 63 writing topics and/or exercises to keep myself busy. I won’t do them in order, but I plan to do them all.

  1. An insane man, when he dies, leaves an insane corpse
  2. Boxes
  3. Job (as in Patience Of), after the restitution — can double sons and daughters compensate for those lost? If so, what does that say about Job, and about Job’s God?
  4. A satiric character sketch; the subject: me
  5. A panegyric; the subject: me
  6. The natural and the human
  7. A one-act play
  8. A blessing on someone or something
  9. A curse on someone or something
  10. An abstract sound poem
  11. A story that scares me
  12. A novel of at least 50,000 words in November
  13. Oracles, including logic
  14. Stocks of original phrases, in multiple combinations
  15. A literary dinner, like Landor’s Imaginary Conversations
  16. A nonsense narrative poem, metered and rhymed
  17. A 3-dimensional poem (or 4-dimensional, kinetic rather than static)
  18. A form based on the numbers 3, 7 and 9, and incorporating them in the subject matter
  19. A nursery rhyme the lyrics to at least 3 songs
  20. A man who is stuck behind his face, looking out at the world
  21. At least 7 shaped poems
  22. A clown poem
  23. Word art with poetry and collage; at least three examples
  24. An expressionist poem, with expressive punctuation, spelling and grammar
  25. Two cubist writings each in four genres: poetry, fiction, essay, drama; in each genre, one work to be analytic cubism and one synthetic cubism
  26. From point of view of a mythical creature, e.g. a faun, a centaur
  27. An alchemical text
  28. A web app poem (combinatoric renga?)
  29. An automatic or visionary poem, or visionquest poem
  30. A meditation on a sacred text
  31. A poem on a work of art
  32. Shroudsourcing
  33. A scientific law or mathematical axiom: what it means to us, why we legislated it
  34. A poem of at least nine lines, in which each line contains, at minimum, one modifier, one “ing” word, and one “to be” verb
  35. A love poem to someone I’ve never met
  36. Choose a favorite poem; write a counter-poem, expressing an opposing point of view
  37. “Translate” a story from an ancient manuscript, in which passages are lost, illegible, ambiguous or untranslatable
  38. “Discover” 7 to 9 poems in the person of a poet who died at least 300 years ago
  39. At least 3 flash fictions without any element of the fantastic
  40. Write as quickly as possible, without stopping, for one hour
  41. Time, its accelerations, retardations, and varieties: personal, historical, cosmic, clock, spiritual
  42. Write a piece with no helping words – a, of, the, and so on – only substantives and modifiers
  43. Write a piece, then replace all adjectives and adverbs with nouns and verbs
  44. Write a short piece, and expand it by free-associating on each substantive; repeat until the whole piece is at least ten pages long
  45. Write a poem of at least 40 lines; pare it down to no more than three lines, while expressing the same thing
  46. A creation myth
  47. An end of the world myth
  48. A Christmas story
  49. Stream-of-consciousness (but not my consciousness)
  50. Description of a person as a festival or ceremony
  51. Renga prose (narrative?)
  52. Against measure (number, weight & measure)
  53. Professionalism and amateurism
  54. Interiority Complex
  55. The god of leisure
  56. 50 pages about 5 minutes
  57. A prose poem incorporating a drawing (but not a rebus)
  58. An epistolary poem
  59. A sermon, a prayer, and the meditation of an unrepentant sinner
  60. A chance topic, selected by choosing a word at random from a book
  61. After all sex (or would that be “after-all sex”?)
  62. A week of dreams
  63. What happened when I died

September 2, 2008

My Labor Day Weekend

Filed under: General,Humor — crcb @ 9:56 pm
Tags: , , ,

I reported my car stolen because I forgot where I parked it. It’s a long story, but it ends in a police station at 2:30 in the morning, with an officer telling me, “I’ll get this out of the system as soon as I can, but you should go straight home. If you get pulled over, you’ll be getting out of the car at gunpoint.”

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