Two in One: Poll + Short Story

Hullo, I’m back. *grins*  Miss me?  Of course you did. *winks*

Ahem.  First things first.  This is my FIFTIETH POST ON THIS BLOG!  I mean, wow.  Fifty posts.

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A special thank you to all followers/commenters/likers (I made that word up).  You guys rock (and please check out their blogs because they’re pretty awesome!).

I figured, since this is my fiftieth blog post, that I should probably ask for some feedback on this blog.  What posts do you enjoy reading the most?  Are there certain kinds of posts you would like to see more of (for example, book reviews)?  Just click on the pretty little link below to give me your feedback (I love feedback, so please…*innocent puppy eyes*).

Vote

And you can see the results at the link below, in case you’re curious.  If you’re not curious, then don’t click the link.

Results

And now…dun, dun, DUNNNNN!

My short story was published on Kingdom Pen.  Just click this pretty little link to read the short story.  By the way, check out Kingdom Pen!  If you subscribe, you’ll get to read a bunch of helpful writing articles, awesome short stories, amazing poems, and watch some pretty cool videos about writing (they’re hilarious as well as informative).  If you join the forum (click here to join the bestistest place on the internet), you’ll get to be a part of a great Christian community of writers.  I mean it; if you’re serious about writing and want to be part of an encouraging Christian writing community, join Kingdom Pen.  I’ve grown so much as a writer since I joined.  Everyone there is so encouraging, but everyone will also challenge you to grow as a writer.  Join, join, JOIN!

There’s the surprise promo for the day (SURPRISE!).  And I’d love it if you’d give my short story a read. 🙂

Again, thank you to all followers, commenters, and likers for actually being interested in what I have to say!  You are very much appreciated, and I hope this blog has been a blessing (or at the very least, informative) to some of you.  That’s the goal, anyway. 😉

Keep writing for the Kingdom!

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Source: https://jenowenby.wordpress.com/tag/encouragement-for-writers/

Also, I love this verse…

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

~ Romans 12:2

With that, go write and live for HIM!

 

 

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Poetry Challenges

So, a new poetry challenge.  Because poetry’s awesome, right?  Right. *looks around the room and glares at anyone who didn’t say right*  Yes, I’m attempting to start another poetry series…where I write a poem about something different every two weeks.  Y’all can join me if you like.

Here’s the first challenge (I actually wrote this poem for a contest, which I entered and won which I didn’t enter because I missed the deadline, but anyway, it was still fun): describe or give shape to an adjective.  I chose the adjective “warm,” and I wrote a poem about it.  It was lots of fun thinking of creative ways to give shape to the adjective warm!

WARM

The sun’s rays are warm,

Pouring light down,

On gentle slopes and tiny farms,

While echoes among hills resound.

 

The colors red, orange, yellow,

Are warm and bright,

A crackling bonfire

On a starry night.

 

A breath of warm air,

Blown through my fist,

Relief from the cold,

Then my breath turns to mist.

 

Soaking up warmth,

In a bath full of water,

Warm is also the love,

A father feels for his daughter.

 

Warm cake from the oven,

The sugary delight dissolving,

On the taste buds of my tongue,

My stomach’s growling solving.

 

Under piles of blankets,

I snuggle in bed,

Warm, toasty, content,

I’ll cover my head.

 

Warm is found,

In hot summer weather,

Warm ponds to swim in,

Lots of berries to gather.

 

My family on the couch,

Love bursts in my chest,

This makes me feel warm,

God, put my love to the test.

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What do you think of when you hear the word warm?  How would you have described “warm?”  What adjective would you have picked?  Comment below with your ideas or poems!  Also, (I don’t think I say this enough, so I’ll say it now) if you have any critiques for this poem, I would absolutely love to hear them in the comments!  Critiques and feedback help me grow as a writer/poet, so I’m always willing to listen to them.  Really, don’t be shy. 😉

Poetry Definitions and Experimentation, Part 3

Yes, I know I promised to get the last part of this series to you a long time ago.  Sorry for the delay.  Anyway, without any further ado, the third part of this series.  Of course, first are the definitions:

  • Alliteration–repeated sounds at the beginning of words (that Slick old Soggy Sick Sand).
  • Consonance–repeated consonant sounds anywhere in the words (Sally Sank to the bottomS).
  • Assonance–repeated vowel sounds anywhere in the words (SAlly sAnk sAdly).

And now onto the interesting stuff!  The POETRY… *trumpets play* Dun, dun, DUUUUNNN… (I’ll be normal now).

sonnets

A sonnet is a fourteen line poem written in iambic pentameter (see the earlier parts of this series), traditionally written about love.  There are two types of sonnets (well, there are actually three, but I’m just talking about the most common ones): English (or Shakespearean) and Italian (or Petrarchan).  The difference is in their rhyme schemes.  English sonnets have the rhyme scheme ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.  It consists of 3 quatrains (four line stanzas) and 1 couplet (a two line stanza).  The Italian sonnet has a rhyme scheme of ABBAABBA CDECDE and consists of 1 octave (an eight line stanza) and 1 sestet (a six line stanza).  Both English and Italian sonnets contain a volta or “turn” within the last (or the last few) stanzas.  A problem is related in the first stanza(s), and the problem is resolved in the volta.  For more information on sonnets, go to this website.

Here’s an example of a sonnet written by Shakespeare (so this is a Shakespearean sonnet 😉 ):

From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty’s rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world’s fresh ornament
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content
And, tender churl, makest waste in niggarding.
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world’s due, by the grave and thee.

~Shakespeare’s Sonnet 1 (taken from Shakespeare Online)

This is a Petrarchan sonnet written by John Milton.

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

~John Milton “On His Blindness”

 

If you’re a poetry geek like me, and you want to know more about sonnets and such, then visit this page.  There’s a lot of great information on there.

So that’s it for this poetry “series!”  As always, please comment.  Thanks!

 

Book Review: To Kill A Mockingbird

{Note: I try to keep this review mostly spoiler-free.  However, there are a few in the  “What I liked” section of this review.}

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What It’s About:
Here’s a summary of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee from Good Reads (here):

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior—to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

Here’s a bit more about the plot from Barnes and Nobles (here):

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep South—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred [sic]

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

What I liked:

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of my all-time favorite books.  It’s not called an American classic for nothing!  To Kill A Mockingbird is about racial prejudices in the South in the 1930’s.  This book will make you laugh, cry, and want to punch something (or someone).

One area that Harper Lee really excels in is characterization.  All her characters are very real, and they all are unique in their personalities.  For example, Scout, the main character, is an innocent, naïve young girl, who’s a tomboy and is always getting into trouble.  Jem, her brother, acts tough for his little sister, but he genuinely cares about her.  Dill, Jem and Scout’s best friend, is small for his age but acts tough and thinks he’s smart.  Atticus, Jem and Scout’s father, is a lawyer, who cares about doing what he believes is right and doesn’t back down even in the face of impossible odds.  All these characters have their own unique personalities, one element that makes this book truly a worth-while read.

The story centers around a court case in which Atticus is defending a black man accused of raping a white girl.  The black man (Tom Robinson), as you find out in the story, did not really rape the white girl, and Atticus believes Tom.  This is unheard of in the South in the 1930’s.  While most defense lawyers would not defend Tom Robinson fairly because he is black, Atticus defends Tom to the best of his ability.

Scout, the main character, develops throughout the course of the novel and learns that the world is not as innocent as she once thought it was.  She’s made fun of in school because her father is defending Tom.  But she has to learn to stand strong through all the mayhem and evil of the world.  This book is unbelievably moving, and the story conceals truths and morals that are still relevant today.

What I didn’t like:

There really isn’t anything I would change about this book.  I love everything about it (except the cussing).  However, once you get past the cussing, you’ll realize the true genius of this book.  Please do yourself a favor and read it, if you haven’t already.

Who I would recommend this book for:

This book contains PG-13 material, including rape and some cuss words.  The book does not show the rape scene but talks about it often, since there is a lawsuit about it, which is the main plot of the book.  Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend this book for anyone 10 and under.  I said this above, but let me say it again.  Once you get past the cussing and yucky stuff, you find a story containing wonderful truths and messages.  Believe me, you don’t know what you’re missing if you haven’t read it (or maybe now you do since I just told you what you’re missing 😉 ).

Underlying themes and messages:

Messages and themes include (source):

  • Justice–Tom Robinson is innocent.
  • Courage–Atticus’s courage standing up for what is right.
  • Social classes–All men are created equal.
  • Racism–Discrimination against African-Americans.
  • Heroism

Rating (Barnes and Nobles):

Barnes and Nobles give this book a 4.5 out of 5 star rating.

My rating:

I would give this book a 4.5 out of 5 star rating, as well.

To Kill A Mockingbird movie:

The movie was well-done but, of course, not as good as the book.  If you want to see the movie (which I would never recommend watching before reading the book), simply Google “To Kill A Mockingbird movie,” and you’ll find it.

Have you read To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee?  Did you like it?  Tell me what you think in the comments!

Poem: How Can I

The lovely Kingdom Pen editors ( kingdompen.org ) have published one of my poems, titled “How Can I.”  Please be sure to check Kingdom Pen out!  Their mission is to help Christian teens write for Christ.  I’ve learned so much from the awesome writing community there.  When you click on this link, click on the image below in the slideshow at the top of the page, and you’ll be able to view the poem.  Hope you enjoy it!

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

Poetry Definitions and Experimentation, Part 2

I’m becoming more and more obsessed with writing poetry.  I’ve recently been experimenting with rhyme scheme.  Oh my word, it’s so much fun!  I’ve also been trying some meter on for size.  It’s also a lot of fun.  So, without any further ado (because I know there’s already been a few weeks of ado–meaning, I didn’t get this next part out in a timely manner), some more poetry definitions.

  • Dactyl–a type of foot that consists of 3 syllables: the first is stressed syllable, the second is unstressed, and the third is also unstressed.  Example: HALF a league/ HALF a league/ HALF a league ONward (from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade”).
  • Anapest–a type of poetic foot that consists of 3 syllables: the first two are unstressed, and the third is stressed.  Example: In the MIDST of the WORD he was TRYing to SAY / In the MIDST of his LAUGHter and GLEE / He had SOFTly and SUDDenly VANished aWAY / For the SNARK was a BOOjum, you SEE (from Lewis Carroll, “The Hunting of the Snark”).

{The examples for anapests and dactyls were taken from Your Dictionary.}

And now, for the poetry type of the day… *drumroll*

Limericks:

A limerick is a five-line poem with the rhyme scheme AABBA.  They usually are funny and nonsensical poems, and they’re a lot of fun to write.  I wrote…kind of a lot of these, so hang in there. 🙂

There once was a girl named Joy,
Who hated ev’ry little boy,
So all little boys,
Made lots of noise,
And tried Joy to annoy.

And another…

My name is Johnny Bill,
My best friend’s name is Jill,
I changed my mind,
Don’t like her kind,
Now Jill I’m gonna kill.

Here’s another one:

There one was a fellow, Tom,

Who made quite a large bomb,

He didn’t know,

That it would blow,

Then Tom was spanked by Mom.

And yet another…

In a dank, dark cave

There lived a boy named Dave, 

When he had to eat,

He caught bats and beat

Their heads on the wall of the cave.

Hope you’re laughing by now…(and not thinking I’m an absolute idiot XD ).

All right, that’s all for today.  Please check back soon for the next part of this series (which will hopefully contain a sonnet)!

 

Pictures, Universal Truths, and Springy Poetry

Spring is coming quickly!  Do you know what that means?  Warm weather after a long gray winter.  Flowers of all colors.  Bright, sunny days.  Green trees and grass.

God’s creation is so unbelievably beautiful.  It’s amazing.  Each season is unique in itself, and each season brings different joys and beauties.  God knew that after a long winter we’d need a season of beautiful renewal.  And it’s interesting that God chose this season for Jesus to die and be resurrected, renewed.  In fact, the spring season reflects God’s renewal (well, not renewal…newal…) of our hearts when He saves us.

Here are some pictures I took on a glorious Spring day recently.  Yeah, we serve an AWESOME God. 🙂

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Dark trees of shadow, 

Before a long green meadow,

The sky is bluer than Blue,

And white sunlight peeks through. 

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The green grass streaks,

Purple flowers like mountain peaks, 

The soil Spring’s flowers adorning, 

Replacing winter’s gray mourning.

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Mud preserving perfect tracks, 

These little prints tell all the facts,

Raccoon or cat or maybe deer,

At these old tracks I like to peer. 

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Still winter most ev’rywhere,

But look, there’s some green there!

Little patches of green,

Through brown leaves peeking can be seen.

The True Reason for Easter

Believe it or not, Easter’s not about candy and bunnies who bring you chocolate and eggs.  It’s not about egg hunts or Easter baskets.  It’s about Jesus.  Jesus ROSE FROM THE DEAD ON EASTER!  Yeah, sure, we say it all the time.  Like it’s no big deal.  Because we’ve heard so many times.   But stop and THINK for a moment.  Jesus was DEAD.  Jesus came BACK TO LIFE.  That is the POWER of God!!!

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By the way, you should watch this movie.  It’s amazingly awesomely good!

Jesus, Jesus,

You saved me from death.

Why? Why me?

I’m sinful.

I’m broken.

I’m awful.

I make the wrong choices.

There is no good in me.

But still you love me!

But still you pursue me!

You took the cross,

You carried it for the world.

You were tortured,

Humiliated,

For the world,

For me.

Then you rose,

Victorious,

From the grave,

You came alive again.

Alive.

Not Dead.

Jesus is alive.

GOD’S NOT DEAD; HE’S SURELY ALIVE.  HE’S LIVING ON THE INSIDE, ROARING LIKE A LION (from Newsboys’s song “God’s Not Dead”).

Take the time this Easter to think about what Jesus did for the world.  Take the time to worship this AMAZING God we serve!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever should believe in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. ~John 3:16

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him. ~John 3:17

 

Poetry Definitions and Experimentation, Part 1

I’m a poet.  Not a professional one…by no means.  But I love words.  So please enjoy this post (and the ones following) where I’m going to walk you through some common types of poetry that I’m experimenting with.  Feel free to post your own poems in the comments!

Here are some poetry techniques you should know before we get started (because I might refer to them):

  • Rhyme scheme–the rhyming pattern used in a poem.  Letters are used to indicate the lines that rhyme, and the lines that don’t.  For example, in the poem “The Night Before Christmas,” the rhyme scheme in the first four lines (‘Twas the night before Christmas / When all through the house / Not a creature was stirring / Not even a mouse) is ABCB because the second line and the fourth line rhyme, but the first line and the third line don’t.
  • Meter–a unit of rhythm in poetry, the pattern of the beats. It is also called a foot. Each foot has a certain number of syllables in it, usually two or three syllables. The difference in types of meter is which syllables are accented and which are not. [definition from Your Dictionary] …So here’s where it gets a bit complicated: there are different types of meter:
    • Iamb–a type of foot that consists of 2 syllables: the first is unstressed and the second is stressed.  Try saying this line (the stressed syllables are in capitalized and bolded): I NEver SAW a PURple COW (from Gelett Burgess’s poem “I Never Saw a Purple Cow”).
    • Trochee–a type of foot that consists of 2 syllables: the first is stressed and the second is unstressed (so the opposite of an iamb).  Try saying this line out loud (again, the stressed syllables are capitalized and bolded): DOUble, DOUble, TOIL and TROUble (from Shakespeare’s Macbeth).  Are you getting it?

 

Free Verse Poems:

This is a poem I wrote about snow and how beautiful it is.  A free verse poem is a poem that has no limits on what you can do in the poem.  So basically, the author of the poem can do whatever they want regarding rhymes schemes, meter, etc.!  This is probably my favorite poetry form because I love the freedom it allows you.

Winter tree branches bare,            A

Bleak and gray everywhere,        A

Then comes snow,                          B

The world feels,                               C

White and clean instead of bare. A

So this poem does have something of a rhyme scheme (AABCA).

I also wrote some other free verse poems, which I won’t post here.  If you want to read them, see the “Writings” page at the top of the page.

And now for a famous free verse poem:

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Alrighty!  That’s it for today.  Be sure to check back soon because I’ll hopefully *cough* have the next part up soon.

~gretald

 

 

 

Blog Update

Hello, wonderful people who look at regularly or follow my blog!

As you’ve probably noticed, I changed the theme for my blog.  It’s a little different, but the format of the blog is basically the same.  So tell me what you all think!  Please comment below if you have an suggestions and/or questions. 😉

Thanks!

~gretald

P.S. This is the 30th post on this blog!  Yippee. 😛