Tag Archives: writing

Famous Writers and their Pets

A fascinating review of a book about authors and their pets, https://interestingliterature.com/2019/11/08/alex-johnson-famous-writers-pets-review/. I knew about Edward Lear’s cat Foss, but had no idea that Byron took with him to university one bear (and not the kind of bear one buys in a toy shop)!

I grew up with dogs and still remember with great affection my first dog, Jet. Jet was a black lab/alsatian cross and loved people. He was though not fond of other dogs and (if he got out of the house) would chase cars!

I am now working with my fourth guide dog, a brindle lab/retriever called Trigger, who has just reached the grand old age of 10.

Trigger has featured in several of my poems, including “The Hungry Hound”, https://kmorrispoet.com/2016/02/03/the-hungry-hound/, and “Dog and Ball”, https://kmorrispoet.com/2019/02/18/dog-and-ball-2/.

Kevin

In Defence of “Said”\

A spirited defence of the use of the word “said”, for which I have considerable sympathy, https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/10/literary-value-ten-cent-word-maura-roan-mckeegan.html.

Whilst it is, of course, good practice to use alternative words for “said” where appropriate, in many instances this simple, 4 letter word is the best choice for writers.

As always, I would be interested in the views of my readers.

Kevin

Friends of Furkid Friday

Hi everyone. This is Lilie the Westie.

You know what? I love friends! My Cavapoo brother, Logan, and the squeaky things in cages do too. So… Are you a bird, cat, chinchilla, degu, dog, gerbil, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, rat, or other non-human creature? Do you share your life with a human calling themselves a writer? Yes, blogging counts. If you answered, “Yes,” to both of those, would you like to become a friend of Furkid Friday? If the answer is still, “Yes,” here’s how to do it:

Send an email with the subject, “Friends Of Furkid Friday,” to keroberous2004@gmail.com asking to be interviewed (you have to do the subject thing, or Mummy might accidentally delete it). One of us will then send you the questions you need to answer for us to set up the post. Simply fill out the document, and send it back to us. Once we have all the information we need, we’ll set up and schedule your post, after which we’ll let you know the date it will

go live, and provide you with a direct link (which will only work once the post is live). Then it’s just a case of waiting for your post to go live, and sharing it around once it is. It would be great if you could comment on it, if possible, too. We love comments!

Interviews are posted on a first come first served basis. Also, we won’t chase you for your responses, because I’m too busy chasing balls, Logan’s too busy chasing his tail and anything else that moves, Mummy’s too busy chasing her next story idea, and the squeaky things in cages… Well, I’m not sure what kinds of things they chase. The point is, though we want you to come be a friend of Furkid Friday, if you want to have your interview show up on our blog, after we send you the questions, you have to remember to send us your answers yourself.

After each interview post goes live, they will be shared in all the places Mummy shares all our blog posts, and a link for the post will be added to the list at the bottom of the “Friends Of Furkid Friday” page too.

Do you want to see some examples of the posts? Check out the friends already featured on the “Friends Of Furkid Friday” page at https://ziglernews.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

Lots of licks,

Lilie

Interview with Poet and Author Gabriela M

I am honoured to post the below interview with Gabriela M, a writer I greatly admire, and I’m extremely grateful to Gabriela for her kind words regarding my own work. You can find Gabriela M online here, https://shortprose.blog/

1. What is the first book you remember having read?

Kevin, before I answer your questions allow me to thank you for this interview. I greatly admire your poetry. I am honored to be your guest.

The first book I remember reading apart from Snow White and other children’s books is Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. I was fascinated by it.

2. In relation to question 1, What impression did the book make on you?

It had quite an effect on my life. I was very young when I read it. After reading it I got this idea that I must travel to see the world. The desire to see the world caused me to attempt to run away from home.

My parents loved me very much. I had a happy childhood. Can you imagine my parents’ shock when I first ran away from home? I was a little girl walking the streets by myself, talking to myself, and marveling at every new thing I saw. The police found me not too far from our home. Even though my parents started to lock the front yard gate I managed to do it again. My mother asked me why I was doing it. I don’t remember what I answered. According to her my response was invariable: “I want to see the world like those guys in that book.”

Until this day my desire to see the world is still alive. There are quite a few countries to which I still have yet to travel. However, today I know that it’s not only about seeing the world. It’s also about looking for something, something that I cannot define. It is an externalization of that for which my soul still looks.

3. Do you recall your first literary composition and, if so can you describe it?
list end

My first novel. One morning, out of the blue, I told my mother: “I am going to write a book.” She looked at me incredulously. Anyway, the book has two plans: one reflects the experience of traveling; the other a night conversation with one of my friends. It’s like watching two movies at the same time.

The scenes alternate with apparently no connection. After I finished, I did not have a title and I had no idea what to do with the manuscript. My mother, who read every page and honestly marveled at my writing – well, after all she was my mother – took the manuscript and sent it to a publisher. I got a simple reply: “I am publishing, and I have a title for you.”

The preface was written by an university professor. It was very laudatory. I was very grateful, yet ready to move on. However, one thing written in that preface stayed with me: “This book urges us to find an answer to an important question: Quels sentiments combleront jamais l’existence inexistante des hommes de notre temps? [What feelings will ever fill the non-existent existence of the men of our time?] The book was not written in French. I am pretty sure that was a quote. The funny thing is that I’ve never found the quote anywhere. I’ve never asked him about it. However, the question is timely, which is why I mention it.

4. What inspires you to write?

Pain, love, devastation. I answered this question in another interview. Nothing has changed.

5. What, in your view constitutes poetry?

I do not know what constitutes poetry. Yet I learned from Socrates what enables us to write poetry. I am quoting now: “I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.”

6. Where, in your view does poetry end and prose begin?

I do not know where poetry ends, and prose begins.

Some people argue that poetry utilizes the language for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in order to hide real feelings. Antithetically, it is argued
that the banal language is used to write prose, i.e. to tell a story. I disagree on both counts.

I quoted Socrates when it came to poetry. I am going to quote my favorite novelist, Lawrence Durrell, when it comes to writing a book: “A novel should be an act of divination by entrails, not a careful record of a game of pat-ball on some vicarage lawn!”

7. Do you prefer to write in free verse or rhyme? If you have a preference, please can you explain it?

I have absolutely no preference. Good poetry is good poetry. I write in both.

8. Could you share a poem or other written composition with my readers, please?

Meadows where trees sleep, and rivers stretch like cats.
Fairies dance tarantella in the air.
Your purple lips reflect the shadows of the women you will love.
Memories.
Your eyes as thirsty as the surface of the moon.
Sandy dunes.

9. Do you have any advice for people who would like to write but are not sure how to start doing so?

I hate to advise anybody except for my students. Most people who think they advise others end up lecturing them. It’s terrible. All I am going to say here is that there is always a way. Those who want to find it will find it.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Kevin, I want to thank you again for your kindness. It means a lot to me. Equally I want to thank everyone who reads this interview and wish them a fruitful journey in the world of writing.

Calling Time

Sometimes I write at night
And come the morning light
I take up my pen again.
One eventide
I shall lay aside
My pen
And not take it up again,
And the night
Shall take what I write,
For the landlord must call time
On my rhyme.

The Bright Side of Darkness – Guest Post by Jo Elizabeth Pinto


I’ve known I was destined to write even before I learned to read. I remember cuddling with my dad on the high-backed couch in our living room, feeling safe and loved, while he read aloud a library book about Osceola. The brave Seminole Indian chief fought the brutal attempts by the U.S. government to remove his people from Florida during the early 1800’s.

When my dad finished the book, I said sadly, “It’s all gone.”

“It’s not gone,” he told me, laying the book in my hands. “We can turn it around and start over at the beginning. Not tonight, though.”

From that moment on, when I discovered that words could be written down in books, captured and stored to be enjoyed over and over again, I knew I wanted to write stories of my own. Many times in school, when I was supposed to be solving math problems or studying spelling words, I’d be busy composing poetry or creating title pages and back cover descriptions for books I dreamed of one day publishing. My first poem was printed in “Jack and Jill”—a popular magazine for kids—when I was eleven years old—and after that, I caught an incurable case of author fever.

My novel, “The Bright Side of Darkness”, began as a short story assignment for a high school English class. I got an A on the assignment and fell in love with the scrappy, loyal, smart-mouthed teenagers who came to life in my imagination.

I never forgot those characters. In my twenties, in order to learn how to use a word processor, I dragged out that old short story and typed it into my first computer—a DOS machine with 5-inch floppy disks and no Internet. The writing needed a lot of work, but the characters still captivated me. I added to the story, changed and deleted weak parts and moved paragraphs and chapters around. I picked the project up and put it down many times over the next twenty-some years as life happened. I took advice and editing from countless people. I attended writing workshops and joined critique groups to hone my craft, and I never gave up on my dream. In June of 2015, I finally published my book.

In junior high, I interviewed a local author as part of an independent study project. Her advice has stuck with me for 35 years.

“When you write, think of yourself as a bird building a nest,” she said. “Your life gives you the materials for your stories. You take a twig from here, a tuft of grass from there, a bit of string from somewhere else. Keep living a life full of experiences so you never run out of building materials.”

I usually write fiction, so my characters and what happens to them is all made up. But some of the experiences and a whole lot of the underlying emotions come from what I know, what I’ve lived through, like that bird making a nest.

As a writer, I realize the importance of entertaining my readers while giving them something to think about. I want to empower my readers so they will know the deeds of one person can make a difference in the world. Drawing inspiration from my own experiences, I try to show everyday people that hope is always just an action away.

I wish writing full-time would pay my bills, but that’s not my reality yet. So till my novel hits the bestseller list, I freelance from home as a textbook proofreader. I’m also the mom of an eleven-year-old daughter–the greatest job ever!

Author Links:

“The Bright Side of Darkness” is my award-winning novel, Available in Kindle, audio, and paperback formats.
http://www.amazon.com/author/jepinto

The paperback version of my novel is available at Barnes & Noble here:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-bright-side-of-darkness-j-e-pinto/1122183259?ean=9781512344943

Please see my author page on Facebook here:
https://m.facebook.com/authorjepinto/?ref=Footer

Please see my author blog, “Looking on the Bright Side,” on Goodreads here:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14120336.J_E_Pinto/blog

To read guest posts about parenting in the dark, please click here:
https://blindmotherhood.com/?s=Jo+Pinto

To read guest posts on a variety of topics, please click here:
https://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/