Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fire Up Your Writing Brain: How to Use Proven Neuroscience to Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Writer by Susan Reynolds

I became intrigued by Fire Up Your Writing Brain: How to Use Proven Neuroscience to Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Writer because I like things based in science, based on scientific research. That said, there were a few times when I wished the scientific research was a tiny bit more front and center in the discussion. When I started it, I thought it would be a fairly quick read even with the exercises... I thought wrong. Instead, I spent several months reading Fire Up Your Writing Brain and working through the exercises. I even did some of the extra credit options though not all. I saved some exercises for later when they fit my projects at hand. Fire Up Your Writing Brain made me look deeper into my writing process as well as more aware of where my attention goes throughout the day including what interferes with my writing process. While I sometimes became frustrated with some of the exercises working through them always brought me to either an epiphany or a new piece of work. Fire Up Your Writing Brain offers a great way to jump start a stalled writing process or even heighten one that isn't stalled. I will keep Fire Up Your Writing Brain on my shelves for reference and will likely return to the exercises when I feel the need to fire up my writing brain.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Verseweavers: The Oregon Poetry Association Anthology of Prize-winning Poems 2015

Verseweavers: The Oregon Poetry Association Anthology of Prize-winning Poems 2015 (Number 20) contains the that won The Oregon Poetry Association's Spring and Fall 2015 contests as well as commentary from the judges of the myriad categories. It's easy to see why a vast majority of these poems won even without reading the competing poems. While a few didn't quite hit the mark for me, I'm sure they would for other people. The poems explore a wide variety of forms and themes offering something for just about any poetry reader. Verseweavers 2015 was printed in  limited edition and therefore might not be easy to acquire a copy of; however, if you can it's worth a read.

This particular issue isn't available on The Oregon Poetry Association website as of the publication of this blog post; however past issues are. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange is a poem written for a stage performance or a play written in poetic form. Perhaps it is appropriate to call it both. There are moments in the reading when the stage direction feels incredibly integral to the experience of reading and others when it's slightly distracting. Shange brings her characters to life and delves into the beauty and the hardship of life with equal intensity. Shange's poetry  For Colored girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf offers a commentary on myriad issues and highlights the connections between us and our actions that we often fail to see or even willfully refuse to see. I longed to see the stage performance as I read. I will likely watch the movie on YouTube some time soon. The DVD of both the movie and the Broadway Theatre Archive versions are available on Amazon.

 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Mad Country by Samrat Upadhyay

Mad Country by Samrat Upadhyay puts the reader into the minds and hearts of a hodgepodge of characters while examining the social and political issues that govern their lives. These snippets of life push the reader to think about life from different perspectives perhaps even questioning the conventions of life we often accept without a moment's thought. Mad Country delves into the raw emotions and the intense dogmas held by people that create division and destroy communication while pushing the reader to cheer for some characters, commiserate with others, and despise others and sometimes doing all three for the one character or the other. Upadhyay writes stories that feel like snapshots of his characters' lives and drawing parallels that remind the reader just how interwoven all our lives really are.