Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Year's History and Tradition

Something I enjoy is reading the history of various holidays and the traditions that many people follow. I am providing links so that you can enjoy learning a bit about the New Year's holiday.

At Infoplease, you can read about "A History of the New Year" and "New's Year Traditions". The history article talks about the different dates celebrated through the years and you'll learn a bit about calendars in the process. The traditions article has all the words to "Auld Lang Syne" and a bit of history and explanation about it, as well as some of the other traditions that have come into being over the years.

Another interesting article is at Wikipedia under "New Year" and tells more about calendars and countries and when 1 January became the norm for many in celebrating the new year.

Good reading. Enjoy! And if you know about some additional traditions, please tell us about them in the comments!

New Year's Resolutions for the Writer

Now that 1 January is almost here, it's time to pick a New Year's Resolution for your writing.

What I think would be a good resolution is to pick one thing you want to improve about your writing and set some goals leading to that improvement. For example, let's say you've been dabbling in writing poetry. For the upcoming year, choose a type of poem you would like to learn to write--say the sonnet. In January, you would learn what a sonnet is, what its usual rhyme schemes and meters are, and how the subject matter is handled. In February, you would work on writing a sonnet, evaluating it against what you've learned about sonnets. As the year progresses, you would set more goals to work on. The same could be done for writing essays, short stories, or novels.

You might also want to set some publishing goals. Do you want to start a blog? Do you want to look for markets for poetry, essays, or whatever you are writing and submit your material for consideration? Set some goals for researching markets and preparing manuscripts. Learn how the various markets want submissions handled.

If you are already reasonably accomplished at poetry, you can work on publishing it and, at the same time, learn to write short stories. That way you can work on more than one area of writing. There would also be room for goals improving your grammar, spelling, or other nuts and bolts types of goals that will make your writing much better. Study some articles or books about writing, too. Those can help you learn new things that you may not have considered before.

Any ideas out there for some good writing goals? Feel free to put them in the comments! Good luck!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

"Winter Uplands"

Archibald Lampman (1861-1899)

The frost that stings like fire upon my cheek,
The loneliness of this forsaken ground,
The long white drift upon whose powdered peak
I sit in the great silence as one bound;
The rippled sheet of snow where the wind blew
Across the open fields for miles ahead;
The far-off city towered and roofed in blue
A tender line upon the western red;
The stars that singly, then in flocks appear,
Like jets of silver from the violet dome,
So wonderful, so many and so near,
And then the golden moon to light me home--
The crunching snowshoes and the stinging air,
And silence, frost, and beauty everywhere.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Another Multi-Purpose Writing Website

I wanted to share a website with you that has a number of articles on writing that may help you improve your own writing and also know what to do to get it published. It's called "On Writing: The Craft and the Writer" by Will Greenway.

There are lots of articles there for writers at all levels. Enjoy!

On a side note, if you have not been able to post comments because you did not have a Google/Blogger account, that is no longer the case. Blogger was making some changes to the comments portion of the program, but you can comment by selecting either "Nickname" or "Anonymous" and post a comment without having to register anywhere.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Fog in December

The weather in Oklahoma City today is foggy and drizzly. It started yesterday and has continued overnight. It is, thankfully, above freezing, so it is a pleasant kind of fall weather--the sort you wouldn't want to last indefinitely, but pleasant for awhile.

The fallen leaves at the office range from a deep burgundy to orange, yellow, and brown. Sometimes we have Canadian geese in the parking lot. There are several lakes around the city, both large and small, and the geese apparently like to rest here on their way south. We also enjoy their presence in the church parking lot. They stroll around and stare at the people. Perhaps it is their idea of a zoo!

The drizzle is light, but steady, and drips off the trees and roofs. The misty air is cool and refreshing. The fog varies in thickness from place to place and from time to time. It is the perfect sort of day to get out a little and then settle in at home, where it's warm and cozy and dry. Definitely hot chocolate weather.

It is quiet, too, as most people are not yet out and about. I changed my windshield wipers yesterday and am glad I did. The old ones were worn out and were almost worse than not having windshield wipers. I also needed a new taillight bulb. My friends told me to go to a certain auto parts store and they would change it for me. Ha! I guess I didn't look helpless enough. I didn't have any trouble changing it myself, though, so I'm good to go.

We are expecting this pleasant weather to change to ice sometime tomorrow and on through Tuesday and maybe Wednesday. It might snow, but the weathermen are mostly talking freezing rain, which is a major headache. It's pretty to look at from inside, though. Here's hoping it doesn't get too bad!