Writing Poetry – Why Poems Don’t Need to Rhyme (via Writing Tips Blog)

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Writing Poetry - Why Poems Don't Need to Rhyme When it comes to writing poetry, many modern opinions are that poems don't need to rhyme. While it was the traditional way of writing poetry, many people today find the traditional structures too restricting and limiting. This is one reason why today people believe that poems don't need to rhyme. Ezra Pound was believed by many to be the modern poet to spearhead the free verse movement. Pound was a long-time studier of poetry and believed that po … Read More

via Writing Tips Blog

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An Interview with Randall Brown (via Autumn 2010 Rose Metal Press Field Guide Group Read)

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An Interview with Randall Brown by Nicole Monaghan  I first met Randall in October, 2009 at the Philadelphia Stories Push to Publish Writers’ Conference at Rosemont College. I’d scheduled a “speed date” with him after reading a couple issues of Smokelong Quarterly, his parting letter as he was leaving SLQ, and several of his pieces of flash, which was all it took to be hugely impressed and feel a strong matching of “literary aesthetics,” or whatever that thing is when you love … Read More

via Autumn 2010 Rose Metal Press Field Guide Group Read

Neil Gaiman On Writing (via Guerrilla Ontology)

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Neil Gaiman On Writing As culled from The Guardian: 1 Write. 2 Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down. 3 Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it. 4 Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is. 5 Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When the … Read More

via Guerrilla Ontology

You Mean, You Have to Practice? (via Writing Under Pressure)

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You Mean, You Have to Practice? "A thousand books on tennis won't improve your serve, but a thousand serves will." ~ Rick DeMarinis, from an excerpt of his article printed in The Writer, November 1985, and reprinted in the November 2010 issue. ~ As I sat in a hallway at work the other day, I overheard someone practicing the tuba. The music climbed the scale with perfect tone but then squealed and tumbled into low vibrations, like the sounds of a diesel truck unwilling to start. … Read More

via Writing Under Pressure

Where the Dog Star Never Glows – Review by Marc Schuster

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The first thing that will strike anyone who reads Where the Dog Star Never Glows is the absolute precision of author Tara L. Masih’s prose. Throughout this collection of short stories, Masih firmly establishes herself as a master of what Gustave Flaubert (among others, including Nelson Muntz) described as le mot juste. Hers is a vocabulary wide-ranging enough to speak with studied expertise on matters ranging from tourist traps in tropical climes to the last moments of old men in tired coal mining towns, yet natural enough to talk about the trials and tribulations of a young mother-to-be in the simplest of terms, like starting a Jeep and heading for the Circle K to buy groceries. In other words, Masih has done what so many other writers spend a lifetime attempting: she’s grown so comfortable with words — the very stuff, the atoms of literature itself — that she can breathe life into the fictional worlds of her imagination with the greatest of ease. At least, that’s how it feels from the outside. Like the best of artisans, she makes her job look easy.

Masih, however, is not just a wordsmith. She’s also a master of navigating the loneliest reaches of the human heart. In a story titled, “Say Bridgitte, Please,” she follows a lonely schoolgirl down a path toward what may either be self-discovery or self-destruction, proving, as Carson McCullers once suggested, that the heart is the loneliest of hunters. Yet the author’s vision is not without hope: early on, Masih offers “The Guide, The Tourist, and the Animal Doctor,” in which the key to the human heart is revealed to, on occasion, take the form of a pair of tennis shoes; while later in the collection, a very short piece titled “Suspension” suggests that the kindness of strangers can offer the greatest comfort any of us might ever hope to experience. We are all lonely in some way, Where the Dog Star Never Glows reminds us, yet, in the end, loneliness is only what we make of it.

Where the Dog Star Never Glows is an amazing collection of short fiction that introduces Tara L. Masih as a true artist of the short story whose way with words is matched only by her intuitive grasp of all that makes us human. Needless to say, I can’t wait to see what this author does next.

Read more reviews of books from small and independent presses at Small Press Reviews.