Sunday, August 22, 2010

Poem For My Niece

 Poetry is one of the forms of writing I do most often.  It's not something I can write without inspiration, and that inspiration comes from many places.  The following is a poem inspired by my five-year-old niece. It's currently entered in a poetry competition.

A Rhyme For Sarah 

I wandered much until I found
The road I took led only down

Down to sorrows through lonely fears
Down to despair, and on to tears

I wallowed there for just a while
Until your presence made me smile

You brought back love. You brought back hope
Filled up my heart each time  you spoke

The things you give make life worthwhile
My world lights up each time you smile
Copyright 2010 Eileen Johnson

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chapter One, a site which I highly recommend, has, as one definition for a writer: "person who composes with language."  It lists a host of synonyms for the word writer, but I think my favorite is "word slinger".  That's what I do. I sling words. That's not as haphazard as it sounds. While I may initially sling them any old direction just to get the idea down on paper (or MS Word), the rest of the job is to work very carefully to make sure I've used the best words possible, and used them in the best possible way, to get my message across.

I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing and, for the last two years, I've been fortunate enough to actually make a living as a writer.  My bills are paid by non-fiction (mostly health care articles) that I write for the employee newsletters of three manufacturing companies and a couple of websites.  My real interest, however, lies in writing fiction and poetry. 

In the past year, I have begun to put more time and effort into those interests. I've finished the first draft of a novel and am beginning another.  I have several short stories finished and quite a few poems. In just the past couple of weeks, I've taken the first steps.  I've submitted my first piece of flash fiction and several poems for publication, as well as some poems to poetry contests.  In spite of the fact that I've been able to actually make money at non-fiction, submitting fiction and poetry is still a big step, and I'm waiting anxiously to hear about my submissions.
I think of this as a beginning for myself. The beginning of, hopefully, being able to make a living at what I really want to do.  It's a challenge and though it's a rather daunting one, I've reached a point in life where I feel I'm up to that challenge. I'm prepared for it not to happen right away, but right now it's enough that I'm at last making the attempt.  I'm confident.  This blog is part of that. A place for me to share (and to vent) about my writing, my ideas, and other aspects of life which, as any writer can tell you, will eventually find an outlet somewhere in my work. 

As writers, our chosen medium is words.  However, it's not enough to simply sling those words. In fiction writing, one of the biggest challenges is to be able to use those words to create memorable characters. Characters who come alive to readers not just through their spoken dialogue, but through their movements, their habits, the looks in their eyes, and a whole host of other ways of speaking. Which brings me to my blog title...

I owe the title of this blog to Russell Crowe.  Other Ways of Speaking is the title song (written by Crowe & Billy Dean Cochran) of a CD released in 2003 by Mr. Crowe and his band  The name of the band at that time was 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. It's since been changed to The Ordinary Fear of God, but they're still making great music.  Music is one of the many places where I find inspiration and this band is one of my favorites.  You'll find links to their music and lyrics in my 'Links' list. Try them out. I'm sure you'll like 'em.

Russell Crowe has long been one of my favorite actors and it was with a deep sense of satisfaction that I discovered his music. Emotional, honest, and real are the best words I can think of to describe his songs.  They have heart and soul. Not only does he have a way with words, but he's very talented at all those 'Other Ways of Speaking'. 

I hope those of you who find this blog will stick around and join me on the journey.  We'll laugh, cry, rant, commiserate. In short, hopefully it won't be just me talking but all of us sharing.  

You know there's other ways of speaking
Words are just the deep end