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Montrose Christian Writers Conference Faculty Spotlight

Lora Zill

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Award-winning Poet

“If you want to become a better writer, write poetry because it teaches you to find just the right word.”

I heard that at my first writing conference 25 years ago from the keynote speaker. Since I’m a published poet and writer, and I edit and publish the Christian literary poetry journal “Time Of Singing,” I say, “AMEN!”

Writing poetry makes me a wordsmith. I come to think of words as individual markers of creativity that, when combined in a certain order, creates a work of art called a poem. Poetry teaches me to use language in all of its magic—its sensory imagery, sound, rhythm, the music of the line, and the paragraph, even white space, and yes, grammar and punctuation.

I carry the art and craft of poetry into my nonfiction. Great Christian writers such as Annie Dillard and Catherine Marshall wrote poetry, and you can see it in the sound and imagery in their prose. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. understood the power of poetry when he used images to drive home the great truths of the civil rights movement in his “Letter from the Birmingham Jail.” Abraham Lincoln used the cadences and sounds of language in his Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address to create hope in the hearts of his people during and after the terrible cost of the Civil War.

So during my poetry classes at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference this summer, we’ll discuss the art and craft of poetry. We’ll play with words and generate ideas using everyday objects like paint chips, seed catalogs, stained glass, magazines, and word tiles. We’ll talk about what works, what doesn’t, and why, and how to achieve our writing goals. We’ll explore our creative pen and quillprocesses and discover new insights as we write and share.

Even if you write fiction or nonfiction, you’ll learn how to enhance and strengthen your work. Most of all, we’ll honor and affirm our creative lives in these classes. We will honor Jesus as the Root and Source of all our creativity.

I look forward to working with poets with all levels of the publishing experience.

Lora

******************************************************************************

Lora will be teaching both a Major Morning series about poetry and will conduct a three-session afternoon poetry work-in-progress seminar this July at Montrose. Poets, plan to sign up for either or both of her classes. If you’re interested in working on your own poetry in the WIP seminar, sign up ASAP when the registration opens soon. That seminar is limited to six conferees.

Marsha

Director MCWC

 

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What is Haiku Poetry?

Smiley.Face.Smilingpen and quill

If you’re a poet at heart, then you’ve probably tried all different kinds of poetic forms including the fun subgenre and smallest literary form: Japanese Haiku. If you aren’t familiar with Haiku, enjoy learning about this interesting form and try your hand at it.

Without getting extremely technical, traditional haiku can be defined as of poem with 17 syllables in three lines or phrases of 5, 7 and 5 respectively. Although haiku poems are often defined as having only 17 syllables, the term “syllables” does not always mean the same thing; therefore, some Haiku forms have more or less than 17 syllables. (To learn more about more complicated forms of haiku, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiku#Syllables_or_.22on.22_in_haiku ) But for the sake of convenience and introduction, we’ll consider the three-line/17-syllable Haiku poem.

The best-known Japanese haiku was written by Matsuo Bashō (1644 –1694), the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as a master of brief and clear haiku. His poetry is internationally renowned, and within Japan many of his poems are reproduced on monuments and traditional sites. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matsuo_Bash%C5%8D )

One of Basho’s most famous Haiku poems is called “Old Pond.” Let’s look at it in the Japanese language, which, of course, has the conventional 5, 7, 5 pattern: fu-ru-i-ke ya (5) ka-wa-zu to-bi-ko-mu (7) mi-zu no o-to (5) Translated into English, we see the syllabication isn’t there, but the short and poignant meaning is:

old pond . . .

a frog leaps in

water’s sound

See how simple, yet descriptive, this poetic form is?

Here are a few general rules to apply as you go on your Haiku trek:

  1. Avoid the use of personal pronouns.
  2. If you use personal pronouns like I, don’t capitalize them.
  3. Use sentence fragments.
  4. Work on an eye-catching first line.
  5. Save the “punch” for the last line.

(For more details go to: http://www.ahapoetry.com/haiku.htm#comego )

Please forgive my importunity, but here are two Haiku I wrote years ago:

 

“The Deer”

A rack and a tail

The blast of a gun echoes

And he lives no more

 

 

“Peaceful Valley”

Sparkling cool waters

Trickle down dark mountain paths

Serene wilderness

 

So, there you have what Haiku is all about in a brief synopsis. Go ahead, try it; I think you’ll enjoy playing with words and creating a work of art in such a short form in such a short time.

Marsha

http://www.marshahubler.com

http://www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

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TEN REASONS WHY YOU MIGHT MISS

THE 2016 MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE

Sad.Smiley.Face

 God told you to write your book, and it’s fine the way it is.

You don’t have the time. You have to clean the refrigerator and watch the grass grow.

You don’t have the money. Your Bowser says he’s out of bacon bites and sausage treats.

You don’t know how to get to Montrose. All the airports are closed, your GPS is on vacation, and MapQuest is being updated.

You can’t find your manuscript on your computer: (no further explanation needed).

You feel the faculty members have nothing to help you because you know everything there is to know about writing.

You don’t knead anyone to edit yore wirk because your reel good with grammer and speling. You got a C+ in high school Englsih, and that’s good enuff.

Your Aunt Izzy read your book, and she thinks it’s the most wonderful thing she’s ever read.  She’s going to give you the money to self publish it.

You’ve revised your manuscript twice, and you don’t need any smart alec editor telling you to change it AGAIN!

You haven’t been published yet, so you’ve decided to quit writing. After all, you’ve been doing it three months already, for gravy’s sake!

BUT WAIT! THERE’S STILL TIME TO REGISTER FOR THIS YEAR’S MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE AND FIND OUT HOW TO GET YOUR WORK READY FOR PUBLICATION!

Access to the registration form is at the bottom. 

CHECK IT OUT AT http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx 

I’d love to see you there next week!

Marsha

Best-selling Author of the Keystone Stables books

(Web) www.marshahubler.com

(Horse Facts Blog)

www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

 

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Are You a Blank Verse Poet?

Two blogs ago, we discussed “Free Verse” poetry and gave some examples of this “free” kind of literary expression.

This time, we’re looking at “Blank Verse,” which is defined as a type of poetry distinguished by having a regular meter but no rhyme. The meter, most commonly used with blank verse, is iambic pentameter. The iambic pentameter form often resembles the rhythms of speech, but blank verse is not the same as free verse because it employs a meter. Paradise Lost by John Milton and most of Shakespeare’s works are written in iambic pentameters.

Blank Verse has been described as probably the most common and influential form that English poetry has taken since the 16th C., and it is believed that about three-quarters of all English poetry is in blank verse.

So, what in the world is iambic pentameter? For a flowery detailed definition go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page, but in simple terms, it’s poetry with each line made up of five pairs of short/long, or unstressed/stressed, syllables.

Here’s an example of a classic iambic pentameter poetry line:

˘         /      ˘       /        ˘           /      ˘    /     ˘     /

To swell the gourd, and plump the ha- zel shells

Here’s another one with a slight variation of the accented and unaccented syllables. However, you will note that there are still only 10 syllables:

/      ˘      ˘        /      ˘      ˘       /     /         ˘       /

Now   is | the   win- | ter   of | our   dis- | con- tent

Let’s look at a  short excerpt from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which displays an idea of what Blank Verse with its iambic pentameter is all about:

 

Paradise Lost

by

John Milton

Chapter 1 – Book 1

Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit

Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste

Brought death into the World, and all our woe,

With loss of Eden, till one greater Man

Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,

Sing, Heavenly Muse, that, on the secret top

Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire

That shepherd who first taught the chosen seed

In the beginning how the heavens and earth

Rose out of Chaos: or, if Sion hill

Delight thee more, and Siloa’s brook that flowed

Fast by the oracle of God, I thence

Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,

That with no middle flight intends to soar.

Note that each line has ten syllables and follows the unaccented/accented syllable pattern. So, now that you’ve been enlightened about Blank Verse, do you think you’d like to try your hand at it? If so, please try to write a ten-line Blank Verse poem and send it to me via email attachment. I’d love to see your work.

Coming soon: Rhyming Verse.

Happy writing!

P.S. Time to register for the Montrose Christian Writers Conference. You won’t be sorry! If you’re a poet, you’ll want to sign up for award-winning Shirley Stevens’ work-in-progress seminar when you’ll work with Shirley on your poetry in a small class setting with limited enrollment.

Please check http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx  for all the details.

Marsha

http://www.marshahubler.com

http://www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

http://www.marshahubler.com

 

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June 6, 2016

What Kind of Poet Are You?

I’m sure if you’ve dabbled in any kind of poetry writing, you probably started with silly little rhyming patterns like I did. But after awhile, you might have gotten brave enough to try something different like Free Verse, Blank Verse, or Haiku. I’ve tried my hand at all of them, but I still like the simple iambic pentameter style of rhyme.

Let’s take a look at the most popular styles of poetry. In today’s blog, we’ll look at Free Verse.

Definition of Free Verse

Free Verse is a form of poetry composed of either rhymed or unrhymed lines that have no set fixed metrical pattern. The early 20th-century poets were the first to write what they called “Free Verse,” which allowed them to break from the formula and rigidity of traditional poetry. The poetry of Walt Whitman (1819-1892) provides many illustrations of Free Verse, including his poem “Song of Myself.” Here’s a stanza from that well-known poem:

“Song of Myself”

by

Walt Whitman

“I celebrate myself, and sing myself,

And what I assume you shall assume,

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loaf and invite my soul,

I lean and loaf at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.”

This poem is pages and pages long and quite impressive. To check the entire poem, go to:

http://www.daypoems.net/poems/1900.html

One of my favorite stanzas is this one about a horse:

A gigantic beauty of a stallion, fresh and responsive to my caresses,

Head high in the forehead, wide between the ears,

Limbs glossy and supple, tail dusting the ground,

Eyes full of sparkling wickedness, ears finely cut, flexibly moving.

His nostrils dilate as my heels embrace him,

His well-built limbs tremble with pleasure as we race around and return.

I but use you a minute, then I resign you, stallion,

Why do I need your paces when I myself out-gallop them?

Even as I stand or sit passing faster than you.

*****

I remember reading this poem, or parts of it, in high school, and I’ve always remembered this beautiful ode to the animal that I love so much. Years, later, I wrote my own poem about a horse and had the free verse published in a small poetry booklet, “Time of Singing” (Volume 27, Fall 2000; editor: Lora Zill) http://www.timeofsinging.com/index.html

“Sorrel Majesty”

When I saw his majestic muscular beauty

And delicate sleekness,

My eager heart stood still.

He pranced with such royal dignity

That my soul bowed,

A peasant before the king.

With proud neck arched

And tail obedient to the wind,

The snorting engine nodded.

His keen ears searched.

His fiery spirit traced my slightest breath.

My trembling fingers reached

Toward a trembling velvet nose.

And we both knew …

He was mine.

*****

So, you see, if you have a passion about any topic, you could write “poetry.” Try your hand at it; I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Feel free to send me via email attachment a sample of your work. (marshahubler@wildblue.net)

Next time, we’ll take a look at Blank Verse.

Happy writing!

P.S. Time to register for the Montrose Christian Writers Conference. You won’t be sorry! If you’re a poet, you’ll want to sign up for award-winning Shirley Stevens’ work-in-progress seminar when you’ll work with Shirley on your poetry in a small class setting with limited enrollment.

Please check http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx for all the details. J

Marsha

http://www.marshahubler.com

http://www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

http://www.marshahubler.com

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WHOLESOME, SAFE BOOKS FOR TWEENS

SNOW, PHANTOM STALLION OF THE POCONOS

SNOW 

Dallis Parker copes with bullying at school by dreaming about owning Snow, a wild Mustang, who most folks believe doesn’t even exist. Then she actually touches the horse, and her life is changed forever.

http://www.amazon.com/Snow-Phantom-Stallion-Marsha-Hubler-ebook/dp/B013GUF078/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449523382&sr=1-1&keywords=Snow%2C+Phantom+Stallion+of+the+Poconos

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Writers! It’s Time to Register for the Montrose Christian Writers Conference!

Westcotts.+BigDuck

July 17th – 22nd (Or come for just a few days)!

Older Teens to Senior Citizens!

Come to Montrose and get your work ready to publish!

 

This Year’s Perks

  1. Build your blog or update! (3 classes or private tutoring for only $20/45 min. periods)
  2. Finally understand how to use Microsoft Word to enhance your documents. (3 classes)
  3. Attend freebie critique groups to give you invaluable advice to hone your work.
  4. Review your work privately with a faculty member. (free/15 min. periods or $40/30 min.)
  5. Read a 3-minute piece of your work to all the conferees at Writers’ Theatre.
  6. Participate in the Parade of Puppets with your puppets or dummies.
  7. Participate in the Odd Ducks’ Dilemma, a quiz program similar to Jeopardy.

Just Starting to Write?

Attend the Inspiration and Perspiration classes with Roseanna White to learn where to start.

Wanna Self Publish? Don't.Stop.Believing

Attend 3 classes to find out just how to do it.

Wanna Publish Your Poetry?

Sign up for the work-in-progress seminar with award winning poet Shirley Stevens or attend her 3 classes during the week.

Is My Romance Novel Good Enough?

Find out by signing up for the work-in-progress seminar with award winning novelist Gayle Roper.

Walk.w.Joan.and.Faith.at.MontroseCan’t Attend All the Classes?

Purchase any or all the recorded sessions for a reasonable price.

 

PLUS over 40 classes that present everything from public speaking to editing your own work to marketing and promotion.

I’d love to see you there in July!

For more details, go to http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

Looking forward to meeting and greeting you on July 17th!

 

 

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On Writing: Meet One of our Authors

Jean Oathout

Jean Oathout

Jean Oathout writes from her heart. Her first recently released book, SO YOU PLAN TO MARRY A MAN, is as much a personal testimony of what she’s learned from God as a book of helps for wives and gals desiring to be married one day.

Jean was born in Tacoma Park, MA, in 1937. Her father died when Jean was six, her mother remarrying when Jean was eleven years old and moving the family to New York State.

In 1955, Jean married an Air Force man and had three sons. However, the marriage failed. Jean later remarried and had one more son. Her new husband relocated the family in Vermont in 1983, where they “homesteaded,” growing most of their food and living without electricity for most of seventeen years.

Unfortunately for Jean, the second marriage also had its problems, both she and her husband “having issues.” Jean found it hard to be a submissive wife and wanted to leave. However, at the Lord’s prompting, she stayed and learned how to deal with life according to the way her husband wished. Through these difficult years, Jean started to journal, putting her writings in poetic form with the thought that some day she would share them with other women.

Finally in 1999, Jean had to leave her married life and seek inward healing that only God could provide. Over the years, she’s come to realize that she needed to forgive and go on with her life. She has fellowship with a body of believers in a local church and has many friends in the Madrid, NY, community. She is presently working on two more poetic devotionals that are scheduled for publication with Lighthouse Publishing from the Carolinas.

It’s Jean’s desire that her efforts glorify the Lord and help women look to Him for guidance in their married lives. Her next book, WHEN A WOMAN MARRIES A MAN, will share more wisdom Jean had learned to find God’s help and peace in the trials of everyday life. Her third book, TO RAISE A CHILD CAN BE JOY, is an encouragement to parents who desire to rear their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

 Happy writing and if you’d like to be featured on this blog, please contact me at: marshahubler@wildblue.net

Marsha

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