Posts Tagged With: #WbtR

Late April (Book Review)

Late April by Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt

Katherine’s poetry always makes you ponder. Her latest book, Late April, ponders the celebration of seasons in life and nature.  I find this particular collection has a river of joy, with a few babbling brooks of wisdom winding through. As you float through her poems you will experience irony, joy, sorrow, irony and anger. I am grabbing the metaphor of water here and hanging on to it as I read Katherine’s poetry. She has a few fonts of Holy Water and sprinkles in some #hashtags. A poem that mentions #Amazon, who would have thought that would get sprinkled in?

OK, so enough of the metaphor, Katherine’s poetry is refreshing and relevant. It takes the reader to depths in the simple and captures your imagination to ponder the poignant. This is Katherine’s forth collection of poetry, a must read for poets and those that appreciate poetry.

Categories: Book Reviews, Poetry | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

“Three Hots and a Cot” by Nancy Wyatt

Take a look at Homelessness from the Comfort of your Home!

Told against the backdrop of a homeless shelter “Three Hots and a Cot” allows you to see the impact of homelessness. This book, adapted form the stage play, is told in vignettes of short monologues. Feel the impact of job loss, chronic illness, and know that you too could become part of this story. The words will help you feel the powerful emotions of those who must live in shelters, for now. Allow this book will move you and impact your heart, open your senses and feel the stories. As a nurse that has worked in the HIV/AIDS community, taken care of patients who were homeless in parking lot’s “Three Hot’s an a Cot” is a look inside these lives that many will never experience. The glimpse goes into the dark hidden spaces of homelessness. It peaks into the reasons that we never thought of. It gives a glimmer of how the homeless children feel and answers some of the “why” do they end up like this. I found this a fascinating read that gave an open honest view of homelessness. I would go so far as to call it a must read for medical professionals and those who volunteer with the homeless. I would encourage all who dare to feel the poignant telling of these true stories and allow yourself to experience the homeless crisis through their eyes! This book has been performed on stage as well and licensing for theater groups is available.

Truth in blogging, Nancy Wyatt is in, “Write by the Rails,” the same writing group I belong to. This is the first of her books I have read and it is such a powerful book! I will encourage my student nurses to read this book! Her writing tells it like it is. I have worked in the community with the homeless and can verify the overarching stories are true to this culture. I have taken care of homeless patients in parking lots as that was the “best address” they had. I worked at a homeless hypothermia shelter and when the third person checking in that night gave the same address I asked what the deal was. “Oh we made it up, everyone needs an address. Especially if you hope to get any work,” came the reply. They had made up an address for their “camp” in the woods.

I encourage you to read this book. Experience the stories. Next time someone asks for help see if it changes your response. I have been carrying water and socks in my car for years to give out to the needy.

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Writer’s Block Sucks: You Know You’re in Trouble When Even Elmore Leonard Can’t Help You

Guest Blog by Tamela Ritter

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Thoughts come in snatches. Bits of paper fluttering in an Autumn wind and I jump and run to collect them all, to make sense of them. They are parched and singed on the edges and the scripted pages crinkle and wither in my hands. They crumble and float away, no remnants of the prose, of the original concept remain for me to gather to me, to start again with.

I wake with a muted scream in my throat and my heart pounding. I’ve had this nightmare before. Many times, before.

In fact, I’ve been living in this dream for so long now, so consistently (it used to come and go, this thing we jokingly call Writer’s Block), I’m starting to think that it’s not the dream, it’s the reality. It was that other life that was a dream. That life when words came easy, when stories refused to sit idle in my mind, would poke and prod me to get written. That time when my mind was full of voices not my own but with characters with much richer lives than my own, much more important things to say.

I’ve had slumps before, we all have, haven’t we? HAVEN’T WE?!?!

(Please tell me I’m not alone!)

And I have an arsenal of weapons to attack them, to work through them, make them go away. Things that have worked in the past.

I’ve moved around my writing corner, taken my writing on the road, started writing long-hand, on napkins/toilet paper/newspaper, with crayons, with those markers that smell like fruit and candy. I’ve started drinking, stopped drinking, meditated, practiced yoga, went for a swim, a bike ride, a long walk. I’ve gone to the cinema, the theatre, read masterpieces I wish I would have written and trash that I can’t believe got published. I’ve even started crafting…anything to get the creativity sparked.

And while all my files are cleaned out, my writing corner sparkles, I’m in better shape than I’ve been in years, I’ve read some great books and have crafted enough to almost open an Etsy store, none of it has given me the spark I’ve so desperately been looking for. None of it has created what, for me, has been more important than breathing for most of my life—words on a page.

And here is the part of the blog where normally, people present solutions to the problem they’d just presented above…

I stare and re-read and I’m three days past due on turning in this piece and… I got nothing.

But, that’s why I signed up for this Blog Tour (thanks for the invite, Jan btw), to push myself, to get over myself. To just freakin’ write something!

Or maybe to cry for help.

HELP!

Okay, let’s see if I can end this on any shred of a good note. If I can’t be prolific, if I can’t be profound, at the very least, I can be helpful. I can share words of wisdom that have, in the past, served me well.

Many, many years ago in another life, I was a freelance reporter for the local paper in Fairfield County Connecticut and had the pleasure of interviewing and writing about a lot of artists, actors and writers—and occasionally—personal heroes. One of the best moments in that job was the day that I called the late, great Elmore Leonard on the phone to chat about writing.

This is the man who famously said this:

“I don’t believe in writer’s block or waiting for inspiration. If you’re a writer, you sit down and write.”

I got to ask him about this quote, because while I like it, I couldn’t believe that anyone could really live by it.  He said he had to live by it. If you wanted to make your living out of the written word, you can’t allow yourself the luxury of writer’s block.

The thing he said that I remember the most vividly and has stayed with me the longest (and I’m not going to put it in quotes because it’s a paraphrase at this point and I don’t want to, even in death—especially—in death, put words in his mouth) is this:

You’ve got to stop thinking of it as this precious thing. It’s a job, like being a plumber is a job. You ever heard of a plumber calling in uninspired? No. They just do the job.

JUST DO THEJOB!

For more information on Elmore Leonard: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elmore_Leonard

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Categories: 2018 Write by the Rails Blog Tour #WbtR | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Prescription: Poetry

Guest Blog: Write by the Rails                                                                   2018 Tour2018 Blog Tour:

By Katherine GotthardtKatherine-Gotthardt-

For a lot of people, the idea of reading poetry is about as appealing as booking their next colonoscopy. They’ll do it, but only if someone in authority tells them to and convinces them it’s for their own good.

Because Jan is a nurse, she might allow me to extend this simile, but I won’t take advantage of her good nature or reduce the level of discourse to the scatalogical (though admittedly, the temptation to make lowbrow puns and silly double entendres is strong). Suffice to say, if you were drawn in by the comparison of poetry to a colonoscopy, you might find poetry actually interesting. Here’s why.

Poetry is wordplay on steroids

The greatest poets of history have relied on the power of wordplay. While some might argue puns are puny interns in the halls of humor, writers and readers have relied on them for entertainment since the dawn of language. Poetic wordplay goes beyond the powerful pun, of course, sometimes in quite complicated ways. So even if you think you dislike poetry, if you enjoy wit and puzzles, the right kind of poetry could be for you.

Poetry is ointment

Nothing soothes the soul like music, many might say. But what goes into music? Rhythm? Poetry’s got it. Lyrics? That’s poetry. Beat, cadence, tone? Poetry has all of those. But when it comes to simile, metaphor, imagery and unique word juxtaposition, poetry blends it all into one smoothe balm. If you know enough to appreciate a good tune, a moving symphony or a catchy ditty, you can easily figure out how to enjoy poetry.

Poetry is internal medicine

All action, all science, all art starts from within. We internally explore ideas, create meaning and look for ways to communicate before we ever begin to write poetry. So for those enamored with the mind, enchanted by self-expression, excited by innovation, poetry often resembles the brain’s most creative output. That means readers won’t always understand particular poems right away. If that sounds like you, no worries. Experiment. Read different kinds of poetry. Examine it closely. Put it under your own microscope. See what you discover about the guts of it and how that discovery affects you.

I would be remiss if didn’t mention my own work and the way life impacts the way I write poetry. Depending on which book you pick up, you will see varying degrees of style and theme. And in my newest collection, Bury Me Under a Lilac, you’ll experience poems that reflect the lifespan. I tend to write short poems packed with puns, images, references, metaphor, along with pinpricks of lessons learned and tiny tablets of wisdom given to me by others. So I’ll leave you with a poem from the book. I hope you enjoy and wish you good health.

Message in a Bottle

Just a little reminder:

you are not an infant,

and I have no bottles

except my own,

and they are filled

with prescriptions

written out to me.

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From Jan:

Thanks Katherine Gotthardt for being my guest this week!  As Vice President, of Write by the Rails, Katherine has been a true joy and blessing to me! The synergy that we have as we work together is incredible. Katherine is a Writer, Poet and Business Owner.

“Katherine is the owner of All Things Writing. ATW – All Things Writing, LLC was officially launched in January, 2014 by Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt, who has written since she was a child. Thinking she would operate as a traditional freelance writer and editor, Katherine was pleasantly surprised when she became inundated by requests for services. By 2015, she had so much work, she needed a team. She created a network of local, professional partners ready, willing and able to meet the needs of a diverse clientele.

ATW was nominated for the 2016 Prince William Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Business of the Year Award. In 2017, they were nominated for the Chamber’s Outstanding Professional Service Award.

In her creative life, Katherine has been nominated twice for Poet Laureate of the Prince William Area. Learn more at www.KatherineGotthardt.com.”   copied from https://allthingswritingllc.com/

Categories: 2018 Write by the Rails Blog Tour #WbtR | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment