Sunday, September 29, 2019

A LONG TIME SINCE...

The above title is one that asks me to state the obvious because the only way to conclude it is: A long time since...I've posted anything to my blog. Duh! But there is a reason. No, I didn't move or die or forget and I'm really glad that I didn't do the middle one. Of course, I wouldn't be posting at all, if that were case. The truth is that I've been writing and it's been my focus for the past few months.

As a member of SCBWI, the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators, I was working with other writers and posting some of my Children's Books, as they were also doing, and then critiquing one another's work. Their input was invaluable and lead us all to re-evaluate and rewrite our stories.  The fact that I was the only one who wrote in poem-form kept things interesting.  In between times I entered a few contests and even submitted some of my work to publishers but predictably it didn't lead to any of my stories or poems actually being "picked up," that is published. I say, actually, because I still have much to learn about the industry and one time I've found to be true from those who have shared their publishing journey is that securing a publishing contract takes years to gain.

I've attended a few writing conferences and participated in some online workshops but currently have been rewriting the 154-page book, WHAT'S IN A RHYME? that I self-published back in 2010. The process with a book that large has taken a lot of time but I had learned so much from the writing critiques that I wanted to go back and "improve" many of my poems, then republish it.  Hopefully, it will be ready for a proofer to go over soon and catch the things I've missed. Then I'll re-self-publish!

In addition, I've been writing an account if my mother's life that's nearing completion.  It's really a glimpse at her life with an emphasis on those experiences that I believe were, in part, responsible for the Bipolar Illness that she suffered from in the last 20 years of her life.  It will be a book l will also self-publish and give to members of our family.

So there you have it, the reasons why l haven't posted for a while and the ongoing reasons I probably won't be doing much posting until these projects are complete.




Wednesday, April 17, 2019

I FINALLY DID IT!

Did what, you ask? Well, I finally went beyond this blog, beyond the self-published books & dipped my toe in the writing world!  For the length of my life I haven't really investigated publishing or even what they call, honing my craft.  I had written a number of poems which were actually children's books and yet I hadn't pursued an a attempt at getting them "out there."

So my daughter introduced me to a woman she knew who had enjoyed some success in doing just what I hope to do, publish a children's book.  After meeting with her and learning that it's taken her 8 years to become a published writer I wasn't discouraged but quite the opposite.  And I was open to anything she suggested so when she told me that membership in a group called SCBWI had been extremely helpful to her, I immediately joined.  By the way, that stands for The Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators.

As soon as I joined I was put in contact with 3 other fledgling writers and we critique each other's stories. That has been extremely helpful. Additionally, the organization has provided me with 4 opportunities to submit my work to a number of possibilities for publication, one ofnwhich was the same publishing company that published the three books by the woman I spoke with initially.

So there you have it. I've finally done it.  My first foray into becoming a published author has begun.  Hopefully, something tangible will come from it.
Wish me luck!

Friday, March 15, 2019

A POEM PLEASE!

I really have a lot to tell you all but for today I'll just post this very applicable poem that I started a while back during another time of "writer's block.

INSPIRATION, PLEASE!
By Patty Lynn

It’s been so long, so very long, since I have thought in rhyme.
In fact, it’s been about four months and that's a lot of time.
So what's the problem, why the gap, that's not at all like me?
Perhaps I'd better analyze just what is wrong with me?

There hasn't been a moment when I felt some inspiration,
Or moments fled, I went to bed, succumbed to sleep's sedation.
Another day, it came and went, I didn’t feel creative.
I guess, I'd say, each passing day, just left me vegetative.

It’s times like this I'd have to ask, what poem should Patty write?
But I’d be stumped for answers, my thoughts, they all took flight.
So now you see the reason why my poems have sorta stopped.
I don't know why, though hard I try, what plan should I adopt?

The truth is that I've written some, but wrote for private reasons,
A birthday here a wedding there or something for the season.
But for myself, I don't know how to get that "certain feeling",
I’m at a loss, my thoughts are tossed, I'm staring at the ceiling.

No, nothing comes though I try hard, I cannot find the answer.
But wait…I know the very thing…why, it's a baby's laughter.
That very thought and I am caught, with that, my thoughts ignite!
And now I can begin to write, with that my mind takes flight.

That’s just the thing to light the spark that starts with just a smile.
The picture takes, for goodness sake, and soon I’ll find the style
That best will serve the poem’s verse, the type of rhyme I’ll use,
And though it took some time for this, there’s no way to refuse.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Valentine Thoughts

Tonight I'm sharing a Valentine poem I wrote for a loved one.  I've removed some of the very personal aspects of the poem for this posting.

I do want to take this opportunity to let the readers know that if anyone would like an original poem written for you, such requests are welcome.  There is really nothing so meaningful as a poem specific to a particular person for a special occasion.

If that is something that you might want, all you have to do is contact me.  You can reach me at my email address: pmarshseverin@new.rr.com.

OUR LOVE'S NOT COMPLICATED
By Patty

This Valentine’s I wish that I could shower you with flowers,
With pounds and pounds of chocolates that you could eat for hours,
But some say that those flowers are explicitly for girls
And though you'd love the candy, dear, your health is my concern…

So, Sweetheart, I will give you just what I do each day,
A heart that loves and cares for you in every single way,
A friend that you can talk to, who'll listen to your thoughts,
Who'll offer a perspective, support you at all costs.

I'll be your friend and confidant, if that is what you need,
And even be available to sometimes intercede.
If that’s the thing you want from me I'll do it without question,
Agree with you I may not do, but consider yoursuggestion.

But all in all I'll love you, dear, with all my heart can give.
I'll be your wife, your friend for life, as long as we both live.
I didn't need a holiday to tell you all these things,
But Valentine's the perfect time because of what it brings…

It brings a concentration of things that all say LOVE,
Hearts and flowers, thoughts of Spring, and even turtle doves.
These words & gifts have always been with LOVE associated,
But simply put, I Love You, Dear, and that's not complicated!











87



Monday, January 7, 2019

HERE IT IS 2019

Today's poem was one of those rare ones that almost write themselves. I haven't really been in a poetic mood for a while but I thought I should write something related to the fact that we're starting a new year.  So I started the first couple of lines, rewrote them a couple of times and, frankly, got nowhere.

Then today, I picked up my tablet and just started writing.  Not only did I find that it was "flowing" almost on its own but, surprisingly, I was able to experiment with a poem within a poem technique, where there's rhyming in the middle of a line.  So, the following is the result. 

THE NEW YEAR'S GAME
By Patty Lynn

Today's the day a new year starts, two thousand and nineteen.
So like the rest I'll do my best with pledges that I mean.
Not empty, shallow promises, too difficult to keep
But so sincere, this is the year, I won't be a lost sheep… 

Disgusted that I cannot stick to goals most realistic,
Then beat myself with that same stick, becoming a statistic,
Just one more one who tries to do the things I wish I could do,
But, as they say, the well laid plans are plans laid to undo you.

Why do we set those goals at all, those things we know we should do?
Why can't they just be part of us, those things are just good for you?
Now, if you are committed, create a “fool-proof” way 
To stick to it, no trick to it, and you can save the day!

So quit that New Year’s habit of making resolutions.
Just change your ways, and don't delay, you'll come to this conclusion:
Evaluate your habits, sort out the bad for good,
And you will see, no mystery, to doing what you should!

The payoff is you’re better, the new YOU is the bomb!
Facilitate, you'll radiate the changes that you want.
So leave those lists and focus, the changes can be made
And best of all, well, you'll stand tall, no New Year's games were played!






Thursday, December 27, 2018

WHAT'S THE POINT OF COMPLAINING - Written 11/2011

You know, as we get older and older we're fraught with aches and pains almost on a regular basis. It's no picnic but it is what it is and it got me to thinking. You run into somebody you know and what's the first thing they ask after the hello, "How are you?" It's a polite inquiry. Some do really care about you and that little question is sincere, some are just being polite.

My husband and I walk the Fox River Mall every Monday through Friday, starting out at Penneys (in the catalog department) and going to the other end (Sears)and back. Everytime we walk through Penneys if we pass a clerk we're greeted with, you guessed it, "Hi, how are you?"

For the most part people expect you to say, "Fine, how are you?" And there you have it. Nobody wants to hear, "I'm finding this walk really painful and I can't wait to sit down and take a pain pill or when I got up this morning I was so stiff I could hardly put one foot in front of the other." And in asking how they feel, we don't want to know their details either.

My point is that life is too short to spend any time complaining. It doesn't change anything anyway. That old adage, "Grin and bear it" is a good one.
So put a smile on your face and be thankful to be alive. God is so good.
Celebrate that He cares for you. Things could certainly be worse.

COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT
by Patty Lynn

So many with their greeting
Add this, "So how've you been?"
Though tempted you say, "oh, I'm fine,
How've you been lately, friend?"

And he responds, "Oh, I've been fine.
'Twas nice to see you, friend."
And so it goes, for we all know,
Complaining's where it ends.

For no one really wants to hear
Your laundry list of woes,
The aches and pains that bother you
From head down to your toes.

Besides complaining does no good,
Won't change the situation.
But fortunately there's one whose glad
To hear each aggravation?

Your Lord above who loves you so
Is always poised and ready
To hear from you, no matter what,
His care is strong and steady.

He knows exactly how you've been,
Is glad to hear your voice.
He can effect improvement, too.
He's always your best choice...

To share your triumphs, sorrows, too,
Your trials and tribulations.
He understands just how you feel
In every situation.

Take comfort, He knows everything,
Today and, yes, tomorrow.
He's always there, to always care,
Through happiness and sorrow.

So when you're asked, "So how you?"
Though maybe you think, "Crappy!"
Just smile on through, that's what you do,
Say, "I'm just fine and happy!"


THE MELTDOWN - Written November of 2012

The other day when I was spending the afternoon with my grandsons, I experienced, first hand, the dreaded meltdown.  It was relatively unexpected as I had just picked them up from school.  I was sitting on the couch with Ian who was really showing his excitement.  You see, his first pair of tie shoes had arrived in the mail & he could hardly contain himself.  As the most independent of the twins, Ian always wants to master something new. He makes this perfectly clear reiterating his own personal mantra, "I want to do it myself!"  I get a kick out of this as his mom was the same way, never wanting any help either.  So I suppose we can conclude that independence begets independence.

This darling little cuss informed me from the beginning of this episode that he didn't need any help from me and that he knew how to tie his shoes himself.
As he struggled to make the two loops, his method not mine, I offered to take the other shoe and step by step walk him through the process.  I was told in no uncertain terms that my help was NOT needed but as he attempted to put one loop through the wrong little hole, well, you know what ensued.  He pulled and the bow he expected fell apart and...so did he.

After inconsolable crying and flailing about saying that he should just know how to do it, no practicing required and so on and so on and so on, I told him he would have to calm down if he was going to make any progress and to let me know when he was done. I then suggested having a snack and watching a program and forgetting about tying his shoes for now and sure enough, he got into Grandma's applesauce and the storm was successfully quieted.  The following is a poetic attempt at telling Ian's story.

NO MORE VELCRO!
by Patty Lynn

"It takes some time to learn new things."

That's what his Grandma said.

But wanting so to tie his shoes,

Her grandson cried instead.



The boy was inconsolable.

He couldn't catch his breath.

His Grandma couldn't calm him down,

His sadness had such depth.



The instant skill of tying shoes,

He thought he just should know.

To try and fail, no option this,

And practicing, NO GO.



So Grandma said, "Let's have a snack,>

Forget the shoes for now.

I'll sit with you while you calm down.

Then I will teach you how."



Reluctantly, the boy agreed

And in a little while,

He ate his snack and calmed right down,

And then said with a smile,



"I'll watch you, Gram, and do the same.

"I'll watch you, yes, I will.

I understand I have to LEARN

To tie my shoes with skill.



"I'll practice 'til I get it down

And someday soon I'll be

An expert who can tie my shoes.

That Velcro's not for me!