Category Archives: Guests

Guest Post: “Water Lilies” by Claude Monet from The Joy of Museums

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Thank you to The Joy of Museums for insights into Claude Monet’s mastery of the subject of water lilies.

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“Water Lilies” by Claude Monet shows a water-lily pond, from Monet’s garden in Giverny, with the sky, clouds and light reflecting on the lily pond. Monet attempted to capture the continually changing qualities of light, colour, water, sky and lilies by dissolving all the elements in what he expressed as:

“the refuge of peaceful meditation in the centre of a flowering aquarium.”

Claude Monet painted nearly 250 painting in his series of “Water Lilies”.  The paintings depict Monet’s flower garden at his home in Giverny which was the primary focus of Monet’s artistic endeavours during the last thirty years of his life. Monet painted many of his later works while suffering from cataracts.

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Guest Post: “Salvator Mundi” by Albrecht Dürer from The Joy of Museums

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Thank you to The Joy of Museums for this discussion of Salvator Mundi.

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“Salvator Mundi” by Albrecht Dürer is an unfinished painting showing Christ as Savior of the World, who raises his right hand in blessing and his left holds a crystal orb representing the earth. Dürer began this work before he departed for Italy in 1505 and only completed the painting of the richly coloured drapery.  The unfinished picture of the face and hands show Dürer’s detailed preparatory drawings. This painting shows Dürer’s extensive and meticulous drawing skills.

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Guest Post: 11 Poetry Forms You’ve Never Heard Of (But Should Have)

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This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. We assist writers with preparing their submissions and researching the best markets. We have a service for every budget, as well as a free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit our site today to learn more.

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Even if you spent most of high school English class staring out the window or at the clock, you’ve probably heard of haiku. And quatrains. And sonnets. Of course, the sonnets.

 

But there’s more to poetry than free verse and couplets. In fact, there are almost as many forms of poetry as there are actual poems!

How many of the poetry terms on this list have you heard of? Leave a note in our comments section.

11 Obscure Or Little-Known Types Of Poetry Forms

1. Aubade: A poem that ponders lovers separating at dawn. Example: John Donne’s “The Sun Rising”

2. Concrete: Poems that form shapes with words. Example: George Herbert’s “Easter Wings”

3. Didactic: Poems meant to instruct. Example: Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”

4. Eclogue: A poem set in a bucolic place (that often discusses urban, social, or political issues). Example: Louis MacNeice’s “Eclogue by a Five-Barred Gate”

5. Ekphrasis: Poetry that echoes specific artwork in another medium (poems about paintings or music, etc.). Example: An excerpt from Homer’s The Iliad

6. Found: A poem created from existing text. See many examples at The Found Poetry Review

 7. Ghazal: Carefully rhymed couplets musing on erotic/mystic longing. Example: Patricia Smith’s “Hip-Hop Ghazal”

8. Gnomic: Poetry that embraces aphorisms, proverbs, and maxims. Example: Robert Creeley’s “Gnomic Verses”

9. Occasional: Poem written to commemorate an event or moment in time. Example: Emily Dickinson’s “The Birds begun at Four o’clock”

10. Palinode: A poem that retracts something said in a previous poem. Example: Chaucer’s “Retraction”

11. Sestina: Six stanzas consisting of six lines each, composed in fixed verse form. A repeating set of six words ends the lines of each of the six-line stanzas, but in a different order with each repetition. Example: Elizabeth Bishop’s “Sestina”

Want to learn more about obscure poetry forms? Visit this fantastic website curated by The Poetry Foundation.

Guest Post: Host Your Own Writers’ Retreat by Fae Rowen

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Thank you to Fae Rowen for this article, which was first published on Writers in the Storm.

 

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Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

It’s been almost ten years since I hosted my first writers’ retreat. It was a low-key get together for my five-person critique group, which had been meeting for just a few months.

We already met weekly for face-to-face chapter critiques, but we wanted time to discuss writing, trade ideas and things we’d learned from books, conferences, and hard work. I volunteered my house and the food (breakfast and lunch).

I made sure all the food was prepared—a quiche and fruit salad for breakfast and a salad bar for lunch, with chocolate goodies for dessert. I wouldn’t have to spend any time “in the kitchen” other than to set out our meals, and I knew everyone would help.

It turned out that life interrupted and only two of us ended up spending our writers’ retreat day together. That turned out to be a really good thing. At that time, Laura Drake and I didn’t know each other that well.

I’d gone through my library and pulled out the craft books that I had duplicates of. I also had a Goal-Motivation-Conflict poster board, gridded off for placing sticky notes for plotting. I piled up my stack of RWA chapter newsletters, a couple of thesauruses, a dictionary and notes with craft and industry tips. Laura brought craft books she no longer needed and magazines, along with books she really liked.

We looked through each other’s offerings and pulled out things we wanted to keep. Actually I think I took all her stuff and she took all mine. It was like an exciting yard sale, because we got to share what we loved and convince each other of the value of our reference books. We talked about plotting—we’re both still pantsers—and GMC. We shared our dreams of getting agents and publishing lots of books.

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Guest Post: “The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon” by Edward Poynter from The Joy of Museums

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Thank you to The Joy of Museums for the wonderful explanation of this painting:

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“The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon” by Edward Poynter

“The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon” by Edward Poynter depicts the story from the Hebrew Bible in which the Queen of Sheba visits Solomon the King of Israel and a son of King David. The Bible describes how the fame of Solomon’s wisdom and wealth had spread so far and wide, that the Queen of Sheba decided to visit and see for herself if the stories were real.

The queen came bearing gifts including gold, spices, and precious stones and King Solomon responded in kind and gave her “all her desire, whatsoever she asked,” and she left satisfied (1 Kings 10:10). Nearly 3,000 years later, the visit of the Queen of Sheba continues to inspire the creative imagination and has become the subject of many stories that have inspired many artists.

The land of Sheba has been identified as Saba, a nation on the coast of the Red Sea and was part of what are now Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Yemen. An Ethiopian account from the 14th-century purports that the Queen of Sheba had sexual relations with King Solomon and gave birth to a son. Ethiopian tradition holds that the son grew up to become King Menelik I, and to found a dynasty that would reign for nearly 3,000 years until Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974. King Menelik was said to be a practicing Jew who was given a replica of the Ark of the Covenant by King Solomon. Ethiopian tradition states that the original Ark was switched and went to Ethiopia, and is still there, guarded by the Christian Church. The Ethiopian government and church deny all requests to view the alleged ark.

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Guest Post: Altering the Reader’s Perspective by Ryan Lanz

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Thank you to Ryan Lanz of A Writer’s Path for this excellent article about word choice in fiction writing.

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Who doesn’t like the thought of being able to direct someone’s thoughts or emotions? Sure, it’s typically in fantasy only, but I’m sure most have skirted around the thought. When we imagine someone doing so, it’s usually an evil villain’s doing, involving elbow-length gloves and an over-sized, veiny head.

But actually, we writers do this all the time. We use words at the tip of our brushes to paint the reader’s emotions. We essentially angle wording in a way to guide the reader how to feel.

Now, you may be thinking, “Ryan, that’s ridiculous. The readers come to their own conclusions.” And yes, they do. However, let’s visit an example.

Brian turned toward me and held the baseball bat in front of him. He looked around before heading in my direction. He passed, then he laughed.

Compare that to:

Brian swiveled on his heel and reached across the table for the tip of the baseball bat’s handle. He held it front of him for a moment before his eyes flicked up toward me. The distance between us dripped away. At the exact moment he passed, he chuckled in my ear.

It sounds a heck of a lot creepier the second time, doesn’t it? The information essentially stayed the same, although I intentionally chose verbs and descriptive words that I knew would paint this character as creepy.

Writers do this all the time. Here are a few other swaps you can do. See how they change your perception.

To continue reading, click here.

 

Guest Post: Upcycled Meat?!?

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Guest Post: Upcycled Meat?!?

Thank you to Donna of My OBT, who curated these wonderful leftover-turkey recipes for us.

My OBT

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