Showing posts with label journaling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label journaling. Show all posts

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Poet Carol Smallwood Interviews Theresa Rodriguez




Shanti Arts LLC
ISBN: 978-1-951651-22-0 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
Released March 2020; $8.95; 48 pages
Order at Amazon
Author: Theresa Rodriguez
Author's Website: www.bardsinger.com

Interview by Carol Smallwood


Longer Thoughts is the third book of poetry by Theresa Rodriguez, a retired classical singer and voice teacher who holds a Bachelor of Arts in vocal music performance from Skidmore College and a Master of Music with distinction in voice pedagogy and performance from Westminster Choir College. A native Manhattanite, she now lives outside of Philadelphia. With deep emotion, Longer Thoughts presents poems on such topics as: love, beauty, mortality, aging, and theological questioning. "In fo "In fourteen lines, her sonnets in particular are able to communicate what takes essayists and writers thousands of wordsines, her sonnets in particular are able to 

 Smallwood: Why did you call your new collection Longer Thoughts? 


As opposed to my previous collection of sonnets, Longer Thoughts contains many longer poems in a variety of forms as well as free verse. It is a small collection but diverse in its range of subjects.


Smallwood: When did you begin writing poetry? Do you do other kinds of writing also?

I am sure I began writing poetry in earnest when I was about ten and by high school had some poems published in my school's literary magazine. In addition to poetry, I have written articles for Classical Singer Magazine on a myriad of topics of interest to classical singers. When I was a young mother I wrote a book entitled Diaper Changes: The Complete Diapering Book and Resource Guide and had articles about cloth diapering published by various parenting magazines. My book When Adoption Fails explores my life story as an adoptee in a dysfunctional adoptive situation. In Warning Signs of Abuse: Get Out Early and Stay Free Forever I provide encouragement and instruction to women in abusive relationships. I am sure I have a few more books inside of me yet to come! I have also begun writing book reviews as well.

  
Smallwood: What are the classical poetry forms that appear in Longer Thoughts and what did Evan Mantyk of the Society of Classical Poets comment about your sonnets? 

In Longer Thoughts I have included the villanelle, rondeau, triolet, ode and sonnet forms, in addition to free verse. Of my sonnets Mr. Mantyk has said, “In fourteen lines, her sonnets in particular are able to communicate what takes essayists and writers thousands of words.” I have endeavored to branch out to other forms while maintaining my inclination towards the sonnet. I have also begun writing in the Petrarchan, rather than mainly Shakespearean, sonnet form and have some examples of this in Longer Thoughts.


Smallwood: How do you use symbolism and imagery in Longer Thoughts?

There are three poems in particular that use symbolism and imagery in Longer Thoughts. In the poignant free verse “China Crystal Fairy” I describe a “delicate fairy creature” which symbolizes a particularly fragile relationship that I had broken apart though my own clumsiness. In another free verse entitled “Full Circle” I use the imagery of a tree and the fullness of its life cycle to symbolize the aging process. In the sonnet “The Rise of Fall” I also reflect on the aging process by comparing its phases to the four seasons.


Smallwood: What are some magazines your poetry has appeared?

My poetry has appeared in the Midwest Poetry Review, the Journal of Religion and Intellectual Life, an Anabaptist publication entitled Leaf MagazineThe Road Not Taken: A Journal of Formal Poetry, Mezzo Cammin: An Online Journal of Formalist Poetry by WomenSpindrift, the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, and the Society of Classical Poets.



Smallwood: Please tell readers about your activities with the Society of Classical Poets:


My work began appearing with the Society of Classical Poets in 2014. In June of 2019 I and three other poets—James Sale, James B. Nicola, and Mark Stone—participated in a poetry reading at Bryant Park in New York City where we each read from American poets including Poe's “The Raven” and then read selections of our own work. This year I am one of four featured poets who will be reading at the 2020 Society of Classical Poets Symposium. My background as a classical singer has given me the ability to render my spoken poetry in an interesting and engaging way without being overly dramatic.



Smallwood: One of your poems is about keeping a journal. When did you begin writing one and how does it help:

My first poems began appearing as diary entries in junior high school. As I mention in the sonnet “My Journal,” the place where I write is “a sanctuary, hallowed space.” It is where I work out the rough drafts of my work, prune and hew and adjust and temper what I have done, as I craft it into art. I am not a very fluid writer and there are lots of marginalia and scribbled out lines and words in my journals. What I usually do these days, is get the poem written to a basic condition, then type it up on my computer, edit it and prune it some more, and then again, and again, as many times as necessary, and then transcribe it back into my journal, so that I have both the rough material and finished product in the same place. It helps to have a journal because it is my workshop, my studio, where I can work hard and get dirty and then preserve a polished work at the end of my endeavors.



Smallwood: Do you have ideas for your next book?

I am currently working with Shanti Arts to publish Sonnets in an enlarged second edition. Since the first edition in 2019 I have begun writing in the Petrarchan sonnet form and these as well as other new poems will be a valuable addition to my current sonnet collection.


MORE ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER



Carol Smallwood, MLS, MA, Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, is a literary reader, judge, interviewer; her 13th collection is Thread, Form, and Other Enclosures (Main Street Rag, 2020)




MORE ABOUT THE  BLOGGER AND WAYS TO GET THE MOST FROM THIS BLOG

 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Of particular interest to readers of this blog is her most recent How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically (http://bit.ly/GreatBkReviews ) that covers 325 jam-packed pages covering everithing from Amazon vine to writing reviews for profit and promotion. Reviewers will have a special interest in the chapter on how to make reviewing pay, either as way to market their own books or as a career path--ethically!

This blog is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.




Sunday, April 29, 2018

Mindy Lawrence Reviews How-To for Self-Guided Journaling

Title: Journal Your Way to Creativity: A Self-Guided Journal
Author: Jen Nipps
Paperback: 106 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 25, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1986126889
ISBN-13: 978-1986126885

Reviewed by Mindy Phillips Lawrence

Author Jenn Nipps sent me a copy of her new e-book, Journal Your Way to Creativity: A Self-Guided Journal. I’d chatted with her and asked permission to review it since its title resonated with me, the subject matter close to my heart.

At first, this book seems simple, that is until you begin working with the prompts. Nipps’ introduction discusses how important creativity is and what it is and isn’t. Then ninety prompts pull you in and draw out your thoughts and insecurities. They lead you on a 90-day excursion into the blocks you have and direct you to discover ways to unblock them. Instead of telling you what to do in order to accept your creative life, this book leads you to discover the answers for yourself. 

The first prompt says, “Give your inner critic free reign for five minutes. Write everything it says. Then put it in jail. Put its words in an envelope and seal it. Don’t open it for at least a month or, preferably, after the end of this journal. Then see how you feel about what it said.” You reveal the weaknesses holding you back then you incarcerate them. Nipps asks you to be honest with yourself. Open the mental drawers and closets that hold the junk that keeps you from being free. 

Nipps includes a helpful list of books by other authors in the resource section that will give you more help in opening your creative life. She also lists her other works.

This book is as helpful as you allow it to be. You can add to the area in the printed version and say more. You can make your own file for the electronic version. Either way, if you allow the prompts to direct you and are honest with your answers, this book can greatly expand your creative life. 

MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Mindy Phillips Lawrence is a writer and artist from Springfield, Missouri. She is the author of two chapbooks of poetry, co-author of The Complete Writer, and has been published in Writers’ Digest Magazine. Her reviews also sometimes appear on Amazon.com and Midwest Book Review. She is also a columnist for #CarolynHowardJohnson 's SharingwithWriters newsletter, http://HowToDoItFrugally.com and will soon publish a compendium of those columns.  


MORE ABOUT THIS BLOG AND GETTING REVIEWS

 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Of particular interest to readers of this blog is her most recent How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically (http://bit.ly/GreatBkReviews ) that covers 325 jam-packed pages covering everithing from Amazon vine to writing reviews for profit and promotion. Reviewers will have a special interest in the chapter on how to make reviewing pay, either as way to market their own books or as a career path--ethically!

This blog is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Wonders for Journaling Made Real in Memoir

TITLE: Regina's Closet: Finding My Grandmother's Secret Journal
AUTHOR:Diana M. Raab
AUTHOR'S WEB SITE: www.dianaraab.com
GENRE: Memoir
ISBN: 978-0-8253-0575-7
REVIEWER: RJ
REVIEWER'S WEB SITE: http://3rsbookreviews.wordpress.com/
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: January 31,2008

Reviewed by RJ for 3Rs Book Reviews

Wow! What an incredible story. It's rare for this reviewer to "rave" or to liter my opinions with complimentary adjectives and yet, I have been exposed to a book that absolutely demands both...Regina's Closet: finding my grandmother's secret journal is a hauntingly beautiful story of two women, Diana Raab and her beloved Grandmother, Regina Klein. You will smile and cry. You will be shocked and astounded, the narrative is filled with such raw emotion that it reaches out from the pages and touches the reader in a very tangible way.

Author, Diana Raab shares her grandmother's journal, which follows her difficult and frightening experiences in war torn Poland, events of World War I, witnessing the Russian invasion, atrocities committed by soldiers, the death of her mother in the cholera epidemic, the cramped trains evacuees spent weeks riding only to arrive in cities where the natives did not want them and had no reservations about expressing such in the most hurtful of ways. Even as a child, Regina was not sparred this degrading hostility. Over and over again she is forced to make adult decisions and each time her incredible strength and unusual ability to understand the ways of the world shines through the darkness that surrounded her. The family eventually immigrated to the United States and settled in Brooklyn, New York, where things remained tense between her grandparents, but Diana wouldn't realize until years later, while reading the journal the extent of her grandmother's marital unhappiness.

Meticulously and masterfully, Diana has woven her feelings, fears and experiences throughout this extraordinary narrative and the result is this once-in-a-lifetime novel.

Diana found strength and grace in those handwritten, time worn and yellowing pages. She began to see her grandmother in a new light, as she read about the horrific things she had witnessed and the hardships she had endured as a child, she couldn't help but wonder if these things had played a part in her grandmother's decision to take her own life. Growing up, Diana was always closer to her grandmother...she spent a great deal of time with Regina and had fond memories of things her grandmother shared with her. In 1964, at ten years old, Diana was home alone with her grandmother when Regina took an overdose of sleeping medication. The loss of her beloved grandmother had a profound affect on the young Diana and years later she would have an exceptional opportunity to reconnect with her grandmother, through the secret journal.

Regina (grandmother) was a true hero..wise beyond her years, with a quiet strength that crossed the generations via the words of her journal and influenced her darling grand-daughter, giving her courage and providing solace and sanctuary. She could not have known that years after penning the diary and many years after her death, her reflections would reach millions of readers. I applaud Diana Raab for recognizing the significance and beauty of her grandmother's words and for taking the initiative to share this intimate journey with us. The author has definitely inherited her grandmother's way with words and allowed her heart to flow freely within the pen strokes that created this literary masterpiece.

I recommend "Regina's Closet: finding my grandmother's secret journal" to all readers, everywhere...don't miss this heart warming, inspiring and life-affirming book-- this is one you will want to share with everyone!

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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, founder of Authors' Coalition (www.authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com). It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love--and that includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews and reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page.