Writing & Publishing

Emily Dickinson – Literary Crazy

As I work on my book proposal (no, I have not finished it yet…) I am still trying to squeeze in homework and, well…… life, I had an interesting assignment in my English Lit class. Because I am working so hard at getting this book proposal finished, I’m using every opportunity I can, to turn school assignments into something related to my book. For my Technical Writing class, for example, I am using the “fake” grant proposal assignment to work on an actual request for a grant for my writing. If you’re just tuning in, I’m working on a non-fiction book where I explore mental illness and creativity, specifically in famous authors.

My sample chapter for the book proposal is on Emily Dickinson. It is believed she suffered from Bipolar Disorder. The assignment (exam) for English Lit, was to write a poem using the style of Beowulf (which is a VERY long poem) about a “hero.” I wrote the following poem. The professor sent me a audio clip of her feedback (I attend online this semester since the baby is coming and it is easier to fit into my crazy life). She really seemed to love the poem, so I thought I would share it with you. Poetry is really not my thing….meaning, I’d rather write prose. Either way, I scored a 100 on the exam and am one step closer to being done with this semester and earning my Professional Writing Certificate!

The poem had to include certain things such as alliteration (those are in italics), kennings (compressed metaphors in bold, with the explanation in parentheses), and imagery.

I would love to hear what you think. Be sure to leave comments!!

Emily Dickinson – Literary Crazy

Your prose demands attention / Famous you now are

Though fame was not welcomed by you in life / Death it seems, fits you

How appropriate given your talent / Your obsession with death

Deep, dark, dank, developed / Prose full of meaning

Situated in the macabre / Death looming in the background

It is full of mystery / No one can put down

Your room a hide away from the world / Like a personal cave

Your quill-hand (pen in hand) always writing / So many poems you leave us to read

I admire your ability to write / Even when one is depressed as you must have been

Over 1,800 poems / Packed with your brain-juice (intelligence/creativity)

You must have desired to hide away / Rather than sit up and write

How your depression made you appear crazy / To all who knew you

Your legacy lives in light / Despite the darkness you word-drew (imagery writing)

Visitors you would not receive / As you stowed away in your parents’ home

A depressed life it seemed / Like a black crow dying in the field

I admire your bravery / Like a front line solider in battle

Though you never saw the outcome / Your world famous status

You took something so painful / And expressed yourself brilliantly

Though to you I’m sure it felt like pain / Expression came through writing

How you pulled through / I’ll never know

I can only imagine the pain / With no modern day medicine

Though your depression might have been your driving force

It made you the literary crazy hero you are today

Loved around the world / If only you could have seen

How everyone knows you / And acknowledges your brilliant mind

Through they may never understand your driving force

I see the brilliance in your writing / The bereavement-attention brings us life (focus on death)

Sincerely, forever fallen in favor / With your brilliant crazy mind

Military Spouse Life

FINALLY DONE with Finals

I had to ask for help. I HATE asking for help. It’s not because I’m full of myself or prideful, I just like doing things myself so I know it gets done and done the way I want it (okay, that sounds snotty)… but last week being sick really threw me for a loop and classes were ending. The way the college does things now, you have a regular semester broken in half, so instead of taking six classes over 14 weeks, you now take three classes for seven weeks, have a break, then take three more classes for seven weeks. Cramming an entire class into seven weeks is no easy task…and most students only take four classes a semester, or two at a time. I have to be the overachiever and take the max amount of credits.

Anyway, I had to ask for an extension for two of my classes (just until today from Friday) to get everything done, and then rely on Bill to take care of EVERYTHING around the house….including those five crazy dogs! Ugh!

Life has kept inter-fearing with school for years now (you know, since we have that whole “have to be an adult and pay bills” thing going on!). I’m finally almost done with a certificate in professional writing and I need one math class and one science class to get my Associates from Western Connecticut State University. I have about five more classes to get my BA degree. I’ll end up with all these things eventually, but I’m just taking my time. I’m looking forward to having my certificate at the end of next semester, so I at least have SOMETHING to hang on the wall for all this hard work!

Classes don’t start back until the 12th of January, so I am willingly taking this month off and doing some writing of my own.

I hope to finish my book proposal, and finish my fiction novel. I of course also am getting married, work full time, and am getting ready to have a baby…in the middle of next semester…. PHEW! Oh, and I can’t forget about this blog!!!

I do have a lot of work to do around here. I’m going to try and get some lists together for you…books I’ve read, those I recommend, etc. I just got a new book in the other day about Emily Dickinson. I’m excited because it will help me with my non-fiction project….and I like reading about weird. I mean, we are all a little weird, and I too think the macabre is interesting, but this chick was SERIOUSLY depressed…but that might just be the thing that really makes her writing stand out. It’s fascinating to read what she wrote about death and dying. It makes me want to examine her head!

Who would you go back and talk to and ask questions to about their writing? I think Faulkner and Poe also deserve a chance at explaining themselves. Hopefully, I uncover some answers in my book. I’ll be happy to let you read some of it when I’m done with my sample chapter! Stay tuned!