The Bookshelf Corner

A creative space for all things books and writing….


Leave a comment

Poem: “Red Roses” by Christina @ The Bookshelf Corner [After Shane McCrae]

“Red Roses” by Christina @ The Bookshelf Corner [After Shane McCrae]

Author’s Note: So this was a poem I wrote in school as a part of a class exercise where we had to write poetry in the style of the poets we were reading. This poem I came up with after Shane McCrae’s style I really liked how it turned out. We were reading/studying McCrae’s book of poetry entitled Mule: Poems. He has a perplexing, unique writing style that really fascinated me, which made this exercise fun to do. So today, I thought I’d share with you this little blast from the past.

Royalty Free Image from Pixabay.com

“Red Roses”
After Shane McCrae

 

she thanks him for the roses

bleeding roses          too tight

you’ll snap his heart in two

and all the things he loves          he loves you

about you          will fall / in a slow          waltz

with the wind

drifting down to earth

where all things crumble          / fall

shrivel          a plummet to nowhere

one by one          the things he loves about you

fall          / a mix of ash and red /          fall

stains the ground with longing and sorrow

you can’t give them back          go back

restore them to a cheery cherry color

by the dozen          keep them and him whole

water will sustain them before they          / fall

hushed and red pricked hands

she thanks him for the roses


Leave a comment

Additional Skills for Writers

As a writer we need to know how to write professionally, creatively, analytically, and persuasively. We likely seek to earn degrees in English, Creative Writing, Journalism, or any other related fields. But I feel there are additional areas of study that can provide additional beneficial skills to writers of all levels. Of course, you don’t have be an expert in these areas to be a successful writer, nor do you have to learn them. But it never hurts to acquire new skills.

 

MARKETING
Knowing and understanding marketing techniques is key to building a brand, gaining readership, and putting your writing out there. You’ll want to stay up to date on current trends and be actively present on social media to effectively engage/network with others and promote yourself.

WEB DESIGN
Having a website where people can learn about you, your writing, and upcoming works is a good things to have. You don’t need to be a pro to create the perfect website. And knowing the basics of HTML and CSS is good for sprucing up your website and posts. There are plenty of websites – WordPress, Blogger, Weebly, Squarespace, for example – that have great user interfaces and options to building the perfect website/blog for your needs. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can create a website from scratch.

GRAPHIC DESIGN
Making your own graphics can be fun (as long as what you create is of your own creation and doesn’t violate copyright laws). Creating promotional materials/graphics can help “sell” your work. You can create more engaging graphics for social media or your website. You can look up examples of graphic design in use online or search through your local library or bookstore. You can also try sites/programs like Canva, Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign, or Microsoft Publisher.

PHOTOGRAPHY/PHOTO EDITING
Whether for bookstagram or your website or for an article, learning the basics of photography and photo editing can come in handy. To edit photos or graphics you’ve made, you can use software like Autodesk Pixlr Editor (a web application) or Adobe Photoshop.

LAW
Not a skill but something to know and understand: copyright laws (a must), the language of contracts (rule of thumb: never sign something without reading what it says first), and tax information (this can be a tricky area but a must) for wherever you call home.

 

Of course there are probably other skills that could be useful to writers but these, in my opinion, seemed liked the most important. I advise doing your own research into the sites/programs I mentioned above; I’ve used them all except for Blogger and Squarespace (but they seem like good sites to make websites/blogs). I hope this was helpful, even if just a little bit, to you and that it made sense. I’m a big believer in having a variety of skills because you never know when they could come in handy.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed today’s post. What other skills do you think would be useful for writers to learn? What more should people know about the skills I mentioned above? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

As always, happy writing!


Leave a comment

Picture Book: “Big Ange and the Violin” by Christina @ The Bookshelf Corner (Text Only)

“Big Ange and the Violin” by Christina @ The Bookshelf Corner © January 30, 2017

Royalty Free Image via Pixabay.com

Big Ange loved to play the violin. She would play in the spring, in the summer, in the fall, and in the winter. She would play it if she was happy or sad or lonely or bored. She would play all the time. The sound released as the redwood bow slide up and down across the strings was so enchanting and beautiful. They were the prettiest sounds she had ever heard.

Her family loved to listen to her play the violin. They clapped wildly after each piece and cheered vigorously, “Play on, Big Ange, play on!” And she did. A little of Bach’s “Minuet” here or “Gavotte in G minor” there.

The only place Big Ange would not play her violin was at school.

Everyone at school had a talent. Carly could sing and knew every song on the radio. Terrence could climb to the top of the monkey bars without getting scared. Joanne could do a cartwheel over and over again. Matthew could draw nifty pictures of almost anything. All the kids teased Big Ange because she did not have a cool or special talent. Without some sort of talent she felt like she could not fit in, although she tried her best.

“Is this a talent?” Big Ange asked as she tied her shoes with her eyes closed.

“No way,” said Terrence. “Anyone can do that.”

Then she walked around gingerly on the tips of her toes. “Is this a talent?” Big Ange inquired.

“Not at all,” said Joanne. “That just seems strange.”

Feeling discouraged, Big Ange sulked the rest of the day. At home, she sat in her bedroom and continued to mope while playing John Barry’s “Somewhere In Time” nonstop. Sometimes the composition she chose to play reflected her mood.

Her mother poked her head into the room. “Angie, would you come downstairs, please,” her mother said. “Pop Pop surprised us with a visit. He says he’d like to hear to you play something.”

“Okay, Mom,” Big Ange replied, still feeling a little upset. But when she began to play for Pop Pop and the rest of her family, her mood began to lift.

“Play on, Big Ange, play on!” Pop Pop said.

“Play on, Big Ange, play on!” her little brother, Lenny, repeated.

At recess the next day, Big Ange tried again to find a talent. She did a tuck and roll and came up standing, arms raised proudly in the air. “Is this a talent?” Big Ange wanted to know.

“I’m afraid not,” Carly said. “There’s nothing unique about that at all.”

Then Big Ange chewed some bubble gum and blew a really big bubble. “Is this a talent?” she asked.

“Hardly,” Matthew said, shaking his head. “Getting all messy is not something to be proud of.”

Well Big Ange was certainly at a loss. She had tried everything but nothing seemed to work. Who knew it would be so hard to find a talent?

When they came back inside, Mrs. Cardigan made an announcement. “This Friday we will be having a class talent show,” she said as she passed out flyers. “Everyone will get a chance to perform. Your families and guardians are invited as well!” The room buzzed with excitement while Big Ange sat dejected. She slowly raised her hand. “Yes, Ange?” Mrs. Cardigan asked.

“Um…what if you don’t have a talent?” Her classmates giggled under their breaths.

Mrs. Cardigan gave them a stern look before answering, “Everyone has something they are good at. Something they enjoy doing above all else.” Big Ange was not so sure.

Later that night, she was playing her violin when her mom came to check on her. “How is my Angie doing?” she asked.

Big Ange put her instrument down. She quickly hid the flyer that was on her bedside table under her pillow. “I’m alright,” she responded, quietly. She did not want her mother to know just how troubled and confused she was. But mother’s always know.

Her mom walked over and took the flyer out from under her pillow. “A talent show? And family are invited? How wonderful! Why would you hide this?” her mother questioned.

“Because I don’t have a talent!” Big Ange cried. “Everyone else at school does but I don’t.”

Her mom sat down beside her child and hugged her. “Of course you have a talent, Angie,” she cooed, pointing to the instrument.

“Playing the violin is a talent?” The violin always brought her such joy. But for it to be a talent? Big Ange had never considered that.

“It is,” her mother said. “It’s something you’re good at and something you love to do. You make everyone happy when you play. I think your classmates would be happy to hear you play, too.”

The day of the talent show, Big Ange was very nervous. Even though she practiced her song all week, she worried she would look silly in front of everyone, including her family who were in attendance.

A hush fell over the room as she made her way to the front. She had done this many times before in front of her family but this was different. Well, it was now or never. Big Ange took up position and let her violin sing. The smooth cadence of Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” resonated loud and true. And as the vibrato of the final note played the room erupted into applause. Big Ange could not believe how happy her classmates looked.

“What a talent!” a girl said.

“How cool!” said a boy.

It was such a surreal moment that Big Ange thought she was dreaming.

Then her dad shouted, “Play on, Big Ange, play on!” and the kids chorused, “Play on, Big Ange, play on!” So she played again, this time Shinichi Suzuki’s uplifting “Allegro.”

And that was how Big Ange discovered her talent.

THE END

 

Authors Note: I don’t remember where this idea came from but it seemed like a fun story for a picture book. It was inspired in part by one of my closest friends and my love for the violin. I hope you enjoyed this story even without the pictures. Let me know what you think. Any feedback is welcomed.


5 Comments

Writing Playlist #5: Broadway Edition

I’ve been waiting for this all year. Today is the Tony Awards, my favorite awards show, and Kevin Spacey is hosting! I’m looking forward to all the performances, especially Dear Evan Hansen, and seeing James Earl Jones, one of my favorite actors, receive a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

I love the theatre. Musicals – the performing arts – have been a huge part of my life and have inspired me so much. So in honor of this special occasion, I’ve put together a playlist of Broadway songs that inspire my (and hopefully your) writing:

 

“A Brand New Day” – The Wiz

“Brotherhood of Men” – How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

“Dear Theodosia” – Hamilton

“Defying Gravity” – Wicked

“Find Your Grail” – Spamalot

“I Know Where I’ve Been” – Hairspray

“King of Pride Rock / Circle of Life (Reprise)” – The Lion King

“Mamma Mia” – Mamma Mia

“My New Philosophy” – You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown

“Non-Stop” – Hamilton

“One Day More” – Les Misérables

“Raise Your Voice” – Sister Act

“Revolting Children” – Matilda the Musical

“Ring of Keys” – Fun Home

“The Wizard and I” – Wicked


3 Comments

Weekend Writing Prompts #2

♦This weekend’s theme is: MUSIC♦

—find inspiration for your writing with these songs—

 

Song: “Decode” | Artist: Paramore

Channel Source: Fueled By Ramen

~       ~       ~

 

Song: “Rise” | Artist: Katy Perry | Cover By: SUPERFRUIT, Mary Lambert, Brian Justin Crum, Mario Jose

Channel Source: SUPERFRUIT

~       ~       ~

 

Song: “Dear Theodosia” | Artist: Lin-Manual Miranda; Hamilton (musical) | Performed By: Leslie Odom Jr. (as Aaron Burr), Lin-Manuel Miranda (as Alexander Hamilton)

Channel Source: Leslie Odom Jr. – Topic

~       ~       ~

 

Song: “Radioactive” | Artist: Imagine Dragons | Cover By: Lindsey Stirling, Pentatonix

Channel Source: Lindsey Stirling

~       ~       ~

 

Songs: “I See The Light” (Tangled), “You’ll Be In My Heart” (Tarzan), “Go The Distance” (Hercules) | Performed By: Voctave; feat. Kirstin Maldonado & Jeremy Michael Lewis

Channel Source: Voctave


Leave a comment

June Happenings!

Happy June, everyone! We’ve officially reached the halfway mark of 2017. Here’s what’s up for The Bookshelf Corner this month:

The TBR List

I read 9 books last month, 4 from my list, 4 of them arc reviews, and 1 random read. I’m currently reading The Hunters (Brotherband Chronicles, book 3) by John Flanagan and an e-ARC from NetGalley of All Things New by Lauren Miller. Afterwards, I’ll be reading book Slaves of Socorro (Brotherband Chronicles, book 4) by John Flanagan. Then on June 21 (the first day of summer), I’ll be posting my summering reading list of books I want to read from that date to September 1.

The Blog

I recently made a few updates and announcements with the blog but other than that no new upcoming news. I should be posting nearly every day this month.

Novel Updates

YA Idea #1 Status: 9,000+ words; 5 chapters written so far [YA Fantasy]

YA Idea #2 Status: concept written but may partially change; still considering YA but genre is now tbd

Image via Goodreads

(NEW) YA Idea #3 Status: concept written [YA Science Fiction & Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling]

Book of the Month

I’m recommending My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult for the month of June. This book was such a great read and a fascinating story. It definitely tugs hard at the heart strings. Though I prefer the book to the movie, both are good in their own ways.

 

As always, happy reading and happy writing!


Leave a comment

Weekend Writing Prompts

I thought I’d try something different today and do writing prompts. This type of post I’m thinking of doing maybe once bi-monthly. Each post will have a theme/topic and five corresponding prompts. The idea is to provide writing ideas and exercises during a time people usually have most free: the weekend.

 

♦This weekend’s theme is: STORY STARTERS♦

 

I never knew what is was like to have wings until I woke up one morning feeling a tearing pain rip along my back.

Things were different after grandpa lost all his teeth.

That night, the monsters under my bed started talking to me.

I listened as the forest sang a spirited melody, making me feel more alive than I ever did at home.

The animated chatter and boisterous laughter diminished in waves piece by broken piece at the shattering of glass.

 

So I hope you enjoy today’s post! Let me know what you think. All feedback is much appreciated! If you decide to do one of these prompts, link it back to me – I’d love to read what you came up with.

Have a great weekend, everyone! And, as always, happy writing!