“Confronted by an absolutely infuriating review, it is sometimes helpful for the victim to do a little personal research on the critic. Is there any truth to the rumour that he had no formal education beyond the age of eleven? ” ~ Jean Kerr
Week 3 of Amy Peters’ book, The Writers’ Devotional, is the best yet because it features Jean Kerr’s humourous quote up front and centre, setting the tone. Kerr was the author of Please Don’t Eat the Daisies published in the late ‘50’s and her book became what I want my phantom book to become: a bestseller, a movie, and a television series. I love how Kerr deflected a bad review—putting the blame directly into the lap of the critic. That, to me is called survival.
Week 3 provides some enticing tidbits, of which I will only give you a taste—we have to honour authors and buy their books and not just be satisfied with some hack’s opinions (in this case-mine).
Monday of the third week tells us to balance the role of the critic and not give them so much power. Tuesday is an ode to positive thinking and poetry; Wednesday suggests writing a blog on a recently released movie, giving it a “zippy” headline to create interest; and Thursday honours the word “said”. Enough said.
Friday features O. Henry, whose real name was William Sydney Potter. Teaser: he spent three years in jail. Saturday, Amy provides her read of the week: A Room of One’s Own by Geraldine Page. Just seeing if you were paying attention here – of course it was Virginia Woolf’s “book-length essay”. And Sunday, well, Sunday, which is writing prompt day provided a prompt I will not give away, but neither will I be using.
I am treading a fine line here in not giving too much away and trying to keep your interest up. So I wlll be brave and bare my soul to you again, but this time in poetry. If any of you have read the “About LouAnn” section, (where I call myself “a poet of little merit”) you know that my poetry skills are not my proudest endeavours, but nevertheless, I plug on.
W. H. Auden (I learned in the Tuesday motivational entry in Amy’s book) was asked if he wrote poetry and when he said he had never thought of doing so, he was prodded to try. So he did—and look what happened. Now, I am not saying that will happen here, but here is a humble offering of mine:
Holding the Faith
The slender bare tree limb
laces itself among its brethren
reaching its spidery fingers to the sky
facing unguarded the winter chill
it survives the heavy snow
and icy tentacles that hold fast until
they slowly drip away
in the fading sun
A little boy drapes lights on the tree that
bears the slender limb–
it glitters in the night sky,
lighting up the drab midwinter
as it reaches for the heavens
like a candle in the wind:
Holding the faith.