Friday, November 25, 2011

Check Out the Poll! Please . . .

It’s been ages and ages since I created a poll and as I was adding to my Fifteen in 2012 list I realized that this is a perfect opportunity to invite you, my readers, to voice your opinion on one of the books to be added.

Yes, this is in addition to my studying Hinduism for a few months and in addition to the Fantasy Reading Frenzy but I’ve been doing the “Fifteen” list for a couple of years now and I feel it’s very effective at helping me reduce the clutter in my life. 

But before I offer your choices, I want to put one thing out there.  If you have one of these books and wanted to read it and/or work through it as well, then don’t hesitate to tell me.  I’d be interested in reading along with someone else.  Especially one of the following.  So look over the list, then look for the poll, and then look for the “Fifteen in 2012” post where you will see for yourself which book received the most poll votes. 
Please Note:  The descriptions are taken from (unless otherwise noted).  Also, books are listed by author’s last name and should not be construed as an order of preference.

The Art and Craft of Poetry by Michael Bugeja
With The Art & Croft of Poetry, poets will build their poetry-writing skills with help from past and contemporary masters - everything from generating ideas to examining the finished poem. They'll learn how to:. Use journals to develop their observational skills and turn life experiences into ideas for poems. Master the tools of the trade - voice, line, stanza, title, metre and rhyme. Acquire fluency in a variety of poetry formats and forms, everything from narrative, lyric and dramatic verse (traditional formats) to fixed, free and sequence styles (traditional forms). Fine tune their work Exercises, assignments and sample work from more than 100 standout poets - everyone from Walt Whitman to Louise Gluck - ensure that every reader, whether poet, student or bibliophile, discovers just how extraordinary poetry can be.

Creating Fiction by Julie Checkoway
Readers will learn how to revise and edit from Jane Smiley. They will find ways to evoke time and place from Richard Russo. Charles Johnson offers a passionate discussion of the writer's apprenticeship. Lan Samantha Chang presents strategies for structuring stories. Charles Baxter explores tone and emphasis. The 24 contributors to Creating Fiction - members of the Associated Writing Programs - have won awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Magazine Award. The have led workshops, published stories and novels, and now their experience and wisdom can be found in one landmark book. Their sage advice, combined with more than 100 writing exercises, assure that Creating Fiction will engage and delight readers at any level of experience.  

How to Write a Poem by Lawrence Dessner
Please Note:  This book is out-of-print and the description is from the jacketflap.
How to Write a Poem is a university professor’s rendition, in book form, of his lively and popular Creative Writing classes.  Professor Dessner vividly presents fictionalized versions of his students of many ages, with their poems, good and bad, and their questions and arguments, hopes and fears, successes and disappointment.  The teacher himself is crusty and kind, hot-tempered yet patient, hilarious yet passionately sincere.

The Writer's Idea Workshop: How to Make Your Good Ideas Great
Image from
The Writer’s Idea Workshop by Jack Heffron
Please note:  I also have Heffron’s The Writer’s Idea Book and if you have this one and not the one listed in the poll but want to read along with me, then vote for this book and leave a comment here so I’ll know to swap the one for the other.
Whether you have one idea or several, your goal is to create a powerful piece of fiction or nonfiction -- the kind you've always dreamed of writing. The problem comes in transforming that good idea into a great story or article. How do you proceed after that initial flurry of inspiration? In The Writer's Idea Workshop, Jack Heffron guides you through the idea-development process from initial concept to final revision. An accomplished writer, editor and teacher, Heffron writes with an honest, insightful voice -- one that's no-nonsense and instructive, yet a joy to read. Use this book to carry you through a project from beginning to end, or focus on prompts and chapters that speak to specific concerns or problems. Whatever your need, The Writer's Idea Workshop makes the effort of turning good ideas into great writing a pleasure.

Writing in Flow by Susan Perry

Flow is the sense of inspired freedom that comes when you lose yourself completely in an activity, allowing time, duty and worry to melt away. For writer's, words pour out in a continuous, creative stream. In Writing In Flow, Dr. Susan Perry shows writers how to achieve and maintain a sense of flow in their own work, everything from defining what it is to making it happen - even when facing writer's block. Throughout, more than 75 bestselling and award-winning writers reveal their techniques for enhancing their writing creativity and productivity.

And there’s the list.  The Fifteen in 2012 is not nearly finalized so if there are two books you’d like to share/read with me, again leave a comment and let me know.  Even if you aren’t interested in reading/working along with me, don’t be shy about voting in the poll.  I’ve already added about ten or so books to the list and I am just being lazy, wanting a little help.  

This poll will close at noon (est) on 2 December 2011.


  1. I chose The Writers Idea book. I've always been awful at sustaining a long project and this book looks like it help. I'm good for about 3 chapters, then I peter out. How is school going by the way?

  2. Well, the teacher's still alive so I think I can honestly say that I haven't completely lost it. We did lose one student, however. I have a plausible alibi so don't think there won't be more blog posts int he coming weeks.

    And so far you're the first and only vote. If the end results are a tie and Heffron's book proves to be one of the ones that only needed one more vote, your vote (because it's the first) will count as two thus breaking the tie.

    Or you may be the only vote five days from now when the poll closes. Even then I need to choose three more books.

  3. I vote for Creating Fiction. Sound sthe most interesting of the ones offered.

  4. I think that's why it was chosen for this writing group I was in. But as soon as we picked the book the group simply fizzled.

  5. I haven't been around for awhile on your blog (you haven't been at mine either though - lol) so when I saw it come up on my blog reader feed I thought I'd stop by for a look around again.

    Decided to vote on your poll. I got in just under the wire with 13 hours left before it closes. I chose the Writers Idea Book as I tried NaNoWriMo and that was the problem I had.

    I absolutely, positively could not come up with anything. Nothing. Literally. My word count on November 30th was, wait for it, zero! Admittedly though, beyond the initial attempt I didn't try.

    In my defense, I was doing NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). If you or any of your readers haven't heard of it it's about trying to post once a day for all of November (no backdating)

    With NaBlo... I did succeed. It obviously is a million times easier but still. There are days when you just don't feel like/can't think of what to post. You do it anyway. LOL.

    I'm quite proud of finishing it successfully. Also, I finally figured out at the same time that posting pictures is not rocket science so I also committed to posting a picture a day as well.

    You should try doing NaBlo... it's fun and as I said a l-o-t easier than NaNo.. which you nevertheless managed so NaBlo would be a simple for you to do. Practice versions are monthly through the year with November the official month.

  6. Hello CarmenT. And Welcome. Although you probably think the welcome is overdue. And it probably is but I didn't know you were there. (If you follow a blog anonymously, the writer doesn't know you're there. So my ignorance was not intentional. I just didn't see you as one of the people who has subscribed to my blog.)

    And this is your first comment. Unless you commented on another blog. Ooooh . . . or you could be subscribed to another of my blogs and I didn't notice. But I try to check to see who is and is not subscribed and if you're anonymous there then you'll have to forgive my neglect but it wasn't intentional.

    Then again, I'm also in school and I haven't been commented with the same frequency.

    Oh, and I am inclined to blabber if I haven't had my coffee yet. (I'm holding up my still empty cup of coffee as "proof in point" but you can't see it because I don't have a webcam. See what happens when I don't have my morning coffee yet?)

    I was hoping to do nablopomo this year but (see previous paragraph about why I haven't been so on top of comments) I had to prioritize what I was doing and that quickly fell to the wayside. Plus something happened this month that made me truly grateful I wasn't blogging regularly.

    All of this to say: Thank you for the vote! You broke the tie! Yaaaaay! Hmmmm . . . unless someone else comes along and casts a vote and creates another tie. Oh dear. I really need my morning cup of coffee. This is entirely too much thinking to be happening without one.

  7. LOL. I don't think I signed up anonymously. I wasn't aware (or didn't remember - it's been so long, sorry) that you had more than one blog.

    The one I was following was the one where you told the hilarious story of writing an "inappropriate" email about how (sarcastically) much you hated the job you were almost finished working at and then it hit the manager's (who had no sense of humor obviously) inbox and they called you in to fire you a few days/hours before your scheduled departure. The story was an absolute classic!

    Glad to break the tie for you. Just send the check in the mail. LOL. Oh and btw, what is this thing that you say made you grateful for not blogging at the time you had stopped for awhile.

  8. Carmen T, I think you may have my blog confused with someone else's because I've never been fired from a job. I tried to get fired from one. Desperately tried to do so in fact but that manager actually said he was sorry to see me go when I finally had the pleasure of turning in my two week's notice.

    So yeah . . . probably someone else's blog. But I'm willing to take credit for someone else's humorous blog if it means you'll occasionally drop by mine and vote in the occasional poll. (Now that I am reminded that the polls exist, I'll be more inclined to make one.)