Sue Spitulnik

Creative Lady


writing, rhymes

Who Do You Read

This picture makes me chuckle. I know young people who don’t know what a typewriter is. I hope the National Day of Calendar changes the photo for this day to a computer on a desk with a bunch of notes, a coffee cup and research books strewn about. Well, maybe that doesn’t apply to all authors, but that’s how my desk looks. Continue reading “Who Do You Read”

It’s a What?

It’s National Clerihew Day. Don’t feel bad, I had no idea what it was either. Edmund Clerihew Bentley (July 10, 1875 – March 30, 1956) created his first whimsical, four-line biographical poem when he was just 16. He became a well-known English novelist and humorist. I am still wondering why they used his middle name for the day. As with most poetry, the Clerihew is defined by a set of rules.  It must contain four lines, rhyming couplets of AA/BB, a person’s name in the first line, and say something about that person. 

The National Day of Calendar urged me to try to write one myself. I came up with the following:

On this day Susan Sleggs

Is about to go to the list called Craig’s

To find someone to write her query letter

For they could probably do it better

Forgive me, the poem is supposed to be humorous. I don’t do humor very well, I’m not wired that way. Now drama, I can do drama. I digress. As the poem says, I have not been able to write a good query letter. I know the format and I’ve read countless examples. I can’t seem to put 6 1/2 years of a family saga story into a few sentences. There is just too much to tell. I’ve tried lists of high points, I’ve taken a class, I’ve complained to friends, and fellow writers alike. No matter what I write, it falls flat. The last advice I read said to write the letter when you are excited and upbeat about your work. How can I get to that feeling when I’m on number 300 try to get the letter to sound exciting. It isn’t happening.

Way back when, I wanted something very badly. I did everything I knew how to do and still couldn’t attain my desire. Then circumstances changed and I learned what I had wanted wouldn’t have been good for me at all. The lesson I learned was there is always a reason for delay. One might never know what it is, but if you believe in a higher power, you accept it and move on. Perhaps the timing for me to send a query letter to the right agent,for that long novel sitting in a pile on my desk, just isn’t right. (Please don’t tell me to self-publish. I’m not in favor of it.) And just maybe, if I can’t write the query, it’s because my writing isn’t worthy of being published. Don’t despair. I’m not ready to give up just yet. Seems if I can write a Clerihew on a moments notice, a letter should be a piece of cake.



Write It Yourself

Today is National Haiku Poetry Day. Haiku poetry is a form of Japanese poetry that is non-rhyming and normally consists of 3 lines with a syllable pattern of 5-7-5.  Haiku poems are usually inspired by an element of nature, a season, a moment of beauty or an individual experience or event.  Sensory language is used to capture a feeling or image. A famous example follows.

              From Haiku: This Other World
              Richard Wright (1908-1960)

                        Whitecaps on the bay:
                        A broken signboard banging
                        In the April wind.

As soon as I read those three lines I could feel the wind blowing, hear the sign banging against a building and see the churning waters in the bay. I almost went to get a sweater.

Now I’ll try a couple;

Easter dinner ham

Baskets full of chocolate

Children run and laugh


Daffodils yellow

Green leaves bursting forth on trees

Rain blowing sideways


 Not quite the same quality of Mr. Wright, but you get the picture. It isn’t difficult. The key is to activate the five senses and stick with the syllable count. You try it.

I’m going to a poetry reading class tonight. The description said it was for  people who don’t have time to belong to a formal book club. My ulterior motive is to meet the teacher, a lady my Veteran’s writing group would like to have speak. I’m sure it will be a beneficial evening. Maybe my Haiku will improve.





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