Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Archive for the tag “poems”

Editing – Round One (ding ding…)

I managed to get through a first draft of the book over the last couple of days, whittling it down from 380 pages to 241 (including table of content, no front or back matter). I think that was probably the easy part of the editing – the ‘no-brainer’ cutting of poems that simply didn’t make the grade according to my gut. 

Now for the second run through.  My gut exhausted, I am now forced to use my brain (and anyone who has read the poems I’ve written about my brains knows that, on any given day, it’s entirely likely that there are squirrels in charge up there.) So what criteria should I use? My estimable partner, Bill, suggested that the poems that garnered positive response from readers should definitely stay in, and I agree. Thank you all for that feedback!

I’m going to leave in the ones that make me cry; the ones I still have trouble reading out loud. These seem to contain a fragment of soul and so should be given precedence.

There are vers libre, haiku, form poems (a couple of forms that I’m pretty sure I invented along the way). I don’t think form should be a deciding factor.

Unfortunately, cost of printing may end up becoming a factor, as the price obviously goes up with the page count. But I’m thinking perhaps I can turn this into a positive thing, a spur to be more ruthless, to pare the content down into a lean collection that will stand on its own merit.

Round two (boxing ring bell sound fx) of editing coming up…

Hope you all are enjoying holidays – or if you don’t observe any of the many holidays that seem to collide at this time of year – hope you are simply having a lovely day!


Linda (the poet at the bottom of the well)


Our Little Group

Rebekah and I reading at Coffee House

Rebekah and I reading at the January Coffee House

I belong to a group that meets, approximately, every two weeks to talk writing. There’s only 4 of us (and a member who can occasionally attend), but we generally fill a very enjoyable hour and a half to two hours on a Saturday morning.
We meet in a local tea house, drink tea and usually avail ourselves of their delicious tea biscuits, and take turns reading our original writing (generally poems, but sometimes short stories) and offering input to each other. We all have copies of each other’s work prior to the meeting so we can take our time and make comments and mark up the pages. We take our writing seriously however we don’t take ourselves too seriously. It’s a fun morning spent with friends, including some social chit chat, good food, and a wonderful sense of commradery.
I have learned many, many things from these writing friends. I believe my writing has improved because of their influence. I think having that regular meeting to look forward to has pushed me to write more often and more thoughtfully. Most of these people I rarely see except at meetings of “Our Little Group”, but when we do meet, we have a special bond that only comes from creative kinship and the knowledge that we share something special – this love of the language – this desire to write.

The next poem – Goddess in the Garden – was written a few days ago and will be the next piece of my writing to be critiqued by the group. I thought I’d put it here today and then, if it turns out that I make any changes, I’d post it again and talk about why and how the changes were made. Feel free to jump in any time with your feedback or comments on any of my writing, I’d love to hear them!

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