Tuesday, January 31, 2012

National Haiku Writing Month

National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo) http://sites.google.com/site/nahaiwrimo/home/participation

Also see the exercise over at Andrew Shattuck McBride's section of Writer's Digest Community. During the month of February, where participants will post one haiku each day. Check it out on line at this link:

See also NaHaiWriMo's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/NaHaiWriMo/108107262587697. You can find prompts for writing them each day at http://sites.google.com/site/nahaiwrimo/home/daily-prompts .

Friday, January 27, 2012

Season Words Exercise

Exercise: Create a list of seasonal references for a place you know well.

Haiku is or can be more complex than three lines of five words, seven words, five words, which is what has become an American notion of haiku.There are many other characteristics of haiku, and the one we’ll focus on today is the “season word.”It is a sometimes indirect reference to winter, spring, summer or fall  - and true haiku always have one.

There is actually a list of a hundred “season words” but some are pretty specific to Japan, such as the spring word that means “nightingale”.  If you read or hear a haiku about viewing cherry blossoms, you likely are hearing a spring poem.

Winter might be represented simply by “snow” or some variation on “cold.” But there are other concepts associated with the season – some of them cultural, like the “viewing of cherry blossoms.”

Japanese is a deliciously contextual language, and the different Japanese poetry forms often include a great deal of wordplay based on how a character can be pronounced, what it means in Japanese or Chinese, and a great deal more.

In English traditions there have been a number of attempts to create a set of season words. Sometimes the traditional season words work fine for us, but sometimes they don’t.

Try creating ten seasonal references for YOUR favorite place.  What do you notice about them? Where do they overlap? Did you get confused? How did you work around that?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What if they un-invented the resume?

Some companies are relying on your social media presence as well of or even instead of a resume. Twitter, sharing products, and blogs express a lot about who you are and how you are in the world. A blog presence is a professional tool. Companies sometimes hire people to prepare their blogs and tweets. Now there's a reason to plan a personal social media presence for job hunting purposes, too. 

Don't have time or aptitude to learn new tech?

Create a working support group with others or hire someone to get you started. There are many free resources, and many ways to make the "content" you post readable and "tell YOUR story."

You don't have to do it alone.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

CPR for Writers - be a bit personal

There are two weaknesses to an impersonal style in letters.

1) It's unclear.
2) It's inhuman.


Get the "you" attitude. Don't think you need to fill your letters with I, my, we, and so on. If you think only of yourself, you invite resentment. Visualize your reader. Picture the signer of the letter talking face to face with the reader. Then write as the signer would talk - not exactly, but like it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CPR for Writers - what to do with feedback

Does it make sense? Think about it. Use it if you can.
Do you resist it? Set it aside and think about it. Use or refuse it.
Do you love it? Use it.
But... if it just smells bad, don't feel obligated to eat it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Coming Event! Poetry Byway - Mid August, Deschutes National Forest

August 15-17 - Poetry Byway get together in Deschutes NF.

Planned:  There will be a single-day paint-out, write-out event, plus a poetry geocache installation and e-publishing!  The events will be free. If you have questions or are interested, contact Kathy Bowman at cascadelakespoetrybyway @ gmail.com

CPR for Writers - a note to your Congress critter

 Writing to Congress? 

Congress critters do rely on your vote, and their staffers do look at the mail that comes in and take action if they can - and if your letter is compelling enough. To get action, Political Action Committees recommend writing a courteous three-paragraph letter structured like this:

1) Why I'm writing. Who I am. Credentials. Name and address for response.

2) Provide factual detail, not just emotion. Be specific, not general when it comes to describing how this affects you and others. If there's a bill, cite the correct title or bill number. (Thomas Legislative Information System can help you find that.)

3) Close by requesting the action you want (a vote for or against a bill, intervention, or a change in policy).

Project of the Day - congressional comment letter

Completed: Congressional comment letter re: FWS permit.

CPR for Writers - snobby talk

"The wish to have the pompous, silkhatted gentleman slip on a banana peel is almost universal." (Grady and Hall)

Readers feel the same way about correspondents who (by letter, e-mail, or tweet) write pretentiously.

Pick your favorite pretentious expression below, and check out the alternative... or invent a better one!

Instead of                                                    Try
"We have the matter                          "I am considering..."
under advisement"      

"You are advised that..."                    "Here's your information."

"I have read your letter of..."            Skip it.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Project of the Day - resume, fellowship application

Completed: Resume and Fishtrap Fellowship application for 2012.


CPR for Writers 1 - basic outlinery

CPR for Writers is my "help book" for writers. It's a lot of fun. As a service, I'll be posting tips from the trove here.

Steps for a standard outline

  • Choose your subject. 
  • Define your purpose and intended audience. 
  • Brainstorm!
  • State your ideas in complete sentences.
  • Develop each idea with supporting material.
  • Arrange your ideas in a logical, understandable way.
  • Check whether each idea actually supports your subject and purpose.
  • Look for connections between ideas.
  • Proofread. (There's always one more typo!)

You are also welcome to ask questions ("mini-consultations") about writing concerns. Contact me at Kathy Writes, 541-432-3600.

Projects of the Day - news releases and social media

Completed: News releases for Traditional Live.  NEOFS Facebook.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Projects of the Day - technical reviews and web work

Completed: Reviewed a State Water Resources technical document and a FWS EA, pro bono. Web work. Flyer.

Fees and freebies!

Fees start at $50 per hour, however each month there is a "gift certificate special" that allows you to get (or give!) your first hour or two for half price.

There's even an "adventure bartering" option if you are short on cash. So it may be possible to name your exchange!

This website also offers tips for writers and mini consultations - for nothing! See posts marked "CPR for Writers".

Call Kathy at 541-432-3600 to discuss the possibilities!

What we do

Kathy Writes It specializes in business, technical and interpretive projects, personal or professional.

Our fees are competitive. While we work independently and quickly, we* (that's a royal we) are known for helping to define exactly what you want up front, and then working with you to have a product ready with remarkable speed.

Kathy Writes It has years of professional experience editing natural resource technical documents, writing press releases, preparing contracts for interpretive displays, working on resumes and job applications, writing constructive letters in nasty circumstances, and tutoring resource professionals in writing short cuts that get them away from the desk and out in the field a lot more quickly. Newsletters and columns for local papers plus social media management are also options offered.

Kathy Writes It has a special interest in display and interpretive work, and is the sponsor of two "community writing" poetry projects in Oregon.

Fees start at $50 per hour, however each month there is a "gift certificate special" that allows you to get your first hour or two for half price! There's even an "adventure bartering" option if you are short on cash.

Call Kathy at Kathy Writes It at 541-432-3600, or e-mail livethelifuelove@yahoo.com

Your personal editor is in!

Your personal editor is in! And on call! The world is full of great gift certificates - but not many of them will help you with your resume, take on writing that really tough letter to your ex, put together a news release for a special event, or just review that document that is driving you crazy.

Each month, Kathy Writes It will offer a one or two hour personalized gift certificate at half the normal fee.

Have you been hearing a friend, coworker, or student  anxiously discussing an upcoming written project that has to be done and seems overwhelming? You can help with that without getting enmeshed in the problem by giving a one- or two-hour gift certificate.

Certificates are $25 an hour for the first two hours, half the normal fee. To arrange for yours, call Kathy at 541-432-3600 or e-mail livethelifeulove @ yahoo.com. We can tailor your certificate for nearly any need, and provide a receipt for expense deductions for projects that are work or charity related.