Showing posts from December, 2014

What Makes A Poem?

Have you ever tried to write a poem? If so, you probably had to think about what a poem is. Is it lines that rhyme? Pictures painted with words? Toe-tapping rhythms? A poem can be all of these things—or none of them.

Here is a poetry activity that anyone can do:

Poetry is everywhere—in our favorite songs, the nursery rhymes we read as children, and even in some television commercials. 
Make a list of poems you have heard or read. Then answer the following questions:

Did you find poetry in any unexpected places? What do these poems have in common? How do the words create mental pictures? Do these poems rhyme or have rhythm.
Once you've answered these questions, you're on your way to defining poetry.

Melissa Reese Etheridge

How Do Writers Communicate?

Powerful communicators know that planning is the key to good writing. Planning helps writers develop their ideas and then communicate them in a way that readers will understand and enjoy. Planning is an important part of a writing process that includes some basic steps, or stages. In one way or another, all writers use these basic steps:

1. Prewriting~thinking and plannin, coming up with a subject to write a bout, a purpose, and an audience; gathering ideas and details, making a plan for presenting ideas and details.

2. Writing~writing a first draft, using sentences and paragraphs to get dieas across; following a plan for presenting ideas.

3. Evaluating and Revising~reading over the draft to see what changes are needed; making changes to improve the draft.

4. Proofreading and Publishing~looking for and fixing mistakes; writing or printing out a final copy; sharing it with an audience.

Melissa Reese Etheridge

Snowflake Bentley

Wilson Alwyn "Snowflake" Bentley (February 9-December 23, 1931) is one of the first known photographers of snowflakes. He perfected a process of catching flakes on black velvet in such a way that their images could be captured before they either melted or sublimated.

Kenneth G. Libbrecht, professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology and publisher of several popular books illustrating the variety of snowflake forms, notes that the techniques used by Bentley to photograph snowflakes are essentially the same as used today, and whilst the quality of his photographs reflect the technical limitations of the equipment of the era "he did it so well that hardly anybody bothered to photograph snowflakes for almost 100 years." The broadest collection of Bentley's photographs is held by the Jericho Historical Society in his hometown of Jericho, Vermont.
Bentley donated his collection of original glass-plate photomicrographs of snow crystals to the Buffalo …

Memory in Green

I believe that we all need to make peace with our memories. We've all done things that make us recoil, flinch, or, even, sometimes, utter a small cry. 

Memories are a shroud, a foggy shroud that we carry around from the moment that we create our first memory. Memories are the only true secret that any of us can keep. Even those who think that they have the same memories fail to see the thing exactly as we see it.

I try to wrangle my memories sometimes. I try to gather them and put them in a locked box, or at least a box with a tight lid, but somehow they escape. They waft through the foggy air, usually at night or on misty winter evenings, to engulf me. Memories are not kind; they don't "light the corners of my eye." Sometimes, but mostly not.

Gathering my memories together takes courage, which is something I don't really have a great deal of although people think I do. They think I'm strong. I suppose I am in a certain way. I'm strong at hiding my emotion…