Sunday, June 18, 2017

Writing advice to my younger self

Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in 1992

The Artist's Way:  A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron is a twelve-week program that will inspire and inform your creative journey. It inspired me to write...

Dear younger Leanne,
You know those stories that you’re working on. Well, you might think that you can just throw them out—unfinished. You may think that because they belong to you, you can do whatever you want with them. Well, you’re wrong. You can’t. You can’t because they belong to me—older Leanne—not you. So, instead of tossing them away, you better file them away for safekeeping. You better or else…
Oh, yeah, and another thing. You might think that by writing all those stories you’re just having fun. WRONG! You’re doing important work. However, you’re only doing half the job. You also need to get someone who can spell and knows grammar to edit them. Ask Mom she’ll help you. Then you need to submit them to literary journals or short stories contests. 
Oh, yeah, and don’t just do it once and think you’re done. Don’t just say, “Oh, well, I submitted it. I didn’t win. I don’t have to do that again.” Don’t think, I tried, failed and now I’m done. The only way you failed is by being done. Simply by continuing to submit your stories you’re proving that you are a winner. If you don’t continue working until the job is done, well then you’ll leave all that work for me. And trust me, I won’t be pleased.
Oh, yeah, and the most important thing. You may not think you’re smart, but I do. I know how talented you are. And you’re doing a grave disservice by not sharing your talent. So do it. Do it now!

If you've enjoyed reading The Artist's Way, you may also like...

Big Magic:  Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert is a book of essays in celebration of the creative life. 

Published by Riverhead Books:  
an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC in 2015

Note to Self:  A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth by Laurie Buchanan is a personal exploration to guide you in developing a healthier you. 

Published by She Writes Press:
a division of SparkPoint Studio, LLC in 2016

Next post:  Book review:  Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth
Published on Sunday, June 25 at approximately 5 PM PT.
If you enjoyed reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon, you enjoy Are You Seeing Me?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

My mother-in-law recommended I read this book. She's an avid reader and knows a good book when she finds it.

Originally published in hardcover in Great Britain by Jonathan Cape, Ltd, London, in 2005, and subsequently in hardcover in the United States by Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, in 2005.
Mark Haddon's website 

A quick read that brings the reader inside the mind of a person with autism--fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone.

It is also a...


A dog is found dead. Who killed him and why? Christopher Boone sets out to answer these questions and
unearths even more mysteries.

Funny Book

This is a funny book even though Christopher explains that he can't tell jokes.

Craft Book

Christopher Boone is attempting to write a mystery inspired by the dog he finds dead. His teacher, Siobban, helps him by giving him helpful tips.
'Siobban said that when you are writing a book you have to include some descriptions of things.. She also said that I should describe people in the story mentioning one or two details about them so that people could make a picture of them in their head.' (p. 67)

Big Idea Book

For example...
Christopher doesn't believe in Heaven. He believes that our bodies are broken down and become one with all of earth. 

A book that explores commonly held misconceptions...

For example, if a person has a mental disability we think they are intellectually challenged. But Christopher is alive with boundless curiosity and seemingly endless knowledge.

 'Chillaxing on a Summer day' photo by LDyck
Next post:  Writing Workshop review published  on Sunday, June 18 (at approximately 5 PM PT)
'One cute mug' photo by LDyck

More about this dog mystery on July 2nd. Look for the post titled 'Shakespeare and Snorri'.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

About dyslexia

I read this at an open mic night on Mayne Island -- and I wanted to share it with you...

"The Wise One"  photo by LDyck

Dyslexia is an inherited condition that affects the way the brain processes written and spoken language.  People with dyslexia are of average or above average intelligence. Having dyslexia is kind of like this...

A Love Letter

We have always had a special relationship. When we meet you wooed me with your clever tricks.You were never the same way twice. Sometimes your 'b' looked like a 'd'. Sometimes your 'p' looked like a 'q'. I was surprised that you didn't entertain everyone in this manner.
Our relationship grew and I learnt that you could be collected into a group. I was informed that this group was read as a word.
Ah, how your words danced before my eyes. Sometimes 'w-a-s' danced. How it waltzed; how it jigged; how it jived. Watch it now as it twists into 's-a-w.' Amazing! Thrilling! Yet you only danced for me.
Your behaviour does make our relationship challenging. Words dance before my eyes. Sometimes I am forced to guess at your intent. You are always a puzzle, a surprise. You intrigue me; you entertain me; you embarrass me.
Do you remember the time I was reading you to a group of children? I thought we were having a merry old time until one of the children stopped me. It seems you had fooled me yet again, but you hadn't fooled the child. Never mind, it was long ago, and I have forgiven you.
It doesn't matter to me that your relationship with others is easier and more harmonious. My passion for you grows stronger every day.

People with dyslexia are round pegs in a square peg world. Lack of support leaves many of us with health and employment problems -- some of us wind up on the street or in jail. Potential lost; lives wasted. But it doesn't have to be this way. Something must be done. All of us deserve an opportunity to write our own success story.Increasing society's understanding of dyslexia is a good starting point. 

How can you help?

I need you to know that I am capable -- even when I show my inability.

I need you to have faith that I will be able to pick myself up when I fall.

I need you to let me show you what I'm capable of -- before you help me.

I need you to shout at the top of your lungs, "Yes, you can! If not now -- someday; 
if not without me --with me."

I need you to believe in me, even when -- especially when -- I don't.

That's where I stepped away from the microphone...but I shouldn't have. I should have said...'
And some of us are writing our success stories, right now.

Successful Real Estate Agent, Barbara Corcoran swims with the fish in the TV program Shark Tank

And there are others...

in business:  Virgin chairman Richard Branson

in literature:  Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet Philip Schultz (YouTube video)

And there are more famous dyslexics (YouTube video)

A disability is only a disability if you let it be.

"an early Summer day on Mayne Island" photo by LDyck

Next post:  Sunday, June 11 (at approximately 5 PM PT)
Book review:  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Book review: The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue (middle grade)

Following her popular novels Room (a story told by a 5-year old narrator) and The Wonder (the plot revolves around an 11-year old), Emma Donoghue has written a middle grade (for children ages 9 to 12 years of age) novel.

The chapters are rather long and the novel is jammed-packed with characters but...
The narrator's voice is strong and unique. The plot well-planned. The ending satisfying.

Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
Date published:  2017

The Bobbsey Twins series revolved around two sets of twins (aged 6 to 12 years old). The books were written from 1904 to 1979 and the stories reflect on the time as filtered through family life. The Lotterys Plus One is The Bobbsey Twins for the 21st century. The marginalized (those in the minority) have become the majority. The story comes complete with an angry old white guy.

Two couples--two guys and two women--have a baby, Sic. And, after finding a winning lottery ticket, they don't stop with one. They fill a large house with a ton of children. Sumac (9 years old) the middle child, is the protagonist. Some middle children feel overlooked but not Sumac. She is key to the smooth running of the household--as are all the children. The family is happy and well-adjusted. Enter the angry old white guy.

Message:  The Lotterys Plus One stresses the importance of family--how ever you define it.
'who cares so long as the threads get tied.' (p. 303)
The Next Chapter's interview with Emma Donoghue.

"New Summer cut" Thanks Pooch Parlour photo by LDyck

Next Post:  Sunday, June 4 (published at approximately 5 PM PT)
I comment about a topic near and dear to my heart--dyslexia.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

What Genre? (poem)

This poem was inspired by one of my favourite children's picture books...It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Green Shaw and by...

"Dancing around the May pole" photo by LDyck (05/20/17)

What Genre?

I thought you were a mystery,
but no one was murdered
so, I guess, you're not a mystery

I thought you were a romance,
but no one is in love
so, I guess, you're not a romance

I thought you were a short story,
but you're too long
so, I guess, you're not a short story

I thought you might be YA or NA,
but your characters are much too old
so, I guess, you're not YA or NA

I thought you were science fiction or fantasy,
but you don't have any futuristic machines or unicorns
so, I guess, you're not science fiction or fantasy

Please, oh please, dear manuscript, tell me what you are
Oh, tell me what you are?

The Who sings...  Who are you 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Book review: The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Set in Ireland during the 1850s, shortly after the potato famine, The Wonder is historical fiction, a mystery, a love story, and provides social commentary on what it was like to grow up female and poor in Ireland during that 1800s.

Buy The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Publishing date:  2017
Publisher:  Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.
author website 

When word spreads that an 11-year-old girl (Anna O'Donnell) is living on one spoonful of water a day (and mana from heaven) two nurses are sent to bear witness. Sister Michael is an Irish Roman Catholic nun from the order of the Sisters of Mercy (called the walking nuns because they walk out into the world to give service to the sick, the poor and the ignorant). She provides an interesting foil to the protagonist Elizabeth "Lib" Wright--an English protestant.
Foil:  'a character who contrasts with another character--usually the protagonist--in order to highlight particular qualities of the other character.' -Wikipedia
Lib served in the Crimean War under the founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale. And, I think it is fair to say, is prejudice against the Irish--at least at the beginning of the novel. This adds tension to several scenes. 

What drew me to this book?

1. The Wonder was nominated for a Scotiabank Giller Prize (2016)

2. After reading Room (a story narrated by a five-year-old boy), I became a devoted fan of Emma Donoghue

The connection between Rumpelstiltskin and The Wonder

In Rumpelstiltskin, the boast is that a girl can spin straw into gold.

In The Wonder, the claim is that a girl can live on water (mana from heaven) alone.

In Rumpelstiltskin, a girl attempts to guess Rumpelstiltskin's name.

In The Wonder, a girl attempts to guess her nurse's name.

If the idea of fairy tales influencing modern novels intrigues you here's a link to other novels that you may enjoy reading. 

Happy Mother's Day

A mother's work is endless
Joys are far too few
One joy is to see you happy
So smile, darn you
-signed your mother

Next post:  A Writer's Dilemma (a poem about the writing life that was inspired by the children's picture book It Looked Like Split Milk and the rock band The Who's song Who Are You?)
Published:  Sunday, May 21 at approximately 5 PM PT

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Guest Laurie Buchanan (from the blog Tuesdays with Laurie)

Laurie Buchanan (Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth) recently went on a solo writing retreat and I was excited to ask her about it. Every Tuesday I visit Laurie's popular blog Tuesdays with Laurie. I'm thrilled that she is visiting us here today. Please welcome her.

What gave you the idea to go on a solo writer's retreat?

I write best when I have no distractions—none whatsoever. 

Have you, would you, will you go on a writing retreat with other writers? Are there any that interest you?

I would love to be accepted for a writer’s residency at Hedgebrook ( on Whidbey Island, Washington.

What other writers (living or dead) would you like to go on a retreat with? Why?

I would love to be at a writing retreat where Mary Oliver (one of my favorite, still-living poets) was writing. Why? Because I know she’d stay in her cabin (like I would stay in mine) and we’d only meet for meals at the main lodge.

What do you see as the main difference between going solo and going as a member of a group? 

My idea of "solo" is no distractions—being completely by myself. I have no interest in group writing situations; it wouldn’t work with my writing style. 

How did you pick your retreat's location? 

When my in-laws called to say they were going to Australia for three months (Jan-Mar), I told them I’d love to house-sit for them. It was a win-win situation.

What were you retreat's main goals? 

To write The Business of Being: Soul Purpose In and Out of the Workplace

Why do you think these goals couldn't have been achieved without going on this retreat? 

I would have eventually finished writing The Business of Being, but it would have taken double or triple the time to do it. I was hoping for a 2018 publication date. When I sent the Preface and Introduction to my publisher, not only did they say YES, it’s slated for a June/July 2018 publication date.

I understand one of your goals was to work on your next book, please tell us a little about it. 

In a nutshell, The Business of Being spotlights the intersection of workplace and spirituality; it’s designed to help readers thrive in business and life.

What was the best thing about going on this retreat? 

1. Solitude

2. It was breathtakingly gorgeous. Darby, Montana is located between the Bitterroot and the Sapphire Mountain ranges, and I was within walking distance of the Bitterroot River. Without fail, I saw wildlife every day.

What was the worst thing? 

It was the worst winter Darby had had in record-breaking years, so there was tons of snow and ice on the roof. When the snow started melting, there was a place in the ceiling that started leaking. Yikes! I went next door to the neighbor man to see if he had any suggestions. Nope—a portion of his ceiling had caved in. I called my husband (Boise, ID), and he made an emergency trip to Darby and saved the day!

What did you have to overcome? 

Driving 17 miles each way on treacherous roads to get groceries once a week.    

What do you wish you had planned for? 

I wish I’d taken a second power cord for my Mac. I don’t think there’s an Apple store in the entire state of Montana. The closest one is in Boise, Idaho (where I’m from). I don’t know what happened to my cable, but I woke up to “crimp” marks. My husband overnighted a cable to me—a rather expensive, but necessary, undertaking.

Please share a memory of your retreat. 

It’s against the law (at least in Darby, Montana) to feed deer, so I waited until twilight each night and then snuck out under cover of dark and fed the deer organic apples, blueberries, and carrots that I cut into bite-size pieces. I did my research first—making sure that those three foods aren’t harmful in any way to the deer. 

Do you view this retreat as successful—why or why not? 

I accomplished what I set out to do so I feel the retreat was successful.

What advice would you give writers who are planning a solo retreat? 

Stay on task and use your time to write, Write, WRITE! In the evening I refueled by reading. I read over a dozen books in the twelve weeks I was there. 

Would you go on another solo writing retreat—why or why not? 

In a heartbeat! I already told my in-laws that if they go anywhere, for any length of time, to please call me and I’ll housesit.

Are you planning to go on another solo writing retreat? Where will/would you go this time? 

I’m applying for a writer’s residency at Hedgebrook. We’ll see how that turns out…

Sending you tons of positive energy, Laurie. I hope you get in.


Board Certified with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Laurie Buchanan is a holistic health practitioner, transformational life coach, speaker, and author. Her areas of interest include energy medicine, inner alchemy, and spiritual awareness.

Embracing the belief that “Life is an expression of the choices we make,” she’s a teacher and student of purposeful living.

With tremendous respect for the earth’s natural resources, Laurie’s goal is to leave the slightest footprint on the planet, while at the same time making a lasting impression on its inhabitants—one that’s positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing.

Laurie’s previous book, Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth was a 2016 Idaho Author Award winner for inspiration; a 2016 Foreword Indies Book of the Year finalist; and a 2016 Body, Mind, Spirit Book Awards finalist.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Author readings on Mayne Island

I'm pleased to report that Mayne Island's literati is alive and well. In fact, we had a ball last Saturday when local authors entertained a small but devoted audience. There was something for every reader from children's literature to romance to mysteries to...

Inspired by her granddaughter, Livia Wolfs, Dorothy Peters wrote the delightfully altruistic picture book Tomorrow, When I'm Bigger. Dorothy also read from her memoir for adults:  Daughters of the House of Jacobof Jacob:  A Memoir of Migration.

 Prolific author D.R. Graham talked about her many titles and captivated us by reading from a manuscript she's currently working on. It's set on Mayne Island. I want to write more about it...but I won't.

Fans of Amber Harvey's Mary Magdalene Summer series (Magda's Mayne Island Mystery, Mayne Island Aliens, Mayne Island Skeletons, Magda's Mysterious Stranger) will be pleased to note that Amber is working on the next book in the series. She read from the opening chapters.


There was more 

Arlene Pare

her latest book:  He Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car 
(a book of poetry)

Grant Buday

Jack Schofield

but... Well, I have to admit it was all a little too much for this hermit. Inspired,  I had to leave early to return to my writer's cave.

Here's some of what I said before I left...

I'd like to thank the library for this opportunity to share my writing. What have I been doing since the last Festival Active Pass on Mayne Island in 2015?

My writing life is like watching a duck swim -- on the surface, very little is happening.

On the surface... 

In 'My Life with Letters' (included in the anthology From the Heart), I wrote about being an author with dyslexia. Dyslexia is an inherited condition that affects the say my brain processes written and spoken language.

From the Heart was published in 2015. Proceeds benefitted BC youth seeking higher education.

On the surface...

In 'Christmas with Family' (included in the anthology In the Moment) I wrote about how my desire to be with family for Christmas resulted in my husband and me getting stuck in the snow on Salt Spring Island. 

In the Moment was published in 2016. Proceeds were donated to Children's Wish.

To order, From the Heart and  In the Moment, please email publisher Gary Doi (

If you look into the water, at a duck's feet, you'll notice that they are paddling like mad. 

Hidden in my writer's cave, I've been writing picture books for children, a novel for young adults, and short stories for adults.

What led me to write picture books?

In the 1980s and 90s...

-I took a children's literature course at the University of Winnipeg

-as an Early Childhood Educator, I read scores of picture books to groups of children

-I owned a children's bookseller business

All of these experiences fuel my writing...

(A friend took photos of me. If you log on to this blog later this week you'll be able to see them.)

Bim has a new cozy bed thanks to Loving Care Pet Products

Next Post:  Sunday, May 7 at (approximately) 5 PM PT
Laurie Buchanan is back. This time I interview her about her recent solo writer's retreat. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Guest - Dr. Sigal Haber – A Canadian Children Books Author

Sigal Haber is a mother of three children with an extensive experience in education and teaching. 
Her love for literature and kids led her to the quest of writing for children.
As a University Prof. Sigal has taught and studied entrepreneurship for many years and had been involved with young entrepreneurs’ educational programs. Creativity and innovativeness, considered the core values of entrepreneurial behavior, are rooted in her thinking and writing. 
In her books she brings her life experience and knowledge in a creative and humours way to create a great reading experience for young readers.

How/why did you start to write?

Reflecting back I realize that I have been writing my entire life; whether for friends and family occasions, family trip diaries, for school purposes and even eulogies. I always found a way to connect the event to some moral in either a funny or serious ways. It has always been a part of me, one which I failed to recognize for a long time even when people around me encouraged me to. Once I started my academic career, I channelled this gift to a more professional aspect in my academic writing

How did you become an author who writes children's books?

I realize it may sound a bit like a cliché but I feel that writing found me and I became a recognized author at the right time of my life.

After a long academic writing career, I felt like I needed a transition in my writing style. I wanted to be able to adjust ideas and life experiences and write about them differently – So I turned it to writing for children. One thing that helped me with that was my own children. As a mother to young toddlers I used to read aloud for them all the time, so much that I have some books and songs memorized to this day. Naturally, the first reader of my work was my youngest son Jonathan, who was 9 years old at the time I started writing for children. He loves comic books and has a childish spirit. I must admit that initially I wrote for my own family, but once I have started to get encouragements from my surroundings, I decided to start the journey of publishing and have become a published author. So far, the responds I am receiving from my readers are incredible.

What was your first published piece?

My first published story was a picture book for children “Chuck The Rooster Loses His Voice”. It was published on Kindle / Amazon on June 2016. 

After many years as a U. Prof., teaching and researching entrepreneurship and management I asked myself how to introduce the concept of entrepreneurship to young children. I wanted to create a way for teachers and parents to discuss with their children what it takes to be a leader and take initiative in a community.
And no less than that I wanted to do it in a fun and humorous way. So I wrote this rhyming and funny story about what happens in a farmyard when the Rooster who supposed to wake everyone in the morning became ill. Obviously, life starts to go wrong. In an attempt to deal with the situation, the animals try to find a replacement from amongst themselves, to fill the Rooster's place. So they initiate and organize a singing contest. You’ll have to read it to find out will someone be found to take Chuck's place? How will the Rooster react to the idea? And will there be another "Farm Idol"?

The story highlights how situations seemingly problematic (i.e.: ill and not functioning rooster) can be seen as an opportunity for development of social ideas within a community (i.e.: a singing contest). It shows how leadership and self-confidence can help in promoting an idea regardless the difficulties involved. Furthermore, it shows that even if an initiative is not being completely realized, there are still ways to leverage the knowledge and experience gained during the process in order to improve it or to start a new one in the future. The book is directed to ages 5 and up.

A few months ago I published my second picture book for children on Kindle/ Amazon: “The Bear Barr Wants to Play the Guitar”. It is a cute story about a bear who wants to play the guitar but finds it difficult than he initially thought. The story shows how parents and friends can be supportive and help a child to achieve his goals. Also it illustrates the importance of perseverance for achieving life goals. For ages 3 and up.

Both titles are available on Amazon.

What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?

Before embarking on my writing career I was a U. Prof. studied SME in tourism industry, women entrepreneurs and family businesses. For years I have been active volunteer mainly worked with social and young entrepreneurs, gifted musicians and in my children’s schools. I think that the fact that I always kept writing and at the same time was involved in the community and engaged socially with people, enabled me to develop a creative way of looking at things and write about them.

What inspires you?

I love poetry. I love the way poets use and “play” with words to express feelings and thoughts. Writing is like a puzzle for me. It deals with putting the right words to express your idea and affect the reader emotionally and inspire him. It is a challenge. And I like it!

Please share one of your successful author platform building techniques

As a self-published author I use the social media channels. We are fortunate to live in an era where authors can reach to reader in various ways. Technology plays a huge roll in it.

Tell us more about yourself by answering the following questions:

What is your favorite word? 


What is your least favorite word?


Your favorite pet?


What turns you on emotionally? 

My children’s laughs

What turns you off?


What do you in your spear time?

I love playing sports especially bike riding. Biked 600 KM of the Trans Canada Trail and looking forward to the next 600…

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

A Singer and piano player

What profession would you not like to do?


If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

You did good! How about another round?

Chuck the Rooster Loses His Voice 
Its theme was inspired by my long career as a U Prof and researcher in the field of Entrepreneurship and management. I wanted to be able to discuss with children what does it mean to take initiative in a community and how important it is to help each other in a way that is adjusted to their own world of imagination. 
This is a rhyming story to be read also aloud for your children and adult can enjoy it too (Writing it I recalled myself reading particular stories to my daughter especially those that I could speak with her about their themes, language and keep reading it over and over again.)

Ages : 5 and up 

The Bear Barr Wants To Play The Guitar

Just published on Amazon 

This story is about perseverance and pursuing your personal goals even you encounter difficulties. 

For ages 3 and up. 

Dr. Sigal Haber's Amazon page where you can find more information and reviews

Author links...

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Her Words (short story) by Leanne Dyck

Wise creatives remain open to inspiration; they welcome it. One way to invite it is to have new experiences. For example, a couple of evenings ago I read Byron did at an open mic night on Mayne Island. Early (too early) the following morning inspiration called. So I grabbed my pen. This is what I wrote...

Her Words

Open mic poetry night was the last Friday of every month. She went Friday after Friday until she found the nerve to share what she wrote. The lights were low; the bar crowded. She pushed her way to the microphone. She read her words slowly the way she'd reversed. It was all mostly a blur. But what a feeling; what a rush. Afterwards, he found her table, bought her a drink, and told her, "Wow, you're talented."

So she joined him in the cab. Later she wished it all had been a blur.

Happy Easter!

Next post:  Guest Post:  Please welcome children's author Sigal Haber
Published on Sunday, April 23rd at approximately 5 PM PT

As part of the Literary Festival Active Pass celebrations, I will be giving an author reading at 
11 pm
at Mayne Island library

I plan to arrive at the library before 9 am and leave at 4 pm. I don't want to miss a second of this special day.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Wind by Robert Louis Stevenson reviewed by Leanne Willetts

Robert Louis Stevenson writes with old fashioned charm. He takes delight in the simple and ordinary. This poem, in particular, views the wind through a child's eyes.

He wonders as to the nature of the wind:  'Are you a beast of field and tree,/or just a stronger child than me?'

The poem has a way of pulling you back to childhood when you had time to sit and wonder.

The poem draws upon all your senses. You feel the wind push at your face. You hear it's windy song. You see it merrily dance with the kites, birds, and grass.

The poem too talks about the sadness of not being able to find the unapproachable. The mystery always seems to be around the next corner:  'I saw the different things you did,/ But always you yourself you hid./ I felt you push, I heard you call,/I could not see yourself at all-'

I wrote this review on September 15, 1987, for a children's literature class I took at the University of Winnipeg.

I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky,
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies' skirts across the grass--
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all--
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song

Next post:  Sunday, April 16 (5 PM PT) 
Her Words (short story)

(click on image to embolden)

"I have a story to tell"

Leanne Dyck's Author Reading
Sunday, April 23rd 11 am
Mayne Island library
Festival Active Pass

"Looking forward to seeing you there."

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Byron did: in praise of poetry

Byron did. So did Shelley and Yeats and Burns and Cohen and Atwood and Browning and...

'Let me count the ways' wrote Elizabeth Barrett Browning

But my ways refuse to be counted. My brain can't think like that. My pen won't write like that.

Lord Byron wrote:  'She walks in beauty, like the night' -- and women swooned.

Poetry is like French. It sounds pretty coming out of someone else's mouth. It pours out of someone else's pen. But not mine.

Metaphors as yummy as pettifor and language that would be swarmed by bees make poetry challenging to understand. Most of it sails passed my ears and over my head.

 A Coat by W. B. Yeats

I made my song a coat
covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat
But the fools caught it
Wore it in the world's eyes
As though they'd wrought it
Song, let them take it
For there's more
In walking naked

We have poetry in our souls, they say. But I've checked. Mine has gone. If it was ever there.

Margaret Atwood wrote:  'We turned out the lights in the cellar and played Murder in the Dark.' Then she wrote, 'I heard that this game was once played at a summer cottage by six normal people and a poet, and the poet really tried to kill someone.'

I used to claim that my amazing dyslexic brain was to blame.

"People with dyslexia can't work with syllables," I'd say.

But then I read that Yeats had dyslexia.

Robert Burns wrote:  'My love is like a red, red rose.'

Maybe poetry is like a garden. Maybe it has to be seeded and carefully tended. Rhythm, rhyme, meter -- maybe if I studied... Maybe... But who has that kind of time?

It might be trite,
but it's also right --
I'm not a poet
And I know it.

Happy Poetry Month!!

"I have a story to tell"

Leanne Dyck's author reading
Sunday, April 23 11 a.m. to noon
Mayne Island library
Festival Active Pass

"Looking forward to seeing you there."