GUEST POST from Mindy Halleck
(Since I made a boo-boo with the links, I’m resending this guest blog. Apologizes for my brain lapse. Enjoy Mindy refreshed!)
Mindy is an enthusiastic, creative person who writes across a variety of genres! Today I have the opportunity to share her thoughts with you. I know you will enjoy her ideas. I hope you will become an online follower as well as a reader of her work.
Do You Want To a Better Writer? Read Poetry ~ by Mindy Halleck
My husband woke up this morning to the sound of my crying. He turned over and saw that I was propped up in bed reading poetry. “Oh.” He mumbled and rolled over. He knows me well. Poetry makes me cry.
When I read Longfellow’s, The Children’s Hour, I remember climbing on my father, him tossing us in the air and catching us in arms of love. I remember my father before what I call ‘the dark times’ began. Only in the cryptic images and fragmented words of poetry can all that my father was, fit, and be at peace. Longfellow’s poem gives those transitory days back to me for a moment. In that way, poetry heals.
When I read Poe’s, Annabelle Lee, I remember my grandfather – how he’d take me, at three years old, plucked – chosen out of the ten cousins, to sit in the big fluffy chair in his office where he’d then pace back and forth and read to me. When I read and re-read Poe, I hear grandpa’s husky voice, the longing in his soul, the hurt he could never forget, the loss, and mostly his love for words, rhymes’ and perfect phrases. “Learn to love poetry,” he’d say. “You’ll always have a treasure deep inside that nobody can steal away from you.” When I read Poe’s, Alone, it resonates deeply, not with who dad and grandpa were, but with who I have become.
Reading good poetry cracks me open and accesses my emotions in a way no other form of writing does. Between the tiny crafted lines I see images, hear songs and laughter, feel heartbreak and longing. Reading poetry has reconnected me to what made me want to be a writer in the first place; sitting in grandpa’s chair and listening to him read Annabelle Lee – or running hand in hand along the beach, being picked up and tossed like a rag doll into a cloudless sky by my smiling father . . . before the earth was cloaked in shadows, and he no longer there to catch me.
Reading poetry forces me to access deep emotions and aids me in creating pictures, images and rhythms that augment my story-telling. In other words (pardon the pun) reading poetry makes me a better writer. No matter what I’m writing; fiction or non-fiction creating images the way a poet does enhances everything.
Mindy Halleck is an award-winning author, blogger and writing instructor. In 2015 she won several honors: a Writer’s Digest short story contest, an Edmonds Arts Association, EPIC, fiction contest, and her novel, Return To Sender received the ‘Readers’ Choice’ award from Readers Favorites. Halleck blogs at Literary Liaisons and is an active member of the Pacific Northwest writing community. In addition to being a writer, Halleck is a happily married, globe-trotting beachcomber, antiquer, gardener, proud grandma, and three-time cancer survivor. www.MindyHalleck.com