Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Book Pages and Poetry Sites

Where do you turn first when the Sunday paper arrives? We've subscribed to the Charlotte Observer since we've lived in North Carolina. I also take the Hickory Daily Record, and I subscribed for a time to the [Lenoir] News Topic, but the Observer is my favorite morning fix. The Sunday paper is my favorite, and I read it ritualistically, sorting out the parts that go immediately into recycle, then stacking the coupon section and the Sunday magazine. In the most ideal arrangement, for a time the Perspectives section with op ed columns and selected quotes appeared in the same section as the book page and the Sunday crossword. Now they are in three separate sections.

The crossword and Sunday Sudoku now appear on the back page of the comics in large print, so I can no longer fold it up and hide it to complete undetected. Sunday's crossword is the only one I do. The daily puzzle is too simple and predictable; Sunday's puzzle is clever, using some of the same thinking skills that worked on the Miller Analogy Test required for my entrance to grad school years ago. It usually takes me all day long to finish, but I make a good start in the car on the way to church. When I visit Laura and Chad in Nashville on weekends, I enjoy the Tennessean, which publishes both the New York Times and either the Chicago Tribune or LA Times puzzles.

(My exception to my "no easy crosswords" rule is the airline magazine crossword puzzle. I whip it out of the seat pocket as soon as I strap myself in. My goal: to complete the puzzle before the plane takes off.)

My favorite Sunday section, though, is the book section. I've enjoyed at least four different Charlotte book editors and have written review for the last three. When the paper cut back from two book pages to one on Sundays, I wrote to complain. It must be a sign of the times that while books get one page, the "A List"--news of Brittany, Paris, P-Diddy, and the like--merits daily reports on page 2A every single day.

This week I had a review published in the Sunday Mother's Day issue on Jimmy Carter's memoir of his mother Lillian Gordy Carter entitled A Remarkable Mother. I'll admit I enjoy my occasional opportunity to appear in print. Last October, my friend Jane Shlensky and I pretended a session at the fall conference of the North Carolina English Teachers Association entitled "You Can't Teach What You Don't Do." I've tried to model to my students what I teach them: real-world writing.

This week's book section also included some of the summer reading requirements for the colleges in the state. Now I have a few more books to add to my list. The books columns and other literary articles appear at the paper's website: www.charlotteobserver.com/books.

Another site I continue to check regularly is the poetic asides page: http://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides organized by Robert L. Brewer, editor of Writers Market. I took part in the April Poem a Day Challenge. He continues to post highlights from that site and, at the request of the participants, he will continue to post a prompt every Wednesday. Even if you weren't part of the original PAD challenge, you can jump right in and make your contributions to the blog. Even if you don't want to write, you will enjoy some of the different takes on the prompt. Today's prompt, for example, suggests a poem about phobias. Check it out--if you aren't afraid.
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1 comment:

Frank 'n' Sandy said...

Hi, cuz! I loved this one so much that I have printed out all 16 pages of the book club suggestions! I'm ready to read something besides mindless mysteries and good books that I just stumble upon.

Would you believe that I just now discovered your comment on my New Year's Day post? My mother used to say, "You have to suffer to be beautiful," very similar to Mama Cheatham's saying. We also had a saying in our family . . . used if we wanted to do something but couldn't afford it . . . "If only we'd been born rich instead of so beautiful!" Ha! Ha!

Today would have been Mother's 100th birthday, so I put a little tribute to her on my blog. Well, it's not so little. As always, it's too long.

YOU ARE SOOOO SMART!! I'm not at all good at crossword puzzles. Maybe I should make trying crosswords frequently my mid-year resolution!!

As always, I love your blog . . .

Love,
Sandy