Poetry

The Five Stages: Denial

Refusal

Deep-rooted in crystal clear understanding.

Rejection

Even though the mind has already accepted.

The fact that you have left us.

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Blogs / Life

My Papa, A Small Tribute

On January 14th at 5pm, my Papa heard the call of God and went home to Heaven while surrounded by his wife and family. This last summer, only seven months ago, he was diagnosed with an aggressive lung and bone cancer, and he fought it with all his might. He never gave up, because he loved his family.

My Papa taught me so many things growing up. He taught me the importance of hard work and perseverance. He taught me to stand when I had fallen, he taught me how to laugh even in pain. He taught me how to love. He loved my Nana with a love more evident and true than I have ever seen. He loved her whole-heartedly for nearly 54 years. His love inspires me in my upcoming marriage. His love encourages me to be honest, faithful, true, and full of laughter. I strive to one day have a love similar to that of my Papa and my Nana.

When I was younger, my Papa would ask me to sing in front of his friends because he knew I loved to sing. Later on, he would read my writings, my fiction stories, and always provide feedback on what worked and what could be better. I remember one vacation, he sat on the balcony of our hotel for hours reading my book and telling me “This is good.” Throughout my entire life, he encouraged me and reminded me that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. It is because of him that I was brave enough to work on becoming an author.

My Papa will not see me walk down the aisle. He will not read my book when it gets published. But it is BECAUSE of my Papa that I strive for a loving marriage. It is BECAUSE of my Papa that I will keep working toward my goals. His memory will continue to propel me forward and when I see him again in Heaven, we will have a lot to catch up on.

I love you Papa. I will miss you, more so than I can say, but I am so glad you are no longer in pain. I love you.

Poetry

Do You Want to Know What Love Is

Love is fifty plus years of marriage

Coming to a close in a room

At home while he lies

In a hospital bed

Love is how she dotes on him

Rubbing lotion in small

Circles on his skin and

Carmex on his lips

Love is how she helps to change

him and squirt water on

His dry tongue, doing

Whatever she can

Love is how he sometimes seems

To recognize her face, to touch

Her cheek with shaking fingers

And although he can no longer

Speak, his eyes show the love

And admiration he has

For the woman by his bedside.

That is love.

Poetry

Conflicting Emotions

Cascading spa-colored fabric

That ruffles down, extenuating their figures

lightly brushing against the

Silver strapped heels

*

An argument about a morphine drip

That soothes pain and yet,

Simultaneously, steals away what

Precious little time remains

*

Teardrop necklaces that rest

Perfectly between the collar bones

Kissing their skin right above

V-shaped necklines

*

Caregivers that do their best to

Give care where they can and warning

Where they cannot, whispering,

“Prepare yourself for the end.”

*

The family and friends who murmur

“Congratulations on your Engagement”

and “Our Condolences” on your grandfather’s health

In the same sentence.

*

A man that loves me with all his heart

And a man who showed me what love is

*

The best

and

The worst

Memories occurring

Side by side.

*

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

College Writing Tips

Dear Teachers: Welcome Back

Christmas Break is over and you’re somewhat devastated, am I right?

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The break was not long enough and all that grading/curriculum planning you told yourself you were going to get done is still sitting in the back of your car.

You’re not alone, but it is time to get back in the groove of things, so wake up! Here are some of my tips to help get you through this upcoming semester:

  1. Get Up Early and Prep for each day. (I can already hear the communal groan). This tip is especially helpful for college professors. I know it may sound tipping to wing your lecture if you’ve written it before, but get up 20 minutes earlier and refresh yourself on the content. Your students will thank you.
  2. Every Sunday night, make sure you are fully prepped for the upcoming week. While morning refreshers are nice, it is better to be fully prepared in case you do not have the time.
  3. Grade immediately! As soon as those essays (or tests) start coming in, start grading them! Do not, I repeat DO NOT, put off grading. It will severely bite you in the rear end at the end of the semester.
  4. Have a Clear and Concise Rubric that you share with the class. This will not only give them direction on what to aim for in their essays, but it will make grading easier on you. In my opinion, no teacher should grade off a “gut-feeling.” Essays can only be graded evenly when being graded against the same scale.
  5. Plan easier lessons during the semester where there is less assignments. This provides breaks for both your students and yourself. During these times, go have fun! (Or more realistically, catch up on the grading that you keep putting off).

There you have it, my five “Welcome Back” tips for professors and teachers alike!

I wish you all the best!

 

College Writing Tips

Dear College Students: Take a Breath

Take a breath.

Like many of you, I, too, returned to college classes this week. Unlike many of you, I return as a professor and not a student. However, as I was still a student in January of 2017, I feel that I am uniquely qualified to comment on both sides of the coin as both former student and current professor.

I am sure that many of you are already overwhelmed. The syllabus is filled to the brim with assignments that you have no understanding of and due dates that seem impossible to meet. The professor seems aloof and you are pretty sure that they are just waiting for a chance to fail you. They do not care if you have a thousand other things going on at home, because their class is the most important. There is no way you will ever get through another semester . . .

Now, before your thoughts continue down this train of thought (a train I’ve ridden in the past), let me remind you:

Take a breath.

Of course the syllabus seems overwhelming, it’s an entire semester’s worth of work shoved into 8-10 pages.

Maybe your professor does such (sorry, those exist too), but more than likely, your professor does care about your success. And if they don’t, don’t let their attitude affect you. (Easier said than done right?) Find that one professor who does care and ask them question, even about other classes. Odds are, if they can, they are willing to help you.

There IS a way you will get through this semester, just like you did the last, and just like you will the next. ONE. STEP. AT. A. TIME. And one breath at a time.

Do not let this first week undermine your confidence. You can do this!

Poetry

Your Arms

Are my stronghold

When I have no strength

I walk through these halls

I hold it it and smile

I nod, even though I never

Heard the question

My brain is numb

Although I swear I can hear

My heart cracking

Inch

By

Inch

But I must be

Strong

Mustn’t I?

Except for when you are around

Except for when I am held

Protected, safe, sheltered

In your arms

When I can allow myself

To be weak

And to weep

As I hear my hear

My heart shatter

Piece

By

Piece

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Poetry

What Makes a “Good” Poem

A couple months back…

After posting my winners of the End of Summer Poetry Contest, I was speaking with another blogger who asked me,

“What makes a poem good?”

Only five words long, five simple words in fact, and yet this is an extremely, insanely complex question according to most poetry “experts.” Two summers ago, I took a poetry-focused graduate college class. During this course, I was assigned and read several articles on what makes “good poetry.” These articles dealt with questions such as:

  • Should poetry be a specific form?
  • Should it rhyme?
  • Should it have certain syllables per line?
  • Should it have a certain amount of lines or stanzas?
  • Is free verse (perhaps the most popular form of poetry) a form of poetry at all?

There are literally hundreds of thousands of questions and opinions circling poetry, particularly on what makes quality poetry. Just type in “What makes poetry good?” and before you know it, you will be sucked down the rabbit hole.

So, before you fall down too deep into that vortex of confusing judgments, I’m going to offer my opinion and break it down into five simple statements:

Good Poetry:

  1. Can be in any form! Every form was invented and new forms can still be invented by involving old forms.
  2. Should use creative (but not obnoxious) diction. Figurative Language is fun!
  3. Should emotionally appeal or relate to the reader.
  4. Can captivate your readers with a story or imagery
  5. Should “Mic Drop” last line; leave your reader with something memorable!

Now, I realize that my opinion is just one of many, so take it or leave it but remember that poetry is always evolving.

What do you think of my five rules?

What would you add or take away from my list?

Happy Writing Everyone!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogs / Life

New Year Blog Party!

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New Year, Same You!

While 2019 is definitely a chance for all of us to make some improvements and to strive towards those (realistic) goals, ultimately, we are the same inside. And there is NOTHING wrong with you being you! So share all about yourself in the first Blog Party of 2019!

For those of you who are not aware what a blog party is let me break it down. Generally speaking, a blog party is an online gathering for bloggers of all kinds to meet and engage with one another.

Here are some simple rules:

  1. First off, everyone is welcome to participate in this Blog Party (even if you do not currently follow me, although I would LOVE it if you did!) -> If you are a new follower of my blog, say hi and let me know so that I remember to drop by your blog and check you out.
  2. Leave a Comment! Say hi and tell us who you are and what your blog is about. Feel free to leave a link connecting back to your blog’s home page or to your favorite or most recent blog post! (Post this only once please.)
  3. Mix and Mingle! This is where the party begins. I am blessed to have nearly 2,000 followers and this is a great opportunity for many of my friends to meet each other. You guys are amazing and I think a lot of you would enjoy meeting and following one another.
  1. Remember, you never have to follow anyone just because they follow you. However, it is good manners to always return a page visit for a page visit. Did someone stop by your blog, like or leave a comment? Do the same for them! It only takes a minute.
  2. Don’t forget to REBLOG! Spread the fun by encouraging your own followers to join in the party! This is the best way to attract new bloggers by spreading the word.

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Happy New Year Everyone! What are some of your 2019 resolutions? Did you put up a New Year’s post? Leave it in the comments 😀

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This Blog Party will be held and moderated exclusively Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so don’t miss out!

 

Blogs / Life

New Year, New Blogging Schedule

Hello Everyone!

Can you believe that we have officially left 2018 behind and are no fully drawn into 2019?

Now I’m not the kind of person who looks at the New Year as something magical. Nothing really changes at the stroke of midnight. We don’t magically become better people who will hit the gym more and the carbs less. We don’t automatically become best selling authors over night. Our problems don’t just vanish into thin air. Sometimes people look at the New Years Eve/New Year’s midnight as some mystical power to start over. The truth is, it isn’t.

That’s because we can start over at any time. Which is partly the reason why I am posting this on January 2nd instead of January 1st (even though to most my New Year post would make more logical sense to come on New Years Day). New Years Day is not physically magical, it is a mental reminder and that’s what I love about New Years. Perhaps this year will be just as wonderful or as devastating as the last, we can’t know for certain. But what we do know is this:

New Year’s Day represents a fresh start.

For the most part anyway. After all, we are still the same people as we were forty-eight hours ago with the same hopes, dreams, fears, and sins. But we always have a chance to start doing better, to start improving ourselves. This, of course, leads to the idea of New Year’s resolutions.

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Don’t we all, Kirk?

Most of you know all about New Year’s resolutions, I’m sure. And I’m not here to down on them, there’s nothing wrong with setting yourself a goal. The problem with New Year’s resolutions comes when we set impossible goals and then feel like failures when we cannot meet them. So this year, be kinder to yourself and set realistic resolutions.

Here are some of my resolutions for 2019:

  • Be a better, kinder, and more patient professor (and person in general)
  • Finish Planning and Celebrate my Wedding without worrying if it’s “perfect”
  • Finish my book with the same excitement with which I began
    • Sell 100 copies! (Hey, it could happen :D)
  • Visit my Papa and remind him what he means to me.
  • Take advantage of the moments I have with the people I love.
  • Be kinder to myself and stop demanding more than I can give.

I am going to address that last resolution immediately by reducing the amount of blog posts that I demand from myself every week.

Currently, I publish a post every weekday (Monday-Friday), which is five times a week. Beginning immediately, I will be posting every Monday/Wednesday/Friday, which is three times a week.

I believe that by reducing the amount of times I am posting, I will not feel the need to put up sub par work. Instead, this will give me ample time to create posts with detailed content.

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Don’t worry though, I’m not going anywhere! While I plan to only be posting on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, that does not mean that I will only be active on those days. I still plan to pop in and check out as many of your blogs as possible.

Thanks for checking in and reading this blog update, I hope that you all will continue to stop by and check out the new blog posts.

So, what about you? Do you have any New Year Resolutions?

Happy Writing Everyone!