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Excerpt from Writer’s Secrets Vol. 2 “Writing About Famous People You Don’t Know”

Proudly presented from www.writerssecrets.com  Book Series

Excerpts from Volume 2 in the Writer’s Secrets Series

“Writing About Famous People You Don’t Know”

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Available at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IG0PC9E

This series has has been developing for a very long time, for over fifty years in fact.

Dr. Jeffrey Lant has an extraordinary online writing course which compliments this Writer’s Secrets Series. In it, you’ll learn how to write the kind of meaningful prose you desire.

Find out more at: http://writerssecrets.com/intro

Sign up at: http://writerssecrets.co

Writer’s Secrets Vol. 2 – Writing About Famous People You Don’t Know

INTRODUCTION
Lucky you! You have arrived at the rest of your life. What you
learn in this chapter you can use and profit from every single
day you remain alert and willing to learn. In short, we here
today begin your great adventure.

Barbra Streisand has a signature tune that goes like this…
“People who need people are the luckiest people in the
world” (from the film “Funny Girl”, 1968). And this applies
especially to writers, for everything we write will be almost
entirely, if not exclusively, about people.

In this chapter, I’m going to give you the essence of what it
takes for you to rise high and triumph as a writer. Let us begin
at the beginning, as a writer about people and their multifarious
activities.

To begin this chapter, I suggest that you read the five portrait
articles I have written and included in this book… about Abigail
van Buren, Arthur Godfrey, Jacques Brel, Elizabeth Taylor, and
Pete Seeger. If you do, my comments will be more
understandable and useful to you. I have written hundreds of
profiles, ranging from the completely unknown subjects, to the
household names. Indeed, I am one of the major profile writers
of my generation. I want to pass on my mantle to you. It is worth
having.

To begin at the beginning.

As I have said to you before, the actual physical act of writing
should be the last thing you do to succeed as a writer. Good,
solid preparation skills are required. Start by reading each day,
a standard metropolitan newspaper. In it, you will discover
thousands of names and stories. Some are obscure, some of
transitory interest, others of cosmic significance.

Your job is to be totally at ease with humanity, to the extent that
you are bold, and even audacious. Your job is to understand
completely all aspects of humanity in all of its manifestations…
good, bad, but never indifferent.

Make it a point, each day, and I do mean every day, to read
through every kind of story and determine which ones would be
of the greatest interest to the greatest number of people, and
which can benefit from your peculiar “eye”.

You may ask, ‘What is an eye?’ Simply this: it is the inner
compass that enables you to immediately determine the value,
standing, and significance of any particular person or subject.
In short, what is worth writing about, who is worth writing about,
and what or who deserves to be dismissed, without further ado.

In any given day, by following this methodology, you will find
one to ten new subjects you can write about. I have a scientific
way about dealing with these potential leads. I take a pair of
scissors and a big box. I put my newspaper page over the box,
and cut out the articles which promise to become, in my
practiced manner, my next articles, hence, my next successes.

My aim at this point is clear and simple: which people and
subjects are of the greatest importance and value, interest, and
excitement. In other words, how can I influence the greatest
number of people, get the greatest possible response, and let
us not forget, the most money. For one way or another, there
must always be that.

Your job is to keep looking for subjects every day of your life,
until your box, no matter what its size, is overflowing with
possibilities. And when I say overflowing, I mean precisely
that. I have drawers in my office filled with ancient clippings for
articles which are still (mostly) relevant to write.

Next, review your clippings and prioritize the subjects you want
to write about. I advise you to write about subjects which have
a long shelf life. For example, presidents of the United States
and other high political figures of nations worldwide, movie stars
with proven careers, or ones that look likely to succeed.

Write too, about legislators of note, and scientists who are
engaged in momentous tasks.

Write too, about sports figures, particularly those who look like
a good long term investment. Think also of authors, and your
fellow writers. Think of people who are on the cutting edge of
any aspect of human affairs. Who is looking out for aliens in
outer space? And who is rushing ahead with a microscope and
a microbe, destined to change the world?

Keep in mind, that any individual person, given the precise set of
circumstances, is worthy of your pen. Remember, writers do not
merely report, we are visionaries. We see beyond the present
realities, and hoist our colors to any significant mast. We do not
merely report the news, that is for lesser souls, we explain the
news and the people who make it.

Now let us look at aspects of the five articles I have provided in
this volume on –

Abigail van Buren, Arthur Godfrey, Jacques Brel and Pete Seeger

 

About the Author

Dr. Jeffrey Lant is known worldwide. He started in the media business when he was 5 years old, a Kindergartner in Downers Grove, Illinois, publishing his first newspaper article. Since then Dr. Lant has earned four university degrees, including the PhD from Harvard. He has taught at over 40 colleges and universities and is quite possibly the first to offer satellite courses. He has written over 40 books, thousands of articles and been a welcome guest on hundreds of radio and television programs. He has founded several successful corporations and businesses including his latest at …writerssecrets.com

His memoirs “A Connoisseur’s Journey” has garnered nine literary prizes that ensure its classic status. Its subtitle is “Being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck, and joy.” A good read by this man of so many letters. Such a man can offer you thousands of insights into the business of becoming a successful writer. Be sure to sign up now at www.writerssecrets.co

More can be found on Dr. Lant on his author page at: http://www.amazon.com/author/jeffreylant/

ebook_cover ebook productGet a FREE Copy of “Create An E-Book Today. Publish It On Amazon.com. Profit From It for the Rest Of Your Life!” by Dr.Jeffrey Lant Get Your FREE Copy CLICK HERE

George Quacker Production

Div. Jeffrey Lant Associates, Inc.

All Rights Reserved

 

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The New Writer’s Secrets Series Vol.1 is Released

Just Published Writer’s Secrets Vol.1…

“How to write About Famous People You Know”

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Get your copy at:  https://www.amazon.com/Write-About-Famous-People-that-ebook/dp/B01I7RH9D8/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1468182813&sr=1-3&keywords=Writer%27s+Secrets

This may seem like a strange topic to open this series with so why did Dr. Lant do it?

He choose this topic because as he writes

“I have started with what could be construed as an advanced class
because once you master this, you will be able to gain
access and commendable results from any famous person
in the universe.

You will never say, if you have ever said, and might truly say,
that you have nothing to write about… like a woman going to
a closet full of gowns and saying “I have nothing to wear”. You
will never say again, having mastered this chapter, that you have
nothing to write about. Master these guidelines, and fly high…”
Dr. Jeffrey Lant has an extraordinary online writing course which compliments this Writer’s Secrets Series. In it, you’ll learn how to write the kind of meaningful prose you desire.

Find out more at: http://writerssecrets.com/intro

Sign up at: http://writerssecrets.co

Listen in –  Dr.  Lant will introduce you to his new series with a special reading from the introduction

Read along and find out more at: http://writerssecrets.com/excerpts-from-writers-secrets-vol-1-writing-about-famous-people-you-know/

Check out Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s Author Page at Author Central for all his latest books, events and blog posts.

Go to: http://www.amazon.com/author/jeffreylant/

Another very helpful book –

Get a FREE Copy of “Create An E-Book Today. Publish It On Amazon.com. Profit From It for the Rest Of Your Life!” by Dr.Jeffrey Lant Get Your FREE Copy CLICK HERE

Businessmen, Entrepreneurs, Writers – It’s All Here, Everything You Need All in One Package – Writers Secrets VIP Platinum Package

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Hear what he has to offer at: 

He has spent years of his life developing this and has bundled it up into a package.

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Includes EVERYTHING in the Silver Package (Writing Course- 52 lessons) 

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and in the Gold Package(has added Connoisseur’s Journey, Cash Copy to the Silver package) AND

500 articles by Dr. Lant you can use to build traffic. Publish them in your blogs, online or off, (just credit Dr. Lant as author).

 “How to make a whole lot more than $1,000,000 writing, commissioning, publishing and selling ‘how to’ information.” 548 pages. $9.95 retail. 

Platinum Membership entitles you to sell our products and packages and earn big commission bucks now.

EVEN MORE! PLATINUM is where it’s at! Look see…

 Order immediately at http://writerssecrets.co and get a FREE COPY of Dr. Lant’s best-selling book “The Unabashed Self-Promoter’s Guide: What every man, woman, child and organization needs to know about getting ahead by exploiting the media.” $9.95 retail value. 366 pages

EVEN MORE! Bring on the Jamboree. Want to tap into our database and make influential book publishing, marketing and promotional contacts WORLDWIDE. >From time to time, Dr. Lant hosts the Jamborees where you are welcome to share contacts with your prospects worldwide. These informal meetings deliver moneymaking contacts you can use daily!

And STILL MORE! When you get your Platinum Package, you get a key to The Vault, the special area where Dr. Lant keeps a trove of incredible money-making items. There is so much in The Vault for your benefit, we can confidently predict you will never get through it all!

Go NOW and grab this deal before it’s to late at: http://writerssecrets.co

Get a FREE Copy of “Create An E-Book Today. Publish It On Amazon.com. Profit From It for the Rest Of Your Life!” by Dr.Jeffrey Lant Get Your FREE Copy CLICK HERE

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Flex. Pose. Flex again. And smile. An article you must read if you think you’ve got what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

marketing_muscleAuthor’s program note. To be honest with you, I hated working for people. I hated taking orders. I hated doing the things my bosses wanted me to… rather than the things I wanted to do. And as for the word “boss” it made me sick. So, I had only these choices: grin and bear it, working for the man because I needed the bucks… becoming a beach bum… or working for myself. And that, of course, is the alternative I selected… because knuckling under just doesn’t work for me… and I burn way too easily and was always bored laying around outside.

Thus becoming a (rich) entrepreneur was my only alternative. Yes, rich because failure was never an option. But how to pull it off?

Donna Summer helps.

In 1983, Disco Diva Donna Summer, the notorious Queen of every night and desire, came out with a song that forced the attention of every person who saw life and its golden options slipping away while they stayed in the indentured servitude called a job. To get started, Donna had herself run away from everything she knew in Boston seeking destiny. As such she made the choice as clear as clear could be. Keep bending the knee and saying “yes sir” to a jack ass…  or exercise your God- given right to fly and fly high. It was your choice, she said. Seize it.

The tune was “She Works Hard For The Money”… and Donna spat it out, challenging the folks in her audience who said they wanted more… but just couldn’t break away from their dead-beat reality.

But I could. I had to. My back was against the wall. The very best position to be in to start one’s trek to success. And so I quit my hated day job as a college administrator and took the Red Line to Park Street. I walked up Beacon Hill, where so many of the aspiring had walked over the centuries and plunked down $100 to file my corporate papers. It was my last, my only $100, and my pride (to say nothing else) made failure unthinkable because had it occurred its consequences would have been unendurable.

And so I embraced success like the life preserver it was. For me, this meant writing. Over the course of my life I have written 18 books and over a thousand articles. But not one of these scribblings is as important as “The Consultant’s Kit: Establishing and Operating Your Successful Consulting Business.” It was the little seed from which everything else grew.

Boston Center for Adult Education.

From the very first moment I arrived in Cambridge in the fall of 1969, I realized that I’d need extra money to supplement the fellowship Harvard gave me to pay for my graduate studies. The easiest way for me to get it was to teach, and so I established a beneficial relationship with BCAE, which soon discovered that my ideas for classes pulled in the students and made them money. Thus, they were always receptive to my suggestions, one of which was a full-day Saturday workshop on consulting. It was popular right from the start. But there was a problem… I talked much faster than the participants could write… and they were always complaining about how much they were missing and “Could you please slow down, Dr. Lant?”

The solution was not slowing down… it was writing, and as quickly as possible, a book that offered every step you needed to take to become a successful, money- making problem-solver. In those dim, distant days this is how I did it: I wrote the book by hand, then typed the pages, a bottle of miracle-working white-out always near at hand. Then I took it to the copy-shop in Harvard Square… where I arranged to pick up 30 copies or so on my way to the workshop. I couldn’t wait to see the fruit of my brain and nimble fingers.

“Dr. Jerry Lant.”

But when I saw the book, bound in heavy blue construction paper, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It said “by Dr. Jerry Lant.” My composure melted…

You see, for my entire life many people have pronounced my name “Jerry” although it most clearly isn’t. And today this error caused real pain and acute irritation. The copy meister checked the work order, saw it was his problem, and went to work with a will, ripping off the covers. “Don’t worry, sir. We’ll fix the problem. How much time have we got? HOW MUCH?” And so I entered the self-publishing business ripping my cherished volume to accommodate new covers…

… which were delivered on time but wet… and smeared… and woebegone.

But here’s the punch line: at day’s end, I had, at $35 per copy, over $1000 in my hand, a fortune. But more important was the fact even in their primitive presentation they sold at a very profitable price, thereby indicating that I was on the right road. The question was whether I would continue to publish the book myself or enter into a contract with a traditional publishing company.

The Agent.

About this time a friend introduced me to a very energetic and hard-working book agent who was looking to build his portfolio and income. He looked like “the cat in the hat” and was as imaginative and insinuating. A consultant himself, he liked “The Consultant’s Kit” at once and asked me if he could peddle it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I agreed. And about as quick as the Emperor Augustus said “boiled asparagus”, he told me he had a publisher for me, a big one. Could I come to New York and ink the deal? I was on the LaGuardia shuttle in no time… and was soon shaking hands with my certain-to-be editor at McGraw Hill, the largest business book publisher in the world. My Harvard- honed ego had the right publisher… or had it?

The publisher waxed poetic, the agent seconded his every word… a sizable advance, which I could well use, was promised… all that was missing was my signature. But the more I heard, the less I wanted to proceed. You see, if the largest business book publisher on earth liked my book, why shouldn’t I keep publishing it myself… getting far more than standard commissions, reaping all?

And so I startled both these gentlemen by saying no. Whereupon the cat pulled me into the corridor and gave me a ringing piece of his mind, I can hear to this day. “Are you crazzeeeee man?” Back in the editor’s office, he uttered the most telling of put-downs: “But you know nothing about publishing, nothing about distribution.” My response, “I can learn.”

And so I kissed the biggest advance of my life good-bye and left Manhattan hearing their lurid predictions and imprecations ringing in my brain.

“This book is better than sex!”, real marketing muscle.

Having made my bed so must I now lay in it, and here inspiration struck. For I had a friend who was always pestering me to help get him a better job than being a waiter. Now I had one… and by the next day, he was outfitted in a skin tight t-shirt emblazoned with a picture of the book and these magnetic words: “This book is better than sex!” His job was to take his hunky physique and show it off in every one of Harvard Square’s then-numerous book stores, posing and smiling until he had an order.

And if there were questions, he was to call me and we’d sort it out as we went. “What is our discount rate?” “What was our returns policy?” We worked it out question by question as he smiled, flexed, and got orders… and, more importantly sales, for this baby sold like hot cakes, even at Harvard Business School where one irritated professor asked me in the snidest possible way why my book, however ungainly, sold where his more learned tome did not. “Because I show them how the real world works and how they can master it for maximum gain… and yours doesn’t.” He left fuming…

Over $1,000,000 in my pocket.

Thus my empire grew and prospered, built on guts, bulging biceps and a willingness to do whatever it took… “The Consultant’s Kit” alone netting me over a cool million dollars. And like Donna Summer, I did it while dancing, for “working hard for the money” would never be enough…. joy and bliss needed to be part of the mix, and with me they always were. Go now to any search engine and listen to the lady and prepare to dance. It’s what successful entrepreneurs do.. and gladly so.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

About the Author

Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s 69th birthday is fast approaching. He is, he likes to
say, in the prime of his prime. Thus does the “scribbling” life he commenced at age
5 continue. Twenty books. Thousands of articles. Untold radio and television programs;
worldwide recognition and enthusiasm, all of which culminated in the publication of
his autobiography, “A Connoisseur’s Journey, being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck and joy”. It was a book that screamed “classic!”, and he has
delighted in the several awards that followed.

To get your copy go to www.writerssecrets.com. You will also want to join his writing
course and learn from this master communicator just how you can improve everything
you ever write.

www.writerssecrets.com
George J. Quacker Production
Div. Jeffrey Lant Associates, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

 

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day…” Christmas Eve 2015. God is not dead, nor doth He sleep. Cambridge, 1:17 a.m. 69 degrees Fahrenheit, 9 mph, humidity 94%.

Excerpt from “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear. Christmas Stories”by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Available at: http://www.drjeffreylant.com/store/p76/Christmas-stories-2016

Chapter 5

Longfellow“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day…”  Christmas Eve 2015. God is not dead,
nor doth He sleep. Cambridge, 1:17 a.m. 69 degrees Fahrenheit, 9 mph,
humidity 94%. 

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s Program Note.

I am sitting at my desk in one of the most beautiful rooms on Earth, the Blue
Room. Here on my well laden shelves reside the thoughts of generations of
my peers and colleagues through all the lands and ages, each one necessary
for the value and impact of the whole. We gather here, all of us, to refresh
ourselves in the peace and serenity of this place, for I insist that here peace
and serenity, diversity and tolerance shall reign supreme.

On this day, Christmas Eve in the morning, we are thinking of our dear friend
and Cambridge neighbor, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882). I can tell you a
great deal about this great lyric poet of the Great Republic. A thousand miles from
where his swiftly moving pen enlivened each page, in prairie Illinois, he brought me,
through the magic in my young mother’s voice to “the shores of Gitche Gumee, by the
shining Big-Sea-Water,” thence to “the wigwam of Nokomis, daughter of the Moon,
Nokomis”.

She and Longfellow, reader and author, are so intertwined in my mind, that
remembering the one necessarily reminds me of the other. They are irresistible together.

They took me on Paul Revere’s epic ride of ’75  into eternity…  a determined
patriot with freedom enough for all a world distressed in his saddlebags… and
they made me feel the glistening muscles and smell the acrid sweat of the village
blacksmith whose shop I can walk to, though the chestnut tree is sadly gone in
fact; gladly to exist forever thanks to the poet who saw a story in the bellows
constantly at work at the forge, creating a nation more strong and notable
every single day.

Longfellow was the joyous poet of this blacksmith… this forge… this great nation
abuilding from sea to shining sea, never ceasing, never tiring, never flagging,
never quitting, never quavering, the whole chronicled by Longfellow, derided as
the poet of the masses by certain envious literati, a criticism he wore with panache
and festivity… and the respect of every Yankee, as his “squibs” fetched by mid century
as much as $3,000; an astonishing amount for a “mere” poet. If there had ever been a
poet so well heeled, able to live so well before, no one could instantly name him.

In 1860, this paragon of heart-touching poets was living a life anyone might
envy. He resided in the grandest mansion in Cambridge, once the great domicile
of Tory John Vasall, a merchant whose loyalty to King and Crown cost him beyond
dear. George and Martha Washington made it their headquarters while George
created an army of farmers, so powerful at the end that the greatest nation
on Earth, bowed low before their majesty, the world indeed turned upside
down.

Next, in 1843, Brattle Street and the imposing mansion given as a wedding
present by the bride’s affluent father, welcomed the prolific poet, his gracious
wife Fannie, and his soon to be numerous progeny, two sons and four daughters.
It was one of the young nation’s greatest romances. It became, and all too soon,
one of its greatest tragedies.

When joy ceases… and can no longer be even imagined. This is where tragedy
begins.

It began in an instant and was relived every day, every minute of his remaining
life; the death in 1861of loving Fannie by burns sustained in a freak accident.
One minute the highest bliss known, the next unspeakable pain that destroyed
every happy thought and made a mockery of all the joy that went before and
could never be again.

Death abides in the hymeneal chamber of love and life.

I have on divers occasions visited what is today preserved as the Longfellow –
Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site, the sumptuous edifice
that began its life in 1759 as Craigie House. Here I have attended concerts
in the gardens, gathered the first lilacs and drunk wildly of their exuberant scent,
and peered over the white picket fence, wondering at the exalted beings who
had in their time claimed all this as their earthly paradise.

Would  I, I  wondered, write such verses to beguile a great nation? And would I,
for all that the words might come, yet also face eternal grief beyond reckoning,
no antidote to be had?

Such thoughts come easily and unbidden to poets who wander in the moonlight
on Brattle Street where the great house with its stately beauty yet fails to blot out
the tragedy that still reverberates within. I have known such unspeakable tragedy,
too, which words can never assuage. They return every day, but most of all at
Christmas. So do the blighted living feel the deep, abiding power of the dead, our
dead for the ones we most loved, hurt us the most deeply, and forever, simply by
leaving us. And we can do nothing about this final separation, this pain, nothing but
submit and bow our heads in profound resignation. But the pain abides forever.
This is the essential fact of the human condition, and it is bitter indeed.

On my last visit to this lordly residence, I made a special point of lingering in the
couple’s bedroom where Fannie lingered for a handful of precious hours after
being severely burned while putting locks of her children’s hair into an envelope
and attempting to seal it with hot sealing wax. Her dress caught fire, her shrieks
awakening Longfellow who was taking a nap just a few feet away. He rushed
to her assistance, throwing a rug over her, which proved too small to stop the
flames.

Fannie had died while saving hair from each child; instead just a day later, each
took a strand of her hair for remembrance and so she was buried on the 18th
anniversary of her marriage. There you will find her in the Mount Auburn Cemetery
where in due course she was joined by husband and where, in due course, I, too,
shall reside for the ages.

Thus the saddest event in the history of all the distinguished people who made
this celebrated house a home continued to burn. By the time Longfellow got
through to Fannie, both were badly burned, she dying the next morning of July 10,
1861; he disfigured for life, some of his deep scars covered by the patriarchal beard
he now adopted, giving him his trademark look.

The park service guide, whose objective is always moving the visitors through briskly
and maintaining a strict schedule tells the broad outline of this tale crisply and without
any emotion whatever. Their goal is management, not truth. To such guides I am
anathema, for I ask many questions, good questions and expect good answers, which
all too often I do not get. My presence irks them; their presence irks me. We each
understand the other perfectly,

Thus the guide told me to “come along” long before I was ready to do so. I am in
search of “Veritas” (“truth”), and this room, where so much happened, good and bad,
was there, the only eye-witness who saw it all. The hectoring guide didn’t.

That’s why I move slowly through this place of jumbled sensations, sensing the joys
therein but also, overwhelmingly, the terrible pain and grief; pain and grief so powerful
and destructive the great American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the essence
of American optimism and determination almost succumbed, his indomitable spirit
crushed by a single word, “Why?”, a question that all of us confront over and over again,
never finding a satisfying answer, but only the single word that perplexes, confuses,
and angers. So it is for you and me and our struggles; so it was with Longfellow and
his.

His writing, the chronicle of a great nation, stopped, his thoughts bleak and pathetic.
He was not only convinced he would never write again but that the glorious,
lyric words and the works he had fashioned from them for so long were as superficial
and trivial as his critics said, just so much forgettable dross, not a glimmer of eternity
to be had. He decided to have his say on the matter before his more learned friends
and colleagues had theirs.

He dipped his pen into fresh ink as dark as the thoughts he would write from it.

“Hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.” And as
these caustic, despairing words were recorded, his head was bowed, his grief
unfathomable, nothing left to live for.

But then he heard the bells of Christmas Day,1863, the joyous cacophony of
bells from Harvard and every steeple alerting the citizens that, yes, our Messiah
was born. Dour, dismayed, desolate Longfellow was so touched by their adamant
certainty, he changed the message of his poem altogether.

God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.

He wrote quickly, bold scrawls across the page, determined not to mss this
rebirth, this reaffirmation. For the first time since his great tragedy, he felt, if
not yet peace and hope, then at least their possibility. The bells of Christmas Day
had done their work, as the tears cascaded down his scarred face, a remembrance’
of deep love, abiding through the ages to come. God had heard. God had not
forgotten. God was here.

Envoi

The poem written on Christmas Day in 1863 was first published in February 1865
in “Our Young Folks,”  as “Christmas Bells”. The heart of the nation went out to the
grieving author. After all, everyone, whatever their situation or station had asked
at one time or another, the momentous question — “Why?”

He had laid his trouble before the world. The world responded with kindness, humanity,
empathy, renewed admiration, and love. Despite his thoughts of suicide, he came
to see how selfish that would be given the universal plea that he heal, write, and live,
the great nation’s great poet again.

However he was a man who had written but one love poem in his life. Of course it went
to Fannie… as did every thought and word, all dedicated to the great romance he
had won and lost.

Some years later, in 1872, English composer and organist John Baptiste Calkin
came to read Longfellow’s poem. Like all discerning readers, he felt the power of
Longfellow’s searing language, and he wrote the music which with the lyrics
touches us so. You can find the moving result in any search engine. I prefer the
version done expertly by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Listen to it when the
dawn comes up on Christmas Day, and be comforted.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

About the Author

2016 is fast approaching and with it Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s 69th birthday. He is, he likes to
say, in the prime of his prime. Thus does the “scribbling” life he commenced at age
5 continue. Twenty books. Thousands of articles. Untold radio and television programs;
worldwide recognition and enthusiasm, all of which culminated in the publication of
his autobiography, “A Connoisseur’s Journey, being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck and joy”. It was a book that screamed “classic!”, and he has
delighted in the several awards that followed.

To get your copy go to www.writerssecrets.com. You will also want to join his writing
course and learn from this master communicator just how you can improve everything
you ever write.
www.writerssecrets.com

A most beautiful article I hope you will listen to this beautiful reading by Dr. Lant and be moved by it.

 

 

 

 

peking_duck_headGeorge J. Quacker Production
Div. Jeffrey Lant Associates, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

Your lousy communication skills are hurting yourself and others. Here’s what you need to do at once.

communication_toolsIt’s time to call a spade a spade. We are members of the
most communications savvy and personally wired
generation ever. Even the tiniest mite has her cell
phone with camera. Yet the truth is, the explosion
of communications tools has produced less real
communication than ever; you and your poor
communications skills are one of the culprits. Listen
up! After all, it’s time your communication skills
improved to the level of your communications tools.

The quality of communications is not strained…

You, being an educated soul, are no doubt
familiar with Portia’s famous speech:

  The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

(The Merchant of Venice. Act 4, scene 1.)

Bold and even impious, I now advise you (while great
Shakespeare rolls in his grave) to change the
word “mercy” to “communications,” thus:

The quality of communications is not strain’d…
it is twice blessed…”

And so it is. Good communications are good for
the recipient and for the sender too.

You know this… but you do not act accordingly.
Which is why this (shall we say) motivating article
is so necessary and why you should take every
single word to heart and make radical adjustments
in your lamentable behavior.

Poor communicators (with the probability strong
that you are one of them) exhibit these traits:

Arrogance. The human animal is a selfish animal,
conceived in selfishness and nurtured in the belief
that the Great Me, the universe-centered I Am is the
most important animal anywhere at any time
. As a
result, this animal well and truly believes that she
is so important that others must feel grateful, even when
the communication is not returned.  Oh, my!

People (like you?) who do not communicate effectively
are people who are telling others, clear as crystal, that
they are superior to you; that their time is more valuable
than yours… and that these lesser folk need wait (and happily so)
and wait and wait some more until you condescend to
respond.

Such people by their behavior and non responsiveness
clearly indicate that you and your concerns are, by
definition, of infinitely less consideration than theirs.
And that you’d best be glad for the little you get, for
it is infinitely more than you deserve.

Poor communicators are slothful.

Good communicators, effective communicators
realize that the business of communicating is like
a tennis match. The ball must always be in motion
between the communicator and those he wishes to
communicate with. When the ball stops moving,
the communication stops with it. The person who
has stopped the communicating process is , by
definition, the lazy, inhibiting one.

All too often the communication stops and is
not extended because of unadulterated sloth.
It takes work to communicate… it takes work
to conceive a message and deliver that message.
It takes work to be prepared and move matters to
their next stage. However the slothful communicator
can and does think of a myriad of “reasons” why
he can obliterate the communications process
without remorse. Thus he goes blithely on with
his affairs while others, fuming, apply language
which is ever more blue as time passes and their
legitimate reasons for communicating go without
any response whatsoever. Oh, my!

A special cycle of hell

For the intractable, for the miscreants arrogant
and slothful who will not change, an idea: for them:
a special cycle of hell wherein they are asked such
questions as “are you hungry?” or “are you feeling
hot and uncomfortable?” These hungry and uncomfortable
miscreants answer and answer and answer. But
response comes there none, ever. Delicious.

Help for the socially challenged and shy johns
and janes everywhere.

Yet is the world of the non communicators made up
solely and exclusively of the arrogant and slothful?
Certainly not. It is also, and in significant numbers, the
preserve of the shy, the timid, the socially malaprop,
and untutored.

For them a single word: study.

There is one thing and only one thing which sets
us apart and elevated from animals of every kind
and place… and that one thing is communicating.
So, if you truly wish to learn, improve and foster
rather than retard communications, here is what
you must learn and do.

1) Learn empathy, that crucial ability to enter
into the minds and hearts of the people you are to
communicate with.
What is it they are expecting
from you? Deliver that, to the furthest extent
possible, and you have the essential element of
success.

2) Be prompt about responding. In an age of
instant communications, there can be absolutely
no reason for delayed or no response at all
except your own failure to provide it. The means
are at hand; use them “as quick as  boiled
asparagus.” And that’s very fast!

3) Be clear on where you can be reached.
Assume the person you are communicating
with does not have this vital intelligence. State
it clearly, thoroughly… and reiterate to avoid any
confusion whatsoever.

4)  Be willing to try again if the person you
are trying to reach (even if that person initiated
the communication) fails to respond
. Remember,
empathy is the basis for successful communications.

5) Above all else, never stop improving your
knowledge of communication and its techniques.
In this golden age of communications, the
overwhelming majority of loaves and fishes
will go to the communicating elite… those who make
it a point to master communications and steadily
enhance their knowledge and expertise. Make
that  person you!

Give this article to the communicating challenged.
They need it so.

Your last task for today is to give a copy of this
article to every substandard and inadequate
communicator you can. The task at hand, training
communicators and enhancing their skills, is a
lifetime affair. Start it now. There is so very much
to do and so many who need the help.

About The Author

About the Author

2016 is fast approaching and with it Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s 69th birthday. He is, he likes to
say, in the prime of his prime. Thus does the “scribbling” life he commenced at age
5 continue. Twenty books. Thousands of articles. Untold radio and television programs;
worldwide recognition and enthusiasm, all of which culminated with the publication of
his autobiography, “A Connoisseur’s Journey, being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck and joy”. It was a book that screamed “classic!”, and he has
delighted in the several awards that followed.

To get your copy go to www.writerssecrets.com.

You will also want to join his writing course and learn from this master communicator just how you can improve everything you ever write.

Family Histories, Telling Your Stories, Passing them on to Future Generations

pic_telling_storiesOur family histories let us know where we are coming from and our family stories are often the only way we can get to know past generations.

Perhaps Grandparents that we never got to meet in person through our stories we can make our loved ones become alive and vibrant!

At www.writerssecrets.com there is a special emphasis on telling family stories to make your beloved alive for others to get to know them.

One of the topics covered at www.writerssecrets.com was on writing about yourself. Which could be the beginning of your memoirs, or getting your Family Stories down to pass on to future generations.

Sign up for one year of writing insights with Dr. Jeffrey Lant and Guests
Go to: http://writerssecrets.com

Writers Secrets – Exquisite Online Writing Course to Master the Art of Writing!

Not just on Writing but Communicating.

How to use words to move people, motivate, broaden horizons,

Build bridges and bring people together.

 

Look at everything you get for just 1.5 CENTS per day…

That’s right, for less than 2 pennies a day

You get to have and use EVERYTHING produced  by renowned
writer, marketer, promoter and teacher, Dr. Lant.

Here’s what Dr. Lant is prepared to give to you:

Writing tips for each week. These tips are short, sweet, and proven to improve your writing.

Guests of the week. The conversations that follow are designed to help you improve your writing and are guaranteed to be fast-moving, clever, and packed with useful material.

Critiques of student writings. The discussion will be honest, direct, and positive.

Readings from Dr. Lant’s works and those of guests and experts.

Sign up at Writers Secrets TODAY to Lock in the incredibly Low Price for Life!

Go NOW to http://writerssecrets.com

Photo credit goes to Julie via Flickr

A Commentator’s anniversary, three years, one thousand articles, more than two million words, one man’s work, his vocation, his bliss.

A commentator’s anniversary, three years, one thousand articles, more than two million words, one man’s work, his vocation, his bliss.

Dr.Lant's_pic_newerby Dr. Jeffrey Lant.

Author’s program note. This is an article of joy and celebration, of luck and  commitment, of cold nights, nimble fingers on the key board, and of a wrestling  with words, from which God willing emerges a case clearly understood, clearly  argued, clear to all.

It is an article extolling hard work and the rightful pride that comes from  a job well done, that is to say a job that is based on unending, meticulous  research, on precise words precisely rendered, on fairness, on boldness,  audacity, and risk, for no commentator wishing to rise to reputation, eminence  and renown can tackle only the easy subjects, the light and airy subjects that  make readers chuckle over their morning toast, only to be forgotten at once and  forever.

This is an article about vision, about truth, about integrity and of tackling the  difficult subjects, the subjects that rightly concern and alarm people of intellect  and reason; people who rely on commentators to represent them and their desire  for a better world.

It is the commentator’s task to rouse, motivate, anger, chastise, warn, engage,  outrage, admonish and always to educate; it is his righteous task to point to where  injustice lurks and where there is a worthwhile difference to be made… then summon  the words in all their power, force, and majesty to make certain it will be.

It is an article that reminds readers that “retirement”  blights, eviscerates life  and leaves one discontented, de trop, the intellectual edge gone, the need no longer  apparent for getting out of bed to undertake something significant, noble, even  sublime;  saving a disconsolate child or a desolate nation the grand work which is our metier.

In the beginning there was the word… and it was no doubt published as an article.

I cannot recall a single day of my life when words and I were not in the closest  possible communion, producing my first published article when just 5, over 67 years  ago, then many thousands of articles (and many books, too). This is not to say, of course,  that there were days, and not rare, when the words and I were not on speaking terms,  each determined, before making up again, to cause infinite trouble and the kind of  acute irritation only one who knows you well can connive and render just so for acute  misery.

The music.

Before I go further into the arcane world of articles and commentators and my particular  niche, I recommend you visit any search engine and listen to the film score of Orson  Welles’ 1941 classic “Citizen Kane” so closely based on newspaper king William  Randolph Hearst, their spittle was deemed identical. Certainly the score by cinema  master Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975) caught the larger than life publisher, at once  mesmerizing, grandiloquent, sophisticated, grand as a white-tie evening at the opera;  his faults as magnificent as his carefully promoted merits… a commentator’s dream  come true… But then a seasoned commentator could take a grain of sand and using  it as the seed draw forth the rich lands of Egypt and the Nile and their mighty and  glorious caravans. That is what I learned to do day by day, word by word, article  by article; eager to learn; eager to share.

Scribbler, the early years.

>From the eminence of breaking into print at the hoary age of five, it was all up, up,  and away. A string of editorships in high school; the school’s paper, literary magazine,  and class book and… importantly… a weekly column. That column continued in  college… and it continued after I graduated from graduate school. Life for me was  an intricate game of dreaming up subjects of importance, researching and writing  them, then sitting pretty “having written”, as my mother said, the happiest state in  the cosmos.

When you add to this demanding agenda the fact that in those days I wrote a book a  year (the text to be finished, significantly, by July 4, Independence Day), had a  syndicated radio show, published the nation’s largest card deck each quarter AND  taught at a rotating roster of over 30 colleges, you may believe that life was hectic,  needing efficiency, energy, precise timing, and the legerdemain that all true wizards  possess, magic I had and to spare.

60, bone tired, art, and a man named Kosch.

One more thing must be added to the agenda of “things that must be accomplished”  and that was my burgeoning collection of European art and artifacts. This is important  for several reasons, including fulfilling a lifelong ambition. As my collection grew (rather  like how Hearst’s grew, with exuberance, frenzy, and a wide net) it soon became  obvious that I needed to remodel my home to accommodate my frequent acquisitions…  and so began over 5 years of discomfort, dislocation, and disarray, which is to say the  usual chaos, confusion and constant expense which are the true expertise of any  remodeler and what may loosely be called his “craft”.

During this exhausting period I exhibited all the signs of a distressed individual  enthralled by marauders, systematic fleecing being their goal and daily task,  the host to be kept alive and trapped until the parasites have eaten everything. My  blood sugar soared, my mood was as variable as New England’s famously  changeable weather, and when I had to move into a hotel for the last several weeks,  I knew things had reached a nadir…

Needless to say during this time of self-induced troubles, my writing suffered; there  was much to write about but my habits were injured along with everything else. The  man of words wondered whether the last one had been written. And then George  Kosch entered the picture.

George is a brilliant inventor of practical business and traffic generating software.  He has a knack for knowing where the ‘net is growing and therefore is able to  invent the next sapient application… and the one after that; in short, he is just  the fellow you want on your team if online profit is your goal, just as the third partner  and co-founder of Worldprofit.com, Sandi Hunter, has demonstrated the patience  of Job and the soothing touch of Mother Teresa in keeping customers worldwide  happy and promptly served.

One day George asked me if I would write a couple of articles for our promotions  and blogs. My reply speaks volumes for my emotional state: no, I said. But George  is a clever guy and he persevered… just write a couple, he said; you know you can  knock them out fast. Here’s where I shall be forever grateful to him… for he knew  that I would only be truly happy marshaling words to influence people. Then he  clinched the deal by saying I could write about anything… “Anything?” I asked with  a whiff of suspicion. “Yes, anything,” he responded… and the deal was struck  which in time gave members of Worldprofit.com over 1000 articles on a huge number  of subjects… 1000, I might say, and counting. In short, I was given at the precise  moment I needed it, an entirely new career at once challenging, exciting, worthwhile  and pace setting, inventive, developing new ways to use words and change history.

Item: Ample space for developing a line of reason, nothing hurried, rushed or given  the shortest of shrifts. As newspapers cut the amount of space dedicated to commentary,  my articles, at least 1500 words, revived the personal essay so much a part of our glorious  literature; supremely correct for the man who called himself The Master of the Lyric Words.

Item: Worldprofit personnel, called Monitors, were taught to read the articles  with meaning, eloquence, proper pacing and verve thereby reaching millions of people  through Worldprofit’s Live Business Center who heard therein the Master’s masterful  prose rendered by the most artful of instruments, the human voice.

Item: A  Writers Team was established, staffed by Monitors who assist me daily  find critical facts and details; a team every writer that sees it envies.

Item: Music was added to every article, thus enhancing the impact of each piece  as well as its instructional value.

Item: No punches were ever pulled. Where an article called for emotion, pain,  even anguish and profound humanity, these were summoned and used. The goal  at all times truth… the most difficult subject of all.

Item: Images were added to every article, again adding a new dimension.

Item: Flowers talked about their point of view; animals voiced their pleas for survival,  as important to the planet as humans and given far less attention. All were real,  not cartoons. Thus what they said was never sweet and superficial, but as vital  and genuine as necessary to make their case as planetary co-voyagers, their  sentiments as significant as ours. This, too, was new.    As the articles began to appear, so did the warm response of readers worldwide, a  response George Kosch monitored until he was ready to assist the process by  inventing software that enables folks to create e-books in three minutes, video articles  in less than a minute, and blog postings even faster. It was all Kosch, all Worldprofit.com,  all good; all the content freely produced  for and given to the members of our  unique community.

“The last of life for which the first was made.”

I am asked more often than most just when I shall retire. My answer comes from Edgar  Allan Poe’s raven, “Nevermore” and from the celebrated words above from Robert  Browning, always quoted with reverence and affection by my mother.

Under the circumstances to retire, having been handed just the task for which everything  in my fruitful life has prepared me would be deeply remiss and completely irresponsible.  Why unless held at gunpoint would one stop the benefits of a broad education at  several of the world’s most famous universities; worldwide travels; a practical affability that  makes human contact easier and more productive; words without stint and proven ability to  add more to the language…

…all this diminished upon traditional “retirement”, cast aside, along with great gifts and tools  to stay always and forever young in mind and out look, always grateful to learn, even more  grateful to share with readers who have given the emoluments of interest, intelligent response,  and praise sufficient and lavish. It is indeed all good, a garden worth tending for all the days of  my life, for the benefit of all, whether they know it yet or not.

Envoi.

About the Author

2016 is fast approaching and with it Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s 69th birthday. He is, he likes to say, in the prime of his prime. Thus does the “scribbling” life he commenced at age 5 continue. Twenty books. Thousands of articles. Untold radio and television programs; worldwide recognition and enthusiasm, all of which culminated in the publication of his autobiography, “A Connoisseur’s Journey, being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck and joy”. It was a book that screamed “classic!”, and he has delighted in the several awards that followed.

To get your copy go to www.writerssecrets.com. You will also want to join his writing
course and learn from this master communicator just how you can improve everything
you ever write.

At www.writerssecrets.com Dr. Lant will be sharing with you experiences, tactics, stratagems, secrets and insights it has taken him a full, rich and productive lifetime to accumulate.

The prime model and text for his Writers Secrets Online Course will be

A Connoisseur’s Journey: Being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck, and joy.

An awards winning, gloriously written and unique memoir by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.

Awarded FIRST in Class at Southern California Book Festival.

SECOND in Class at the Great Midwest Book Festival.

Dr. Lant also was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award with a focus on “A Connoisseur’s Journey” with this citation.

“Dr. Jeffrey Lant. On behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I congratulate you on the release of your Memoir, ‘A Connoisseur’s Journey’. Your work is a groundbreaking experiment into the use of musical citations in literature, adding depth and nuance to the reading experience.”

(signed) Charles D. Baker, Governor and Karyn E.Polito, Lieutenant Governor

Preface of “A Connoisseur’s Journey” by Dr. Jeffrey Lant –

This is my twentieth book, but only the first of my memoirs. Over the course of my long connection with books, the discovery, the reading, the writing, the rewriting and rereading I have come across many volumes of memoirs, some glorious and gloriously written, some so forgettable that you cannot remember the author even a moment after putting the dreary pages down, vowing to avoid him like the plague forever after. However I, dear reader, shall give you what you want in a memoir… humor, indiscretion, secrets, stories of the rich and famous, stories about places and situations you’ve longed to visit and enjoy. You will learn much in theleast demanding of ways… and feel more and more intelligent as you read.

 

You will be in the hands of a man of learning, privilege, and audacity, who has been there, done that, and lived to write the tale. There is nothing fair or objective in what you’re about to read. Nor should there be. For a memoir is all about you, your life, your point of view, your unique journey wherever on Earth and in whatever way you choose to make it. And if some — even you! — cavil or object to even a single word or sentiment, why then write your own memoirs, for the genre is open to all.

Snippets Caught of “A Connoisseur’s Journey – Being the Artful Memoirs of a Man of Wit, Discernment, Pluck and Joy” in the Making

“A Connoisseur’s Journey” masterfully written, in a totally unique style, was over a year in the creation. Written live on screen and caught in video snippets available now for you to see the unfolding of this fascinating memoir – “A Connoisseur’s Journey – Being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck and joy” by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

  • Get over 40 video snippets of Dr. Lant live from the Worldprofit Live Business Center – the birthplace in the creation of “A Connoisseur’s Journey”
  • See the master at his craft developing his totally unique style of creating a memoir
  • Learn of his writer’s team, his choice of musical selections for each segment of his book, his thorough research using the power of the internet in a way never been done before
  • Follow the unfolding of this book chapter by chapter with readings by the author, Dr. Lant and some of his writing team, fresh after just having been written

Get your copies NOW at: http://writerssecrets.co

 

 

Of scribblers. Our obsessions and our unending need for you

Scribbler_sargentOf scribblers. Our obsessions and our unending need for you.

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. This is an article about writers, our idiosyncrasies and distinct peculiarities, our need for empathy…; for your ear… and, always, for your eye and deft delivered honesty.

I have been a published author now for nearly 60 years, and I know the labor pains that stop you in your tracks and force you to pay heed to the miracle of creation. It is often inconvenient, frustrating even humiliating, frequently maddening but, oh, on the days when all the myriad of necessary elements arise to bring forth just the right words, the moving words you live for, there is nothing more glorious… those are the days we “scribblers” live for…

… and this article is designed to help you get more… and more… of them.

The scribbling countess.

Countesses are thin on the ground in Midwestern America. In fact, I saw nary a single one in my formative years in Eisenhower’s Illinois. But thanks to the wonder of books I knew everything a curious boy needs to know about such exotics… and therefore I was not abashed when Elizabeth, Countess of Longford, wife of the 7th Earl, received me at her London pied a terre.

I had written to her, internationally known author that she was, because I was then working on my first book, on the Court of Queen Victoria, and the staff at Windsor Castle had rather indiscretely disclosed Lady Longford had, whilst working on her best-selling biography of Queen Victoria, seen a particular box of the queen’s papers I found so valuable (all unpublished) but had not opened the box, leaving it she later laughed, for me…

… charming of course… though the real reason was because she was at the end of her research and wanted no more documents… and besides was dressed to the nines for some evening soiree; the box was dirty, dusty, a distinct challenge for the lady’s white gloves. And so historical fact gave way to the necessities of perfect presentation. I liked her at once… especially when she called her renowned family of writers, with skill and craft abundant in each succeeding generation, the “scribblers.” I knew when she said it that I wanted to spend my life scribbling, too, in the grand tradition, of course… literate countesses with high-sounding names and smiles that promised wicked revelations always welcome…

Young people, enthusiastic teacher, late passerby.

What made me think of Lady Longford and all the other portions of this article was a scene caught out of the corner of my eye on election day, November 8, 2011. I was en route to my yearly eye examination, a necessity for every card-carrying diabetic who, like me, must closely calibrate the creep of age by the waning of visual clarity. Such visits are not negotiable, for you cannot negotiate with aging. My driver Mr. Joseph pulled into his usual spot in front of the Agassiz School on Sacramento Street in Cambridge, where I leapt out. I told him I needed just 6 minutes since there were no pressing issues amongst the sleepy electorate and therefore no turn-out.

But when one is as clear as I was about the time required, fate was duty-bound to trip me up… and so it did.

The school uses election days to hold cash-raising bake sales… and I had never stopped before to look. This day I did. An enthusiastic teacher was half minding the “shop’ which had no other customers than me while telling the 15 students, all about 14, how to describe the tree pictured in a poster on the wall. He was teaching them to perceive… and to write not just what their eyes saw but what their imagination saw, a very different thing.

Having voted, I returned as I had never done, not to purchase (though I did) but to listen for an instant to their teacher, fully engaged with his important subject, and eliciting a barrage of the bright chatter that characterizes early adolescents hereabouts. (every one, parents would aver, Ivy material).. and in a minute, as I moved slowly up the stairs in a school landscape that could have been anywhere America, I began to teach that class and share with them as her ladyship had shared with me.

Don’t just look, see. Don’t just tell, imagine.

I set up shop, the teacher having been transformed into helper. My tools included a podium, a copy of Joyce Kilmer’s signature poem “Trees”, and Paul Robson’s stirring rendition of the poem with music by Oscar Rasbach (1888-1975). It was first released in 1922, just 4 years after the poet was killed in World War I, aged just 31. Robson’s moving version followed in 1939…

I asked my class to listen carefully to Robson’s take (one of many fine renditions), and so I am now asking you to go to any search engine and listen carefully. You are about to go on a journey into another age of simpler values and where these venerated words would force an involuntary sob… man or woman… Everyone understood why and was glad to see, relieved they could show their fond hearts, too.

“Trees”, published 1914.

“I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree….

A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray….

Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.”

Before writing, read.

One of the most important things for writers of any age is to both read your own words aloud, then have others read them aloud to you.

Thus, in my imaginary class, students would be encouraged to read aloud to their families, teacher, peers… and to ignore the taunts and gibes of the less enlightened for whom a special cycle of Dante’s hell exists.

And then, having written, to let others read from their works. Both exercises mandatory, not a luxury but an essential aspect of your craft.

All writers must develop a sense of rhythm, of cadence, of how to manipulate and train the human voice to draw forth from readers the precise degree of response required. Writers are magicians and the apt mixing of words their special alchemy, the more master of your skill, the more potent the results.

Understanding, refining, scrutinizing, impacting.

All writers must read more than they write. And they must learn the art of intelligent discernment, of how to find and use words to maximum advantage. They must learn this necessary skill by reviewing the words and works of other writers… and, always, by reviewing their own.

They must learn, for instance, to look beyond the surface and received reputation of a work like “Trees”… to see what is clumsy and doesn’t work, and what is sublime and piercing. That can only be done by careful study… and time… and by being the teacher every writer must become; a teacher of himself and a teacher of others.

And so, I should set as my assignment to the eager students of my imagining the task of writing — and then reading to us all — their own poem or essay under the title “Trees” inspired by Kilmer and Rasbach but the result owing everything to the writer, no fool at all, but the very voice of man and God.

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