• Mark Meier

Anyone who knows me beyond a casual acquaintance knows I don’t like poetry. Even simply reading this blog should be enough to know that much about me. Last year, nobody was more surprised than me when poetry spilled from my mind onto paper.

Yes, Blacker than Black was the first poem I’d written (other than tripe smeared across the computer screen in college). It was published in the anthology Lost and Found. Since then I’ve written a bunch of poetry, though I’ve not been exactly prolific.

When the first poetry was brought to a critique group I attended, I had nothing to say. I was still caught up in “what does ‘love is like a red, red rose’ have to do with anything?” I thought a writer should simply write what he or she thought. And what can anyone else add to . . . poetry. (Blech!)

Since that first poetry critique I’ve watched how input from others can help refine a poet’s efforts. I’ve been the recipient of honing provided by others. Whispers in a Storm is one such poem, thanks to fellow author Larry Bastian. I’ll never forget “that moment” when a simple word substitution could make that poem (ahem) POP!

Those who are helping critique The Brotherhood will get that joke. Everyone else will have to wait.

Prismatic Blossoms and Granite Boulder followed in short order, and then months passed before the poetry bug bit again. Now The Highway will introduce my upcoming book, The Brotherhood.

Critiques have played a major role in The Brotherhood. Everyone who has helped out know how rough that material was at the start. (Hint for beginners: they all are.) The Highway was no different.

If anything, critiquing poetry is even more vital than in prose. Poems, with the exception of epic poetry, are typically shorter than anything in prose. Every word has an impact, and a simple word substitution can be the difference between good poems and great ones.

The upshot of all this is I’d like to thank those who have helped bring about what I think is a great book which will come out soon, and the poetry I’ve published.

For your enjoyment, here is Blacker than Black.

Blacker than Black

Blacker than black

My soul disintegrates in the onslaught

Hope no longer remembered

Vanished across years

Despair



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  • Mark Meier

I admit it. When I see something wrong I tend to shake my head, and have to fight with myself to NOT correct things on social media. “That’s not question.”

GAAAAH!

“I could care less.” In other words, this doesn’t reach the level of “COULDN’T” care less.

The thing is, social media is full of this kind of thing. I’m not so much of a grammar cop that I HAVE to correct this - it is social media. That’s not meant to be the epitome of correct. Anybody spending a few minutes there would notice that.

On the other hand, I’m an author. My goal is to get my writing as close to the ideal as possible. But the English language is fluid, and what’s correct tomorrow might simply be what the usage is today.

“There’s less dollars in my account” has become an accepted practice, when not that long ago that would have required “fewer” dollars, because the dollars could be counted. “Fewer gallons” in my tank, “less gasoline.”

Even though that kind of thing is “doesn’t matter” these days, I’ll still fight against it.

I even try to use correct grammar and spelling in text messages.

Cn U blame?


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  • Mark Meier

One of the things which grieved me when Linda and I were married is her reluctance to produce art. She was an accomplished at painting in oil, acrylic, and watercolor. She brought a number of her paintings to our marriage, but for some reason she didn’t do anything with it after we married.

I didn’t know why. It bothered me a bit. I was ready to put aside some space for her to paint, but she didn’t seem interested.

Fast forward about fifteen years.

She published her first book, Davy’s Days, a children’s book. She hired a local artist (noted for her paintings of cranes - the bird, not the heavy equipment) to illustrate it instead of doing her own artwork. Then her second book, Davy’s Adventures, also by that same artist. Linda is a good artist, so why didn’t she do her own illustrations?

When she started putting together Eleazar and Friends, her previous illustrator seemed reluctant to work on it - for various reasons I won’t go into. But Linda stepped up and did her own illustrations. I think they turned out nicely, but I may be biased.

She explained:

“I misused my ability and God removed it from me. When Del Lucka didn’t want to illustrate Eleazar and Friends, we both prayed for me to regain that talent. God was good.” (That’s a paraphrase, not a direct quote.)

So Eleazar and Friends is now available. It’s a children’s story and activity book with coloring pages, connect-the-dots, word searches, and more. Kids love to interact with the stories they read (or have read to them). Eleazar and Friends is perfect for that purpose.

I’m proud to call Linda my wife, and proud she calls me her husband.


There's an interview with her here, starting at about 15:40 into the video.

You can find the links below here at the Meier Writers hub by clicking Kids Stories in the upper right corner, or directly at the links provided.

Davy’s Days

Davy’s Adventures

Eleazar and Friends



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