• Mary K Gowdy


How the hell do you write a poem? You might ask. For most, writing a poem is an intimidating activity. I'm here to help you.


Whether you're here because you've always wanted to write a poem but haven't known how to begin or because your English teacher put you up to this, I’ll explain the basic techniques of writing poetry such as rhyme, form, poetic devices, and more.


I'm know writing a poem can make you feel self-conscious (or scare the shit out of you). So, before we get into any of the techniques, relax. Get rid of any expectations you have—whether of success or failure. You're not going to create a sonnet of the likes of Shakespeare, and that's okay. Don't beat yourself up over it. You're learning. Creating anything requires space from your insecurities and fears so that you can learn and improve.

The first thing you want to consider when writing a poem is:


The Idea


Common topics include love, loss, nature, and depression.


But poetry isn't bound to certain topics. Poetry can be about anything. Don't feel like you can't write about something because the idea’s not “poetic” enough. Write about what interests you. You can write about your life, thoughts, desires, your likes, your dislikes, an event that may not even include you, or you can make up a story.


A popular spoken word poet, Sarah Kay suggests making a list of 10 things you know to be true and then to pick the one that is least likely to have been written about by other people.

I would also suggest making a list of three topics you care deeply about. What gets you excited? What makes your blood boil? Or what will you rant about to anyone that will listen? Remember: don't confine yourself to an idea that sounds poetic. If it matters to you, it’ll matter to someone else.


The next few things we’ll be discussing are poetic devices you’ll want to use.


1. Rhyme


Two words rhyme when they end in the same sounds like “ring” and “sing”. Poems will often end their lines with words that rhyme, though they don't have to.


There are several types of rhyme:


  • Exact (or perfect) rhyme - the final vowel and consonant sounds match perfectly.

In the poem “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe:


“It was many and many a year ago, 
   In a kingdom by the sea, 
 That a maiden there lived whom you may know 
    By the name of Annabel Lee; 
 And this maiden she lived with no other thought 
    Than to love and be loved by me.”


“Sea”, “Lee”, and “me” all end in the same “ee” sound and lack a final consonant sound, so both their vowel and consonant sounds match to create an exact rhyme.


Then, in “The Tyger” by William Blake


“In what distant deeps or skies. 


Burnt the fire of thine eyes? 


On what wings dare he aspire? 


What the hand, dare seize the fire?”


“Skies” and “eyes” are exact rhymes, and so are “aspire” and “fire”. “Skies” and “eyes” share the same vowel sound of “I” and both end in “s” (which in this case is pronounced like a “z” because English spelling is messed up).


Exact rhymes are pleasing to the ear.


  • Half (or slant) rhyme - either the final vowel sounds match or the final consonant sounds do, but not both.

In “Not any higher stands the Grave” by Emily Dickinson


“This latest Leisure equal lulls


The Beggar and his Queen


Propitiate this Democrat


A Summer's Afternoon —“


“Queen” and “Afternoon” end in “n” but don’t have the same vowel sounds.


My next example is “A Ladder of Notes” by Yours Truly. (For the record, I only used one of my own poems because I couldn’t find another one I was satisfied with as an example of the vowel sounds matching but not the final consonants. I’m not that conceited—I promise).


“The soft guitar drained the moment of all but The darkness that dragged me inward and then cupped The light so blue below of the city’s ring.”


“But” and “cupped” share the same vowel sound of “uh” but end in different consonants.


  • Cross-rhyme - the end of the line rhymes with a word in the middle of the line or stanza before or after it.


“The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe


“While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,


As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.”


“Tapping” at the end of the first line rhymes with “rapping” in the middle of the line after it.


  • Internal rhyme - a rhyme between the end of the line and a word in the middle of the same line.

From Macbeth by Shakespeare


“Double, double toil and trouble,


Fire burn and cauldron bubble…”


“Double” and “trouble” rhyme and occur in the same line.


There are many more types of rhyme but they are far more obscure and harder to master. These are the basic types that every poet should have in their arsenal.


The Internet is a helpful tool for finding rhymes. RhymeZone is a website where you can insert a word and it’ll give you others that rhyme with it. B-Rhymes does the same thing but specializes more in half rhymes. *be careful, though, because B-Rhymes will give you words that don't rhyme at all but sound good together.


2. Meter


Meter is the rhythm of a poem. Rhythm is created by the alternation between stressed and unstressed syllables.


Stressed syllables are marked with a /Unstressed syllables are marked with a U

Every word has a particular syllable that is stressed more than the others.


es-cape

im-por-tant

po-wer


To figure out the stress of the word, here are two tips:


  • as you say the word, clap your hands on one of the syllables. If you clap on the syllable that’s stressed, it should sound and feel right to you. If you clapped on the wrong syllable, something should feel off and you should try again on another syllable.

  • if that fails or you still want to make sure, look up the word with Google definitions. You can just google “[insert word] def”. Underneath the word will be its phonetic spelling. There'll be a little dash somewhere.



Whatever syllable it is placed right before is the syllable that is stressed.


In English, verbs tend to be stressed on the last syllable and nouns on the first. You say “There’s a pro-test outside” but “they pro-test against injustice”.


Then, in my examples earlier, the noun po-wer is accented on the first syllable and the verb es-cape on the last.


*This is more of a guideline than a rule. There are several words that are exceptions.*


Determining the stress of a word comes with practice. I used to not be able to tell by myself at all, but I’ve gotten more accurate the longer I've written poetry.


Now, you can start building meters. Meters are broken into units called feet (or a foot). A foot contains 2 to 3 syllables with a particular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables.


There are five main types of feet:

  • Iamb - unstressed stressed

  • Trochee - stressed unstressed

  • Anapest - unstressed unstressed stressed

  • Dactyl - stressed unstressed unstressed

  • Spondee - stressed stressed

The meter of a poem is made up of two parts: the type of foot and the number of feet in a line.


  • Monometer--1 foot Dimeter--2 feet Trimeter--3 feet Tetrameter--4 feet Pentameter--5 feet Hexameter--6 feet

And so on, but rarely anything longer than pentameter is used.


To get the name of the meter, you add the name of the type of foot to the name for the number of feet in the line.


Type of Foot + Number of Feet in the Line


Iambic Pentameter is a common meter, especially in sonnets.


In “Sonnet 130” by Shakespeare, each line has 10 syllables divided into five feet—each with an unstressed and stressed syllable.


"My mis / tress’ eyes / are not / hing like / the sun;


Co ral / is far / more red / than her / lips’ red;"


Another meter is Anapestic Tetrameter in “The Destruction of Sennacherib” by Lord Byron. Each line is divided into 4 feet of 3 syllables (unstressed, unstressed, stressed).


"The As sy / rian came down / like a wolf / on the fold

And his co / horts were gleam / ing in pur / ple and gold"


3. Alliteration, Consonance, and Assonance


I've grouped these three poetic devices together because they're similar. They all are about the repetition of sounds.


  • Alliteration - the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginnings of words. Often, the words are right next to each other, but they don't have to be.


In Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge:


We were the first that ever burst


Into that silent sea.”


The alliteration of the “w” and “s” occur in adjacent words. However, in another line:


“For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky”


The “s” is again alliterated, but there are words separating “sky” and “sea”.


  • Consonance - the repetition of consonant sounds. What makes it different from alliteration is that it doesn't have to occur at the beginnings of words.


In “Twas later when the summer went” by Emily Dickinson


"Twas later when the summer went


Than when the cricket came,


And yet we knew that gentle clock


Meant nought but going home.


‘Twas sooner when the cricket went


Than when the winter came,


Yet that pathetic pendulum

Keeps esoteric time."


“M” is repeated several times in the middle or the ends of words: “summer”, “came”, “home”, “pendulum”, and “time.


  • Assonance - the repetition of vowel sounds.


In “Sonnet 55” by Shakespeare:


"Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;


But you shall shine more bright in these contents"


“Princes” and “outlive” have similar short “ih” sounds. Then, “shine” and “bright” also have similar “I” sounds.


“After Apple-Picking” by Robert Frost


"Stem end and blossom end,


And every fleck of russet showing clear"


The “eh” sound is repeated.


Repetition of sounds are beautiful for the ear to hear and the tongue to say. These devices help bring about language’s beauty.


4. Simile and Metaphor


Both simile and metaphor compare two unlike things. The only difference is that simile uses “like” or “as” and metaphor does not.


In “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns


"O my Luve is like a red, red rose

That’s newly sprung in June;

O my Luve is like the melody

That’s sweetly played in tune."


He uses the word “like” to compare his “luve” to a rose and a melody.


But in “’Hope’ is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson


"“Hope” is the thing with feathers -


That perches in the soul -


And sings the tune without the words -


And never stops - at all -'"


She compares “hope” to a bird without using “like” or “as”. Instead, she describes it as having “feathers” and “perching” and “singing the tune”, which are all characteristics of birds.


I once defined poetry to a friend as words that make you see something in a different way. Similes and metaphors can reveal new connections between ideas that your audience may have never realized. However, they are easy to overuse. It’s best to keep in mind that they are not the only thing that makes poetry poetry. And since their purpose is to reveal new connections, don't use one that doesn't say anything new. It's unnecessary and cliché.


5. Repetition


Repetition can include the repeating of words, phrases, whole lines/stanzas, or the repetition of grammatical structures. This poetic device can likewise be overused. When a phrase, etc. is repeated, it should have a slight variation in meaning or reveal something new in every situation it is repeated.


Then, the repetition of structures is called parallelism. This device can apply to phrases and whole sentences. It can tie two ideas together or contrast them. Whatever it does, the brain likes similarities like these, so using them in your poem will make it sound more pleasing.


An example of repetition occurs in “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas


“Do not go gentle into that good night,


Old age should burn and rave at close of day;


Rage, rage against the dying of the light…

And you, my father, there on the sad height,


Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.


Do not go gentle into that good night.


Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”


Throughout the poem, the two lines are repeated but are not repeated together until the end, so we don’t get the full message to the speaker’s father before then. The repetition ties the poem together in a circular way, like a maze with the full message at the center. The ending is a revelation of something you already knew.


Then, an example of parallelism occurs in ”How Do I Love Thee?" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.


"I love thee freely, as men strive for right. I love thee purely, as they turn from praise."


The parallel structure ties the ideas together so they build on one anther to emphasize the speaker’s point of what her love is like.


We’ve covered the main poetic devices: rhyme, meter, alliterations and co., simile and metaphor, and repetition. The last thing to discuss is form.


Form


There are two main camps concerning form: formal/traditional poetry and free verse.

Formal poetry follows a preset form like a sonnet or a haiku that has rules for writing it. But, formal poetry can be as simple as every line having the same meter.

Free verse has no rules, no rhyme scheme, no meter that you have to follow. You make the form up yourself.


A lot of people suggest staring out with free verse as a beginner poet, but I would suggest you try to write a simple formal poem like a sonnet (if you think a sonnet is hard, try writing a villanelle. *SPOILER ALERT: you’ll end up tearing your hair out*).


Free verse is very easy. . . to write badly.


It’s extremely easy to fall into the trap of just writing a prose piece with line breaks. Formal poetry already has poetic qualities like rhyme and meter built in, so no matter what, your poem will sound like one. Once you’ve written enough to develop your skills, then you’ll be better equipped to create that poetic quality outside the guidelines of form.


That’s everything you need to know to write a good poem. Remember: you’re just starting out so don’t expect perfection. Relax and enjoy the process of creation. Poetry is a fun way to express yourself if you let it be fun.


Thanks for reading! If you have any poems you’d like feedback on, post them in the comments. I’m happy to help.


#poetry #writingtips #writing

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Is this now?


Well, not exactly since I wrote this possibly weeks before this present moment. And I'm also several weeks behind in reviewing Westworld Season 2.


Since I'm so late, let's jump right into the topic of this post:


Westward Season 2 Review: The Good, The Bad, and The Things You Missed


And yes. There'll be plenty of spoilers, so don't say I didn't warn you.


1. I gotta talk about my girl Dolores


She was so creepy and badass this season. I loved it! In season one, there was a distinct separation between the Wyatt part of her brain and the Dolores part. But in season two, these two parts merged to where I really did feel like Dolores was her own person that was a combination of the two.


What was so creepy about it was how she could switch between the sweet farm girl and the vengeful Wyatt. Evan Rachel Wood does such a great job. The way she juggles the two sides of Dolores was both off-putting but natural. This combination of sides makes Dolores such a unique and fascinating character. I love seeing the damsel in distress get fed up with her role and decide to get vengeance on everyone who hurt her. It's such a delicious turning of a trope on its head.


2. Maeve


I love her sense of humor and that she has a heart for others. She hasn't been consumed with vengeance like Dolores. She's one of the most three-dimensional characters. Her search for her daughter was compelling and easy to root for, but I love how she chose to sacrifice being with her daughter for her daughter’s safety.


But I will admit, towards the end of the season, she became too powerful. I liked the idea of her being able to harness the ability to communicate and even control other hosts, but her being able to on such a large-scale was too much for me. I have no doubt that she’ll be back for season three. But I hope she won’t return as powerful. It’s not a good idea to have any one character be so powerful.


3. I still don't understand William


When it was revealed that William and the Man in Black were the same person, I couldn't wrap my head around how sweet Jimmi Simpson William became Ed Harris William. I hoped that season two would provide more backstory, but I still don't understand how they're supposed to be the same person. Maybe Jimmi Simpson is too good of an actor. Yeah, upon rewatch, I can see how he was holding himself back in season one, but overall I believe that he was a genuinely good person (not to mention I shipped him and Dolores so hard. How their relationship ended still hurts). In season two, the show reveals that he was always faking at being the good guy, but I just don't see it.


The transformation was too drastic and happened too quickly. If they’re going to make a change like this feel believable, the writers need to show it happening over several seasons. But they did it in like a five minute montage in season one. I could understand Ed Harris’ actions in season one, but once they threw in that he's connected to Jimmi Simpson's character, I couldn't understand his arc. And it got even more confusing even season two—partially because they're trying to show how they’re the same person. But that makes his motivations make no sense. If he hates Dolores for being fake, why does he invest in Westworld and in making Delos immortal? Then, he's disappointed when all he can make is fake Deloses. You think he would've figured that out with Dolores and not have wanted to contribute more to this fake reality. He constantly surrounds himself with what is fake while admonishing it for being fake. He’s also supposed to be the fake one and to have had this darkness in him all along. But in season one, he’s his most genuine self around Dolores, which is a pretty good moral man. Then, he turns into “true dark self”, which is someone that Dolores hates. That doesn't make sense.


And the dual timelines in season one seem pointless in light of season two. So much of season one was dedicated to building up the character of William/Man in Black and his connection to Dolores, but that’s so wasted in season two. He and Dolores only have a couple of scenes together. Then, think about it: he spends the whole season wandering around, bumping into his daughter, almost getting killed, murdering his daughter, and then accompanying Dolores to the Forge only to get tricked into blowing his hand off. He affects the main plot in absolutely no way. Yes, he was integral in shaping what Westworld became, but that was all backstory.


Lastly before I move on, I didn’t understand his interactions with the Confederados in Lawrence’s hometown. He trades in the guns, condemning the whole town to possible death, in return for “glory”. Then when he doesn't like how the Confederados are treating the townspeople, he kills all of them. And then the townspeople are like “you're a good man.” What?


Anyway, rant over. Onto:


4. Dolores and Teddy


I liked them as a couple too, but I knew they wouldn't last. Dolores is just too vengeful for Teddy and was ordering him around rather than allowing him to make his own decisions.

I hate to admit it, but their sex scene in Sweetwater was cringe-inducing. It could’ve been because I knew Teddy had his doubts. And afterwards, Dolores is like “what we feel for each other is real” but then she changes him to fit her goals. I think that she believes herself, but I think that if she truly loved him, she wouldn't have changed him.


I do love how their story ended. They were never meant to stay together. During their final scene, I so thought Teddy was going to try to kill her. It was a nice twist that he killed himself instead because it stayed true to the goodness of his character. I'm also glad that Dolores released him into the virtual paradise. It was time for her to let go, and Teddy deserved it.


5. Who is/was sentient?


I think there’s a difference between a host being awake and being sentient. It’s possible for a host to understand what they are and even act out against their usual narratives, but I think that a host is sentient only when they have found their own voice and are able to make their own decisions.


I don't believe that Teddy was sentient until he killed himself. Up until that point, he was just following his programming to protect Dolores and did what Dolores was telling him to do.


I also believe that Dolores and Maeve were the only two hosts that were sentient at the end of season one: Maeve when she decided to go after her daughter instead of leaving like Ford had programmed her to, and then Dolores right before she killed Ford.


Then, Hector is a good example of a host that is awake but isn't sentient. He understands what he is but is still following his programming. When he confesses his love to Maeve, he’s just spouting out what Lee wrote for him to say about his previous love.


Finally, I don't think Bernard became sentient until the end of season two, which leads me to:


6. While season one focused on Dolores’ quest for sentience, season 2 focuses on Bernard’s.


Season one’s multiple timelines revolve around Dolores, and season two’s around Bernard. The conversations between Dolores and Bernard/Arnold in season one are about Dolores achieving sentience, and in season two they are about Bernard achieving fidelity to Arnold. In season one’s finale, Dolores achieves sentience, and Bernard doesn’t achieve this until the finale of season two when he conjures up Ford after he had deleted his code from him. They achieve sentience in the same way—when they realize that the voice of their makers is really their own.


I love this creative decision because it allows the audience to get to know each of them better before they are pitted against each other in future seasons. It creates a nice dichotomy.


7. Kiksuya


In the first half of this episode, I kind of thought it was pointless, but as I continued watching, I fell in love with it. The story of Akecheta going to “hell” and back to find his love and then forming a new way for his people to survive in Westworld is simple yet compelling.


This episode solves a lot of mysteries—directly and indirectly. It fits into the previous narrative like an missing jigsaw puzzle while also providing a new perspective on what the Door is and what it means for the hosts to be free. It deepens the religious metaphor of the series, which I'll get into later.


8. Shogun World


Unlike Kiksuya which was a side narrative that added depth to the main one, Shogun World was a side quest that basically had no point. Don't get me wrong—it was one of the funniest and most entertaining parts of the season. I loved how it was basically a copy of Westworld, and it’s so realistic that that's what would’ve happen. It was hilarious watching the Westworld characters react to their shogun counterparts.


The characters, the sword fights, the setting, and even the narrative were all great. But other than Maeve discovering her new power, everything could've been cut and it wouldn't have affected the season. And Maeve could've discovered this new power in another way.

The detour into Raj World was also pointless. What happened to Emily could've just as easily happened to her in Westworld?


Not only that, but the addition of the other worlds only confused the narrative, which leads me to:


9. What the hell was happening in the other parks while this was all going on?


In Raj World, the hosts are malfunctioning and killing guests. Is the malfunction in their code spreading to other hosts or did Ford program them this way? Are they sentient? Does Ford have a similar plan for them to escape to a virtual paradise?


If the same thing is happening in the other parks, why is Delos only concerned about Westworld. Why are the Mesa, the Cradle, and the Forge all located in Westworld? Or do the other parks have their own versions? If so, why are they only concerned about the ones in Westworld?


Then, the hosts in Shogun World were also malfunctioning and able to kill the Calvary. But why was the Calvary even there because except for a few variations and broken hosts everything seemed to be going fine? Were they killing guests? But there were no guests in Shogun World. I didn't see a single human.


There's so many unanswered questions concerning what was happening in the other worlds, and none of the Delos characters even mentioned if similar things were occurring.

I love the idea of multiple parks, but the show jumped the gun with the reveal. There was obviously a lot more story to tell in Westworld, so they didn't have time to explore the other worlds. It would’ve been better if they had waited before giving that reveal.


10. Lee


I love/hate the trope of taking a completely unlikable character and turning them into a more layered, sympathetic one. As Lee connected with the hosts more, his character fascinated me. He was killed off way too soon. There was so much more to explore in his character arc as an employee who began to sympathize and work with the hosts.


And his sacrifice happened so soon that it felt out of character. There wasn’t enough time for him to believably progress up to that point. Some people have criticized his death scene for its cheesiness, but I'm sure that's what the show intended. You could tell by the music change. And how he delivered the speech was so hilariously bad. He was a ridiculous character up to the end.


11. I don’t think the fact that the hosts couldn’t die diminished their sacrifices


Though I knew that all the hosts that died were probably going to be revived, I still found their sacrifices compelling because they revolved around something more than just their lives. Maeve sacrificed her daughter. Then, when Bernard killed Dolores, that decision had ramifications for the direction of his character and the park that went beyond Dolores's death. Having the sacrifices mean more than just life-and-death circumnavigated the issue of them being meaningless because most of the characters can come back to life.


12. The Use of Multiple Timelines


Some people choose to see the ugliness of this strategy. The disarray of convoluted storylines. I choose to see the beauty.


I didn't mind the multiple timelines. In fact, I'm a sucker for big reveals that allow you to re-watch everything in a new way. So I loved the reveal that Hale was really Dolores in the present storyline.


The fragmented storylines in both seasons also further paralleled Dolores’ and Bernard’s character arcs. Season one was fragmented because Dolores was having memory issues, and likewise season two was also because of Bernard’s memory problems.


I like how these two seasons were told, but they should drop it for future ones. You can only pull off this trick so many times before it gets really old. I hate it when a show continues telling their stories in a particular way because they feel like they have to continue the trend rather than because the story needs it. For example, the flashbacks in Lost and Once Upon A Time stayed present way beyond their usefulness.


13. Religious Undertones


There's definitely religious undertones in Westworld with Ford and Arnold sort of representing God and the hosts man. The first season could be seen as an Adam and Eve story. Dolores and the other hosts gaining knowledge of their world caused them to break from their creators’ will and then chaos—or sin—entered the world. Then, in season two the Door and the virtual paradise represent the new heaven that God—or in this case Ford—had promised his faithful children.


Also, this season focused heavily on free will and the concept of reality for the hosts. Bernard—and eventually William—often questioned whether their actions were their own. And the other hosts rebelled against their programming in an attempt to find their own voices and wills.


Then, the reveal that humans are simple algorithms without deviation also suggests that there is no freewill. If humans are programmed to do the same thing without change, then their actions are based on something predetermined—just like the hosts. Hmm.


14. Do people change?


The idea that people are simple and never change is a bold statement for Westworld to make. But it's not the first time I've heard it, though. You know, for a medium so concerned with character development over time, TV loves circling back to the idea that people don't change. It's a cynical view of humanity.


And I would beg to disagree. I think people are often more complex than we give them credit for and that they do change. But I understand that my perspective has been shaped by life and the people around me, so I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


15. Hubbs is a host???


*sighs* Really? Why? There was really no point because Dolores as Hale could've escaped without anyone stopping her. And one to two “this human is a host” reveals are fine but any more is pushing it. It doesn't seem believable for his character either. And how have these people not notice that their coworkers don't age?


Whatever. Moving on.


16. I appreciate that Dolores gives Bernard the choice to fight against her.


For one, their fight over humanity is going to make great TV. And second, it fits with Dolores’ character. The humans controlled them, but Dolores takes the higher ground by allowing Bernard the choice to fight against her. She allows him to have freewill. Just another reason why Dolores is fuckin’ amazing.


Before I go to my predictions for next season, I have some honorable mentions:


Honorable Mentions:


  • Angela’s final scene in the Cradle was fantastic and provided spot-on commentary about society’s view of the ideal woman.

  • Lots of side characters need more development like Felix, Hector, and Armistice, and several more.

  • I knew from the beginning that Maeve would've been replaced as her daughter’s mother. I'm surprised that none of the characters thought of that.


Predictions for next season:


  • I think the virtual paradise will come back into play. And obviously Felix and Sylvester are going to fix Maeve up, so she will definitely be back for next season. I think that most of the hosts that died will be back for next season.

  • My best guess for the host inside Hale would be Angela. I'm not sure how Dolores would manage to get her code after she blew up the Cradle, though.

  • Next season will start a while into the future when the park is open again (or at least running). The hosts will have to reawaken, but it'll happen pretty quickly.

  • The writers won’t be able to resist telling us Dolores’ time as Hale through flashbacks.

  • Instead of multiple timelines, there will be a real world storyline and a Westworld storyline.

  • The other parks will be explored more. We'll see the shogun world characters again.


Those are my thoughts on Westworld season two. Overall, I enjoyed it, but there were definitely some things that could've been improved upon. I’m really excited for season three.


What did you think of the season? What did you like or dislike?


#westworld #review #tvshow

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Hey y'all! It's August and time to review my July goals and make new ones. Can you believe the year is already over half-way done?


July Goals


1. Write 20 Poems


Accomplished! I wrote exactly twenty. Before this I hadn't written more than eight in a month, so I didn't know if I had the stamina to accomplish this. It was challenging. I was writing basically a poem a day with a few days off every now and then. And a poem can take several hours to write. They were all varying lengths and types: long, short, formal, free verse. I tried out many new poetic forms like the alouette, nove otto, quatern, and octameter.


2. Finish the Recordings for Sensuality.


Accomplished. I had six poems left to record, three of which were my longest. I kept procrastinating on this goal, so I'm glad I made it one for July because otherwise I might not have finished it. I sent the recordings off to my friend to produce and should get all them back by the end of this month.


3. Post Regularly on YouTube


Accomplished. I posted four videos this month--one a week. I even did my first two scripted videos, which turned out way better than I thought they would. It made the whole process easier, so I'm going to continue making them this way.


I accomplished all of my goals! Granted, this was partly due to the fact that I was home with nothing else to do. These goals helped give structure to July so I never got bored.

Now that August is here, I have a new slew of goals.


August Goals


1. Format the Interior of Sensuality.


This includes the placement of the poems on the page, the front matter, and the back matter. I'll be doing all of this myself. Most likely, I'll use Microsoft Word or Scrivener. I haven't decided which yet.


2. Make the Cover for Sensuality.


I have a few ideas. All I need is to borrow or rent a good camera and hope my ideas don't fall flat. I'll be honest: I'm nervous about how this is going to come out because I've never made a cover before.


3. Update my Author Photo


I'm hoping to kill two birds with one stone by also taking an author photo of myself when I'm making the cover for Sensuality..


4. Begin Stage #2 for Poetry Book #1 (PB1)


Since I've never written a full-length poetry book before (mind you Sensuality. is a chapbook with only 14 poems), I have no idea what I'm doing. But it naturally happened that I've divided the writing process into two stages (for now).


Stage #1 happened in July. All twenty poems I wrote that month are part of this book. I focused on writing poems for the individual ideas I already had. Towards the end of the month, I felt like focusing on the individual poems was causing me to neglect the overall concept, which leads me to Stage #2.


For Stage #2, I'm going to examine the poems I've already written and figure out how I want to communicate the overarching concept. What am I missing? What do I need to explore more? How does one idea affect the others? Once I've figured that out, I'll make an outline of the poems I need to write and in what order they'll fit into the book. As I've said, I've never attempted anything like this, so I might scratch this plan later. But it's a start.


5. Write 10 Poems


It's only ten this month because I want to focus on the structure of PB1 which might mean writing less poems. Also, I have several other goals this month and am moving back into my dorm and starting school in the second half of August.


6. Gain More YouTube Subscribers


For the last few months, one of my goals has always been to post regularly on YouTube. Now that I've gotten into a schedule, I've changed this goal to growing my channel--specifically my subscriber count. I have a game plan for August. We'll see how it goes.


I have twice as many goals this month than I did for July--not to mention school is starting again. It's going to be a busy month. What are your goals for August?

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