Accepting criticism

Being a writer and a poet, you must grow thick skin; be able to accept criticism. Either you will fall to pieces at the first rejection and give up, or you will take that experience and move forward, learning as you go. 
I've been pretty fortunate with my poetic endeavors. Yes, I've had more than my fair share of disappointments, but the good has far outweighed the bad. It is such a joy to read a comment on a piece of your work stating how beautiful it is, or how it touched someone so deeply, but to read that someone just couldn't grasp the meaning, or, "I could tell it wasn't a good day for you," well, that's a hard pill to swallow.
If we do gain some recognition from our work, it is now our responsibility to share what we have learned with our up and coming writers and poets. Suddenly we have a few little "proteges!" They now come to us for answers to their many questions. Now we are the ones giving critiques to their most precious work, work they have labored over for hours, and some for days on end. It's frightening when suddenly thrust into that most sensitive position!
Each and every day is a learning experience in the life of a writer. We must take the good and the bad we receive, put it all together and make it something worthy of the eyes and heart of the reader. Not a small challenge, but one we take on all for the love of the art that lives inside us.

A nice review.

I haven't posted her in a couple of days, but yesterday I was surprised with a most wonderful review of my second published poetry book, MY HOME, YOUR HOME and wanted to share a little of it with you. It starts out like this:

Charlotte Rains has written a comfortable book. By that I mean she has given us a work that provides great comfort and enjoyment. There is a picture of an overstuffed chair on the cover. Reading her book is like getting into your sweat pants and your favorite pullover and then getting cozy in that great big chair. You can not help but feel good during and after reading, MY HOME, YOUR HOME.
In her poem, "GOING HOME AGAIN," she points to some of the physical triggers that can help us make the journey back - a touch, a sound, the scent of rain. Her offering, "THE SMELL OF HOME," brings alive the reality of the smells of bacon, bread, fresh coffee and the rattle of pots and pans. She writes of everyday simple things and weaves them into a complexity of inter-woven memories of the past and the things that brought us comfort. Her family becomes our family and we can easily put the faces of our own loved ones onto the pictures that she describes.

In "COME STAY WITH ME," we find the real purpose behind the book:

" I bid you come and stay with me,
if you feel the need to be set free
from the busy city so full of strife,
to a quiet home and a peaceful life."

There it is! MY HOME, YOUR HOME is a chance for us to escape the pressures of the day, to flee the things that weigh us down, to break the chains that hold us back. C.J. Rains is much more than a poet, she is indeed a therapist! Come to her couch and be healed. It's as simple as that! But she does not call it her couch, she calls it "MY HAVEN." It is her private place, out of sight, a place that others do not know about, where she can go to ponder and relax. She tells us how to find our own haven:

"you've only to look deep inside
it's right there within,
That's where it begins.
You need not search far and wide."

Charlotte Rains is a talented and powerful writer. She has the ability to touch souls and she has done so admirably in, MY HOME, YOUR HOME - selected poems of home and family.

You can find the link to purchase this book right here on my blog under, My Books.

It's all about love!

What a beautiful day it is here in southern Arizona!

As I sit looking at all the lovely posts today, I can't help thinking how very blessed my life has been throughout my sixty two years. No, I haven't had all my "wants" in life, but my daily "needs" have always managed to be met, and for that I am most grateful.

While others go about in celebration of Valentine's Day; a day all about "love," I will spend most of my day at home getting some much needed cleaning done, and hopefully squeeze in a bit of writing here and there to boot. Yes, I am called "boring" by most of my family, especially my grandchildren. But at sixty two, I think I have earned the right to be "boring" if I choose to be!

Wishing all of my friends a very Happy Valentine's Day!

"Ladybug! Ladybug!"

This is one of the loveliest pictures I've seen of a sweet little Ladybug in a very long while. When I saw it, I immediately thought of my book, "Ladybug! Ladybug!" that is now in the hands of my friend and illustrator, the most talented, Alexandra MacVean.

Like most children, I had a fascination with these cute little creatures. Their bright colors and small size made them less of a treat to my tiny hands when I was growing up. I could sit and watch them for hours. And believe me, they were the only little crawly creatures that had the honor of sitting on my hand or leg! I was a "girly girl" when it came to other bugs or toads!

Hoping you all have a wonderful week end, and your Valentine's Day is jam packed with love!

The Beauty of Books

I seem to find beauty in each and every book I read. It may not be in the book as a whole, for I'm sure each of us have been left disappointed at the end of a book we were so anxious to read. Maybe the plot wasn't well thought out, the writer may have over used a certain word, or we simply got bored because it carried on too long and the climax didn't live up to our expectations. But with each book I have read so far, I've found at least one line, a paragraph, a scene, or a single descriptive word that made that book and that author memorable.

I am a huge fan of the Bronte' sisters. Their books have a special place in my home and everyone knows better than to ask to borrow! They will only enter into new hands at my demise. "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights" made me fall in love with the written word in such a way that I mourn their untimely deaths that took away any opportunity of delivering another piece of their beautiful work to this world. I own several copies of these two books along with all their other beautiful works.

I would be hard pressed to decide if asked which of these books is my very favorite, but I can honestly say that Cathy and Heathcliff hold a very special place in my heart.

Write that review!

We, as writers, not only want our work to be read, but we also like to know that our labors of love are being enjoyed, and yes, appreciated. I try to write a nice review for the authors of every book I read. Yes, we will be disappointed in a few, but for the most part, the books I have selected have brought me many hours of pleasure.

Right now I am nearly finished with a psychological thriller, "The Attic Room," by Linda Huber. It is her third novel. It has kept me thoroughly engrossed, and I can say now, even before I have finished the book that I will go back and read her other books as well.

If you have enjoyed reading a book, do that author a favor by writing a nice review. Let them know how much you enjoyed their labor of love!

Another Beautiful Day!

It's another beautiful day here in southern Arizona. The sun is shining brightly through my window, and I can hear the birds chirping away. My husband also saw a few little ground squirrels scampering about yesterday, which normally whispers an early Spring. I don't know about you, I am definitely ready!

For those who might not know, I have also co-authored a children's picture book series with a dear friend, Mila DelaRosa, entitled, "The Mis-Adventures of Chance. The third book, "A Day at the Park," should be available in June, meaning I will have yet another project underway soon with the last book of that series.

Yes, I have my hands full right now, but I am loving every minute of it!