Jacki Kellum Weekly: Highlights of My Blogging Week August 17 – September 3, 2016

I am currently blogging on several sites, and I have decided to post a Weely Review to allow my readers to have an overview of what I consider to be the best of what I have blogged each week on all of my sites.


Is It Okay for Writers to Copy or Imitate Other Writers?

“Perfect taste, like perfect pitch, is a gift from God. But a certain amount can be acquired. The trick is to study writers who have it.

“Never hesitate to imitate another writer. Imitation is part of the creative process for anyone learning an art or a craft.  Bach and Picasso didn’t spring full-blown as Bach and Picasso: they needed models. This is especially true of writing. Find the best writers in the fields that interest you and read their work aloud. Get their voice and their taste into your ear–their attitude toward language. Don’t worry that by imitating them you’ll lose your own voice and your own identity. Soon enough you will shed those skins and become who you are supposed to become.” Zinsser, William. On Writing Well, pgs. 235-36. Read more Here


Put ‘Em Up – Battling Fear – and Finding A Home Within Oneself

Most artists and writers battle fear, and when fear is in control, the writer will edit his words completely off the page. Likewise, the painter will erase every mark that he makes. There is no need to deny that we are afraid, and there is no need to put on a tough-guy mask. We simply need to accept the fact that some things in life are scary, and afterward, we must march forward. Read more Here


I am firmly convinced that a type of creative angel does lie within each of us and that as we begin the process of writing or painting or sculpting or dancing, we release that muse, and the muse takes on a life of its own. It is important to note, however, that it is through the work that we tap into the muse. In other words: “Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?” In regards to writing, the work of simply writing comes first, and the muse follows. Read More Here


Have you ever considered how foolish it is to believe that groups of letters can represent substantial meaning? Yet, that is the construct of writing. We form letters together, and we expect our readers to take a leap of faith and to connect them to some greater understanding. For instance, we might expect the letters “a-p-p-l-e” to, by some magic, make us feel all tart, crunchy, juicy, and red inside. Yet, by merely spelling the word “apple,” a writer is telling his readers very little. A writer must add a bit of polish to the letters and hopefully, they can begin to mean.  Art is another way that we might sometimes bridge the divide between words and meaning, and  music is yet another way to do that, too. Sometimes, I believe that music may be one of the most successful ways that we can communicate emotions and understandings that lie deep within our souls.

Music is the shorthand of emotion. – Leo Tolstoy

I believe that music, for humans, is like the language of the birds. Read moreHere. 


To a certain extent, all of us delude ourselves. We call that phenomenon Denial, and I write about Denial quite often. With that being said, when we begin to write our memoirs, our writings might reflect some of the partial truths that have been tainted by our own delusions, but that is not the same thing as blatantly lying in one’s memoir. Read more Here.


Is Omission In Memoir Writing Cheating? – Thoughts on Writing about Horrors like Sexual Abuse.

As Dillard has pointed out, every fact of our lives is not destined to become part of our memoirs. In my opinion, this is true for things that are simply too mundane, but it is also true for other things, like things that are horrifying or distasteful. I honor the author’s right to choose what he or she publishes and what he or she does not.

In my previous post about lying in memoirs, I shared Karr’s statements about how memoir writing is cathartic, and I do believe that writing about painful things is cathartic. I do not, however, believe that we must publish everything that we write. I am not critical of people who write about sexual abuse and other horrors, but I want to make a case for people who do not want to publish everything that they write. Read more Here.


Most people have experienced things that make them cringe when  they recall them. I know that I have some terrible memories, and for many years, I tried to write about those memories, but when I initially began writing about my past, I wanted to whine and I wanted to bash my tormentors. Initially, my memory writing was angry and self-absorbing. The more that I stirred my pity pot, the thicker that the mush got, and like quicksand, the darkness of my memories would begin to suck me deep into some bottomless pit. Fortunately, I have been able to walk away from that place, and I have reached a time that my writing about my past has alchemized. Read more Here. 


I just looked at Goodreads and saw that 139 books are listed as popular memoirs that deal with sexual abuse. I am sure that even more than that should be on that page. Certainly, most victims of sexual abuse never even report it, much less write about it, and others touch upon sexual abuse in their memoirs that deal with many issues. Mary Karr’s The Liar’s Club, for instance, was not mentioned in the Goodreads list and yet, in that book, Karr certainly deals with her having been sexually abused at the age of seven.  More thoughts on writing about sexual abuse Here.


Read More Here


Mary Karr on the Importance of A Writer’s Voice and Style Here


One of the greatest mistakes that a writer can make is that of being dishonest. Part of that greater error is the mistake of describing everything as beautiful and everyone as wonderful. When we enter that syrupy zone, we begin to write what we think that people expect us to write, and we fail to tell things the way that we actually see them and as they truly are.  Read more Here.


City Traffic – One Way Streets & A Consideration of Other Types of Chaos – Including Writer’s Block. Read more Here.


How to Write a Limerick and How to Use Enjambment in Poems

Enjambment occurs when the poet leaves a word at the end of one line, although it technically is part of the next phrase. Because the word appears at the end of the preceding line, it is read with the preceding line, and a pause follows. The reading is sometimes a bit awkward, but part of the poet’s message is communicated by the lines on which the words are placed. A limerick is…. Read more Here



What is an acrostic poem and how to write one? Read more Here.


Blog to Organize Yourself

Most writers have documents all over the place. We jot valuable bits of information on Facebook; we Tweet great ideas; we share videos, powerpoint presentations, produce digital movies, email, etc, and we also have tomes of notes in notebooks. It becomes very simple for us to lose track of what we said where and to whom? A blog is an excellent way to  organize your thoughts, your writing, and your office. Read More Here.


Make Professional Quality Voice Recordings with the Free App Voice Recorder Pro & Your Iphone or Ipad Here


How to Edit an Audio File in Audacity – How to Cut, Fade In & Fade Out. Read more Here

©Jacki Kellum September 4, 2016


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