ON BECOMING A WRITER: CHUCK LINDHOLM

The best way to learn about me and my experience writing is to read my post from when I was a Barista at the Go Dog Go Cafe titled – On Becoming A Writer: Chuck Lindholm (see below)

An important part of every writer’s journey is the transition from seeing ourselves as “someone who writes” to seeing ourselves as writers.  This is the way it worked for me!

On Becoming A Writer: Chuck Lindholm

MARCH 21, 2018 / BRAVEANDRECKLESSBLOG

Photo circa 1994

My Moniker is “The Reluctant Poet”!  I guess that tells you a lot about my journey to becoming a poet/writer.  My given name is Charles Robert Lindholm but I answer to Chuck.  Thanks for taking time to read a little bit about me.  I’m hoping that some of what I say may be of some inspiration or encouragement to you on your journey as a writer/poet.

My personal definition of a great poet/writer is “A great poet/writer is someone whose words reach out and touch the heart of the reader”  If you are blessed as a writer to have your reader, be kind and thoughtful enough to tell you how what you wrote touched them, then you are truly blessed.  That’s why I have a Contact Page!!!  Hearing feedback from readers is the very best
reward a writer can receive!

When did you start writing?

Funny when I think back on the start of me writing!  It was really as simple as doing a Senior English class assignment in high school.  Nothing you would think of as “starting the ball rolling” on my interest in writing poetry.  Poetry is what I love to write most, but if you read some of my posts you will know I write about some of my musings, peeves and lighthearted humorous things.

Our assignment was a two phase project – #1 Write two love poems – at least 7 lines each; #2 Illustrate a poem by a major poet with graphics – photos cut from magazines, photos, drawings or whatever we thought illustrated what the poet was saying.

I don’t have copies of what I wrote – lucky for everyone, but I did put the illustration of Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” in a scrapbook along with Sidney Lanier’s “The Song Of The Chattahochee”  (I love this poem and you may too).  I was blessed to have my Grandma’s stack of years and years of old Arizona Highway magazines to go through for photos!  Robert Frost’s works hooked me on poetry.  Over the years I wrote a poem from time to time but did not become addicted until the end of my second marriage in 1996.

It seems that emotional pain and heartache are a motivating inspiration for writing poetry, and not all rosy, flowery and happy either.  Poetry seems to end up being the voice of the soul.  It is nice that poetry covers the whole horizon of emotions and viewpoints.

I did get an A on my project and that was the seed that grew into my writing poetry.  Perhaps, you can share on your blog or at The Cafe how you got infected with the urge to write and share your words with others!  It’s like hearing how a couple met.  Always an interesting story!

What kind of writing do you do?

I tend to favor writing poetry and an occasional “Opinion type” of piece.  My writing is not cerebral, complex, dark or fantasy (rarely).  If you check my posts they are simple, usually straightforward, rhyming, sometimes,  but not all the time, and deal with human relationships from sad to happy and some humorous things.

I have come to enjoy writing Haiku (and now Elfchens) and I’m still learning about how much I don’t know about poetry.  Here’s the great thing about poetry – it’s like abstract art.  You write it for your own inner satisfaction and if someone else likes it great, that’s a bonus.  It kind of goes with the quote I like “Not Everyone Likes You, But Not Everyone Matters!”  Write what your soul has to say after listening to the whispers from the Universe!

Where do you find inspiration for your writing?

I am hoping that this is where you will take away a small piece of advice from me that you will carry with you always, and maybe remember me! Ha!

This is not original with me but I have found it to be the source of a large part of my writing.  The seed of the idea is from “Poemcrazy – Freeing your life with words” (check out the reviews on Amazon) and I highly recommend that you own a copy.

Pay attention to life and your surroundings, what you see, what you hear, what you read, what you feel, the writings and stories of others!  Use your mind as a mental camera.  Start keeping a Word Bank/Word Pool where you write down words, phrases, titles, topics, lines from movies or anything else that hits your mind and makes you smile, laugh, cry, get misty, get mad or be in awe.

Write it down, immediately before you forget.  I suggest you keep a tiny spiral notepad but honestly now with audio recording features on smartphones you can use them, but if you do be sure and transcribe what you entered on paper or computer (just remember computers crash and take all your work to Writer’s Heaven/Hell – whichever).

They say, who are these “They”, you should write what you know about.  My response to that is, go learn about what you want to write about.  I have been able to imagine myself in the position of the person or thing I’m writing about in the same way an actor takes on a role.  See it, feel it – be and feel the same as your subject/topic.  Describe the details, the colors, the shapes, the smells, the taste, the way it makes you feel, the way others feel.  Think of writing as painting word pictures!

I love it when I’m reading a writer and a word or phrase hits me and I go to enter it in my Word Bank but before I can, I start getting a “Stream of Consciousness” flow and end up writing a piece before it gets entered.  Afterward I enter it in my Word Bank with credit to the source.

The long and short of it is my inspiration comes from things that hit my heart and/or soul and make me go – Wow and want to share the feeling/thought!

Be careful!  I may end up finding a seed of inspiration in one of your works!!  I hope so!  Being inspired to write from what another writer has written is the biggest thrill in writing for you and the author!

What are you current writing rituals/practices? 

Ah, this is an interesting question.  Everyone seems to have a different way of doing things which is why we have the cliche – “To each their own”.

The most productive and enjoyable way I write is in a secluded, silent and usually dark place with a dim light or none at all (see below) and usually late at night or in the early hours of the morning (The Backside Of The Night).  I have often started a poem after going to bed for the night.  I lay there for a few minutes only to have words start streaming into my head.  This ends my time in bed until I can go and capture these words on paper.

I find it helpful to close my eyes and visualize what I’m writing about and then go word by word and line by line in my head reciting each line and build line upon line until I have about 8 to 10 lines.  Then I capture that on paper and then go back and use that same process to keep adding lines until the piece is finished.

After I have a piece written down I like to enter it into the computer, format it and save it.  Then I go back and recite the piece out loud several times to be sure I like the feel, flow and sound of it.  After that I add the copyright notice at the bottom and I’m done.

When did you start thinking of yourself as a writer?

Was Van Gough a painter?  Not judged by the opinions of his time.  He was a painter in his mind.  Judged by the opinions of today?  He is one of the greatest, judged by money and fame!  So what opinion really mattered?  Van Gough’s opinion of himself!!  Our opinion of ourselves is the one that matters!  Make your opinion of yourself into your reality!

I guess for me, I started to think of myself as a poet after I had about 400 poems written during the two year period after the end of my second marriage.  Even then it seemed doubtful.  I was motivated by pain and heartache.  And didn’t like the idea of having to be in that state before I could write.  Sort of like the one hit wonder songwriters who write a hit and can never do it again.

I told my daughter, Charmin, I was wanting to do something with my poems.  Two days later she sent me an email that informed me that I now had a WordPress.com blog.  She said, “I’m helping you face your fears, I’m pushing you so you can fly”.  I will always be forever thankful for her gift!!

Up until I started blogging on WordPress, my writing was sporadic, with long dry spells of months between a poem or two and that was disheartening.  It was hard to think of myself as a writer when it was such a hit and miss experience.

Once I realized that I was going to run through my Archive in a hurry and would need to start writing most every day, I started writing off prompts and then put my Word Bank to use.  Now most of my work is split 50/50 between self generated work and work inspired from seeds of inspiration from others.

Everyone has their own moment when they accepted and believed that “I Am A Writer”  For me, it came when I shared a poem with a Friend who had lost his wife of almost 50 years.  He responded and told me how much the poem meant to him and that it had made him cry.  He wanted to have it printed in the Memorial program and I approved and also offered to recite it if he wanted (still don’t know what possessed me to do that). He said, he would love it!!

Standing in front of 150 people looking at me and waiting to hear what I had to share was a bit intimidating, until I looked at my friend and his family and knew I was sharing words about his wife and their life together that he could not emotionally share for himself.  I recited my poem “A Flickering Soul” for him!  This was the first time I had ever shared anything I had written with more than one person at a time.  As I sat down afterward I whispered a loud to myself, I guess I am a Poet!!

What are your future writing goals?

My writing goals crystallized just before my 50th High School Reunion when I decided I wanted to unlock the poems gathering dust and let them be sent out into the world.  I want to have at least one “book, book” and to expand the exposure of my work in whatever way I can.  Still looking into the best way to get that goal met.

Thanks!

I appreciate you taking time to get to know me better!  Please come visit me on my blog – The Reluctant Poet.  Please feel free to come rummage through my archives!

Most of my personal writings are found in 2017 – 2018.  I have been stockpiling my original writings since 2019 to put together in two books of poetry.  From 2019 through 2020 I have had the privilege and honor to write in collaboration with other great writers while also sharing the work of other writers on WordPress.com on my blog via reblogs.  I know you will enjoy these great writings too! Please come and visit.

Chuck Lindholm
The Reluctant Poet

A Flickering Soul – see below

Why don’t you try answering these questions on your blog to share with your followers and the world?

Questions:

  • When did you start writing?
  • What kind of writing do you do?
  • Where do you find inspiration for your writing?
  • What are your current writing rituals/practices?
  • When did you start thinking of yourself as a writer?
  • What are your writing goals?

Best Wishes and May Your Dreams Come True!

Chuck Lindholm
The Reluctant Poet

P.S.  Wanted to leave you with a little quote you should
leave on the imaginary mirror in your head, or bathroom to help you remember:

“What have you done today, to make your dreams come true?”
I have adapted this poem for a husband, and children too.

A FLICKERING SOUL

OCTOBER 26, 2017 ~ THERELUCTANTPOET ~ EDIT

By Charles Robert Lindholm

She was a candle in the wind
that brightened up
the darkness of the night
with the light she
brought into my life

She warmed my heart
with her flame
as it flickered
and fluttered
inside her soul
and protected me
from the cold
and lonely
winters of life

My days were always
brighter with her
by my side
and for me
the sun could
not compete
with her

A candle in the wind
that flickered
and fluttered 

A Flickering Soul
a beautiful flame
that I shall
love forever

Copyright © 2017 Charles Robert Lindholm – All Rights Reserved

STEPPING BACK FROM REBLOGGING

Don’t Stop, Stopping by my blog!  I will be posting older original work!!

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone one of my followers and readers for supporting my blog and the postings I have made of my work but mainly of reblogs/sharing the works of other great writers over the last two years.

I have been stockpiling most of my original work in preparation of self publishing two poetry books.  This is going to take me time to ramp up and get things going so I have had to make a very painful decision to Step away from reblogging every day.  I’m going to see if I might be able to fit in one or two days a week, but no promises.

I will be reposting my own original work each day.  Probably one or two pieces and maybe some inspirational quote or information!!  I’m hoping I can get the books ready sooner than I fear and get back to reblogging and writing.  Some have asked why I reblog the works of others so much and just don’t limit what I post to my own work like most authors on WordPress.

Well, for me it’s a matter of :

#1  I love to read great poetry and reblogging motivates me to read more poetry;

#2  I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to find inspirational gems or seeds of inspiration in the writings of others – a word, a title, a phrase or idea that sparks the creation of a poem of my own.  I am indebted to many of you for being inspirators to my work!!  Thank you so much for that!!

#3  I have always loved to share things that I love with others, good recipes, good movies, good books and Great Poetry!!  It has been an honor and privilege to share posts by so many of you for so long!  I will really, really miss that!!  Thank you so much!!

#4  I will dearly miss the opportunity to find and keep great friendships through my reblogging.  I will still be reading but definitely not as voraciously as I did while reblogging.  Thank you to everyone for taking your valuable time over the last two years to come view, comment and support my blog and all the other writers who I was able to spotlight and share with you.  I hope you enjoyed all of your visits and found my blog worthy of your precious time!!

Since I am not going to be reblogging like before I’m hoping that some of you will take the time and effort to share the work of others whose words touched your heart with your own followers by reblogging.  Pass it Forward!

I will still be up and about on WordPress so come visit my blog and catch up on some of my earlier posts before you may have started following me!!  I appreciate your visits to my archives too!

Thanks for every view, comment and all your support for me and my blog over the last two years!!!
See You on WordPress!

Wishing you health, happiness, love and great writing!!
Chuck Lindholm
The Reluctant Poet

A MOTHER’S DAY SONG YOU NEED TO SEND TO YOUR MOM!!!!

Mom’s are the best gift a child can ever have!  Mom’s have an amazing super power
to be and do almost everything you will need for all your life!!

Today is Mother’s Day so please!!!  LISTEN TO THIS SONG – MOTHER – (with Kleenex nearby)  and then reblog this to your followers so they can listen to it and send it to their Mom and then share it with their followers on their blog, by reblogging it – Let’s pass this great message around the world to all the Mother’s that need to hear it!!
Chuck Lindholm
The Reluctant Poet

BOOK REVIEW – I LOST SUMMER SOMEWHERE – BY SARAH RUSSELL

I LOST SUMMER SOMEWHERE - COVER
Reviewed By Charles Robert Lindholm – The Reluctant Poet

Reading Sarah’s Book – I Lost Summer Somewhere
Is Like Opening A Box Of Chocolates Late At Night And Taking Just One,
Only To Find As You Are Reaching To Turn Out The Light
That You’ve Eaten The Whole Box In A Single Sitting!!  You Just Couldn’t Help Yourself!!!

I Started Reading Sarah’s Book During An Extreme Texas Thunder Storm
At Five O’clock In The Morning To Flashes Of Lightning And Rolling Thunder
And Didn’t Stop Turning Pages Until The Storm Was Long Gone And I Reached The Final Page!  A Mesmerizing And Delightful Journey For Me.

Robert Frost Is My Favorite Poet.   After Years Of Reading Thousands Of Poems From Other Poets To Share With Followers On My Blog, I Have Finally Found In Sarah’s Writing, A Poet Who Is Able To Capture The Same Wondrous Feelings, Observations Of Life And Experiences In The Same Magical Way !

In – I Lost Summer Somewhere – Sarah Takes Us Through A Poetic
Journey Of Her Life From Childhood, Young Adult, Mid Life, Through Being In Her Seventies.  This Is A Book For Everyone, Not Just Women.  Sarah Has Said, “Not All Poems Are From My Personal Life, But You Will Have To See If You Can Pick Out Which Ones Are!”

Sarah’s Poems Are A Delight And A Joy To Read!  If You Love Great Poetry And All That Makes Poetry Great, You Will Love The Poems In Sarah’s Book.  This Book Is Filled With So Many Great Poems That Will Take You Through All Kinds Of Emotions And Feelings And Surprise Endings From Life – With Lines, And Gems Of Inspiration, Alliteration, Metaphors And More To Reward You For Owning And Reading Sarah’s Book.

When I Find Something That I Enjoy And Love I Want To Share It With Others – A Way Of Enriching Those We Come In Contact With.  So, Here Are A Few Samples Of Sarah’s Poems From – I Lost Summer Somewhere.

One Of The First Poems I Read And One Of My Favorite Poems – Is A Slice Of Life Poem
A Late Epiphany

When all the kids went down
to Junie’s basement the year
we turned thirteen, I stayed
to help her mother put candles
on the cake.  I imagined
the spinning bottle, the dark
fruit cellar.  I’d read Peyton Place.

A couple of years later
after braces and Noxema,
I tried it in the back seat of a Chevy
and came to Jesus

Here are some snippets and excerpts,

Leaving West Virginia

The road curls snug against the hills,
dips into hollows, rises through stands
of oak, rough against dun clouds
that promise snow . . . .

. . . . The world is raw, waiting where the road
goes flat and blurs in the rush to get somewhere.
I watched for dawn this morning, waiting to be gone.
Now I want to salt away this place the way it is,
the way I was.
(This especially reminded me of Frost)

Engagement

“The sharp-edged City
softens in the snow”

Ephemera

“and over a bucket of clams and corn
decided who got what
Circles, short lived in the tide
my wedding ring in the dresser drawer

Four: Fourteen: Seventy

. . . . . “I know, Honey. Middle schools the pits,” I say
and wonder even in this more enlightened,
feminist, almost-equal-pay, got-the-vote-and-the-pill
no-glass-ceiling, have-it-all-age it will take
forty years and two marriages for my granddaughter
to give herself permission to sing and skip
whenever she wants, like it did for me.

I hope you will enjoy adding, “I Lost Summer Somewhere”
to the treasure trove in your library as much as I have loved
adding it to mine

Chuck Lindholm
The Reluctant Poet

And just so you don’t have to take my word for it!! Here are some other
responses to Sarah’s book.

July 5, 2019By scintilla.admin  Poetry

I lost summer somewhere is poignant, elegant, and sometimes emotionally raw. Reading it drew me into a world of love and loss, of new love found, of letting go of an aging parent piece by piece, of being with someone at their most vulnerable point, of watching granddaughters grow into a world we could never have imagined. At times it was a nerve-wracking white-knuckled journey through life. But it is hard to find someone relate that journey with the grace, beauty, and dignity that Russell achieves.

this book is not “for” women or men. It is for anyone who loves language, who loves poetry, for anyone who has loved and anyone who is watching an aging parent decline, for anyone who has enjoyed an “Indian Summer” of life and found a second love and held a child. Sarah Russell’s poems are beautiful and passionate, and I lost summer somewhere is a special collection.

https://scintilla.info/2019/07/05/i-lost-summer-somewhere-sarah-russell/

“Melancholy, exuberance, nostalgia, fulfillment, contentment, longing – Sarah Russell hits all the spots, and there isn’t one poem where a woman won’t be able to identify in some way. She’s singing all our songs, putting into magical words things we felt so often but never knew how to tell. Deep sadness matched by laughter, gentleness, love and a sense of adventure. It was a privilege being there with her, living what she remembers, identifying with every line.”

Rose Mary Boehm, author of Tangents, From the Ruhr to Somewhere Near Dresden, and Peru Blues

“Sarah Russell brings us into her world, a world of “dream-filled summer nights,” where “leaves are October butterflies.” Russell’s poems sing the important moments of life. It’s a song that stays in your mind, drawing you back to the poems again and again.”

Nina Bennett, author of Mix Tape and The House of Yearning

MY MIND IS PLAYING MENTAL AGE ROULETTE – REPOST

MY MIND PLAYS MENTAL AGE ROULETTE
By Charles Robert Lindholm

My mind has always played mental age roulette.
When I was young I thought I was grown up.
My parents kept wanting me to lie about my age
and say I was younger than I was.

I heard that age is just a number
and when I wanted to do adult things
I couldn’t wait to get older
so I could vote, drive and do
dubious things

Now that I’m older
My mind seems to be
playing mental age roulette
in a haphazard way

Sometimes I get a bit
dizzy or flustered
I wish I were younger
I hate to admit my age
I want do what I used to do
I want to be silly with grandkids

I hate that my birthday cake
is a fire hazard!!

Copyright © 2019 Charles Robert Lindholm, The Reluctant Poet – All Rights Reserved