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Poetry Freeforall: Better Than Candy

7:53 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Joy to the World sung by Three Dog Night

Hello, my pretties… cackle… Oops, sorry. Getting into my persona early. I suspect most of the prompts will be tied to Halloween in some way. I may keep count. Let’s go.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie presents its usual bounty of poetry and prose prompts: fairytales, haiku, shadormas, and more. The prompt that caught my eye this week is an image from Diphylla@Deviant Art. In fact, we have many images to work from. Head on over.

sepia sat 2Sepia Saturday asks us to feature an event, a tent, a cooking pot or even a name-tag. Let your freedom of interpretation be as extensive as a hungry diner queue and as voluminous as a generous cooking pot. Visit.sunday whirl

At The Sunday Whirl,  Brenda tells us, Pamela, Catherine, and I played word association on Facebook Friday night, and came up with this week’s  Wordle. If you join The Sunday Whirl‘s Facebook page, you can get the week’s list a couple of days early. Go on over.

pink girl inkOur new entrant is quite something. The site is Pink. Girl. Ink. and they do a lot of stuff that you may want to investigate while over reading the prompt. The menu is on the right, along with brief comments on Saturday’s prompts.

This week’s prompt is many layered and I fell immediately in love with Stacy’s style of presentation. She starts us with a Tom Waits song, sets us in the scene, and then gives us a wordle! Keep in mind that the new prompt goes up tomorrow. Visit.

At The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog, Adele focuses on trick or treating and gives us a brief historical context. Go on over.

Anyone can write a limerick, but a good limerick is an entirely other matter. I learned that at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog.  One advantage to writing a limerick, or two, is they are short. You can post them in comments on the blog, or on Mad Kane’s Facebook page. Go over and check it out, to read and laugh, and maybe write.magpie

Magpie Tales has another fun photograph. As I studied it, I kept wanting to know things and that is how many poems start. Head over.Poetry Jam

At Poetry Jam, Mary gives us a topic that has been popular, judging by the number of responses already in. She talks about broken things. Go see what it’s all about.FPR-200

The Found Poetry Review has a cool idea for a different kind of erasure poem. Our text will be what we overhear. Find out what it’s about.

Poets & Writers gives us three prompts every week. One for non-fiction, one for fiction, and one for poetry. My contention is that all the prompts work for poetry. They also, all work for prose. This week’s topics are Halloween Costumes, Monster for Hire, and Haunted House.IGWRTButtonrsz

Imaginary garden with real toads has Fireblossom at the wheel. Her Halloween prompt made me laugh aloud. Go play with the toads.wewritepoems

Red Wolf Poems and Irene gave me a giggle, too. She has an intriguing connection between resurrection and reprise. Head on over to read the whole prompt.

Wordsmith Studio has a weekly prompt. I’m giving you the general prompt URL as they change the prompt later today. This past week’s topic is wicked wording. Go on over to read the prompt and explore the studio.

Poets United Midweek Motif gives us Halloween, or celebrating the dead. Visit to read what Susan says.

dverse-nightime-finalWe’re meeting the bar over at dVerse where Claudia has a post we all should read, even if we don’t write to it. She says, in part, mostly for me it’s about learning to see how the things around us really are instead of assuming they’re like this and that. They’re friendly folks at the Bar, so stick around for some conversation. The hot chocolate is beginning to appear.

Not bad: five Halloween connected prompts. Go to it, poets et al. I shall see you Tuesday for my prompt; Thursday for things narrative; and Friday for the next roundup of prompt sites.

Happy writing, everyone.

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 31/10/2014 in links, poetry

 

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Poetics Serendipity

9:26 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Jimmy Buffett singing Boat Drinks

Hello, all. Ugh. I slept in. In theory that’s lovely. In fact, I will spend the day feeling I have never quite caught up on things. Also, getting halfway through something before realising it’s not right… I just spent thirty minutes organising the first of my NaNoWriMo talks before my brain told me it’s still October. The good news there is I have that started, so next week will be quicker.

For those of you new, in the last year, I spend November focusing on prose, which is not to say the poetry disappears. The prompts on Tuesdays are written for prose but for the purposes of writing and posting a poem this month, will be poem friendly. Thursdays will be me talking about narrative writing with an occasional link regarding same. Okay, today:

1] First: Submissions for Gnarled Oak are about to close, so this is a last call for the Fall 2014 issue. If you aren’t quite ready, don’t despair. The journal is also taking submissions for Winter 2015 [as in January, not next year, December]. The editor, James Brush [whom many of you will know as Coyote Mercury], says, Gnarled Oak publishes high-quality poetry, short prose, artwork, and videos. We are interested in publishing work that leaps from the screen and keeps us up at night thinking. The kind of work that makes us want to rush out and share it with the people we love most. We like work that asks more questions than it answers. We want to read work that will inspire others to create. Go on over to read the full submissions guidelines.

2] This is the one to bookmark somewhere you won’t lose it. Purdue University offers a free Online Writing Lab, the OWL (clever, huh?). The site is overwhelming in all that it offers, but it is tightly organised and I found I couldn’t get lost, much. I am going to point you at the main area of interest for us, generally, Creative Writing. The link brings us to a window with the topics that are discussed. Click on any of the four topics listed and you will be taken to its page. In a small pane to the left you will see what is included, as well as the other topics. Elsewhere on the site you will find grammar usage, mechanics, the MLA and APA guides, exercises, other types of writing… just go.

3] I love this last, which is really pure entertainment rather than a learning something new post, although, as I say rather frequently, it never hurts the brain to have things it knows pointed out to it, again. The article, 21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips From Great Authors, by Cody Delistraty, is a wonderful collection of quotes which must have been great fun to find and curate. Some of them are eye-openers regarding their authors. I particularly like Jack London’s: You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. Dorothy Parker’s got an out loud laugh. [If I have posted this before, my apologies -- I try to keep everything organised but there is so much!]

I will see you tomorrow for the prompts roundup; Tuesday for the first NaNoWriMo prompt; and next Thursday for a post on fiction tips, as learned by me when teaching the analysis of literature, as well as creative writing.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 30/10/2014 in links, writing

 

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Poem Tryouts: What Do You See?

7:59 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Neil Diamond singing Love Potion No. 9 — great fun

Hello, everyone. I hope all is running smoothly in your lives. Today’s images will provide an escape if you need one, wonderment, laughter, thought and possible bewilderment [don't worry, I'll take care of you]. The artist is Eugenia Loli and I was introduced to her work recently, by my niece.

The Droplet that Return to the Ocean

Loli calls herself a modern vintage collage artist. Of her work, she says: It’s important for me to “say” something with my artwork… I usually do this via presenting a “narrative” scene in my collages, like there’s something bigger going on than what’s merely depicted. Sometimes the scene is witty or sarcastic, some times it’s horrific with a sense of danger or urgency, some times it’s chill. I leave it to the viewer’s imagination to fill-in the blanks of the story plot.

And, that’s where we come in: filling in the blanks. Pick one, or if you see a couple working together (Farscapes and All Fun & Games) more. You can look at the images as straightforward and tell the story you see. Or, look at an image and let it spark a poem about an implication you see.

A useful approach, when you have your image, is to jot down every single thing you see as you look at it. Everything. You are not worrying about sense: as you jot, your brain will start making connections and suggestions. When you have everything you see, down on paper, go back over your notes and the brain shifts into the next step, asking questions and filling out what you see.

Who’s disappearing? The man, or the dolphin? Does the dolphin represent something larger? Why does David have fish swimming around his head? For that matter, why are we getting a profile rather than David’s full face? What does the fracturing mirror imply in the picture with the woman combing her hair? What does it say about reflections, mirror images, our viewGive David a Fish of ourselves? Why is the fighter plane black and white while the candy it’s dropping is in colour? What does the image say?

For the last two you’ll need to go to the site, where you will see a few of Loli’s pieces. Clicking on any of them takes you to a series. David is the first in his series but when you click on the man and dolphin, you’ll need to scroll down.

I hear a wail. It’s okay. You do not have to get these collages. Remember, with any image sparked poem, you do not have to address the image. I have several ekphrastic poems, but you wouldn’t know it except when I acknowledge the artist and image. Those who are looking with bewilderment at this collection, look differently. You are looking for a spark of recognition. You have seen David in the flesh, so to speak? Let us have that memory. How the marble is so perfectly chiselled that you see a pulse beat in his throat. Have you ever felt torn in several directions at once? That takes care of the fractured woman combing her hair. You have been wanting to address the problem of dolphins and fishing nets? Go for it.

It’s all about how you see and we all see differently. Have fun with these.

I shall see you Thursday for links; Friday for the prompts roundup [and a new entry]; and next Tuesday for my prompt.

Happy writing, all.

 

 
25 Comments

Posted by on 28/10/2014 in exercises, poetry

 

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Poetry Freeforall: Write, Write, Write

8:24 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Watch the Sunrise by Big Star

Hello, everyone. Alright NaNoWriMo-ers, it’s time to start warming up. You might focus on the sites that have prose options. The rest of us can continue to revel in poetry prompts. [What's that? No. No revelling for NaNoWriMo-ers. They aren't supposed to enjoy November]

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie presents its usual bounty of poetry and prose prompts: fairytales, haiku, shadormas, and more. The prompt that caught my eye this week is using an Oscar Wilds quote as our spark.  Head on over.

sepia sat 2Sepia Saturday has a black and white showing three bobbies (policemen). Suggested topics based on the image are bobbies, bellies, bums, brushes and beards. Visit sunday whirl

The Sunday Whirl is beloved by many. Brenda has a gift for choosing words for her weekly Wordle. If you join The Sunday Whirl‘s Facebook page, you can get the week’s list a couple of days early. Check it out.

adele kennyAt The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog, Adele gives us a chance to practise tension in our poems. She talks about tension a little, gives us a list of techniques that can be employed to create tension, and, in case we are hitting the wall, a list of opening lines to use. Visit.

Anyone can write a limerick, but a good limerick is an entirely other matter. I learned that at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog.  One advantage to writing a limerick, or two, is they are short. You can post them in comments here, or on Mad Kane’s Facebook page. Go over and check it out, to read and laugh, and maybe write.magpie

Magpie Tales has another fun photograph. I caught myself starting a poem, as I looked at it. Head over.Poetry Jam

At Poetry Jam, Peggy invites us to play. Go see what it’s all about.FPR-200

The Found Poetry Review asks us to choose one of the many forms of poetry (other than free verse!) and write a poem in that form using a found text. They have a bonus, which is to write a doge-erel [which looks like a lot of fun]. Head over to see what it’s all about.

Poets & Writers gives us three prompts every week. One for non-fiction, one for fiction, and one for poetry. My contention is that all the prompts work for poetry. They also, all work for prose. This week’s topics are muse, celebrity encounters, and amazing facts.IGWRTButtonrsz

Imaginary garden with real toads has herotomost in the house and he wants us to recall those few things that turned your crank when you were young were so consuming, so intoxicating. He wants to know what was our thing. Go play with the toads.

Red Wolf Poems and Misky give us a wordle with a twist. Head on over to read the whole prompt.

Wordsmith Studio has a weekly (sometimes every other weekly) prompt. I’m giving you the general prompt URL as they might add this week’s at any moment. This past week’s topic is Curses. Go on over to read the prompt and explore the studio. They have been around a while now (I’m proud to say I have been with them, albeit quietly, from the start) and I’m glad I can show them off.

Poets United Midweek Motif gives us a topic that is quite broad: one day in the life of… Visit to read what Susan says.

dverse-nightime-finalWe’re meeting the bar over at dVerse where Tony Maude offers one of my favourite forms, the list poem. They’re friendly folks at the Bar, so stick around for some conversation.

Go to it, poets et al. I shall see you Tuesday for an image prompt; Thursday for links; and Friday for the next roundup of prompt sites.

Happy writing, everyone.

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on 24/10/2014 in links, poetry

 

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Poetics Serendipity

8:06 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to a sampling from Google Play, based on my play-lists

Hello, all. How are you? Enh, you say? Come with me and wander through some distractions.

1] The first has all sorts of possibilities for distraction. Poet Robert Peake is one of a small group I have been following since the inception of this blog. He has written a lovely little essay ‘How Bedtime Stories Restored My Faith in Humanity‘. Sounds heavy, but it isn’t. In his essay Peake describes a recent epiphany regarding paper and ink books: I never thought a slim paperback of children’s poems, packed with silly illustrations, sing-song rhymes, and bottom humour would restore my faith that printed books will endure.

As for further distractions, you will have noticed that Peake writes beautifully. Look at the right hand column and check out some of his other posts. He also mentions a free, live online poetry broadcast and gives the link to investigate this project which he helps produce.

2] NaNoWriMo is hoving into sight and while many of you sharpen your pencils, you may have forgotten that Robert Lee Brewer has a November Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge. I have known some of you do both challenges [I will wait until November to give you a hard time]. Brewer tells us: While I’ve always considered the April challenge as a free-for-all; November is when I try (though don’t always succeed) to write around a specific theme. The article to which I have linked you, gives the guidelines.

3] This next is a weightier, but none the less interesting read. Kimberly Veklerov wrote an article for the Daily Californian, titled Poet in Motion about Robert Hass. One of my theories regarding the writing of poetry is that not only should we read a lot of poetry, but we should read about some poets and their work. Ideas spring from a variety of sources many of which we aren’t expecting. Reading what a writer says about his work can be helpful to our own. Besides, I love the final statement by Hass: Grief is the poetry of the world. What happens to bodies is the prose.

That should do us for today. I shall see you tomorrow for the prompts roundup; Tuesday for our image prompt – we might go surreal again; and Thursday for more links and such.

Happy writing, everyone.

P.S. Did you notice that all three posts involve Roberts? I didn’t notice until proofreading.

 
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Posted by on 23/10/2014 in links, poetry

 

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Poem Tryouts: It Was an Accident

7:38 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Burl Ives singing A Little Bitty Tear — that’s what happens when I put my entire music library on shuffle

Hello there! I have realised that Fall weather is an adrenaline shot. What gorgeous weather we are having. Not, mind you, that I’m actually going outside my cave. Twelve hours ago, today’s prompt was something else. While trying to lull myself to sleep, I thought about topics to add to my collection of possible prompts; this one came to mind and never left. When I woke this morning still framing the post, I decided to go with it.

Some time in my youth, when I was still young enough to need our amah along when I went somewhere, my younger brother John, Chen, and myself were up at the top of the Peak. We loved our trips to the top — hauled up by the Peak Tram — where we walked the circle around the mountain. We never got tired of the view, or of all the places to play. We were on the last leg, probably tired and full of fresh air and running around.

There was a set of stairs. I’m pretty sure my brother was involved somehow, but that’s all my memory is going to give me on the how. What I remember is the stairs’ rough edges and steepness. They plunged down the side of the mountain and seemed an odd place for stairs. The only thing we could see was trees and rocks. Why a staircase? I started down. I was in a hurry. I’m pretty sure I was angry. That’s when I fell.

The topic I was mulling was accidents. The event I describe came immediately to mind. I’m sure there have been others, but this is the one my memory is insistent about. Think about accidents, for a moment. They can be ones that involve you, or a friend, or you saw on television. Jot down likely ones and add notes as you think of details. The accidents can be tiny and seemingly unimportant, or large with ramifications.

Why does each accident occupy a memory cell? What is it about each event that keeps it with you? You can write a straight forward poem recalling an accident. Or, you can reach for a larger universal truth with the accident merely highlighting that truth. The speaker might, or might not, be you. Consider writing in present tense as if the accident is happening now.

Remember: when in doubt, go with whatever came to mind as you read the above.

What happened to me? Nothing broken, but the most gorgeous black eye I have ever seen, on anyone.

I shall see you Thursday for links; Friday for this week’s prompt roundup; and next Tuesday for another prompt from me.

Happy writing, everyone.

 

 
20 Comments

Posted by on 21/10/2014 in exercises, poetry

 

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Poetry Freeforall: It’s That Time

8:29 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to a live feed from Hong Kong

Hello, all. Ready for the roundup? Forgive me if I am abrupt, and if there are typos, or I am less than articulate. Things are getting bad in HK and that is where my attention is focused.

Mindlovemisery presents its usual bounty of poetry and prose prompts: fairytales, haiku, shadormas, and more. The prompt that caught my eye asks us to write about yourself through the eyes of someone else. Head on over.

sepia sat 2Sepia Saturday has a lovely lantern slide image for us to study. The possibilities suggested are: Street traders, roadside artisans, menders, cobblers, tools-of-the-trade, hand-colouring and lantern slides. Or, if you just want to post an old photograph or two, that can be your contribution (which is fun, isn’t it?). Get writing and posting, people. sunday whirl

The Sunday Whirl is beloved by many. Brenda has a gift for choosing words for her weekly Wordle. This week, she tells us, fellow poet Catherine McGregor contributed the words and they are intriguing. I plan to dash over to check the poems created from these words. If you join The Sunday Whirl‘s Facebook page, you can get the week’s list a couple of days early. Check it out.

adele kennyAt The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog, Adele shares the first poem she had to memorise and challenges us to heed what the great poet Marianne Moore once said, “Poetry is all nouns and verbs.”  Adele gives us a noun list and a verb list. Visit to find out what to do with them.

Anyone can write a limerick, but a good limerick is an entirely other matter. I learned that at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog. One advantage to writing a limerick, or two, is they are short. You can post them in comments or on Mad Kane’s Facebook page. Go over and check it out, to read and laugh, and maybe write.magpie

Magpie Tales has a fun photograph, Self-portrait, by Vivian Maier. The more I studied it the more portraits I spotted. There are a number of interesting possible commentaries to spark a poem from this. Head over.Poetry Jam

At Poetry Jam, Laurie Kolp wants us to consider graveyards. Cemeteries are one of my favourite places to visit, to stroll through and read the brief histories. Go check out what Laurie has to say.FPR-200

The Found Poetry Review give us a chance to play with another underrated form, one difficult to do well, the acrostic [it helps if you write a longform and don't capitalise the beginning of every line] Head over to see what it’s all about.

Poets & Writers gives us three prompts every week. One for non-fiction, one for fiction, and one for poetry. My contention is that all the prompts work for poetry. They also, all work for prose. This week’s topics are blood moon, story in a song, and super powers.IGWRTButtonrsz

Imaginary garden with real toads has a prompt I could not resist. I ignored the one with lovely marble statues and went with Isadora and her request that we imagine a world where the Zombie Revolution is upon us, and you have holed up in a bunker, which you cannot leave. I mean, really. How can you resist? Visit to read  the whole. Go play with the toads.

Red Wolf Poems and Barbara give us another hard to resist prompt: Write a Gilligan poem. Again, I mean really. Head on over to read the whole prompt.

Yes, yes this is a new entry. Wordsmith Studio has a weekly (sometimes every other weekly) prompt. This week’s is A wordsmith studioDark and Stormy Night. Go on over to read the prompt and explore the studio. They have been around a while now (I’m proud to say I have been with them, albeit quietly, from the start) and I’m glad I can show them off.

Poets United Midweek Motif gives us a topic that many of you are particularly fond of, trees. This time, Susan accompanies the motif with poems and several van Gogh paintings of trees. Visit to read what Susan says.

dverse-nightime-finalWe’re meeting the bar over at dVerse where we have a fairly new form to try: The Pleiades. They’re friendly folks at the Bar, so stick around for some conversation.

Go to it, poets et al. I shall see you Tuesday for a word prompt; Thursday for links; and Friday for the next roundup of prompt sites.

Happy writing, everyone.

 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on 17/10/2014 in exercises, links, poetry, writing

 

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