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Poetics Serendipity

7:58 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Queen singing We Are the Champions

Hello, all. I have a diversity of goodies, today. I have packing to do and borscht to make (when one’s husband arrives home and excitedly produces produce grown by colleagues, what is one to do?), so we will jump right in.

1] Robert Lee Brewer opens his post with: It’s time! Time for the 8th annual April PAD Challenge on the Poetic Asides blog, and I’m super excited about it. I’m happy to report that we’ll have the anthology and a new round of guest judges this year (more on both below).

Many of you have participated in Robert’s PAD Challenges. If you haven’t and are looking for a place to hang your poetic hat during April, head over to read what else Robert says. His post offers the complete guidelines.

2] This is a follow-up on two previous PS items. Two weeks ago I mentioned the University of Iowa’s free online course, upcoming. Now, I have words from a participant: I did this MOOC last year, and plan to use it again this Spring. The materials are good, and presented clearly. You can choose your level of involvement: to watch a video now and then if that’s all you want; to go all out–writing, critiquing, discussing points with others in the forums, writing essays–as if it were a seminar; or anything in between. Barbara says one or two more things, if you want to visit her.

The second item is that, sadly, The Poetry Storehouse has closed for business. You can still visit and wander through its archives. Here’s the why and wherefore, from Nic Sebastian. Stay tuned.

3] Here’s your thought-provoking item: The Most Successful Creative People Constantly Say ‘No’, written by Kevin Ashton for Business Insider (trust me). I skimmed the first part, thought, Maybe, and began to move on. Something held me. I reread the first part, where Ashton offers statements by a few people, and read further into the article.

The author is clearly a creative. He says, Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations. It is not when we feel like it. It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation. The common thread that links creators is how they spend their time. Sound familiar? Read the article.

4] Of interest: The Pubslush Foundation revealed a new grant for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). How about a $10, 000 prize? The item is short and I know many of you take part in NaNoWriMo or know people who do, or know people who want to.

I will see you tomorrow for the week’s roundup of prompts and then not until Tuesday 17th for my weekly prompt.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
19 Comments

Posted by on 05/03/2015 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poem Tryouts: Burn, Baby! Burn!

7:50 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to My Little Town sung by Simon & Garfunkel

Hello, all. Everyone hanging in there, while our weather figures out what the heck it’s going to do next? Spring (Autumn) always does come, never hasn’t (in our time). We’ll get there. Meanwhile we have what might look like another image prompt. Despite appearances it isn’t, although you may ignore the prompt and write the image, if you wish.

Every now and then, my planned prompt is derailed, usually by a family member sending something that I don’t want to wait on. My brother in California sent this image of the Cape Town fire. Click on it to get the full size.

cape town fire 2015

While I never played with matches, fire fascinates me. Despite being one of the more terrifying elements, I can sit and watch a fire for hours. Think about fire, for a moment. How do you feel about it? What are your experiences with fires, small or large, wild or controlled?

I have three enduring images. One occurred in Northern Greece:

After harvest, Greek farmers
burn their fields. Thin lines of fire
snake across the hillsides. Ahead
of the blaze, a line of storks stalk,
catching frogs and rabbits
trying to outrun the flames.

The second was in California, while I was driving south with my mother. The fire was in an enclosed canyon, so that the flames shot high in the air. We pulled off the road and watched the helicopters trying to drop gallons of water on the conflagration

The final is a photograph that family friends posted of their home after the Colorado fire a couple of years ago. All that was left, aside from a charred pile of timbers, was their playground set, the plastic melted into some surrealistic, Dali-esque form.

You may write about something you experienced, or read about, or feel, or you might write from the point of view of the fire, or you might address the fire.

I will see you Thursday for links and things; and, Friday for this week’s roundup of prompts. Next week, the blog will probably go dark. It’s Spring Break and we are heading to San Antonio to check on my mom and start the process of our own move. I will see you on the 17th for my prompt.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
23 Comments

Posted by on 03/03/2015 in exercises, poetry

 

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Poetry Freeforall — Can I Have Some More?

first photo 307:34 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Sixteen Candles sung by The Crests

Hello, everyone. All back to normal here. The Great Snow Scare fizzled away in the dark and we’re back to temperatures that go up to the sixties, then back down to the thirties. In the poetry prompt world this week, we have:

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie  The prompt that caught my eye this week is the photo challenge ‘Blood Money’. Check out their other prompts for the week.sunday whirl

At The Sunday Whirl, Brenda asks us to leave our Wordle links in the comments of her blog. If you join The Sunday Whirls Facebook page, you can get the week’s list a couple of days early.

pink girl ink

 Pink.Girl.Ink. Stacy wants us to say goodbye, with a twist. Head on over to find out what.

The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog: Adele has a fun take on a ‘selfie’. She wants us to try a ‘selfie poem’ with a twist. (Yes, another twist. I don’t make these up.) Visit to see what she says and to read the poems Adele has chosen as examples.

Feeling blue? Need a laugh? Need warming up? Make tracks to Mad Kane’s Humor Blog. Read several. They are in the comments so you don’t even have to leave the page. One advantage to writing a limerick, or two, is they are short, so 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 Whoa! Creepy photograph. I’m not sure I’d be happy walking through these doors. Remember that you do not have to write about the whole, or write about the image directly. Head over.Poetry Jam

At Poetry Jam, Peggy has an interesting take on inside looking out (or vice versa). Visit to read what she says.FPR-200

Found Poetry Review Beth has found an intriguing resource for found poetry. She says about it: HOAX has a new Twitter side project (@quoaxquoax) dedicated to tweeting and retweeting “unattributed text snippets tagged with #quoax.” Head over for links and to read the rest of what she says.

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 ultracrepidarian, from screen to page, and cut-ups. Visit to find out what the prompts are about.IGWRTButtonrsz

At imaginary garden with real toads Marian offers a song, Time (The Revelator), as inspiration. Go play with the toads.

At Poets United Midweek Motif Susan gives us mother tongue (yes, yes, with a twist) as our motif. She has a wealth of material for us to use. Visit to read the quotations Susan has chosen. Her choices this week may be some of my favourites of her finds.sasha

At The Happy Amateur Sasha explains wikems. Head on over and see what Sasha does with gravity.

dverseOver at dVerse Claudia Tells us to grab a line. A line of what? Go see. Head to the bar. They love visitors.

That should keep you busy. I shall see you Tuesday for my prompt; Thursday for links and such; and Friday for more prompt site roundups.

Happy writing, everyone.

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 27/02/2015 in exercises, links, poetry

 

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Poetics Serendipity

9:20 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to The Weather Channel and winter storm Remus

Hello, all. I’m starting late, as my husband had a late start this morning. I’ll never catch up with myself. If I appear somewhat elsewhere and rushing, the playbook for the Found Poetry Review’s April Challenge has arrived and I only peeked before coming here. Then there’s the Weather Channel playing. I need to visit Tuesday’s blog to delight in reading poetry. Supper. Must remember to see what I need to do. Need to find a list buried in my emails, for someone… a trifle occupied. Spelling may suffer.

1] My poems tend to be reserved as far as emotions, my speakers, neutral. It’s a lack. The website Write to Done posted an article, How to Write Better: 3 Secrets of Transmitting Naked Emotions, by Editor-in-Chief, Mary Jaksch. The article is aimed at narrative writing, but there is plenty to take away, for poetry. If nothing else, all you NaNoWriMo writers can bookmark it; or, if you are now on the second draft of your novel, this is timely.

2] If you have not visited The Poetry Storehouse, head over to check it out — especially if you enjoy remixing poetry. This is a site that will reappear occasionally because it’s a great resource. You don’t have to write found poetry. You might be a poet whose work is used by found poets. Here is the opening paragraph of their About page :

‘The Poetry Storehouse is an effort to promote new forms and delivery methods for page-poetry by creating a repository of freely-available high-quality contemporary page-poetry for those multimedia collaborative artists who may sometimes be stymied in their work by copyright and other restrictions. Our main mission is to collect and showcase poem texts and, in some instances, audio recordings of those texts. It is our hope that those texts will serve as inspiration or raw material for other artistic creations in different media.’

Visit them and explore. You’ll find a few familiar names.

3] Next, a quick and easy post, Copyright FAQ from Don Simon. Ignore the workshop part at the beginning and skim the post. It is basic, but I often come across conversations that indicate most people have a muddled view of copyright. This post is to the point.

I will see you tomorrow for the week’s roundup of prompts; next Tuesday for my prompt; and next Thursday for more links.

If anyone has a link, or announcement, they would like posted here, let me know.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 26/02/2015 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poem Tryouts: A Quality of Light

8:46 a.m. — Atlanta

Hello, everyone. We have snow! Not much and it will be gone by noon, but we can look out on blanketed roofs and lawns. Unfortunately, we have visitors in the form of my Uncle and Aunt (the visit and they are not an unfortunate event, only the going out and doing something), which means going out in the cold and wet. Ick.

In the last few days, an artist friend and the art group I follow on Facebook have posted three paintings with particularly affecting colour. I’m not sure what I want you to do with them, but I’d like it to involve light.

maufra iledebrehat

Ile de Brehat by Maufra

 

 

raoul dufy still life

Still Life Before the Yellow House by Raoul Dufy

 

 

milton avery green landscape

Green Landscape by Milton Avery

You can choose one and write a straightforward response to what you see.

You can choose one and write a poem based on the emotion it evokes.

You can mix the paintings and take details from each to create your poem.

You can pick a single detail to use as your spark.

Whichever and however you respond, try to have a quality of light in the poem — it might involve colour, but doesn’t have to.

I will see you Thursday for links and things; Friday for the week’s roundup of prompts; and next Tuesday for the first prompt of March (I know!).

Happy writing, all. Stay safe.

 

 

 
36 Comments

Posted by on 24/02/2015 in exercises, poetry

 

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Poetry Freeforall — Wanted: Inspiration

first photo 308:11 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to snips from George Ezra’s album Wanted on Voyage

Hello, everyone. I love finding music I haven’t discovered, that I like. Thanks to Misky, I have a George Ezra song on one of my Google Play playlists and was able to listen to snips from the whole album. The young man has quite a voice. Our own voices come through our writing (some of which sings), so let’s look at this week’s prompts.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Visit to meet the new prompters who have joined MLMM. The prompt that caught my eye this week is Heeding Haiku with HA. He’s on a mini-sabbatical and Jen turned her hand to the prompt. I like her style and love the possibilities from the resources she gives us. Check out their other prompts for the week.sunday whirl

At The Sunday Whirl,  Brenda asks us to leave our Wordle links in the comments of her blog. If you join The Sunday Whirls Facebook page, you can get the week’s list a couple of days early.

pink girl ink

Pink.Girl.Ink. Stacy gives us a template for creating a word deck. This one centres on romance, because it’s last Saturday’s prompt, but the whole is a terrific thing to bookmark. You can choose any topic and apply the idea. Head on over.

The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog: Adele talks to us about favourite words. (Do you keep a list? I have a great set of word cards I found in Singapore, small, blank cards (held together by a key ring), on which I write words I love.) Visit to see what she suggests we do with a favourite word to create a poem.

Damn, it’s cold and I’m inside. With a heater.

Feeling blue? Need a laugh? Need warming up? Make tracks to Mad Kane’s Humor Blog. Read several. They are in the comments so you don’t even have to leave the page. One advantage to writing a limerick, or two, is they are short, so 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 Hah! Interesting photograph. Remember that you do not have to write about the whole, or write about the image directly. Head over.Poetry Jam

At Poetry Jam, Sumana talks to us about one of my favourite topics, solitude vs. loneliness. I love the two images she gives us. Visit to read what she says.FPR-200

Found Poetry Review Beth has found an intriguing resource for found poetry. She says about it: HOAX has a new Twitter side project (@quoaxquoax) dedicated to tweeting and retweeting “unattributed text snippets tagged with #quoax.” Head over for links and to read the rest of what she says.

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 forgiveness, technology, and names. Visit to find out what the prompts are about.IGWRTButtonrsz

At imaginary garden with real toads grapeling gives us a fun overview of recent travels and tells us how she came up with the prompt: I got to thinking how close yet how far some words are, and started thinking of pairs that share a root, as it were, but not necessarily a sense. Head over to read what she says and what she wants us to do. Go play with the toads.

At Poets United Midweek Motif Susan gives us glass(es) as our motif. She has a wealth of material for us to use. Visit to read the poems and quotations Susan has chosen. See what she has to say on the topic and the other bits of inspiration she has for us.sasha

At The Happy Amateur Sasha explains wikems. Head on over and see what Sasha does with black.

dverseOver at dVerse Bjorn talks to us about the volta. Don’t know what one is? Want to advance your writing? Head to the bar. They love visitors.

That should keep you occupied. I shall see you Tuesday for my prompt; Thursday for links and such; and Friday for more prompt site roundups.

Happy writing, everyone.

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 20/02/2015 in exercises, links, poetry

 

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Poetics Serendipity

8:08 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Sugar, Sugar sung by the Archies — now this is a song to start the day with. I haven’t even finished my coffee and I’m bopping in my chair.

Hello, all. Skip looked like Nanook of the North as he went out the door this morning, bundled tip to toe. Granted we can barely touch the hem of the Midwest and Northeast for cold, but for the South, this is cold and we are unused to it, and the dangers. Take care, everyone. I’ll try to give us ‘I’m stuck indoors’ places to visit.

1] The first link comes from my niece. This place I am sending you combines poems from Shelley, Keats, and Byron, with a video game designed for writers. I’m thinking it probably works best for prose writers, but poems come from strange places and it’s a game. With the Romantics. The game’s title is Elegy For a Dead World. If you click on the title when you visit the site, you’ll be taken to the developer’s site where you can learn more about the game and its origins.

You know you are going to go see what it’s about even if you never in your life have played, or will play, a video game! What’s that? Oh, yes. I play video games. I like the Romantics. I write. of course, I am buying the game.

2] The second place I am sending you is a worthy cause:

We are three Poets Laureate from Santa Clara County: David Perez, Erica Goss, and Jennifer Swanton Brown. We are poets and teachers, and have each worked with helping young people find their voices as writers.

We started Media Poetry Studio as a summer camp to provide artistic young women in Santa Clara County with opportunities to produce their own films inspired by their own, original poetry.

Even though we live in Silicon Valley, women are vastly underrepresented in technology fields. We wanted to do something significant to address that fact. You can be part of our effort to help young women develop confidence, empowering them to excel in the realms of art and technology.

No matter where we live, this seems like a worthy endeavour. Visit to read the rest of what they say. Maybe the project will spark more of this kind of thing.

3] The third offering comes via Misky, via Trish Hopkinson. The University of Iowa is offering: How Writers Write Poetry 2015, a seven-week course beginning on March 23, 2015, offers an interactive progression through the principles and practice of writing poetry. The course presents a curated collection of short, intimate talks on craft by two dozen acclaimed poets writing in English. Craft topics include persona, notebooking, the line, the turn, form, and the lyric. The talks are designed for beginning poets just starting to put words on a page as well as for advanced poets

Some of you took it last year. For the rest of you: It’s free. You say you don’t have time? No-one is going to ask to see your homework. Drop in as you can. Even if all you do is watch and listen, you’ll have gained something. Visit their site to read about it.

4] Alright. Ready to play? I stumbled across 100 Websites You Should Know and Use (Updated!) on TED’s blog. Granted they updated it in 2013, but the previous update had been 2007. Rather than wait a couple of years for the next update, let’s get ourselves lost in this one. The sites go way beyond writing and literature, but who cares?! Regard the whole as a playground.

Have fun. Stay warm and inside, people of the cold. I will see you again, tomorrow, for the roundup of prompts; next Tuesday for my image prompt; and next Thursday for more links and things.

Happy writing, all.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on 19/02/2015 in links, poetry, writing

 

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