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Poetics Serendipity: National Poetry Month

8:17 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to If sung by Petula Clark

Hello, all. Let’s see where we are: four days away from April 1 and the beginning  of a poem a day for many of us. For those who think we are nuts [and those participating are among them], you will have an abundance of prompts throughout the month to play with, try, stash, whatever you wish. The rest of us? Well.

1] Robert Lee Brewer is justifiably excited over what is quite a coup on his part. His Poem-a-Day, aka PAD, takes an interesting twist this year, with guest judges, one for each day of the month. If you head over to his place, you will see a list of the judges. Amazing.

2] Quickly’s will be on tap for the month with her refreshingly bracing style. I’m sending you to her pre-game pep talk.

3] NaPoWriMo is gearing up. They were on my list last year and I used some of their prompts [I had a buffet style: I picked and chose from among all the prompters]. At the moment they are counting down. Today’s post has links to some new poetry sites, one of which will provide your phone with a poem every day. I was excited until I found it’s for iPhones only. I’m excited for them. Really.

4] While the Found Poetry Review’s challenge is a closed one, there is no reason you cannot follow along and select some of their prompts to try. I shall post their prompt each day along with my response. The challenge, as I mentioned previously, is to write with Oulipian constraints and source the poems from our daily newspapers. The link takes you to this blog.

5] From Quillfyre’s comment below: This is the second year that The Poetry Superhighway plans a NaPoWriMo event. Last year I recall some great prompts from them. Here’s the link from the website, which in turn points to a FB page for posting the responses: http://poetrysuperhighway.com/psh/category/napowrimo/poetry-writing-prompts-2014/

If you know of another site participating, let me know and I will add it.

I shall see you tomorrow for the prompt roundup and then not until May for the regular blog postings, but every day for oulipo work.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
18 Comments

Posted by on 27/03/2014 in exercises, poems, poetry, writing

 

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Good Friday Freeforall

9:02 a.m. — Atlanta

Hello, everyone. How nice to have a holiday. I had a bit of a lie-in and have now had my first coffee, so let’s get to it and see what we have to help you with your poems-a-day.

A couple of small announcements. Stop by Kelli Agodon’s blog for a list of all those participating in the Poetry Giveaway. She has the links in a column to the left as you arrive at her site.

Poets & Writers suggests a rather nice thing to do for National Poetry Month, which is to memorise one poem a week. There is something special, a bond that arises with a poem memorised, so consider four poems to bond with.

Don’t forget you have homework, so to speak, for my prompt next Tuesday.

Alright, we start with Donna and The Poetry Mixtape, where she gives us a wonderful poem by Adrienne Rich and a prompt based on the structure of Rich’s poem.

Joseph Harker gives us Reverie Thirteen: Turning the Hourglass, which starts with three freewrites which might provide us with material for more than just this particular prompt. I must make time to get to that today. Must. Go on over to read the whole.

Over at Adele’s, The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog gives us something a little different for the month: ‘I offer you an inspiration word or phrase and a related poem for each of April’s thirty days. You may wish to read, write, or do both. Keep in mind that writing a poem a day doesn’t mean that you have to “finish” each poem immediately. You can write a draft each day and set your drafts aside to work on later‘. Adele has the entire month listed and waiting. To read all the possibilities, visit.

This week on Poetic Bloomings we are asked to, Head for the nearest telephone booth, don your cape, and meet us here. To find out more and to read our hosts’ tongue in cheek poems, head over. Marie Elena and Walt also offer a post on the tanka form.

At The Sunday Whirl, Brenda tells us the words are from Richard Walker, who gives us a set of words with multiple meanings. Visit to see the wordle and to read what others have done. I had fun considering the words in all their incarnations and Richard has two poems, one of which uses both meanings of each word.

Carry On Tuesday gives us the title of a Beach Boys’ song and a link to watch a video performance. I am so back in my music era. While the song is not one of their best, there is nothing quite like this group’s sound, and, of course, the occasionally screaming girls. Hmm. The link lets us listen to a few songs. Well, yay!

Go to Mad Kane’s Humor Blog for her Limerick-off Mondays and a lot more besides. She calls it a humour blog for a reason. Go for the laugh. It’s healthy. It doesn’t much matter if you don’t want to write a limerick; reading them brightens a day. Fact.

Visit Magpie Tales for our image prompt. This week’s image is a photograph which continues the vein of surrealist images in which Magpie has been indulging. This one makes me laugh each time I look at it, although it’s not a humourous image, per se. Head over to see what we have.

Poetry Jam provides us with a prompt from Mary, this week. She wants us to think about the topic of tools. Go on over to see what else she says. The possibilities might include using a tool group metaphorically.

For you alliterationists out there, visit ABC Wednesday. The introduction introduces us to contributor Gattina, but go for the cartoon. I’m chortling [yep, chortling] thinking about it.

The three words this week for Three Word Wednesday are growl, hype, and justify. Interesting. Remember that it’s all about the three words working together. You might try writing down the first thoughts that come into your head as you read these words, before you go on to visit the site for their definitions. They have a particularly good source and I often get ideas from the definitions rather than the given words.

Over at imaginary garden with real toads we get two for one visit. First, we have The Sunday Challenge with the work of Laura Hegfield. Visit to meet her and her work. We also have Kerry’s Wednesday Challenge ~ The Oral Tradition and an intriguing prompt that suggests we Imagine it is a poem to be told to an audience seated close to the knee of the storyteller. Visit to read the prompt. Check the rest of the week too. Go play with the toads.

We Write Poems starts with, Something simple, something light? Just right for April. Visit to see what it’s about. Also, WWP is one of the sites offering a place to post your poems for the month.

At Poets United, we are asked to think about escape, a topic that offers so many possibilities that one way I would approach this would be to list all the possible types of escape and then jot notes next to each… For the rest of the prompt, and some lovely images, head over. For something interesting, check the etymology of escape [my reaction was, Well, I'll be damned.]

Over at dVerse’s Form For All, we are introduced to linked quatrains and to the Rubaiyat quatrains and offered a chance to try both. Quatrains are useful to have around as stock, so give this a try. As always, explore the pub while you are there. They offer so much on their menu.

Over at Patricia K. Lichen, Author her Weekend Haiku & Limericks gives us the usual three options.  Visit for the possibilities and because it’s fun to wander through the site.

Flash fiction fans: I’m going to give you the link to the general site of Flashy Fiction, rather than always giving you Friday, as you might come to the site on a different day, thus be offered a different image. Pot luck.

The final posting is for Trifecta, I have given you the link to the Instructions page. They have an interesting shtick. Visit and find out what.

If you have questions, ask. If you write in response to any of these, the people whose blogs you visit would love to read your responses. So, post!

Remember: If you have a topic you want me to discuss, tell me. I’ll take on just about anything and if it’s beyond me, I’ll find sources. What niggles? What have you wanted to ask, or know? If you have an announcement you want posted, send it along for Your Serendipity @ Thursday Thoughts.

I shall see you Tuesday for a prompt based on your having done some prep work; on Thursday I shall see you for announcements; and Friday for the next roundup of prompts.

Happy writing, everyone. Those who have a three-day weekend, enjoy.

 
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Posted by on 06/04/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing

 

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Twenty Little Tuesday Tryouts

7:40 a.m. –Atlanta

Hello, all. I can hear the gasps as your eyes flick over the post. It looks more frightening than it is. Really. Think about it: I got through it. Can you cheat? Of course.

Bur, first, an assignment as prep for next week’s prompt. The good news is that you may be able to use much of what you collect as fodder for the poems-a-day sites. Keep pen and paper by you any time you watch television over the next seven days. If you don’t usually watch much television, for this week, pick channels like National Geographic, the news, or The Discovery Channel, and give thirty minutes a day to it. The premise of next week’s exercise is: Things I learned from watching t.v..The lines below are another person’s. I will give you his name and the whole poem next week, so you can see what he did, but these few lines show you what we are heading for.

- Watching Wildebeest roam The Serengeti makes me sleepy
- Flocks of migrating birds look like dots on a big screen
- I still don’t understand basic science or maths
- Teaching history is “key in the 21st century”
- History is not being taught in many schools
- Much of modern art is thought provoking
- A lot of modern art is not very good, expensive trash

If you have no television, be creative. We are heading for a list poem on a week of observations and what we learned from some one thing.

For today, I want to give you the exercise by itself, then broken up, so you can see how I answered each step, and the final draft. I wanted to put a working draft in to show the transition to the final piece, but this isn’t a post on revision! The exercise comes from Jim Simmerman who originally designed it for a creative writing class, titling it ‘Twenty Little Poetry Projects,’ and now uses it the way I do, as a strategy when the brain is not moving forward with an idea.

Steps

1. Begin the poem with a metaphor.
2. Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
3. Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in
succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
4. Use one example of synesthesia [mixing the senses].
5. Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.
6. Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.
7. Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.
8. Use a word [slang?] you’ve never seen in a poem.
9. Use an example of false cause-effect logic.
10. Use a piece of talk you’ve heard [preferably in dialect and/or
which you don't understand].
11. Create a metaphor using the following construction:The
[adjective] [concrete noun] of [abstract noun]…
12. Use an image in such a way as to reverse its usual associative
qualities.
13. Make the character in the poem do something he/she could not
do in real life.
14. Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.
15. Write in the future tense such that part of the poem sounds like a
prediction.
16. Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective.
17. Make a declarative assertion that sounds convincing but that
finally makes no sense.
18. Use a phrase from a language other than English.
19. Personify an object.
20. Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but
that echoes an image from earlier in the poem.

I was going nuts while typing the drafts from my old notes. I kept wanting to fix things and get rid of verbs of being. I also had to decipher the original below my first revisions.

I am a concrete person with my writing. When I first tried this, I was sitting on our bed, in Jakarta, because that was my work space. I was feeling downhearted with life — I wrote the first line. I had a small Persian carpet next to me I was staring at while trying to figure out how to do this prompt — I wrote the next line…

1] I am a prisoner without walls
2] among the flowers of my Persian carpet vines/weeds are beginning to sprout

Once I had a focus, a direction, I found the exercise much easier to carry out. I don’t think I can write this exercise without knowing where I am going. It would be interesting to try, though. Randomness has merit.

Steps with my first draft
1. Begin the poem with a metaphor.
1] I am a prisoner without walls
2. Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
2] among the flowers of my Persian carpet vines/weeds are beginning to sprout
3. Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in
succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
3] They twine and curl reaching for me pulling me down into the fields of silk and wool; as I slide through warp and weft I hear the rustle of thread grasses. My nostrils fill with the pungency of sheep and goats and I taste the dryness of dust.
4. Use one example of synesthesia [mixing the senses].
4] The dampness of a blue silk river runs through my ears.
5. Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.
5] Nearby, Omar Khayyam sits writing under a date palm, the white minarets of Nineveh on the horizon.
6. Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.
6] If a carpet can have a horizon.
7. Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.
7] The hunt was on; turbaned caliphs on Arabian steeds, bows and arrows slung across their backs, chased a leopard peering forever across his shoulder.
8. Use a word [slang?] you’ve never seen in a poem.
8]Tally ho and an arrow is loosed never hitting its mark,
9. Use an example of false cause-effect logic.
9] suspended eternally in mid-air by silken threads.
10. Use a piece of talk you’ve heard [preferably in dialect and/or
which you don't understand].
10] A thousand throats can be slit by one man running.
11. Create a metaphor using the following construction: The
[adjective] [concrete noun] of [abstract noun]…
11] The towering trees of thought stand in an expectancy of silence
12. Use an image in such a way as to reverse its usual associative
qualities.
12] and I stand in the trap free of danger
13. Make the character in the poem do something he/she could not
do in real life.
13] my arms sliding around the leopard’s golden ruff;
14. Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.
14] Ducky would have run
15. Write in the future tense such that part of the poem sounds like a
prediction.
15] to be hunted forever through threads of colour,
16. Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective.
16] chased by frozen horses
17. Make a declarative assertion that sounds convincing but that
finally makes no sense.
17] trapped by a web of patterns
18. Use a phrase from a language other than English.
18] another playmate in the Bokharan fields.
19. Personify an object.
19] The arrows hum through the staring trees
20. Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but
that echoes an image from earlier in the poem
20] and I am trapped in a web of patterns.

With a draft to go on, I stopped worrying about the steps. I listed nouns and verbs that fit with Persian carpets and Middle Eastern fairy tales, circled words I wanted to look up for other possible meanings, and started back through this draft, trimming, adding line breaks, making the story active rather than passive. I got rid of lines that I had in only because the exercise asked for them.

I will use these steps when my brain is not behaving, when I have an idea and don’t know where to go with it. There are steps I ignore, but not many. Below is the final draft as published in Lunarosity, a now defunct ezine.

A Thousand and One Nights

Among the flowers of my Persian carpet
vines sprout curl twine me into fields of silk
and wool. Sliding through warp and weft,
I hear the rustle of thread grasses, and
my nostrils fill with the pungency of feral cats,
I taste the dryness of dust, and the dampness
of a blue silk river runs through my ears.
A blend and blur of color mark the horizon
spots of russet and black resolving into a hunt
undisturbed by my addition to the scene.
Arabian steeds damp dark with silken sweat,
silent as Attic shapes, prance and wheel
through date palms and trees of fiery-fruited
pomegranate. Turbaned caliphs, bows slung
across their backs, chase a leopard forever
peering over his shoulder. An arrow loosed never
hits its mark eternally suspended by woven
threads. Trees stand in an expectancy of silence
as I move within zig-zags of light and shadow.
My arms slide round the leopard’s golden
ruff and I am bound by threads of color
to be hunted forever through fields of silk and
wool, chased by frozen horses, another
player in the weaving fields of Bokhara.

Hair-pulling might be involved, but, hopefully, no exploding heads. Take yourself from step to step without worrying about whole. The draft doesn’t have to be cohesive. Connections and threads can come later.

See you Thursday for something; Friday for the roundup; and next Tuesday for the prompt mentioned above as your assignment.

Happy writing, all. It’s only week one. Pull back those emotions.

 
65 Comments

Posted by on 03/04/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing

 

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It’s Fridaaaaay and That Makes This a Freeforall

8:04 a.m. — Atlanta

Hello, all. How are you? Shall we get to it? First though, a moment or two to think about Adrienne Rich who has died. For you readers who do not know her work, do a little Googling today, and those of us who do know her work, well we might do the same.

I need to make a correction to an announcement. I had the wrong Trifecta. I know. Thank goodness, Paula checked the site, probably puzzled when I said it’s a busy looking site. You will see why when you visit, but first:

We start with Donna and The Poetry Mixtape, where she introduces us, this week, to Patrick Rosal. She says: [His] poems are full of music, visceral and tender at the same time. I am realising that Donna’s ‘prompt’ posts are of such value because of the poets she chooses. Many are writers I have not read, but Donna picking them gives me a first taste and I know whether I want the whole cake. Head over to meet this week’s poet. I have one of last week’s books winging its way towards me.

Joseph Harker’s Reveries, is even more fun than it usually is, asking us to write on the ephemerality of something not thought of as ephemeral, writing the poem on something like a paper napkin, book of matches, postcard… then posting the poem somewhere in our worlds, taking a photograph of it in place and posting the photo on our blogs. I felt exhilarated carrying this Reverie out and heard the same excitement in others who did this. Remember that it’s never too late to do this exercise. Go on over to read the whole.

9:11 a.m. — This is what happens when I get distracted while visiting the sites I write about here: I stopped by Joseph’s and while scrolling down to the Reverie link, spotted his ‘Fairy Tale,’ which I have been meaning to comment on. Oh well, a quick minute… the phone rings. My son for our weekly chat. I wander back to the computer, finish the remark and look to see what else I need to do… Oh, Good God, I’m writing a blog post.

And, then there is Adele’s blog, where I get caught up in both the prompts and the comments. One of the lovely things about Adele’s blog is the links to specific poems, that she suggests, that connect to the prompt either as context, or example. The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog has several options revolving around stones. To read all the possibilities, visit.

This week on Poetic Bloomings we are challenged with a photograph. To find out more and to read our hosts’ poems, head over. I have read several lovely responses to this photograph, already. Also, this fortnight’s interview is with mike Maher., so stop and read.

At The Sunday Whirl, Brenda tells us she pulled the words from an article in Bon Appetit magazine. I’ll have to reread my copy. Visit to see the wordle and to read what others have done. Not such an easy grouping this week.

Carry On Tuesday gives us a quotation from Robert Browning. To read it and several other quotations from Browning, head over.

Go to Mad Kane’s Humor Blog for her Limerick-off Mondays and a lot more besides. She calls it a humour blog for a reason. Go for the laugh. It’s healthy. It doesn’t much matter if you don’t want to write a limerick; reading them brightens a day. Fact.

Visit Magpie Tales for our image prompt. This week’s image is a photograph and a strange one. The effect is weird. Head over to see what we have.

Poetry Jam provides us with a prompt from Peggy, this week. She wants us to put yourself in the place of someone whose concept of God and/or how the world works is different from yours. Go on over to see what else she says. The possibilities are endless and fascinating for this topic.

For you alliterationists out there, visit ABC Wednesday. The introduction made me laugh.

The three words this week for Three Word Wednesday are fragrant, jostle, and remnant. Remember that it’s all about the three words working together. You might try writing down the first thoughts that come into your head as you read these words, before you go on to visit the site for their definitions. They have a particularly good source and I often get ideas from the definitions rather than the given words.

Over at imaginary garden with real toads we get two for one visit. First, we have Ella, who discusses a fascinating strategy for writing poems. She also talks about yet another book I must have. Head to the Garden to find out what. We also have Fireblossom Friday and a series of fascinating photographs centering on bodies. Visit to read the prompt. Check the rest of the week too. They have a lot going on, including an interview with Hedgewitch. Go play with the toads.

Happy Anniversary, We Write Poems and thank you for all the pleasure you give us. If you haven’t checked out the WWP tribute to its followers, go look.This week we are asked to give back, by sending a prompt we think will be fun for the group to play with in the months ahead.

At Poets United, we are asked to think about music, a topic that could take weeks, months, and we would still be conversing. For the rest of the prompt head over.

Over at dVerse’s Meeting the Bar, their prompt says, Let’s take the challenge to be totally alive in the present and write to our perceptions. It says a lot more and for that you will need to visit. You will find, as you read the article a familiar theme, one which bears repetition.

Over at Patricia K. Lichen, Author her Weekend Haiku & Limericks gives us the usual options. Sometimes I feel the need to share one of the options: boomers/mountain beavers. You know you want to find out. Visit for the possibilities and because it’s fun to wander through the site.

Flash fiction fans: I love the photograph Hannah is offering us over at Flashy Fiction, and the post’s title offers another possibility for a direction in which to take the poem. Hannah is good at that!

The final posting is for Trifecta, the correct Trifecta. I have given you the link to the Instructions page. They have an interesting shtick. Visit and find out what.

If you have questions, ask. If you write in response to any of these, the people whose blogs you visit would love to read your responses. So, post!

Remember: If you have a topic you want me to discuss, tell me. I’ll take on just about anything and if it’s beyond me, I’ll find sources. What niggles? What have you wanted to ask, or know? If you have an announcement you want posted, send it along for Your Serendipity @ Thursday Thoughts.

Remember to throw your name in for the chance at a couple of free books of poetry for the Great Poetry Giveaway. I shall see you Tuesday for a prompt that should offer everyone’s particular favourite aspect [What? In one exercise? MUAHAHAHA] and I shall set some prep work for the following week. On Thursday I shall see you for announcements; and Friday for the next roundup of prompts.

Happy writing, everyone.Gird your loins: Poem a Day is almost upon you.

 
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Posted by on 30/03/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing

 

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Tuesday Tryouts

7:28 a.m. — Atlanta

Hi, all. I hope you are well. For this week, we have an image prompt. As with any images I give you, you can follow suggestions, or ignore them completely and go with whatever idea flashes into your mind.

The artist we are looking at for a couple of image weeks is Norman Rockwell, an artist I believe has become… underrated? forgotten? pigeonholed? When I was looking around for the next artist, I came across his work and settled in to have a good look. It had been a while since I had looked at any Rockwells. I tended to think of his art as ‘very good at what he did,’ as magazine cover art, or as caricature. After an hour of looking, I realised I had been underselling his work to myself.

If you study the three works I have chosen, you will see that it is Rockwell’s incredible ability to reproduce what he conceived, as if he had taken a photograph, that puts him in the top tier of artists and, at the same time, often causes his work to be dismissed by modern audiences. Look at the wealth of detail in each painting. Not an impression of background, or a loosely suggested few things, but an exact accounting of every part of the scene. Look at the faces and their expressions. I felt as if I could call out to the characters.

Rockwell’s work was used as magazine cover art, he did paint caricatures, but his work covers far more. Resist looking up the paintings to see their titles. That plants too firm a direction. Unless you have a reason for making it part of the poem, we shouldn’t know a piece of art is involved.

In general, I would say, choose the painting that speaks to you and go with your idea for a poem but, should you want suggestions, here are a few. Choose a painting. List everything you observe about the main person. Look for details: physical, clothing, background, other people… Don’t draw conclusions yet.

Now, from the list of facts, spend several minutes writing what you think your person is like as a person, their character traits, based on what you observe.

What does this person look like s/he might be or do?

Write sketches introducing your character in two or three of the following ways:

through his/her own inner monologue
through two people discussing him/her in his/her absence
through a dialogue between him/herself and another person
show him/her eating
describe the possessions s/he values
describe his/her hands and the way s/he uses them

or

Pick any painting. Jot down everything you notice. Don’t miss the tiniest detail. Don’t draw conclusions yet. Now jot down the things you associate with some of the things you have noticed. See if anything forms a pattern.

From your notes, pick a direction that pleases you and write. You might try a prose piece, a haibun, or a form as tightly structured as a Rockwell.

Enjoy your last week of freedom, those of you who are about to embark on Poem-a-day. Me? Do I look nuts? Which is not to say I don’t admire you.

I shall see you Thursday for announcements; Friday for the roundup; and next Tuesday for a prompt that should satisfy everyone’s requests… sound ominous? Heh heh.

Happy writing, all.

 

 
43 Comments

Posted by on 27/03/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing

 

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Your Serendipity @ Thursday Thoughts

7:52 a.m. — Atlanta

A brief post today. How are you all? The weekend nears and so does April, and you know what that means: Screaming. Hair pulling. Possible drinking. Swearing. A poem a day. Thirty poems.

1] April is National Poetry Month and there will be a ton of stuff going on. Google your state and National Poetry Month. You might be surprised. I was when I did that for Georgia last year and discovered it had a ton of stuff going on.[I repeated the exact same phrase didn't I? One would almost think I did it purposely. I didn't catch it until the reread. Scary.]

2] One event I participated in last year is the Big Poetry Giveaway, organised by poet and editor Kelli Agodon. About 50 or so bloggers gave away 2 chapbooks each, after a draw among participating readers. You may sign up for as many blogs as you visit. I ended up with five new chapbooks, a lovely way to read poets I didn’t know.

Big Poetry Giveaway 2012

Next Thursday, I will post the Great Poetry Giveaway blog where I will tell you the books I will give away and where you can sign up for the draw. You will have a month to sign up. I will also have a link to other participating blogs. The official start of the Big Poetry Giveaway, for my site, will be 29 March, 2012, and will last through April 30, 2012.

3] Julie Catherine has several things happening in April. She writes:

Coming in April, watch for my special Muse-Sings featured guest, Doug Peters.  Doug writes wonderful spiritual and inspirational poetry, and his spoken words set to beautiful music are absolutely exquisite.  It will be a definite must-read interview!

Also, April is National Poetry Month, celebrated nationally across both Canada and the United States.  So get your pens, pencils and typing fingers ready to share your poetry with the world during the entire month.  In addition to my regular monthly Medal of Humor week, I’ll be holding a special “Word Whisperer” contest, with a personally signed paperback copy of Love Notes romantic poetry as the prize.

As well, at the beginning of the month, I’ll be writing a book review of Part I of Justin Ordonez’ book, Sykosa, as part of  the “Novel Publicity” whirlwind blog tour team.

Please join me for these exciting events coming up in April!  ~  Love, Julie

Me, here. That’s it for today. I told you it would be short! I shall see you tomorrow for the roundup; Tuesday for an image prompt; and next Thursday for announcements.

Happy writing, everyone.

 

 
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Posted by on 22/03/2012 in poetry, writing

 

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Friday Freeforall: Prompts Roundup

9:10 — Atlanta

Hello. Anyone else feel like it has been two weeks crammed into one? Whew! Bring on the weekend. Meanwhile what do we have to entertain us and keep us writing? I think I will be glad to get back to the routine of my usual Friday sites. Hunting for two or three, so that anyone participating in National Poetry Month doesn’t feel overwhelmed by all that is on offer, takes longer. I want those who are not participating to have enough to play with, too.

Let us start with Big Tent, who are giving us seven prompts a week for the month of April. Here are a couple:
2. Write an ode to a thing you love in nature.
3. Write a poem that starts, “It’s not true that ______.”
7. Write a poem in which you pull a small object (toy? animal?) out of your mouth. To read the rest, enter the Big Tent.

At Poets & Writers they ask us to try a fun trick. If you are stuck on the draft of a poem, or you have an old poem you don’t quite know what to do with, write, or print, it out, snip it into lines or small chunks and physically move the lines around. You will be surprised at what a new perspective can do.

The prompt offered at Poets United has many possibilities, maybe even a series. They ask us to contemplate firsts: “a first” in life….like a first kiss, first job, first vacation, or even first husband…lol.  When is the first time you experienced death, love, God, hate, a broken bone, happiness?  Head over to the site for a couple of photographs, a statement by Churchill, and the rest of the prompt.

And, finally [still keeping things short], one of the prompts from Inkseeds, where Jennie asks us to think about talismans: Think back over the times in your life when you’ve put something on or carried something with you “for luck,” or just because having it with you made you feel a little better. Maybe it’s a special piece of jewelry or other adornment. A tumbled gemstone you tuck into your pocket once in a while. Maybe you carry a letter someone wrote to you because it inspires or comforts. Maybe you have a lucky pen you sign contracts or write poems with, or maybe you wear a pair of lucky underwear (or tie, or other article of clothing) to job interviews. Go on over and read the rest of the prompt. She writes particularly well, so her whole blog is worth the visit, and offers plenty of possibilities.

In case you haven’t checked out the Big Poetry Giveaway, or the Poem a Day sites, and would like to, head to my post here. Do share this with anyone who might enjoy it and I will see you Tuesday to learn another form, and Thursday to continue the discussion of words to avoid.

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Writing.

 
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Posted by on 15/04/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing

 

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Friday Freeforall: Prompts, Poem a Days, and Giveaways

10:19 am — Atlanta

Hello all! I’m running late today. Had a dentist appointment this morning and am now sitting here with numb gums and 800 mg of ibuprofen. I will keep this short, as many people do not need or want to be flooded with exercises this month. I have picked the prompts that are the most interesting, or fun, or have the most possibilities. I will run through the prompts first and then give you links to the happenings around the poetry month sites.

First up is Carry On Tuesday which gives us two clichéd phrases, but I included it because often if we kick off with the cliché and freewrite for a while, we come up with something. Then, you can remove the clichéd phrase unless deliberately including it because it is a cliché. Go on over and take a look and see if something sparks. The blog, as always, includes links to hear or see the phrase in context.

Next, Big Tent Poetry, which, if you were here last week, you will remember is participating in the poem a day by giving us seven prompts each week. Here are the first three for this week: 1. Write about a broken window. 2. Write about something that no longer exists. 3. Write a poem with lungs in it. For the rest, visit the circus.

I don’t always include Poets & Writers, but their post this week is intriguing and fun. They ask us to, Take a cue from Raymond Queneau’s Exercises in Style, which tells a single narrative in ninety-nine ways, and write a poem based on what happened just after you got up this morning. Then use one or more of these filters to revise the poem: I do not include the filters they suggest. To see what they are [you know you are curious, even if you aren't going to write a poem] visit the site.

How complete do you often feel about the poems you write? We know that’s not likely all black or white, each poem stands on its’ own. And maybe a poem can just be as it is – without a judge or jury speaking up. But how is it for you as a writer? That’s the question here. How do poems “arrive” for you? That’s how We Write Poems starts its prompt. Head over to read the rest. The topic of the how of writing poetry fascinates most poets. Here’s a chance to write about it. I already know I’ll post on this one.

For the month, I have an exciting site for you to visit: Inkseeds. Jennie Paige is posting detailed exercises that explore our personal mythologies. Here is a sample from today’s prompt: Sometimes we are so immersed in the details our personal mythology that our own worldview and story structures become invisible to us, much as a flighted bird doesn’t for a moment consider the air that it moves through. But our personal stories do not evolve in isolation – we are always in the context of the grander scheme, the larger lives of the groups we belong to. Today’s prompt asks us to step back out of ourselves for a while, to notice and to honor the things that we have inherited from those who have gone before us. I encourage you to visit and explore her site. So far we have dealt with water, earth, personae, and dreams.

This is already longer than I had planned, so I shall give you the link to my last Friday’s blog, which contains links for a couple of Poem a Day sites and the links for the Great Poetry Giveaway.

If you know anyone who would be interested in any of this, take a second to click any of the buttons below. I shall see you again Tuesday, for Acrostics Part 2, and next Thursday for the rest of the story on the no no words for writers. Have a wonderful weekend. Happy Writing.

 
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Posted by on 08/04/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing

 

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