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Poetics Serendipity

11:54 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Tequila, played by The Champs (and rocking out, in my recliner)

Hello, everyone. We are fast moving into summer with a projected high of 86F, today. I am sheltering in my tree-shaded house. I can do that because I walked two miles this morning and am  feeling virtuous. On to today’s links:

1] Write to Done gives us a short piece in 5 Irrefutable Signs You Need to Start a Writing Project Now, by Sally Wolfe. This is in case you need an added push. Her focus is prose, but, as it so often does, many of the points apply to poetry and that chapbook you want to put together.

2] Do you know about Cellpoems? If not, check it out. I have given you a link to its About page.

3] Why Is It ‘Eleven, Twelve’ Instead of ‘Oneteen, Twoteen’? — I knew you wanted to know this, what with being wordsmiths and the English language so straight forward and all. Check the article by Arika Okrent, in Mental Floss.

Have a lovely weekend and I shall see you for a prompt on Tuesday and more links on Thursday.

Happy writing, all.

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on 03/03/2016 in exercises, poetry

 

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Poem Tryouts: Be Still My Beating Heart

11:10 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Dave Grohl singing Blackbird

Hello, everyone. I am a trifle behind so let’s get right to it. A word day, yes? Still. Do you feel the slowing down within what’s around you? I find when I think the word still, there is a moment that feels so. I know it has to do with the i and the ll’s, possibly the initial s, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

The meanings, though, they are of interest because they are quite varied. When I hear still, I think unmoving. A logical offshoot, then, is the meaning quiet. We can have tranquility or noiselessness. A little harder to see is the meaning even yet, as in, Still, I don’t know about going into the storm. To see how that works and to look more closely at etymology and meanings, I have given you two links.

As to what to do with the word, Choose one meaning and have the poem reflect that meaning.

Or, looking at the pages I gave you (or another you prefer), use several synonyms within the body of the poem, but not the word still.

Or, create an image that embodies stillness. Choose words that sound still.

Or, go your own way.

Play with that and I look forward to seeing what arises. I shall see you Thursday for links and next Tuesday for another prompt.

Happy writing, all.

 

 
21 Comments

Posted by on 01/03/2016 in poems, poetry

 

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Poetics Serendipity

12:56 p.m. — San Antonio

listening to Cracklin’ Rosie sung by Neil Diamond

Hello, all. Late, you say?. Well, yes. I walked a fast mile and a half in the cold morning air and was recovering (read: felt lazy). However, here are some things to investigate.

1] The first is a correction to the post I gave you last week. Dale, of Right Hand Pointing apologises and says: Here’s a revision of the call for submissions for our May issue. The main change is related to our referring to 5×7 index cards, when it turns out that the larger index cards are actually 5×8. So, if you were out there frantically looking for 5x7s, it’s not your imagination, there are none.

2] Our second is from She Writes and mostly pertains to prose, but can be adapted to poetry. For those of you submitting, especially chapbooks, and who think they are at final draft stage, check these ten things.

3] For all you writers in the New Jersey area [and what with short distances, there must be a whole lot of you], consider a one-day writing getaway with Peter Murphy and his gang. His getaways are at the top of my writing bucket list.

Okay? Get to it. I will see you Tuesday for a prompt and next Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 25/02/2016 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poem Tryouts: Stop and Smell That Rose

10:52 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Paul Simon’s album Graceland — one of my favourites

Hello, all. We seem to think it’s Spring down in this part of Texas. The trees are suddenly green and the birds are going nuts. Clearly, none of them watch the Weather Channel, because the forecast says we freeze tonight. Temperatures are dropping for the next several days. So, let us find our peaceful spot, visually.

Yes, it is image day. Yay! I am posting an image and you may respond to the scene you see but, if you want some fun, find a site with paintings and sift through until you find the painting that makes your insides relax. Post the painting (with attribution) with your poetic response to it.

Whenever I come across the Monet below, I pause and everything in me slows down and relaxes. If I were to pinpoint what affects me, it’s the boat, something about the way it faces, its colour, its bare mast and the still water.

boat on canal

Find your peaceful spot and I look forward to seeing them and reading your poems. The poem does not have to have anything to do with you, or with the painting, but should probably involve peacefulness in some way.

I shall see you Thursday for links and next Tuesday (Hello March) for our next prompt.

Happy writing, all.

 
41 Comments

Posted by on 23/02/2016 in exercises, poems, poetry

 

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Poetics Serendipity

10:34 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to songs from the Broadway musical Alexander Hamilton

Hey ho, people! I am back from an eating trip to Atlanta. Granted San Antonio has some good restaurants, Atlanta is all about food and we were spoiled for five years. I am somewhat more roly-poly than when I last spoke to you. This might — ugh — involve exercise. Meanwhile, let’s see what we have.

1] This first is more a reminder. We know the words that should not appear in our writing, but I know I get lazy with my prose and if I get lazy with my prose, I might get lazy with my poetry. Besides, the layout is fun. Check out Jennifer Frost’s infographic Five Weak Words to Avoid and What to Use Instead.  (Any former students reading this will be laughing. They know this list well,)

2] I grant you this next one is only of interest generally, unless you live near, or in, or are going to visit, Chicago. Also, you’d need to be interested in American literature. With all those caveats, I still think it’s exciting news. The Guardian posted an article about an American Writers Museum, the first of its kind, that will open in Chicago in 2017. Of interest, ‘the Poetry Foundation is one of the affiliates and is, said its media director Elizabeth Burke-Dain, “committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture”.’

3] Trish Hopkinson’s Where to Submit NonTraditional and Traditional Poetry is, as all her articles are, full of helpful information. If you haven’t wandered around her blog, get yourself a hot drink, or a cold one, get comfortable and click the archives, or scroll back through.

4] Speaking of non-traditional, read the interview, Six Questions for Lise Quintana, Editor-in-Chief, & Allie Marini Batts, Managing Editor, NonBinary Review. Then check out the links to the right. Beware. Once you start going through the other Six ?s For, you might find an afternoon gone.

See you Tuesday for our next prompt and Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 18/02/2016 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poetics Serendipity

8:49 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Kananaka sung by Keali’i Reichel (who has one of the loveliest voices I have heard)

Hello, everyone. We have another mild, sunshiny day to enjoy. I hope things are as mild where you are. Shall we get to it?

1] The first link was sent to me by Sasha Palmer. The Paris Review posted a piece of correspondence from Horace Walpole to Horace Mann, in 1754, regarding the invention of the word serendipity. The piece is short and fun to read.

2] I receive right hand pointing‘s newsletter.and they have two items of interest in the latest issue. The first is their latest volume of poetry, of particular interest because it is their first haiku issue. The second is a rather interesting call for submissions. Check it out because I can see several of you wanting to give this a try.

3] Galley Cat’s latest infographic is about The Weird Writing Practices of Authors, by Maryann Yin. I love their infographics, so you will often see them here.

Brief and to the point, today, but plenty to play with. The blog and I will be dark for ten days, or so. I will see you again, probably Thursday after next, for more links.

Happy writing, all.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 04/02/2016 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poem Tryouts: Lights Out

8:51 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Cool Water sung by Marty Robbins

Hello, everyone. How’s things? We have blue sky, sunshine, and a promise of 62 as our high. Gorgeous. Not that I trust San Antonio’s weather. Two days ago, it was so hot, we stopped at Sonic for malteds. In January, for crying out loud. Enough chitchat, let’s begin.

In the past couple of weeks, we have had our electricity go out a couple of times, as work is being done in the neighbourhood. When we lived in Jakarta, especially the early years, losing our electricity was a common event and could last as long as two days. We have been known to move into a hotel. As I sat in the quiet of last week’s outage, I noticed, again, how still the world becomes without electricity, how quiet, almost the quality of a snow silence.

An unscheduled outage is what we’re looking for. Think back over your life to times when the electricity went out unexpectedly. Jot notes on the things you couldn’t, or could, do because of the loss of various electrical appliances, not to mention lights. How much of a nuisance was it? How helpless did you feel? Or did you revel in having no choice about certain things? If you want, go universal and comment on the dependency we have on electrical items.

The specific outage I remember best happened in Hong Kong, my senior year in  high school. Outages were rare and this one happened at night, as I was writing an essay due the next day. I sat on the living room couch with my mother’s Smith Corona typewriter on my knees and two candles on the coffee table. I got the assignment done.

Feel free to mash-up your memories. If you have lived your life without an electricity outage, you will need to adapt this prompt. 

I will see you Thursday for stuff and then the blog will be dark (yes, an electricity outage, heh heh heh) for a couple of weeks, while Skip and I head to Georgia for our Atlanta fix.

Happy writing, all.

 

 
28 Comments

Posted by on 02/02/2016 in exercises, poetry

 

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