Tuesday Vacation Tryout

07 Aug

9:05 a.m. — Atlanta

Hello, all! I’m back! I know in the cyber-sense I haven’t seemed to be away, particularly, but geographically I have been away from home for two months. That’s enough time to forget where things are and what my routine was. Some of you will be back at your regular lives, too, while others will be taking your vacation this month. Poetry goes everywhere with no fixed time, so keep those notebooks and pens close by.

We are still taking things easy. This month we have today’s exercise, which we will get to in a minute; a free choice coming up; a warm-up for the post-summer writing season; and, an image prompt.

Today: So, what did you do during your summer vacation? Oy! Did I hear groans? I’m not going to leave it as simple as that. My challenge to you is to write a what I did during my summer vacation poem without anyone being able to tell that is your topic. Yep, that’s right. Nothing about it should shout VACATION! Tricky, huh? Those who haven’t had your vacation, well, you have an even bigger challenge. You will need to decide what you did, before you do it. Look at the suggestions and use what you need to help.

Cast your mind back to your vacation week, days, day, months[all you teachers]. Start by jotting down everything you can remember from the vacation: anecdotes, images, phrases, moments, sensory details. Don’t worry about order, or sense. Jot.

You do not have to tell a story; you can give us a moment. You don’t have to be the speaker — you can have someone else tell, or describe,  the moment, a different perspective. You can even lie. You don’t remember something? Make it up. Who’s to know? The poem needs something to happen that didn’t? Write it. Heck, if you want something from a vacation three years ago, go ahead. Remember, you are using a memory as a spark for a poem that conveys something about summer vacations. You can even write a complete fantasy, the summer vacation you always wanted to take.

Look at your notes. Which details do you want to use? If you need to mix and match, take an image from one thing and add it to another, do so. Pull out the elements you want to incorporate and jot them down separately, so that your mind refocuses on these.

Decide what form will best convey the truth about the moment, story, scene, whatever it is about summer vacation you want your readers to take away.

I shall see you Friday for the roundup; and next Tuesday for a free choice [sort of].

Happy writing, everyone. I have some comments backed up I need to respond to… coffee first.



Posted by on 07/08/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing


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28 responses to “Tuesday Vacation Tryout

  1. Annette Mickelson

    07/08/2012 at 11:24 am

    Coffee first, always!

    • margo roby

      07/08/2012 at 11:36 am

      Annette, I knew you’d understand!

  2. Madeleine Begun Kane

    07/08/2012 at 1:20 pm

    Welcome home!

    And thanks for a tough sounding challenge. Hmmm, must think about it. 🙂

    • margo roby

      07/08/2012 at 1:34 pm

      I aim to please, Madeleine. With your signature form, you can have great fun with this!

  3. vivinfrance

    07/08/2012 at 5:46 pm

    Maybe tomorrow…

    • margo roby

      08/08/2012 at 7:50 am

      I saw this last night as I was shutting down and thought: I’ll reply tomorrow… I notice you have already posted a poem. Lovely.

  4. barbara_

    07/08/2012 at 8:04 pm

    Go easy on yourself. Wine.

    Okay. I’ve been writing “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” since I stopped in a Bob Evans between Cincinnati and Columbus and sat trying to describe the murals in my moleskine. This version needs a re-write, but we know how long that’ll be. sigh

    The Woman With Bad Knees’ Return

    • margo roby

      08/08/2012 at 7:52 am

      Barbara, you are good for me. We brought back several bottles from Napa, including a Cab Port to die for.

      Sigh, indeed. I really must do a status update on the poems I need to revise…

  5. Annette Mickelson

    07/08/2012 at 8:15 pm

    …the most fun I’ve had in quite awhile! I was grinning as I scribbled my notes and formed this poem. Thanks Margo — great prompt as always.

    • margo roby

      08/08/2012 at 7:53 am

      How lovely, Annette! I shall visit, shortly.

  6. purplepeninportland

    07/08/2012 at 11:09 pm

    Your prompt made me appreciate summer even more! Thanks. Mine is up.

    • margo roby

      08/08/2012 at 7:54 am

      My pleasure, Sara. I’ll visit in a bit.

  7. vivinfrance

    08/08/2012 at 3:41 am

    Here you are, Margo: I’ll be back later to read others’ poems.

    • margo roby

      08/08/2012 at 7:55 am

      Ta, ViV. Are you behaving yourself, relatively?

  8. rosross

    08/08/2012 at 3:57 am

    Not an easy one Margo, but giving it a try all the same. Our holidays (vacation) are in summer, like yours, but in December and January, so I am looking backwards and forwards.

    • margo roby

      08/08/2012 at 7:56 am

      Ros, I always think of you and my other souths, aware that you have to adapt. Sometimes great poems arrive that way. I’m heading over.

    • margo roby

      08/08/2012 at 7:57 am

      ‘k, Misky. I’m coming over.

  9. pmwanken

    09/08/2012 at 8:04 am

    OK…Thursday’s better than never! 🙂 Here’s my not so prompt response to the prompt!


    • margo roby

      09/08/2012 at 9:38 am

      Thursday is good. I’m heading over-ish. Organise myself and get more coffee first!


  10. Hannah Gosselin

    10/08/2012 at 12:22 am

    Hello!!! Will return to catch up…this time I am indeed late…crazy week and more to come….I’m hoping that next week will be almost normal.

    Wedding and a funeral Friday and Saturday then one more day, (hopefully), of getting Grammy’s house ready….almost empty!!!

    • margo roby

      10/08/2012 at 8:42 am

      Oh, Hannah, Hannah, Hannah… ‘I’m hoping that next week will be almost normal’. Talk about tempting fate! Good luck with all of it. Try and stay sane 🙂

      • Hannah Gosselin

        10/08/2012 at 9:04 am

        Thank you, Margo!!! It is all pretty fun though at least!! Smiles to you!!!


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