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Poetics Serendipity

9:18 a,m, — San Antonio

listening to On Broadway sung by George Benson

Hello, all. I made it. Apparently life has decided to resist happening, today. Speaking of which, I hope those of you hit by Jonas, in the eastern United States, are digging yourselves out. Having missed a couple of weeks worth of links, let’s get to it

Having missed a couple of weeks worth of links, let’s get to it:

1] If you have not come across the collection of essays that are Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings then you need to check it out. I am giving you a link to tell you what it’s about and a link to what she thinks are the best picks of the year.

If you want the quick what it’s about, Popova describes Brain Pickings as a cross-disciplinary LEGO treasure chest, full of pieces spanning art, science, psychology, design, philosophy, history, politics, anthropology and …how these different disciplines illuminate one another to glean some insight, directly or indirectly, into that grand question of how to live, and how to live well.

If you have nothing else to expand your brain with [see under ‘life happens’], Pickings will give you some of everything and all connected to our creative selves.

2] From an article in The New Yorker, by Pauline Bock: they first had the idea for the machines one afternoon in 2013. They were taking a break in the hall of their office building, buying a snack from a vending machine. One of them—they don’t recall which one—said that the vending machines should offer short stories instead of drinks and candy. They had a prototype by 2014. Sounds like science fiction, no? No. ViV, we expect you to go to Grenoble and report on this! Read the article and you will be charmed while wondering why your city doesn’t have such a machine. How about one that offers poems? It has to be easier.

3] Galley Cat offers us TED-Ed Lessons for Writers to Kick Off 2016, by Maryann Yin. Need I say more?

Have fun with these and I shall see you Tuesday for a prompt and next Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on 28/01/2016 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poem Tryouts: More Abandoning

8:19 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Maroon 5 singing One More Night

Hello, everyone. Thursday? Life happened again, this time in the form of an electrical outage. We’ve had the electrical people in the neighbourhood since November, tearing everything up, laying cable, replacing transformers. My Florida brother swears it’s a CIA setup.

I hadn’t done the maths right, last week, so today is our image prompt.Yay! Remember a couple of weeks ago, when I mentioned that Mark Windham had tagged me for a photo he knew I’d like? It gave me the idea for the abandon prompt. Here’s why.

abandoned house with doll

 

The photograph comes from a Facebook page that collects abandonings, among other things. Respond to any part of the photograph or to the whole.

I may, or may not, see you Thursday. I don’t trust Thursday anymore. I will see you next Tuesday for another prompt.

Happy writing, all.

 
45 Comments

Posted by on 26/01/2016 in exercises, poetry

 

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Poem Tryouts: Join In

9:47 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to That Old Black Magic sung by Peggy Lee — for most of my growing up years, I gave dad Lee’s newest album, for Christmas

Hello, all. My apologies for the non-appearance, Thursday. Life happened. (It has that habit, doesn’t it?) Today’s prompt is one you can have fun with. List all things you can think of that join: the conjunctions of life. Obvious: bridges. Not so obvious: the ear canal.

1] Be literal.

2] Be metaphorical — that’s an option, literal people, not a must. I can feel your panic.

3] Weave a couple of the not so obvious joins together.

4] Use joining things as a motif, a thread throughout the poem.

The joining things can be a small part, or the entire focus, of what you write.

I’m looking forward to what you come up with. I will see you Thursday for stuff, and Tuesday for our next prompt.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
32 Comments

Posted by on 19/01/2016 in exercises, poetry

 

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Poem Tryouts: Abandon Ye!

9:30 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to… well, who else? Bowie, of course

Hello, everyone. Are we all bundled so we don’t freeze our patoots? Brrr. Enjoy your summer, southern hemisphere. To distract us from the cold, let’s play with a word. I decided I wanted to explore abandon several weeks ago when Mark Windham sent me a wonderful photograph he knew I’d like. You’ll see it for our image prompt in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the word. word book

Do you like my new word collecting book? My daughter gave it to me for Christmas. Hand bound with leather cover.

Abandon originally meant to put someone under bond, to put someone under someone else’s jurisdiction. Now, we use it to mean leave completely and utterly. I almost abandoned you this morning because of a video game the same daughter introduced me to at Christmas.

Then there is the phrase with gay abandon. Sounds more positive, you say? I always thought so until I pondered it this morning. Usually, if you have decided to throw yourself into something with gay abandon, you are abandoning morals, mores, possibly laws.

We haven’t played with a word, in a while. So, abandon whatever you are doing, gaily or not, and explore. There are many ways you can go with this.

1] Go to the page I have given you the link for. Write your poem using words and phrases from that page. If you choose this one, remember to credit the source.

2] Go to the page, but use it more as a spark for an idea.

3] Write about something you abandoned. Despite the general negative connotation of the word, this can be a comic story.

As the sun set
she abandoned him
to the wolves.

He was bigger
and brawnier
than she.

What do you mean you don’t see comedy?

4] Write about a time you felt abandoned or were abandoned. Seared forever, in my memory, is the time, in fourth grade, when, despite my parents’ warnings, I dawdled while getting ready for school. Fine, my mother said, we’ll leave without you, and they did. You should have seen me tearing down the stairs — we lived on the fourth floor, but our elevator was molasses —  screaming at the top of my lungs — the poor neighbours. Then my bag fell and everything spilled out…

That’s more comic, you say? You should have been me.

5] Write about a situation on a more worldly scale where the word abandoned works.

6] Go your own merry way.

I will see you Thursday where I will talk a bit about my day with Poets & Writers Live, in Austin and give you a couple of links; and, Tuesday for another prompt. I may do a borrowed one. Now, I am abandoning you and going back to my game.

Happy writing, all.

 

 

 
26 Comments

Posted by on 12/01/2016 in exercises, poems, poetry

 

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Poetics Serendipity

8:29 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to one of my favourites, Mack the Knife, sung by Bobby Darin

Hello, all. I don’t know about you, but one foot is still in December. It will help when the tree comes down (it’s so pretty, we’d love to leave it) — ornaments are stashed and Christmasy objects packed away, although I have every expectation of coming on something in August, as our daughter is brilliant at finding spots to place small things. I keep being surprised into a laugh as I come across something. Okay, gang, ready for some sites to start the year with?

1] I can think of nothing better than a series of TED talks to kick us off. Jessica Gross gives us 6 Ideas From Creative Thinkers to Shake Up Your Work Routine. I love the way Gross has structured her article. The six ideas are ones we are all familiar with, but within each, she gives us a link to a playlist of talks to go to. There is everything from an excerpt by Pico Ayer on The Art of Stillness to a talk on the power of time off.

2] The next link is compliments of d’Verse, which has put together a schedule of what comes when submissions-wise. I don’t know about your brain, but mine requires this kind of help.

3] In an article for The Huffington Post‘s blog, poet Robert Peake gives us this year’s mix of UK-based poets whose work gave me pause and, sometimes, made me gasp, in his article Five British Poets to Watch in 2016. With so many accessible writers, now, I am always grateful when someone points the way.

4] Just in from Found Poetry Review‘s poetry editor, Beth Ayer, Volume 9 has gone live.

S’okay? Go forth and discover. I will see you Tuesday for the next prompt and Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 07/01/2016 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poem Tryouts: A Moment

8:56 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to A Ring of Fire sung by Marty Robbins

Happy 2016, everyone. Are you recovering from the excesses that are December? I have many favourite moments: opening the steampunk goggles from my husband; getting extra days with our daughter, Marguerite (sorry about the weather, Chicago); Skyping with the Vermont part of our family; and discovering m’rite’s Irish coffee, which she made for us several nights. There are more. In fact, possibly a list poem… hmmm.

I had had another idea for today, but am sure you are in recovery mode and this is a pleasant re-entry. List your favourite moments from December 1st through 31st. Look at what you have and decide what you want to do. You can:

1] Focus on one moment. The speaker can be in that moment, or recalling that moment. First or third person point of view.

2] The same as #1, but link the moment to a memory.

3] Fashion a list poem.

4] An idea of your own.

Nice and easy. Next week, we’ll leap back in. I will see you Thursday for links and Tuesday for my next prompt.

Happy New Year and happy writing, all.

 
12 Comments

Posted by on 05/01/2016 in exercises, poetry

 

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Poem Tryouts:

7:00 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Skip scrolling through his FB wall (it’s too early for music, people)

Hello, all. I’m in the throes of Christmas stuff, although much is on hold until our daughter arrives next week, so she can participate. But various things with lights are up and if I have Christmas lights on in the house, I am happy. Ready for an image? Last week’s worked so well with no accompanying possible directions from me, that I think we’ll try it again this week.

by Vladimir Kush

by Vladimir Kush

Remember that you can ignore the central image and pick one small detail to spark a poem and the image as a painting does not have to be mentioned.

Next week we will take off — yes, you too. The following week, depends. So I will see you either the last week of 2015 or the first week of 2016. To those who celebrate the season, have a merry one; for those who don’t, the good news is you can be merry, too, just for different reasons.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
24 Comments

Posted by on 15/12/2015 in exercises, poetry

 

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