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Poetics Serendipity

8:44 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to The Smothers Brothers singing Marching to Pretoria

and recovering from the momentary heart attack I had when I thought WordPress was going to force me to use their new format. No, they just moved the switch back button to the bottom of the page. Hello, all. Yes, yes, it is already Thursday and I have links for you to explore.

1] The first is a place to submit VERY short pieces. The subject line in the email I got from the writers’ resource thing I use, says: Do you tweet? Get your 140 character stories/poems published in Lime Hawk.

The email elaborates: Attention, Tweeters! Can you tell a full story in 140 characters or fewer? Lime Hawk’s new Weekly Word writing prompt offers you a chance to get straight to the point and publish short stories, poems, or sweet little ditties on limehawk.org.

Each week, Lime Hawk will pick a word as a prompt. Interpretation is wide open. Tweet what you come up with @limehawkarts. We’ll pick our favorites and publish them on Lime Hawk.

The first word: COCOON

We can’t wait to see what tiny web you spin.

I was interested and checked out the site. Very nice. Visit. Non-tweeters, there are submissions opportunities for all.

2] I would reblog this next one but then I get thrown off as to what else I can write in a reblog. Jeffrey Levine [if his name sounds familiar he is founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Tupelo Press and I have posted links to his articles before] is giving us a workshop on preparing a manuscript. That’s what his articles amount to.

On Making the Poetry Manuscript — New and Improved, Part 1 gives us some background on  the Tupelo Press Writing Conferences. Levine tells us, ‘It’s important to me (and might be to you) to distinguish what Tupelo Press Writing Conferences are about, because great writing is at the heart of any successful publishing career, and because (as you’ll see further on) if you’re to make your manuscript a more successful swimmer in a sea of manuscripts, there are things you need to know.’

He ends the article with an update of the first tip from his original post on putting together a manuscript, from three years ago. Levine will continue updating his tips and, that we don’t fall too far behind, I have included a link to this week’s article, On Making the Poetry Manuscript — New and Improved, Part II. Whether, or not, you plan to publish a manuscript, his tips are well worth reading.

3] I’ve given you plenty to read, so let’s finish with a Debi Ridpath Ohi comic for writers

wwfcpoweroutage
I will see you tomorrow for prompt site close-ups; Tuesday for a prompt on Labours; and next Thursday for more links.

Happy Writing, all.
PS If the spacing is wonky, it’s because it has been giving me grief. My preview looks okay now [except this PS which I can’t get separated… sigh…] but I think it lies.

 

 
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Posted by on 11/09/2014 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poetics Serendipity

7:55 a.m. — Atlantasack2

listening to Lisa Loeb singing Love is a Rose

Hello, everyone. I hope all is well with you. Should you need a few minutes of escape, or a different focus before going back to what you were doing before I distracted you, we have a diversity of places in our grab bag to go.

1] The first diversion is for all of us who are lousy sleepers: How Interrupting Your Sleep Can Silence Your Doubts and Boost Your Creativity, by Brian Cormack Carr. The title may be long but we are left in no doubt of Carr’s thesis.What I found most interesting is that Carr says he was unable to carry out the exercise he describes for more than four days (rather than the two weeks called for). Even so, he saw the benefits.

The web site on which this appears, Lateral Action, is one that teaches how to make creativity work with and for entrepreneurship. I often find that its articles, with a little adaptation, work for me and my writing. The site’s curator, Mark McGuiness, is focused on productivity, and so are all of us, even if it’s a single piece of writing. Give the article a read. You can skim parts, but you’ll find some interesting points to take with you.

2] Productivity and Content Curation for the Insanely Busy Blogger — now there’s a mouthful. Again, we have the author’s thesis in the title. We have had articles from Stan and his site, Pushing Social, a few times over the years. His focus is marketing and productivity. There’s that word again. Productivity. I have learned a lot from Stan and found many useful articles for my own life of writing. This particular article is full of toys. Stan lists and gives links to all the online tools he uses. Do you like to be organised? You’ll love some of these. Do you wish you were organised? You’ll also love some of these. If nothing else the invitation is to play with web tools. Always a guaranteed way to procrastinate ;-).

Stan has gotten fancy with his website [I knew it when it was a simple thing] so there will be a couple of slide outs/pop-ups from Stan. I think there were three before I was left alone to read the piece. Going in knowing that I hope lessens the irritation with those things.

3] The final piece is short, a piece from a longer piece, Naomi Shihab Nye on inspiration. A mere three and some minutes of listening.

Go investigate. I have a cento to deconstruct for Miz Quickly. Come to think of it, so do several of you. You say you haven’t started and what’s it about? Here are yesterday’s instructions. You can catch up easily. I shall see you tomorrow for prompt sites; Tuesday for a prompt; and next Thursday for, yep you guessed it, links.
Happy writing, all.
 
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Posted by on 04/09/2014 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poetics Serendipity

7:47 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Blood, Sweat & Tears singing Spinning Wheel [that got the blood going]

Hello, everyone. All good? Or, as good as can be? Good. Let’s explore. I have some fun [as in interesting and possibly useful] sites for us. Some of you may have seen a couple, if you see the same Facebook people I do, or are following Khara House, but these are sites that are good to have in the arsenal so I want to be sure.

1] I get the WordPress newsletter and this week’s focuses on three writing communities within WordPress. The choices run the gamut from straightforward — Today’s Author is an open, flexible community of writers focused on helping each other kick-start their pens (or keyboards) — to a creative approach within a creative community at Tipsy Lita book club on the Internet where you promote reading REAL literature (no shopping, vampires or shopping vampires allowed) and promote the consumption of alcohol while discussing said literature online.  New reading friends?  Check. Glass of wine? Check. Still in my yoga pants? Check. We’re good to go. — I mean, really, you’re not going to check that out? Writing along with reading along with alcohol along with wearing your favourite comfy. I am so there. In between are the Friday Fictioneers which I would join just because of the blogger’s admonition: If you can disable CAPTCHA, please for the sake of our writerly nerves, disable it. It’s frustrating to have to leave a DNA sample, your blood type and your shoe size  just to leave a comment. Aside from that, she leaves a photo prompt every Wednesday, and you know you like those. Go explore. That alone is fun.

2] This next site is fascinating. Have you ever wondered about the many poetry anthologies and contests that are out there? Wondered how to tell the on the level ones from the scams? I have this site bookmarked for a number of reasons and that is the primary one: Winning Writers featured content this week includes ‘Contests and Services to Avoid‘. Talk about eye-opening. [I just got caught by the title of another featured article, one on how to prepare a professional looking manuscript, with SAMPLES!] Again, go explore.

3] Many of you know Khara House, poet, teacher, blogger, editor and more! We follow her blog Our lost Jungle and her Submit-O-Rama Boot Camp Challenges with joy and mourn her occasional disappearances [it’s hard to remember bloggers have jobs and families and stuff, isn’t it?]. Her recent post ‘Behind Enemy Lines: Learning From the Editors,’ is short but chock-full of need to know advice on submitting.

That’s it. What’s that? Why didn’t I give you the URLs to the three writing communities? The post is WordPresses’ so I figured the courteous thing for me to do is to send you there. Besides, how many of you knew they had a newsletter?

I shall see you tomorrow for the roundup of prompts; Tuesday for our image prompt; and Thursday for the summer calendar [for real, this time].

Happy writing, all.

 

 

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Posted by on 22/05/2014 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poetry Prompts Freeforall: Bring it on NaPoWriMo

10:03 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Say When sung by The Fray

Hello, there. This is the last Freeforall until May. Should you still want to check out sites and don’t want to bookmark a whole lot of places, pin the link to this post to your blog and you’ll be able to navigate from there. Should I suddenly go silent, I haven’t fallen off the earth. I’m at my mother’s where connectivity is an issue. Enjoy April, everyone.

Donna, in her Other People’s Poetry series, introduces us to Franki Elliot. whose poem ‘Piano Rats’ does the same for my poetic sensibilities as to Donna’s: I’m a sucker for poems that make leaps I can follow, and a double sucker for poems that can do this with attention to detail. Both prompts are cool. I know, not helpful, but you need to read what this poem does; then you’ll see: the prompts are cool and will result in stretching.

Hmmm. I could have sworn I saw resonance eleven come through my inbox. Apparently not. I suspect we have lost Joseph for the next few weeks, although he does say the prompts will continue. I have given you Naming Constellations’ general address to check on.sunday whirl

At The Sunday Whirl, Brenda gives us our usual dozen plus one. Yep, two weeks of baker’s dozens. Must be an omen. If you haven’t wordled yet, what are you waiting for? Brenda will have new words up on Sunday. Visit to see the wordle and to read what others have done.

adele kennyAt The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog, Adele has a fascinating prompt to do with literary locations. Not only does she give us her usual tips, and example poems, but also, several possible locations. Me, I want to work with Enid Blyton’s Wishing Chair place! Not on the list but popped into my head. Go on over.

At Quickly, Barbara is getting us ready for April. She will be one of the providers of prompts during the longest thirty days of the year. Visit.

We Write Poems’ wordles are different from Brenda’s, so check them out at We Wordle. There is something mesmerising about the amount of words and it’s fun to see how many you can incorporate. The source of words are the poems written for the site’s regular weekly prompt.

There is an art to writing a limerick that transcends the form’s notoriety. We’re at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog for Limerick-off Mondays, my guaranteed smile of the week. Never written one? What are you waiting for? At the least, go read Madeleine’s limerick for the week’s line.magpie

Over at The Mag [Magpie Tales], we have a photograph, My Bed by Tracey Emin.  Ask yourself, What’s the story? Remember: you do not have to write about the whole image. Sometimes you can write to just one tiny part of the whole. Go on over.

At Poetry Jam, Laurie talks about the recent loss of her mother and fashions a prompt for us dealing with letting go, a difficult topic, one which many of us are facing in the next few years. Visit.

carolI love Carols prompt this week.I laughed a couple of times [yes, at the photograph, Carol, but I laughed with you], as I read the back-story. Wonder Wednesday talks about another kind of ‘selfie‘. Head over to check it out.

This week’s prompt at the Found Poetry Review is their last regular one until May. They ask us to take on the Transcendentalists. Stop by their weekly column highlighting found poetry related news and resources. See what the Review is all about. All things found live there.

Poets & Writers’ suggestions for all three genres, work as possibilities for a poem subject. This week we have earliest memories, lost & found, and new forms. Visit.toad garden2 ocal

At imaginary garden with real toads, Margaret has a neat prompt to do with flowers. Go play with the toads.

wewritepoems-bannerAt We Write Poems Irene waxes philosophical about childhood. She asks interesting questions. Head over to read.

The Poets United Mid-Week Motif at Poets United, is two languages. Don’t panic. You know more than you think. Don’t forget the language of art, carpentering, boating, maths… Head over to read what Susan suggests we do.dverse

Ah, yes, rhythm. At dVerse, Tony Maude holds our hands through blank verse and metre. Read. Bookmark. Look around while you’re there. Stay awhile; it’s a friendly place. Unless you live in Texas, the ice was put away and we’re looking at toddies again. Good grief, weather.

Whoops! I beat Flashy Fiction Fridayand its newest posting. I gave you the general address. The prompt should be up soon.

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. Post to them!

I shall see you Tuesday for the first of thirty days. OCALHand_WritingHappy writing, everyone.

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Posted by on 28/03/2014 in exercises, links, poetry, writing

 

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Poetry Prompts Freeforall: Aprille is i’cumen in

9:11 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to John Whelan’s album Celtic Crossroads

Ahhh, Coffee! Hi, everyone. Nine days and counting, ’til the mad month of writing a poem every day for thirty days [or, insane, if you are Joseph Harker, who will write two a day — granted he’s young]. This next week you might grab a prompt for every day and start getting your brain in gear. You don’t have to post them so your brain won’t feel the pressure, but it will get used to the expectation.

Donna, in her Other People’s Poetry series, introduces us to Jake Adam York. When I reached the end of the poem Donna chose, I sighed. Then, I read what Donna says: Sigh. This poem is so tender, I actually sigh when I read it. The poem manages to be tender without being cliché. Donna’s prompts are to either write a poem that personifies a set of things she gives us, or to write a single sentence beginning with…Head over to read the poem and the possibilities. I’m going to pop over to Amazon and order one of his books.

In resonance ten, Joseph tells us, I think a lot of potential for poetry lives in the space created by the unexpected, whether positive or negative, major or minor; nobody wants to read a narrative that’s predictable, at least nobody I know. The prompt that ensues is fun. So go on over and read the exercise.sunday whirl

At The Sunday Whirl, Brenda gives us our usual dozen plus one. If you haven’t wordled yet, what are you waiting for? Brenda will have new words up on Sunday. Visit to see the wordle and to read what others have done.

adele kennyAt The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog, Adele does what Adele does so well: she takes what can be a cliché topic and turns it on its head. To see what she suggests we try with the colour green, visit. She adds a suggestion to play with syntax and includes example poems.

At Quickly, Barbara is getting us ready for April. She will be one of the providers of prompts during the longest thirty days of the year. Visit for some practice in alchemy.

We Write Poems’ wordles are different from Brenda’s, so check them out at We Wordle. There is something mesmerising about the amount of words and it’s fun to see how many you can incorporate. The source of words are the poems written for the site’s regular weekly prompt.

There is an art to writing a limerick that transcends the form’s notoriety. We’re at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog for Limerick-off Mondays, my guaranteed smile of the week. Never written one? What are you waiting for? At the least, go read Madeleine’s limerick for the week’s line.magpie Included in the post is a link to a set of instructions that will lead you to write a limerick that might even hook you.

Over at The Mag [Magpie Tales], we have Feast in the House of Simon, 1610,  a painting by El Greco. The clothing is so sumptuous, I want to write about the material! Remember: you do not have to write about the whole image. Sometimes you can write to just one tiny part of the whole. Go on over.

Alan1704, at Poetry Jam, offers us owls.  I laughed at his phrase the silent assassin, as my brother, a few weeks ago, insists he was attacked by an owl, waiting for him on the roof of his house. Head over to see what Alan says. I particularly appreciate the instruction to: Let your mind be full of images and words and write whatever comes into you heart and overflows into your senses.

carolAt Carol‘s Wonder Wednesday she gives us a photograph of a subject that marks the end of winter for her. Visit to see the photo, read her haiku and to perhaps write your own end of winter poem.

Whup! You almost lost me here. I wanted to leap right in on this week’s prompt at the Found Poetry Review where we are given thoughts on art, and twitter as part of the mix to play with.  Don’t forget to stop by their weekly column highlighting found poetry related news and resources. See what the Review is all about. All things found live there.

Poets & Writers’ suggestions for all three genres, work as possibilities for a poem subject. This week we have music lessons, parades, and the saints. Visit.

Okay, I admit it: I adore herotomost, his prompts, I mean. No-one presents with quite his panache. On imaginary garden with real toads, he sets up a context for us and then gives us three possibilities, all of which sound fun [especially the one involving smores, although Lewis & Clark grab me. Then there are the ghost stories.] Go play with the toads.

wewritepoems-bannerAt We Write Poems Irene has instructions for a poem about our neck of the woods. To find out what she suggests, head over.

The Poets United Mid-Week Motif at Poets United, is looking at birthdays. Head over to read what Susan suggests we do.

This is one of those weeks at dVerse, when we are spoiled for choice. I gave you the general address. Go on over and see what is a’borning for Spring. Look around while you’re there. Stay awhile; it’s a friendly place. I hear the clink of ice. Gimlets, perhaps.

I love the title of today’s post at Flashy Fiction Friday: Impending Doom. How can anyone resist seeing what it’s about?

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. Post to them!

I shall see you Tuesday for our image prompt; Thursday for a couple of links; and Friday for the prompt roundup.

OCALHand_WritingHappy writing, everyone.

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Posted by on 21/03/2014 in exercises, links, poetry, writing

 

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Poetics Serendipity: Review of a Writer’s Guide

7:27 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Snow Patrol singing Lightning Strike

Writer Wordart

Writer Wordart (Photo credit: MarkGregory007)

Hello, all. Ready for Spring? Or, Fall? No matter where we are we should all be watching as colour paints our landscapes. Here, in Atlanta, the plum and the dogwood are going nuts. Around every corner we are surprised by clouds of white, or pink, blossoms.

I had been going to list participants in April’s National Poetry Month as I did last year, so people know their options, but things seem to be gearing up more slowly this year. Robert Lee Brewer is back and so is our Miz Quickly. I’ll check in the coming days and if it seems useful, post a list next week. Meanwhile I shall bring forward next week’s original topic.

A few weeks ago, I was asked if I would be interested in reviewing a new book, ‘a first-of-its-kind writer’s guide which bestselling novelist Wally Lamb is calling “an effective primer crafted by a writing community on how to build your own writing community, and other fundamental elements of success as a writer.”  Although this guide was originally created with Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) graduates in mind, the reality is that the content can be leveraged by all writers.

Now What? The Creative Writer’s Guide to Success after the MFA is the first multi-genre writer’s guide authored, edited and published entirely by writers for writers.

Now What? provides dozens of articles, essays and resources; contributors share wisdom, advice, instruction, inspiration and time-tested tips for making writing a permanent part of one’s life, whether as a career, a hobby, or anywhere in between. Topics range from adjunct teaching, corporate careers, and creative inspiration to blogging, freelancing, and health insurance.’ [Lisa Diane Kastner — one of the contributors].

Hang on. Don’t stop now. You say ‘I’m not a novelist’ and ‘I don’t have and am not getting an MFA’ [although several of you are working on novels and a few of you do have MFAs]. Having read the book, I can tell you that it is chock-full of useful information and ideas in its two parts and fourteen chapters.

The first part is short, two chapters that address an MFA’s life before receiving the degree and immediately after. Even here there are interesting items that can be of use to us who are non-MFA writers of poetry. The other twelve chapters deal with items such as, finding support within our community, whether that be local, or online; writers’ groups; workshop options; having a writing buddy; the AWP experience [which many of you can identify with]; associations, memberships, subscriptions we should have; writing problems and strategies; getting our writing out there; writing while holding down a job, or raising a family [or both]; careers for writers; the writing industry; publishing — self, or otherwise; literary agents; contracts; copyright; things that writers should, and shouldn’t do.

The detail is incredible. What I enjoyed most as I read, are the different voices. There are dozens of writers and editors and other members of the writing community contributing. The book is easy to dip into. Even the choice of quotes the editors set off made me want to copy each one. This is a guidebook of extraordinary breadth and depth for all writers.

I have been following Patrick Ross and his blog The Artist’s Road longer than any other blog. Over the years I followed him as he took a deep breath, and mid-career went for an MFA. This book echoes everything he has written about his journey.

After the craziness of April, I shall be going through a couple of chapters a week, in more depth. Let me know, in comments, which topics interest you, about which you are curious.

I shall see you tomorrow for Friday‘s roundup of prompts; Tuesday for our image prompt; and next Thursday for a pre-NaPoMo post.

Happy writing, everyone.

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Posted by on 20/03/2014 in miscellanea, poetry, writing

 

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Poetry Prompts Freeforall: March Winds Are Coming

7:46 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Snow Patrol singing The Lightning Strike

Hi, everyone. I hope all goes well in your lives. If there are hiccups and bumps along the way, reading and writing poetry has a miraculous effect, so grab a prompt. Heck, grab a couple.

Donna, in her Other People’s Poetry series, gives us Nina Corwin. Along with a poem by Corwin, Donna gives us a link to hear her read. If you have been curious about a good poem reader, here is one. We can learn a lot listening to her. The prompts involve four of Corwin’s line starters and unglamorous jobs. Head over to read them.

In resonance eight, Joseph uses chess as a process and no, you do not have to be able to play. As always, trust Joseph and follow his directions. They can take you to unexpected places. I found the exercise fascinating. So go on over and read the exercise.sunday whirl

At The Sunday Whirl, Brenda gives us our usual dozen plus one. If you haven’t wordled yet, what are you waiting for? Brenda will have new words up on Sunday. Visit to see the wordle and to read what others have done.

adele kennyAt The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog, Adele has a guest blogger, Gail Gerwin. The topic is kinfolk. If nothing else, visit to read Gerwin’s poem and one by Helen Doré Watson. Both surprised exclamations from me. Head over to see what she says and read her suggestions, tips, and examples, of which she always has many.

At Qweekly, Barbara has us playing with macro/micro, zooming in and zooming out. Visit.

We Write Poems’ wordles are different from Brenda’s, so check them out at We Wordle. There is something mesmerising about the amount of words and it’s fun to see how many you can incorporate. The source of words are the poems written for the site’s regular weekly prompt. You can have two wordle worlds!

We’re at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog for Limerick-off Mondays, my guaranteed smile of the week. Never written one? What are you waiting for? At the least, go read Madeleine’s limerick for the week’s line.magpie Her rhyming word choices are great for reminding us that one word can be used in many ways.

LOVE the image over at The Mag [Magpie Tales], Poet’s Sleep, 1989, by Chang Houg Ahn. The skulls! Remember: you do not have to write about the whole image. Sometimes you can write to just one tiny part of the whole. Go on over.

Mary, at Poetry Jam, has built her prompt around trains. Head over to see what she says.

carolOn Carol‘s Phoneography series she gives us an intriguing series of photographs where the shadows are almost more real than what casts them. Also, Carol chooses a song each Friday to get us dancing around. A different kind of poetry and a whole lot of fun.

The Found Poetry Review is at AWP 2014, this week, so gives us the AWP schedule to remix, erase, cut up, or otherwise play with. Don’t forget to stop by their weekly column highlighting found poetry related news and resources. See what the Review is all about. All things found live there.

Poets & Writers’ suggestions for all three genres work as possibilities for a poem subject. This week we have recipes, Spring, and dramatic monologues. Visit.

On imaginary garden with real toads, we have a couple of possibilities for inspiration, so I have given the general address. The first involves rhyme [but not a difficult one… really] and art by Benda; the second, a song by Pink. Go play with the toads.

wewritepoems-bannerAt We Write Poems Neil asks for a journal poem. At the end, he says, a journal poem done in this manner may also become a discovery process, allowing associations to be more visible.   (think finger-painting!). To read his explanation, go on over.

The Poets United Mid-Week Motif at Poets United, is looking at success. Head over to read Susan’s quotes, watch part of the Sochi closing ceremony, and see what three poems inspire Susan re success.

There was a ripple in the Force earlier this week, when Brian announced that dVerse considered closing. To my/our great relief, they have restructured themselves, instead. This week at dVerse, Brian discusses characterisation in poems. Go on over to see what he says. Look around while you’re there. Stay awhile; it’s a friendly place. They’re checking their stock for Spring.

As of 9:00 a.m. EST, Flashy Fiction Friday has not posted, so I’ll give you the general address. Check back for your weekly flash fiction.

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. Post!

I shall see you Tuesday for one of my favourite borrowed prompts prompt; Thursday for a couple of links; and Friday for the prompt roundup.

If I do not show for the next two weeks, there have been expected and unexpected family matters.OCALHand_WritingHappy writing, all.

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Posted by on 28/02/2014 in exercises, links, poetry, writing

 

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