Sunday, April 20, 2014


I have been writing every day. At least once every day. And I do mean creatively writing; not just responding to emails, business correspondence, taking notes, etc. Really writing.

In case I haven't mentioned it (I know, I know - I've said it; more than once) I am participating in NaPoWriMo - National Poetry Writing Month. I mean, it is National Poetry Month, so why not join in the fun and create some? Right?

All of my daily poems are being posted over on The Writing Vein Playground. In their mostly first draft states. A few have had some minor edits; some are right out of my brain/heart-hand connection. One of the poems - from Friday 4/18 - is an excerpt of a longer piece. It was created after the third of my four "writing floats" - as a part of the Writers' Program in which I'm participating at Float On. Since the piece was written for Float On, for potential use in an anthology in the future, I posted only one stanza and left the piece in its entirety unpublished.

I still have my Tuesday morning writing jams with Rooze. We are trying a new location this coming week, as the place where we've been meeting has taken to turning up the volume on their music and there seems to be more conversation (amongst and from the staff; over the music). And it is too loud and distracting for writing. We will continue to meet and write - just changing the venue.

It has been a bit of a challenge to write a poem every day, continue the Tuesday writing, create another new piece of writing every week within 24 hours of my float - and to be in heavy preparation to interpret "Othello" next week. But I've done it. I am doing it. Perhaps proving to myself, again, that writing begets writing. Right? The more you write the easier it is to write and the writing comes easier and so it goes. For me in this moment, it feels pretty amazing that I am still doing all of this writing - and prepping for Shakespeare.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"The Microsoft Windows of English Poetry"


I clicked over to NaPoWriMo to get the daily prompt. Oh! A form! I'm doing well with writing in form for NaPoWriMo this year and this is a new form for me to play with.

Then I saw it - the title I used for today's post. It made me laugh out loud, so I had to share it here.
Today, I challenge you to write a poem in terza rima. This form was invented by Dante, and used in The Divine Comedy. It consists of three-line stanzas, with a “chained” rhyme scheme. The first stanza is ABA, the second is BCB, the third is CDC, and so on. No particular meter is necessary, but English poets have tended to default to iambic pentameter (iambic pentameter is like the Microsoft Windows of English poetry). One common way of ending a terza rima poem is with a single line standing on its own, rhyming with the middle line of the preceding three-line stanza. 
Now on to write my terza rima.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Write a "Replacement" Poem

This one from NaPoWriMo looks like fun!

I haven't written mine, yet. I will. But I have planted all of the spinach (two types), kale (two
types), onions, rainbow carrots, and tomatoes (one plant each of three types). And mowed the grassy areas (or should I say grass-like areas?).

Now I have to clean up so I can go watch Othello tonight! Carolyn and Rich saw it last week and Carolyn and I are going tonight. The three of us (Rich Hall, Carolyn Brockway, and I) will be interpreting Othello at Portland Center Stage on April 24th at 7:30 pm and May 1st at noon (the matinee may already be sold out).


Here is the prompt - I am looking forward to getting my hands on it! Maybe over dinner before Othello.

Today’s (optional) prompt is a “replacement” poem. Pick a common noun for a physical thing, for example, “desk” or “hat” or “bear,” and then pick one for something intangible, like “love” or “memories” or “aspiration.” Then Google your tangible noun, and find some sentences using it. Now, replace that tangible noun in those sentences with your intangible noun, and use those sentences to create (or inspire) a poem. Here’s a little example that replaces the word “lemon,” in sentences from a Wikipedia article on lemons, with the word “sorrow.” 
Sorrow is a small evergreen tree native to Asia.
The origin of sorrow is a mystery.
The first substantial cultivation of sorrow in Europe
began in Genoa in the middle of the 15th century.
A halved sorrow dipped in salt or baking powder
is used to brighten copper cookware. One educational
science experiment involves attaching electrodes
to sorrow and using it as a battery.
Although very low power, several sorrows
can power a small digital watch. 
Goofy, but also interesting! It’s not quite a poem yet, but there might be a poem in there, waiting to come out. Happy writing!

Friday, April 11, 2014

NaPoWriMo Prompt: Drinking Song

From NaPoWriMo : "Poets have been writing about love and wine, wine and love, since . . . well, since the time of Anacreon, a Greek poet who was rather partial to that subject matter. Anacreon developed a particular meter for his tipsy, lovey-dovey verse, but Anacreontics in English generally do away with meter-based constraints. Anacreontics might be described as a sort of high-falutin' drinking song. So today I challenge you to write about wine-and-love. Of course, you may have no love of wine yourself, in which case you might try an anti-Anacreontic poem."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Poetry Prompt for Today

The NaPoWriMo (write a poem each day for 30 days) prompt for today is:

Today’s prompt is to write a love poem . . . but the object of the poem should be inanimate. You can write a love poem to your favorite pen, the teddy bear you had as a child (and maybe still have), or anything else, so long as it’s not alive!


Saturday, April 5, 2014

NaPoWriMo Prompt Poses a Challenge


I won't get to writing my poem today until later, since I'm waiting at the CoLab in Port Townsend waiting for the writing workshop to begin. Today I get to write with Lidia Yuknavitch; tomorrow it will be with Pam Houston. You will be able to read the poem over at The Writing Vein Playground.

But, courtesy of NaPoWriMo, here is a prompt for today's daily poem.

Today’s prompt is a little complicated, which is why I saved it for a Saturday, in the hopes that you might have a little more time today than during a weekday. I think this is a very rewarding form, though, so I hope you’ll enjoy it! Today I challenge you to write a “golden shovel.” This form was invented by Terrance Hayes in his poem, The Golden Shovel. The last word of each line of Hayes’ poem is a word from Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem We Real Cool. You can read Brooks’ poem by reading the last word of each line of Hayes’ poem! (In fact, you can do so twice, because Hayes, being ultra-ambitious, wrote a two-part golden shovel, repeating Brooks’ poem). Now, the golden shovel is a tricky form, but you can help keep it manageable by picking a short poem to shovel-ize. And there’s no need to double-up the poem you pick, like Hayes did.

She goes on to give a few examples on the webpage, so make sure to hop over there to take a look.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Write a Lune - NaPoWriMo Day Four

‎The poetry prompt for today, from NaPoWriMo is...

"... to write a lune. A lune is a sort of English-language variation on the haiku, meant to better render the tone of the Japanese haiku than the standard 5-7-5 format we all learned (and maybe loved) in elementary school. There are a couple of variants on the lune form, but just to keep things simple, let's try the version developed by Jack Collum. His version of the lune involves a three-line stanza. The first line has three words. The second line has five, and the third line has three. You can write a poem that consists of just one stanza, or link many lune-stanzas together into a unified poem. "

You can read my three writing lunes over at The Writing Vein Playground.