sharing a poetic LIFELINE with the world

Posts tagged ‘creativity’

Looking back on November: Poem a day

Again this year I participated in Robert Lee Brewer’s November Poem A Day challenge. The poems are supposed to form a chapbook, but I wasn’t aiming for that. I simply wanted to write poetry.

My muse has been in an un-serious mood most of the month. I’ve done a lot of rhyming and a lot of, well …

Here are a couple of poems:

Poetic Formless

Dust like stars. Any storm in a port. The eye of my apple. Dust the bite.  Blind a turned eye. Fuse a blow. Worm an open can. A death worse than fate. Ice the break. Knot the tie. A society of pillars.

Moons with rock piles made of diamonds, worlds of water where huge ships sail, never reaching shore, jungles full of purple cows, green tigers, and yellow elephants, dragons, fairies two feet tall, ten-foot-tall giants, magic wands, movies that turn themselves on with a blink of an eye.

My car sprouts helicopter wings. I look down on the cars lined up on route 95 as it winds through downtown Providence, and I open my mouth and sing, loudly, beautifully on pitch, remembering all the words.

The Truth about Truth

I desire a Truth
in my Christmas stocking.
Instead, in my head,
I hear a voice mocking.

“Truth’s much too fat
to be hung from a ledge
above a hot fire.”
Alas, though I pledge

she’ll never get burned,
she just shakes her large head.
Perhaps I will dream her
tonight in my bed.

She’ll plop on my blanket,
speak low in my ear.
I hope I’ll be able
to shut up and hear.

When He’s Gone

Alas, my laptop, Joe, is dead.
He tripped and fell right on his head.
The light went off. I almost cried,
the night my laptop, Joseph, died.

I had another laptop, Lou.
Unfortunately, he’s finished, too.
I spilled some coffee on his head,
and now my laptop, Lou, is dead.

Alas, I fear I’ll be offline
until November 12 at nine
AM when I return to work,
and leap onto my desktop, Kirk.

So for a time, I bid adieu
while I consider what to do:
to buy another or repair
or find someone who has a spare.

 

 

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Waiting to hear on a proposal for a workshop

744908720_2654497633_0I got email from the Mass Poetry festival letting me know they’d received my workshop proposal. Fortunately they copied the email I sent them, because I forgot to save a copy.

I don’t know if they will go for it, but, hey, at least I sent it in.

Workshop

Even if we don’t suffer from writer’s block, we often dismiss our ideas before they have a chance to develop. How many times has a line of poetry popped into your mind only to be dismissed? A subject you dismissed as trite or as something you’d never write about? What are you afraid to tackle?

Don’t let your inner editor choke you off before you start. This workshop will include a series of exercises designed to free your inner muse.
Equipment Needs

  • Table for Presenters
  • Chairs for Presenters
  • Dry erase board
  • Paper and pencils

Target Audience: Anyone who wants to dig deeper and free themselves from their own critical thinking.What makes this distinctive and compelling? We’re all inclined to doubt the worth of our own work and to not pay attention to what it is we want/need to write. We will use group writing exercises as a warm-up to generating poetry, brainstorm starting lines for poems, write poems from various points-of-view: ex mother-in-law, best friend from high school, glass of water on your nightstand, unused computer keys. Anything goes.

This workshop is meant to be fun, to generate some ideas the participants to take away, and to start to develop some techniques they can use to get started when inspiration fails to strike.

Publicity & Audience Development Plan *I blog monthly on writersonthemove.com, twice monthly on poetic-muselings.net, and on my own blog, as well as guest blogging. I would use these to promote the workshop.

I’d promote on facebook and twitter, try for an article in my local papers, community tv station, and on internet and regular radio as well as emailing my list of contacts about the workshop.

Have you produced this or a similar program before? If so when and where? *I am one of the six Poetic Muselings. We presented a workshop, “Poetry: Not just for writing verse,” at the Muse Online Writers Conference this October.

 

 

 

Make Visible: Capture Your Ideas

This post was inspired by Michele’s wonderful post:  Never Forget Your Dreams.

If you capture your ideas you’ll actually have more of them.  For one thing, you will have a record of the ideas you do have! This applies to writing, art and even things like organizing your garage.  I use a Scanner Daybook (from Barbara Sher’s Refuse to Choose) for my craft, organization, school, and other ideas.  Some pages below:

100 Dreams

Click on photo to enlarge.

For writing ideas I have a small notebook in my purse, but any piece of scratch paper will do.  Then I transfer the writing ideas to 4 x 6 notecards that I keep in a “recipe” box.  I also keep notes on my computer desktop using Stickies (a computerized version of yellow sticky notes).  Other methods of capturing your ideas include leaving pens and notepads around the house, using voice-activated software for computer, voice recorders or saving notes on your phone or blackberry.

 

img_16631

Embroidery Ideas

 

Why capture your ideas?  Not only will you have a record of ideas that you can refer to later for inspiration or planning;  you will free your brain up from trying to remember them.  This leaves you space to use your imagination and bring your ideas to fruition in the form of a story, artwork or clean garage.  🙂

 

 

                                                       
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Make Visible: End of the Year Self-Evaluation for Writers

The end of the year is a fantastic time to evaluate one’s writing life with an eye to the future.  It’s a time to look at the big picture and see if you have met, exceeded, or fallen short of your self-created writing goals for the year.  This self-evaluation was inspired by the About.com Graduate School post, Check in With Yourself: End of Semester Self-Evaluation.  I’ve found that doing a regular self-evaluation is a great tool for reflection on my graduate school experiences.  This evaluation is not an excuse for you to beat yourself up; instead it will allow you to get a clearer picture of your writing life.

Consider your responses to these questions.  It might help to actually write them down.  🙂

Consider the last year:

  • How did my year begin?
  • What were my submission plans, writing goals, and marketing plans (if applicable)?
  • Did I allocate enough time for writing, typing and editing my work?
  • Were my expectations met?
  • What surprised me this year?
  • If I could do anything over, what would I choose?  What would I do differently?
  • What are my writing strengths and witnesses?
  • How might I address these weaknesses?
  • How can I augment these strengths?
  • What have I learned this year?  About writing?  About subjects of interest to me?  Personally?

After thoughtful consideration, what can you conclude about your year?  What will you do differently next year?

Some ideas to think about for 2012:

Set aside regular times to write.  Be flexible.  If you are a morning person write in the mornings, if not, write in the afternoons or evenings.  Consider investing in writing prompt books or get writing prompts off the internet, so you are not stuck for ideas.  Remember, writers write!

Consider collaborating on a writing project with a writing friend or online critique group.  Collaborating is a great way to support one another while holding each other accountable.

Take time at the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012 to revisit your writing goals.  Are they too ambitious or not ambitious enough?  Can you break your goals down into smaller, more manageable steps?  If you haven’t made any writing goals, is it time to do so?  Think about sharing your writing goals with supportive family members and friends.  Do you have any deadlines looming?  Make a note of those and give yourself time to meet them.

Reflect on any Works in Progress (WIPs) you have.  Is it time to let your WIPs go or is it time to breathe new life into a WIP?

Every year is a new beginning.  A new year is a great time to establish good writing habits and to reflect on the past year.  It’s also a good time to congratulate yourself on what you accomplished in 2011 and realize what you did right. See you in 2012!

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Make Visible: From Consumer to Creator

I bet you have lots of media in your home, like CDs, books, DVDs, even art—all made by someone else or a group of other people.  Have you ever considered making your own media, your own art?  As the rash of consumerism that spreads over the country at this time of year attests, there is a huge market for the products of creativity.  I ask you to consider making your own music, writing your own books, directing your own movies and decorating your walls with your own art.  Right away, there are objections:  You don’t have the talent, money, time, skills, contacts to do this!  Maybe not.

The creators of media (art) aren’t any different than you and me.  “They put their pants on one leg at a time,” as my dad used to say.  Maybe they have a vision to share, maybe not, maybe they have time, talent, money and all that good stuff, maybe not.  It’s not about becoming a writer, musician, artist, filmmaker.  This is about being creative and expressing yourself.  We will still buy media, that’s not in question.  It’s time to be creators of art rather than only consumers of art.  Be brave!  You don’t have to share just yet.  Get out pen and paper, a guitar, paint and paintbrush or video camera.  I double dog dare you!

English: paintbrush

Image via Wikipedia

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"Your Favorite Poet and Poem" Contest

Friday, 12/9:  We’ve got a great start here, and thank you to those who said they’re working on their posts now! Please jump in! 

Hello, Poets and lovers of poetry (and the rest of you out there)!

From Dec. 7 – 14, 2011 we’re having a crazy contest. To win, you must provide us with the most awesome answer to a few questions:

Who is your favorite poet?

What is your favorite poem?

Why?

Now, a cool thing about this contest is that your favorite poem may be a stand-alone you discovered — not necessarily by your favorite poet. And the answer to the question “Why?” is the critical piece. Why did you choose this poet? Why this particular poem? What is it that resonates with you, or just won’t let go?

UPDATE:  Try to keep your responses to a few paragraphs. That said, if you have strong feelings and more words to say, consider whether you’d like to do a guest post on our blog to expand and  share your thoughts.

We anticipate serious arm-wrestling and shouting by the end, as we select the ONE set of responses we feel best captures the essence of why we write, what moves us, creates unforgettable imagery . . . and we’d like your help to drive us nuts in this process. The winner will receive a copy of Lifelines, mailed to your house.

And, if you have a blog or website and would be interested in connecting to us or spreading the word, please let us know. We’re starting a blogroll.

So — thank you for reading this, and we hope you will have some fun and enter our contest.

Inspiration-Perspiration: It’s All Around You

Fridge Magnets 2

Image by Pierre Nel via Flickr

We all know the adage, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”, right? Do you know it applies just as easily to writing and poetry as it does to the other important things in life?

For example, I hear people asking me “Where do you get your ideas from?” and the answer to that is “Everywhere!”

It might be in a snatch of conversation I overheard at the restaurant while we’re waiting in line. It might be in the three headlines from today’s paper that I linked together to form a writing prompt.  Perhaps that interesting documentary I watched on Discovery last night at 2 AM sparked some poem or plot ideas.  It might even be in a dramatically stormy day with lightning crashing all around me.

I mean, open your eyes and ears, folks, along with your other senses. A lingering fragrance on the breeze, the tang of Thai spices on your taste buds, the feel of your lover’s caress. Anything in your world, good or bad, can serve as inspiration.

So how do you go about capturing these things for later use?

There are things you probably have in your possession already that can do that. Your cell phone  can take a photo or record a voice memo or send an email to yourself, a thin notebook in your purse or back pocket to record ideas, and a notebook, pen and flashlight on your night stand to record those flashes of ideas that come when we are least prepared.  I keep a file of writing prompts from various sources on my computer.  I have a folder of photographs that serve the same purpose. There are many books of writing prompts, tools like Story Spinner, and writing games that can give you a heaping serving of inspiration. Let’s not forget the classic fridge word magnets either.

So don’t worry that you won’t have any ideas. All you have to do is just open your mind and it will be filled with amazing information, without even  breaking a sweat.

 

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