Creative Writing for the WWE

Last month, during NaPoWriMo and A to Z Challenge, my word for the letter k was kayfabe. Kayfabe is a word used in professional wrestling for presenting staged performances as genuine or authentic. Imagine my surprise when I found this great video introducing people to the lives of the creative writers working for the WWE. The article that I read about it said it may be a recruiting video.

There you have it, the exciting, jet-setting, action-filled life of writing for wrestlers.

Happy Reading and Writing!

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The Planner Experiment: May Week 2

pink rhodies small.jpg

My new focus on contests brought me to something fun. Literary Taxidermy is having a contest in which participants write a story that starts and ends with lines from a selected work. This year’s selection is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The idea of the contest is to start with the first line of Mr. Bradbury’s story and create something completely different that then ends with his last line. I already have a ton of ideas. I think I’ll write drafts for at least three of them, maybe more.

Other interesting contests I found were:

Jerry Jazz Musician’s Short Fiction Contest  This site is looking for fiction that incorporates aspects of jazz music.

Online Writing Tips Story Prize This contest is free and offers a £100 prize. There’s no theme or genre. Enter any story of 1000-4000 words.

This Week’s Pages

May Week Two.png

2019 Planner May Week Two

I think part of my frustration last month and why I kept getting behind on the pages was I wasn’t making the time to use them. This week, I’m renewing my efforts to completely fill in the pages each day with the goal of three submissions every day. I hope you’ll join me. I look forward to hearing about your journey to publication. I hope the daily planner helps motivate you to submit your stories and poems.

Happy Reading, Writing, Planning and Submitting!

The Planner Project Continues into May

May planner

2019 Planner May Week One

The Experiment

For readers who are new to Experience Writing, thank you for being here. These free daily planner pages are part of an experiment I started at the beginning of the year. I wanted to get ahead of the submissions game and know about deadlines in advance, so I didn’t feel like I had always just missed something. To accomplish this goal, I have been researching and reading literary magazines, and other writing markets, and incorporating information about deadlines and expectations into a daily planner design.

My hope is that you will download the pages and either print them out or use them in your word processing software, to motivate you to submit your stories and poetry to literary and genre markets, get your pile of rejections, and eventually get published. I also hope, that in return you will give me specific feedback on how the pages can be improved.

Another Great Resource

I’ve made many interesting journal finds on Submittable lately, but when I expanded my search to look for anthologies and other deadlines, I happened across a site I hadn’t visited in a while. Publishing . . . and Other Forms of Insanity has a listing of deadlines by month along with a treasure trove of useful information for writers.

April Review

As I expected, I tried to do too much in April. Writing a story each weekend for the Writer’s Games and a poem and blog post every day for NaPoWriMo and A to Z Challenge was a lot. I managed to do it all, but the Planner Experiment didn’t get the time and attention it needed and I’m feeling pretty burned out. Of course, getting the flu at the end didn’t help. In other words, I only accomplished 2 submissions in the whole month of April. However, I have many new things to submit, so I look forward to making up for it in May.

Let’s look at the numbers:

Journal Submissions: 0

Other Submissions: 1 anthology, 1 poem to Master Class collection

Rejections: 8  (3 of these letters sounded like I made it past the first round and was given serious consideration. I’ll take them seriously and make sure to submit new work to them during their next reading periods).

Stories Written: 6 short stories, 2 flash

Poems Written: 28 published to Experience Writing, 10 not (saved to submit to journals)

Books read

  • novels 2
  • short story collections 2
  • poetry collections: part or all of 30+
  • craft books 3
  • short stories in literary magazines: did not keep track

Master Classes: 3 – Neil Gaiman, Billy Collins, and Margaret Atwood (all amazing)

Lessons Learned: I often think I can accomplish more in a day than I actually can. A good way to use the planner pages is to be honest with myself and track how long it really takes to do things. The biggest lesson is to not let myself burn out and find fun and excitement in my work. This round of rejections made me feel like I’m getting my stories to the right people. I now need to get them to the right people at the right time (with a little persistence and luck sprinkled in).

What’s Next?

I’ve decided to go back to focusing on deadlines for the monthly planner pages. It makes more sense to me. When I put everything together for next year, I’ll re-evaluate. It’ll be easier when I can see the whole picture with more experience and personal knowledge.

This month, I’ll be exploring contests. I need to figure out how to evaluate which contests to enter. There are so many and they all have entry fees, usually around $20 each, so picking the right ones for my work is important to me. If anyone has advice, please share it in the comments.

I’m also thinking about compiling a chapbook of my poetry and a short story collection manuscript to submit to contests. I had been thinking about self-publishing a collection of my work and the Kindle Storyteller Writing Competition has me thinking about it again.

The Pages

I apologize that the pages are late again, but I’m just glad I haven’t given up on the project and was able to motivate myself. I like the look of the pages this week. What do you think? I will update the deadlines page as I find more interesting markets. Good luck with your submissions and I look forward to your comments.

2019 Planner May Week One

Happy reading, writing, planning and submitting!

Z is for zeugma- Poems: Dive in, Creative and Zeugma

reflective flowers close

Today’s new word:

zeugma n. Grammar, Rhetoric. the use of a word to modify or govern two or more words when it is appropriate to only one of them or is appropriate to each but in a different way, as in to wage war and peace or On his fishing trip, he caught three trout and a cold.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Try your hand at a minimalist poem

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

  1. Write a stop poem.
  2. Write a don’t stop poem.

My poems

Take a deep breath and d
                          i
                           v
                            e
                               in



                                    IV
                                    :
                                    ;
                              CREAT      E

 

Zeugma

During National/Global Poetry Writing Month, we wrote words and stanzas, rhythm and rhyme, and culture and community.

 

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems by Joy Harjo

Happy Reading and Writing!

Y is for yapok- Poem: Hagridden Again

yapok three

Today’s new word:

yapok n. a semi-aquatic opossum of Central and South America also known as the water opossum. The only living marsupial in which both sexes have pouches.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that meditates, from a position of tranquility, on an emotion you have felt powerfully.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “(blank) Again,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write your poem.

My poem

Hagridden Again

In search of new knowledge,
my perpetual motion,
ambushed by yapok.
A disconcerting combination
of water and land,
of fingered and webbed,
of cute and horrifying.

I contemplate forewarning.
But I am not a gate keeper.
Who am I to impair the stun
of this captivating truth?
Once known, yapoks cannot be unknown,
once seen not unseen,
once imagined, forever a menacing possibility.

I am bewitched by potential,
spellbound by the shiny new tidbits of discovery,
and plunge into inquiry enchanted.
I contemplate a flustering illustration
of its thick tail tightly constricting a branch,
a bewildered bird in its mouth.
I ponder another unsettling engraving
in which it crawls ashore with a discombobulated fish.

In my image it circles you as you work your stoke
like a Labrador preparing a rescue.
In my depiction it perches on your shoulder;
its tail crawls into a coil on your arm;
it gorges on your harrowed head.

Today I am aware of the yapok,
surprised by its revelation,
alarmed by swimming teeth and tails,
mesmerized by adaptation.
I am under the spell of spelling.
Five letters ordered to an unexpected meaning,
leaving me fazed.

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is The Pushcart Book of Poetry: The Best Poems from Three Decades of the Pushcart Prize by Joan Murray (2009-04-03).

Happy Reading and Writing!

X is for xenium- Poem: Inward and Outward

Close-up of daffodils

Today’s new word:

xenium (plural xenia) n. a present, gift, especially one for a host or vice-versa. a compulsory gift.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

“Remix” a Shakespearean sonnet. Here’s all of Shakespeare’s sonnets. You can pick a line you like and use it as the genesis for a new poem. Or make a “word bank” out of a sonnet, and try to build a new poem using the same words (or mostly the same words) as are in the poem.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

For today’s prompt, pick a direction, make that the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. There are so many directions: north, south, up, down, left, right, over, under, etc. But there are also more specific directions like “Across the Way,” “Through the Woods,” and “Beyond the Clearing.” Or give directions like “Clean Your Room,” “Tie Your Shoes,” or “Get Over Here.”

My poem

Inward and Outward

Plastic-coated self untouched by any
precious xenium though unprovident
impenetrable walls keep out many
voluptuous luxury evident
voice lost in fear and fires of hate
bodies dance vinyl and satin conspire
bouts of cold murderous shame ruinate
ridges of almonds swimming in desire
delicious knowledge but also fear mind
washed with a certain Merlot love
an imperfect actor thinks she is kind
invigorate sweet moments not to prove
how many layers of onion to me
Oh! learn to read the stains you can see

 

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is The Sonnets and a Lover’s Complaint (Penguin Clothbound Classics).

Happy Reading and Writing!

W is for wamble- Poem: You Come in the Evening

evening

Today’s new word:

wamble v. 1. to move unsteadily. 2. to feel nausea. 3. (of the stomach) to rumble; growl. n. 1. an unsteady or rolling movement. 2. a feeling of nausea.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that uses repetition. You can repeat a word, or phrase. You can even repeat an image, perhaps slightly changing or enlarging it from stanza to stanza, to alter its meaning.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write an evening poem. A poem about or during the night. Or take evening a completely different direction and think of evening the score or making things more even (or fair or whatever).

My poem

You Come in the Evening

I wamble toward the evening
after pushing to exhaustion
exhausted muscles slack warm and heavy
heavy lids gather darkness as
darkness gathers along the horizon
horizontal pink and orange candy-floss clouds cling

clinging bits of nature hitch a ride inside
inside I want to fall into the cushions
but cushion that temptation until after a rinse
but before the rinsing waters can cleanse I see you
you wait patiently by the door
the door slides and I lift you to nuzzle at my neck
my neck vibrates with you and the sweat collects your hair
shedding, sticking hair covers me and joins the twigs and grass and leaves
and hairy nature greets the evening softly

the smell of gasoline leads to wamble
you push on into the evening
I let the warm and heavy water
wash the evening into night

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is The Tradition by Jericho Brown.

Happy Reading and Writing!

V is for green: virid, verdant, veridian, verdigris, verdure, vert Poem: Verdant Exile

commove in pale green

Today’s new word:

There are so many great V words. I may have some fun today along the lines of Margaret Atwood’s A Trio of Tolerable Tales and THE SESAME STREET LIBRARY and write a story about Vesicant Veronica’s vitriolic vitrifaction or Vespoid Vernon’s vespiary.

 

For the present poetry purposes, however, I’ve stuck to the V words that are green:

virid adj. green or verdant

verdant adj 1. green with vegetation; covered with growing plants or grass 2. of the color green 3. inexperienced; unsophisticated

viridian n. a long-lasting, bluish-green pigment, consisting of a hydrated oxide of chromium.

verdigris n. a green or bluish patina formed on copper, brass, or bronze surfaces exposed to the atmosphere for long periods of time, consisting principally of basic copper sulfate.

verdure n. 1. greenness, especially of fresh, flourishing vegetation. 2. green vegetation, especially grass or herbage. 3. freshness in general; flourishing condition; vigor.

vert n. English Forest Law. 1. vegetation bearing green leaves in a forest and capable of serving as a cover for deer. 2. the right to cut such vegetation.
n. Heraldry . the tincture, or color, green.
adj. Heraldry . of the tincture green: a lion vert.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that:

  • Is specific to a season
  • Uses imagery that relates to all five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell)
  • Includes a rhetorical question, (like Keats’ “where are the songs of spring?”)

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write an exile poem.

My poem

Verdant Exile

Verdant exile in idyllic, virid splendor
springing and bursting verdure
an umbrella of viridian and vert
a bucolic shunning
far enough from everywhere to be too far
but not quite far enough
shoots like verdigris change the color of days
from gray to green

Does spring tease on purpose?
enticing the sower with warm kisses
then freezing the seedlings in a blanket of frost
or washing them away in muddy rivers from heavy rains
the viridian umbrella has holes
that let the rain through
the wet exile digs again

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is A Small Story about the Sky by Alberto Rios.

Happy Reading and Writing!

 

U is for ultradian- Poem: Complete SCAMPER

Close-up of the finished spider diva.

Today’s new word:

ultradian adj. Physiology

  1. (of a rhythm or cycle) having a period of recurrence shorter than a day but longer than an hour.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that, like “Dictionary Illustrations,” is inspired by a reference book. Locate a dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia, open it at random, and consider the two pages in front of you to be your inspirational playground for the day.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Take the phrase “Complete (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write your poem.

My poem

Complete SCAMPER

Substitute her flippant, unkind words for what she should have said
Combine this delusion with her talking head’s talking points
Adapt to life’s illusion with ultradian reiteration
Modify and magnify this rosy reality
Put those gnawing thoughts to use for the company
Eliminate any creative impulses not for the institution
Reverse and rearrange memories of the lies told to children

Today’s poem was inspired by a page in The Crafter’s Devotional: 365 Days of Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for Unlocking Your Creative Spirit by Barbara R. Call in which she talks about a creative-thinking mnemonic by Bob Eberle.

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Winter Road by Louis Jenkins.

Happy Reading and Writing!

The Planner Experiment: The last days of April

April final pages

Here we are at the final days of April. Since the month ends on a Tuesday, I went ahead and added the last couple days. For these pages, I decided to take a look at Submittable and look at journals with deadlines at the end of April and beginning of May that do not charge reading fees.

The pages

Since this month was National/Global poetry writing month, I feel inspired to add an equal focus toward poetry submission. Though I did not manage two poems a day (one for publication here and one to submit), I did write a few poems to start submitting. This equal focus idea may only change the pages on the monthly overview pages. I’m not sure yet.

I’m also taking another look at contests. I just got the May/June issue of Poets & Writers and the cover story is about submitting to Writing Contests. I came in sixth overall in the Writer’s Games and the work I produced was exciting for me. I think I may be ready to explore contests more thoroughly. As with reading periods, I will attempt to focus on when contests open and not on the deadlines to avoid procrastination.

2019 April Week Four to end

What other issues are coming up for you? What would you like me to change in the daily planner pages? What parts are you using and which aren’t useful? Do you like filling out the pages in your word processor, or do you like to print them out and fill them out by hand?

Thanks for playing along. I look forward to hearing your suggestions!