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!

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T is for taboret- Poem: Future Fangs

pastel reflection

Today’s new word:

taboret (tabouret) n. 1. a low seat without back or arms, for one person; stool. 2. a frame for embroidery. 3. a small, usually portable stand, cabinet, or chest of drawers, as for holding work supplies.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem about an animal.

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

  1. Write a free poem.
  2. Write a not free poem.

My poem

Future Fangs

Yapping portent of yet to come
diabolical free-range ne’er do well
leashless barker admonishing
my trespass upon my porch

She pounces, lunges
knocking over the taboret
splaying my tools and supplies
then ducks through the bushes
and yawps at her own surprise
enclosed in a safe cage
of briars and branches
invisible and out of reach

If not free, she would still
pollute my peace
behind panes once within my domain
once friendly, warm and welcoming

Diminutive fanged snarler, aggressor
will I match her need to dominate?
Will they wander over before
or after she bites?

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is The Spite House by Elizabeth Knapp .

The Planner Pages

I apologize to all of you who are part of the planner experiment. I didn’t get the pages out for the first time this year, but things came up and I had to let something slide. Since the planner experiment is about creating an informative and motivating daily planner for 2020, I figured being off by a couple days this week would be okay. I’ll post the rest of April’s pages later today with an update on how the experiment is going.

Happy Reading and Writing!

S is for salvific- Poem: Correspondence

Discovering Fire

Today’s new word:

salvific adj. Having the intention or power to bring about salvation or redemption.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that engages with another art form – it might be about a friend of yours who paints or sculpts, your high school struggles with learning to play the French horn, or a wonderful painting, film, or piece of music you’ve experienced – anything is in bounds here, so long as it uses the poem to express something about another form of art.

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

Write a correspondence poem. Maybe write a poem that would fit on a postcard or in a letter. Or write a poem about correspondence school. Or jump into newer forms of correspondence like e-mail or text messaging. Of course, not all correspondence is connected to communicating; sometimes one thing corresponds to another by being similar.

My poem

Correspondence

Crumpled correspondence tops the stack of junk
piling monument to passing days
a mountain from the mole hill
of the ignored

I light the old, unwanted, local rag
delivered, though I asked them not to
It ignites the dry wood of the limbs
from the last wind storm

Smoke sneaks into the living room
and collects halfway down the stairs
where the temperature changes between two worlds
in summer

The flame grows and I throw
the unopened envelopes in
salvific fire cleansing, protecting everyone
from my potential clone

A multiplying identity
participating in false economy
capitalist societies
of the imaginary

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Collected Poems by W. H. Auden.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Poem: Camouflage in the City on Easter Sunday

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National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that, like The Color of Pomegranates and “City That Does Not Sleep,” incorporates wild, surreal images. Try to play around with writing that doesn’t make formal sense, but which engages all the senses and involves dream-logic.

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

For today’s prompt, write a sketch poem. My initial thought is to write a poem that’s like a sketch of a moment or an object. But you can play around with sketchy people or situations. Or just sketch something else together.

My poem

Camouflage in the City on Easter Sunday

mud splattered banana hand outstretched
open to releasing smoke
you are seen
prominently uncamouflaged
against the videocon dish by-stander not helping
clinging to the circles and ovals
once cool metal modern faces of Bert
or that paperclip assistant
no one wanted
now holding you up
and out of place
juxtaposed
definitely not a muddy banana in a jungle
though the animals have attacked
and see you clearly
your gray faces and black disc eyes
your filtered muffled barking holes
and holstered weapon
the animals are already back in their dens
but you are out contrasting
against white-washed walls
and Bert railings and satellite dishes
where is your leaf, your purple bulb
the sweet smell of tropical rain
to wash the blood from the smoke?

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Four-Legged Girl: Poems by Diane Seuss

Happy Reading and Writing!

R is for ruddle- Poem: The Cave Wall

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Photo by Jennifer Regnier on Unsplash

Today’s new word:

ruddle n. a red variety of ocher, used for marking sheep, coloring, etc.

v. (used with object), rud·dled, rud·dling. to mark or color with ruddle.

Today’s word was found in a slightly roundabout way. I started at raddleman which directed me to ruddleman n. a person who deals in ruddle.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that “talks.” Write a poem grounded in language as it is spoken – not necessarily the grand, dramatic speech of a monologue or play, but the messy, fractured, slangy way people speak in real life.

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

For today’s prompt, write a dark poem. Cave poems, poems at night, and no electricity poems–these are all appropriate for today’s prompt.

My poem

The Cave Wall

ruddle marks flurry along the cave’s wall
my only message
my only proof of existance
I mark the days, months
at first I doodled to pass the time
flowers, spirals, a cat, a little stick person
but this cough is more urgent
what to say?
not some old quote
someone else’s words
a legacy
meaningful wisdom
what has life taught me
to pass along?
Don’t get stranded
and die in a cave
wouldn’t be helpful to many
nor the next poor soul that sits here
reading my message
I decide
and the ruddle marks the wall
I doodle some spirals
I mark the days

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is The Rain in Portugal: Poems by Billy Collins.

Happy Reading and Writing!

q is for quires- Poem: Now I Lay Me

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Today’s new word:

quires n. 1. a set of 24 uniform sheets of paper. 2. Bookbinding . a section of printed leaves in proper sequence after folding; gathering.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Yesterday’s poem, Little Bee, is the featured poem on NaPoWriMo today. So exciting. Thank you.

Write an abecedarian poem – a poem in which the word choice follows the words/order of the alphabet. You could write a very strict abecedarian poem, in which there are twenty-six words in alphabetical order, or you could write one in which each line begins with a word that follows the order of the alphabet. This is a prompt that lends itself well to a certain playfulness.

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

Write a license poem.

My poem

Now I lay me

acidic
bile building
calcium can’t conquer
dull drunks don’t drown
effervescent ellipses emit
fidgety film
gross
heart hurting
illicit illness insists
jerking jolting jarring jog
killing kiln kicks
license lost
morning
never new
obsess over oddities
plentiful patience, peeking peepers
quires quell quips
ruin reams
sleep
tortured tether
under urban upper-crust
vaulting value vanishes virtues
wintered wandering wonderment
x-ray xenomorph
yawn
zzz

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is A Trio of Tolerable Tales by Margaret Atwood.

Happy Reading and Writing!

P is for perfidy- Poem: Little Bee

little bee

Today’s new word:

perfidy n. 1. deliberate breach of faith or trust; faithlessness; treachery. 2. an act or instance of faithlessness or treachery.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail.

This prompt is quite timely. Yesterday, I finished up Billy Collins’s Masterclass and there was a lovely section where he and Marie Howe discussed their elegy poems. Mr. Collins’s was “Death of a hat” and Ms. Howe’s was “What the Living Do.” When Ms. Howe finished reading her poem, I got that great WOW feeling. I can’t wait to go back and listen again, and read it when my hold gets to my library.

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

Take the phrase “Little (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

Little Bee

Floating
barely a breeze
slight current moving us mountainward
the wake of a boat passing
jostles into
a rocking, lulling
deliquesce

Then
little bee
your perfidy
How
did you find
my hand?

Breaking
the flow
of a comfortable row
with a piercing
then stinging
then ache

like Sunday
in church
when I finally faced
that she would
never be there
again

I didn’t cry
when you told me
she died
a surprise call
on a sunny
afternoon

There
was a space
where her face
was replaced
reality swiftly and suddenly
stung

I keep
breathing
and flouting
and singing
before
the bee
on a leaf
in this lake

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is What the Living Do: Poems by Marie Howe.

Happy Reading and Writing!

O is for ostracon – Poem: I Am a Piece

Today’s new word:

ostracon n. a piece of pottery, usually broken off from a vase or other earthenware vessel. In an archaeological or epigraphical context, ostraca refer to sherds or even small pieces of stone that have writing scratched into them. Usually these are considered to have been broken off before the writing was added; ancient people used the cheap, plentiful and durable broken pieces of pottery around them as convenient places to place writing for a wide variety of purposes, mostly very short inscriptions, but in some cases surprisingly long. -from Wikipedia

In ancient Greece ostraca were used to vote which citizens should be ostracized.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that similarly presents a scene from an unusual point of view. Perhaps you could write a poem that presents Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery from the perspective of the apple. Or the shootout at the OK Corral from the viewpoint of a passing vulture. Or maybe it could be something as everyday as a rainstorm, as experienced by a raindrop.

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

Write a reason poem. If this prompt seems unreasonable, just remember all the reasons you write poetry or enjoy cooking, dancing, singing, etc. Or provide a reasoned argument for your lack of reason. Only you know your reasons.

My poem

I Am a Piece

I am a piece, an ostracon
I am not broken
I am whole and of the whole
I am unique in size, shape and site
I am your surface, your history,
your judgement

I will not return to the whole
I will bare a name, carved, scarred into me
I will hold its weight upon me immemorial
I will be counted among the other ostraca
I will grow in number and strength, deciding
your fate

I have heard the reasons:
I have been abundant and plentiful
I have been accessible and pliable
I have no other useful purpose, but
I have lasted through time and space to witness
your erosion

Reading

This month, I bought myself a very rewarding birthday gift: a year of access to Masterclass. I love it! I’ve already enjoyed about half of Neil Gaiman’s class and Margaret Atwood’s class. The classes come with beautiful, unique workbooks and videos about the craft from the authors. It’s wonderful.

Yesterday, they added a poetry class by Billy Collins. Though I was not familiar with his work, in the introduction video he showed a lovely sense of humor, so I dove right in.

To my great joy, my library system had a couple of Mr. Collins’s collections for immediate access as ebooks and one as an audiobook and a performance of Mr. Collins reading his poems on audio as well. Needless to say. This week’s inspirational reading will be Billy Collins heavy.

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems by Billy Collins.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Gobolinks and Blottentots

You may recognize these inkblots from my last post. The image on the left looked to me like two teddy bears playing with a ball from the moment I made it. The image on the right, however, originally looked like an angelic figure or winged creature (turned 180°), but when I looked at it again, I saw a canyon carved by water flow. Because the original inkblots were made with glitter-glue, the blue watercolor flowed like water and did not soak into the paper, so it even acted like mountain lakes flowing into a river in a canyon. It was very fun to make.

More Fun With Klecksography

Gobolinks and Blottentots

At the turn of the 19th to 20th century,  people expanded on Justin Kerner’s ideas of Klecksography, the art of using inkblots in illustration and created works of their own. Ruth McEnery Stuart turned the creations of inkblots and verse into a game called Gobolinks and John Prosper called the inkblot creatures he created and described in verse, Blottentots. Both of these books of inkblots and verse are now available online through Project Gutenberg.

Project Gutenberg ebooks:

gobolinks coverGobolinks or Shadow Pictures For Young and Old by Ruth The Blottentots coverMcEnery Stuart and Albert Bigelow Paine 1896

Blottentots and How To Make Them by John Prosper Carmel 1907

Inkblots As Story Inspiration

I had a lot of fun creating a bunch of inkblots the other day. One of the great things about inkblots is they are a super-cheap, if not free (you can make them with things you already have in your house) art form and you can make them very quickly.

I did a little experimenting and found porous paper, like regular typing or printing paper works better than thicker paper. So any scrap paper you have lying about is the perfect canvas, and any drippable liquid will do. I used a cheap, hard-disc watercolor set with a lot of water. If you don’t have watercolors, you could use acrylics, or left over house paint. If you don’t have any paint, use mustard and ketchup. Use coffee or tea. Try mud. Why not? Make sure to protect your work area. I rolled out a bunch of butcher paper.

As I made more and more inkblots, my scrap paper got smaller and smaller. I found joy in the black and white blots that were about 2″ X 2″.  Many of them looked as if they could combine to become more detailed creatures, so I got out a metal board and some magnets and had some fun.

metal board and magnets play area

Looking at all these unique beauties made me ponder the stories they could tell. For those of you who have read Jumpstart Your Novel by Mark Teppo, what about using inkblots to inspire or illustrate your nine boxes?

Nine Box Plot

Or how about using your inkblots to access your subconscious ideas about your hero’s journey? Perhaps in a similar way to, or along with Mapping the Hero’s Journey With Tarot.  The hero's journey in inkblots

You could also use inkblots to inspire setting and character:

spring garden

A spring garden

mantiss gnome


A garden gnome spinning on a spike

Character development: Use your inkblots with your characters like Rorschach tests to explore their psyches.

Group dynamic/ character interaction: Have your characters play a game of Gobolinks.

Since I am having so much fun with inkblots, I hope to find ways that they will help me enjoy my editing and revision process as well. I’ll let you know as soon as I do.

Further Reading

Inkblot: Drip, Splat, and Squish Your Way to Creativity by Margaret Peot

The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing by Damion Searls

The Inkblot Pack: Includes the 10 Classic Inkblots for you to interpret & a beautifully designed journal with thought provoking quotes

And Just For Fun

Rorschach mask

As a photographer and a costumer, I imagine many possibilities for The Original Moving Rorschach Inkblot Mask, so I bought one. I should have it in about 10 days and will definitely write a review.

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

#Writober Update

 

 

I wanted to add a few things to the line-up for #Writober. While reading Slade House: A Novel by David Mitchell for #RIPXII’s Peril of the group read, I had another idea of how to use the #Writober 2 pinterest board. Each image could be a scene in a continuous story. You might end up outlining your @NaNoWriMo novel.

Just discovered #Writober and feel like you’re too late, or feel like you can’t participate because you don’t have enough time? No worries. I stumbled upon the challenge late last year and wrote most of my stories in one weekend. The only limits to the #Writober challenge are the ones you creatively place upon yourself to get your stories written.

The way I did #Writober last year (and I’m doing it again), was I created an Open Office (Word) document and named it #Writober. I then typed a number for each day/image and for the images I had story ideas for, I wrote a title and notes, or just started the story. That way I could jump around whenever inspiration struck. I’m a non-linear thinker and this works for me. I look forward to hearing how the #Writober challenge works for you.

October Pairings: #OctPairs

I had another idea that I thought would be fun for #Writober: October Pairings. Every Wednesday this month, I’ll be posting about things that combine well, like Halloween candy and scary books, or Halloween movies and hot beverages.

I hope you’ll post your ideas for good October Pairings on twitter with #OctPairs.

 

trick-or-treat-book-blog-hop-banner_5_orig

If you have written a scary book and would like to promote it by giving it away on Halloween, head over to Trick-or-Treat Reads.

If you haven’t written that book yet, but love to read scary stories, don’t forget to Trick-or-Treat for books on Halloween.

Have you planned your costume yet? What are you dressing as this year? In the past, I have had my costumes inspire my stories and my stories inspire my costumes. I hope #Writober inspires you.

Happy Writing and Reading!