H is for horripilation- Poem: Things that are love/ Things that are not love

Mt. Rainier reflected in Lake Tapps

Today’s new word:

horripilation n. a bristling of the hair on the skin from cold, fear, etc.; goose bumps.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write your own Sei Shonagon-style list of “things.” The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon

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

  1. Write a love poem. All you need is love.
  2. Write an anti-love poem. Or not.

My poem

Things that are love

Diving into cold water starts a vibration
that tingles and lingers with horripilation
Curling up with words when the sky fills with rain
finding that poem to read again and again
The warmth of your silence as we both think and write
laughing at silly things, you collect a sound bite
things we say when we’re together
We laugh.

Things that are not love

Getting my blood pressure checked at the dentist
As if the dentist wasn’t enough cause for alarm
Shortness of breath while playing the flute
Everyone staring while the notes putter out
Florists who never deliver birthday flowers,
So you return from the door disappointed each hour
Bee stings and cupboard moths and midnight pillow spiders
Accusations.

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Smudgy and Lossy by John Myers.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Advertisements

G is for grig- Poem: The Horror Show

martin-brosy-758535-unsplash

Photo by Martin Brosy on Unsplash

Today’s new word:

grig n. 1. a cricket or grasshopper. 2. a small or young eel. 3. a lively person.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Think about the argot of a particular job or profession, and see how you can incorporate it into a metaphor that governs or drives your poem. The provided list of Professional slang is full of inspiration.

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

Write a lucky number poem. Some people have lucky numbers, some don’t. Wherever you fall on the lucky number spectrum, you can still write a poem about the phenomenon of lucky numbers and/or luck in general.

My poem

The Horror Show

The horror show began after
the baby catcher handed me the grig
I couldn’t find any joy
in the things that I previously did

The baby catcher said I had
pneumoencephalopathy that would clear up in time
but the grig stopped its bubbling
And I couldn’t stop its crying, so

I was sent to the Freud Squad, but
they made things worse
acted caring at first, but
were pill pushers all, and

The pills made me dizzy which
led to a fall and by trip number four
to the slashers and gassers they cured
my Acute Thespian Syndrome, but
replaced it with Mysterious Internal Spongeitis

 

The Planner Pages

Sorry I didn’t get these out yesterday, but life. One of the lessons I’m learning from this experiment is that an important part of successful planning is being flexible. Missing a deadline isn’t the end, it’s the opportunity to create a new deadline.

2019 April Week Two

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Deep Well by Dan Bellm. I’m really enjoying this small collection about a man facing his mother’s death. It’s beautiful in form and format.

Happy Reading and Writing!

F is for fainéant- Poem: After the Rain

cut wood between trees

Today’s new word:

fainéant n. an idler. adj. idle; indolent.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that emphasizes the power of “if,” of the woulds and coulds and shoulds of the world.

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

“After (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “After Dinner,” “After You,” “After Hours,” and/or “After I Finish Writing This Poem.”

My poem

After the Rain

if the clouds break and spread
releasing blue sky, the sun bursting,
glistening droplets on glass and bush
the blue-green waves pumping rhythmically
then saws and motors fill the air as if
men and women held them still
as long as they could, but the first ray of sun
set them free

if the sun breaks free and turns
the glistening raindrops to steam
rising up to join the receding clouds
let the growling, whining, revving, gnarling
inform the fainéants of their indolence
there is no rest against nature’s encroachment
no peace for those who live
among the virulent trees

if the rain ceases and the droplets are greeted
by the warm sun, spring has sprung
and there is growth, nature encroaches
and the peace of winter, the silent void of winter
is filled with revving and whining and gnarling and growling
if the fainéant sit, their heads soon split

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

Happy Reading and Writing!

E is for eleemosynary- Poem:Donations Eaten by Bureaucracy

iStock_000013284658_Small burning money

Today’s new word:

eleemosynary adj. 1. of or relating to alms, charity, or charitable donations; charitable.
2. derived from or provided by charity. 3. dependent on or supported by charity.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

“Write a poem that incorporates at least one of the following: (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from an outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way.”

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

“For today’s prompt, write a stolen poem. And no, don’t steal anyone’s poem! But you can write about doing such a thing. Or stealing hearts, stealing time, stealing minds. Or steeling your mind (remember: I don’t care if you play on my original prompt). Steal away into a comfortable place to write and break some lines today.”

My poem

Donations Eaten by Bureaucracy

Your altruism is in the mail
to eleemosynary systems of dilution,
stirring the cycle of hopelessness

You try to bypass through donated time, but
bureaucracy can ruin every good intention
Your altruism is in the mail

Regulations, rules–there must be control–change
behavior through punishment or reward,
stirring the cycle of hopelessness

You try to circumvent: offering temporary shelter;
donating clothes; preparing meals: inconvenience
Your altruism is in the mail

No one wants your eleemosynary roofs
if they mean invasive monitoring and checks
your altruism is in the mail
stirring the cycle of hopelessness

 

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Native Guard: Poems by Natasha Trethewey

Happy Reading and Writing!

D is for dysphemism- Poem: Pollock in the Playhouse

Today’s new word:

dysphemism n. 1. the substitution of a harsh, disparaging, or unpleasant expression for a more neutral one. 2. an expression so substituted, as “cancer stick” for “cigarette.”

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write your own sad poem, but one that achieves sadness through simplicity.

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

Pick a painter, make him or her the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

My poem

Pollock in the Playhouse

Stop crying! Why won’t you stop
crying? Get up! Get to work
Make phone calls. Find your stuff.
Stop crying.

Do you have to do that?
You’re killing a path through
the grass. I smell it on you
I can smell that

This isn’t working You
aren’t working. We’re only trying
to help you help yourself
Try this. You’ll like it if you only
try. Try that.

Better to leave her alone
To wallow, to swallow her pain
The pain that is all in her mind
Since she can’t leave the past behind
We don’t have time for this

All the whispers, so unkind
They find time to diss
the dysphoric with dysphemisms:
couch potato, cry baby, killjoy
negative Nancy in a black mood

I’m trying

 

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Poems: Maya Angelou

Happy Reading and Writing!

C is for cathect- Poem:Call of the King Fisher

800px-Houghton_MS_Am_21_(50)_-_John_James_Audubon,_belted_kingfisher

Today’s new word:

cathect vt. to invest with mental or emotional energy

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write something that involves a story or action that unfolds over an appreciable length of time.

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

Write an animal poem. The poem could be about an animal. Or it could just mention an animal in passing. Or include an animal in your title and fail to mention the animal once in your poem.

My poem

Call of the King Fisher

Surrounded by tall fir and cedar,
wizened rhododendron and cherry plum
She chooses a plastic pole (for securing a boat)
Perched atop, only room for one

Squat, blue and white, protruding needle
Her song, unique among the chatter,
cathected call commands my attention
She used to fly off when I came to the window

Day after day
The pole closer to the house
Not the other one
Year after year
Beak parallel to the windows
Not pointing in at me

This spring there is another
They chase each other
flirting through the skies
The farther pole stays vacant

 

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Wade in the Water: Poems by Tracy K. Smith.

Happy Reading and Writing!

#NaNoWriMo Day 30: The Final Image

Congratulations! You made it to the last day of the challenge! Did you finish your draft? Did you get your 50,000 words? Either way, you still have today, and tomorrow, and all the days after that. Push hard today, but remember, this is only the beginning of the writing adventure. The adventure of finishing, editing and publishing your novel is still ahead.

Day 30
Word count:55,001 words
Word count goal: 60,000 words
Mapping the Hero’s Journey: Overview
Save The Cat: Final Image

Sunset Aug 09

#vss very short story

Ben sat on the dock watching the sunset, finally at peace. The odd cloud formation over the mountain was growing at an alarming rate. Then the edge of the ship emerged. “Not again,” Ben yelled.

Plotting with Tarot

Final reading: Celtic Cross

final celtic cross

Following the guide in Jumpstart Your Novel by Mark Teppo this reads as:

  1. The Heart of the Matter (protagonist): Ten of Pentacles – physical prosperity
  2. The Opposing Force: Five of Pentacles- physical concern, anxiety
  3. The Root Cause: Two of Swords- unification of dualities; resolution of two issues
  4. The Past: Temperance- taking the middle road, avoiding extremes
  5. The Alternate Future (vision): Justice- ability to to see what can be made whole
  6. The Immediate Future: King of Swords- judgement, command, leadership
  7. The Mirror: Ten of Swords- fear of ruin (financial)
  8. The Eye: Seven of Pentacles- fear of failure; feeling of having failed
  9. The Guide: The Lovers- relationships are an issue
  10. The Outcome: Queen of Swords- cut through roles, masks, or defenses

My interpretation:My main character has worked hard his whole life and has recently retired to enjoy the fruits of his labor. However, a strange object crosses his path which when he asks about it brings people into his life that threaten to take away the security he has created for himself and his family. He has always lived within societal norms, but he feels he must take justice into his own hands. He feels that he must take matters into his own hands and confront the people threatening his way of life. People see the changes he makes as failure, but he sees more value in strengthening his relationships and letting down his defenses.

I thought the mirror card, which represents why I’m writing this story, was exactly correct. I commented recently in a twitter writers’ chat, that my biggest fear as a writer is becoming destitute and homeless. However, the way to combat that fear is to write great stories; then to finish those stories, edit those stories and sell those stories.

 

Ask Your Character

  • Are you glad you followed the call to adventure?
  • What have you learned along your journey?
  • Do you feel you have changed from your experience?

Word Of The Day

fulsome: adj. 1. of large size or quantity; generous or abundant 2. insincere or excessively lavish; flattery to an excess degree

8 Action Verbs:

assumed           conceptualized          devised           formed

justified             performed                 rewrote           wrote

Poem prompt

Today’s prompt is inspired by the PAD Chapbook Challenge prompt for today:

For today’s prompt, write a “back in the day” poem. You might also call this a “good old days” poem or a “bad old days” poem. To me, back in the day is synonymous with history–but a kind of personal history (even if shared among a community).

Have your MC reminisce about the ordinary world from the beginning of your story. Does s/he recognize how much s/he has changed? Does s/he look longingly back to before the adventure or is s/he glad for the change and hopeful for this new life?

A Life Well Lived

What happened to The American Dream?
Why does it feel like a rich man’s scheme?
Work hard. Buy a house. Carve out your piece.
You were the cog. I was cheap grease.
Meet a girl in college. Get married. Have kids.
We built a better product while he made bets and bids.
Wasn’t that the human condition, what every red-blooded American did?

Today’s Simple Task

End with hope and forward momentum.

Warm-up Exercise

Set your timer for 10 minutes. Where is your character’s safe space. What specifically makes him or her feel safe in this space.

Recommended Word Crawl

Git ‘Er Done Crawl

Happy Reading and Writing!

#NaNoWriMo Day 16: An Ordeal for Secondary Characters

 

Day 16
Word count: 31,256 words
Word count goal: 32,000 words
Mapping the Hero’s Journey: Ordeal
Save The Cat: Bad Guys Close In

#vss very short story

A master of circular logic, Ben was sure he could cure a broken heart. It included a revenge fantasy and never falling in love again, but Alice was so nice; she never got mad at his attempts to hurt her and over time, she only got more beautiful. Soon, he knew, she would break his heart.

Plotting with Tarot

Today’s scene is part of a sub-plot. I decided to do a reading of The Ordeal between two secondary characters. As you can see, it’s going to be one hell of a scene. 🙂

Anderssons Ordeal

The Ordeal: The Devil- bondage, the key to your freedom is in your own hands

The lowest point for secondary character: Seven Swords- futility, hopelessness

The thing your secondary character will lose or thinks he loses during the ordeal: Magician upside-down-  a lack of confidence or perhaps too much, under-skilled or inadequate in this situation, lacking the right tools and a workable plan to make it a success.

My interpretation: This reading couldn’t be more literal. My scene for today includes a man being tied up and questioned, most likely tortured. Thus, at his lowest point he will give in to the futility and hopelessness of his situation. He got himself into this mess by boasting and laying false claim, so his lesson learned is to stop taking credit for things that have nothing to do with him. He finally sees consequences for his actions.

Ask Your Character

from Writing for Self Discovery: A Personal Approach to Creative Writing by Myra Schneider and John Killick

  • Do you have particular expectations from relationships?
  • Do you feel the need for intimacy with a lot of people or only a few?
  • Do you enjoy spending periods of time on your own?

Word Of The Day

importune: v. to plead or beg for persistently

8 Action Verbs:

anticipated          cleared          counseled           examined

increased            monitored          rendered            structured

Poem prompt

The PAD (poem-a-day) Chapbook Challenge from Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides on Writer’s Digest. As the Chapbook manuscript requested for the challenge only includes 10-20 poems, it’s not too late to join in.

I like the prompt from yesterday:  take the phrase “Stranger (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Stranger Danger,” “Stranger Than Fiction,” or “Stranger Things.”

Stranger Inside

Such negative thoughts in my head
Make me not want to get out of bed.
Years of “No”s and “You can’t”s created a stranger inside.

A battle of wills for free will.
The hateful words spin like a drill,
A display of the strength of the stranger inside.

I don’t recognize that voice.
I would not have made that choice.
Sometimes I lose to the stranger inside.

I didn’t open that door.
Why is the stereo in the middle of the floor?
Wouldn’t I hear a stranger inside?

Why come at me with such rage?
The child didn’t unlock my cage.
You should have listened to the stranger inside.

Awesome Sentence Challenge

Inspired by Crafting Dynamic Dialogue: The Complete Guide to Speaking, Conversing, Arguing, and Thinking in Fiction (Creative Writing Essentials) by The editors of writer’s digest.

Create a dialogue exchange in which information is being revealed. Try adding an interruption to the scene so the most important information is delayed, perhaps even to another scene.

Today’s Simple Task

Sudden attack by antagonist!

Warm-up Exercise

Have your MC write his or her obituary. Then let him or her plan the funeral and memorial service.

Recommended Word Crawl

Secret Agent Word Crawl

Extra Challenge

This writing prompt came in the PNWA Newsletter. I’m going to try it, so I thought I would share.

 Setting through your character’s perspective
Consider the room you’re sitting in right now. Take 5 minutes to describe that room from the point of view of someone who is blissfully happy. Now, take another 5 minutes and describe the room from the point of view of someone who is frustrated and angry. Notice how the descriptions are different?
Now, think of a setting in your book. How does your character feel while they’re there? Nervous? Relaxed? In a hurry? Take 10 minutes to describe that setting from the perspective of your character, taking into account their emotional state.

And Don’t Forget To Readlunatics book cover

I finished Lunatics by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel. It was a zany adventure and a fun read. Two anti-heroes are thrown into one strange situation after another, leading to a series of international incidents and ending at the republican national convention as guests of Donald Trump, at the time, not a nominee. The book came out in 2012, so prescient? Possibly.

Happy Reading and Writing!