Happy May! A recap of my April adventures and what’s next

galluping purple flowersI want to start by saying thank you to all of the organizers of NaPoWriMo and A to Z Challenge and the poets of dVerse. And the poets that included my poems in their lists, especially David Ellis at Too Full To Write.

I also want to thank everyone who read my poems and left such lovely comments. Everyone was encouraging and made me feel my efforts are worthwhile.

This was a long month for me  with some very high points and some low points.Signed by Anne Lamott

The high points were: my birthday evening seeing Anne Lamott at Benroya Hall; scrolling up some of my poems for Poem in your pocket day and having them on the counter at A Good Book Bookstore; and, of course, completing the challenges while learning so many interesting new words and facts.

The low points all had to do with short story rejections, but I think my very negative feelings had to do with a bout of the flu, so actually, the low points should have been seen as high points, as in, “I have new stories to shop around.”

This month hit some milestones for Experience Writing:

♦ Most views ever: April 30
♦ Most likes ever: April 16

Thank you for the comments, likes and follows!

Now to the recap.

NaPoWriMo

I found all of the different prompts inspiring. I learned so much from the resources and examples, the great interviews and unique ways to approach the page. This was a great experience and I’m glad I did it. To my readers who didn’t participate this year, I recommend giving it a try next year. And you can dive in sooner with OctPoWriMo this fall.

My favorite prompt: I think the haibun prompt was my favorite. First, because I had never heard of haibuns before. Second, it adds another element to haiku that I really enjoy, and third, because it opened up participation in dVerse’s Haibun Monday. I wrote three haibuns during the month:Contemplating the Other

Summer Comes Too Soon

The Lingering, Long Spring Day

Self and Setting

My favorite poems I wrote:

Why Stand By? This poem, inspired by a forensic psychology course I’m taking online, really seemed to resonate with readers and spur discussion.

Contemplating The Other This poem, inspired by the Polish poems from Here by Wislawa Szymborska, is one of my favorites and my sister liked it and wants a copy for my nephew’s baby book which makes me very happy.

Then I think it’s a tie between the poems I did the most factual research for :

An Apple Is An Apple – noosphere

The Next Pasquinade – Pasquino

Flawed Reflection – Pulitzer winner Frank Bidart

The Reliquary for the Miraculous -Saint Sidonius

I really enjoy learning new and interesting things.

A to Z Challenge

I think doing the A to Z Challenge as part of my NaPoWriMo experience was a great idea. As I learned last fall, I like to use multiple prompts to enhance my creative efforts, and the word of the day often lead to more interesting poetry challenges.

My favorite words were: xanthic (xanthodont), wayzgoose, wazzock, and atresia. All of them really.

Flash! cover

Reading

Favorite poetry books: Here by Wislawa Szymborska

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Favorite writing book: FLASH!: Writing the Very Short Story by John Dufresne

May Plans

So what comes next? It’s time to turn my attention back to my novel. I have scenes to draft and then another full edit. While I work, I will hopefully find inspiration from:

Between the Lines: Master the Subtle Elements of Fiction Writing by Jessica Page Morrell

Writing 21st Century Fiction: High Impact Techniques for Exceptional Storytelling by Donald Maass

The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing by Evan Marshall

How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method (Advanced Fiction Writing) (Volume 1) by Randy Ingermanson

I also have a great stack of fiction and poetry to inspire me as well.

monster dancer

I’m hoping to continue to blog three posts weekly:

  1. a writing and editing post
  2. a poem
  3. a book review

Site stats tell me that my most popular day and time is Thursday at 1pm. What would you like to read most on a Thursday at 1pm: a poem, some insight on the craft of writing, or a book review?

Or is there something else you would like me to share this May?

I have decided that the photography focus for the next Gator McBumpypants picture book will be using filters. I’ll be studying an old KODAK Workshop Series book called Using Filters, so you may see some odd photos to illustrate my posts.

If you have a poem, a micro-story, a book review, or a guest-post you would like to share on Experience Writing let me know in the comments or head over to MBer Creations and write to me on the Contact page.

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

Here’s to an abundant and prolific May.

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Z is for Zenography

zenography: noun – the study of the planet Jupiter

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt  was to write a poem that engages with a strange and fascinating fact. It says to take a cue from Borges. I tried to read Ficciones as part of Summer Reading Bingo last Summer, but had trouble getting into the stories. Maybe I’ll try again this Summer.

jupiter_giantredeye1-580x385

Image of Jupiter’s Giant Red Spot, taken on March 5th, 1979. Credit: NASA GSFC/NASA/JPL

 

The Reliquary for the Miraculous

Admiring your reliquary,
a hand in pose to bless,

I imagine the virgin hovering;
A congestion of moons encircling
the widened waist, if any more
dense, would grow smaller

I expect your holy death, your martyrdom
severe and righteous, but my work
becomes zenography; observing the untouchable;
coming to conclusions from afar

Your works are panegyrics to emperors
documentation of political events
You married the daughter of an emperor
and through sycophantic acclamations
rose in wealth and rank

Admiring your reliquary, I ponder
the moment a person recognizes her true nature
Its riveted repairs testify to eternal renewal
A hollow shell in saintly repose

 

This poem was inspired by:

Just Looking: Essays on Art by John Updike

Borges lectures from openculture.com

40 interesting Jupiter facts from factslegend.org

Saint Sidonius from Wikipedia

Want to read more? You may want to take a look at:

The Secrets of Jupiter (Planets) by Thomas K. Adamson

The Letters of Sidonius: [Oxford Library Of Translations]; Volume 2

The Trophies of the Martyrs: An Art Historical Study of Early Christian Silver Reliquaries (Oxford Studies in Byzantium) by Galit Noga-Banai

Happy Reading and Writing!

Extra W is for Wazzock

wazzock: noun (mildly pejorative, slang) – a stupid or annoying person (Britain, originally Northern England).

Today is not one of the days of the A to Z Challenge, but I finished Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman last night and the word “wazzock” used thusly, “Course I haven’t been drinking, you great wazzock. You can see the fish, can’t you?” inspired me to add it to my vocabulary and share it with you in hopes that its usage will spread throughout the world.

My feet in my inflatable kayak and an interesting stump in the lake

 
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to find inspiration from the Sylvia Plath Poetry Project. I think I can see her calling philandering Ted Hughes a wazzock, but it could prove a challenge to fit into poetry.  The poem I chose as inspiration was Crossing the Water.

 
A Disturbed Crossing

His screech cleaves the oyster sky
The all seeing eye perches above
Carefully observing in anticipation of brunch

Ghosts musing on the surface
Are broken by the leap of a hungry bass
Echoing the circular chase of life

They tempt us to follow them
Further from assured asylum
Ever morphing into more frightening forms

The wazzock roars through
A shirtless xanthodont of excess
Leaving a shimmering, swirling rainbow trail

Riding the slowing saccade
You wipe the spray from your face
I take an oar and pull to turn the world

 

Want to read more Sylvia Plath? You may want to check out:

The Collected Poems

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar (Modern Classics)

Crossing the Water

Happy Reading and Writing!

Y is for Yawping

yawping: noun – a strident utterance. strident: adjective – characterized by harsh, insistent, and discordant sound.

urban dictionary: verb – the act of bellowing at someone down the street, especially from a window.

yawp/yaup: verb – to make a raucous noise 2. clamor, complain: noun – yawper

yawp: noun – a raucous noise 2. something resembling a raucous noise like rough vigorous language

 

Cascade du Château

She turns back toward the rushing water and takes a step forward, letting its yawping fill her senses. The chorus falling, rushing and crashing out the many crises she would soon face and would also leave behind. She lets her worries of how little Aileen acquires trinkets and Liza’s new imaginary friend makes her cause mischief mingle with the water and drown in the pool. Her husband’s yawping from their window now falls on deaf ears, but she feels the grit of his complaints like gravel spitting on her back. She takes one last look at the pure azure sky mingling with the rose of the horizon and takes Liza’s hand. Vacation ends, as does the Summer, with the turning of the leaves.

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

X is for Xanthic

xanthic: adjective – of, relating to, or tending toward a yellow color

happy yellows

This is a fun word because it is part of a group of words having to do with yellow:

xanthocarpous: adj. – having yellow fruit

xanthochroia: noun – yellowness of the skin

xanthochroic: adj. – having yellow skin

xanthocomic: adj. – yellow-haired

xanthocyanopsy: noun – form of color-blindness in which only blue and yellow can be distinguished

xanthoderm: noun – yellow-skinned person

xanthodont: noun – one with yellow teeth

xanthoma: noun – disease characterized by yellow patches on the skin

xanthophyll: noun – substance causing yellow colour of autumn leaves

xanthopsia: noun – a visual condition where things appear yellow

xanthospermous: adj. – having yellow seeds

xanthous: adj. – yellow or red-haired

Queen of Swords

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem in response to a Tarot card. If you’ve been following Experience Writing for a while, you may have seen that I created my first Tarot deck last fall and worked through the book Mapping the Hero’s Journey With Tarot: 33 Days To Finish Your Book by Arwen Lynch. I learned a lot and talked about my process and experiences throughout my November posts.

My card for today is the Queen of Swords. Over at Tarot.com you can see the Queen of Swords image from many different tarot decks.

 

Butterfly Kisses

Cloudless sulphur clouds
Gathering along the horizon

Her xanthic monarch crown
Flutters and shifts to mimic her acumen

The painted lady raises her razor-sharp,
Double-edged sword to the sky

And in genuine faith
Metes her wisdom

Beware the cabbage white
Its young will eat your food

And the swallowtail’s caterpillar
May show you its repugnatorial organ

 

Are you interested in learning about using Tarot symbolism to inspire your creativity? You may want to read:
Mapping the Hero’s Journey With Tarot: 33 Days To Finish Your Book by Arwen Lynch

The Creative Tarot: A Modern Guide to an Inspired Life by Jessa Crispin

Mary K. Greer’s 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card

Happy Reading and Writing!

W is for Wayzgoose

wayzgoose: noun – a feast or party thrown annually by a printing house.

Tacoma Wayzgoose April 28th and 29th

Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day!

I scrolled up some of my poems that I wrote this month and took them down to A Good Book bookstore in Sumner. They put them right by the register, so people can take one of my poems for their pocket.

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt challenges to include all the senses in one poem.

 

At The Wayzgoose

The gray linoleum block
turns my stomach
The memory of the chisel’s
crescent blade slipping
violently into my finger
The ruby blood flowing

How did I come back
To the negative space
To relieve the note on
Its staff
I remember rolling the ink
Pressing it to the thick, fibrous page

The Imperial blue smell of grape
popsicles and rubbing
alcohol heated in the sun
Joined in surprise by
odorless shocking orange
and chocolate brown

The engine roars to life
A tuft of black smoke
Diesel flavored breeze
Then the monster rolls
Slowly, carefully over the page
A masterpiece of patience
I did not have

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

V is for Vespertilian

vespertilian: adjective – of, relating to , or resembling a bat

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a warning label–for myself. So far, my mind keeps going places that are embarrassing. Hopefully, my word of the day will sort this out. I also already have a personal warning label above by office door to guide me through this poem.

 

Be Forewarned: Expect Vespertilian Behavior

Warning: Do not step, stand or sit on this surface. She is slippery
Even when not wet
Her thoughts, hanging overhead,
may swoop down at any moment

Caution: Hot surface; do not touch;
Extremely flammable
An Aries who flies in the night
emitting rapid clicks of sound

Danger: risk of serious damage
when used inappropriately. Carrier_Airborne_Early_Warning_Squadron_12_(US_Navy)_patch_1967
She doesn’t come with instructions
though you wouldn’t read them anyway.
She can be confused by your sounds and mistakenly
smack right into you

Advisory: Not suitable for anyone of any age.
Nothing about this human is safe or
predictable. Do not use; Do not eat; and
Keep out of reach of children
They are sticky sweet as fruit.

 

I got my bat info and inspiration from Visual Dictionary : Animals (August 2008). I use this reference a lot for design, and have also been using it as a reference for my short story about ornithologists. Here’s an older one that’s less expensive Visual Dictionary of Animals.

If you’re interested in bats, you may also want to check out:

The Secret Lives of Bats: My Adventures with the World’s Most Misunderstood Mammals by Merlin Tuttle

Bats of the United States and Canada from John Hopkins University Press

Happy Reading and Writing!

U is for Uliginous

uliginous: adjective – growing in wet or swampy ground; slimy, swampy, waterlogged

DSC06595

Uliginous Elegy

The words fall upon
the page like tears

they smear bleeding
ink to uneven edges

The uliginous page
mourns the reader

Desperate for good news
that will not come

T is for Threnody and Taradiddle and Tantara

threnody: noun – a lament sung for the dead.

taradiddle: noun – pretentious nonsense

tantara: noun the blare of a trumpet or horn

taradiddle

Dad, WHY

Extra Q is for Quiescent

quiescent: adjective – 1. marked by inactivity or repose: tranquilly at rest; dormancy 2. causing no trouble or symptoms (as in gallstones).

Today is not a letter day for the A to Z Challenge (tomorrow is T). I added an extra Q because I just finished reading Requiem, Mass.: A Novel by John Dufresne, and on the very last page of the book he wrote, “When I think of that drive, I see the chromium Quark as if from above, see it picking up speed as I shift the engine into quiescent mode, and we drive on deep, deep into our shiny futures.” There is a lot about that book that stood out and will probably stick with me, but right now I’m pretty focused on; why did he choose that word? What part of the shift is quiescent mode? Is the car like a gallstone, or somehow moving while in idle?

Rising in the West

Rising In The West

Emerging to a collective gasp
Surrounded by a held breath
Frisson holds me in awkward stasis
Each saccade assiduous and susurrus
Eldritch shadows creep across the lawn
An augur of a world off its axis

I ponder this celestial whim
A quondam certainty of Eastern rise
The halcyon yesterdays when the tall firs
Blocked the blinding glare

Now a day is but a panoply of daylight
Scattered to disarray
My view a palimpsest shocked
By hypotyposis

Do not importune the sun
To mend its path to comfort
Do not offer opprobrium
To shame a ball of fire to your convenience
But observe quiescent each degree of light
And embrace the elysian mystery

 

Continuing with the NaPoWriMo theme of facing the impossible you may want to look at:

Poetry & Translation: The Art of the Impossible (Liverpool University Press – Poetry and . . .) by Peter Robinson

Impossible Individuality: Romanticism, Revolution, and the Origins of Modern Selfhood, 1787-1802 by Gerald N. Izenberg

Happy Reading and Writing!