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Poetry Month 2019

Posted by on 05 Apr 2019 | Tagged as: NaNoWriMo, NaPoWriMo, poetry, Poetry Month

I was on vacation, then under the weather since the first. So, my first post this month will have [drumroll] FIVE poems!

This year, I have chosen to use the prompts from NaPoWriMo. You can also sign up to participate!

April 1: How to own a pet (or a child)  Inspired by How to Make a Crab Cake by January Gill O’Neil

Start with an open space in your heart,

a small, warm corner of your being

where you can add another life.

Into this pour your hopes and dreams

your gladness and plenty,

embracing lack of solitude and increasing effort.

Every morning, every noon, every night

rise and attend to the needs of another

receiving only affection in return

April 2: Life’s Lingering Lessons Inspired by The Meadow, The River by Claire Wahmanholm

We needed to know everything, / before we were done

We asked questions daily / walking through the garden/ walking to school

We listened intently or watched closer still / waiting for wisdom or insight

For every new task mastered / and every thought acquired / loomed still more

Does education end?

When do we know enough?

April 3: Angled Time Created after reading Pivot Points by Larry Levis

The languid, brightening shadows awaken to calls of birds / and other residents

Trees huddle together, sheltering wildflowers and giving strength to each other / the slow shuffle of the day getting started


The arc carved in the globe / tracing the path never more than twice a year / the waning and waxing and waning of seasons

Did you ever wonder about the observers?

Those who tread the same paths, think the same thoughts, but removed – by days, weeks, months… millennia

What did they think as they hunted or farmed or gathered or rested in the heat of the noon-day fires?

Diagonal lines moving from one side to another, growing in the middle, shrinking at the ends, never stopping

Until the last glittering rays punctuate the clouds, inviting the stars to play.

April 4: Sorrow’s Song after reading Son by Craig Morgan Teicher This is actually in sonnet form, with the first rhyming pattern in the middle of each line instead of creating four lines with alternating text.

A small brown animal walked here among the worried orchard trees

Bigger than a rabbit but smaller than a deer – it knelt a moment on its knees

Then getting up it stretched and paused to watch the leaves against the sky

Who knows what it really thought or saw as it pondered the great why

Running now from or to – it passed the moment of safety, of escape

Without thought by now it drew back against the ghastly shape

Of the last lingering breath and faced its death.

April 5: Sleeping Dogs after reading Diaspora: A Narcolepsy Hymn by Kyle Dargan This one is in the form of a villanelle, one I haven’t worked with before. I like the repetition and the rhythm this form sets up.

Before you approach

Know that sleeping dogs do not lie

they are always waiting.

In the morning they want for nothing

but a walk and a treat

before you approach.

Throughout the day

they nap and wake and watch

they are always waiting.

When you return or arrive

No matter how long ago you left, say their name

before you approach.

And be ready to play

before you sleep or rest or recline

they are always waiting.

A pat or a hug or a treat reassures them

That you haven’t forgotten them, just remember

before you approach:

They are always waiting.

November Notes

Posted by on 05 Nov 2012 | Tagged as: children, citizenship, Gardens and Life, good things, NaNoWriMo, poverty, social justice, teaching, Uncategorized

I don’t have a lot of energy to write at the moment. I taught six consecutive school days in a high school classroom, which was a lot of fun, but tiring. Different type of environment, and I spent a lot of energy helping the kids stay on task. And then, of course, I caught the virus they were sharing… and spent the weekend feeling pretty miserable. Better enough last night to get to Grant’s first SOGO concert of the year, and enjoyed myself.

Feeling good enough to get a start on the NaNo novel, not a good start, I had to spend a rather large chunk of writing and time wandering around before a good story began to gel. But now I am thinking it isn’t really meeting my need as an author. Second-guessing! Not a good trait…

What follows becomes a bit political in tone, fair warning that I am not advocating for any party or person, just expressing my concerns that people who could vote, don’t!

Continue Reading »

Not happening. Or maybe it will.

Posted by on 12 Nov 2011 | Tagged as: Family Matters, garden, Gardens and Life, musings, NaNoWriMo, parenting, Uncategorized

NaNoWriMo has not been working out for me. I have been distracted by real life, and real life has not been a lot of fun. SO…. halfway through the month I will try to get more written, but it’s not looking hopeful. Meantime, I was prompted to write a short intro for a teaching website, and this is what I wrote:

I became a certified teacher after my own children were almost grown and gone. I have loved working with learners all my life, from the time I helped in a reading group at a library when I was ten, through high school and college when I tutored my peers, to homeschooling and volunteering in classrooms when I became a parent. My certifications include Elementary Education, Middle School Humanities (social studies and language arts grades 4-9), and Reading (all grades). In addition, I am fascinated by science and mathematics, and devour new information in those areas. I love learning! I have a large yard with a garden (fruit trees, flowers and fabulous veggies), a family that includes my spouse of over 20 years, two children, and a dog.


Posted by on 31 Oct 2011 | Tagged as: NaNoWriMo, Uncategorized

I am going to try for a novel again this year. I have managed to miss the last couple of years — last year I think I got all the way up to 700 words (unofficially)!

I have a working title of “The Seventh Billion” — we’ll see where the writing takes me. The last time I finished a novel (several years ago) the theme was post-apocalyptic, having to do with climate change.

I think out my dark thoughts in writing. Or my worried thoughts. Topical or timely, or … ?

NaNoWriMo Begins

Posted by on 01 Nov 2008 | Tagged as: NaNoWriMo, Uncategorized, words, writing

I didn’t stay up until Midnight, I sat down at 10 pm after spending the day getting ready for and visiting with a classmate of mine. We held our annual All Hallow’s feast and enjoyed several hours just hanging out and enjoying talking.

So I just finished my first set of words… 481. Not bad for about 30 minutes’ work. Now I am going to do a little bit of research, and then to bed. I am going to try to put up a widget on the “cool things” page so you can track my progress.

Time change for most people in the United States tonight. It will feel like getting an extra hour’s sleep without sleeping in.

November’s “Spare Time” Project (yeah, right)

Posted by on 18 Oct 2008 | Tagged as: Interesting Websites, NaNoWriMo, Uncategorized, wordplay, words, writing

I will participate in National Novel Writing Month again this year, but I doubt I will get the 50,000 word limit this time.

That’s okay, I haven’t been writing much the last few months because of school, and it would be a good challenge to work toward. I suppose I will have most of the last week of November without classes. Let’s see… 50,000 words over 7 days in the last week + four weekends (8 days) = about 3400 words per writing day! A piece of cake, right?

Anyway, here is the pretty large icon that links to NaNoWriMo for this year!

NaNoWriMo Participant Badge

NaNoWriMo Participant Badge


Posted by on 28 Nov 2007 | Tagged as: fun, good things, NaNoWriMo, Uncategorized, writing

It is with a whole lot of pride, and not inconsiderable relief… that I announce I did it! I have completed the NaNoWriMo challenge.

I wrote over 50,000 words (official count 50, 210) between Nov 1 and Nov 30. I finished today (Nov 28). I did NOT write anything at all on six days, so I really wrote all of that in only 22 days. No wonder I feel tired!

Finishing early seems impressive, but I readily admit that this particular story of mine is not likely to ever be read by another human being. Why?

Because I was really focused on writing volume, not making sure it all hangs together. There are many errors — factual as well as places where things just don’t quite gel — where the ideas are weak, the characters just won’t behave or the story is completely unbelievable.

I think I managed to come up with some good expressions, some nice sentences and constructions. There were some interesting plot twists, some ideas that are useful… so perhaps I will recycle this one at a later date, using the good bits and dumping the not-yet-ready-for-B-movie bits…

I liked these quotes particularly, written early on, before I was desperate to just get words down on the paper:

I moved to sit near him and handed him his piece of chocolate, holding mine out too. He looked at his, then took it quietly and nibbled. I looked at the piece left in my hand; in the other days I would have rejected chocolate like this: stale and ghosted from its time on the shelf. Not today. Today I worshiped the chocolate, studying it like a piece of art, resisting the moment I put it in my mouth. I turned it over, looking at the HER- embossed on it, the last remnant of civilization, the last sweet confection I would have.

Mom came racing into the room drunkenly and grabbed me as she lunged for the doorway. We held on together, while the books on the shelves inched closer to the edge and the plants in the house waved their branches like some sort of cheerleaders. Mom’s face was white, and her eyes were very big, and she sheltered me in her arms.

Tomorrow, I return to the BabbleStory that is both fun to write and fun to read. See you there!

First Chapter Complete!

Posted by on 01 Nov 2007 | Tagged as: fun, good things, NaNoWriMo, Uncategorized, words, writing

I signed up officially for NaNoWriMo this morning at 11 — and here it is 1:15 and I have written MORE than 1500 words! Which is good, because I realized that I need to write an average of about 1700 words (not the 1500 I had anticipated) to meet the 50,000 word goal.

Gee, that’s a lot of zeros!

Anyway, my User Page at NaNoWriMo is up, though I still have to figure out how to change things on it and add the words I have written…

Their site has been really slow today though, so if you don’t get there, you might want to wait until the internet is less crowded…