Monday, July 21, 2014

Poetry News

I was recently interviewed by Margaret Fieland about Chiaroscuro and writing. She asked some great questions about the process behind compiling and publishing Chiaroscuro, as well as how I balance fantasy and poetry. Go leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of my book.

The Poetic Muselings are having a summer poetry challenge. We challenged each other to see who could write (and post) the most new poems between July 15 and Sept 1. Come join in the fun.

Today I wrote my first poem for the challenge. (I am behind!) Since my son was sitting nearby, I asked him for a topic. He chose dinosaurs, as that’s our theme for this week. We’ve picked out themes for each week of summer, to help with activity ideas. So, in honor of dinosaur week and my son, I wrote the following poem. This poem/song also got us up and moving to do the Stego Stomp. So I’d call it a success: a new poem, collaboration with my son, and exercise! Stomp along.

Stego Stomp

Come into the stomping ground
Best party to be found

DJ Rex will never fail
Every dino shake your tail

Through the valley we will romp
Time for the Stego Stomp

Clap your plates to the beat
Move all four of your feet

Stomp left, then stomp right
Jump up with all your might

Nose to the ground, tail in the air,
Wave that thing like you don't care

Spin around, then grab a snack
(Making sure to watch your back)

Blast out a mighty roar
You are a dinosaur!

As a bonus for you, I took a picture of part of my rough draft notes and doodles. When I mentioned DJ Rex, my son pointed out that due to his short arms a t-rex would spin with his nose.

Stego Stomp draft

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Poem and a Prompt

Whether just starting as a poet, or well-experienced, you can learn by imitation. Choose a poem by another poet, classic or modern, and write a poem in the same style. There's a few ways you could approach this:

  • Write a poem as a direct response to the subject.
  • Write your own poem inspired by the topic.
  • Follow the poetry form only.

Here's an example of one of my early poems. I personalized Emily Dickinson's "This is My Letter to the World." I kept it in a similar style, and thought: What would I say to the world?

vintage photoalbum pages with butterfly

My Letter to the World

What do I have to say to the world
That all but deserted me?
Would anyone listen to a single soul
Through the unheard art of poetry?

Although surrounded by others,
Wanting my voice to be heard,
I’m often isolated
For no one will hear my words.

Can I make a difference in someone’s life,
As others did in mine?
Will anyone read the simple words
That I wrote in my spare time?

I may be a shy, quiet person
But I have a message of my own;
Won’t someone come and discover
The soul within my poems.

The message of my poem remains true today. I want my voice, my poems, to be heard. Which is why I am giving away a free copy of my new poetry book, Chiaroscuro. One week left to enter. Go here to the blog post with the Rafflecopter giveaway.

I'd love it if you shared your own poem based on the prompt.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Chiaroscuro Book Give-a-Way!

This is your chance to win a copy of Chiaroscuro.



CHIAROSCURO is a poetry book about the contrast and balance between light and dark. It’s a journey through a crumbling world that leaves a gritty taste. It shines light on the edge of awareness where dark magic wars with childish innocence.

These poems range from internal conflict to worldwide war to creatures of myth, but all follow the themes of finding havens of light in dark days, persisting despite the odds. The light is only brighter for the darkness that surrounds it. 

Winner will receive a PDF copy of Chiaroscuro. This is my first Rafflecopter giveaway. If it goes well, I'll do another! Enter below. Ask if you have any questions.

If you happen to already have a copy (thank you!), you can still enter and gift it to a friend. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, May 5, 2014

It’s a Brand New May

April is over. I challenged myself to write one new poem a day, and 26 blog posts for the AtoZ challenge. I’m happy to say that now only did I succeed, I blew it out of the water. This was my most successful poetry month. Last year I had the same poetry goal. My numbers:

Blog posts: 26

poems written: 41 (last year 19)

words of poetry written: 2512 (last year 1332)

What would I do different?

I didn’t spend much time visiting other bloggers doing the A to Z challenge. Next year I’ll interact more. I did find a few new blogs to follow, and hopefully got a few friends in return.

My own favorite posts:

C is for Chiaroscuro
F is for Fairies and Fudge
I is for Imagination
Q is for Quotes
R is for Rain
U is for Unique

Fellow bloggers who participated:

Sylvia Van Bruggen: Writer, Artist, Play Instigator
Writing Off the Edge
Untethered Realms
Writing in Wonderland

Thank you to everyone who visited, left comments, and gave support. I couldn’t have done this on my own.

Now What?

My goal is to transfer that productivity to my fiction. I’m going to keep it quite doable this month, and match my poetry. So 2500 words added to my novels.

As for blogging, I’m going to blog once a week, with updates on my poetry and fiction, as well as life in general. I hope you stay with me.

April was also a great month, as my first ever poetry book was published April 23. Chiaroscuro is available directly from SynergEbooks, and on Amazon.com and B&N.com.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z is for Zero Hour

As today is the last of the A to Z challenge, and also the final day of poetry month, I wrote a poem about an ending. But this isn't "The End". Expect me back here blogging about once a week. It won't be all poetry all the time. I'll expand back to include other topics such as fantasy, books, and life. I hope you've enjoyed this month's journey. I'll do a recap next week.

Fate

Five doomed us—
A council of greed
turned to the dark arts
in their attempts to cheat death,
but only gods can grant immortality.

Foresight could have saved us…
the oracle's visions
blinded by gold,
she bought a ship
and left us to our fates.

Thrice the waves came,
each more deadly than the last…
slammed through walls,
flooded streets,
pushed us to the heart of our island.

Too little, too late,
a sacrifice was chosen
to appease the scorned gods:
I was merely a child
thrown into volcano's maw

One last desperate prayer,
I cried out in terror
as I fell to certain doom:
this wasn't my fault,
wasn't my fate!

Zero hour had come…
Hades embraced me,
blessed my sacrifice;
I arose a phoenix,
reborn as Atlantis crumbled.
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Phoenix Press
Phoenix Press (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y is for Youth

The child has a special gift, seeing the world with different eyes. Too many of us grow up and stop believing.



The Child's Gift

Mama,
can you smell?
my teddy bathed in wildflowers

Mama,
can you feel?
this rock has a heartbeat

Mama,
can you hear?
the flap of dragonwings

Mama,
can you see?
the fairy sitting in the tree

Mama,
can you taste?
there's magic in my lemonade

Mama,
did you know?
an angel watches over me

Monday, April 28, 2014

X is for eXtras

In Scott Westerfeld's Extras, each person has their own news feed. But with so many feeds, not everyone will get noticed. Even in today's world, anyone can have a blog, a Facebook page. It can be easy to feel lost in the crowd, unnoticed, merely an extra. Even before blogs, when I was first writing poetry in high school and trying to get published, I penned this poem about wanting to be heard:

My Letter to the World

What do I have to say to the world
That all but deserted me?
Would anyone listen to a single soul
Through the unheard art of poetry?

Although surrounded by others,
Wanting my voice to be heard,
I’m often isolated
For no one will hear my words.

Can I make a difference in someone’s life,
As others did in mine?
Will anyone read the simple words
That I wrote in my spare time?

I may be a shy, quiet person
But I have a message of my own;
Won’t someone come and discover
The soul within my poems.

Once I had the word Extra stuck in my head while planning this post, there's one other thing that kept coming to mind. "Extra! Extra! Read all about it." More news trying to get attention, the newsies selling their papers on the streets. So here's my new poem on topic:

Extra Extra!

sellin' news
on the streets
tryin' to stand out in the crowd
to be heard o'er the noise

weighin' the need for food,
a roof overhead,
against standin' up
for what's right

just one boy, one voice,
the big man won't hear,
but one becomes legion--
united we change the world

If you haven't seen it, the movie Newsies follows these boys, in their struggle to stand up to the presses. And since Newsies is a musical, I simply must include a song.



P.S. If you haven't yet read Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series, check it out. Awesome YA dystopian series. My husband and I bought the whole set after being unable to put down the sample chapters. So compelling.


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