Virtual Blog Tour Stop Over

The tour requests to Land

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The virtual blog tour has a layover at Writing on the Sun today.

I was invited by Michelle Pond, my pal poet from MA Poet (FocusinI Keep You With Meg on life with a lens and a verse.) Michelle is in my writing group, Wordsmith Studio.

What I appreciate about her poetry is that she is not afraid to delve into difficult subjects.

Her chapbook, I Keep You With Me, attests to her skill at writing about grief.

Click to purchase her chapbook for .99 on your Kindle or Kindle for PC. You’ll understand what I mean.

 

Welcome to Writing on the Sun

The tour is simple. It is really just a series of three questions that I answer and then I send the tour on its way.

1. Why do I write what I do?

Easy Peasy.

As it pertains to this blog, poetry is how I connect, explore, and sort life.

Also, I think in verse. Which sometimes makes it hard to write in sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. But, that won’t stop me from . . .  (see #3b.)

2. How does my writing process work?

Depends.

If I’m creating plot, characterization, or “what ifs,” I  play inside that sand box in the mornings and in the wee hours of the night.

If I’m editing, that waits until the afternoon.

If I’m doing something visual, (see answer #3c) that’s a evening/night thing.

However, interspersed between creative spurts, I dabble in my research to reset my brain. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway. Truthfully, research is my Achilles heal in that I grab both achilles heals and disappear in that rabbit hole faster than a March Hare.

A right and left brain phenomenon? I don’t know. It just works that way with me.

Got it?

No?

Neither do I. Sometimes the order flip flops. With no warning. It’s quite unnerving to wake up with my face in (see #3c) and go to sleep with my brain in 3b mode, which aggravates my insomniac sleeping patterns.

3. What am I working on?

a. I began a new blog awhile back. The Slow Forget. I pass on info about Dementia and then sometimes I write a poem about my mom’s journey in that neverland of memory. I’m interested in utilizing Nina Amir’s method of Blogging a Book. But, not sure how to approach it yet.

b. I’m tidying up my first novel. It is still to be determined if it ever sees the light of day. Beta reader is reading. (I think) I’m toying with the synopsis still but with trepidation cuz if Beta says story stinks, then I need a total revamp of story and synopsis, which is almost as difficult to write as story itself. Then I need to decide if money is important because I may need to hire an editor. But, already, the new WIP has some traction. This time I’m going to use Scrivener to write it so I’m watching the How-to videos to learn.

c. I’m taking a more serious interest in Visual Poetry. Actually, it’s something I’ve toyed with for a long time but just now am roaming the literary journals to begin submitting some of the my work. If I get bit by the brave bug, I’ll post some here.

d.The other thing I do is read. And read. And read. I decided I read so much that I became a professional reader on NetGalley, which really means I am privileged to read advanced copies of books and write reviews. For fun.

Tickets! please take my tickets!

I’m offering free tickets to the blog tour to the following writers, who are also members of Wordsmith Studio. Please stop over at their place for some tea and pleasant reading.

Gerry Wilson

Gerry W

Gerry Wilson is a fiction writer, wife, mother of four sons, grandmother seven times over (four boys and three girls), and step-grandmom to three more boys, including a set of fraternal twins.

A life-long Mississippian, Gerry’s work is sometimes “Southern,” but not always. Her short fiction has appeared in Prime Number Magazine Volumes 19 and 37, Prime Number Editors’ Choice Anthology 2012, Good Housekeeping Magazine, and a number of other journals and magazines. The opening chapter of a novel, Spirit Lamp, won a “best of” award in Jane Hamilton’s fiction workshop at Eckerd College’s Writers in Paradise (2011). Besides Ms. Hamilton, Gerry has studied fiction writing with Antonya Nelson, Ann Hood, Connie May Fowler, Dorothy Allison, and Ron Hansen. She’s currently querying her second novel, working on a third, and polishing up a short story collection.

Gerry and her husband live in Jackson, Mississippi, with their neurotic Siamese cat, Oliver.

To learn more about her, visit The Writerly Life and her writer’s page on Facebook. Her Twitter handle is @gerrywil.

Elissa Field

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Elissa Field lives in Florida where she where she balances her time as a busy writer, teacher and mother of two sons. She has had short fiction published in venues including Conjunctions online. She is seeking an agent for her first novel, while at work finishing a second, and often shares writing resources, posts on process and reading lists at her blog. Her Twitter handle is @elissafield

 

Who Needs Poetry? Maybe not you.

The New York times ran a piece this week entitled:

Poetry: Who Needs It?

(by William Logan)

It’s a fair question. Kind of like me asking–On-line gaming: Who needs it? (My son is gasping)

Or Curling: What’s the brouhaha? (Husband’s turn to snarl)

But, we’re talking about the arts and the arts always induce a pinched suck-in-your-cheeks sour mouth gawk.

I read the article relishing that most of The NY Times readers would gloss over the post wearing their finest Sour Worm face. I always enjoy a good poetry article for that look alone. Imagining the multitudes of twisted lips.

Eye pops

I scanned the article and two statements popped out at me.

The first:

“The idea that poetry must be popular is simply a mistake.”

What a daring sobering comforting comment. Under the guise of altruism, poets, at times, manufacture a false concept that they should procreate an abundance of verse in efforts to universalize their craft while at the same time embracing or even flaunting their obscurity and “weirdness.”

They fabricate the idea that all the world needs is a daily reading of Pablo Neruda and the earth will heave a collective sigh, clasp multi-cultured politically incorrect hands and sing Kumbayah.

Or, more simply, all we need to do is slip a personal poem in a lovely garden and the sun will shine eternally.

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Then when the nightly news reveals increasing Middle East threats and national tergiversations of “phony scandals,” “Al-Qaeda is on the run,” and “not a smidgen of corruption,” we shake our coupletted fists and spew odes of smite and ballads of shame–They just don’t understand. What the world needs now is love love love. A penny for the healing powers of my poetry?

Passion or Pride?

They (we) claim to be a passionate clan but after awhile, don’t the jumbled ramblings of this dichotomy begin to sound like prideful whining?

I think so.

The truth is poets “dig” being a little different than the average bear. And the truth is poetry is not a panacea for the world’s woes.

We can’t make the claim that one poem will heal a world. A poem is not a poem to all. It’s a private experience.

And thus I end this post with the second statement that caught my eye.

“Poetry is what language alone can do.”

For me, this answers the author’s question–Poetry: Who Needs it?

Those who feel language.

That’s who.

 

Three Minus One/Return to Zero

 Three Minus One

One of the endearing and fruitful aspects about being a poet/writer is when opportunities to contribute to endeavors and projects that serve to help others comes along.

I am overjoyed to be a part of a book that does just that.

Three Minus One is the companion anthology to the movie Return to Zero (more on that later) and I’m more than overwhelmed to be a contributing author. In fact, all the contributors to this book have at one time experienced the lost of a child.

Telling our stories through narrative or poetry is healing.

Reading the stories and poems is also healing because connection and sharing are twin companions to healing.

Pain can be like a virus if left to languish alone so I urge you to please consider purchasing a copy for yourself or a friend.

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Return to Zero

Tomorrow, May 17, the film Return to Zero, will premiere on the Lifetime Channel. The movie stars Minnie Driver and Paul Adelstein and is based on the true story of the writer/producer Sean Hanish and his wife.

Here is the intro on the IMBD blurb:

RETURN TO ZERO is based on the true story of a successful couple preparing for the arrival of their first child. Just weeks before their due date they discover that their son has died in the womb and will be stillborn.

3 to 1

This story is very similar to mine. Years ago, I miscarried at six months. It’s a heartbreaking ordeal and at that time, grieving wasn’t acceptable.

I hope this movie will change the perception that grief for a lost child before it is born, is petty and self-indulgent. I also hope it begins the conversation of how losing a child in utero can disrupt a family and how important it is share your pain.

If you have lost a child or if you know someone who has, I encourage you to tune in tomorrow night 7 p.m. Central time/8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific.

Thanks to the Lifetime Channel for airing this difficult yet important message.

The companion book, Three Minus One, is available in paperback as well as a Kindle version, if you prefer.

* * *

Now that April Poem-A-Day is over . . .

Your poetry file is brimming with new pieces after all those April challenges, right?

My poetic brain looks something  like this graphic.all these poems

Do you know what you need to do now?

It’s time to submit those darlings.

Join Our Lost Jungle’s Submit-O-Rama Boot Camp.

Choose a challenge. Anything from submitting to three times per week to submitting every day—thirty journals in thirty days.

For me, I’ve decided on the Veteran Challenge. Meaning I’m gonna spruce up the wimpy banal pathetic dull-as-dishwater bits of words that are trying to pass themselves off a poetry and resubmit the rejects. (I have plenty of those.)

I’ve had wonderful success participating in this challenge. Next post I’ll write about a few.

How is your submitting process working? Is there a right way and a wrong way? Is it worth it?

The Shelterer

Day Nine

It is day nine of Poem-A Day-month and already I’m feeling the strain. Today’s prompt was to write a shelter poem.

                   The Shelterer

When what I believe about life ends
in questions Wise and Dined over,
Slept over with eyes open
like a violent flash upon my pupils,

When I run to the sting of death,
fearful of life, not to join but to observe
loss of daybreak and all its enchantments,

When I lavish pity on my restrictions
and loss of mine and ours and envious
lusts, I have not the courage to confess
that my longing exceeds my memory
of faithfulness or innocence.

*        *        *

There is a man who reclines his eyes
With passion aging upon his lips
He grieves with hope. What sin was
missing to gift him this that veils
such a worm as I? What shelter is
his home? When what I believe about
life ends in questions, I will set my
table with him and shelter my fears
behind his eyes.

How about you?

I applaud those who are able to write more than one poem each day. I don’t know how they do it. How are you doing with your poeming this month? Keeping up? Catching up? Keep poeming.

 

 

 

National Poetry Month Challenges Plus

Sharpen those pencils. Purchase your favorite thesaurus and rhyming dictionary.

National Poetry Monthba1969

If you’re a crazy poet, a quiet poet, or a mind-boggling poet, you’re interested in knowing about ALL the Poetry Challenges during the month of April so you can pick and choose which ones you’ll participate in.

Sorry.

I can’t give ‘em all to you, but I can fill you in on a few.

1.  NaPoWriMo: Stop and Smell the Roses

Like most of these challenges, you will write 30 Poems in 30 Days. All you do is write a poem. There are no fees or nothing! You can add your blog or website to their online roster of participants in order to share your poem but you’ll have to pre-submit your site. Oh, and you can grab a nice badge for your website/blog, too.

2.  WordXWord or WXW 30/30 Poetry Challenge

30/30 Poetry Challenge 2014

In 2013, over 600 people took this challenge. You sign up to receive a daily prompt. 30 days in April. 30 prompts. A poem a day.

You can do it.

3. Poets.org

The Academy of American Poets has posted 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month.

Here are a few of their ideas:

*Watch a poetry movie (they have clickable links)
*Ask the post office for more poetry stamps.
*Write a letter to a poet.
*Play Exquisite Corpse—a game I’ve never heard of. At least not by that name. I remember playing something similar in high school. You gather a group of poets, each person writes a word on a sheet of paper, you fold the paper to conceal it, and pass it on to the next player for his or her contribution. The result is always fascinating and fun.

For the rest of the directions, visit the website.

4. 2014 National Poetry Month Blog Tour

Savvy Verse and Wit asks “bloggers, poets, authors, and readers sign up to review books, talk about poets, write poetry, share their inspirations, and celebrate the love of poetry this April.” Just sign up with Mr. Linky. Great way to guest blog.

5. Poems in Your Pocket Day:

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On Poem in Your Pocket Day, Thursday, April 24, people throughout the United States select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day. This is sponsored by The Academy of American Poets.

The website contains a gagillion ideas for creating a poem, sharing a poem, or finding a poem to share.

You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

6. Library Thing

April’s RandomCAT challenge is to read a poetry related book. How hard can this be? Most poetry chapbooks are relatively short. Reading poetry makes us better writers.

7. Miz Quickly

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Miz Quickly will prompt and nudge you with a whirlwind of ideas. “And it costs nothing. Zero. Zilch.”

Stretch your writing muscles. Visit Miz Quickly.

8. Ragtag Poetry Doings:

*About.com lists ideas, articles, and events to help you celebrate National Poetry Month.

*Info Please posts quizzes, bios, crossword puzzles, collections, quotes. Lots of fun here.

National Poetry Month

By the way, I’m just the messenger. If you have questions about any of these challenges, go straight to the site and find their FAQ’s.