Friday, May 25, 2012

Elementary, My Dear Poet

I am a lifelong Sherlock Holmes fan, but I don't consider myself a purist. I love to re-read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's works, but I am not opposed to newer Holmes stories. I like to look through the shelves in libraries and bookstores and see the predicaments in which other authors have placed Sherlock and Watson. I have even enjoyed Holmes on Broadway, the big screen and the little screen.

So, it was no wonder when Robert Lee Brewer posted a prompt to write about something that happened "before your time" during the April Poem-a-Day Challenge, my thoughts immediately turned to 221B Baker Street...


Hansom cabs
clatter through
the foggy street.
The plaintive notes
of a violin fill

an apartment above.
The player wishes
he were making
different notes.
Ones that would
help recreate
the actions of others
as only he can.
For now,
he does not turn
to the needle
instead of the bow.
While the detective
battles boredom,
the good doctor
puts past glories
down on paper. 


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Friday, May 18, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

I've been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by a women whose profile begins "I am a Reader, Writer, Poet, Songwriter, Guitar Player, News Junkie." Is it any wonder she was given a Versatile Blogger Award?

The Rules:

1.  Thank the person who nominated you.

      Thank you, Jlynn Sheridan, writing on the sun.

2.  Share seven things about yourself.

a.   I'm lefthanded. You may not be able to tell from my typing, but you can from my handwriting.
b.   I'm a Buffalo Bills fan and I freely admit it.
c.   My nickname is Chellie. My mother gave me that nickname because she didn't want me to be   nicknamed Mickey. She also chose the spelling.
d.    I'm a veteran.
e.    My birthday is on the cusp between two astrological signs. Someimes I'm one and sometimes the other.
f.    I'm a golfer.g.   Writing poetry has changed my life in ways I never imagined.

3.  Nominate seven other versatile bloggers.

Soppheys Says

Our Lost Jungle

Blyth McManus

My Quirky City

Cracker Jack Poet

Veronica Roth


4.  Contact the people you nominate.

5. Post the VBA Badge.

I'll try to live up to this badge!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Poetry Prompts and Social Media Nudges

I've mentioned Robert Lee Brewer's April Platform Challenge and the online community that has grown out of it in my last two posts. Well, last week I had a great lesson in social media from my fellow MNINBer, Lynn Daue. Lynn is a novelist and blogger at Rhymes with Tao. One morning, she tweeted that she had gotten off to a great start writing so I tweeted back a "way to go." She replied with what I thought was her goal for doing some additional writing later in the day and I sent back a "go for it." Then she replied "Not just me. You, too." Hmmm. Obviously, I like a good challenge or I wouldn't have been in this situation in the first place so I replied "I'm in."

So, I go to the list of ideas I mentioned in my post "Poetry by Prompt-That's the Challenge",  look at the first one and begin working. I did indeed complete a first draft that evening. After a few more rewrites, I wound up with the following:


Pieces of art
that came in the mail.
Photos and drawings
from friends and relatives
showing vacation spots
and wondrous sites.
I still have one
that was sent from Ireland.
But that happened
more than 20 years ago.
Now, postcards carry
messages from marketers
and reminders from doctors.
They are no longer collectibles.
Just another recyclable.

I'd like to thank Lynn for giving me a taste of the best thing about social media, which is making a connection and having a conversation. By the way, that's the best thing about poetry, too.
Want to learn more about the April Platform Challenge? Go to "How to Build (or Improve) your Writer Platform in 30 Days
Learn more about  the MNINBers at the following links:
The MNINB Annotated Blogroll: Home Front

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Friday, May 4, 2012

The Liebster Award-Given Blogger to Blogger

In my last post, I mentioned the April Platform Challenge that Robert Lee Brewer facilitated on his My Name is Not Bob blog. This challenge was about learning to use social media. One benefit from participating in the challenge has been becoming part of an amazing online community. Participants in the challenge have been very generous with their knowledge and very encouraging.

So, in checking the comments on the blog and my Twitter account, I found that Sopphey Vance, Kim Bussey and Khara House nominated me for a Liebster Award.

In Sopphey's words "It's just a recognition from one blogger to another for how awesome they are. Kind of like a really big Internet hug!" Thank you, Sopphey, Kim and Khara for the internet hugs. I'm sending one back to each of you.

On her blog, Sopphey Says, Sopphey uses words and images to create wonderful posts, including both poetry and prose, that touch the heart and soul.

 On Purrfect Tale, Kim shares her own experiences with various aspects of being a writer. She is working on a novel.

Khara's blog is Our Lost Jungle. She shares her poetry and what I think is her beautiful use of language.

 The Liebster rules are:
1. Thank the one who nominated you by linking back.
2.  Nominate five blogs with less than 200 followers.

3.  Let the nominees know by leaving a comment at their sites.

4.  Add the award image to your site.

My nominees are:
1. Finding Bliss - Great information about writing, the business of writing and social media by Laura Conant Howard.
2. "Strong Women Grow Here" - Alvarado Frazier says "I write about strong women, difficult circumstances and characters on both sides of the law." She tells amazing stories.
3. Diary of a Word Nerd - Julia Tomiak writes a blog for word lovers. 

4. Present Letters - Lynn Obermoeller tells her stories in the form of letters to her late mother.

5. YA Sleuth - F.T. Bradley writes about the world of YA  and MG (middle-grade) mysteries.
I want my nomination to say to you: I stopped by your blog, read your words and know I will come back again and again.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Poetry by Prompt-That's the Challenge

We often talk about being inspired to write poetry. Sometimes, we only need to be prompted.

Monday, I completed the Poem-A-Day Challenge that began April 1 on Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides blog. The prompts were words or phrases, fill in the blank and one great device that I plan to use again (take a line or image from one poem and create another poem).

The challenge was to write 30 poems in 30 days on the topics given.  I would say I ended up with some poems, some poemettes that may be nurtured into poems and some words on paper that are never destined to reach full poemhood. Following is one example:

Something Borrowed

A violin handed down from you.
Not my first choice.
(I didn't know about Blue Grass then.)
I never played as well as you did.
Who wanted to practice with a bow
instead of playing with a ball?

What I really took away from this exercise is a new willingness to write. As you might expect, I had different reactions to the various prompts: that's easy,   that's interesting, I can't write about that and I think the stress of putting together two challenges (See My Name is Not Bob April Platform Challenge) is getting to him. But, if I let myself start to write, interesting things happened. Sometimes the journey was straight forward, sometimes it had detours and sometimes it had U turns. I made the most progress when I stopped thinking my way through the process and started writing my way through.

Did you do a poetry challenge during National Poetry Month?  What was your favorite prompt? Did you learn anything about your poetry or how you write it?

I have a list of ideas that have remained a list of ideas because all I have done is re-read them or think about them. I have never let myself simply start writing about them.  They are my new challenge. I can't wait to see where they take me.

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