Tuesday, October 26, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 27: Expecting

The last time I was this involved with OctPoWriMo, I was on maternity leave, waiting for my first child to enter this world. I had committed to providing prompts for OctPoWriMo 2018 but warned Morgan that I might not make it all the way to the end - my son was due on October 27th.


As you can imagine, the 27th came and went and the little guy clung on. The sense of expectation and anticipation can send you crazy. I remember bursting into tears one day and just feeling like "he's never going to come, is he?!". (Of course, needless to say, he did arrive, on November 4th, and is now nearly 3, and filling me up with the best ever love as well as driving me crazy sometimes. But at least he let me complete my OctPoWriMo duties back in 2018!)

So today let's write about expectation, or expecting. It can be in relation to expecting a baby, or just about expecting or anticipating anything that you thought or hoped would happen. It could be something where you got what you wanted or expected, or perhaps a time when your expectations weren't met. Either way: let's feel the anticipation together.

Word prompts

wish

heartbeat

tenterhooks

wait

hold

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 26: Speaking and listening

Michele wrote recently about storytelling, and if we go back through time, all storytelling began as an oral tradition in pre-literate societies. People also then started to travel and to sing and recite those stories to others. Others would then memorise them and pass them down to other generations in different places - and so those stories spread, retained only in the minds and mouths and ears of others until they could be written down. 

So today the focus is specifically on speaking and listening. Perhaps go back to childhood and think about somebody reading to you. Maybe you could already read or maybe you couldn't, but what do you remember about that experience of somebody telling you a story, without focusing on the written word? Or perhaps you'd like to write about a different experience of speaking or listening, such as giving a speech or listening to a friend who has come to confide in you. Find that experience or memory within you and go from there.

Word prompts

heart

open

aural

vibrate

breath

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 25: Cup


Plenty of us have come across the above meme, or a version of it, especially over the past 18 months. Self-care is so important. What do you do for self-care? Take a walk? Stretch? Bathe? Meditate? Consider writing about that.

Alternatively, you can take the idea of the cup itself, literally and/or metaphorically. What do you do to 'fill up your cup'? What empties it? Or maybe you have a favourite cup that you drink from now, or remember a favourite cup from childhood (shout-out to the plastic Tommee Tippee sippy cup with ducks on it from my childhood that my son still drinks from now at his grandparents' house!).

Word prompts

weight

spill

load

water

balance

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 24: Millstone

Michele's prompt on October 17 talked about milestones, which are (or at least should be!) joyous occasions which lift you up and fill you with a sense of triumph.

So let's flip it over and think about millstones. What, rather than lifting you up, weighs you down and is that proverbial millstone round your neck? 

Sometimes writing about things that bother you can have a cathartic effect. I'm convinced that doing so is what got me through my teenage years!

Millstones are circular, so if you're looking for a form, try a shape poem in the form of a circle or spiral.

Word prompts

circle

disc

mill

will

ache

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

OctPoWriMo Day 23

 What we once have enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes part of us. – Helen Keller


Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay 

I'm attending a Memorial Service this weekend and will come together with family and friends to remember a very special couple. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this celebration of life. For today's prompt, let's think about how we honor loved ones. I think I'll skip the word and poetry form suggestions and leave this open to personal interpretation.


Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.

Friday, October 22, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 22

 

My sister and I spent the day at Harkness Memorial Park a while back. This is a local attraction that at one point had been a private home. The grounds go on forever and are immaculately kept. As we wandered through the endless gardens, I found myself wondering about the people who lived here. What were their lives like? How did they spend their days? What were they thinking when they stood in the same spot where I was now standing? Do you ever think about the people who occupied your space in a different era?



Suggested Word Prompts:

trace
figures
past
history
similarities
differences


Suggested Poetry Forms




Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.


Michele Vecchitto is a writer, recruiter, and  former middle school teacher.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies as well as in four self-published volumes. Michele was invited to read her poems at the Austin International Poetry Festival and was honored to be included in When Time and Space Conspire.  In addition, she published a young adult fantasy novel, Tales from Blarnach: The Chosen One. She continues to hone her craft simply to breathe life into the stories living in the corners of her mind. Please visit her blog, Writing and Reflections to see more of her work.



Thursday, October 21, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 21

 “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn


The gap between my goals and what I've been able to accomplish feels at times too great. Even with OctPoWriMo, I've found myself disappointed in what I intended to do and what I have done. I think this is the first time in all the years I've been participating that I've missed a week straight of posting poems. Is that a lack of discipline? Maybe. The difference is that I am in a completely different job now and don't have the time I once had to devote to writing. That being said, I do agree with this quote. I just need to find a different bridge.





Suggested Word Prompts:

intent
aspiration
joy
effort
reward
acceptance



Suggested Poetry Forms



Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.


Michele Vecchitto is a writer, recruiter, and  former middle school teacher.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies as well as in four self-published volumes. Michele was invited to read her poems at the Austin International Poetry Festival and was honored to be included in When Time and Space Conspire.  In addition, she published a young adult fantasy novel, Tales from Blarnach: The Chosen One. She continues to hone her craft simply to breathe life into the stories living in the corners of her mind. Please visit her blog, Writing and Reflections to see more of her work.




Wednesday, October 20, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 20

 

I'm a huge fan of participating in different writing events when I can. In addition to OctPoWriMo, one of my favorites is the Weekend Coffee Share. The idea is that you have a virtual coffee date with your readers and share your imagined conversation. I post these every few months and love the responses. It's led me to the work of some incredibly creative people and is a great way to feel connected to the writing community. What does being a part of this community mean to you?



Suggested Word Prompts:

support
shared interests
introduction
exchange
inspiration

Suggested Poetry Form

Free choice - there are so many directions this can take!  Shadow Poetry is a good resource if you're looking for new forms to try.

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.


Michele Vecchitto is a writer, recruiter, and  former middle school teacher.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies as well as in four self-published volumes. Michele was invited to read her poems at the Austin International Poetry Festival and was honored to be included in When Time and Space Conspire.  In addition, she published a young adult fantasy novel, Tales from Blarnach: The Chosen One. She continues to hone her craft simply to breathe life into the stories living in the corners of her mind. Please visit her blog, Writing and Reflections to see more of her work.



Tuesday, October 19, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 19

Not all poetry wants to be storytelling. And not all storytelling wants to be poetry. But great storytellers and great poets share something in common: They had something to say, and did.   Sarah Kay 

Image by Lolame from Pixabay 

I love the storytelling aspect of poetry. Weaving words together for greatest impact and in a way that makes the reader see the familiar in a different light makes the time spent agonizing over each tiny detail worth it. What does storytelling mean to you?

Suggested Word Prompts:

storyteller/storytelling
unlock
rise
magic
slip

Suggested Poetry Forms:



Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.


Michele Vecchitto is a writer, recruiter, and  former middle school teacher.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies as well as in four self-published volumes. Michele was invited to read her poems at the Austin International Poetry Festival and was honored to be included in When Time and Space Conspire.  In addition, she published a young adult fantasy novel, Tales from Blarnach: The Chosen One. She continues to hone her craft simply to breathe life into the stories living in the corners of her mind. Please visit her blog, Reading, Writing, and Reflections to see more of her work.








Monday, October 18, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 18

I come from a huge family and something I look forward to is our frequent gatherings. I missed them terribly when we weren't able to get together for holidays or even casual Tuesday night dinners during this past year. It's been a blessing to spend time together again and to make new memories. Food has always been a central theme for us. For us, food is love. 

Thinking about an empty pot as an invitation, describe what it means to break bread with loved ones.


Suggested Word Prompts:

tradition
flavors
appreciate
strength
time

Suggested Poetry Forms:





Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.


Michele Vecchitto is a writer, recruiter, and  former middle school teacher.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies as well as in four self-published volumes. Michele was invited to read her poems at the Austin International Poetry Festival and was honored to be included in When Time and Space Conspire.  In addition, she published a young adult fantasy novel, Tales from Blarnach: The Chosen One. She continues to hone her craft simply to breathe life into the stories living in the corners of her mind. Please visit her blog, Reading, Writing, and Reflections to see more of her work.



Sunday, October 17, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 17

My husband and I traveled to Maine this summer to celebrate our anniversary. We spent our time exploring the scenery and took the opportunity to disconnect from technology and reconnect with each other. What is your favorite way to celebrate a milestone? Are you looking for grand adventures or do you prefer to keep things low-key? 




Suggested Word Prompts:
memories
milestone
adventure
escapade
celebrate
moment in time

Suggested Poetry Forms:

Momento or Shape Poetry


Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.


Michele Vecchitto is a writer, recruiter, and  former middle school teacher.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies as well as in four self-published volumes. Michele was invited to read her poems at the Austin International Poetry Festival and was honored to be included in When Time and Space Conspire.  In addition, she published a young adult fantasy novel, Tales from Blarnach: The Chosen One. She continues to hone her craft simply to breathe life into the stories living in the corners of her mind. Please visit her blog, Reading, Writing, and Reflections to see more of her work.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Day 16: Sonnet

 


I'm a huge, unashamed sonnet fan. I've been writing them since I was 17 and obsessed with Keats (so, that's literally half my lifetime). I've refined my style over the years and even won poetry competitions with sonnets: an honour in a time where free verse and postmodernism seems to dominate. Now I'm unafraid to experiment with the form myself, breaking the lines where the sentences end rather than where metrically it's traditionally done.

I've posted the sonnet form above for you; the nicely colour-coded blocks make it easy to visualise. But here are a few more tips to help you write a sonnet:

- The first 8 lines (the octave) typically address a 'question' or 'problem', and follow an ABABCDCD rhyme scheme
- The final 6 lines (the sestet) typically provide the solution or answer, and follow an EFEFGG rhyme scheme
- This 'turning point' at line 8 is called the volta or 'turn', and represents the poem's change of mood
- Each line has 10 syllables
- These syllables are divided into 5 pairs of 2 (making each line a pentameter), following an unstressed/stressed pattern within each pair (making each line iambic in its rhythm)
- It's worth reading your poem aloud as you write to check you've got the rhythm right - though some more modern sonnet-writers sometimes dispense with the iambic aspect
- This iambic rhythm replicates the human heartbeat quite closely - perhaps a reason why the sonnet is a traditional vehicle for love poetry.

So today you could try to write a sonnet about love - or, to disrupt the form somewhat, about a flip side of love (maybe a breakup).
If you're feeling brave, flip the form too: perhaps start with that final rhyming couplet (the GG rhyme) and then work towards the octave, having this appear at the end of your poem instead.

Writing your first sonnet can feel laborious - but as with anything, practice makes perfect.

Coincidentally, Cannon Poets' Sonnet Or Not competition also ends on October 31st, for those looking for an extra challenge.

Word prompts
agape
erotic
breath
loveless
wondrousness

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Day 15: Leaves

As with yesterday's prompt, the season begs for a poem about leaves. My 2-year-old son loves stomping through crunchy ones, of course. Once, a couple of years ago, I found a pink €50 note camouflaged in a pile of autumn leaves. Who doesn't love watching a leaf fall from the sky at this time of the year? And who doesn't feel slightly pained at the look of a pile of them squelched into mulch underfoot as the season wears on? 

You could also write about sticky springtime leaves just beginning to bud, or glorious lushly green summer leaves at the peak of their existence.

But what struck me about this prompt is, again, the possibility for multiple meaning. "Leaves", of course, is also a present indicative verb. You might want to weave these two concepts together, or just stick with one. Either way, we look forward to seeing the results.

Word prompts

crisp

saffron

emerald

living

rasp

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

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