Monday, September 30, 2013

Poetry Writing Tip: A Lesson from Emily Dickinson

I took this photo when I visited Emily's house in April, 2010.
I wrote the poem below today thanks to the image prompt from Magpie Tales. I like it well enough, given it was written so quickly and all, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with my word choices. Rather than hesitate due to concern about the poem being perfect, I posted it anyway.
I was reminded of something Emily Dickinson taught me.

For those who don’t know, I make treks to poets’ homes. To me, visiting the homes of fellow word-lovers is like visiting the great cathedrals or other holy spaces. I have literally felt the presence of the word-artists when in their space. 

On my second visit to Emily’s home I learned this: the poems we read of hers oftentimes have several different versions. If you look at her handwritten versions, she had a habit of writing a + sign by a word she wasn’t sure was “the best word” and then would list in the margins other words she might use instead. 

It takes away lots of the judgment and hesitation, interesting – sort of like ths  poem I wrote today
The image is from Mark Haley. The image prompting came from Magpie Tales from poet Tess Kincaid.
Promise breathes within the bleak sky
burnished grasses
the rarely walked upon path -
barren trees sing, even when naked of leaves -
clouds pause -
hesitate before leaving -
wait before dropping
their punctuation upon -
this sacred scene

I have two words I am still not completely satisfied with:

1.      this sacred + space  (Other possibilities) dreary, desolate, serene, unruffled

2.      barren trees sing, even when naked+ of leaves – (other possibilities) exposed by lack, unprotected, thirsty for

I will continue to play with these words, perhaps trying a variety of compositions. You may try this out when you write a poem and are not quite ready to publish it, shuffle the word combinations to see which you like best. You also may try it out by not changing a thing and letting go of those other words.

Recognize alongside me: I am completely content with what I have published on my poetry blog yet I also know there may be another version waiting to be birthed, to teach me something I have yet to know.

October begins tomorrow.

OctPoWriMo begins tomorrow.

I look forward to this journey (adventure, passage,quest, challenge) with you.

-- Julie Jordan Scott

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Poetry Tip - Connecting with Your Higher Self

Ideas for your poetry can come from anywhere but what about your higher self? That part of you that whispers softly that you may not hear. How can you connect to your higher self and write poetry from that place?

For me it depends on the day.

Sometimes I use dance to connect in and open myself up to be able to hear that small voice inside to allow the words to flow onto the page.

Sometimes I use energy work such as Reiki to connect in.

You may decide to use prayer, meditation, or even yoga.

You can use anything that helps you to connect and open to your higher self to write from that place.

Tuesday is October 1st and this poetry challenge will begin. No matter where you get your inspiration from to write your daily poetry I hope you will come back and share your words with us by linking up and visiting other poets on this incredible journey of writing 31 poems in 31 days.

Come back to link up your poetry on our daily poetry prompts. See you then!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Poetry Writing Tip: The Surprising Joy of Being with What Is.....

I sat quietly at a table at the Art and Spirituality Center at Mercy Hospital with a paint brush in my hand on Wednesday. Before me, a tray I am upcycling/repurposing from utilitarian tool of women FOR YEARS into a work of art about women artists, writers and poets whose voices were squelched.

I haven’t allowed myself the luxury of attending Open Studio much this season, but I felt compelled to go because I wanted to be busy and I wanted to be around people rather than alone.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What is the mood of your Poem ?

What we write , the one that reaches across to others , is mostly the very words that echo our mood for the moment. Sometimes , when you are in a particular mood  , experiencing a particular emotion , it is very much possible to capture it in your poem within a few hours than to do the same , a few days later.

But I feel,  everyone's writing has a mood of its own. Years back , when I started writing , most times I wrote to let my fears and thoughts out of my mind. It were not happy times and the nights would be a little too hard to handle. That's when I discovered poetry writing and it helped me cope up with my feelings. In the process , my writing took a character of its own. A face that is kind and sad at same time. A voice that talks of past and is hopeful of the future too. A mood that is aware of the pain it has seen and expects but also knows that love exists.

Whenever I have written with such mood and honesty , not just have I felt satisfied with the poem but the process itself has been rewarding. And its same with so many bloggers I read around. I can almost judge the thought process , the mood , the projection of the thoughts from them to me. It is a sense of familiarity that envelops me when I read such poems.

I agree that one should step out of boundaries and try new writing ways , new techniques. But can not the same feeling be expressed in hundred different ways ? Is it so important to write happy poems even if you know you are doing a below average job with that ?

Writing is about being honest . To please yourself . Not to appeal to others.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It Doesn't Have to Rhyme, But....

I didn't set out in this life to become a writer, much less a poet. I began my adult life as a teacher. Not an English teacher, mind you, but a math teacher. I had always been drawn to math because it seemed to offer some semblance of order to the chaos in my mind. It tickled something in my left brain that gave me a framework to follow when approaching new problems. I have often found that I benefit from this same sort of framework in my writing, particularly with poetry.

In a recent post here at OctPoWriMo, Morgan mentioned Shadow Poetry, a resource that I return to frequently when I'm in the process of composing a new poem. The Shadow Poetry site provides simple, detailed descriptions of both traditional and invented poetry forms along with several examples of each. Sometimes I approach the site with an idea or an image that I want to write about and I begin sifting through the different forms until a single line emerges in my mind that happens to fit one of the forms. Other times, I'll choose a form that I've never tried before (look for a prompt on this idea soon!) and I'll challenge myself to try to write within that framework. Instead of straining my brain for words that rhyme, if the form happens to include a rhyming element, I jump to my other favorite tool - Rhyme Zone.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Poetry Ripped From the Headlines

Did you know that one of the methods John Lennon used to come up with song ideas was to peruse the newspaper and take headlines, phrases or entire sentences and work them into his material? One instance in particular is the song "A Day In the Life" wherein lies the lyric "I read the news today, oh boy...". What follows is a near verbatim recounting of the day's news, tweaked and reworked creatively to weave a musical tale that to this day conjures so much imagery for me.

Another of his songs with the Beatles, "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite" was taken from a poster announcing that the circus was coming to town. Again, some of the lines were taken straight from the poster, but reworked to enhance the story.

What does all this have to do with poetry, you ask? Plenty! I use this same method in writing songs when I'm stuck and need an idea or an interesting line. It's sort of like using word magnets or words cut out of newspapers or magazines, but in a longer form. And if you go a bit further with it and mix some of this story with some of that, what you come up with is sometimes very interesting and whimsical or even poignant.

Is it plagiarism? No. Because you are taking artistic license with the medium and not using the piece in its entirety, it's a bit like found objects in visual art. You're using found word imagery and piecing it together to create something new and entirely from your own perspective in your own voice.

Sometimes with poetry, unless you have a definite inspiration, a reason to pick up the pen and begin writing prose, it can be difficult to know where to begin. When you use found word imagery from a newspaper, what you can come up with can be topical, funny, absurd, thoughtful and of the times. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

EveryDay Muse: Woo Our Poets Within and Move Our Pencils (Pens, etc.)

One of my favorite ways to be inspired by other poets is to begin my journey by collecting words from other poets by including a poetry reading practice into my writing practice.

What I love about this first word offering from another poet is the "everyday life" aspect of the content. It isn't a big a-ha moment she is seeking, but asking her poetry muse for guidance in her everyday life as a Woman, as a Mom.

"Release a stanza

from the sink's hot suds

where dirty dishes glow

Seal a message inside:

encourage me to hold on.

Inform me

in detail

exactly how to do it."

Kate Daniels in Prayer to the Muse ofOrdinary Life

One of my daily practices as a writer and poet is to read at least one published poem a day. I have a wild assortment of poetry anthologies to choose from and my normal way of finding a poem to read is simply to open up a chosen book and read wherever my eyes fall. Today my eyes fell upon a poet I have never bumped into before. Now she has managed to take both arms and pull them out at the sides in an enormously full stretch. She did all this with her word power.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Poetry Writing Tip - List of Possibilities

Poetry comes to us bringing life, and focuses on giving us a better understanding of life. Between poetry and other genres of literature there is one sharp distinction. Poetry writing is a friend to all writers. Engrossing and honest, poetry extends universally to all members of society. Poetry exists to communicate significant experience imaginatively and creatively, deepening our knowledge of the senses more poignantly. ~Why Poetry is So Important
 This morning I am struggling with how to explain why I believe poetry is so important. Once again Google shows itself to be helpful and I found the above article. It probably does a much better job than I ever could of explaining why poetry is so important to you as an individual and as a community. I hope you decide to check it out.

We have a little over a week until OctPoWriMo begins. I am getting so excited about all the poetry that will be written and shared (though you don't have to share) over the coming month. October has been one of my favorite months for many years. The weather is cooler, the fall colors are spreading across the country side, children are getting ready for Halloween, and the time of family gatherings are just around the corner. All of which are fodder for poetry.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

  Whether we like it or no, poetry and poets have an image.  Say that you're a poet and people will often imagine that you're a head in the clouds dreamer with no practical knowledge or skills, or that you have a drink problem or are on drugs, or that you have sex with anything that has a pulse.  These clichés can put a lot of people off.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Poets: Prepare to Start Your Engines - Poetry Pre-Writing Tip

Note in the title I did not say START your engines. We have ten days left until the “big” day appears.

Car racing is part of the life blood of the family I was raised in and is even showing up in parts of the next generation of Jordans. When I was a young girl, I would spend hours and hours and hours in the garage, handing my brother, the race driver, tools. You know, sort of like a doctor asks for scalpels.

All that gorgeous, seemingly without effort grace on the race track doesn’t start when they raise the flag, it starts long before, when the drivers work on their cars and finally warm up their cars during the days before the big race.

I am going to share with you one of my favorite poetry writing warm ups.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lets make Poetry together !

While I was wondering what to write for this week , I thought to ask from my friends on Facebook to help me with a topic.  Anup , the guy who started a wonderful Poetry Group / Club for all poets of my city [ called PACH : Check the link to know more ] suggested me to write on duel poetry.

This reminded me of the few times I have unknowingly written along a friend and result has been a beautiful poem with alternate ideas and styles.

Little did I know this style of poetry has a name and structure since long time. Collaborative or collective Poetry [ wikipedia page linked ] is an alternative technique of writing poetry by more than one person. What I love about this style is the fact that two people can communicate and emote , linked by a similar thought. The voice can be of taking the story further or that of an opposing idea , but the fact that two people chose to communicate , in a poetic way is something that rejoices my heart to no end.

Its been a long time I was active on twitter , but I still remember replying to random tweets and watching so many others do the same with their own idea. This trigger of one thought and many poets adding to it or opposing it in their own fashion was what and how spontaneous poetry writing can be some times.

Historically , collaborative Poetry's origin lies in Japanese Poetry styles. Renga is the most popular poetry style which has been in practice from over seven hundred years. Also called as "Linked Poetry" , Renga is a syllable based poem form that opens with a 3 line poetry [ 5,7,5 haiku ] and others keep adding to it. Modern collaborative poets though are more flexible when it comes to form of every couplet.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

There's a Storm Coming - A Brief Introduction to James Nave'

James Nave' - photo shared with permission

A few years ago, I met with some girlfriends from my high school days for a GNO (Girls' Night Out). As we were catching up on each other's lives, I mentioned that I had been doing some writing and had been very inspired by Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. One of my friends spoke up and said that her brother-in-law, James Nave', worked with Julia Cameron.

From that dinner conversation, I discovered that he would soon be facilitating a creativity workshop at the Asheville Word Fest just a short drive from my hometown. I couldn't wait to attend and meet him. Little did I know about the storm that was coming!

Nave' describes the creative process as "From the Imaginative Storm to the Creative Form." He explains the concept in this video from TEDxAsheville.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Think Lyrically

Even though I'm a songwriter, there have been many times when I've written a poem specifically and the feedback I've received is that it seemed lyrical. "You should write music to that and make it a song."  That's a good feeling. Perhaps it's a subconscious thing that occurs naturally when I write from years of doing what I do and from listening to music incessantly while studying the album and later, the CD lyrics and liner notes.  Remember that? It made the experience so much richer to sit down and really listen to the lyrics while reading along.

It's a good exercise to try; sit down with your favorite album and pull out the lyrics and really listen. Pay attention to the rhythm of the words and how they work with the music. When you sit down to write your own poetry, you might find that you'll hear it in your head differently. Maybe a line will come to you in a more musical incarnation. I can't think of a better example than Bob Dylan. There is a wealth of material there that stands alone as poetry and the way he weaves his lyrics into song is sometimes unconventional, which lends itself to a teachable poetic lesson. Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, the aforementioned Suzanne Vega...all are prime examples and that's just in the folk genre. Perfect examples can be found in any genre - even and especially rock. Patti Smith is first and foremost a poet. Her poetry books, such as Auguries of Innocence, are collections of beautiful, ethereal prose.

Every time that I look in the mirror
All these lines in my face get me clearer
The past is gone
It went by like dusk to dawn
Isn't that the way 
Everybody's got their dues in life to pay

Recognize that stanza? It's from Aerosmith's "Dream On'. I've always thought that song was particularly poetic. 

So give it a try - think lyrically. See what beautifully poetic music comes to mind. 

For more musical reminiscence, I invite you to visit the new website that Jen Kehl of My Skewed View, Lance Burson of My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog and I have launched called Raised On The Radio. It's entirely dedicated to the music and lyrics we grew up listening to on the radio.  Stop on over and get your creative juices flowing.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Joy of Used Book Sales - A Different Way to Grow as a Poet

Today I visited a store that smelled like my favorite kind of church: a sanctuary where other people’s books wait to become my books, where I can peruse shelf after self of older books, out of print books, little known books that find their way into my appreciative hands and into my heart.

You may find this assertion unconventional, but I think an integral aspect of my growth as a poet has come from attending used book sales, scanning thrift store book shelves and reading old text books, long ago thrown away to be replaced by a newer edition.

Just last Thursday I visited my local library, not to check out a book, but to peruse the Friends of the Library shelves, the place where they sell books for a meager dime a piece.

Guess what I found?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Getting Into Reading Poetry

If you don't know a lot about poetry then you might not know where to start when it comes to reading it, let alone writing any.  One of the best places to begin is in an anthology, something like The Rattle Bag edited by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes which is a particularly good one.  Try to read all the poems at least twice because sometimes you get so much more out of a second or third reading.  You'll find that you are drawn to some poems but not others.  Seek out the authors of the poems you like and read their work.  Another tip is to try reciting the poems out loud.  This gives you a feel for the music and sound of the poetry.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

To Writers That Don't Think They Can Write Poetry

Again and again I hear writers say, "I can't write poetry." or "Poetry just isn't for me." and I can't help but think that they are blocking a creative tool that could actually enhance their writing. Possibly blow the doors right off the hinges. 

Crossing over to the other side.
I talked to writers on the Story Dam chat on Twitter last Thursday night and I decided I wanted to share with you what I shared with them. Of course I have expanded on it further.

Writers stick with me, you just may discover something you can use.

As a writer even if you don't believe in writer's block things can get stale and you can feel like the words just aren't streaming as they were before. 

That is when I believe changing it up to break down the walls to writing & poetry can come in handy.
I have discovered that whether I am writing a novel, memoir, or poem it all comes down to getting the words onto the page. Whatever it takes to fill the blank page and for me it takes changing it up. Yes, okay I get bored. For me if I do the same things day in and day out I get bored to tears and want to do something else. That is why having a strict schedule doesn't work for me. I rebel against them over and over.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Poetry Writing Tip: Add Your Voice to the Poetry Soup, Salad, Stew - Choose Your Metaphor

It seems like I have come in here and started many a blog post with a confession. I can’t help it. I am given a virtual microphone and I can’t help but say, “Yes, I did this!” because I feel like at least one or two or seventeen of you will look back at me and say, “You, too? I thought I was the only one who thought that?” so congratulations, dear poets, we are not alone.

Being together is a big part of what OctPoWriMo is, after all.

I offer you a place to practice pedaling around in the poetry stream in the days before we officially begin with my next confession. 

When I was a new poet – well, not new exactly but new in taking my poetry writing and love of poetry more seriously – I did not read much poetry by other poets.

I didn’t own a single poetry collection.

I just didn’t think I could get through them.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New ideas or new words

Yesterday , while on twitter I read this tweet by Coyote :

If you want to figure out why someone writes better, try seeing how they write differently, how they use words differently.

 Immediately I was reminded of a discussion between me and my close friend some days back. We were returning from another poetry meet and reflecting upon the poems we heard when he commented that most of the poems , though appeal to heart and mind , are basically plotted on love , feelings , nature . Rarely do we see some one writing very differently on the same topic or writing on a unique topic.

Later that night I logged on to my blog and read the poems on the front page. And then skipping few pages each time , I read about 10 posts in last one year and indeed i could see a pattern. When read together , only a few poems stand out. Some times it were the way words were linked or other times it was the unique title that prompted a whole new direction of thought.

If I talk about myself , I found that trying to write one post for multiple prompts usually result in an amusing mix.

Sample this post which was an idea based on the image , the word transition and a prompt - "what is the rest of the story" :

The only name he smiled at,
the only eyes he looked for,
the very smile to flatter him,
the only girl he wished to live for -
today she remains in heart and mind,
a memory of a long-lost time.
From everything to some one special,
the transition happened without cause;
the face was never captured in photo,
it was meant to stay as a muse unknown.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Going "poemcrazy"

“Poems arrive. They hide in feelings and images, in weeds and delivery vans, daring us to notice and give them form with our words.”
~ Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge

Thus begins the introduction to her book “poemcrazy”. Through a combination of personal stories and poems, Susan pulls you into her word world and invites you to begin making poems of your own.

One of my favorite anecdotes centers on her seventh/eighth grade English class and her teacher, Mr. Mabie. She speaks of how his was the first class she ever had in school that allowed her to express the person she is instead of the “good girl I was supposed to be.” I only wish I would have had a similar experience so early on in my academic life! I have only begun to find that same sense of creative freedom now in my mid-forties.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Simple Or Intricate?

One of the things I love most about poetry is its versatility. There are guidelines...sure, you could even consider them to be rules. But since poetry writing is an expressive art, it is open to interpretation and personal expression. Therefore, there will be times where anything goes. 

When writing a poem, will you choose something simple? A haiku? A sparse stanza? Or something more intricate and rich with iambic pentameter? There is a simple rule to haiku writing and a more complex set of guidelines to iambic pentameter. 

Your words can take on a playful rhyme ala Dr. Seuss or an emotive and descriptive tone, lush with introspection and imagery. From the silly to the soulful, it's all poetry and yes, you can have it both ways. 

Recently, I was thumbing through my copy of Suzanne Vega's book of poetry and lyrics. It is a collection of her work from the time of her childhood up until the 1990s and it demonstrates a wonderful example of the evolutionary path one can take with poetry as well as the beauty of both simplicity and intricacy. Vega has a way of weaving words together seemingly effortlessly in such a way that the reader is taken on a whimsical, yet thought provoking journey, and that is something I think many, if not all of us strive to accomplish in our writing; to take the reader to another place, yet provoke thought and depth of feeling, whether it be of the joyful sort or to the point of tears. 

To my mind, that is truly successful poetry. Is it simple and silly enough that you've made up a word or phrase and conjured a side splitting laugh? Or is it beautiful, even tragic - leaving the reader deep in contemplation and inspiration? 

It's all powerful. And exploring the possibilities of each mode of expression is a compelling exercise. 

The title of Suzanne Vega's book is "The Passionate Eye..." and I think that encapsulates the idea of poetry. Whether you write from a simple or a more dramatic and involved perspective - your passion for the subject of your writing as well as the medium itself is what will inspire you to get your point across in whichever way the mood strikes you.

Monday, September 9, 2013

It's Monday Morning - How About Scribing an Art Inspired Poem... or not?

I confessed last week I haven’t written much poetry this year. I had fabulous intentions but the muse left the building in some sort of huff and my words were no longer warming up in the bullpen like they normally do. They seemed to have been put out to pasture to really mix metaphors and be frightfully annoying to myself.

One of the spaces where my words did continually appear was from visual art prompts from my friend, Tess Kincaid, at “The Mag” or Magpie Tales on Blogger. 

I was thinking about this today, remembering back to looking at a display of pottery at the Getty Museum, a field trip chaperone for my daughter, Katherine’s then sixth grade class. She is now a senior in college, so it has been a while. The tour guide

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Why I Was Scared Away From Writing Poetry When I Was Young

I thought that one of the things that scared me away from poetry when I was younger, like most people, was all the rules to writing poetry. But I discovered something this past week that has me looking at it differently.

I recently ordered and received a book in the mail, The New Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics. I ordered this book because I love, LOVE, exploring Shadow Poetry and the different types of traditional and invented poetry types that they have listed with all of their simple (mostly) instructions and sample poetry that makes it fairly easy to follow and figure out how to write them.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Poetry 101

I realise that some of us have been writing poetry for a while but some people might be starting out and find themselves wondering where to begin.  An exercise I was given on my Open University Creative Writing course is a good place to start.

What you need to do is go outside and describe something that catches your eye.  Now I have just got back from a holiday in Norway so my example is of a Norwegian fjord.

'A pulsing foaming carpet of blue framed by trees with sunlight sparkling on the water.  The only sounds are the screeching of gulls and the water slapping the shore.'

Now if I take what I've just written and just break up the lines and maybe take out a word or two, lo and behold, something approaching a poem emerges.

'A pulsing foaming carpet of blue framed by trees/sunlight sparkling on the water/the only sounds are the screeching of gulls/and the water slapping the shore/the waves roll out towards a Viking sea.

Okay, I added the last line for effect but I hope you get the general idea.  Don't think of poetry writing as hard.  Just be prepared to mess around with words and don't worry about making mistakes.

Friday, September 6, 2013

How to Play with Poetry (in a fun metrical way!)

I wonder what it was like to live in the days when writing poetry was something everyone did on a very regular basis and they were exchanged along with carefully crafted correspondence, read with great anticipation and a wide open heart rather than a cynical sneer.

You’ve seen the Jane Austen movies where the women gather around to hear the poetry and letters read aloud. All the cooing and eyelash fluttering – I admit it, I love it and not so secretly wish I was there with them. 

Back then, people practiced writing poetry both on paper and in their heads.

They read oodles of poetry on a daily basis, so the idea of musicality with words was as much a part of their lives as extravagant layers of undergarments. 

I’m not so much a fan of wearing a corset everyday – though occasionally it is fun – but I am living the life of reading poetry every day, oftentimes aloud with a British accent if you must know, in order to soak up the music of poetry: especially metrical verse that may seem dated by some of today’s poets and poetry lovers. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Rules of Poetry and writing

Everything has rules. Even chaos has an order within itself. But Poetry is neither organized nor chaotic. I treat it as a chaotic way to unbalance some order or an ordered way to tame chaos in my mind. Either way it just flows through the head and heart if you surrender yourself.

Image source
So what are the rules?
I say NONE.

Not for writing, not for reading, not for supporting and encouraging, not for sharing, and not for hiding it either.

But learning to let go of the Rules does not come easy. It is a conscious and constant process that you learn to accept while your write.

I started writing six years back and to this date I can not understand my obsession with rhymes during that period. I actually spoiled many ideas for the lack of rhyming words. And those days I was unaware of rhyming dictionaries. ;)

A year later I switched to rhythm and thank goodness I discovered poetry forms that did not require me to rhyme. Not that the syllable count was any easier, but still, there was a sense of freedom as I penned those verses. Like miniature cupcakes put on display for all.

Bottom line: Follow rules of heart and not of the art!
Let yourself be free and dip into the creative pools that are as vast as your mind wants to wander.

Have fun!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Finding Your Way - "The Artist's Way"

“No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.” ~ Julia Cameron

Do you feel like you’re not very creative? Surprise! You ARE creative, probably more so than you realize!

Have you ever felt that your creativity was blocked? Of course you have! We all feel that way from time to time!

Would you like to rediscover the joy and freedom of creativity the way you did when you were a child? Remember the fun of pretending and playing make believe? You can have that much fun again any time you want!

In Julia Cameron’s international bestseller “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Guide to Higher Creativity”, she offers a set of tools and exercises to help you reclaim the gift of your own creativity. This does not mean that you have to want to write a novel or paint a masterpiece. This creative journey (and I do believe it’s a journey!) will help you access your own creativity in whatever area you want to innovate and bring about unique change. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Take It As It Comes

You're walking through the grocery store, list in hand, kids in tow and you're so busy with what you need to accomplish and the various things on your mind, that the notion of taking time to write just seems unfathomable. Finding opportunities to be creative out of hectic days, let alone scheduling time to unleash your muse - it's just not happening.

And yet, when we do finally carve out that precious time, we can often become weighed down under the pressure.  "At last! I've got two hours of uninterrupted time! I'd better make the most of it." I don't know about you, but I sometimes end up thinking too hard.

That's why it's a good idea to take it as it comes. Those little bursts of inspiration can be found in the everyday; even when you're busy. That thing that just happened in Aisle 7 that you chuckled at? That's a poem or a haiku just waiting to happen. Jot it down on your grocery list or smart phone. Carry a small notebook or pocket voice recorder and capture those moments. Notice the little things. The conversations you have with strangers. Children you encounter. The scenery on your drive home.

There's something in everything we do if we pay attention and stay in tune with our surroundings. Sometimes I'll even turn the annoyances into poems. It's a great way to transform something negative into something positive and even funny.  It's one less angry anecdote to share with your spouse! I know my husband is infinitely grateful for that!

How many things happened to you today that could be potential poems? You might be surprised. It's a creative way to keep a journal of your day to day experiences, because once they're strung together, it's an interesting record of a time in your life and your take on things in those moments.

Just relax, live life and take it as it comes. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Poetry Writing Tip No One Gave Me (and oh, how I wish someone had!)

Here is my primary wish and most useful poetic tip I can give you for all of OctPoWriMo and beyond:

Be gentle with your poetic self and forgive yourself now for any perceived short comings lurking in the hallways of your poetry yet to be written.

Read that aloud if you must, several times, before continuing along with me.

Sometimes it happens like this:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

What Poetry Tools do You Have - Tip One

Getting your tools together for OctPoWriMo: 31 poems in 31 days of course is the first thing for you to begin to look at. Now you really only need a pen/pencil and paper to write a poem but let's take a look at some of the possibilities.

What is OctPoWriMo - Meet the Team

OctPoWriMo is a poetry month in October for poets all over the world to write 31 poems in 31 days. This blog and all of its volunteers are here to inspire, motivate, support, and cheer you on during this poetry adventure.

Starting today, the rest of September we will have daily posts filled with tips and resources to learn from while getting ready for the main event. Starting the first of October we will have daily prompts that you can choose to use or not. Either way you are free to link up your poems daily.
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