Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Status Symbolism

Photo by Shehan Peruma / CC BY 

Emotions.

Anger, frustration, sadness, joy. Before you log on to Facebook and pour your feelings out onto your status update, think about how you could channel them into a poem that can be preserved as an artistic expression with perhaps a more timeless appeal than "this is how pissed I was on Tuesday". You could even throw in a little poetic symbolism for good measure.

Believe me, it's something I want to do regularly. And it doesn't take too much more thought than it would to put it out there on Facebook. In fact, wouldn't it be cool if more of us took a more poetic approach to our status updates? Fun, right?

The doctor's office, 8am
I'm right on time, but he's late again
Why does the receptionist admonish when I'm running behind?
It's as if they only value their precious time 

It's about adding a little flair to the same old recitation of "Waited in the doctor's office for 45 minutes. Again. How come it's okay for them to be late, but not me

I think I'll try it today. 

Take THAT, Zuckerberg! 

Linda Roy is a writer, singer/songwriter/musician whose humor blog elleroy was here mixes funny with a soundtrack. She is the founder and lead singer of the Indie/Americana band Jehova Waitresses and her writing has been featured at The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop, Humor Outcasts and In the Powder Room, among others. She is a 2014 BlogHer Voice of the Year recipient and has contributed to several anthologies, including the third book of the New York Times best selling "Pee Alone" series, I Still Just Want To Pee Alone. Connect with her on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Why Do You Write Poetry?



Image by Morgan Dragonwillow

There are probably as many reasons to write poetry as there are people that write it. When my first book came out and I started doing interviews for it, why I write poetry was one of the questions that popped up. Below was my answer.

"I write poetry to be able to say things, feel things that I can't seem to be able to express or feel anywhere else."

Of course I'm sure there is a lot more to it than that but that is it when you get right down to the nitty gritty.

Finding Inspiration to Write Poetry:

Three major things I do to get my words on the page when I'm not feeling inspired.

  1. I look at my photos or public domain pictures until something calls the words forward.
  2. I pull out my magnets and randomly choose words until a poem begins to form, such as, How to Create a Poem with Magnetic Poetry.
  3. I get a dictionary and randomly open to a page to find a word and do an acrostic poem such as Lipstick or Penetrate, and one of my favorite acrostic poems is the one that I did for the word Poetry itself.   .
Playing with my words
Opens the door
Especially stirring
The Imagination
Rather than feeling stuck
Yet again in stagnation 
Acrostic and be as simple or as in depth as you choose just like any other poetry type. I guess that is why I like it so much.

Where do you find inspiration when you aren't feeling poetic?

Day after tomorrow OctPoWriMo begins. I would love to hear why you write poetry in the comments below with a link to one of your favorite poems you have written on your blog or a link to one of your poems on Twitter or Instagram if you don't have a blog.

Remember to have compassion for your poetry process during the OctPoWriMo journey.



1 More Day until OctPoWriMo!
PageLines- picture20193.jpgMorgan Dragonwillow is a poet, author, foodie, urban gardener, and recovering perfectionist, that (mostly) doesn't let her fears get in the way of her passion for writing and creating. She is team leader at @StoryDam, creatrix of  #OctPoWriMo You can find her Playing with Words on her blog. She lives in Marietta, Ga. with her loving and patient partner, their dog that thinks she's a princess, and the cat that reminds her that she isn't.
You can also find her on Google+

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Monday, September 28, 2015

The Foundations

Something I've been seeing on Pinterest lately is poetry written on different materials. As an artist who dabbles in mixed media sometimes, I've been thinking about it a lot.
Here are some of the cool ones I've seen:

  • Writing on paint samples, about the colors it's on
  • Writing on balsa wood, I guess you have to be really careful to not mess up! 
  • Writing on different paper grades. 
  • A pizza box, about the love for pizza. 
One of my goals this month is to explore different materials and what I can draw from them. I always described my writing process as "an exploration of self and world" 

I've also found that I feel differences between hand writing my drafts and clicking away on my iPhone. Breakup poems almost always have to be handwritten for me, but lovely things about the stars are perfectly fine on the screen. 

Anyone else affected by their writing material? 
Share with us by commenting here or tweeting @beverlytanfilm #octpowrimo 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

What's your poetry experience?

How often do you write poetry?  When did you start writing?  What did your friends/family say?  Have you ever shared your poetry before?

I find the different ways poetry is perceived so fascinating. It can be a scholarly pursuit or a emotional journey. A life's journal entry or press for the front page. Depending on where you are in life, it can take on an entirely different meaning.

When I was younger, my poetry was more of an emotional outlet. Now, I think of my poetry as somewhat of a confessional and somewhat of an observational tool in my life. What is poetry in your life?

Whether poetry is your secret or it's your version of a billboard- thank you for sharing with us. I can't wait to see what you'll come up with over the month.

It's all happening!
3 Days Until OctPoWriMo





Tamara Woods was raised (fairly happily) in West Virginia where she began penning poems after a boy broke her heart. She shares poetry, short stories and writer interviews on her blog, PenPaperPad. Her writing has been featured in Mamalode, In the Powder Room, and many others. She is the editor for The Reverie Journal, which will be releasing it's first poetry collection early October. She also hosts #writestuff TweetChat where writers talk about writing every Tuesday at 9 pm EST. She is a hillbilly hermit living in Honolulu with her Mathmagician.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Magic and Inspiration

Image by Morgan Dragonwillow
Magic waits around
every corner
dancing between the lines

Days moving faster
time never stands still
page waiting hungrily

Words float in and out
of mists and ether
poets soon begin


Not much time left before the OctPoWriMo journey begins, words will be flowing through you to the blank page. No one knows where the words come from, it is all about staying open and allowing inspiration in. Are you open to the words that want to flow through you?

Check out Tips from Previous Years:



4 Days until OctPoWriMo!
PageLines- picture20193.jpgMorgan Dragonwillow is a poet, author, foodie, urban gardener, and recovering perfectionist, that (mostly) doesn't let her fears get in the way of her passion for writing and creating. She is team leader at @StoryDam, creatrix of  #OctPoWriMo You can find her Playing with Words on her blog. She lives in Marietta, Ga. with her loving and patient partner, their dog that thinks she's a princess, and the cat that reminds her that she isn't.
You can also find her on Google+

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

What makes a poem a good poem?


I've thought of this question often. Pondered it while I dragged a pen across the page or madly tapped words onto the wordprocessing doc. I haven't came up with a clear answer.

The one thing that I've realize that I really like about a poem, is being able to connect with the piece. Something that draws me in. Something that let's me have a moment to be beyond myself. To see things in a different light.

I think that this question is so subjective that everyone has different ideas of what constitutes as "good" poetry. It may feel daunting to share these pieces with others. My suggestion for OctPoWriMo-

Don't worry about making "good" or "bad" poetry. Just write it. Don't have any expectations of what you're writing. It's a series of rough drafts. You may go back to some of it later. You may find pieces that you love..and other things that you don't like as much.

It's all fine. An exercise like this is to get your blood pumping. Your poetry brain going. In a month like this, every poem you finish is a good one, because you did it.




7 Days Until OctPoWriMo! 




Tamara Woods was raised (fairly happily) in West Virginia where she began penning poems after a boy broke her heart. She shares poetry, short stories and writer interviews on her blog, PenPaperPad. Her writing has been featured in Mamalode, In the Powder Room, and many others. She is the editor for The Reverie Journal, which will be releasing it's first poetry collection early October. She also hosts #writestuff TweetChat where writers talk about writing every Tuesday at 9 pm EST. She is a hillbilly hermit living in Honolulu with her Mathmagician.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Finding Inspiration in the News

Photo by Got Credit / CC BY 
You've no doubt at some point taken inspiration from the every day, the things that go on around you, whether they be in your home or during a typical errand run. But have you ever watched the news and felt there was something you wanted or needed to impart about something in a more global sense?

There is so much going on in the news, both good and bad that we feel strongly about that could be addressed perfectly through poetry. Yeats sometimes used poetry in a very political way to express his feelings about the state of politics in Ireland at the time, often inspired by his girlfriend who was a staunch activist.

You don't necessarily need to be a staunch activist in order to participate in the dialogue where it pertains to politics, world news, or even what's going on in your own community. Poetry can be a very powerful way of expressing your views. It can be a somewhat kinder, gentler approach to a heated topic that can give the reader pause and really make them think without fear of being preached to or pontificated at. Putting your words into prose gives your take on the issues a more timeless, artistic scope, something bigger than a Letter to the Editor ever could.

I'm a news junkie who ran a political satire website for a time, and so the news is an ongoing part of my life. Sometimes it's difficult to bear the enormity of the many tragic events that transpire on a regular basis, but writing about is a way of making sense of it all in my own mind, or at least coping with it. And in the case of the good news that finds its way in between the unthinkable, it's a celebration to write about.

The Pope just landed in Washington D.C.; how do you feel about it? What is your take on the madness of the circus that is the 2016 Presidential Election? Talk about it! Seriously, humorously, whatever strikes your fancy, but get your thoughts out there in prose. And who knows, it might just be a good way of dealing with Breaking News without letting the news break you.

Linda Roy is a writer, singer/songwriter/musician whose humor blog elleroy was here mixes funny with a soundtrack. She is the founder and lead singer of the Indie/Americana band Jehova Waitresses and her writing has been featured at The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop, Humor Outcasts and In the Powder Room, among others. She is a 2014 BlogHer Voice of the Year recipient and has contributed to several anthologies, including the third book of the New York Times best selling "Pee Alone" series, I Still Just Want To Pee Alone. Connect with her on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Ready for Liftoff!

So we've got 9 days left until OctPoWriMo starts!
How are you kicking off the month?
Some of us are the types to write alone with peace and quiet. But there are also some of us who love to PARTY! Sometimes I'm one of those people. I work well with support groups to motivate me.
So here are some slightly wacky ideas for throwing poetry parties while you have time to plan them!


  • Throw a tea party! What goes better with poetry than some nice tea sipping with some fellow poets? Add in some cucumber sandwiches and you're in for a classy time. The smell of tea and coffee goes well with paper if you're the type to handwrite. Maybe go to a garden and be surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature. 
  • Dog park poetry anyone? Again, it's the beautiful outdoors! Granted, this would be most effective with a dog that doesn't get into so much trouble, but there's a lot a laugh at with your furry friends
  • Wine & Dine- This is a classic! Think finger foods including cheeses and balsamic vinegar and a nice wine, it'll make you feel like the classy stereotypical poet right? Well personally I'd probably break out the whiskey pretty quickly, but you get the point. Just don't get too drunk to write! 
  • Midnight kickoff! If we do them for books, movies, and New Year's why not for poetry writing? Take it to the next level and make it costume required (it's October!), pop some popcorn, brew the coffee, and stock up on red bull and sour gummy worms! This could be a super fun lock in and write! Again, if you put vodka in that red bull, just don't puke on someone else's poem and edit sober! 

Are you planning something to kick off your writing? Tell me with your comments and tweet/insta me at @beverlytanfilm! 


Sunday, September 20, 2015

I don't know types of poetry?!

Have you had these thoughts before? You don't really know different kinds of poems and how can you possibly write 31 poems in 31 days if you don't know different forms?

How many, "There once was a girl from Nantucket" poems can you really write? (I guess you could write 30 if you really wanted to, but geez that girl would be so tired by the end of the month...)

First take a breath and let it out slowly. We're got you covered. We'll be sharing prompts, possible poetry forms and different media to give you inspiration. But if that's not enough, here's some resources to check out different poetry forms.

The Poetry Foundation gives you a glossary list of forms and then gives you an example of a famous poem to refer back to.

Poets.org goes much more in-depth with about a dozen poetic styles including links to examples.

Kathi Mitchell has listed poetry that's good for kids to try out.

And there's so many other forms to try out and explore.

Do you have a favorite form that you like to write? Is there something that you're wanting to try out in October? Let me know in the comments!


10 Days Until OctPoWriMo! 





Tamara Woods was raised (fairly happily) in West Virginia where she began penning poems after a boy broke her heart. She shares poetry, short stories and writer interviews on her blog, PenPaperPad. Her writing has been featured in Mamalode, In the Powder Room, and many others. She is the editor for The Reverie Journal, which will be releasing it's first poetry collection early October. She also hosts #writestuff TweetChat where writers talk about writing every Tuesday at 9 pm EST. She is a hillbilly hermit living in Honolulu with her Mathmagician.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

OctPoWriMo - Theme or No Theme?

Photo by Morgan Dragonwillow 
Are you planning on having a theme for your poetry during OctPoWriMo? It isn't something you have to have just something to think about while you are preparing for your month long journey.

Some themes to think about:


  • Love
  • Mischief
  • Sisters
  • Family
  • Transformation
  • Feminism
  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Pets
  • Dating
  • Music
  • Ghosts
  • Halloween
  • Fall
  • Food
  • Children
And those are just a few of the possibilities.

Have you thought about a theme? Are you a, "seat of your pants" poet writer or will you be choosing a theme?


11 Days until OctPoWriMo!
PageLines- picture20193.jpgMorgan Dragonwillow is a poet, author, foodie, urban gardener, and recovering perfectionist, that (mostly) doesn't let her fears get in the way of her passion for writing and creating. She is team leader at @StoryDam, creatrix of  #OctPoWriMo You can find her Playing with Words on her blog. She lives in Marietta, Ga. with her loving and patient partner, their dog that thinks she's a princess, and the cat that reminds her that she isn't.
You can also find her on Google+

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Reading Punctuations

In other words, how is your audience receiving your words? 
I thought about this today because when I was minoring in poetry back in college, almost everything I wrote was made for performance. Growing up I couldn't stand the sound of someone else reading my work out load, it was like nails on a chalkboard! 

The biggest problem I had to correct in college was using punctuation. I never did because I'd know the voices of my poems. The problem was, no one could read my mind. I started singing with very strict classical training when I was 5. I wrote things in the way I heard them in my head. It doesn't help anyone else! So therefore, I had to start learning how to write poetry with punctuation, and once I jumped into that pool, I was in the deep end. 

There's a lot that you can use for punctuation. Sure there's periods, commas, semicolons, but I started playing with other things. I threw in parentheses and read them like subscripts. I started using hyphens or super sudden stops. A couple times I even modified words with apostrophes, so my readers could get as close to reading it in the right voice as they could. 
Hyphens were on the left and the right, jarring for the crescendo and commas let the words fall softly and drawn out.

What's the most creative thing you've done with punctuation? Do you have a style with how you use punctuation? 
Let's talk about it! Comment or tweet to @beverlytanfilm or instagram @beverlytanfilm! 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Do it like a twosome

Have you ever written a poem with someone else? Sometimes it's where each person writes a stanza on a subject and they combine them in interesting way. It could be a line by line switch off. This is called collaborative or collective poetry.

Something strange happens when to minds start to meld like that. You're the only two people in the world working on this particular poem at this particular time. You start establishing a rhythm. Your goal becomes clearer. Your theme develops.

You start communicating in grunts, gulps of coffee, and hastily scrawled words.

Or times of course writing a poem can be a frustrating time, taking you back to when you had to work with kids in class for a contest.

Sometimes, it works so well that it's amazing. Here's one that I really enjoy:

   
Sarah Kay & Phil Kaye "An Origin Story"

.







Tamara Woods was raised (fairly happily) in West Virginia where she began penning poems after a boy broke her heart. She shares poetry, short stories and writer interviews on her blog, PenPaperPad. Her writing has been featured in Mamalode, In the Powder Room, and many others. She is the editor for The Reverie Journal, which will be releasing it's first poetry collection early October. She also hosts #writestuff TweetChat where writers talk about writing every Tuesday at 9 pm EST. She is a hillbilly hermit living in Honolulu with her Mathmagician.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Don't Be Afraid to Seuss it Up!

Photo by Casey Florig / CC BY

I'm a humorist who lives a good chunk of her life finding the humor in almost any situation, often to the exaggerated eye rolls of my ever patient family. Oh, I have a serious side for sure. But I love to pepper my days and interactions with a play on words here, a double-entendré there, a snappy jingle, or a pun. And now that I have children, I have been known to have entire conversations spoken in Seuss. Why not have fun and rhyme a little in life; see how long you can keep it going?

So...my suggestion is to push your poetry boundaries out into the comical word playground. Have a serious issue you'd like to explore? So did the good Dr. He tackled subjects moral and political, wistful and wonderful, and all with his special brand of whimsy.

Why not give it a try? You might find you like it, just as much as I.
You never know where it'll take you - the limits's the sky.
You can make your readers laugh, you can still make 'em cry.
You can teach 'em a thing or two if you're especially sly.
Because the poetry bug has definitely bitten,
So put your words out there.
The world won't know what hit 'em!

See? Wasn't that fun? Now you try it!

Linda Roy is a writer, singer/songwriter/musician whose humor blog elleroy was here mixes funny with a soundtrack. She is the founder and lead singer of the Indie/Americana band Jehova Waitresses and her writing has been featured at The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop, Humor Outcasts and In the Powder Room, among others. She is a 2014 BlogHer Voice of the Year recipient and has contributed to several anthologies, including the third book of the New York Times best selling "Pee Alone" series, I Still Just Want To Pee Alone. Connect with her on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Gentle on Your Journey

Photo by Morgan Dragonwillow
“Keep Moving...
Move forward
Let go
Give in
Decide
and just Do
Progress every day
And make one step forward no matter what's in your way
Keep moving, till one day you wake up and you're there.” ― Emma Daley

Writing poetry every day for a month may be something that you do all the time, or it may seem like an impossible task, or at least difficult. Treats for success or treats for encouragement may help you stay on track.

It depends on my mood as to which I need but often it is knowing that dark chocolate and red wine are waiting for me to be finished will do it for me. Other times I will set a larger treat, such as taking myself to the movies, for writing one poem a day for a week or writing seven poems over a couple of days.

Whether you have little things to encourage your poetry journey or you just find loving ways to support yourself, remember, this is for you to dive in to see where your words will lead you. Be gentle to yourself and have compassion for your process of creating.

Favorite Tips From Previous Years:

How do you encourage or support yourself during the creative process?


   15 Days until OctPoWriMo!
PageLines- picture20193.jpgMorgan Dragonwillow is a poet, author, foodie, urban gardener, and recovering perfectionist, that (mostly) doesn't let her fears get in the way of her passion for writing and creating. She is team leader at @StoryDam, creatrix of  #OctPoWriMo You can find her Playing with Words on her blog. She lives in Marietta, Ga. with her loving and patient partner, their dog that thinks she's a princess, and the cat that reminds her that she isn't.
You can also find her on Google+

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Tip of the day: Let's talk About Blackouts

You've probably seen them on Pinterest and Tumblr, floating around various social media and whatnot. They're beautiful aren't they? So simple!
I've always loved them because I've always been a minimalist.
But what I found is that these things are HARD!
So here are some tips for writing some blackout poetry.


  • Choose the right material. Sounds easy enough right? Maybe. Pick something that goes with your mood. Newspapers are super popular because there's a lot of material you can get from them. But think about your mood, if you're feeling super chill, the gun violence article probably isn't going to inspire you.
  •  One of my latest projects has been taking the love letters I received while I was a military girlfriend, photocopying them, and using them for material. If you're using a handwritten article such as a journal, it might help to sit down, type them out, and print them. 
  • Try not to read the material! Of course it can't be helped if it's something you're already familiar with but going back to newspapers, don't read it! 
  • Some people leave trails of white between words to lead the eye to the next word, but general these poems will be read left to right, top to bottom, keep that in mind while choosing words. 
Someone once told me "Words don't bleed themselves, you have to cut them." 

Write on my brave poets and start gathering your inspiration because there's only 17 days left until OctPoWriMo! 

Inspired? Thoughts? 

Follow and tweet me at @beverlytanfilm on Twitter and instagram! Stay tuned for updates for my upcoming memoir in poetry! 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Tuning out distractions


Life happens. Sometimes that life is loud. Encompassing everything around you. The neighbor's dog barking. Your teenager practicing the piano. The football game blaring from the den.

Sometimes it feels like life throws all of these distractions at you and you're just trying to juggle it. Here's what I try to do when the distractions become too much.

Headphones: I bought a sweet pair of headphones that have some sound cancelling elements. They're not the most expensive, but they're pretty effective. They don't block out everything, but it's enough so I can play music and lose myself in my thoughts.

Pleading for peace: Sometimes when I need some solitude for writing, I tell everyone that I'm going to be available for a few hours. I'm just holing up in my room with my headphones and my poetry. Your variation could be asking your partner to take care of things for an hour while you hide in the basement with your laptop. 

Abandon ship: If it's too crazy here, too many distractions then I head to the library or a coffee shop. I can go there and write, knowing that I'm not going to be bothered by anyone. I can just focus on the writing.

Because the night: In the wee hours of the night/day there's times when the world seems hushed. Still. If all else fails, those times are wonderful for tapping into your creative juices and writing a bit.

How do you manage to write when the world seems to not want you to? Let me know in the comments!

17 Days until OctPoWriMo!



Tamara Woods was raised (fairly happily) in West Virginia where she began penning poems after a boy broke her heart. She shares poetry, short stories and writer interviews on her blog, PenPaperPad. Her writing has been featured in Mamalode, In the Powder Room, and many others. She is the editor for The Reverie Journal, which will be releasing it's first poetry collection early October. She also hosts #writestuff TweetChat where writers talk about writing every Tuesday at 9 pm EST. She is a hillbilly hermit living in Honolulu with her Mathmagician.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Life, Passion, and Poetry


Photo by Morgan Dragonwillow
It doesn't matter who you are, life can get in the way of your passions. Day in and day out we go through our lives doing the same things over and over again; sleep, eat, clean house, work, and sleep again. If we're lucky we have some fun somewhere along the way.

When you were growing up you had passions, great dreams of what you were going to do when you grew up, how you were going to spend your days and nights. But reality doesn't always measure up.

What passions have you forgotten? How different is your life compared to your dreams? Fodder for your poetry.

  18 Days until OctPoWriMo!
PageLines- picture20193.jpgMorgan Dragonwillow is a poet, author, foodie, urban gardener, and recovering perfectionist, that (mostly) doesn't let her fears get in the way of her passion for writing and creating. She is team leader at @StoryDam, creatrix of  #OctPoWriMo You can find her Playing with Words on her blog. She lives in Marietta, Ga. with her loving and patient partner, their dog that thinks she's a princess, and the cat that reminds her that she isn't.
You can also find her on Google+

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Relax Your Mind

Writing daily for thirty days can be a tough experience. The task may feel daunting, but don't wear yourself out over it. We don't want you to feel horribly stressed and burned  to a crisp! When it becomes a bit too much, take a step back to relax for a moment. These are some things I like to do when I'm stressed out.



Remember to breathe: Take those deep, slow breaths. When I feel tense, I have tendency to take shallow breaths. 

Listen to some music that puts you in a calm mood: When I'm feeling stressed, I tend to gravitate toward soft music that has no words. Sounds that are beautiful and calming. 

Take a walk or maybe a stroll: Walk around your block, feel the air on your face, and breathe deeply. Let nature remind you that this isn't the biggest thing in the world. It's just a tiny stepping stone in life. If you don't live around nature, go to where you find it relaxing in your neighborhood or at your home. Maybe you have a balcony you love, a back porch that is beginning to be sat on, or in a bubble bath. 

Seek quiet: I'm a library junkie, so I go to the one near me that has the least about of people and it's usually quiet every time I go there. It feels nice to be in a place where I'm not expected to talk. I can gather my thoughts and there's not a lot of outside distractions. Where's your quiet place?

No worries: Remember the goal is to write 30 poems in 30 days, however, if you miss a day, don't stress yourself out. Don't worry about it. Part of this experience is meeting new poets and supporting each other. If you miss a day, start the next one that you can. 

And don't forget to enjoy yourself. 




Tamara Woods was raised (fairly happily) in West Virginia where she began penning poems after a boy broke her heart. She shares poetry, short stories and writer interviews on her blog, PenPaperPad. Her writing has been featured in Mamalode, In the Powder Room, and many others. She is the editor for The Reverie Journal, which will be releasing it's first poetry collection early October. She also hosts #writestuff TweetChat where writers talk about writing every Tuesday at 9 pm EST. She is a hillbilly hermit living in Honolulu with her Mathmagician.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Stuff of Dreams

Photo: Dreaming by Toni Blay / CC BY

"To sleep...perchance to dream..." - William Shakespeare 

I've always been fascinated by dreams and dream analysis. I write down the detailed dreams I remember and I keep a dream book on my bedside table to research the meanings of the details 
of the stories that unfold while I've been unconscious. It's interesting to discover the ways in which my subconscious mind has woven together my thoughts, emotions, and often, my anxieties from the previous day's events. I find that this involuntary narrative makes for some of the best poetry and song lyrics. 

Once, I wrote a song based on a very bizarre, detailed dream I had involving a court jester, a bus ride to Europe, and a loaf of bread, of all things! 

But whatever makes up the tales your brain tells you during your REM time, whether they be serious, whimsical, bizarre or poignant, keeping a record of them and utilizing those details to inform your art can be a very powerful form of self-discovery as well as a fascinating form of "confessional" prose to share with one's readers. It's also a wonderful way to keep your work open to interpretation to the reader.

Linda Roy is a writer, singer/songwriter/musician whose humor blog elleroy was here mixes funny with a soundtrack. She is the founder and lead singer of the Indie/Americana band Jehova Waitresses and her writing has been featured at The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop, Humor Outcasts and In the Powder Room, among others. She is a 2014 BlogHer Voice of the Year recipient and has contributed to several anthologies, including the third book of the New York Times best selling "Pee Alone" series, I Still Just Want To Pee Alone. Connect with her on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Perspective is Everything

Photo by Morgan Dragonwillow

“What people in the world think of you is really none of your business.” 
― Martha Graham

Perspective is everything. I am a sensitive person, at least that is what people have been telling me my whole life. "Don't be so sensitive, Morgan."

I think a lot of poets are sensitive to some degree, in fact it is probably a prerequisite for being a poet.

I do feel deeply and finding perspective can help me stay grounded when my life seems like a roller coaster.

When writing poetry, changing your perspective can help the words flow to the page. Whatever your subject may be, look at it from all angles.

And remember, it is none of their business what you think of them either.

Video: The Power of Poetry






  22 Days until OctPoWriMo!
PageLines- picture20193.jpgMorgan Dragonwillow is a poet, author, foodie, urban gardener, and recovering perfectionist, that (mostly) doesn't let her fears get in the way of her passion for writing and creating. She is team leader at @StoryDam, creatrix of  #OctPoWriMo You can find her Playing with Words on her blog. She lives in Marietta, Ga. with her loving and patient partner, their dog that thinks she's a princess, and the cat that reminds her that she isn't.
You can also find her on Google+

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Play the Name Game

Something on my mind a lot lately was the title of poems. Do I start with titles? Do I end with titles? 
There's no right answer, but the title isn't just a name for a poem, it's part of it. 
It's that bit of sparkle that you see in a marble countertops that really show what this poem is about. 

How do you know if you have a good title? Read it without the title. Read it with the title. Do you have more understanding? Do you feel more? You should. The title is an important part and should never be overlooked. 

Sometimes I work off a title. Lately my word has been "Basorexia" which is the unquenchable desire to kiss. From that word I have found inspiration for so many things. I tried to write about first kisses or missing someone, but I couldn't find that poem. I rabbit trailed and ended up writing about the first time I saw someone I loved.

That's the other tip that I follow. Chase the rabbit trails. Don't just follow them, chase them. 
See what I did there? 

One of my examples was one of my poetry posters that I made. 
Read it without the title. Read it with the title. Does the meaning change? 


Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Discuss! Comment or tweet #OctPoWriMo and @beverlytanfilm 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Explore Your World


As the tagline for my blog lets you know, I'm a hillbilly hermit. I don't go out a lot. New people in big numbers make me nervous. Even so, one of the things I do to get my writing mojo going, is to leave the house.

*gasp* I know, very shocking.

But necessary.

When you're staring at the same four walls everyday or the variation is home/work/grocery store/home, that can be very taxing for your creativity. Take it to the streets, take a walk, go somewhere new, or even go to somewhere you love but haven't gone to in a long time.

Shake things up.

This is my advice for the next October when you're writing a poem each day and you're starting to feel drained of new ideas. When you're feeling stuck, try something different. Explore the world around you.

You're inspiration is waiting for you. Sometimes you have to look for it.


Tamara Woods was raised (fairly happily) in West Virginia where she began penning poems after a boy broke her heart. She shares poetry, short stories and writer interviews on her blog, PenPaperPad. Her writing has been featured in Mamalode, In the Powder Room, and many others. She is the editor for The Reverie Journal, which will be releasing it's first poetry collection early October. She also hosts #writestuff TweetChat where writers talk about writing every Tuesday at 9 pm EST. She is a hillbilly hermit living in Honolulu with her Mathmagician.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Poetry Tip 5 - Mood Swings and Writing

Photo & quote by Morgan Dragonwillow
Tamara talked about Free Your Emotions on Thursday, I tend to have the opposite problem. Usually when I'm angry everyone knows it. Sometimes I tell myself I am too angry, sad, or depressed to write poetry. I think, "How can I possibly write when I feel like this?" But when I allow myself to sit down and write everything I am feeling, my poetry becomes clear and intense.

Strong emotions can transfer onto the page.

Of course you don't want to have a, "tear someone apart" type rant, it isn't meant to get even with someone, it is to help you work through it and take your poetry to the next level.

Poetry Tip 5:


Next time you are feeling strong emotions and don't think you can show up on the page, show up anyway. You never know what gems are waiting for you to experience through poetry.

Books:


Periodically I like to check out the Top 100 in Poetry on Amazon and see what is trending. You can also see the Top 100 Free in Poetry.

And an Article: How Poetry Can Improve Your Writing Craft

What about you, do your moods keep you away from the page?


25 Days until OctPoWriMo!
PageLines- picture20193.jpgMorgan Dragonwillow is a poet, author, foodie, urban gardener, and recovering perfectionist, that (mostly) doesn't let her fears get in the way of her passion for writing and creating. She is team leader at @StoryDam, creatrix of  #OctPoWriMo You can find her Playing with Words on her blog. She lives in Marietta, Ga. with her loving and patient partner, their dog that thinks she's a princess, and the cat that reminds her that she isn't.
You can also find her on Google+

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Finding Your Space

You know the feeling, that perfect beat where you’re writing and it’s just moving right through you. The words are just there!
This month a good chunk of the battle is to find that place every day and get some of those words out!
Some of you have the right space to go to. If you’re like me, then you create that space as you go. Here’s some tips to find that space.


  1.  Find the place with your zen, be it the coffee shop with the best indie beats, outside in the shade of your favorite tree, or the quietest nook in your house. Mine was the screened in porch of my last house, right off the river.
  2. Think about that place. Are there colors that inspire you? Is it the smell? What makes it your spot and on a busy day can you bring it with you? How much time do you spend there writing vs doing other things?
  3. Figure out your time of day. Are you a morning person or do you wake up in the middle of the night? Do you sit down and write after dinner every day? Personally I loved going to that porch at sunset, so I could watch the purple through the trees.
  4.  Lighting. It really sets the mood. Again, daylight? Artificial light? Maybe set some string lights up? Me? I really love writing by candlelight.
  5.  What are the sounds you like? Music, nature, screaming children? I always found it harder to write when I listen to lyrical music because it puts words into my head. I do love listening to film scores, but my ultimate favorite is a crazy thunderstorm. If you like the sound of rain http://www.rainymood.com/ is one of my favorites.
  6.  Find an object of inspiration. What represents you? Having it nearby can sometimes jog a feeling. Sometimes it’s something symbolic I want to focus on, usually it’s a variety of things that feel very “me.” Example, I love drinking whiskey out of teacups and my orange cat is always with me. Reminds me of Hemmingway. I sometimes bring things like old letters out to the porch with me just to think about since I’m a very visual person.

There’s no right or wrong way to do it. Finding a headspace to write doesn’t always have to be physical but for some people it helps.

My ideal space is a screened in porch right off the Tuckaseegee river in the middle of a super loud thunderstorm. It’s only lit by candlelight and lighting, filled with the smell of whiskey in a teacup, and my lap is warmed by a fat orange cat.


What’s your ideal space? Share it in the comments or tweet it with #OctPoWriMo and tell me @Beverlytanfilm!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

OctPoWriMo 2015 | Free your emotions

One of the most powerful aspects of poetry stems from tapping into your inner self. When you let down your guard and allow yourself be vulnerable, it opens your mind up to so much more. It can give your writing wings and authenticity.
I'm normally a person, who keeps my feelings in. I don't' necessarily share how I'm feeling or what I'm thinking unless I feel close to a person. I keep things at a surface level and I'm not even sure why. It's just the way I deal with the world, I suppose. With poetry, I can expose my inner-workings, my feelings, my thoughts, impressions, and interpretations. I don't feel shy or awkward. Not anymore.

This amount of openness can be a little bit off-putting at first. It might feel conspicuous, slightly uncomfortable. But with poetry as Linda was telling us yesterday, things are open to interpretation. You may be talking about one thing and the reader could see it a totally different way. Her experiences colors what she reads. By honoring your truth, allowing yourself to permission to feel and write about it, you can help your readers find their truths.

 It's emotional freedom at its finest. If you give yourself permission to let go.





.Tamara Woods was raised (fairly happily) in West Virginia where she began penning poems after a boy broke her heart. She shares poetry, short stories and writer interviews on her blog, PenPaperPad. Her writing has been featured in Mamalode, In the Powder Room, and many others. She is the editor for The Reverie Journal, which will be releasing it's first poetry collection early October. She also hosts #writestuff TweetChat where writers talk about writing every Tuesday at 9 pm EST. She is a hillbilly hermit living in Honolulu with her Mathmagician.