Next week, I will be joining a handful of amazing writers and friends whose main purpose is to survive running 5 km. When I say ‘running’ I want to be all inclusive. Jogging. Power walking. Strolling. Walking the dog. Stopping for rests along the way to take in the view. Maybe even have a mid-way pit stop where we can discuss the virtues or lack thereof of famous writers from the 16th century. Seeing as the run is women only, we could debate the first female writer published. The point is, we will all line up, with a number tag on our shirts and began something close to running. We won’t stop until we cross the finish line. Read more
Have you heard of this app? Habitica? I’m in love with it. So here’s the deal. You create a little guy or gal and then go ahead and set up tasks, to-do lists, or even habits. They could be writing related goals, like ‘Write one chapter’ or ‘Write 1000 words daily’, or something a little more simple like ‘Take the stairs’ or a habit like ‘Drink Water’.
Whenever you mark off the tasks or to-do items as completed, you get experience points. Eventually you can even have pets. Just a few days ago I hatched my first Skeleton Flying Pig!
I’ve been listening to The Story Grid with Tim Grahl and Shawn Coyne. It’s a writing podcast which pairs up the flailing new writer with an experienced editor and they talk about all things story related. Shawn relies heavily on Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces and Robert McKee’s Story, so if you’ve studied either of them, you’ll find much of Shawn’s work familiar.
One of the first things that struck me was how Shawn categorizes the different genres, but the more I dug into them, it made sense. I write Fantasy and Science Fiction. Sometimes I veer into the creepy, the edge of horror. Read more
Week six has been fun. If you’ll recall, each day during week five, I read a poem about sleep, which in some cases meant death. Since that was depressing, I promised to look for something a little lighter this week and my son helped me pick the theme: Fish! You’ll notice I also included a different photo this week. The pink fish is the one he threw at me, the one who started this whole fish mess.
The best part of the project this week was the variety. The internet is full of funny and serious poems about fish, fishing, sea creatures and other aquatic subjects. However, most of the traditional poems I found had the word fish in them, but talked about something else, like parasols and aging. As a result, it took a while to find a poem that fit within the guidelines I had set up. Well, there was only one guideline really, but you’d be surprised how many things mention fish, while having absolutely nothing to do with fish. I also really enjoyed reading poems from lesser-known poets. Those tended be less constrained. They had an element of fun to them that was missing in many of the traditional poems. I ended up reading a lot more poems than I’m pasting here, but these are the ones I meditated on each day.
Great things come in fives. Five traditional elements. Five Olympic rings. Five senses. Most of us have five fingers on each hand and five toes on each foot. And now entering week five, my weekly poetry readings!
In the last post I hinted at a theme for this week: sleep. Unfortunately I forgot most traditional poets referred to death as sleep. Hence, I started out reading a lot of poetry about death. Which was depressing.
This coming week, I’m picking a much more cheery theme. Since my son just threw a toy fish at me, I’ll go with that. Join me next week as I list poems about fish!
But first, this week. My reading selections for week five:
Week Four into my poetry reading challenge and I need to tell you the past few days have been difficult for me to keep my part of the bargain. Last week I picked up a cold from somewhere and now both kids are home sick. When that happens, I tend to just go through the motions. Do the basics. Make sure everyone’s alive at the end of the day, and then crawl into bed. As a result, I don’t have a lot to say this time around. Doesn’t mean I can’t share what I found, though, does it?
I’m on week three! I’ve also added a photo :). I read somewhere that photos are a must, so I tried to add a photo last week. I dumped out a bunch of those magnetic poetry pieces on the table and tried to make a small poem. ‘Silver angels smiled’ and then something else that sounded both cheesy and cool at the same time. I took a picture, cropped it, labeled it, resized it and had it ready to go. Which would have been fantastic had I actually remembered to add the photo to the post before it went out last week.
It’s all good. I changed my mind anyway. I thought the photo I took reflected writing poetry more than reading poetry, so I went with my previous poetry photo. In the spirit of laziness, I’ll use the same photo each week :).
When did time become so fast? Two weeks have already flown by. It was harder to keep up with the challenge this week. A couple of my days didn’t go as planned, but I’ve stuck with it and I’m proud to say I’ve read seven more poems.
My reading selections for the second week: Read more
At the end of last year, I made myself a resolution to read a poem a day. As I said in the original post, I’m not a poet. I’m not sure I want to be a poet, either. But I have great respect for poets and words. In an effort to learn more about both, and hopefully better my own craft, I challenged myself to read just one poem a day (I originally called it a resolution, but why weigh it down with such a heavy word. Let’s call it a challenge 🙂 ).
My goal is to not just read a poem, or skim through the lines, but to spend time with a poem. I want to think about it and wonder at the language and structure. Let it run through my head throughout the day. I also want to expose myself to different styles. I want to read masters and those beginning with their craft. If you’re a poet and want to share your work, or you’d like to suggest a poet who’s moved you in some particular way, please leave a comment and post a link, I’d love to check it out.
The first week is over and here are my reading selections: Read more