Posts Tagged ‘challenges’

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NaPoWriMo Wrap up, Poems and bonus prompts!

April 30, 2019

“I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.”Robert Louis Stevenson

I hope you enjoyed National Poetry Month, read some extra poetry, perhaps attended more than a couple poetry readings, wrote some poems to various prompts and found yourself writing some things you would not have written otherwise.  You might have even developed a habit of writing every day.

“A word after a word after a word is power.”Margaret Atwood

My schedule is very busy these days with owning, managing a bookstore and all the marketing, scheduling, ordering, etc that it entails. (Remember to support your friendly neighborhood independent bookstore.  (BookTree on Facebook is here) BookTree will have an evening with Tess Gallagher on May 14th!  Our Third Saturday writing workshop followed by our PoetryIsEverything Poetry Night on May 18th features Matthew Brouwer and Jed Myers and an open mic.   Hope you can be part of it!

Most of the poems I wrote this month were done in less than 20 minutes and then quickly edited in about 5 minutes as I was posting them.   I did think about some of the prompts as I was doing other things.  About ten poems are decent and maybe three or four with some work are worth publishing.  A couple were awful I know and that’s part of the NaPoWriMo challenge too.

“Tears are words that need to be written.”Paulo Coelho

After my poems you’ll find some Bonus Prompts.

Prompt 29  Countdown poem  (mine started with 10 words decreasing to 1)

Indie Bookstore Day

by Christopher J. Jarmick

This year’s 11 hours of independent bookstore day at BookTree

began by letting in two dozen people waiting outside.

By hour three more than 500 had visited

getting passports stamped, some touring the store,

others buying books, many rushing fast.

21 store visits required for

discount card, bragging rites.

Busy, memorable, fun,

10 hour

day.

Prompt 30  Go through what you have written the last 29 days and pick out 4 lines or more to incorporate in the body of a new poem.

What Me Worry?

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Not going to worry about a thing

like the song said

even if the maze of anxiety

isn’t as much fun as I would imagine

a Coney Island of the Mind ought to be.

I could care less if I dash out into a vandlop

or how insecure I feel four layers in.

My knees will inhale courage

and I’ll imagine everyone in their worst

pair of underwear rubberizing their faces

with makeup smiles.

Gonna be alright.

Not going to worry about a thing.

 

XTRA –

Poem Starter 1429

By Christopher J. Jarmick

There’s no ‘I’ in

meat,  mate or tame,

and you can’t spell  team

without meta.

Poem Starter 1950

By Christopher J. Jarmick

During the intermission

a billion dollars

was redacted.

Poem Starter 1501

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Will I know

which poem is good

which a worthwhile failure?

EXTRA PROMPTS!!!!

Need some extra prompts for the days ahead?

Here’s 7 more I almost used including several from Brendan McBreen too:

Prompt A

whats your sign?

write a poem which predicts the future

think daily horoscope

Prompt B

garden poem

you’ve heard of a green thumb

write a poem comparing different body parts to different plants or plant parts

Prompt C

Judge a book cover

Write an ekphrastic poem but use the art work

on a cover of a book to inspire you.

Prompt D

poker face

write a poem

without letting the reader know what you are writing about

just hint at the subject

Prompt E

Put a Tiger in your tank!

Write a poem that includes three or four (or more) places

you vividly remember from your childhood.

Prompt F

30 days has Remember, Poetry, Soon and November

all the rest have thirty-one, except for February alone.

Make up two to three names for calendar months ( yes, you could

create a new day name too) and use them in your poem today.

Prompt G

snap! snap!

it’s the Addams Family!

write a nice gloomy macabre poem

about one of your relatives (fictional or real) who is probably a distant relation to the Addams’s

be sure to include some rhymes

Prompt H

the end of endings

write a to do list for the day of the apocalypse

its going to be a busy day after all

 

“Always be a poet, even in prose.”Charles Baudelaire

A few months ago, the wonderful, talented, writer, publisher, editor, poet Lana Ayers did an interview with me and creatively posted the results.  You might enjoy it.  Thoughts on Writing and Dealing with Inner Darkness.  

Thank you!

Keep Writing! 

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NaPoWriMo Prompts for April 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28; plus some poems!

April 23, 2019

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.”  —Gustave Flaubert

We’re down to the final 7 prompts of NaPoWriMo 2019!   Here’s the next 5 challenges and inspirations to keep you writing.

But first…for those of you in Western Washington:

This FRIDAY from 1:30pm to around 4pm, writer, poet, editor and publisher David D. Horowitz will be at BookTree in Kirkland.  It’s always fun when he hangs out and talks/reads/answers questions.  Facebook Event Page you can share is here! 

Also:  Saturday is Seattle Independent Bookstore Day!  BookTree is once again part of it.  Be part of the celebration of Independent bookstores.  Thank You.   Facebook for SIBD here!  

And now to the prompts.

Prompt for April  24   (write poem to this prompt on April 24th  )

Music.   Rewrite the lyrics to a song you admire.  Keep a nearly identical meter and rhyme pattern.  (Tell us what song it was only at the end of your poem).

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”William Faulkner

Keep Writing!

Prompt for April 25    (write poem to this prompt on April 25th )

From Brendan McBreen  :  dive into the dark dank deep depths of alliteration!

write a poem using alliteration in each line… can you make it rhyme?

Happy Poeming!

Prompt for April 26   (write poem to this prompt on April 26th   )

“A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.” Sidney Sheldon

Stream of consciousness write.   Listen.   Write down the sounds you hear and make sure you hear voices speaking or go to the internet or radio and write down five or six words that someone has said

Now use this to write for 4 to 5 minutes and I mean just write, pen to paper preferably and move the pen as continuously as possible for several minutes.   Take a few minutes (no more than 3 minutes – just 3 minutes) and that’s your poem for today.

“Don’t get it right, get it written.” – – Ally Carter

Keep Writing!

Prompt for April 27    (write poem to this prompt on April 27th )

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”John Steinbeck

From Brendan McBreen

canned phrase

pick a canned phrase you use like “have a nice day” and expand on the sentiment

in an extreme and overly detailed way

eight lines long extreme

“I write to discover what I know.”Flannery O’Connor

Happy Poeming!

Prompt for April  28   (write poem to this prompt on April 28th   )

“Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” –William Faulkner

Twisting a prompt idea from Brendan McBreen we have this challenge:

Find five verbs and five nouns used in Space/Astronomy/Rocket Science and use them to write about another subject. The idea is to create an extended metaphor in a short poem, of maybe ten to twelve lines.

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”Sylvia Plath

And here are poems I wrote for the last shared prompts.

Prompt for April 22    (write poem to this prompt on April 22nd  )

Prompt 22   Recipe Poem that reads like a detailed recipe but doesn’t have anything to do with cooking or baking.

Laura’s Recipe for a Maltese Detour

By

Christopher J. Jarmick

Organize your shopping list of ingredients

though it probably won’t matter much.

Wear black and consider a hat.

One or two: Shady Dames

One or Two: Saps

One or two: unwashed cops

Three:  tablespoons of angular perspective

from below the eye-line

Four: Teaspoons of mood lighting

Five: Pinches of some

not quite right circumstances

Six: Cups of desperation

Six: Dead ends – peeled.

Seven or eight:  Mugs of untrustworthy,

possibly spoiled unkempt

characters and stoolies.

(they’ll be available to you

almost everywhere you go.)

Eight: Halves of hard-boiled cynicism.  Diced.

Nine: Drops of sweat

on or about the brow.

Ten: Zest scrapings from

a this- isn’t-going-to-end

well.

Combine and mix the ingredients.

But you know what doll?  It really doesn’t matter

How you do it.  We’re doomed to repeat

our past mistakes, make a mess of things anyway.

Eventually you’ll figure out the best way

to half-bake everything and when you split it up

into equal portions, folks will accuse you and others

of it not being fairly divided and then there is the

sour, bitter after-taste.

Intentional and

certainly part of the appeal

but there’s going to be smoke

and serious injuries.

You probably should be smart

leave early, get a head start, forget the whole thing,

but 10 to 1 says

you won’t.

 

Prompt 23 Poem  (TODAY)

write a poem in the form of a conversation between a mythological character

and an inanimate object repeating four randomly chosen words throughout.

Catch,  spring,  release, fire   (are the words)

Rukuba and the Ball

By Christopher J. Jarmick

“Catch me, Rukuba,”  Ball said.

“Catch you?” asked the guardian of fire.

“Yes it is spring and we must

play catch and release.”

Rukuba sprang into action catching the ball

releasing it quickly as if it were on fire.

Ball laughed. “I shall bounce high into the air.”

“…and I shall spring into the air faster than a

a spark from a fire and catch and release you.”

“You are fast!”

“Let us play catch and release some more.”

It is a perfect game for a spring day,” Ball agreed

“I will give you a three second head start.”

“I will roll down the hill and into the spring

where surely you, the guardian of fire, will not

dare catch and release me.”

“Try me, my silly friend.”

And the two new best friends played

catch and release until the spring sun set

And the fireflies appeared.

Keep Writing!!!

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 30, 2018

April 29, 2018

 “A poem begins with a lump in the throat; a homesickness or a love sickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” ― Robert Frost

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 30, 2018

Ta Da!  This is it.  The end of NaPoWriMo 2018.  The last official prompt for the 2018 National Poetry Month challenge.  I know the prompts inspired by challenge or by guilt at least a couple of poets out there reading this blog.  It was particularly tough for me to find the time to do this blog and write poems every day plus run the bookstore.  But…sometimes it’s fun and there’s a bit of a sense of accomplishment too.  Wrap up tomorrow and my final two prompt poems.

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 30, 2018

Prompt 30 – Something old, something borrowed, something blue — Our poem will be 8 to 12 lines. Every other line (lines 2, 4, 6 and 8 and possibly 10 and 12) will be brand new lines that you write. One or more of these lines will include something blue.

For lines 1, 3, 5, 7, and possibly, 9 and 11 use lines from two to three of the poems you have written in the last 30 days.

Keep Writing!

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.”  ― Natalie Goldberg

Poem from prompt 28 – write a poem using two or more title from the non-fiction best-sellers list

Not just a list of 15 best-selling non-fiction books

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

A higher loyalty does trump fascism

though some insist with fire and fury

it’s still like playing Russian roulette which you’d think

all of the highly educated would avoid and opt for something

less risky like astrophysics for people in a hurry or

understanding our 50-state border crisis, factfulness

or just reading a book (like one about Obama).

Will God save Texas if we make trouble and say things like

this is me and if you  don’t like it, well, I’ll be gone in the dark

to start some secret empires of my own

that might lead to killing the deep state?

Well, it’s a bit beyond just another day in the life

of Marlon Bundo, if you ask me, don’t you agree?

NYT Bestselling Non-Fiction List

  1. NEW THIS WEEK

    A HIGHER LOYALTY

    by James Comey

  2. 2 WEEKS ON THE LIST

    FASCISM: A Warning

    by Madeleine Albright with Bill Woodward

  3. 6 WEEKS ON THE LIST

    RUSSIAN ROULETTE

    by Michael Isikoff and David Corn

  4. 16 WEEKS ON THE LIST

    FIRE AND FURY

    by Michael Wolff

     

  5. 51 WEEKS ON THE LIST

    ASTROPHYSICS FOR PEOPLE IN A HURRY

    by Neil deGrasse Tyson

  6. 9 WEEKS ON THE LIST

    EDUCATED

    by Tara Westover

  7. 8 WEEKS ON THE LIST

    I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK

    by Michelle McNamara

  8. NEW THIS WEEK

    GOD SAVE TEXAS

    by Lawrence Wright

  9. 3 WEEKS ON THE LIST

    MAKE TROUBLE

    by Cecile Richards with Lauren Peterson

  10. 17 WEEKS ON THE LIST

    OBAMA

    by Pete Souza

  11. 5 WEEKS ON THE LIST

    SECRET EMPIRES

    by Peter Schweizer

  12. 3 WEEKS ON THE LIST

    FACTFULNESS

    by Hans Rosling with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund

  13. 4 WEEKS ON THE LIST

    THIS IS ME

    by Chrissy Metz

  14. 3 WEEKS ON THE LIST

    OUR 50-STATE BORDER CRISIS

    by Howard Buffett

  15. 3 WEEKS ON THE LIST

    KILLING THE DEEP STATE

    by Jerome R. Corsi

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 28, 2018

April 27, 2018

“Writers are the exorcists of their own demons.” ― Mario Vargas Llosa

NaPoWriMo Day 28, 2018

“A story was a form of telepathy. By means of inking symbols onto a page, she was able to send thoughts and feelings from her mind to her reader’s. It was a magical process, so commonplace that no one stopped to wonder at it.” ― Ian McEwan

And then there were three…..  Three prompts left for NaPoWriMo 2018.  Today is Independent Bookstore Day.  Support an independent book seller or three today.

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.” ― Gustave Flaubert

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 28, 2018

Get a list of the Best Selling Non Fiction Books (New York Times or Local Area best-sellers)   Use two titles as they are in your poem and use as many of the words from the titles as you possibly can in the construction of your poem.

Celebrate Independent Book Store Day   Visit and support your friendly neighborhood indie bookstore Saturday April 28th!  BookTree’s Event Page Here 

Keep Writing

“Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” ― Gloria Steinem

Poem for Prompt 27  –  Graffiti inspired poem!    (Poem 26 tomorrow… I goofed and posted this one early…. oh well… it’s indie bookstore day and I am juggling like crazy!

Mr. Kilroy, I presume?

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

He was here, there and everywhere;

not some Fool on the Hill, or  flash-in-the-pan fad toy;

even found his way inside sealed ship compartments

nearly 90 years – a doodle and the name Kilroy.

 

Bald or mostly bald man, large nose

tips of fingers holding onto wall.

How Kilroy could be here, nobody knows

Lots of stories, some even true I suppose

 

Stalin in the bathroom as he zipped his fly

saw the Kilroy was Here graffitti.

Hitler thought it was a code name for a spy

Demanded to know,  ‘Who is this guy?’

 

A song and poem in the 1940’s

References in pictures, radio shows

In a 50’s  Isaac Asimov Short Story

Lucy and Snoopy in Peanuts mentioned him too, don’t  you know?

Styx in the 80’s named their album for him (– groovy).

Popeye, Seinfield, Bugs Bunny even Hogan’s Heroes

mentioned Kilroy and last year Kevin Smith made a movie.

 

George Washington didn’t sleep everywhere

But inside walls, even under the pier,

almost anywhere you might venture

you’ll find  Kilroy was Here.

 

More about Kilroy right Here

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 26, 2018

April 25, 2018

“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.” ― William H. Gass

NaPoWriMo Day 26, 2018

Where does the time go?   We are winding down NaPoWriMo 2018.   I hope you’ve found some of the challenges inspiring and fun!

“Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.” ― Harvey Pekar

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 26, 2018

Make a list of 6 random words from a book.

Open a book to page 26.  Write down the first word that is 5 letters or longer (but not a proper name).  Write down the 26th word (or the first four letter word after the 26th word).   In the 4rd paragraph write down the first four letter or longer word.  Write down the 10th word or the one after the 10th word that is at least 4 letters long  and then the next 5 letter word after that.   From the end of the page… write the last 4 letter word on the page.        Share your 6 words.  Use one of the 6 words in the title of the poem.      Write a poem at least 6 lines long using all 6 words in the body of the poem.   As a bonus challenge  Write two different poems with the words.

Keep Writing!

“great writers are indecent people

they live unfairly

saving the best part for paper.

good human beings save the world

so that bastards like me can keep creating art,

become immortal.

if you read this after I am dead

it means I made it.”

Charles Bukowski

 

My Prompt 24  poem Evoke poet Robert Penn Warren

You’ll never know

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

Among the bearded oaks

I dare not try to recall

what was never said, never spoke

too majestic, silent, tall

 

Between the blades of grass I lie

almost out of sight

answers in the wind to satisfy

curious thoughts taking flight.

 

Still waiting hour after hour

Passions, slaughter, now to lay

the end of all my power

my truth, my flesh to decay.

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 25, 2018

April 24, 2018

“Wisdom is easy to carry but difficult to load.”― Ted Kooser

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 25, 2018

“Don’t talk to me about the stars, about how cold and indifferent they are, about the unimaginable distances. There are millions of stars within us that are just as far, and people like me sometimes burn up a whole life trying to reach them.” ― Ted Kooser

We’re on the homestretch for NaPoWriMo 2018.  I hope if you’ve been playing along at home that you are enjoying the challenge and developing a daily writing habit that will serve you well in the coming year.  Whether you are writing poems that with some re-writing and editing will be published or just flexing your creative muscles, you should pat yourself on the back for taking part in the challenge.

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 25, 2018

There are mornings when everything brims with promise, even my empty cup. – Ted Kooser

April 25- Happy Birthday Ted Kooser (1939)  our 13th US poet laureate.  His poetry seems to be rooted in the Mid-West and captures a vanishing way of life without being overly nostalgic.   So write a ‘Kooser’ poem today.

Keep Writing!

There’s nothing wrong with delighting in what you do. In fact, most of the fun you’ll have as a poet will come about during the process of writing. – Ted Kooser

My Prompt 23 Poem  – Somehow evoke these three writers/poets: Shakespeare, Vladimir Nabokov and Oregon-born poet Edwin (Man with a Hoe) Markham.

Lines Not Written In Oregon

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

Esmeralda! Can we rest

in this bewitched place of the West?

The weight of centuries bears down.

I lean upon the hoe, gazing toward sacred ground.

What breath blew out the light

inside my brain forever preventing flight

even as a dream echo asks why

as I stare at monarch butterfly?

I hear the blue birds, see green upon green

And yet I merely stand by this hoe and lean.

Profaned, disinherited, no one left to trust

But on this spot, I stand, I must

This be my place and here I shall rust.

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 24, 2018

April 23, 2018

“Real writers are those who want to write, need to write, have to write.”― Robert Penn Warren

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 24, 2018

The lack of a sense of history is the damnation of the modern world. – Robert Penn Warren

Welcome to Day 24 of NaPoWriMo.  What we do today is history tomorrow.  It is either forgotten or used to do a little better tomorrow. Part of our poetic history is Robert Penn Warren.  Take a few minutes and learn about him, read a poem or two by him.

Historical sense and poetic sense should not, in the end, be contradictory, for if poetry is the little myth we make, history is the big myth we live, and in our living, constantly remake. – Robert Penn Warren

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 24, 2018

April 24th –  Happy Birthday Robert Penn Warren (1905 to 1989)  He was a three=time Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and poet and was the first U.S. poet laureate.   So write a poem to remember, honor or perhaps write a Warren parody poem.

Keep Writing!

How do poems grow? They grow out of your life. – Robert Penn Warren

Prompt Poem 21  Inspired by Louise Gluck

Still Foolish After All These Years

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

After quietly declaring

this is a beautiful place to live,

(an unexpected house

with a view to raise a family;

He was lucky to be there)

it was the beginning of the end.

 

Compromise is something

to be fully understood

or you will have to re-build.

 

So storms dropped him hard

on unfamiliar beaches.

He was still foolish enough

to not give up, willing to learn

and finally understood the lesson

of letting go.