Posts Tagged ‘writing exercises’

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NaPoWriMo Prompts for April 8 & 9 2019 plus prompt poems.

April 7, 2019

“A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.” —   Vladimir Nabokov

My bookstore in Kirkland has several upcoming FREE events.  BookTree events calendar here.

Prompt for April 8  (write poem to this prompt on April 8th  )  From Brendan McBreen :

8 lines

8letters

plus or minus

pick eight letters

write eight lines without using those eight letters

can you write eight lines only using eight letters?

Happy poeming!

“The first draft of anything is sh**.” – – Ernest Hemingway.

Prompt for April 9    (write poem to this prompt on April 9th  )

“Each thing you add to your story (or poem) is a drop of paint falling into clear water; it spreads through and colors everything.”Lisa Cron

Play with the poetic device known as Anaphora.  Come up with a short phrase that has several meanings and could be used in a few different way in the poem you write today.  Use and repeat a short phrase that has several meanings in the poem you write today.  Do a play on an Anaphora (or an epanaplesis).

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”  – – E. L. Doctorow

Keep Writing!

And here are the poems I’ve written to the prompts over the last few days.

April 4 Prompt  (use several anagrams of your name in a poem)

Not a Rich Strophe

By Rich Herstop  Jarmick

“I’d like to Crop her Shirt”

He mumbled staring inappropriately

at the buxom bartender.

“You couldn’t crop her Shit,”

I quipped.

Bored, I noticed the hipster was sketching some torchiers

And he explained how the ostrich was erotic, but I was

lost in my thoughts regarding the rhetorics of Plato.

Then a chorister tried to recruit me

to join the chirpers on Sunday.

I just wasn’t in the mood to perch, share pitchers,

munch chips, watch sports or tell stories.

 

I used several full and partial anagrams of my name – Christopher in this poem.

 

Prompt 5    use 7 or more words for Falling

Can’t help. . .

By Christopher J. Jarmick

There is an amorousness I feel,

an inclination bordering on rapture,

part soft-spot, part fervor.

A flame burns that makes me feel both all powerful and

full of weakness.

Oh what’s the phrase I’m looking for?

I’m slipping on sentiment

collapsing into infatuation

descending into emotion

plunging into ardor

sliding into devotion.

Almost, yes, but not quite the phrase I’m thinking of.

I’m tumbling in delight

settling into devotion

sinking into affection

slipping into lust

toppling in zeal

tottering in appreciation.

No no.. what’s that song….?

I know as soon as I get busy doing something else

I’ll remember it.

Oh well.

Poem Starter 1405 (inspired by the falling prompt)

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Missed my ride

on the Turnip truck

with Grace.

 

Prompt 6   invent some paint color name and use them in a poem

BlueTruth

by Christopher J. Jarmick

The politician whose skin was the hue of origine,

and his wife decked out in an outfit of celebrity spice with caged coral accents

walked through the translucenteen arboretum

under the cloud covered fondue crème’ sky

taking in the the Canurple and Dread Salmon colored johnny jump-ups,

and the Lavenberry bushes.

In the cacti house they were tickled by

blooms of Maganana, licorice rain, turgid turmeric and speal.

A news reporter asked: What’s your favorite color?

“Lurple of course,” He answered.

She knew even that was a lie.

 

Prompt 7   write at least formal and one informal Septolet

 

Vertical Transparency (formal, syllable ) Septolet

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Wall

On the

Border of

United States

Mexico

Mirrors

Trump.

 

BookTree (informal, word) Septolet

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Store offers

knowledge, escapes

how tos, biographies

in portable,

battery free

old fashion

books.

 

Maya Angelou Inspired (formal) Septolet

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Trust

when he

has shown you

exactly who

he is thrice

believe

him.

The first 5 drafts of anything are probably not worth publishing but you know you are onto something at some point during revision number 3.Christopher J. Jarmick

KEEP WRITING!!!

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NaPoWriMo Prompts April 4 to 7 and Prompt poems too!

April 3, 2019

“Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic.” J. K. Rowling.

Here are suggested prompt for the next 4 days.  Use the one for April 4th to write your poem on April 4th.  Remember to write a poem each and every day.  If you only have 30 minutes to write…  write what you can in that time.  We are writing first (not final) draughts.  This is a challenge, an exercise, a way to begin a new habit of writing each and every day.

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” –  Richard Bach

Prompt for April 4 (write poem this prompt on April 4th)

Words inside of words creating other words.  The Anagram.  Put your name into an Anagram generator like this one   Use several of the generated words in a poem that is not quite about yourself but has some autobiographical things in it.  In other words.. you are buried within the poem using words generated from you name (but not your name and not completely a self-portrait poem).  Remember the prompts are meant to be an inspirational challenge – there is no right or wrong way to ‘follow the rules’ of a prompt.

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” – –Anton Chekhov

Prompt for April 5   (write poem to this prompt on April 5th  ) From Brendan McBreen

“Don’t forget— no one else sees the word the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories you have to tell.” – –Charles de Lint

look up

write a poem which includes seven references to falling.

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” Louis L’Amour

Prompt for April 6   (write poem to this prompt on April 6th  )

 “This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” – – Neil Gaiman

You know how they have all these interesting names for paint colors?  First create some odd combinations of words for colors   salsa red probably exists but angst auger for example would be a unique one.  Create 3 to 5 of these and then use them in a poem.

“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.”  – – Ray Bradbury

Prompt for April  7   (write poem to this prompt on April  7th )

“The only writer to whom you should compare yourself is the writer you were yesterday.”  – – David Schlosser

And on the seventh day, we concentrate on the seven line poetry form known as the Septolet.  Write two or more Septolets!   Suggest you write a formal and informal Septolet.

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”Pablo Picasso

Write two different types of Septolets today.  (Sep-toe-lay) 1- 7 lines 16 syllables  2- 14 words – 7 lines.

Septolet 1 Formal: Line 1 has one syllable, Line 2 has two, Line 3 has 3, Line 4 has 4 syllables, space, Line 5 has 3, Line 6 has 2, Line 7 has one syllable. Poem should relate to one thought, feeling, object, place.

Septolet 2 Informal: Total of 14 words in 7 lines, no line should have more than three words. The poem should relate to one subject, object, thought or feeling. The first four lines create a coherent picture or thought, the last three lines create another. Each could stand separately, but both are related.

Examples:

Formal Syllable Septolet                                          Informal Word Septolet

 

One                           1 syllable                                    “This

Second                        2 syllables                                    is easy

Or perhaps                 3 syllables                                 anyone can do

Four ticking bombs   4 syllables                                it,”

 

Blank space

 

Reminder                  3 syllables                                said

That you’re               2 syllables                                tightrope walker.

Late                              1 syllable                               “but don’t look down!”

 

The example on the left side is the more formal syllable Septolet.  The one on the right is made up of 14 words. (You don’t count syllables).  4 word maximum on one line.

 

ORIGIN

The origin of the Septolet –a French form is not completely known. It’s most likely origin is based in music since a septuplet is a group of seven notes played in a very specific way. It’s a member of the musical tuplet family—the most common one in use: the triplet. The septuplets (septolets or septimoles) usually indicate 7 notes in the duration of 4—or in compound meter 7 for 6—but may sometimes be used to mean 7 notes in the duration of 8.

In the poetic form however meter is not required so the music connection is perhaps NOT correct. The form has evolved as a sort of European/American Haiku . The more formal version is with syllables, the less formal derivation (American) is with words of any syllable length. 7 lines broken into two stanzas. The first stanza is 4 lines. Then a blank line. Then three more lines. The formal version uses 14 syllables, the informal version uses 14 words. You can order the words 1, 2,3,3, BREAK 2, 2, 1 if you would like or you can simply use a total of 14 words with some lines having up to three words and others having one or all lines having two words.

The writer is by nature a dreamer— a conscious dreamer.”  — Carson McCullers

Keep Writing!

PROMPT POEMS I’ve written for April 1, April 2 and Today!

April 1 poem using Shakespeare quotes

Inside a pickle

By Christopher J. Jarmick

All of a sudden, as good luck would have it,

a NapoWriMo spell was spoke:

Eye of newt, and toe of frog,

wool of bat, and tongue of dog,

adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,

lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,

adverb and semi-colon

double toil and trouble;

fire burn, and caldron bubble.

And I found myself in a pickle.

Though this be madness, truth will out

and thereby hangs a tale.

Woe is me as a pickle under the greenwood tree.

While you live, tell truth and shame the devil

the game is up and I suffer the crack of doom,

the be all and end all

as a pickle.

Son of a bitch!

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

I have not slept one wink,

a victim of foul play

at one fell swoop,

a sorry sight

Brevity is the soul of wit

so I will fight fire with fire

for ever and a day

inside a pickle under the greenwood tree.

April 2nd ‘opposite’ prompt

A line by line ‘opposite’ poem of #20 (aka the Pennycandystore Beyond the El by Lawrence Felinghetti from Coney Island of the Mind)

 

Etisoppo 02#

Yb

kcimraJ .J rehpotsirhC

 

Too late!  Too Late!

They laughed.

Inside the seeds were jumping

His knees were inhaling in the great room

His feet were dry

A man walked out

The moon had sucked up the wind

inside those seeds were jumping as they came to life

And celery

And carrot cake

And broccoli stones

slept beneath the still dog,

on that June early morn.

Peanut butter darkened with complete optimism

in reality

rising with hate

The last lost

sour forest below the mountain.

 

April 3 prompt – “three in a row.”

THREED AT LAST

By Christopher J. Jarmick

“Government of the people, by the people, for the people.” — Abraham Lincoln

 

Three times three cubed

Abraham learned the cipher:

for three is to nine as two is to six.

 

Tell me and I may forget, teach me and I will remember

But involve me and I will learn and when I learn, and earn

and yearn, I shall have a happy life.

 

Three times tempted

Three times the cock crows

Three times denied

 

The rule of the Three-fold law

Says whatever you put out there will be returned to you three times.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

 

The trinity, the trilogy,

the magic of three

the curse of three

 

You can survive three weeks without food.

three days without water

three minutes without air

 

My Three Sons

The Three Musketeers

Three Billy Goats Gruff,

 

Three Little Pigs,

Three Faces of Eve,

The Third Man.

 

Rule of thirds, triad

My three siblings

My three daughters

 

Veni, vidi, vici!

Click your heels together three times.

Three times the charm.

 

Three, two,

One,

write.

KEEP WRITING!

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 29, 2018

April 28, 2018

“Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself…It’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.” ― Harper Lee

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 29, 2018

“Only those things are beautiful which are inspired by madness and written by reason.” ― André Gide

And then there were 2…    Almost over….and guess what?  It’s time to do the laundry!

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 27, 2018

Another prompt from Brendan (Cosmic Egg) McBreen –  Imagine opening the dryer and finding someone else’s laundry, write a brief poem describing this person based on their laundry.

“I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.” – Peter De Vries
Keep Writing!

My prompt poem for Day 26  (I posted Day 27 yesterday…and out of the usual order I have been posting). The prompt was to create a list of words from a book.   My Wordscame  from page 26/27 of Body & Soul by Frank Conroy (only a few paragraphs on page 26 so went to page 27 to finish random word lists

Words:   Moved, side, winter, piano, method, bills

 

Write 2 different poems with the words

 

Paying the bills

Christopher J. Jarmick

 

My foolproof method involved moving

the bills from one side of the counter

to the piano and I would pay them the following Friday.

Last winter they were moved

to the magazine pile on the coffee table,

so most were paid late.

 

Ghost Piano

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

Last winter the piano

was moved from the house

I grew up in.

I learned the Bastien method

for a couple years from  a teacher

who gave lessons to pay the bills

and on the side was part of a blues/jazz ensemble.

 

When I visited the house

I stared at the place the piano once occupied.

My knees involuntarily began to bend

as I thought about sitting on the bench

to play a few simple chords.

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 20, 2018

April 19, 2018

“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.” ― Fred Rogers

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Rogers

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 20, 2018

 It is expected hundreds of thousands of students will be walking out of class today as part of the March For Our Lives and Enough! Students, teachers, women  protesting!    Activism is inspiring!  Agree or disagree our freedoms need to be exercised regularly or they will be manipulated if not our existence, than severely restricted.

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.” ― Fred Rogers

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 20, 2018

Channel your inner Fred Rogers (yes everyone’s favorite neighbor).  Write a poem about being responsible, selfless, and loving.  If you are religious write this poem from the persona of an atheist, if you are an atheist write this as a religious poem.  Avoid satire and sarcasm.  Try to write one sincerely.

Keep Writing!

“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.” ― Fred Rogers

Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people. – Fred Rogers

If you are near Kirkland Wa  Saturday afternoon/evening 4/21/18  Do NOT miss the free workshop/reading and open mic with James Bertolino and Anita K. Boyle!  Details Here.

Prompt 18 Poem –  Response to finding message in a bottle on a beach.

Not Just Another Mile Before I Sleep Message in a Bottle

By Christopher J. Jarmick

I wonder

where you dropped

this bottle,

and why I have found it

in this place

at this time

after 60 years?

I recently turned 60.

You wrote your note

12 days before I was born.

You included part of a poem

that is perhaps more famous today,

then when you borrowed it

and changed a word.

Dear friend (you wrote),

It is late.  I worry that I will never meet

that special person, that I will never see

my mother again, that I will not reach my destination.

My name is Mark. It is April 1, 1958.

I am on an ocean cruise.

We were caught in a storm but all is calm for now.

I have had too much to drink, and have written this note.

Several of us are throwing bottles with notes in them

into the ocean.  Will this every be found?

Part of a wonderful poem by Robert Frost I really like:

The seas are lovely, dark and deep,  

But I have promises to keep,  

And miles to go before I sleep,  

And miles to go before I sleep.

Mark, the bottom part of your note

which may have had your full name, and address

is ragged and cannot be read.

I presume you were at least a teenager,

perhaps in your early 20s when you wrote this.

I’d like to think you safely arrived

at your destination,

saw your mother again,

(was she sick or were you worried by the storm?)

You might even still be alive.

I will never know.

Speaking of Frost

a week ago I wandered down a path

that seemed less travelled

and wound up on a beach

in Northern Oregon where I saw

a champagne bottle tangled in seaweed.

The cork had been jammed back in

and I imagined there was a note inside

so I took the bottle which I couldn’t open

and put it carefully  in the trunk with my spare tire.

This morning, a week later, I remembered

opened the cork, and carefully dried the

damp small scroll of paper in my oven.

I’ve written this,

rolled it up along with your note,

wrapped it in Saran Wrap

re-inserted it back into the bottle,

sealed it with a newer cork

and will be throwing it

into the ocean from a ferry I will be

taking to a reading I’m attending

in a few weeks.

I shall read Stopping by Woods

On a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

to the audience and perhaps this

new write too.

4/18/18  Christopher J. Jarmick

609 Market St.  Kirkland, Wa 98033

BOOKTREE

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 7, 2018

April 6, 2018

Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.William Wordsworth

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 7, 2018

Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher. – William Wordsworth

How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold? Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and in that freedom bold. – William Wordsworth

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 7, 2018

Today is William Wordsworth’s birthday (1770- 1850). Let’s write a poem that somehow evokes Wordsworth in style or theme.  If you need to learn a little more about Mr. Wordsworth check this out at the Academy of American Poets here   

Keep Writing!

Wisdom is oftentimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar.  – William Wordsworth

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” ― William Wordsworth

April 5 Prompt Poem  – Brendan’s prompt was..  You’re Dead . . . However it happened, write a poem to the person who killed you.

Give Them Something To Talk About

By Christopher J. Jarmick

It was inevitable . . .

When you think about it the odds

of being in the right place at the right time

are probably a bit less likely than being

in the wrong place at the wrong time

and though you don’t always have to say yes

to double dog dares -even ones from former friends,

the peer pressure is intense.

 

It being Poetry Month,

I was particularly vulnerable.

It involved reading a poem at the open mic

at a well known country-western bar.

 

(It’s rare someone reads poetry

at the mostly music open mic

at the country western bar

but I did have a couple of

pseudo cowboy poetry poems

I could read.)

 

.. . but don’t read cowboy poetry,’ you said,

instead read your Bukowski tribute poem.

Probably won’t go over very well I figured

But hell, what’s the worst that could happen?

 

“I’ll think about it,” I said.

A double dog dare later

and there I was at a smoke-filled

(who cares if there’s a law about smoking

inside of a bar throughout the State)

cowboy bar where at least half of the rowdy crowd

were already drunk-restless booing

half the musical acts off the stage

within a minute of when they started playing.

 

Groans and several ‘Get off the stage’

greeted me when I announced

I’ll be reading a poem.

A few ‘c’mon now give ‘em a chance’ comments

quieted things down enough for me to begin.

 

Two minutes later

I read the last line:

‘C’mon baby,

Bukowski This!’

 

And then someone called Bob

jumped to his feet

shouting: “Bukowski THIS yourSELF. . .”

I saw a bright flash,

heard a loud bang

and that was my end.

 

My own damn fault –

no thanks to you or Bob.

 

Worse, Bukowski’s not even close

to being my favorite poet.

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NaPoWriMo Wrap-up and Bonus Prompts

April 30, 2017

The 2017 NaPoWriMo Wrap-up

 

“Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.

There is no happiness like mine.

I have been eating poetry.”

Mark Strand,

 

“Safety isn’t always safe. You can find one on every gun.”

Andrea Gibson

 

NaPoWriMo is done for 2017.   Congratulations!

You owe it to yourself to check out Brendan McBreen‘s just published collection of poetry from MoonPath Press.  Cosmic Egg.  Read a poem from it here.

Want a few more prompts for the next few days?

Here’s 6 more you can try.

 

From Brendan McBreen:

 

Prompt 31 –  Write a concrete poem, a poem physically in the shape of something.

 

Prompt 32 – Use consonance, pick a consonant and use it in each word of a line, pick another for the next line and so on. Try for eight lines.

 

Prompt 33 –  Write an ode to dentists.

 

From  me.:

 

Prompt 34–  Write an ekphrastic poem based on a work of Art you find on a random Google Image search.

 

Prompt 35 –  write a clerihew   (look it up and have at it)

 

Prompt 36 –  Use three words from each of the 6 quotes I’m sharing today to create a 6 line poem.

Here are the poems I’ve written from the 29th and 30th NaPoWriMo prompt

Day 29 NaPoWriMo Prompt suggested picking 4 or more Titles of current Best Sellers.

(I went a little crazy using most of the titles on the New York Times and Publishers Weekly Bestseller Lists)

The Burial Hour

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

‘The Fix’ is in!.

‘A Man Called Ove’, told too many

‘Fast and Loose’, ‘Big Little Lies’

collected in ‘The Black Book’

by me, ‘All By Myself, Alone’

because ‘This Fight is Our Fight’

not just ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’

who was ‘Shattered’ hearing of

‘The Killers of the Flower Moon’

In the ‘Lost City of Z’ by

‘Hidden Figures.’

‘The Women in the Castle’

thought they had told

‘The One Perfect Lie’ to

‘A Gentleman in Moscow’

But ‘The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane’

knew the ‘Dangerous Games’

played by ‘The Cutthroat’ and ‘The Whistler’

were part of the ‘Vicious Circle’

and there were ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’

it all led back to

‘A Man Called Ove’.

 

Day  30  Prompt suggested   Choose 4 lines from what you have written in the last 29 days. These lines become lines 1,3,5, and 8.  Write new material for the  2nd , 4th , 6th  and 7th lines to create your final NaPoWrimo 2017 poem.

 

Previously

By Christopher J. Jarmick

We pretend we’re better

sometimes by escaping with a pill, a smoke, a movie, a book.

Twice, I have changed my reflection.

adjusted the light, changed my focus remembered that place

where imagination meant understanding.

History teaches with every decision, with every belief, there is more to learn.

Walk through the woods, by the lake and ocean, touch living things with compassion.

My brother and I would make a pile of sand.

 

Keep Writing!

Teach you children poetry; it opens the mind, lends grace to wisdom and makes the heroic virtues hereditary.  –Walter Scott

Yet, it is true, poetry is delicious; the best prose is that which is most full of poetry. –Virginia Woolf

Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity, it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.  – John Keats

Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat.  –  Robert Frost

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf 1927

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NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 20, 2017

April 29, 2017

DAY 30  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Sunday, April 30, 2017

 

“Perfumes are the feelings of flowers.”

Heinrich Heine

 

The final day, the final prompt for NaPoWriMo 2017!  Hope you stretched and had a good

creative work-out and started a daily habit involving writing!

 

Day  30  Prompt

 

Choose 4 lines from what you have written in the last 29 days. These lines become lines 1,3,5, and 8.  Write new material for the  2nd , 4th , 6th  and 7th lines to create your final NaPoWrimo 2017 poem.

 

1  Previously Written Line

2

3  Previously written line

4

5  Previously Written line

6

7

8-  Previously written line

 

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”

Mary Oliver

 

The 28th prompt  suggested by Brendan McBreen  was to write a poem about a sandcastle.

 

Here’s what I wrote

Jersey Shore Sandcastle Builders

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

We built them several

summer afternoons

for several years in row.

A tradition.

 

We built them just far

enough from the incoming tide

that within an hour we knew

we would witness their destruction.

My brother and I would make a pile of sand,

sculpt it,

then create irrigation

to bring water to our mini moat.

Often there would be an outer wall

Mostly so that we could

watch it disintegrate

a little sooner

than the castle.

Sometimes,

we’d only see the beginning

of its end

because we’d built it too grand

and it was time to go.

 

We didn’t mind,

we would do it again tomorrow

or next summer.

Until suddenly

we were older,

and no longer

building sandcastles

on the Jersey Shore.

 

Keep Writing!

Today BookTree celebrated Independent Bookstore Day.  At the end of the day, several contributors to The Nasty Women Project read their work and signed books.  The proceeds from the book support Planned Parenthood.   Here’s a group picture of The Nasty Women and the co-owner of BookTree bookstore in Kirkland.

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