Posts Tagged ‘writing exercises’

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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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NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 29, 2017

April 28, 2017

DAY 29  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Saturday, April 29, 2017

 

“So many things I had thought forgotten

Return to my mind with stranger pain:

Like letters that arrive addressed to someone

Who left the house so many years ago.”

Philip Larkin

 

The penultimate NaPoWriMo prompt for 2017 is here!

 

And it also happens to be National Independent Bookstore Day!    So make sure that you visit an independent bookstore and buy something today.   In Western Washington 19 independent bookstores have joined together to create a fun contest with prizes and rewards for participants.    BookTree the bookstore I co-own in Kirkland  is part of Independent Bookstore Day too!   We have authors, guests, special limited merchandise, and much more.  BookTree’s event page is here.

 

Day 29 NaPoWriMo Prompt

 

Pick 4 or more Titles of current Best Sellers  (there are several types of lists to choose these from) Choose 4 titles from the lists.     Use the titles (as close to intact as possible) in a poem 4 to 8 lines long.

 

“Sir, I admit your general rule,

That every poet is a fool,

But you yourself may serve to show it,

That every fool is not a poet.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

Prompt 27 – suggested we write an Anaphora poem.

Here’s what I wrote:

 

An Anaphora Anaphora

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

Anaphora and a five-a and a…

Anaphora may be botched pig latin for a floral arrangement

Anaphora is a drug they use to knock you out before a major operation

Anaphora is a peaceful place the mind escapes to

Anaphora would make a great name – Anna-Phora Jones and the Cathedral of Chaos.

Anaphora better planet.

“Anaphora, I’m anaphora, Your anaphora, We are all anaphora.”

 

Poem Starter 123,321

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

Poem Starter ,

Poem Starter what are you?

Poem Starter,

Poem Starter; short, to the point

Poem Starter,

Poem Starter return to us soon.

 

Keep Writing!

BookTree Sitting Zone

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NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 28, 2017

April 27, 2017

DAY 28  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Friday, April 28, 2017

 

“This poetry. I never know what I’m going to say.”

Jalaluddin Rumi

 

Welcome to the 28th day of NaPoWriMo.

If you are anywhere near Auburn, Washington tomorrow

you should not pass up the opportunity to hear two former and the

current Washington State Poet Laureate as well as some other regional

poet laureates.  It will be quite the show- Friday Night.  Details here.

 

AND

 

On Saturday… 19 Western Washington Independent bookstores are celebrating Independent Bookstore Day.  Find out more about that here.

 

Today’s prompt was suggested by Brendan McBreen (he’ll be in Auburn Friday night….)

 

Write a poem about a sandcastle.

 

 “[Poetry] is the liquid voice that can wear through stone.”

Adrienne Rich

 

Prompt 26–  suggested Writing a couple of short poems embracing an absurd idea as a reality and perhaps commenting on popular culture, or language or history or if you must politics.

Here’s a few I wrote:

 

L.A. Salmon Run

by Christopher J. Jarmick

 

The Salmon in L.A. run,

but they don’t swim upstream;

No!

They drive

like everyone else.

 

Poem Starter 4217

by Christopher J. Jarmick

 

I just noticed something about

the word ‘artisanal’

It’s ‘art is ana’l squished together.

WTF!

 

Poem Starter 4247

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

Reality is now

something to

be negotiated

since many choose

to believe whatever

they feel like regardless of

its relationship with

the truth.

 

Poem Starter 4237

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

When in doubt

take the fork

in the road

and eat your soup

with it.

 

Keep Writing!

Another Talia created version of the BookTree logo!

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