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2012 in review

December 30, 2012 Leave a comment

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

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Lyrical Prose or Prose Poems?

August 16, 2012 9 comments

 

English: Image of cover of S. Carpilli Tinker'...

English: Image of cover of S. Carpilli Tinker’s volume “Where Is the Prose Poem Now and What Is It Doing?” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Today was the last day of the 7th poetry challenge week for Our Lost Jungle website operated by Khara House. It’s a marvelous site and everyone should stop in just to see how this thing works. The form challenge for this week was to write a prose poem.

 

What is a prose poem? Well, it gets complicated because consensus is hard to come by on that question.  To quote Khara, who teaches poetry:

 

For our purposes, though, let’s pool a few standard “rules” of the prose poem form to work with:
1. A prose poem is a poem that is written in prose (which basically means a poem without line breaks—I purposely avoid using the term “paragraph of poetry” as some poets do, because it’s something more than a paragraph)
2. It is the job of the poet writing a prose poem to ensure that the poem still maintains a “poetic quality”
3. To maintain that quality, the poet should employ common poetic techniques, such as rhyme, repetition, heightened imagery, fragmentation, etc.
4. A prose poem can be anywhere from a few lines to a full page, and beyond”

 

I made two attempts at this challenge. Here they are for your enjoyment.

 

 

Prose Poems

 

 

My Nirvana

 

 

The perfect spot to rest and reflect squatted a dozen yards ahead; the brook widened and wrapped around it like a snake eating its own tail, leaving a tiny island isolated from the world. A fold of hazelnut root, sheltered and shaded by dreamy green of Lady’s Slippers and Solomon’s Seal drew my attention as congregations of May-apples gossiped in the breeze. Their saucy white-blossomed petticoats flirted with me, while the sickly sweet scent of those petticoats rode the breeze to mingle with the distinctive smells of wild herbs. Other greens added their odors to blend with that of loamy soil to form a unique perfume around my tiny secret island.

 

 

#  #  #  #

 

 

 
Life Journey

 

 

My poor young self listened to the words string themselves into commentary, wrapping around daydream like so much cotton candy on a stick. When I found the desert with its solitude and saguaro sentries, I drank in its nights while sitting under a blanket of the galaxy’s brightest stars. Air tasted of cactus flowers and dust, and coyotes howled for the sake of hearing their own chorus. Skunks did their nightly rounds, looking to pilfer whatever delicacies were left unattended. Words came. Not in a flood, but rather with the smoothness of a desert creek; shy, hiding from onlookers until sunlight couldn’t be avoided, when it burst forth to glitter and pulsate with personal meaning. That piece of me that always waited for the right time emerged, and the quiet inner voice remained to tell its stories and run the mental projector. Now, though, a real audience sat in the theater. I focused on that murmur and listened. Awareness hummed within me.

 

 

 

 

Wordle Goes Down PA Street

August 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Yep, you guessed it. Poetic Asides took up the Wordle banner today. See my responses on Two Voices, One Song.

http://2voices1song.com/2012/08/08/poetic-asides-goes-wordle/

Enjoy and join in the fun. Try your hand at something new, or perhaps something put aside for too long.

A bientot,

Claudsy

Talking Wordles Here

August 7, 2012 5 comments
Wordle

Wordle (Photo credit: Oompoo)

I decided to do something different today for a short post. I’ve been writing for submissions today and this is a little poem that I did for the site The Sunday Wordle.

For those who don’t know what a wordle is, here’s how it goes. Choose a group of related/unrelated words–from seven to ten of them–and then write a poem using those words. If you’re not a poem kind of person, write a piece of fiction/non-fiction of no more than 100 words using all of the given words.

Think of this as a writing exercise that anyone can do. It doesn’t matter really how expert it sounds or how off-the-wall. It’s your wordle–make it what you want. One thing you’ll find with that this exercise forces your mind to shift gears and look at how you put things together and how you use language for the meaning you want to transmit.

Take a chance and have a whirl with a wordle. And when you think you’re ready, share it here or jump over to The Sunday Whirl and share there. Enjoy yourself. That’s the main purpose of it all.

Home’s Destination

A link to my port of call,

a deck on which to stand,

as I navigate foreign waters,

I store up scents and sights

to anchor me within time,

to sink into my marrow,

never to wake from this dream,

even as I pitch against the rail

of stern reminders of days gone

missing and lives gone stale of use.

© Claudette J. Young 2012

Taking a Step Back

August 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Courtesy of BJ Jones Photography

Ever wonder why we use this expression this way? I know, you’re asking “What way?”

I say, “Every way.”

Think about it. What is a “step back”? Something leaps onto the path we’re walking. We step back; from startlement, fright, consternation, you-name-it.

We make use of this step to re-evaluate, to make a split-second decision whether to fight or flee. We need to know what we’re facing before making a leap of our own. This may be our only chance consciously to decide.

This stepping-back behavior for decision making permeates nearly every corner of our lives. We may or may not realize it at the time. On some occasions we don’t have the leisure to recognize the process or the maneuver.

“Let’s take a step back and look at this situation.” How many business meetings have paused after a similar statement while those in charge review options, repercussions of those options, or the people, places, and procedures involved in those options?

I dare say that few meetings get to an end without some variant of these words, especially interdepartmental meetings. “Shall we table this and regroup after everyone’s had a chance to take a good long look at it?”

See what I mean?

The question of pausing to consider plays a role in individual lives as well. It can be as minor as “cantaloupe or honey dew” while in the produce aisle of the grocery store or as monumental as “chemo or radiation.” Each decision event has impact; large or small.

“Shall we make it illegal for citizens to grow some of their own food?”

This pause has happened–is happening in Washington–at least according to the media. I don’t bring this up as a political statement, but rather as a demonstration of how vast an impact such a question—such a pause for consideration—can make. One question can force an entire country’s population to reconsider many things impacting their lives.

You might ask why this is on my mind right now. That’s a valid question.

I’m in pause mode because I made a major shift in my mindset throughout this summer. What and how I write has shifted; not because I didn’t like what I was writing before, but because I like writing in this new way much better. My approach to both life and writing was in need of an evaluation.

With the shift in my writing, my attitude about life and how I was living also shifted. That change warranted a continued attitude adjustment in my writing. I got to that old “chicken and the egg” portion of life.

Priorities became more pronounced. Life paths suddenly had the full light of purpose shined upon them. How could I not stop to consider or ponder my direction?

The Step became necessary to fully appreciate where I’ve come from and where I’m going. More importantly, I discovered some of the why’s in my life, and those always necessitate a pause. Hence, I arrived at this doorstep.

I have no clue where I’ll travel on this new path. I’m only sure that the ride will be memorable. I’m looking forward to new discoveries.

With Two Voices, One Song I expand horizons and understandings. With my poetry I explore new audiences while enjoying those who’ve willingly been here all along. With my newly acquired thrill of flash fiction I can grow faster along channels of fantasy.

Claudsy’s Blog and Claudsy’s Calliope remain corner stones which anchor my new forays into the writing experience. I’m so grateful for all of those who’ve encouraged me to explore, whether through poetry and photos, flash fiction, or other genres. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow as a writer.

As far as I know, I’m not moving out of these digs here. I’m merely refining the edges, smoothing out the throw rugs, and adding the occasional knick-knack.

Until we meet here again in a few days, a bientot,

Claudsy

New Project For Fall

July 31, 2012 2 comments

 

I need opinions from readers. I’m contemplating putting together a new chapbook of Poetry Pages like this one, where the photo provides the inspiration for the poem.

I’d like to know if you, the reader 1.) think this is a viable project, 2.) have suggestions for changes to poem placement, or 3) think that a different poem should be used for this photo.

See, not so hard. Just leave a comment to let me know what you think and why. I take all suggestions seriously. And thank you in advance, for taking the time to at least look at this.

Until later,

Claudsy

 

Contests and Other Things Fun

July 20, 2012 14 comments

 

The last few days have been interesting ones at Chez Young. Yesterday one of my Haiku poems was placed among the five finalists of a Haiku Poetry Challenge at Khara House’s website “Our Lost Jungle.”  That was exciting. My Haiku poem stood with poems from four other marvelous poets, all of whom I’ve admired for a long time.

Today, my inbox held contests, challenges, and Calls for Submission from websites and publishers of varied types, no few of which were for poetry.

The first was an easy contest from the sense of an entry. It was a give-away contest by J.L. Spelbring (ebysswriter). The prize for this contest was multi-faceted. And you betcha, I’m entered in this one and gladly.  will get copies of Dan Cohen’s book “Masters of the Veil,” either in paperback or PDF, and a chance at a B&N gift card at the end of summer.

The first Calls for Submission came from Robert E. Brewer of Writer’s Digest fame. Okay, so I’m a chump. You guessed it; I’m going for one of these slots, too. Robert’s looking for both how-to articles for the 2014 edition of Writer’s Market. He also calls for poetry to grace that year’s Poet’s Market.  Call me an over-achiever. That’s okay. I am, and I’ll submit here, too. I do write poetry, after all.

To top off all the contests, challenges, and submission calls was Jane Freidman’s Newsletter “Electric Speed” which gave me great writer/reader tools to check out in my leisure time.   How great is that?

With all of this going on, I’m going to be one crazy writer trying to keep up. My book of poetry “The Moon Sees All” is the in the hands of my beta readers, who are getting their responses and critiques back to me throughout this month. I’ll have that to finish off next month before going out to agents/publishers, That excites me as much as anything else.

For all of those writers out there who think they can’t compete, I ask this: how do you know? Have you don’t much of it? If the answer is “NO,” you might be short-changing yourself and your abilities. Remember: the only sure way to fail at something is to never do it. Be a doer, even if you think you can’t be good at it. Until you do, you can’t know.

Have a great weekend, peeps. Soak up the atmosphere wherever you are, smile at yourself as much as you do at others, and do something different with an hour or two. You never know—that something might become your next passion.

A bientot,

Claudsy