Posts Tagged ‘BlogHer’

Day 4 of April’s Challenges

April 4, 2012 4 comments

This is going to be a long month. And one in which little outside of challenges gets done. Today I have three separate challenge styles to post.

The first is from Poetic Asides. The poem format used is of my own decision, since no specific form was required—a common occurrence. This prompt was so wide-open that my mind reeled from the assorted immediate mental flashes of subject.

The following is what I selected, purely by Muse. I sat down and just began writing. The results were unexpected. I hope you enjoy the efforts.

April 4, 2012 Day 4 Prompt—100% (blank) Fill in the blank and make title


100% Humidity Out There Folks


And still pavement waits for rain,

Disguised under its carpet of dirt

With footprints scarring its surface,

Waiting for fat drops to splat and stain.


Prayers danced in circles, call forth

Relief from Earth’s ravishing thirst,

Call forth dancers to join rhythm beats

From drum and foot, always circling.


Belief of dancers rises to Heaven’s ears,

Creates wind to drive Rain’s stampede

Across land cracked by Sun’s gaze while

Voices join drum in supplication.


Soon Rain’s front strangles ground’s throat,

Rushing, pounding, driving those beneath.

Feathered dancers glory in prayer’s end,

Glorying in The Creator’s answer.


100% Correct


“The little lady down front is 100% correct!”

How can that be correct, when factors flow as water,

During each second of the question’s answer?


Each breath creates new conditions, redirecting life’s steps

Onto paths as yet unseen, unknown until actuality appears,

To add to previous knowledge concerning that path.


Each thought, word, and action take the user

On a joy ride, designed within the user’s response,

Determined by perception and intent as to correctness.


Does consensus decided something’s correctness,

Leaving each person knowing one reality

While others live in separate aspects of it?


Should I believe what you say, knowing I

Have a different reality from your sense of right.

Can anyone be correct about anything in life?


In a short while I’ll post my offerings for Poetic Bloomings. The In-Form challenge for today is: tanka. Tanka is a Haiku form that has five lines instead of three. Those five lines have specific syllabic counts: 5-7-5-7-7. Some of the finest tanka examples I’ve seen tell a complete story in those five lines, containing 31 syllables—no small feat, but breathtaking when done well.

I’ll do my best to not disappoint when I write mine.

I also have a poetry challenge on BlogHer for a Sestina poem. Sestina is a long form, comprised of six stanzas of six lines each, and followed by one “envoy” or triplet stanza. The complication with this form arises from the necessity of re-arranging the end words of each line of each stanza into a specific use pattern. The point of a sestina is to tell a complete story in lyrical form, since its origin came from French troubadours.

I have one of those yet to create, as well. When I finish it, I will post it here.

I won’t be posting my task-of-the-day work for Robert Brewer’s Author Platform Challenge. That’s a separate and different kind of challenge that will go elsewhere.

To there you have it, folks. Check back often today. It’s going to get crowded on this blog for April 4th.

Whether Ending or Beginning

March 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Today marks the end of the March “Whether” blogging challenge elicited by BlogHer network. It’s been an interesting month. You learned that someone could write something about writing every day for one month.

You learned how one writer actually thinks about writing, and what this writer has absorbed of some of the needs for this career. Above all, you learned that someone else loved words and their use in self-expression as much as you do. That’s quite a bit to take in about someone else.

Along the way, there was conversation about how writing affects and is affected by the outside world. No man is an island if he writes is a truism to remember. However isolated someone is, so long as he expresses himself in words, he communicates who he is to those who read those words.

Whatever the art form, the viewer/reader glimpses the internal workings of the artist. Picasso with his cubism and abstract renderings, Pollack with his splashes of wild color, Rodin and Russell with their sculptures all spoke to the viewer. Dale Chihuly dominates the gallery when he exhibits his glass marvels. Often the “feel” of a piece tells more about the artist than words ever could.

Photographers click shutters every day, capturing bits of our world and us, to exhibit in myriad ways, lest we forget who we really are and how we came to be where we are. Times change. Technology rides a wave that envelops all in its path. Art forms and their acolytes traipse along behind, ever in technology’s wake, hoping to stay abreast of trends that sweep the beach of daily life and tastes.

With the waning of this challenge comes a new one; one on poetry. Verse is as intimate as a writer can get to the reader. Secrets, long held, roll within the rhythm of a stanza. Emotion flails toward expression within limited space and precise words.

Nakedness of spirit calls to the reader, whether at the ending, the middle, or the beginning of a poem. Verse is the art of writing with glass, exposing inner turmoil, joys, hesitations, and inspirations, all that moves or halts the poet during life. It is raw for all its precision; blatant for all its subtlety; and limitless for all its restrictions.

That is the challenge taking place from tomorrow on to May 1, 2011. Within the span of those thirty days, you will find poems posted here that are written to specific writing prompts. Links to poetry sites will mark each post. Occasionally, other poets may be revealed to those either shy of verse or enthusiastic connoisseurs.

My hope is that you all can enjoy a stopover here each day.

Shadowed Memories of Bygone Days

February 16, 2012 4 comments


“Don’t touch that bed” must have rang out many times on that drizzly cold day back when I was so small. Mom always contended that my great-grandmother’s bed was a prized and sacrosanct object to be avoided at all costs.

I have only one memory of that great lady of the South. Mother and I were visiting. Baby brother was still “in arms,” as they said back then. I don’t recall who else was there, other than it was a woman; probably Dad’s mother or one of his sisters. The vague memory I have of our matriarch ebbs away further with each passing year.

Her meticulous home with its furnishings reflected who she was as a person. Her bedroom and the backyard are the clearest images I have of that day.

A tall sea of white bed linens fosters an itch in my palms. The sheets and coverlet look so crisp, so pure. I know that under those bedclothes are feather beds half as thick as I am tall. I can imagine well how soft these must be for sleeping because I sleep on my own, thinner, feather-bed at home. I keep my hands clasped behind my back.

Mom told me to touch nothing, and she’d positioned her Shaker chair to watch me through the bedroom door from the living room.

Narrow, multi-paned windows reach from my waist to near the ceiling, swathed in sheer white nylon curtains with their ruffles and frills; very girly. Stark walls resist the need for ornamentation that clutter rather than emphasizes. Shaker chairs in here, too, sit as if waiting for someone to occupy them while putting on socks and shoes.

In one corner a small round table exhibits a Victrola, its horn pointed toward the front window. At near eye-level for me, I can see the arm resting, waiting for the record to spin and for someone to flip the head and place it on the grooves. The crank hangs, unmoving, tempting.

I reach out to feel its smoothness and hear “Don’t touch!”

Questing hand retreats in a snap of muscle and chagrin. Too dangerous. Everything is too dangerous in this room filled with white.

Outside in the narrow backyard, new spring green is taking hold of everything in view. The back fence keeps chickens and other stock from roaming around the house. A fine mist envelopes me as I explore the cistern area, looking for early blossoms. The trees have begun to bud but remain barren to the eye.

Mom will be upset with me. Sunday shoes, wet grass, Great-grandmother’s clean floors. Not good, not good.

No lecture!

I’m the only one left who can attest to this short episode in my life. Perhaps that’s why I try to hang onto it as hard as I do. Great-grandmother died not too long after that day. My Dad’s mother and my own are both gone as well. Only I remember the day of drizzle, white linens, and a silent Victrola.

Calling All “Relatives”

February 1, 2012 2 comments

The first day of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month) is officially begun. This month’s theme is “Relative,” which means daily posts related to one’s family, however the writer defines “family.”

I will say up front that my definition of “family” is a bit broader than many, but more limited than some. Confused? Don’t be. I figure that if I love, care for, and am concerned about, a person, I consider them family in one sense or another.

Also, I’m a perverse person at times, who regularly reads magazines and catalogs from the back to the front. While I know that today’s suggested prompt is “mother,” I intend to save her for last.

Having said all of that, I’m going to begin with surrogate family, before moving on to real, blood-related people.

Many years ago, I was privileged to teach at a small Native American College here in Montana. The first class I taught there, Intro to Sociology 101, was peopled with mostly matriculated students, both Native American and White.

One who sat close to the front was a marvelous character who had an imp of the Irish within and a laugh that carried everyone along for the ride. Lou was bright, inquisitive, and talented. He played guitar in a band to help support his family while he went back to school for a degree.

A couple of months later I found myself sitting at Lou’s dining table for a Thanksgiving dinner. There was always room at the family table for another diner, with/without an invitation. Drop in and you were invited to partake in whatever meal was being served.

That was a marvelous day, filled with laughter and discovery as to who these new friends were, who were making a place for themselves in my heart.

Over the next year, Lou and I discovered some peculiar links between us. The more we talked, the more “deja-vu” things became. We’d both lived in Jackson, WY, at the same time, went to the same places, knew some of the same people, and yet, had never met. We knew the same woman in Detroit who owned a business just outside the boundary of Greektown. I’d been there several times during a period of residency in Rochester.

Those were just two of the oddities. It was as if our lives had been entangled in this family way for so long, while neither knew of the other’s existence.

There are those who posit that people connect with those whose souls have always been close to them over time and in past lives. I cannot refute that any more than I can prove it.

All I can say is that this man is as close to me in some ways as a brother of blood would be, that I hurt if he’s in distress, and that his family is as dear to me as the one into which I was born.

I don’t get to see him often enough. We live hours apart now, but when schedules and weather permits, I go to see this other family of mine. I get to talk with both Lou and his wife, two of their children, and get to know the grandchildren now. And while their trials are their own, as mine belong to me, they will always hold a piece of my heart and thoughts and reside in my prayers each night.

I love you all, Lou, warts and all.



January 29, 2012 8 comments

Yes, folks, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. There is yet another challenge for the writers who just can’t stand going without one.

I found this particular one when I joined the BlogHer Network a couple of days ago. The challenge is to write a themed blog post each day for the given month, in this case, February.

BTW, this should in no way intimidate or discourage any writer from picking up the gauntlet of that which has beaten back many a writer. After all, there are many writers and other bloggers who already post each day. I know, because I used to be one of them.

According to the BlogHer challenge, February’s theme is “Relative,” meaning that each post must have something to do with family in one form or another.

Now, having redefined what constitutes “family” many times across the span of my life, I don’t seriously feel challenged as to topic. I have entire state’s worth of pseudo-family to draw from.

What might concern me, if I allow myself to think about it for more than a nanosecond, is the fact that I have three blogs—not counting an inactive one in the UK—which might, technically, fall under the auspices of this challenge.

Should I be held accountable for only one of my blogs each day, or, do I have to include all of them in the challenge?

That’s a big question and one I have only a few days to answer before beginning the keyboard shuffle.

I’m counting on all of you to help me with this decision. Am I supposed to do all three—that includes Trailing Inspirations on WordPress—or can I muddle through doing only one of them? And if only one, which one—Claudsy’s Calliope on Blogspot, or Claudsy’s Blog on WordPress?

Comments are encouraged, indeed, required on this one, peeps. HELP ME DECIDE!