#NaPoWriMo First Contact Day

Keep a safe distance
First time greeting aliens
Live long and prosper

Star Trek: First Contact 1996

Captain Jean-Luc Picard : The date. Data, I need to know the exact date.
Lieutenant Commander Data : April 4th, 2063.
Cmdr. William Riker : April 4th, the day before first contact.
Lieutenant Commander Data : Precisely.

 

Hello readers and welcome to day five of NaPoWriMo – aka First Contact Day. Sorry for the interruption of your regularly scheduled prompt.
NaPoWriMo Prompt Our (optional) prompt for today is one that we have used in past years, but which I love to come back to, because it so often takes me to new and unusual places, and results in fantastic poems. It’s called the “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” and was originally developed by Jim Simmerman. The challenge is to use/do all of the following in the same poem. Of course,  if you can’t fit all twenty projects into your poem, or a few of them get your poem going, that is just fine too!

In other news, we pulled off a very successful birthday celebration yesterday (the day before first contact).

 

Festive ambiance
Wish many happy returns
Casa de Hosking

Decorate backyard
She does not reveal her wish
Quarantine party

The dinner portion of last night’s celebration was a bit tricky. We all went to Hayashi Hibachi for Shawn’s birthday at the end of February and Gretchen actually ate and enjoyed the sushi. She wanted to make a return trip for her birthday and then the stay at home order came. Well even before then, restaurants weren’t offering dine-in services, but I told her there is no problem ordering take-out. Mom was wrong Hayashi Hibachi has virtually no online presence and we could not find a menu to view. Shawn actually drove over to the restaurant; yes management is aware of the sucky online presence but they’re a chain and don’t have much of a say. Dad took pictures of the sushi options and we made our selection here at home; Dad placed the order and then went over to Total Wine to wait. He actually took a picture of the parking lot as no one was around except for the wine store. Yes folks if you have to be stuck indoors with your family for a month and more we all need alcoholic beverages to cope. Of course in my opinion, a little bit of poetry doesn’t hurt. Hope every has a safe and happy first contact day!

#NaPoWriMo Dream Talk at Dinner

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Gretchen Hosking in the Backyard

Middle of the street
Call out Jennifer Lawrence
Mystique walks away

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Our prompt for the day (optional as always) takes its cue from our gently odd resources, and asks you to write a poem based on an image from a dream. We don’t always remember our dreams, but images or ideas from them often stick with us for a very long time. I definitely have some nightmares I haven’t been able to forget, but I’ve also witnessed very lovely things in dreams (like snow falling on a flood-lit field bordered by fir trees, as seen through a plate glass window in a very warm and inviting kitchen). Need an example of a poem rooted in dream-based imagery? Try this one by Michael Collier.

Good morning readers and welcome to day four of NaPoWriMo. First thing’s first – Happy 19th birthday, Gretchen! Today’s prompt seems rather apropos as Gretchen told me about the strange dream she had at dinner last night. Of course I reminded her what time of year it was; anything you tell mom in April is fair game to be used as poetry inspiration. Then I see write a dream-based poem. May be the fastest turn around from discussion to poem I’ve had. Gretchen said she didn’t care as she knew tomorrow’s poem would be about her anyway. She sooooo enjoys having a birthday in April – not.

Dinner discussion
Mom front and center in dream
Serendipity

Apparently Gretchen and I were in the middle of a busy street with one of our cats, Chase, and we were supposed to be some kind of undercover agents. Gretchen said it was a miracle I didn’t blow our cover because I kept calling out Jennifer Lawrence. I said, I’m shocked I even recognized Jennifer Lawrence, because knowing me if I just ran into a celebrity on the street I would have no clue. Then I was told she was actually dressed as Mystique which I found even funnier, because I’m sure I would recognize an X-men easier than an actor; and why was I calling her by her real name if she looked like Mystique? Gretchen had no idea she was just trying to get me not to blow our cover and it sounded like I wasn’t giving her an easy job.

Well we have a birthday to celebrate somehow in these strange times. If any of you have the opportunity please go over to Gretchen’s Tumblr and wish her Happy Birthday!
Thank you

#NaPoWriMo Rhymes in a Book

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Care Package from Changing Hands Bookstore

Feeling Blue

Why am I blue
Always searching for your letter
Why am I blue
Do you see how well your words woo
Our tete a tete helps unfetter
I no longer feel embitter
Why am I blue

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today’s prompt (optional, as always) asks you to make use of our resource for the day. First, make a list of ten words. You can generate this list however you’d like – pull a book  off the shelf and find ten words you like, name ten things you can see from where you’re sitting, etc. Now, for each word, use Rhymezone to identify two to four similar-sounding or rhyming words. For example, if my word is “salt,” my similar words might be “belt,” “silt,” “sailed,” and “sell-out.”

Once you’ve assembled your complete list, work on writing a poem using your new “word bank.” You don’t have to use every word, of course, but try to play as much with sound as possible, repeating  sounds and echoing back to others using your rhyming and similar words.

Good morning readers and welcome to day three of NaPoWriMo. Do you recognize the rondelet? This is a little rhyming dribble inspired by the book I am currently reading. One of our local bookstores, Changing Hands, has found a unique way to keep their employees working while we are all on a stay at home order – book care packages. And yes, I ordered one for myself. It arrived on April 1st and I can assure you they did a great job picking out a book I would enjoy – definitely not feeling blue.

In fact I was so thrilled with the book selection they sent me, I helped thing two order one for herself yesterday. And thing one put in an order for themself this morning. The evil twin even told me she ordered from the bookstore as well.  Which, don’t get me wrong, I was pleased to learn, but I did have to question why she was not supporting her own local bookstore in Pennsylvania.  She said she was unaware of any and if they did have any independent bookstores, she didn’t hear about them putting together fun reading packages.

Ahhh… the life of an introvert. Yes, I have my nose planted in the pages of a book. Okay sticking it out for a minute to write today’s poem and to ask – Are my extrovert friends, assuming any come here to read this, doing well? May I suggest ordering from Changing Hands. If you don’t trust them to pick a title for you they do have the pick your own book option. Happy Reading!

#NaPoWriMo – Grammar School

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My Grammar School from the 1984 Yearbook

Grammar School

On Reserve Road in West Seneca
New York sits a squat rectangle
Building behind a brick church
Where children gather to
Learn reading, writing
Arithmetic
Trinity
Christian
School

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Our (optional) prompt for the day takes a leaf from Schuyler’s book, as it were, and asks you to write a poem about a specific place —  a particular house or store or school or office. Try to incorporate concrete details, like street names, distances (“three and a half blocks from the post office”), the types of trees or flowers, the color of the shirts on the people you remember there. Little details like this can really help the reader imagine not only the place, but its mood – and can take your poem to weird and wild places.

Good morning readers and welcome to day two of NaPoWriMo. Yesterday I was lamenting at the thought of being a kindergarten failure, so today I thought I’d share with you where I spent nine years of my youth. I attended Trinity Lutheran all the way k-8th grades. A few years back, I wrote about one of my classmates. Since we were a graduating class of eight students, we got to know everyone pretty well.

As you can see in my poem, the name of the school has changed; it works for the syllable count of a nonnet, but to me it will always be Trinity Lutheran school. It seems strange to realize I lived in the same house kindergarten through 8th and all the way until I was married a total of 18 years; I just now surpassed that amount of time as we moved into our current residence 20 years ago coming up next month. This has been an interesting trip down memory lane, but once again I need to be productive today. I will see you all again tomorrow.

#NaPoWriMo Self Portrait

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Self Portrait

Hopeless
Tied up in knots
Little girl in despair
Cannot coax bunny through the hole
Failure

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our (optional) prompt, which also deals with metaphors! Forrest Gump famously said that “life is like a box of chocolates.” And there are any number of poems out there that compare or equate the speaker’s life with a specific object. (For example, this poem of Emily Dickinson’s). Today, however, I’d like to challenge you to write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life – one that typically isn’t done all that often, or only in specific circumstances. For example, bowling, or shopping for socks, or shoveling snow, or teaching a child to tie its shoes.

Good morning readers and welcome to the first day of NaPoWriMo. I know my self portrait is bleak, but a long time ago a five year old girl thought she was a kindergarten failure before kindergarten even began. I still flashback to the feeling of dread at my inability to tie shoelaces. So when the prompt mentioned tying shoes…

Let’s focus on a happy note. I did coax someone to give me the link to her Tumblr. Mom does not use the platform and I know thing two does not use Twitter nor does she go on Facebook very often. Saturday is the big day – 19 years old! Please go wish her a happy birthday. By the way, for those curious mom was also successful at teaching thing one and thing two to tie shoelaces. One would think I’d be over the dread of life’s early failure maybe someday.

#NaPoWriMo Early Bird Prompt

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Wikipedia Photo Credit

Flowers are in bloom
Hear the pyrrhuloxia sing
Signs of spring abound

NaPoWriMo Early Bird Prompt – And now, in the spirit of an early-bird prompt, I’d like to invite you to write a poem about your favorite bird. As this collection of snippets from longer poems suggests, birds have been inspiring poets for a very long time indeed!

Good Afternoon readers! I thought I would introduce you to the pyrrhuloxia more commonly called the desert cardinal as in actuality the cardinal is my favorite bird, but since living in the desert for over 20 years now; I’ve grown to appreciate the beauty of my desert cardinal. And for those, who like me, look at the word pyrrhuloxia and wonder how in the world do I pronounce it.

Shawn has been busy working in the backyard cleaning and planting. This morning I went out there to enjoy my morning coffee and watch him work. The #haikuchallenge word today is channel. Of course, I used my morning as inspiration.

Enjoy morning sun
Stop flipping TV channels
Excuse the bed head

Gardner hard at work
Channeling his green thumb to
Grow vegetables

And since April begins tomorrow, there is a birthday to celebrate on Saturday. Poor Gretchen already feels her birthday gets a bum wrap. She never had any luck with birthday parties as so often her birthday falls near or on Easter and then when she was in high school she learned it was the day MLK was assassinated. Arizona will be on a stay at home order as of 5pm today; so yeah Gretchen gets to celebrate another year #ForeverAlone (as she puts it). I’m hoping she will get a wonderful social distancing surprise this Saturday through social media and turn her frown upside.

Birthday approaching
Channel positivity
Over doom and gloom

Well if you’ll excuse me, I’ve whittled my morning away writing and daydreaming in my backyard. I best be off to do something productive today. I’ll see everyone again tomorrow for the official kick off of NaPoWriMo.

 

Advice from An Expert

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Good Afternoon, readers! I ventured outside today to walk down the street to the mailbox. Alas, it was mostly junk mail and a couple bills.  I thought I’d share my National Poetry Month poster from a couple years ago to get everyone excited for next month. I did not get a poster last year, but I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of this year’s poster.

In the meantime, I wrote a few haiku for today’s #haikuchallenge word – crazy. This first one was inspired by the very cool weather we have been experiencing in Phoenix.

Wake up feeling hot
Heat kicks on at end of March
Crazy time of year

The next two are about an introvert being stuck at home with too many people underfoot.

House is too crowded
Introvert driven crazy
Without solitude

Advice from expert –
Conversations with yourself
Staves off stir crazy

To pass the time I’ve been on Twitter way too much, but I have been enjoying William Shatner’s Captain’s Log tweets about sheltering place; as well as Patrick Stewart’s daily sonnet readings. Of course I watched the season finale of Picard yesterday, twice. Shhh.. don’t tell Gretchen. Since she’s stuck at home with online classes, I told her we would watch the two part finale together. But after Jonathan Frakes tweeted a picture of Captain Riker back in uniform very early yesterday morning, I wasn’t going to wait for someone to wake up and attend her online classes before I watched. Don’t worry when I told her Captain Riker shows up again, I promptly blamed Frakes for the spoiler. She had no idea I watched the episode at the beginning of my day before doing housework. And of course I used the episode to inspire my #haikuchallenge tweet yesterday. It’s a good thing Gretchen does not use Twitter or reads my blog. 😉

Picard finale
Believe in human spirit
Live by example

So my life is pretty much continuing on as usual even with the lack of privacy. Unfortunately it seems that may be a constant until school starts up in August again, keeping my fingers crossed we return to normal by then.

 

 

Without Solitude

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Good morning readers! Today is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. I hope my family and friends are turning the internet green as everyone should be sheltering in place. Since I’ve already shared my green shirt and poem for today, I thought I’d share a few other poems I’ve been writing for the #haikuchallenge on Twitter. I know I said my routine is unaffected staying at home; but that was before Shawn’s job went on staggered days to limit the number of employees at work.  He makes medical equipment so it is an essential business but they’ve moved everyone to a four day work week.  Shawn has been home the past three days and I miss my solitude.

Miss my alone time
When we return to normal
Bask in the silence

Always home alone
I talk to myself often
Pastime will finish

It is fair to say
My same old routine suffers
From overcrowding

Here is a post I wrote a couple years ago about March being Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. Today is also the one week mark until April 1st and napowrimo. I signed up to participate again this year and since there are no standardized tests to score, I should fare better on the daily prompts. Last year was the first time I did not write for all of them; it was a little disappointing.

One week ’til April
Keep up writing poetry
Whether fair or foul

 

Same Old Routine

Hello readers! I know what many of you are thinking, who is this person posting on this blog. I have been way too quiet lately. I haven’t been writing much lately. Of course with social distancing becoming the new norm, not much has changed in my routine. On the plus side, with Gretchen home all day now, more house cleaning is getting done.

ASU has gone to online classes so Gretchen has her daily routine with class time and homework, but since commuting time is no longer an issue, she has more free time. And since my remote work is scoring standardized tests and schools are closed for the foreseeable future, I have no monetary work. So I should start writing poems again. Hopefully I can write a poem a day this April once again. In the meantime here is a poem for national cerebral palsy awareness month.

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Happy New Year

New Year Photo

It’s only taken me one week into the new year to write a new blog post. I’d like to say I’ve been busy with life, but it’s mostly been the same old routine around here.

Gretchen (in the photo above with me) did well her first semester at ASU earning a 3.38. As my readers know, Rachael has applied to veterinary schools. She’s been accepted to 3 and asked to interview to 2 others (most likely will accept the slot at Oregon).

As for me, I had another birthday pass by in November. We went to see Terminator and then dinner at Arriba’s. Then the first First Friday of 2020 we went to the Japanese Garden in Phoenix for the boba battle. I’m not a fan of boba but they also had saki available. And of course it reminded me with the new year a new azmatsuri haiku contest has begun.

My poor blog is still in Facebook jail. When I email them about the issue, I’ve only heard crickets in response. But I hope I’ll find other motivation to keep up posts on my blog this year. Hope everyone  is enjoying the start to the year and continue  success in all you do.