Sketching Techniques – Assignment One

I signed up for an online course – How Writers Write Poetry through Iowa University.  The first class was posted today.  Robert Hass talked about how to create lines by looking at the world around you, metaphors and questions.  The assignment is to write a one, two, three or four line poem about your observations.  When he spoke of unusual metaphors, I thought of a conversation I had recently with my youngest.  She was complaining about something and I said, You’ll live till you’re twice married.  She looked at me horrified.  Mom did not want her baby living too long.  Once upon a time my own mother would utter this same phrase to me.  It meant you were going to live a long time, because most people only married once. First three line senryu –

Longevity slips
You’ll live till you’re twice married
How young will death come


I spent some time in the forum reading and commenting on other pieces.  Then I checked twitter.  We can chat there with #heypoets.  I checked the #haikuchallenge word today.  Today’s word is watch. Another poem sketch –

Sketching poetry
How words spill forth ideas
Watch video, write


The course runs through August 9th.  It should be interesting minus my break to shuffle off to Buffalo.  We set up tours for Alfred University (equine center was a plus for my smarty pants) and Cornell.  Yes, my future vet sets her sights high.


Erasure Poem

Richard’s death

r             i            p
Death masks

personal                              tunnel
eyes                                             mask
man                                                         death
ceremonial interments
died                                                              grave robbers

Richard's death erasure poem gravestone

Richard’s death erasure poem gravestone

Doctor Who – Haiku

Fractured across time
Souffle girl battles daleks
Doctor Who escapes

Dalek at the Phoenix ComiCon.

Dalek at the Phoenix ComiCon.

Netflix finally updated Doctor Who – though a little girl I know has been using iTunes gift cards to stay up to date on her Doctor Who.  Also we visited Nonnie at Christmas and were able to see the 50th anniversary episode and Matt Smith’s farewell there.  And right now, Nonnie is about an hour away and I’m writing #haikuchallenge haiku instead of the last minute tidying I should be doing.  I did get a lot of cleaning done yesterday.  Dad and Rachael went off to work.  I told Gretchen we’d be cleaning.  Well Mom cleaned and let Gretchen sleep in.  When I did go into her room to wake her up, I got a big hug.  Apparently she had a dream I died and she was very happy to see me.  Love getting hugs from 13 year olds. 😉

Then when Dad and Rachael got home, Dad was all excited to show me a video of Rachael in a car. By his excitement, I thought she was behind the wheel. No she was the passenger. Why was this so exciting? Yeah I’m not a car aficionado. Dad made a comic with his 280Z complaining about how I keep calling it a her. His new baby is a guy apparently but he treats it like a mistress, in my opinion, so I’m sticking with female references. 😛

Sabots – Haiku

Fear obsolescence
Machines yield higher profits
Sabots create hope


#haikuchallenge on twitter was to use the word hope.  The weekly poetry prompt on Writer’s Digest is industry.  Here is how my mind works.  I was thinking of being a book girl because of Monday’s #litchat on twitter.  You know, John Barrowman and his sister, Carole, are writing a book series for middle schoolers.  I learned about it at their table at Phoenix ComiCon.  They had copies there for sale.  I wanted to read up more on the books before buying one.  But now I think I am a bigger fan of Carole Barrowman than John.  I think it’s great John and Carole are working together.

I talked about my book girls on Monday then I mentioned how Rachael’s history teacher gave her class Star Trek notes the last day of school.  She messaged me pictures of the notes.

Rachael knew the name of the first warp 5 starship.

Rachael knew the name of the first warp 5 starship.


Of course I had to show the notes off and Rachael asked her teacher if he knew who Dayton Ward was because her mom just showed him your notes.  She told me her teacher sat in his chair; grabbed her phone to see if his notes really were seen by Dayton Ward; and then he giggled like a school “girl” (my daughter’s words).  When Rachael got home from her last day of school, we had to watch Star Trek VI.  She’s only seen up to IV with the original cast.  And any Trekkie knows the word sabotage is explained in the movie.  Then a couple weeks ago, my husband said he was talking about sabots and no one knew what he meant.  I asked Rachael if she knew.  Oh yeah, it was in a movie we watched recently.  HA! the girl didn’t even remember it was a Star Trek movie!



And yes, all these things were floating through my head while I wrote this haiku.

Weekend – Phoenix ComiCon Fun

Ok because of past experience (waiting in lines for everything) at the last con we attended in Phoenix.  Yes, even after we picked up our tickets there was more waiting.  We went upstairs to attend some panels.  When we came back down stairs, there was a line to get into the exhibitors hall because the fire marshall said there were too many people inside.  This year we left the house early.  Registration to get your tickets was in the south building.  Smart move.  We got there around 9AM and there was no line.  However most of the activities didn’t begin until 10AM.  We went down to the exhibitors hall to wait.  Mom took this time to look through the schedule.  The Little One took this time to complain.

I thought she’d be happy we avoided one line already.  I really was not looking forward to the John Barrowman line.  Everyone wants to see the actors.  In fact where we were waiting outside the exhibitors hall was closest to the actors’ tables.  And it was getting crowded already.  My hubby went off to take pictures and realized the other end of the hall wasn’t as crowded.  He came and picked us up.  We entered the hall on the opposite side of the actor tables.

The two older girls (my oldest daughter and a friend) were enjoying looking around the exhibitor tables.  The Little One had one thing on her mind, John Barrowman.  We stopped at a table selling autographed photos (good grief!) the guy asked me if I saw anything I liked.  You know a few years ago I picked up an autographed photo of Jonathan Frakes for less than half the price he had posted.  I told him I saw a lot of nice photos but the prices were a little rich.  He went into this rant about needing to make a living.  Hey, I totally understand that but…

The Little One saw an autographed photo of John Barrowman with a note – He’s here, but if you don’t want to wait.  I realized, yeah someone isn’t waiting any longer.  Hubby and I talked and I told him, I’ll take Gretchen off to see John Barrowman while he and the other girls perused more sellers tables.  Off we went.  Over by the actors tables there was a huge line.  I hoped it wasn’t the one we were looking for.  There was a security guy there and I asked him where John Barrowman was, he pointed me down the row. Phew.  We walked down the row and didn’t see his name.  Gretchen was getting worried the Con lied about Barrowman being there.  I assured her they wouldn’t do that.  We started walking up the next row and Viola! And you know what, there were maybe 10 people ahead of us in line.  The line was a little catawampus and I didn’t want to cut in front of anyone.  I asked where the line ended and was pointed to the last person in line.  Gretchen was nervous because she didn’t have anything for John Barrowman to sign.  A lot of people in line told her not to worry, you can buy a picture.  Then a volunteer staff person came up and asked if we had any questions.  No if we want the autographed personalized, she had a post-it to fill out.  Of course, if you are going to meet the person in person the autograph should be personalized.

This is where I want to thank the Phoenix ComiCon for having great staff.  Gretchen did not want to fill out the post-it.  Let’s face it, Mom had her purse, camera and a couple of bags already and only one good hand.  I asked the volunteer if she would fill out the post-it and she said no problem.  Then I had to spell Gretchen’s name; she wouldn’t even do that.  I asked her if she forgot how to spell her own name.  The volunteer said, Oh she’s just being shy.  Great personality and thanks for helping me out.  Post-it note in hand we walk up to the table. There were plenty of photos to choose from.  I would have had a hard time, but Gretchen picked one out quickly had it in hand while I paid.  Then she was standing in front of John Barrowman.  I don’t even remember if she said anything to him.  But the look on her face.  She was one happy fan girl.



Don't you know I'd snap the photo just as he was looking up.

Don’t you know I’d snap the photo just as he was looking up.

Gretchen standing outside the TARDIS, holding her prize.

Gretchen standing outside the TARDIS, holding her prize.

After we met John Barrowman, Gretchen told me it took everything she had not to go all fan girl on him. 😉 I said, well you didn’t pinch him. She has been telling me for a while she was going to pinch him to make sure he was real. Precious autograph in hand, Gretchen’s day was complete and she was ready to go home – 11:30AM. Yeah, no little girl. There’s more the rest of us want to do. But we did meet up with the rest of the gang and stop for lunch.

One Year on WordPress

I started blogging on wordpress one year ago.  Actually I’ve been a regular contributor to the Mamazina blog here for quite a few years, but I did not set up a personal blog until June 2013.  Near the end of April last year, the site I was posting my poetry on went down.  A major bummer for me, because I was sharing my napowrimo poetry there.  When still wasn’t running well over a month later, I decided to set up a wordpress blog.  I wrote my first post on June 8th.  I wanted a place to post poetry again.

During summer vacation, I’m not writing as often since I’m busy with the girls out of school.  Yesterday I was playing with some hay(na)ku.

piles up
mom off writing

load over
washer to dry

up socks
odd one out


Yes, I was also doing the laundry.  I thought the last poem would work well in reverse, as well.


Odd one out
pairing up


Thank you to everyone who has stopped by my blog this first year.  I hope it didn’t disappoint.  And you’ll continue to read my musings for another year.