#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Eleven

The book that began my love for reading

Fear of rejection
Keeps my pen frozen in place
Will anyone read?


A future author

Readers are fickle
A nuisance asking advice
Just write what you know


An annoyed author

NaPoWriMo Prompt And now for our (optional) prompt. This is a twist on a prompt offered by Kay Gabriel during a meeting she facilitated at the Poetry Project last year. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a two-part poem, in the form of an exchange of letters. The first stanza (or part) should be in the form of a letter that you write either to yourself or to a famous fictional or historical person. The second part should be the letter you receive in response. These can be as short or long as you like, in the form of prose poems, or with line breaks – and of course, the subject matter of the letters is totally up to you.

Good afternoon and welcome to day eleven of #NaPoWriMo where I procrastinated with housework this morning and then slapped together two short poems as letters. I couldn’t figure out who I wanted to write and then remembered tomorrow is DEAR day – the first since Beverly Cleary passed away earlier this year. And Dear Mr. Henshaw is one of my favorite books. I think the author response would be more Henshaw than Cleary but either way it works for the prompt.

#NaPoWriMo DEAR Day



Drop everything and read a good book
in celebration of Cleary’s birthday
Find a quiet place where no one will look
Drop everything and read a good book
Lose yourself and let the pages sink their hook
into you as the story unfolds stay
Drop everything and read a good book
in celebration of Cleary’s birthday 

NaPoWriMo Prompt – For today’s prompt (optional, as always), I’d like to challenge you to write a triolet. These eight-line poems involve repeating lines and a tight rhyme scheme. The repetitions and rhymes can lend themselves to humorous poems, as well as to poems expressing dramatic or sorrowful moods. And sometimes the repetitions can be used in deceptive ways, by splitting the words in a given line into different sentences, and making subtle changes, as in this powerful triolet by Sandra McPherson.

Good morning readers, guess what day it is? One of my favorite days of NaPoWriMo day twelve also known as Beverly Cleary’s birthday or DEAR Day. And I’ve gotten pretty good at celebrating the day in poetry before going off to read.

So both Gretchen and Robin have been venturing to the mailbox the past couple days, anxiously awaiting their reading care packages from Changing Hands Bookstore. There was one extremely big envelope in yesterday’s mail addressed to Gretchen. It was so big, Robin figured it was a twofer and his book was also included. Alas it was not to be, Gretchen received a massive book that actually piqued all of our interest.

Since DEAR Day also landed on Easter this year, I can’t exactly drop everything but I will find some time to read today. I hope all my readers do too. 😉


NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 16


Apropos for April


Childhood Dream

At the kitchen table she writes
Several years removed from hometown
Young girl dreamed beneath the starlights
One day she could be well renown

Several years removed from hometown
Housewife prattles poetic verse
One day she could be well renown
Across the world her words traverse

Housewife prattles poetic verse
Inspired by Dear Mr. Henshaw
Across the world her words traverse
Write what you know even when blah

Inspired by Dear Mr. Henshaw
Mother puts down in words her life
Write what you know even when blah
Young girl grew to become housewife

Mother puts down in words her life
At the kitchen table she writes
Young girl grew to become housewife
She still dreams beneath the starlights

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today, I challenge you to fill out, in no more than five minutes, the following “Almanac Questionnaire,” which solicits concrete details about a specific place (real or imagined). Then write a poem incorporating or based on one or more of your answers. Happy writing!

No more than 5 minutes – I had a hard time with some of the questions. But I have dreamed of being a writer ever since the 3rd grade and I read Dear Mr. Henshaw. Great link to click on, as yesterday Gretchen came into the kitchen and said, You’ll have to say goodbye to me at the door. I replied, Yeah I do that every morning.

But today I’m going to school and not coming back.

Yay! I’ve been trying to achieve this for years.

Mom! I’m wearing a red shirt. The red shirts never come back.

Well yesterday she must have been Scotty because the red shirt did return in the afternoon.

And speaking of prattling in poetic verse, I did say I’d give the pantoum another go sometime in April. Since we are past the halfway point, I thought today was a good day to try.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 12


My All Time FAVORITE Book


Dear Mr. Henshaw
Emily’s Runaway Imagination
A Girl from Yamhill
Ramona the Pest

It’s DEAR day (drop everything and read) Happy Birthday! Beverly Cleary 100 years spry today!

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today, I challenge you to write your own index poem. You could start with found language from an actual index, or you could invent an index, somewhat in the style of this poem by Thomas Brendler. Happy writing!

OK maybe not exactly an index poem, but I took out my copy of Dear Mr. Henshaw turned to the back and saw this:


Beverly Cleary Books













a listing of all her books. As luck would have it, I could arrange some of the titles into an acrostic for dear. So there is my faux index poem.

NaPoWriMo Day 12

Scotty, NO!

Enterprise flies
over volcano to
rescue Spock but Scotty misjudged

Burning imagination

Burning imagination

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our prompt! Yesterday’s was a doozy, so today’s is much more laid-back (and optional, as always). It comes to us from Dr. Cynthia A. Cochran of Illinois College:

Here is a great prompt for anyone who likes to write descriptive prose but shudders at writing poetry–and it really works:

Describe in great detail your favorite room, place, meal, day, or person. You can do this in paragraph form.

Now cut unnecessary words like articles and determiners (a, the, that) and anything that isn’t really necessary for content; leave mainly nouns, verbs, a few adjectives.

Cut the lines where you see fit and, VOILA! A poem!

All right Star Trek fans you can’t blame me for this one. Yes, I put the fire in the chimenea but the rest was all Gretchen. She brought out a box of her writings to burn. The next thing I know she’s folding paper airplanes naming them Enterprise and flying them “into” the volcano to rescue Spock. All aboard perish. Spock is the only survivor. He had a contingency plan if the shuttle couldn’t pull him out.

Does everyone know what today is? Extra poem day. 😀 It’s DEAR day. And here I am without a good Star Trek novel to read.


Beverly Cleary
Dear Mr. Henshaw her best

NaPoWriMo Day Twelve – Replacement


A thrilling read
Thrills are a set of written words
A thrilling read
Transported from page to screen freed
Thrills stuck in libraries where nerds
Only knew how thrills soar like birds
A thrilling read


NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today’s (optional) prompt is a “replacement” poem. Pick a common noun for a physical thing, for example, “desk” or “hat” or “bear,” and then pick one for something intangible, like “love” or “memories” or “aspiration.” Then Google your tangible noun, and find some sentences using it. Now, replace that tangible noun in those sentences with your intangible noun, and use those sentences to create (or inspire) a poem.

April 12 is Beverly Cleary’s birthday and to honor the children’s author it has become DEAR day – Drop Everything And Read.  I try to write a DEAR poem on April 12th.  Once I post this my DEAR festivities can begin.  My tangible word is books; intangible word is thrills. I hope everyone finds a thrill to sink their teeth into today.  Happy Reading!


NaPoWriMo Day Eight – Rewrite

There is no vessel like a book
You’ll be transported by page
Poorest soul can leave his cage
A sing-song verse
Will quickly immerse
Dear reader, in its depth
Frugal means to gain breadth
Of knowledge, reading will hook!

A Book

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!
Emily Dickinson


NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for today’s (optional, as always!) prompt. Today, let’s rewrite a famous poem, giving it our own spin. While any famous poem will do, if you haven’t already got one in mind, why not try your own version of Cesar Vallejo’s Black Stone Lying on a White Stone? If you’re not exactly sure how such a poem could be “re-written,” check out this recent poem by Stephen Burt, which riffs on Vallejo’s. Happy writing!

Waiting at the bus stop with Gretchen this morning, another student came up holding Cinder by: Marissa Meyer.  Gretchen just finished reading the third book in the series.  We started talking about how good the books are.  I love when kids love reading. 😀 I’m early but April 12th is DEAR day in honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday.  Everyone should – Drop Everything And Read.  I wrote a double dactyl for DEAR day one year.

In the middle of NaPoWriMo, I am also reading Kilroy was Here by: Douglas Quinn.  It’s a children’s book; I will write a review of when I’m finished. I’m thinking I may include a found poem in my review.  My oldest daughter has to write three book reports outside of her English class.  One of the suggestions is to write a found poem from a page in the book.  Rachael thought it was too easy to be real.  But I assured her found poetry is a legit assignment.  She has done two of the three reports. No found poem by her yet.