Reading, Reading and Even More

Reading. ūüėČ Yes, it’s that time of year again. I’m doing remote reading and scoring tests. I have officially made up Rachael’s lost grant money with the hours I put in by the end of shift today. The rest of my time scoring this season is nice cushioning.

Since I’ve been reading, I haven’t really spent much time on poetry. But most years I’ve used May as a destress from writing 30 poems in thirty days in April. On the school front, Gretchen got an A in Eng 102 and Rachael got an A+ in OChem 2; she’s signed up for 20 credits this coming Fall semester. Gretchen took her AP US History test today; next Wednesday is her AP English test. The day before Rachael will be interviewing over at ASU to help out the veterinarian (one of the job opportunities I stopped waiting to hear on before I bought airplane tickets). Rachael is also signed up to take the GRE in August before the fall semester begins.

Tomorrow is the #Urbanwinewalk in downtown Phoenix, hopefully Shawn and I will be able to spend some time over there. And of course Sunday is Mother’s Day and then Monday is back to work. Gretchen has only two weeks left for high school. Then Tuesday May 29 her ACE summer courses start – Public Speaking and Sociology!

January – Week 3

Tuesday has arrived
write cringe worthy poetry
post one blog a week

My post is a day late. I spent most of yesterday hibernating under blankets. It only made it to 60 and I’ve acclimated to the desert heat; 60 is chilly to me. I did write a haiku for the #haikuchallenge on twitter yesterday, but then I just enjoyed my peace and quiet. As it was Monday, everyone was out of the house by 7:30am, and then Gretchen had to stay after school for¬†Hamilton¬†and didn’t get home until 4pm, leaving me with 8 hours of heaven.

On Saturday Gretchen had her Eng 102 class at EMCC and Rachael had volunteer training at the Phoenix Zoo. The house was devoid of people on a Saturday! I did 4 loads of wash. I prefer to do laundry on the weekends because of the cheaper electricity rates though it means more in the summer when we’re running the AC. Then Shawn went over to his Mom’s house; they’re working on a piece together for the Exotic Show at the Alwun House. Opening night is February 9th this year, they have to get the artwork done.

Friday Rachael doesn’t have any classes so she and I went grocery shopping at Walmart. They had the entire freezer section emptied for cleaning and inventory. Ugh! This morning Rachael was looking for breakfast, the go to frozen waffles have been depleted and we couldn’t replenish them. Even Gretchen was asking for waffles and I had to tell her, oatmeal or cereal are choices this week.

Ekphrastic Haiku

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Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights

Callipygian
perfect canvas to display
aria from hell

Trish Hopkinson shared the submission call for this ekphrasis anthology. A friend shared a list of out-dated words we should bring back to our vocabulary and callipygian was one of the words. Of course I had to turn it into a poem. And yes, another “haiku” or really senryu; but since this month has started, I have made 5 submissions and they do include other poetic forms. Since Monday has rolled around again, and I’m trying to write a blog a week and I couldn’t think of anything else to compose, I decided to play with a new, old word.

If you want to hear how the composition is played, check out this article.

Arizona Illustrated Celebrates Poetry

To continue my contribution to the online poetry community weekly blogs for 2018, Arizona Illustrated did a story on the Poetry Center down in Tucson. A place I have yet to visit.

Poetry Center
fifty thousand milestone
special fold out book

I wrote another #haikuchallenge for twitter. Today’s word is special. I’m starting slow in 2018, but I have written at least one haiku a day for the twitter challenge, better progress than last year. I also want to share the call for art for the next Nasty Women Unite show here in Phoenix – check out this blog. I’m sure my readers recall I attended last year’s show¬†of course I quoted a well known female poet, Adrienne Rich. I’m sure she’d be a nasty woman, too. Write on poets and bloggers!

Hello 2018

Old rolls into new
marked by clock chiming midnight
Calendar not changed

 

Happy New Year! I am not a fan of resolutions to me one day rolls into the next and why let an arbitrary day mark a new beginning? If I want to make a change, I make it when it works best for me not based on a day in a calendar. Yesterday was the first day of the new year and the start of a new month. I was just in my kitchen, pouring my second cup of coffee for the morning; I looked over at the calendar and realized it was stuck in 2017.

Speaking of not following arbitrary dates, the City of Avondale issues free calendars every year that start July 1 and run through the end of June. There was no need to change my calendar; I just needed to flip to the new month. However I guess I was being a little lazy yesterday and didn’t think about the wall calendar. So welcome to the second day of January and hopefully a more prolific blog.

2017 – Year in Review

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For the last day of 2017, I decided to look at my yearly stats. This past year my blog views went down from 2016. The reason why, I simply have not posted as often. I noticed in March I wrote about Shawn’s 45th birthday. Wow that feels like it was more than a year ago. Still one of my favorite photos of Shawn and me; I can’t believe the canvas print has been on my wall for such a short time. Then at the end of March I started an honest to goodness job (you know something with more reliable pay than writing). Despite working in April, I finished another year of NaPoWriMo – go me!

Of course after that my posts really became sluggish, not sure where my muse went off to this year. It was a little disappointing Silver Birch Press went on hiatus and then decided to close. Melanie always came up with refreshing prompts. I did not write for all of them, but I enjoyed reading everyone’s work and recognizing names of poets who became regular contributors like me.

At the end of May, my job wrapped up and Gretchen began a new adventure, taking courses at the community college. Rachael finished her first year at ASU, working hard to maintain her 4.0 GPA. The hard work seems to be paying off as the honor society invites have rolled in this past semester. Then in July I flew up to Buffalo and then my family (Dad and three sisters) traveled to Germany. I learned about the elevenie (German elfchen) during NaPoWriMo this year and put it to good use when I got back from Germany. You know me, I like short pieces. Pecking on the keyboard with one hand, short and sweet is much easier.

And that pretty much brings us to today as my blog lacked many posts in September, October or November. At the midpoint of December I blogged about my November; I had a nice birthday dinner at the Wigwam Resort. Then we had a quiet Thanksgiving and Rachael finished her fall semester by the first week of the month. An early end means an early start, school resumes for both girls on January 8th and the routine begins over again in 2018. I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. And to friends and family back East – stay warm.

Contemplate finish
Keep thrill alive; transition
See new beginning

Early Start – Arizona Poets

Yesterday I reblogged how the online poetry community is going to try to write a blog a week in 2018 – about poetry, writing, inspiration, life – you know the all around things that affect poets and their writing. I decided to get a little head jump as the city of Phoenix is looking for micropoetry to feature in the city for April – national poetry month. The submission call is only open to poets who reside in Arizona. And I honestly don’t know how many of my readers actually live in the same state as me. Poems are due by January 19th, so I figured I’d share the info as soon as possible. Guidelines here

No excuse to work
on sustainability
poem for Phoenix

 

And now my list of excuses: No haiku, only AZ residents, no epics (under 50 words), it says no rhyming but I’m sure if it is pulled off well some rhyming could make it through. Yes, I’ve been working on a submission and no, I did not rhyme. The haiku above is for the #haikuchallenge on twitter today as the word is excuse.

Poetry in Phoenix

Last night Shawn and I attended our first Caffeine Corridor poetry feat at {9} the Gallery. It begins with open mic poetry readings. We arrived late, because Shawn had to drive all the way home to pick me up. We missed the first few readers, but many of the poets we did see kept mentioning an article recently published in the Phoenix New Times. The print version is here in the house, Shawn had Rachael pick it up at ASU on Thursday, because Joe is a friend of his, and he wanted to read the article. But by last night, neither one of us read it yet.

I read it this morning. Wow, it really is electrically charged with negative feelings about the poetry scene in Phoenix. All I can think is, Okay not everyone who gets up to read an original poem is going to be Whitman, Sandburg, Angelou (poet of your choice here), but you never know who will be the next great American poet. The fact they got up the nerve to stand in front of an audience to read and grow deserves kudos. You never know, in a number of years you may be able to say, I heard them when…

A person cannot improve on their skill locked up and alone. I thought poetry readings were encourage not disparage. I don’t go to poetry readings with my ego on my sleeve. Mostly because you won’t see me stand up and read a poem. I do enjoy the isolation of a computer. I’m more like Dickinson, the amount of poems people will find I’ve tucked away when I’m gone, that is if I don’t burn them all first. Yes, folks I’m analog and still write out more poems than not on actual paper I can burn.

When I first started the whole I’m going to be a published writer journey, my first submission experience was great. Those who read my blog, know I started submitting stories to the Star Trek Strange New Worlds anthology. I joined a wonderful online critique group specifically for SNW writers and I met great writers there who encouraged us newbies. And I realized I was pretty decent at this writing game. My second year, I submitted a story elsewhere and saw my first published piece. The other writers in that anthology introduced me to ritro.com and I started writing articles for the site. I shared Peter Pan Envy on this blog. I also wrote, The Hunt and Peck Method to Novel Writing.

No I was not interested in writing a novel – still holds true. But I also was not serious about poetry. I felt poets were egotistical, pompous jackasses until I joined gather.com and met some lovely poetry people who took the time to read the few poems I posted and comment with well done and at the same time offering ways I could improve my work. This was the kind of environment I saw at {9} the gallery last night. And it is the best way to grow as a poet. I’m not sure why the New Times journalist wrote they were nervous and did not make eye contact. They have the courage to stand in front of people and open themselves up. Maybe he should try it once instead of just printing he words out on a screen. And as for the featured poet in the article…I’m glad I did not run into his ilk when I first put poems out for critique. It was bad enough I was comparing myself to a great poetic ghost.

check ego at door
devote time to encourage
poetry will thrive

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 gather.com 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.

Laundry
piles up
mom off writing

Switch
load over
washer to dry

Pair
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
socks

 

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.