Platform Challenge

I’ve been participating in the platform challenge at Writer’s Digest. Today’s task research live events. I’m lucky Avondale hosts a writer’s conference every fall. I went to the first one; it was free of charge because of a grant given to the city. After that, they began charging participants. I did not go – the fee is reasonable but there isn’t a poetry focus.

Then a couple years ago I signed up to attend a 40th birthday present to myself.
Writing Conference Wrap up

Notebook given to conference attendees.

Notebook given to conference attendees.

I enjoyed it again – still no poetry focus. And in 2013 Arizona finally had its own poet laureate. Here is the website for the conference. I learned some members of @speakezpoetry will have a reading during the lunch break. Yes, there still isn’t a poetry focussed workshop.

Besides the very local writer’s conference, I know four chambers press has hosted several poetry related events in Phoenix. Someday I hope to attend one. Other people’s commitments and the fact I don’t drive keep getting in my way.


Poetry Sketch – Haibun

This is my response to a writing prompt on

I do not draw or sketch. I write. My first published writing was a creative nonfiction story, but since then I’ve concentrated on poetry. At the writer’s conference, I was given a blank journal and pen. The cover of the journal had an ink swirl on it: You know you’re bored when you draw tornadoes. Not my reaction at all – ink swirls on a page isn’t boredom. It’s the writer’s way of conquering the abyss staring at him.

Where do I begin
An empty page taunts my pen
Sketch me poetry


Southwest Writer’s Conference Wrap up Part 2

When the hour was up for the second workshop, it was time for lunch. Well it was free food provided by Sam’s Club. I’m not going to complain.

The third session I attended was Seven Steps to a Successful Book Launch. Someday if I ever get off my procrastinating butt, I will get a chapbook compiled. I’m ahead of the game for a successful launch. They used to talk about your elevator pitch. If you’re ever in an elevator with an agent or publisher, what is your 30 second spiel. Now it’s what is your 140 character spiel. Yes, social media is our friend. I already share most of my poetry on twitter and facebook.

Aside – my biggest reason for not having a chapbook compiled yet. It’s too much fun replying to weekly/daily challenges on social media. Instant gratification. Also why I enjoy fanfiction – readers reply quickly to a post. Print publishing can take a year or longer before your words reach readers.

This week Micropoetry society’s challenge is #dance

Words waltz to and fro
as pen dances across page
Poetry spills forth

Last night at the #poetparty on twitter, I talked about the tyburns I wrote in October. I was introduced to the form back when we learned the Little One would need surgery on her foot. One of the first tyburns I wrote:

Like pirouette twirling, swirling spin
Life can be a hurling, whirling win

I share both old and new poetry on twitter and facebook. I also submit poems for publishing. When one is rejected, instead of sending it out to another market, I post it. I know I approach writing more as a hobby than a living, but I’m enjoying it. Someone may just have to compile my poetry into a chapbook when I’m gone and done having fun with this writing experiment. In the meantime, I don’t mind sharing my writing via social media. At least I’m not stressing with edits and galleys.

I have seen my words on galley pages. I admit it is cool. But checking over a few pages is a lot less stressful than checking a book. Which brings me to the last keynote speaker of the conference, Jenn McKinlay . Her latest book, Read It and Weep will be released tomorrow. She told us how she almost missed naming the poison. The galleys were already proofed and somehow the poison went unnamed. Now there is a big stressor. The omission was remedied before going to print. McKinlay fans do not panic; the author saved her own neck.

Life can definitely be a hurling, whirling win. On Friday, Nov. 1st, the Little One participated in team day. She scored a win, capturing the other side’s flag and racing it home without being caught. Yes, this was the same little girl in a wheelchair and crutches last year. Look out world; she’s twirling through life again! Although since my big birthday is less than two weeks away now, could someone slow the Earth’s spin a little? Thank You!