#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Three – Flashback


I started on my homework
but my pen ran out of ink.
My hamster ate my homework.
My computer’s on the blink. (Kenn Nesbitt)

Every April poets sit down to write
Thirty poems in thirty days
Some days the words flow free
Like leaves caught in an autumn breeze
Other days are quite frustrating
And can drive a poet berserk
Counting syllables, minding rhymes
The glossa form has how many lines
Maybe I’ll find a way to shirk
I started on my homework

Staring out my bedroom window
The beautiful spring day is calling
Put away your pen and paper
Take a walk enjoy the sunshine
This glossa form is going nowhere
And if you step back go out to think
The next twenty lines could appear
As magic. Yes, the words will cheer
When on the page they interlink
But my pen ran out of ink

Two more stanzas are required
My writing skills are being tested
Maybe I can find another excuse
The dog and cat vie for attention
Wondering why I’m not playing
They probably think I’m a jerk
The next few lines take too long
This glossa is proving too strong
Perhaps I should say with a smirk
My hamster ate my homework

Every April poets sit down to write
Thirty poems in thirty days
It’s only day eleven
I’m running out of steam
The glossa form a worthy foe
But in its armor I see a chink
Four more lines are within my grasp
Here I am near the end at last
Please tell me this poem doesn’t stink
My computer’s on the blink

NaPoWriMo PromptAnd now for our (optional) prompt. This one is a bit complex, so I saved it for a Sunday. It’s a Spanish form called a “glosa” – literally a poem that glosses, or explains, or in some way responds to another poem. The idea is to take a quatrain from a poem that you like, and then write a four-stanza poem that explains or responds to each line of the quatrain, with each of the quatrain’s four lines in turn forming the last line of each stanza. Traditionally, each stanza has ten lines, but don’t feel obligated to hold yourself to that! Here’s a nice summary of the glosa form to help you get started.

Good morning and welcome to day three of NaPoWriMo where I use an old poem as a place marker for today’s prompt. I wrote this glosa on April 11, 2013 back on gather.com. I think it almost killed me. Today we are off to see the Klimt Immersive, so I do not have time to work on long form. Please accept my Excuse and I may work on a new poem later today, but it will probably be April 4th for everyone else if I manage to post a new piece. Thank you for reading my first and thus far only attempt at a glosa (which as you can see we spelled the form with a double s).


Buffalo Day 716

Tuesday was Buffalo Day because the area code for Buffalo, NY is 716. Since Buffalo is called the queen city of the great lakes, I thought it was rather appropriate I attended the Queen & Adam Lambert concert in Phoenix, AZ. Yes, I live far away from the town I grew up in. We have been enjoying the Arizona sun for twenty years now.

Seven one six day
Celebrate Love of My Life
Indeed a great date


Date Night Selfie

Last week I was reading a rejection email for one of my poems, feeling bummed and as I scanned down my list of unread emails I saw one from 95.5 the mountain. I clicked on it and read, Congratulations, you’re a winner! Yes, we were able to go to the Queen & Adam Lambert concert for free. Both Shawn and I loved the concert. Everyone involved put on a great show. Today’s #haikuchallenge word is indeed. I’m a little rusty on the haiku front; haven’t been writing much this summer.

#NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 15

College Awaits

To be or not to be
attending freshman orientation
Where is my schedule
How will I navigate this campus
My life…
Creative writing
Is that a real major?
There’s a mom standing here
crying, as my sibling drops me off
nary a word as to how to find
the car once this is all over.
I question whether or not
I will survive this day
To be or not to be…
a freshman at ASU!

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 15 – Our prompt for today (optional, as always), takes its inspiration from the idea of a poem as a sort of tiny play, which can be performed dramatically. In the 1800s, there was quite a fad for monologue-style poems that lend themselves extremely well to dramatic interpretations (this kind of work was basically Robert Browning’s jam). And Shakespeare’s plays are chock-a-block with them. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write your own dramatic monologue. It doesn’t have to be quite as serious as Browning or Shakespeare, of course, but try to create a sort of specific voice or character that can act as the “speaker” of your poem, and that could be acted by someone reciting the poem.

Good morning and welcome to day 15 of NaPoWriMo. I’m sorry I know I’ve been absent the past few days, I have a serious lack of motivation this year. Saturday I was even doing housework to avoid the poetry prompt. On the plus side I made a nice chicken salad for lunch and homemade chicken soup for dinner. And I got a haikuchallenge out of my procrastination.

Missing poetry
Where is my motivation
Lost in laundry heap

Spend time in kitchen
Dicing vegetables for soup
Suzy homemaker

Sunday the only thing I did was more dishes and laundry – those two chores are never done. Friday evening we finally got Gretchen to sit down and take her math placement test for orientation. You know you’ve waited til the last minute when your advisor calls to remind you it needs to be done before orientation. And last night she finally took and uploaded a photo for her ID card. We were getting constant reminders on that front too. As to whether or not I will catch up or go back to complete the missing prompts, time will tell. I am now busy scoring the essays on standardized tests in the afternoons.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 1

Torn apart
workspace upheaval
find my zen

Housewife writes
kitchen poetry
caffeine fueled


Me working in my kitchen

Hello everyone! Welcome to my poetry blog thanks to napowrimo.net for featuring me on day one. As I’m sure you can tell by the t-shirt I’m wearing in the picture, I live in AZ and it’s not even 7AM here yet. My alarm goes off at 5AM on weekdays to get girls ready for school. Since it is April 1st, the first thing I did this morning was to check the napowrimo site for the prompt. Well it was too early and I definitely had no caffeine in me. I didn’t notice I was the feature poet until a friend congratulated me on Facebook. Thank you, Benita Kape. Please everyone check out her poetry, too.

The Prompt Day One – Today, I challenge you to write a lune. This is a sort of English-language haiku. While the haiku is a three-line poem with a 5-7-5 syllable count, the lune is a three-line poem with a 5-3-5 syllable count. There’s also a variant based on word-count, instead of syllable count, where the poem still has three lines, but the first line has five words, the second line has three words, and the third line has five words again. Either kind will do, and you can write a one-lune poem, or write a poem consisting of multiple stanzas of lunes. Happy writing!


workspace upheaval
find my zen
kitchen poetry

To follow syllable count, I decided to add parts of the lunes to make this one. Also I thought I’d share the link to Birthday Lunes. This girl will be 15! on Monday!

Guest Blogger – Jeanne Gassman

It’s October 30th! Can you believe the platform challenge is almost done. Then PAD (poem a day) in November will begin. Today’s task is to go off and write, but first I’d like to introduce a first to this blog – a guest blogger. Jeanne Gassman shared a video about plagiarism in poetry I found interesting. I asked her if she would be interested in writing about plagiarism for my blog. She agreed. Thank you, Jeanne, for expounding on this topic. I’ve played with erasure poems. It’s good to know how to properly credit poetic inspiration.


When Veronica asked me to write a guest post about plagiarism, she tapped into a topic that stirs my ire. As a published writer, I’ve been a victim of plagiarism, and it’s both frustrating and agonizing. Your words, your story, your carefully crafted poem, your creation, is stolen and claimed by a stranger (or a very duplicitous friend). Alas, the problem has become rampant with the Internet, as it’s so easy to cut and paste. In fact, many plagiarizers often claim since the work was posted on the Internet, it was available for free.

As an English and Creative Writing instructor at a local community college, I encountered at least one instance of plagiarism every semester. I had students who plagiarized entire papers, never changing a single word from the original document. I had a student who wanted to become an English teacher plagiarize from Wikipedia. I had an honors student plagiarize her project from multiple documents, saying she suffered from carpel tunnel syndrome so she had to cut and paste because she was in too much pain to type! Plagiarism was such a huge problem that I created a lecture and PowerPoint to define plagiarism and outline the consequences. When students were caught (and I always caught them), they seldom expressed remorse.

So, what is plagiarism anyway, and why should we care?

I’ll start by sharing a couple of the examples I gave to my students. These are taken from the article, “Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age,” The New York Times, by Trip Gabriel, Aug. 1, 2010 (Note the attribution!):

At Rhode Island College, a freshman copied and pasted from a Web site’s frequently asked questions page about homelessness—and did not think he needed to credit a source in his assignment because the page did not include author information.

And at the University of Maryland, a student reprimanded for copying from Wikipedia in a paper on the Great Depression said he thought its entries—unsigned and collectively written—did not need to be credited since they counted, essentially, as common knowledge.

Simply defined, plagiarism is using the work of another without providing proper attribution. When you use another person’s words, text, or images without acknowledging the source, you are committing plagiarism.

Why should we care about plagiarism? At the very least, plagiarism is unethical; at its worst, it is the theft of intellectual property and a violation of copyright. Egregious acts of plagiarism of popular or famous works have resulted in lawsuits. Plagiarism is also lazy. It is a way of saying you feel your own creative work is less valuable or worthy than someone else’s.

Poets often write poems inspired by the work of another. Is it plagiarism to write a poem using lines or quotes from another work? Again, it is about acknowledging your source. If you write a poem based on another’s person’s work, be sure to acknowledge the original author. This can be done with the title of the poem itself or in a footnote or author’s note. Give credit where credit is due.

What about erasure poetry, poems created by erasing the original text of another document? Your best choice is to show the original document alongside the poem you have created. This also provides a nice showcase for your imagination and creativity, as the reader can see the process of creating the poem. When in doubt, provide attribution.

What should I do if I discover my work has been plagiarized? Contact the publisher and/or editor and let them know the work was stolen. They should provide proper credit or remove the plagiarized piece. If they do nothing, your best recourse is to make the writing world aware of the theft. The writing and publishing community is very small, and reputation means everything.

How can I find out if my work is plagiarized? Google is your friend. Periodically, Google key phrases from your writing, story or poem titles, your name, snippets of text, etc. Talkwalker is another great resource for searching for plagiarized phrases or text. You can create “alerts” to notify you whenever your selected examples appear on the Internet. Unfortunately, it is more difficult to locate plagiarized works in print.

I want to do the right thing, but… Remember, most plagiarizers do so with intent. They are fully aware they are stealing, but if you feel you are crossing into a gray area of use or “borrowing,” err on the ethical side and properly acknowledge your source. As artists and writers, we all have an obligation to practice good literary citizenship.

JEANNE LYET GASSMAN lives in Arizona where the desert landscape inspires much of her fiction. She holds an MFA in Writ­ing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has received fellow­ships from Ragdale and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. In addition to writing, Jeanne teaches creative writing workshops in the Phoenix, Arizona, metropolitan area. Her work has appeared in Hippocampus,Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal, Red Savina Review, The Museum of Americana, Assisi: An Online Journal of Arts & Letters, Switchback, Literary Mama, and Barrelhouse, among many others. Her debut novel, Blood of a Stone, received a 2015 Independent Publisher Book Award in the national category of religious fiction and was a finalist for the 2015 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Awards. Find Jeanne online at: http://www.jeannelyetgassman.com

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.

Strange New Worlds

I’ve always enjoyed writing. Way back when (1988) I won honorable mention for a story I wrote and submitted to a contest held by OWL magazine. My prize an autographed copy of Animalia by Graeme Base. So cool I still have the book in my library. But after that I stopped submitting pieces to editors and/or contests. Then I picked up the first volume of Strange New Worlds. The editors over at pocket books opened up a writing contest to Star Trek fans and they published the winning stories in an anthology!

No I did not start submitting stories right away. I was busy mothering a baby girl and then a second one came along. But in 2002 when I had one off in pre-k and getting bored at only being a stay-at-home mom, you guessed it. I was going to give writing and submitting to actual editors a go. I found a SNW (Strange New Worlds) writing critique group online. Filled with want to be, current and previous writers of the anthology. One of those writers was Dayton Ward.

I never made it into the Strange New Worlds anthology. But the first year I submitted, I also submitted a creative nonfiction story to a different anthology. To my amazement, joy and a little disbelief, I sold my first story! I continued to submit to Strange New Worlds while it was open. I made the second read pile often, but the best part of my Trek geekiness was the other writers I met in the critique group. Obviously I moved on, and began writing what I know. Who would have thought the advice Beverly Cleary gave in Dear Mr. Henshaw would prove to work. I still kept in touch with Dayton. I even sent him the lecture notes Rachael’s teacher gave his class the last day of school a year ago. My geekiness rubbed off well, because when the teacher asked the name of the ship capable of warp 5, Rachael raised her hand, Enterprise.

She recognized the Star Trek universe. The rest of the class… when she was told correct, the class thought the teacher was giving a real history lesson the last day of school. Yes, the subject was history. 😉 never mind the dates on the board haven’t even arrived yet.

Meeting Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore

Meeting Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore

When I heard Dayton was going to be in Phoenix for the Leprecon, of course I got tickets. Gretchen was excited to meet a real life author. Hello, mom is chopped liver. She even asked if there would be paparazzi following him. The girl met John Barrowman last year sans paparazzi still I was happy she put writers on a pedestal higher than actors. As you can see above, I brought my own paparazzi (aka my hubby). He posted the release of The Great Gatsby Anthology on his Facebook wall and now people want signed copies. Yes, definitely feeling like chopped liver here. Gretchen met a real life author and didn’t have a thing to ask. She is taking after her mother, starting off writing fan fiction. Shhh… I probably already said too much.


Back in 2013 “Desperate Poet” was published on the narrator central USA site. Then it was reprinted in Poetry Nook vol. 4 in February 2014. Later in the year narrator central became narratorINTERNATIONAL and once again my poem was posted. At the end of the year, they compiled a print anthology of all the work presented on the website.

narratorINTERNATIONAL volume one

narratorINTERNATIONAL volume one

I finally ordered a copy last week. I wasn’t really concentrating on any writing at the end of 2014. Both 2013 and 2014 ended on sour notes. But once again it is a new year filled with potential. We already celebrated Poetry at Work Day, January 13th. Before we know it April will be here and I’ll be writing a poem a day. Poets.org revealed their National Poetry Month poster. To request a free poster go here.

Apropos for April

Apropos for April

Since today is national handwriting day, here is the original –

National Handwriting Day

National Handwriting Day

Wordle Me This… Vestige

Heart left cavernous
Clings to vestige of loved ones
Momento mori

The Reverie Journal Wordle Me This #3. And so it goes… We had a nice Thanksgiving.  My mother-in-law drove over from El Paso to join us and my uncle and cousin came as well. This Monday I went out and did some Christmas shopping. I can’t believe it’s December already! Rachael has been busy studying for her college finals and Gretchen did her independent book report and is practicing for the school Christmas concert. My dad will be flying in tomorrow to visit for a week. He’ll be here for the concert on Tuesday. Then my mother-in-law will be back for Christmas. Hoping 2015 will be a better year.

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Family gathers
Thankful to be with loved ones
Without your presence

Pay It Forward – Haiku

Teacher walks to school
Eighteen mile dedication
Watch Pay It Forward


A few weeks ago, my daughter came home and told me she saw one of her teachers walking to school and he asked her where she bought her bike.  Well, Mom, in her own stupidity, nominated Mr. Mason for the pay it forward program on CBS 5 News.  They called a couple weeks ago, happy to pick Mr. Mason. Logistics to get it on film became a story in itself.  Of course they wanted to catch Mr. Mason walking to school, but when they found out he started off at 3AM!  Still Pat McReynolds tried to get everything in place for early Monday morning, but it didn’t work out.  Tuesday I was unavailable and we settled on Wednesday after the school day began.  Then CBS 5 went to the wrong AAEC campus. (Oops… so I was waiting a little longer than planned).

Tuesday was my cousin’s memorial service. There was a Phoenix police honor guard and many officers came to show their respect. It was great to see all the support for my cousin and his family.  There is a go fund me account set up for his children and to help spread awareness for PTSD of police officers.  If you would like to pay it forward click here.

Suffered in silence
One person takes his own life
Stop another loss

RIP – Craig Tiger
October 6, 1972
November 5, 2014