Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Poetry Contest Goal

Our family was setting some family and personal goals recently and I have set this personal goal for myself: I WILL enter the Writer's Digest Poetry Contest coming up this December. The deadline for entries is December 15, so I have set myself the goal of making my entries ready by the end of November. I wrote it down on our personal goal sheet and I am setting it in stone here in this forum. I want to have it written and have others know about it so that I will be more invested in taking the steps to actually get it done this time. So, wish me luck!

For more info on the contest you can head to:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

favorite things

Here is a poem I wrote for my online poetry group:

favorite things

sunshine smiles and gumdrop kisses
cowboys and indians
and fairy tale wishes

dinner by candlelight, walks on the beach
lying in bed
when he is in reach

grimy hand messes, crumbs on the floor
muddy footprints
and jam on the door

spills on the stove, oven disasters
always more stuff
to clean up after

these are a few of my favorite things
my prince and princess
and of course my king

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wednesday Prompts

Even though the April Poem A Day Challenge is long over, Robrt Lee Brewer is still throwing out a weekly Wednesday prompt over at his Poetic Asides blog:

His prompt from yesterday was "something you've been through." Here is my day late submission:

Five Years

He asked her to dance and asked
for a Ferris wheel ride. He told her
he was interested in settling down
as he jetted off in the night. He
“forgot” to call and made her wait
wondering. But then made it all up
with a night on the town and a
pretty excuse about phones on the
road. He carried her along with
promises galore while she planned
out a wedding for years. He
neglected to mention all the other
women that she feared, but never
let herself believe. For five years
he strung her along, as she waited
and worried and hoped. Till she came
down with a case of common sense
and ran away to Cancun.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

small stones

Here are some small stones I have recently written (somewhat in the style of Fiona Robyn):

clear blue eyes
engaged in a smile
sparkling at river’s edge

tiny forms,
except for
barely discernible
chest heaves
breathe, little ones,

moment captured in time:
four smiles surround
one smile – with no hair above it
she was lovely bald

crescendo rising, rising
closed eyes and a slight smile
appreciation at its finest

a question mark
was most decidedly
out of her head
questionable photography skills

Television Treatments

Well, here is a new one! I have been asked to help develop and write a treatment for an idea for a television show. This is something I have never done. I am doing some research on the process and on what should be included in a treatment (title, logline, synopsis). Have you ever written a treatment? Do you know the process? Do you know anything about registering with the WGA? Any information from my loyal readers would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Projects

Well, after a bit of a "maternity leave", I'm back on the hunt for new freelance projects. I'm reworking my writing resume a bit and submitting on new fronts. Internet magazines seem to be the up and coming craze. It will be interesting to see the direction that they take. Here are some that I have come across recently:

a handful of stones

First and Last Sentence Magazine

and of course the great The Adirondack Review

Thursday, April 30, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #30

Whoa! What?!? Day 30? It's over? Where did this month go?

Today's prompt was, appropriately, a farewell poem. I came up with two:


was something never said
you were there and then
you weren’t

i wasn’t even aware
at first

suddenly – awkwardly –
i realized you were

with a piece of my heart

does this mean you
never meant to go?

or that you mean
never to return?


In The End

This cliché
all is said and done
seems so all encompassing

How do you know
you have said all
there is to say?

How do you know
you have done all
that can be done?

Could just one more
word change the course
of history?

Could a simple
act reverse the trajectory
of a life?

In the end who’s to say
that ALL
is said and done?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #29

Okay, I am finally done with my catch-up game! Here is my post for the prompt to write a poem beginning "Never (blank)."

Never sleep with snakes

some may think it goes
without saying
but it seems that many
need a warning

getting all chummy
with vipers
could lead to some serious
bodily harm

PAD Challenge Day #28

I'm not proud of it, but here is my sestina for Day #28. I wasn't going to write a sestina (since the two-for-tuesday prompt left an option for writing an anti-sestina poem), but then this idea came up and I ran with it. I'd like to rewrite it, but that's the beauty of the PAD Challenge - first drafts are the whole idea! :-)

The Girl

Once upon a time she dreamed
of fairy tale princesses and castles
and held aloft the idea
that one day her prince charming
would ride in on his white horse
and carry her off to happily ever after.

It was not long after
she first dreamed those dreams
that a pretender on a fake horse
came along with stories of his castle.
His entire demeanor was charming
so she really had no idea

that all of his so-called romantic ideals
were not really what he was after.
Until the day that he lost all his charm
and shattered her innocent dreams.
So she locked up her heart in a castle
and swore off any man riding horses.

She went to work on a ranch with horses
with only a prayer and the idea
that no one lives in castles
anymore and there is no happily ever after.
But somewhere deep in her heart a dream
still survived involving a man quite charming.

But though many still tried to charm
her, she felt more at home with her horses
and buried quite deep those dreams
until she became very comfortable in the idea
that she would live alone hereafter
and never more thought of castles.

Until the day she realized a castle
can come in the form of a charming
ranch house – it was only after
she saw him ride in on a quarter horse
that she finally understood the idea
that a cowboy could be the man of her dreams.

She followed the dream to his castle
and gave over to the idea that real charm
can be found on any color horse and lived happily ever after.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #27

The prompt for day 27 was a poem of longing:

not knowing

the life that was there
now suddenly gone
why so soon?

now I’ll never know

the color your eyes held
the length of your nose
the feel of your breath on my neck
the sound of your tiny voice

Monday, April 27, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #26


i love you, he said
i love you, too, she said
neither one of them
had a clue what
the other was
talking about

Sunday, April 26, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #25

Still playing catch-up. The prompt for Day 25 was to write a poem about an event. Here is the best I could come up with - it is based on a song I heard earlier today and that really seemed to hit home today.

30th Birthday

“I've done some growing up
and I'm still growing up
so I know I'll never be
as smart as I once was
that was back
Back when the world was flat and
mama and daddy didn't have a clue

Lord I'm learning so much more than
back when I knew it all”
-Montgomery Gentry
Back When I Knew It All

the day is approaching fast
the third decade almost done
years speeding by in a blur

the first decade
is something of a mystery
many memories just beyond reach

the second decade
was loaded with difficulty
as hormones raged and loyalties changed

the third decade
has been full of lessons
some hard, some wonderful, all necessary

the fourth decade
lies ahead with promise
what glorious truths await to be found

PAD Challenge Day #24

Okay, I am really having to play catch-up. The last few days have been something of a blur. Here is my poem for day 24 - the prompt is a travel poem.


heat radiated from the pavement
sweat trickled down the end of my nose
as I walked down the asphalt road
I felt the rubber at the bottom
of my Vans sink into the blacktop

my back was sticky and wet
the backpack was getting heavy
dragging me down with the
weight of the world
I was leaving behind

a sound caught a current
of the breeze and made me
lift my head to look behind
a car was coming – just a speck
on the horizon – growing

I continued trudging as it rolled
toward me – within very little
time it was upon me and then
just as quickly it was gone on
down the road to wherever I was going

Friday, April 24, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #23

Still playing catch-up after a crazy and hard day. The prompt for yesterday was a poem about regret. Here is my offering:

Looking Back

The gravel crunches
underfoot as onward I go.
Ahead the road is shrouded
in fog and mist – I can’t
see what lies beyond.
Behind me the road lies
twisted and bent,
the sunlight streams
through golden colored
leaves, casting shadows here,
revealing sunny patches there.
Looking back with fondness
on the curving road it is hard
to remember any cold or stormy
nights shivering under ominous
dark branches.
I see only a quiet road
down which, guided
by an unseen hand,
I have walked and known
and laughed and loved.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #22

After a bout with the stomach flu, I'm playing catch-up again. Here is a poem for yesterday's prompt to write a work related poem.


I was ready for a new workday
My car just wasn’t working
But I had to get to work
So I phoned a co-worker
To see if my schedule could be reworked
I forgot she was a workaholic
She spent thirty minutes complaining she was overworked
I tried to think of another workaround
I got online and searched my friend network
I made some phone calls and did some footwork
And finally found a ride to the workplace
I made it to my workstation
And sighed when I saw the workload
I started with some Excel worksheets
There were entry errors but they were workable
I finished with a load of paperwork
By the end of the day I smiled at my handiwork
I decided to walk home and skip my workout
After such a crazy day I just shrugged off the housework

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #21

Here are my haiku attempts for the day:

Saguaro blossoms
On green upstretched arms resting
A precious rare sight
Grass now fertilized
Grows greener every day
Brown desert beyond
Freezing in the night
Cold winds blowing all day long
Turned hot overnight

Monday, April 20, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #20

Yay! I'm all caught up now! Today's prompt was to write about rebirth:

Easter Gift

A small bulb is planted.
And we wait.
Quite suddenly a small green growth appears.
All those waiting are delighted.
We could almost watch it grow.
One day to the next it is measurably taller.
It grows, grows until we wonder if it will reach the ceiling.
Then, overnight, two red flowers make their glorious appearance.
On Easter day.
Their story underscoring the day.
For the beautiful blooms will droop.
They will wither and eventually drain the plant.
They, and their stem, must be trimmed, removed.
New growth, and a new life for the bulb.

PAD Challenge Day #19

Still playing some catch-up. Here is the poem for yesterday's prompt to write an angry poem:

I Was Angry

I was angry.
Twenty-two years old?
A skateboarding accident?
A bump to the head?
How ridiculous!
How stupid!
How could this be?
No one dies of skateboarding…
do they?

I was angry with myself.
Two thousand miles and a
brand new baby kept me here.
I should have been there.
I should have been by the side
of his mom and girlfriend.
What is more heartbreaking
for a mom than having to
make that final decision?
I should have been there.

I was angry with the car
and the weather.
I just barely made it to
the memorial service.
I sat by the side of the road,
in the rain and snow alone
with the baby for three hours
till help arrived to take me
the rest of the way there.
I had to drive the long way
home to avoid the
closed and snowy roads.

I was angry with my dad.
When I tried to share some
recent photos with him he
openly showed his disgust
for the photos of the tattoos.
How dare he?
These fiery flames shooting
from cuts in the wrists –
permanent reminders of a
recent heartfelt life change
had lost all their permanence
and become nothing more than
ashes in the small bottle
I carried home with me.

I was angry.
I was so angry.
I was angry with God.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #18

I have fallen a little behind in the challenge, but according to the rules I have until the end of the month to catch up, so here is my day 18 post. I will catch up on today's prompt and get back on track tomorrow. :-)

The Speaker

She spoke in quiet tones
and delicately explained
the intricacies of her day.
She talked of working
the earth, of housework
performed and even of
a musical interlude which
she had allowed herself.
Throughout, her listener
seemed most disinterested
but she did not appear
at all offended.
And when, at last, the
ladybug flew away,
she laughed to watch
it go and then returned
to her sandbox play.

Friday, April 17, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #17

A couple of nights with no sleep and several long days in a row has left me with very little brain power. Today's poem is short, sweet and to the point:

All I want is some inspiration

the pen is dry
the pencil is still
the paper looms white and empty

Thursday, April 16, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #16

Oh no! The month is more than half over!

Prompt for today was to write a color poem:

Deep Red

Bleak brown sky
dust blowing thick
suffocating all

Dark blue night
gathering all around
closing in

Deep red heart
falling, falling, falling
gathering speed

Heavy purple bruise
showing through makeup
silencing others

Cold black words
quickly pouring out
killing will

PAD Challenge Day #15

Looks like I forgot to post yesterday's poem here. Here you go:

The prompt was so much fun. It was to take a poem you like and change one word in the title, then write a new poem based on the new title. I posted three yesterday!

After I Didn't Apologize to the Well by Mahmoud Darwish

I Didn’t Apologize to the City

I didn’t apologize to the city
For leaving so soon
I didn’t look back as I drove away
By the light of the moon
With my windows rolled down
And the wind blowing in my hair
It was time to leave
Time to get out of there

I didn’t apologize to the road
For driving so fast
I pushed on the accelerator
And gave it more gas
I turned up the music
And felt the wheels turn
It was time to move
Time to let it burn

I didn’t apologize to the bridge
As it burned behind me
I didn’t glance in the mirror
I didn’t need to see
The smell of smoke
Left no room for doubt
It was time to keep going
Time to just get out


After A Pot of Tea by Richard Kenney

A Pot of Coffee

Cherished morning routine
Fire up the machine
A bag of black beans
Dark roast only please
First go through the grinder
Then into the little white cone
Now a pot of water
And pretty soon it’s done
Pour a hot black stream
Add a bit of French Vanilla
The creamer turns the liquid
A beautiful light brown
Oh! That first sip!
Now I’m ready for the day


After So we'll go no more a roving by Lord Byron

So We’ll Go No More A-Bowling

So, we’ll go no more a-bowling
With shoes and bag and ball
Though we love to send them rolling
The lanes no longer call

For Robert has a knee that’s bad
His stance is all a-whack
And Nancy’s wrist has all been had
Since that hairline crack

Though the balls will still be rolling
And crashing be the pins
Yet we’ll go no more a-bowling
While we’re on the mend

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #14

The challenge for today's "Two for Tuesday" prompt was to either write a love poem or to write an anti-love poem. I ended up writing one of each.
Love Hurts

I knew you –
brick by brick the
wall went up around
your heart. For a few years
I labored in vain to tear at the
brick with a small plastic knife. Once
you handed me a sledgehammer and I
knocked a couple bricks off of the top. But
you got scared and took the hammer back, so I
just beat on the brick with my head for awhile. Ouch.


My Other Half

I never understood the phrase
My Other Half until I met you

You are
the Thelma to my Louise
and the Abbot to my Costello
the bread to my butter
and the peanut butter to my jelly
the bow to my arrow
and the Smith to my Wesson
the Dick to my Jane
and the Mickey to my Minnie
the flotsam to my jetsam
and the Illiad to my Odyssey
the left to my right
and the round to my about
the Tweedledum to my Tweedledee
and the Nero to my Archie
the yin to my yang
and the heart to my soul.

Monday, April 13, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #13

Wow. Already to day 13. Before I know it, the month will be half over. Okay, here is my contribution for today:

Gramma's Hobby

The once long, thin, beautiful fingers
perfectly formed for piano playing
were by now wrinkled and even
horribly bent by rheumatoid arthritis.
And yet, she patiently took the time
To show me exactly how to hold
the yarn and hook and explained
how to read the instructions
and symboled patterns. As I sit
and sc 1, dc 2, sk 2 today I smile
to myself as I think of her.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #12

The prompt for today was to start with "So we decided to"

So We Decided to Buy B.B. King Tickets

and it was one of the first joint decisions
I had ever really had to make.
I’d always made my own way.
I decided to wear my really
tall black heels and when they canceled
the B.B. King concert we decided
to walk up and down the boardwalk
and my feet were killing me so we decided
to just sit on a bench and watch
the water. It was a little cold
so you gave me your jacket and you
sat in your shirtsleeves and wrapped me up
in your big strong arms until we decided
to walk back to the car. My feet were really
hurting so we stopped a lot and you were
really patient and caring and I decided
then and there, on our honeymoon,
that you were one of the best decisions
I’ve ever made.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #11

A childless, husbandless Saturday morning have made for some great quiet contemplation, reading and writing time! Yay! And the rain made a fabulous addition to the morning - accentuating my mood perfectly.

So, here are my two contributions to the PAD for today:

What To Do?

what to do
with the leftovers of you?

a cardboard box
is all that remains

contents of our life
that were not mine

one straw hat
two old work boots
unopened mail with your name only
a deck of 51 cards
half a pair of gloves
two t-shirts
one with a picture of the Ramones
one with two holes and a company logo
the yellow durable jobsite radio – always good for garage projects

I’ll set it here at the curb
for the trash man

only I think I’ll
keep the radio


Eucalyptus Spearmint

the green bottle
with the black pump

creamy lotion
spilling from inside

vintage looking
label spilling contents

the soothing aroma
puts me to sleep

Friday, April 10, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #10

Different Meanings

The word Friday used to mean something
different back when my alarm
went off five days a week.

Back when the last half of that day
was mostly spent goofing off
and chatting with the other goofers.

Back when the day was celebrated
with end of week trips to McMullan’s pub
to congratulate each other on making it.

Now the day means more morning
cuddles, fixing breakfast together,
playing Cootie, reading Dr. Seuss.

More alphabet reciting, dish-washing,
dusting, Twinkle Little Star singing,
vacuuming, bubble blowing, and Eskimo kissing.

Now the word Friday means so much.
It’s another day in seven to do the most
important job I have ever had.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #9

Today's prompt was to write about a memory:

The Bike

One time I was taking turns riding the bike with two friends – who were sisters -
and we were riding in the circular concrete driveway
of the business next door to my house. Suddenly a car veered
into the driveway. Our parents watched from my front porch
as the car came straight toward us girls. I was on the bike.
I pedaled and they ran. One of the sisters lost her shoe and it got run over.
Our dads jumped in a car and followed the car as it sped away.
They got the license plate number and even though they shouldn’t
have been able to, they got the address of the minor
male that owned the car. They went to his house and talked to his dad.
I don’t remember his punishment, but our dads were satisfied.

We had to move out of state when I was twelve.
I threatened to move in with Leslie and her family
and I think they may have let me. I stayed with them for two weeks
and when my dad came to pick me up I told him I was going to stay.
Leslie’s dad said I could stay awhile longer,
but my dad said Mom really missed me
and I had to come home. So I left with him and we went to
a different state. And we lived in a rented spot
in an R.V. park in my grandparents vintage travel trailer.
There wasn’t much to do but ride the bike. I rode the bike
all over the trailer park. Up and down and back and forth.
I rode and listened to George Strait on my Walkman.
I was riding early one evening and one of the neighbors I had seen
a few times asked me if I lived in space number whatever
and I said, Yeah I did, and he asked me if I was a Mormon girl
and I said, No. He looked a little surprised and said that he and his family
thought I was a Mormon girl because I always wore a long braid.

My grandparents almost always lived very near to us or with us
when I was growing up. For a while they slept
in the garage on some property we rented. We were looking
for a permanent home at the time, so the garage also stored
some of our stuff. But there was enough open concrete space
for me to ride the bike in tight circles when the weather
didn’t permit riding out of doors. When the weather
was nice, though, I rode the bike up and down the long dirt road.
I was supposed to put the bike
back up in the garage after every ride,
but sometimes I forgot.
I would just lean it up against the side of the garage. I left it
there overnight once and when my dad
went outside to leave for work the next morning
he could clearly see the tire tracks in the deep sand
where someone had simply walked away with it in the night.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #8

For the prompt write about a routine:


Pad, pad, pad, pad, pad
of little feet on the carpet
all the way across the living room.
A tentative “Mom?” then, sometimes,
a louder “Mom!” to awaken
the sleeping bear. Good mornings
are exchanged and the little figure
climbs up into the bed.
Sometimes we snuggle back down
under the covers and fade
back into dreamland.
Other days she is fully awake
and no amount of coaxing will
buy any more sleep time.
Then it is, “Look, Mom, it’s time
to get up. It’s sunny all day!”



Routines are boring
Who needs ‘em?
I like variety
I hate getting bogged down
with have tos
ought to dos
must dos
always dos
Give me a different day
every day
and I’m happy
So what shall we do today?
Sounds great!
But first I have to
go brush my teeth

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #7

Here are my posts for the day. Both are based on real life experiences from today's activities. :-) The two for tuesday prompt was to write a clean poem and/or a dirty poem.

Kids running in the cedar smelling chips
Green slides of every size and twisted shape
spiral down to well-worn holes in the dirt
Blue metal poles that hold them up
covered with bright yellow canopies
Parents help little ones up while older
kids impatiently push right past.

“Wait for me!”
“Here I come!”
“Look out below!”
“I wanna do it again!”

Everyone seems to be having so much fun.
As I watch one little guy wipe his sleeve
across his nose - I can’t help but think
What a giant germ factory!


Ode to the Hygenist

Whew! My teeth are clean.

Monday, April 6, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #6

I wrote a poem shortly after putting Nicole to bed last night. This morning when I read Robert's prompt I thought that the poem I had written fit beautifully. So, here is today's post - rather early! :-) Maybe I'll even write another later!

She’ll Never Know

just how beautiful she is.
I lie next to her just after
she has fallen asleep.
She has these gorgeous
full, wine-colored lips.
Her nose is so perfectly formed.
Though I’m sure I would never
be able to convince her of
this fact, her complexion
is so flawless, her coloring
so spot-on and her eyelashes
so beautifully long and curly
that she will never really
NEED to wear one drop
of makeup. It’s unfortunate
that we are never really able
to see ourselves through
the eyes of another.

(Don't forget, you can check out all the wonderful poetry posts for yourself at

Sunday, April 5, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #5

Another long day away from home left me brain dead. Or just brain tired anyway. So here is my hastily written contribution to today's PAD.

Yeah Right

Sometimes a landmark
isn't all that helpful.
As for instance when the
landmark offered is
"Turn by the big Mormon church."
when you are in downtown
Salt Lake City, Utah.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #4

We had a long crazy day, so I got the prompt late. This was all I could come up with...but I got it done today!


The old man we brought home
You were for me, but you weren’t a “kid” dog
Right away you were mom’s dog

Eventually you tolerated my presence
And over the years you became just one of the family
As you watched other animals arrive and leave

I imagined the speech you gave them –
“I’ve seen ‘em come and I’ve seem ‘em go,
but I’m the king around here.”

You even witnessed my departure
With that practiced eye of yours
I doubt my leaving alarmed you

It was mom you loved and mom you pined for
Those long nights when she was away
Waiting right in the big front window

And she loved you always dearly
Never complaining of your presence at her feet
Mourning for you deeply the day you left this earth

Though you were bought for me
And brought home to be mine
It was mom you were truly meant fo

Friday, April 3, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #3

I had a ton of ideas floating in my brain for today's prompt, but in the end, this is the one that won out:

The Problem With This Wind

is that I feel it will soon
carry me off to the Land of Oz.
And I do not have time today
to deal with overly happy
little people or maniacal
green women with flying
chimps or blissful good fairies
with annoyingly lilting voices.
I just do not have time to mess
with three overly affectionate
men with painted faces dressed
in Halloween costumes and with
a desperate need for therapy.
I simply do not have time for
a long walk down a bumpy
yellow road to a strangely
green glowing city ruled over
by a little man with a napoleon
complex. So I hope this wind
calms down soon because I
purely do not have the time.

And, for fun, (not posted on the PAD blog) here is a limerick that also came to mind:

The problem with shaving my legs
is that I can not reach them.
When the baby arrives
in two months time
then maybe I'll be able to see them.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

PAD Challenge Day #2

I struggled at first today with the prompt, but in the end two ideas presented themselves, so again I went with two poems:


In the mountains for a picnic.
A beautiful day.
I follow the other girls -
doing my best to fit in.
Will today be the day
they will finally accept me?
Someone spots a good hiking trail.
We all rush in one direction.
The girl in front of me trips
over a large stone.
“She pushed me! She pushed me!”
All eyes are on me.
I didn’t push her.
She tripped.
No today is not the day.



"We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings to be fruitful." - C.S. Lewis

Alone among many
crying for truth.
‘There is no such thing,’
they reply with certainty.

‘All is relative.
Tolerate only those
who tolerate.’
Reason spirals downward.

‘Just Say No.’
‘Just Do It.’
The conflicting images
of my formative years.

‘Just give in,
just give up,
just check your brains at the door.’
The majority is the rule.

Though all around
argue against it
I must find the Truth.
In the end it is all that matters.

(Check out all the other poets posts at Poetic Asides!)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April is National Poetry Month. There are all kinds of ways to get in on the celebration of that fact. My own personal contribution will be a repeat of last years Poem-A-Day Challenge at Robert Lee Brewer's blog (check out my cool completion badge here on this page!). Robert is posting a prompt every day during the month of April and the challenge is to complete at least a first draft of a poem for each day based on the prompt. Today's prompt was a poem about an origin. I couldn't decide between two ideas I had, so I posted the following two poems -


She called seeking answers.

Is this the man’s name?
Is this his social security number?
Yes – but who are you?

I think I may bear
a resemblance to the man.
Maybe he and I share
a bit of DNA.

Who is the man?
I think I’d like to meet him.

She came seeking answers.

Do I look like him?
Does he want to know me?

The greater questions went
unanswered in the end.
Shared DNA aside
too many years had been lost.


April Fool’s

From whence sprung
this strange custom -
of making a mockery
of fellow man?

Such obscure origins
and no clear indication
as to how it came
to be ingrained tradition.

Suggestions, opinions,
guesses and speculations
run rampant, but none
answer the question.

Perhaps we who consider
ourselves modern folk
and enlightened are in fact
the butt of the biggest joke.

If you aren't into writing a poem every day, but would instead like to read a poem every day (personally, I am all about both) you can check out Not only is that a great website every day of the year, but you can sign up for them to email a poem to you every day in April.

Don't even have time to read a poem a day? How about checking out Poems Out Loud. Here, as the name clearly suggests, you can listen to poems being read out loud by their authors or by former poet laureate Robert Pinsky.

Enjoy National Poetry Month and let me know how you are celebrating!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The 3-Day Novel Contest

I've never heard of this before, but it sounds very interesting. Write an entire novel in three days and have the possibility of a publishing contract for that novel? Sound crazy? Well, more than a few people have accomplished the feat. Here is the link to all of the info:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Shysters, Scam Artists and Snake Oil Salesmen

To paraphrase an old saying - "When the going gets tough, the con men come out of the woods." Don't get me wrong, I don't believe in much of the media doom and gloom regarding our economy. (I'll have to save all my thoughts on that for another blog.) But, should the down trends continue, I think it only inevitable that the trend toward scamming and conning will continue as well. The unfortunate truth is that swindlers and crooks have been around forever and they will be around from now till doomsday, but when people are at their most desperate is when they are at their most vulnerable as well and the tricksters love to prey on that.

Last week my boss asked me to go with him Tuesday (yesterday) as his guest to a seminar that he had signed up for. The topic - website development. Hmmm....right up my alley. He is looking for any way to make a buck these days (who isn't?) and he had attended a 90 minute session put on by these guys during which they sold him a software package and access to their website where they give you some tools to put together a website with merchant services, a shopping cart, etc. Sounded interesting. Supposedly, they were going to teach you at the all day seminar how to use that software he had purchased and tell you about how you could upgrade to more of their services. Uh-huh. What we walked into was a fast-talking, high energy sales pitch designed to convince you to part with $6000 of your hard earned cash that day. Before you walk in, they insist that you fill out a form telling them if you have access to a line of credit, credit cards, personal loans or other means of financing. My hackles went up on the spot. Why are they asking that question as a prerequisite of letting me in the door? They proceeded to tell me why - not long after I sat down, actually. Lo and behold, folks, they are making me an offer and it's a today only offer. If I didn't take them up on this offer right now, then I can never take them up on it again. I don't have any time to go and do my due diligence (as an intelligent business person should do) to research this company, talk it over with my spouse or find out if anyone has ever even heard of these people. No, I must buy their product today. And, wonder of wonders, if I don't have the cash, can't put it on a credit card and can't borrow it from my great-aunt Margaret, they have the perfect solution! I can finance through them today (I read later that their interest rate is around 18% - I don't know from personal experience.) My boss and I left at the first break they had around 12:00. About twenty minutes of surfing the internet last night convinced me that we made the right decision. The name of this company is Storesonline and their parent company (from the research I could find online) is iMergent. You can Google them if you care to. There are a few success stories floating around out there and a ton of unhappy customers with lawsuits. I found one article dating back to 2002 ( claiming that attorneys general in seven states had opened investigations against these guys. Before they did business as Storesonline, they operated under the name Galaxy Mall. As I said, the shysters have been around for a long time (as evidenced by this shady company), but right now people are really feeling the need to "do something" and are, I think, more susceptible to this stuff. As my boss said yesterday about a very nice lady who sat next to me, "It's like they're just wanting to take her social security check right out of her hands."

I heard another story today about the latest in credit card scams. Apparently prescription medicines and cameras are the hot scammers commodity in recent days, according to a family member who was just scammed last week while trying to purchase a video camera from a disreputable online company. She was told by a customer service representative of her credit card company to be wary of the television ads promoting the first three months of your prescription free. By the time you figure out you aren't getting the medicines in the mail, they are long gone with your money. In my cousin's case, she found out the next day after ordering that she was being had and when her husband called to demand a refund or some proof that the camera was being shipped he was told that a shipping confirmation number would not be available for another 48 hours. The credit card company rep explained that this is because the credit card companies will not help you out after 72 hours, so the scam artists were trying to buy enough time to make a clean getaway.

Here are some tips when considering buying anything in person or online:
1. Know your seller - Is it a reputable company? Have you ever heard of them? Do you know people who have done good business with them before?

2. Don't be fooled by high pressure sales pitches - If you have to make a decision right now, it's probably a bad decision.

3. Do your research - If you don't know the company, a quick look online at the Better Business Bureau ( or often just a simple Google search will give you all the information you need.

4. When using your bank card, as often as possible, choose "credit" instead of "debit." - This will increase your level of protection in most instances ( (If you are dealing with a small, local merchant that you know you can trust, you may want to stick with debiting your card as a courtesy because they are charged higher fees on credit transactions.)

5. Stay informed - Check out websites like ( or ( to find out the facts about anything that sounds too good to be true.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

There has to be a better way...

As I have mentioned, I'm coming off of a long writing dry spell. One of my long term goals over the years has been to write a novel. I've attempted to start and gotten bogged down quite a few times. Over the last few months the idea that there has to be a better way has continually come to mind. I consider myself a character-based writer. I think up characters. I write about characters. I explore them inside and out and get to know them like I know my best friends. And then I start trying to plot around them and I get totally lost. I get halfway through a novel and am so confused I can't remember where I was going in the first place. There has to be a better way. I need plotting help!

I own a book that I bought a number of years ago called The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray. I have browsed through it a few times over the years, but never actually sat down and worked through it until recently. I also subscribe to a blog by Randy Ingermanson ( that I feel always has some fantastic information and help for fiction writers. Both Ray and Ingermanson offer a design process to use before beginning the novel and I've finally come to the conclusion that I need to employ just that type of process if I'm ever going to make sense of this whole plotting thing. Ray has you start with character sketches based on strangers in public places. Ingermanson has you start with a basic plot synopsis boiled down to a sentence. Both agree that it is well worth it to do extensive plotting and synopsis work on the novel before you ever start writing the first draft. One way or the other, I feel that the idea of the advance design process is the Better Way that I've been looking for all along. goes nothing. By choosing to learn a new way of novel writing I will gain, if nothing else, a new perspective on this craft that I have chosen as a way of life.

For those interested in more information on these methods, here is the info. Randy Ingermanson devotes a page on his website to his process called the Snowflake Method. You can look at it here: Be sure to check out all of the other great information that he gives away on his website and blog as well. Robert J. Ray's original edition of The Weekend Novelist is no longer in print and from what I've read in the reviews at Amazon, the second edition (with a co-author) is not nearly as worth the investment. You can, however, still purchase used first editions on Amazon ( For a great review of this book check out

Monday, January 26, 2009

Poetry Contest

Here is a poetry contest that I thought some of my regular readers would be interested in. The contest is sponsored by Writecorner Press. Poems must be a maximum length of 40 lines, the entry fee is $5 for the first poem and $3 for each additional poem and the awards are a $500 first place award as well as some $100 editor's choice awards. The winning poem and editors' choices will be published on and are eligible for inclusion in the permanent website anthology. (By submitting work to this contest, authors give permission to Writecorner Press to publish the award winning poetry and editors' choices on the website. Authors retain all other rights to their works.)

For full entry guidelines, take a look at

(I'm already trying to decide which poems I'll submit!) :-)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Year, New Opportunities

It has been about six months since I posted anything on this blog. I can completely identify with my fellow blogger Gina Conroy calling herself a Writer Interrupted. Six months is a long interruption. My writing has not been totally interrupted during that time. But this blog unfortunately was. Since we have an active three year old living with us and are expecting a new born in May, I imagine that much in my life will continue to be interrupted for some time to come. I am going to do my best, though, to keep up with regular postings here. I just went through a long writing dry spell starting just before the holidays and lasting until just last week. I know that a regular schedule of posting on here will help to combat that. Coming up with great new ideas to share here always jump starts my brain and gets me thinking of new and great things I can write in other areas. I've also decided to write a personal blog. Once again, I think that any writing, including the diary type, helps to get the fingers moving and the brain going. If you want to check out my personal blog, you can take a look at I look forward to starting a new year here with all of you!