Archive for Poetry

Interview with Mary Jensen, author of Chiaroscuro

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Mary headshot

You are the author of a new book of poetry, Chiaroscuro. Can you tell us a little about the book?Chiaroscuropromo

Chiaroscuro is a poetry book about the contrast and balance between light and dark. Poems range from internal conflict to worldwide war to creatures of myth, but all follow the themes of finding havens of light in dark days, persisting despite the odds.

What was your experience of putting the collection together? How difficult/not did you find the organizing?

The collection slowly came together over eight years. Back in 2008, I took a course at the Muse Online Writers Conference called “How to Turn Your Poetry Into a Saleable Chapbook.” I had a lot of poems in my portfolio and wanted to create a cohesive collection.

I looked over my poems, and sorted them into themes. I found a lot of them were on the darker side: death, pain, abuse. It hadn’t really dawned on me until then how much I use poetry to deal with the darkness.

With encouragement, I went ahead with the dark theme. Chose my title, Chiaroscuro. My initial tag line was: Exploring the darkness, bringing the monsters of death and abuse into the light.

That first time, I printed off all the poems that matched that theme. I sat on the floor and shifted poems around until it felt right. Wasn’t much reasoning for any of it other than gut.

The process became much easier once I got Scrivener. In that program, you can drag individual items in the sidebar to reorder them, and view them as individual items or as the whole collection. I also tagged everything with more specific themes – fantasy, war, relationships, doubt, death. With that visual I was able to first group by theme, then shift them around to best tell a story.

The collection starts out darker, with a world falling apart. Then slowly becomes more focused – nature, people, self. As we approach the end, it shifts more into the light. One poem that never changed location in all my revisions was the end poem: “Ash and Water.” That last line, “And I turn from death to embrace life” really summarizes the entire book.

Are any of the poems written specifically for the book?

What was initially planned as a 25 poem chapbook, later expanded to a book length collection to enter into a local writing competition. Most of the additional poems were older ones which I revisited and revised, but I did write new ones with the theme in mind. Most notably: “Dark Days,” “Danse Macabre,” and “Ghost of Childhood”.

How did you decide which poems to include and which ones to leave out?

These are themes I find myself revisiting often in my poetry, so I didn’t have to search hard to find enough to fill a book. There were a few poems that I wrote later and added to fill it out more.

I chose most of my poems for their ability to tell a story. Those felt like they had more impact than ones that simply asked questions or explored a topic.

Another big help was my poetry group, The Poetic Muselings. They helped me identify my stronger poems.

What’s your favorite poem from the book? Would you mind sharing it with us?

Ooh, this is a tough question. Three really come to mind for different reasons.

“The Sun Sets” is really the center of the collection. It’s one I wrote back in high school, the oldest of my poems to make it in the book.

“Concrete Forest” is more a mixture of the dark theme and the other topic I write a lot about: fantasy. It’s about a fairy in today’s modern world.

The third poem is much shorter than both of those, and is the one I will share with you. I love the sound of this one, and never tire of reading it aloud.

The Ocean

Beauty in endless motion,
the ocean,
she takes as oft as she gives.
A cherished ship meets its doom
in her womb,
and still, the sailors forgive.

You did a lot of research before you decided where to submit your collection. Can you tell us a bit about that?

I did searches on Duotrope and Writers Digest, making a list of all the poetry book publishers I could find. I made a chart in Excel and went through each website to get stats on book length, theme preferences, payment, format. I made a list of what I most wanted in a publisher:

clear information

print options

listed response time

ease of submitting (email)

I know self-publishing is an option, especially for poetry, but I’d prefer to go through a publisher for the formatting, marketing, cover book, all those things that intimidate me. It’s a process I’d rather not go through alone.

SynergEbooks was one of my top choices, but their submissions were closed when I began submitting. When their submission window opened again, I still hadn’t gotten a publisher so I sent them my query and sample poems, and they loved it. Lesson learned: don’t be afraid to aim for your top picks. You can’t hit a target you don’t shoot for.

You write fantasy as well as poetry. Do you have a preference?

They satisfy me in different ways. A great thing about poetry is that I can write one in a single day. The feeling of finishing a project is very gratifying. Poetry also focuses more on the moment, and allows me to play with language. Fantasy delights me in other ways: I can create new worlds, explore magic systems, and really delve into a story in a way that poetry cannot.

How do you balance your writing time between fiction and poetry?

Sometimes I try to keep them in two separate boxes, a poet in one moment and a fiction writer in another. But they are both a part of me, and they definitely bleed into each other. I’ve written poems and songs for my novels, and I tell a lot of stories with my poetry.

That being said, most of the year I’m more a fiction writer than a poet. Poetry tends to come in waves. I can go a year without writing a poem, and then write forty in one month. It’s much more reliant on inspiration than my fiction.
You have a young son. How do you find the time to write?

Since I don’t have a day job, I try to get my writing done while my son is in school. Summer has always been a challenge. This year, I’ve scheduled an hour every day that is “alone time”.  He also earns two hours of solo video game time each day. That gives me three hours that I can use for myself – either recharging or writing.
What are you working on now?

I have a hard time focusing on just one project. I actually have five novels in progress. The two I’m (mostly) focusing on are:

The Minotaur Staff:  A (mostly) modern supernatural adventure, with time travel. A treasure hunter finds an artifact that summons a gladiator from ancient Atlantis.

Race to 100 Deaths: Traditional fantasy. Three elven diplomats are captured by a human baron that wants war. He forces them into a contest – a race to 100 deaths.

Where can readers find your book?

You can order Chiaroscuro directly off of SynergEbooks.com (http://www.synergebooks.com/ebook_chiaroscuro.html). It is also available for Kindle and Nook.

Where can readers find you on the web?

Website: marywjensen.weebly.com

Blog: http://marywjensen.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaryWJensen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaryWJensenFanPage

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/feywriter/

Group blog: http://poetic-muselings.net

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/mary-jensen/30/793/68

Any last words?

We are all unique. We each have a story to tell: through our blogs, poetry, fiction, film, art, or other mediums. We can all contribute to the world. When we stop contributing, we do the world a disservice.

I’d love to hear from you. I’m giving away a free PDF version of Chiaroscuro to one of the commenters, so don’t be shy.

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More on Gimp: Illustrating a story

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I’m putting together another collection of Aleynobilia, poems, and stories to celebrate signing the contract for Broken Bonds, the next Aleyne novel, an adult science fiction romance. I’m hooked on Gimp, so I tried my hand at illustrations to go with a couple of the poems and stories I plan to make part of the collection.

One of the stories is about a girl who lives in an old castle, one not in terribly good shapecastle1.castle3

castle2So far, I have seven versions of the castle illustration.

 

 

Castle7 Castle8

castle5 castle4

Which one do you like best? Leave a comment, or email me at [email protected],

and I’ll post the results.

  • If GIMP Is So Good, Why Does Everyone Use Photoshop?
  • GIMP Magazine Issue 3
  • GIMP Guides: How to Get the Most Out of a Great, Free Graphics Application
  • The Book of GIMP
  • The GIMP Training Lands on Windows 8, Download Now
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Bad metaphors, cliches, and weight loss

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Me

After Karina Fabian posted the link on Facebook, I read this article on bad metaphors. Thus inspired, I dug out some of my old poems.

On bad metaphors — bad  metaphors and cliches have no place in a poem. Not, at least, in a serious poem.

Eat Your Sour Grapes

Today is the first day
you ran like a deer —
in the dead of night
you ran like a bat out of hell.

Time and again, you go like the wind
but you can’t get there from here —
all you do is run like a chicken
with its head cut off.

 

Two Impossible Things

My elbow jabs.
I see the back
of my forearm.

I punch air.
I see a vein pulse
at the crook.

But however I twist,
I can’t see
behind my back,

and try as I might
I can’t get my head
up my ass.

 

On weight loss – yes, it can be discouraging. And the older I get, the harder it is to take the weight off.

The Trouble with Life

I get older and older,
fatter and fatter,
until I give in,
try on Spring
in the next size,
and it’s already too small.

 

 

  • Shackles
  • If that metaphor had been a snake, it would have bit me!
  • Breaking Through a Weight Loss Plateau
  • ThinMist: Review Examining Weight Loss Spray Supplement that Boosts Metabolism Released by HealthAvenger.com
  • Sleep important for weight loss and maintenance, expert discusses
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Silly rhymes, or how I spent my journal time

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Another Image courtesy of MS Paint

Painted with Pixels

I am apparently on a silly rhyme kick.

As you may recall, I started going “Morning Pages,” though mostly in the afternoon, about two months ago. A couple of times recently I have found my head filled with rhyme. Today is one of those days.

So here, folks, are some really silly rhymes:

Cabin Fever

cabin fever, got it bad
cabin fever burns me
cabin fever, flaring up
because my honey spurns me.

cabin fever, raging fire
fire will consume me
fire’s burning me to ash
fever’s going to doom me

cabin fever
cabin fever
cabin fever

Cat and Mice

scittter, scatter, little mice
the cat is going to get you
crawl into the holes tonight
if that cat will let you

kitty, kitty, come away
you would be a damper
round the table as they play
leave the mice to scamper


Dog Digger

;
the dog’s in the yard
she’s digging a hole
she hopes will go
right down to China

she pushes the dirt
and the grass clumps away
no digging do
could do finer

Tree, Wind

the tree is growing by the pond
the branches hanging over
a breeze is blowing hard today
a ripple in the clover

breeze blows columns
through the grass
on the pond,
see ripples

hawks are circling
overhead
as the wind’s strength
triples

wonder when we’ll
go to sleep
wonder when the
wind will

as I lay here,
counting sheep
waiting for it
to still.

hear the air,
it’s whooshing past
listen to its whistle
marigolds will bow
their heads
to the lowly
thistle

Editing
i’m off to cut and paste to my blog
i’m off to thundering edits
hear the clatter of words
as they race down the page
eager to earn some more credits.

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Poetic forms: Sestina

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I’m blogging today on the Poetic Muselings blog about Sestinas. Check it out.

http://poetic-muselings.net/2012/03/07/poetic-forms-sestina/

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Black Sci Fi, week 7: The Grand finale

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So, it’s been a great six weeks. Thanks to Alicia McCalla for organizing this amazing event. I hope y’all have added to your reading list. If anyone still needs suggestions, check out last week’s posts — or any of the weeks before that. As for me, I still have a stack of five books waiting to be read.

And now for a short — or not so short — poem, art work, or whatever, in which we all respond to the prompt, “bracelet,” and announce the grand prize winners, and in which I search the dictionary, read the definitions, and, swept by an impulse, pen a very silly poem in which a bracelet plays but a small part, and a collar a larger one. I have no excuse, except that “bracelet” had only three entries, and “collar” had ten.

Neck Less

An ornament, band for the arm
intended to adorn or charm,
made out of silver, gold, or wood,
that hopefully looks really good.

A pair of handcuffs for attaching
a thief whom I am bent on catching.
Clamp them on, take him to jail
where someone listens to his tale.

Perhaps a collar on a dress
to fold or roll or sometimes press,
sometimes too loose, sometimes too tight.
It’s rarely that they get it right.

A band, a necklace, garland too,
in pink or purple, green or blue,
that you may hate or may adore.
seen in the window of a store.

A band around a horse’s neck
meant to restrain, retain, or check,
so that they cannot run away,
or bite or nip, or nibble hay.

A piece of hardware, shaft or rod.
I found the definition odd,
involving sizing of a band
that I did not quite understand

A cut of meat, a piece of bacon
at present in the frig, forsaken,
meant to go into some penne,
a piece or too or maybe many..

To seize, arrest, perhaps detain
some person whom you must restrain,
reach out and grab them by the collar
and listen to them yell and holler.

There are no words that rhyme with bracelet,
not even one that sounds like facelet,
and definitions, but a few,
That’s why I wrote of collars, too.

.. And now — drum roll — the grand prize winner, the winner of another copy of the Poetic Muselings’ poetry anthology, “Lifelines.”

Chris Burton.

Check out the other members of this Online Black History Month Event:

Check out my awesome fellow members of this Online Black History Month Event:

Winston Blakely, Artist/Writer– Fine Arts/Comic Book artist, having a career spanning 20 years, whose achievements have included working for Valiant Comics and Rich Buckler’s Visage Studios. He is also the creator of Little Miss Strange, the world’s first black alien sorceress and the all- genre anthology entitled – Immortal Fantasy. Both graphic albums are available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and other online book store outlets. Visit him: http://blakelyworks.blogspot.com/
or http://blakelyworkstudio.weebly.com/

L. M. Davis, Author–began her love affair with fantasy in the second grade. Her first novel, Interlopers: A Shifters Novel, was released in 2010, and the follow-up Posers: A Shifters Novel will be released this spring. For more information visit her blog http://shiftersseries.wordpress.com/ or her website www.shiftersnovelseries.com.
Milton Davis, Author – Milton Davis is owner/publisher of MVmedia, LLC . As an author he specializes in science fiction and fantasy and is the author of Meji Book One, Meji Book Two and Changa’s Safari. Visit him: www.mvmediaatl.com and www.wagadu.ning.com.


Ja Ja (DjaDja) N Medjay , Author
—DjaDja Medjay is the author of The Renpet Sci-Fi Series. Shiatsu Practitioner. Holistic AfroFuturistic Rising in Excellence. Transmissions from The Future Earth can be found at: www.renpetscifi.com or on Facebook – www.facebook.com/RenpetSciFiNovel or on Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/Khonsugo .

Margaret Fieland, Author– lives and writes in the suburbs west of Boston, MA
with her partner and five dogs. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines http://tinyurl.com/LifelinesPoetry/ is available from Amazon.com Her book, “Relocated,” will be available from MuseItUp Publishing in July, 2012. The Angry Little Boy,” will be published by 4RV publishing in early 2013. You may visit her website, https://margaretfieland.com.

Valjeanne Jeffers, Author — is an editor and the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend and Immortal III: Stealer of Souls. Her fourth and fifth novels: Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch: Clockwork will be released this spring. Visit her at: http://valjeanne.wordpress.com and http://qandvaffordableediting.blogspot.com/


Thaddeus Howze, Author-
- is a veteran of the Information Technology and Communications industry with over twenty-six years of experience. His expertise is in re-engineering IT environments using process-oriented management techniques. In English, that means he studies the needs of his clients and configures their offices to optimize the use of information technology in their environment. Visit him: http://ebonstorm.wordpress.com or http://ebonstorm.weebly.com

Alicia McCalla, Author—writes for both young adults and adults with her brand of multicultural science fiction, urban fantasy, and futurism. Her debut novel, Breaking Free will be available February 1, 2012. The Breaking Free theme song created by Asante McCalla is available for immediate download on itunes and Amazon. Visit her at: www.aliciamccalla.com


Carole McDonnell, Author
–She writes Christian, speculative fiction, and multicultural stories. Her first novel is Wind Follower. Her short fiction has appeared in many anthologies and have been collected in an ebook, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction. Visit Carole: http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/ or http://writersofcolorblogtour.blogspot.com/

Balogun Ojetade, Author—of the bestselling “Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within” (non-fiction), “Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman” (Steampunk) and the feature film, “A Single Link”. Visit him: http://chroniclesofharriet.wordpress.com/

Rasheedah Phillips, Author–is the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair in Philly. She plans to debut her first spec/sci-fic novel Recurrence Plot in Spring 2012. You may catch her ruminating from time to time on her blog, AstroMythoLosophy.com.

Nicole Sconiers, Author-is also a screenwriter living in the sunny jungle of L.A. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and she recently published Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage. Visit her: http://nicolesconiers.com/index.html

Jarvis Sheffield, M.Ed. is owner & operator of TheDigitalBrothers.com, BlackScienceFictionSociety.com & BlackCommunityEntertainment.com. Visit him: http://www.blacksciencefictionsociety.com/profiles/blog/list?user=2stjwb1h216fd

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The State of Black Sci F week 4: Giveaway and something about my novel

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Back in 2010 I decided to participate in Nano for the first time. National Novel Writing Month, Nano for short, happens every November, and participants attempt to write 50,000 words in a month. I decided to write a sci fi novel, because I love the genre, have read it for years — many — but had a phobia about writing it.

Being, perhaps, terminally crazed, I decided I would participate in Robert Lee Brewer’s November Chapbook challenge as well, and to produce 30 poems which would form a chapbook.

I decided to make the poet part of the universe of the novel. That way I could include the poems in the 50,000 word line count and use some of the poems in the book.

I did far more world building than I did plotting — I had an outline with about a page of notes and a fifteen point plot line. Many of the specifics went right out the window when I started writing, but my world building remained.

My aliens form relationships involving four people (or three, or, very occasionally, two), and they’re all lovers. I choose what I hoped would be alien sounding names, made their society based on personal responsibility, lack of coercion, respect for the environment, rather than rules and laws. I made up stuff about their art (my mother was an artist who specialized in portraits in oils), and, later, a bit about their music (I play the flute and the piccolo).

And because I (warning, spoiler alert) wanted my 14-year old main character to be a “cross” — part human and part alien — and be believable, in terms of appearance, I wanted to choose among the naturally occurring human skin tones for my aliens, and I needed my aliens to look distinctive, but not too, too alien.

I made them Black. Very, very dark skinned. And why? Because I didn’t want them to be white. First of all, white is too, well, bland and predictable. And by making them Black, I added a source of conflict to my story, and stories are all about conflict. And, face it, too many of the good guys, in my opinion, are white. I wanted to play against type, so the good guys in my novel are dark skinned.

I’d be thrilled to learn I’ve made my readers squirm, to twist in their seats as they come up against their prejudices and unconscious assumptions. Hopefully, I’ll find I’ve succeeded.

And here are a couple of poems from my imaginary poet, Raketh Namar, the namesake of my main character, Raketh Frey. Because the poet was a revered spiritual leader, and his poems are one of the Aleyni’s sacred texts, I found myself writing in a way that I, as myself, would not have, and writing a good number of what might be taken as poem-prayers.

Poems of this type, written in a voice other than that of the author, are called persona poems. You can learn more about persona poems here
//poetic-muselings.net/2012/01/11/persona-poems/

Here are a couple of Raketh Namar’s poems that don’t appear in the book

Looking For My Fears

Muted buzzing in my ears
resonates to hidden fears.
Drag fears forward into light.
Exposed to air, see them take flight.

Fear’s seeds sprout best deep in dark
so let cleansing sunlight mark
paths for spirit’s shining light
to cleanse my mind, root out fear’s blight.

Who Will Play Music?

Who remains to play the music, now musician’s dead?
Which lips set bright brasses blowing? The man’s cold in his bed.
Whose hand renders strings a strumming now the fiddler’s gone?
Whose hand genders drums a drumming as night turns to dawn?

Our hands start the drums a drumming as dawn turns to day,
ours the fingers on strings, strumming,. We’ll sit down to play.
Our lips put to brasses blowing, knowing he will hear.
We will keep his music going, from us to his ear.

And now, {drum roll}, for the winner of a copy of the Poetic Muselings’s, (of whom I am one) poetry anthology, Lifelines:

Kathryn Scannell. Kathryn, I’ll be emailing you. Congratulations.

Check out the other members of this Online Black History Month Event:

Check out my awesome fellow members of this Online Black History Month Event:

Winston Blakely, Artist/Writer– Fine Arts/Comic Book artist, having a career spanning 20 years, whose achievements have included working for Valiant Comics and Rich Buckler’s Visage Studios. He is also the creator of Little Miss Strange, the world’s first black alien sorceress and the all- genre anthology entitled – Immortal Fantasy. Both graphic albums are available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and other online book store outlets. Visit him: http://blakelyworks.blogspot.com/
or http://blakelyworkstudio.weebly.com/

L. M. Davis, Author–began her love affair with fantasy in the second grade. Her first novel, Interlopers: A Shifters Novel, was released in 2010, and the follow-up Posers: A Shifters Novel will be released this spring. For more information visit her blog http://shiftersseries.wordpress.com/ or her website www.shiftersnovelseries.com.
Milton Davis, Author – Milton Davis is owner/publisher of MVmedia, LLC . As an author he specializes in science fiction and fantasy and is the author of Meji Book One, Meji Book Two and Changa’s Safari. Visit him: www.mvmediaatl.com and www.wagadu.ning.com.


Ja Ja (DjaDja) N Medjay , Author
—DjaDja Medjay is the author of The Renpet Sci-Fi Series. Shiatsu Practitioner. Holistic AfroFuturistic Rising in Excellence. Transmissions from The Future Earth can be found at: www.renpetscifi.com or on Facebook – www.facebook.com/RenpetSciFiNovel or on Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/Khonsugo .

Margaret Fieland, Author– lives and writes in the suburbs west of Boston, MA
with her partner and five dogs. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines http://tinyurl.com/LifelinesPoetry/ is available from Amazon.com Her book, “Relocated,” will be available from MuseItUp Publishing in July, 2012. The Angry Little Boy,” will be published by 4RV publishing in early 2013. You may visit her website, https://margaretfieland.com.

Valjeanne Jeffers, Author — is an editor and the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend and Immortal III: Stealer of Souls. Her fourth and fifth novels: Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch: Clockwork will be released this spring. Visit her at: http://valjeanne.wordpress.com and http://qandvaffordableediting.blogspot.com/


Thaddeus Howze, Author-
- is a veteran of the Information Technology and Communications industry with over twenty-six years of experience. His expertise is in re-engineering IT environments using process-oriented management techniques. In English, that means he studies the needs of his clients and configures their offices to optimize the use of information technology in their environment. Visit him: http://ebonstorm.wordpress.com or http://ebonstorm.weebly.com

Alicia McCalla, Author—writes for both young adults and adults with her brand of multicultural science fiction, urban fantasy, and futurism. Her debut novel, Breaking Free will be available February 1, 2012. The Breaking Free theme song created by Asante McCalla is available for immediate download on itunes and Amazon. Visit her at: www.aliciamccalla.com


Carole McDonnell, Author
–She writes Christian, speculative fiction, and multicultural stories. Her first novel is Wind Follower. Her short fiction has appeared in many anthologies and have been collected in an ebook, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction. Visit Carole: http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/ or http://writersofcolorblogtour.blogspot.com/

Balogun Ojetade, Author—of the bestselling “Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within” (non-fiction), “Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman” (Steampunk) and the feature film, “A Single Link”. Visit him: http://chroniclesofharriet.wordpress.com/

Rasheedah Phillips, Author–is the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair in Philly. She plans to debut her first spec/sci-fic novel Recurrence Plot in Spring 2012. You may catch her ruminating from time to time on her blog, AstroMythoLosophy.com.

Nicole Sconiers, Author-is also a screenwriter living in the sunny jungle of L.A. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and she recently published Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage. Visit her: http://nicolesconiers.com/index.html

Jarvis Sheffield, M.Ed. is owner & operator of TheDigitalBrothers.com, BlackScienceFictionSociety.com & BlackCommunityEntertainment.com. Visit him: http://www.blacksciencefictionsociety.com/profiles/blog/list?user=2stjwb1h216fd

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Our anthology and us muselings in Preditors and Editors poll

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The cover of “Lifeline,” the Poetic Muselings’ anthology, with artwork by Lin Neiswender, has been nominated in the P and E book/ebook cover artwork category.
Our cover, our anthology, and us poets are all in the Preditors and Editors poll:

Check it out, and if you like it, please vote.

http://www.critters.org/predpoll/bookart.shtml

Poetic Muselings poets http://critters.org/predpoll/poet.shtml

Lifelines Anthology http://critters.org/predpoll/antho.shtml

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Poetic Inspiration: Other People’s Poems

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Check out my post on the Poetic Muselings blog on being inspired by other people’s poems. Read Mark Wyndham’s poem, and the one I wrote in response.

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A Few Holiday Verses

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Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Happy holidays, everyone.

Here are some holiday poems. The first two were written in response to a post on the poetic muselings blog

Writer’s Cramp

One cold winter day, I selected a pen
to write down a poem or two or three, when

there cam a rap, rapping, a tap on my door.
“Oh, bother, oh, darn it,” I said. “What a bore.”

“I have to stop writing.” And then I stood up,
gulped down the cold coffee dregs left in my cup.

The front door swung open, and who should I find?
The poet police, who said, “Dearie you’re fined.”

“The poetry fashion is all for free verse.
Yours has rhyme and meter. It couldn’t be worse.”

“We hereby command you to cease and desist.
You cannot evade us, so do not resist.”

I slammed the front door and slumped down,, debating
how long the verse coppers would stand outside, waiting

to haul me away, place me under arrest
from penning my rhymingest poetry best.


Christmas Memories

Somehow my mind is all a blank,
no memories remaining.
However hard I strain my brain,
all I get is complaining.

Recall’s a stall of holidays
or gifts both great and small.
So lift a glass to my old past.
It’s passed beyond recall.

And here are couple more:

What Happens Christmas Night

I’ve noticed that Saint Nick’s a bit
too big around for him to fit
inside our chimney, Christmas night
the struggle must be quite a sight.

Perhaps he oils his nice red suit
all over so that he can shoot
right down the chimney. Then you’ll see
he’ll cut his hand and sprain his knee.

I guess that all those aches and pains
will hurt so much that he’ll complain
that getting down was such a chore
he’s going to leave us by the door!

And here’s one I wrote one year when contemplating writing a Christmas letter. I never did write one.

Names Changed to Protect the Innocent

I am writing you this letter,
I had hoped things would be better
than they were the year before.

I am sorry I’ve not written
but it’s really hard to fit in.
I am sure you know the score.

I am hoping you are all well.
Did you hear my husband Al fell?
It has really been a bore.

We found that his leg was broken
when he went to let his folks in
and was answering the door.

He went and slipped on the ice.
He grabbed the rail but no dice;
getting up was quite a chore.

We took him right to the doctor;
the bad break has really shocked her.
His leg’s still really sore.

And my Mary’s back to drinking,
you can hear the glasses clinking,
and she drinks more than before.

We were hoping she’d stay sober,
that her drinking days were over,
and her drinking was no more.

Alas it was all a vain hope.
She says that she needs it to cope,
She finds holidays a chore.

And my Al has started smoking;
even though he’s always choking
he just keeps on smoking more.

James is smoking like his father,
it is really quite a bother;
I don’t need to tell you more.

And our Sally’s started dating
a boy Al is really hating
and the rest of us adore.

All the rest of us are betting
there will surely be a wedding,
maybe June if not before.

Little Gary’s grades are falling;
it is really quite appalling.
He won’t study any more.

I’ve tried everything they told us.
We have all made quite a big fuss,
and we’ve added to his chores.

Nothing that we’ve tried helps at all.
We have run into a wall,
I simply want to slam the door.

I hope your news is better
than the news that’s in this letter.
I feel I’ve been in a war.

I have written you all my news.
Please write back to me when you choose.
Love to everyone, Lenore

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