Happy Poetry Friday, friends.
After nearly eight years blogging as Author Amok, I am moving to my new website! As of February 1, I will be blogging and participating in Poetry Friday right here at www.laurashovan.com.
There are a few housekeeping items to share before I close up shop at the old digs.
First, the annual daily writing prompt project is on for 2016.
This year’s theme is FOUND OBJECTS. I invite you to join this community project. The focus is on writing every day (or as often as you can) and sharing the results with our fellow poets and authors — an opportunity to focus on drafting and to turn off our inner-editors for one month. We always have a great time with this project and there are prizes for contributors.
You’ll find more information about the project at this post. And here is a sneak preview of our first writing prompt, contributed by Robyn Hood Black.
If you’d like to contribute a poem, please leave it in the comments of this post. Be sure to specify that this is your DAY 1 found object poem.
Second, an update on my book launch. THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY will be published on April 12. I’m excited to have a book birthday during National Poetry Month. The Poetry Friday community has been so supportive of this project.
In the weeks leading up to NPM, I’ll be introducing the Emerson E.S. fifth graders at the new blog. I came across this poem today, which was cut from the novel. Newt Mathews is an amphibian-loving, rule-following student who shares in his poems how Asperger’s Syndrome affects his writing. Mr. White is his aide.
By Newt Mathews
Time to get out of bed.
Time for the bus to come.
The late bell rings.
Time to take my seat.
Quiet at last.
Mr. White helps me write a poem.
Another update: I am giving away two copies of the spec fiction anthology HIDES THE DARK TOWER at my author Facebook page. I was honored when editors Kelly Harmon and Vonnie Winslow Crist asked me to write a poem to open the anthology. Stop by to enter into the drawing.
Last, I thought it would be fun to reprint something from my very first blog post, from August of 2008. I was just back from a creativity workshop with master storyteller Odds Bodkin.
This Week’s Writing Exercise (Appropriate for All Ages and Levels)
Don’t Write! Imagine
We often ask students, and ourselves, to be imaginative when writing. But imagination without boundaries can be uncomfortable. After all, our imaginations produce nightmares. Here is one of Odds’ best recommendations from the storytelling workshop: when you’re asking someone to use his/her imagination, start with a familiar setting to warm-up those mental muscles. So, put away the notebook and pencil while you try this exercise in sensory imagination (adapted from Odds Bodkin’s workshop). You can take notes later.
Sit quietly, close your eyes and imagine that you are in your bedroom. Your bare feet are standing on a low marble pedestal. Turn slowly – 360 degrees – and take in every detail of the room. Not just the pictures on the walls and the colors of the bed spread, but also any smells, and the temperature of the air. You notice a light coming from under the bed. Filled with curiosity, you step off the pedestal. You move the bed aside with one hand – it’s as light as an empty box and glides across the floor. There, where you expected to see carpet or planks of wood, is a window. What a strange place for a window! How can sunlight be shining through a window in your floor? You kneel down beside the window and see… this is the tricky part, writers. Without composing a story, let your imagination see, feel, hear, taste and smell whatever is beyond that window. Let us know what’s out there.
Thank you all! Blogging at Author Amok has been an adventure. It’s been wonderful to have so many traveling companions.