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Month: October 2019

Reading Louise Glück: 4 Days until Halloween

Happy Sunday, friends! I hope you’re having a relaxing weekend.

Today, we’re going trick-or-treating in a neighborhood nearby with friends, and we’re also planning to go to Chicago’s Botanical Gardens to see their annual 1000 glowing Jack-o-lanterns display.

What are you doing to celebrate Halloween and enjoy fall?

To continue our countdown—only four days to go!—here’s a poem by Louise Glück:

ALL HALLOWS

Even now this landscape is assembling.
The hills darken. The oxen
sleep in their blue yoke,
the fields having been
picked clean, the sheaves
bound evenly and piled at the roadside
among cinquefoil, as the toothed moon rises:

This is the barrenness
of harvest or pestilence.
And the wife leaning out the window
with her hand extended, as in payment,
and the seeds
distinct, gold, calling
Come here
Come here, little one

And the soul creeps out of the tree.

poem previously featured by the Poetry Foundation, here

Happy Sunday, friends, and Happy Fall!

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Reading Rae Armantrout: 5 Days until Halloween

Apple cider, fall leaves & crisp air, jack-o-lanterns a’glow—These are a few of my favorite, spookiest things…

Happy Saturday, friends! If you’ve been here for a while, you know how much I love Halloween. And I also love countdowns. So—

To showcase the five days we have left until Halloween, here’s a lovely, spooky poem by Rae Armantrout:

DJINN

Haunted, they say, believing
the soft, shifty
dunes are made up
of false promises.

Many believe
whatever happens
is the other half
of a conversation.

Many whisper
white lies
to the dead.

“The boys are doing really well.”

Some think
nothing is so
until it has been witnessed.

They believe
the bits are iffy;

the forces that bind them,
absolute.

poem originally featured by the Poetry Foundation, here

Happy Saturday, friends! I’ll see you again tomorrow for our next poem.

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It’s the “Almost Halloween” Friday Round-Up!

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you’ve had a wonderful week.

I know in the last couple weeks I’ve been a bit off my game as far as posting regularly. I’ve had good reasons—family stuff, birthdays, travel, illness—but that doesn’t mean I feel good about not writing to you all.

I’m hoping to be back in the rhythm this coming week, especially for all of us who may be in the final stretch of preparing for NaNoWriMo. My next Friday Round-Up is on the very first day of this year’s NaNo, so I’ll for sure be talking about that!

This weekend, I’m also putting the finishing touches on a bit of a trick-or-treat basket for writers—so please stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, it’s time for this week’s round-up! I have my usual trending pieces, but I’m also dabbling in writing about the final season of The Good Place, and I’ve just begun a series of #ThrowbackThursdays to celebrate the art of being published.

As always, I thank you for reading, supporting, and reaching out. It means the world to me, truly.

This Week’s Round-Up!

In Entertainment:

The Good Place: Where Will Season 4 Leave Eleanor?,” Medium (October 2019): link

In Poetry:

“The Underside of Trees (A Poem),” Medium (originally published by Sleet Magazine): link

In Trending News:

“Astros Fire Assistant GM After He Taunted Female Reporters With Comments About Domestic Abuser,” Comic Sands (October 2019): link

“Muslim Ohio Teen Left ‘Humiliated’ After Being Disqualified From Race For Wearing Hijab,” Comic Sands (October 2019): link

“Christian School Theatre Teacher Fired For Being Gay Has Powerful Message For Her Former Students,” Comic Sands (October 2019): link

“Kelly Ripa Called Out After Claiming Her Son Is Living In ‘Extreme Poverty’ In Brooklyn,” Comic Sands (October 2019): link

Happy Friday, everyone! Happy Fall, and a Happy early Halloween! I hope you stay warm and enjoy your favorite fall-ish things.

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Birthday Weekend Round-Up!

Hi friends! Happy Friday! I hope you’ve had a wonderful week!

It’s been almost two weeks since my last post. Last week was quite the week, and I did very little writing. This week has been all about catching up and getting back in the rhythm, so again, very little writing—more than last week, but again, not a lot.

I’m grateful to be back, though. I’ve been taking ideas down for new essays, plan to review a few horror films, have been keeping up on news trends, and I’ve written lines for quite a few different poems. So the wheels are turning, and the heart is ready; I just have to get back into full-swing.

Does anyone else ever feel that way about their writing? Their other craft(s)? Trying to juggle it all?

Fortunately, I can see next week being a good time. I’m tentatively planning six days in a row of fall and Halloween fun with my kids, all of which I see being tinged with inspiration! Plus, it’s fall, and it’s fun, and it’s when I feel most alive, so—why not write?

PLUS, we need to talk about NaNoWriMo more soon! I have a novel prepped to go, I’m ready to go all the way, and I would really love to help a few other aspiring writers (or first-time novelists) do the same.

In the meantime, I’m getting back to my weekly round-ups, for anyone looking for some quick weekend reads, or for those who may be interested in what I’m working on.

Since things were so busy last week, I didn’t do a round-up, so here’s two weeks’ worth of content!

Enjoy! And thank you, as always, for the support and for the read.

This Week’s Round-Up!

“Nurse’s Twin Sister Pays Powerful Tribute To Nurses Everywhere With Emotional Facebook Post,” Comic Sands (October 2019): link

“Illinois Prison Guards Used Private Facebook Groups To Mock Transgender Inmates, Watchdog Group Finds,” Comic Sands (October 2019): link

“Muslim Youth Coach Gets Racist Text Message From Parent ‘Uncomfortable’ With Him Coaching,” Percolately (October 2019): link

“13-Year-Old Kansas Girl Charged With Felony After Pointing Finger Gun At Her Classmates,” Percolately (October 2019): link

“Pennsylvania Family Suing After Police Arrest Them For Loitering Outside Their Own Home,” Comic Sands (October 2019): link

“Bride-To-Be Left Fuming After Friend Steals Her ‘Dream Wedding Dress’ For Her Own Wedding,” Comic Sands (October 2019): link

“MSNBC Correspondent Adorably Interrupted By Her Son Coming To Say Hi During Live Report,” Comic Sands (October 2019): link

“Woman On Virgin Atlantic Flight Receives Onslaught Of Sexually Inappropriate In-Flight Messages From Male Passengers,” Percolately (October 2019): link

“Authorities Baffled After Woman Somehow Boards Delta Flight Without ID Or Boarding Pass,” Comic Sands (October 2019): link

You can find more articles over on my Bylines page, as well as book reviews and poetry. Thank you for reading! Happy Friday, Happy Birthday to my kiddos, and Happy Fall to all!

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A Birthday Saddle & A Friday Round-Up!

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you’ve had a wonderful week!

Compared to last week, this week has absolutely flown by. Cadence turned 5 on Thursday (I still can’t believe it—FIVE?!), and earlier this week, we took her out for a family birthday dinner at Texas Roadhouse. They brought out “the saddle” to sing Happy Birthday to her, and gave her a free sundae.

Cadence at Texas Roadhouse in the “birthday saddle”! (Pic by me)

Yesterday, we just spent time together and relaxed through the nice, fall day. For the evening, we had some neighbors and friends over for presents, dinner, and cake, which was the perfect top on the day for her.

In all the fun, I didn’t write that much this week. I’m looking forward tonight to getting back to poetry, and also writing some new pieces about horror movies and Mental Health Awareness Week (starting October 6th!).

In the meantime, I’m getting back to my weekly round-ups, for anyone looking for some quick weekend reads, or for those who may be interested in what I’m working on.

Enjoy! And thank you, as always, for the support and for the read.

This Week’s Round-Up!

“Pro-Trump Group Admits To Staging Bizarre ‘Eat The Babies’ Moment At AOC Town Hall,” Comic Sands (October 2019): link

“Police On The Hunt For Woman Who Climbed In Bronx Zoo Enclosure To Taunt Lion,” and “Woman Who Climbed Into Bronx Zoo Enclosure To Taunt Lion Identified,” Comic Sands (October 2019): link

“Family Sues Best Buy After Delivery Man Beat 75-Year-Old Florida Customer And Set Her On Fire,” Percolately (September 2019): link

You can find more articles over on my Bylines page, as well as book reviews and poetry. Thank you for reading! Happy Friday, and Happy Fall!

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New Poem “In Nature” & The Prompt Behind It

IN NATURE 

My daughter calls the outdoors home & needs 
no reason to enter. Her skin, the brush. Her voice 

& birdsong. Her running speed & the air 
through the field. They are the same. 

Sometimes, she blends in so well, I cannot see her. 

The brownest strands of her hair & the bark 
of her favorite tree. Her brown eyes 

& the sparrow. The sway in the flowers & the wave
of her hand. I lose her, if only for a moment, 

but I sink into a feeling of loneliness, until I hear 
her call, her laugh, somewhere in the yard. Whether she is

behind the house, around a tree, or hiding under 
a bush, it doesn’t matter. I know she will come back.

Will be hungry & come home for dinner. 
I know she is under the sun.

*

Happy Wednesday, friends! I hope you’re having a wonderful week.

Today is Writing Prompt Wednesday, which means it’s time for a new poem, and a new writing prompt! I hope you’re ready.

You’ll find my poem above, called “In Nature.” I loved writing this one, and I hope you enjoy it.

And without further ado, here is the prompt I used to start writing the poem:

Think about an important, political, environmentally alert issue (there’s not much which isn’t these days!) that is important to you on a personal level.

I addressed this prompt from the perspective of nature—and nothing is more personal to me than how I’m raising my children in it. I’m doing my best to raise kids who prefer to be outside, playing, rather than inside observing a screen. I’m teaching them to love, admire, and respect nature, from the wind to the rain to the plants and all the little living things we may encounter out there. Right now, I’m writing a lot of poetry that centers around watching my children grow up in nature, and I can see this poem fitting in among that collection.

How will you use this prompt?

I can’t wait to see what you come up with. I’d love to see any of you attempt this writing prompt, as well, and send me your resulting poems! I’ll share a favorite or two on our next Writing Prompt Wednesday, in addition to sharing my new poem and prompt. I hope you’ll submit your work!

Happy Wednesday, all! And Happy Inspiration!

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Tuesday Motivation: Is This Your Year to Write Your First Book?

Happy Tuesday, friends—and Happy October 1st! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and a great start to your week.

We’re officially in my favorite month of the year. Fall is in full swing, both of my kids are having birthdays, and there is also Halloween! Seriously, the best season of them all.

The other tremendous news for all writers out there is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which begins one month from today.

NaNoWriMo originated as a challenge for fiction writers to complete one novel in the month of November, but I’ve seen non-fiction writers use it as an opportunity to work on non-fiction projects, as well, and poets converting it to a daily poem challenge. It’s a great platform for everyone!

So the question I have for you is this—Are you ready to write your first book? Is this your year?

Technically, any year, any month, any day could be your time. You just have to make the decision to sit down and start (and eventually, finish!).

But I want to challenge you to make NOW your time.

Just like having children, starting an exercise routine, or moving to a new place, there is never a “good time” to do it. If you look hard enough, there will always be obstacles standing in the way of your success. But if you look hard enough in the other direction, you’ll be able to find the time, energy, and inspiration you need to start working on your book.

Just imagine: You start working on this new, scary project in November, and by the end of the month or the beginning of the New Year, you have a draft in your hands. Think of that. You composed an entire book, and now it’s time to revise it and decide how you want to put it out into the world.

I want you to experience that great feeling of accomplishment now, not next year or ten years from now.

I am a testament to this. I’ve drafted out several books, but they didn’t turned out to be books that I wanted to share with the world. Maybe my feelings about them will change with time, and I’ll go back, significantly revise them, and then seek out a publisher. But the feelings I have about the two books I’m working on right now? These are going to be my first and second novels that the world gets to see. I’ve decided that, and I’m fighting for them. I’m finishing at least one of them during NaNoWriMo, and I’m aiming to finish both of them by the entrance of the New Year.

I want you to fight for your work, too!

I hope that you’ll join me for this NaNoWriMo, whether you use the NaNo platform or work in Google Docs or wherever else you work best.

So much so—I have a few opportunities to share with you.

First of all, I’ve enjoyed the experiences I’ve had as a writing coach, and I’m always open to working with new writers. You could have a few books under your belt like I do, and this is the first one that you’re taking seriously. You could be brand new to this, and you’re not entirely sure what all this “novel-writing business” entails. You could even be a seasoned author who likes a second pair of eyes on their work. I’ve worked with all these different author “character types,” and I’ve loved working with them all.

That’s the first opportunity. If you’re worried about approaching your first novel, staying on-task, being able to fit all this writing into your schedule, fully fleshing out a plot, etc., I’m here for you.

I’m also giving out a few writing resources, closer to the end of the month, as part of my celebration of Halloween. There are going to be three resources, and there’s going to be a “trick-or-treat” option.

I don’t want to give away all the fun yet, but these resources are going to help you plan for your novel, even last-minute, so that you have a sense of what you’ll be writing about going into the month of November. There will be useful information contained in these resources, as well as writing prompts and outlining models that will carry through the Fall to the final lines of your novel draft.

I’m so excited for this month! I’ll be sharing stories of birthdays and apple-picking and poetry reading, for sure. I hope to hear from some of you about working together this NaNoWriMo, too—and I can’t wait to share these resources with you when they go live.

Happy Fall, everyone! Happy October 1st!

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