Delicious, Sweet and Cold

The Fruit Pages say the plum is “a soft round smooth-skinned sweet fruit with sweet flesh and a flattish pointed stone.”  Perfectly adequate description, but a poet can do so much more.

In honor of National Poetry Month, an ode to one of my favorite fruits from one of my favorite poets …

“This Is Just To Say”

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

William Carlos Williams

°

Resources:  William Carlos Williams, Poets.org, Tony Hisgett photos, Plums, The Daily Post

Finding the Time to Write (Silent or Not)

One of the toughest challenges in writing is finding the time to sit down and do it.  If “time” is not the issue, maybe it’s myriad distractions (laundry, facebook, Will & Grace reruns, email, etc.) that pull you away.

Five Tips for Finding Writing Time on copyblogger.com offers helpful insight not only on finding time, but on making that time productive once you’re in the chair and ready to get started.

The Silent Writers online writing retreat is another useful tool.  Every Tuesday at 9 pm EST, writers who find it difficult making time to write join together for an hour of silent writing. Writing for a specific and set amount of time is not only satisfying, it helps in building a consistent and rewarding writing life.

The retreat is open to all writers, but it was created especially for those who find it hard to put aside distractions for their craft.  To participate,  join us tonight at 9 EST on Twitter or Facebook.

You can work on your own project or use one of the writing exercises below.

  1. From PW.org:Fiction and Poetry prompts
  2. From Verbal VerbosityThe 100 Words Challenge Prompt
  3. From me: A photo prompt, “Tag Along”
  4. From Mama’s Losin’ ItFive Writing Prompts
  5. From @Selorian on Twitter:#storystarters
  6. From Plinky: Quickie questions to ponder

The 9 pm PST retreat is open by request.  If you’re interested in this session, please leave a comment here.

For more information on tonight’s retreat, visit the Silent Writers Collective.

Resources: copyblogger. Luigi Diamonte portfolio, The Daily Post

A Thousand Words: Tag Along

Creative Commons image by Michael.Matuzak on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A Thousand Words is a photo prompt posted every Sunday.  Maybe the image will inspire you to write a short story, a poem, or a blog post.  Whatever your response, I hope the picture inspires you to some sort of creative zen.

If you write something based on the image, feel free to share a link in the comments section.   Also feel free to use the photo on your blog, just be sure to give proper credit, which I will always include in the post or the caption.

Resources: Creative Commons, Flickr, The Daily Post


April is the Cruelest, Most Poetic Month

It seems appropriate for the title of this post to introduce National Poetry Month by paraphrasing the opening line of The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot:

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

Maybe because it is the cruelest month, the Academy of American Poets (poets.org) picked April as National Poetry Month.  Whatever the reason, the party starts today and continues all month.

Share in the celebration by visiting poets.org to participate in:

  • 30 Poets, 30 Days: A poetic tweet-a-thon, where selected poets have 24 hours to tweet daily insights.
  • Poem-A-Day: Sign up to get a poem from a new poetry book emailed to you each day.
  • Poem In Your Pocket Day: On April 14, join thousands of people across the country by carrying a poem in your pocket.
  • Poem Flow for iPhones: This app features daily poems beautifully presented as fixed and animated text.  Even if you don’t have an iPhone, you can enjoy.

Whether you want to celebrate online or in person at book stores, poetry readings, libraries, or slams, there are hundreds of events planned across the country.  To find out what’s going on near you, visit the National Poetry Map.

Poets.org has more planned. Visit the National Poetry Month page for all the details.

Resources: poets.org, The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot, The Daily Post

 

Can Restraints Keep Creativity Alive?

In this video from The 99 Percent, creativity expert Scott Belsky discusses some decidedly uncreative ways to keep ideas alive and moving forward.

How to Avoid the Idea Generation Trap suggests compromise, restraint, planning, and discipline.  The suggestions aren’t as sexy and exciting as the pursuit of new ideas, but they could be helpful in avoiding what he calls the “idea plateau” and in keeping us focused on a project to its completion.

◊ ◊ ◊

Your Brain on Write is a series of posts exploring scientific, psychological
and cognitive aspects of writing and creativity. Click here to see additional posts in the series.

Resources: The 99 Percent, Scott Belsky, The Daily Post

6+ Prompts for Writers Who Make the Time

Every Tuesday at 9 pm EST, writers who find it difficult making time to write join together for an hour of silent writing. Writing for a specific and set amount of time is not only satisfying, it helps in building a consistent and rewarding writing life.

The Silent Writers online writing retreat is open to all writers, but it was created especially for those who find it hard to put aside distractions for their craft.  To participate,  join us tonight at 9 EST on Twitter or Facebook.

You can work on your own project or use one of the writing exercises below.

  1. From PW.org:Fiction and Poetry prompts
  2. From Verbal VerbosityThe 100 Words Challenge Prompt
  3. From me: A photo prompt, “Oak Grove Day Dream”
  4. From Mama’s Losin’ ItFive Writing Prompts
  5. From @Selorian on Twitter:#storystarters
  6. From Plinky: Quickie questions to ponder

The 9 pm PST retreat is open by request.  If you’re interested in this session, please leave a comment here.

For more information on tonight’s retreat, visit the Silent Writers Collective.

Resources:  The Daily Post

A Thousand Words: Oak Grove Day Dream

Creative Commons image by oddsock on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A Thousand Words is a photo prompt posted every Sunday.  Maybe the image will inspire you to write a short story, a poem, or a blog post.  Whatever your response, I hope the picture inspires you to some sort of creative zen.

If you write something based on the image, feel free to share a link in the comments section.   Also feel free to use the photo on your blog, just be sure to give proper credit, which I will always include in the post or the caption.

Resources: Creative Commons, Flickr, The Daily Post

Deciding on Weight Loss

Shortly after taking on the challenge to write a blog post every day for a year, I took on the challenge to lose weight.  It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution because I don’t believe in those.  I decided to do it because my weight was bothering me more every day.  In the five or six years since my last weight loss effort, I gained back almost all the weight I’d lost, I stopped exercising, and I felt awful, mentally and physically.

I felt worse than awful.  I felt desperate, defeated, and hopeless.  I’ve had a weight problem all my life.  I’ve lost upwards of 70 pounds twice.  I have (slowly) run close to a hundred races, including the NYC Marathon back in 1997.

I know how to lose weight.  I know how to exercise.  I know how to eat healthfully.  I know how much I hate being overweight.  I know all this stuff and yet there’s a switch in my head that turns off and a little voice says, Nope, not gonna do it.

Period.  End of story.  Good night.

Except it’s not the end of the story because if I’m not actively losing weight, I’m actively gaining it.  There’s no middle ground for me.  And so on January 11, I dragged myself back to Weight Watchers, the only program that has worked for me.  I signed up, got all my program materials, and started counting points.

That was 18 pounds ago, and although there are many pounds lying in wait (in weight?), I feel like I’ve done the hardest part.  I got started.

Now that I’ve started, I have to say that Weight Watchers makes it easy to keep going.  The new Points Plus program is wonderful.  It’s easy, flexible and most importantly it works.  I’m not getting any spokesperson $$ for this, so I won’t go on, but I will say, I’m a believer.

I’m also a believer in exercise, although you’d never know it by my actions in the last few years.  To get myself kick started, I participated in a 12-week boot camp program.  That was amazing.  I hated every minute of it, but I loved every minute of it, too, if that makes any sense.  What I liked most was the structured workout that helped show me how strong I am and how much I’m capable of.

In the midst of boot camp, I started running again.  I’m training with an online program called Couch to 5K (C25K).  The website says it has “helped thousands of new runners get off the couch and onto the roads, running 3 miles in just two months.”

Once again, I hate every minute of it, except the last one when I’m finished.  Then I L-O-V-E it!

I know there are many miles and many pounds to go.  I’m slowly learning that I won’t ever be able to “eat like a normal person.”  I don’t think there is such a thing as “eat like a normal person.”  We all have our quirks about food.  For now that little switch in my head is staying on and the voice is quiet, but I’m learning  I’m in control of that.  It’s not some mystical, magical mumbo jumbo that leads to success.  It’s a daily decision.  Sometimes it’s a minute by minute decision.  I’m hopeful that I’m learning enough now, while the going seems easy, to keep making the right choices when (if) the slog sets in.

Resources: Weight Watchers, Couch to 5K, mini true on Flickr, The Daily Post


7 Writing Prompts and Some Motivation

Every Tuesday at 9 pm EST, writers who find it difficult making time to write join together for an hour of silent writing.

The Silent Writers online writing retreat is open to all writers who want to commit a minimum of one hour to writing.  If you’re interested in participating, join us tonight at 9 EST on Twitter or Facebook.

You can work on your own project or use one of the writing exercises below.

  1. From PW.org:Fiction and Poetry prompts
  2. From Verbal VerbosityThe 100 Words Challenge Prompt
  3. From me: A photo prompt, “Bubbling Over”
  4. From Mama’s Losin’ ItFive Writing Prompts
  5. From Writer’s Digest: Writing Prompts (10 pages of them!)
  6. From @Selorian on Twitter:#storystarters
  7. From Plinky: Quickie questions to ponder

While catching up on my RSS reading this week, I found Keeping Motivated Daily by Elizabeth Spann Craig.  The post talks about staying motivated by finding the joy of writing in the writing itself.  She shares words of wisdom for all writers, struggling or not.

If you visit Elizabeth’s blog, Mystery Writing is Murder, plan on spending some time.   Her posts are filled with great information and useful advice.

For more information on tonight’s retreat, visit the Silent Writers Collective.

Resources:  The Daily Post

A Thousand Words: Bubbling Over

Creative Commons image by “Permanently Scatterbrained” on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A Thousand Words is a photo prompt posted every Sunday.  Maybe the image will inspire you to write a short story, a poem, or a blog post.  Maybe it will inspire you to go outside and do something fun.  Whatever your response, I hope the picture inspires you to some sort of creative zen.

If you write something based on the image, feel free to share a link in the comments section.   Also feel free to use the photo on your blog, just be sure to give proper credit, which I will always include in the post or the caption.

Resources: Creative Commons, Flickr, The Daily Post