2010 Poetic Asides November PAD Chapbook Challenge- Update

Last month, after seeing my comment that I had not yet re-read any of the poems I wrote for the 2011 Poetic Asides November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Carolee Sherwood suggested that I should do a blog post when I finally did, with what I discovered. Here, belatedly, is that post. I was so immersed in real life this past month, with “the kids” visiting, puppy troubles, holiday hoopla, and whatnot, that I didn’t do all that much poetry-wise. Imagine!

And then yesterday as I glanced at my new engagement calendar sitting so nicely on my desk, I realized with horror that Wednesday is the deadline for chapbook submissions, and here I hadn’t even looked at the poems yet, let alone selected, edited and compiled them into a chapbook. However, I’m not as worried as I could be, since: 1) This is a strictly optional activity anyway, and 2) I know I work best under pressure.

What did I discover? Well, as always, after a challenge, I realized that it is truly amazing that I actually completed the challenge, notwithstanding that some of my efforts were less than stellar. I discovered a handful of gems, a much larger number that I’m reasonably satisfied with, and others that were “of the moment” and I’m ready to let them go. I am also particularly proud that I experimented with many new forms: pantoums, triolets, cascades, blitzes, and Fibonaccis, just to name a few. Some new forms I found awkward, while others (like the triolet) have become firmly entrenched in my arsenal of new tricks.

I am reminded yet again of why I do these challenges, even when they sometimes threaten to gobble up what little discretionary time I have. By focusing on the process, rather than the product, I stretch myself as a writer, keep company with a fine group of poets, and produce a growing number of “keepers”. What more could any poet ask for?

On to the sorting phase, where my poems will be place in three (virtual) hoppers: “definitely in”, “maybe in”, and “definitely out”. Should be fun!

November 2010 Recap

Another month! My list of  writing accomplishments  for the month of November:

– I wrote 33 poems in 30 days for the 2010 Poetic Asides November PAD Chapbook Challenge. I extended my repertoire, by trying new poetic forms, including a rondeau, triolets, a pantoum, skeltonic verse, a shadorma, a hay(na)ku, bell curve Fibonacci, and a blitz poem.

– Took 1st place in the November 2010 Shiki  Kukai, free format section, with my “garden spider” haiku.

– Took 4th place in the November 2010 Shiki  Kukai, kigo section, with my “departing year” haiku.

– Submitted three haiku to the November/December Sketchbook “first snow” haiku thread (#1, #20 and #22).

– Took part in the 19th  Caribbean Kigo Kukai , with my “December again…” haiku.

– Wrote  “Under the Harvest Moon” and “Passing Through” to Big Tent Poetry weekly prompts.

– Had two Chicken Soup for the Soul stories make it to the finalist round. “Expert Advice” will appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: New Moms in March 2011, and “Taken by Storm” will appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Cat’s Life in April 2011.

– One of my haiku was accepted to the winter issue of Frogpond.

– Did a guest post about Kukai for my haiku buddy Kirsten Cliff’s wonderful Swimming in Lines of Haiku blog.

– Put lots more into the pipeline.

Time to edit my PAD poems for the chapbook challenge!

2010 November PAD Wrap Up

Another PAD Challenge completed. If there was a theme to it at all for me, it was to try new forms. And I did! Here’s my stats:

I wrote 33 poems in all, including:

  • 4  haiku
  • 1  tanka
  • 4  triolets
  • 1 rondeau
  • 2 limericks
  • 1 blitz poem
  • 1 pantoum
  • 2  skeltonic verses
  • 1 shadorma
  • 1 hay(na)ku
  • 2 bell curve Fibonaccis
  • 13 free form poems

And I wrote about: resolutions, dawn, yoga, matryoshkas, cancer, glasses, rain, frogs and crickets, time, love, greetings, adages, daylight savings, crossroads, the big bad wolf, triolets, teens, memories, the universe, snow, shopping, yoga (again), snow (again), hay(na)ku, still more snow, ice, chutes and ladders, turkey, more turkey, more shopping, Goldilocks, writing poetry, and poetry titles!


It was fun, it was exhausting, and given the chance, I’d do it again in a heartbeat! Just not immediately…


I think my next poem-a-day challenge will be in February, when I will try my hand at NaHaiWriMo (National Haiku Writing Month). I probably already write a haiku a day anyway!

2010 November PAD- Day 30

Whew! Made it to the finish line. The prompt today is to write a “lessons learned” poem. It was too much fun not to do something with my 30 poem titles. So here, with more nonsense than sense is:

Signing Off

Turning the page to a fresh start
of being present, through the containment
of good cells, gone bad, I’m looking for…
(I forgot). In any case, I am firmly pro-rain,
and agreeing to disagree (in slow motion),
I conclude that  love is what no one wants to know.
Conventional (un)wisdom asks “Why turn back
(the clocks)?” but standing at a crossroads, I realize
as well, the truth of the adage that you can run,
but you can’t hide. Stacking up, tell me why
nothing is lost, that is lost in space. In the end,
it all comes down to a white Thanksgiving, with
a shopper’s lament of taking a stand against calling it
a snow day, as per the rules of the game. After passing
the turkey, alas I succumb to holiday blues. You can
blame the sales, or the fact that Goldilocks speaks out.
Whatever. Anyway, I have a poem to write, so I’ll be
signing off now.



(All 30 titles are in violet.)

2010 November PAD- Day 29

Next to last day of the Poem-a-Day Challenge! I will be very ready to take a breather from writing poetry, and move into editing mode. I haven’t gone back and read any of my Day 1- 28 poems yet, so it will be a surprise (and hopefully a pleasant one!) when I take a look at what I’ve written, starting December 1st. If I have a handful of “keepers” in there, I’ll be very satisfied.

Robert Lee Brewer suggested trying a list poem, to the prompt : write a “next steps” poem. What I decided to try instead was a blitz poem, which I think also qualifies as a list poem of sorts. The blitz poem was even more fun to write than I imagined, once I got the hang of it! I read the rules of the form, took a nice long and invigorating walk while brainstorming what to write, and came home and wrote my poem in a trice. I think what appeals to me is the stream-of-consciousness feel to it. And as an added bonus, and quite unintentionally (or perhaps because I was subliminally influenced by the Big Tent Poetry prompt this week), it also works for that prompt too.


Poem to Write

Make a list
Make a poem
Poem away
Poem all day
Day for writing
Day at a time
Time to spare
Time enough
Enough is enough
Enough is too much
Much ado
Much to do
Do the laundry
Do the dishes
Dishes on the counter
Dishes in the sink
Sink full of suds
Sink or swim
Swim with the sharks
Swim away
Away today
Away somewhere
Somewhere special
Somewhere in time
Time to write
Time to start
Start at the beginning
Start over again
Again and again
Again I write
Write a stanza
Write a line
Line by line
Line at a time
Time for breakfast
Time for a walk
Walk for an hour
Walk in the cold
Cold fingers
Cold toes
Toes and fingers
Toes the line
Line by line
Line at a time
Time doesn’t wait
Time to write
Write a poem
Write a list

2010 November PAD- Day 28

Day 28 of PAD, and I think I’m finally running out of steam! When in doubt, write a limerick. The prompt today is to write a “what really happened” poem.

Goldilocks Speaks Out

Normally I’m as quiet as a mouse
and I stick very close to my house
but I wandered in the wood
and the porridge smelled so good
that my appetite I just couldn’t douse!

2010 November PAD- Day 27

Today’s prompt: Write a poem with the  title “Blame the (blank)”. I did another skeltonic verse. I’ve discovered that there are basically two types of people in this world: those who avoid Black Friday at all costs, and those who can’t resist the sales, crowds and inclement weather notwithstanding. Count me in  the latter group.


Blame the Sales

The name
of the game
is to put the blame
elsewhere, like the call
of the mall
and all
the hype, that made me shop
without stop
‘til I wanted to drop,
but I’ll be back again
tomorrow at ten
‘cause I’ve still got the yen!

2010 November PAD- Day 24

This is the home stretch, for the PAD challenge. Between the snow, and the holiday frenzy, I’m hoping I can find the time to glide right into the finish line. Another bell curve Fibonacci, for the prompt “write a spaces poem”.

Rules of the Game

is to
avoid chutes
and get to the top
climbing all the ladders you can.
The rest of the squares don’t count much,
just spaces that you
must pass through