I have a wonderful writing group. We formed organically out of a poetry community education class (taught by the poet Mick Parsons), and we met monthly for 5 years until one of us moved a few states away. We still get together a few times a year to catch up, talk poetry and share what we wrote.
But I miss our monthly meeting schedule when I was sure to complete at least one poem a month. And since I love to journal, it is easy for me to write only for myself.
I need THE DEADLINE!
To help me, I came up with the idea that I would write at least one poem and publish it here by the 8th day of every month. I hope you will write with me! This Challenge can be for any creative writing.
Why the 8th Day?
Besides the number 8 being the infinity symbol (I’ll write forevah!), I chose this date because being early in the month just makes it feel less lazy. And I can make a reoccurring appointment in my calendar, FTW.
I saw you on the TV news once
during a story about teens chewing on pacifiers –
the plaids and chokers and your laughing eyes
filled the screen
You read my diary before you transferred,
letting out my secrets into the junior high air
revealing I was a simple formula
– a sketch of a real human, the pencil outlines of a life –
I didn’t even know how to crush until I met you
The church girl in me worried
you wouldn’t leave teenage-hood unscathed.
But now I know we were all meant to stand there
and let it crash into us
as the scars become the beauty
the pain fills us in
© Melissa Currence, 2015
Let me know if you try the #8thDayChallenge for yourself!
Connect with me
I love my diary.
I’m obsessed with journaling, because it connects me to how I really am. I allows me to cut through all the distractions and figure out my place in the world.
Writing in a journal is my way of coping. It is my survival writing. For 25 years, I’ve been writing these pages. No judgements. All love.
I’ve been journaling since I was ten, and they are most prized possessions. When I move into the nursing home, I plan to have all these babies beside me.
I wish I could love to tell you I have this amazing ritual of combing them every year, but I don’t. Let me know if you do!
Holla! Writing prompt time
- Open up a page in one of your journals/diaries.
- Absorb the feelings, the moment of that entry.
- Write a poem or piece from what you find there.
- If you don’t have any journals, check out GetMortified.com and listen to others read from their teenage diaries to get inspired.
I’ll work on the prompt and will share next week. Let me know how it works for you.
Connect with me
I am from
I am from Virgin Marys in porcelain and Saint Francis of Assisi’s in concrete
I am from chipped china and homemade cocktail sauce
I am from reading nooks and Picasso prints, arguments about the battle of Gettysburg and Scotch on the rocks.
I am from Bing Crosby records and cutting strong coffee with cream
I am from Broadway playbills and snipped holly branches
I am from Latin prayers and midnight mass, frosted mountains and deep sloping yards
I am from cousins arm-in-arm, dripping mac and cheese and hidden Easter eggs in lamp shades.
I am from sailor suits and dads at the head of the table
I am from tattered leather prayer books and taped-up picture frames
I am from rotary phones and rubber bands stored in drawers
I am from manger scenes and baby grand pianos out of tune.
I am without you now. I am all because of you.
© Melissa Currence 2015
I wrote this poem as part of an challenge poised by Ally Vesterfelt at the first Tribe Conference this past weekend in Franklin, Tennessee. This writing exercise originated with George Ella Lyons and has been written countless times.
As I was writing, I was picturing my grandmother’s house, which we had to dismantle after she passed away in 2012. I miss it still.
Have you tried this exercise? I’d love to know!
Hi all – I wanted to let you know I have my first collection of poetry out, Tethered. The poems written here span a 10-year period, but I worked to edit them to represent two major themes of mine: the City and the Country.
I’m excited to share this! So here is a coupon code for everyone who is interested in checking out my collection.
2. Here is a coupon code for a FREE copy: CA64U
Yep, that’s right … it’s free, my babies!
Let me know what you think!
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A little late but there is my final Poem-A-Day poem from Day 30: Write a fade away poem. Of course, when I saw “fade away,” I immediately thought of Kurt Cobain, which is not too original for someone my age. But we have to write what we know, right?
It’s better to burn out than to fade away
your gauntness got to you, a razor-backed
beast hunched in your rockstar fashion, a pen in
your right hand, a works box on your left,
crafting howls in a closet, away from the buttrock
bands blending in on your bill, you gave up on yourself
and dove into the black, falling
in the void
Here are a few more of my A Poem-A-Day challenge from the Poetic Asides blog. I would classify these as character sketch poems.
From Day 20: Take the phrase “Let’s (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write your poem.
Let’s Not and Say We Did
the glow from My So-Called Life reruns
dances across your face
i keep losing your eyes in the shifting light
even as i hold your face close
your breath rolls in like waves
devoid of oxygen
From Day 22: Write a judging poem. This is a poem that could be judging others, or it is a poem being judged.
you wait on me
at a burrito place,
your gloved hands.
is it the litany
you have to ask
or is it my Chanel suit,
the healing of my bruises
that blocks your memory
of me? as i watch you
assemble my meal
with the dexterity
of a Vegas dealer,
I realize luck
be a lady
From Day 15: Use the following five words in your poem: slash, button, mask, strap, and balloon.
the strap of your dress
fell sideways as you wobbled
to the black limo of awaiting strangers,
their white shirts unbuttoned,
their blue ties wrung like gift ribbons.
You, the night’s present,
disturb only the fallen balloons
and broken champagne glass
as you walk towards the masked horror.
I turn away — the first slash
from your own personal Brutus.
Special shout out to my poetic friends Cam and Kristi for encouraging me to do these prompts. You ladies rock!
I’ve done a few prompts for a Poem-a-Day Challenge. Here is my attempt from the Day 16, the Mixed Up poem from the Poetic Asides blog. I hope to do and share more.
We three grab hands
and spin! spin! spin!
our skirts bellow,
our white loafers squeak on the dewy grass,
and the parents and brothers
and aunts and uncles turn into streaks
of greens, and yellows and blues
but our faces stay constant
as we pass glances back and forth,
catching each other’s eye
and giggling, squealing and leaning
back to see the spinning sky above
just long enough to believe
this is our world now
and joy of the dizzying rush
will never, never end.
Now that Christmas has passed without incident, I’m looking forward to the New Year and the possibility of fresh starts. I plan to write more in 2009, because, frankly, I just need to for my own sanity. My volunteer responsibilities are decreasing, so I should have more energy to devote to the vicious cycle of writing, editing, crying, re-editing. I might even try my hand at fiction again.
But, on a personal note, I need to mark 2008 as the year of the dog. After much debate, Marc and I adopted a 4-year-old cattle dog mix named Penny in August from the SPCA Cincinnati. She has been surprisingly fun, probably just to me as a recovering cat owner. She has held me accountable to my exercise routine and makes lying on the floor look like the most comfortable place to be. I can’t wait to get to know her better in the upcoming year.
Happy New Year, everyone!
I have been having great fun with my iPhone apps since their official launch in the summer. My favorite app has become the free and updated Google app with voice searching. Two surprising uses: to spell words that I hear on my audiobooks and to write lines of poetry as I drive (or at least noting the key words).
The other day, I wasn’t sure how to spell “espadrilles” but Google did. (It was important because I’m now listening to Confessions of a Shopaholic on tape). And I was able to start a new poem on my way home by capturing the key words of lines I wanted to remember. It was great.
After next month, the poetry group I’ve been a part of for the past three years will be disbanding. I am sad about it. It has been great to have the support of other writers and the monthly deadline. Because of this group, I actually have a stockpile of coherent poetry. Thanks Kristi, Joan and Cam for your insights and dedication to the well-written word.
Here is a partial list of our prompts we used for our meetings. I know I’m missing a bunch, but I take it as a good sign I can’t remember the prompt when reading through the poems.
Partial list of poetry group assignments:
- A pop culture poem
- Using a word you hate in the text of the poem
- Each line has to start with the a letter of your name in order
- A set of 5 haikus or tankas
- A sonnet
- A political poem
- Travel poem
- Point of view from a country other than the United States
- A poetic response to another author’s poem presented in workshop
- A group poem written with each stanza written by one poet (this took a few months)
- An historical event
- Starting with a line taken from another poet
- Love poems
- The point of view of an animal
- A ballad (personally so hard for me I never completed one)
- Inspired by other work of art (a song, a painting, a play)
- Inspired by an object found in your house. Show & tell included, if possible.
- Revision of a poem not yet presented to the group (with a copy of the original poem to share)
- Comedic poem
- Based on a photograph taken at a place recently visited (Season 2 Project Runway style)
- A packet of 5 poems revised for publication