Friday, August 17, 2012

We Have A Winner! And We Have A Writer's Drought Poem for Poetry Friday!

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Howdy, Campers!

Happy hot and glorious summer!  I'm loving this hotter-than-usual Southern California summer: lying on hot cement by the pool in a wet bathing suit, barefeet, no sleeves, long days, bright mornings, driving with all the windows down, sleeping with all the windows open, taking Eli to the dog park early because he's black and brown and otherwise he gets too hot to romp like a pony, cold drinks with just the right kind of crunchy ice...I can go on listing all the things I love about summer.

Speaking of lists, we have a winner of Sylvia Vardell's book, THE POETRY BOOK OF LISTS!  If you were on vacation, Sylvia was our Mystery Guest Author on August 3rd.  It was very exciting.  And so is announcing the winner, who is...dum-dah-dah-dum...Carl Scott!   Yay, Carl!

And now onto the topic we TeachingAuthors have been discussing:

GETTING THROUGH TIMES OF DROUGHT
OR HOW I FILL THE WRITING WELL. 
(Sorry...I didn't mean to shout.)

Mary Ann posted about finding at least three things to write in her journal each day that trigger her curiosity.  Carmela posted that she replenishes her writer's well by taking herself on an artist playdate. And Carmela tells us about her friend, Leanne Pankuch, who writes a page a day.  

My contribution is the following poem, inspired by our topic.

DROUGHT
by April Halprin Wayland

We writers,
we've been through Hard Times.
Dry times.
The Long Drought.

Dry?  Oh my.
We place our plates upside down,
glasses bottom side up,
so the winds won't blast dust into 'em.

Our typewriters go thirsty on parched parchment.
We've got scrawny stories—or none at all.
Ideas simply
evaporate.

We hear that on the outskirts of Amarillo,
crows built a nest from barbed wire—
the only thing they could scavenge
from burned-out fields.

Those birds made a nest
from barbed wire?
Well, Sir, then so can we.
And then: we'll crow.
poem © 2012 April Halprin Wayland.  All rights reserved.

WRITING WORKOUT: Vitamins

Raise your hand if you take vitamins.  Now look at the vitamin bottle.  Do the directions say: take one when the mood strikes you?

I challenge you to write something, anything, every day, even if it's small, even if it's crummy. The trick to doing this consistently, for me, turned out to be connecting with a writing buddy.  You may remember that I write a poem a day and send each one to my friend who sails around the world in a trimaran.  Well, Bruce is now writing a poem a day, too, and sending them to me.  It's a lovely circular thing. 

One brilliant poem a day?  Ha ha.  Some rare days the poems are wonderful.  I give those a star.  Some days they're just okay.  Poetic possibilities in waiting.  And some days, wandering in a desert, or depleted by Real Life, I can only squeeze out what Bruce and I call a PHP--a Place Holder Poem.

So every day, take your vitamins.  Write a page or a poem.  And walk out your door into the world feeling virtuous.  You are a writer.
Thanks to Andromeda at A Wrung Sponge for hosting Poetry Friday!
(Note from Carmela: Andromeda's roundup didn't come out until Saturday.
Meanwhile, Mary Lee was kind enough to post one at A Year of Reading

posted by April Halprin Wayland

11 comments:

Irene Latham said...

Dry Oh My indeed! Thanks for the poem, April. Next time I'm stuck, I'm gonna thing about those birds and that barbed wire. xo

Linda at teacherdance said...

Since I just wrote a poem about the weather drought last week, this tickled me a lot, April. A nest of barbed wire! Is that true? It's a wonderful image! I love your writing a poem to send to your friend every day. What a gift you are giving each other.

Carmela Martino said...

Like Linda and Irene, I'm really struck by the image of a barbed-wire nest. Wow!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Dear Irene, Linda at teacherdance and Carmela,

Yes it's true! Here's what it said and below is where I found it:

On the outskirts of Amarillo, Texas, townspeople discovered a crow’s nest made entirely of barbed wire — the only material the birds could scavenge from the lifeless terrain. Anything that could was stubbornly holding on.
from
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/transcript/dustbowl-transcript/

Mary Lee said...

Unexpected change of plans: the roundup is at A Year of Reading http://readingyear.blogspot.com/2012/08/poetry-friday-roundup-is-here.html Thanks for changing your link!

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks, Mary Lee. I see that Andromeda now has a roundup as well, so I've updated April's post to include links to both.

Tabatha said...

Love it, April!! I'm saving this :-)

Andromeda Jazmon Sibley said...

I agree, writing something every day really makes the difference! I need to get back on that track. I am so excited about this anthology coming out too!

I apologize for slipping up on the roundup yesterday, and I am very grateful to Mary Lee for covering for me. I have you linked today though!

April Halprin Wayland said...

No problem, Andromeda! What is it that Ann Landers said?

There's a difference between a lump in your oatmeal, a lump in your throat, and a lump in your breast.

This was a lump in oatmeal. Not even!

xxx, a

Jewel Sample said...

I found it interesting that my play day was about pondering the drought during my neighborhood walk. Your poem inspired me to try writing a poem. Thank you!

Mary Lee said...

LOVE your drought poem! Very fun! Well...to read, but not to be living through, as a writer.