Heart, Soul, and Rough Edges — A Gypsy Journey of Words and Wonder

Archive for the month “October, 2012”

A Poem for Halloween

English: Pumpkin carving - photo taken in dark...

English: Pumpkin carving – photo taken in darkness to show the effect of illumination from within (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Character Parade
By Lin Neiswender


Porch lights off,
Too old for this
Bed calls to me
Time to remember
Nearing years’ end

Every minute precious as it’s recalled
Baby dressed like pea in a pod, held by Mom
Toddler plays the Great Pumpkin role,
Bucket clanking knee
Another knock at the door,
“Trick or Treat!” on sweet young lips
Pirates swagger up the walk, brandishing homemade swords
Beating flowers, bushes, leaves into submission
Hobo tips the hat for candy rewards
As gypsies twirl in flowing skirts
Occasional ghosts or Presidents in mask
Super heroes, fairy princesses whisper soft “Thank you’s”
Most polite, a few greedy

Blow out my pumpkins,
Bring them in,
Another Halloween at its end
Time flies faster than I can ken

©2012 Lin Neiswender

Enhanced by Zemanta

Make Visible: Revising

This article was part of the PDF for our Poetry Workshop at the Muse Online Writers Conference earlier this October.

English: Pink Pearl eraser from Paper Mate.

English: Pink Pearl eraser from Paper Mate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I first started writing and for a good twenty years after that I never revised my poetry.  It never occurred to me to do so.  At an earlier Muse Conference I was introduced to revision in one of the poetry workshops.  Not just punctuation or line spacing, but real revision.  This can include taking a small part of a poem, a scene or image, and expanding on that to create a whole new poem.  Sometimes you need fresh eyes to help you with your revising.  That’s where belonging to a poetry critique group can help.  Remember it’s up to you to re-see your poem.  Don’t depend on others to tell you what’s wrong or right with your poem.  Those may sound like two different pieces of advice.  Others can point you in the right direction, but you yourself are responsible for how your poem turns out.  Only you can decide when it’s finished and ready to go out into the world.


“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director

Enhanced by Zemanta

Newbie Lane

“Sure, I can do that. What do you want me to do?”

“Just something about the conference?”

“I’m on? OH! I’m on!”

Hello, out there! Honorary Museling here, guest blogging for the first time. Wow. What an experience at the Muse Online Writing Conference. First time there too! Being a Museling is hard work!

The Muselings are such a great team and well-organized with a clear plan for their online workshop. Lin, my good friend, told me about what they were doing and I said, sure I can do a workbook. Send me the stuff. Then there were meetings, and meetings and meetings! Planning times that everyone could meet because of time zones — big challenge.

If you didn’t attend this online writing conference you missed a variety of different chats, forums, and information for all types of writers. The website was easy to navigate and user friendly. Me, I mostly hung out in the poetry workshop; one to support the Muselings and two, there is only so much time in the week. I work full time and had to grade 15 rough drafts for my online students by Saturday night. Arghh! Time was not my friend. Great thing about this conference is you can go back and visit the workshops to get what you missed. I plan on going back to visit the workshop “Mythology and Fairy Tales as a Basis for New Stories.”

Now I’m not that much of a poet, at least until after the conference. Anyone who can create an Aragman poem and have it make sense, you have officially become a poet. With an aragman, you take a phrase to an anagram maker and see what comes out. I took my Muse name SurfWriter, ran it through the anagram maker and came up with 20, count them, 20. Played with them for a while, but those anagrams weren’t talking. Really? Err Surf Wit? What am I supposed to do with that? So I ran my name through and got over 1000 anagrams. At least something to work with. Don’t let anyone fool you – aragmans are hard to create! Here’s mine.

Alarm! Tracing
the cat who hides
Alarm! Crating
The cat who snarls and yowls.
Alarm! Carting
The cat to the vet.

Alarm! Cat grin!

If you didn’t get a chance to participate, download their participant’s workbook (my contribution to the workshop) and take on the challenge of writing three little known forms of poetry. Be sure to check out Saturday’s chat notes on how to incorporate the poetic form into other forms of writing which was very informative. Michele’s a great moderator and herds cats well LOL! We also presented ideas on revising poetry and how to start a poetry group.

(What? Wrap it up?)
The Muse Online Writing Conference is astounding. Over fifty topics to choose from, hundreds of amazing writing professionals who put together this conference –free. All because they want to support writers who want to become better writers or who want to explore other challenges. I can’t wait until next year!

Testing 123

There is no need for alarm. This is only a test.

My head is spinning, and more poetry

I’m trying to promote my novel, “Relocated,” so check out this review on

And check out “Sand in the Desert” as well


In addition to promoting the novel,  I’m editing two others. I got tagged in a blog hop and answered a few questions about one of them,  an adult science fiction novel tentatively entitled “Broken Bonds”:

I’ve been playing with digital images again.

Here are a couple of poems I’ve written, two versions of the same gray, dreary day:


Almost Day

The rain hangs short of falling
and chill air blows
through my open window.

My novel’s turned dull,
the heroine another blonde,
lucky at everything but love.

I’m down to dregs of coffee,
the flavor burnt and bitter,
sandy grounds populate my cup.

I’ve insufficient motivation
to rise from the table
or boot me out of my fog.

My dog humps open the door
rests her grinning muzzle
on my knee.

Anything short of a downpour
is good weather for canines..
Time to go for a walk

Gray Day

My novel’s heroine  has no class.

Psychedelic Mountain

l have to give the book a pass.

Rain hangs just short of the grass
I hope the gloomy weather will pass

Chill air blows in the window , alas.
I bang it shut, hope shivering will pass

My smoky fire smells of burnt grass.
Time to walk. Don’t let more time pass.

Rain streams down the  window glass
I have to give walking the dog a pass






Mary's Muse Conference Experience

Last week was the annual Muse Online Writers Conference. The Muselings have a history with this conference.

Our group emerged from this conference, we learned the tools to create our poetry collection LIFELINES. We pitched our book to publishers at a later Muse Conference, and it was during Muse Con of last year that we got our acceptance letter. We owe the success of this group and our book to Muse Conference.

And this year we paid it forward. For the first time, the Poetic Muselings presented a workshop. Poetry: Not Just for Writing Verses.

It was a great experience all around. We talked poetry, wrote poetry, critiqued poetry. Hopefully those that attended learned something and made their own connections to continue in the days ahead.

On Saturday’s topic, Michele brought up some questions to help us look at how poetry can enhance our other writing. It made me take a look at the relationship between my two types of writing. Sometimes I try to keep them in two separate boxes, a poet in one moment and a fiction writer in another. But they are both a part of me, and they definitely bleed into each other.

One thing I’m still working on is taking my strengths from each form and applying them to the other. I need to be more descriptive in my fiction, and use more story in my poetry. My best writing has elements of both.

I spent most of my week in our poetry forum, but I also dabbled in some of the other workshops. One of my favorites of the week was Creating a Writerly Logo. I learned the importance of choosing good font and color, spacing and shapes. It was a lot of fun coming up with a logo that represented both sides of my writing.

Here is my final result:



If you have different hobbies, or write different styles or genres, how do they overlap?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Make Visible: September Facebook Poetry Challenge

This September I had the pleasure and privilege to share an original poem-a-day challenge on Facebook with my friends Michelle Hedgecock, Margaret Fieland, Lotus Vele, Becky La Bella, Cai Von Kugler and David Robbins.  Dave is a chat buddy of mine from New York State.  Dave floated the idea of a poetry challenge and I went along with it.  I’m glad I did!  I  managed to write, type and post 30 new poems to Facebook in September.  I also enjoyed reading and commenting everyone else’s poems.  Make visible, indeed!


Here is one of the poems I wrote during this challenge:


Butcher Shop





settles in my bones

like the cold,

stays there.


Your words are sharper

than a butcher’s cleaver

reducing me to roasts, chops,

and cold cuts.


I don’t know if it’s my own helplessness

I’m wallowing in,

or yours.


I can do one thing well,

walk in a circle every day,

stopping only

long enough

just long enough

to be buried

in 6 feet of freshly turned earth.


No, I’m not dead yet.


A stone cold heifer

just bones left now

munching on grass

dripping blood—


pooling at my hooves.



©  Anne Westlund


“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director

Post Navigation