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

Archive for the tag “Carla Girtman”

Meet Carla Girtman

Carla lives in Central Florida with her family and three cats (who claim they write better than she does). She has been writing since sixth grade (and
image00still has most of her handwritten work in a box somewhere), but didn’t really have anything formally published until 1996 when her story “Me? I’m No Writer” was published in the Phoenix (Valencia Community College) magazine. She received her BA in English in 2000 and her MA in Technical Writing in 2005.

When she isn’t working undercover at an international airport or teaching online, she manages to write speculative flash fiction and especially enjoys writing microflash. Her flash stories have been published in Clockwise Cat, Flashshot, Demonic Tome, Flashes in the Dark, Short Humor Site, Blink Ink, 101 Fiction, and her work has appeared in two print anthologies, The Zombie Cookbook and Vicious Verses and Reanimated Rhymes. Carla is spearheading the anthology: Midnight Tarot: A Fool’s Journey; Mermaids, Zombies, and Vampires – O My! A collection of published and new fiction; and Fits and Starts: 102 Prompts For Story Inspiration. Carla has participated in the  National Novel Writing Month four successful times. Her first Nano novel When Elves Return has actually sold copies she didn’t buy herself.

She doesn’t really consider herself a poet and generally writes when the Muse stabs her with a pen.  Her poem, “When God Awakens,” appeared in The Corner Club Press and the poem “The Ring” found a home in Dark and Dreary Magazine. Her friend Linda, got her involved with the Muse Poetry Workshop which she helped develop the participant’s workbook. Carla mostly lurked in the Muse Conference due to restraints of grading 15 thousand-word rough drafts for her online composition class. Her favorite part of the Muse Conference was working with the Poetic Muselings and creating the workbook! She also enjoyed creating an aragman poem which did get into the workshop, and of course, it was about cats.

What kind of advice would she give to writers and poets? Set aside a regular time to devote to writing. (She’s also not very good at taking her own advice!) Don’t be afraid of rejection or be discouraged by it. A word written today is one less written tomorrow.

She enjoys reading, watching movies, and collecting antique books and the McDonald’s Madame Alexander miniature dolls.

Below are some poems that I have written.

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

Alarm! Cat grin!

Aragman for the Muse Conference Poetry Workshop

Break Up

Upon the tin roof
Rain drums its tantrum.
Silver pillows of clouds
mound the sky.

Flashes of lightning
Flit like knives of firelightning
Following the trail
To where my love lies.

Charting the storm
Which roils my heart,
I weep from loss
And wait for dawn.

(Photo is from Microsoft word’s clip art file.)
Poem was inspired by specific words for an anthology and was eventually withdrawn.

To the Young Mummy Recently Found

Atop an ancient volcano
Buried hundreds of years agoAtop
In a sanctuary shrouded in ice
a girl child was found below.
What thoughts went through your head
When to the altar led
To become the sacrifice?

Photograph by Maria Stenzel/NGS

Were you proud or full of dread?
You were ten, maybe twelve years old
Too young to shed your innocent blood.
The priests had hoped it would suffice
And appease their angry god.

You were frozen and preservedyou were frozen
Your body to the god reserved.
Only once again to become a sacrifice
On the altar of science to be observed
And solve the riddle that would show
Why was a young novice
Buried hundreds of years ago
Atop an ancient volcano.

Photograph by Natacha Pisarenko/AP

Written for UCF poetry class inspired by a news story. Glose form.

Pictures found on

Shadow of Demons

With shadows of dread
In stillness dark, I alone
wrestle the demons.

Haiku – poetry group challenge

Ocean Song Ocean Song
Under the window, near the sea
Trembling lip sings sad stories
By mermaids who pluck strings
Of harps against a bare shoulder.
I sit by the window, bow against fiddle
Harmonize with the mermaid’s harp
Joining songs. Seductive dreams
Invade my sleep until morning’s rays
Chase the splash of a fish tail
Beneath the ocean’s wave.

Photograph by Carla Girtman

Published in issue one “use these words” 2008. Specific words were required.

Why A Cat StaysWhy a cat stays

Languid, fluid, aloof
Basking in sunshine
Nothing is required
From a cat.

Limp, boneless
A puddle of fur
Lying in the shaft of light
Streaming from a window.

Nothing is required
From a cat.
Not even affection.

Which can be doled out
At the cat’s whim.
It may come – or not  when called
When called.

Regal, royal, proud
A hunter with quiet steps
To pounce on a prey

Nothing is required
From a cat.
Nor does it ask for

So why does the cat stay?
It knows a good thing
When it sees it.image07

Inspired by a poetry group challenge. Included in an altered book submitted in art contest which won first place. 

Photographs by Carla Girtman



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!

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