RoadWriter

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

Archive for the tag “Mary W. Jensen”

Together Again

thanksgivingNovember always brings to mind family. It’s the month of my birthday, as well as Thanksgiving. So even on years where I don’t visit with family, they are still close to my thoughts and heart.

I come from a big family. I have eight siblings! And as much as I love them, love being around them, as an introvert I’ve always had to step aside and recharge a bit. Being in the thick of things can be overwhelming and draining. You’ll often find me on the outskirts, listening in on conversations but not always jumping in.

This poem was written for the Together Again prompt earlier this month from Poetic Asides.

Reunion

Over food and games
Siblings catch up on the news,
their familiar chatter
carries down the hall…

I smile,
comforted by their nearness,
content for the moment
to reunite with another friend;

I kick off my shoes, sit at the bench,
sigh at the familiar curve
of the pedal pressed beneath my foot,
the ivory beneath my fingers.

My hands fall into the patterns
despite months of time apart–
All else fades away
as I embrace the music.

1495-cute-kitten-sleeping-on-piano-keys-wallpaper-wallchan-1440x1050

Cute, but unrelated, kitty

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Supporting Literacy

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to attend Fox Hills Elementary’s Literacy Night as a local poet. There was a nice variety of writers represented. The poet, the short story and article writer, the picture book author/illustrator, and the YA fantasy author. Also attending was the children’s librarian from our local library.

On my table, I set up a tri-fold board with a sign identifying me as a poet, as well as Chiaroscuro book cover and some sample poems, a few poems for kids, and my certificate for first place poetry from a local contest. For handouts, I had my Stego Stomp poem printed on fun paper for the kids, and postcards about Chiaroscuro for the parents.

poetry tri-fold

There was a big turnout. I enjoyed the excitement about books in the air. The kids who stopped and took time to read my poem all enjoyed it. It was a big hit. One boy is even going to have his mom hang it on his bedroom wall. One goal of poetry is to share and create enjoyment, and I feel I succeeded.

Chiaroscuro postcards

There was even some genuine interest in my poetry book. One mom admitted she hasn’t read a poem since she was a teenager. Hopefully I encouraged her to revisit poetry. 

I ran out of the dino poem handout with about half hour left of the night, but even without it kids and parents were still reading poems from my board. What a great feeling hearing others read and enjoy my poems.

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Tell Your Own Story

I’m sure we’ve all gone through thoughts that we’re not good enough, that someone else could do it better.

I was going through one of these phases: any other writer could tell this story better. Then I remembered my conclusion when I put myself down as a bad parent.

Even though I’m not the best mom, I don’t want anyone else raising my kid, because I know him best.

As a writer, my characters deserve the same. I may not be the best writer, but I know my story and characters and no one can tell their story the way I can.

One of my favorite fantasy authors, Patrick Rothfuss, responded to a commenter who wished they could write like him. I wrote this verbatim into my bliss book so I’d always have a reminder when I start comparing myself to other authors.

“I’ll never be able to write a book like The Last Unicorn. I wish I could, but I know I can’t.

You can’t write the sort of story I write. Only I can.

We all have our own style. Our own way. Our own something we need to say.

If you want to write like me, you’re bound to fail. What you want to do is write your story, but do it brilliantly. Do it so well that it shines.

But it takes time. And revision. And depression. And work. And then more work…

I’ve been there. I know what you’re talking about.”

We are all unique. We each have a story to tell. Whether we tell that through our blogs, or poetry, or fiction, or in a different medium such as film or art. We can all contribute to the world. When we stop contributing, we do the world a disservice.

Keep on Going on

You are you.
No one can replace you;
No one can love
the way you do.

You’re not just one star
in the universe;
You are someone’s sun–
They would be adrift
if your light went out.

Don’t give up your dreams—
your success, your creations, your journey,
may change someone else’s life.

Keep on going on.

(Content previously posted on personal blog.)

Mary Butterfly Signature

Greetings from the Trenches

magnetic-poetry-magnetsIt’s been a busy year for us Muselings, as we’ve mostly been entrenched in our own projects and life events. This month we come together again with one goal. To write new poems. Once again, Poetic Asides is prompting for November Poem a Day.

Differing from the April challenge, November has the goal of putting together poems for a chapbook. A poetry version of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Michele, Margaret, Anne, and myself will be writing our poems based on the same prompts. Our hopes is to take these differening views, these “Four Sides of the Moon”, to create a new poetry anthology. 

I always enjoy seeing how different voices approach the same topic. One may take a prompt literally, another use it as a metaphor, or a stepping off point for another theme. To show an example of this, our day one prompt (taken from the Poetic Asides blog) was to write a “Game Over” poem. Michele wrote about football, Anne wrote about the end to a night out, Margaret about her father suffering through a night at the MET, and I wrote about a power outage forcing a game over to an unsaved video game. What does “Game Over” mean to you?

Margaret, Michele, and myself will be blogging this month. Poetry, writing, whatever we feel to share. So stick around. What are you working on this month? We’d love to hear from you.

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Bliss – a list poem

My Bliss

Willow trees, birch and aspen, smell of fresh-cut grass.
Keys, butterflies, bears, dragonflies
Cherry blossoms, lilacs
Blue-berry muffins, apple crisp, crumb donuts, apple cider
Celtic music, movie soundtracks
Rain – its touch, smell, and sound
Fairies, dragons, fairy-tales
Sunsets, trains, dance
Milk chocolate, chocolate milk, pistachios, strawberry lemonade
Petting and cuddling with a cat

Sparks

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Stego Stomp

This one is for my son, as he chose the prompt: dinosaurs. My first dinosaur poem.

DJ Rex

DJ Rex

Stego Stomp

Come into the stomping ground
Best party to be found

DJ Rex will never fail
Every dino shake your tail

Through the valley we will romp
Time for the Stego Stomp

Clap your plates to the beat
Move all four of your feet

Stomp left, then stomp right
Jump up with all your might

Nose to the ground, tail in the air,
Wave that thing like you don’t care

Spin around, then grab a snack
(Making sure to watch your back)

Blast out a mighty roar
You are a dinosaur!

stego stomp

 

 

 

 

 

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An Invitation to our Readers

festival colors...

festival colors… (Photo credit: jmtimages)

As Anne mentioned in a previous post, we are having an internal contest. The Museling who writes and posts the most poems between July 15, 2014 and September 1, 2014 wins a writing book of their choice from Amazon.com. Expect the blog to be a crazy place, as posts will be unscheduled. We are posting whenever the inspiration strikes.

One of our main inspirations was returning to the joy of writing. We’re hoping this will lift the pressure of structured posts, and get our poetry springs flowing again.

You can join in on the fun! Here’s how you can help us keep the flow:

 

  • Cheer us on.
  • Comment on our poetry.
  • Share your own poems in the comments.
  • Feel free to challenge us with themes, forms, prompts. You can challenge an individual member or the group as a whole.

 What do you do to keep the writing wells from drying up?

We hope to see you around during this poetry fest. Back to poeming, everyone!

Mary Butterfly Signature

 

Chiaroscuro hits virtual shelves

Chiaroscuro Poetry Book

In March I announced the upcoming publication of my poetry e-book Chiaroscuro. I am excited to announce that it is now published and available for purchase.

Chiaroscuro is a poetry book about the contrast and balance between light and dark. It’s a journey through a crumbling world that leaves a gritty taste. It shines light on the edge of awareness where dark magic wars with childish innocence.

You can purchase Chiaroscuro directly from SynergEbooks; it’s also available on  Amazon.com and B&N.com.

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Inspiration through Participation

My favourite poetry book

My favourite poetry book (Photo credit: Nick Kenrick . enuf protesting)

This being National Poetry Month, I challenged myself once again to writing more poetry. Last year I wrote a lot of new poetry, but didn’t make the goal of a new one every day. I followed one community’s challenge, and some days the prompt simply didn’t work for me or I tired out.

This year, I am following not one, but five challenges. The Poetic Asides blog is doing it’s annual Poem A Day challenge. I discovered the NaPoWriMo (National Poem Writing Month) blog which posts daily prompts. The 30 Day Challenge page on Facebook is another to write a poem a day. I also joined the A to Z blogging challenge, which means blogging every Monday through Saturday in April with a consecutive letter of the alphabet. And there’s the challenge on the Sims game forums again this year, but for a poem a week instead of one a day.

Last year I ended the month with 19 new poems. This year, I have written at least one poem every day. Some days more. With nine days to go, I already have 30 new poems! What really made a difference was having so many prompts to choose from. I could combine different prompts, or choose just one, or do something completely different. In addition to just the prompts, I met new bloggers and poets, and was inspired by their poems. It was from following a fellow blogger‘s AtoZ challenge that I learned about the Elfje poetry form, which in the few short days since I tried it has become a favorite.

Don’t limit yourself. It’s by broadening our horizons that we find inspiration. 

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Poetry book news

One of my goals for this year was to publish my poetry collection Chiaroscuro. Last year I researched publishers, and compared their sites and stats. I made a list of what I most wanted in a publisher. It wasn’t about the royalty. It was:

  • clear information
  • print options
  • listed response time
  • ease of submitting (email)

I know self-publishing is an option, especially for poetry, but I’d prefer to go through a publisher for the formatting, marketing, cover book, all those things that intimidate me. It’s a process I’d rather not go through alone.

One of my top choice was SynergEbooks. I am very impressed by their website, and how much information they give in the process and what to expect, and what they expect of their authors.

I didn’t have to wait long after querying SynergEbooks to get a response. They were impressed with my sample poems. They were very upfront to answer the few questions I had, and less than a week later I was signing an Author Contract.

I am very happy to be working with SynergEbooks to publish my poetry book. No release date yet. It will be published digitally and available through the publisher website, as well as on Amazon.com and B&N.com. If it does well enough, there is a possibility for a print version.

In preparation for publication, I have created a site dedicated to my Chiaroscuro poetry book. I will be creating individual sites for each of my major projects, where you can learn more, read excerpts, and get news on their status. You can see my new author website here. I also created one for Lifelines.

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