Tag Archives: challenge

01 Apr

April Poetry: Take the Challenge and Get Your Poem Published

April is Poetry Month! Robert Lee Brewer, the Writer’s Digest editor who write the Poetics Aside blog has upped the ante this year with a challenge and the possibility of having your poem included in an anthology.

Each day during April, Brewer will post a poetry prompt on his blog. Your job is to take the challenge and produce a Poem-a-Day–thirty poems during April. If you wish to be considered for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology published by Words Dance Publishing.anthology, you should post the poem in the blog’s comments.

Brewer is recruiting 30 poets as judges for the anthology.

Here’s one of my poems to kick off the month

Sleeping with Foxes

sleepingfox

SLEEPING WITH FOXES
by Darcy Pattison c. 2003 All Rights Reserved

My favorite source of idle talk is from the soccer moms,

weekends, every Saturday.

This is how I go about gathering tidbits:

I set up my collapsible chair near the sideline and sit.

Then, I look through my collection of ears,

choose a robust pair, put them on and lean in close,

as if every word is pure gold and my existence consisted of only

rumor, innuendo, weird stories.

Then I take out my tongue and hold it in my lap.

I do this so that what I hear will be pure,

completely chaste,

uncontaminated by the chatterings of my voice.

One mother tells about her miniature Doberman,

how he jumped onto her bed

in a frenzy, like a mad yellow-jacket.

He didn’t stop until she got up.

She followed him to the living room,

unaware that bizarre things were taking place.

She flipped on the light and looked around

at the fireplace, the couch, the rug.

She had to rub her eyes: the neighbor’s cat

had come through the doggie door and sat on her favorite chair.

In between the cheers for the forward’s great header

and the keeper’s save, another soccer mom says,

That’s nothing, listen to this.

My ears glow red with joy.

I should mention, she says, that I like to watch

TV’s Strangest Home Videos.

I find it hard to ignore the temptation,

the true America.

The program shows extraordinary stories,

like the one about a boy who tells his parents

he sleeps with foxes. They don’t believe it.

The boy is sincerity itself: He insists that he sleeps

with a red fox every night.

After a spell, the parents decide to set up video cameras.

Then, they watch the boring tape until,

just at midnight, at the stroke of midnight,

they see a sly red fox come in the doggie door,

eat the dog food, trot down the hallway,

and jump onto the boy’s bed.

It curls itself around the boy’s head.

The horror-struck parents watch the pair sleep.

When the boy stirs lightly a few hours later, the fox leaves

the way it had come.

Afterward, when the keeper has saved his last goal,

the teams line up to slap hands.

I replace my tongue.

I take off my sullied ears and stow my collection

with my collapsible chair. Then I gather up

my soccer son, his soccer ball, his soccer gear,

and speed through the city,

barely making it through every yellow light.

My radio blares––

country or jazz or rock-and-roll, I don’t know––

And I listen to none of it because

all I hear is my voice rehearsing

the tale of a boy who sleeps with a sly red fox.

07 May

Picture Book 4

7 Children’s Picture Book Manuscripts in 7 Days

historicalfiction
I’m taking the 7 in 7 picture book challenge.

Report on 7 in 7 for the first week of May, 2009

  1. May 7
  2. May 6. Historical Fiction. OK, here comes the rationalization for why I don’t have a good draft done. A couple years ago, a friend told me a tidbit of interesting history. She was writing about it, though, so it was off limits for me. But it’s stayed with me as — well, very interesting. Especially interesting for kids. Yesterday, when I was thinking of topics to write about, that historical teaser came back and I looked up something about it and of course, a footnote took me off on another tangent. Which I actually think is even more fascinating for kids.

    In other words, I researched yesterday; I wound up with a very sketchy draft, if you could even call it a draft. In the end, it’ll be a good picture book, but the goal was supposed to be to write a draft. Well, maybe it’s a draft. I could call it that, right?

  3. Note: This is a note of general frustration with writing 7 picture books in 7 days. I want to dig in and revise, which I do endlessly on picture books. Instead, I have to come up with a new draft! ARGH!

    Actually, 7 days may be about right: only two more days to scribble out first drafts, and the rest of the year to revise.

  4. May 5: A Cumulative Story. After tossing out lots of ideas, I finally settled on a cumulative story much like This is the House that Jack Built. It’s an idea I had toyed with before and was fun to take it through all the stages.
  5. May 4: Delaware and Miriam. OK. This is getting hard! Picture books are short, yes, but that doesn’t mean they are easy to write. I’ve never written one in less than three days of intensive, obsessive work.

    I did get a draft done last night. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. But it’s no where near fully explored, much less refined. Still, just to get a draft done, I was pleased.

    I think the main problem is characterization. Why would this character do this? My problem is that I tend to write generic characters in my picture books and I’m really struggling to do more in such a short time frame.

  6. May 3: At the End of the Rainbow. I didn’t even start until 7 pm because I went to church, then did accounting. But I managed to finish a full draft of this story and am excited to see how it sounds after a couple days of cooling off. The title will change, but it’s a good working title. 1295 words. Yes, I’m writing long, but I can cut.
  7. May 2: ABC book. OK, so it’s one I had half-way started before and abandoned because I had blanks for about six letters. All I did today was fill in the rest of the letters, add more options to the letters I had and did general research and clean up. But I now have something for each letter. Yes, two or three are shaky. But it’s progress and I’m counting it.
  8. May 1: Violet Ivy’s Button Eyes. 1128 words.
06 May

Picture Book 3

7 Children’s Picture Book Manuscripts in 7 Days

picturebooks2
I’m taking the 7 in 7 picture book challenge.

Report on 7 in 7 for the first week of May, 2009

  1. May 7
  2. May 6
  3. Note: This is a note of general frustration with writing 7 picture books in 7 days. I want to dig in and revise, which I do endlessly on picture books. Instead, I have to come up with a new draft! ARGH!

    Actually, 7 days may be about right: only two more days to scribble out first drafts, and the rest of the year to revise.

  4. May 5: A Cumulative Story. After tossing out lots of ideas, I finally settled on a cumulative story much like This is the House that Jack Built. It’s an idea I had toyed with before and was fun to take it through all the stages.
  5. May 4: Delaware and Miriam. OK. This is getting hard! Picture books are short, yes, but that doesn’t mean they are easy to write. I’ve never written one in less than three days of intensive, obsessive work.

    I did get a draft done last night. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. But it’s no where near fully explored, much less refined. Still, just to get a draft done, I was pleased.

    I think the main problem is characterization. Why would this character do this? My problem is that I tend to write generic characters in my picture books and I’m really struggling to do more in such a short time frame.

  6. May 3: At the End of the Rainbow. I didn’t even start until 7 pm because I went to church, then did accounting. But I managed to finish a full draft of this story and am excited to see how it sounds after a couple days of cooling off. The title will change, but it’s a good working title. 1295 words. Yes, I’m writing long, but I can cut.
  7. May 2: ABC book. OK, so it’s one I had half-way started before and abandoned because I had blanks for about six letters. All I did today was fill in the rest of the letters, add more options to the letters I had and did general research and clean up. But I now have something for each letter. Yes, two or three are shaky. But it’s progress and I’m counting it.
  8. May 1: Violet Ivy’s Button Eyes. 1128 words.
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