Friday, July 25, 2008

Poetry Friday: Leigh Hunt and Original

Lisa Chellman had posted John Keats' fifteen minute sonnet earlier this month. Here is the sonnet by Leigh Hunt who was the other party in the contest:

To the Grasshopper and the Cricket
Leigh Hunt

Green little vaulter in the sunny grass,
Catching your heart up at the feel of June,
Sole voice that's heard amidst the lazy noon,
When even the bees lag at the summoning brass;
And you, warm little housekeeper, who class
With those who think the candles come too soon,
Loving the fire, and with your tricksome tune
Nick the glad silent moments as they pass;
Oh sweet and tiny cousins, that belong
One to the fields, the other to the hearth,
Both have your sunshine; both, though small, are strong
At your clear hearts; and both were sent on earth
To sing in thoughtful ears this natural song:
Indoors and out, summer and winter,--Mirth.

I did my own personal 15 minute poem earlier this week (and quite honestly since I thought about it 5 minutes before writing, make it 20). I'm amazed that Keats and Hunt could do these in 15 minutes. Not only are they roughly twice the length, but they're about 1000% more serious writing. On the positive -- my poem did give me a good jump-start for my novel revisions.

Anyhow, here's what I did with 15-20 minutes:


You know that red, octagonal sign
The word "STOP" on yours and mine

My wheels lock and yours roll through
That brake shop trip must be past due

Or perhaps your foot went numb
You hit the gas -- that thought was dumb

Ahh, you site the legal clause
It's acronymic: Slow To Optional Pause

Poetry Friday is hosted this week at:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

15 Minute Poetry Recharge

I've sometimes found it helpful to change writing projects once in a while to recharge the creative juices while I do revisions. The problem is that I then get distracted from the main task.

Here's the new solution. Speed poetry -- speed recharge -- 15 minutes and judging from today, it works (for me).

I sort of got the speed poetry idea from Lisa Chellman's Poetry Friday post of July 11 with a John Keats sonnet he wrote in a 15 minute contest. Well, I knew a sonnet was out of the question -- getting literary takes me toooooo much time. I can get a bit goofy, however, spontaneously. In roughly 15 minutes, half my AM commute, I had writen eight lines about........Stop Signs. (Pretty goofy subject.) That left 45 commuting minutes during which I made good progress and I think the charge will easily carry through tomorrow and beyond. 15 minute recharge every few days sounds good and goofy poems as a byproduct!

Jim D

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Batman, writing, life

On the eve of the release of THE DARK KNIGHT, I think back about a year when they were filming in the building where I work. I actually had important functions -- turning off fans before "action" and back on at "cut". So, when you watch scenes at my building, remember I helped eliminate some of the background noise. Seriously though, it is cool for me to watch the promo clip and pick out the multiple scenes whose sets I was at (not during filming).

Writing is progressing! I do keep revisiting the beginning, however, while I go through the rest. (Thanks Chris for your recent comments including "an old phonograph" -- the one I'm using is a bit different from your thoughts, but will work well. I own it and promise a picture.) On another note, my face-to-face group met Tuesday and someone suggested I might try 1st person. It was kind of a compliment because she liked the voice of my MC in blog entries I'm inserting, but............ As the story progresses, I don't see it working. I love 1st person and actually have another novel going 3rd to 1st. I'm trusting my instinct, and hoping its not just laziness.

Life: This past weekend a new grandpuppy (#2 son and fiancee got a lab puppy) and a new car (needed while old one still had a little value). Coolest part of the car -- it has sync -- you can talk to it! Tell it who to call, what song to play, etc.

Oh, and last but not least we found a room for our SCBWI-Illinois Southlands (south suburbs) program Saturday, Oct. 11 which I'm very excited about.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Poetry Friday Original: Blue Lake - July 5

An original poem based on our visit to our friends lake home on the 4th of July weekend.

BLUE LAKE - July 5,2008

by Jim Danielson

Still waters
Reflect the crisp image of a fisherman drifting by
His line hits the water
Breaking the early morning silence.

One P.M.
Choppy waters
Speedboats race by towing tubes with clinging children
Their shrieks of delight muffled by roaring engines.

Still waters
A barge silently settles mid-lake
Fountains of light explode from the deck and high in the air
They sound their own applause
As they view their reflections upon nature's mirror.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Computer Sigh of Relief

A sigh of relief went up in the south burbs of Chicagoland......the hard drive from our computer that died last Friday has been successfully transplanted into another computer. I even got the case back together correctly with NO extra pieces!

Yes, we had backup, but is it ever 100%? (Correct Answer: NO)

Anyhow, a reminder to everyone to backup often, more often and most often!