Friday, January 9, 2009

Poetry Friday--A Challenging Year Ahead!


I don't do New Year's resolutions. What I do is devise a challenge. Several years ago I challenged myself to write a haiku a day. It worked until sometime in August--8 months! Not bad. Last year I made the same challenge to myself. I don't even think I made it through the first two weeks. The difference between the two years? Habit. I stuck to the first challenge long enough for it to become a habit.

This year I have challenged myself to write a poem a day. It makes no difference what kind--children's, adult, haiku, free verse, etc.--almost anything will count! It's now day 9 and so far, so good. Another week or two and it will become a habit and I won't have to THINK about doing it, I'll just do it.

Do you want a challenge for yourself? If so, try to write everyday using the fabulous prompts at easystreet prompts. There you will find striking visuals and "random words and phrases" to get you started. If you don't want write on a daily basis, there are several weekly poetry challenges you can take:

  • Laura Salas has a Thursday challenge "15 Words or Less Poems," which I mentioned here before. I've been participating regularly for more than a year now. It's something I look forward to each Thursday morning before I go to work, and, it's one of the reasons I'm often late to work, too!

  • Tricia holds a Tuesday "Poetry Stretch" at The Miss Rumpius Effect. You can find the first "stretch" of 2009 here.

  • Every Saturday there's a prompt posted at Totally Optional Prompts. The latest challenge had to do with writing a sestina, quartina, or tritina.

  • Remember, you can do any of the above challenges without posting your work publicly. Write for yourself. The whole idea is to exercise your poetry muscles! If you don't like exercising at the gym, you do it at home, right?

    Here's the poem I wrote for yesterday's "15 Words or Less Poem" challenge:

    WINTER

    Petrolatum
    colloidal oatmeal
    vitamin E--
    salves, lotions,
    oils,
    and creams.
    Nothing alleviates
    skin cracks...
    but spring.

    It was inspired by the photo Laura selected as a creativity starter, but really, it comes out of my personal battle with red, raw, hands! See what others created from the same prompt, here.

    Challenge yourself to make poetry a habit in 2009--write it, read it, celebrate it!

    This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being held at Picture Book of the Day.

    --Diane

    10 comments:

    Kelly Fineman said...

    I hear you on the dry skin. Although sometimes "bag balm" works. You can get it a agricultural suppliers and at Trader Joe's.

    Jet said...

    I love Laura Salas's site. Thought this one by Rick Wainright was clever:

    She brought me down to earth

    No matter how hard I try
    I can’t get her out of my head

    --Rick Wainright

    And, wow, Diane. I didn't realize you made those challenges for yourself. I feel like I should do the same . . .

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Jet

    Diane said...

    Kelly, thanks for the suggestion, but my main problem is that skin on my hands is allergic to, or intolerant of, ingredients found in moisturizing products. One of the ingredients that has been bothering me lately is petrolatum, which forms the base for Bag Balm and a gazillion salves/ointments! I seem to have the least amount of problems with Aveeno, perhaps because petrolatum is way down in the list of ingredients. I went to the health food store and they sold me something that is made of beeswax and various natural oils, but that doesn't seem to help much. I'm about ready to scream some days!

    Schelle said...

    are you also allergic to lanolin? if not, try one like Lansinoh (designed for breastfeeding, so pure, no perfumes etc). Put it on before bedtime and wear a pair of cotton gloves over for best effect ;)

    Thanks for the links to those prompts!!!

    Diane said...

    I'm not sure about the lanolin, but I could give it a try, Schelle, thanks!

    Mur said...

    You hit the winter nail right on the proverbial head, Diane!

    Mur, who often falls asleep wearing gloves covering gobs of cream on her hands...

    Cloudscome said...

    Have you tried Bert's Bees hand salve? Ingredients: Sweet almond oil, olive oil, besswax, tocopheryl acetate ( vit. E extract), comfrey root, rosemary oil, lavendin oil, eucalyptus oil. www.bertsbees.com

    I have done a haiku a day for periods of time and I really enjoy it. I think it's time for me to dedicate time for that again. Thanks for all the links and inspiration!

    Diane said...

    Something else to try, thanks. I'll get these hands back in shape sooner or later!

    Monda said...

    I'm so glad you found me at Easytreet! Love your blog - I've passed a link to a prof/friend who teaches writing for children.

    I'll second the Bert's Bees suggestion. That stuff is a miracle.

    Diane said...

    Thanks for passing us along to your friend, Monda. I love your prompts and I've added your widget to the page, too!

    I guess, if it ever stops snowing here, I'll go get some Bert's Bees! This is going to be a looooooong winter!