Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Chronicles

The prompt for Sunday Scribblings this week is "Chronicles". It is defined as "to record in or in the form of a historical record". I took a writing workshop in which writing was described as mapping and sorting ourselves.

Chapter Headings of My Life

Early Years

Birth: January 29, 1953 at 8:56 AM, Thursday and a full moon
Two Years Old: Incident at the Pool in Which I Almost Drowned
Three Years Old: Preschool Here I Come
Four Years Old: Going to Grandmothers' House in New Jersey for Six Months

Elementary School

Kindergarten: Look at Me, I am Only Four Years Old and Starting School
First Grade: Sand in the Ear Makes a Sound Like the Ocean
Second Grade: No More Tonsils for Me
Third Grade: Wear Muttlucks at School to Keep Your Shoes Clean
Fourth Grade: Why Does Everyone Get to Have Braces and I Don't
Fifth Grade: The Day the Substitute Arrived for Dinner
Sixth Grade: New Town, Two Schools

Middle School

Seventh Grade: What You Mean I Have to Wear Bobbi Socksto School?
Eight Grade: The Year of the Garage Parties and Spin the Bottle
Ninth Grade: I Finally Get My Period

High School

Tenth Grade: Fifteen and I Have to Learn How to Drive (note: I didn't get my driver's license until I was 21)
Eleventh Grade: Discovering Boys, Really Discovering Boys
Summer of '69: Jone Goes to France and Learns to Speak in Tongues
Twelve Grade: Body Paint, Movie Drive-ins, and Kindred Spirits

College Years

Freshman Year: I Never Met a Dance that Didn't Have a Party to It
Sophmore Year: How to Keep A Long Distanct Relationship Going
Junior Year: It is Not Nice to Laugh at Someone When They Propose to You
Senior Year: Student Teaching, Turning 21, and Breaking Up

Ah, just writing these brings back memories which may have altered with age. It certainly gives me a list to reflect on and use for further writing.

Visit Sunday Scribblings for other chronicles.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Why I Love Poetry

Why I Love Poetry

I have a thirty minute commute to school each morning. Great time to ponder prompts. Must be something in the air. The prompt over at One Deep Breath was on the process or craft of writing haiku earlier. What synchronicity this week.
I have always written poetry, love the word play, brevity of words lingering long after in my brain.

Calming the spirit
Centering poem prayer
Daily guiding thoughts

Magic word moments
Dancing across mind pages
Encore on paper

For more on the love of poetry, visit here.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

One Deep Breath: Process and Craft

This week, Susan and Jennifer, One Deep Breath, suggested that participants look at the craft and process of writing. I am forever thankful for the day I stumbled onto the website ODB. It awakened my desire for writing haiku which has been hibernating. I quickly realized that my library blog for school would not be enough, thus creating this blog strictly for my writing.

Sunday prompt given
Photo enveloping me
Living the moment

Mary Oliver's thoughts on about the many opportunities there are to be a poet publicly and quickly caught my eye. I remember being a part of the Oregon Writing Project in the early 90's. The whole home computers and email were just really catching on. I suggested to my writing group that we could post our work in order to comment on it; a virtual writing community. Nobody really pursued it.

Syllable word play
Writing community here
Writing haikun now

I write to be a better writer. I write to capture the little moments. I write to be a better teacher of poetry to my students.

Dawn creates words
Capturing daybreak moment
The soul smiling now

You are invited to read more at One Deep Breath.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Fantasy


What a great topic. Well, at first I thought, I don’t have anything to write. However, the topic has been simmering in my head for a couple days like my great aunt’s stew. How can I say I don’t like fantasy?

I lived in a house with a two hallways, second through fifth grade. One led to the other bedrooms of the house and the other to the main bathroom. But at night, the hallways were paths in the forest, The Fairy Tale Forest. Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, and other fairy tale characters all resided there. I had great adventures with them.

Then there was the “witch” who lived down the street. The house loomed large compared to the new housing track further up the street. A little old woman and her St. Bernard inhabited the property, surrounded by a giant wrought iron fence. I stood at my window every night and peered out at the street. I wanted to know which houses she had cast a spell on.

Early beginnings of fantasy for me, don’t you think? I went through a period in middle school of writing ghost stories and alien stories, hmmm, more fantasy.

Today as an elementary librarian, I read a wide variety of books. I tell stories of “Nona, the Library Spider” to my students. I recommend fairy tale or folk tale books, the Harry Potter series, Charlie Bone series, and many of the dragon books. I have read them all. So how can I say I am not fond of fantasy? I can’t. I don’t anymore.
I have come to realize what makes a fantasy book a great read is the characters. If the characters are strong and vibrant, if you can make a connection with them, then the book will be one you cannot put down. And isn’t that like any great read?
I am thinking that perhaps I look at reading a book in a different way. It is not the genre label but whether the characters can transport you away to their world. So yes to fantasy, and to all stories that cause you to travel.
Go here to read more on Fantasy

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Poetry Thursday

This is a great prompt from Poetry Thursday this week. We were to leave a line for the taking and borrow other lines. Fun, fun, fun. Day three of snowed and iced out of school.

Chance Meeting

The email, an olive branch, inviting
You to lunch
Too busy: kids
to meet without an agenda
“Another time, perhaps”
Parents died years ago
Aware I am not innocent in creating the chasm
Between us.

Our blood flows fast in currents of time
Chasing after blue-bellied lizards, sand crabs
Perfect for belly buttons
Fighting, our feet as weapons on car trips
Dinnertime talk, me mostly listening as
Parents riddled with question after question
Annoying younger sibling habit
I left for college
Unaware it would be a lifetime away
Between us.

I enter the restaurant, Friday evening.
Standing room only.
Familiar couple sitting at the bar
Savoring a liquid dinner
Silver white hair, double take
Parents died years ago.
Our blood flows fast in currents of time
Performing the “duty” hug
Aware there are no coincidences in this journey
Between us.

Thank you to Sassy Dewy ( I am not innocent) and Tammy ( Our blood flows fast in currents of time) for their quotes. Thank you to Liz and Dana for a great prompt idea. For more "borrowed lines" visit Poetry Thursday.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

One Deep Breath: Reflection

Japanese maple
Winter refuge as snow falls
Napping by fire

The scene in my front yard yesterday and today. No school. No hummingbirds. Quiet cold.
Read more on reflections.

Sunday Scribblings: I have an Idea

Late, late, late. In California for the weekend and home to snow and ice. The Sunday Scribblings' prompt reminded me of an idea list I once wrote to remind my of things to to every day:

To Do Each Day

Laugh, find the humor in the darkest cloud
Be kind to all who come your way
Remember the saying "you have two ears and one mouth"
Extend a hand as an ambassador of welcome and hospitality
Nuture my creative self
Dance even though one tap shoe is missing
Sing not knowing the words, make them up
Create a sense of home whereever the day's path leads you.

Two snow days, no school. Life is good. More ideas can be found here.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Cliche

Morning chat with you
Forgot to ask a question
Angels arrived later
The prompt for this week was "cliche". I particularly like the one " Don't put off tomorrow what you can do today" (it is more likely a proverb). It has been three years this month that my dad has been gone.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Subtle Change

Morning twilight glow
Horizon ribbon divides
Lengthening days
The length of day tomorrow will be one minute and thirty seconds longer.
As an aside: I have a photo that made it into the Top 100. My first and I am so excited. I wrote about it in an earlier post today. There more subtle changes here.

Hooray: The Top One Hundred

My aunt and a friend of her encouraged me to submit this photo into a contest. I found a local one which is a fundraiser for the Multnomah County ESD Outdoor School Program. I was surprised to see it made the "Top 100" semi-finalists. There were 165 contributors and almost 1400 photos to select from. Now anyone who desires can vote for their favorite "Top 10".
Here's how to vote.

1. Please go to
2. Click on How to Vote”
3. Choose the “Top 100”.
4. Find my photo of the Dahlia Center and vote for it and 9 others

My goal: to make the top 10.
You can vote until January 22nd.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Kissing

This week's prompt, KISSING, sent me down long forgotten roads. There was the boy in first grade who kissed me and told me we could live in Paris. Followed by the learning to kiss in dimly lit garages in which we would have parties. The record player providing a music of the 60's and folding chairs lining the walls of the garage. Soon it would be "spin the bottle" time. I stood between wanting to chosen and thankful I wasn't chosen.

Forbidden morsel
secret rendezvous whisper
play spin the bottle

warm caramel kiss
lingering a bit too long
melts winter snowflakes

What are others writing about kissing? Click here.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Time Zones

Poetry Thursday introduced us to the Gumball Poetry website. Can you imagine? You put a quarter in a machine and instead of gum you get a poem. How cool is that? I think I want to find a gumball machine and do this with student's poems.

So I checked on the submission part of the poetry website, only to discover they are full up with potential submissions for now. This is the poem I would submit.

Time Zones

Three o'clock in the morning
I lay awake. Our dog's moist pointy nose
nuzzles the ell of my knees.
You sleep soundly.

East coast bakers swing open doors,
releasing aroma ribbons, invisible hooks
pulling early morning workers inside for
hasty cups of coffee and warm pastries.

West of me, moonlight guides a lone wanderer
roaming deserted streets
Church bells sound off, an alarm clock
proclaiming a new day.

I turn over, draping my arm over your midriff,
pulling you closer. Breathing synchronizes,
our dog shifts south
All this while you sleep soundly.

For more, go to Poetry Thursday.


New year beginning
Reaching out to family
Finding common ground

Walking humbly
Each day, observing nature
Being in the moment

Dreaming wildly
Compassionate acts of love
Staying true to self

For more on destinations, click here.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

Quiet gray morning
Hummingbird sips sweet nectar
Toasting the new year

Joyous year ending
Pondering which feeder next
Raindrops grow larger

Wishing all who visit a joyous and prosperous new year. For more haiku about the new year visit One Deep Breath.