A little over a year ago, my friend asked me to write for her advent calendar. I didn't know what I wanted to write for her, so I had to do some brain storming. Well, my husband's goddaughter/cousin decided to help me out by writing a poem. I ended up writing a story with my sister for the advent calendar, but I want to share the poem that Emma wrote for Christmas last year.
Hello! My life has been busy lately with a new baby. My baby girl is 6 1/2 months old now. I haven't written in my blog since right before her birth. Lately, though, I've been wanting to write again. I'm not sure yet what I will write about, but I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things.
Since it's the Christmas season, I'm sure I'll have some holiday poetry to share. Maybe I'll even write a short story if some brainstorming knocks some ideas out of my head.
Thank you to those who still follow my blog.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May your holidays be filled with joy, love, and peace.
I joined a writing swap on swap-bot to try my hand at Tanka poetry. Tanka is similar to the Haiku, but in this poetry you write five lines instead of three. Whereas in the Haiku you have the syllable form of 5, 7, 5, in the Tanka you have the syllable form of 5, 7, 5, 7, 7. Here are two of my attempts at Tanka.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
An airplane flies through
the soft blue skies and fluffy
white clouds as we drive
to the hospital with the
wind blowing through my brown hair.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Oh tiger lily,
open your soft petals and
reach for the warm sun.
Embrace the tears of heaven,
sweet flower, blossom and grow.
The following short story was inspired by a swap at swap-bot.com. I had to incorporate the words "grandpa," "airplane," and "notebook" into a microfiction piece.
grandpa carries a notebook with him everywhere: to the store, to the
doctor's office, even to the bathroom. He goes through one every few
months, but he always gets the same exact kind: a red Mead
five-star spiral notebook with 100 pages. And he never lets me see
what he writes! If I peek over his shoulder, he quickly closes the
notebook and won't open it again until I leave the room.
I am determined to see why he's so secretive about his notebook.
Grandpa and I are flying from New York where we visited Uncle John
and Aunt Tracy and their first baby, Leighanne, to our home in
Denver. As the airplane takes off from New York, I watch the city get
smaller from the window seat. Grandpa sits in the aisle seat with his
red notebook open, though he has it angled away from my sight.
hour into our flight, Grandpa swirls his pen on the paper with
flourish and closes the notebook with a happy sigh. He places the
book in the mesh covering on the back of the seat in front of him,
leans his head back against his seat, and closes his eyes. I wait
another half hour before I hear him snoring. I reach for the
notebook. My pulse jumps quickly as I open the front cover to the
first page; then my heart stops. I look at a picture of my smiling
parents holding a newborn baby: me. My eyes water as I gaze at my mom
and dad who died when I was four. I feel a hand on my shoulder, so I
turn to my grandpa as he looks at me with love and concern in his
time I share my notebooks with you,” he says. For the rest of the
flight, we look at the book together, one of dozens of notebooks he
had written in over the years. I gaze at pictures and drawings of my
parents and read about my parents past, what they were like, how they
met, how much they loved me, and everything my grandpa could think to
write about them. As the airplane touches down in Denver, I try to
give the notebook back to my grandpa, but he presses his hands to
mine and says, “I wrote these for you so you can remember them the
way I do.”
Since I had so much fun with my blackout poem "Unsung Songs," I decided to try another one. I used the same page (250) of the same book Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice that I used for "Unsong Songs." I wanted to see if I could get a completely different poem using the same material. However, I didn't realize I'd have a more difficult time creating my poem "The Truth is Coming." Also, since I couldn't get punctuation where I needed it, the poem may not read well based off just the page of blackout, so I again will rewrite the poem after the picture to show how I saw it in my mind.
The Truth is Coming
By Candace Shultz
The Devil can blind or dazzle,
So never get far from the light of Heaven
And God will appear to you and fill you with virtue.
Inspired by a swap at swap-bot.com, I decided to try blackout poetry for the first time. In this type of poetry, you black out words in a newspaper article (or more than one article on a page) or on the page of a book (best to photocopy the page so the book doesn't get ruined), leaving behind only the words you chose to form a poem. I selected the book Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice (the fifth novel in her Vampire Chronicles series) for my first blackout poem. I opened the book to page 250, scanned it into my computer, and began my journey into a new realm of poetry (at least for myself).
As a quick side note before I share my poem, I found it best to black out the words on the computer using an image editor (since it scanned as a jpeg) rather than print the page out and black out words with a permanent marker or pen. My headache can attest to the mistake of using marker.