Write The Next Line! – Return & Repeat

—–The Resulting Poem from today’s prompt, Return & Repeat—–

The crash of ivory into a thousand pieces
Was the result of minds crashing at right angles
Minds that jangled with a cacophony of thought
Thought in nails, sirens, screeching brakes
Nails our Fathers purchased for our deeds

A hearty thank you to Tony Espino, Lilith Colbert, and Sahm King for contributing! Well done!

In today’s poetry prompt, Return and Repeat, players create lines that include at least one word from the previous line.

—–EXAMPLE—–

On Tuesday the storm was brewing

The brew was a nasty wash

but nothing could wash the dust

of nothingness caked to the roof.

And so on. Contribute as many lines as you like, but try to follow the prompt and play off of the comment before you! I’ll compile the full poem when the day is done.

In the meantime, here’s the real-deal first line to get you rolling:

The crash of ivory into a thousand pieces

Write The Next Line! – Linked Freeverse II

It’s a Poet-Tea Party!

——–The Resulting Poem from Wednesday’s Round of Linked Freeverse——

The white rabbit hidden inside of the hat
Smoked a zombie corpse down at the laundromat
For this was not your average bunny
In fact he was quite funny
He had a twitch in his knee and a bee in his tea,
He was as mad and as manic as a bunny can be.
Madder than the hatter and the cheshire cat
He drank the tea and the bee, smelled a rat
And reached inside his own frumpy hat
To retrieve not a rat, but a purple bat!

Woo! I love that that round of freeverse turned out rhyming, and I love even more that it became this sort of Alice-In-Wonderland, macabre nursery rhyme! Well done and thanks for playing Tony Espino, runningonsober, Papizilla, kingmidget and Lilith Colbert!

If I were to say to you,

The white rabbit hidden inside of the hat

what would you say back?

Well, now’s your chance– write the next line in the comments below! This week, in honor of National Poetry Month,  The Read Room is hosting a series of Write The Next Line poetry prompts. Today is freeverse: there are no rules to play by, except that you *can* play off of the comments (and lines) before you.

That’s it!  At the end of the day I’ll compile everyone’s lines and post the collective effort.

Well? Have at it 🙂

Write The Next Line! – Couplet Rhyme

——-The resulting poem from Tuesday’s round of Couplet Rhyme—–

On the side of the road was a leathery shoe
Tattered, worn, held together by glue
So I sang and I waltzed and picked up my cobbling tool.
I placed it upon my svelte foot
Wishing, oh wishing for a elegant boot
Or even a Blahnik or Jimmy Choo
Yet here it sits, just a leathery shoe
Alone and mate-less, a pair no more
Where is the other one, boo I say, boo
The luck in finding this one, what more can I ask for
To have two would be twice as nice

And to have Choos would be thrice –

But one shoe must do; though grateful, I am poor.

Thanks to runningsober, Bastet, Papizilla, Lilith Colbert, and kingmidget for playing! We deviated a bit from the scheme of things, but we still had fun, right? I tried to round off our renegade rhyme in the last two lines 😉

We all know and love a good couplet rhyme, right? The old AA, BB, CC– when the rhyme looks something like this, as in The Princess Bride:

Inigo:  Vizzini, he can… fuss.
Fezzik:  Fuss, fuss… I think he likes to scream… at us.
Inigo:  Probably he means no… harm.
Fezzik:  He’s really very short on… charm!
Inigo:  Ah, You have a great gift for rhyme.
Fezzik:  Yes, yes, some of the time.
Vizzini:  Enough of that!
Inigo:  Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?
Fezzik:  If there are, we’ll all be dead!
Vizzini:  No more rhymes now, I mean it!
Fezzik:  Anybody want a peanut?

So today I’m offering a first line and asking you, the readers, to take it away from there. You can post as many times as you like and about absolutely anything– just try to follow the rhyme scheme AA, BB, etc. as we play off of one another! At the end of the day I’ll post the resulting poem here.

Up for the challenge? Here we go…

On the side of the road was a leathery shoe

Write The Next Line! – Linked Freeverse

——-The resulting poem from Monday’s round of Linked Freeverse—–

A raindrop struck my cheek
then slipped and fell away
my head exploded cake

I’m just assuming that if a head exploded cake, it would be pretty colorful.

 

Thank you Laura Hogan and Tony Espino for playing! This round was only a few lines, but my, what a turn! Laura, your line was lyrical and elegant, and Tony, yours made me laugh aloud! I’m putting up another prompt tomorrow– feel free to play again 🙂

 

Hullo poets, bloggers, wordies–

As part of my National Poetry Month practice, this week I am hosting a series of interactive poetry in which YOU, the readers, are also the writers! See the full week’s prompts here.

Today’s prompt is Linked Freeverse. Simply write the line that comes after the comment of the person before you. At the end of the day, I’ll compile everyone’s lines and post the full composition.

Guidelines:

  • Play off the line (comment) before you
  • Freeverse means FREESTYLE! Do what you will with punctuation, rhyme, coherence, etc. Stop mid-sentence if you want to; repeat a line if you want to; make every other word SOCKS if you want to!
  • Contribute once or as many times as you like
  • Have fun!!!

A potential starter line (first commenter may use or discard):

A raindrop struck my cheek

Ready? Write away!

Forum Friday: Help Design Interactive Poetry Prompts!

Many of you know I’ve been celebrating National Poetry Month here at The Read Room with a different theme each week: reading, artistic transcriptions, blackout poems, and last but not least– starting Monday, interactive poetry.

What do I mean by interactive poetry? Ideally, each day I will post a prompt and readers will supply lines via comment– in effect playing off both the prompt and one another.

As examples, check out my tentative schedule for prompts du jour below– and note all prompts are open to suggestions for starting lines– or something different altogether! If I like an idea I’ll revise the prompts to include it and give you and your blog a shout out!

Prompts du Jour

A Schedule of Interactive Poetry

Monday, April 22 – Linked Freeverse. Simply write the line that comes after the comment of the person before you. At the end of the day, I’ll compile everyone’s lines and post the full composition.

Tuesday, April 23 – Couplet Rhyme. In this round, players rhyme with one another. I’ll offer a first line; the next person rhymes with it; the person after offers a new line/sound; the following person rhymes with them. In other words, the rhyme should go AA BB CC, etc. Consider an old favorite that does this:

Inigo:  Vizzini, he can… fuss.
Fezzik:  Fuss, fuss… I think he like to scream… at us.
Inigo:  Probably he means no… harm.
Fezzik:  He’s really very short on… charm!
Inigo:  Ah, You have a great gift for rhyme.
Fezzik:  Yes, yes, some of the time.
Vizzini:  Enough of that!
Inigo:  Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?
Fezzik:  If there are, we’ll all be dead!
Vizzini:  No more rhymes now, I mean it!
Fezzik:  Anybody want a peanut?

At the end of the day I’ll compile and post.

Wednesday, April 24 – Linked Freeverse. I plan on doing this one every other day because it’s so open-ended. Again, write the line that comes after the comment of the person before you. At the end of the day, I’ll compile.

Thursday, April 25 – Return and Repeat. In this vaguely sestina-inspired round, players create lines that include at least one word from the previous line. So if the starting line was “On Tuesday the storm was brewing,” the first several lines might read thus:

On Tuesday the storm was brewing

The brew was a nasty wash

but nothing could wash the dust

of nothingness caked to the roof.

I’ll compile (hmm…and perhaps add/alter punctuation) when the day is up.

Friday, April 26 – Linked Freeverse. Same old drill– feel free to offer a starting line!

Saturday, April 27 – ***Must Use The Word __________. All lines must use the word ___________. But what should the word be? Suggestions welcome! If nothing else, there’s always the old fallback: PANTS.

Sunday, April 28 – Bad Similes. Incidentally, bad (but fun!) poetry. Lines should finish one simile (comparison using the word “like”) and offer the prompt for the next by ending with the word “like”. Here is something like what I envision for this:

Prompt: The woman smoked like

Player 1: bacon burnt to the frying pan. The vice of her grip was like

Player 2: a shark chewing jerky. She seemed troubled, like

Player 3: Taylor Swift when her ex walked in. Etc.

There you have it. If you’ve got ideas– especially suggestions for first lines, or the word to use on Saturday– let us know below!

Happy Friday! 🙂

Forum Friday: If you could be ANY fictional character…

Today’s Forum Friday is for fun: if you could be any fictional character, who would you be and why?

Some considerations:

Lord Henry Wotton

Drops aphorisms like hot potatoes

Harry Potter

Uhhh…accio sundae!!!

Plus: be a Cheshire cat!


Artemis Fowl

Genius

 

Dorian Gray

Forever young and beautiful…don’t mind the rotting soul in the attic!

 

Holden Caulfield

Shoot the crap and call the phonies.

Katniss Everdeen

Survivor

David Rice

Teleport

Elizabeth Bennet

Witty, pretty, loved by all & RICH (via almostwritten)

Hermione Granger

The witch with all the answers (via a girl who reads)

James Bond

Posh, pissed, and privileged with super-cars despite inability to drive (via DrFrood)

Open to all genres, literary and non. Chime in, and let’s have fun with this– I’d be glad to post more pics and captions 🙂

Whimsy Wednesday: First Sentence Challenge

This Wednesday’s whimsical prompt:

Stand up. Look around. Grab the book that is closest to you, stick your hand in at random, and open the text to see what sentence your finger has landed on.

This sentence is your prompt. Freewrite 3-5 sentences to follow (more if you are willing). See where it leads. Try to keep going until you lose steam!

A short example by yours truly (with first sentence(s) borrowed from page 83 of Dickens’ Great Expectations):

“This,” she said, pointing to the long table with her stick, “is where I will be laid when I am dead. They shall come and look at me here.” 

She was referring, of course, to her cats.

Mrs. Newton lived in a small, brick cottage at the end of Barbur Street. Her garden was brittle and brown and jutted like a mouth of rotten teeth; paint hung like dead skin where it had peeled from the fence and the shutters; ivy reached from the ground up and seemed to be  swallowing her home, slowly, into the very ground.

Everything about the place reeked of death, except for her twenty-six cats– each named for a single letter of the alphabet– which simply reeked. How did I know this?

Simple. Last week my frisbee flew over her fence and onto her roof. When I came to  retrieve it Mrs. Newton, a stooped, afghan-draped woman that rather resembled the old orange chairs her many cats nested in, kindly asked if I wouldn’t bring down Gingersnap, her fat tabby that had a habit of getting stuck in high places. I complied; she offered me cookies and a regular, well-paying job stopping in to look after her cats; having been out of work for seven months (and chewing a chocolate chip cookie) I accepted without hesitation.

She had been talking about death ever since.

Writing Challenge, Day 30: Reflections

30 Day Know Thyself Writing Challenge

Day 30: What will you take away from this challenge?

This challenge has been a fantastic exercise in discipline. It’s helped me treat writing like a job: something I must show up for each day and see through, regardless of how energetic (lethargic), creative (stodgy), and enthusiastic (dead to the world) I am feeling.

Needless to say some entries turned out better than others, but in a world where deadlines and chip-away progress are very real and standard I come away with a sense of accomplishment at having simply completed them all. The progress and especially the unanticipated inspiration storms that result from butt-in-the-chair dedication are empowering, to say the least. If only I could apply the same tactics to writing my first book—incremental goals and regular deadlines, that is—I think it would go from dream to reality much faster.

One unexpected spoil I take from this challenge is an increased sense of writing community both online and off. I admit I often fall on the side of cynicism when it comes to social media, and yet—among all of the pontificating, photo-posting, status updates, and other time-suck frivolities—we get these rare gems like Writer’s Relief and WordPress actually, successfully used as platforms to facilitate exchange. Each day I enjoyed reading and relating with comments left by other writers in response to the facebook prompts put out by Writer’s Relief, and each day I was met by a flurry of likes and comments on WordPress after posting my extended responses. I really feel that, thanks to the challenge, I have been able to reach and connect with writers I might otherwise have never encountered.

Thirty days of consecutive posts have also, I should mention, done wonders for my readership 😀 They are modest milestones for my sapling blog, but since undertaking this 30 day challenge The Read Room has passed both 1,000 page views and 50 followers. Huzzah!

Oh, and did I mention I had fun??? I submit some of my favorite entries as evidence:

12 Reasons to Read Julie Israel. You’re Welcome. Here I get into one of my favorite writing forms—lists—and save polar bears as well as school children.

Good Idea, Bad Idea In which I play off the old Animaniacs’ game with a ridicu-list of Dos and Don’ts for facilitating productive writing.

Ghosts, Superhorses, and Sock Monsters The question for this prompt was “What did you write (when you first started writing)?”

Enter Peter McBunterbeans In this entry on my strongest genre (playful/humor) I include an excerpt from a recent short story. Check it out! 😀

Of Swords & Excuses In which I relate a humorous, but unfortunately very true, agenda of reasons for evading the hard work of sitting in the chair and making a start.

Revision, or: Hell & Hot Pockets Tell me you are not intrigued by this title. Um, it’s basically a ranting freewrite about all the things that go wrong in my revision “process”. Also know as Murphy’s Law.

Some of my less playful, but more informative entries:

Stealing Inspiration (#lifehacks) Why every artist should steal.

Fables & Folklore In which I babble excitedly about fables, folklore, and fairy tales as well as why, even as adults, we should read them. P.S. Magical Realism! Woooo!

The Myth of the Muse This post is on inspiration, imagination, and how to brainstorm and generally be a genius.

Of course I welcome reader feedback, too. For those of you who followed, joined, or simply stumbled helpless and unsuspectingly onto one of my 30-day posts, please feel free to enter questions, comments, and interpretive dance moves.