01 May 2015

Fragment Friday - The Puzzled Edition

Woodblock Peace puzzle* block - A Corgi playing fetch.

1. I'm participating in another gigantic *Puzzle Print. Go to printmaker Maria Arango Diener's website to learn more. This one's theme is Peace. I could think of nothing more peaceful than playing fetch with the Corgis every day. 

2.  And so we soar in on a parachute and settle gently to the ground. National Poetry Month is over. Crunching the numbers here I have 39 poems and poem starts to work with. (Sometimes the poem starts didn't want to wait and became a poem rather quickly.) Onward to editing! How did you do? Get anything new written? When you fine tune, send Gyroscope Review your best work! And don't forget to go read our interview with poet Oonah Joslin.

3.  I carried Emily Dickinson around for Poem In Your Pocket Day April 30th. People are still attracted to rhyme, and she's short and pithy enough to captivate. Plus she's one of my favorites. We share a birthday, even.

I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.
I never spoke with God,       
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given

Two butterflies went out at noon
And waltzed above a stream,
Then stepped straight through the firmament
And rested on a beam;
And then together bore away       
Upon a shining sea,—
Though never yet, in any port,
Their coming mentioned be.
If spoken by the distant bird,
If met in ether sea       
By frigate or by merchantman,
Report was not to me.

4. Did you know that "Green (unroasted) coffee beans are one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world." 
"Over 900 species of insect have been recorded as pests of coffee crops worldwide." 
"The roasting process influences the taste of the beverage by changing the coffee bean both physically and chemically." 
"Widely known as coffeehouses or cafés, establishments serving prepared coffee or other hot beverages have existed for over five hundred years."
source: Wikipedia

5.  Still looking for apps for my iPad. Reading, knitting, music, comics, photography, language etc. Any suggestions of apps you like or can't live without? 

24 April 2015

Fragment Friday - The Projects Edition

Afternoon with Wyoming cattle.

1.  So my project of a image/line/stanza a day for Poetry Month is going swimmingly. I'll have more than 30 starting points for poems by the end of the month. It will be interesting to go back to the lines in May and construct a poem around them. How's Poetry Month going for you?

2.  It seems the more music choices I have - iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Music - the less music I listen to. The radio features haven't been bad, once I plug in an artist I like I get back more of a similar vein. The problem comes when I want a mix of folk and alternative. Or punk and pop. I'd make a playlist in iTunes, but frankly, iTunes has become a monumental PITA to use. So I listen to the same old, same old. 

3.  Listen to foreign language videos, they said. It will help your comprehension, they said. Um, no. I can pick out the prepositions and a few verbs if I'm lucky. Otherwise it's a rapidfire wall o'language. Do I talk that fast? Do you? Any suggestions on how to hear German language that isn't coming at me a hundred miles an hour?

4.  All of the sudden I have ideas for short stories coming out my ears. One in particular has caught my fancy and is using up my spare brain power trying to compose a plot. It started with an image, as these things often do. Who is this main character? What does she want? Who or what is out to get her? I delve into research to get some answers. Google is my friend. 

5.  I am so done with most online newspapers. If they aren't limiting the number of articles you can see, they are serving up videos and pop ups and ads - often all at the same time. According to the folks I know who pay for access, the annoyances don't go away with cash. Call me when unbiased reporting makes a comeback.

17 April 2015

Fragment Friday - The Doggone Edition

What a difference a year makes! Bruno - Spring 2014

Bruno Spring 2015

Bruno, as big as an eight year old.
Max keeps a close eye on the horse-sized Bruno.

Merlin may be small, but he's mighty - running and jumping with Bruno all day.

No matter how young or old the dog, a good roll in the grass hits the spot.

10 April 2015

Fragment Friday - The Rambling Edition

Tomato seedlings, before the thinning.

1.  I'm doing my own version of Poem a Day for National Poetry Month. I'm doing a line here, a line there. Beginning lines, end lines, lines that carry weight for a middle. There's no poems wrapped around these lines - yet. Even pondering what putting all these lines into one poem would look like. Let the chaos begin!

2.  I've decided to remodel the downstairs bathroom. Right now it's stripped down to the studs awaiting new everything. It was entirely too much fun to wander around the home improvement store and ponder possibilities. It was interesting how, once the tile was chosen, everything else fell into place. A logical progression, if you will. Know of any nifty bathroom fixture/appliances I can't live without?

3.  My lilac trees have buds on them. I'm beginning to think it might be spring after all. (*Looks nervously over her shoulder for that nasty spring snow storm just waiting to erupt...*)

4.  Yes, there is knitting going on. I started a Shetland Hap Shawl, which involves far more stitches than I like to contemplate. Hundreds on one row, even. Other people seem to churn these things out one after another, so it can't be that complicated. Can it? I'm going to find out. Meanwhile, a skull cap in black and neon green is underway for Eldest Child. 

5.  Thanks to my Anonymous Brother, for sending me a care package of Spiedies  When you can't get to your hometown food, it's nice that it can come to you. Beats the time he sent me an empty pizza box from my favorite pizza place. It did have a science book in it, so all was not in despair. What are foods you would like to have care packaged to you?

03 April 2015

Fragment Friday - The Poetry Edition

Welcome to National Poetry Month!
Our very first issue of Gyroscope Review is now available on the Joomag Newstand.
You can find it here: Issue 15-1.

Gyroscope Review.

Need a different version? PDF 15-1 for mobile devices.

 and now on to the rest of the fragments...

2.  Confession time - I don't write poetry every day. And you know what? I'm okay with that. I figured out I run in spurts. I can write 8 poems over the course of a week, and spend the next four weeks polishing and refining them. That's what works for me. YMMV. 

3.  Not to say I don't think about poetry every day. And I tend to read a lot of poetry, especially when I'm not writing. I look at it as a reloading time. Once my brain is all stocked up, I'm back to writing. Some weeks take more stocking than others. Some weeks the poetry barrel is so empty I can see the mud at the bottom. 

4.  So what do I read to refill my poetry bucket?  An array for me. Louise Glück, Shakespeare, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Margaret Atwood, Nick Lantz, Rainer Maria Rilke, Carolyn Kizer, Sharon Olds, Dorianne Laux, the poems on http://www.poetryfoundation.org/, Literary journals, poetry magazines and randomly purchased books of poems waiting on my shelf. New poets waiting to be discovered at every turn. 

5.  So what do I write ON? The computer, Google Docs, yellow legal pads, composition notebooks, little slips of paper I stuff into my pockets to be found later. It's all fodder I try to feed into a master file for the month. Sometimes my smorgasbord reveals neat juxtapositions. Other times a line or stanza float for months, waiting to be born into something bigger.

How about you? What gets your poetry motor going?