nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

pantoum on morning

leave a comment »

A couple of months ago, a friend from my Fictional Friends writing group suggested the image below as a writing prompt. The image reminded me of my once-daily morning commute where I would often see the settling of the morning mists in the low valley of the Saint John River.

~

poem one

~

morning mist

~

wake in morning, wool-headed

reluctant to start the day

fog settles as droplets of dew

webs woven over pasture

~

reluctant to start the day

fleece teased over hollows of hill

webs woven over pasture

hesitation of a solitary ewe

~

fleece teased over hollows of hill

disperse as sun stretches arms

hesitation of a solitary ewe

drowsy as dreams feather into deed

~

disperse as sun stretches arms

push back pillows and duvet

drowsy as dreams feather into deed

woolen blanket of valley mist

~

push back pillows and duvet

wake in morning wool-headed

woolen blanket of valley mist

fog settles as droplets of dew

~

~

I have been thinking about prompts for writing: images, collage, words, phrases, sentences, and so on. Just google ‘writing prompts’ for a barrage of ideas. Writing prompts can be used to combat ‘writer’s block’, to suggest new pathways for writing or to find new metaphors.

~

For a poet, I think another type of prompt is ‘form’. Form suggests new patterns of expressing an idea. For the poem ‘morning mist‘, I used a photo as a visual writing prompt and the pantoum form (with modifications) to explore new ways to pattern ideas about morning.

pantoum – a poetic form written in any number of quatrains with an abab rhyme scheme and repeating lines: the first and third lines of any stanza are the same as the second and fourth lines of the preceding stanza; the first and third lines of the opening stanza are used as the second or fourth lines of the last stanza. The last line of the poem may be the same as its first line.

I like the interweaving of ideas and emerging images as the pantoum proceeds. The repetition slows the poem and establishes echoes within.

~

All my best,

Jane Tims

 

 

Written by jane tims

November 28, 2018 at 7:00 am

rural to urban

leave a comment »

In one of my recent posts, here, I wrote about a course I took using collage-making as a writing prompt. To help us visualize the method, the teacher (Lynn Davies) gave us examples of collages she had built and asked us to do some response writing. Here is a facsimile of Lynn’s collage and the poem I wrote in response.

~

collage 2.jpg

~

Relocating the Rhino

~

We move,

rural to urban.

Exchange night song

for traffic noise.

Swap canopied trees

for storied buildings,

~

night stars and Jupiter

for wall switches

and tic-tac-toe

of energy leak

from offices

in skyscrapers.

~

Beneath our feet,

rocks become fluid,

magma, electric blue.

Footing uncertain

on rocks

that wobble.

~

We armor ourselves,

chose tenement addresses.

Turn off lights

to save our silver,

wish for stars

in the night sky.

~

See only

tired workers,

keeping

the lights on

way past

quitting time.

~

~

Since I am a community planner and environmentalist, the interpretation of the collage comes as no surprise. The surprises (for me) are the rhino as metaphor for humans moving into the urban setting and the comparison of the twinkle of office buildings to the twinkle of rural stars.  Implied is the irony of rural workers, seeking a better life, working even longer hours when they migrate to an urban life.

~

All my best,

Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

November 26, 2018 at 12:00 am

out of place

with 5 comments

One of the advantages of belonging to a regional writing group — regular opportunities to refresh the writing mind and put new tools in the writer’s kit.

~

This past month at WordsFall, an annual event of the New Brunswick Writers’ Federation, I took a course from well-known poet Lynn Davies (author of how the gods pour tea, 2013, Goose Lane Editions, The Bridge That Carries the Road, 1999, Brick Books, and others). Lynn’s course Paper Moon, Paper Shoe: Writing and Collage introduced me to an new idea, using paper collage to inspire and renew.

~

In a couple of very enjoyable hours, Lynn showed us how to build a collage from magazine images and other paper scraps. She showed us examples of collages she had made and set us to work on our own collage. Her instructions were to select images that appealed to us at the moment and not overthink the choice of images. After the images were glued to a card, we took some time to write about the collage and the ideas it suggested.

~

Here is the collage I produced and the resulting poem.

~

Scan_20181120.jpg

~

out of place

~

An orange tree

in temperate soil,

among caraway

and dill.

One red tile

in a zigzag

of black and white.

~

Shoes take me

for a walk

in barley grass

and caraway.

Melon rinds

on size five feet.

Too slippery, too wide.

~

Garlic and dill

by lantern-light.

Ten after ten

on the hall clock.

Pickles and port

and a splash

of blackberry wine.

~

Floor-plan,

when the lights go out,

makes no sense at all.

Dormer rooms

too tight

and me too tall.

Caraway among the dill.

~

Salt on wounds.

Seeds in pickle jars.

Willow trees scratch

at window glass.

Garlic to banish

grinning skulls,

creep beneath tiles.

~

~

Next time you struggle for inspiration, consider generating some new ideas with collage.

~

All my best,

Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

November 20, 2018 at 12:38 pm

after a poetry reading

with 3 comments

Why do you go to poetry readings? Is it because you are supporting a writing friend? Because you love poetry? Or because you search for the perfect poetic experience — the memorable reading of an unforgettable poem, expressive words you know you will always be able to summon. Have you ever left a poetry reading feeling renewed, animated, believing in the impossible?

~

I attend a lot of readings. I go to support my writing friends. I go because I love words and poetry. I also go because I long for the memorable. Occasionally, I will hear words, phrases, poems to thrill me for the rest of my life.

~

I have had many such experiences. I have been privileged to hear Roo Borson read her poem Grey Glove. I have heard Roger Moore read poems from his book Monkey Temple with his stirring Welsh accent.  Years ago I heard a young Irish poet read her poem about a kettle boiling on the stove, and I have never forgotten her words even though I have forgotten her name.

~

sun on tree

~

after the poetry reading

~

Bailey Drive is a steep incline

for an out-of-shape heart

a pause returns the thud in ears

to chest where it needs to be, a moment

to see maples on the Aitken House lawn

animated by wind, as metaphor for adrenaline rush

of words

~

as trees send Tesla coil sparks into blue sky

from trunks constrained by building

and sidewalks, to branches and twigs

unfettered, plasma filaments bloom

on fractal paths

~

another pulse, trunk to bud-tips

and another, signals up and outward

heart slows and holds in place

lightning throb in continuum of space

~

~

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

October 9, 2018 at 5:08 pm

tweeting about writing

leave a comment »

Every day, I write. Today I worked on the story for Book Six in the Meniscus SeriesMeniscus:Encounter with the Emenpod. I also did some editing of an upcoming mystery novel I refer to as HHGG. Tomorrow I will be writing poetry for a series about abandoned communities and what happens to plants in abandoned gardens.

~

~

Working back and forth like this between projects at various stages of completion is a great strategy for me. I never get bored, I never get writers’ block and I think shifting projects keeps my writing brain refreshed.

~

~

Besides blogging, I participate in Twitter, sending a tweet almost every day to #amwriting … if you’d like to find out what my writing life is like, follow me at @TimsJane … I report on what I am doing and share a bit of writing wisdom. I’d love it if you would follow along!

~

A little about the mystery novel since I tweet most often about it. HHGG is one I wrote in 1997. I have learned a lot since then, so editing makes me laugh. HHGG is about a woman and her two kids who seek summer solace at her old family home. She never dreams she is walking into a village rife with mysteries, some of them stretching back more than a century. I have a few human antagonists, but one who is anything but human!

~

~

Hope you are enjoying your summer and your own writing life!

~

All the best,

Jane.

Guest Post – Liza O’Connor: when stories write themselves

leave a comment »

Welcome to author Liza O’Connor, a writer with some seriously wild adventures in her life!

Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

~~~~~

When stories write themselves…

By Liza O’Connor

I have two stories coming up soon that fall under the category of writing themselves.

~

In the first book, Lessons from Wabbaseka, coming Mar 8, the story comes from my personal life. As will happen during a career, I was let go when my company downsized. When my great aunt and uncle heard I was unemployed, they wrote me a letter inviting me to come to Wabbaseka Arkansas (population 300) and live with them. While I remained in NJ and located a new job, I couldn’t get the ‘what if I had gone to Wabbaseka’ out of my head.

I loved my great aunt, but I was pretty certain I’d go crazy in such a tiny town. Also, to get a job, I would have had to drive an hour to Pine Bluff to find a crappy underpaid job. (And I hate Pine Bluff, it was where I grew up.) So, I wrote them back, reminding them I had a house in NJ, and I would find another well-paying job, which I quickly did.

But I couldn’t get them out of my mind, I kept thinking about what if I had really gone to Wabbaseka. The only way I could stop wondering was to play the scenario out on paper. Not surprisingly, it starts out funny as I’m driven insane by the people so very different than me, but then it gets serious. Turns out there are a handful of single men in the town of 300, and I fall in love with one and then someone tries to kill me. (That has actually happened many times in my life. Fortunately, I don’t die easily.) In the story, I did change everyone’s names except the first names of my aunt and uncle. I changed their last name, but they are the reason the story exist, and they had to be Aunt Peck and Uncle Lee.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078WS1TDW

~

The second story that wrote itself is Arrival: Titan coming May 7th.

It came to be due to Cassini and NASA discoveries in the last year.

Seriously, the second book of this series was dead in the water until Cassini and NASA discovered some mind-boggling stuff in this last year. Stuff so astounding that the world isn’t ready for it. Nor have they gone out of their way to clearly state what they know. Even when they shared the information, it was done in an obscure way, so most people will never realize what their discoveries meant.

Fortunately, the truth is right there for anyone to see. That truth enabled a vibrant story to come alive all by itself. While I made up the sentients that my people have to learn to live with on Titan, the truly crazy stuff is all compliments from NASA and Cassini. With the revelations from Cassini and NASA, this book became the easiest book I’ve ever written. And while most will think I’m one imaginative author, and this is a crazy story, the astounding truth is that the impossible to believe stuff is almost certainly true, only NASA does not want to admit it. But the pictures from Cassini and NASA reveal the truth to anyone who wants to see the truth. And in this case, reality is stranger than most fiction.

But there is no need to turn your world upside down with uncomfortable probable realities. You can safely read the story as a highly imaginative Sci-Fi and be no worse for it. That’s how I’m dealing with it.

I have a blog on the main extraordinary events, with Cassini and NASA pics to help prove my points. I should warn you in advance: no one has declared me spot on. Although, I have gotten many compliments for my creative imagination.

Honestly, I don’t need anyone to actually see what I see. I just need you to have a grand time enjoying the book that NASA and Cassini made possible.

Arrival: Titan coming May 7

~~~~

Thanks to Liza for her post. You can learn more about Liza’s books here:

Liza’s Multiverse Blog

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

All the Many Books Liza has written

Written by jane tims

March 14, 2018 at 7:00 am

free book … Meniscus Science Fiction Series

leave a comment »

Do you like to read? Would you like to start a new series, one with adventure and a good love story? The Meniscus Series follows the adventures of two Humans trying to build a life together on a rather nasty alien planet. The first book in the Meniscus Series, “Meniscus: Crossing The Churn” will be free on Amazon Kindle today until October 8, 2017. A good chance to give it a try.  To order, just click here.

~

 

 

~

2017 has been a productive year for me. I completed three of the Science Fiction Series “Meniscus”. By the end of the year, I will add a forth book to the Series … “Meniscus: One Point Five”. This is a short book, intended to tell the story of the six months between the first and second books. The writing is almost done and I am about to begin the illustrations. In January, I will be publishing number four in the Series … “Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill”.

~

I am biased, of course, but I think the books tell a great story. On Meniscus, Humans have lost all the progress they have made and are slaves to the ruling Dock-winders. My books tell the tale of one Human’s search for freedom and relationship.  Against all odds, Odymn finds a partner and builds a new life in the dangerous Meniscus landscape. The books are full of romance and adventure, and the Meniscus world is packed with interesting plants and animals. Some are good to eat; some want to eat you!

~

If you haven’t read “Meniscus: Crossing The Churn”, try it out. It tells the story of how Odymn meets the Slain. He is a trader and his motives are not at all consistent with his kindness. But Odymn is beautiful and capable. In the end, love is sure to win out over the Slain’s desire to keep his good reputation as a trader.

~

To help introduce you to the story of Odymn and the Slain (eight books are planned for the Series), I am running a Free Book Promotion on Amazon Kindle from October 4, 2017 to October 8, 2017. You can get a Kindle version of “Meniscus: Crossing The Churn” for free. Discover what Odymn finds hidden away in the Slain’s backpack!

To order “Meniscus: Crossing The Churn”, just click here!

~

Written by jane tims

October 4, 2017 at 7:00 am

%d bloggers like this: