Sunday, April 1, 2012

National Poetry Month: 30 Habits of Highly Effective Poets #1

To celebrate National Poetry Month 2012, I have invited poets to guest-post about their writing habits and rituals, whatever works to get them writing.

The result, I hope: 30 Habits of Highly Effective Poets.

Below is the tentative schedule of guests. I'm featuring "famous" poets on Saturdays and a writing prompt every Tuesday. I still have some room in the schedule. Leave me a comment if you'd like to be a guest.

Sun 4/1:  Author Amok on Drinking Tea
Mon 4/2:  Laura PurdieSalas, author of A Leaf Can Be

Tue 4/3:  Allan RoyAndrews, Maryland poet and a Prompt!
Wed 4/4:  Justine Rowden, author of Paint Me a Poem
Thu 4/5:  Liz Moser, Maryland poet
Sat 4/7:  Happy birthday, William Wordsworth
Sun 4/8:  Nicole Schultheis, President, Maryland Writers Assn.
Mon 4/9:  Lisa Vihos of Lisa's Poem of the Week
Tue 4/10:  Surprise guest Melanie Hope Greenberg and a Prompt!
Wed 4/11:  Jacqueline Jules, author of Zapato Power


Thu 4/12: Dennis Kirschbaum, Maryland poet
Fri 4/13:  Robyn Hood Black, author of Sir Mike
Sat 4/14:  Kay Ryan
Sun 4/15:  Leslie Rzeznik of A Boisterous Life 
Mon 4/16:  Michael Tims, Maryland poet
Tue 4/17:  Charles Waters, children's author, and a Prompt!
Wed 4/18:  Betsy Franco, author of 21 Monologues for Teen Actors

Thu 4/19:  Irene Latham, author of Leaving Gee's Bend
Fri 4/20:  Tabatha Yeatts-Lonske of The Opposite of Indifference
Sat 4/21:  William Stafford
Sun 4/22:  Author Amok on Reiki vs. Rekey
Mon 4/23:  Kathy Figueroa, Canadian poet
Tue 4/24:  Barbara Westwood Diehl, Maryland poet and a Prompt!
Wed  4/25:  Antonio Blunda, Italian poet
Thu 4/26:  Author Amok on having fun
Mon 4/30:  Amy Ludwig VanDerwater of The Poem Farm

As for me, each morning -- inspired by my poetic hero, Jason Dickson -- I rise, grateful for a  new day of writing, at 4:15 AM. I begin my morning writing ritual with a special green tea shake to charge my creative batteries.

Here is my secret recipe:

Laura's Green Tea Shake
for shaking up your inner muse
 

Before bed
1.  In a small bowl, place four organic pecan halves. Cover the nuts with 1/8 cup of blue agave nectar. Wrap with cheesecloth (plastic wraps are bad for you) and leave overnight.

In the morning
2.  Brew one cup of plain green tea. Let steep six minutes. Remove bag or tea leaves.

3.  Put brewed tea in blender. Add the following:
1 tbsp. lime juice
1/8 tsp. orange zest
1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein
dash chili powder
1/8 tsp. anchovy paste
1 tsp. your favorite toothpaste (saves you time later)

4. Remove organic pecans from agave nectar and put aside. They can be candied later.

5. Sweeten shake to taste with pecan-infused agave nectar.

6. Add ice and blend!

7. Pour into a tall glass. Stir with a cinnamon stick. For more sweetness, decorate the top of your shake with (optional) chocolate syrup in a four-leaf clover pattern to symbolize luck with your morning writing session.

8. Drink and enjoy! Yum.

If you think I willingly rise at 4:15 AM, April Fool's. If you think I spend any portion of my writing time slaving in the kitchen with organic ingredients, April Fool's to you to. If you think Jason Dickson is a poet, so does he. But he usually writes goofy senryu about what a good sister I am.

My writing routine is simple. Whenever possible, I set aside two hours per day for writing time. My kids leave for school by 8 AM, so my dedicated time is 8-10 AM. I don't answer the phone. I avoid Facebook. I don't exercise or shower until after I've put in my two hours. When this routine works, it works great. I write a lot of new poems. I have time to revise older work.

My daughter's portrait of me at the laptop.
Many times, life interrupts my 8-10 AM writing habit. I try not to get upset. As soon as I can, I get back on track.

I really do drink tea every morning, but it's good British tea, a habit learned from my English grandparents. Later today, I'll post a poem where that tea makes an appearance.

9 comments:

Tabatha said...

My favorite bit of the recipe was "1 tsp. your favorite toothpaste (saves you time later)"

The portrait of you at the laptop is funny, too. Thanks for starting us out on April Fool's Day with a prank! I needed the reminder :-)

And thanks for including me in this great line-up.

Author Amok said...

Hi, Tabatha. I look like I just drank a vat of my green tea shake. I'm glad you're participating in the project!

Diane Mayr said...

I was with you, until the toothpaste! I'll stick to my coffee, thanks...

tim said...

There's something about the koi pond of a milkshake glass where anchovy and tooth paste mingle under the last of the night sky before swimming into the breath of a poet that makes one really want to believe -- to the point of trying -- that the concoction could spew poetry, spew, of course being the operative word. Nice post, but, if there is any hint of for reals temptation, you first.

Author Amok said...

Tim, the kids (my co-conspirators) and I did think about brewing this concoction, just to see. But the idea of spewing anything other than poetry stopped us.

Poem of the Week - Lisa Vihos said...

I love the preparation of the organic pecan halves the night before. I love preparing and setting aside. This is a concept that deserves some careful pondering. I think this is how poems are born. Thanks Laura for your inspiring blog and for inviting me to participate!

Denee Barr Art News and More said...

Good!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Ha ha ha - I so needed this today. Like Diane, I was suspending disbelief (and feeling humbled in the face of your self-discipline)until I got to the toothpaste part... What a delightful way to start off Poetry Month. Thanks so much for including me.

Author Amok said...

I thought for sure the anchovy paste would give it away before the toothpaste. Glad you enjoyed the post, Robyn.