April 12, 2016

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Poetry Postcard 20 and a Contest

It is hard to believe that I am the mother of two teenagers. My daughter turned thirteen earlier this month. My son turns sixteen in two weeks.
This is how my odd husband likes to eat his cupcakes.
It's his birthday today -- midway between our kids.
Happy birthday, honey!
So far, we have kept teen drama to a minimum. The biggest point of contention in our family will be familiar to many parents: How much screen time is too much?

My son is obsessed with technology. We held off letting him have video games until he was well into elementary school, but it didn't help. He loves computer games and anime series, participates in the Robotics club, holds study group by Skype and wants to build his own computer. He uses his  laptop to relax, to study, to socialize and to make us crazy.

Until this year, I thought my daughter was less of a technophile. (She loves reading, drawing and musical theater, after all.) But she has come to share her brother's love of anime. She chats with friends on Google and wants to be an Internet scientist when she grows up. (I said, "So you want to be a sociologist who studies the Internet?" She rolled her eyes.)

This is what she meant:

It should be no surprise to parents of likewise techie children that I took one look at the expression on this chickadee's face and thought: Angry Bird.

“Poppiness" by Susan Taylor Brown
Posted with permission of Susan Taylor Brown
Angry Bird

Take off!
Get lost!
Leave me alone!
you watch
I can’t fly home.
A nest
with eggs
must stay unknown.
dee dee dee
leave me alone.

by Laura Shovan

In my children's world, Angry Birds is a game you play on your phone. In my world, it is a photograph by the talented Susan Taylor Brown. Thanks again to Susan for donating this postcard (and others) for my project.

Angry Birds Free
Buy the app on Amazon... for your kids.
Those of you following the 44 Postcard Project will note that this is the third bird poem in the series. (Previous avian verse: pelicans for #15 and a thrush #19.) Once again, I visited the website Bird Jam to hear the chickadee's call.

In other postcard news... those of you who write prose and love last minute deadlines, there is a contest for you.

Postcard Story Contest -- Geist Magazine

"Send us a postcard along with a story that related to the image. The relationship can be as strong or as tangential as you like, so long as there is a clear connection between the image and the story."

Max 500 words. Deadline: February 1! (Sorry for the late notice.)

The contest fee is $20, with prizes for First ($500), Second ($250) and Third Place ($150). Award winners and honorable mentions will also be published on

Good luck!

UPDATE: Just checked Geist. The deadline has been extended to March 1. Yes, postcard lovers!


Linda B said...

And I thought I knew something about the techie world-guess not! You must be learning things that you are not sure you want to learn, right? I've seen that poppiness picture of Susan's & I do play Angry Birds, but not enough to connect I guess. I like the poem, Laura, just the perfect 'clipped' message. Happy Birthday to your husband!

Author Amok said...

Hi, Linda. I'm just not built for video games. I like Wii Sports and some of the dance games, but I am dangerous behind the wheel of a Mario Kart.

Maybe you can explain the Angry Birds fascination. I have never played. (Thanks for the birthday wishes for Rob. Carrot cake tonight!)

JenniferDZ said...

Tech household here, from the dad to the youngest girl. Never have figured out how to yell at my kids about screen time while checking my email. :-/

Magda said...

You did a good job raising your kids. I am happy they are "techie" as well. Lastly, I love the Chickadee poem.

Author Amok said...

I figured I couldn't be the only one. Thanks, Jen and Magda!