April 12, 2016

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Poetry Friday: Goodbye to Author Amok

This week's host is Catherine
at Reading to the Core.
Happy Poetry Friday, friends.

After nearly eight years here at Author Amok, I am moving! As of February 1, I will be blogging and participating in Poetry Friday at my new website

There are a few housekeeping items to share before I pack up for good.

First, the annual daily writing prompt project is on for 2016.

This year's theme is FOUND OBJECTS. I invite you to join this community project. The focus is on writing every day (or as often as you can) and sharing the results with our fellow poets and authors -- an opportunity to focus on drafting and to turn off our inner-editors for one month. We always have a great time with this project and there are prizes for contributors.

You'll find more information about the project at this post. And here is a sneak preview of our first writing prompt, contributed by Robyn Hood Black.

This year, we're going to focus
on using multi-sensory images
in our daily writing workout.
If you'd like to contribute a poem, please leave it in the comments of this post. Be sure to specify that this is your DAY 1 found object poem.

Second, MYRA of Gathering Books is the winner of the MY CRUEL INVENTION book giveaway. Myra -- please get in touch with me via email so I can send out your book.

Third, an update on my book launch. THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY will be published on April 12. I'm excited to have a book birthday during National Poetry Month. The Poetry Friday community has been so supportive of this project.

In the weeks leading up to NPM, I'll be introducing the Emerson E.S. fifth graders at the new blog. I came across this poem today, which was cut from the novel. Newt Mathews is an amphibian-loving, rule-following student who shares in his poems how Asperger's Syndrome affects his writing. Mr. White is his aide.

Newt is at the bottom right
wearing his favorite frog T-shirt.
Sound Poem
By Newt Mathews

Buzz! Beep!
Goodbye sleep.
Time to get out of bed.

Honk! Zoom!
Rumble! Vroom!
Time for the bus to come.

Rush. Zing!
The late bell rings.
Time to take my seat.

Scritch, scratch.
Quiet at last.

Mr. White helps me write a poem.

Last, I thought it would be fun to reprint something from my very first blog post, from August of 2008. I was just back from a creativity workshop with master storyteller Odds Bodkin.

This Week’s Writing Exercise (Appropriate for All Ages and Levels)

Don’t Write! Imagine

We often ask students, and ourselves, to be imaginative when writing. But imagination without boundaries can be uncomfortable. After all, our imaginations produce nightmares. Here is one of Odds’ best recommendations from the storytelling workshop: when you’re asking someone to use his/her imagination, start with a familiar setting to warm-up those mental muscles. So, put away the notebook and pencil while you try this exercise in sensory imagination (adapted from Odds Bodkin’s workshop). You can take notes later. 

Sit quietly, close your eyes and imagine that you are in your bedroom. Your bare feet are standing on a low marble pedestal. Turn slowly – 360 degrees – and take in every detail of the room. Not just the pictures on the walls and the colors of the bed spread, but also any smells, and the temperature of the air. You notice a light coming from under the bed. Filled with curiosity, you step off the pedestal. You move the bed aside with one hand – it’s as light as an empty box and glides across the floor. There, where you expected to see carpet or planks of wood, is a window. What a strange place for a window! How can sunlight be shining through a window in your floor? You kneel down beside the window and see… this is the tricky part, writers. Without composing a story, let your imagination see, feel, hear, taste and smell whatever is beyond that window. Let us know what’s out there.

Thank you all! Blogging at Author Amok has been an adventure. It's been wonderful to have so many traveling companions.


Sylvia Vardell said...

Big changes, Laura! At first, I was worried that you were stopping completely, but I'm glad to see you'll continue blogging at your own name site. Yay! I look forward to your next steps-- and congratulations on all your work at Author Amok!

Liz Steinglass said...

I was worried too when I saw the heading, but now I see congratulations are in order. Congratulations on your book and your website and taking this wonderful step in your career!

Diane Mayr said...

Odds Bodkin is from NH. I first saw him perform nearly 30 years ago. I guess that makes me old, unless, of course, I saw him while I was still in diapers (yeah, right--it was at a library job 15 years after I graduated from college).

I'm so looking forward to the thing prompts! See you at your new place!

Diane Mayr said...

Robyn's box got my poetry juices flowing, so here's my Day 1 found object poem:

The Truth of the Matter

I was afraid to open
that wooden box
addressed to me in
an unknown hand.
It came by morning post
on a Tuesday in April.
Its contents shifting
and rustling. Telling
me of a fallen soldier's
effects? Or of the
sweet-bitter savor
of lemon cream taffy
sent to quicken my
blood in anticipation
of his homecoming kiss?

© Diane Mayr

author amok said...

Thanks, Diane! I've got your day 1 -- you've got a jump start on everyone!