The Socially Awkward Poet

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Last week I got the lovely surprise of being tagged in a Poetry Chain by one of my favorite poets, Hannah Gosselin. The challenge was simple: 1) Write five poems in five days. 2) Nominate five new poets to join the chain.

Writing five poems was the easy part. Nominating five poets proved to be the bigger challenge. The chain took place on Facebook and therefore all tagged poets had to be on Facebook and my friend.  Ironically, I tend to be very anti-social when it comes to social networking. My circle is quite small with a few select friends. Some are people I’ve know all my life, some are from work, and others are extended family.

Most of connections I have with other writers are through my blog and my Facebook page, (very different from a profile). In addition, I attend a small writer’s group. Like many writers, I’m a textbook introvert. Talking to people is hard for me and being around other people incites awkward behavior. Can’t help it – I am uncomfortable and no amount of “immersion therapy” solves that issue. Truth be told, I don’t want to change who I am anyway!

Despite my social ineptitude, I still decided to jump in on the challenge. This year in particular, I’ve been working on expanding my involvement in poetry communities online. One place where I’ve found a strong sense of comraderie is on Poetic Asides via Writer’s Digest.

When I checked out the Poetry Chain group page, I saw a list of names that were largely familiar to me and that instantly put me at ease. Even if I couldn’t find five people to nominate, I knew this group wouldn’t give me the evil eye for failing to complete that aspect of the chain challenge.

Just as I expected, this group of poets showed me amazing acceptance and encouragement. I can’t begin to say how lucky I am to have stumbled into this amazing community. As a poet who is working on refining her voice in haiku, I can count on this community to keep me motivated and inspired.

Despite my initial introvert fears, I actually did find five people to nominate. I hit up a friend from the Poetic Asides community, family, and friends from my writer’s group. It turns out, I’m not as isolated as I thought. My circle is surprisingly big and full of incredibly kind and talented people.

While I find comfort in solitude, I’m also finding a different kind of comfort from interacting with a group of poets.  The creative energy keeps those words flowing and provides a safe place to experiment with poetic forms and style.

The last year has shown me that while I may be a socially awkward poet, I am definitely not alone.

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p.s. I will post the poems I wrote for the chain later this week.

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c.b.w. 2015

Favorite Thing Friday: The Beehive

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Along Main Street in Danville, Indiana there is a unique place to grab a cup of coffee or a scrumptious piece of bakery. The Beehive is the brainchild of Betsy Bassett, an Indiana resident who had a dream to combine local farm fresh treats with the ambience of a coffee cafe.

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The inspiration for The Beehive.

I stopped by the The Beehive to pick up my usual Cafe Mocha, although I must say I was tempted to try something called a Nutella Latte, (from what I hear this is a huge local favorite!). It only took a few sips to know I had found a really special coffee shop. The Beehive’s Cafe Mocha is a little on the sweet side, but the sweetness is balanced by a subtle earthy flavor. As it cools, the relationship between sweet and bitter only deepens into a beautiful blend.

The cafe itself is warm and cozy.  A fireplace with soft chairs sits at the rear, while cafe tables topped with potted garden plants fill out the front. Nestled into the side wall is a small organic food market that carries national brands along with locally grown produce and dairy products.

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Inside The Beehive – cafe and food market

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Sit by the fire with a cup of coffee at The Beehive!

For those ignoring their diet, The Beehive offers a fantastic array of baked goods. Choosing a snack from the bakery is easier said than done. Everything looks delectable and is baked fresh daily. I finally settled on the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar and I was not disappointed! Layers of doughy peanut butter goodness hug chocolate ribbons and chunks with absolute decadence.

If you ever happen to be in Indiana, it’s worth visiting Danville to check out this gem of a cafe!

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See you at The Beehive!

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c.b.w. 2013

Tags, Awards, and Thanks

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During the course of my blogging “career” I’ve been fortunate enough to receive a number of wonderful blog awards from my fellow bloggers.  No matter how many times I see one pop up in my e-mail or in a comment on a post, I’m always so excited to know someone enjoys my blog.

Over the last few weeks, more bloggers have been kind enough to include me on nomination lists. Due to my new shorter blogging schedule, I’ve fallen a bit behind on accepting and passing along blog awards.  I’ve decided my delay has just given me a little longer to be excited about the fact that my blog has made someone smile.

Thanks so much to everyone who has stuck with me as I follow my muse wherever she goes.  You are all amazing and I’m so lucky to count you as readers and fellow bloggers!  Thanks to each of you for passing these awards my way.  To accept my awards, I will be bending the rules a bit (shocker, I know), but I’m still putting the original requirements for anyone who wants to follow the guidelines.

I am so late on accepting this, but many, many thanks to Paula Acton for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Her blog is full of beautiful artwork, musings, and fantastic posts about writing.  My favorite thing about her blog, however, is her quirky sense of humor.

  • Thank and link the individual who nominated you
  • List 7 interesting facts about yourself.
  • Nominate some blogs you love and let them know.

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The Lovely Blogger Award from Debbie Rea Johnston.  I’ve just recently started following Debbie’s blog and its turned out to be a wonderful reading experience!  Be sure to stop by and see what she’s up to.

  • Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
  • Paste the award image on your blog, anywhere.
  • Tell them seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award.
  • Contact the bloggers that you have chosen to let them know that they have been nominated.

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Liebster Award from Wings of Wonder. This is one of the first blogs I ever followed and it’s still among my favorites.  Between beautiful artwork and posts of creative exploration, I am always inspired by wings of wonder.

  • Thank and link back to the blogger who nominated you
  • List 11 interesting things about yourself
  • Nominate 11 blogs and let them know!

The Very Inspiring Blog Award from The Madame’s Tea Party. A blog full of stories and poems that inhabit a world unlike any other.  I visit daily for a walk on the wild side and a wicked sense of humor.

Seeing as all the above rewards essentially require a list of interesting facts about myself, I’ll combine them with one list of 10 things.

1) Currently, one of my favorite television shows is Grimm.

2) When I grade papers, I use magic markers instead of the traditional red pen.

3) During the Olympics I watched gymnastics, rowing, beach volleyball, swimming, springboard/platform diving, table tennis, badminton, soccer, fencing, and archery.

4) I hate shopping for clothes.

5) I love foreign and independent films.

6) I have five pairs of Converse sneakers (black, gray, blue, green, and pink) and I wear them more than a woman my age should.  They are my favorite kind of shoe!

7) I save all my movie ticket stubs.  They are all pinned to a giant bulletin board in my classroom.

8) I’m letting my hair grow long and I like it better than I thought I would.

9) My favorite non-chocolate snack is crackers with cream cheese.

10) I love the smell of a new box of crayons.

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Blog Tag – Vicki from The View Outside. Techinically I wasn’t tagged (although she did invite), but I thought these questions were so much fun, I had to play along!

1. If you could re-live a moment in your life when would you choose and why?

I would love to relive the day I drank my first Cafe Mocha, mainly because I don’t remember it!  It’s my favorite coffee drink and sometimes I wonder what made me fall in love with it so completely.

2. What is your first happiest memory?

Swimming in the lake at my grandparent’s house in Northern Wisconsin.

3. If you could have dinner with 3 dead historical figures who would you choose?

Jane Austen – I would love to just sit down and talk to her about her stories and what inspired them.

Cleopatra – This woman beguiled everyone around her and continues to cast a spell on historians.  A feisty woman like her would make for interesting conversation.

Frances Willard – I wrote a major research paper on this lesser known suffragist and I admire her greatly.  I would love to experience her personality and learn from her strength.

4. After a long, difficult day, what is your favourite way to unwind?

Either watching a movie off my DVD shelf or spending a few hours in my favorite bookshop with a cup of coffee.

5. What is your favourite singer/band to listen to while writing?

It depends!  Every piece I write has a separate soundtrack.  At the moment, I’m working on Novel #2,which means a mix of Muse, Delerium, and Junip are coming from my iPod.

6. If you sold your novel for 100,000 (dollar/Euro/Pound/etc.) what would you do with your advance?

Pay off my house.

7. What did you want to be when you were little?

I was too busy hanging out in my imaginary worlds to think about anything so serious!  I was 17 years old before I thought about what I wanted to do with my life!

8. What is one thing that you need with you when you write (on your desk, on your body, etc.)?

My iPod.  I can’t write without my playlists.

9. Would you rather write using a computer, typewriter or pen and paper and why?

Both.  When I’m writing longer pieces, I prefer my laptop.  Poetry, however, always starts with pen and paper.

10. What are 3 things that invariably make you smile?

My family, coffee, and being creative.

11. What does your favourite colour remind you of?

My favorite color is green and I think I love it so much because it reminds of the trees in Northern Wisconsin.

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As for nominees, this is where I’m really going to break the rules.  Over the summer, I scattered blog awards to almost every blog I follow on  regular basis.  Aside from the fact that I’ve accepted most of these awards previously, there’s the reality that If I tag all of them again, I might be classified as a blog stalker! Therefore, in honor of the London Olympics coming to an end last week, I’ve decided anyone who has commented on a Sunday in London post is nominated for any all awards listed above.  Thanks so much to all of you for following and commenting on a series that means so much to me.

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c.b.w. 2012