Poem A Day Challenge: April 23-24

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It’s the final week of the  April Poem A Day Challenge . Somehow, I managed to write a poem every single day without falling behind. By month’s end, I’ll be adding 34 poems to my journal (30 plus 4 Sunday Abroad additions). Not bad for a crazy busy teacher who can’t stop knitting or running.

I should have every poem from the challenge posted by Thursday of this week. Thanks so much for following along!

April 23, 2014
Prompt: Write a location poem.

The Kitchen At Midnight

The clock on the stove
runs two minutes slow

In one way it’s still today,
yet tomorrow all the same

The cat sits on the counter,
begging for a treat

Meow. Meow. Purr. Purr.
Where have you been?

Drip. Drip. Splat. Whap.
The faucet is still broken.

The fridge hums and
makes a weird click

Whirrrr. Whirrr. Plick. Plick.
Bandmate to the faucet?

Garlic rice hangs in the air,
the skillet was left in the sink

A glass of water, two Advil,
I should really be asleep

Late night wind hits the screen
Whack. Whack. Thwap. Smack.

I should have worn socks,
the tile is much too cold

Sniff. Sniff. Click. Clack.
The dog’s nails need a trim

He stares with a quizzical face,
Why are you up so late?

Inspiration: Being an insomniac, my kitchen at midnight is something I experience almost every night. The old adage, “write what you know” gave this slice of life a voice.

– – –

April 24, 2014
Prompt: Tell it to the ____. Fill in the blank and make it the title. Then, write a poem.

Tell It To The Inner Critic

You do not own me,
or tell me what to think
That screaming voice,
once so deafening
Is now just a whisper,
I choose to ignore
The words, “I can’t”
have lost all meaning
No longer held back,
nothing is in my way
Those far away dreams,
so beautiful up close

Inspiration: My many bouts with that pesky inner critic!

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c.b.w. 2014

Wreck This Journal: Inner Critic

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Sometimes completing a page in Wreck This Journal can be a very emotional experience.  A page towards the back is reserved as a space “for negative thoughts,” or essentially a dialogue for your inner critic. I’ve had some pretty serious battles with my inner critic as noted in My Inner Critic Is Trying to Kill Me.  It’s a war that continues to rage, even though I’ve gained a bit more control over those savage negative thoughts.  I debated whether to post this page because it showcases some of my most crippling vulnerabilities, but then I realized I’m not the only one who has an inner critic.  If anything, by exposing her I stand a better chance of defeating her and maybe that would inspire others who are fighting the same battle.

I completed the right hand side of the page a while ago after a particularly bad day of writing.  In about five minutes, I had this massive list and I would’ve kept going had I not run out of space.  The inner critic was quite cruel and very loud, but it was interesting experience to give those thoughts an outlet.  Once I wrote something down, it no longer repeated in my head.  The experience was strangely cathartic, despite the overall negative feelings it provoked.  I colored the page in a drab shad of gray and highlighted with pink as that’s a color I don’t always like. Then I closed the journal and did my best to let go of everything on that list.

The left side of the page came to me after paging through my journal this weekend.  I didn’t like how all the negativity stood alone with nothing to counteract the poison.  The phrase “the light at the end of the tunnel” came to mind, so I drew a candle with a bright flame.  It represents my “spark” and the need to keep it burning bright.  Then, along the side I added a strong reminder that my inner critic is full of hot air, (except for the grammar thing – I really am a moron when it comes to commas and such).  Finally, I found two stamps in my craft box that pretty much say it all: Life is beautiful and I must believe in everything . . . including myself.

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Previous Wreck This Journal posts:

Letting Go

Keep Reaching

Ignite the Spark

Be Unpredictable

Embrace Imperfection

Mess

Insomniac

Time Flies

c.b. 2011

Paying it Forward . . . Again!

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After three full months in the blogosphere, I can’t help but be thankful for every reader that visits my blog.  At the same time, I am just as grateful to have found a wonderful community of bloggers that offer an immense amount of insight and inspiration.  Back in June I posted some of my favorite links, but the list has since grown.  It’s time to share a few more blogs that deserve the spotlight!

Random Acts of Writing [+art]

Stunning photography and art meet beautiful quotations with a dash of philosophical contemplation. Easily one of my favorite blogs because there is always so much inspiration not only for writing, but for life in general.

Moonlight Baker

I’m not much of a cook, but I love this blog!  Recently, she posted a recipe for Nutella Cheesecake Bars that was so easy to follow even I could make them.  They were absolutely divine and I suspect all of her recipes are just as delicious.  This site boasts highly original recipes for everything from breakfast to desert, making it well worth the visit to see what’s cooking!

Joss Burnel – The Crowing Crone

Count on Joss to highlight the simple pleasures of life with beautiful photographs of nature and thoughtful posts on the little things that matter most.  I look forward to new posts as they offer a nice bit of serenity when I need it most.

The Conscious Classroom

A wonderful site that offers interesting and unconventional tools for teachers.  This may be a bit of a shameless plug, but I do contribute to this site from time to time.  😉  If you are an educator or a parent looking for techniques and inspiration for engaging students in the act of learning, this is a good place to find some new ideas.

W. Chaser

The process of writing is never easy as real life, the inner critic, and frustration threaten to rob us of our creativity.  W. Chaser writes about these struggles and the little victories that make writing a truly rewarding craft.  The honesty and humor of this blog is what keeps me coming back for more.

Thinking of Rob

Everyone has a guilty pleasure and this is mine.  😀  In a previous post, I admitted that I am one of those Twilight people, (A Bookshelf of Organized Chaos). Well,  I am also a Robert Pattinson fan. Yup, I’ve seen every one of his movies and loved them!  Thinking of Rob is one of the best fan sites I’ve ever encountered in the mania that surrounds Twilight.  Not only do they post the best photos, fan art, and news, but they are very respectful of Rob as a person, (no tabloid stuff, negativity is not tolerated, and rumors are not proliferated).  They keep things very professional and I have so much respect for what they do and how they do it.  With Breaking Dawn: Part I hitting theaters in a few months, this is the site to keep bookmarked for all the latest news!

Happy Reading!

c.b. 2011

Yoda Silenced My Inner Critic

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One of my favorite quotes comes from the most unlikely of sources: a puppet from a pop culture phenomenon.  When Yoda taught (a rather whiny) Luke how to use the Force, he uttered the now infamous phrase, “Do or do not.  There is no try.”  As I emerge from a particularly brutal battle with my inner critic, (See My Inner Critic is Trying to Kill Me), this phrase has become my weapon of choice in shushing that vicious little voice.

Yoda’s wisdom may be the product of a cult classic, but he really does know what he’s talking about.  While I have admiration for trying, it only gets you so far.   If all we ever did was try, Luke’s x-wing would still be submerged in a swamp and my novel would still be stuck in rough draft mode drowning in my doubts.  Somehow that rough draft turned into a final draft and it didn’t happen because I tried.  It happened because I decided to “do” instead of “do not.”  Yoda would be proud.

But, I find myself in a funk of figuring out what to do next and its harder to find the groove I need to move forward.  I have a list of “do’s” that ranges from formatting, getting copies to some readers, and figuring out the publishing game, but it doesn’t solve the odd sense of melancholy that clouds my victory.  While there is deep sense of satisfaction, there is also a profound sadness that this particular part of my journey is over.  It’s time to let go and it hurts far more than I thought it would.  All the time I set aside each day for this little project is now free and very empty.

The unexpected grief is beginning to wane, but only because the challenge in front of me has grown into something I can’t ignore.  I’m too stubborn.  The question now isn’t so much whether or not I believe my work is good, it’s more so about how ready I am to face the next step.  The Luke in me is ready to fire up my lightsaber and hunt down Darth Vader, even though I haven’t finished my training.   My inner critic can say no more, for my true obstacle is about letting go and moving on with a final draft that I know is good, (take that inner critic!).  Meanwhile, a manuscript sits on my desk waiting for my return and I can hear Yoda whispering in his sage voice, “Do or do not.  There is no try.”

c.b. 2011

My Inner Critic Is Trying To Kill Me

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Last week, I finished the third and final draft of my first novel.  After three years of toiling over the characters, the story, and every single word, it was finally done!  My inner critic, however, refuses to let me celebrate.  She reminds me that I have no idea what I’m doing.  Worse still, she can back up that statement by bringing up the three prior false starts that can only be described as epic failures.

I remember how my pulse shot up for a brief moment as I reconfigured the last line one more time. I had only a few seconds of excitement before it all turned surreal.  Now that it was done, what was I supposed to do next?  I could almost hear the witch cackle of my inner critic as she started to toy with my confidence.  The next natural step, of course, is to let people read your work and then brace yourself for the feedback.  In the back of my mind that cruel little voice started whispering,  “It sucks, you know.”  “There are thousands of writers who can write better than you.”  “There are mistakes on every page – stupid mistakes that should not be there.”  “No one wants to read this piece of crap.  What were you thinking?”  “Everyone is going to hate it.”  I wasn’t kidding when I said she was trying to kill me.  She’s mean.

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