This Writer’s November Debate


With November just around the corner, this writer finds herself at a crossroads. I’m not talking about the horrific election, but rather the opportunities November affords to writers of poetry and fiction. There are two big options on the table, each with its own set of pros and cons.

Option #1: Poetic Asides (via Writer’s Digest) November Poem A Day Challenge

Pros: I’ve participated in the PAD challenge for the last three years. The prompts are challenging, original, and always push my poetry to a new level. In addition, the camaraderie among poets is amazing and very uplifting.

Cons: I’m already writing a poem a day for National Haiku Writing Month. While February is technically the official Haiku Writing Month, prompts are posted for every day of every month. While haikus are short poems, they do take time to piece together. I’m not sure about adding a second set of prompts to an already full haiku writing schedule.

Possible Solution: I could give up NaHaiWriMo for a month and just focus on the PAD Challenge.

Option #2: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

Pros: I’ve been itching to start writing another novel. In particular, I want to get moving on the sequel to The Muse. I’ve got the basic story outlined, (although there are some pretty big holes to fill in), and my characters are getting chatty in my head. I already know where the story will start, I have a prologue in play, and I know how it ends. I just need a nudge to get this going.

Cons: This is a huge commitment! 1,667 words a day is a tall order for me as I continue to work full-time, manage blogs, take care of home and family, and craft (I refuse to give up my handicraft time as it is therapeutic stress relief!). This year my day job is more overwhelming than usual as I am now teaching three Advance Placement level courses, one of which is new to me (and therefore requires significant out of classroom planning). I don’t know that there are enough hours in the day to pull this off! Never mind, that I’m still trying to find an agent for The Muse. Do I really want to start a sequel for a novel still sitting unpublished, much less unrepresented?

Possible Solution: NaNoWriMo challenges writers to complete a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. Maybe I can adjust the goal to meet my personal needs. Instead of 1,667 words, I can challenge myself to write 500 words a day. I may not end up with a completed novel, but I’d have a great start.

I still have a couple of weeks to decide exactly what challenge I’ll take on. However, if the day job gets any busier, I may have to let both challenges go. As hard as that is to do, I have my sanity to consider and I think my muse would agree!

Regardless, my usual writing practice will continue. Poetry and whatever my muse inspires will show up at least three times a week, right here! Stay tuned!

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c.b.w. 2016



It’s Baaaack! Poem-A-Day Challenge


Apparently, my muse is a glutton for punishment because she’s decided I’m going to participate in the Writer’s Digest: Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge. I had fun back in November, but it was certainly a struggle to keep up with writing a poem every single day with the added difficulty of sticking to a prompt. The entire experience was very rewarding and inspiring, which is probably why my muse is so motivated to jump in, again!

In November, the goal was to write, edit, and compile a chapbook of poems written during the challenge. This time around, the stakes are much different and very exciting. Instead of a competition at the end of the challenge, each day is a competition of sorts. Various guest judges will pour over the daily comment entries and select the best poems for each day. The chosen poem then stand a chance to be selected for an anthology that will be published by Words Dance Publishing.

That’s pretty darn exciting! I am so in! Are you?


Anthology cover as designed by: Amanda Oaks. Click to see more information about the April Poem-A-Day Challenge

Once again, I’ll be posting my poems every few days. Hope you’re in the mood for some poetry!

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c.b.w. 2014

Poem A Day: November 12-13


Here are a couple more of my submissions to the  Writer’s Digest 2013 November Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge. The prompts are continuing to stretch my poetic muscle and my muse seems to enjoy exploring new avenues.

November 12, 2013
Prompt: “Two for Tuesday” 1. Write a happiest moment poem. 2. Flip it and make it the saddest moment.

November 13, 2013
Prompt: Write a self-help poem.

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c.b.w. 2013

Poem A Day: November 9-11


The Writer’s Digest 2013 November Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge is still going strong! Here are my latest submissions . . .

November 9, 2013
Prompt: Take the phrase “The Other (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

November 10, 2013
Prompt: Write a poem incorporating something sweet.

November 11, 2013
Prompt: Write ekphrastic poetry–or poetry based off another piece of art.


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c.b.w. 2013