Your Serendipity @ Thursday Thoughts

25 Oct

7:34 a.m. — Atlanta

listening… hmmm, not listening. I can’t wake up this morning. Hang on a sec… listening to Diamond Girl by Seals & Crofts

Hello, everyone. How are you? A couple of weeks ago I tossed out a question for discussion which got two answers [Thank you, Jules and Joseph], so I’m thinking no one has the time to sit and really think through and mull, which this required to some degree. I understand. We shall move on.

1] The first link is to an article I came across while thinking about game changers in poetry. Titled ‘25 Writers Who Changed the World,’ I found it both fun to read and interesting to see the picks and read the reasons why. Yes, some poets did make the list [please, we have Shakespeare]. Wander over and see whether you agree or disagree.

2] Khara House just posted a particularly interesting article, ‘Creative Writing Submissions 101: Think Like (and of) the Editor‘. As she has walked in those shoes, she has street cred.

3] Sonofwalt gives us an article whose title intrigued me: ‘Why (even we) Hate Poetry‘. He tells us: ‘For a while I feared that it was a dying art form, but there is a great deal of evidence, noticeable to those of us who have been performing CPR on the old beast, that it is gaining new and younger followers again‘. If you did not catch it first time around, visit and read the comments. The discussion is fun and makes many good points.

4] I love this next one, both for its origin and concept. Read: ‘Defuse Your Inner Critic With This Explosive Visualization,’ by Sandy Akers, a Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach and Writer. She asks: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could blow those eternal critics to smithereens once and for all? Detonate the Inner Perfectionist who tells us our creations aren’t good enough? Blast away the Mean-spirited Fault-Finder who tells us we aren’t good enough?’ Then she takes us through the steps of a guided imagery exercise which, if nothing else, will make you smile and give you a couple of minutes disassociated from the world.

5] The last, ‘Having Trouble Finishing Your Labor of Love?‘ resonates, as the author paints a scene familiar to many of us: ‘… I decided to write a book, in the middle of running my own business and being responsible for two blogs and two toddlers. I’ve now finished the draft, and am in the process of revising it for the editor. So with  the end in sight, I thought I’d share a few of the principles that helped me get this far.’ While pointed more towards prose, what McGuinness says holds for any of us working towards the end of a large project.

Enjoy. I did the first time I read these and again as I selected them. Well, no, I guess I wouldn’t give you something I didn’t enjoy — there is something deeply deep in the thought that I might. Yes, yes. I will go drink some coffee.

I’ll see you tomorrow for the roundup; and Tuesday for an image prompt. Unless someone has something they want me to talk about on a Thursday session, Thoughts is going dark until January. November and December are killer months. That’s not to say I won’t pop into your inboxes, or readers.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 25/10/2012 in poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , , ,

33 responses to “Your Serendipity @ Thursday Thoughts

  1. barbara_

    25/10/2012 at 9:03 am

    Wasn’t time or interest for me, Margo. I’m just ignorant as dirt.

    • Misky

      25/10/2012 at 9:10 am

      I’m down there with Barbara: dirt. Me, too. Read it, and my brain choked.

    • margo roby

      25/10/2012 at 9:23 am

      Dirt, huh? There’s a lot of gold in them thar hills, I’m thinking.

      But now, I am intrigued. Uh oh, you both say? Well, more like curious. That doesn’t make you feel any warmer, or fuzzier? You both write poetry. You must have liked reading it before you came to writing [maybe not!]. So who exploded in your brains? Or filled you like warm molasses? Yes, that question was in there as a possibility, but without the molasses and explosions.

      • barbara_

        25/10/2012 at 9:28 am

        Opinion, personal, different from asking who changed poetry, which is fact.

        Oh, I got the opinions. Caught a case of them back in about 1950 and never did get over them.

        • barbara_

          25/10/2012 at 9:32 am

          Though, truth to tell, I don’t read poetry. Really. High school, college, then a lot of melodic fiction. I’ve just begun to read poetry for its own sake, and–again–dirt for experience.

          • margo roby

            25/10/2012 at 9:42 am

            It was my childhood poets that drove my awareness. I rarely read poetry after college. Okay, never, until I started writing a few years back. I was in a choral choir, in grade school, and learned Robert Louis Stevenson as a poet, long before I knew he wrote fiction. I had a wonderful compilation of children’s poetry which did more for me than anything else. I still remember some of the poems in it and that was a long time ago. Then, Robert Frost. Must have been high school. That love affair continues.

            I am reading, now, or trying to. Poetry is something I take better in small doses.

            You’re right though. I hadn’t thought about it, but unless someone taught English lit, or majored in it, there is no reason for them to know poets from the past, except what they have heard. Huh. I’ll have to be more aware of what I ask.

        • margo roby

          25/10/2012 at 9:36 am

          Well, yes, but for those who didn’t know any game changers, I had the opinion question in there. And I know you have opinions. Had them that long, have you. My, my.

      • PJF Sayers

        25/10/2012 at 10:39 pm

        Well, son of a gun, call me mud then, because I know absolutely nothing about game changers when it comes to poetry. My experience with poetry is high school and not that extensive.

        • margo roby

          26/10/2012 at 7:42 am

          Pamela, my fault really. There is no reason for any of you to know. I forgot my background gives me a bit of a start in that direction. Okay, a large start. I should have thought.

  2. vivinfrance

    25/10/2012 at 9:59 am

    I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I can’t seem to take anything in properly at the moment – a brain turgid with cold molasses describes me perfectly at the moment. I can only bear to read the shortest poems these days – A Child’s Garden of Verses is about my mark. I think it must be the weather. There’s you, bashing your brains against a brick wall to bring us enlightenment and encouragement, and how to we respond? We moan!

    On a serious note, several ‘proper’ poets have told me to read more ‘proper’ poetry. The mood I’m in, it had better be improper ‘proper’ poetry!

    • margo roby

      25/10/2012 at 10:13 am

      ViV, I do love you. You gave me a good laugh. I am honoured you feel you can moan here. Moan away.

      I’m thinking that if one does not get pleasure from reading ‘proper’ poetry [what the heck do you suppose gets put under that label? Some wretched stuff along with the poems that make words transcendent], then time should not be given to it. Who has the time? Where I agree with your ‘proper’ poets, is reading to continue evolving our own writing. In the last two years, as I have read poems on the run, my writing has evolved and matured. I have learned so much about structuring poems that I can see a dramatic change in poems before and poems now. That excites me.

      But, I don’t have a quilt and a deadline! You have a very full life. In fact, I insist you come here when you need a good moan!

      Improper poetry, hmmm?

  3. barbara_

    25/10/2012 at 10:42 am

    I like Khara’s piece (wish she didn’t have that white on black blog, though. Hard to read) One of the publications I ran across while looking for places I might fit broke was even plainer. I’ll see if I can found that up. A good half dozen things I never think to do.

    • margo roby

      25/10/2012 at 10:45 am

      I know. I stick with the blog because I like her, but I don’t read it unless the subject heading grabs me, and even then I look sort of sideways at it.

      That is the value of these pieces that come out. We forget what we know. Rereading is good.

    • val dering rojas

      25/10/2012 at 2:48 pm

      Saw this just had to agree about the white on black. Kills my eyes every time.

      • margo roby

        26/10/2012 at 7:53 am

        Kills everyone’s eyes, Val! Possibly there is an age cut off: 29 and below, what problem? 29 and above, Oh God, my eyes!

        • val dering rojas

          26/10/2012 at 8:48 pm

          Oh my gosh, I am laughing so hard right now you have no idea!!!!!

  4. Annette Mickelson

    25/10/2012 at 1:03 pm

    I love the music you listen to… Seals & Crofts: I’d forgotten all about them and Diamond Girl takes me right back to high school, sitting in the bedroom of my best friend, talking about boys (of course). I’m off to iTunes… gotta get that one.

    • margo roby

      26/10/2012 at 8:00 am

      Annette, my CDs have been with me a long time. I have them all on the cloud and usually have them on shuffle. I do love having music on during my day.

  5. carolisle

    25/10/2012 at 1:44 pm

    I don’t like to read poetry because I get jealous. I want to write like them. But I do read poetry, I own every thing Mary Oliver ever wrote. When I go for a walk I imagine she is with with me pointing out tree bark and deer trails.
    The writing group I am in starts by reading a poem two times. some I like some not so much but way a poet wraps the world into a different shaped package helps me see it differently.

    Oh and the inner critic she is asked to sit in the hall by our 90 year old leader when she, the critic, tries to enter the room. After 5 years I have learned to do that for myself.
    don’t know were I’m going here but you certainly got me a-‘thinkin’ Miss Margo !

  6. carolisle

    25/10/2012 at 1:47 pm

    My editor should have showed up. I left out a word or two. I think I meant to say I like the way a poet…

    • margo roby

      26/10/2012 at 8:01 am

      Carolisle, my brain has learned to fill in words.

  7. val dering rojas

    25/10/2012 at 2:52 pm

    WELL, I eat, drink, and sleep poetry. LOL. Although I haven’t been doing as much reading as I would like or as I usually do. Seriously, poetry is my first love. 🙂

    Some great little articles here, Margo. Thank you again!

  8. sonofwalt

    25/10/2012 at 3:32 pm

    Thank you for linking back to that discussion, Margo! I’ve been wanting to get back to it, because there is a bit of a sticky topic yet to discuss. I’m just tickled that you remembered it. It started with Jlynn Sheridan’s blog post here: And since I had already been thinking of posting something along those lines, I just jumped in. I think there are a couple of posts between Jlynn and I on the topic. And there is still probably more to say.

    I am sorry. I don’t know what I was doing at the end of September. Probably gearing up for a busy October. But I liked your questions, and I’ll get back to that post as soon as I can. For now, I’m off again! 🙂

    Thank you so much for all these wonderful links and discussions.

    • margo roby

      26/10/2012 at 8:09 am

      You nomads, always off and running :-).

      This is a discussion I would love to have with everyone in the same room, say a coffee house. It’s a great topic but, as you say, sticky. Jlynn is far nicer than I on the subject of poetry she doesn’t get. I look forward to anything else you write to do with this [let me know — I’m terrible about getting around].

      You are very welcome.

      • sonofwalt

        26/10/2012 at 9:27 am

        I’ll link back to you so you get the pingback. There are the philosophy poets to complain about yet. 😉 But there are other topics I was being more careful about. Read a good book recently by Mark Orr, Beautiful But Useless, a Guide to Modern Poetry. I think he’s too much of a diplomat at times, but some of his thoughts on it are quite interesting.

        • margo roby

          26/10/2012 at 9:43 am

          Nice. Love the title. Reflects what I often think about poems I come across. I have read a couple of articles in the past few months that indicate magazines are realising they have the emperor’s new clothes with many of the poems they publish. Maybe we’ll see more poetry that does what poems do: convey truths.

  9. Sandy Ackers

    26/10/2012 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out for my visualization to defuse your inner critic, Margo! It looks like I’m in good company with the other excellent articles you linked to in this post.

    ~Sandy Ackers
    Strangling My Muse: Struggling to Live a Creative Life in a Stressful World

    • margo roby

      29/10/2012 at 9:04 am

      My pleasure, Sandy. I know it works and I love the way you write, so it was an easy choice.


  10. Kian

    04/11/2012 at 3:37 pm

    We stumbled
    over here by a different web page
    and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see
    so i am just following you. Look forward to checking out your web page
    yet again.

    • margo roby

      05/11/2012 at 7:35 am

      Kian, welcome. Stumbling onto things is one of my favourite practices. You are welcome anytime. We are a friendly group, so if you have questions, feel free to ask.


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