Tag Archives: Judy Lee Dunn

Poetics Serendipity

8:12 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Seals & Crofts singing Diamond Girl

Hullo, all. I gaze out my window at… nothing. We have fog for the third day. That’s not a problem except that it is not accompanied by lovely wintry temperatures. No. Our temperatures are steadily climbing towards 60. What kind of winter is that? Okay, okay, I’ll get back on topic. Ready for some dipping into the grab bag?

1] It’s Not That Hard. Taming the Apostrophe. Makes you want to race right over and read it, doesn’t it? There are two camps nowadays: the people who spend their lives cringing when they see a misused apostrophe, and those who see an ‘s’ and figure that means placing an apostrophe. I spend a lot of time cringing and wishing people wouldn’t use them at all, rather than wrongly. We haven’t read a Judy Lee Dunn post in a while, but her husband has obligingly had her write a guest post. I have always enjoyed her and she includes a Monty Python clip, so it’s hard to go wrong visiting.

2] I discovered a place where the articles are well written and interesting and all to do with words. The pop-up ads can be dealt with quickly and don’t appear again within an article. This week, I picked Katy Waldman’s ‘The Secret Rules of Adjective Order‘ (my favourite, but I’m strange). We all have a pretty good ear for whether we should write ‘the flowered, green dress’ or ‘the green, flowered dress’; ‘the tall grey-haired man’ or ‘the grey-haired, tall man’. I was fascinated to read the rules of order behind what we do automatically. You will see articles from this source often in the coming weeks.

3] The final article is more damn fun, especially if you cook, but that is not a requirement for enjoying what you read. Erin McCarthy gives us ‘The Dishes 16 Writers Would Bring to a Literary Potluck‘.  This is not fiction. McCarthy gives us the author, a brief history/context for the dish AND the recipe. How can you resist an egg-nog recipe from Poe? Yes, that Poe. How about Tolstoy’s macaroni and cheese? I kid you not.

Go read then, maybe, go cook. Maybe, even, be inspired to write a poem to do with cooking a certain author’s recipe, or thinking about cooking a certain author’s recipe, or the fact that a certain author is known for a particular recipe. We’ll call this Poem Tryouts Leftovers. So, should you partake, post as usual and leave a link here.

I will see you tomorrow for the week’s roundup of prompts; Tuesday for my prompt; and Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 15/01/2015 in links, poetry, writing


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Poetics Serendipity: All Things NaNoWriMo

7:33 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Lover of the Light sung by Mumford & Sons… … … okay, I’m back. I find I can’t listen and write when this comes on. In fact, I tend to dance… yes, in my chair. Don’t you dance while sitting?

Hello, everyone. Have you been looking at your calendars, or throwing tea towels over them so you can’t see the date? One more week. Time to gird those loins, haul out the ream of paper, sharpen the pencils — sounds more romantic than the tech version. We are counting down to NaNoWriMo. I say ‘we’ as I shall support you in spirit all the way through. Yup. Support.

Last year, on Poetry Tuesdays, I gave narrative prompts during November, so that NaNo-ers had exercises that contributed towards whatever they were working on. I shall do the same this year. People who are not participating can adapt all the prompts and continue posting poems.

1] The first link is to the main site of National Novel Writing Month. I’m not a participant and I loved exploring the place. Everything about it is set up to calm frantic writers, down to the colours of the pages. Go on over and look around. They even have cheerleaders. I’m not kidding. They call them pep talkers.

2] This year is working with NaNoWriMo to help more authors than ever before realize their vision. Your heart beat faster, didn’t it? They have set up a Forum and they have an interesting offer which, as far as I can see, is free, so check them out. The offer? A free manuscript review, and a free first edition hardcover.

3] I love this next one, but it’s time sensitive: Sign-ups are through tomorrow. On her site, Judy Lee Dunn describes this event: The goal is to publish a book with “the largest number of authors of any novel ever written.” Writers who accept the assignment will contribute scenes or chapters of at least 800 words of a 50,000-word novel. GrammoWriMo is sponsored by Grammarly (and if you don’t know them, just for what they do, stroll on over) and sounds such fun. One novel, hundreds of authors, nay, thousands.

4] Consider joining NaNoWriMo’s Facebook page. I discovered during my April poetry experience that having a community to visit and talk with, or glance through, each day, is part of the fun.

5] If you really, really want to do this and absolutely cannot, for whatever reason, consider Camp NaNoWriMo. I know! They are from the same parent organisation as NaNoWriMo and hold their own event in April and again in July. Go on over to see the site.

6] For interest, amusement, things you didn’t know, visit Chuck Wendig’s 25 Things You Should Know About NaNoWriMo. Be warned: there is profanity, but I like what he has to say and how he says it, and that’s part of his voice.

That should do to get you raring at the start line. I shall see you tomorrow for this week’s line-up of prompts; next Tuesday for our image prompt; and, next Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 24/10/2013 in writing


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Poetics Serendipity

8:22 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to silence courtesy of my aunt and uncle leaving after a two-day visit

Hullo, all. The visit was lovely but when there is no downtime… I have no brain, not even for idle chit-chat, so let’s see what I have in the bank.

1] It has been a while [I think] since I posted a Judy Lee Dunn article. She was one of the first to help me with what my blog has become. I follow her pretty religiously, along with her husband, who is a WordPress guru. The article includes two Debbie Ridpath Ohi comic strips. Right there it’s worth seeing. However, we also get a discussion about ‘Confronting Fear: The Elephant in the Writer’s Office. While we have read articles on this topic, I try to post links when I think something has been expressed well, or has a fresh slant.

2] This choice of mine is long, very long, as a read. The first time I read it, I thought: No way I’ll do anything but skim. I had to restart and read more carefully. Today I looked at it and thought: No way they’ll do anything but skim and as I thought that, I found myself rereading with attention. That made me decide to offer you ‘The Start: Writing Your Own Poem,’ even with the knowledge that most of us have written poems. There is even a prompt included. Ah, that got your attention.

I include the author’s credentials as they are impressive and lend weight to what she writes. ‘The author is Dr. Judy Rowe Michaels, poet in residence and English teacher at Princeton Day School in Princeton, New Jersey, as well as a poet in the schools for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.The author of two books on teaching poetry and writing, both published by NCTE (Risking Intensity and Dancing With Words), she has also two collections of poems, The Forest of Wild Hands and, most recently, Reviewing the Skull.’

3] Now for some exercise, for your fingers that is. I found a wonderful illustrated tutorial on creating your own miniature book. My immediate thought was presents, so I’ll say no more and let you go look.

I shall see you tomorrow for the roundup; next Tuesday for found poems; and, next Thursday for links, or discussion.

Happy writing, everyone. I’m going to sit and stare at a wall.


Posted by on 15/08/2013 in poetry, writing


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Your Serendipity @ Thursday Thoughts

8:02 a.m. — Atlanta

Hello, all. We have quite a grab bag today, so let us start.

1] I came across the first article on a blog I subscribe to, For Bloggers By Bloggers. The title, ‘Finding Timely Images for Topical Blog Posts,’ is, well, timely and affects many of us, who like to use images from the Web. The premise is: ‘You also can’t just lift an image from a… site saying “kindly borrowed from xxx” – that’s still image theft and you can still be taken to court, found guilty and punished heavily’. Even some of the sites I am used to going to might be a little dickey, according to the author, Sarah Arrow, managing editor of Birds on the Blog [itself worth investigating].

Arrow lists the occasions we might find ourselves in trouble and then offers a site that she and other writers use. While their focus is topical items, I went to the site and typed in winter, then, even more general, trees. Not only did I get a wide variety of photographs, they were gorgeous. Visit, read the article, check out the photo site.

2] The article above arrived in my inbox shortly after I read ‘Beware of Copyright Infringement‘ over at imaginary garden with real toads. Serendipitous, no? Kerry O’Connor starts with: I received a complaint this week from a photographer whose image I used for a picture prompt on Real Toads last year without permission. Kerry includes a link to another article that will be of interest, ‘Bloggers Can Be Sued’. Go on over to read her short post, but also, read the comments. They are a discussion of sorts.

3] Need a little lightness? Try this one: ‘How to Eat Like Your Favourite Authors‘ from the site Flavorwire [which is a dangerous place. I was distracted by several items]. While your favourite author might not be among the ten listed, the article is great fun, including recipes from and by writers ranging from Dickinson to Rushdie. Head over. Oh, you already went and came back? I don’t blame you. Did you check out the bonus link, ‘love to drink’? Good heavens, go back. The link takes you to an article on ten writers and their favourite drinks.

The set up, for both articles, is to click next, for each writer. If you prefer a long list there is an option to view as a single page.

4] That was fun! Now, more serious: punctuation. I know, but it’s good for you. Judy Lee Dunn, whose site I also subscribe to, because of the plentiful information which I find of use, tells us that this is a topic that pushes her buttons. It pushes mine too, although I have mellowed a little. I still hold that punctuation guides a reader and adds clarity to poetry. However, this is a discussion of the exclamation point. When I taught, I banned them. Students who wanted to use one had to defend their use. Their writing became so much better with that small thing alone. Check out: Here She Comes to Save the Day!: ‘Wanton Exclamation Point’. Quite a title. Says it all.

5] I don’t want to leave you there, so something quick. Poets & Writers, recently, gave us a short video, about which they say: “Wonderful things happen when your brain is empty,” says artist and author Maira Kalman as she shares her thoughts on the difference between thinking and feeling, the inspiring power of walking in the city, and more. The video is charming and short, so take a minute to listen and watch.

I shall see you tomorrow for Friday’s Freeforall; Tuesday for the warm-up, transition back into new, uncharted prompt territory prompt; and, next Thursday for more serendipitous finds, unless you send me announcements you want to… announce, or, have a topic you want us to discuss, a question you want answered.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 16/08/2012 in poetry, writing


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