Tag Archives: write to done

Poetics Serendipity

11:54 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Tequila, played by The Champs (and rocking out, in my recliner)

Hello, everyone. We are fast moving into summer with a projected high of 86F, today. I am sheltering in my tree-shaded house. I can do that because I walked two miles this morning and am  feeling virtuous. On to today’s links:

1] Write to Done gives us a short piece in 5 Irrefutable Signs You Need to Start a Writing Project Now, by Sally Wolfe. This is in case you need an added push. Her focus is prose, but, as it so often does, many of the points apply to poetry and that chapbook you want to put together.

2] Do you know about Cellpoems? If not, check it out. I have given you a link to its About page.

3] Why Is It ‘Eleven, Twelve’ Instead of ‘Oneteen, Twoteen’? — I knew you wanted to know this, what with being wordsmiths and the English language so straight forward and all. Check the article by Arika Okrent, in Mental Floss.

Have a lovely weekend and I shall see you for a prompt on Tuesday and more links on Thursday.

Happy writing, all.



Posted by on 03/03/2016 in exercises, poetry


Tags: , , , ,

Poetics Serendipity

9:25 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Neil Diamond singing Cracklin’ Rosie

Hello, everyone. I would like someone to do something about the weather, please. It is December. I don’t want my temperatures to be climbing towards the 80’s. I am somewhat mollified, for the moment, by having the first Pannetone of the season, just now. Links, you say? Let me look in the bag…:

1] The site Write to Done has an essay with an interesting thesis, summed up in its title: Why More Practice Can Make You a Worse Writer and What to Do Instead. The author, D Bnonn Tennant has written the piece for narrative fiction and non-fiction, but his theory on practice has some valuable insights for all writers.

2] Have you ever encountered a word and learned that it meant the opposite of what you remembered? If so, you may have come across a contronym. A contronym, often referred to as a Janus word or auto-antonym, is a word that evokes contradictory or reverse meanings depending on the context. These are the opening sentences to Kimberly Joki’s Grammarly post on verbs that are contronyms. Being a word stalker, I found it fascinating, and fun. to have pointed out clearly what I vaguely knew. (Grammarly)

3] Finally, something to amuse you: Word Origins in Plain Sight, words by Arika Okrent, pictures by Sean O’Neill.

I will see you Tuesday for our next image prompt and Thursday for links.

Happy writing, everyone.

P.S. There is nothing quite like having the nearby workers turn off the electricity as one pushes publish.


Posted by on 10/12/2015 in links, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , , ,

Poetics Serendipity

8:00 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Brandon Flowers’ new album The Desired Effect — which I just bought

Hello, there. Everyone okay? Staying dry and away from water sources, all my Texans? I don’t visit people’s Facebook walls, as a rule, but yesterday I spent some time checking on all the people I know. More rain coming. Stay safe.

On Tuesday I alluded to my summer program. I usually go dark on Thursdays and Fridays, give you a program of the summer’s prompts ahead of time, and don’t comment. Having the knowledge that summer is here burst on my brain last week (yeh, yeh, back off); I had a modified panic, decided to try a serial prompt, and went into avoidance mode. The new plan is I will post the usual Tuesday prompt. I will still try the serial prompt, based on one topic. I may or may not do Thursdays and Fridays, as they will be the only ‘normal’ part of my life over the next six weeks, as we pack, visit, pack, visit, and pack out, for our final move (as far as we know). We’ll see how I do.

Hah! I just read an email from my Florida brother. Our family has a wide sense of humour. Dark is included. He writes: you can always hire a barge and float your stuff to San Antonio.

Let’s link:

1] Poet (and much more) Diane Lockward, has posted the first in a three-part series. Summer Journals A – F, 2015 details many journals that do read during the summer and some that read only during the summer. Diane includes the number of issues per year, the submission period dates, which journals accept simultaneous submissions, and which ones accept online submissions.

Take a look, then bookmark this invaluable resource.

2] Write to Done: Jenna Dalton has put together an incredible list, 102 Resources to Transform Your Writing. These run from general tips, to burnout, to the writer’s voice, to one of my favourites which tells us why writing tips are bad for us. You can spend hours wandering amongst the 102 possibilities, hence the ‘bad for us’.

On the theory most of us would like to wander through but don’t have time, I may pick a couple of the suggestions as links, in the next several whatevers.

3] This link I may have given you. I have a fairly organised system but it’s growing rather large. I came across the site a couple of weeks ago and was reminded of it recently (thank you, Barb Crary). The site posts prompts. I don’t know who runs it, or how often the prompts are published (it is current, as they mention PoMoSco), but if you are restless and need a quick idea to jumpstart a poem, check Poetry Prompts.

4) Almost forgot. James Brush is accepting submissions for Issue #4 of Gnarled Oak. Head over to read the guidelines. Write. Submit.

Not much in the way of reading but plenty of links. Have fun. I will see you tomorrow for the prompts roundup; next Tuesday for the first in our summer series prompts; and Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.



Posted by on 28/05/2015 in links, poems, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , ,

Poetics Serendipity

9:20 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to The Weather Channel and winter storm Remus

Hello, all. I’m starting late, as my husband had a late start this morning. I’ll never catch up with myself. If I appear somewhat elsewhere and rushing, the playbook for the Found Poetry Review’s April Challenge has arrived and I only peeked before coming here. Then there’s the Weather Channel playing. I need to visit Tuesday’s blog to delight in reading poetry. Supper. Must remember to see what I need to do. Need to find a list buried in my emails, for someone… a trifle occupied. Spelling may suffer.

1] My poems tend to be reserved as far as emotions, my speakers, neutral. It’s a lack. The website Write to Done posted an article, How to Write Better: 3 Secrets of Transmitting Naked Emotions, by Editor-in-Chief, Mary Jaksch. The article is aimed at narrative writing, but there is plenty to take away, for poetry. If nothing else, all you NaNoWriMo writers can bookmark it; or, if you are now on the second draft of your novel, this is timely.

2] If you have not visited The Poetry Storehouse, head over to check it out — especially if you enjoy remixing poetry. This is a site that will reappear occasionally because it’s a great resource. You don’t have to write found poetry. You might be a poet whose work is used by found poets. Here is the opening paragraph of their About page :

‘The Poetry Storehouse is an effort to promote new forms and delivery methods for page-poetry by creating a repository of freely-available high-quality contemporary page-poetry for those multimedia collaborative artists who may sometimes be stymied in their work by copyright and other restrictions. Our main mission is to collect and showcase poem texts and, in some instances, audio recordings of those texts. It is our hope that those texts will serve as inspiration or raw material for other artistic creations in different media.’

Visit them and explore. You’ll find a few familiar names.

3] Next, a quick and easy post, Copyright FAQ from Don Simon. Ignore the workshop part at the beginning and skim the post. It is basic, but I often come across conversations that indicate most people have a muddled view of copyright. This post is to the point.

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

If anyone has a link, or announcement, they would like posted here, let me know.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 26/02/2015 in links, poetry, writing


Tags: , , ,

Poetics Serendipity

7:56 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to the Weather Channel, and Gordon Lightfoot singing Crossroads

Hello, everyone. Are we all (the U.S. all) watching the cold front bearing down from Canada? We’re supposed to drop forty degrees here, tonight, and not go up, tomorrow. That’s quite a plunge. I may be able to pull out some winter clothing. Let’s see what I have to keep you occupied should you be stuck indoors.

1] At Write to Done, Bryan Collins gives us 7 Barriers to Writing You Can Leap Over Today. There are so many of this type of article out there that I give new ones a close read but, I am also a proponent of reminders. Every now and then we need to read this type of post. Collins writes with clarity, succinctness and humour. When he quoted Stephen King, he had me.

2] The Write Life presents us with The 100 Best Websites for Writing. Collected by Carrie Smith, it’s quite a collection; you may want to pull out the coffee mug and get comfortable. Smith says, in her introduction:

We’ve broken the list into eight categories: blogging, creativity and craft, entrepreneurship, freelancing, literary agents, marketing, publishing, and writing communities. The sites are listed in alphabetical order within each category, and the numbers are included for easy tracking rather than as a ranking.

Whether you’re keen to find better-paying freelance writing jobs or self-publish your NaNoWriMo project, build your email list or strengthen your SEO skills, these sites will help you reach your goals.

3] Diane Lockward, on her site Blogalicious (you still haven’t signed up for her newsletter, why?) talks to us about Seven Snazzy Online Journals. One of the more difficult parts of writing is where to submit, especially with online journals, which often have a short shelf life. As she says, Online journals are not all created equal and, quite frankly, some of them are dreadful. There’s no sense in submitting your lovely poems to a journal you wouldn’t be proud to have them in. Before telling us about the seven journals, Lockward discusses what makes an online journal a good one.

4] I can’t remember whether I have posted someone’s blog post (as opposed to an online article) as a must read. I ‘met’ poet Ian Badcoe, recently, in an online poetry group. I found the post, Publishing the other self… to be intriguing in the points raised by Badcoe. His initial premise: I wonder whether the whole idea of “self publishing” being different from “publishing” isn’t a historical artefact left over from the time that publishing was difficult. He goes on to list what makes a publisher, compares it to a self-publishing outfit, YouTube, reminds us of Sturgeon’s Law (well, you’re going to have to read the article), then suggests a direction poets can take that might legitimise self-publishing. As he reminds us, self-published books are (rightly or wrongly) regarded with suspicion.

That should do nicely. I will see you tomorrow for the roundup of this week’s prompts; Tuesday for my prompt; and next Thursday for more links and things.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 12/02/2015 in links, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , ,

Poetics Serendipity

8:39 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to the inner tics of the central air [I have not gotten around to turning on the music — too many tabs open]

Hi! Ready to stop for a few minutes and go wandering with me? I read an interesting comment in one of the Facebook poetry groups I inhabit. The writer commented that there is no need to read most of the ‘Ten Ways to…’ articles that come out, because they all say the same thing. I have two arguments against that comment. One is that they don’t all say it in the same way and as we all have different brains, one person’s way of saying something about poetry, or work habits, or life, is going to strike us more than someone else’s. Two, I don’t know about your brain, but mine files and forgets, so I never pass up an article that is going to remind me how to get through something because not only will it remind me of things I want to keep to the fore, but the writers might have something new to say.

1] Hence, the first place I am sending you, Overcome Procrastination With These Easy Strategies, by Gail Brenner, a psychologist and writer. Most of us procrastinate. We know it. We admit it. We look at tips to make us not procrastinate. But, I don’t think I have read an article that takes us to the roots of our procrastination. Brenner outlines three possible reasons why we put off writing and posits that once we know why, we can take care of overcoming the problem ourselves. As she says To say you’re procrastinating means that you’re living smack in the middle of the land of “should.” And when has a “should” ever served anyone? In essence, you’re saying, “I’m doing this right now, when I should be doing that.” You’re putting yourself down and rejecting this moment as not good enough.

2] The second article appears on Carve Magazine‘s blog and is something that all of us who submit should read from time to time. It’s one of those ‘Oh, yeh’ articles. Mistakes Writers Make When Submitting to Literary Magazines, by Eva Langston, is thorough and even if some points seem obvious, my brain kept muttering ‘right, right…’. I’m guilty of a couple of the points, but if I don’t remind myself of that, chances are I won’t change my habits. Brain muttering: ‘must submit more and to online journals’.

3] For all of us image people, this next one is pure fun, but might also provide new sources of inspiration. News gives us Ten Illustrators to Follow Now and some of them are really cool. Cheri Lucas Rowlands introduces her finds with From sketches to digital art narratives, here’s a visual journey into the worlds of ten illustrators on And, what a journey. I spent time with all of them, some more than others, but enjoyed my immersion. Go play.

I shall see you Tuesday for a prompt and Thursday for more links. Happy Labour Day weekend to the U.S.ers among you.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 28/08/2014 in links, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , ,

Poetics Serendipity

7:52 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Simon Says by the 1910 Fruitgum Company

Hullo, all. Yep, I made it here. WordPress is offering us the choice of the old or the new, so I’ll keep showing up. Let me see what I have in the bag and get some of my first cup of coffee down. I slept in a bit.

1] Over at Write to Done, Jessica Baverstock gives us ‘How to Complete Every Writing Project You Start: Become a Completion Addict‘. She makes the point that we’re addicted to the intoxicating high of new ideas. As I look through my notebook at how many things I have started but forgotten when I moved to another something, she’s right. There is an excitement to starting a new poem, a something that gives new energy to us.

Baverstock presents short, simple steps to carrying out a little brain retraining so we’ll feel more in control of your goals and projects, instead of frantically jumping from one idea to another. You will also recognize and face your fears, a great way to keep them in check.

2] I enjoy WordPress articles [i.e. from WordPress, not articles that appear on WP] and have a couple saved for you. The first is Spring-Clean Your Blog in Five Easy Steps. [Hey, it’s almost spring in the lower portion of the globe] I never quite get around to cleaning out my blog, but if I have steps to follow, I am more likely to do at least a couple of things. Ben Huberman [one of my favourite WordPress writers] has five things you can do in the next ten minutes to see immediate results. Ten minutes, people. Let’s get out those brooms and dusters.

3] The second article from WP is Four Features to Publish Your Poems, by Cheri Lucas Rowlands. The features look interesting, but do mean we have to roll up our sleeves and try writing with the text editor [see tab upper right when you have a new post]. I know some of you already use it, but most of us… The features offered allow for some ease in getting a poem to look like a poem on our blogs, without turning ourselves inside out.

Now, off you go to clean, create and complete. I shall see you Tuesday for a potluck image prompt;and Thursday for links, more links.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 21/08/2014 in links, poetry


Tags: , , ,

Poetics Serendipity

8:04 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Mick McGuire sung by The Clancy Brothers

Hello, all. New people, welcome. Thursdays are off and on, depending on whether I have links for you, or a point of discussion. I am more than happy to have you send me either, or both. For today: Many of us have been grousing about dry spells [I don’t even know where my daily notebook is], so I have two articles that might help, and a laugh for you.

1] We have read many of Patrick Ross’ posts, on his site The Artist’s Road. This particular one caught my eye because of its title: Turning Your To-Do List Upside Down. Okay, I bit. The article is short and to the point: how to have your to do lists not be a source of stress, but a source of support. He makes an interesting point and if it helps, then Hallelujah. If it isn’t for you, at least you have read a beautifully written article.

2] This next article is about a topic we are all familiar with, but may not have really worked at, in a while: How To Create An Inspirational Workspace For Writing, written by Laura Carlin and Alison Forbes and posted at Write to Done, another site you see often, here. It’s presented as a 12 step program and has a couple of points I hadn’t considered. I write out of my recliner so many of these points would have to be adapted, but I like the idea. Hie your way over and see whether you can spring clean your work space.

3] Okay, grammarphiles, this next site is a gallery that shows grammar and punctuation art. I am not kidding. Oxford comma fans, you’ll need to click on the painting to see what it says… chortle. Grammarphobes, you can’t stand it, can you? You have to go look.

That’s it. I will see you tomorrow for the weekly roundup of prompts; and, Tuesday for the first in a series of body prompts.

Happy writing, everyone.



Posted by on 06/02/2014 in links, writing


Tags: , , , , , ,

Your Poetics Serendipity @ Thursday Thoughts

8:06 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Gordon Lightfoot sing Steel Rail Blues and life is good

Hello, all. It has been a while and I have missed you despite seeing even more of you than usual during April. I missed you and our regular blog. When I go dark, that’s one thing. I’m expecting the break and I miss you somewhat. This time, I had no plans to not post regular blogs. Silly me.

April is certainly something. I’m already torn about next April. The thing of which I am proudest [closely followed by writing a random-ish poem for NaPoWriMo, every day ] is the Pulitzer Remix, of which you have heard me speak often. Some of you followed me on the journey and I much appreciated the company.

The experience of the Remix was enough of a game-changer in my life that I may come back to it every now and then and beg your indulgence. Should any of you be curious, I now have a tab at the top of the blog: My Pulitzer Remix Poems. There are thirty links which, hopefully, open in separate tabs. You might enjoy a dip.

We have had a slew (Isn’t this a great word? I don’t often get to use it in its meaning of ‘many’. Other meanings, to turn, swing, twist, a swampy place or, killed, just add to the fun) of new people join us this month. Welcome all. Briefly:

On Tuesdays I post a prompt, or exercise, for you to write to. The result never has to be a ‘finished’ draft and can be posted anytime. If you have a blog, that’s where you post, leaving a link in comments. If not, comments is an alternative. I try to remind people to go back after a few days to read. I will always read.

On Thursdays, I post links to places of interest to us as poets or, more generally, as writers. I will sometimes use the space to discuss an aspect of poetry. Having been through most of what this blog might cover, in the last couple of years, I haven’t done that as often, recently. You, as readers, may always send me a suggestion, question, knotty problem and ask me to take it up on a Thursday post.

On Fridays, I have a selection of sites that give out weekly prompts, and I post them with a general comment on the prompt, so that people can come to one place to check and to see if they wish to go further and visit the prompt site.

Big Poetry Giveaway winners: Renee Emerson (?) you have won a copy of Cati Porter’s new chapbook, The Way Things Move the Dark. Andrew Albert J. Ty, you have won Jee Leong Koh’s Seven Studies for a Self Portrait. Finally, our Barbara, you have won Dave Bonta’s Ode to Tools. Congratulations, everyone! Send me your mailing address and I shall ship them off. margoroby[at]

Now for a link to ease us back in:

The article is titled, ‘Slow Down Your Hectic Writing Life With a ‘Pause’ Button’ from the site Write to Done. I thought that sounded perfect for this moment. I don’t think I even need to add commentary, except to say nothing is new, but we still need reminding.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 02/05/2013 in poetry


Tags: , , ,

Your Serendipity @ Thursday Thoughts

7:46 a.m. — Atlanta

bopping to Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues) with Three Dog Night

Hullo, all. A happy Valentine’s whether you are a lover or a hater. Let’s find you some fun stuff [vital noun, covers a multitude of possibilities, and tells you I have not had my second cup of coffee):

1] I read the first find a year ago. Our friend The Rag Tree posted a link last March to a wonderful New Zealand blog of The International Institute of Modern Letters. In particular his link is to New Zealand poet Brian Turner and the best list of tips for writing poetry I have found. Think of his list as poetry commandments.

The blog, modernlettuce, says about itself ‘Here we aim to post exercise ideas from our workshops, along with occasional thoughts about writers and writing’.

Two for one!

2] How Plateauing Occurs: Pace vs. Potential. How about that for a title?! I found the article interesting to read, as we all hit plateaus. The author’s P.S. states:  All this nonsense about how we ‘can’t remember names, can’t draw, can’t cook, can’t dance, can’t write’ is just that: nonsense! It’s a life that’s being lived at pace, not potential. The plateau is a great place to be for most of the time, but sometimes, go up in the mountains. It’s heady up there! This serves as the author’s thesis, as well.

The blog, Write to Done, is one I follow, for articles like this one,  although it focuses on writing generally, rather than poetry. Their Chief editor, Mary Jaksch, says: Write to Done is a place where we can all grow as writers. It’s  a place to share some of what we’ve learned as writers, with new (and experienced) writers looking to improve their craft and their art. That’s what Write To Done is about, at its core: the craft and the art of writing.

Again, two for one. I might stop while I am ahead, on the theory that you have articles to read plus web sites to explore. Something funny? 3]

when the muse strikes

when the muse strikes

“Used with permission from Debbie Ridpath Ohi at”

Laughing? Good.

4] Special Valentine’s entry: One last one, but this only works if you know Les Mis. Two lieutenants in the South Korean Air Force wrote, produced, and directed a parody in order to publicise a problem with having enough men to clear the air strips of snow. Watch the entire thing through the credits. It’s funny, clever, charming. Think of it: Les Mis as a battle against snow, love story and all.

I shall see you tomorrow for the prompts roundup; next Tuesday for a prompt; and next Thursday for more links, or any announcements which might appear.

Happy exploring and writing, everyone.




Posted by on 14/02/2013 in poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , ,

  • creative commons license