Poetry Friday: The final week for “Poetry…Cubed!”

If you celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, I hope you enjoyed it! Today, it’s time to wake up from that turkey coma and get those entries in for “Poetry…Cubed!” before it wraps up this Monday!

Although I’ve explained the premise behind this challenge before, here are the very simple rules:

 

  • Use the 3 images below as inspiration to write a poem.
  • The poem can be any form, any number of lines, rhyming or not.
  • The only hitch is that you need to include a reference to all three images in the poem – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract.
  • Ornaments
    (click to enlarge)

    Email your poem to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com before Nov. 30! Out of all the poems entered, ONE lucky writer will be chosen at random to receive his/her choice of:

Your three images (click to enlarge any of them):

 IMG_0637 

Do you accept the challenge? I’ll post all the poems I’ve received and announce the winner next Friday, Dec. 4. Numerous poems have come in since last week, including a THIRD from Jessica Bigi, who’s on FIRE! Here are the most recent:

November

Autumn, in a bittersweet mood, once more
makes a puppet of me, puts me right here
next to the wood stove, makes me say
“I don’t know if the fire will catch,”
makes me turn and watch as the fire catches,
makes me turn back and clap my hands,
makes me say “Time for tea,” makes me dance
a little let’s-have-tea-by-the-fire two-step
just like last year and the year before.
I’m nothing in November if not predictable,
but it’s out if my hands, firmly in his:
Autumn, the puppeteer who paints the scenery,
pulls all my strings, knows all my lines,
and me, his well-loved marionette, his little toy.

– Julie Larios

.
Writing a Cubed Poem

Word jock
Writer’s block
Inspiration glows
Ink flows
Rhyming shoots
Cubed fruits!

– Karen Eastlund
.

Barbeque
Intermission
Tackle
Touchdown
Entertainment
Rally
Shout
Wallow
Evaluate
Enounced
Teams

F
O
O
T
B
A
L
L

Hot Coals
Under Feet
Go Team Go

– Jessica Bigi

Poetry_Friday logoLooking for more poetry? You’re in luck! Just head over to Carol’s Corner for the Poetry Friday roundup, with all of today’s links ready and waiting for you!

And be sure to send your poems to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com before this Mon. Nov. 30, to be eligible to win!

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What have I been up to, you ask? Let me explain…

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So if you’re wondering why I haven’t posted anything new on Tuesdays for the past couple weeks…let me show you!

CYBILS - gr novels photo
Nominees for the CYBILS Awards’ two “Graphic Novel” categories (click to enlarge)

These are just SOME of the 102 graphic novels nominated for the Elementary-Middle Grade Graphic Novel and Young Adult Graphic Novel categories in the 2015 CYBILS Awards.

That’s a lot of reading, right there.

This is the first year I’ve been a first-round panelist; the past two years, I’ve been a second-round judge in the Poetry category and have only had to sort through 7 books. A proverbial walk in the park, compared to this! But I’m enjoying it.

One thing that has surprised me is how the definition of “graphic novel” has changed over the years. Graphic novels used to be, for all intents and purposes, highly-produced comic books in traditional book form.

Cybils-Logo-2015-Round-LgThese days, any book that utilizes illustrations to tell a significant portion of the story can qualify. Whether or not that definition holds true for each of these books is a question only those of us judging them can answer – and I’m slowly working my way through the pile, taking note of what I like and what doesn’t work.

The variety of styles, narratives, formatting, and age ranges is amazing, though, and it’s going to be difficult paring this massive list down to just a handful of titles to pass along to this year’s second round judges!

Oh yes, I write, too

I would have liked to have judged the Poetry category again this year, but at least two of the books nominated contain poems that I wrote – so I bowed out and moved to the graphic novel category. However, I’m still just as busy writing as I always have been…

Having wrapped up a revision of a poetry collection I’ve been working on for a couple years AND having completed another collection I started compiling this summer, I also just put the finishing touches on a new picture book manuscript.

You know what that means: time to write another!

That’s what I’m doing now, in addition to finding some appropriate publishers to send the completed manuscripts to. There are only so many hours in a day, as they say, and with our 2-year-old rarely taking naps anymore, the days’ hours are even more precious!

(Also, two new poems have been accepted for publication in two upcoming and as-yet-unannounced anthologies…I hope to be able to share more news on that early next year!)

She Blinded Me with Sais

I’ve also been a bit slower than normal, thanks to that 2-year-old daughter I made reference to earlier. Last week, as I was reaching over her car seat to find a necklace she lost, she suddenly grabbed her older brother’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy and jammed it as hard as she could into my left eyeball.

As you can see, the injury severely affected my eyesight as well as other facial features.

When I stopped screaming, I found enough composure to call the local Urgent Care facility to see if they could fit me in. It didn’t appear that my eyesight had been damaged, but infection was certainly a possibility and the pain would fluctuate between a 1 and a 5, so I needed something to get it to stop tearing.

When I told the nurse what happened, he asked, “Was it Raphael’s fork?”

sai
The offending item, a sai (pron. “say”) which my daughter wielded expertly. A little TOO expertly.

Good Lord, this man instinctively knew my plight! “Umm…yes, as a matter of fact, it was,” I replied. “You get these a lot?”

His smile came over the phone clearly. “More than you can imagine,” he said.

I now know why Popeye squinted his eye that way – Sweet Pee probably smacked him in the face with a can of spinach and the poor old sailor man never fully recovered.

Recovery in time for food prep

So now that I can see without pain and without the weird, scrunched-up eye thing I was doing for a few days, I can focus (pun intended) on Thanksgiving! There’s a turkey to brine, desserts to make, and bread dough to rise. My wife and I are also trying out a vegan butternut squash lasagna for the first time, so I’m looking forward to that, as well.

I hope you have an enjoyable week! If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope it’s wonderful for you…and if you don’t, perhaps you’ll find some time to reflect on all the positives in your life.

Personally, I’m thankful for my family, my health, my faith, my talents, and all the tremendous blessings I enjoy. Many of these blessings, like the books I’ve been able to be a part of, you are part of! For that, I thank you.

By the way, you only have about one week left to get your “Poetry…Cubed!” poems in – and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, click HERE to get caught up-to-date!

As for me…I have some reading to do!

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!
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Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: “Poetry…Cubed!” wraps up its 3rd week!

Poetry Cubed logoHard to believe, but we’re at the end of the 3rd week of November already – Thanksgiving will be here next week, and the “Poetry…Cubed!” entries keep coming in!

If you’re unfamiliar with this, let me explain…

This challenge is based on The Food Network show, “Chopped,” where chefs compete against each other to create dishes using specific, surprise ingredients given to them in a special basket.

And since my contest also uses three “ingredients,” I call it “Poetry…Cubed!” Here’s how it works:

  • Use the 3 images below as inspiration to write a poem.
  • The poem can be any form, any number of lines, rhyming or not.
  • The only hitch is that you need to include a reference to all three images in the poem – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract.
  • Ornaments
    (click to enlarge)

    Then email your poem to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com before Nov. 30 and I’ll share them all here throughout the month! Out of all the poems entered, ONE lucky writer will be chosen at random to receive his/her choice of:

Your three images (click to enlarge any of them):

 IMG_0637 

Think you can make some poetic deliciousness out of these? I’ll post all the poems and announce the winner on Fri., Dec. 4. Here are some more poems that have come in since last week, including one from someone who wishes to remain anonymous. (and a special thanks to Jessica Bigi, who has now submitted TWO poems for the challenge!)

West Virginia

Misty ghosts of
Blue-gray uniforms
Crowing mountains
Berry-leaved branches
Razing towards glory
Somehow not
As gram remember
Though still in
Her mountain beauty
The cools that warmed our stove
Grew snapdragons’ feet
Distrustful it is
Victory – victory
Streets a blaze
Grams remembering
The heroes that battled here and
The beauty of her mountain home
Lights a candle and prays

– Jessica Bigi
.

Sweet Revenge

The stove burns brightly.
I’ve tricked them again,
fed bittersweet berries
and now they have lain
aside all their worries,
asleep as I sought.
Dear Hansel and Gretel –
now time for the pot.
Oh no! He’s awakened.
My plan to be slick
is failing, I’m falling
into my own trick.

– © Linda Baie 2015, All Rights Reserved

.
November Haiku

Autumn dances
in gusts of red and gold
bittersweet flames

– Anonymous

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Poetry_Friday logoLooking for more poetry? You’re in luck! Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect is hosting Poetry Friday today, and has all the links ready and waiting for you!

And be sure to send your poems to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com before Nov. 30, to be eligible to win!

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!
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To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week – on Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)Cybils-Logo-2015-Web-Sm
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Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: “Poetry…Cubed!” Round 2 continues:

Poetry Cubed logo

Are you busy working on your “Poetry…Cubed!” poems? I hope so!

Last Friday, I challenged readers to come up with a poem utilizing imagery from these three pictures:

 IMG_0637 

I’ve already received a few, including the following…

Thanksgiving Day

Applauds
fumbles
Hike
pass
Last second
Five o’clock dinner-plate
Cranberries in a boil
Turkeys blazing in
Grandmas’ oven
Yesterday grandpa
Chops firewood
Tonight we bless
Those we love
Happy Thanksgiving

– Jessica Bigi

cbhanek cubed poem

– cbhanek

.
Under Wraps
How bitter it feels to be sweet when you’re not
When you lose what you love
And pretend you don’t care
When all’s gone that you’ve sought
The voice in your head says
Keep cool! Soldier on!
Hold still that façade
Soon the pain will be gone
So while you burn at your core
You keep a stiff lip
You’ve learned well how to hide it
That heart that’s too tender
The one that is falling
The one that you’re holding
So fast in your grip
– Leslie Lotz-Skimmings

poetryfridaybutton-fulllInteresting how the same pictures can stir different thoughts, feelings, and images within different people – which is why I’m eager to see what YOU come up with! Email me your poem at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com, and I’ll enter you in the contest. And remember, it’s not a matter of how good or bad it is; the important thing is that you write!

If you missed it, this past Monday’s post featured a found poem to help celebrate writer/blogger Irene Latham’s 10th blogiversary! To check out all the “WILD” poetry, log onto her blog, Live Your Poem. And for even more poetry, please visit Bridget Magee at Wee Words for Wee Ones for today’s Poetry Friday roundup!

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!
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To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week – on Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)Cybils-Logo-2015-Web-Sm
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Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

It’s a wild, wild life – with Irene Latham!

In celebration of her 10-year blogiversary, the lovely and talented Irene Latham is celebrating all things WILD today! She has invited many of her fellow bloggers and writers to join her by sharing something on the theme of “WILD.” I’ve chosen to jump in with my own unique take on the subject…

Rather than think about what it means to be “wild” via poem, picture, story, etc. – I decided to take a slightly different route. As I was thinking about the word “wild,” the Talking Heads tune, “Wild, Wild Life” popped into my head and wouldn’t let go. (And when it comes to earworms, David Byrne and crew were excellent at creating them.)

If you’re unfamiliar with the song, here it is:

So…getting back to my plan, I wondered how I could take this earworm and turn it into something productive. Then it hit me: found poetry!

Catch Your Breath coverA ‘found poem’ is one that is made up of lines already written – perhaps from a book, magazine, or wherever. For example, one found poem I recently wrote was included in Laura Purdie Salas’ book, Catch Your Breath: Writing Poignant Poetry (Capstone Press, 2015):

Voice

Expressing unspoken thoughts
and burning desire,
a voice that is not part of the narrative
pauses for a breath;
the essential commands
and
extreme situations
still seem confusing.
Don’t get discouraged.
Slow down,
evaluate your work,
and take your time
through talent,
steely focus,
and faith
to change the world.

– © 2014 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

That poem was created from a multitude of lines I pulled from various voiceover websites! I did not write any additional words; everything above was already written. I just organized the lines in such a way as to create a new work.

That’s what I decided to do today! Pulling lines from various songs that had the word “wild” in the title, I created this poem:

“Wild”

Here on this mountaintop,
feeling like I’m racing
in the wind
I wrestle your conscience; at night
undercover by the water
everything seems
in a state of grace.

I remember a time
there came
a killing frost
reflected in your eyes;
the one that loved you
tried to tame you.

I wonder
if you think about it.

Come, stand
before the mirror
before the wind
catches your feet;
In a world gone crazy, you
reckless and hungered,
can be anything
you want to be.

– © 2015, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

I used a bunch of songs for this, too – from multiple genres of music! Here’s the list:

“Wild, Wild Life” by Talking Heads
“Wild One” by Janis Joplin
“Real Wild Child” by Iggy Pop
“Wild Side of Life” by Hank Thompson
“Wild Thing” by The Troggs
“Pickin’ Wildflowers” by Keith Anderson
“Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf
“Your Wildest Dreams” by The Moody Blues
“Wildfire” by Michael Martin Murphy
“Wild Night” by Van Morrison
“Wild Boys” by Duran Duran

Be sure to visit Irene’s blog and see all the links her friends are sharing – and if you haven’t heard, the second round of “Poetry…Cubed!” just got underway this past Friday, so click HERE to learn more about how you can win this fun contest!

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!
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To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week – on Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)Cybils-Logo-2015-Web-Sm
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Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: “Poetry…Cubed”, Round 2!

Poetry Cubed logoHard to believe, but National Poetry Month was half a year ago, when I introduced a little writing contest I called “Poetry…Cubed.”  So, 6 months later, I think it’s time to bring it back and have some more fun!

First, a recap, in case you don’t know how this works: On The Food Network show, “Chopped,” chefs compete against each other by trying to create the best dishes they can using specific ingredients given to them in a special basket. They have no idea what’s in those baskets until they open them on the spot.

For the first round, they might have to create appetizers using, for example, pig knuckles, lima beans, and cocoa. The dishes are critiqued by a panel of judges, the chef with the least appealing dish gets ‘chopped,’ and the three remaining chefs then move on to the entree round, which might consist of geoduck, durian, and Good ‘n Plenty.

The final two move on to desserts, and the last chef standing wins.

For the contest I’m presenting here, I’ve taken the basic premise of the TV show and removed the anxiety…I call it “Poetry…Cubed!” Here’s how it works:

  • Use the 3 images (“cubed!”) below as inspiration to write a poem.
  • The poem can be any form, any number of lines, rhyming or not.
  • The only hitch is that you need to include a reference to all three images in the poem – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract.
  • Ornaments
    (click to enlarge)

    Then email your poem to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com before Nov. 30 and I’ll share them all here throughout the month! Out of all the poems entered, ONE lucky writer will be chosen at random to receive his/her choice of:

I’ll post all the poems and announce the winner on Fri., Dec. 4!

Keep in mind, I can only format poems to a small degree – so if possible, try to refrain from lots of unusual breaks and text placement. I’ll do my best to format your poem per your wishes, but WordPress will only allow me to do so much; blogging platforms aren’t known for being particularly poetry-friendly!

Ready? Here are your three images:

 IMG_0637 

Think you can make something delicious out of these ingredients? Feel free to click any of the images to enlarge them, and remember: your poems can use concrete references or abstract references; they’re poems, after all, so be creative!

To get things started, here’s a simple stanza I came up with:

Her, in November

Love’s seeds burst open
on the vine
as autumn plays its games;
the fire, ’tis sweet,
but once lit, none
dare try contain the flames.

– © 2015, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

poetryfridaybutton-fulllI only spent 15-20 minutes on that, so I’m sure you can come up with something better! I look forward to seeing it! Keep in mind, your poem doesn’t have to be the best, it just has to have a reference to each of the three photos – the winner will be chosen at random.

And for all of today’s Poetry Friday links and fun, please visit Katya at Write. Sketch, Repeat.!

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!
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To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week – on Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)Cybils-Logo-2015-Web-Sm
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Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Rejection: all part of the business

I received two rejections for two different picture book manuscripts last week. And just yesterday, I received a third! Three in two weeks, a new record!

Has that ever happened to you? If so, what did you do?

Me, I deleted the messages and sent the manuscripts off to other publishers!

Oh, and I started working on a brand-new manuscript, which has been taking up a significant portion of my free time, which is why I wasn’t able to post anything last Tuesday.

Accept it and move on!

Everyone has a different way of dealing with rejections, for manuscripts, voicework, or otherwise. Some folks – usually those new to writing – take a rejection notice to heart and anguish over it, deciding right then and there that it was foolish to ever consider sending something out and they swear they’ll never do that again.

Those poor souls never get published because they quit.

On the other hand, some folks save every rejection letter they’ve ever received, and joke about plastering their living rooms or bedrooms with them once they hit it big. These folks may also never get published – but at least they’ve got the right attitude. You can’t get a deal if you’re not in the game.

Still others, like Yours Truly, discard rejection letters as soon as they show up.

Early on in my career I had considered holding onto them as a sort of badge of honour…but I quickly decided I didn’t want any kind of negative energy around! Occasionally, I’ll get a very positive rejection – an editor or agent who can’t use what I sent them, but are encouraging nonetheless – and those I’ll hang onto for reference.

But if it’s a form rejection, sorry, not interested, doesn’t fit, not quite what we’re looking for, blah blah…it’s in the circular file!

Oh, and another rejection, of sorts

My baby!I also learned from one of my voiceover clients that one of their clients (for whom I voice monthly radio commercials) wants to go in a different direction – i.e., wants to use a voice other than mine.

Again, this goes with the territory. It’s not that they didn’t like my voice, didn’t like me, didn’t like the quality of work I was doing….they just wanted something different. So I don’t wring my hands over it; I simply continue on, doing what I’ve been doing.

The term, “You win some, you lose some” was created specifically for writers and actors.

Full disclosure: I have no idea if that preceding statement is true, but it seems to make sense, so I’m sticking with it.

Honestly, I’ve been rejected by women for reasons a lot worse than “I’d like to try something different.” (Although, now that I think about it, I actually have been rejected by a number of women for that very reason…but I digress…)

But that’s the reason most of us in these businesses get rejected: the people we’re dealing with simply want something different. Not necessarily something better – although that certainly could be the case – just something differentAnd all a person in my position can do is say, “Ok, best wishes!” and then move on.

In my case, I’m moving on by wrapping up a new children’s poetry collection, starting a new picture book manuscript, and jotting down ideas for three other books I haven’t gotten to yet. I’ve also been in touch with a potential new voiceover client, so we’ll see what happens there!

What is your attitude about rejection?

How do you deal with it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. We all feel differently about it and deal with it in very personal ways, so perhaps your nugget of wisdom might help someone who is struggling.

I look forward to reading your opinions! Right now, though, I have another cover letter I need to write…

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!
SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week – on Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)Cybils-Logo-2015-Web-Sm
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Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!