Not widely available
Mochi is heaven.
— Helene Kwong (see photo for reference)
A little under 24 hours until NaNoWriMo begins; in general, it seems like this year has exploded with a lot of writing challenges across the web. I’ve seen a nonfiction challenge, a picture-book idea challenge, a reading challenge….gee whiz! While I’d love to participate in all of these writing challenges, I also must keep my sanity.
So I’ve decided that the only other writing project I will take on is the Poem-A-Day Chapbook Challenge. Although I don’t consider my poetry too great, I figure writing out poems alongside working on my new novel will be a good balance.
I love the motivational spirit I feel from this year: just a larger support group locally and online. I realize that I probably quit my novel early last year because I didn’t have much of a support group (and my story was driving me a little crazy).
Still no plot, but some characters are forming in my mind. Although no promises can be made, I would like to blog daily about my NaNo progress via this blog. At least then I’ll have another source of motivation, since you all will hold me accountable for my goal.
I always forget about Halloween these days, because my mind ends up skipping onward to November right away.
I’ve had these magnetic sets of words for probably over ten years now–only in the past year did I decide to finally break them out and use them on my refrigerator. I stuck some words together last year, thinking they sounded clever, and didn’t think much of them until last night, when a friend was reading over the “poems” and said, “Wow, how thought-provoking!”
The poem she was referring to:
Could Virtue Cry
Other Sublime Sight
Guarantee Moon Until Twilight
Whether Death Together
Another poem I read out loud and never realized it rhymed until last night:
Timbuktu Never Uptight
When Above Kalamazoo
Sing The Fight
And not to leave out anything from the picture above, the last poem featured in the bottom part of the picture:
Oh Bad Afternoon
Try By Desire
Art Kissed Time
Too Blue Smile
I’m sure there have been some pretty good poems constructed out of those magnetic sets; I just threw together some words that sounded okay together, not really thinking about any of it. Then again, I suppose that’s the best way to get inspired: just let the unconscious (subconscious?) open mind take over.
Well, I managed to pull through the finish line by catching up on my log of poems last night. I wrote my last poem this morning, and felt a sense of accomplishment wash over me. Sure, most of the poems I wrote this month for the Poem-A-Day Challenge were really rough (I didn’t go back and revise any of them before I posted them on the Poetic Asides Blog), but just knowing I pulled through–it’s an accomplishment regardless. Just like the whole spirit of NaNoWriMo really, except, well, the rough drafts are shown to the writing world.
Here are a couple of my works-in-progress from the challenge; they’re from prompts for 1) writing a haiku, and 2) writing a sestina, respectively. On those days, we were to choose between two prompts: to either write in those styles, or write about them. I chose the second option for both days.
“How to say it?”
Pronunciation is the key
No, no, HI Coo
No, not balloon.
Honest to goodness
Call me ignorant, but yes
I don’t even know.
More or less, I found it ironic/amusing that I managed to write a haiku for the day I was supposed to write a sestina.
Well, it was at least fun to participate in the whole challenge, even if I did fall behind most of the time. Now, onto May and Writo de Mayo.
Today seems to be a day where routine is simply thrown out the window: I have a list of tasks that I’d like to complete for the day, but it seems I just don’t feel like doing it. During this whole past week, I’ve been feeling restless again and craving spontaneity.
I’ve also found myself crawling out of some dark mazes with renewed inspiration for writing ideas. Yesterday, while proctoring a test at work, I suddenly found a long-incubating idea sprout forth from my mind and furiously wrote down the whole thought. The incident made me realize that I should really bring a bigger notebook along with me from now on, for future moments like this one.
An hour ago, I caught up on this past week’s prompts from the Poem-A-Day Challenge. Poetry is one area of writing where I feel I may never truly excel in, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still write for the fun of it. Probably the whole point of the P-A-D Challenge is to hone my craft a little more, but I find that I’m just writing for the sake of writing. It’s that whole NaNoWriMo mindset–just get the words down. However, I have been posting my poems on each day’s thread at the challenge, so, unlike NaNoWriMo, I’m showing those rough drafts to the world. Raw, unfiltered poems: I suppose it’s my specialty.
Speaking of community challenges: I signed myself up for the 2nd annual Writo de Mayo over at the NaNoLJers community. What makes Writo de Mayo different from NaNoWriMo is that each participant sets his/her own goals for the month of May and strives to meet them for the month. I tried participating last year by attempting to finish Novel #2 that month; however, it was much harder for me to pull the motivation through the month since I didn’t have others posting their word counts, fueling me along. I still managed to make some progress on that novel, but not enough to finish it off that month. This year, I intend on completing Novel #4 in May and also pumping out 50 hours of rewriting for Novel #1 (which would have been an appropriate goal for last month, NaNoEdMo, had I not been so distracted by other things).
So there, I’ve set out my goals for all my blog visitors to read. Now I must follow through with these ambitions and put them into action in the coming weeks.