7-Minute Stretch #6 Poetry Challenge-Occasionally, I Want To Talk About...

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If you, like me, get songs stuck in your brain, please forgive me in advance. The moment I read this prompt a Toby Keith song popped into my head, the one about the guy who really likes to hear every-single-teeny-itsy-detail of his gal's life, but Occasionally...  So, here's your chance:

Poetry Challenge #6*

I'm The One Who . . . 

Write a list poem. What is it you do? What makes you you?

Set the timer for 7 minutes

    Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

If the prompt moves you, follow it. If it sparks something else, go with it! Our 7-Minute Poetry Challenge is not about writing great poetry; or writing what is expected; it’s not even about writing anything good. It’s about one thing, writing IT!

And, if you do join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge be sure to let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole dang poem, in the comments!

*(This prompt was filched from Cindy Faughnan--with permission. We are tag teaming to create and complete challenges. Check out her website: wwwcindyfaughnan.com for more--including recipes!)

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Is your ear itching to hear that Toby Keith song, Occasionally, I Wanna Talk

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7-Minute Stretch #5 Poetry Challenge: What's that Noise?

If your tots haven't read this book, they are missing out--and so are you! B  uy It!

If your tots haven't read this book, they are missing out--and so are you! Buy It!

A poll of incredibly interested 2,3 & 4 year-olds revealed noteworthy data: Their favorite part of my picture book, Not Norman, A Goldfish Story, was:

  • Not our spunky main character,
  • Not the brilliant story,
  • Not the delightful pictures,
  • Not . . .  Norman???

It was the dark page toward the end of the story when our tad-bit-scared boy says, "What's that noise?"

Prompted by certain sounds, our minds take us places--interesting, provocative, visceral...scary places. Which leads me to this week's prompt. Let's use sounds to mess around with readers minds--and make our poetry...well...Sing

Poetry Challenge #5

What's That Noise?

Take a walk—around your house, a store, the school, or your neighborhood.

Write a poem about it. But, rather than focusing on what you see, focus on what you hear.

Extra points for using an onomatopoeia—or a few. In case you forgot: that’s a words that sound like the sound of the object it’s describing.

You know the drill:

Set the timer for 7 minutes

 Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

Write a poem, paragraph, or story. If the prompt moves you, follow it. If it sparks something else, go with it! Our 7-Minute Poetry Challenge is not about writing great poetry; or writing what is expected; it’s not even about writing anything good. It’s about one thing, writing IT!

For Inspiration: Here's a poem chock full of sounds by Roger McGough

The Sound Collector

A stranger called this morning
Dressed all in black and grey
Put every sound into a bag
And carried them away

The whistling of the kettle
The turning of the lock
The purring of the kitten
The ticking of the clock

The popping of the toaster
The crunching of the flakes
When you spread the marmalade
The scraping noise it makes

The hissing of the frying pan
The ticking of the grill
The bubbling of the bathtub
As it starts to fill

The drumming of the raindrops
On the windowpane
When you do the washing-up
The gurgle of the drain

The crying of the baby
The squeaking of the chair
The swishing of the curtain
The creaking of the stair

A stranger called this morning
He didn’t leave his name
Left us only silence
Life will never be the same
— by Roger McGough

**Need/Want more inspirations? Here's a whole page of sound poems.

And, if you do join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge be sure to let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole dang poem, in the comments!

Want the 7-Minute Stretch sent to your email? Click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive email notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl.

7-Minute Stretch #3 Poetry Challenge-Party Time

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Hurrah! Happy to have you with me. You know the drill (and if you don't it's easy enough): Grab a pen, a paper, your timer, and--why not!--a party hat! 

Poetry Challenge #3

Happy Birthday to Shel!

In honor of poet, singer-songwriter, cartoonist, screenwriter, and children's author Shel Silverstein's birthday (Sept 25, 1930) write a silly-funny poem about a made-up animal--or the perfect birthday party.

For inspiration, read one of Shel Silverstein's Birthday poems:

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Birthday Snake Shel Silverstein.jpg

                          

   Set the timer for 7 minutes

                 Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

Write a poem, paragraph, or story. If the prompt moves you, follow it. If it sparks something else, go with it! Our 7-Minute Poetry Challenge is not about writing great poetry; or writing what is expected; it’s not even about writing anything good. It’s about one thing, writing IT!

And, if you do join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge be sure to let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole dang poem, in the comments!

And for a real treat, celebrate by reading one of   Shel Silverstein's   books!

And for a real treat, celebrate by reading one of Shel Silverstein's books!

Want the 7-Minute Stretch sent to your email? Click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive email notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl.

7-MINUTE STRETCH: #2 Poetry Challenge-Easy as ABC

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Know how sometimes just the thought of doing something will stop you cold? (Maybe, if you read the Challenge I tossed out in my last post, it did.) You are so not alone! I am not a poet. Worse, I'm a lousy poet. So you can believe 548+ days ago, when my mentor, author Mary Quattlebaum, sweetly suggested poetry might help my writing and suggested I "try" some poetry prompts, I wanted to run.

The only thing that kept me from say @#$*NO! and running away (aside from shame) was that timer.

That goofy, wonderful, shame-saving Timer

If you've been slogging through The Fishbowl for a while you know I'm all about the timer. My mom introduced us, my brother Joe and I, to the timer back when we were waist high. She used it for good and evil. If we wanted to do something (say play longer, stay up longer, swim longer) she'd say "I'll give you five minutes!" and actually mean it--I'm talking watch the timer and tap off seconds with your toe mean it."

Likewise, when we didn't want to do something (say clean, pick up, straighten up, grown up...) she set the timer. "Next commercial you clear the table, vacuum, dust, brush your teeth... Hurry or you'll miss the show!" Amazing how much we could accomplish during a commercial break. Rollin' Rollin' Rollin' keep them doggies rollin' Rawhide!"

Come on, give it a try. Grab a paper, pen, a timer and give it a go! You might surprise yourself! 

Poetry Challenge #2

Back to School—ABC’s*

             I remember the excitement of going back to school every year, both as a student and a teacher. Friends to see, things to learn, books to read! I barely slept the night before. Always, I loved getting back to the schedule of fall.

Write one line—five words—that begin in order with the letters A, B, C, D, E.

This line will be the first line of your poem.

Add four more lines. Try to begin line 2 with B, line 3 with C, line 4 with D, and line 5 with E.

That’s it! 

Remember the rules:

                                         Read the prompt

                                   Set the timer for 7 minutes

                                         Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it. Write a poem, paragraph, or story. If the prompt moves you, follow it. If it sparks something else, go with it! Our 7-Minute Poetry Challenge is not about writing great poetry; or writing what is expected; it’s not even about writing anything good. It’s about one thing, writing IT!

And, if you do join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge be sure to let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole dang poem, in the comments!

*(This prompt was filched from Cindy Faughnan's Sept 14th post--with permission. We are tag teaming to create and complete challenges. Check out her website: wwwcindyfaughnan.com for more--including recipes!)

Wanna keep in touch? Click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive email notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl.

7-MINUTE STRETCH:#1 Poetry Challenge-If You Dare...

I've got a proposition for you. A challenge. A dare.  . .

The gauntlet to undertake a similar challenge was tossed to me by my writing bud, Cindy Faughnansome 540 days ago--and I caught it! I can't say it has been easy, or convenient, but it has made me a better something?!  Maybe it will you, too. So come on, try it! What have you got to lose?

7-Minute Poetry Challenge

Write a poem, a paragraph or a story in seven minutes. Here's how: 

                                                               Read the prompt

                                                              Set the timer for 7 minutes

                                                              Start writing!

Don't think about it too much; just do it. If the prompt moves you, follow it. If it sparks something else, go with it! Our 7-Minute Poetry Challenge is not about writing great poetry; or writing what is expected; it's not even about writing anything good. It's about one thing, writing IT!  

Challenge #1  The First Day

Gavin & Keira's 1st Day of School 2017

Gavin & Keira's 1st Day of School 2017

On the first day of school what things do you bring? A backpack? Pen? Paper? Maybe you’ll wear a new pair of jeans or shoes? 

Think about it: Not only will it be your first day of school, it will be that “things” first day of school too. How do you think those “things” feel about going to school for the first time? Write a “First Day of School” poem from the point of view of one of those things.

Note: It can be the first day of anything. Just tell the story from the point of view of one of the thing you bring with you that first day.

For Inspiration read: SCHOOL'S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, written by Adam Rex and illustrated by Christian Robinson (Roaring Brook Press, 2016), the story of the first day of school as told by Fredrick Douglass Elementary—a brand new school building!

 

 

Gavin & Keira were up the the Challenge. As you can read below, Gavin's Binder shared. Keira's dress was "shy" on that first day:

If, like Keira & Gavin, you're up for the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge, please let us know by posting the title of your poem under "Comments". Or if you would like, share your poem (or whatever the prompt inspired you to create!) We would love to see IT!

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This is only the beginning. Cindy and I will post a new challenge prompt once a week—every seven days. We invite you to take the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge with us.

And, please share our Challenge with your friends, students, classmates... (even those, like me, who are absolutely, positively, NOT poets!) After all, the state of the world being what it is, to paraphrase the BeatlesPoetry is All We Need!

Wanna keep in touch? Click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive email notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl.

On Gardening Leave

Is "Gardening Leave" the same as being "Put Out to Pasture"? If it is, should we be worried? Or happy? 

Us back then!

Us back then!

Four years, three months ago, Curtis and I moved to Trinidad from Indonesia. Seven years before that we'd moved to Indonesia from Houston. 

The day after April Fool's Day, loaded down with 6 suitcases, 2 carry-ons and lots of memories--especially of our dear Trini friends--Curtis and I boarded a plane bound for New York, and whatever comes after. . . 

 

 

Why we were New York and not Houston or somewhere else Bound?

Several years ago, while my Creativity Group (or the GGs as we called ourselves) was working through The Passion Test, I came to the realization that I wanted-needed-a base, a home, a nest of our own.

So, we went searching for that nest and finally found one in a seaside village of Westhampton Beach on Long Island. It met all our requirements--the requirements of late mid-life: Withing 2 hours of an International Airport; good doctors, hospital, within walking/biking distance to all the necessities. 

If you're wondering what "Renovation" means, this sums it up... sans the theatre/romance/fun subplot.

If you're wondering what "Renovation" means, this sums it up... sans the theatre/romance/fun subplot.

A better/worse/more realistic example...

A better/worse/more realistic example...

Our Vene Mange "Mini Band" won 3rd place in Carnival 2016

Our Vene Mange "Mini Band" won 3rd place in Carnival 2016

We proceeded to make the nest our own

And then,  little more ours . . . 

Fast forward three years. . .

We knew this day would come. Curtis's Trinidad & Tobago Work Permit expired on March 31t. We'd  been planning for it. Working toward it. We thought our builder was too...

This morning, as we were meeting with the electrician to decide where we should position the lights, outlets, switches, cables and wires needed to complete this reno, with detritus from our six suitcases & 4 carry-ons scattered throughout our crowded "nest" Curtis got the call we'd been expecting. As of today, Curtis is officially on "Gardening Leave," whatever that means...

Am I nervous? Excited? Scared? A little worries? Sure am!

Here's one thing I've learned these 4 years in Trinidad:

Trini hearts must beat with the rhythm of the steel pan. I'm sure of it when I see Trini's move and when I hear them speak. Sentences blend and bounce, ending with a upturn, a lilt. I try to recreate the accent but mine comes out sounding leprechaun.

Even courtesy greeting to passerbys dance. No quick, curt "Hi," or nod of the head. Joggers sweating and puffing their way up steep Lady Chancellor hill this past Saturday morning sang out, "Mornin' Mornin'" "G'day! G'day!" just as they had every other day. Morning greetings, regardless the age of the speaker,  come twice.

Curious about the origin of this charming greeting custom, I'd looked it up when we first came to Trinidad. I recall something about how the custom stems from back when servants manners better be above reproach. (Although when I searched just now for that reference, I couldn't find it.) 

I asked a Trini friend about the two-call greeting and she said she recalled her grandmother saying it was about not risking being considered rude. "Trinidad is a small community," she explained. "If you're not related to someone, you know someone who is. If it ever got back to our family that we hadn't been polite, hadn't greeted someone properly, we'd catch the devil. Better to say it twice and be sure to be heard."

Knowing this charming custom grew out of fear--fear of losing one's position or risking punishment--a "Better safe than sorry," mentality, should, I suppose, make me enjoy it less. On the contrary. I think there's something to this idea that if one has something important enough to say once, we should make sure it's heard. And if that means saying it twice, sing out!

So now, today, with Gardening Leave (and whatever it entails) about to begin, we're taking a cue from our Trini Friends:  We're Ready! We're Ready!

 

"Gardening Leave" Playlist

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NOT YOUR AVERAGE GOLDFISH

Just because Norman the Goldfish swims around and around and around...inside a fishbowl all day, you might think he's empty-headed. You'd be wrong!

Norman far from your average goldfish. In addition to pina coladas and getting caught in the rain, Norman loves music. Sure Tuba music is his favorite, but he likes all different kinds of music, especially if it's fishy. In preparation for Jumpstart's Read for the Record© 10-22-2015, we've compiled his music playlist. (Norman glugged them; I wrote them down.)

Norman the Goldfish’s Music Playlist:

Norman says, There are way too many fishing songs out, far too few fish songs. These are his favorite fishy songs in order of glugs recieved:

  1. Under the Sea from The Littlest Mermaid
  2. Octupus’s Garden by The Beatles
  3. Fish Gotta Swim from Showboat, sung by Ava Gardner
  4. Somewhere Beyond the Sea, sung by Bobbie Darin
  5. Three Little Fishies by Wake-Up Group
  6. There’s A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea by Katie Cutie Kids TV
  7. Swim by Jack Mannequin 
  8. Let’s Go Swimming by The Wiggles 
  9. If I Were a Fish by Katie Cutie Kids TV
  10. Barracuda by Heart
  11. Rock Lobster by the B52s

Bonus: Punniest Fish Song of all time (How could we not include this?):

If you aren't registered yet, whatcha waiting for? Here's the link to  Jumpstart's    Read for the Record© 10-22-2015  :   http://conta.cc/1L97qpM

If you aren't registered yet, whatcha waiting for? Here's the link to Jumpstart's Read for the Record© 10-22-2015http://conta.cc/1L97qpM

For the Record: Story Behind Guinness's Book

To paraphrase Patsy, Have I got records on my mind! How could I not? My huge worry, since Jumpstart selected NOT NORMAN as its READ FOR THE RECORD© book for 2015, is that You-We-They might not to sign up to read on Oct. 22nd?! And miss what could be—will be if you help—The World’s Largest Shared Reading Experience ever—for The Record!

What exactly is The Record???

Well, since you asked: Guinness World Records (GWR), formerly known as The Guinness Book of Records and The Guinness Book of World Records, is an annually published listing of world records of “both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world.”

Sir Hugh Beaver, Quite the Shot!

Sir Hugh Beaver, Quite the Shot!

On the record: As it happened, Sir Hugh Beaver, Chairman of Guinness Breweries, on a shooting party in the North Slob, the morning of Nov. 10, 1951, took a shot at a golden plover, and missed—Lucky Plover, that!

An argument between the no doubt grumpy Sir Hugh and his cronies erupted over which was the fastest game bird in Europe: the golden plover or the red grouse? Later, back at Castlebridge House, while attempting to settle the argument, Sir Hugh realized it was impossible! There was no reference book to confirm what he knew to be true—that the golden plover was indeed Europe’s fastest game bird. (BTW: It is.[7][8]) Harumph!

1st Edition, Aug. 27, 1955

1st Edition, Aug. 27, 1955

It struck Sir Hugh that there were undoubtedly “numerous other questions debated nightly in pubs throughout Ireland and abroad,” -hopefully over pints of Guinness-but no book with which to settle such arguments. As one would, Sir Hugh took the problem to work with him.

As they say, the rest is, on Aug. 27th—my mom’s birth date—60 years history! The 1st Guinness Book of Records, a 198-page edition was presented to top-selling Guinness sellers for Christmas.

It was a marketing give away – it wasn’t supposed to be a money maker.
— –Sir Hugh Beaver

Speaking of Records: The book itself holds a world record: It’s the Best-selling copyright book of all time! (Excluding non-copyright works such as the Bible and the Koran.) And, although GWR doesn’t currently hold this record, (it did until 2000), it’s one of the Most Frequently Stolen Library Books in the U.S.[3] (Can’t tell you what’s #1. The FBI compiled a list—but it’s top secret.) 

Call me obsessed, but I did a search to find out if there were any World Record Goldfish.

I found some:

But, I didn’t find any record for the Most People Reading a Goldfish Book or for the Most Widely Read Goldfish. (Norman could so set that one—He is a voracious reader!)  

Which means, on Oct. 22nd we’re going for THE TRIPLE CROWN (gold, of course)! Sign Up now to Read for the Record

 http://www.jstart.org/campaigns/read-for-the-record

For The Record Playlist:

And in case, like Norman, you aspire to greatness:  How to Set A World Record 

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