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Creative Prompt: Resilience & Poetry

I don’t normally make videos, but I thought it would be appropriate for today’s poetic exercise. Hope you’ll watch below and share your poems/stories or anything you’re thinking about this month.

Visuals & Poems

We’re living in uncertain times, and poetry can provide a modicum of peace. I also have been taking walks and working in the garden these afternoons with my family. I’ve thought a lot about how spring is upon us and how flowers are just beginning to bloom — tulips, daffodils, even trees.

When I took this photo, I had no idea that it would be out of focus, but it’s interesting to think about the lack of focus in the photo as a reflection of the lack of focus and purpose many of us have now. We’re either adjusting to working from home, out of work and concerned for our families, and some of us are navigating the new world of online learning for young children.

I’d love to hear about any visuals that inspire you while you’re walking around with your dog or friends. Share your stories below — in poetic form — or just on your blog.

Poem Generator Fun: Concrete Poems

Concrete poems often take the shape of the object being written about. These are some of the most visually inspiring poems, and kids often love these because they can connect the words to the object. These poems also do not have to rhyme.

I would love to see what kind of poems you generate with the poem generator — click the image of the cat above to access the generator. No major creativity required — just plug in some data and see the algorithm work.

Large, Grey Husky
A Concrete Poem
Presented as text

Poem: The moon rose over the bay. I had a lot of feelings. by Donika Kelly

Today, I thought I would direct you to read or listen to a poem by Donika Kelly.

The moon rose over the bay. I had a lot of feelings.
by Donika Kelly (audio is available)

She is the author of the chapbook Aviarium (fivehundred places, 2017), and the full-length collection Bestiary (Graywolf Press, 2016), winner of the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, the 2017 Hurston/Wright Award for poetry, and the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize.

 

 

 

 

Poetry: Beyond the Book

Poetry has reached beyond the page in a lot of cases, and many are aware of InstaPoets who read online in Instagram and create graphic posts of their poems. But were you aware of poets who are creating interactive collections using QR codes and turning to audio as a way to reach wider audiences?

Jessica Piazza’s recent poetry collection, This is Not a Sky, pairs her ekphrastic poems with QR codes to the paintings and artwork that inspired them.

I called the collection ” art unto itself and a must read for those who love painters and some of the most iconic artists of our time. Piazza will have you looking at the art on the museum walls in vastly different ways. She creates vignettes for the players and for those outside the frame.”

Check out your own copy.

Alan King, a local poet in the Washington, D.C. area, created his own audio version of Drift, relying on music and sound effects to set the stage for his very real poems. I’m listening to the audio now, and it is intriguing. I’ve enjoyed the first few poems on audio just as I did when I read the book.

The collection ” is musical, funny, and serious. It asks questions about identity and fitting it, particularly what it means to be a “brother.” But it’s also about growing up in an unforgiving urban landscape.”

Check out this sample below:

Let me know what kinds of unique poetry collections you’ve discovered. Which ones are breaking boundaries of the page?

National Poetry Month: Postcards from the Pandemic

Most everyone knows what a postcard is — a 4×6 inch piece of card stock with an image on the front and a place to write a note on the back that can be mailed with postage and an address sans envelope. I’m sure this has been done before, but with many of us sheltering place this year, I doubt we’ll be heading to poetry readings and other literary events with large groups of people. But I have noticed that letter writing and connecting with others far away has come back into fashion — at least for some.

I found this fascinating listing for Postcard Poems and Prose (feel free to submit one), and I thought it would be a fun activity to try with everyone. Let’s all share 1-4 lines of prose or poetry in a postcard format in the comments.

Of course, I’ll start us off — so glad you asked. 😉

Wish you were here
beside me on the couch
but six feet of distance
puts me on edge.

Now, it’s your turn — share something funny, something inspiring, whatever you like.

Nancy Drew Clue Book: Pool Party Puzzler by Carolyn Keene, illustrated by Peter Francis

Source: Purchased
Paperback, 97 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Nancy Drew Clue Book: Pool Party Puzzler by Carolyn Keene, illustrated by Peter Francis, is a fun mystery that younger kids can read without parents worrying about too much danger. These are mysteries that kids could do on their own with little adult help. I loved Nancy Drew as a kid, but I knew that the ones I read in middle school were not right for my younger daughter. These, however, are perfect. Nancy, George, and Bess are the Clue Crew and they love solving mysteries. All are invited to Deidre Shannon’s eighth birthday party (sweet half sixteen birthday party). At this party, each guest is told to wear a sea creature or similar themed costume. Deidre, of course, is a spoiled, popular girl with a blog who wants all of the attention on her at her party. She is the queen of the sea.

Nancy, George, and Bess learn about topiaries, interact with teenagers, and meet a mystery guest who doesn’t speak but has pink toenail polish. When the party’s big surprise — Marina, Queen of the Mermaids — is ruined by a snake in the pool, the clue crew gets to work on solving who slung the fake snake into the pool to ruin the party. I love that they write down possible suspects and investigate each one by not only talking to them but also listening to their conversations and following them into joke shops. These books still have illustrations, which my daughter loved, especially since she’s never seen a topiary before.

Nancy Drew Clue Book: Pool Party Puzzler by Carolyn Keene, illustrated by Peter Francis, also offers younger readers an opportunity before the big reveal to think about all the suspects, write down their own clues, and come to their own conclusions about who the culprit is. My daughter and I discussed all the clues and suspects while reading and before the big reveal. She was happy to learn that she had guessed correctly at who the snake slinger was.

RATING: Cinquain

Mailbox Monday #573

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

The Haunted Library: The Ghost in the Attic by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Aurore Damant, which I purchased.

After successfully solving the mystery of the ghost in the library, Kaz and Claire land the first case for their detective agency—a haunted attic in a neighbor’s home! With a little help from Grannie, Kaz and Claire discover that what appeared to be something spooky has a much simpler explanation.

 

The Deep by Alma Katsu, which I purchased.

Someone, or something, is haunting the ship. Between mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, the guests of the Titanic have found themselves suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone from the moment they set sail. Several of them, including maid Annie Hebley, guest Mark Fletcher, and millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, are convinced there’s something sinister–almost otherwordly–afoot. But before they can locate the source of the danger, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later, Annie, having survived that fateful night, has attempted to put her life back together. Working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic‘s sister ship, the Britannic, newly refitted as a hospital ship, she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier fighting in World War I. At first, Annie is thrilled and relieved to learn that he too survived the sinking, but soon, Mark’s presence awakens deep-buried feelings and secrets, forcing her to reckon with the demons of her past–as they both discover that the terror may not yet be over.

What did you receive?

National Poetry Month 2020

National Poetry Month 2020 is around the corner.

Here are some possible ways to celebrate:

Share your favorite poems on your blog, with friends, on video chat, and let me know how you’ll be celebrating poetry this year.

I’d love to add more online gems to the list!

Seed by Ania Ahlborn (audio)

Source: Purchased
Audible, 6+ hours
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Seed by Ania Ahlborn, narrated by Eric G. Dove, is a creepy story that reminds me of the Exorcist in that there seems to be a demon child running around its pages. Jack Winter and his family live in Louisiana and they are far from rich, but they seem to be a pretty happy family. But following a car accident, something happens to his daughter, Charlie, that brings to the fore echoes of Jack’s past.

“The craziest of them all seem nice and normal and happy until some vital part of their brain fries like bad wiring.”

The narration is great, though there is one point in which he forgets to modify his voice for Jack’s wife but it didn’t deter me from listening to the story. I wanted the story to be creepier, but it definitely wasn’t gory, which is perfect for those who do not like those kinds of horror books. Charlie is creepy, but she really doesn’t become overly creepy until nearly the end of the book, so her change is very gradual and not as dramatic as I would expect from a demon-related story. The interconnection between Charlie’s story and her father’s past, however, gets really juicy.

Seed by Ania Ahlborn, narrated by Eric G. Dove, has elements of a good Stephen King novel like Cujo, but at the same time, it seemed to lack a certain amount of depth. The characters felt flat as I listened and I wanted more from Jack. His motivations to lie at every turn are murky at best, and why he lies seems to be a plot device. I wanted it to be more developed than it was. Charlie is definitely creepy, but her character also seems to act older than her six years even before the takeover. This was a quick read but had some faults.

RATING: Tercet

Excerpt from Mr. Darcy’s Clan by Lari Ann O’Dell & Giveaway

I just love the supernatural and well-written vampire novels, so when I heard about this P&P variation, I couldn’t resist hosting. Today’s guest Lari Ann O’Dell is going to share with us a scene from her new book, Mr. Darcy’s Clan for today’s blog tour stop. Please check it out and enter the giveaway.

About the Book:

The upper echelon of English society—comprised of vampires, or Firstborn Sons—is a world Elizabeth Bennet has no desire to join. She has little exposure to Firstborn Sons until Mr. Bingley arrives in the neighborhood and falls in love with her sister Jane. His mysterious friend, Mr. Darcy, attracts Elizabeth’s attention but she is convinced he is hiding a dark secret. In spite of this, powerful feelings draw her to him. She learns a shocking truth when Mr. Wickham appears and disaster strikes at Netherfield. Forced into Mr. Darcy’s supernatural realm, a confusing new world of danger threatens their deepening love. How can they find eternal happiness when members of his illustrious clan are plotting her demise? Can Mr. Darcy rise beyond his past to save her or will he lose her for all eternity?

Please welcome, Lari Ann O’Dell:

Hello dear readers and followers of Savvy Verse & Wit. I am grateful to be here today to share an excerpt from my newest release, Mr. Darcy’s Clan.

The scene I am sharing today is one of the first scenes of my book to exist and immediately became my budding inspiration for this untraditional rendition. When I was watching the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice for the umpteenth time, the line “Your hands are cold,” jumped out at me. Recently, I had just finished rewatching all the episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so naturally, I thought, what if Mr. Darcy was a vampire? The idea continued to intrigue the muse.

In this excerpt, we find Darcy and Elizabeth alone in the Netherfield gardens. It is early on in their acquaintance, and instinctively, Elizabeth becomes suspicious when she sees him out in the middle of the night. She is currently unaware of his true identity as a vampire, and her suspicions that he is hiding something are only further aroused when she discovers that his hands are cold.

Elizabeth could not sleep. Jane was slumbering in the room next to hers, and the book Elizabeth had chosen was not diverting. She changed from her nightgown into a dress, and put on her pelisse. The Netherfield gardens were beautiful, and she had not seen them in many years. Perhaps some fresh air and a bit of exercise would help her sleep.

A full moon hung in the velvet sky. A slight breeze rustled the trees and the two fountains in the garden gurgled softly. Elizabeth walked beneath a rose-covered arbor and down an immaculate promenade. The gardeners at Netherfield were certainly talented.

She was startled by a noise behind her and turned to discover she was not alone. Mr. Darcy stood several feet away, fully dressed but rather disheveled. A trail of blood ran down his chin and dripped onto his starched cravat.

Elizabeth longed to escape. Civility did not allow that yet propriety demanded it. She could not be discovered alone, in the middle of the night, with Mr. Darcy. Even so, she stood rooted to the ground as he approached.

He wiped away the blood before speaking. “Miss Elizabeth, forgive me for startling you. I did not expect anyone to be in the garden at this hour.”

“Nor did I,” Elizabeth said, eyeing him suspiciously.

Darcy seemed to sense where she was looking. “I fell on my way back to the stables.”

“Perhaps you should not be riding in the middle of the night then, sir. If you will excuse me …” Elizabeth was intent on brushing past him and running back to her room before her reputation could be tarnished … but she stumbled on a stone.

Darcy grabbed her hands and caught her, helping her to right herself.

Elizabeth was startled, for neither of them wore gloves. His hands were like ice. It was an unseasonably warm night, so the weather did not account for it.

“Your hands are cold,” she said.

Darcy seemed to remember himself and quickly released her hands. “I apologize. Is your sister showing any signs of improvement?” he said, looking rather abashed.

“She is asleep; and we should be as well. Good night, Mr. Darcy.” With that, she hurried back into the house.

Darcy’s blood pounded in his veins, urging him to follow her. He had not been sure until he had taken her hands, but it was undeniable now—his blood cried out for her, and he longed for her in a visceral manner. Elizabeth Bennet was meant to be his Eternal Partner. Darcy was mortified. What chance did they have? She was undoubtedly beneath him. Pride, honor, and duty revolted against such a match.

He should not have come into Hertfordshire.

Oooh, what a titillating moment for this duo. I cannot wait to find out what happens next. Enter the giveaway below.

About the Author:

Lari Ann O’Dell first discovered her love of Pride & Prejudice when she was eighteen. After reading a Pride & Prejudice variation she found in a closing sale at a bookstore, she said, “This is what I want to do.” She published her first novel, Mr. Darcy’s Kiss, two years later. Born and raised in Colorado, she attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and earned a bachelor’s degree in History and Creative Writing. After graduating college, she wrote and published her second novel, Mr. Darcy’s Ship. Her third novel, Mr. Darcy’s Clan, is her first supernatural variation, and she is working on two more fantasy variations. She is now back at school and pursuing a degree in Nursing. She adores her two beautiful nephews, Hudson and Dean. She currently works at a middle school and writes whenever she can. Visit her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon.

GIVEAWAY:

Lari Ann O’Dell is giving away 8 eBooks of Mr. Darcy’s Clan. The giveaway is international.

ENTER HERE.

Being Mrs Darcy by Lucy Marin

Source: Publisher
Kindle, 464 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Being Mrs. Darcy by Lucy Marin imagines Elizabeth Bennet coming to the rescue of Georgiana at Ramsgate, but with her impetuous decision to help a young lady she doesn’t know, she sends everything she has ever known at Longbourn spiraling outward away from her. From the moment she meets Mr. Darcy and Georgiana on the street, Elizabeth Bennet finds her world irrevocably changed. Georgiana and Mr. Darcy are wealthy and have a reputation to protect, but Mr. Darcy is not without his merits when he staves off Elizabeth’s ruin because of gossip. From the moment they are betrothed and embark on their married life, Elizabeth is lonely, anxious, and unlike we’ve seen her in Austen’s original work.

“Never again to call myself Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Never again to call Longbourn my home.

The last was not such a hardship, thanks to her father.” (pg. 1)

Readers will fall into Elizabeth’s anxiety. She struggles to learn all she needs to learn to be not only Mr. Darcy’s wife and be in his social circle, but also to navigate the work of a large estate. She’s intelligent and applies herself well in an effort to gain a modicum of acceptance among a family that does not desire her company or want her as Mrs. Darcy just because of her station and lack of fortune. Elizabeth’s strength of character shines through in all that she does in this novel. I loved her, but I also felt such pain alongside her. She was incredibly lonely and those she is supposed to trust with her happiness are at best neglectful of it. She has no true friends and is cut off from not only her family, but her faithful sister, Jane. It brings to life the question of how you can feel alone in a crowded room. Elizabeth feels this most acutely at every turn. It amazed me that she did not break down before she does in the novel.

Marin also provides an alternate look at why Georgiana would be so shy in public and with those outside her family. Perhaps not out of shame, but of something far worse. This side of Georgiana is explored in depth after Ramsgate and Elizabeth’s role in that event merely serves as a reminder of her stupidity. She may be fifteen, but she still has much to learn, and like most petulant children, she takes a long time to overcome her anger and jealousy before she begins to see the error of her ways.

Being Mrs. Darcy by Lucy Marin is a wonderful variation with a forced marriage and a testament to the will of a woman to make things right for the good of everyone, not just herself, despite the obstacles before her. Becoming Mrs. Darcy is so much more than her social transformation, it is her maturing into the woman Mr.Darcy needs to complement him and his maturing into the man who complements her in a life that neither of them initially wanted. Marin is a storyteller who can delve deep into emotional character development and ensure the reader is as wrecked as her characters become.

RATING: Cinquain

About the Author:

Lucy Marin developed a love for reading at a young age and whiled away many hours imagining how stories might continue or what would happen if there was a change in the circumstances faced by the protagonists. After reading her first Austen novel, a life-long ardent admiration was borne. Lucy was introduced to the world of Austen variations after stumbling across one at a used bookstore while on holiday in London. This led to the discovery of the online world of Jane Austen Fan Fiction and, soon after, she picked up her pen and began to
transfer the stories in her head to paper.

Lucy lives in Toronto, Canada surrounded by hundreds of books and a loving family. She teaches environmental studies, loves animals and trees and exploring the world around her. Being Mrs Darcy is Lucy’s first novel. Her second, titled Mr Darcy, A Man with a Plan will be released in summer 2020. Visit her on Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads.