Friday, July 30, 2010

Found Poems - Part Two or Three

Though the purists among us will likely raise eyebrows at what I call "senryu," others (generalists) will not bat a critical eye. These poems were written during the Augusts of several years, and are based on information/ images from my reading.

mint 'shake
an Arctic breeze across
a summertime mood
(Jack Butler)

the farmer
checking his drying corn
his tape-measure braces

to find a thistle
in his cleaned pasture

when thistles bloom
and seeds blow ... neighbor
turns on neighbor

"Motivational Speakers"
... self-important
professional lightweights
from faraway towns ...
(Pat Lynch)

"By Age Seventy ..."
...round shouldered
from having rolled
with the punches
(Edw. Hoagland)

the fourth day this week
that he's been in the obits
(a hundred bucks per ...)

the mind
shielding us from our worst
(Renee Schafer Horton)

needs a new set of hands,
according to coach
(Wally Hall)


Friday, July 23, 2010

For the second time, my book manuscript is at the publishers

When I sent it the first time (June 24), it was to take 2-3 weeks for a professional evaluator to read it, make her (I'll use the feminine, but I don't know which gender the evaluator was) marks, then fill out a form (2007 form). The form was in several sections and there were several questions under each heading. Two columns were YES and NEEDS WORK.
Out of 68 questions, she scored my mss with 46 YES and 22 NEEDS WORK, a fact I took great initial pride in. Is this the way skaters and gymnasts feel when they see their scores on the board?
BASICS:She felt that the word "romance" should be added to "adult" and "general" fiction. I wasn't surprised.
TITLE: She said "A Journey of Choice" could apply to a wide variety of fiction or nonfiction. Instead of changing the title, I added allusions to "journey" in at least three other places. I've lived with that title so long that no other choices seem right.
MARKETING TEXT: Lots of suggestions in the business of selling the book. I improved it as much as I could. I've heard/ read that the writing is the art and the publishing is the business, so I wasn't too surprised.
OPENING: all "Yes."
BASIC PREMISE AND TONE: Two-thirds "Yes." The words, "believable," "unique," and "appealing execution" garnered, "Needs Work."
STRUCTURE, PLOT AND PACE: Seven out of 10 "Yes."
SETTING: All "Yes."
CHARACTERIZATION: Six out of 10 "Yes."
DIALOGUE: All (8) "Yes."
BASIC PUNCTUATION AND GRAMMAR: Three out of 4 "Needs Work." And Dot and I worked all weekend on that area. It should be clean.
Today, I resubmitted it under the heading UPDATED MANUSCRIPT. In 3-10 weeks, I'll have a product--a book. I must keep breathing until then.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New July poems

July 7
third cuppa coffee
still outside reading paper
in July's coolness

son's "Happy Birthday!"
greeting two days early
at least the right month

July 8
at home, reading news
from a South Carolina
paper bought last week

July 9
outside, nothing moves
but then, a wasp sips a bloom
of beautyberry

treat for my birthday:
frozen yogurt for breakfast
for lunch and dinner

July 10
Hilton Head Island
only shells I saw? bottled
in souvenir shop

July 15
looking for dishes
and dirty clothes, I end up
cleaning the boy's room

Thursday, July 8, 2010

While on the East Coast - our Sisters' trip--Pt. 2

On Wednesday, I sit out in morning's cool
on deck (of postage size) that overlooks
a tree-filled space. Diagonally, a slough

of sorts holds Alligator Annie (Al?).
(State law forbids their feeding, else a fine
--for feeder--death for animal that's fed.)

The wrens and crows and squirrels and unknown birds
cavort and call in nearby trees, and moss
--ubiquitous--hangs almost close enough

to touch. No breeze, but sounds of fountain, air
conditioning mingle. Two of four ride bikes,
all three work hard at forming daily plans.

Not me--I'm just along. I'll go along.
By Thursday, we were zombies! Two whole days
of shopping, tours: Savannah trolley ride,

narrated by a Yank from Jersey, through
the myriad parks, their ancient live oak trees
with beards of Spanish moss like spectors. Greene,

Pulaski, Rebel soldier facing North
to guard against returning redcoats. Homes
of famous people--Mercer, Low (the Girl

Scout maven), Sherman--more I can't recall.
A trip to Tybee Island where my vet
and family were to spend this week, of all

coincidences! Sunset cruise to see
the dolphins followed food at dock-side place:
a salmon BLT for me, crab cakes

and calamari, chicken nachos, drinks...
On Friday, trip to Charleston, SC,
where we enjoyed a carriage ride with Jon

and Jake, the strongest breed of horse there is.
We sisters--last ones on--sat aft of Jake,
our front row seats kept children from their view

and mother had to scold the pouting boy.
We ate at Poogan's Porch, friend Sandra joined
us from her work three blocks away. A dish

of shrimp and grits, a steak (fried chicken style)
with mashed potatoes, long green beans and tea,
two sandwiches--one, chicken salad, one

a grilled pimento cheese--with fries of sweet
potatoes, rounded out the entrees. Talk
while waiting, eating green tomatoes (fried),

pimento cheese balls (also fried), but best
of all, large, fluffy biscuits. Afterwards,
one dish (5 spoons) of pudding made with bread.

Then back to Hilton Head mid afternoon.
The air was cool with low humidity,
a slight reminder of the coming fall,

though summer'd just begun. And now, we're home
in Arkansas. The trip holds pleasant thoughts
enough to last until this time next year. #

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Adventures of three sisters in route to Hilton Head Island

A travelogue of sorts in blank verse

We set off on our yearly sisters' trip
in Honda hybrid. Baby sister, soon
to hit the 60 mark, behind the wheel.

Another sister riding in the front,
and eldest--moi--at 15 years beyond
the driver, settled in the back. In route

to Hilton Head we were, to meet the sib
from DC, who drove down another way.
(Of course.) A thunderstorm dumped tons of rain

on Mississippi's highway. Knuckles white,
our driver and the navigator eyed
the fog line, flashers blinking, searching for

a car's lights up ahead. The truckers passed
as if to say, 'Get over it and drive,
you wimps from Arkansas!' At length, the storm

abated. "Whew!" We all relaxed a while,
deciding we deserved a shopping break.
At western edge of Tupelo, we stopped

and asked directions, soon espied the place.
The first booth, first glance at the books, I saw
a title, Liberating Paris, and

it's autographed by Bloodworth Thomason!
I wondered why the "Becky" gave it up.
Then farther on, I found a Cape Cod plate--

a pie plate--unlike any I had seen.
The others came out empty-handed. Rain--
or shower--in the meantime, cooled the air.