Friday, November 1, 2013

November Poem a Day prompts

I may stash several prompts here and not on the days they were listed. It creates far too many empty posts that I never get around to finishing. I also fell off the wagon on Day 9. So sorry. Too much to do with Poetry Out Loud packets to get out to schools, my birthday, Thanksgiving, etc. But hopefully you've a much better track record than I. I also may come back and revisit these prompts later.

Molly Fisk's first 5 free prompts (join her bootcamp to get the rest):
November 1 I keep looking up from my desk and seeing ghosts....
November 2 prompt: This is my body
November 3 prompt: You gotta dance somewhere...
Nov. 4: This is not what I meant to say
Nov. 5: (Verbatim fortune cookie fortune): Being an able man. There are always.

You will need to join her group for the rest of the prompts.

But Iris Johnson @irjohnso is posting her responses on Twittter (so you can figure out the prompts), or visit her blog Poet 2.0 to see her responses.
Day 6: Untitled Hate Poem
Day 7: Make Them Float in Your Mouth
Day 8: You Left Me in the Woods 

Check out Molly Fisk's On-line Personal Essay Boot Camp 

Check out Robert Lee Brewer's 2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Guidelines November PAD (Poem-A-Day) Chapbook Challenge. I try not to read his examples before I've a first draft down as i find I want to write something linked to his idea and I want to work closer to the void—or the empty bowl. (I also combine several prompts), but you might want to see them if you want more inspiration. Visit his site at Poem-A-Day.

Write an appearing poem. This could be a poem about something (or someone) appearing out of nowhere. Or it could be about appearances–appearing one way to some people; appearing another way to others. If you’re new to my prompts, let me share one thing: I’m totally fine with you stretching the prompt in any direction you need to write; in fact, I encourage it. Now get poeming!

Write a “news of the day” poem. The poem should use some sort of recent news event as a springboard. It can be a news story from today (this morning), but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, you could even go “old school” and find news stories from archived sources–like the “news of the day” from 1936 (to pick a random year).

Write a “the last time I was here” poem. Imagine you’re returning to a spot (physical, emotional, psychological, etc.): Is it a good thing? Bad thing? What did you leave behind (if anything)? What’s there to welcome you back (again, if anything)?

Take the phrase “(blank) Sheet,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write the poem. Possible titles might include: “Rap Sheet,” “Blank Sheet,” “How to Fold a Sheet,” “I Look Like a Ghost Beneath This Holey Sheet,” etc. Feel free–as always–to bend and break the prompt to your will. The poeming is what matters

“Two for Tuesday” prompts on Tuesdays. In that way, I get to pretend like I’m a DJ on a radio station. Here are the two prompts today:

Write a concealed poem. Could be about a concealed weapon, concealing emotions, concealing intentions, etc. Cover it up and write about it.

Write an unconcealed poem. Okay, take everything from the first prompt and uncover it. Reveal everything that’s hidden.

Write a hardship poem. The hardship could be moving forward after a tragic loss, having to work through a difficult problem, or even just showing up to work. It can be serious, funny, or complicated.

Take the phrase “The Other (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Some possible titles may include: “The Other Side of the Story,” “The Other Brother,” “The Other Hand,” or whatever else you concoct. And remember: I really don’t care if you bend or break the prompt in your favor.

Write a poem incorporating something sweet. Maybe a cake or pie. Possibly a candy bar or pixie stick (you know, that paper straw with delicious sugar inside–mmm). Or move it sweetly in another direction.

Write ekphrastic poetry–or poetry based off another piece of art. In the past, I’ve provided paintings, but today, I’m picking photographs (for something a little different). You may use one of the images below or choose your own.

“Two for Tuesday” prompt. Do one, do the other, do both, whatever keeps you poeming this month:
Write a poem about your happiest moment. Well, doesn’t have to be yours actually. Just a moment that is someone’s happiest.
Write a poem about your saddest moment. Conversely, take happy, flip it, and make it the saddest moment.write a self-help poem. It can be written in the style of a self-help article or book. Or you can take it in a more subtle self-help direction.

Write an exploration poem. Maybe you’re exploring a new land, the depths of quarks, outer space, the mind, the soul, etc. Your call. In fact, it could be said that most poems are an exploration of one sort or another.

Take the phrase “What (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles might include: “What Luck,” “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas,” “Whatever You Say,” and so on.

Write a half-way poem. The poem might deal with a half-way point in time. Or perhaps, a place in the dead center of here and there–in a physical sense. Even a compromise on terms in a negotiation can work.

Write an element poem. Maybe an element from the periodic table (hydrogen, oxygen, etc.). Maybe an element of surprise?!? Or a missing element, which could refer to a person, tool, or poem. Run wild with it.

Write a “forget what I said earlier” poem. This poem could be a response to a poem you wrote earlier in the challenge (or just earlier in general). Or it could cover one of those moments–I have them all the time–when you say something that ends up proving wrong or that you wish you’d taken back.

“Two for Tuesday” prompt. In fact, it’s the one that I include in every challenge. Old hands knew this one was coming sooner or later. Here are your two options:
Write a love poem. Romantic or more general types of love. Or…
Write an anti-love poem. Some folks just don’t like love poems of any type, so have at it.

Take the phrase “Always (blank),” replace the blank with a new word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Always on My Mind,” “Always Wrong,” “Always Writing Poems That Don’t Sound as Good the Next Day,” etc.

Write a secret message poem. Maybe it’s a coded message, a message in a bottle, sign language, foreign language, etc. Confession time: I’m often (though not always) hiding messages in my poems, and nothing rocks my world more than when readers catch them.For today’s prompt, write a poem using at least three of the following six words:

Use the words in the title of your poem, in the body of your poem, and feel free to play with them (by which, I mean, make them plural, past tense, etc.)write an “I shouldn’t be here” poem. You can decide where you shouldn’t be: maybe it’s a place, maybe it’s a time, or maybe (just maybe) it’s a state of mind. Shake yourself loose in a poem.

Write a poem that responds to a statement. You can use any statement, quote, etc., that you wish, but I’ve included a few to make it easier. That said, feel free to find and use a different statement for your poem.

Here are some quotes:
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West
“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” – Leonardo da Vinci
“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” – Virginia Woolf
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain

Take a poem from earlier in the challenge (that you’ve written) and remix it. You could take a free verse poem and re-work it into a villanelle or shadorma. You could re-work multiple poems into a new one. You could take a line from one of the poems and write a response poem to it. Or you can take it in an entirely different direction.

“Two for Tuesday” prompt of November. Let’s make the most of it. Here are the prompts:
Take the phrase “Free (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Example titles might include: “Free Bird,” “Freedom Isn’t Free,” “Free Offer,” etc.

Take the phrase “(blank) Free,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Example titles might include: “Fat Free,” “Stone Free,” “How to Be Free,” etc.write a local poem. By local, I’m thinking of something that happens or has happened in your neck of the woods, but you know, I’m never against poets bending and/or breaking my rules. So feel free to play with the concept of local however you wish.

Write a bird poem. Pick a bird, any bird, and write a poem about it. Or just write a poem that happens to have a bird somewhere in it.

Write a commercial poem. This prompt makes me think about the commercialism decried in Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown, but there are any number of ways to attack a commercial poem. I have complete faith in everyone here being able to take this prompt in wild, new directions.

Write a disappearing poem.

Now during the month of December, revise those poems. Visit Robert Lee Brewer's site for information on how to submit your chapbook.  2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Guidelines Good luck!

FLASH NANO on Facebook, or check out Nancy Stohlman''s blog.
Let go of exposition.
Let go of description.
Let your silences become informative.
Let go of extra words.

Day 1: Write a story that takes place in a hotel.
Day 2: Write a story that incorporates a piece of scientific/analytic data.
Day 3: Write a story that takes place late at night.
Day 4: Write a story that is exactly 75 words long.
 Day 5: Found text. "Find" a piece of text--non-literary but prose, such as a pamphlet, brochure, contract, junk mail, directions, etc. Write a story that mimics or is otherwise inspired by it.
Day 6: Write a story that includes a piece of real overheard dialogue.
Day 7: Write a story where someone has an illness, real or invented.
Day 8: Write a story that includes all four of these words: pineapple, beauty, bifocals, grass.

Day 9: Write a story inspired by a story of your grandparent.


Write a poem using 8-10  of Marcel Proust's character prompts in any order. Answer in full sentences, not phrases. Poem needs to stand alone away from prompts. And yes, you may eat madelines as you write.
Marcel Proust's Character Questionnaire 

              * what do you consider your greatest achievement?
              * what is your idea of perfect happiness?
              * what is your current state of mind?
              * what is your favorite occupation?
              * what is your most treasured possession?
              * what or who is the greatest love of your life?
              * what is your favorite journey?
              * what is your most marked characteristic?
              * when and where were you the most happiest?
              * what is it that you most dislike?
              * what is your greatest fear?
              * what is your greatest extravagance?
              * which living person do you most despise?
              * what is your greatest regret?
              * which talent would you most like to have?
              * where would you like to live?
              * what do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
              * what is the quality you most like in a man?
              * what is the quality you most like in a woman?
              * what is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
              * what is the trait you most deplore in others?
              * what do you most value in your friends?
              * who is your favorite hero of fiction?
              * whose are your heroes in real life?
              * which living person do you most admire?
              * what do you consider the most overrated virtue?
              * on what occasions do you lie?
              * which words or phrases do you most overuse?
              * if you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
              * what are your favorite names?
              * how would you like to die?
              * if you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
              * what is your motto?

Write a letter of advice to your younger/older self:
See Naomi Wolf’s letter of advice to her younger self 

30 Flash Fiction Prompts–Flashnano 2012 from Nancy Stohlman''s blog.
1: Write a story in which something transforms into something else.
2: Write a true story that is so ___________(insert adjective here) that no one would believe it’s true. But it is.
3: Find a story you’ve written that isn’t quite working. Chop it down to exactly 100 words. Give it a new title.
4: Write a story that is based in or uses elements of mythology–any mythology from any culture or time period.
5: Bibliomancy–open the dictionary to any random page, place your finger on any random word and poof! That is the title (or part of the title) of your next story.
6: Write a story from the point of view of someone much older than you.
7: Write a story about or featuring a body part. (Heads out of the gutters, people, there are other body parts!)
8: Write a secret, preferably one you think no one could relate to.
9: Write a story in which something important is lost.
10: Use a dream or pieces of a dream to create a surreal, alter-reality story.
11: Find a story of yours that’s not quite working. WITHOUT rereading it (this is key), rewrite it from scratch, letting it morph as necessary. Then compare the two and blend to taste.
12: Write a story that begins with, and consists mostly of, dialogue.
13: Write a story that deals with or includes some aspect of a taboo.
14: Write a story that has happened to you but write it from another person’s point of view.
15: Write a story that involves a reoccurring and/or deep dark fear.
16: Write a story that’s happened to someone else, but write it as if it happened to you.
17: Write a story that has some reference to a current event.
18: Write a story that involves an animal.
19: Write a story in which you spill a secret, yours or someone else’s. Disguise as necessary.
20: Write a story that takes place in an empty landscape.
21: Rewrite a scene from history.
22: Write a story that involves time travel.
23: Write a story that contains at least three of these elements: body lice, gasoline, a Hostess product, a childhood hero, an outdated slang expression, a song title or your favorite flavor.
24: Write a story that contains elements of a real holiday memory.
25: Write a story that takes place over breakfast.
26: Write a story that includes a humiliation, real or invented.
27: Write a story that involves a celebrity.
28: Write a story in which the impossible is now possible.
29: Revisit a story you’ve written. Count the words. Now reduce the word count by half.
30: Write a story with a theme of “The End.”

Check out TEDs Andrew Fitzgerald: Adventures in Twitter fiction Create a linked Twitter story or poem.

See also Alexander McCall Smith's 6-tweet stories. ‏@McCallSmith 
A short story from Croatia
Chapter 1. A small town on a Croatian island had a harbour. Visiting yachts tied up at the pier.
Chapter 2. For many years Bruno, one of the villagers, charged the yachtsmen to tie up. He collected the fee, and pocketed it.
Chapter 3. People began to complain. “Under what authority do you charge for this?” they asked. “Why do we have to pay?”
Chapter 4. The people of the village said: “But Bruno depends on this.” They made him a uniform: white with gold buttons.
Chapter 5. Bruno was able to put up his charges. Nobody complained. A uniform may reassure both wearer and the public. The end.

A very short Italian story. Chapter 1. Ernesto lived in Parma and had a petrol station. He also had a very glamorous daughter, Fabricia.
Chapter 2. Fabricia attracted an unsuitable suitor, Salvatore, a swarthy Neapolitan who wore gold chains: not what Ernesto wanted. 
Chapter 3. Ernesto decided that the best tactic would be to buy Fabricia a very expensive red sports car, a Ferrari in fact. 
Chapter 4. Fabricia took Salvatore for a ride in her new car. Then he stole it, and disappeared, presumably back to Naples.
Chapter 5. Ernesto said to his daughter: “Darling, many men are untrustworthy – particularly ones who wear heavy gold chains.” 
Chapter 6: She said: “Daddy, you are so prejudiced! I am so sad. I loved Salvatore.” Ernesto said: “You’ll learn.” She did. End.

And if you still want more prompts, I've lots & lots I collected from APRIL POEM A DAY links. During April I reposted from four different writers: PAD, Molly Fisk, NaNoPoMo, and Facebook writing prompts—3 to 4 prompts each day for the entire month. More than enough to inspire the inner poet.

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