On Your Mark…!

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, kicks off tomorrow.

The official NaNoWriMo website lists 36 participants from the Redding area. Are you one of them? Check in with us here! We would love to cheer you on!

20171030_120233I have my notebooks ready. My pens are fresh. I’m ready to go.

The process is really pretty simple for getting involved. Technically, you just need to write, but it can add a motivating factor to actually sign up at the NaNoWriMo website and interact with other writers attempting the same goal. It’s free.

You don’t even have to be working on a novel. The event was originally organized for novel writing, but other categories have been included in the project. I am officially a Rebel, because I will be working on something other than a novel. I will be adding to my memoir, with which I have been stalled at 30,000 words for far too long.

It’s not too late to start on your 50,000 word commitment for November! Come and join us! Share your NaNoWriMo stories and thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

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Our Pilgrimage of Poetry

About forty Writers Forum members and guests attended last Saturday’s meeting, a presentation by poet Anna Elkins of her workshop, ‘The Pilgrimage of Poetry’.

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Anna opened her presentation to likening poetry’s search for the right words and images to a pilgrimage. Participants were then given an assignment: Go outside and find something that interests you. Then capture the sensory images…from all five senses…you can of that thing.

By the end of the program, participants had crafted those images into poetry.

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Several participants shared those poems with the group.

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Here is the poem by WF Secretary Vickie Linnet:

 

The Little Library

You are another world, hiding in plain view from the rest of the world.

You are the chatter coming from the pages of the books.

You are the flowers and trees that surround your stand.

You are the raindrops that trickle down the shingles of your roof.

You are intriguing, luring us to enter and wander through the pages of the books.

Bring me the stories that tempt me to lose myself in.

I give you credence and appreciation for these books.

Vickie Linnet

If you were at last Saturday’s meeting and would like to share your piece from the workshop, send them to writersforumeditor@gmail.com .

 

Member Monday: Salable skills, by Dale Angel

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Salable Skills

I was wading in a river of economic crisis, the kind that visits periodically in the form of a deluge. I was drowning when I received a phone call that I qualified for a government program that teaches you how to acquire salable skills to compete in the marketplace.

I met many…interesting…seasoned women there. Our bifocals, plastic teeth, and puffy ankles and conversation on World War Two and our intimate knowledge of the names of classic cars may have given us a competitive edge, but we all agreed, it was the inability to afford breast implants that put us at our most…disadvantage.

My first day in class, they asked us to write a resume citing our accomplishments and degrees. I wrote in mine that I had graduated from the dish pan to the bed pan, and my most recent job had been terminated by death. His.

They sent me to update my computer skills. I walked in to find the class in progress. I had to interrupt to ask how to turn it on.

They were so inspiring. I was told we had earning and leadership skills. I couldn’t think of any I might own. They insisted we couldn’t have lived this long without learning something. They asked us to name one. I raised my hand and said “Survival?”

I offered my experience of marching a small army through rain, sleet, and tantrums in house wars and mutiny among my recruits…with no fatalities. I thought I had leadership and was in command until I realized I was in charge of rations, latrine duty, and transportation. These are not salable skills.

I was placed in a job under the supervision of a hardened retailer. As I worked, I hummed along with The Beatles. She arched and flared and hissed “Never would those degenerates be found in my house.”

I quit humming.

 

Dale Angel

Member Monday: Carolyn Faubel

The Bowl

©2017 Carolyn Faubel

After the wedding

They brought her the bowl.

Arms wrapped around its sleek heaviness,

They delivered it to her house,

Laid down a tea towel and

Rested it upon that, with

Tenderness.

 

She stroked the glassy, curved interior,

Marveling at its weight,

Capacity, and

Beauty.

They left the heirloom

While she dreamed of

Sourdough, tamales,

Matzo balls,

And magnificent sponge cakes.

 

And when they asked,

(Because of course, they always ask)

How is the bowl?

It’s

Broken.

The shattered shards of her words cut deep.

 

But, I LIVED, she whispered, remembering

Her children’s hands patting the masa and

Laughing.

I LIVED, she said, thinking about

Mixing meatloaf millions of times, saving money for

A tropical aquarium full of beautiful fish.

I LIVED! she thundered, knowing

The dull, scratched

Bowl was more beautiful than it had ever been

When it held offerings of pine cones and pyracantha

In the middle of the Thanksgiving table.

 

They crept back to their shuttered homes;

Dusty candles with cold white wicks,

Unopened decorative tea canisters, and

Sealed commemorative brandy bottles

Decorating their safe lives.

Member Monday: Marie A. Warner, The Game

The Game

I came upon a truth today

It was quiet at first

But then it ran in to me straight away

 

It had been buried under layers

Of color coordinated clothing, healthy weight,

Frosted hair and a countenance that I could situate

 

It showed up in a game that we all could play

One that would push the truth up in such a way

That I could see, hear and feel

And value what it would reveal

 

It was different for me, or maybe it was the same

It gave me a mirror

And as I said it I could hear

The meaning that directed me for so many years

 

I was eager to share it with others

For I knew as I said it

It would pull out the weed

The one that had poisoned my heart from its true need

 

The need to be connected

To others in heart

To let down my guard

So I could be a part

 

A part of this world that we all do share

The one that has become somewhat dark in despair

It helped me decide to turn on my light

To share it with others, to make it more bright

 

To help build the message

It is not too late

I can join in and appreciate

 

Written in Redding, CA 9/16

Copyright ©2016 Marie A. Warner All Rights Reserved