April Fool’s Erasure Poetry

You will never believe it!!! Last night I was visited by a benevolent ogre who turned out to be a distant uncle on my father’s side (twice removed) and he bequeathed me a BILLION dollars, so Michael, Bella and I are moving to our own island in Figi! WOOOOO!

Eh? Didn’t fool you? Oh, you’re too smart. 😉

 

erasure

April 1st marks the beginning of National Poetry Month, and in the spirit of April Fool’s Day, Silver Birch Press opened their arms for submissions. But not just any submissions. Have you ever heard of Erasure Poetry? I had not until I came across their blog. It’s an interesting concept in which certain words are blacked out or otherwise obscured in order to create a new piece of poetry. Whatever is not blacked out is the poem. I’m in between novels at the moment and thought this the perfect project (distraction) for the day.

These were the requirements:

– interpret “April Fool’s Day” as you will: humor, trickery, thoughts on the day. Then, using a book of your choice, locate page 41 to create an erasure poem.

As a prompt, here are definitions of “fool”:

Noun: A person who acts unwisely; a silly person.

Verb: Trick or deceive.

Adjective: Foolish or silly.

So. Let me just tell you . . . it was WAY harder than it sounded. I admit to initially sort of smirking at the task, thinking Oh yeah, I can do this. Gonna write me the best erasure poem there ever was. (Six hours laterI spent the entire day absorbed in this task; and that was simply creating the poem within the poem. Editing it took another 3 days, a LOT of photocopies, a few choice words, and a tremendously steady hand. I’m convinced I missed my calling as a brain surgeon. Can’t teach that. No, not really. Because I’m pretty sure they expect you to pass Algebra before they let touch brains, and personally I would rather metaphorically mess with people’s heads. Gently, of course. But it IS good thing I wasn’t weaning off coffee that week. Blacking out the words was time consuming and extremely tedious, but after all was said and done, I had some poems I liked. AND — I received word this morning that my poem made it in to the line up! They chose the one I liked least, but that’s okay. I’m honored they selected it. Thank you, Silver Birch Press!

If you’d like to read my poem, as well as some other incredibly lovely and creative pieces, then I’ve left you the link there at the bottom.

Misdirection

 

Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone! Stay silly!

 

~ Cara

 

 

 

It’s so hard that a pickle jar lid ain’t got nothin’ on writing.

This morning almost sent me back to bed. It was hard enough that I said some really naughty words in my head and a few tears dribbled out of my eyes. But I decided giving up would hurt more than to keep trying. So I sat at my computer and pressed letters until something like a chapter happened. When I finished, I copied what I had written and pasted it into a blank document. Then I held my breath.

My goal for each day is 1,000 words. Today I wrote 1,188.

I raised both arms into the air, made two fists, and shouted “DONE, Beee-otch!”

Thank you for listening. God is Good. Cara out.

WeWin

Then again . . .

Answer me this:

Have you ever been laying in bed on a morning when you don’t have anywhere to be or anything in particular to do, and just as you decide you might actually get up, begin lifting your cheek away from the pillow, this unexpected wave of lethargy clobbers you over the head, and you realize you’ve made a terrifically awful decision and there’s really only one thing you can do?

abort

Yes. Well sometimes writing is also like this. Today I had the pleasure of both!

Continue reading

Much As Funny Loves A Laugh

I’ve already shared this ceremonious news on both Facebook and Twitter, but some of you I know strictly through the bloggosphere. And so, without further ado, may I present to you the face of my second book, much as funny loves a laugh.

much as funny loves a laugh

Graphic Artwork by Michael Olsen

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It’s Valentine’s Day. Raegan Delaney Morrison is eagerly preparing to give her ten year-old heart away in the form of pink and red construction paper, Elmer’s glue, and a sequin for every thought she’s ever had about Christopher; he is the boy next door, and he’s been Raegan’s best friend since they were old enough to grab sand and make a meal of it.

With confidence, Raegan declares her love, certain Christopher must feel what she feels: tingles in his toes, butterflies in his stomach, and this magnificent all over sickness that sort of feels like the flu. And Raegan knows that once their ardency is out in the open, the sooner they can get to the good stuff: holding hands at school, sharing pudding, discussing who they’ll invite to their zoo-themed wedding . . . there’s only one small problem.

When does anything in life ever go according to plan?

A bewildered Raegan is left to confront the first of—what will inevitably be many—life’s cruelties. But perhaps not all on her own.

When Raegan meets Sue for the first time, she doesn’t comprehend the rarity sitting before her, disguised in dirty flesh and bones; all she knows for certain is there is something very different about Sue. What appears to be written and resolute to minds awakened by judgment, remains clean and potential to a child’s uncluttered eyes. Raegan is drawn to Sue; into her world without walls.

December My Lovely

Oh, it’s everything, I think. To pin point exactly what it is that has me wrapped around December’s finger, is to lose the magic with which it dances onto the stage just prior to the last curtain call. It is not a perfect month. No. There are things; things and ideas and implications seeking to ruin December’s jubilant mood and benevolent spirit. Hurry, greed, good intentions leading to debt, guilt, and overcommitment. We fill December, packing her with too much, and like a suitcase that simply won’t hold another thing, she is left panting, bloated, and exhausted. And so are we. Unless we treat her well. Embrace her, but don’t suffocate her. Share her, but don’t exploit her. Embellish her, but don’t vandalize her. She is meant to shine, but her light is extinguishable. If we place too many burdens upon her back, she will break her knees, crumple and fall.

When I was younger, in my early twenties, just married, and very determined, December was my way of proving to myself that nothing had changed. That, although I was grown and working fifty hours a week, and my husband was coming home exhausted every night after a full day of school and work, we could still make December the way I remembered her. Do everything. So I turned her into a non-stop parade, marching through her floats made of nostalgia and memory, determined to make her sing for me the way she used to. And when it wasn’t the same – when the parties and decorating and hot coco and baking and wrapping and church services and Christmas movies and trips to the mall didn’t bring back the joy and excitement, I cried. I cried to my husband, poor dear. Mostly I meant well. I simply wanted the carefree, magical season I’d had for all those years. I wanted that moment, etched perfectly on my mind, to remain intact, frozen, untouchable, forever. I wanted the dream.

It’s a hard time for a person, that age between child and adult. We don’t know yet who we are and how to be. We know we are us, the person we’ve been for the last such-and-such amount of years and also the person we’re growing up to be, but we’re a little confused. We’re conflicted. How much do we carry over? Traditions are like a garden we’ve spent years cultivating. But when we move, we don’t know how many plants, flowers, and veggies to take with us and which ones we should probably leave behind where they’ll be more comfortable. The blending of old and new is a delicate process which takes years to perfect. I wish someone would have told me that.

For years I continued to beat the heck out of poor December, determined I must be doing it wrong, so I should add something else. . . . Thank God our brains don’t stop developing until 25. It was around that time I figured it out. It wasn’t more. It was less. It was also being present. Not buying them or receiving them, but being. Little by little my blasted determination weakened, loosing its fist around a choked December. I apologized. I told her I was sorry for mistreating her, for trying to take what she meant to me as a whimsical little girl and make her mean the same thing to me as a soulful woman. She forgave me. Today we’re best friends. True, I only see her once a year, but we make the most of it. Or rather, the least of it. Oh, you know what I mean. I pick and choose my favorite things. And when I’m there, I’m there. All of me. I don’t allow a part of myself to go wandering off, thinking it might be nice if we drove out to the harbor to watch the boat parade. No. Right now, right here, this is where we are. On the couch, holding hands, looking at that gorgeous tree. That’s enough. It’s plenty.

Still, I adore Christmas music, White Chocolate Peppermint Mochas, the lights, and especially the smell of smoking firewood lingering in the air. There are other things, too, subtle and easy to miss if you’re not looking for them: less reluctant smiles from strangers, lightness of foot, and something unmistakably positive in the air, something hopeful whispering through the leaves.

I hope you’re enjoying December. I am. Here are few of our favorite moments this month. The ones that aren’t pictures, however, those were great, too.

Merry Christmas, friends.

Totem

Cards & Fudge

Wintry fun

candy cane lane

Candy Cane Lane

Bella, the sweet and protective

Atti, the playful and curious

Decorating

My love