Of Books and Binders and Book Binder Poetry

Good morning!

It’s a beautiful Friday and we are back with our next installment of Evelyn-finds-something-neat-about-poetry-and-comes-to-share-it on The Rain-Drenched Writer!

Or, as my dad would say, “Have you heard Evelyn’s new poem? She didn’t write a single word!”

Well, I am sure we are all glad to be here. If you are new to these series, check out previous episodes: here and here and here. 😜

Today’s topic of discussion: book-binder poetry!

It’s a simple idea. You take a stack of books and arrange their titles into a poem.

(Quick note though: I do not necessarily recommend all the books displayed in this post. I have not read all of them but am only using them here for the purpose of poetry. :))

Here is the first poem I created:

 

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I began to realize quickly that verbs don’t show up much in titles. Neither do many “which” or “who” or “what.”

For my second one I was very glad to find a book titled With. I ended up using this book a lot… it was very helpful! (Keep in mind to ignore it’s subtitle… 😛 )

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My third one, I am quite fond of! I titled this one, Gossip.

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To my delight, after that, I found two books about a watchman…

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Then I decided to take a visit to the Christian-living bookshelf in our household and see what I could find there.

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Suddenly my poems became a lot less poetic and star-spangled, but more blunt and foreboding…img_1369-1

 

And finally, my very last one which I found quite by accident as these books were already right by each other, separated by only two other books:

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Which one is your favorite? Have you ever played around with book-binder poetry?

~ evelyn ~

The Imaginary Assistant Tag

Last week’s schedule was pretty full for me. Especially the first half in which I volunteered at a three day summer camp of twenty-five six to eight-year-olds.

I sharpened hundreds of colored pencils, cut out tons of little continents, and rocked my fancy nametag. I assisted with map-tracing, paper-gluing, white-board-cleaning, and picture-book-reading, as well as breaking up fights, escorting kids to the bathroom, and spending twenty minutes cleaning their paint brushes. (My hands were blue for the rest of the day…)

It is fair to say that it was a blast!

… but I was pretty exhausted at the end of everyday.

It is times like those (well more like times like now as I look back) that I wish I had an assistant. Someone to prod me off the couch, brew some tea, crank up the music, and stick a pen in my hand.

And now this week we’ve been busy hosting friends and working on some projects for a party tomorrow (like making a giant Bananagrams game to play in the backyard.)

Well good news!

My friend Aberdeen, as an honorary member of the Author Assistant Society, has most graciously offered to help me out and find me a writing assistant!

 

The formalities of this agreement:

1. Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their blog.

Thank you Aberdeen! (Drop in this handy-dandy portal to go give him a friendly Rawr.)

2. Link back to the creator of the tag.

Aberdeen the Authorosaurus. (Here’s his digsite if you somehow missed the two other portals. 😉 )

3. Tag 5-10 bloggers who need assistants (and if they don’t need them, tag them anyway).

4. Please answer the questions so the author assistant agency can find the right assistant for you.

 

The questions:

 

1. What type of creature/species would you like your assistant to be (human, animal, dragon, dinosaur, figment of your imagination, etc.) and why?

Something like a raggant from N.D. Wilson’s 100 Cupboard series, because they’re so small, smart, and loyal.

 

2. What do you want your assistant to look like?

So raggants are basically like gray rhinos with wings (like this), however… I would prefer to find a raggant that is unusually fuzzy, has huge dropping ears, and an elephant’s trunk.

(If any of you see one, let me know…)

 

3. What qualities are you looking for in an assistant (responsible, lovable, exasperating, etc.)?

Lovable, loving, and loyal, but fierce when needed.

 

4. What job(s) would your assistant be in charge of?

Researching random facts, sorting my character summaries, cleaning out my old folders, burning old poetry, putting the kettle on the stove, answering emails, and holding a fork to my back when I have writer’s block and then another later to force me to take a break and go outside.

Also reminding me to water my plants.

 

5. What would you like your assistant to be named?

Rufus. (:

 

 

6. What would you feed your assistant (candy, books, pickles, etc)?

Ooh hmm.

I would say pickles except I wouldn’t want to share mine. But then if that’s what his menu would be, I guess I’d have an excuse to buy pickles every month. 

Pickles, bagels, red peppers, and dark chocolate.

 

 

7. How would you pay your assistant and what benefits would you offer as compensation for their work?

The official position of honorary first alpha reader. Also free access to my bookshelf and pickle-popcorn stash.

 

 

8. What special abilities would you like your assistant to have (i.e. ice powers to freeze writer’s block, super strength to break writer’s block, or super stupidity to stare at you while you’re having writer’s block)?

The ability to eat old manuscripts for breakfast, misused commas for lunch, and spam comments for dinner.

 

9. Where would you like your assistant to be from (Jurassic Park, Narnia, your head)?

From wherever you can find a fuzzy, long-eared, elephant-trunked, raggant creature…

 

10. Will you solemnly swear to you will not fire your assistant in either sickness or in health, for richer for poorer, smarter or stupider, writing or not writing, for as long as you both shall live?

Yes!

 

And Aberdeen said I could pass along this offer to some other bloggers…

NC Stokes

Dekreel

Maya

M Kenechi Duatron

and

Camille

 

 

And that’s it folks!

Now I’ll just go sit out by my mailbox and wait for the official papers to arrive. 😉

TTFN!

i am a writer

I’m a writer, I’m a poet, I’m a
chapter I’ve written. A character built
out of nothing but my life and hands. They
stain my pages because I bleed and wilt.

I’m a writer, I’m a poet, I form
worlds out of words and people out of trees.
Watch me resurrect a dragon, a storm,
a tower of Babel out of dust and debris.

I’m a writer, I’m a poet, I see
angels in the dirt. There are pilgrims who
cross the dusty roads of life with me
shadows behind them of friend that they knew.

I’m a writer, I’m a poet, I play
with hearts of the young and dreams of the old.
I try to weave a story that may
drip in their house tiny drops of rose gold.

I’m a writer, I’m a poet, but just
a person too, striving to catch meaning
out of air, catch something to cling to. Gusts
of the wind in my bucket are singing.

Ode To The Family’s 2003 Chrysler Town & Country Minivan

Sometimes inspiration rises from the everyday happenings that feel so forlorn and bland.

Everyone has a unique experience and while they might overlook common formalities: another dinner, another drive, another drag of school. They can all be captured.

The art of the poet is to see the beauty in the commonplace; to encompass and package a little breath of truth to bring a little light, a little hope, a little sense of understanding to another human being.

Well, lately I’ve been focusing on metaphors and similes, and imagination in general within my poetry, as well as using familiar and everyday objects/activities as my subjects. Through these experiments, I’ve fallen in love with a more subtle rhyming method, where the rhymes do not fall at the end of every sentence and sentences carry over lines. Apparently the term for that is enjambment or run-over lines as opposed to end-stopped.

Here is a poem I wrote this week about my family’s minivan, which, unfortunately, appears to be living out its final days.

I hope you enjoy! (:


 

Ode To The Family’s 2003 Chrysler Town & Country Minivan

You are as old as me and yet somehow

still older. Every time we step into

your arms, your legs buckle, groan, and bow.

When you try to move from your night bed, you

try once, then twice before you lurch off the

gravel perch and stumble, for a moment

on the verge of crashing a pot with your knee

unable to command numb limbs so aged and spent.

Words are merely slurred and mumbled. We stop

to feed you morning coffee, the liquid

pools in your mouth, you taste it burn and smell

bitter potentness. It stains fingers amid

digestion. Even up and wakened well,

every pothole and stick rattles your teeth.

Your joints creak with every bend and you wheeze

that it’s always too hot or too far beneath,

for comfort, or life for that matter. We

give your back massages and clean your chipped

glasses. We even sit you in shades of trees

during outings. But time is time however kept,

We dread the coming day you’ll breathe your last,

And we pray that long you will stay steadfast.

How To Bond With A Unicorn // a writing prompt

I’m sure you’ve always wondered how to bond with your friendly, local, neighborhood unicorn, and here’s your once-in-a-life-time chance to learn! 😉

Writing prompts can be fun little breaks for me when up to my eyes in a long writing project. At least, as long as that’s all it is: A fun little break. I have to be careful not to use it just to procrastinate, and so I generally stay away from flash fiction and such rabbit trails.

However, a couple months or so ago, a writer-friend shared this prompt with me: write step by step directions relating to a fantastical element such as a mythical creature, place, or person.

It was a lot of fun to mess around with, and tried to leave lose ends here and there. I enjoy stories that have such deep world building that it naturally fits to the point that even the smallest remarks remind you that you aren’t on Earth anymore (or at least your version of Earth). There is a story behind every off hand reference from a character, and it intrigues me, awakening my imagination. Who is this mentioned person? Where is this place?

Maybe someday I’ll pick up this piece and it’s loose ends to weave a story…


How To Bond with a Unicorn

  1. Find a unicorn
  2. Don’t yell at it. Don’t make sudden moves.
  3. Approach with caution and look it straight in the eyes.
  4. Bring mushrooms from the swamps of Swindellea. Make sure they are fresh and plucked within two days’ time.
  5. Don’t wear black.
  6. Or red.
  7. They have to like you if they want to bond, so be yourself.
  8. Unless you’re a jerk.
  9. Or stupid.
  10. Or non-likeable.
  11. And don’t gape. They hate it.
  12. Extend the mushrooms before you and begin to sing the songs you learned from the man in the back of the tavern when I sent you to fetch the rolls.
  13. And you better not have eaten or lost those rolls! If you do I’ll skin you alive and send you to Maleilann for clean-up duty.
  14. At this point, you have 13 minutes and 56 seconds before the forest guard arrives, but don’t rush it. Wait for the unicorn to acknowledge you.
  15. Don’t do anything stupid.
  16. Pray that he accepts your gift.
  17. Show your mark of the guild. He will question it. But when he searches your face he will trust your claim. Whether he agrees to come or not depends on his mood. Or you. (See steps 9 through 11 for reference.)
  18. If he doesn’t offer for you to ride him, you’re dead. Unless you find a way out, despite your witless little half-brain, but you better think quick and not underestimate the forest guard. And I’d hope my tutorage has come to something.
  19. You might have to convince him your efforts are noble. Well… good luck.
  20. And, against all the odds, if he does offer you a ride, don’t gawk. Thank him politely and mount.
  21. Hold on tight. I’m telling you, these things are fast. And beware of the darts.
  22. If you get out alive, ask the unicorn to go north to Armesta, before returning to me. You must meet an old man in the wilds of the outer pastures.
  23. Tell him my name.
  24. Don’t show him the unicorn.
  25. Take what he gives you and then return here.
  26. After that, we might just have a chance.
  27. Don’t be a jerk.

 

What is a writing prompt you have enjoyed?

 

Blackout Poetry

Good evening, friends!

Friday is here and I am later than normal with a post, but no matter. I have been gone most of the day, volunteering at a camp in a class of seven and eight-year-olds. Hence, I am a bit tired, but here to share some blackout poetry.

I made these yesterday evening. The first one didn’t take very long, but the second one I had trouble deciding on the wording. It must have changed fifteen times, but out of the two, it is my favorite.

For those unfamiliar with it, blackout poetry is when one takes a sheet of paper from a book or newspaper and creates a freestyle poem by blacking out (or sometimes doodling over) words.

I have actually bought a 50 cent copy of Jane Austen’s Emma for the purpose of blackout poetry and decoupage crafts. In this case, however, I printed out some pages from the handy-dandy internet, because the print in Emma is extremely small.

My blackout poetry never seems to turn out just right, though, so I find myself typing up the poem to play around with it until it sounds better. I guess I still have not learned quite how to pick the right combination of words. I’m still learning the ropes here and trying out different things. These two are my fourth and fifth blackout poems to have ever… written? blacked out?  Whatever the verb is there. (:

Well, enough talk in introduction! I hope the poems inspire you to try your own hand at blackout poetry.

Enjoy!


 

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a little post named “random”

Have you ever just wanted to write for the sake of writing?

Nothing planned. Nothing plotted.

After a long day of pounding out papers and scratching out math equations, just you and your thoughts winding out slowly onto the page, forming little splotches of black on white.

The itch comes every once and a while for me. A little itch to be wild and dreamy with some prose; to make some words purr with my wandering ponderings and watch them stretch out and then curl up before the fire.

Maybe EvEn BREAK the RUles and cApitAlIzE in STRANGE wAys

like I use to get away with.

Well, the itch has come today, and I’m afraid I will indulge myself in satisfying it with a scratch.

I might ending up sounding a little philosophical. I might end up sounding a little poetical. Maybe silly. Who knows, but are any of those bad things?

Already I’ve made some alliteration for the sake of alliteration. I’ve sprinkled in some personification and metaphors, and stirred in a tasty verb or two.

Art is easy to compare to soup.

You dump in a little of this and a little of that, like Amelia Bedelia baking up her lemon meringue pie, and then watch the colors swirl. Add a pinch of seasoning, and take a deep breath of the spicy smell.

You make mistakes. You learn to differentiate the walnuts from the pecans, the salt from the sugar, and the vinegar from the water. You learn there’s a reason they tell you to stir your concoction and that there’s a reason they say to set timers on ovens.

There is something unmatchable about learning from trial and error. It is personal and it is physical, unlike that advice found on scraps of paper books. These lessons learned have scars to prove it.

Well this past month was Camp NaNoWriMo and I learned a few things.

When you have a complicated time-traveling plot that twists and turns on itself, you might want to plot it out in greater detail before diving straight in.

Who knew my six pages on the workings of time-traveling would not be enough? Maybe I should have written more than half a page on the actual plot?

I reached 23,000 words about two and a half weeks into April, but the story was falling apart. There was also a lack of unique creativity that I was trying to go for. Plus I had yet to discover how it would end. Though that is typical when I start a project, at 23,000 words in I usually want to know before continuing. I brainstormed and brainstormed and brainstormed, but I could not work it out.

At that point, I was going to essentially burn it to ashes and then throw those out the window, but my oldest brother was visiting for the week and we began talking about it. Suddenly, explaining the plot, I began questioning my decision: Wait, what am I thinking? I love this story! I love these characters! Why give up on them??

Well, thankfully, said brother came to the rescue and gave me a good picture of what happens in my story, giving insight and blowing my mind!

Yes… a picture. Literally.

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There, doesn’t that clear everything up?

One of my other brothers saw it sitting out the other day and asked, “Were you guys just destressing?”

No, I promise that graph makes sense to me.

Two words: Time travel.

So, at the moment, instead of throwing out the lovely, tangled manuscript, I will lock it up and wait for it to gather some dust, and until then I will work on fleshing out some timelines and charting the plot.

I also want to brainstorm different ways to tell the story. I was having trouble telling such a complicated plot through my third person narrative. (Maybe time to try the fun of rambling in my character’s personas?) Well, I have a couple ideas up my sleeves.

Beyond all that, I discovered that even the worst of times can be turned into great art!

Frantically finishing finals” is an amazing alliteration, don’t you agree? 😉

Now they are officially done! *throws confetti*

…but I have some math to catch up on. Sooo… *gathers up confetti to save until that glorious day of true freedom*

But! Tuesday was the one year anniversary of The Flabbit Room’s Ildathore project. *throws confetti again*

I might say something more about my writing family, but it would end up being a mix between sappy sentences and a incoherent jumble of inside jokes.

So, instead let me delight over my Google drive folders which I discovered can be colored!

 

ALL THE COLORS

 

Isn’t that just amazing??

Well, fare thee well, friends! I wiLL REturN neXt wEEk for mor chicken fun.

~ tA-Ta-fOr-NoW! ~

 

Easter Morning // of sonnets and such

I have tried to write a sonnet many times, but this is the first time I have actually completed one.

For those curious, a sonnet is a fourteen line poem, typically (for English) with ten syllables per line and an iambic pentameter (meter consisting of a pattern of unstress, stress, unstress, stress, etc.)

However, there are different types of sonnets that entail different rules for rhyming schemes.

One is the Italian or Petrarchan sonnet which divides its fourteen lines into two sections: one of eight and one of six. The first section must have a ABBAABBA rhyming scheme, but the second section can have any variation of 2-3 rhymes that the poet picks.

The English/Shakespearean sonnet is split into three sections of four lines and then a concluding couplet. This format has a rhyme scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.

The later is the type I have been trying to handle. I have so many slips of paper, lined up with the pattern printed on the side and scribblings and scratchings filling the first two lines. My words spill into the margins as I cross out phrases again and again in the search for the perfect combination.

Simply, it’s a puzzle. And I have finally pieced one together.

It was certainly hard, but lots of fun, and hopefully, more will follow.

So, without further ado! Easter Morning.


 

Easter Morning

Last Friday it poured and rained. The world was

A mess of mud and muck. We walked right through

The parking lot, trying hard not to pause

In puddles, deep and dark; They swallow shoes.

 

But was there ever sunshine bright like this?

When birds sing so freely now as they hop

On the brilliant green lawn? The entrance

Of the church is circled, tulips a top.

 

Inside, the building swells with songs of praise,

The people gathered, singing, swaying, to their songs,

Their thanks, their love, their joy they raise.

For now the promise grows and stands so strong.

 

Yes risen! He is risen now indeed!

For Christ, our savior, death will not succeed.

 


 

The meter is not perfect, but I am satisfied. (:

Have you ever written sonnet? What was it about?

Until next Friday, my friend!

~ evelyn ~

2019 Camp NaNoWriMo Update // week 2

I had this strange moment of realization this week.

All day I had been curling up in my cardigan to work on school in the freezing basement, but then, when I was called to help bring in groceries, to my surprise I stepped outside only to find it sunny and warm.

I guess spring has finally come. 🙂

Over this past weekend, my family took a trip to Philadelphia to watch my older siblings compete in the National College Mock Trial Competition. I decided to pack no school, and brought some books to read and then my laptop for some NaNoWriMo writing.

Long car drives are the best, in my opinion. It’s just fun family time to cruise the country, listen to music, and play those car-trip games, that range from writing poetry to keeping track of license plates spotted to reciting Shakespeare lines.

Or it’s a nice time to just read a book. 😉


 

{stats}

Day 5: 1314 words

Day 6: 964 words

Day 7: 1727 words

Day 8: 1261 words

Day 9: 887 words

Day 10: 697 words

Day 11: 1783 words

 

That leaves my overall word count at 14,480 while I should be around 19,000 words. Hopefully I’ll catch up over upcoming Easter break! 🙂


 

{poetry}

I couldn’t pick out a favorite sentence written this week, but I have another small poem to share. I picked this one out because the world is finally waking from winter. The trees seemed to blossom over night and the grass is suddenly green again.

Change

Sweet summer slips into the Fall.

Fall drops to make way for the snow.

But winter turns into the spring,

So not all change is bad, you know.


 

I hope you have a wonderful day!

~ evelyn ~

2019 Camp NaNoWriMo Update // week 1

A week has passed and I’m back!

Besides having a sore throat and only getting in 61 words the first day, NaNo has been going pretty well! I made up for the slow start the next day and have been keeping up for the most part.

I actually started writing this novel before I decided to use it for Camp NaNoWriMo, so I had 3271 words already so technically the rough draft for my novel, 51, is currently 9118 words long. However, that doesn’t count towards my 50,000 in a month goal.

This means I have to constantly practice my subtraction skills, but on the bright side! I’m getting faster at deducing 3271 from a given amount. 😉


 

{this week’s stats}

Day 1: 61 words

Day 2: 3307 words

Day 3: 1954 words

Day 4: 525

Today: none yet, but hopefully lots. (:

Total: 5847 words

 


 

{favorite sentence written this week}

With what I have so far with this project it was hard to choose a favorite. Last year for NaNoWriMo I had too many options to pick from. Snippets of dialogue like “Some people are better observed from afar,” and “The buttons are calling,” fought for that special award.

But this week, no sarcastic or eccentric characters have been released into my main character’s life.

Yet. 😉

Anyways, here’s what I picked out: “Like dust that blows and settles, so can a life be stirred with the winds of change.”


 

{life}

I got another plant! Actually three new ones.

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From left to right: Priscilla, Ferdinand, and Isabella

I also volunteered at my local library for the first time!

It was strangely relaxing. Just me shelving books in a quiet building for an hour and a half. A very a nice break little break from the rush of school and NaNoWriMo.

I even had some extra time, so I picked up and read through The Letters of Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien.

It was amazing and so sweet. 100% recommended. 🙂


 

{poetry}

And finally, April is national poetry month, and so I thought I would share some with you.

I’d say that my poetry typically falls under two different categories: thoughtful and serious, resulting from when I sit to think something through, or silly and playful, inspired by something I’ve experienced with younger siblings.

My Shadow falls under the latter category, and I wrote it last year, when I experimented a lot with limerick-type patterns.

I hope you enjoy!


 

My Shadow

There is a little person,

Who follows me around,

Both day and night,

Both left and right,

Without a single sound.

 

I tried to hide away from him,

And underneath the bed,

But with the light,

It was still bright,

And so he followed where I led.

 

I hadn’t given up yet,

I’d lose him in the woods,

Ran back and forth,

Both south and north,

But he was quick and good.

 

Giving up and very mad,

I showed him to my mother

But she just sighed:

And then replied:

“Timmy dear! Sam just likes his big brother!