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!


img_0985

img_0982

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.

img_0837

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! ~

Of Commonplace Books: A Simple Guided Tour

One of my older sisters first introduced me to the idea of a commonplace book. I thought it was a wonderful idea so the next week I began my own. Now I have had it for a couple years and really enjoyed it, so I thought I would give a short little step-by-step guide to starting your own. (:

 

First of all, what is a commonplace book?

Well, it’s simply a notebook purposed for the filling of quotes.

 

How to keep your own:

Step 1: Pick out a notebook.

That is one of the special things about the commonplace book. Instead of writing quotes here and there depending on the closest resource, they are all kept together, in one spot, for easy use.

Technically, you use any kind of journal, but I would encourage to use something more beautiful than a 90 cent spiral-bound notebook. This is something you will be able to use throughout your life, so you will want something that can last. (:

 

Step 2: Begin to fill it.

Write down quotes from books or movies or speeches, lines of poetry, bible verses, and prayers. Basically, any beautiful, funny, or touching handful of words that you really like and wish to treasure away. I’ve even written down one or two things a friend has told me, because it impacted me so much.

You can doodle around the quotes, illustrate them, or just write them down. There are many possibilities, so be creative if you want. (:

 

Step 3: Revisit it.

The point of the commonplace book is not to store away quotes and just forget about them. Every once and while, pick your book up again and read through it! Sometimes you can find fresh inspiration, or suddenly appreciate one of the quotes even more than before.

 

Step 4: Share it!

Feel free to just show friends and family your book. Or maybe included a quote at the end of a letter you write. Maybe you write one out on a piece of paper for a friend you’ve been thinking about. You could even start exchanging one quote every month with someone you know who also keep up a commonplace journal.

 

And that’s it! Pretty simple, right?

But before I go, I’d like to share a couple of my favorite selections from my commonplace book. Feel free to add them to yours. (:

 

  •  “It’s better to live life as you will want to have lived, rather than spend your time worrying about the end.” – Ember Falls by S.D. Smith

 

  • “I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I’ve made them right.” – The Book Thief

 

  • “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.” – Mark Twain

 

  • “Humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process.” – E.B. White

 

  • “Pain is God’s megaphone.” – C.S. Lewis

 

  • “True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written and writing what deserves to be read.” – Pliny the Elder

 

And finally a quote from Dr. Seuss that I doodled:

EPSON MFP image

 

What about you? Have you ever kept a commonplace book? What are your favorite quotes? Do you have one for me to add to my commonplace book?