October 31, 2014

found poem © j.i. kleinberg
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

Are you ready?

October 30, 2014


Pencils and pixels, on your mark! National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) begins on Saturday, November 1, and challenges you to write 50,000 rough-draft words of a novel over the course of the month. This year, NaNoWriMo expects 400,000 participants (there were 310,095 in 2013), including 100,000 students and educators who will use NaNoWriMo’s virtual classroom management tools, closed social network, and free Common Corealigned curriculum. National Novel Writing Month is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (formerly known as the Office of Letters and Light).

Participants can enjoy Pep Talk letters from author-mentors and other ongoing encouragement; write-ins at local coffee shops, book shops and living rooms; and free resources at local libraries, bookstores and other neighborhood spaces. There are online forums with tips, logistics and other musings. Plus, NaNoWriMo provides an array of tools to help you keep track of your growing pile of words.

Over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.

It’s easy: just sign up and start writing. NaNoWriMo is on Facebook, too. (But of course you knew that.)

P.S. No one says your novel has to be prose or, for that matter, that it even has to be a novel: 50,000 words is 50,000 words…
. . . . .
Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

open sesame!

October 29, 2014

Ferndale, Washington

Today’s the day! After years in a too-cramped facility and many months of deliberation, planning, fundraising and construction, the brand-new Ferndale Public Library, at 2125 Main Street in Ferndale, Washington, opens its doors TODAY! Designed by SHKS Architects and built by Faber Construction, the 15,000 square foot library includes a Community Room that will accommodate up to 80 people, a conference room for groups of 12 to 14, plus two smaller study rooms.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Saturday, November 15, 2014, at 10:00am. Meanwhile, the library is open regular hours, Monday – Thursday 10am-9pm, Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 1pm-5pm.

Congratulations to the Ferndale community and to everyone who had a hand in making this happen. A new library is a very good thing indeed.

watching poetry

October 28, 2014

YouTube logoFor the past several years, Bellingham TV channel 10 has generously offered their time and talent to video record Sue Boynton Poetry Contest winners reading their poems. The recordings are broadcast between other programming on BTV10 and this year’s collection of eleven readings has now been posted to YouTube on the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest channel. Have a look and a listen, and, while you’re there, revisit some wonderful poets from past contests as well.

Poetry Alive

Kevin Murphy and Matthew Brouwer are at it again, this time joined by poets Shannon Laws, Joe Nolting and CJ Prince. Poetry Alive IV (or III, depending on where you look) promises “a night of poesy so mind-bendingly grand, so soul-shakingly shaking it may just inspire you to quit your day job and pursue a hermetic life of poetic penury…not that you should come with any expectations or anything…”

Proceeds benefit the Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project, which leads writing workshops with kids in the juvenile justice system. JJCWP affirms that all youth have a unique voice that deserves to be shared with the community and that helping teens to connect with the vitality of their imaginations can be a powerful means for self expression and personal growth.

Saturday, November 1, 2014, at 7:00pm in the Encore Room at the Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham. $10 suggested donation.

on poetry

October 26, 2014

Andrew Motion“The best poems get written, not by going in the front door of the subject, but round the back or down the chimney or through the window.”
Andrew Motion
(b. October 26, 1952)
. . . . .
Image by Caroline Forbes

Luci Shaw - After reading my friend's poem
After reading my friend’s poem
— for Jeanne
By Luci Shaw
2014 Merit Award

The words do flips off the page
like fledglings sprung from the boredom
of the nest. Nothing is safe, now; everything
expands, freed to be itself, or something else.
A phrase is warming up and down the scale —
a soprano vocalizing in my ear as I shrug myself
into my jacket. My car waltzes me
down the hill, we are both crazy with these fresh
verses that sing us right into town.

At the market I consult my list. It reads like
terza rima. I choose a golden squash, weigh
a small ham in my hand, consider grapes from Chile,
praising the seeds that shine up through
the pale green flesh. I sing the stickers on apples.
Wine bottles turn into lyrics for the eye.
Lordy, on the way home I even begin to poem
Bellingham weather, the cloud anthems, rain tympanis,
the rainbow oil on the puddles, the small syllables
of boats on the bay, their wet sails bellying. Gusto!

Copyright 2014 by Luci Shaw. Broadside designed by Anita K. Boyle, Egress Studio. Illustration by Angela Boyle, Flying Dodo Publications.