One of my 2020 goals is to post more poetry, scenes, or short stories to the blog. Usually when I post these scenes they’re directly out of my idea journal. But I also participate in a challenge over on Instagram (@authortabathashipley) where I draft a poem based on a prompt and post it up same day with very little editing.
Today, I’m sharing January’s poems (and maybe a little commentary) with you.
Probably not surprising that this one dropped on January 1. The actual prompt was the phrase “a decade descends”. I wasn’t crazy about this one. It’s a little… cliche. But it got the job done. Plus that 2020 fading in the right corner came out pretty cool.
January 2. Prompt: a new dawn breaking. This one I was torn on. On the one hand, I liked the dark way this one tilted. On the other hand, evidently I’m still falling to cliche (breath rapid, come on). Remember I’m challenging myself to write and post these in one day. Very little (almost no) editing. Fun fact: this one was typed in word. I change the colors and posted. I didn’t think it needed anything fancy.
January 3. You can probably guess the prompt: garnet and gamboge. I actually had to google the word “gamboge” which, as it turns out, is a gum resin produced by trees that happens to be yellow in color. It can be used as a name for that specific shade of yellow, apparently. As I was attempting to find inspiration for those words, both color words, I created the background you see on this image. That’s when I realized it was pretty close to the colors of a few schools around here (close to my HS and close to a rival college). Anyway, the haiku was born. Simple and snarky. Two of my favorite S words.
January 5-You may notice I skipped a few days in there. That tends to happen as the month slips on. Anyway, the prompt for the poetry challenge that day was “outside the box”. The prompt for something else I had let slip was “Why We Need Libraries”. Well, why not put them together (and post them a day late, apparently. This went up on 1/6). Am I 100% happy with this poem? Nope. The sentiment is exactly right. But, again, I defaulted to cliche phrases. Apparently editing is where I become original.
Is this cheating? Technically this one isn’t a poem at all. On January 9 while deep in writing mode (working on Book 5 in the Fraun series) I wrote these lines. When I was done for the day my eyes fell back on these lines and I realized I loved them. I created this little image and shared it. I love this character and breaking him for this book has been entirely too much fun. That sounds bad. It’ll make sense when the series is done–probably.
Back to the poetry challenge. This one was posted January 14th when the prompt was “background noise of life”. At the time I was sitting in my local coffee shop, writing. I was feeling a bit guilty about how many days (9) had gone by without me working on the poetry challenge. So I opened the prompt and saw “noise”. Perfect. I pulled off my headphones, dashed this out on my computer in about a minute, took a screen shot and posted. I didn’t overthink, I didn’t reread, I didn’t edit. It’s not bad, actually.
Last one, I think. This one went up January 15. The prompt was “taboo”. I went for a common style I used to use. 9 syllables per line each followed by a single word, repeated. It defines the single word, paints a picture, and gives the poem a rhythm. This is probably one of my favorite rough drafts for the month. I could see spending some time editing this one and turning it into something brilliant.
That’s my poetry journey for January. Comment below to let me know what you think of the challenge and I’ll keep them coming in February!