And the winner is…

2013-Winner-Vertical-Banner

 

…ME! For the second year in a row, I successfully completed NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). If you’re unfamiliar with this world-wide event, the challenge is to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days.

This year’s novel started out horribly. I had what I thought was going to be an amazing idea inspired by a member of my family. When I sat down to write the story, the words just wouldn’t come. I struggled to write a single scene of just over 300 words. I did research on the time period and locations, but nothing was coming to the surface.

I attended a locally hosted write-in (where local NaNo participants can gather to share creative energy, have word wars, and generally push each other toward the finish line) and a friend said to me, “Well, maybe you’re writing the wrong story.” Whoa. Really?

In a moment, I remembered another story idea that had come to me about a year ago. I shifted mental gears, thinking that at 6 days behind “schedule” I would not make the 50K goal. Clearly, this particular story was ready to be written. It poured out of me often days faster than I could get it down.

On Saturday, I was just over 5K away from the finish line and was determined to finish that day. With one final push, the goal was met. I sat back from my keyboard and took a moment to let it sink in. Not only had I written 50,000 original words, I had completed the entire thing in just 17 days!

Now, more than ever, I believe that anything is possible if you want it bad enough. My story is not finished, but I’ve got a wonderful start and I have a plan for actually finishing this one.

Yesterday, I returned to my comfort zone of poetry. I posted a new prompt over at Poets on the Page and I’ll be adding my own poem in response later this week. Check out the prompt and link up your own poetry. I’d love to read it!

Meanwhile, preparations are underway for Thanksgiving. My mother is already cooking. My husband and I will begin the 6-hour drive on Thursday morning, picking my children up from celebrating with their Dad after lunch. This year I have more to be thankful for than ever.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah!

Feeling Bipolar

Bipolar_by_Kernunnos23

Bipolar_by_Kernunnos23

I knew what I would be writing about as soon as I read the prompt at Poets on the Page today. We were challenged to use as many feeling words as we could. As one who lives with bipolar disorder, I feel an extreme range of emotions that can change dramatically in the blink of an eye.  In addition to writing about feelings, we were also pushed to try a poetic form that I had not looked at before – The Pictorial. Since I struggle with proper spacing here on my blog, I chose to write my poem and save it as an image. I hope the message still comes across clearly. (:(

Feeling Bipolar

 

My Favorite Poem

Over at Poets on the Page this week, we are delving deeper into the things that inspire us to write poetry. On Sunday, we were asked to identify a single poem that moves us and to explore why and how that poem speaks to us. My butterfly mind flitted from one poem to another until I remembered the remarkable poem “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou.

Listen to Dr. Angelou recite her poem in the video or read the full text here.

My gorgeous former student!

My gorgeous former student!

I remember the first time I heard this poem. I was teaching dance in a public high school and had assigned my Dance 3/4 students a choreography project where they had to use spoken word as the accompaniment to their in-class performance. One of my students chose “Phenomenal Woman” and put together a stunning work. Her movements were deliberate and strong, just as the words of the poem. This young lady embodied the picture painted by Dr. Angelou’s words, both in class and beyond.

The message of this poem is one that I admire and try to embody myself.

“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size.” Continue reading

Dive Deep

I am deeply grateful for the wonderful creative communities I keep finding online. Because of my involvement with OctPoWriMo last month, I became part of a year-long spin-off that we’ve titled “Poets on the Page“. Check it out for weekly poetry prompts and the opportunity to share your poems with some wonderful writers across the world. 

I am also participating in a group I found on Facebook called “A Mused Community” that offers monthly creativity challenges. Last month, this led me to the work of Caroline Myss and the purchase of her book “Sacred Contracts”. This seemed perfectly timed as a response to the poetry prompt this week. 

As if that weren’t enough, I’m also participating in NaNoWriMo for the fourth straight year. Among my fellow novelists, we often speak of going “deep in the plot bunny hole”. And so, my current mindset is “DEEP”!

public domain image by Irina Pechkareva

public domain image
by Irina Pechkareva

How deep are you ready and willing to go?

How much are you prepared to know?

The surface is pleasant and easy to do,

But no one will know the unique special you.

 

Dive deep into the river of your mind

And trust in the ravishing beauty you find.

As you seek the truth of who you can be,

Know that you’re more than just what you see.

 

How deep are you ready and willing to go?

How much are you prepared to know?

Shadow forms are lurking there,

They should be handled with great care.

 

Dive deep into the ocean of your soul

Accept all the parts that make up the whole

Don’t forget, but forgive and open the door.

Free yourself to give and to receive more.

 

How deep are you ready and willing to go?

How much are you prepared to know?

Tap into the greatness hidden inside

By letting the still small voice be your guide.

 

Dive deep into the well of your heart

Pour love and passion into your art

Give everything you have to give

And create the life you were born to live.