Tribute Poem

Recently, I participated in a prompt to write a poem about a news story of the past week. Of course, the news of celebrity deaths dominated the news on social media, but there was so much more that happened over the course of the week that social media seems to disregard. That is the focus of one of the two poems I wrote, but my preferred of the two I wrote is a tribute to the three celebrites we lost this past week: George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds.

This Christmas, They Left Us Their Hearts

 

George Michael sang a large part of

The soundtrack of my youth.

Carrie Fisher transported me

To a galaxy far, far away,

And showed a young me

A strong, beautiful woman

With power.

And then, shared her own demons

Speaking out about mental illness,

Trying to defeat the stigma,

And Debbie Reynolds was at her side

Fighting the world’s shame,

And at the same time,

Building a bridge from my generation

To that of my parents

As we watched Singing in the Rain

Together.

But “I gotta have faith”

That they have moved on

To another, better realm, but

Have left us their hearts

In the movies and songs.

Photographic Inspiration

Everywhere you look, there is something to inspire you. Let the creative juices flow and appreciate the beauty of the world around us. And when that beauty is hard to see, create it! Here are just a few images from the past six months that make me smile. I hope they do the same for you.

I Read, Therefore I am

I am sure you remember me saying here again and again how much work I have to do: the piles of papers to grade; the notebooks collected to be checked; the tests and quizzes to make; the after school clubs to moderate…the list could go on and on. My teacher friends know of what I speak. From September to June, I am swamped, overwhelmed, and behind the eight ball.

In addition to work deadlines and pressures, there are the added commitments of “trying to have a live.” I know, I know, it’s a crazy idea for teachers–trying to have a life outside of summer time. But, there it is. I will not give up my painting time on Saturdays, and I want to find time whenever the weather is nice enough to play golf with my husband. And of course, humans are social animals, so I must find time to get together with friends. (It’s never enough time, but even to touch base and say hello is so important!) Let’s not even mention time needed for grocery shopping (ugh!), cooking (love it, but am often too tired), and cleaning (a never ending process). Don’t forget about laundry!

Then, there is this blog and my other writing. I’ll be honest; I don’t write much aside from the blog. I have great ideas and works in progress but little time (or energy when I have the time) to execute them. Plus, as a member of this blogging community, I want to read and respond to my fellow bloggers.

Eventually, something’s got to give, right? For the past few months, that has been my recreational reading. On my commute, I began spending less and less time reading fiction for pleasure. I either snoozed or browsed Facebook or read some blogs I follow. None of these are bad things. In fact, they are all good things. BUT. There is always a but. I didn’t feel good. I was getting testy, cranky, out of temper. My patience was wearing thin. As a teacher of teenagers, this is not a good thing. The ironic thing is that what I push for my students every single day is that they read. And read. And read. But, I wasn’t. I truly believe in the power of reading in increasing one’s academic success, even when one reads fiction–any kind of fiction. And I’ve always belived too that we learn how to handle situations outside our ken by reading. We escape; we experience worlds beyond our own. But, I wasn’t following my own advice.

Lately, I’ve gotten back on track. I’ve been reading Light Between Oceans. It is heart-breakingly beautiful. The prose is poetic and lyrical. I knew from the beginning that something was going to go terribly wrong, and now I know what it is; how it will be resolved, I still do not know, but I know I be both crying and smiling. And, I feel better. I’m calmer. I’m more patient. Most importantly, I learned that I need to read. I cannot live without reading. How can anyone?

Opening Line Challenge

Opening lines. We writers are well aware of the importance of opening lines, and of the few great ones that bandied about, epitomes of the genre:
Dickens, of course: ” It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
Austen: “It is s a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

I could go on, but I digress from my main purpose. Today is December 1st, and I forgot to put this month’s train pass in my wallet. On the way in to work, I received a courtesy pass, but coming home, I had to pay. So to, I noticed, did many others on the train. So, I said to the conductor as he punched my ticket,

“I think December took many people by surprise today.”

He agreed and went on his busy way, and I was left with what sounds to me like a great opening line.

So I challenge you, my friends, to finish the thought. Using fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or even drama, write a post or a comment starting with “December took many people by surprise today.” (We’ll leave off the “I think” so you can choose your own point of view.) Write in the comments here or on your own blog with a pingback.

I hope many of you will participate. I look forward to reading your works!!!