Category Archives: napowrimo

these duplicitous times – NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo Challenge Day 3

these duplicitous times

pay close attention to the marginalia
we all must learn to read between the lines
disseminating truth right now is mania
in this, the most duplicitous of times

we all must learn to read between the lines
sift through every boastful sciolism
in this, the most duplicitous of times
to thwart attempts at history’s revision

sift through every boastful sciolism
find the facts, elusive, they may be,
to thwart attempts at history’s revision
don’t believe in everything you see

find the facts, elusive, they may be,
check out all the blather that you hear
don’t believe in everything you see
until trust is restored, we’re lost, I fear

check out all the blather that you hear
disseminating truth right now is mania
until trust is restored, we’re lost, I fear
pay close attention to the marginalia


A Pantoum for today’s NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2020 Challenge. (See below for today’s challenge and information about the pantoum poetry form). I chose my words from the last 10 days of’s Word of the Day feature, because hey, I love learning new words! Then I gleaned five rhyming words for each from Rhymezone. I managed to use a half dozen or so words from the resulting “word bank”. Phew! Today’s challenge was a workout!!!

NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2020 Challenge Day 3 – make use of our resource (online rhyming dictionary) for the day. First, make a list of ten words. You can generate this list however you’d like – pull a book  off the shelf and find ten words you like, name ten things you can see from where you’re sitting, etc. Now, for each word, use Rhymezone to identify two to four similar-sounding or rhyming words. For example, if my word is “salt,” my similar words might be “belt,” “silt,” “sailed,” and “sell-out.”

Once you’ve assembled your complete list, work on writing a poem using your new “word bank.” You don’t have to use every word, of course, but try to play as much with sound as possible, repeating  sounds and echoing back to others using your rhyming and similar words.

The pantoum consists of a series of quatrains rhyming ABAB, BCBC, CDCD, ZAZA. The design is simple:

Line 1
Line 2
Line 3
Line 4

Line 5 (repeat of line 2)
Line 6
Line 7 (repeat of line 4)
Line 8

Last stanza:
Line 2 of previous stanza
Line 3 of first stanza
Line 4 of previous stanza
Line 1 of first stanza

a good place to die – NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo Challenge Day 2

a good place to die

it is folk legend, instinct some would say, that animals
when they’re close to death wander off, alone to die

the perfect house in every way, one-level, secluded
on a hill, girded by hickory trees and wild pines, with
back windows facing east, front due west, undressed
to take advantage of warm sunrises and fiery sunsets,
textured white walls of swirling stucco, a fireplace,
garage attached, front porch and back, the perfect house

it’s only legend though; truth is, animals as they grow
old or sick, faltering, simply become weaker, slower

like my life, getting to the perfect house, the place where
I most certainly will die – in polite conversation we call
it a retirement home, or a forever home, though we all
know forever is not really forever –
getting here is a bit of a
journey, one must leave crowded house-lined King George
Avenue where pertinacious neon blots the stars from sight at
night, then travel along sleek four-lane byways flanked by banks,
churches, restaurants, dentists, service stations, and dollar stores,
curving, rising, dipping, along the rolling Blue Ridge feet, to
two-lane, no-pass roads, street lights replaced by looming
oaks, that lean over the winding bends, leaves dancing
from the rush of air displaced by passing cars, further
still, a turn, and then another, to a single lane, in an
unincorporated town identified by county seat, zip
code from a nearby, more civilized town with a post office,
past wire-fenced fields of grazing horses, cows, goats,
llamas and donkeys, down, down, around and up over
streams and creeks bubbling in the shadow of mountain
peaks, my dented mailbox leaning at the crux of a sharp
turn, there up, up, up, the driveway, she sits, sunlit
by day, warm green shingles beneath a 50-year metal roof
it is quiet, oh so quiet, but for chattering birdsong, and rustling
squirrels, the pensive, silent gaze of deer-folk greeting me

in fact, there are observed occasions where herds are known to stop, to wait
for lagging members, injured, vulnerable, to catch up to the safety of the group

neighbors at a distance dotting the surrounding knolls, this perfect
place, sans of things that no longer serve, knick-knacks, dust-collectors
and the like; my children will thank me in the end, when left with
little to dispose of my once busy, cluttered life and I am learning traveling
lighter has its benefits, most notable is time for reading, writing, planting
weeping pussy willows, irises, climbing rose bushes, sunflowers and
wild flowers, perhaps a dahlia cluster too amidst hybrid hostas in
the most lovely shade of blue, erecting bird feeders, feeders for the
squirrels too, and a lovely spot for barbecues to share with family
and friends who happen by, I’m in no hurry yet, to die, but this will
be my final home, the roaming of my youth long done, how lovely just
to sit a spell under the stars, and listen to cricket chirp and peepers peeping,
every night, good for sleeping, remembering the road that brought me here

it’s not intentional, their falling behind or wandering off, inevitably,
ultimately, they become too weak to return to the pack, never to be seen again

NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo Challenge Day 2: write a poem about a specific place — a particular house or store or school or office. Try to incorporate concrete details, like street names, distances (“three and a half blocks from the post office”), the types of trees or flowers, the color of the shirts on the people you remember there. Little details like this can really help the reader imagine not only the place, but its mood – and can take your poem to weird and wild places.

like an autumn leaf – NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo Challenge Day 1

like an autumn leaf

like an autumn leaf

like an autumn leaf, I’m clinging against the wind
crimson flushed, vexed by this calamity’s cruel din
now furloughed from the cubicle that once sustained
makeshift desk, remotely linked at home, is not the same
but duty calls, resigned am I to shelter in

one by one we watched the nations fail to win
succumbing to this foe, that strikes us from within
pandemics don’t discriminate, we’re the same
like an autumn leaf

my bank account and pantry are slowly growing thin
worried for coworkers, my family, my friends
normal lost forever, “new normal” stakes its claim
history will remember, we were forever changed
many not surviving this cruel whirlwind
like an autumn leaf


NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo Challenge Day 1: Write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life – one that typically isn’t done all that often, or only in specific circumstances. For example, bowling, or shopping for socks, or shoveling snow, or teaching a child to tie its shoes.

For today’s poem, a Rondeau. The Rondeau is a French form, 15 lines long, consisting of three stanzas: a quintet, a quatrain, and a sestet with a rhyme scheme as follows: aabba aabR aabbaR. Lines 9 and 15 are short – a refrain (R) consisting of a phrase taken from line one. The other lines are longer (but all of the same metrical length).

Twittering Tales #159 – 22 October 2019

About the challenge: Each Tuesday I will provide a photo prompt. Your mission, if you choose to accept the challenge, is to tell a story in 280 characters or less. When you write your tale, be sure to let me know in the comments with a link to your tale. This is important as I have noticed that some of the ping backs have not been working. If you would prefer to post your tale in the comments (some people have very specific blog themes but still want to participate), I am happy to post a link to your site when I post your tale in the Round Up.

A final note: if you need help tracking the number of characters in your story, there is a nifty online tool that will count for you at

I will do a roundup each Tuesday, along with providing a new prompt. And if for some reason I missed your entry in the Roundup, as I have occasionally done, please let me know. I want to be sure to include your tale.

Finally, have fun!

Twittering Tales #159 – 22 October 2019

This week’s Photo prompt comes to us from Pexels at What’s the story here? I have a feeling you’ll tell us…in 280 characters or less, of course! See you next week at the Roundup. And thank you for your patience. I am in the process of moving…buying a house…downsizing…and selling my old house. Oh, and working my usual insane hours. I may not respond to you right away, but I promise to read every tale and comment a word or two on Sunday when I start putting the round up together. Have a great week!

Photo by Pexels at


“Ya suppa’s gettin cold Ira!”

“I told you Ma, just a minute!!!”

Online, Ira was Vincent365, an intrepid traveler who captivated his many followers with wild adventurous tales; all none the wiser that he was 33, jobless, a loser who lived with his mom.

He signed off. “I’m comin Ma.”


280 characters

Twittering Tales #158 – The Roundup

Awesome roundup everyone! There were a few common themes. Some bittersweetness and humor. As usual, you all were brilliant! Thank you so much for joining in. I love seeing what you come up with!

Photo by Mikechie Esparagoza

Starting us off…
Wish It, Do It
Judith dreamed of being an artist, her paintings featured in galleries, drawing critical acclaim far and wide. But she had bills to pay. Her little shop’s walls were filled with her creations. One day she’d be a real artist she sighed. Too bad she didn’t realize, she already was.
280 Characters

By Reena at ReInventions by Reena:
Writer’s Haven
The signboard is fascinating – INSPIRATIONS
“Why don’t you put up some notepads and a coffee bar?”
“Why should anyone need that here?”
“You’ve so many writing prompts.”
The owner is rich now, and has published a book. She even rents out writing devices. Just a change in perspective…
(279 characters)

By Graham at Graham is Just My Name:
She woke up every morning tense and tired, and before facing the day, looked for inspiration on Social Media.
She hung them on the wall.
Then she met Ted.
He took them all down and replaced them with a single photo of the two of them with big smiles and three words.
Love conquers all.
(279 chars)

By Fandango at This, That, and the Other:
Inspiration Wall
It was her inspiration wall. Whenever she went to a curio shop or an antiques fair, which was quite often, she would buy wooden plaques with inspirational sayings on them. She would pour herself a glass of wine, sit opposite her wall, wonder why she felt so uninspired, and cry.
(278 characters)

By Suzette at Suzette B’s Blog:
Everyday is a fresh start
I wake up say a prayer and hustle

Only minutes to savor freshly brewed classic Italian coffee.
Then, as we each rush to our car,
I think to myself, “we rarely enjoy the little things lately
How great life would be if we lived a little bit of it everyday?”
Total characters: 280

By Di at Pensitivity101:
The Board of Positivity and Love.
33 characters

By Radhika at Radhika’s Reflection:
Every Day is a Fresh Start
The near fatal accident, changed business honcho Vikram’s life forever. Changing priorities, he decided to enjoy the little things. Grateful that he was still alive, he followed the motto of Live, love, laugh and realized Life is beautiful when you count your blessings!
Letter count :270

By Lorraine at Lorraine’s Frilly Freudian Slip:
Life Begins After Coffee *
“I love it!”
happy wife, happy life!”
darling,” she cooed.
you are so worth it!”
this is our happy place!”
every day a fresh start!”
the new vacuum hummed to life
dreams don’t work unless you do,” she sighed.
(209 characters)

By Mike at The Bookish Recovering Know-It-All:
Failing Forward
The last thing I expected to see was my own advice hitting me in the eyes on my way to the lawyers. But on my way to the lawyers office to finalize the papers closing my business, all I could see was the collection of placards on the back wall. It’s time for me to “Fail Forward”.
(280 characters)

By Tien at From the Window Seat:
“Why are you adding all these new inspirational signs in our house?”
I blinked at her. “What? I thought you were the one putting up the signs!”
We stared at each other to see if one of us would start laughing, revealing the joke.
We shrieked when a new sign materialised.
“It’s me!”
(278 characters)

By John at The Magic Shop:
None of them changed nothing for Jim, his life still sucked. A nowhere job that demeaned him, an uncaring  family and his continuing loneliness.  Signs of postive words are useless if they were written by someone who doesn’t know Jim’s pain. Yet, he still stares at the plaques waiting for an epiphany.
(300 characters)

By Larry at East Elmhurst A Go Go:
Understandably, Fred was sick of all the catch phrases. He lived in a state of absolute horror of bad English. Facebook, Twitter, they always have so many catch phrases. He died and went to Hell. Not surprisingly, he was bombarded, in the waiting room, with bad English.
(274 characters)

By JoeM at Does Writing Excuse Watching?:
Happy Wife, Happy Life
I found a happy woman and made her my wife. Then I learned that I was supposed to keep her happy. I hadn’t realized that.
I tried this and that. She says I didn’t. Finally, I made her happy by letting her go. She says she’s having a happy life but the saying hasn’t worked for me.

By Melanie at Sparks From a Combustible Mind:
Commercial Artist
Reba looked at the finished board.   She wasn’t completely satisfied, but then what artist ever was?   Overall her entry for “Optimism – The Concept” turned out very well, she thought.   Reba hoped the judges would agree and award her first prize.  She could really use the money.
(character count 280)

By Regina at Help From Heaven:
You Are So Worth It
Carol hugged a tearful Janet, after her boyfriend had quit her. Janet apologized for taking Carol away from her books. “You should be studying, not caring for me.” Carol responded, “There’s nothing more important to me right now than being your friend. You are so worth it.”
(276 characters)

By Tessa at Tessa Can Do It!:
Still Alive!
“Where’s the gold, Ron.” the director asked angrily.
Ron remained quiet.
“Did you search them when you took them out of the car,” the director demanded.
“Where’s the car?”
“You fool, the gold is probably hidden in the car. Lock ’em up in Sue’s office and go see,”
278 characters

By Jan at Strange Goings On in the Shed:
Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do
Morpheus grimaced in exasperation. The quality of material coming through was poor. They wanted miracles without putting in the effort. Humanity was lacking in imagination and a good work ethic. They misunderstood his role as the god of dreams. It was a “two-way street.”
(271 characters)

By Lisa at Tao Talk:
Please Don’t Go!
Dot loved getting opinions from everyone, but she had never followed anyone’s advice; yet it was still valuable in that it confirmed she had chosen the right course of action to begin with. Billy begged her not to ride the Titanic. I wish for once she had taken advice.

By Kitty at Kitty’s Verses:
A House to a Home
Sipping hot tea for warmth, she wondered how different it’d have been if she hadn’t left her partner for money.
As always her ego was in her way of reconciliation.
Too bad, he’d have welcomed her readily.
A place is defined by the people living in, never the other way.
Would she see?
280 characters.

By Jude at Tales Told Different:
Our Place
With her we always find it
A place suffused with fragrant happy colors, vivid and joyful in their spectrum
A place ensnared in sensual smells that prance and trance all over,
exciting and enthralling.
With her, we spiral in elusive magic
Spilling insecurities and spewing inhibitions
We live, laugh, love
For this is our happy place

By Peter at Peter’s Pondering:
The Wall of Love
I was worried when the old fella next door didn’t show. We normally chatted every day.
His wife suffered with crippling arthritis for many years and rarely ventured out.
They said she’d been dead for weeks. He lay down beside her under their special wall. A testament to their love.
(280 characters)

By Deb at Twenty Four:
Lunch time again and she almost groaned in despair, the company were always taking things a bit far.
She sighed, she’d thought a job in motivational slogans would be inspiring but now she was thinking of a career change – tombstone sculptor had a nice ring about it.
(265 characters)

By Sadje at Keep It Alive:
He was here today all because two people fell in love and decided to enjoy little things, live love and laugh. He told her you are so worth it but she said dreams don’t work unless you do. Now both of them live happily, and separately.
Character count: 236

By Hayley at The Story Files:
It had taken ages to get the positive canvas wall complete in my studio. Now. every time I came in one or more of the canvas would be on the floor. I blamed it on the sticky strips but something more was going on, somebody that wasn’t keen on happy messages.

By Angie at Angie Trafford:
Words of Wisdom
We filled the wall with all the words to promote self. They were meant to make you feel better. Alison looked at them and sighed. They only made her feel more worthless. Simple words were not enough to combat depression.
Character count: 217

By John at Broadsides:
I note the note on the notice board, notarised by a notary, and noting that notice parties’ notes , even when they are notarised notes, should not be posted on the notice board.

By Kristian at Tales from the Mind of Kristian:
Take the Plunge
He used to live in a bubble; his wall plastered with positive signs to help him on the road ahead.
He’d felt trapped, wanting to scream.
In order to live you have to step into reality.
Looking back, he’d made the right choice, there are no greater regrets than for a life unlived.
[279 Characters]


to poets…NaPoWriMo 2019 #30

…to poets

oft’ melancholy,
we’re an oddity at best
seeing things others don’t see,
crazy, some might jest
how dull life would be without poets!


For this year’s final NaPoWriMo 2019 Prompt #30:  try your hand at a minimalist poem, I am using a micropoetry / short form I created a few months ago that I call the Horatiodet, inspired by the Horatio-styled Ode. My micro-version is 5 lines in all with a syllable count of 5-7-7-5-9 and a rhyme scheme of ababb.


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