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Posts Tagged ‘challenge’

So even though I missed a few days, my self-imposed challenge to blog every day for two weeks has been a success – between Sept. 16 and Sept. 30 I posted 14 times.

Best day for traffic was Sept. 21, when I published The View From the Council Chamber. New readers, however, soon realized that they could expect little in the way of political commentary and a lot in the way of knitting, dogs, self-centred musings about pregnancy, and other things of interest mainly to me and me alone, and so did not stick around.

Anyway, I fully intended to post yesterday and the day before, but Friday I was engaged on Important Adult Business and forgot, and yesterday I came rather dramatically down with a cold. Seriously, I was feverish, dizzy, seeing starbursts, and generally feeling very ill. If I had posted yesterday I imagine it would have been very Lovecraft-y and incoherent. Fortunately I followed my midwife’s advice – “If you feel unwell, see if it goes away after food, water, and rest; if not, call me” – and am much better. I still feel very scattered, though, as some siding for the refinished back room arrived and is currently taking up half the living room, and that plus two days of neglect have caused a sort of clutter explosion that I’m not up to dealing with yet. I find myself making detailed plans out loud about very basic things – “OK, I’ll put the sheets in the wash now and take them to the laundry to dry when the stock pot is on for dinner” – confusing Madeline a good deal.

But on the positive, my replacement DealExtreme tablet arrived on Friday, so at least I’ve been able to make snide blog comments while lying in bed with a fever.

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It’s been a lazy day at headquarters.  I got up early, thinking I’d get more work done…instead I’ve been tired all day and haven’t accomplished much at all.  I was singing like crap and didn’t get any good work done.  

Oh well.  In an effort to inspire myself, I participated again in readwritepoem’s latest prompt.  Readers take a poem of their own, strip it (i.e., remove most of the words:  “I went to Grandma’s after dinner” might become “I ____  to _______  ______ ________”), and post the skeleton on the site.  Other readers take these skeletons and fill them in with new words.  Here’s what I came up with.  The bold words are my own:

I was dealt a bum hand, and started
to do magic tricks with the cards:
poker feinting, starting
at a
bouncer’s approach.
I
laughed a hyena’s squeal of toothless ire.
Below 
the table I have concealed
the
blunt tooth of an ace,
round and
soft, and I hoarded it
like
summer rain in my mind,
that
the last trick of death
and the dealer 
that never quite
wins.

OK, OK, I know the last three lines don’t make perfect grammatical sense.  It should be “since the last trick is death”, but I’m too honest to change that bit of the skeleton…I guess.  Also I don’t like it very much.  

I’ll try another tomorrow.  Right now I’m off to a birthday party.  Here’s to sleeping in tomorrow morning!

BTW, David Duchovny is in the news again.  Apparently his wife has been spending a lot of time with Billy Bob Thornton lately.  Because any sane woman would leave FOX MULDER for…Bad Santa.

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My response (another prose poem) to readwritepoem‘s latest challenge.  This is the finished version:

What’s in front of me

What’s in front of me is time, forty minutes of nothing much.  If god exists, surely he knows the meaning of empty moments; who called this clock into existence?  Time exists by fiat.  We said, “It is so,” and there it was.  Unfolding is not time; a tree can’t tell you the hour.  I want to unfold and be, but there’s this octopus schedule, a monster with 24 legs, each with 60 stings.

What’s in front of me it life; it’s behind me as well.  I know what has been and I hope for what is to come, but what is now?  In writing those three scratched figures – n – o – w – the present became the past without even trying, over and over, world without end.  When, then, am I living?

What’s in front of me is a choice, then another choice, then another.  Not a bare array of objects, a moving, breathing, always-changing world.  What I choose may not choose me; or it may cease to be what I chose.  The journey is the end, I suppose, and you never reach the pot of gold.

What’s in front of me is work; the work of my life, the work of becoming.  What I am is what I have chosen.  What I do is what I’ve made of myself.  New trajectories after every collision – the chaos that’s in front of me, behind me, around me; a million billion tiny dots that become, at a very great distance, a beautiful whole.

[Note: This was one of those 10 minute writing exercises – you write without stopping or editing for 10 minutes, then work what’s you’ve got into something polished.  I include my first draft for your edification.]

What’s in front of me (raw first draft)

What’s in front of me is love.  In front of me is time, forty minutes of nothing much.  If god exists, surely he knows the meaning of empty moments; who called this clock into existence?

Time exists by fiat.  We said, “It is so,” and there is was.  Unfolding is not time; a tree doesn’t know the hour.  I want to unfold and be, but in the meantime there’s this schedule, an octopus with 24 legs, each with 60 stingers.

What’s in front of me is life; it’s behind me as well.  I know what has been and I hope for what is to come.  Let’s see, but what is now?  In writing these three scratched figures – n – o – w – the present became the past without even trying.  It happens all the time, without ceasing, world without end.  When, then, am I living?

What’s in front of me is a choice, then another choice, then another.  Not a bare array of objects, a moving, living, always-changing, breathing world.  What I choose may not choose me; or it might entirely fail to be what I thought it was.  In the journey is the end, I suppose, and it doesn’t matter if you never find the pot of gold.  

What’s in front of me is work, the work of my life, the work of becoming.  What I am is what I have chosen, and what I do is what I’ve made of myself.  New vistas always ahead, new trajectories with every collision.  What’s in front of me is chaos, and so it what’s behind me; the thousand dots that seem like nothing ness up close, but become a beautiful whole in the distance.

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