a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Thursday, March 24, 2011

20 actions that could become poems:

The fun of this Nancie-Atwell-inspired list is that all of these topics would make great poetic or prose slices as well as plain old poems.  Once I got going, I found myself having a hard time stopping at 20…

  1. Baking cookies for key leader meetings, to remind myself to stay positive
  2. Getting an e-mail from my sister, and having to refrain from responding too quickly
  3. Talking in the dark before falling asleep
  4. Getting up in the middle of the night to let the dogs out
  5. Picking out an outfit to wear while shopping
  6. Watching “How I Met Your Mother” and wishing I could hang out with Ted, Marshall, Lily, Barney, and Robin
  7. Seeing an old classmate on Facebook and not knowing whether I know them from Wisconsin or Illinois
  8. Going through Grandpa’s house with Mom
  9. Spending time with my mother-in-law at the hospice center
  10. Going to dinner with my nieces when they are finally NOT arguing over who doesn’t want to sit next to me
  11. Being asked for advice
  12. Sitting in my plastic Adirondack chair in my backyard
  13. Finding pieces of my past in my Dad’s new house
  14. Hearing Mom say she thought I was 33, not 32
  15. Eating lunch with grown-ups in the staff lounge (and how it is a lot like eating lunch in high school or middle school)
  16. Chopping vegetables or baking cookies while watching a cooking show where really technical things are being done
  17. Eating at Cheddars in Springfield, and being amazed at the awesome service
  18. Stacking items
  19. Having an opinion about other people’s baby names
  20. Running on the treadmill


  1. What a great reminder of something I should be doing to spark my own writing! I could relate to many of the items on your list. I, too, wish I could hang out with the gang from HIMYM. And if I did, I would most definitely ask Robin if she thought we should go to the mall....today.


  2. ten more and you'll have a poetry slice-a-day for the month of April - what about it?

  3. great list-I have to say that's how I do it - just like Atwell suggest - works for everyone-young & old students-adults. Thanks for the fun suggestions-I put them on my list! It's especially nice that you have such a variety of topics, for different moods or times of day or ? Happy poetry month!

  4. These intrigue me.
    I especially like #2, #8, #12 and #18.
    I rebel, usually, at the lists I see on a lot of teacher's blogs (Shhh. Don't tell.). They seem to be a compilation of adverbs, but no intriguing details.

    Yours, however, are seductive in how they let me have a glimpse of something fascinating and familiar, but don't reveal what that something is. I'm hoping to someday see some more of these in full-blown prose: poem or paragraph. I'd read more.

    Elizabeth E.