What Are Your Distractions?

A person working on a laptop where you see the laptop and just their hands and forearms.

I can generally work with anything going on. As long as I have headphones or earbuds, I can drown out pretty much any annoying background noises. Sometimes, though, I can’t.

Today is one of those days.

The TV in the next room is too loud. I’m tired and my mind keeps wandering. Random bits of conversation filter through.

What do you do on days where everything is a distraction? What distracts you?

Today, I’m keeping on keeping on. I’m chipping away at my to-do list. I’ve made some phone calls, sent some emails, and now I’m working on this post. Later, I will work on some crochet and do some planning around that.

I have one more phone call to make and some book edits to work on, too. So I would say that despite the distractions, I’m making good progress.

What about you?

A Crapsey … What??


Cinquain. A Crapsey cinquain. Remeber it’s one of the syllabic poetry forms I mentioned in last week’s post.

The Crapsey cinquain was developed by a woman named Adelaide Crapsey, an American poet. As per its name, the cinquain has five lines. The Crapsey cinquain follows a strict syllabic form:

Line 1 – 2 syllables
Line 2 – 4 syllables
Line 3 – 6 syllables
Line 4 – 8 syllables
Line 5 – 2 syllables.

A single siquain can stand on its own or it can be used along with additional cinquains as a stanza of a longer poem.

For one example, you can see “American Princess” in my own poetry collection, Windsong and Other Poems.

Additionally, here is an example just for this. (This is a rough draft and not finished in any way.)

Facebook,
Instagram, and
more social media.
Good or bad, we live our lives
online.

Give it a try. If you feel brave, share yours in the comments below.

Are You a Poet? Do You Know It?

There’s an old joke that says, “I’m a poet and didn’t know it. You can tell by my feet. They’re Longfellows.”

I got started on my writing journey with poetry. I wrote my first poem in high school. In tenth grade English, we had to keep a journal. I wrote my first poem there. I got brave and showed it to my 11th grade English teacher. She said I had a “great talent” and shouldn’t let it go to waste.

It took too many years before I gave myself permission to say I was a writer. But that’s not the point here.

My poems don’t usually rhyme. I don’t use iambic pentameter or any other formal poetic form or meter.

Some time ago, I was introduced to syllabic poetry. I took a poetry-writing class at through the public education program at the local college. Since then, I’ve used several syllabic forms in my poems.

What is syllabic poetry?

Syllabic poetry has a set number of syllables per line. It can be set by the writer or by a specific form.

Some syllabic poetry forms include:

  • Crapsey cinquain
  • Rondelle
  • Haiku/senryu
  • Tanka

There are many more.

I’ve decided I want to get back to my roots, so to speak, and write more poems again.

I’m going to share some of what I learn here and on my YouTube channel.

What is one of your favorite types of poems?

Video: Let’s Talk about Writing Crochet, and Creativity

Don’t you just love the frames YouTube decides to use as your video cover? that will change once I do he thumbnail and upload it, too, but until then, I’m obvioulsy in mid-word and look like I’m making a goofy face.

I’m restarting my YouTube channel. Last Friday, I uploaded a reintroduction video, so here it is.

I would love it if you would go over to YouTube and leave me a comment or a like. Or subscribe. That would be very appreciated!

I’ll be talking about writing, creativity, and crochet. So if there is anthing specific you would like to hear about, let me know. This week’s video will be about some aspect of writing. Exactly what isn’t decided yet, but it will prolbably be about one of my favorite poetic forms, mainly because I have a catchy hook in my head and if I don’t use it, it will drive me bonkers.

Well… More bonkers. How’s that?

Mojo Revisited


If you remember, back in June, I mentioned I had lost my mojo for writing. Since that time, I’ve tried a few things to get it back, but my usual tips and tricks didn’t really work that well this time.

So what did I do?

I can tell you what I didn’t do. I didn’t push it. I was nice to myself. I didn’t say I had writer’s block. I didn’t say I was in a rut. I didn’t do or say anything that might indicate I was embarassed or ashamed of not writing.

So I crocheted.

A lot, actually. And I started a mailing list. And I wrote blog posts about crochet.And I decided I’m going to restart my YouTube channel.

You get the idea.

I was still being creative, I just wasn’t focused on writing. And that actually brings me to my point. (Yes, I do have one other than the fact that my mojo is coming back.)

I think it is important to have more than one creative outlet. If I didn’t crochet or do anything else, I would have obsessed over not writing. That would have made it worse for me, I’m sure. Having more than one creative outlet allows you to keep your creative well filled when it could otherwise become drained. It helps you prevent burnout when one outlet seems to run dry. 

Depending on what your creative outlets are, they can even inform and feed off of each other. Although I had lost my writing mojo, I still wrote, but I wrote about crochet. So you could say that crochet both informed and fed my writing. That’s a good thiung.

I stsill say I am primarily a writer, but I’m also fairly confident in saying I’m an avid crocheter/crochet artisan too.

What about you? What are your creative interests? Do you find they influence each other in any way?

Leave a comment and let’s talk.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?


How is that for a throwback to childhood and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood? But seriously wouldn’t it be great to have a large community of neighbors who are interested in what you have going on? I don’t mean in a nosy way, but in a genuinely interested way.

Sometimes I really do.

And the good thing about the internet is we can do that in many ways. True there’s Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, blogs like this…

But then…

A bad thing about the internet is that something that’s here today could be completely gone tomorrow. Then what do you do about those connections? How do you keep in touch with those contacts for whom you have NO contact information?

You don’t own your lists of friends online, no matter what social media platform you use.

Do you kno what you do own?

Your email contacts list.

And so that’s my point today. I would lie to invite you to be my virtual neighbor. Join my community. I’ll send you an email once a week, usually on Friday, to let you know what’s going on. I’ll include a link back to this blog in case there’s something you’ve missed. And you’ll be the first to know when something new is on the way.

(For example, there’s something new that my community list has known about for a couple weeks that I have yet to annouce here. I will soon, though.)

Because of some choices I made when I first set up this website, I can’t just pop a form in for you to fill out. What I can do is give you a link

See? I just did.

Yes, I’m being silly. But serously, you can click the link above or the image at the beginning of this post and sign up. For the rest of this month, you’ll get a free crochet pattern PDF in exchange for your email address. In August, it will be something different. I’ll switch it up between something for people more interested in writing and for people more interested in crochet.

I’m also going to be setting up a resource library here. There will be items of interest for writers and crocheters. I’ll work on that this weekend. It will be passsword-protected and the onl way to get the password will be to join the newsletter community.

Some of you may be thinking that you already subscribe to my blog, so why do you need to sign up for the community newsletter? Well, one reason is the resource library I just mentioned. Another reason is… What would you do if I had to move this blog and the subscriptions didn’t move with it? How would you know where I’d gone and where to find me?

Signing up for the community newsletter would keep you from wondering if I’d just dropped off the face of the planet….or got helplessly tangled up in a ball of yarn.

It could happen.

Where Did My Mojo Go?

Today I had planned to invite you to subscribe to my newsletter. But the sign-up form isn’t playing nice with WordPress. So while I troubleshoot that, I thought I would share something else with you.

Even though I don’t usually talk about it online, it’s no secret I’ve been dealing with Wound Care for far too long. Because of that, my writing has kind of waxed and waned during the whole time. (It’s been five years and that doesn’t count the time I spent trying to take care of it myself.)

Now it’s come to a point where I have no writing mojo. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

My creative efforts have gone to crochet and making a business around that (including blogging, designing patterns, etc.).

I don’t know that I want to get my mojo back. Is that wrong of me? But I have one book at a publisher that I have to finish edits on.

What would you do in such a situation?
Leave a comment below saying what you would do or have done when you needed to get your mojo back.

In the meantime, if you want to sign up for my newsetter, which will cover crochet and writing, email me your email address and I will add you to it. You’ll get a free PDF guide for taking care of different yarn fibers too.