Poetry Quest Off Line

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At Boonah – Sunrise by June Perkins

Dear Blog Readers,

For the moment I am taking my poetry quest to 200 off line.  It is still happening but just not on my blog.

Whilst I am offline I am not just working on my poetry quest but many, many things

  • Preparation for upcoming panels (especially the Queensland Poetry Festival!)
  • A trip to bookshops in Melbourne at the end of the year
  • Ideas for more panels on various topics dear to my heart for the public
  • Preparation for an exhibition/ mini festival in October
  • Poetry books exploring themes of environment, parenting, motherhood, art, music, drawn from ten years of blogging and new material
  • Chapter books for 8-10 (Series concept)
  • Picture books
  • A novel (plotting it at present to get my structure right)
  • A memoir
  • Connecting with creatives I would like to collaborate with
  • Helping develop diasporic Pacific products
  • Fostering unity in diversity through the arts
  • Tutoring and School Visits
  • Continuing to develop my professional skills

I have shared a lot of writing online for over ten years, and now need much more dedicated time to collate, develop and edit much of this into beautiful books and films or digital stories of all kinds.

After a reflection on the weekend of everything I want to still do I  realise the need to redirect my efforts and stop longing so much to finish my first novel and get on and do it!

I will still be back to blog from time to time on the progress of any of the above and let you know as each project or creative product launches, but hope you will understand I will be holding a lot more direct creative work back and need to reallocate my time.

I might have a few guests from time to time that I would just love for you to meet, but it will only be when the spirit moves me and is it fits into the various tasks above.

Part of the reason for this changing my direction and time spent blogging is contained in the following recent guest blog , which I invite you to read and comment on:

Dare to Dream A Sustainable Life As a Creative

And to read about what I feel this whole journey on social media has done to enrich my creative life read this blog:

Social Media, the Joys and Challenges for Authors

Do feel free to look back through the blogs.  And to fellow bloggers stopping by, I will visit you when I can – and have loved connecting with you, especially many poets and creatives in isolated areas.

Thanks as always for your support and all the best for your creative efforts in your life as well,

June Perkins

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Daily Poetry/Crafted Poetry

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I have noticed that presently I have four main modes of writing poetry, each with their strengths and weaknesses.

1.  Journalling poems that free flow and spill onto the page often with emotion and passion.

2.  Crafted/Technique poems that come from setting myself a challenge in technique or a set form but still primarily writing what comes immediately to mind.

3.  Playful/ Experimental poems these poems start as games.  To my surprise they often lead to narrative poems, or seem to come from daily life and can turn into a journalled experience.

4.  Narrative poems/works in series which can use any of the above techniques.  In this approach I might take an idea of a loss of a child and create characters to tell a story. I might decide to have a water diviner and a king and see what happens to them as they talk about each other and the problems of their world.

The strength of  journalling is that it enables you to tap into your inner thoughts and flow without stopping yourself.  Journalling poems can be written everyday.

The strength of crafting in a technique or set form is that you know the shape and structure of your poem and it disciplines an idea you may have had emerge in journalling.  Discipline in writing poetry often strengthens it!  These poems may take longer to write than journalled ones but they are well worth the effort.  You might even start writing daily haiku verses if it’s your free flow identity.

I love to take an idea developed in journalling and crafting and then create something more playful and original.  I will often employ creative game ideas, like mixing genres, or found poems to see what discoveries I can make.  This is ideal for days where I feel I have nothing to say.  I find out that I do.

I find that extending a narrative and trying any of the approaches allows me to create a world in my poems, similar to that a novelist does.  I find a technique that might suit a particular character.  I am enjoying these sorts of poems more and more.  I write these when I feel the next chapter of a poetry narrative is ready.  I am thinking of writing outlines for these now.

As for weaknesses journalling poems can be without enough structure and are not always the best ones to share publicly, crafted poems can become too constricting if you are working in a form that doesn’t suit you or the topic.

Playful and experimental poems can be too playful and not focus enough on content if you take it too far, and as for narrative poems, it’s finding the best approach for a particular narrative, or a particular character that can be challenging.

I’ve decided whilst I like all of these techniques, it is now time to find some poetry buddies and add to all of the above, consult poetry critique buddies and rewrite.  I especially need to find poetry buddies who write a lot of poetry and know a lot about it so that they can challenge me to push my ability in this form, like a running coach does for a runner.

Perhaps, more on poetry writing buddies in future posts.

How do you approach writing poetry?

Post it Notes

June Perkins's photo.
One of the dragons my daughter has created

Here I am with my daughter catching a bus to the art museum.
We don’t talk but with our dark brown eyes look for
inspiration out at the land scrolling
past the windows.

What we share most is a love of the creative.
For her it’s online comics, art and stories.
She has a recommended reading list for me and
is itching to beta read my current book in progress.

Here anyhow’s one decent thing – the way she leaves post it notes
concerning dragons on the loose
and how she hopes I have the best writing day
on my desk.
She’s just making sure
a dragon makes it into the story

Today I attempted an important person poem.  I have written these before but today’s inspiration is to use three starters to stanzas inspired by Wilfred Sassoon. I am not in a rhyming mood though.

Ducky, light bulbs and having fun with the pictorial fonts

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One of my true love’s nicknames is ‘Ducky’

So today I am attempting an ideaogram.  I didn’t want to do the Sidman exercise just as it was suggested  because I have written a poem like that before, so instead I came up with a variation on her exercise.

For this one I went looking for some further inspiration and found some in googling images.  It seemed obvious one way to write something like this might be to play with the ideogrammatic fonts on my computer.  But how to play with them?  I used the geotype font and the following images came up when I typed my name, june: Light bulb, Duck, Globe or Sign and a Hand.  I thought why not use them as inspiration. That’s pretty random isn’t it, but here goes.

For ‘Ducky’

I look for my light bulb moment
Married to a man whose nickame is Ducky (because he impersonates Donald Duck)
We are world citizens by nature
Who after twenty years or more still remember to walk hand in hand

(c) June Perkins

Let me know if you try this, now I’m off to experiment with some other fonts.  Is this a true ideogram, well I really don’t care, it’s fun.  Pictorial font fun.  Another variation of this would be to then extend the metaphors and expand the piece.

(c) June Perkins

I meant to write my book today

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Feather of Discovery – by June Perkins

I meant to write my book today
but I decided on an early morning walk
to start my exercise regimen as my legs
feel like jelly and you know I really ought
to make a great effort to reach my goal weight
and so I strolled with my family to the shops and over the walkway
and round and round the oval and noticed one man alone taking
a smoke, and my children stopped to play on the swings,
and exercise is good for the brain so
theoritically it ought to make me do more inspired writing.

I meant to write my book today
but reading about Tim, a Doug Anthony All  Star and his take on humour and life
was too enticing and I just had to read right to the end of the story
and reading is fantastic for inspiration and I am working on a memoirs
and I’d like to put more humour in and Tim’s a master of comedy and I need to read more
and was so pleased to be reading and theoritically it ought to make me do more inspired writing.

I meant to write my book today but
then my daughter asked me to watch two of our favourite shows
one called Scorpian about some brilliant minds who work together to solve puzzles
and who can’t quite fit into regular life, so they have a single mother who is their
emotional expert and one called Forever
about someone who dies again and again, he’s been immortal since the 1800s
and doesn’t now why and it’s one of those interesting premises that pull you in
and make you keep watching, it must have started with a ‘what if?’ statement in some collaborative
writers’ meeting, you know the ones were you throw ideas around and then magic happens but these shows have so much to teach in terms of character and plot twists and it was good to see Jane Seymour turning up on television again and that theoritically ought to make me do more inspired writing.

I meant to write my book today then I was hungry and
just had to find a juicy orange, and a raspberry jam sandwich, and think about doing another walk, when the weather cooled, and do some dishes and consider the ironing and think how boring those things are in writing unless you make the food sing of a far off land, or give it some magical purpose and the mundane said,
‘make me fantastic before you dare write a line about me,’ and it was round about then I thought I might write and my daughter said, ‘Please come chat with me Mum,’ so what could I say she’s just one of the many people who inspire me so how could I say no.

(c) June Perkins

 

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Play – by June Perkins

Still working through Joyce Sidman’s poetry ideas.  Here is my first attempt at an excuse poem.

Pink Paisley Dress

Pink Paisley Summer Dress

The best thing is material so thin
prevents me boiling
inside my skin
so I embrace the summertime.

No, the best thing is  doesn’t weigh me down
makes me feel like I have hips to sway
and time to play in the
dancing ocean.

No, the best thing is mix of pinks and purples
weaving memories of sunsets
in special places
with the ones I love.

No the best thing is pencil thin straps
so my arms can move freely
so my thoughts move freely.

No, the  absolute best thing is
so comfortable pretty paisley soft,
yet functional,
makes me feel like writing.

(c) June Perkins

 

I thought I would try some ideas for poetry from Joyce Sidman’s website .
Why not just begin from the top and work my way down.
The first suggestion being the best thing poem.
I’ll follow her instructions the first time and then maybe play with the idea for a second object in a couple of days.
She has twenty ideas so that should (if I do 2 poems) in each suggested idea give me 40 poems.
I’ll come back to Jackson and Miranda’s story every now and then, maybe even apply some of these poetry ideas there.
Sound like fun to you, why not join in and work through the ideas as well.