Monthly Archives: April 2022

Weekly Photo Challenge: Bloom

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Purple blooms

I have no idea what these flowers are. I’m participating today in Maria Antonia’s Weekly Photo Challege.

Z is for Zirconium

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640px-Zirconium_crystal_bar_and_1cm3_cube
Zirconium

Today is my 26th post for the 2022 A to Z Blogging Challenge. My goal was to stick to my theme, the arts and the creative process, but it’s hard to think of something arts- or creativity-related that starts with Z. So please forgive me for writing about an element instead.

Zirconium is a chemical element. Its symbol is Zr, and its atomic number is 40. Its primary source is the mineral zircon, from which it is named. Zirconium is a silvery metal that resembles titanium.

Zircon is a zirconium silicate mineral with the chemical composition of ZrSiO4. It’s fairly common, being a minor constituent of all three types of rocks, igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. It’s also a popular gemstone, the birthstone for December. It occurs in different colors and is sometimes used as a cheaper alternative to diamonds, which it equals in sparkle.

Cubic Zirconia, however, also a lower-priced substitute for diamonds, is not a naturally occurring mineral, but synthetic. It’s the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2).

Cubic Zirconia
Cubic Zirconia. Photo by Gregory Phillips. Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

NaPoWriMo Day 30

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Today’s prompt is to write a cento. This is a poem that is made up of lines taken from other poems.

scorpion
Entertaining Angels Unawares

The sky wasn’t black or blue but the green of a dying night.
Faded mattresses sagged against a chain-link fence, fading more in the moonlight
and I find you falling for that feeling, see you staring, staring,
your heart so tired of beating.
	
It has been said that scorpions dance where language falters and gives way.
At the hospital they’re calling your name.
I tried to follow in your footsteps, but they turned to water;
the river seeped in over your boots.
Forsake my thumb for the sheen of unshod hooves.

Every ball drops like an anvil heavy,
to tenderly touch the heavy skull, furred and rough.
We’re disguised as orthodontists having a convention,
putting on aprons and paper hats.

What every smart child knows:
Change is a thing one sleeps through.
	
O, how we entertain the angels.

by ARHuelsenbeck

I gathered random lines from poems in American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time edited by Tracy K. Smith. Then I shuffled them around until they almost told a story. I confess I tweaked some of the lines to make the poem more cohesive.

Here are the lines in their original form, with credit to the original poets and their poems:

The sky wasn’t black or blue but the green of a dying night.
	(Natalie Diaz, “My Brother at 3 AM”)
Faded mattresses sag against a chain-link fence.
	(Cathy Park Hong, “Who’s Who”)
Fading and find you falling for that feeling, you staring farther
	(Dara Wier, “Scorch Marks”)
The heart is so tired of beating
	(Ada Limón, “Downhearted”)

It has been said that scorpions dance where language falters and gives way.
	(Charles Wright, “Charlottesville Nocturne”)
At the hospital they’re calling your name
	(Erika L. Sánchez, “The Poet at Fifteen”)
I tried to follow in your footsteps, but they turned to water
	(John Yau, “Music from Childhood”)
the river seeped in over your boots
	(Natasha Tretheway, “Elegy”)
forsake my thumb for the sheen of unshod hooves.
	(Ross Gay, “becoming a horse”)


Every ball drops like an anvil, heavy
	(Donika Kelly, “Fourth Grade Autobiography”)
to tenderly touch the heavy skull furred and rough
	(Steve Scafidi, “For the Last American Buffalo”)
disguised as orthodontists having a convention
	(Dean Young, “Romanticism 101”)
putting the aprons back on, the paper hats,
	(Matthew Dickman, “Minimum Wage”)

What every smart child knows—
	(Yona Harvey, “Hurricane”)
Change is a thing one sleeps through
	(Christian Wiman, “The Diagnosis”)

O, how we entertain the angels
	(Nicole Sealey, “Object Permanence”)

I had every intention of participating in NaPoWriMo all month long, but I forgot until April 10, when I happened to see a NaPoWriMo post on a blog I follow. So instead of writing 30 poems in 30 days, I only wrote 13. (Yes, I skipped a few days when I was worn to a frazzle or had absolutely no inspiration.) I console myself with the thought that I wrote more poems in April than I did in the first three months of 2022.

Congratulations to all you poets who participated in the challenge! Let’s all keep up the good work.

Creative Juice #292

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Creative Juice #292

Beautiful quilts. Articles on writing. Bluegrass music. Photography. And more.

  • Pets trying to hide.
  • Wildlife in Botswana.
  • Pretty quilts.
  • Round robin quilts.
  • For most of my life, I’ve been conservative in my beliefs. Conservatives resist change. However, now that the world is so insane, I see the need for change. . .
  • Prizewinning quilts.
  • Like bluegrass? Listen to some wonderful covers. The Petersens.
  • Journaling for fiction writers.
  • I had Scrivener (writing software) on my previous laptop, and I was thinking about buying it again for my new one. On the one hand, I like some of the features, but on the other hand, do I really want to spend the money? I never understood the full functionality of Scrivener anyway. Now I see there is another software, Plottr, with a free trial, and is in some ways superior to Scrivener (although I realize that’s a subjective judgment). See this comparison of Scrivener and Plottr.
  • What do Ukranian refugees need. Quilts, of course. (You had to ask?)
  • There was a wisteria tree in our front yard when I was a little girl. My dad loved flowers, and he loved that tree. Here are some beautiful ones in Japan.
  • Kehinde Wiley first appeared on my radar when his official portrait of President Barack Obama was unveiled. But did you know he’s also an accomplished sculptor?

Video of the Day: Y is for Yodel

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NaPoWriMo Day 29

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Today’s prompt is to write a poem in which you muse on the gifts you received at birth, as well as a “curse” you’ve lived with.

"Princess"
Princess

I was blessed with dark, dark eyes
and shining hair
and long, thick lashes 
and rosebud lips

a princess
with a sippy cup stating my rank
my palace a modest cider block home

I had the run of the neighborhood
planning parades whenever I wanted one
charging the neighbors a penny apiece to watch me walk by

it was an idyllic childhood
except for one thing:
it was my great misfortune
to be born into the Rannertshauser family
what a curse to have to pronounce my name over and over on the first day of school without any hope of teachers or classmates remembering how to say it
what a curse to have to spell it over and over again r-a-n-n-e-r-t-s-h-a-u-s-e-r until a prince with a shorter surname rescued me

by ARHuelsenbeck

Flower of the Day: Pink Buds

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pink buds

I have no idea what these are.

Participating in Cee’s Flower of the Day challenge.

Video of the Week # 355: X is for Xylophone

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NaPoWriMo Day 28

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Today’s prompt is to write a concrete poem.

Everything’s Better Under a Tree

leafy arms raised to the sky
waving in the wind like fans at a sporting event
providing shade, cleaning the air, anchoring the landscaping
sheltering birds and squirrels and insects
sometimes flowering, possibly offering fruit or nuts
perhaps even entertaining the children with climbable limbs
or maybe a rope swing or even a treehouse:
prime real estate for the younger set, only occasionally visited 
by the elders who would rather 
sit below in lawn chairs or a hammock, preferably 
with a glass of iced tea or beer or maybe a cigarette
everything’s better under a tree
a gift created
by nature
that we
can use
to good
advantage
or 
destroy
with
our
greed
and indifference

by ARHuelsenbeck

Wordless Wednesday: W is for Water

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Water Ranch Lake
Duck at Gilbert Riparian Preserve