#NAPOWRIMO: The Last Week

I’ll tell you what. I’ll post a picture of my dearest love from this week, and you can guess what’s been going on.

That’s right: I’ve been sick for a week! Allergy season is horrific in Arizona right now what with the palo verdes in full bloom, so when the illness began I thought it was the allergy symptoms I had already been having. But NO. Turns out allergy morphed right into virus.

I am proud to say that I turned out some sort of poem draft every day, but I am pretty sure they are mainly crap. I didn’t try to clean them up because I knew that was the best way to kill them. If I leave them in this half-awake state, maybe I can do something with them later.

Yesterday, NaPoWriMo.net posted notes from Wesley McNair: On Craft. There’s some excellent ones in there. If you write or want to write poetry, I would recommend reading this short piece. The very last line applies to workshopping poetry, but you can apply it to writing fiction or creative nonfiction, too. He says, “No good poem was ever written by a committee.”  Haha, I take it to mean to get advice from others as needed, but don’t let their voices take over the poem.

Another note refers to something I mentioned above.

Contrary to the notion of the schoolroom, your slow-witted self is your smart self because true intelligence is not in quickness. Work slowly as you make your poem, so as not to give in to the quick self.

If I rushed to finish up those poems in my ill state, they would be ruined. I will let them slowly work their way into life.

If you are not a poet and do not write poetry, but are a prose writer, I have a way for you to honor poetry month, if you’re game. Try a prose poem. If it makes you happy, think of it as a form of flash nonfiction. Actually, prose poems are claimed by both genres, so there ya go. When you write a prose poem, format it in a block so that both left and right are justified (although you can’t keep that format on WordPress). Just write your prose in this block shape and then to revise get rid of things that sound too prosaic–too much explanation, too many extra words, and try to heighten the images and the language a bit. Try it without dialogue. And try it in present tense. Read the sample prose poem first. OK, ready, set, GO.

Sample Prose Poem

Gary Young 

I discovered a journal in the children’s ward, and read, I’m a mother, my little boy has cancer. Further on, a girl has written, this is my nineteenth operation. She says, sometimes it’s easier to write than to talk, and I’m so afraid. She’s offered me a page in the book. My son is sleeping in the room next door. This afternoon, I held my whole weight to his body while a doctor drove needles deep into his leg. My son screamed, Daddy, they’re hurting me, don’t let them hurt me, make them stop. I want to write, how brave you are, but I need a little courage of my own, so I write, forgive me, I know I let them hurt you, please don’t worry. If I have to, I can do it again.


The cats are well. Perry was actually quiet and rested for much of the week. It’s as if he knew Mommy didn’t feel well enough for his usual antics.

Stay well!

42 Comments

Filed under #AmWriting, #amwriting, #writerlife, #writerslife, National Poetry Month, Poetry, Writing, Writing prompt, writing prompt, Writing Tips and Habits

42 responses to “#NAPOWRIMO: The Last Week

  1. Hope you are on the mend, Luanne.

  2. Sounds dreadful! I always thought people moved to Arizona because the allergies were less potent there. Guess not!

    • That used to be the case many years ago. I remember watching a show (something like 60 minutes?) on TV about it. But boy is it different now. It’s a big allergen factory. My son and DIL drove to Arizona this past week and when they crossed the “border” they both got sick from the pollen and dust! the palo verdes are out now and a real allergic nuisance. I guess that’s why Mayo planted a bazillion of them in their parking lot. Increases business haha.

  3. Most uncomfortable. Great well soon

  4. Luanne, I hope you’re feeling better. I sympathize, as I’ve been plagued with by repercussions from my back injury. The fracture was seven months ago, but I still have days of nearly unbearable lumbar and hip joint pain. FINALLY going to a doctor this Friday. We have a doctor shortage in Santa Fe, so it’s taken 5 months to get an appointment. I am hoping they’ll approve a steroid shot, as I leave for Ukraine in a month and don’t want my trip ruined by pain. Love your idea of a prose poem, which I will be trying this week. Here’s to wellness!

    • Oh, Elaine. There is NO comparison. I hate that you are still in such pain from your fall. And to have to wait so long for a doctor!!! It’s inhumane! Why can’t NM get doctors?!!! I’ll be vibing for you like crazy on Friday! Good luck with your prose poem! They are such handy little containers!

  5. I checked out “On Craft” and had to smile at the last line: no good poem was ever written by a committee.
    It really is a lonely art.

  6. Sorry to hear you’re sick. No poetry in illness. Well, at least not happy poetry.

  7. You do have a sense of humor. I can sympathize. I’ve been using lozengers and throat tea to soothe seasonal allergies. Still spring has so much more to offer me.

    • Oh, wow, this allergy season is just the pits. I feel as if I am not truly getting better because the allergies are making the symptoms hang on past their expiration date!

  8. Allergies and a cold at the same time is awful. I remember it always seemed to happen to daughters when they were growing up. Hope you feel better soon!
    Good luck with the writing.

  9. I hope you feel better soon. We struggle along. There are doubtless some gems (not germs) in your NAPORIMO outpourings.

  10. Pity about the sick. Your brain is too fuzzy to declare them crap, so it’s indeed wise to wait and have a go some other time.
    I liked that prose poem — especially the end.

  11. Get better soon! It is funny how our cats sense when we’re ill and temper their behavior … at least for a while 🙂

  12. You have my total empathy and sympathy with your respiratory illness – I just finished my second one of this year last week. Not fun.
    Do take care of yourself, and I will send you my poem directly tonight.
    Hugs to you!

  13. Hope you’re feeling better Luanne!! ❤

  14. Oh! So sorry to hear you have been ill. And kudos for putting something down every day for poetry month! I love the wisdom that you are holding these little nascent poems in a loving, generous place for partly-shapen poems (shapen? not really a word, but oh well). Being gentle w yourself goes a long way, great reminder for me! I wrote a couple of endings to stories last week, thought (probably) they’ll need fixing. But I’ll come back to them. Knowing I was going to come back made me feel less judgmental about the writing I’d done. Yay! Looking forward to hearing more soon!

    • Thank you, Theresa. It makes me feel good that I am being gentle with myself. I didn’t look at it that way, but I guess it is true. If I beat myself up then I will run in the opposite direction, so what is th epoint of that?! I am so happy to hear you wrote some endings. Once you get something out on paper it is so much easier later to work on it!

  15. I hope you’re well now!

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