BULLETIN: Yesterday morning I looked out the dining room window to make sure the newspaper was there before venturing out in the rain to bring it in. No paper. We have a circle drive. Sometimes the thrower tosses our paper on one drive, sometimes on the other. I don’t get it but he must find it amusing. Yesterday both drives were bare and I felt peevish. I finally opened the front door, determined to go search anyway. There on our front step was the paper. On top of it lay a single goose feather.
Does that bring a tear to your eye or what! Some sweet, contrite goose was undoubtedly trying to make up after our little incident in my back yard. I found it very moving.
The only other possibility I can imagine is that my next door neighbor, Mary Thill, has been up to her good deeds again. She watched across the fence as I attempted to reason with twenty-eight geese the other day. And she has a much better sense of humor than the paper boy and the geese. Hmmmm.
Since October 2009 I’ve posted a new word each month and poets from many nations have contributed poetry that began with a single word. I’m proud of how Word of the Month Poetry Challenge has been accepted and put to work. A number of teachers have found the exercise useful and we’ve enjoyed the results of their students’ efforts. Just this past month Nancye Flinn discovered how to excite her third grade students to write poetry and we had the pleasure of welcoming Emma and Ashley to the ranks of published young poets.
I love fiction and nonfiction too. And sometimes one of my books in those genres will start with something as small as a simple thought, a glimpse of someone or some thing, a news clipping, a single word. In schools, I know that teachers have all sorts of obligations to teach their students besides a brief poetry unit sometime during the year. I know that many of my readers are story writers at heart and would prefer to have an exercise of their own from time to time.
This makes me wonder if I’ve been leaving out a lot of writers who would rather, at least sometimes, write a brief essay or short story or nonfiction piece or perhaps a song instead of a poem.
So I’m suggesting that we throw out the latchstring to anyone who would like to participate in the Word of the Month Challenge with something other than poetry.
I haven’t discussed this yet with my webmaster Kathy Temean. She may roll her eyes at me if I ask about setting up new boxes to click on like the ones she made for Adult W.O.M. Poems and Student W.O.M. Poems. Maybe for now anyone who wants to post a story or nonfiction piece can just place them in the comments boxes until I see if we are getting enough responses to organize to receive them.
I’m not looking for work. I probably won’t comment very often for the same reason I rarely comment on the poetry. The time for me these days just isn’t there. But dozens of others are kind enough to post their own thoughts and words of encouragement and I’m sure these and others will continue to support the work of fellow writers.
The rules are simple. Keep your fiction or nonfiction piece to no more than 500 words. Keep it clean. This site is visited daily by young people, parents, teachers, librarians, writers, and the family, relatives, and friends of those who come here to post or browse because they feel comfortable and safe here. Let’s make sure we keep it that way always. As I’ve mentioned before, we regularly have visitors from more than 40 countries during any given week.
The other rule is that whatever you post must be inspired by the Word of the Month word. This month the word is SUMMER. That one should get all sorts of creativity stirring so I hope we’ll see a variety of results in several genres.
So there you have it. Let me know your thoughts. Maybe this will turn out to be a one-month experiment. One never knows. But sometimes we learn by trying something different. I’m willing to learn.