Thursday, February 22, 2024

The American Sentence - Haiku for US, Too

 The American Sentence is a poetry form invented by the beat poet Allen Ginsberg in the mid-1980s.

17 syllables are the agreed-upon requirement. After that, you can write it in one line or multiple lines, use concrete images, refrain from using articles, and include a time, place, and a title, if you like.

The poet Paul E. Nelson wrote an article on The American Sentence.

Here are some examples by Allen Ginsberg:

  • "That grey-haired man in business suit and black turtleneck thinks he's still young."
  • "Bearded robots drink from Uranium coffee cups on Saturn's ring."
  • "Crescent moon, girls chatter at twilight on the bus ride to Ankara."
I'm am writing one a day for The 100 Day Project based on 3 randomly selected words. I've done 5 so far.

Here are a couple I wrote before the project began:

    Ashes floated in the sky like snowflakes on a quiet winter night.

    Her hair spread out in the frothing water as I jockeyed the river.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Habit Forming Habits - The 100 Day Project 001

It takes 90 - 100 days to form a habit. Beginning today, I commit to 100 Days of Creating. My project takes the form of an American Sentence a day based on three randomly generated words.

nuance ~ formation ~ salmon

the formation of the sacred salmon proves the gods know no nuance

#TheAmericanSentence #haiku #WordSketches

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

52 Short Stories or Why Do I Do This to Myself?

Ray Bradbury, among many other writers, suggests short stories as an excellent way to practice one's writing.  

"The best hygiene for beginning writers or intermediate writers is to write a hell of a lot of short stories. If you can write one short story a week - it doesn't matter what the quality is to start, but at least you're practicing and at the end of the year you have 52 short stories, and I defy you to write 52 bad ones. Can't be done. At the end of 30 weeks or 40 weeks or at the end of the year, all of a sudden a story will come that's just wonderful." - An Evening with Ray Bradbury

He may know a thing or two as he published over 600 short stories and 30 books, among other works. 

Basically, he's saying write every day. He wrote a minimum of 1,000 words every day since the age of 12.

I need constraints and goals to function and be productive. Without them, there are just too many choices, and I dream my life away.

I did this in 2021 and wrote 17 short stories using the Reedsy prompts. You can find them all HERE.

REEDSY has great weekly prompts. They'll even send them to your email to make it easier on you. You can submit them to their site for free or enter their contest to win prize money. 

So, here's my SMART goals related to short stories:

SPECIFIC - I will write a new short story a week.

MEASURABLE - A new idea, once a week, between 1,000 and 3,000 words in length.

ACHIEVABLE - I've done it before, so I can do it again. And it's not to perfection, it's to done.

RELEVANT - This speaks to writing each day and my purpose of getting things out of my head and on paper.

TIME - The completion date for each story is the end of the day on Friday.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Writerly Birthday Haul


My 65th birthday was on October 2nd. 
My birthday cake:

Above, you can see my writerly-related gifts.
A metal road sign
Favorite Seashell Chocolates
Two new stickers
Anti-Writer's Block Dice
Earrings from the cover of my first book

The specialty items were found on Etsy

I am well pleased.

And here's a fun little video of them all.

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

"Changes" - Self Portrait

"Changes" - Self Portrait - Vanessa Victoria Kilmer 20231003
Metallic Acrylic Pouring Paint on Strathmore Mixed Media Paper 184#
9" x 12", done without cleaning the brush or letting it dry between colors

  In his art class this semester, 
my grandson was studying the portraits done by 
the man who painted the official portrait of 

His signature style involves the use of repetitive patterns
 in the backgrounds of his portraits.

Whenever my grandson has an art piece to do, 
we do the assignment together. 
It's rather challenging for him because he is colorblind 
and that frustrates him immensely.
So part of what I try to show him 
is adjusting for these things.

I have dyslexia and dysnomia,
only discovered when I was in my thirties.
I learned my own ways to compensate for both
from the moment I became interested in books at the age of two,