Category Archives: Writing, Revising, Blogging

Renting a Room on Magazine Street

The obvious is difficult to prove
in a room with ceilings high enough
for giants to unstoop, where glass doors
introduce a garden plot of chickweed
and empty pots. Upstairs a piano
plays all day, plinking made-up melodies
like a drunk weaving patterns
in a Sunday parking lot. Sometimes
the songs are funereal, marching

the dead on bright white keys. I never
see the player, never slip past
in narrow veins of hallways. He works
nights, sleeps days on the hardwood floor
above my head. It’s the nights that take
their toll, the tireless jangle
of window fans, babies crying
as if they know their mothers moan
in the deep sleep some lover’s arms.


Jim Zola has worked in a warehouse, as a security guard, in a bookstore, as a teacher for Deaf children, as a toy designer for Fisher Price, and currently as a children’s librarian. Published in many journals through the years, his publications include a chapbook — The One Hundred Bones of Weather (Blue Pitcher Press) — and a full length poetry collection — What Glorious Possibilities (Aldrich Press). He currently lives in Greensboro, NC

Mapping The Gnomes by Christina M. Rau

Stuck in a corkboard,
all sightings get categorized—

Red:  Definite
Blue: Possible
Yellow: Probable
Orange: Unlikely

A 3-D connect-the-dots journey
between bushes in Brussels
under azaleas in Iceland
among marigolds in Massachusetts
through paved paths in Puerto Rico
behind vines in Bellvue
around weeds in West Germany.

Reports come in rapid at sunrise
when the light excites and surprises—
three or four skittering across lawns and behind
old dog houses, their voices louder than
you’d think, if that’s that kind of thing
you think about.

They shout Make Way! Hold Back!
They move in scattered variety,
hurry to their places to
complement the poppies
accent the petunias
uphold the underbrush
with a wink, with a wish.

The big board tracks all the movement,
an attempt to capture magic
on the head of a pin.


Christina M. Rau is the author of the poetry chapbooks WakeBreatheMove (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and For The Girls, I (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). Founder of Poets In Nassau, a reading circuit on Long Island, NY, her poetry has appeared on gallery walls in The Ekphrastic Poster Show, on car magnets for The Living Poetry Project, and most recently in the journals Amethyst Arsenic and Better Than Starbucks. In her non-writing life, she practices yoga occasionally and line dances on other occasions. www.christinamrau.com

Time Is Running Out (to register for The Poet’s Toolkit)

Hello Poets and Writers!

This is just reminder that registration for The Poet’s Toolkit is still open. The five-week class begins on Monday, October 17 and will cover important craft elements every writer interested in sharpening their skills will appreciate. Cost is only $75.00 for all five weeks or $20.00 per class for those who wish to pick and choose. In either case, you will have access to the course material beyond the five week session.

For a full description of the class, including a week-by-week schedule, see my post on Zingara Poet: The Poet’s Toolkit

The Quincy County Fair Beauty Queen Quits by J.T. Whitehaed

So few are beautiful, inside and out . . .  ugliness is much more generous.  Miss Quincy County, 1983 – she was one of the few . . . carrying out the trash was a weakly task, but for us, she undertook it in a beautifully metaphorical way, once she figured out that cheap excuse for a man – who swore he’d kill her, popped tabs,  screamed at the kids – was a no-good cracker ass, just a turd she could flush with a toilet that worked more than he did . . . you should’ve seen the skids.  They were beautiful . . . she was beautiful . . . No clutch, nor crutch, church, God . . . just . . .  beautiful . . .

J.T. Whitehead has had over 160 poems accepted for print by over 75 publications.  He is a  Pushcart Prize-nominated short story author, a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, and a winner of the Margaret Randall Poetry Prize. He is the Editor in Chief of So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.  His first full length collection of poetry, The Table of the Elements, (The Broadkill River Press, 2015), was nominated for the National Book Award.

 

Four More Weeks of “Creative Writing Extravaganza” at Bliss!

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As Seen in Natural Awakenings Magazine!

Creative Writing Extravaganza
Tuesdays, August 16 – October 4, 2016, 7:00 to 8:30 PM
Bliss Spiritual Co-op
1163 Pleasant Oaks Drive, off Chuck Dawley Blvd
Mount Pleasant, SC

No registration required! Attend all eight weeks or drop in when you can!

Join us as we explore how the raw material of our life experiences informs our artistic expression and how we can develop them into poems, stories, flash memoir, and more! Each class will focus on a specific sample or style of writing from which students will generate their own work by responding to prompts, engaging in invention activities, and emulating the sample writing itself. Time will also be set aside during each class for students to read aloud from any new work they wish to share (always optional). All levels are welcome.

We will explore:

  • Imagination in prose and poetry
  • The music of the sentence
  • Forms of poetry (and why they matter)
  • Elements of narrative
  • The Lyric Essay
  • Flash fiction
  • Fun with metaphor, simile, and personification
  • Flash creative non-fiction
  • The role of the writer’s journal
  • How drawing helps writing
  • Deepening writing through awareness and meditation
  • Deepening awareness and meditation though writing
  • Establishing a regular writing practice
  • Working through fear of failure
  • Working through fear of success
  • The joy of revision
  • Revising life stories for empowerment
  • Deepening self-awareness and healing through writing
  • Deepening craft through self-awareness

Bring your journal, favorite writing instrument, and inner child!

New: “Writing from the Heart” Begins This Week in Summerville

IMG_0586[1]Writing from the Heart
2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the Month
Beginning September 14, 2016
7:00 – 8:00 PM
Serenity Center
820 Central Avenue
Summerville, SC
No Registration Required, Drop-ins Welcome
$12.00 per session

Writing from the Heart

Whether retraining thought patterns or drafting a lyric poem, journal-writing helps normalize the stuff of life. It is where we make sense of life events and give voice to complex and nuanced emotions. It is where we have permission to rant, wax nostalgic for the good old days, dream about the future, or write crappy sentences. Most of all, it is a space where we can deepen our connections to the world in which we find ourselves.

Bring your journal, and your heart, to this bi-weekly workshop to learn techniques that will deepen your relationship with your journal and yourself to discover fresh new ways to approach your writing time. Each session will begin with a brief discussion of a meaningful piece of writing, such as an essay, poem, or excerpt from a memoir, which will be followed by a meditation or invention activity. Participants are then invited to write a response in their journals. There will be at least fifteen minutes dedicated to writing time and participants may share if moved to do so.

Topics include:

  • How to bring a sense of playfulness to our writing (and life)
  • Deepening our inner resources
  • Creativity through self-understanding
  • Overcoming writing blocks
  • Discovering how we limit ourselves (and stop doing so)
  • Changing neuropathways through writing

About the facilitator:
tutor photoA passionate teacher who is dedicated to (and fascinated with) the writing process, Lisa Hase-Jackson has been teaching and coaching writers since 2004 when she was granted a fellowship in the Washburn Writing Fellowship program at Washburn University in Topeka, KS. Since then she has facilitated writing circles, workshops, and seminars in such places as Albuquerque, NM, Anyang, South Korea, Kansas City, MO, Toronto, Canada, Allentown, PA, and Charleston, SC. She holds an MA in English with an emphasis in poetry from Kansas State University and an MFA in poetry from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. Her poems have been published in numerous literary journals and magazines as have her articles on writing and the writing life. A few of them have won awards.

A recent transplant to Charleston, Lisa teaches Poetry and Honors English at the College of Charleston and particularly enjoys spending time at the beach or going on bird walks at Caw Caw Interpretive Center. She continues work on her poetry blog, ZingaraPoet.net, and is actively (and hopefully) submitting her poetry manuscript to suitable markets. She is an avid journal writer and has a shelf of journals to show for it. When not writing, teaching, working, or exploring, Lisa enjoys spending time assembling scrap quilts and doing simple knitting projects.