All posts filed under: Strange Thoughts

Summer Writing Prompts

Reading Rebecca Moon Rouke’s reflection on her relationship with writing prompts Omer at Rust Belt Girl got me thinking about my own experience with them. I would say at least 60% of my poetry has been inspired by prompts, and they were invaluable when I was writing my first poems after a 15 year absence from creative writing. One of my favorite places to find writing prompts is Instagram, where many poets and artists post monthly prompt lists. They are usually seasonally themed and often paired with equally inspiring visuals. I’ve compiled all of the ones I’ve bookmarked for July below, take a look and let me know if any of them spark creativity!

5 New Traditions to Start This Summer

Here in Charlotte the stay at home order has been lifted, but there are still many things that I used to enjoy each summer that either haven’t reopened, or I’m just not comfortable doing yet. So instead of wallowing, I’ve come up with a new list of traditions to look forward too. This summer may be different than last year, but there are still ways to enjoy it. 1. Visit specialty stores and try a new food I’m using the phrase speciality store loosely. Farms, bakeries, ice cream shops, a Korean grocery store, any small business selling food. Make a habit of visiting (or ordering online from) a few you’ve never been inside before, and try something new. You might discover a new favorite food, and if your a writer, unexpected inspiration from owners and other patrons. Given the recent events in the news, now is an especially good time to search out and support black owned businesses in your community. The first new place my husband and I are testing out is a dairy …

Activate 2008 Mode: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

When I originally got into crafting, it was in part out of necessity. I had just gotten laid off from my job with a general contractor in 2008, two weeks before Thanksgiving, and in the middle of planning my wedding. I suddenly found myself with a lot of time on my hands, and a real need to save money. Learning how to make things myself was the answer. I made my own Christmas gifts, reworked clothes from thrift stores, and made my own wedding decorations and bridesmaids gifts. My state’s stay at home order created the opposite problem. I’m in a much more stable financial situation now, but closed stores and long ship times have made it harder to come by crafting supplies. I find myself coming back to my old habits, doing things myself, and reusing things that I already have. So far I’ve made a compost bin out of an old storage container, tie-dyed a few t-shirts with old craft supplies and Halloween straws, started buzzing my own undercut, and sewn face masks out of old …

Featured: The Vultures

Originally posted on FREE VERSE REVOLUTION:
The vultures stare, what does it mean? Does something wicked this way come? Nothing is as it seems ? They gather silently in the trees  No one knows where from The vultures stare, what does it mean? ? They peck at my heart upon my sleeve Gray in judgment: cold in blood Nothing is as it seems ? Love is blind, and lovers cannot see Rough winds do shake the darling buds The vultures stare, what does it mean? ? Happiness takes his leave. Rain pounds earth into mud  Nothing is as it seems ? To be, or not to be? The tides surge and valleys flood The vultures stared, what did it mean? Nothing is as it seemed ? ? L. Stevens is an intj who loves learning about everything and filing it away for later. She finished second in little infinite’s first haiku contest, and her poetry has been featured by Pack Poetry, Freeverse Revolution, and Heretics, Lovers and Madmen.  She writes short stories and poetry about…

Exotic Invaders

Ever since my husband and I bought our house five years ago I have fallen in love with the delicate honeysuckle vines growing in our backyard and the neighborhood nature trail. I always thought of them as quintessentially southern, tied up with associations of hot summers, wide porches, and sweet tea. Except these flowers are not native southern belles. Honeysuckle native to the US have scarlet flowers, and mine are white and yellow. It turns out my honeysuckle is considered to be an invasive species from eastern Asia. Able to slink up to 33 feet up a tree, it chokes out native plants while leaving an intoxicating vanilla scent in its wake. They might lean more towards being femme fatales then southern ladies, but I think that has endeared them to me even more. I won’t be pulling them out of my yard anytime soon.  

One Day at a Time

Being out of work with literally nowhere to go has been a strange series of highs and lows. In the first few days, I was trying too hard to be productive, starting a laundry list of life improving habits to make the most of my new windfall of time. I wasn’t taking time to process the life altering events occurring around me. This led to a lot of irrational frustration with my inability to essentially, feel better. “I’m eating carrots, why am I still feeling stressed out?” is an example of how ridiculous I was getting. After reading a number of articles by various mental health experts, I decided I needed to give myself a break. I spent a week binging TV, eating Oreos, and mourning the end of life as I knew it. I paused myself. By the next Monday, I was ready to ease back into a productive routine of writing, exercising, and finishing existing projects around my house. I started some free online courses. I still watch a lot of TV. Today …

Trying Something New: Spoken Word Poetry

Ever since I dived back into creative writing a few years ago, I’ve toyed with the idea of recording spoken word poetry. I love watching other poets read their work on Instagram and here on WordPress. But when it came to recording my own, I kept chickening out. I hated the idea of posting a video of myself, and I was uncomfortable listening to my own voice. I even recorded a video a few months ago, only to delete it. I had given up on the idea until I started seeing so many TV personalities broadcasting from their homes this month. From local meteorologists forecasting the weather from their living rooms to political commentators like Bill Maher broadcasting from his backyard, many are making it work, often without makeup or much technical assistance. So I gave recording my poetry one more shot, and the resulting video is below. Ultimately, I recorded the audio first, and the visuals second, opting to film a flickering candle in my bathroom as the backdrop. I then put the two …

Let’s Catch Up Over Coffee

What a difference a week can make. Last Wednesday I was documenting my struggles continuing to work during this pandemic. Now I’m adjusting to life as a furloughed employee. On one hand, I’m relieved. Continually spending time in the office with a handful of people who were not taking things as seriously as I was, stressed me out considerably. However, wrestling with filing for full unemployment after previously filing due to a reduction in hours has been pretty exasperating. When I start to feel a little overwhelmed, I like to look back at some of the quick videos of peaceful settings I’ve taken. I started filming them when my job was particularly stressful a few years ago, during vacations, day trips and quick morning hikes. I used to watch them while on my lunch break, now I’m watching them while waiting for NC Commerce websites to load at 6am. Below is one taken while drinking coffee in Galveston, Texas. The final morning of a week long cruise, the moment was a little bittersweet. I still …