{National Poetry Month} On Lyrics & Finding Poetry

Natalya Lawren c. 2010. listening to her music & writing.

On Lyrics and (Found) Poetry by Natalya Lawren {guest writer} who is rarely without her ipod & headphones and never without her music.

Many poets are often also songwriters. I am unfortunately handicapped in that area, perhaps because songwriting takes a certain structure, but probably mostly because I have a hard-time separating the sound of the music and the lyrics, and I am no composer. Don’t get me wrong– I certainly enjoy music with good lyrics, but it is instruments and the way the song is song that creates the impression.

That doesn’t stop me from merging the two things I love– and what often puts me in the mood to write is the music I listen to.

I forget how long ago it was, but me and L took lyrics out of some of our favorite songs, printed, cut them out, and put them in a hat. We drew several lyrics out and had to organize them to make a poem, and to this day I remember it as an experience that sparked my creative mind and gave me a deeper appreciation for songs and the poetry they can create.

For this National Poetry Month, I’ve taken lyrics from Sisters of Mercy’s “This Corrosion,” Pedro The Lion’s “Arizona,” Sleigh Bells’s “Bitter Rivals,” Bush’s “Prizefighter,” Counting Crows’s “Round Here,” Foo Fighter’s “Stranger Things Have Happened,” Snow Patrol’s “Ways and Means,” Cake’s “Shadow Stabbing,” REM’s “It’s the end of the world as we Know it,” and Radiohead’s “No Surprises,” and came up with the following:

 

You forgot but I remember this

You vitriolic, patriotic, slam fight, bright light,

This means no fear, cavalier, renegade and steering clear

 

I had to kill the new sheriff in town,

kill the king with love is the law,

bring down the government.

Sun up now time for you to run.

———————————


I’ve been waiting here my whole damn life,

round here we all look the same.

I can change, I can change, I can change.

 

You look so tired and unhappy,

well that’s the waste of you,

you are not alone dear loneliness,

———————————

A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies

He moves his words like a prize fighter

He got loaded then he started throwing punches

 

so I just had to look away

 

She must be tired of something,

but we sacrifice like lambs,

they don’t, they don’t speak for us,

——————————————–

No alarms and no surprises

Better get your feet back on the ground

I’ll take the quiet life.

(It’s time I had some time alone)

 

Lyrics in music are a large part in poetry. I often write poems based on songs, and as just seen, poems with lines taken from songs. The arts are often transient, and writing poetry absorbs many of these categories.

Quite a lot of poems are also written to imitate and create sounds, through assonance, consonance, rhyming, and syntax. These create the essence of the sound of poetry, what makes it so powerful in the oral tradition and in performing even without instrumentation. This speaks not only to what is aloud, but the inner rhythm of the subconscious is what dictates what ‘feels’ right in a piece.

What ‘feels’ right is what strikes a chord (ha, get it?). The more I listen to a song I love, I can discern the words that might’ve been hard to hear before (mumbling, instrumentals, etc), and point to that line and say– yes, this is what makes this song great. I do the same thing with poetry, where the words are just itching for me to read out loud and taste it.

The challenge that comes is to listen to performed poetry, or read it outloud. Notice the rhythms and stand out lines when it comes to sound. And listen to music. At the core of every song is the telling of a story or situation, a description or message. At the core of every song is a poem. At the core of every poem is a song.

Listen. Read. Invent tunes to poems, and poems from tunes. Rewrite lyrics or do what I did and mix and match. Put on those headphones, pull out a poem, notebook and pen, and take some time to interchange your experiences in music and poetry. They are not so far apart.

{National Poetry Month} On Nature & Haiku

On Nature and Haiku by Natalya Lawren {guest writer}

Haiku: “A Japanese poetic form usually consisting, in English versions, of three unrhymed lines of 5,7, and 5 syllables. […] The English spacing tries to replicate the aural effects of the Japanese” (3 metrical units or lines). “The haiku, invariably written in the present tense, almost always refers to a time of day or season, focuses on a natural image, and captures the essence of a moment. Its goal: a sudden insight or spiritual illumination. R.H. Blythe states, ‘A haiku is an  open door that looks shut.'” Blythe suggests that “its peculicar quality is its self-effacing, self-annihilative nature, by which it enables us, more than any other form of literautre, to grasp the thing-in-itself.” A Poet’s Glossary, pp 272-3

Senryu: “has the same structure as the haiku. But whereas the haiku deals with nature, the senryu deals with human nature. It is often satiric and treats human foibles. The haiku, on the other hand, seeks the momentary and the eternal.” A Poet’s Glossary, p 273

Disclaimer: No trees were harmed in the making of this article (except for the construction paper…. yeah, sorry about that).

we lease our mood to

the weather; arthritic bones,

news from weathermen

nate haiku 2

As Spring begins (and in Colorado it snows and snows), some things are starting to bloom. Some things are starting… not to. And this is my tragic attempt (ala Charlie Brown) of decorating a tree. Becoming one with nature… or not quite.

I blame the public school system for ruining our early experience of Haikus with explanations along the lines of “creative enough to count as creative writing but short and unobtrusive enough to our tastes.” Because of this, many people cringe at the association of Haikus. We read them with some strange stilted emphasis on the syllables as if we’re trying to prove our key ability to make short lines, and we often do not write them about nature.

Frustrated digression aside, I am seeking to create spaces in which I can express poetry in different ways in celebration of National Poetry Month. I challenge others to do the same in a style called “Poetry Sabotage” (a term developed by the creative writing department in my school). Whether this is creating an installation of your own, or simply taping up copies of a poem you love around a building, this is to promote more reading and diversity to how poetry is expressed. Reclaim some unnatural spaces with contemplations of the presence of nature in ourselves, our lives, our surroundings.

.

He fell from the sky

with words of heaven he snatched,

stuffed into pockets.

He believes in God:

his hands held up to the sky

head tilted back, prays.

His father said that

no one knows what is above

the clouds, from this earth

but snow’s fallen,

it is here and true enough,

a message, cipher.

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Please participate, and feel free to share poems and pictures of where you put them in the comments below or at omphaloskepsis[at]stonhaus[dot]com.

 

{National Poetry Month} “Howl”

On “Howl” by Natalya Lawren {guest writer}

“It is a howl of defeat … This poet sees through all the horrors he partakes of in the very intimate details of his poem. He avoids nothing but experiences it to the hilt. He contains it. Claims it as his own—and, we believe, laughs at it and has the time and effrontery to love a fellow of his choice and record that love in a well-made poem. Hold back the edges of your gowns, Ladies, we are going through hell.” — William Carlos Williams in the introduction of Howl and Other Poems (1956)

One of the best known poems, and perhaps the most defining poem of the Beat Generation and the San Francisco Renaissance, “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg is a 112-line poem written in run-on lines in an almost prose-form, inspired in part by the style and format of  Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. It is infamous for it’s mentions of drugs, rock’n’roll, homosexuality.

I welcome you to read the poem if you have yet the pleasure.

Much of its notoriety stems from a trial “Howl” underwent called the Obscenity Trial, which started when a bookseller was arrested for selling a copy to an undercover policemen. Various writers, academics, and critics were called upon to testify on the matter of whether the poem had any redeeming social value. This controversial trial, added to the already-rising tide, made the country explode with support of the beats who have been long persecuted by the academia of literature for their alternative method of writing and subject.

The following are recorded excerpts and statements from both sides in regards to the trial:

“The words and the sense of the writing is obscene. You wouldn’t want your children to come across it.” —Chester MacPhee, San Francisco Collector of Customs, after his office seized 520 copies of the second printing of the book (March 25, 1957)

I found the following testimony interesting in that it delves into the concept of originality in the cross-examination. This is a common discussion among writers– the difference between copying and being influenced by other writer’s work, but it is not a discussion I would attribute to “Howl.” Nevertheless:

David Kirk, called as a witness on behalf of the people, being first duly sworn, testified as follows:

Direct examination by Mr. Ralph McIntosh, Deputy District Attorney

Q: Now, at my request you have looked at People’s Number One in Evidence, the edition called Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg?

A: I have.

Q: And have you formed an opinion, sir, as to whether or not that publication has any literary value?

A: I formed an opinion. It’s my opinion that if it has any literary value, it is negligible.

Q: Negligible. Can you explain that to us, Mr. Kirk, how you arrived at that opinion?

A: There are many bases for criticism, of course, subjective and objective. I endeavored to arrive at my opinion on an objective basis. For example, a great literary work, or even fairly great literary work, would obviously be exceedingly successful in form, but this poem is really just a weak imitation of a form that was used eighty to ninety years ago by Walt Whitman …

Cross-Examination of Kirk by Mr. J.W. Ehrlich, Defense Attorney

Q: You say that because Ginsberg copied that format, “Howl” has no value or merit, is that correct, sir?

A: That is correct. An imitation never does have the value of the original.

Q: Have you ever imitated anything, Mr. Kirk?

A: In forming what little style I have, of course I have. Every student in trying to form his own style obviously begins on a basis of imitation, not of just one writer, but of many writers.

Q: Well, then, in your opinion, Mr. Kirk, it is good to imitate, isn’t it?

A: As a student exercise, yes, but it does not create literature.

Q: Who did Walt Whitman copy?

A: To my knowledge, no one.

Q: How long have you reflected on “Howl”?

A: Two weeks would be the limit of my opportunity. However, I made up my mind after five minutes.

Q: Two weeks was the limit of your opportunity. And you reflected for a long, long time on Voltaire’s Candide, is that right?

A: Exactly. A great work of literature frequently conveys all kinds of challenges.

Q: Well, do you believe that if you reflected for another ten years on “Howl” that you might change your opinion?

A: I am quite certain I would not.

Q: You are quite certain today that you would not change your mind in the next ten years, is that right, sir?

A: That is correct.

Q: That is all.

—Transcript of People of the State of California vs. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, September 19, 1957

But for all those who opposed “Howl” for it’s obscenity, there was an equal amount of support for the writing.

I consider “Howl” to be the most significant single long poem to be published in this country since World War II, perhaps since Eliot’s “Four Quartets.” In some sense it is … an archetypal configuration of the mass culture which produced it. If it is also a condemnation of our official culture, if it is an unseemly voice of dissent, perhaps this is really why officials object to it. In condemning it, however, they are condemning their own American world. For it is not the poet but what he observes which is revealed as obscene. The great obscene wastes of “Howl” are the sad wastes of the mechanized world, lost among atom bombs and insane nationalisms, billboards and TV antennae … —Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet, proprietor of City Light Bookstore, and publisher of Howl and Other Poems (May 19, 1957)

Mark Schorer called as a witness on behalf of the defense, being first duly sworn, testified as follows:

Direct Examination by Mr. J.W. Ehrlich, Defense Attorney

Q: I call your attention to the prosecution’s Exhibit One in Evidence. Please tell me whether you have had occasion to read this work?

A: Yes, I have read this work.

Q: Do you have an opinion as to the literary value of Exhibit One, to which we refer as Howl and Other Poems, by Allen Ginsberg?

A: I think that “Howl,” like any other work of literature, attempts and intends to make a significant comment on or interpretation of human experience as the author knows it. And to that end he has devised what we would call an aesthetic structure to sort of organize his material to demonstrate his theme. The theme is announced in the opening sentence. I don’t know it; may I use my own copy?

The Court: Do you want the exhibit [a copy of the poem] to refresh your memory?

Q: Yes. The theme of the poem is announced very clearly in the opening line, “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked.” Then the following lines that make up the first part attempt to create the impression of a kind of nightmare world in which people representing “the best minds of my generation,” in the author’s view, are wandering like damned souls in hell. That is done through a kind of series of what one might call surrealistic images, a kind of state of hallucinations. [the poet] uses the rhythms of ordinary speech and also the diction of ordinary speech, language of ordinary speech, the language of vulgarity. I think I must stop with that. The language of the street, which is absolutely essential to the aesthetic purpose of the work.

A: So that the use of a particular word, which some think offensive, is necessary to paint the picture which the author tries to portray?

Q: Definitely …

Cross-Examination of Schorer by Mr. Ralph McIntosh, Deputy District Attorney

Q: And I presume you understand [“Howl” in its entirety], is that right?

A: I hope so. It’s not always easy to know that one understands exactly what a contemporary poet is saying, but I think I do …

Q: Well, what about the third line down … [do] you understand what “angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night” means?

A: Sir, you can’t translate poetry into prose; that’s why it is poetry.

Q: What are “angelheaded hipsters”?

A: That’s a figurative statement: of “angelheaded”—I would say characters of some kind of celestial beauty like an angel; “hipsters” is a part of the vernacular today. I’m not sure I can translate it into any literal way, though.

Q: In other words, you don’t have to understand the words to—

A: You don’t understand the individual words taken out of their context. You understand the whole impression that is being created and in this first part particularly, where I have already used the word surrealist to describe it. You can no more translate that back into logical prose English than you can say what a surrealist painting means in words, because it’s not prose. Poetry is a heightened form of language through the use of figurative language and rhythm, sometimes rhyme.

Q: Each word by itself certainly means something, doesn’t it?

A: No. The words mean only in their context, I would say, and I can’t possibly translate, nor I am sure, can anyone in the room, translate the opening part of this poem into rational prose.

Q: That’s just what I wanted to find out.

A: It cannot be done, not can it be done with any poetry. A sonnet of Shakespeare’s cannot be translated into rational prose without becoming an entirely different thing.

—Transcript of People of the State of California vs. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, September 19, 1957

The Decision, Judge Clayton Horn, October 3, 1957:

The theme of “Howl” presents “unorthodox and controversial ideas.” Coarse and vulgar language is used in treatment and sex acts are mentioned, but unless the book is entirely lacking in “social importance” it cannot be held obscene. The point does not seem to have been specifically presented or decided in any of the cases leading up to Roth v. United States. No hard and fast rule can be fixed for the determination of what is obscene, because such determination depends on the locale, the time, the mind of the community and the prevailing mores …

There are a number of words used in Howl that are presently considered coarse and vulgar in some circles of the community; in other circles such words are in everyday use. It would be unrealistic to deny these facts. The author of Howl has used those words because he believed that his portrayal required them as being in character. The People state that it is not necessary to use such words and that others would be more palatable to good taste. The answer is that life is not encased in one formula whereby everybody acts the same or conforms to a particular pattern. No two persons think alike; we were all made from the same mold but in different patterns. Would there be any freedom of press or speech if one must reduce his vocabulary to vapid innocuous euphemism? An author should be real in treating his subject and be allowed to express his thoughts and ideas in his own words. Material is not obscene unless it arouses lustful thoughts of sex and tends to corrupt and deprave [a person] by inciting him to anti-social activity or tending to create a clear and present danger that he will be incited as the result of exposure thereto. If the material is disgusting, revolting, or filthy, to use just a few adjectives, the antithesis of pleasurable sexual desires is born, and it cannot be obscene ….

In considering material claimed to be obscene it is well to remember the motto: “Honi soit qui mal y pense.” (Evil to him who evil thinks.) Therefore, I conclude the book Howl and Other Poems does have some redeeming social importance, and I find the book is not obscene. The defendant is found not guilty.

.

I would not only call “Howl” significant for it’s response or questioning of free-speech. It is the beauty of speech, a powerful piece that conveys a sort of manifesto to a generation and confrontation of the world. It encapsulates the experience of many a beat writer– haphazard community, travel, and visits to insane asylums.

Ginsberg imparts is an indescribable power to the narrative that though incoherent at times is incoherently beautiful. Perhaps it is the frantic yet purposeful drive of the anaphora (repetition at the beginning of lines). Perhaps it is the not-quite euphemisms used to describe the life, or the wailing creature of social critique spattered throughout. Perhaps it is my own cumulative experience of reading the Beat Generation’s work.

I wrote this post because I think poetry always has and always will be at odds against the usual world, a controversy and a new discussion. “Howl” is still very much applicable in some ways, and the reason I spent so much time on the trial is it reflects the cultural and literary response to poetry in a drastic way, and a discussion of poetry as a form in general.

Let’s begin a discussion of our own. Part of poetry is to make us think and challenge our world; What strikes you about it? How has “Howl” changed your viewpoint? Has it?

As always, comment below or send anything to omphaloskepsis[at]stonhaus[dot]com.

 

{National Poetry Month} Poetry in the Everyday

Poetry in the Everyday by Natalya Lawren {guest writer}

Not many people I know (including myself) read poetry every day. I certainly believe that reading poetry is a fantastic way to celebrate it, but by no means the only way. We ought to (and to some extent already do) observe and experience the world, others, and ourselves. We learn new things and revisit the old. This life is poetry. Everyday.

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An oft-asked question is “Where do you get your inspiration?”

“Well, you’re looking at it,” I’m prone to say, “these discussions, people, bad traffic, blue skies, scraped knees in the summer, frogs, forgotten pieces of ancient lore…”

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When we think of poetry, we often think of abstract perhaps unrealistic lyricism, but there are also snapshots of day-to-day life that are meant to be translated into powerful words, interwoven with unexpectedly wonderful concepts, that resonate with the experience that everyone witnesses at some point in their life. Poetry is the magnifier, the inquisitor, the intensifier. Poetry is an instrument, and it does truly take years of practice, study, and reflection to wield it. Wielding it has a purpose. You pursue the same purpose when you tell someone what a bad dream was like, how you explain a math equation.

I started to think this way whenever I looked back at my rough drafts of poems, the sort of semi-coherent nonsense I spin out in a continuous rush while walking down the street. Oftentimes when editing, it is not the whole that is the beautiful, it is the snippets and lines. And these lines are usually describing something in such a succinct, striking, or unusually appropriate way that they capture my (and hopefully others) attention. And when I read these in my own work or in others, they stick in my mind as the descriptors I apply to the world. No longer was poetry something that was for sitting at home or an isolating experience in a crowded room of people. I found myself seeing and testing the ground under my feet, prodding the horizon, brain-linked like a word association game. I could hold conversations with people and form friendships and that became poetry. I could walk across the street and feel the hollow rush of passing cars in the empty canvas I trod on. It wasn’t that I was replacing reality with imagination. I was truly noticing things for the first time in new and vibrant ways.

I recently wrote a piece of short fiction on “whimsical repression.” I thought this would be appropriate to share, so here it is:

Whimsical repression sent me into a dark place. Strangers explored the nature of bad traffic around me, and I experienced the rubbernecking syndrome: stared at some oddity that I pretended to not-see like the rest of the world.

Space had gone still, unpopulated with space-monkeys or well-worn stories of kamikaze comets hurdling down interstellar highways or through the corn-field equivalent of shortcuts. This thinking was filed away. I could not see the stars. I knew them too well to be satellites.

The exotic words were off on their exotic holidays so when I observed my vicinities it was the same yet familiar–to be described only with familiar words. Street. Coffee Shop. Angry people. Stupid Pedestrians. Bad Traffic. The firemen out in their uniforms buying groceries. I did not see any heroics that week I was repressed. I saw them sit and eat a sandwich and when they left I did not wait to see what would have happened.

They call it a dry spell. A desert. They call it writer’s block. Your car is towed away. You walk a mile and turn no corners. Things are stupid mundane.

My point is that there’s no need to do anything extravagant for National Poetry Month (though that’s always fun as well), just take a moment to look around, even if it is “stupid mundane” and take a moment to share it with others. Share and articulate the nature of humanity, emotion, and the world. This is a form of expression you are using. Take a moment to appreciate the words with which you convey your story.

You can be a Poet for National Poetry Month. Imagine that.

I believe we have an option when it comes to participating in National Poetry Month.

Feel free to do all, some, or a little of each:

  • Read a poem every day of this month.
  • Look at the world as never before.
  • Share both your reading and real life experiences, by which I will suggest either  the 3 beautiful things challenge or writing a poem yourself. Share this in the comments, or send me it to omphaloskepsis[at]stonhaus[dot]com

{National Poetry Month} Introductions

The prologue to the Introduction.

Today begins National Poetry Month. It is also the first day you’ll be hearing from the daughter aka Natalya Lawren. A student of creative writing, a published poet, Whovian (see photo), fourteen, Natalya will be sharing an array of posts regarding poetry. I wish I could be more specific about the content, but her calendar is in a composition book and I’m not sure where she is on interviews. I can only promise something about “Howl,” Haiku, cootie-catchers, and song lyrics.

You’re welcome.

Poetry is a celebrated art form in our household, some of us are better performers than others (actually, one of us is the better). We’ve all a fondness for reading it, hearing it, observing it, opining about it. I’m happy that the daughter took my suggestion (plea) to write a post or two and ran with it. She took it upstairs and set her typewriter to gunfire. She began to email people and brainstorm ideas for posts, for projects. As if she has nothing else to do. I can claim her lovely strangeness, but her go-getter, organizing self? Thank you, my marvelous girl, for commandeering the blog and allowing me to sit shot-gun on this adventure of yours.

{film} song of the sea

Come away, O human child!

To the waters and the wild

With a faery, hand in hand,

For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

—Song of the Sea‘s lines borrowed from “The Stolen Child” by William Butler Yeats

The Secret of Kells‘ (2009; my review) Tomm Moore returns with another visually stunning and beautifully written film: Song of the Sea (2014).

From the very beginning of the film, I couldn’t stop with the exclamations. The style, color palette, direction, the weave of the story, the utter charm of its characters and their story.

The story is of the care for the last remaining seal child and Ben’s little sister. Saoirse is literally a thing of legend, a selkie who can save the magical world from turning to stone (rendered inanimate) and thus, destined for oblivion. While Saoirse has the concern of a grieving father and an interfering paternal grandmother, it is Ben who has been entrusted with the stories of his mother; the stories that can help Saoirse in their quest. However, first there are some familial issues to address.

The night Saoirse is born is the night Ben loses his mother to the sea and his father to grief. She is also a strong-willed little sister and prone to thieving. What is lovely in the film is how each child uniquely carries their mother’s legacy. The lore they are tasked to remember, and, indeed, enact is expressed in art (painted murals, map-making, sculptures), music (instrument, vocal), and storytelling (written and oral).

Echoes of the mythic are found in the real world. Granny & Macha and Ferry Dan & The Great Seanachaí (to name two) not only share familiarity in illustration, but the voice talent of Fionnula Flanagan and Jon Kenny respectively. The echoes thread conversations on the urban versus the rural; the sea and the land; the ancient and present; in the relationships of a parent and child. The story reveals an interdependence between the magical creatures of lore, and then a connection with humankind. In the film, humankind expresses a greater reliance upon the supernatural than the other way about. The iconography in the homes, communities, and surrounding wells (e.g. the holy well) is hard to ignore. The murals in the lighthouse home of Ben and Saoirse are not simple backdrops. Ben’s participation in (re)creating them is not without significance. Lore provides a sense of hope, and answers.

Song of the Sea resonates with familiar concerns in lines delivered by old-parental concern: “I know what’s best for you” and “children should be without care, without worries.” Do you? Are they? Ben wears his life jacket and frets when his sister is drawn to the sea (his little curses are amusing, his leash is hilarious), but the fear of risk ages them all. Saoirse begins to wither away, denied the wholeness of herself (her coat, the sea). Ben is left with the (dis)comfort of his memories. How is one to remember and yet let it go in order to heal. How does one bear the weight of a great sadness, a great loss. In the end, it is the confrontation, not the running away that returns the family to rights. It is in the strong characterization of the children that we are entrusted to lead the way.

The film hasn’t a lightness of heart (think Finding Nemo 2003), but it has all a charm that allows for the darker tones it carries.

Ben and Saoirse, in a race against time, are set on an adventure that returns them to the sea. Both children are tasked with fulfilling their mother’s legacy and reconcile relationships within the realms of lore and humankind. Song of the Sea is scenic, often humorous, and extremely perilous. Tomm Moore writes and directs a thrilling adventure that is full of charm and held breaths.

—–Song of the Sea (2014)—-

Director & Story by Tomm Moore; Written by Will Collins; Produced by Paul Young & Claus Toksvig Kjaer; Music by Bruno Coulais & Kila; Edited by Darragh Byrne.

Countries: Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg. Starring (aka voiced by): David Rawle (Ben), Lucy O’Connell (Saoirse), Lisa Hannigan (Bronach), Fionnula Flanagan (Granny/Macha), Jon Kenny (Ferry Dan / The Great Seanachaí) and Brendon Gleeson (Conor/Mac Lir).
Running Time: 93 minutes. Rated PG for some mild peril, language and pipe smoking images.

Once Upon A Time–again!

Art by Kimberly Kincaid

Saturday, March 21st mark[ed] the official start date of the ninth annual Once Upon a Time Challenge. This is a reading and viewing and gaming event that encompasses four broad categories: Fairy Tale, Folklore, Fantasy and Mythology, including the seemingly countless sub-genres and blending of genres that fall within this spectrum. The challenge continues through June 21st and allows for very minor (1 book only) participation as well as more immersion depending on your reading/viewing/gaming whims.

The Once Upon a Time IX Challenge has a few rules:

Rule #1: Have fun.

Rule #2: HAVE FUN.

Rule #3: Don’t keep the fun to yourself, share it with us, please!

Rule #4: Do not be put off by the word “challenge.”

Carl (Stainless Steel Droppings)

I know I flaked–at least on the reviewing for–the Sci-Fi Experience. I did read some excellent reviews and had some amusing screen time and reads. The Quests are exciting: I’m thrilled to see the inclusion of International TableTop as part of a Quest this year.

Natalya will be taking over the blog for National Poetry Month (April), but I should be able to chime in now and again. We most certainly should find a poem befitting one of the four categories.

Sign up here!