My inner cheerleader must be doing handstands and quadruple backflips right about now.
In June of last year I wrote a poem I called "Being my own Cheerleader", and part of it reads...
"God gave me talents
That He meant for no other,
I must find the strength, & determination, to utilize
My gifts or the world loses
Much the Great Creator meant for its enrichment.
My talent is an asset
Which should not be squandered in
A meaningless way.
Through my writing I have opportunity
To make a lasting impact on the world around me, and beyond."
A lot of things have been going on between when I wrote than in Santa Ana, Ca., and as I write this here in Houston, TX.
Especially, recently, on the creative side of my life.
I am learning to challenge myself in new, and complex, ways, deciding to do new things, returning to doing things I used to do way back before I left my last job in 2010, then broke my ankle.
I am daring to believe that maybe I don’t have to settle for where I’m at, or for what is comfortable and familiar. I am daring to take steps toward the fresh new start that brought me here to Texas in the first place.
I have a lot on my plate, change is in the wind.
I did something, a few weeks ago, that I would never have considered before, and yesterday I did something else new to me, as far as I can remember.
More on those when the time is right, but for now let’s just say that what I did yesterday gave me the courage to do what I did today.
“Khara House is a poet, creative writer, educator, and freelance writer/editor. Her writing focuses on the journey toward discovering the "lost jungle" of the written word...”.
She is just one of several people I have gotten connected with in the aftermath of the month long creative writing challenge I did last spring. Sadly, with all that’s been going on since then I’ve not participated near as much, as I’d have hoped, in the resulting community that grew out of that month long experience.
A few days ago she announced she was hosting a beginner’s type chapbook challenge over the whole month of February. I had serious doubts this was something I could handle, but read the FAQ page anyway.
A chapbook is usually considered a work of fewer than 40 pages focused on one central theme. I’ve seen these being sold by poets at open mics, and seen them in a few independent bookstore venues, but knew very little about producing them. They are a great way, I understand, for writers to get their work out there to the public, and maybe get noticed in other ways.
Last night I committed.
Maybe, by the end of the month I’ll wonder if I should be committed for attempting this, hee, hee!
Anyway, Day 1 is an intro to what a chapbook is, and an encouragement to participants to dig out their material, from the recent to the long forgotten, and beginning the task of organizing it in some way.
I decided to focus on my poetry, and spent 4 ½ hours, this morning, going through all 4 of my blogs, and turning each and every poem, and song parody into a word document to be put into 1 of a dozen folders on my computer.
MY POETRY_ (….):
I found 106 pieces (119 if you count the genealogy ditties each separately).
I think I found them all!
The next simplest to organize will be my 100 word stories, and a collection of writing prompts I created over the years.
Other stuff will have to wait.
Where this will lead I have no clue, but I hope to learn something new, and useful along the way.
NEXT: Chapbook Challenge 2: Choosing a Theme and 30 Poems
Articles and websites referenced for this story:
1. Being My Own Cheerleader: A Poem
2. Our Lost Jungle: Chapbook Challenge: FAQs.
3. The cb challenge: “what is a chapbook?”
4. Our Lost Jungle website.