Thursday, January 14, 2010


Shannon Messenger at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe is devoting her blog posts this week to author Lisa Schroeder. And in honor of Lisa, who is not only a novelist, but also quite the poet, Shannon has been posting her own poetry and has asked others to post theirs as well. So in honor of Lisa and Shannon, I'm going to post a poem that I wrote for my oldest daughter ten years ago. I have no idea if it's good or not. I'm not a poet. BUT the sentiment is, well, anyway...that was my favorite part of this poem. And it feels just as heartbreaking to me today as it did then. Moreso now that she's thirteen.

The Magic Beans

She digs her blue sandaled toes into the beans.
Beans, she calls them,
and pushes against the sea of brown, white, and blue

tiny pebbles.
She nearly the swing--
her too short length,
foot arched,
                      reaches for,
but barely brushes the farthest beans.

I wonder....
when will she push herself
on such a Big. Girl. Swing
instead of just pretending
                       to fly
with her tiny fists clinging
to the chains?
When will she cry out,
Release me?

I have only three years
My grief for the part
without her
brings tears in the now
for when she looks
at me.

And one day,
she will see me
in her reflection--
it will absorb her light
and bounce back and Old. Girl.
that she never thought
she never knew
she would be.
She will say,
"My mother was me           once,
and I am now mother--"
Love, put your shoes back on, were you raised in a barn?

And the beans would just be pebbles now.

Ah...the joys and sorrows of motherhood.

Alrighty then. In other news:

We've got some contests that deserve some attention. So, listen up.

Of course, must not forget the Cosmic Coincidence Contest I'm hosting with Simon Larter, in which you can win fabulous books and critiques in exchange for writing a flash fiction story (that would be a shorty short story). Check out the rules here and the prizes here. Ends Jan. 31, 2010.

Sara McClung of The Babbling Flow of a Fledgling Scribbler is giving way some BEAAAUUUUUTiful books in honor of her 100+ followers with her 100 Followers Contest. It's a cinch to win. And you don't have to do anything more than be a follower. Seems quite simple to me. And your odds are way better than winning the lottery. You can also earn additional points by tweeting and blogging. Ends January 19, 2010.

Frankie Diane Mallis of Frankie Writes is giving away 6 ARCS  in her Major ARC Contest, and all you have to do is leave a comment in her comment section. You can win additional entries by herding others the contest as well (be sure to have them mention you). So, do me a favor and totally drop my name, will ya? Ends January 15, act fast.

Let The Words Flow is hosting a Book Trailer Contest, in which you can win an ARC of Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison, a query critique, and yummy sweeties. I would love to do this one, and may yet, but I'm afraid I'm not the most talented at this sort of thing. But, perhaps you are? This one ends January 22, 2010.

Shannon Messenger of Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe is giving away three signed Lisa Schroeder books, including Chasing Brooklyn, Far from You, and I Heart You, You Haunt Me in her Lisa Schroeder Contest. You'll have to fill out a contest entry form, and that's pretty much it. If you blog, tweet, and herd others to the contest, you can win additional entries. This one ends soon--January 17, 2010, so get on it!

Southern Princess is hosting the California Contest in which you can win lots of goodies, not the least of which is a Coach wristlet and a copy of The California Club by Belinda Jones, in exchange for leaving a comment about California in her comments section. It's also possible to earn an additional entry by blogging about the contest. Deadline is January 19, 2010.

In honor of her 200+ following, Valerie of I Should Be Writing is hosting the 200 Followers Contest to give away some really cool books. So be sure to stop by and enter, blog, tweet, etc. and win, win, win! AND there will be two winners!! Hooray! This one ends January 28, 2010.

Last but not least, Karen from Novels during Naptime is hosting the Pampered Reader Follower Contest, in which she is giving a way a "pinkalicious pampering package for readers." Just fill out a form to enter. And if you desire additional entries, she offers some opportunities for that, too! There is only one major requirement (which is actually pretty dang fantastic): if you win, you have to fill up the package and pass it on to someone else. My hat's off to Karen for building a community within the blogosphere. This contest ends January 19, 2010.

Seriously people, these are some great contests. So jump on them. Don't do like I do and miss out, as I did with Suzette Saxton and Bethany Wiggin's contest at Shooting Stars. Doh! I could have kicked myself. I just spaced it on that one because I didn't ACT right, be smart. GO NOW!! (Bethany and Suzette, please tell me you'll have another really cool contest just like this one. PLEEEEEAAAASE.)

And onto other news...well, actually, not. I was going to report some blog awards (which, yeah, I've pretty much mentioned over and over and never gotten to--promise I will my dearie award bestowers), but I've pretty much run out of steam. I've had about three hours of sleep, only to be awaked by the sound of my three year old clapping her hands an inch from my face begging me to make her waffles. So, um, I'm pretty sure I must go to bed now. Yeah.

But Before I go...

Do what you can, okay? Here are some links. The easiest one? Make an automatic $10 donation to the Red Cross: text "HAITI" to 90999; the money will be charged directly to your cell phone bill.


  1. Whew thanks for announcing my contest. And now I need to go and enter yours and SImon's:-)

  2. Well, I thought your poem was simply lovely. Haven't got talent, indeed. What a load of old rubbish! I think you could write anything you put your mind to :)

  3. I agree with Wendy! Very nice :)

    Thanks for all the links on the contests - great stuff!

  4. It's a lovely poem. I like the part whhere you consider her looking back on her mother - from motherhood. Bittersweet.

    Also, I like that this post starts with a sweet poem for your daughter and ends with you mentioning she woke you after three hours sleep. Ha! :)

    Thanks for all the contest links!

    ~ Corra

    from the desk of a writer

  5. Wow, that's a lovely poem! If I try to write poetry I spend hours looking at a blank page, then end up with something that would make a preschool teacher cringe and pat my shoulder softly. "No Diana, just sit down hun."

    I have an award for you on my blog today, I hope it makes you happy :)

  6. Carol, I love that poem... LOVE it!! Seriously. I like how concrete it is... with just enough conceptual to make it flow and expand into such a much bigger picture!! Well done :-)

    PS thanks for another shoutout!!!!

  7. Oh, btw... I've donated $10 from every cell phone in our house so far. It's SOOOOOO easy! Everyone should definitely do it. I heard this morning the death toll is up to almost 50,000 :(

  8. I would say you are mistaken if you think you can't write poetry.

    I liked this.....a lot.
    It reminds me of a poem I wrote about my daughter when she was an early teen.

    I dreamt my daughter hated me
    and said she always would...


  9. Frankie, you are very welcome. And I would very much love it if you entered our contest. I've loved pretty much everything I've read of yours, so I'm looking forward to this!

    Wendy, I wish you were closer to me geographically. Although, you might not as your phone would be ringing all hours of the day. You're like the perfect friend--ever encouraging and kind. I <3 you. Thank you for your kind words.

    Jemi, thank you dear. And you're welcome! Some great contest out there.

    Corra, thank you dear! That is so sweet. Thank you! Although, it's funny, but I actually wrote this one ten years ago about my oldest daughter. My youngest is now 3. My oldest was so sweet, she used to wait for me to wake up, no matter how late, before finally crawling out of bed, starving. Haha! My little one makes up for being so demanding, though, by bringing me chocolate.

    Diana, you crack me up! I'm no poet either. I think the hardest thing for me is to see what makes a poem work and what doesn't. And OMG! Thank you for the award! I will go check it out now!

  10. You sweet thing! Thanks so much for mentioning me. Bethany and I had so much fun with our contest, we have decided to make it a regular feature! There's a signup widget on the side of our blog if you'd like to be informed via email.

    And what do you mean you're not a poet?!?

  11. Sara, oh my word, cna i just clone a mini you and tuck you into my pocket. I'll pull you out whenever I need a boost of moral. You're the best and wayyyy too generous with your praise. But thank you thank you thank you. I so <3 you. <>

    Yvonne, you are so kind. Wow...I'm very flattered. And I'm very glad you liked it. And your poem was just beautiful. In just a few words, I think you pretty much captured the heartbreak that all mothers experience. I love the ambiguity most of all which very much reflects the tenuous hold we have on our children, not to mention the complexity of emotions that we feel regarding them. Nicely done.

  12. Suzette, Your'e welcome, although I felt like a complete dunderhead when I went to sign up and saw I'd just missed your contest. I will definitely be signing up to receive e-mail notice for the future. And thank you for being so sweet. I'm not much of a poet, for sure, but hey--I've got heart. Haha!

  13. I loved your poem...a poem that touches is successful, and I caught myself pausing, thinking of how long ago my sixteen-year-old was little...

  14. WOW! Contests galore! Love the poem. Love Lisa Schroeder. Have a great weekend!

  15. Liza, thank you!! That means a lot. If nothing else, I long to reach others with my writing, even if it's just through okay poetry :) ... I do the same, always looking at my children, wondering how it is that the time has passed me by.

    Kimberly, thank you than you! you, too!!

  16. M'dear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that poem. (Well, there might be, but I'm not a poet, so I can't critique it very well.) It captures emotion, and has a little story arc, so I thought it quite effective. Well done, good lady.

  17. Carolina--that poem was beautiful. I don't know WHAT you're talking about, you are obviously an amazing poet. I mean, I'm not a mom, but I could totally relate to the emotions you were sharing. Thanks so much for participating and blurbing the contest and for pointing me to all these other contests and ways to donate to Haiti. You're the best!

  18. Shannon, you are soooo sweet. I <3 you!! And you're welcome for all. Because YOU're the best!

  19. Simon, Ha! Thanks...I've no idea if it's any good either (although my guess is it's not brilliant). I mean, you'd think I would. I even took classes on this stuff, but poetry is one of those things, kind of like photography...I have no idea what makes it good or bad or if it's award-worthy or total rubbish. I just know if I like it or not.

  20. I love the "I only have three years... plus fifteen."

    That was beautiful. :)

  21. Thank you, Elana! I think every year of her life feels almost like a countdown to a loss of sorts...kind of sad.

  22. Your poetry is simply beautiful! I loved it! And I am a huge fan of Lisa Schroeder. She is such a talent!

  23. Beautiful poem. So touching. Mommy moments can be very inspiring. Love the bean pebbles.

  24. Daisy, thank, that's such a massive compliment, especially coming from the brilliance that is you... Gee, I'm all blushing and stuff. And I'm quite looking forward to reading Chasing Brooklyn as well (and crossing my fingers I win Shannon's contest!)

  25. Feywriter, Awwwwwww...thank you. I love those mommy moments too (and don't they make such great writing material?) I actually remember when my daughter stopped calling them beans. She was four...

    Thank you for the lovely words.

  26. Your poem made me tear up. My oldest daughter is about to turn 12, so I can see graduation day coming so much faster now.

  27. I love your poem and it reminds me to enjoy every second with my daughter. Thanks for all the links!

  28. Melissa, I know how you feel! It's heartbreaking isn't it??? I've got, what, five years left? And then, she starts her own life, I guess, no longer entirely mine :( It's like they go from five to fifteen in the blink of an eye.

    Lisa and Laura, thank you! I could hardly believe it when I stumbled upon the poem. I remember writing it all those years ago, picturing myself where I am now, looking back. It's a bit surreal, really.

  29. I don't do poetry. At all. Not since I was 7. But I do like your poem. :) Thanks for all the contest links, too.

  30. Jaime, thank you! I don't really do poetry any more either. This was one of the few I ever wrote, and it was years ago ;) But I bet you could do poetry quite well if you wanted to.

  31. Hi Carolina ~

    Aw - that is sweet! Kids are funny how they come out so different from each other, huh? :)

    This is just a quick note to let you know I left you an award at my blog:

    from the desk of a writer

    All the very best,
    Corra :)

  32. Corra, you are too kind, m'dear. I'm so touched. What a beautiful award, too. Many thanks!

  33. Whoever came up with those text donations is a genius. Seriously.

    And Laura has some epically bad poetry that she wrote in her angsty teen years. We are so breaking that out.

  34. I have an award for you at my blog:)

  35. Lisa and Laura, OMG, I'm very much hoping you do! Looking forward to it. Angsty poetry is right up my alley.

    Melissa, you are too kind. Thank you! I'll go check it out now.


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