Archive for March, 2010

So it begins

It occurred to me that on Thursday the 1st, I will be traveling and will have no access to a computer. So I offer the first poem for NaPoWriMo a day early. It’s what I refer to as a classic Blossom square, five syllables by five lines.

craft meditation
as needles clicking
steadily knitting
rhythm transforming
yarn to libation

Mask making

A slight divergence into another creative endeavor.

I spent the day making a mask with Oaken Circle. Their upcoming spring ritual is devoted to animal wisdom and today was mask making day. By the end of the day we had river otter, badger, arctic fox, white wolf, brown bear, deer (doe), snake, squirrel, cat, and more.

We started by making a masking tape mold over our head/face. By using a plastic bag, split around the mouth and nose, over the head, the tape didn’t eat your hair. A circle of tape was laid down around the head at eye level and above the ears. Then one over the center of the head to the bridge of the nose. After that, it was just a matter of filling in between with tape and marking where the eyes were. After being released from being the model, you reinforced your mask with more and more layers of tape. It was an amazingly fast method that produced flexible, lightweight, fitted-to-your-face masks.

Using wire, foam, cardboard, more masking tape, and eventually fur, … we created the features for the individual animals. I used a lot of masking tape, almost like soft sculpture. It reminded me of the forensic scientists that take a skull and use clay to lay down the musculature and build out to recreate the face. My poor otter went through stages where it looked more like a gas mask, a pig, a cow, an ewok, and a teddy bear, before finally taking on a more mustelid shape.  Adding fishing line whiskers definitely helped the final transformation.

Watch my flickr tomorrow for the photographic evidence!


I went browsing through the other blogs already listed at NaPoWriMo this evening. Off to the right-hand side there’s now a secondary list of links.  This list will be in a perpetual state of flux according only to what I wish to read at the time. There are excellent journals not listed here, reasons vary from lack of interest in the particular subject matter to color combinations that were unreadable to my eyes to just not enough there yet to judge (I’m sure I’ll check back through the main list several times through April). So my fellow NaPoWriMoers, please take no offense to whether or not you are listed here, I just have fickle taste. However, if you like what you read here in the Otter’s Den and leave a comment, I will certainly offer a link back to you.


I continue to gather an arsenal of ideas to stash away for NaPoWriMo. One of the things I enjoy doing with poetry is experimenting with different forms. That’s how I first came across haiku and tanka way back when. Though I do hope that I succeed in more than flooding this blog with haiku through April. Sonnets, of course, I learned in school. But I stumble over my own feet, physically as well as poetically, and forms based on meter tend to be a painful exercise for me, though incredibly rewarding when I succeed.

In my late night web browsing, I found two sites that seem to have pretty good lists and descriptions of poetic forms. Poetic Forms & Techniques over at has more than 30 entries, each linking to a more detailed page.  At, they list 51 Types of Poetry. Each has a short paragraph of explanation, though no external links. If that’s not enough to jump start me, there’s always Wikipedia to the rescue. Hey, Wikipedia comes to my rescue a lot.

Also during that late night internet exploring, I ran across The Journal which has numerous writing, journaling, and poetry prompts and exercises.  The Poetry Prompts caught my eye with such ideas as Write a free verse poem using “sparrows” or write a poem with a seasonal theme. There are also several form prompts: write a solo “renga” and write a Tercet, among others, some of which I will have to look up. More late night web wandering!

Preparing for NaPoWriMo

In a slight misunderstanding to my initial NaPoWriMo post, a friend asked me how I was preparing and described her outline for the next NaNoWriMo. Still, it got me thinking. And searching.


This site has issued the challenge and will be offering daily prompts. They have a pledge to sign committing to a poem a day for April. Those who succeed will be included in a digital anthology. I joined up on their website — I suspect their membership is experiencing a jump. I haven’t fully explored the site, but they have forums and groups and workshops.

Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer

This is an excellent blog hosted at that offers weekly writing prompts. Robert will also be providing daily prompts through NaPoWriMo. He has set up guidelines for participating in the 2010 April PAD Challenge.

Writer’s Block

This group on livejournal has been very consistent in posting daily questions and ideas to help break through writer’s block. Odd sometimes, okay, most of the time, but occasionally really good, make you think and want to write posts.

Other thoughts: I have always wanted to write a poem for each of the 78 tarot cards. I have maybe half a dozen done. I have the little set that a poet friend made, a sheet of paper with two columns of words, 100 long. With two d10s and a coin, you make a poem out of the random words chosen by number + heads or tails. There’s the Fey Spirit poem that needs to get out of my head and onto paper. I have gathered up information to try and write a praise poem for Maia. If that doesn’t keep me inspired enough, I can lean on the calls for submissions from some magazines.

Witches&Pagans Magazine, upcoming focus topics:

  • #22 – Summer 2010 “Creating Community”
  • #23 – Autumn 2010 “Law & Chaos”
  • #24 –  Winter 2010 “Spells, Spells, Spells”
  • #25 – Spring 2011 – “Transformation” (includes ecstatic drugs)
  • #26 – Summer 2011 ” The Elements”
  • #27 – Fall 2011 “Solitary Spirituality”

Circle Magazine, upcoming forum topics:

  • Fall 2010: Swords & Blades / Deadline: June 21, 2010
  • Winter 2010: Wreaths / Deadline: September 21, 2010

SageWoman, upcoming themes:

  • 79     Grandmother Gaia
  • 80     Healing Ourselves
  • 81     Weaving the Web


I believe I have found a purpose for this blog, beyond keeping a running history of my tweets.

I’m planning on participating in NaPoWriMo this April, in celebration of National Poetry Month. If nothing else, to jump start me out of my winter blahs. A poem a day. Somewhat daunting, especially as I’m starting a second job the 1st of April. But here it is, out in public, to keep me accountable.