Friday, April 30, 2010

NaPoWriMo #30


As we turn the final page
of last winter's book,
indigo streaks bloom
above our heads like loose
paint strokes on a sky blue
canvas. The bursts
of fireworks crackle in the
distance, people watching
by the edge of the glossy

the warm air surrounded
by the sound of crickets
and the telltale buzz of

not yet summer, but
close enough.

NaPoWriMo is finally over! I'm really glad I did it this year- I think I got some pretty good poems out of this, and I enjoyed writing all the poems as well. Some days were tough and uninspirational, but I think it was a good learning experience for me, figuring out how to draw ideas from basically nowhere. Congratulations to everyone else who took part in NaPoWriMo this year and completed the challenge!

Lastly, I'd like to thank all my followers and commenters for sticking with me through this month and providing so much support and encouragement. I couldn't have done it without you!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

NaPoWriMo #29


the sun sets behind imposing,
dark evergreens, pouring
a syrupy orange glow onto the
balconies and fences and
woodland trails

this part of the earth is
going to sleep now, goodnights
called as lights turn off one by
one, laptops shut down,

all of us enduring this
warm night together.

One more day to go!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

NaPoWriMo #28


purple reminds me of
lavender glitter and
stardust and happily-ever-after
fairytales, all blended into

that perfect spin when
you turn around in your
flowy pink dress, silver
sparkles fluttering
through the air and landing

in a perfect circle around
you, like fallen petals surrounding
a rose in bloom.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

NaPoWriMo #27

Art Studio

The color grows
darker near the
corners, and it is
obvious where
someone has spilled
water on the page.

A brush lies on the table
coated in dry blue acrylic
paint, and music is still

as if someone has
gone missing
and left their painting

Monday, April 26, 2010

NaPoWriMo #26

talent show preparation

Four students are wrapping
pale blue streamers around
imposing pillars, weaving color
around stark whiteness. Several
others are huddled
backstage, calling out names
and continually making marks
on official-looking clipboards. A
feeling of anticipation and
general panic hovers anxiously
over their heads

(like storm clouds
on the morning of a big game)

the building filled with
a sense of fullness.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

NaPoWriMo #25

(Photo credit)

train tracks

The train station is lit
by a series of bare lightbulbs,
casting a toxic green glow
down onto the semicircular tunnel.
Under the glare of the lights,
the train tracks are black-

weary of thousands of wheels
churning out their life stories on
frustrated tracks overflowing with
too many secrets. Early morning
commuters huddle under faint
directional signs, waiting for

a train, their passport through
holes of darkness to
French cafés and crisp bakeries
and small musty bookstores,
the shelves crammed with poetry books
full of train tracks that no one will read.

My inspiration for this poem came from here.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

NaPoWriMo #24

(Photo credit)

Evening in Paris

Rusty peach clouds
puddling on cobblestoned ground-

It's evening in Paris and
everyone has their umbrellas out,
gossiping as spindly tree branches
stretch out from behind lonely
old buildings.

The street is filled with a
hopeful sort of solemnity,
the bold lampposts illuminating
quiet reflections in the rain.

Friday, April 23, 2010

NaPoWriMo #23


Sand kicks up behind
mountains of legendary
treasures and secret stories,
whispered at nighttime
bonfires and moonlight
forest meetings.

The minute hand on the
clock snaps around,
rhythms blending into a
whirl that dissolves to

a fine layer of dust in
an abandoned shed
and quiet words carefully
traced into the floor.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NaPoWriMo #22


Behind the bowl of
apples hides a deep purple
plum, sweet and juicy, with
fresh droplets of water running
down its sides.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

NaPoWriMo #21

the stationery store

indigo ribbon crossed
tightly over itself, still in
plastic wrap.

it looks woven, as if
it has gathered the
secrets of the rainbow
and taken them into
its folds.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

NaPoWriMo #20

one-point perspective

skyscrapers bending inwards,
edges curving and shiny walls
reflecting off one another

electric sky
all encompassing,
distorted but domed like

metallic toys in a little
globe, the glass tinted
bright blue.

Note- this is the first picture I've seen where the earth actually looks round! Just my opinion. :-)

Monday, April 19, 2010

NaPoWriMo #19


Free balloons,
the sign said, and
Only take one, please
but I took two balloons

painstakingly selected, a pink and a
yellow, and watched them
bob up on the ceiling
floating towards the
door as if they wanted to

so when we went outside
I let them go into the
gray sky, two splotches of paint
on a wet canvas.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

NaPoWriMo #18


A dark blue scarf is
twisted awkwardly around
her neck, its fringed ends
smothered between layers of
jackets. The young woman
purposefully crosses the
street, not bothering to look
both ways, and
disappears behind a
revolving glass door,
unwinding the scarf from
her neck as she goes.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

NaPoWriMo #17

April Showers

The rains are
just on time this year,
brightening plants to a
spring green. Raindrops

drip off soggy maroon
leaves, drumming a
steady beat on slender
wooden cymbals.

Friday, April 16, 2010

NaPoWriMo #16


we are trying on
trenchcoats, but
nothing seems to fit.

strolling along deserted aisles,
lugging around an almost empty
basket, except for a hairbrush

we spray the air with
every kind of freshener
they sell, sweet pea and citrus and
coconut lime.

none of the dresses fit either,
but we laugh and
take pictures and make a
mess on the floor

the sun is out
but the day is chilly, and
there is absolutely nothing to do
this friday afternoon.

I can't think of a title for this... any suggestions?

eta: we have crossed the halfway mark for NaPoWriMo this month! Congratulations to everyone who's still participating!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

NaPoWriMo #15

two truths and a lie

twenty books stacked in front of
me and a coffee mug
balancing on top

the airport is crowded today.
everyone seems to have
black suitcases and designer watches

the air smells of french fries drifting
down from the fast food restaurant
fifty feet away.

i'd like to tell you that
most of this poem is a lie.

it's rainy and cold and my
blue umbrella is soaked-
yes, i'm telling the truth now.
today was quite a nasty day. maybe
tomorrow will be better.

I had a lot of fun with Kelli's prompt today!

Operation TBD: I Rocked the Drop!

I rocked the drop today! I left The President's Daughter series (all 4 books) by Ellen Emerson White at a local coffee shop:

And come over to readergirlz right now and join the live chat!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NaPoWriMo #14

kindergarten field trip

gritty sand beneath my feet.

I don't like mud,
or starfish, or
seaweed draped in clumps
over ugly gray rocks.

It's cloudy and
even the ocean looks
gloomy, quietly going in
and out without complaint

my wet shoes are
drying in the parched grass.
there are too many bugs-

please stop laughing, you're annoying me

Reminder: Operation TBD is tomorrow!

Tomorrow, April 15th, is readergirlz's third annual Operation Teen Book Drop! Readergirlz will be delivering 10,000 new books to teens on Native American reservations and tribal lands.

You can help out too by leaving a book in a public space for a lucky reader to find! You can get an official bookplate and some extras to put into the package as well. Rock the drop, take some photos, and send the pics to the readergirlz email (readergirlz AT gmail DOT com) for a post-drop roundup!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

NaPoWriMo #13

(posting this under yesterday's date)


the wind sometimes curls
around my damp hair,
my feet bare on the
warm wooden planks

I can only see grass, and trees,
and shady trails leading into

wasps buzzing around their
corner nest, the loud hum of a
lawn mower.

everyone going about their
own business on a
warm sunday afternoon.

Top 100 Children's Books- how many have you read?

A list of the top 100 children's books has been compiled over at A Fuse #8 Production, and TeacherNinja turned it into a meme to see how many books on the list you've read! Here's the list (the ones I've read are bolded):

100. The Egypt Game - Snyder (1967)
99. The Indian in the Cupboard - Banks (1980)
98. Children of Green Knowe - Boston (1954)
97. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - DiCamillo (2006)
96. The Witches - Dahl (1983)
95. Pippi Longstocking - Lindgren (1950)
94. Swallows and Amazons - Ransome (1930)
93. Caddie Woodlawn - Brink (1935)
92. Ella Enchanted - Levine (1997)
91. Sideways Stories from Wayside School - Sachar (1978)

90. Sarah, Plain and Tall - MacLachlan (1985)
89. Ramona and Her Father - Cleary (1977)
88. The High King - Alexander (1968)
87. The View from Saturday - Konigsburg (1996)
86. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Rowling (1999)
85. On the Banks of Plum Creek - Wilder (1937)
84. The Little White Horse - Goudge (1946)
83. The Thief - Turner (1997)
82. The Book of Three - Alexander (1964)
81. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon - Lin (2009)
80. The Graveyard Book - Gaiman (2008)
79. All-of-a-Kind-Family - Taylor (1951)

78. Johnny Tremain - Forbes (1943)
77. The City of Ember - DuPrau (2003)
76. Out of the Dust - Hesse (1997)
75. Love That Dog - Creech (2001)
74. The Borrowers - Norton (1953)
73. My Side of the Mountain - George (1959)

72. My Father's Dragon - Gannett (1948)
71. The Bad Beginning - Snicket (1999)
70. Betsy-Tacy - Lovelae (1940)
69. The Mysterious Benedict Society - Stewart ( 2007)
68. Walk Two Moons - Creech (1994)
67. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher - Coville (1991)

66. Henry Huggins - Cleary (1950)
65. Ballet Shoes - Stratfeild (1936)
64. A Long Way from Chicago - Peck (1998)

63. Gone-Away Lake - Enright (1957)
62. The Secret of the Old Clock - Keene (1959)
61. Stargirl - Spinelli (2000)
60. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - Avi (1990)
59. Inkheart - Funke (2003)
58. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase - Aiken (1962)
57. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - Cleary (1981)
56. Number the Stars - Lowry (1989)

55. The Great Gilly Hopkins - Paterson (1978)
54. The BFG - Dahl (1982)
53. Wind in the Willows - Grahame (1908)
52. The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007)
51. The Saturdays - Enright (1941)
50. Island of the Blue Dolphins - O'Dell (1960)
49. Frindle - Clements (1996)

48. The Penderwicks - Birdsall (2005)
47. Bud, Not Buddy - Curtis (1999)
46. Where the Red Fern Grows - Rawls (1961)
45. The Golden Compass - Pullman (1995)
44. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing - Blume (1972)
43. Ramona the Pest - Cleary (1968)
42. Little House on the Prairie - Wilder (1935)
41. The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Speare (1958)
40. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Baum (1900)
39. When You Reach Me - Stead (2009)
38. HP and the Order of the Phoenix - Rowling (2003)
37. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Taylor (1976)

36. Are You there, God? It's Me, Margaret - Blume (1970)
35. HP and the Goblet of Fire - Rowling (2000)
34. The Watson's Go to Birmingham - Curtis (1995)
33. James and the Giant Peach - Dahl (1961)
32. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - O'Brian (1971)
31. Half Magic - Eager (1954)
30. Winnie-the-Pooh - Milne (1926)
29. The Dark Is Rising - Cooper (1973)
28. A Little Princess - Burnett (1905)
27. Alice I and II - Carroll (1865/72)
26. Hatchet - Paulsen (1989)
25. Little Women - Alcott (1868/9)
24. HP and the Deathly Hallows - Rowling (2007)
23. Little House in the Big Woods - Wilder (1932)
22. The Tale of Despereaux - DiCamillo (2003)
21. The Lightning Thief - Riordan (2005)
20. Tuck Everlasting - Babbitt (1975)
19. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Dahl (1964)
18. Matilda - Dahl (1988)
17. Maniac Magee - Spinelli (1990)
16. Harriet the Spy - Fitzhugh (1964)
15. Because of Winn-Dixie - DiCamillo (2000)
14. HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Rowling (1999)
13. Bridge to Terabithia - Paterson (1977)
12. The Hobbit - Tolkien (1938)
11. The Westing Game - Raskin (1978)
10. The Phantom Tollbooth - Juster (1961)
9. Anne of Green Gables - Montgomery (1908)
8. The Secret Garden - Burnett (1911)
7. The Giver - Lowry (1993)
6. Holes - Sachar (1998)

5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - Koningsburg (1967)
4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - Lewis (1950)
3. Harry Potter #1 - Rowling (1997)
2. A Wrinkle in Time - L'Engle (1962)
1. Charlotte's Web - White (1952)

That adds up to a total of 63 out of the 100 on the list! Not too bad, I think, but there are some books on there that I'm shocked I haven't read yet...

Monday, April 12, 2010

NaPoWriMo #12

secret message

the door has a secret to tell you

it whispers in the morning
tales of old oak trees and
moonlight breezes
grass ferns and late nights

3:14 am
it tells me
and I am simply
passing on a message

I used a mix of the Read Write Poem prompt and Kelli's prompt for today. Kelli's prompt said that the poem shouldn't use any punctuation... I had some trouble with that, but it turned out to be really fun. (By the way, does a colon count as punctuation??)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

NaPoWriMo #11

Dear pale blue nail polish,

I'm sorry,
pale blue nail polish,
that I picked the dark blue
over you.

You were just too dull,
while the dark blue gleamed
with the shades of a monochromatic
palette of deep blues

oh, and it reminded me of
the Eyes Like Stars cover-
magic and theater and glittering costumes

and it looks black under the light sometimes
(I always wanted to
try black nail polish, just once.)

oh well. the dark blue is
chipping off anyways.

maybe I'll try you sometime later.

NaPoWriMo #10


the carrot cake was delicious.
soft and fluffy, with a thin
layer of icing,

a hint of cinnamon, and
just the right amount of sugar.

I ate it every day for the next week
savoring the sweetness

until that fateful day
when all that was left
were a few

NaPoWriMo #9


i don't think the tulips
have grown in our
backyard yet, but they are
blooming across the street-

a deep orange
(almost red)
surrounded by faded green
leaves and parchment stones,

a dash of color amongst a tired garden

NaPoWriMo #8


the wind sounds like a
waterfall, swallowing all
the sound around me

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Interview with Cate (Sparrow Review)

Cate is the fun and friendly blogger behind Sparrow Review, which is one of my favorite book blogs. I started following Cate's blog last summer, and I'm always excited to read her posts, whether it be a book review, movie review, or something else!

I recently got the chance to interview Cate, and I really enjoyed reading her answers and getting to know more about her. So today I present to you... Cate!

How did you get started in blogging?

The first book blog I ever came across was (the very lovely) Squeaky Books, which I read avidly from the beginning of last year. After a few months of following, I was inspired to put my own love for reading on the internet. And, after brushing up on my computer skills a bit, Sparrow Review was born.

What is your favorite part about blogging?

Honestly, the book blogging community has opened me up to so much, as far as just how many young adult books there are to be read, and how many others also share a love for reading. At my school at least, there are very few students that enjoy reading, so I find that being able to discuss books with the bloggers makes up for that in a way. I truly don’t think book blogging would be very fun if there wasn’t anyone to share ideas or sa-wooooon over the latest Sarah Dessen love interest with. In short, the bloggers themselves and the community we make is my favorite bit. :-)

List three words that describe you.

Loyal. Creative. Traveler.

If you were thrown into a dungeon for ten years and could only have one book with you, what book would you choose?

Oh, cruel question!! Hmmm…I think I would probably end up with the 7th Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Partially because I love the writing, and partially because the whole horcrux explanation still mystifies me. Ten years should give me enough time to figure it out, eh?

You mention on your blog that you love fairytales, including retellings. Which fairytale is your favorite and why?

My favorite fairy tale is probably The Little Mermaid. Oh, how I love that story. When I was little we lived near the beach, and I remember playing mermaid on the sand, haha. (I think it’s true that being an only child gives you an awesome imagination. ;P) Plus, in the real story, the mermaid gives up her life because she cares so deeply for the prince. It’s not a mushy happy ending; which is much more true-to-life, no matter how we hate to admit it.

Pick any fairytale. If you could change one thing about it, what would you change?

I know this is cheating a bit, but if I were able, I would make it so that in every fairy tale the princes/princesses would actually get to know each other. In almost every tale, there’s ‘love at first sight.’ And then all of the sudden the princes are willing to risk their lives for a girl they may have spoken to for only a moment, just because she was beautiful. What if she were a complete ditz? I know that love at first sight is a wonderful thought, but I don’t really think I believe in it. Perhaps attraction at first sight is a better-suited term? I would appreciate the love story much more if it weren’t based on a single glance, or a hazy recollection.

So true! Are there any fairytale retellings you recommend?

No doubt my favorite retelling is The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. She has the most gorgeous, descriptive, fluid writing I have ever read. I would even go so far as to say that it’s my favorite book. Let’s see…I also adore Edith Pattou’s book, East, which is a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon. It’s lengthy, but beautiful.

(Psssst - The Goose Girl and East are fabulous. If you haven't read them yet, you're missing out!)

A magic genie has granted you one wish. What will you ask for?

Assuming that the ‘a thousand more wishes!’ wish is banned, I would have to say that I would ask for the dream vacation mentioned below. Currently, I am saving for another amazing trip, similar to the one I described.

Describe your dream vacation.

A round-the-world trip with one of my good friends would be absolutely amazing. We would eat in Parisian café’s, watch the Grecian sunset, climb the Great Wall, and scuba in the Great Barrier Reef. I imagine it would be an entire summer experience, filled with lots of museums and bookstores and photo ops. *sigh*

That sounds amazing...Do you have any idea what you want to do in the future?

I know that after I graduate in high school, I want to go to college and major in English. After that, I’d love to get a job working at a publishing company; maybe start out working as a copy-editor, and work my way up. That’s the dream. :-)

Lastly, what would you do if you met a giant, talking worm in the forest?

I would run the other way, no question about it. Worms make me cringe.

Thanks so much for having me, Priya!!

Thank you so much, Cate!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

NaPoWriMo #7


I wanted to write about
cellos and amber lights,
of purple skies
and starry nights.

But nothing seemed to work,
and the poem got worse and worse.
So I just had to settle
for this absolutely boring verse.

No inspiration today :-(

Note: I will be gone for a business competition for the next three days, so you won't see my poems. However, I'll still keep writing them, and I guess I'll post up 4 poems on Sunday. You can look for a scheduled post coming up, though!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

NaPoWriMo #6


one foot after the other,
running past parched grass and
puddles of mud. all blurring into
a hazy green.

the ground merges into an
endless road of gray, and
all i can see are my feet-
one after the other.

Monday, April 05, 2010

NaPoWriMo #5


within two minutes,
my jacket is soaked.

dragging my backpack through puddles,
I pluck a cherry blossom off a tree and
duck under its dripping branches

my feet stamping on soggy leaves,
ghosts of yesterday's wind

Sunday, April 04, 2010

NaPoWriMo #4

coca-cola factory

we are surrounded
by red bottles of soda,
dangling in the air.

Note: The above picture was taken at the Coca-Cola Factory in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a really fun and educational experience, and there was even a tasting room where you could sample different flavors of Coke from around the world and drink to your heart's content! I would definitely recommend going there if you get the chance.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

NaPoWriMo #3


the telltale hum of a hair dryer in the
background, her stream of
candy poetry cascading through
the perfumed air.

through the mirror, I can see
sky, a brilliant shade of orange and pink,
weak sunlight dancing on the windows-

give magic, and light too.

Friday, April 02, 2010

NaPoWriMo #2


this is a rhythmic wave process,
a photo gallery of
flustered purple and gold lights on an
indigo sky

it smells like salt on the shore, and
there is a basket of plums on the
bench beside me, cold and juicy

the minute hand was creeping along the clock

and the strains of a violin floated on the air

and i sat under a tree, watching the
waves coming in, out, in, out, in, out...

(Poetry Friday roundup here.)

I had a much easier time with this poem, due to the abundance of amazing prompts I found today (all thanks to Maya). I thought I would share some of the prompts I used:
  1. "rhythmic wave process" came ReadWritePoem's prompt for today.
  2. "photo gallery" and "purple and gold" came from Acronym Attic.
  3. The "purple and gold lights" came from this photo on flickr.
  4. The word "flustered" and the idea of time "creeping" along came from Kelli Russell Agodon's prompt for today. I used Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and Undercover by Beth Kephart, but I didn't follow the prompt exactly.
  5. Finally, the whole waves/ocean theme came from Robert Lee Brewer's prompt today.

If you're having trouble with your poem today, maybe some of these prompts can help you!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

NaPoWriMo #1

Woe is Me

It is more difficult than I thought
to write a poem a day,
for all my efforts
have led me astray

I spent all of this morning
looking for something to write
I searched and searched,
but nothing was right

so now all I can do
is sit here and rhyme
and hope that this poem is…
well, at least a little sublime.

P.S. Good luck to everyone
doing NaPoWriMo-
hopefully this month,
we can put on a good show!