NaPoWriMo #20 – Kennings Poem

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! It’s Day 20 of National Poetry Month and because I had more time today since my MW classes ended on M, I could work with the NaPoWriMo prompt. It was a unique one, writing a Kennings Poem, and that was certainly a poem form that I had not worked in before. I have to admit it’s fun to play with, and I love my poem that came from the prompt. Since I’ve posted both prompts when I did the April PAD Challenge, I will post my poem, “My Favorite Author,” the prompt I used, and then the PAD Challenge prompt as well today. Enjoy!

My Favorite Author

Pall-Mall smoker,
satirical joker,
technology hater,
Kilgore Trout creator…

(To read the rest of this poem, contact me at or look for it at Flying Island in November 2016!)

Day 20 NaPoWriMo Prompt:

Today’s prompt comes to us from Vince Gotera, who suggests a prompt very much in keeping with our poet in translation, a “kenning” poem. Kennings were riddle-like metaphors used in the Norse sagas. Basically, they are ways of calling something not by its actual name, but by a sort of clever, off-kilter description — for example, the sea would be called the “whale road.” Today, I challenge you to think of a single thing or person (a house, your grandmother, etc), and then write a poem that consists of kenning-like descriptions of that thing or person. For example, you might call a cat a mouse-stalker, quiet-walker, bird-warner, purr-former, etc. If you’re looking for examples, you can find one that Vince wrote here and a different example here.

Day 20 PAD Challenge prompt:

For today’s prompt, write a poem of what goes unsaid. Maybe it’s unrequited love, a hidden contempt, spoiler to the most recent TV show or blockbuster movie. Whatever goes unsaid, maybe write it instead.

If you want to share a poem or a thought, leave a comment below.

Keep writing!



NaPoWriMo #3 – Fan Letter

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! It appears that even with all of the other prompt opportunities out there each day, I’ve been sticking with the ones provided by NaPoWriMo – at least so far. I can’t promise that I won’t stray and do something different one of these April days, but here we are on day 3 already and I took their challenge again. This time it was to write a fan letter to a celebrity. I could have easily written to any one of my favorites of all time, such as Kurt Vonnegut, Frank O’Hara, The Beatles, Carly Simon…well the list goes on far and wide…but I felt, today, that those may be too predictable, so I went another way…even though it’s still a fan letter. So, below you will find my poem, “Solving Mysteries,” followed by the prompt that I used. Enjoy!

Solving Mysteries

I barely remember Bess Marvin,
or Ned Nickerson, the token
boy. Alliteration was all
he was good for. Nothing
in my eyes, could top

                                   The Mystery of the 99 Steps,
and adventures with George,
except the 42 volumes
that came before, in my books,

read over and over again;
I spent so many hours
with you, teaching me:
girls could be cool,
                                    independent, smart,
                                    always solving clues –

me dreaming of being like you,
or your hero sidekick; swapping
secrets with my favorite sleuth:
Nancy Drew.

Here’s Prompt #3 from NaPoWriMo:

Today, let’s turn our vision outward, and write fan letters. I challenge you to write a poem in the form of a fan letter to a celebrity. Now, this could be a celebrity from long ago, and needn’t be an actor or singer (though it could be). You could write to George Washington or Dorothy Dandridge, Marie Curie or The Weeknd.

I haven’t mentioned, but if you try something and want to share – go ahead and post it in comments below! See you tomorrow!

Keep Writing,


Writing Prompt Pit Stop: Week 2 of No NaNoWriMo

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! It’s been one week since I posted my plans for attempting to get some good writing done this month even though I know I have too much going on to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. I feel good that I have actually kept up with writing this week in my daybook, and that I have revised several poems that I’d written and now officially have five new ones to send out somewhere in the world…when I have a chance to peruse some good fits to submit. I feel bad that I haven’t had a chance to write one word of any of the three short plays that I’ve committed to writing by Dec. 31st; however, I do have had some ideas rumbling around…so that means that somethings going to happen soon, right? This week is another full week of commitments in & out of the classroom, grading, an evening meeting, and another visit with a friend out of town – but I’m adamant that I will get writing done each day, at least a couple of those poems submitted somewhere, and at least one of those three plays started, if not finished, by the time I check back in here a week from today. What writing will you get done? Not sure what to write about? Here are a few more writing prompts this week:

  1. Choose a song from your childhood – if possible play it as you write – and allow the memories to flow. In your daybook, write down everything you can remember in a stream of consciousness. Don’t worry about grammar at this point. Stop writing when the memories begin to feel forced. After you’ve drained the memories dry, take 10 minutes (or longer if you need) and write on the best imagery, feelings, etc. If you’re ever at a loss for something to write about, come back to this exercise – but utilize a different time in your life, and repeat the drill.
  2. My favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut, once said “find your tribe.” Write for 10 minutes about “your tribe.” Who are they? How did you come together? What keeps you with this “tribe?” Have you ever left, or been left, by those whom you thought were your tribe?
  3. Speaking of favorite authors (or poets or playwrights) – take an obscure character from one of their stories/poems/plays and make them your own. Of course, if you get anything published using this character, give your favorite original writer a nod.
  4. Use these three words in what you write: Bomb/Petunia/Preacher

Remember, it’s better to steal a few minutes here or there to write a little than not to write at all!

If you get anything that you want to share, you can always share it in comments below, or contact me: lylanne[at]

See you in a week! Don’t forget to keep writing!


Writing Prompt Pit Stop: PoMoSco # 17 Spelling Bee

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! Today is day 17 of PoMoSco, and the prompt sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. The main thing is to find your seed phrase, and then find a source text that will generate a lot of words. The way that I wrote my poem was to keep the first word in the poem the same as the first word of the seed phrase. So, I used Vonnegut’s phrase: We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be. Hence, the first words of each line of my poem starts with w a w w p t b s w m b c w w p t b.  By running my source text through the generator provided in the prompt I was able to come up with a poem I was happy with. Here is my resulting poem, “Eagles Birding: Excited Arrivals.” Enjoy!

Here is the Day 17 prompt, Spelling Bee:

You’ll need your source text and a “seed” phrase, Your seed phrase is a sentence or fragment that contains at least 20 characters, which can be related or not to your source.

For instance, if your source text is a book on baseball, you might choose “Take me out to the ballgame” as your seed phrase. If your source text is on the Beatles, you might choose, “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

Visit the Diastic Poem Generator at Enter your seed phrase and source text in the corresponding boxes, then click “Generate.”

The program will create a “spell-through” of your text. Using the “take me out to the ballgame” example, the program will search through your text for the first word that has T in the first position (it might be a word like “the,” “travel,” or “true”) and add it to your word list. Next, it searches for a word that has “a” in the second position (e.g. “cap,” “batboy,” “game”), and so on, until it reaches the end of your seed text.

Add the results to your word bank, and keep clicking “Generate” to add additional iterations. For a more experimental text, keep the resulting text intact. Otherwise, remove text to create your poem — but try to keep the words in order.

The Found Poetry Review. PoMoSco. Prompt 17. 17 Apr 2015.

Writing Prompt Pit Stop: PoMoSco # 16 The Blender

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! Here we are on the downward side of the PoMoSco project for National Poetry Month. It’s amazing how time flies! Today we have the 16th prompt which is a “remixing” one titled The Blender. We were to choose a source text and then put it in the link provided to mix it up. I’ve been using my favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut, for many of my prompts this year and decided that his short story “Harrison Bergeron” might be a fun one for this. I cut and pasted sections in the blender and then I generally cut it again and pasted one more time, so that the words were even mixed better. Sometimes it was more jumbled than I liked, but I ended up being able to get a fairly decent found poem from it. Here is my poem, “The United States Handicapper Was Required By Every Screen.” Enjoy!

Here is the day 16 prompt, The Blender:

Choose either a source text that already exists in digital form, or a printed text that you’re willing to type out. Next, navigate to The Text-Mixing Desk at The Lazarus Corporation (, paste your text, adjust the controls and click “Start the Mix!”

Copy down the result exactly as it comes out of the Text Mixing Desk. Repeat the mixing process with additional sections of text if you want a longer language bank to work with.

Craft your poem from the results using words IN THE ORDER they appear in the original. You may delete words but not reorder them.

The Found Poetry Review. PoMoSco. Prompt 16. 16 Apr 2015.

Writing Prompt Pit Stop: PoMoSco #7 Roll the Dice

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! Today’s PoMoSco #7 prompt found us rolling the dice to come up with the words for our “Chance Operation” poem. For this poem I turned to my favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut, and his collection of graduation speeches: If This Isn’t Nice, What Is? Since I don’t play a lot of board or card games I used virtual dice found on the internet for my rolls. I numbered lines of the text within one speech, and then rolled the dice…I’d write down all of the words in that corresponding line. In some instances when writing the poem I used some lines in their entirety, or partial lines; in others, I used just a word or two from the lines. I rolled the dice 45 times to come up with a “word bank” to use for my poem. There were only about 16 lines of text that I didn’t use anything from. My poem, “In An Afterlife We Serve The Best We Can,” can be found here.

Here is the Day 7 prompt, Roll the Dice:

Start with multiple dice and your source text. You can use regular six-sided dice, or ones with more sides (

Assign each line on your source text page a number — you can work consecutively (first line = 1, second line = 2), in reverse order (last line = 1, etc) or in any order you choose.

Roll the dice — whatever line corresponds to the number that came up gets added to your word bank. Continue rolling the dice until you have a big enough word bank to craft a poem. For an extra challenge, retain the full original lines in your finished piece.

The Found Poetry Review. PoMoSco. Prompt 7. 7 Apr 2015.

Writing Stop Pit Stop: The American Way

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! It’s two days away from the 4th of July here in America, otherwise known as Independence Day. However, the America we live in today is certainly different than I ever imagined it would be at this stage of my life. It seems as no one can get ahead (at least the middle class on down), even by working day in and day out, and sometimes working at multiple jobs. At one time, Americans, actually gave our president respect…even if they didn’t agree with whichever one it was, it was the President of the United States. It also seems like the country gets divided more and more each week, with this political squabble or that. I don’t know about you, but it’s really getting tiresome. It appears that America is broken and I certainly don’t know how it will ever get fixed. It’s frustrating and sad. I vote. And, even if sometimes that is frustrating, I will always do so as a woman…because it hasn’t been that long since women had that right, and because I keep thinking one day it really will make a difference. Isn’t that the American way?

One of my favorite writers is Kurt Vonnegut, and that’s no surprise to anyone who knows me or who has read this blog. He wrote a lot about frustrations and problems in America, he used satire as a way to expose some of the truths or disappointments. In his stories he created places, such as the planet Tralfamadore, that were not “America,” but if you put two and two together you got the drift. Some students inevitably (when I’ve been able to use one of his short stories or his book A Man Without A Country in class) misconstrue his intentions as either being too “unpatriotic” or they believe what he is satirizing is how he really believes. This way of thinking is like believing Jonathan Swift encouraged the Irish people to eat babies…that sort of thing. This is also frustrating and sad. However, that’s why I teach because I do know that I can make a difference. I have hope for most of these students. Hope. And change. Isn’t that the American way? It should be if it’s not. Anyway, I’m not writing here to vent (well, maybe) or to start political rants from all sides. What I believe to be true is that as writers, poets, playwrights, essayists, we have a way to express our feelings (and a duty!) in whatever way we want…whether they be liberal, conservative, libertarian, religious, atheist, spiritual, feminist, gay, lesbian, trans, or straight views – and I know that is the American way.

So, for your 46th post I’m advocating you write something about America:

“America: Love It or Turn It Into a Fantasy World”

1) In your daybook write about the America you envision. Maybe it’s some utopia on another planet, or a made-up land. What would your ideal America look like? Who would be the leader? Who would you keep out of your world. Who would you embrace? What laws would there be? Get crazy, get serious, get funny. It’s your story, poem, play, or essay to write.

2) Write about your favorite things about America. Forget about all of the fighting over religion, gay marriage, politics, women’s rights, guns (only for this prompt!) and write what America means to you. It may be interesting that you can’t keep some of those above issues out of your writing….

3) Write about what it is that really bothers you about America. Be honest. Maybe it includes some of those issues in #2, or maybe you can come up with a lot longer list. Write on this prompt or any of the above for 10 minutes or until you exhaust your subject.

4) Simply write about your all-time favorite 4th of July. It could’ve been one from your childhood, or maybe it was just last year’s. What was special about it? Why that one over all of the others?

5) Once you’ve written your piece on America, revise it (as always). Maybe it’s a poem. Maybe it’s a seed for a play or a story. Maybe it’s something to add to that memoir you’ve been working on….

No matter what you come up with, you can certainly share it in comments here if you’d like!

See you next Wednesday! Oh, and Happy Birthday, America.