2021 PAD Challenge: Poems from Days 11-15

As promised in my previous blog post, here is the third set of poems I’ve written for the 14th annual Poem-A-Day Challenge as organized by Writer’s Digest. Even though every day has its own unique prompt, I am focusing on “travel” as an overarching theme because I’ve missed traveling so much this past year.

Day 11 PAD Prompt: Write a poem that incorporates a prime number. You could include a prime number in the title of your poem or use one in the poem itself. Or write a poem that has a prime number of lines per stanza or for the entire poem. A list of prime numbers up to 100: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89, 97).

UNDECIDED

I can’t
say if I
have a favorite
location, destination,
or particular holiday, a moment
that outshines any others – the prettiest vista,
the grandest day out, a favorite route or footpath to ramble down.
To scrutinize, to label, to rank would downplay the brilliance of each visit,
all differently nuanced – the time of day, the conversation, the cascade of light on the hills,
what flowered in the garden, the big news, the lost tooth – with subtle changes that make every moment its own masterpiece.


Poetic Form of Choice: Lines with a syllable count in ascending prime numbers up to 29 (forced formatting may cause the longer lines to overflow)
© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 12 PAD Prompt: Write a poem using at least three of the following six words: convict, great, play, race, season, and voice. Extra credit for using all six words.

LUNCHTIME IDLING

In the shade of a great cathedral, I sit
while children play on its steps in
temperatures strangely warm for the season.
Ice cream tracks trickle down their chins.

Overhead, pigeons race in a gyrating cluster,
orbit compressing until they settle around me
in conspiratorial fashion. With bobbing heads,
they imply – what’s mine is theirs. Do share.

Their coos fuse to one voice to convict me
of my greed as I refuse to relinquish
my sandwich. The children frolic closer.
The flock reshuffles, flutters, erupts into flight.


Poetic Form of Choice: Free verse in quatrains with assonance and consonance
© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 13 PAD Prompt: For this Two-for-Tuesday, write a lucky poem and/or write an unlucky poem.

LUCK

Luck must arrive unbidden
Or won’t arrive at all;
Like a recalcitrant feline,
It scarpers when we call.

Luck slinks and skirts, observing
With concentrated eyes—
Only when we have ceased to look
Will it materialize.


Poetic Form of Choice: The style of Emily Dickinson
© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 14 PAD Prompt: Write a poem inspired by your immediate surroundings. This can include pencils, characters in books you can see, or things out the window.

DAILY REFRAIN

I gaze outside my window
on this revalescent day.
One year ago, I sat here;
since then, not much has changed.

But still the world feels altered,
foundations cracked and strained,
the old routines disrupted,
old habits un-sustained.

Although my view is looping
through the hazy windowpane,
collections and deliveries
recurring in refrain,

I know I’ll leave this room soon
to abandon the mundane
and the view outside my window
on this revalescent day.


Poetic Form of Choice: Quatrains with repeating end rhyme
© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 15 PAD Prompt: Take the phrase “(blank) Story,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include “Toy Story” and/or “Same Old Story.”

A RAMBLING STORY

Golden stalks glimmer
beneath alabaster clouds—
twilight burnishes the field,
hedgerows enshrouded.
Charlie rambles down the path;
contentedly, I follow.


Poetic Form of Choice: Sedoka (six lines with syllable count of 5/7/7/5/7/7)
© 2021 F. E. Greene
Charlie and I on an evening walk in Coleshill, Warwickshire, England.

It’s not too late for you to join in the fun! Follow this link to the Writer’s Digest website and see the details for the 2021 PAD Challenge.

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2021 PAD Challenge: Poems from Days 6-10

As promised in my last blog post, here is the second set of poems I’ve written for the 14th annual Poem-A-Day Challenge as organized by Writer’s Digest. Even though every day has its own unique prompt, I am focusing on “travel” as an overarching theme because I’ve missed traveling so much this past year.

Day 6 PAD Prompt: Today is the first Tuesday of the month which means it’s time for our first Two-for-Tuesday prompt. You can pick one of the prompts, combine prompts, or write one poem for each prompt. For this Two-for-Tuesday prompt: 1. Write a change poem and/or… 2. Write a don’t-change poem.

CHANGE

“Change is sometimes the same as rest,”
A bookseller told me,
And who am I to quibble with
Such keen philosophy?

Yet, change churns like the wild riptides;
Rest idles like the shoals.
Can such converse occurrences
Be interchangeable?

For change does rent, and rest does mend.
One settles; one upsets—
If change must come, then I desire
A change disguised as rest.


Poetic Form of Choice: The Style of Emily Dickinson
© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 7 PAD Prompt: Write a villain poem. You could write a persona poem from the perspective of a popular villain (like Count Dracula, Thanos, or Dolores Umbridge). Or write a poem with a person doing a villainous thing (like eating the last piece of pie or littering).

OFF-PEAK FAUX PAS

Plenty of seats upon the train;
You claim the bay for four
Though you are traveling alone,
And I am with three more.


Poetic Form of Choice: Ballad quatrain
© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 8 PAD Prompt: Write a metaphor poem. A metaphor is when something is something else (I am a tree). Take a moment to consider possible metaphors and then poem them out.

LONDON

An old friend
too rarely seen yet
known so well; you tell

stories of
conquest, disaster,
victory; I sit

at your feet
savoring those tales
in your ancient voice.


Poetic Form of Choice: Modified haiku with syllable count of 3-5-5
© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 9 PAD Prompt: Write a persona poem for an inanimate object. A persona poem is written in the voice of someone (or in this case something) else – a pair of scissors, a picture frame, smart phone, or another inanimate object.

LOST LUGGAGE

I don’t mind the wait.
I’m used to it. Most days
I sit in your closet
wedged between shoeboxes
and workout equipment.
(Bit dusty in there, I’ll admit.)

So, this change of venue
is, frankly, refreshing although
I’m sure you’re anxious
for us to reunite. After all,
you have plans tonight, and that
little black dress won’t wear itself.

Until then, I’ll be on this shelf.
I feel certain the airline will
sort things out, and I’ll join you
at the hotel before your
dinner reservation. (It will be 
nice to see another location.)


Poetic Form of Choice: Free verse with internal rhyme, assonance, and consonance
© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 10 PAD Prompt: Take the phrase “Get (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Get Smart,” “Get Incredibly Overwhelmed by the Beauty of Spring,” and/or “Get This Poem Written.”

GET AWAY FROM IT ALL

Isn’t that the bottom line?
Leave it all behind. Unwind.
Pack only what you need –
no assignments or deadlines
no one more thing before I go…

Just winding shoreline drives
along the coast – away from
that host of inconveniences
saturating your bandwidth –
no let me check my messages…

Ocean on the left, sunset overhead
reminding you of the infinite –
the unsaid. What’s familiar ceases
to interfere with what lies before you
and what is right here.


Poetic Form of Choice: Free verse with internal rhyme, assonance, and consonance
© 2021 F. E. Greene

It’s not too late for you to join in the fun! Follow this link to the Writer’s Digest website and see the details for the 2021 PAD Challenge.

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2021 PAD Challenge: Poems from Days 1-5

As promised in my last blog post, here is the first set of poems I’ve written for the 14th annual Poem-A-Day Challenge as organized by Writer’s Digest. Even though every day has its own unique prompt, I am focusing on “travel” as an overarching theme because I’ve missed traveling so much this past year.

Day 1 PAD Prompt: Write an introduction poem. Introduce yourself, introduce a friend, or introduce a stranger. If you don’t wish to introduce yourself, consider writing a persona poem (a poem in which you write from someone else’s point of view). You could also introduce a problem, solution, or situation.

ODE TO A HOTEL ROOM

I greet you like a friend
I’ve never met
but know so well –
familiar already with your
conveniences and dimensions,
amenities and deficits

as you know mine, vaguely,
from the endless parade of others –
unpacking and repacking,
coming and going,
leaving unique variations
of disarray in their wake.

I won’t be so negligent.
I swear it. I’ll leave you as neatly
as I found you – toiletries gathered,
detritus collected, souvenirs corralled
into carry-ons, and plastic bottles
clustered near the trash can

with the hopeful guarantee
of reuniting someday,
you and me,
in that first blush of discovery –
the heady freshness of expectation –
alone in this hotel room, together.


Poetic Form of Choice: Free Verse with Alliteration, Assonance, and Consonance
© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 2 PAD Prompt: For today’s prompt, I want you to answer the question, “What does the future hold?” Then, make your answer the title of your poem and write your poem.

UNKNOWN

I know not what the future holds.
I only know today;
And yet my mind so often dwells
On where I’ll make my way.

I dream of journeys far afield,
Past hills and lakes and moors.
What would I give? What might I risk
To rove those distant shores?

To wander freely has a cost
I should too gladly pay;
But I know not when that shall be—
I only know today.


Poetic Form of Choice: The Style of Emily Dickinson
© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 3 PAD Prompt: Write a communication poem about different ways people can communicate: text message, letter, signs, and even speaking dialogue. Of course, there are other forms of communication as well because people love communicating.

WISH YOU WERE HERE

At the carvery on Coleshill’s High Street
I sit (pen in hand) tucked into a booth
sculpting sentences onto cardstock rectangles
embellished with teacups or Westies
or the Queen (not quite smiling)
while my hasty words fail to encapsulate
the affirmation, gratitude, joy I feel
at returning to my home away from home.

I’ll concede – postcards are passé, obsolete
as superfluous as sunscreen in England
as slow as the post office queue.
I might email you this evening
(send a text in mere seconds)
but neither of those can be affixed to the fridge
and remain on display as clear evidence
that I do (in fact) wish you were here.


Poetic Form of Choice: Free Verse with Alliteration and Assonance
© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 4 PAD Prompt: For today’s prompt, write an active poem. This can be a poem comprised of active (vs passive) verbs. It can also be about exercising, playing a sport, or keeping your mind active.

THE ROSE TREE RESTAURANT,
BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER

We lounge at the round wooden table,
its pine-green umbrella shielding us from
what sunshine slides through the clouds.

Across the sidewalk and grassy bank,
children wade and splash in the Windrush;
mothers huddled by their prams gossip softly.

We chatter, too – three friends, two of us sisters –
trading tales after a lengthy separation with
the artless ease born of affection and trust.

This lazy Saturday yields a feast of activity,
none of it rushed or taxing, and I marvel at
how doing next to nothing can mean so much.


Poetic Form of Choice: Free Verse with Alliteration, Assonance, and Consonance
© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 5 PAD Prompt: For today’s prompt, take the phrase “The First (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “The First Kiss,” “The First Day of the Month,” and/or “The First Time I Rode a Bike”

THE FIRST RETURNING

She takes her first London taxi down Marylebone Road and drinks her first cup of tea on the Virgin train. She disembarks at the Birmingham Airport to hire her first car of the summer. She concentrates during her first half hour of driving on the left side of the road. She tags along with her host for her first visit to the ASDA Walmart in Minworth. She relishes her first excursion to Kenilworth and her first ramble along the Honiley footpath. She attends her first church service, exchanges first hugs with others, and joins them for her first Sunday lunch.

mundane things become
magical when returning
after an absence


Poetic Form of Choice: Haibun - a combination of prose poetry and haiku. The prose portion describes a natural scene in an objective, detailed manner. The haiku portion (with the traditional syllable count of 5/7/5) reflects on what has been described.
© 2021 F. E. Greene

It’s not too late for you to join in the fun! Follow this link to the Writer’s Digest website and see the details about the 2021 PAD Challenge.

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A Whole Month to Rhyme – and Just in Time!

April is National Poetry Month, and I’m excited to announce the publication of my latest book – Rhyming Brighter – just in time for the celebration!

This portable paperback is available at Amazon for only $7.99. It’s filled with 31 days of poetry prompts along with lined pages for writing. Every prompt comes with a detailed explanation and sample poem as well as a glossary of frequently used terms. Readers can work through the exercises at their own pace and in whatever order they choose.

Rhyming Brighter is an excellent gift for the poet in your life! It’s also a wonderful tool for homeschool teachers and students who want to explore poetry in a convenient and interactive way. The next book in the series – Rhyming Even Brighter – hits online bookshelves in a few weeks!

Let’s celebrate National Poetry Month together! Why not join me in the Writer’s Digest PAD (Poem-A-Day) Challenge? It’s no cost, no fuss, and no risk! You don’t have to share your poems with anyone unless you choose to. I’ll be posting my daily poems on my Facebook page and publishing them once every five days on this blog.

My recently published poetry collection, In Days Divine, took root when I lived in England and entered a series of online poetry challenges. I’d never done anything like that before and was surprised to find that I loved writing poems with directions and a deadline. I won’t say they were all diamonds, but the process definitely made me a better poet.

Touch here to find out more about the 2021 PAD challenge from Writer’s Digest. I hope you’ll consider participating and maybe posting your poems on the WD site? Or you can simply drop in to read what others are writing. No pressure – just poetry!

Above all, I wish you a happy National Poetry Month, and thanks for reading!

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A New Year, a New Book, and a New Ebook Sale!

February is a month filled with opportunities to reflect and celebrate. Even though it can be the coldest, dreariest month of the year, it seems like another event or holiday is always around the corner. This February, I’m also celebrating the release of my first collection of poems – In Days Divine: Poems from Both Sides of the Pond. Although, as an author, I focus primarily on fiction, I enjoy many other forms of writing including poetry.

These poems fit perfectly into my larger body of work because they were written during the year I worked in England. Rather than attempt a large fiction project, I spent my year abroad enrolling in online poetry challenges through a website called writing.com. Poetry became the main form of writing for me that year, and it resulted in a collection of poems that are, to me, better than any souvenir. All the joys and delights, the struggles to adjust and adapt, the big discoveries and little moments are captured in these 45 poems written just before, during, and after my time in the U.K.

This collection is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, and more for only $1.99. Touch here to see all the purchasing options for In Days Divine.

It’s also free to anyone who signs up for my author newsletter. Touch here to sign up and download your free e-copy of In Days Divine.

Also this weekend, you can grab a copy of All of Your Business for only 99 cents (ebook) at Amazon. This is one of four standalone romances in my bestselling Richer in Love series. These books are sweet, clean, contemporary, and a great way to visit London without leaving your couch!

All four books in this series are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. No Kindle? No problem! I use Amazon’s Kindle App on my iPhone, and it works great.

Grab your copy of All of Your Business for just 99 cents!

Download Amazon’s Kindle app for Mac, Windows, and Android

Wishing you a belated Happy New Year! And thanks for reading!

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Songwriting – It’s Not Just for Songwriters Anymore…

Not only is In the Sweet Midwinter my first Christmas romance book, it’s also the first to include a song that I wrote expressly for the story. I’ve dabbled in songwriting since my college days (many moons ago), but this is my first time to write AND RECORD a song for public consumption. Is there a Grammy in my future? NOPE. But it was a cool new creative experience!

Follow this link to listen to “Waltz with Me” from In the Sweet Midwinter.

I’ve posted the song file on my webpage along with how it began and the complete lyrics. My friend Miguel worked his sound-mixing magic to make it as good as possible. And as I mention on my website, if the female protagonist from In the Sweet Midwinter could record “Waltz with Me,” it would sound stellar! Instead, we all must settle for this:

Follow this link to order In the Sweet Midwinter.

All four books in the Richer in Love series are currently enrolled in Kindle Unlimted. Happy Tuesday, and thanks for reading!

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Stuff Your Kindles with a New Christmas E-book!

Deck the halls & hang the stockings! Christmastime is almost here along with my newest contemporary romance novel. In the Sweet Midwinter will be available in ebook and paperback on Amazon this Thursday, Nov. 12. It’s also enrolled in Kindle Unlimited along with all other books in the Richer in Love series.

Writing a Christmas romance in the summertime during a pandemic brought me an unexpected amount of comfort and joy. I also made it my goal to let my quirky sense of humor take center stage, something I’ve never let loose in a book until now.

My Christmas wish is that this book will give its readers a chance to escape, to crack a few smiles, and to enjoy all the warm fuzzy feels as the holiday season kicks into full swing.

Follow this link to order In the Sweet Midwinter.

PS – If you follow my Author Page on Amazon, you’ll automatically receive alerts whenever I have a new release or run a KU book promo. Happy Tuesday, and thanks for reading!

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Immerse Yourself in Autumn Romance – for Free!

Today through Monday, my sweet contemporary romance Some Place Like Home is free to download as an ebook on Amazon! (It’s also enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.)

When I lived in England, I loved experiencing all four seasons (something that does not happen where I’m originally from). Autumn seemed especially magical to me with its changing leaves, cooling weather, and rapidly shortening days. I could actually see and feel the earth preparing for a long winter’s rest.

I also learned about Harvest Sunday which reminded me somewhat of an American Thanksgiving. Many churches throughout the U.K. have a Harvest Sunday service in late September or early October. Traditionally, it falls on the Sunday nearest to the autumn equinox. In fact, the word ‘harvest’ is derived from the Old English word hærfest which means ‘autumn.’

So many of the autumn delights from my time in England have made their way into the pages of Some Place Like Home, including the charming tradition of a church or village fête. These local festivals provide a lovely way for families to gather and enjoy a bit of fun on the weekend. Proceeds often benefit local services or charities. I’ve yet to find anything quite like them in my part of the States.

Wherever you are in the world today, I hope this autumn season finds you and your loved ones safe and well. May blessings abound for you in the coming weeks! And thank you for reading!

Follow this link to download Some Place Like Home.

All four books in the Richer in Love series are currently enrolled in Kindle Unlimted.

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Christmas in July During a Pandemic

Today my newest contemporary romance novel, In the Sweet Midwinter, is available for preorder on Amazon.

For several years, I’ve wanted to write a Christmas romance. I love everything about the season. I especially loved celebrating Christmas in England when I lived there, and I knew I had to share that experience with others at some point.

Enter COVID-19. With life so radically altered, I had more time than ever to write, and I decided to go full steam ahead into Christmas. I cranked up the holiday tunes and infused the air with essential oils like Mistletoe and Winter Mint. I stopped short of putting up a tree, but I was tempted a few times to deck my halls.

Even though it felt surreal to be swimming in Christmas during such a challenging time, it also provided a sense of comfort and joy. Losses still happened, some heartbreakingly close to home. Writing a Christmas romance wasn’t a shield from the suffering and unrest in the world, but it was a balm in quieter moments.

Reading has been my refuge since I was a child, and my goal with In the Sweet Midwinter – more than any other book I’ve written – is to provide readers with a chance to relax, detach, smile, and maybe even laugh as they enjoy a taste of Christmas in the U.K.

I hope all of you can find a source of comfort and joy at this time, whatever it may be. Stay well. Stay safe. And thank you for reading!

Follow this link to preorder In the Sweet Midwinter.

All four books in the Richer in Love series are currently enrolled in Kindle Unlimted.

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The Hope of New Beginnings

Today is the release date of my new contemporary romance novel, Some Place Like Home. This book has been a work in progress for well over a year, and the publication wheels have been spinning since before Covid 19 changed life as we know it.

It’s hard to know how to celebrate new beginnings right now. With all the distress and unrest in the world, I find myself praying on a daily basis for something – anything – good to come from so much anxiety and loss.

Although I debated delaying its publication until “better times” have returned, I realized that books, especially tales of romance, have been a true comfort for me in recent weeks. Stories about love and hope with a guaranteed HEA are more than temporary escapism. They remind me that life gets hard and tragedies happen, but a greater story is often at play, and love can be found no matter the circumstances.

To that end, I’m glad to announce that Some Place Like Home is available in eBook and paperback at Amazon. I’ve enrolled it and the two other books in the series in Kindle Unlimited, so KU members can read all three for free.

If you are not a KU subscriber, you can download the first book in this series – She Hates Me Not – for free today through May 3 at Amazon.

I hope you are finding many sources of comfort and solace at this time. May you and your loved ones remain safe and well. And thank you for reading!

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