Tag Archives: Writing

New Blog Series in the Works

I had an idea this morning while drinking my coffee for a new blog post series regarding women’s issues (really, gender issues in general) that are controversial, but not ultimately political in nature. I am sure that these issues could be unpacked and unraveled to the point of becoming political, but I want to keep these posts somewhat light and not cause mass debates full of hatred of strangers and cyber bullying; I see enough of this stuff everywhere else on the internet.

contemp-women-issues3

Therefore, I will not be touching subjects such as abortion. Here are some topics I am thinking about playing with:

  • *Shaving (legs, armpits, bikini lines, etc.) – I am currently working on this one!
  • Bras
  • Last Names (after marriage)
  • Makeup
  • Popular Song Lyrics

I am still brainstorming; the most obvious ideas are ones about appearance, but I want to dig a little deeper. Please share and suggestions that you would be interested in reading about and/or contributing your two cents about.

Advertisements

Poetry: The Writing Process

I just happened to be sifting through my Google Drive and found the poem and note I wrote to the students I worked with a few summers ago at the Young Writer’s Camp in Neenah, Wisconsin and the poems I wrote for my students during clinicals. This, of course, made me a bit nostalgic about teaching and spending time writing on my own. I have been so busy lately with work and life and everything that I haven’t thought about it much until now.

The Writing Process
Mindy M. Wara
August 9, 2011

Creativity bubbles to the surface
while imaginations squirm in their seats
inspiration boils over
and words spatter onto the page

Keys click against soft pads of fingertips
as thoughts thicken and become concrete
the computer monitors hum along
and the printer patiently waits
to publish black on white

Students savor the taste of fresh syllables
as the words roll off of their tongues
and drip like honey into anxious minds
to ponder, soak up, and relish with delight

2011 YWC Students,

I want you to know how much this experience has meant to me as a writer and as a future teacher. I hope you have learned a lot this summer and know that you have also taught me as well as inspired my writing. Thank you for putting so much imagination and effort into your work and thank you for allowing me to be a part of your writing process.

 

Creativity Enters the Room
a poem for my drama students
By Mindy M. Wara 

when the bell rings for fourth period.
It sits down and talks amongst itself
as if it were its own family.
Familiar, safe, home.
Pages flip
open for meaningful discussions
about skydiving, cannibalism
and somehow is always spun into webs
of innuendo. It flock dances
to the stage ready
to unleash all of itself
unmasked
on to the muted world.

 

First Hour Students
a poem for my English students
By Mindy M. Wara

I welcome their questions like long lost cousins,
growing their critical minds
like festering science projects, mutating with every fresh variable.
I want to crawl into their brains and see what they see.
Am I making a difference?
Am I getting through?
Do they know they make a difference in my life?

He rolls his water bottle back and forth, back and forth.
She discretely texts under the table, her keypad memorized.
He pokes once, twice, “Garrett, stop,”
gain, once more, “Garrett.”
Multitasking with books open and ear buds thumping,
so loud I can feel the music from across the room.
Confessions walk into the classroom,
“My book is in the car.”
Interrogations take their seats,
“Can I turn my discussion questions in tomorrow?”

“Moist” litters the board.

 

(***My students know how much I hate the word “moist” and they would come in and write it all over the board before I arrived in the morning.)

Liebster Award – Ashley, You’re Swell

I am pleased to post that I recently was awarded the reader nominated Liebster Award. Awards such as this are a wonderful way to show fellow bloggers that you appreciate their work and it is great to be appreciated. Thank you to Ashley at Everything Is Blooming for nominating me!
If you aren’t following her, you are really missing out.


The following are some questions Ashley requested I answer as part of my acceptance of this award:

  1. Are you a dog or cat person? Why?
    I have always been a cat person, not only a cat person, but a black cat person. Growing up, we always had dogs. Everyone in my family has been very attached to all of these pups, but the only one I ever had a strong connection with was Dutchess – a mutt my dad surprised us with while I was in middle school. She had a great temperament, was smart and patient enough to learn tricks, and was great around children. Earlier this month she had to be put down because her arthritis had gotten so bad. At 12 years old she could no longer support the weight of her body long enough to get outside. I got to say good bye to her while Jason and I were visiting Wisconsin this past winter. She wasn’t put down until February, but I knew it was good-bye. I smothered her with love and gave her extra treats. She was the only dog that was my dog. Anyway, other than Dutchess, my pets have been black cats. My birthday is on Halloween, so somewhere along the line I must have decided I had to have only black cats. My black cats: Binx, Mischief, Maria, Joey, Henri, Sheldon (who is black and white), Barney, and Penny. Just to clarify that I am not the archetypal cat lady, I do not currently have 8 cats running around my apartment. Binx had long hair and boxed with me if I had on oven mitts and ran away when I was in middle school; Mischief was my ugly little runt with a deformed nose that my brother and I snuck into the truck in my deep overall pockets when my dad and sister picked out a beautiful calico barn cat to bring home; Maria, Joey, and Henri were kittens that a friend of a friend found behind her boyfriend’s parents’ cabin (did you follow that?). We took them in when we lived in our first college apartment and couldn’t decorate our Christmas tree because the cats climbed it. Now Maria and Joey live with my friends other friend and my mom fell in love with Henri while cat-sitting and wouldn’t give him back; Sheldon belonged to me and my ex-fiancé and is the only cat on this list that was black and white. He now lives with my aunt and uncle, who also fell in love with him and decided to keep him; Barney was the first cat Jason has ever had and the first pet we adopted together. He can sit, shake hands, fetch, and takes walks; Penny is Barney’s new baby sister who probably won’t grow beyond the size of a large kitten. We recently adopted her after moving to Canada. She has a little tuft of white hair on her chest and constantly purrs for no reason. So – long story long – I am a cat person.

dutchess kitties

  1. Growing up, what was your favorite cartoon/show?
    To start: I still love cartoons – my husband and I watch Young Justice on weekend mornings while we eat our cereal. However, this is not about the cartoons I watch as an adult who is closer to 30 than 20, this is about my childhood favorite. I was obsessed with the Power Rangers (for any young readers, these were the original Americanized Power Rangers, and as far as I am concerned, they are the only ones worth watching). I never noticed the dubbed voiced or terrible acting. I did drool over Billy the blue ranger (of course, I knew in kindergarten that “my type” was nerdy glasses wearing scientists). Not only did I watch the show, I played Power Rangers in the backyard on our jungle-gym  while kicking my sister in the chest like she was a putty – poor Megan… I was always Billy (don’t even get me started on Kimberly the pink ranger – she couldn’t defend herself and always needed Jason or Tommy’s help – therefore was never worthy of being a Power Ranger, but whatever, I am over it ←LIE), I wore boy’s Power Ranger sneakers and boy’s Power Ranger t-shirts, I slept with a 2-foot tall Jason the Red Ranger doll (I felt like I was cheating on Billy, but I got it for Christmas and Mom told me she couldn’t find the blue one), and I had a Power Ranger birthday party at Shakey’s (does anyone else from Oshkosh, Wisconsin remember Shakey’s?!). Of course there were others: TMNT, Arthur, The Magic School Bus, but The Power Rangers were the best.

billy

  1. If you could meet one fictional character, who would it be?
    If I had to choose just one (which is impossible!), I would choose to meet Barbara Gordon. I would, of course, come prepared for our meeting with questions about Batman, the batcave, Dick Grayson, Commissioner Gordon, Gotham, and her experiences as and Oracle. I would ask her how she felt about other girls becoming Batgirl while she was Oracle and how she dealt with it. I would ask her about starting the Birds of Prey and what she thinks it means to be a woman vigilante. I could definitely fall down the rabbit hole with this question – there are so many characters that I read about that become so real to me. I would love to meet them all.

bat

  1. What is your guilty pleasure?
    Facebook, Pintrest, and computer Solitaire. When I actually have the time to read, draw, craft, write – all the things I complain about never having time for – I find myself sucked into social media, pinning, and a mindless virtual game. I don’t even think I get that much pleasure out of it which is the annoying thing. Something I take much more pleasure in: shoe shopping. I have a serious shoe shopping addiction. I worked at Nine West Outlet as an undergrad and my shoe habit got worse. Most of my shoes are in my dad’s attic right now since we couldn’t have brought them all to Canada. All in all I have 200+ pairs of shoes.
    2013-02-28 19.11.14
  2. You’re forced to relocate immediately; Where would you choose to live?
    If I got the choice, I would pack up Jason, the kitties, the books, and the shoes and move to Cambridge, England. Of all the places I visited during my trip abroad, I loved Cambridge most. Though it is not a big city, there is a lot crammed into its cobble streets. Everyone bikes (which Jason would love), the architecture is beautiful, and summer days are breezy, not sweaty.
    cam
  3. Marry, Boff, Kill: Your first, second, and third romantic partners.
    Marry: Jason (clearly)
    Kill: Aaron (anyone that was there for this breakup knows this is the clear choice)
    Boff: Billy the blue ranger (a girl can dream, right?)
    us
  4. What was your first car?
    The Spiffy Mobile: A red flat-top Pontiac Sunbird that could really take a beating. This car went through hell since I was an extremely irresponsible teenager. It hit a van without a scratch, drag raced down country roads, provided me with a portable make-out spot, did doughnuts in gravel and on ice, and snuck me out of the house on more than one occasion.
    spiffy
  5. What’s your homepage?
    Google Chrome – my most visited sites (Facebook,  Wordpress, Gmail, Pintrest, Youtube, Google Drive, the website I watch New Girl on, and ModCloth) with a pretty floral background.
  6. Name two things other than your phone or computer you couldn’t live without.
    1. Books
    2. Shoes
  7. What is your favorite dessert?
    Tiramasu
  8. What are you currently obsessed with?
    Argo. Jason and I just went to see it at the budget theatre on Tuesday. I thought it was amazing! My fists were clenched and I didn’t dare get up to pee once throughout the entire movie. If you haven’t seen this movie – go see it. I drove Jason nuts in the car by talking about how great it was until we got home. Then I Googled it and found the real account of it on Amazon.
    Argo1

Since I accepted the Liebster Blog Award, here are the rules:

Rules for the Liebster Blog Award (if you choose to accept)
1. Add the award icon to your post.
2. Link in your nominator to say thank you.
3. Answer the questions the nominator has set for you, and create eleven questions for your own nominees to answer.
4. Choose eleven bloggers to nominate for the award, and let them know.

And the nominees are…

1. Sam of comicsonice for her work to create a community of female comic book readers.
2. Kyla of 180 Degrees in 365 Days for her incredible honesty about parenting.
3. Her name is not available on her blog, but the writer of Chubby Madness for her bravery to write about being chubby and okay with it.
4. Kelly of What’s She Laughing At? for her wit and sense of humor.
5. Gabi of GabiFresh for her fabulous sense of fashion and beautiful pictures.
6. The creator of Uncanny Adventures in Comic Costume Creation for her incredible costume designs.
7. Stephen  of Doodle Alley for his wonderful artwork and simple color palette.
8. Caitlin of The Siren’s Tale for her insight.
9. Karen of Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please for her ballsy attitude.
10. Latoya of Mental Notes for her beautiful poetic images.
11. The author of Little Miss Know It All for her interesting point of view.

My questions for my nominees (if they choose to accept) are as follows:

1. What is your dream job? Why?

2. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?

3. If you could have one superpower what would it be? What would you do first? Who (if anyone) would you tell about your ability?

4. What popular notion do you think the world is currently wrong about?

5. What is your favorite part of your body? Why?

6. What do you think people misunderstand most about you?

7. What 10 things do you hope to be remembered for when you die?

8. List 3 legitimate fears that you have and why these things frighten you.

9. If you had to eat only one food for the rest of your life, what food would you choose?

10. List 3 life events that shaped the person you are today.

11. Does the meaning of your name fit your personality? If you could change your name, what would you change it to and why?

Again, thank you, Ashley for this nomination and for being such an amazing writer. Please take the time to check out Ashley’s blog as well as the blogs of the writers I have nominated. They are all very talented and are well worth your reading time.

An Amateur Husband and Wife Comic Team?

After enveloping ourselves in comic books in a pretty big way, Jason and I decided to start working on a comic of our own. Jason has a great idea for a character and the over arching idea for the story. We will be co-writing it and I will be doing the artwork. This weekend, I got a new sketchbook and started researching how to create comics/webcomics.

We are nowhere near getting anything off the ground or getting a first issue established, but I have a few potential panels sketched for the first issue and have one panel mocked up using my drawings, Power Point, Paint, and a comics program I downloaded. I doubt anything will come of it for a while, but here is my attempt at the first panel.

panel1

If any readers create their own comics, please point me in the right direction. Any programs I should be downloading? Articles I should be reading? How to blogs?

Edit: After uploading my second and third panels, I feel like I like my own wiggly lines better than the CG ones I created in the above image.

panel1drawn

panel2

panel3

Poetic Response to Wallace Stevens

The poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird by Wallace Stevens is commonly used to teach poetry students how to analyze one thing in many different ways. Here is Wallace Steven’s poem and my poetic response from about a year ago. I am contemplating making longer poems based on a few of the ideas I had in my poetic response, Thirteen Ways of Looking at Rain.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Wallace Stevens

I
Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

II
I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

III
The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

IV
A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

V
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

VI
Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

VII
O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

VIII
I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

IX
When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

X
At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

XI
He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

XII
The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

XIII
It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

13 Ways of Looking at Rain

Mindy M. Wara

I

Calf-skin drums thump and hum

Menominee feathers

dance in prayer

II

A drop of disappointment lands on a child’s face

little league game

cancelled

III

Towering cumulonimbus bursts

the plump gray water balloon finally erupts

IV

A red ribbon flashes across a screen –

thunderstorms and strong winds

Waupaca Waushara Winnebago

V

Diagonal sheets drill the pavement

and ruffle trees against a muted backdrop

VI

Crack of lightning

crunch of roof timbers

collapsing under the oaken trunk

VII

Icing roads and glazing snow

coating the landscape in confection

proceed with caution

VIII

Bleeding into soil –

tulips stretch and yawn

awakening from their sleepy bulbs

IX

Prop up your umbrella just outside the door

peel off the yellow slicker

hang it up to dry

X

Drops race down the windowpane

following the jagged paths of their predecessors

XI

Air pressure changes

as fog lifts and clouds chase each other

to the next county

XII

Puddles bask in the sun

warming themselves

until they disappear

XIII

Breathe in deep – this is the stuff laundry detergent is made of

Bic Pens for Women

There are tons of articles on this subject out there and the Amazon.com reviews are hilarious. I was going to write more on this topic, however, I found that the folks over at feminist avenger have already done a hilarious job dealing with these lady pens. Enjoy!