Monday, February 12, 2018

Poetry Prompts: Habits and Routines

Click the image to view the book on Amazon

As 2018 began, I (like many people) began examining my habits and looking for ways I can improved. I'd been watching as a former student of mine posted photos throughout the past couple of years of her bullet journal. (If you're not familiar with bullet journals, you can read about them HERE.) After a bit of serious reflection, I came to a singular conclusion. 

I have no idea how to set goals.

I am really skilled at ACHIEVING goals, but they have rarely been goals I set for myself. They have been imposed on me by my parents, my teachers, and my bosses. When faced with setting my own goals, I have looked back to what was comfortable, what was familiar. I went back to school. I took a class online or at my local community college. 

I decided to start a bullet journal as a way to teach myself to set goals and create habits to help me achieve them. While perusing lots of bullet journal ideas on Pinterest, I came across a spread labeled "My Level 10 Life". It was colorful and graphic and piqued my curiosity, so I googled the phrase and discovered it originated in Hal Elrod's book "The Miracle Morning". 

Not one to believe in coincidence, I knew I had to get my hands on this book and read it. What I found there made so much sense to me and was written in a way that appealed to my current frame of mind. I am going to take a chance and give his method a try. 

The Prompt: What habits are ingrained in you? Are you building any new habits? What is your morning or evening routine? Is there a ritual that you practice that works for you? Write about your habits and routines and see where it takes you. There's bound to be poetry hidden somewhere in our routines!

Word Prompts:

Please share the link to your poem in the comments below. Or go ahead and post your poem. We're looking forward to reading your work.

I wish you words,
Amy McGrath

**Note: As I was hunting down the image for this prompt, I found a variation of Miracle Morning that is now next on my reading list. I'll share it here because some of you may also find it of use.

Click the image to view the book on Amazon

Monday, February 5, 2018

From the Heart

Every sixty seconds, the heart pumps almost five quarts of blood through the body. This hard-working, fist-sized, ten-ounce, blood-filled muscle has been romanticized by songs, poems, and expressions, and has become the universal symbol for love.

Heart references take on multiple meanings that reveal more about one’s temperament, mood, and behavior than about the physical heart.  The emotional side of the heart has become an integral part of our vocabulary.

She was there in a heartbeat.
He has a heart of gold.
You’re all heart.
We had a heart-to-heart talk.
I had my heart set on it.
Have a heart!
Cross your heart?
I love you with all my heart. 

Heart of hearts; heartbroken; heartfelt; change of heart; heartrending; heart throbbing; heartened; fainthearted; pure of heart; cold-hearted. 

Historically, the heart has played an important part in the beliefs of many cultures.  In ancient times, the Chinese related it to the center for happiness. The Greeks were convinced it was the seat of the spirit.  And, though no one is certain of the precise origin of the heart’s association with love, the Egyptians believed that both intellect and emotions originated from the heart.

Poetry Prompt:
Write a poem that uses the heart as a metaphor or symbol. And/Or tell a story of love. Include some of the heart references above if you wish. You may even want to present your poem to your Valentine.

Suggested Form:
From Shadow Poetry, try a Constanza, which was created by Connie Marcum Wong.
"Five or more 3-line stanzas. Each line has a set meter of eight syllables. The first lines of all the stanzas can be read successively as an independent poem, with the rest of the poem weaved in to express a deeper meaning. The first lines convey a theme written in monorhyme, while the second and third lines of each stanza rhyme together.

Rhyme scheme: a/b/b, a/c/c, a/d/d, a/e/e, a/f/f.........etc."

Click here for examples.

It would make our hearts sing if you share the link to your poem in the comments below. Or, if you'd prefer, post your poem in the comments. We're looking forward to reading your work. With all our hearts.

~ xoAnnis ~

Annis Cassells is a writer, poet, life coach, and teacher.  She divides her time between Bakersfield, California and Coos Bay, Oregon. She is a member of Writers of Kern, a branch of the California Writers Club. See Annis’s blogs at and and her website at

Monday, January 29, 2018

Once in a Blue Moon

We have all heard and undoubtedly used the expression, "once in a blue moon" to signify the rare, unlikely or even absurd.   I was however disappointed to discover that the moon does not typically take on cerulean glow.  Well...Unless there happens to be a volcanic eruption leaving the sky full of large dust particles that refract red light making the moon appear blue (there were reports of blue moons caused by the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980)

The second full moon in a month, referred to as a "blue moon" occurs every two to three years.

This month however we are treated to a rare lunar event...

a super blue blood moon...

"A rare celestial event will grace the skies during the coming week when a blue moon and lunar eclipse combine with the moon being at its closest point to Earth, resulting in what is being called a “super blue blood moon”.

The trifecta will take place on 31 January and will be best visible from the western hemisphere. The last time the three elements combined at the same time was in 1866

A “super blue blood moon” is the result of a blue moon – the second full moon in a calendar month – occurring at the same time as a super moon, when the moon is at perigee and about 14% brighter than usual, and a so-called blood moon – the moment during a lunar eclipse when the moon, in the Earth’s shadow, takes on a reddish tint."

*Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd

So will this bring out the wild ones who frolic in the burnished glow?  Or will the Orb tickle the muse's fancy and run amok with her frilly unmentionables?   

One thing that is sure to happen, and only happens once in that proverbial blue moon - both star and cell phone gazers alike will not be able to resist watching the sky.


Take a few moments to look at the full moon in a few days, watch the eclipse if you can.  Let the earthshine inspire some words...  


Peruse the lunar glossary for some terminal inspiration

Moon Glossary

Word Prompts:

Blue Moon
Blood Moon

Please share the link to your poem in the comments below. Or go ahead and post your poem. We're looking forward to reading your work.

Jenny Astramowicz is a writer, poet and aspiring wellness coach.  She resides in San Francisco where she works at the local university and trains for endurance events.  Her long term dream is to live in France with her two cats.
Not all who wander are lost...
#OctPoWriMo  #NaPoWriMo #NaNoWriMo #Poetsonthepage

Find her on  Google +  Twitter Instagram
You can read her poetry at


Monday, January 15, 2018

Poetry Prompt: "Well, That Didn't Go As Planned"

Image by kai Stachowiak on Public Domain Photos

I don't know about you, but the final weeks of 2017 and the first weeks of 2018 have been full of surprises! We were planning to move to a new space in February, but things happened very quickly and we had to move before Christmas. I also received a financial settlement this past week that I'd been waiting five and a half years for. I've also had several days where I made plans for myself only to find out my husband had made plans that included me.

The unexpected, the unplanned can affect us in different ways. We can sometimes get angry or upset that want we wanted didn't happen (or didn't happen as we envisioned). Or we can embrace the chaos as just a part of live, roll with it, and trust that the Universe is working in our best interest.

The Prompt:

What unplanned or unexpected things have happened in your life? How did you react/respond? What was the ultimate outcome? Free write for 10 minutes about the unexpected, unplanned things that have occurred and see what comes up.  Look back through what you've written and see if something appeared on the page that you didn't anticipate. (See what I did there?!?)  Turn something you find into a poem

Word Prompts:


I wish you words,
Amy McGrath

Monday, January 1, 2018

What Did You Actually Do?

Juneau, AK zipline bridge
Photo by Annis Cassells

It’s that time again. The time in our lives when we review the past year and evaluate how we did. Most often, we lament the things we didn’t accomplish. We can tick them off, especially if we dared to write “New Year’s Resolutions.”  Focusing on those things is a real drag.

As we begin the New Year, I invite you to recount the things you DID accomplish in 2017. Regardless of life getting in your way from time to time, I can imagine there are many successes. Make a list.

Maybe you fulfilled a dream or wish—or at least took action toward making it a reality. Maybe you undertook a new job or hobby, or finished a project. Perhaps you began taking even better care of yourself and now see a difference in how you feel or your “numbers” at the doctor’s office. Maybe you stepped outside your comfort zone and learned that it wasn’t so uncomfortable after all. Make your list.

This week’s poem suggestions:
  • Write your poem about a 2017 accomplishment (or several). 
  • OR make your list into a poem. 
  • OR free write “Though I didn’t _____, I _______ed” and find the poem within.

Word Bank Prompt:
In spite of

Photo Prompt:
Coos Bay, OR Prefontaine Memorial Run
Photo by Annis Cassells

Please share the link to your poem in the comments below. Or go ahead and post your poem. We're looking forward to reading your work.

Poetry Guide:
The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry

ISBN-13: 978-0393316544
ISBN-10: 0393316548

From the nuts and bolts of craft to the sources of inspiration, this book is for anyone who wants to write poetry-and do it well.
The Poet's Companion presents brief essays on the elements of poetry, technique, and suggested subjects for writing, each followed by distinctive writing exercises. The ups and downs of writing life—including self-doubt and writer's block—are here, along with tips about getting published and writing in the electronic age. On your own, this book can be your "teacher," while groups, in or out of the classroom, can profit from sharing weekly assignments. (

Annis Cassells is a writer, poet, life coach, and teacher.  She divides her time between Bakersfield, California and Coos Bay, Oregon. She is a member of Writers of Kern, a branch of the California Writers Club. See Annis’s blogs at and and her website at

Monday, December 25, 2017

Peace be with You

My happiest childhood holiday memories were of Christmas Eve at my grandparents house on Snake Pond.  Do not let the location  scare you - this place was filled to the rooftop with laughter and love all year round.  Yet on Christmas Eve, magic happened.  Family I had not seen for months all gathered in the parlor to drink cocktails (or hot chocolate in my case), exchange gifts and share stories which would leave the adults bent over in laughter and the kids scurrying about the plush carpet with new toys.  Eventually we would head downstairs for dinner - fish chowder, herring and homemade macaroni and cheese with crispy butter soaked croutons baked on top.  I would fight my uncle for the celery stuffed with cream cheese and my sister would slide under the table with our cousins to avoid having to try the fish.

But before heading downstairs to the feasting, my grandmother would bring out an envelope with white, sometimes pink wafers.  We would take one and make our way to everyone in the room, break off a piece from theirs, say "Peace be with you" and kiss on the cheek.  The wafers, Oplatki as they are called in Polish, tasted of sweet paper, melting in your mouth before you could chew it.  I was told it was the same as communion wafers (which the adults would have as part of the midnight mass capping off the evening).  Though to me, I thought of these as magic slices that kept our family together.

*From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

As time passed, the relatives moved further away and the traditions I grew up with dissolved like a wafter in the snow.  Now as an adult I craved something I could could call my own,  a tradition I hoped to share with my own chosen family.  This includes a bike ride up to the summit of Mount Tamalpais near where I live, peppermint hot chocolate on the way back and a delectable evening feast someplace with a view.

This warmed my heart (and truth be told, froze my toes) but I felt something was missing.  I wanted open my heart to those I cared for, to wish them peace and love.  So  I wrote the church my grandmother Sophie attended so many years ago to request an envelop of wafers which I hope to share.  And in my own way I have found a place of light, love and good tidings.


Take five minutes to remember your happiest holiday memory - where were you? What were you wearing? Who were you with?  What scent filled the air - Christmas tree?, warm mulled cider? your grandfather's cologne?  Write an ode to that memory.  Did your holidays not follow a traditional path? Write about what that meant to you, describe all the nuances that made it special or different.  If none of that tickles your fancy - describe the perfect holiday celebration as you would have it - no-holds-barred, this world, other world, what ever!  Go wild!  

Word Prompts:


May this time bring you laughter and joy however you celebrate it - Peace be with you.

Share your links to your poetry in the comments below.

Jenny Astramowicz resides in San Francisco where she works for the local university, trains for endurance events and writes.  Her long term dream is to live in France with her two cats.
Not all who wander are lost...
#OctPoWriMo  #NaPoWriMo #NaNoWriMo #Poetsonthepage

Find her on  Google +  Twitter Instagram
You can read her poetry at


Monday, December 18, 2017

Poetry Prompts - Fantasy Land

I really feel the need to create an alternate world, a vision of what might be magical and beautiful and fantastic about being human. ~Shary Boyle

Poetry Prompts - Fantasy Land
Art by Morgan Dragonwillow

My five year old granddaughter and I started talking about what an 'Emily World' would look like. She said that everything would be made out of candy except the trees would be made out of Brocoli and the grass would be made out of Twizzlers.

If you lived in a fantasy world, what would it look like?

Word Prompts:

polka dots

Poetry Ebook Spotlight

Aggravated Felon - Poetry to Liberate the Soul by Wendy Grela-M'Poko

Description from Amazon:

In this collection of poems, Wendy turns an experience that should have broken her spirit, into one that ended up setting her free spiritually. In the mist of deportation the only thing that really understood Wendy was The Pen and Paper.

When Wendy started utilizing the tools at hand something magical happened. What started off as an escape turned into a passion. Using words to bring to life colorful experiences from delicacy and wonder, to pure heartache. Wendy's poems are fearless and leave nothing unexplored, no words wasted.
This diverse collection stands on no equal ground with anyone else’s works, and establishes her as an important poet needed for this generation.
Sunny is here to bring back poetry!

Play with your words until you breathe life into them!

Share your links to your poetry in the comments below.

Morgan Dragonwillow, author of Wild Woman Waking & Dancing within Shadow, is a Bodywork transformer, dancing poet, motivator of words, magical instigator and creatrix of #OctPoWriMo & #PoetsonthePage. Collaborate with your soul and get your words on the page. Wild Woman Writing Retreat.
Yes, she is on Google+ too!