Most reading this will have heard of NaNoWriMo, which is short for National Novel Writing Month. It takes place every November, and I'm thinking about it this year because my 9th grade daughter, who went off to high school and promptly joined both newspaper staff and creative writing club (*fist pump YES*), has announced that she will be writing 50,000 words this month. This is something like 1600 words a day, for a final novel similar in length to The Great Gatsby or Slaughterhouse Five.
Although Daisy allowed me to participate in plotting her novel (for which
she has a pretty cool concept), there's no way I could commit to that goal
myself. I have, however, twice attempted to write one poem per day for the
month of November--once mostly successfully and once not at all. For many of
you poetry bloggers, a poem a day is no big thing--you do it all the time as a
matter of habit. But for me it requires a lot of discipline, and since my
teaching life at the moment requires even more discipline, and since
fundamentally I'm not a very self-disciplined person, committing to try for one
PoPerDay for a month is a big deal.
I'm going to go in, inspired by Laura Shovan's novel-in-verse project, with the plan of
writing all the poems from inside a classroom, which might just coincidentally
be mine. I also might cheat by reusing poems I've already written since the
start of the year. And if my undisciplined mind suddently writes a completely
unrelated poem, I'll allow it and worry about connecting it or cutting it
later. I'm pretty sure MyPoPerDayMo will be an unlovely rag of a thing, but it
will be 30 poems instead of 5 or 6, and that's always worth doing, right?
The Other Kind of Toast
My mask hurt my nose.
The parade was long.
Back in the class the table was longer!
Plates with cupcakes, cookies, grapes!
But we couldn't eat yet--hands in laps.
The teacher made us toast.
"To the Fearless Frogs!" we all said.
We bumped our cups--GENTly, GENTly--
we didn't spill a drop.
"Cheers!" we said, and then we drank.
Then Angel said, "To Halloween!"
And Jashawn said, "To loose teeth!"
Camilo said, "To Ms. Friedrich's Class!"
"Salud!" "Chin-chin!" and "Prost!"
And then we got to eat.
HM Nov 2013 draft
*Fearless Frogs doesn't come close to Mighty
Minnows, but it's best I can do for now/ Also please see Frederick by Leo Lionni.