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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The Writer's Challenge (NOT the FaithWriters Challenge) (06/10/10)

TITLE: Sparks of Imagination
By Yvonne Blake
06/15/10


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What beautiful evening! My husband and I lounge before a crackling campfire. The flames mesmerize me. I listen to the chirping crickets and gurgling stream. The night sounds put my mind into a creative mode. A log tumbles, and sparks dance upward into the night sky to join the stars. Ah! Personification!

Sparks dance upward to the sky
They turn this way and that…


Hmmm… I need something to rhyme with “sky.” My mind flips through its internal vocabulary list. ...shy, by, die, try, sigh, why, fly…FLY!

Sparks dance upward to the sky;
They spin around and upward fly.


No, I already used “upward.” …skyward? heavenward? spaceward?...sigh…Maybe I need to go another way.

Sparks dance upward to the sky;
Giggling, spinning—higher, higher!
Joining the stars in the dark sky…


I can do better than that. Couplets are too common. I’ll make an alternating rhyme pattern. What other word means “join?” ...mix, merge, mingle…

Sparks dance skyward—higher, higher!
Mingling with the starry host,
Giggling, spinning—specks of fire.
Jewels on the heav’nly coast.


That’s not too bad, but the lines don’t match in rhythm.

I count out the syllables on my fingers.

Sparks-dance-sky-ward-high-er-high-er


I need eight syllables. Are they iambic or trochaic? I can’t remember which is which.

Sparks dance skyward—higher, higher,
Twirling with the starry million,
Giggling, spinning—specks of fire.
At the universe cotillion.


Ah! Now we’re getting somewhere. I need to describe the ballroom now.

Gliding across velvet indigo,


What rhymes with “indigo”… show, blow, grow, arpeggio?

To the trill of the cricket arpeggio.


No, that has too many syllables.

Gliding o’er velvet indigo,
Waltzing to crickets’ arpeggio,


I like that! Now what else can I do? Maybe something about singing…

Evening birds sing a lullaby…


I’m back to the words that rhyme with “sky.”

Evening birds sing a lullaby;
Soft breezes whisper a gentle sigh.


Now, alternate them.

Gliding o’er velvet indigo,
Evening birds sing a lullaby;
Waltzing to crickets’ arpeggio,
Soft breezes whisper a gentle sigh.


ARGH! What a mess! I’ve got to rearrange those lines and fix them somehow.

Evening birds sing a lullaby,
Crickets chirping arpeggio,
Breezes whisper a gentle sigh,
Jewels waltzing on indigo.


Whew! That’s better. I really ought to write this down, but I’d have to find a pencil …and paper…which is in my bag…in the car. Let me go over what I’ve done so far.

Sparks dance skyward—higher, higher,
Twirling with the starry million,
Giggling, spinning—specks of fire.
At the universe cotillion.

Evening birds sing a lullaby,
Crickets chirping arpeggio,
Breezes whisper a gentle sigh,
Jewels waltzing on indigo.


Hmmm…what else can I add?

“Oh, look, Dear!” I nudge my husband. “There’s a full moon tonight.”

The glowing moon shines over all,
Ascends above dark silhouettes,
Majestic trees and waterfall…


Silhouettes is a great word, but it will be hard to find something to rhyme with it.

I close my eyes and listen to the night sounds.

It’s so peaceful. There’s a whippoorwill calling and an owl, too. It sounds like a duet. Hey! That rhymes with silhouette!

And owl and whippoorwill duets.


That stanza was easier. I’m getting pretty good at this! I really ought to write it down. If I say it over again and again, I’m sure I’ll remember it.

Sparks dance skyward—higher, higher,
Twirling with the starry million,
Giggling, spinning—specks of fire.
At the universe cotillion.

Evening birds sing a lullaby,
Crickets chirping arpeggio,
Breezes whisper a gentle sigh,
Jewels waltzing on indigo.

The glowing moon shines over all
Ascends above dark silhouettes,
Majestic trees and waterfalls
And owl and whippoorwill duets.


How should I end my poem?

“Honey! You’re blanket is burning!”

Jumping up, I throw the smoldering cloth on the ground. I stomp and thump and then GASP as icy water swooshes over me. I look at my husband standing before me with an empty pail. “What did you do that for?”

He grins at my dripping hair and plastered shirt and shrugs. “The fire’s out.”

I watch the last ember sputter and die at my feet.

“What were you thinking about anyway? Your mind was a million miles away.”

Hmmm…what was I thinking about?


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This article has been read 790 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 06/17/10
Oh boy, what a wet blanket, this poet is! lol. It was fun to get inside the mind of a poet. I don't have the patience to go through that torture:)Cute story/umm poem?
Joanne Sher 06/17/10
What a fun look at the creative process - and I KNEW that last line was coming, somehow. Creative piece.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/17/10
Absolutely lovely writing for the process of a poem--a challenge in itself, without a teasing husband.
Seema Bagai 06/17/10
An enjoyable, well-written piece. Loved the humor at the end.
Lori Othouse 06/18/10
Love the process and the humor! Oh, and the poem, too!!
Ruth Clowater06/19/10
Great poem/story, story/poem, story about a poem or ... whatever genre you have here!
Barbara Lynn Culler06/19/10
I knew trouble was ahead when she was not writing it down! Great piece!
Catrina Bradley 06/20/10
This is what goes on in my head too, and when I finally get that pencil, it has disappeared. Great entry!
Connie Dixon06/20/10
This is a perfect reason not to write poetry (although I think you did a great job with it). Just thinking of the process makes me want to take a nap!
Ann Grover06/20/10
Delightful! I could SO identify with being a million miles away . . . and burning something, more likely supper. . . and then losing it all in a moment. Well done!
Susan Montaperto06/20/10
Very enjyable campfire poetry. Thanks for sharing the creative process, even though it got a bit damp at the end. Keep writing.
mick dawson06/20/10
Must be one of your best poems!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/21/10
Oh and I always thought those poems came with ease. It was delightful. I so enjoyed the vivid picture of the husband throwing a bucket of water. Excellent through and through.
Colin Swann06/21/10
A really enjoyable and entertaining piece. Very creative indeed.
Linda Germain 06/22/10
We're 100% in tune on this one! (My brilliant ideas hit about 3 a.m. when I don't have a pen and I just KNOW I'll remember...HAH!) Loved this entry. :0)
Beth LaBuff 06/24/10
Gorgeous poem, Vonnie! Wow! I love the progression and your story around the campfire. Super congrats on your ribbon and Editor's Choice!!
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/24/10
Congratulations, Vonnie. I knew this one was truly special!
Nancy Sullivan 06/24/10
It's encouraging to see the familiar strategies used in rhyming and counting syllables. What a great and fun piece. Congratulations and God Bless. Nancy
Laury Hubrich 06/24/10
Yayayayaya! So proud of you. Was fun to see how your mind works when writing a poem! Congratulations on your EC!!!!
Kimberly Russell06/24/10
This was a fun read and helps me understand the whole poetry thing a little more (it's kind of like a foreign language to my brain). Congrats on your win!
Sara Harricharan 06/25/10
Heehee! This cracked me up--because I can relate, just a teensy bit. That's why my interpretation of "poetry" is buried for once in a blue moon. ^_^ Love it, Vonnie! The humor is so nicely done and the pacing is just right--congrats on your EC! ^_^
Helen Dowd 07/25/10
Very unique and refreshing! No wonder you were given a high rating and a second place ribbon. It was so easy to imagine one's self being there by the fire, while your mind was a gazillion miles away. What a great imagination...Thanks for sharing...Helen