Thursday, July 3, 2014

Writer's Living Room (don't put me in a corner)

Why do I always see the expression "Writer's Corner"? I know it may be cozy to put yourself in the corner of a room to read, but my reading and writing takes up a lot more space than one corner.

In this larger space, I'd like to post prompts and discussion questions, and invite my readers to respond.  Please post an answer below. I approve all comments because of spammers, so be patient for your answer to appear, please.

Today I address this discussion question to writers:

Do you write with the audience in mind, or do you write for yourself to calm the Muse? 

There's writing because you must... and then there's writing "smart." By smart, I mean writing for a consumer audience in mind. It is "smart" to see what the current trends are--for example, vammpires (as long as there aren't TOO many vampire stories out there). It is "smart" to know what the school system is currently adding to their curriculum, and which books will garner awards-- for example, children's non-fiction stories.







Wynne,
From the Depths of Red Bluff

Friday, May 30, 2014

Gem Magnolia Tree: Life and Death and Dreams

Life and death and dreams live here... on this tiny, glossy-leafed 
Gem Magnolia tree.

                                Touched Magnolia

                              by Wynne Huddleston

         
I am a magnolia, reflecting the proud, the strong,
          the lovely South, all the way down to my Southern Belle
          roots, planted firmly in Baptist grit and Mississippi 
          mud. In the spring I cover myself
          in buds that bloom into creamy white 
          flowers between leaves, glossy green 
          on top; velvety underneath. Wanted for my beauty, 
          many attempt to touch me, and when they do,
          they bruise my delicate petals
          for I have no defense
          but to curl up, turn brown and ugly, 
          then wither away.




Sometimes you have to make your own miracle. 

Today is my birthday, but I woke up crying because I lost 2 sweet friends yesterday. Timmy died in a wreck a mile from my house. He was in my class, from 2nd to 11th grade. I even called him my boyfriend in 4th grade. I'd lost contact with him since school days (decades ago) until I saw him at visitation for Bruce, my former brother-in-law, who had suddenly died. Bruce was also in our class (our school was small, one homeroom per grade). Timmy and his wife had recently moved back here. He and Bruce were only 55 when they passed away. Neil is my sister's brother in law who was a grade ahead of me. He was special. He lived with his brother, who watched out for him. He had an innocent, giving nature. Neil died in his sleep, not a bad way to go, but he was too young, only 56. So here I was crying. Then I thought, isn't it selfish to cry? Am I crying for me? They are free spirits now. Wanting to keep them on earth is selfish. So, I got up and made coffee, and thought, the best thing to do in their memory is to LIVE.



I opened the curtains on my French doors, to let in the sun, and saw my baby bluebirds flying from the junior sized oak tree I'd planted after Katrina (along with 2 different lightning strikes over the years) took my only big old oak. But I digress… 
These little bluebirds had left the nest their mom had built in my yellow bird house. 

My birthday magnolia!
I walked into the front yard and saw that finally, after all these years of wanting, here was the most lovely magnolia, my favorite flower, for my birthday. The bloom was fully open. (Sometimes you have to make your own miracle; last year I bought myself a Gem magnolia and planted it.)


Here is an old, brown bloom that will soon fall off the stem; and here are many more buds ready to open. Unseen, are many more flowers that only exist in dreams and imaginings for now, 


The bloom I cut is on the right.
and here is the young bloom I cut to put in a vase yesterday. The one on the tree is much more beautiful.

Life and death and dreams live on this one tiny, glossy-leafed Gem Magnolia tree. Enjoy today, the present, the now—it's all we truly have. Don't live in past regret, don't put off to the future, hoping to do that thing you want to do "one day." 

Buddhists wisely advise, Be mindful. Live in the present. 

The Bible says, Be still, and know I am God. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

National Poetry Month Ideas

Teachers can find great ideas for teaching students poetry, beautiful art (like butterflies) made from poetry pages, an onomatopoeia and acrostic ideas, poem in a pocket, book binding and more... all on my pinterest board, Poetry Art, Poetry Ed for Children. I have to find time to do these!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Publishing a Poetry Book

From the Depths of Red Bluff


I know I've neglected my blog dear readers, but it's been the BUSIEST year of my life and only one thing is finished, one BIG thing... my first book! I haven't released the Kindle version yet, but will after I finish with my National Board Professional Teacher Certification. It's a MAJOR ordeal!

My first Book Signing will be on April 26 at the Mississippi Poetry Society's Spring Festival at Comfort Inn & Suites, Starkville, MS. Hope you can make the festival!

You can find my book, From the Depths of Red Bluff is now on Amazon just in time for National Poetry Month! As soon as I find out how and have time it will be on Kindle! I'm not trying to make a lot of money (as if poets could), I just want to share my poetry and hope it touches someone.

If you are thinking of publishing a book, please read my helpful advice here.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Poetry Contests/Submissions

Click here for a great list of poetry contests with NO FEE.

Calls for submissions for poetry and fiction may be found a NewPages.

Search for particular states at Poets&Writers!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall Music Workshops

I attended two workshops already this fall-- Artie Almeida's wonderful workshop was the first one, held at St. Joseph School in Madison, MS. Joey and Andrea Coleman were in charge, they are the head of the Orff society in our area We were so excited to get awesome Artie here! We learned a lot of great activities with drum sticks, using large cans with foam pads, and circle songs with beat buddies (stuffed animals). My favorite one was Brown Bear, Brown Bear where each child in the circle has a turn to sing the answer to the question "What do you see?" with their animal singing the name of the animal next to them.


This is us shooting little plastic frogs into the "pool" on the song Five Green and Speckled Frogs. Children love to combine play with songs!

me and Artie


A little Mallet Madness with Artie.

 Dancing Drum Workshop

I learned to play the djembe hand drum, BOOM bah and the Djun-djun with sticks. These are West Africa instruments. We did dances, claps, and the drums to character education songs in Drumming Up Character. I'm so excited our counselor, in charge of the PBIS (Positive Behavior in Schools) curriculum is going to order the program for me! It has a dvd and complete character ed instruction. I will teach the song and dances. The kids will love it and learn a lot about good character in the process!

The drum circle included the "tick-tock" blocks and maracas. It was so much fun and I think the kids would love it! I hope to find some money via a grant. I don't know how or where, but I bet it would make a big difference for some kids.


Steve giving us instruction.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday's Small Beauty, July 9, 2013



 
Tuesday’s Small Beauty


This cutie certainly qualifies as a small beauty.

Photo by Wynne Huddleston

Very early one morning I dreamed about a yellow bird and its baby. The next morning I saw my dream becoming reality. Although my dreams often do come true... it still gave me a strange feeling. If only I could harness this ability which seems to come and go... for instance, I was staring at my ceiling stain from where my AC unit in the attic leaked last year and guess what? Hours later it was leaking again... more on this later. Back to the yellow bird dream:

The bird has a string, like a clothesline wrapped around its neck. I unwind it, but the bird still sits there in a tangle of straw. Finally I say, I'm trying to save your life--get off! It looks at me and says, I'm trying to save my baby! I pick it up and it has underneath it, in its claws, a baby bird. I don't know what to do with them. I set them on the ground, but I'm afraid a mean bird nearby will get them. I move them, a white rabbit appears, I move them again. They seem to be okay and I wake up.

Injured bird? Where its tail? Fuzzy crown on head...
Photo by Wynne Huddleston




Photo by Wynne Huddleston

















The next day I look outside and see a yellow bird flying around a baby bird on my back patio door step. I run to get my phone to take a picture. I get really close, but scare it, and it hops off onto the ground. The mother I presume, is flying around with her mate. Oh, no, I think, she won't be able to find her. I try to shoo the tiny bird back; it can't fly, but hops... toward me! I start to pick it up, but I'm afraid I'll hurt it. I try to get a pic of the mom and lose baby bird. I don't know where it is...

I'm wondering now if this is the bird I saw in an opening in the brick by the AC pipe outside and if when they cleaned the "LINE" it decided to move. Or maybe my dream was making a pun on "line" as in a line of poetry... hmm.




It's a Carolina wren! I found a pic almost exactly like this one! http://www.andrewclem.com/Archives/2005/05/11wb.html
The description fits the mom, too. White eyebrows, pale yellow breast, gray/brown back and wings.. They say they stay on the ground while learning so I guess it's supposed to be there. I believe the dad was in a nearby tree next to a bush that I had been trying to weed muscadime, blackberries, honeysuckle and a bunch of other junk out of. Apparently they like brush piles, and the berries, so I guess I will leave it alone. They may even build in your potted plant! The male and female pair for life, how sweet! The male builds several nests and the female chooses which she prefers, lol! The male Carolina Wren can sing up to forty different songs – up to 3,000 times in a single day! The male in my yard, I guess this one's dad says, Germany, Germany Germany! And Teakettle-teakettle. You can listen here.

I sure will watch where I step from now on. It's no bigger than a baby frog, and the color camouflages it!

Hop,
       hop...
            flop,
     stop.




Come on, take wing,

Tiny little thing.
Your daddy is calling, 
Germany, Germany, Germany
and telling your mom to get 
the Teakettle, Teakettle!

 Don't you want to get out of this grassy place?

                                                                                    He tries, but falls
                                                             
                                               flat on his face...

.   

Carolina Wren

UPDATE!!! Mama decided to move in the birdhouse my youngest son and his wife gave me for Mother's Day : )
It's near my garage, so every time I come out she starts fussing at me, lol!




Now I can't get the song Yellow Bird out of my head... 



About Me

My Photo
Wynne Huddleston is a poet, musician and teacher. Her first book of poetry, From the Depths of Red Bluff, ISBN: 978-0-9840483-2-8, published by the Mississippi Poetry Society, Inc., is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Ms. Huddleston is the Mississippi Poetry Society 2014 Poet of the Year. Her poetry has been published in numerous publications including the Birmingham Arts Journal, Camroc Press Review, Stymie Magazine, Danse Macabre, Orange Room Review, New Fairy Tales Anthology, Ink, Sweat & Tears, and Four and Twenty. Her poem, Same Stars, Different Houses received a Pushcart Nomination from Deep South Magazine. Awards include the 2013 MPS Award, and Winner of the Grandmother Earth National Contest 2010 for Environmental Poetry. Ms. Huddleston was born in Lone Star, Texas, but has lived in Mississippi most of her life. She has been an elementary music teacher for 25 years, and has 2 grown sons, and 2 grandchildren. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984048324/

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