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Making the Ordinary Extraordinary

As promised, I’ll be posting poetry writing prompts occasionally throughout April in celebration of National Poetry Month. Here’s one adapted from The Poet’s Companion by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux:


What do you do every day — or on a regular basis? Write a poem about showering, or jogging, or cooking, and so on. Try, in the poem, to get at the particular way you perform this activity, that might be different from someone else. 


Here’s a poem by Al Zolynas for inspiration:


The Zen of Housework


I look over my own shoulder
down my arms
to where they disappear under water
into hands inside pink rubber gloves
moiling among dinner dishes.


My hands lift a wine glass, 
holding it by the stem and under the bowl.
It breaks the surface
like a chalice
rising from a medieval lake. 


Full of the grey wine
of domesticity, the glass floats
to the level of my eyes.
Behind it, through the window
about the sink, the sun, among
a ceremony of sparrows and bare branches, 
is setting in Western America.


I can see thousands of droplets
of steam — each a tiny spectrum — rising
from my goblet of grey wine.
They sway, changing directions
constantly — like a school of playful fish,
or like the sheer curtain
on the window to another world.


Ah, grey sacrament of the mundane!

See Jane Tweet

On April 28 See Jane Write will present its second event: See Jane Tweet!


See Jane Tweet is a seminar designed to help women writers discover ways to use Twitter and other social media tools  to promote their work, connect with other writers, and get published. Our speakers, Erin Shaw Street and Kristen Record Heptinstall, will also teach participants more about digital branding. 


Erin Shaw Street (@erinshawstreet) is Associate Editor at Southern Living Magazine and board member of the Alabama Social Media Association (ALSOCME). She also has a thing for gold shoes. You can find her writing at http://www.erinstreet.com

Kristen Record Heptinstall (@kristenheptin) is Senior Producer for Social Media and Community at al.com, executive director of the Alabama Social Media Association (ALSOCME), and a Walt Disney World fanatic. She blogs at southernwebgirl.blogspot.com

See Jane Tweet will be held Thursday, April 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Matthew’s Bar & Grill. This event is free but you must RSVP by Tuesday, April 26 to attend. To be added to the participant list simply email me at javacia@georgiamae.com




See Jane Write presents See Jane Tweet
at Matthew’s Bar & Grill, 2208 Morris Ave. 
Thursday, April 28 at 6 p.m. 


6-6:30 p.m. — Networking (Time to grab some grub from the bar and mingle with other local female writers)
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. — Presentation (Erin and Kristen talk Twitter, digital branding and much more)
7:30 – 8 p.m. — Q&A session


Special thanks to our venue sponsor Matthew’s Bar & Grill. 

Not someday, do it now

Most of us have our someday speech well prepared, that list of reasons that explains why we aren’t pursuing our dream project now but will do it “someday.” I’ll write that book someday, but I can’t now because I don’t have enough time or enough talent. I’ll start that business someday, but right now I don’t have the money or the knowledge that I need to do it. 


If this sounds all too familiar take a few minutes to read “The Someday Speech”, a recent blog post by food writer Monica Bhide. She says sometimes we all need a “swift kick in the behind” to push us to fight for our dreams. Read this post and consider yourself kicked. 



April is National Poetry Month

In honor of National Poetry Month, I will post poetry writing exercises and prompts throughout April. 


Today try your hand at writing haiku in English. Inspired by the Japanese poetic form, a haiku in English is usually written in three lines with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second, and five in the final line. Japanese haiku usually include a season word, but many English-speaking poets writing haiku do not adhere to this convention.   

Below is one of my favorite English haiku by Sonia Sanchez:

i have caught fire from
your mouth now you want me to 
swallow the ocean

See Jane Write Launches!

Amy Bickers shares a laugh with Alexis Barton and Erin Shaw Street

Chanda Temple chats with Jann Robinson



I believe in sisterhood.

I truly feel a kinship with every woman and girl on the planet and this drives nearly everything I do. As an English teacher, published essayist, blogger and former full-time journalist, I am particularly passionate about empowering women through the written word. This passion motivated me recently to start See Jane Write, a networking group that will seek to enrich, support, and promote female bloggers, journalists, and creative writers in Birmingham, Ala.
Though I was born and raised in Birmingham, my journalism career was developed elsewhere so I had very few contacts to work with when I was struck with this idea. But I scoured publication mastheads, blogs and other websites searching for women writers to invite to join the group. On March 24, 14 women gathered for dinner at Cantina in Pepper Place for our first meeting. Cantina was unusually noisy that night and I worried the din of the restaurant would stifle communication. Most of these women had never met before this night and here I was expecting them to yell introductions to one another while their fish tacos got cold. But within minutes, and without a single awkward ice breaker game, our table was abuzz with conversation. Women were moving from chair to chair around the table exchanging business cards and making plans to get together for lunch. The conversations, however, went far beyond happy hour small talk. I witnessed two filmmakers in the group become fast friends as they discovered they also shared a love for music and several other interests. I joined conversations on topics ranging from coping with grief and managing illness to natural hair care and gold shoes; from the highs and lows of motherhood to the ins and outs of Twitter.
I took a moment looked around and saw excitement on the face of each woman there because each conversation always turned back to the sentiment of “Just do it!” That book you want to write, that film you want to produce, that blog you want to start – just do it! And I believe, or at least I hope, that in that moment each woman felt she could “just do it” not only because she had the talent and the skill, but also because she had the support of her sisters. 
For more information on See Jane Write, contact me, Javacia Harris Bowser, at javacia@georgiamae.com.

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