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Below are the 7 most recent journal entries recorded in A Little Ambition's LiveJournal:

Monday, September 10th, 2007
11:32 am
[greeniezona]
Week Two: Words
So that no one gets maxed out on any particular style of assignment, I'm going to alternate between poetry books that I have and other sorts of inspiration. I would like to encourage all of you to reply to this message if you have any assignments that you found inspiring in the past, or things you would like to try. Because this shouldn't be an all-greenie show. :)

Anyway, this is taken out of poemcrazy:

Practice:
Write words down. flap tip lob. elope. scrounge.
Look around and steal some words. Lamborghini. Jute. Wombat.
Go ahead and make up a word. Losoonie. Flapoon. Noplat.
Be sloppy. Don't think. You can't make a mistake, there aren't any wrong words. Phantom strut tumble porch. Dragoon.
Don't worry too much about meaning for now. Words carry meaning along with them. Put words down and meaning will begin to rush in.
Give each word a color. Vermilion regret.
List the senses and give each sense a color. Peach hearing.
Toss in words from foreign languages. Ciao.
Go for sound: hum, fizz, fiddle, fandango, zigzag, ziggurat, folderol, armadillo. Tintinabulation.
Collect field guides. I often bring an insect, rock or butterfly book to workshops and we list words like window winged moth, globular springtail or porphyry, a purple rock named for the Latin and Greek word for "purple."
My friend Tom's Ford pickup repair manual is chock full of great words: luminosity probe, diesel throttle control tool, acceleration pump link, swivel, internal vent valve, choke hinge pin....
Look for a Magnetic Poetry Kit of words that stick to the refrigerator. My friend Arielle got a kit and told me, "Things just come out of you." She wrote about her family's twenty-one-year-old cat, Jumbo,
white puppy petal
you gorgeous milk fluff
sleep all day
lick tiny love from time
and dream


Poem Three
Write a nonsense poem. Use some of the made-up words and collected words from your list above. Your poem should be short, less than twenty lines, and make sense to no one but you. (And maybe not even you!)

Poem Four
Pick one of the memories from the previous assignment that you haven't written about. Write about it in any way that you see fit, but include at least one word that you have made-up, or a word that is included not for its meaning, but for the way that it sounds.
Friday, September 7th, 2007
9:26 pm
[oddlystrange]
for Bernie
There was a bolt under the maroon plastic cover
a direct connection to Princess Leia from a Ford Granada
Traveling at slight speed through the grain.

Kansas this time. It is flat and gold.
We’re heading to the Fritze family plots.
They’re not my relatives.

My rocket ship is crowded with tokens of the continental divide.
I’m slowly squeezed closer and closer to the window.
I can’t find my crayons.

It is summer again. We are burning dinosaurs.
How many hours? I’m not sure. I don’t ask. I never asked.
I’m too busy mixing landscape and plot.

New Mexico or Mars. Sleepy Beauty in Denver.
I imagine large beasts chewing up rocks.
Spewing them from hilltops, and painting funny signs.
We camp under skies that streak with firelight.
I am not a girl for the tropics, it seems.

Year after year, reaffirmed. Wanderlust,
a nice German word. Standing in Kansas, in a cemetery, not knowing
how short a time we’d spend puttering through the universe.

Current Mood: nervous
Thursday, September 6th, 2007
12:13 am
[greeniezona]
whoops -- rule clarification
Well, I guess it wasn't clear last week what the guidelines were. That, plus my generally being behind on my email (and thus comment notifications) and having a big retreat last weekend, meant that nothing got cleared up before now. Sorry about that. I'm hoping once we get this ball rolling, it will all go much more smoothly.

But here's what it seems like everyone agreed to previously:

The assignment goes up Monday.

People can post their own poem at any time after that. That poem can be in response to one of the assignments, or something totally different, as long as it is current.

Submissions are strongly encouraged to be posted by Friday, so that people can have the weekend for feedback.

Clear as mud?

Comment if you thought it was something different, or if you think this won't work for you.
Monday, August 27th, 2007
10:25 am
[greeniezona]
Week One: Memories
Preparing to write:
In your notebook, word processor, or wherever you are choosing to write your "assignments" for this community (for ease, I will just say notebook in the future), write a few words or phrases that correspond to each of the items in the list below. These are just for you, to refer back to in the next assignments.

1. Your earliest memory.
2. Building forts/treehouses/secret places as a child.
3. An incident that filled you with dread.
4. A time when you were really proud of someone close to you.
5. Your first crush.
6. Something you did as a child that was really dangerous.
7. Something that happened many years ago near a body of water.
8. A magical person in your childhood.
9. A childhood memory involving an animal.
10. A long trip in your parents' car.

Poem One:
Pick a memory from the list above that was a single incident, that can be told in a poem of no more than 35 lines. Concentrate on showing, rather than telling, opening the poem with action, rather than narration. Use vivid, expressive language, to keep the reader always eager to read the next line. In this poem, let the memory itself be the only structure, avoid the use of rhyme.

Poem Two:
Choose another memory or story that cannot be summed up in one incident. Maybe it's something that happened multiple times, or somehow encompasses a large period of your life. Whatever larger story you want to tell, choose a specific moment that can be used to frame it. Include that anecdote both at the poem's opening and conclusion. You may wish to use the following poem for inspiration:

The Tooth Fairy

They brushed a quarter with glue
and glitter, slipped in on bare
feet, and without waking me
painted rows of delicate gold
footprints on my sheets with a love
so quiet, I still can't hear it.

My mother must have been
a beauty then, sitting
at the kitchen table with him,
a warm breeze lifting her
embroidered curtains, waiting
for me to fall asleep.

It's harder to believe
they years that followed, the palms
curled into fists, a floor
of broken dishes, her chainsmoking
through long silences, him
punching holes in his walls.

I can still remember her print
dresses, his checkered taxi, the day
I found her in the closet
with a paring knife, the night
he kicked my sister in the ribs.

He lives alone in Oregon now, dying
slowly of a rare bone disease.
His face stippled gray, his ankles
clotted beneath wool socks.

She's a nurse on the graveyard shift.
Comes home mornings and calls me.
Drinks her dark beer and goes to bed.

And I still wonder how they did it, slipped
that quarter under my pillow, make those
perfect footprints...

Whenever I visit her, I ask again.
"I don't know," she says, rocking, closing
her eyes. "We were as surprised as you."

-- Dorianne Laux
Tuesday, August 21st, 2007
12:12 pm
[greeniezona]
modifications to guidelines
So, there weren't a whole lot of comments to the previous post of guidelines, should I assume that means that they are acceptable to everyone? If you have signed up for this community, please respond to this post, even if only to say "ok with me."

I would like to propose that we accept the previous guidelines, with one change, and one other possible change that I would like your input on.

The change I would like to propose is to require a minimum of five feedbacks each week. If our community gets larger, I don't want people to feel swamped by how much feedback they are asked to give.

Second. I was thinking of changing the assignment time to two weeks, to give more time to those who are busy. But I haven't decided for sure, because I also think that those who get behind can always catch up on doing the assignments on their own. And those who are writing each week shouldn't have to wait for the feedback. I would like your opinion on the time frame one way or another, even if it's just to say you're fine with it either way.

I'm quite excited about getting this project underway. I hope you are all still in!
Wednesday, June 13th, 2007
12:11 am
[greeniezona]
format proposal
Okay, so I've been thinking about this at least in the background pretty much all day. And now I have a more detailed structure to propose, and I would like feedback from all of you. I am open to any and all input.

Assignments (1-3) will be posted each Monday morning. These assignments will mostly be for writing poetry, occasionally there will be assignments for specific kinds of feedback.

Ideas for assignments should be emailed to me, so that only one person is posting assignments each week.

Each week, by Friday morning, every person is encouraged to post one poem. It can be one of the assigned poems or something entirely different, though it should be something you are currently working on, not a place to share old work. That means whether or not you actually completed all the "assigned" poems is completely up to you. In my mind, you all have a special little notebook in which you are completing these poems, then choosing each week one that is either your favorite or the one you would most like feedback on.

Before Monday morning, each person should read everyone else's submitted poem and critique them.

These are all of course, soft deadlines, but they are strong suggestions. Posting your submission after Friday morning will give other members less time to critique before they start thinking about the next week's poems. And finishing critiques after Monday will also start to interfere with the next week's poems. We will cap the community at 16 (or should it be smaller) so that the amount of work to critique won't get out of hand.

We understand that sometimes real life keeps you too busy for the internet. But if you find you aren't having time to finish critiques, please don't post. This is a workshop community.

While the assignments and poem submissions are limited, there are a number of things I would like to encourage you to post at any time:
quotes about poetry
poems about poetry/writing
information on poetry contests
calls for submissions
submission information for journals

Things that don't belong here:
Poems you wrote a long time ago, no matter how proud you are of them. (Unless there is a specific assignment or request)
Poems (not about poetry or writing) that aren't by you. Unless the poem you are submitting is "after" or significantly inspired by that poem, in which case it should be included in your submission post for that week as source information.

----------------

This may seem like an insane amount of structure to some of you, but I find that I do best with some structure, and from some of the comments in my journal, it sounds like I'm not the only one. But like I said, I am interested in your feedback on all this, and it's all open to revision.
Tuesday, June 12th, 2007
9:46 am
[greeniezona]
Assignment #1: Favorite poets
Help me fill out the interest list for this community! I would like everyone to respond with their three (or so) favorite poets, to be added to the a little ambition profile page.

Also, if you have any other ideas for interests or anything else that you think should be included on the profile page, let me know! I'd like this all to belong to you as much as to me!
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