Writing Prompt

A few weeks ago, I attended Poets at Play and the proctor provided a writing prompt.  I didn’t follow the prompt that day, but decided to try it out while I was relaxing at the beach the following day.  I’ve listed both the prompt and my poem below 🙂

The Prompt:
Make a list of the following things and include them in your poem

  • 3-4 colors
  • 3-4 sounds
  • 3-4 flavors
  • 3-4 parts of the body
  • 1 factual statement
  • 1 command
  • 1 thing you lost
  • 1 particular question
  • 1 abstract question
  • several locations
  • several objects
  • 1-2 living creatures
  • 2-3 kinesthetic adjectives

My Poem

I arrived at Seacliff Beach
in my metallic baby blue minivan,
dressed in a neon pink shirt,
a flapping lavender skirt,
and modern happy black sunglasses.
I can’t stop… dancing to the music.

Birds chirping in the sky,
dolphins swimming in the ocean.
The scent of smoked sausage
drifts in my nostrils
and I can’t stop
popping flaming hot
cheetos into my mouth.

My big toe caresses the sand.
I am writing a poem at the beach,
sitting in my camping chair,
tapping my knee cap
as visions of the past
drifts into mind.

“What time is the turkey done?”
my grandparents asked
over the loud hum
of the refrigerator
as I stood on the balcony
eating mint chocolate chip
ice cream,
watching the dog’s leash
get caught on the tree trunk.

A fly buzzed by
my ear lobe just then,
just like the time
at Levi’s Stadium.
I was so distracted,
I hit my funny bone
and dropped my nachos.

Nothing was as bad
as discovering bed bugs
in our room
on the cruise ship
and hearing the fast
of high-heeled shoes
on the dock
every hour, every night,
more annoying
than the loud rev
of a Harley engine starting.

Is my sanity worth more
than human compassion?

A tangent of images,
a tangent of thoughts
based on a list of words.
Maybe it’s time…
to leave the beach.


  • Please note that majority of events and locations (other than me writing at the beach) are entirely fictional.

Never write for anyone, always write for someone

While browsing through Netflix today, I came across a wacky Netflix original movie called “Girlfriend’s Day.”  It’s the story of a greeting card writer who suffered from a divorce and lost his touch.  In the midst of it, he then lost his job and somehow got involved in a murder all because Girlfriend’s Day became an official holiday.  The one thing I got out of the movie was this beautiful quote, “Never write for anyone, always write for someone.”  It really resonated with me as a writer and definitely applies to greeting cards and poetry.

edding Greeting Cards

Happy Belated Birthday, Whisperings!

October 15th marked the 1 year anniversary of the Whisperings Publication.  Within the year, I had 3 official readings, some guest readings, and a Kindle Publication.  It’s been a fun journey and I’m excited to pursue new adventures!

“Everyday someone is perched on the seat,
pen in hand, digging into the mind,
waiting to release
passions of time.”


Tips for Writing

I came across a quote that a friend posted on Facebook today and thought it was a really cool analogy for writing.

Writing is a muscle. Smaller than a hamstring and slightly bigger than a bicep, and it needs to be exercised to get stronger. Think of your words as reps, your paragraphs as sets, your pages as daily workouts. Think of your laptop as a machine like the one at the gym where you open and close your inner thighs in front of everyone, exposing both your insecurities and your genitals. Because that is what writing is all about.

To read the entire guide to writing, check out this post: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/the-ultimate-guide-to-writing-better-than-you-normally-do

Swirls and Stars

Are you poetically inclined
to change my mind,
with words and phrases
and changing phases –
Winter, spring, summer, fall,
life, love, sadness and all?

To laugh, to cry,
to laugh and cry,
to fail, to try,
to try and fail.

It’s bittersweet
when nothing remains
as you cringe in pain
in the pounding rain,
bleeding in shame,
wondering what
you had done wrong.

Too short
to find happiness,
long enough
to cherish memories.

Loving pain,
hating love,
needing both.

The oxymoron
where shadows mix
with sunlit rays.
Metaphors and similes
don’t change a thing.
Touch my life.
Yeah, right.

I know the truth,
hidden deeper
and deeper
in my mind,
reflected in
your sparkling eyes,

a heart-shaped
above your lips,
whispering words
of comfort,
to cover thoughts
of pain.

Yes, I know.
Are you still
poetically inclined
to change my mind?

A Jumble of Words

A jumble of words
in my mind
that don’t come together
in a rhyme.

Searching and searching
for that single theme,
struggling and struggling
for a rhyme scheme.

Looking and looking
for the meaning,
but the structure and style
seem to beguile me.

Trying hard
to sort it out,
I still don’t know
what it’s about.

Metaphors and similes,
recordings of reality,
imagintation and fantasy,
emotions and expressions
of my creativity.

Just words on paper,
how hard could it be?
As you can read,
not very hard, indeed.

A Review of The Reporter & The Girl

I embarked on an adventure the summer after my college graduation by participating in a Summer Service Learning Program in China where I met a broad range of students from all over the US.  Among one of them was a smart, witty girl that attended school in Florida.  She was quirky, funny, and a little bit of a nerd, but most of all, she had a gentle, compassionate soul.  Little did I know that one day she would become a famous blogger and a published writer.

I am proud to call S.C. Rhyne my friend.  Her blog and debut novel The Reporter & The Girl (Minus the Super Man!) has become a guilty pleasure for many readers.  The story follows the life of a quirky girl (Sabrien) and her insensitive love interest (Jon) as they struggle to find their sense of self and the courage to express their love for one another.  What makes this story stand out from many others is the raw emotion expressed by the characters.  The quirky characters are brought to life and made so real that s/he could be your friend, your brother, your sister, your coworker or even yourself.

The first phone conversation that Jon and Sabrien had was not love at first talk.  In fact, it was anything but romantic.  The reader starts to wonder what Sabrien even sees in Jon.  From the very beginning, Jon becomes an anti-hero that you sort of love to hate, but occasionally root for.  He is the typical jerk that women hope to change.  Sabrien isn’t perfect either, she is strong, independent, and stubborn.  Yet she is also afraid to be vulnerable.  It is in this setting that the two awkward lovebirds find comfort in each other.

The reader follows their journey of random conversations, awkwardly-funny-erotic love-making scenes, and personal insecurities.  While they are an unlikely couple, the reader can’t help but hope they will end up happily ever after.  Because after all, there is a little bit of Sabrien and Jon in each and every one of us.  The moments where they fall in love, attempt to confess their love, and fail miserably at communicating are universal trials that every couple goes through, and S.C. Rhyne is a master of making moments come to life.

If I were to sum up the story and relationship of Sabrien and Jon, it would be with this quote (supposedly by Robert Fulghum) “We’re all a little weird, and life’s a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

The Reporter & The Girl

Excerpt from The Touching of Souls

The cool thing about doing Winter Cleaning is discovering bits of yourself that you had forgotten about.  While cleaning and reorganizing files on my laptop, I came across this short story I wrote back in 2006.  I particularly liked this part of the story, and thought I’d share it with you.  I hope you enjoy it.

Excerpt from The Touching of Souls

Outside his apartment, she had thrown her arms around him in an endearing embrace as he wrapped his arms around her tiny waist.  Standing on her tippy toes, they shared a tender kiss.  It didn’t matter where they were or who was watching, she was literally swept off her feet.  As they pulled apart, Kelly’s fingers lingered on his shoulders, slowly sliding down his arms, and finally resting in his hands.  She swung their hands together side to side, as she slowly looked up at him with her glistening eyes.

“So this is goodbye?” she asked.

“Yeah,” he said, a little hoarse.  She looked down at the cement pavement, letting the words echo in her mind.

“Can’t we make this work?  I want to visit again.  I want to make more memories with you,” she beckoned.

“I miss you too much.  It hurts when I barely get to see you,” he replied.

“Once a month,” she said, offering a false grin.

“Is not enough,” he finished, “We should see other people … people that are much closer to us.”

Kelly bit her lips, slowly letting go of Ryan’s hands, feeling empty as her fingertips touched the open air.  Straightening her back, Kelly walked towards her car.  She was about to open the door when Ryan grabbed her hand and swung her into his arms, once again.  She could smell his cologne, a smell she couldn’t describe, but one that she would never forget.  It was the smell of Ryan.

Kelly snuggled against his chest as he gently laid his chin on her head.

“I’ll miss you,” he whispered.

Kelly said nothing, hugging him closer, listening to his heart beat.  Finally she pulled away.  Before getting in the car, Kelly turned around and said, “I love you, in a sense.”

Ryan looked into her eyes and gave her a sad smile, “I truly liked you,” he replied, “and always will.”

Kelly backed the car out of the driveway, suppressing the tears from flowing out.  As she drove off, the image of Ryan leaning against the open doorway of his apartment, expressionless, was implanted in her mind.