More Mythology

The past few months I have been working extensively on writing poems based on Greek mythology. Some will be used in my class instructionally and others will be for publication in my upcoming book (or both). In addition to my writing I also enjoy the dramatic arts and like to have kids perform my poems on  audio, video or both. The photo below shows a young actor I have worked with for the past few years modeling as the minotaur. As you can see, one of my poems accompanies it.

 

Min poem 2a

Visit my web sites!

http://www.wschoffpoetry.weebly.com

http://www.broadsidebill.weebly.com 

Twisted Poetry

I like to write twisted poems. Okay, not THAT kind of twisted, but twisted as in having a surprise ending, putting a character in a situation you would not normally find them in, or perhaps putting them in a very outrageous and/or embarrassing predicament. If you have looked at samples on my web sites you’ll know what I’m talking about.

For example:

A Hairy Predicament

 Last evening when I went to bed

my face was smooth and bare,

so you can’t imagine my surprise

when I awoke with facial hair!

It happened rather suddenly

and though it may sound weird,

somehow in the dark of night

I grew a mustache and a beard!

 

I’ll try to make the best of things

and accept this odd transition,

but these changes have now placed me in

a precarious position.

For though I look distinguished,

I’m in an awkward sort of mess.

This abnormal growth of whiskers

doesn’t match my brand new dress!

I guess this explains my enjoyment of things like Monty Python and Mel Brooks! We all need to laugh and not take life so seriously all the time.

Visit my web sites!

http://www.wschoffpoetry.weebly.com

http://www.broadsidebill.weebly.com

Inspiration, part III

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As a writer I’ve found that sometimes my interests inspire my poems and sometimes my poems inspire my interests.

One example of the former is that I have always had an interest in pirates and pirate history both real and fictional (long before and since Disney’s films!). As a result I have written a number of pirate themed poems. All, of course, with my own humorous twist! A few can be seen on my web site, http://www.broadsidebill.weebly.com, along with some kids performing them on video. Several have also been published in my most recent book, The Other Side of Normal as well. Also since I was a kid I’ve enjoyed monsters especially the classic ones. Many poems appear in each of my 4 books.

An example of the latter is Greek mythology and history. Last school year I introduced my class, via new district curriculum, to the topic. I thought it would be beyond them and I wasn’t too enthused expecting a sure flop. Boy was I mistaken! They ate it up and kept wanting more, more, more! The class even did a poetry presentation for parents and the other second grade classes.(See photo above.) I wrote a few poems and did a lot of research on my own and have myself become infatuated. It fueled my interest to learn more and write more.  Since then I have written a wide range of poems based on ancient Greece both true historical/educational and mythological. I am hoping by the end of the summer my web page, http://www.wschoffpoetry.weebly.com, will have some of these poems.

So there you have it! A few posts based on my inspirations. Please ask questions, comment, whatever. I would love to share ideas and experiences with these topics.

Pet Peeves

Okay, I just need to get a few things off my chest.

My Pet Peeves in no particular order:

  • dumbells who cannot be bothered to use a turn signal: What has happened to common courtesy? Duh!
  • Pokémon Go.  I mean, really. How pathetic have we become? Don’t people have their noses in their portable devices enough as it is? Why do we need another  lame distraction?  This is stupidity at its worst. People falling off mountains, causing car accidents, walking into traffic, etc. Dumb, dumb, dumb!
  • video games in general: C’mon world, get out and enjoy real life!
  • reality TV
  • Sequels, sequels, sequels! I enjoy things like Star Wars but it’s on overkill at this point.
  • Reboots: Why???? I’ll admit The Jungle Book was awesome, but do we really need to remake so many movies? Is Hollywood running out of originality?

 

Okay, just a little venting. Sorry. At least now you know a bit more about me, as good or bad as that might be!

Inspiration, part II

In my last post I talked about how being observant to the world around me has helped inspire some of my poems. Today I want to talk about another inspiration which is other writers.

Being an elementary school teacher (grade 2) I have always enjoyed reading poetry to my students. Humorous poetry has always been my favorite as well as theirs. (Personally, I don’t care for dark poetry or sappy romantic stuff.)  Authors I have found inspirational have been, in no particular order, Kenn Nesbitt, Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky and Bruce Lansky. There are others but the ones here are at the top of my list. They are funny, often nonsensical, and just a lot of fun to read, especially aloud to and with others. My absolute favorite from this group has to be Jack Prelutsky. He has been my number one inspiration. Long before I became a writer he was the one I enjoyed reading the most both to myself and to my students. As I have developed as a writer I find he and I have a similar sense of humor and similar style. One of the things I respect the most about him is that he doesn’t ‘dumb down’ the language in his poems. There is plenty of rich vocabulary in his work which makes it all that much more fun to read. It also opens him up to a wider audience, I believe, because he doesn’t condescend to his audience. I don’t do that either.  If a more challenging word fits, I use it. It enriches my own vocabulary as well as that of my readers’.

I take my writing seriously and always strive for quality but at the same time I don’t take myself too seriously. There is enough drama and negativity in the world as it is and if my writing can bring a chuckle to people then it has been worth it.

books  My 4 published books available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

 

Visit my web sites!

http://www.wschoffpoetry.weebly.com

http://www.broadsidebill.weebly.com

Inspiration

As a writer I find that inspiration can come from many sources. They key is to keep your eyes, ears and mind open at all times! It’s amazing the small things that happen that can inspire and idea for a piece of writing. For example, a few years ago I was out mowing the lawn and for some reason the word ‘franchise’ was sticking in my mind. I was playing around with it and started rhyming. I came up with ‘French Fries’. I thought to myself, What if someone had a French fry franchise? And before I was done with the lawn (and running indoors to get my digital recorder) I had the bare bones for my poem, “French Fry Franchise” which appears in my second book, Something Strange.

Another time I was thinking about the quote, “To be or not to be?” and started making a list of words that began with be- (behold, besiege, etc.) intending to write a humorous Shakespearian poem using a bunch of those words. What resulted was a poem titled, “Me Thinketh She Stinketh” which is about a boy who is annoyed by his neighbor’s incessant (and pathetic) attempts to recite Shakespeare. It also appears in my second book.

Teaching elementary aged kids has also inspired me. I was leaning in to one of my students one day helping her with some writing. I playfully nudged her a couple of times and she turned to me in all seriousness and said, “A little personal space, please!”  That inspired my poem, “Personal Space” which appears in my first book, I’m Not Feeling Like Myself Today.  I’ve also had kids come right out and ask if I would write a poem about such and such an idea. Sometimes it takes a lot of thinking for an idea to come to me that fits the idea, but they come! From such requests came my poems,  “Achin’ For Some Bacon”, “I Wanna Be a Wallaby”, “The Schnums” and several more.

So I always keep my eyes and ears open. Who knows what ideas may sneak in and  gestate in the brain?

Often times my own interests spur ideas and vive versa. But more about that in my next post! In the meantime, visit my websites:

http://www.wschoffpoetry.weebly.com   (general poetry)

http://www.broadsidebill@weebly.com  (pirate poetry!)

I Have Returned!

Hello! After an absence of a few months I figured that it was time to get back into things. Thanks to those of you who have started following. I truly do appreciate it!  Summer break is here and I have more time to post. I’ve been keeping up with my personal writing fairly well and my energies are mostly going into my Greek myth inspired poems.

Here’s a new entry for folks to (hopefully!) enjoy!

 

Herc the Jerk!

 Some folks call him Heracles,

to others he’s just ‘Herc’.

But whether Hercules or Heracles

to me he’s just a jerk!

He’s hailed as a hero,

a champion like no other.

As for me, well who am I?

I’m the big oaf’s little brother!

 

We know he slew a lion

and a giant with three heads,

but he boasts about it constantly

and fills my days with dread!

He repeats the tale of how he caught

some fierce man-eating mares,

but I tell you I can’t take anymore

so I really just don’t care!

 

He babbles on incessantly

until I think I’ll lose my mind

about how he snatched old Cerberus

and the elusive Golden Hind.

I’ve heard each and every anecdote

at least a million times before.

But since ‘”Herc the Great” exaggerates

I’m sure I’ll hear a million more!

 

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