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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Whale of a Tale!

My first post in a while but I wanted to share another poem. I’ve been loving teaching and learning about Greek mythology so many of my latest poems have been on that topic…with my own little twist, of course! This one was originally called “Son of Neptune”. That was before I started studying Greek mythology. I learned that Neptune was the Roman version of Poseidon. (Darn Romans stole everything, didn’t they?)

I’d love any feedback!

 

Son Of Poseidon

 

I am Poseidon’s progeny,

sovereign of the seas,

master of the mollusks

and each sea anemone.

I’m commander of crustaceans,

oysters, shrimp and squid.

Over oceans wide I do preside

for I’m Poseidon’s kid!

 

But when I raise my trident

to make a bold decree,

I tremble like a jellyfish

and get the urge to flee.

I’m mortified by octopi,

catfish make me quiver.

Each crab and krill gives me a chill,

and sharks give me the shivers!

 

Dolphins cause discomfort,

minnows make me manic,

barracudas are unbearable,

each porpoise creates panic!

Turtles make me timid,

I shy away from seals.

I’m clearly neurotic near things aquatic

be it clownfish, cod or eels.

 

Lobsters make me leery

and I fear all things with fins,

so I feel more like a flounder

than Poseidon’s next of kin!

And though I am the offspring

of a mighty deity,

I’ll never reign in this wet terrain

since I’m just Chicken of the Sea!

 

 

 

Visit my web sites:
http://wschoffpoetry.weebly.com/

http://broadsidebill.weebly.com/

 

 

 

A Fishy Romance

I’m continually adding to my repertoire of Pirate and Greek myth poems. Here’s the latest along the pirate line. I hope everyone enjoys!

 

A Fishy Romance

 

Dear Captain John,

 

With miles of ocean between us,

I fear we have drifted apart.

We’re an ill-fated pair, mermaid and corsair*,

and so I must break your poor heart.

 

I’m afraid all is over between us,

our true love was not meant to be.

We hadn’t a chance with this hapless romance

since one of us lives undersea.

 

Farewell and adieu, my dear captain.

I’m sorry things didn’t work out.

I know you’re enraged but I’ve just been engaged

to a handsome saltwater trout.

 

Fondest Farewell,

Minnie Mermaid

 

*pirate

 

 

 

Visit my web sites:
http://wschoffpoetry.weebly.com/

http://broadsidebill.weebly.com/

With Time to Relax…

We’re at the tail end of our winter break from school. I was more productive than I thought I would be! I ended up revising a bunch of my recent poems as well as writing some new ones. My main theme and interest continues to be Greek myths. I’m looking forward to returning to my class of second graders and sharing some of my recent works since we will be starting a unit on Greek mythology. 

My other creative side also took over. Last year I created pirate props like cannons, gibbets and a couple ship’s wheels. This past week I made a pair of wings to go with the poem about Icarus.  They’re pretty good and sturdy but I never claimed to be a fine artist!

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I’m sure a few of the kids will get a kick out of trying them out!Here’s the poem they accompany:

Dearest Icarus

Our dearest darling Icarus,

so carefree and impetuous,

was made two wings to soar on high,

up to where the eagles fly.

 

His adoring father, Deadalus,

said he’d soar like Pegasus.

So Icarus chose to have some fun

and flew up near the blazing sun.

 

Since Deadalus used a simple wax,

to affix the feathers and seal the cracks,

the wings began to melt and droop

as the wilting wax turned into goop.

 

Icarus plunged into the sea,

an unfortunate catastrophe.

Because he was nowhere to be found

Deadalus knew his son had drowned.

 

But the boy was not alone to blame,

his pop’s design was rather lame.

Alas, the lad would not be dead

if his dad used Super-Glue instead!

 

Visit my web sites:
http://wschoffpoetry.weebly.com/

http://broadsidebill.weebly.com/

Myth or Miss?

Here’s a newer poem with a draft from my illustrator.

Medusa’s ‘Do’

When Medusa wakes each morn

and peers at her reflection,

I wonder if she’s horrified

by her hairdo and complexion.

She really needn’t bother with

conditioners and shampoos.

All she needs is frogs and mice

to maintain her fancy ‘do’.

But despite her tragic makeover

she cannot overlook

that she still has a slender build

and has kept her killer looks.

Though she’s doomed to be alone

like a cunning barracuda,

she has rock-solid style and charm.

Oh, how I’m jealous of Medusa!

 

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Visit my web sites:
http://wschoffpoetry.weebly.com/

http://broadsidebill.weebly.com/

The Treasure of Books

I just relied to a post from another writer who truly encompassed the pleasure of books. Check it out!

https://wordpress.com/read/post/id/70145627/519

It’s true how much nicer they are than movies and videos. Reading requires creativity, imagination, and effort! Something lacking for many kids in today’s high-tech, immediate gratification world. We are surrounded by so much information, noise, and too many distractions.  It’s a wonder we’ve come so far!

 

I Hate Video Games!

 

Some kids think I’m fairly odd

And wonder if I’m insane,

Just for the simple fact that I…

Hate playing video games!

 

So what if I don’t waste my hours

Sitting the whole day through

Staring at some stupid screen

Letting my brains all turn to goo!

 

Instead I choose to engage my mind

And my boundless creativity,

Involved in things that require thought

Instead of numbing inactivity.

 

I play pretend, a game of ball,

Or take a book down from a shelf.

I don’t need a mindless electronic box,

To entertain myself!

 

I am much more satisfied to go outside

To laugh and play with my friends.

And unlike video games, WE get to choose

When each game begins and ends!

 

I am completely free to express and dream

And let loose my imagination.

(A mind shuts off, creativity dies

With Nintendo and Play Station!)

 

Wait! I know what you’re thinking…!

 

A kid who hates to play video games

Seems to most like a contradiction.

Yes, I may be different, but I am content,

For my imagination has no restriction.

There are wiser ways to spend my time

Than with some silly, electronic addiction!

 

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Visit my web sites:
http://wschoffpoetry.weebly.com/

http://broadsidebill.weebly.com/