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12/17 Weekly creativity contest winner & new prompt

Wow! After posting yesterday’s contest reminder, I didn’t have to spend much time waiting for entries — six of them! Very tough to select a winner this week, but someone has to receive the $10 gift certificate — and it’s Debra Bellon, for her beautiful poem. Congratulations, Debra!

She hears something moving in the leaves:
a rustle, like a velvet skirt twisting against itself
in a cold wind. She does not move, not even
to brush away the snow that has gathered
in the tender indentations of her neck.
Another half-season: rain to ice and ice to sleet,
the days grow shorter, the night stretches out
like the path of a thousand hours.
There is nothing there at all; she walks inside,
stunned by the quiet there, longing for the time
(not long ago) when she watched them sleep,
their lips rounding and flattening
in airy soliloquies.
Of all her dreams there were only ever two that mattered:
the one in which she hurries,
and the one in which she waits.


From Jen Johnson: “Had fun thinking about this week’s prompt; kept bringing back memories of my pregnancies and the waiting therein. Didn’t have the time and focus for a new written submission, so instead I tinkered around with one of my favorite pregnancy photos.”



From Karen Winters, a painting entitled “I think it was the Fourth of July.” Karen writes: “I painted this last summer inspired by our visit to Chicago. The question it prompts is…how many minutes of our lives do we spend waiting around?  Waiting for the light to change…waiting for the barista to fix the coffee…waiting for the car to get lubed…waiting for inspiration to hit…waiting for the big opportunity or the special person that will magically transform our lives. Only the clock at Marshall Fields knows…and it’s not telling. In the past few years, I have minimized the annoyance of waiting time by always carrying a sketchbook with me. Even five minutes can be turned into a drawing exercise that helps keep my eye sharp.  Time is the only thing we can’t buy more of. So it’s a good policy to look for ways to use those waiting moments, even if it’s in restorative, restful reverie.”



From Kelly Warren, a double set of poem and image pairings(!):

Waiting for the day we can go “Out There,”
to see what’s awaiting us past this glare,
to see what adventures are beyond this glass,
to see what the world will bring to pass,
When we’re old enough to remember our dreams.
Waiting for the day you’ll sit with me,
Talk with me,
Have a beer with me.
Waiting for the day you’ll sit with me
and melt my cares away.

From Cathy Jennings, an image created in Adobe Illustrator:




From Cathy Coley, a poem and image pairing:


December and the geese and leaves
are finally gone from my lake.
One seagull one cormorant
found warm calm waters
a mile inland from the sea.
I am mistaken about the geese.
It’s seventy three degrees.
A honking call echoes
from shoreline to shoreline.
Grey the sky, grey the water,
the bench and branches, all of it grey
waiting for rain whose forecast
lingers from day on to day
but never seems to wet this dry peninsula.
The black dog barks at another walking, both leashed.
I still wait for rain, watch the clouds
cover sky in gunmetal thunderheads,
wish them to snow
I know will never come.


From me (Miranda): I anticipated writing something about waiting for Christmas, but I ended up waiting for life to return to “normal” after an ice storm hit New England and we lost power and heat for 36 hours. The first day we sat at home by the fireplace, waiting. It might have been fun and relaxing, but the baby was fussy and I found myself trying to entertain two small children in the dim chill of my living room without much inspiration. No coffee maker, no computer. No electronic babysitter. As the day wore on, I realized that we were waiting for something that might not show up anytime soon. And it didn’t. There was a lot more waiting in store, and I found it an interesting challenge to try to enjoy the present moment and not just focus on the wait. I did capitalize on the chance to take some photographs of the frozen landscape. Here’s one of my favorites.



This week’s prompt: “Gift”

Use the prompt however you like — literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, December 23. The winning entry receives a $10 gift certificate to Writers should include their submission directly in the body text of their e-mail. Visual artists and photographers should attach an image of their work as a jpeg. Enter as often as you like; multiple submissions for a single prompt are welcome. There is no limit to how many times you can win the weekly contest, either. (You do not have to be a contributor to this blog in order to enter. All are invited to participate.) All submissions are acknowledged when received; if you do not receive e-mail confirmation of receipt within 24 hours, please post a comment here. Remember, the point here is to stimulate your output, not to create a masterpiece. Keep the bar low and see what happens. Dusting off work you created previously is OK too. For more info, read the original contest blog post.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. cathy #

    great entries this week! congratulations debra!

    jen, great pic. can you believe i didn’t even think of pregnancy as a waiting thing (for this anyway!) seems that’s all i did with baby c!

    karen, the clock is what makes it! love the light at the top of the building, too.

    kelly, my fav of yours is those babies at the window and their thoughts.

    i confess i suggested cathy j to submit the polar bears. still love them. what is the mama looking at beyond the snowy ridge?

    my poem and pic are from the same walk and sit by lake.

    i bet miranda is waiting for some melt with the sun peeking through after the ice storm. i’m just glad everyone’s ok.

    December 17, 2008
  2. congrats debra! i love your poem, particularly this line: “their lips rounding and flattening in airy soliloquies.”

    jen, i have a series of baby belly pictures my husband took monthly during my pregnancy. right before i delivered i was HUGE. you look so peaceful and happy here.

    karen, every time i see your work, i wish yet again that i could paint. i’ve kept a sketchbook, water color pencils, oil pastels, and “wreck this journal” in my work tote bag for months and have yet to break them out. i keep waiting for inspiration to strike! i know i’m simply afriad of my own lack of painting and drawing talent, but you made me realize i need to quit waiting and just “do”. thanks for that reminder.

    cathy j, love those polar bears! i’ve starting playing around with illustrator more and currently know just enough to be very dangerous. 🙂 i need more practice.

    cathy c, love your greys. i love geese. we have a flock that hangs out here on our campus lake with the ducks. and we often see them flying over the house…along with the occasional lost pink flamingo.
    i love that picture of my girls too…one of my all time faves.

    miranda! 36 hours with no heat and no power! yikes! i’m glad everyone is okay. that looked like a very bad storm. i’m so thankful i’m a born-raised-and-never-left florida girl, as i sit here looking out my office window onto a sunny 80 degree day…in december. ya’ll come visit! i can add more chairs to the dock! 🙂

    December 17, 2008
  3. Jen #

    What a wonderful range of entries! Always fun to see what folks come up with. Congrats, Debra!

    December 18, 2008

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