Thursday, April 28, 2016

Coachella Erasure Poem

(one of my pro-trainers just returned from the Coachella Festival, so I had a particular interest in the NYTimes/Style Section article 4/28/16 "Where Coachella is a Playground and Muse" by Sheila Marikar)

It was just after 1 a.m.
Over the next few hours
Kylie beamed and bounced
as if on a tiny trampoline:
"I just wanted to have the feeling
of when I am in the fields."  

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Erasure Poem and 19 Word Story

“Don’t You Forget about Me” NYTimes/Styles 4/21/16 note: Erasure poem genre inspired by Austin Kleon, author of "Steal Like an Artist" and "Show Your Work!"

Six nights and two afternoons a week
Thumping a book like a Bible—
That year has never left us.
Their strange things are creeping back:
Music and lyrics ripple.

Writer’s Digest May/June 2016 p. 53

Those words, burnt into the sand will be washed away by waves as our conjoined bodies float on foam. (19 words)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Big Question

(Writing prompt response to “write a 1, 3, 5 minute story Poets & Writers, March-April 2016).  This is a 2 minute-to-read story).

They had been sharing his L.A. loft condo for only two months, but Brad was ready to ask the big question.  He had liked being married, and seeing the kids for the weekends wasn’t much of a life.   But would Carrie be ready to make their relationship permanent?  There was a risk in asking too soon.

“Go out and get a dog,” his best friend Charlie had suggested.  “If she agrees to that, you are halfway to engagement.”

“Maybe.  But the other half is what I am worried about,” Brad lamented.

Following Charlie’s advice, they had gone to the animal shelter and gleefully brought home Juno—a six-month old, crate-trained yellow lab who could play ball twenty-four hours a day.  Carrie loved Juno.  She took her in the car to go to the doggie beach, to the grocery story, even to their favorite café.  The three of them would sit on the café’s patio, drink a latte and watch the Ferrari’s drive by on Highway 1.

So another two months passed.  Then, one day, after a yoga class at the gym, Carrie came out of the locker room in her t-shirt and leotard pants, shaking her ponytail loose.

“I want to go home and shower before dinner, not take time to shower and change here.”

“Home?”  Brad was stunned.  This was the first time she had uttered the “h” word.  Usually, she would say, “the condo.”

“Home?  The condo?” he repeated.

“Yes, silly.  Home is where the heart is.”  Carrie nuzzled her nose into Brad’s neck.  “Don’t you know that by now?”

“Guess I didn’t.” Brad paused, pulling back to look at her, face to face. 

“But now that I do, I have a big question to ask.”

“Ask away.  I am a gal full of ‘yes’ today.”

Friday, March 25, 2016

My Manifesto

NOTE:  Inspired and challenged by “A brief guide to world domination: How to Live a Remarkable Life in a Conventional World” by Chris Guillebeau and by Poets & Writers 3/10/16 non-fiction prompt, I am sharing my “manifesto”. –anita c. fonte 3/2016

Beliefs:  Equal justice and opportunity for everyone; the cup IS half full (and I am grateful there is a cup); everyone is capable of creating something good; the world is complex and dynamic; we are connected to each other and to our natural environment; we share responsibility for each other and our natural environment; facts, based on verifiable and generalizable research is a foundation of truth but feelings cannot be ignored and need to be “heard”; stories give our lives meaning.

Principles:  Collaborate when possible and it’s usually possible; once committed to a task, I will do my personal and professional best to complete it; I am willing to be willing; I have and will continue to invest my time, talents and financial resources to invest in my community; I will take moderate risks—if and when I encounter them.

Goals:  Work with others to BuildUP^ a better community, keep learning, growing, changing; have some fun; combine creativity with productivity; stay connected to the people who matter to me; celebrate milestones of work and life.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Decima Italiana poem and one line story opening

--Writing Prompts Responses:


1.       Poetic Asides, Writer’s Digest, January 2016, decima Italiana (10 eight-syllable lines with the rhyme scheme:  ababcdedec.

The Costs of Spring in February

Early Spring in February

Makes the tourists hum with vigor.

The locals, though, feel contrary,

Knowing what such heat can trigger—

A boiling June too soon will come

And with it, days that never end,

But blister on from dawn to dusk,

Burning faces that will not mend.

So to their doctors they will fuss

About the costs, they won’t be mum.


2.       Enter your story, Writer’s Digest, February, 2016—the opening sentence in 25 words or less (to visual prompt of a red VW bug in a sunset landscape).


As dusk approached, I hurried back to the farm, seeing the red VW, its motor running high with no one in sight for miles.



Sunday, January 31, 2016

Old Man of the Cafe

Prompt response to Hemingway’s Iceberg from The Creative Writer’s Notebook.


Exposed iceberg:

In the café, Jerry studies the doctor’s report online.  He’s looking for hints of the number of years he has left.  Hoping to make it to seventy, he picks up the Wall Street Journal and tosses it into the garbage can. [written after the Water Line]


Water Line:

A man of sixty-plus years sits alone at the café table.  His neatly trimmed beard of mostly white hair partly covers his neck and black baseball hat shades his eyes from the sunlight. Wearing khaki shorts with no socks and black and white Converse, his legs are splayed around the table.  He swirls the cup of his half-filled iced coffee. Then takes a bite of his crumb cake with his right hand.  Wiping his fingers on his shorts, he begins taping on his tablet and glances at the newspaper.  Shrugging his black hoodie over his shoulders, he gets up and throws the paper in the garbage.  Folds down his computer tablet, carrying it under his left arm, and opens the door with his bent back.  A January wind blows the door open.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Journey to the Farmers' Market

Going to the Farmers’ Market could be a long walk or short drive.  Because of the six pins and metal plate in my right ankle, I prefer the short drive.  Heading to the market, my husband and I pass a strip mall, an elementary school, renovated apartments and the University of Arizona Village Farm.  I see a sign at the farm.  It says “Mushrooms Workshop This Afternoon.”  I smile, imagining bobbing mushroom caps, busy like Santa’s elves, in a workshop shed. 

It’s mid-morning in January and the market, across the street from the adobe church is bustling.  A variety of people and dogs parade around the canvas covered stalls.  At both ends of the market, stone fountains spout towers of water.  A few children dip their hands into the cool pools.  Their parents pull them back.

I purchase two half-pound bags of fresh pasta.  I buy a tan baseball cap for my husband.  It carries the brand name of the market:  FoodinRoot.  Together, we select three shiny red tomatoes and a two-palm sized head of lettuce, picked that morning from the university farm.  Damp roots still cling to the green globe.  We visit a favorite Greek food vendor and pay ten dollars for quinoa tabbouleh and eight stuffed grape leaves.  Tonight’s dinner is complete.  Our bag is full of items and we stroll to the nearby financial bank to replenish our wallets.

On the way home, traffic is light and we take Limberlost Road past one hundred sixty acres of the university’s animal research farm.  This autumn’s calves chew grass in one field.  Scattered horses stand in the shade of a dusty field.  A bicyclist on the road signals left.  Winter’s noon sun is soft and slanted.  Full of its light, the fields open against our desert’s blue skies.  We are almost home.

[Exercise for Pace (sentence length) from The Creative Writer’s Notebook/Hemingway Section.]
FoodinRoot Farmers' Market, St. Philip's Plaza, photo by anita fonte