I find myself drawn to poetry. Capturing the rhythm of a moment, finding the cadence and movement of words as they flow down a page, these are things that appeal to my artist's heart. I draw inspiration from events or experiences in my own life, or things that I have witnessed, or even dreamed. I also love listening to others read or perform their poetry. I think this is why I love music so much; it's basically poetry with instruments.
It wasn't a surprise, then, that I found myself intrigued by the call for submissions for a sweet little book titled Short and Sweet Goes Fourth. This compilation, edited by Susan King and published by Grace Publishing, had one main criteria: "Choose something you're passionate about, then write about it in 250-550 words, using words of only one syllable."
There were only six exceptions to the one syllable rule:
- Proper nouns were okay (California)
- Polysyllabic words in 5 letters or fewer (only, about)
- Contractions (wouldn't, couldn't)
- Numbers (fifteen)
- Direct quotes (including Bible verses)
- Words for family members (daughter)
They were looking for non-fiction, fiction and poetry submissions. Aha! My creative brain got excited. I penciled the deadline in my calendar and made a mental note to prepare for this challenge. I love big words and long sentences, so the idea of writing out my ideas in one syllable increments both excited and terrified me.
The trick with writing poetry is to allow inspiration to guide you. It's not something that can be contrived; it needs to be felt in the moment. When the time is right poetry will flow from the pen like water flowing from a stream. I kept the criteria for this submission in the back of my mind and waited for inspiration to light a fire in me.
The poem I submitted for consideration is called Fight for Your Life. It's a reflection of where God was guiding me in that season of my life. I found myself dealing with some heavy things at that time, and God was showing me His Truth. He was peeling away many layers of lies and deception that I had believed for a long time. To say I was passionate about the subject matter is an understatement! I was on fire for the revelations God had for me! When the time came to write the words, they came out in a way that honestly spoke to where I was at in my journey.
One of the things I do when writing is I read, then re-read (countless times!), the work. For this submission, I didn't just read the poem, I read it out loud at my kitchen table. It became a declaration of what I knew God was doing in my life. It became a prayer. And, by reading aloud, I was able to test the cadence and rhythm of the piece.
I am excited to tell you that my poem was selected as one of the contributions to Short and Sweet Goes Fourth. The book was published in August 2018 and is available on Amazon. What an exciting journey for this poet's heart!
My next poetry project is a book of original work titled Patchwork Soul. Stay tuned for details! I am putting the finishing touches on it and will be sourcing publication options soon.
In the mean time, I continue to write as inspiration strikes. May it be the same for you also.
When she's not traveling, Karma writes from the golden house in Northeastern BC. You can connect with her online at redraincoatcreations.com.