The Brighter Light, A Kid-Adult Poeming Month, January 2013


The days feel short in Denmark during winter. In the morning it’s dark outside and when you come home, it’s dark too.

Luckily, December is fun. So much happens and most of us feel we meet merry challenges every day but when the holiday presents are exchanged, we need to face January.

ChildAdultSunThat’s why I wanted a bit of fun to happen and hopefully you’ll want to come along. We’re out here to explore the world together and let our children get near our computers, our keys, and share some good times.

Now, just read the rules and follow Ina’s example when she and her son join in.

How to enter The Brighter Light:

  1. You must have an agreement with a child to write 16 poems for January 2013. You, being the poet, and this other someone, a kid (aged 18 or younger), must in a joint effort create the poems according to the prompts that I will provide on the blog during January. I assume the adult will listen to the child and create a poem according to this conversation, but the child might write the poem and listen to you. Either say is fine as long as teammates agree.
  2. You need to create a team name – “The Rocking Tigers” or something like that.
  3. When you come up with a name for your team, please submit it to us along with a short description about yourselves in the comment field for this blog post. Please let us know by December 28th 2012 so we can get your team’s page ready for you!
  4. In your comment, please also include a link to a web-site describing either your surroundings, your nation, or your area; make sure there are some inspiring pictures there which can form inspiring conversations.
  5. When your team name appears on our notice board, you will then have your own team page and you’re ready to go.

The Poeming Month

  1. The initial team entry in the comments below and your team’s poems must be in English.
  2. You can only post one poem per prompt. On your team page on the Notice Board, you can edit and delete so you’re sure that you have entered the poem you want to be there.
  3. The lengths of your poems should be one poem per single-spaced page.
  4. The prompts will relate to the teams’ links to places. If there’re not enough submissions, I will create the prompts and add a link. Hopefully we’ll cover a lot of places around the Earth.
  5. There will be 4 prompts a week. Each team can write 16 poems altogether.
  6. Inourbooks.com will be ready with awards in February 2013. There’ll be an award for the best poem and one for the best collection of 16 poems.

Benjamin West - The Artist and His Son Raphael - Google Art ProjectQuestions and answers:

Q: Can grandparents form teams with their grandchildren?

A: Yes, they can. Uncle and  nephew, mentor and student, any adult and child pair who would enjoy working together, please join us.

Q: Does one of the team members need to be a poet?

A: No, you just write the best poems you can.

Q: Do we need to write all the 16 poems?

A: No, you don’t, but see the rules above.

We look forward to your joining us!

[one extra FAQ from ina] Your child team member doesn’t have to write poetry, or even write at all! You can make this a full-on collaboration, you can follow your baby around and listen to them name objects and use their words as their prompt, you can do what I used to do and pick out their choicest sentences and make found poetry from them – it’s up to you! Many of us have kids in our lives who will be active collaborators, but a wide variety of options is available to your team – just choose how your team would like to work, or vary it from day to day!

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83 thoughts on “The Brighter Light, A Kid-Adult Poeming Month, January 2013

  1. Me (ina) and my son will be forming a poeming team called “The Seasons.” My son is in elementary school and has been writing poems since he was about three, so there might be a bit of a wrestle for the keyboard now and again (nb: HE picked our team name!) but we’re both really looking forward to it!

    We live near one entry to the San Francisco Bay Baylands, home to some rare salt-loving species of plants and unusual / rare animals (notably birds). I must spend a good chunk of each year writing poems about the egrets here. You can see pictures of the animal life of the Baylands here: http://bayimages.net/photos/california/palo-alto-baylands/

    And pictures of the baylands trail and structures built into the marsh (including a building that’s become covered with swallows nests and the long planked observation pier) here: http://baytrail.abag.ca.gov/vtour/map3/access/Btpalto/Btpalto.htm

    So looking forward to this adventure!

  2. My daughter and I would like to participate in this fun activity. Sunshine Elves is our team name and we live in the northern part of Australia, known to have some weird and wonderful animals, plants and at times, people! My daughter is creative, and young, and I am the one who likes words. Together, we hope to participate as much as is possible at this intense time of the year. It is our summer, so lots is happening. I think sitting inside by a fire with the wind, rain or snow outside, is more conducive to poetry writing, but we shall see what happens. Thanks so much for the opportunity to share together with others around the globe.
    I don’t know of a specific website for my region but if you google “Queensland” you will come up with a multitude of links for the state I am in. If you search on images, you will see all you need and more. For more microscopic descriptions of my environment, you can look at my blog where I post quite a few photos http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/
    I look forward to getting to know the group. Bring it on……

    • “Sunshine Elves” – what a wonderful name and it tells us so much about you and your daughter. I am jealous of your being in a place where you can live with the marsupials and plants that no one finds anywhere else [my dissertation had to do with evolutionary biology and I spent a lot of mental time with the lizards in your area 🙂 ] Your page should be set up by the end of the weekend (just check our notice board) – I so look forward to hearing your voice and your daughter’s!

    • Hi Amanda! Am so excited to see what your daughter and you create!The Sunshine Elves should now have a thread on the Notice Board where you can post your poems (and others can comment!). If you can check it out when you get a chance and make sure it’s working for you, that would be great!
      ina

  3. Hey, almost missed the 28th Dec deadline 🙂
    My daughter, Silviya, who is nearly 4 years old (will turn 4 on 9th Feb), and I will participate in the January fun. We are the Yellow Ninja team and hail from the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria, which is located in the furthest eastern part of Eastern Europe, meaning beyond the Iron Curtain 🙂
    I am still considering what website to send as an inspiration, because what we mostly boast of is our nature – we have mountains, sea, sandy beaches, coastal cliffs, plains, valleys… hot summers, cold and snowy winters… I think you get it 🙂 I will try to find a good touristic website that shows as much as possible.
    So, let’s see what I will choose and how this interesting event will develop in January,

  4. Pingback: Don’t forget: Sign up for the Brighter Light poeming challenge! | in our books

  5. I’m pretty sure I already said the doting poeting Grandmama – moi – and the ever-lovin’, adorable grandsons (2)- would be on-board for this, but have had some family crises to deal with so didn’t get much else done … We do have a name … “The Brothers Dragonosaurus”, and a web/blog-site, with some preliminary info and pics here .http://sharon-ingraham.blogspot.ca/?zx=7153e57681f42fc0.. can’t wait to hear the next steps …

    • Sharon, I can’t enter your blog unless I’m invited (and I am not) so I cannot see your info. Please change your settings so we can see your blog.

    • Sharon, of course, if you don’t want to share your blog with the entire world then please give me another link with some info about the place where you live.

      • Sorry Andrea – I used this blog for something experimental before (it was called “What Are the Odds?”) and never got around to doing the settings properly…let that be a warning to all partaking of this challenge – the postings below these are not. for the most part, light-hearted or fun, so they might want to stick to the poetry …

        And of course, I want to share – here’s the link – couldn’t get “dragonosaurus” from blogger, which of course is part of the team name, so had to settle for the more plebian “dragonsareus” in the url … the J-JAL’s insist on keeping their original name though; I concur

        http://dragonsareus.blogspot.ca/

    • Hi Sharon, I’ve got your notice board thread set up. When you get a chance, can you check and make sure you and the boys can access the thread? Thanks! Can’t wait for Jan 1st! Ina

  6. Any chances of a 24 hour extension of deadline? I still need to sell my daughter on the idea and have a friend who might be interested.

    • Linda, I hope you can convince your daughter. Most of all because I believe this can be a lot of fun for you. But also because I’d love you to be here.

      • Hurray! I finally convinced her. Our name is The Awesome Earworms.

        We are in the Rems-Murr-Kreis. Here is a link.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rems-Murr-Kreis

        This area includes Schorndorf (home of Gottlieb Daimler), Korb (known for producing wine), Strümpfelbach (which has a sculpture walk) and many half-timbered houses. Rudersberg has its own Motorcross track where the internation sidecar races have been held many years.

        The Rems-Murr Kreis is in Swabia. Famous Swabians can be found at this link.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swabia

        If you need anything else, let me know.

    • Awesome Earworms! Waiting for your poems. Of course, you are more mature than us, so we have a lot to learn from you!
      Love and hugs from Silvie and Mariya of the Yellow Ninja (Black-Sea coast)

  7. Hi My son Þorlákur and I would like to participate and the team name is “Icicles” 🙂 as we are living in Akureyri in northen Iceland , close to the arctic circle and feeling it this winter 🙂 Our area is mostly known for heavy snows in winters, skiing facilities and warm dry summers, on an Icelandic scale that is :). and in contrast to the mild winters and wet summers in the south.
    I think this is a wonderful idea and we will try and contribute as much as possible but time will tell 🙂
    I found a couple of links I think might be interesting this one is to an introduction http://www.iceland.is/ and the other is a live feed page from various places in the country and opening on our town http://www.livefromiceland.is/webcams/akureyri/
    So…. now I´m looking forward to this and I´m sure it will be fun 🙂

    • “Icicles” here we go. I’m so honored that someone else from up here in the dark winter north are with us on this. You certainly spread light already. Your links work great and yes, I can’t wait either.

      • To get the correct character ð for the name Guðriður, from team Icicles, on your keyboard, this shortcut might work: Making sure number lock is ‘on’: hold down the Alt key and press 0240 then release alt key. Works on my keyboard, but I don’t have the extra Scandi vowel keys.

    • Hi Gudridur! I will post your team immediately, and look forward to whatever you and your son have time to share with us! I apologize now that I will not be able to put in the correct spelling because I can’t figure out how to make accents in the Notice Board, but I hope you won’t mind! And how beautiful Iceland is – thank you for sharing the pictures!

    • Well, I can’t hide how amazed I am. I have long dreamt of visiting Iceland, or even spending some time there. I am so curious! Going to check the links directly!
      Uhm, please excuse my ignorance, but how do you pronounce your son’s name first letter? Sorry, sorry, no offence meant *blushing*
      I already read some of your poems, and must admit that they are magnificent!
      Looking forward to communicating to you more!
      Love and warm winds from the Black Sea-coast of Eastern Europe (mild climate, believe me, you will be in shorts and short sleeves right now, I am sure)
      Silviya and Mariya 😐

  8. Andrea, have you connected with the little gal I’m supposed to write with? I’m feeling kind of left out here and lonely for a teammate. 🙂

    • Claudette, I just wrote to the Danish girl. I hope that she will connect to you soon. Otherwise we must make and exception and wait until the vacation is over. I’m so glad that you are with us.

      • Thank you for the update, Andrea. I’m looking forward to it. I hope you’re feeling much better now and are able to withstand the demands of this month’s work with this challenge. Get plenty of rest. You may need it in a few weeks. LOL

  9. Okay just spoke with my team mates we are THE SPARKLING SNOWFLAKES Halle Lynn is 10 and Rori Cate is 7 I am a little older – lol – Looking forward to our first prompt .

    • Okay just spoke with my team mates we are THE SPARKLING SNOWFLAKES Halle Lynn is 10 and Rori Cate is 7 I am a little older – lol – My lil “grands” and I are looking forward to our first prompt . They’ve just moved from Colorado to Boston so are a little closer to New York but still not close enough to work together physically – we’ll use texting and the internet and the girls are very excited – I’ll post a picture over at Poeming Friends and on my blog http://drpkp.com of our first team meeting creating our name when they came down for a brunch visit.

      • Thanks, Pearl! I so look forward to seeing your efforts! Will you check out your thread on the Notice Board and make sure it’s working for you?

  10. Hi – Yes, Ina the notice board is working. I think, ala Shaon Ingraham that it’s a great idea to have a separate blog page – my understanding was that as part of the challenge each team would have a page of their own – or am I incorrect. To clarify should I set up a separate blog page for the challenge with the girls?

  11. We have a team! We’re calling ourselves “The Chain Letters.” We are from the Chain O’ Lakes area of Illinois. My 14 yr old son is on board with me.My daughter will “loan” me the two cuties she nannies for when he looses interest. And my dad-to-be son, may join us for a poem or two just for the fun of writing with his mom and little brother. I found a link that has lots of pictures of the Chain area. Mostly, the state park. http://www.pbase.com/gerdakettner/chain_olakes_state_park

  12. Ina – Hope I’m not driving you up a wall – I just finished setting up a blog for the girls and I … the address is http://sparklysnowflakes.blogspot.com/2012/12/welcome-to-sparkly-snowflakes.html … I think although that seems to be taking me to the first post rather than the blog per se. Blog setups are not my strongest suit! – This address will get you to this first post…which is our introduction. This is really a terrific idea.

    • Pearl, you didn’t need to set up a blog but it’s great now you did it. Is it possible that the second picture – the one with the yellow car – can be a bit bigger?

  13. Hi there, dear Ina and Andrea!
    First of all, we, the Yellow Ninjas hopped over and could perfectly well access our thread in the Notice Board.
    Second, I would like to present the website which will give some inspiration in January.
    http://bulgariatravel.org/en/official_tourism_portal/
    If, by any chance, it opens in Bulgarian, find the language flag in the upper right corner and select your language.
    Apart from this poetic month and the prompts in it, you may find the site interesting. I suppose many of you know only a little of Bulgaria. So, here you will be able to learn a bit more. When you look at the map, look to the east and find Varna – this is where we live 🙂

    • No, the reply icon is for your supporters – and also me, well, all your supporters (so do tell your friends and family). Oh, I can’t wait for us to start.

    • “The Vikings” – yes, what a great name. I’ll find out what links you want. It’s just so great that you are with us. Let’s rock!

  14. Pingback: Prompt Number One! | in our books

  15. I have to admit that I’ve stumbled here. I do have a lovely young partner in Denmark who’s agreed to work with me on this challenge. She’s on an island, a wee princess encircled by the North Sea, while I claim a valley surrounded by high Rocky Mountains not far from the northwestern US-Canadian border.

    I hadn’t realized–color me confused this morning–that I needed to tell everyone where I was and where my partner was. Call us an international team, one just beginning to explore the outside world from her castle window and the other road weary from many years of wandering said world.

    Our team PRAGON will endeavor to wrangle or wrestle verse from clues hidden here each week. I, at least, expect to learn much more about everyone’s place in the world along the way.

    Good luck all.

    • Pragon! I don’t know what this means but you will probably tell me. I already created all the prompts and there is one with a picture from Sejer Island so in a way both you and your team mate are represented.
      Claudette, thank you so much for your attitude. Love you.

      • Attitude? My friend, I am going to enjoy this. I learned a couple of Danish words today and that Denmark is really a series of islands in the sea. I never knew those things before.

        I learned how I must approach explanations to Sidse. She’s a delight and a beautiful girl.

        I also learned that I must start writing everything down so that I don’t forget in the maze of activities that surround me.

        All of those are good things. Perhaps that is the attitude you’re seeing. As for Pragon–it is Purple Dragon combined. Sidse came up with it for us–her favorite color and my favorite mythical creature.

        Have a great holiday. Talk to you later.

      • Oh, lovely Claudette! Yes, she’s a delight and so are you.
        Ina will create your room so quickly as she can.

  16. I am planning to write with Alyssea. She’s in Alabama and I’m in North Carolina. She’s 15 (born on the Fourth of July!) and I’m 56 (born on the Fourth of October.) She may be a little reluctant, so let her know not to be intimidated!

    Nancy P.

    • Nancy, I think Ina already created a room for you. Go to our Notice Board and see. I also already created prompts from Alabama and North Carolina.
      So, now give Alyssea my best regards – and please tell me wheter you are The Alabama Tarheels. Great, great name!

      • Ok, we have our team name! We are the Northstar Wolves! Minnesota is also known as the Northstar state, we use to have a hockey team called the Northstars but they got sold to Texas. Also the wolves have made a big comeback in Minnesota and they also just happen to be Mikayla’s favorite animal. 😉

  17. Hello, late the challenge and to figuring out how things work–sorry. We are Queen Flower and the Princesses Suger (why do I feel I should apologize for that team name?) : ) Anyway, we live in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, and we are not too happy about. Here are some links to our surroundings. Hopefully there is a shred of inspiration in there somewhere.

    1) http://maccandace.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/enchanted-by-encanto/
    2)The city and surround area: http://www.go-arizona.com/Phoenix/Photos-Videos/
    3)Urban life in el barrio (inner city Phoenix): http://www.phxtaco.com/

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