Friday surprise: Brighter Light and Summer Prompt


As many of our readers know, in the winter Andrea blogged a month-long poetry challenge for adult-and-kid teams called Brighter Light. Now, with the advent of the light we were longing for in the depths of winter, I thought we ought to have a follow up.

BrighterLightBadge2First: for our original challenge participants. Thank you so much to all the participants in the challenge.We still don’t have the “results” of the challenge judging, since for both health and technical reasons Andrea has had almost no internet access for months, but the TRUE results are an amazing collection of collaborative poems. I was just reading through the poems on the Notice Board and am so amazed by the breadth of approaches to the prompt and the quality of the poems. It’s a real privilege to know so many amazing writers (big and small!). In honor of your participation, I have posted, in the side bar, a code that you can put into your own blog or website which will display the Brighter Light Poet badge for this year! If you can’t use that code directly, you can also just copy at paste a copy of the badge to the left (it’s slightly lower quality but it’ll work fine). In addition, I’m asking that all challenge participants contact me with an address to which I can send Brighter Light stickers for the “kid” participants in the challenge. You can reach me through the “Contact Us” page on this blog. I really want to make sure that kids get a chance to show their pride in having a great thing (and in the cases of the really little ones, to have stickers to play with :-0 )

Maurice Prendergast - Revere Beach No. 2 - Google Art Project

Maurice Prendergast – Revere Beach No. 2 [PD-US]

Second: for all our writer friends, one last prompt! I thought we’d close out the challenge with one final prompt. I love this Prendergast painting (to the right)  because it shows so many people enjoying a summer day in so many different ways. Summer is experienced by each of us in different ways ~ by the difference in color and light, or scents, or heat, or location.

The prompt: Your summer day is like no one else’s; what is your summer day (or night)?

 Please post your poem or flash fiction response in the comments below, on your own blog or website, or (if you, like me, don’t post pieces publicly because that excludes later publication elsewhere) through our Contact Us form before July 4th (11:59 p.m. July 3rd U.S. Pacific Time). I’d especially appreciate young writers joining in. I’ll have a special badge available for all participants AND I’ll be picking 3 authors for a mini-interview and/or highlight on InOurBooks.com.

Thank you again to all the prior participants, and I look forward to reading all the Brighter Light Summer entries!

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25 thoughts on “Friday surprise: Brighter Light and Summer Prompt

  1. Hi there – Thanks for the prompt, the time, and the wonderful Prendergrast painting.
    The “Sparkly Snowflakes” of the original challenge are in process of transforming to the
    Sparkly Sea-shells for the summer season. They (Halle Lynn – 11, and Rori Cate 8,) have asked me to post a poem that they co-authored in the car this afternoon on a trip to spend a weekend with their cousins. In the interest of full disclosure the poem’s repetition and all writing is completely theirs -emailed to me – I, the adult member of this trio did suggest the line breaks after the repetition. So here is their attempt at the “Summer” prompt. I have a feeling there will more to follow:)
    *********************************
    Fun in the Sun!!!
    by Halle Lynn & Rori Cate (The Sparkly Seashells)

    Summer means
    Sitting in the sun getting splashed in water
    Summer means
    Staying up partying with friends
    Summer means
    Having fun

    *************
    second poem is from a list of words supplied by my co-authors

    “My Summer”

    Fun
    Exciting , sunny amazing
    My summer
    Hot-filled with water fights
    My summer
    Sports, friends
    Sleepovers, late nights
    Trips and bugs
    My summer
    Sunny
    Amazing
    Fun
    My Summer

    * many thanks again Ms. Ina – and a shout-out through the summer and across the sea to
    Ms. Andrea on her small island in Denmark.

    • Hi Halle, Hi Rory, and Hi Pearl – Thank you for the poems and for sharing them here! I have to tell Halle and Rory that my 7 year old just finished a week long digital music camp, was reading over my shoulder this afternoon, and said, “I’d love to set that to music” – meaning your poem – because he thought the repeated “Summer means” was so perfect for a back rhythm. He asked me if I thought you’d be okay with him doing that if he credited you for the words, so I thought I’d ask you-all! – Ina

      • Hi – ooooh Rori especially would LOVE that and might like to perform – she just sent a rap video of herself last night ! Feel free and ask your guy if he’d like to have Rori do a version when he sets it to music – both girls have bern dancing in competitions for years !

      • Kash says that this sounds “so cool!” He’s in camp all this week, but is already planning out the song to put to music next week 🙂

  2. Love the painting, and the boys and I agree — it reminds us a bit of a “Where’s Waldo?” picture…The boys are still pretty young to get much in the way of concrete answers from but this is what we came up with for summertime…

    Summertime in Edmonton

    We love summer, the Brothers Dragonosaurus do
    for oh so many reasons … first of all, it’s both
    our birthday time – J-JAL the elder was born in August
    and J-JAL the younger in June;
    We both love bouncy houses, so little J-JAL
    got a Thomas the Train one and big J-JAL
    is going to have a Star Wars one…all our friends
    come and bounce for hours…how cool is that, huh?

    Plus, there’s soccer to play – J-JAL the elder
    was on the Under 4’s and sorta liked it;
    our Dad was the coach
    There are water-parks in most playgrounds
    (Oh mosquitoes too unfortunately – yes, ouch — they bite)

    And we grew butterflies from caterpillars again this year,
    then let them go in the park…orange and black wings,
    they flew away so beautiful…
    We also hatched chicks from eggs this spring and it was fun
    to see them crack themselves all fuzzy and peeping out…
    so maybe that’s going to be part of almost-summer now too.

    And it stays light longer every day until the end of June…
    But even most of the summer, the sun stays high in the sky
    until way after bedtime for little kids…so it’s pretty neat…
    Oh — and camping, our Dad and our Uncle took us camping
    and Mom and Dad will too; next time Grandma and Grandpa
    say they might come also,
    so there’s more things to do in the summer
    than we can even count…yawn…before we go to sleep…zzz…

    Team Dragonosaurus

    • That’s so wonderful, and what a great collab. effort! (it’s funny how fast kids grow – I’ll get they don’t fit in the little dinosuits I think of them as wearing!)

    • growing butterflies from caterpillars and then setting them free…what a great activity. And then hatching chicks and soccer and…well, everything else. Sounds like Team Dragonosaurus will be having a great summer.

  3. I’m adding this lovely contribution from Barbara E. (from the notice board) _ thank you Barbara!

    Jun 29, 2013; 12:54am Barbara Ehrentreu – The Poetry Writers .

    Summer on the Beach (My thoughts on seeing the Prendergast Painting Revere Beach No.2)

    Unlike the clothed figures dotting the beachfront in the painting
    I look out and see instead of a beach a pool
    with children and adults all wearing bathing suits
    that would make the figures in the Prendergast
    painting gasp and cover their mouths with
    embarrassment.

    Skin is the main feature and many show it proudly
    Wearing skimpy bikinis and showing off tanned
    and toned bodies while others who have not gone
    to the gym but still want to get a tan, wear one pieces
    carefully crafted to hide the imperfections of an untoned
    body. Men care not and let whatever they have hang out
    in joyful freedom, doffing their tee shirts and showing
    white bellies.

    The pool is my beach and I am mainly a spectator as the
    figures in the painting as they sit on the beach not moving
    into the water. Would that I could shed my inhibitions and
    splash into the water, but I am afraid and hide on my patio
    observing people acting out scenes from when I had young
    children and sat around a pool watching them cavort. It’s
    a young person’s sport and I remember the summers when
    the day was over and I packed up things herding children
    smelling like sun tan lotion toward their dinner.

    • Barbara, I just love this.As an older parent, I kind of feel the double-vision – how it looks to me now herding children from the pool and how I imagine it’ll feel (just like you describe) when I am no longer herding kids towards dinner. Thank you for sharing!

  4. In The Midst of Summer

    Hot or warm
    (we care not which)
    With a cool breeze
    (won’t freeze a stitch).

    Golden sand
    (between our toes),
    sun baked
    (it slightly glows).

    Water is cool
    (and refreshingly clear),
    feels good on your skin
    (she loves this time of year).

    The air is fresh
    (with freshly mowed grass)
    essence of sunscreen
    (and a wee sweaty lass).

    Dandelion puff balls
    (we call them wishing flowers)
    send their seeds drifting on the wind
    (or by soft whispers of breathy showers).

    Fireflies dance amongst the trees
    (as we lay our heads down to doze),
    their day just beginning
    (as our summer day drifts to a close.)

    Team Northstar Wolves

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  6. Summer Nights

    Summer nights are for star-filled skies,
    for roasting marshmallows over campfires,
    and chasing arond flashing fireflies,

    for Fourth of July firework events,
    for playing flashlight tag and sleeping in tents
    at childhood slumber party events;

    during all these things please beware,
    because sometimes before you know it is there,
    OUCH! A mosquito has caught you unaware.

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