Nothing But A Hound Dog

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I had no idea that before Elvis took on the song as his own “Hound Dog” was actually recorded by singer/songwriter Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton. Her original version was recorded in 1952. I love learning things about musical history. Though it does make me a little sad when artist like this don’t get credit because their version isn’t the “popular” version. Write a scene where your character gets overlooked for an accomplishment only to have someone else do the same thing and receive praise. Why was your character ignored while this other person gets attention? How is their work different? How are they different?

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

What A Writer Is

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

A writer can be thought of as a lot of things. They are people who tell stories. They are liars. They are people who have other people living inside their minds. Write a poem about what a writer is. Don’t get too carried away with the good things about writers. Remember that there is a dark side to most things in this world. Be sure to cover both sides of being a writer in your poem.

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Internet Inspiration: Kidding Or Stupid?

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I saw a Twitter conversation that scared me a little bit. The initial comment was “Who should be the 800th person I follow?????” This was coming from a user that was following 759 people. Someone brought this up: “You only have 759 how’s that gon turn to 800? Lol.” The response was “when it is 4:59 does it not become 5:00 next?” This scared me because I don’t think that the user was kidding. I want to believe that they were but I can’t seem to convince myself. I know that we all have our absentminded moments but this doesn’t feel absentminded. This feels like the person was confident in their logic. We live in a world where there are people who don’t understand that counting is different for time than just numbers in sequential order. So inspired by this horrifying internet interaction, write a scene in which your character can’t tell if someone is kidding or stupid. If they are kidding was their joke actually funny? Does your character have the heart to tell them she didn’t like it? If they aren’t kidding, does your character feel the need to educate them?

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Poetic Forms: Found Poetry

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

As some of you may already know, found poetry uses words, phrases, or lines that you’ve found out in some other context. Steal something from a conversation you were eavesdropping on. Scroll through old texts till you find an odd one. Use a jingle from your childhood that still gets stuck in your head to this day. Whatever you find and decide to use find a way to make it your own so that it is less obvious where it came from.

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Call for Submissions: Baltimore Review Summer Contest

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

The theme for The Baltimore Review’s summer contest is “Monsters.” Submit your poems, short stories, and creative nonfiction to their site: https://baltimorereview.submittable.com/submit. There are cash prizes of $500, $200, and $100. The entry fee is $10. Final judge: Jane Satterfield. The deadline is May 31, 2017. For more information, visit their website: www.baltimorereview.org.

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Call for Submissions: Posit

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

Posit, an online quarterly of innovative contemporary poetry, prose, and visual art, is open to submissions. There is no listed entry fee and the deadline is May 31, 2017. Submit one to three pieces of innovative prose and hybrids (1,000 words or less), three to six poems, or video or animation no more than three minutes long online: https://posit.submittable.com/submit. Include a short bio, an artist’s statement, and your email address.

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

The Artist-Fan Connection

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

So a while back I posted a prompt based on the book Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. It turns out this book is being re-released with a new paperback cover art. The cover art is pretty cool but cooler than that is that Rainbow Rowell posted on social media that she will be doing personalized signatures on copies of the book bought from an indie bookstore website called The Bookworm. It’s looks like a pretty reasonable price for fans to get a personal signed copy of the book. I’ve always loved the idea of book signings. I think that particularly for artists that are just starting out it’s important to see those that they admire reaping the rewards of success. Write a scene in which your character is meeting someone who she has admired the work of since first seeing it. What does this meeting feel like for your character? How does it influence her future?

P.S. To those that might want a personalized copy of your own, this is important, when you check out, please say who the book is for in the “order comments” field, which looks like this:

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Falling Short

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

Write a poem about failing to meet a goal. What was your goal? What obstacles stood in your way? Can you try again? Will you try again? How can you learn from falling short in this attempt? How close were you to achieving the goal? How many tries did/will it take you to achieve the goal? If you will never achieve the goal, how do you comfort yourself for falling short?

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Informing Younger Generations

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

This YouTube channel Queer Kids Stuff was created with the intention of making the concepts of the LGBTQ community more accessible to children. This is probably a touchy issue for a lot of people still. But I love this concept because it could help some kids to see that they do not need grow up feeling like they can’t relate to other people if they end up being part of the LGBTQ community. But even if a child isn’t going to grow up to be part of this community it give them the opportunity to learn acceptance of this community. There are people that don’t think that children will be able to handle these subjects but I’m not one of them. I’m thoroughly convinced that the best way to work towards a more equal and accepting future is to start by growing understanding in young minds. Whether you agree with me or not, think about what you think are important lessons to teach children for a better future? Write a scene about your character trying to share this piece of knowledge with someone younger.

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Renewed Interests

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

It seems like a lot of things from my childhood are making their comeback these days in some form or another. Do you have any interests from childhood that are re-emerging in your life now? Write a poem about renewing an interest that you held at some point in your past. How has your older perspective changed the way you see this interest now from how you saw it then? Has the interest itself changed? For example, how Beauty and The Beast went from cartoon to live action or how Power Rangers went from a fairly corny television show to a movie that is taking its action a bit more seriously.

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades