#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book


To me, family was every kind of Heaven:
celestial, terrestrial, telestial.
The father, the sun,
mother, the moon,
children, the stars.

Mormon Heaven was one of progressing personhood,
Protestant Heaven, of angelic spirithood,
for we were perfected in Christ’s sainthood.

From Catholicism,
I learned that babies were in need of baptism.
From Mormonism,
I learned that it was the dead.

Mormon Heaven was not a state of mind,
but on a planet; God was not a spirit,
but a Deity of flesh & bone, who had been,
as we once were.

Mormons reached outside themselves;
we sought the answers amongst ourselves.
We were an island with walls,
& they were the whole damn world.

Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #384; Theme: Ekphrastic Poem


Because this is how I feel about Andy’s “art”.

On Andy Warhol

You took Marilyn’s face,
& the collective who
designed the Campbell’s soup label.
What did you do but copy
Hollywood’s creation,
& someone else’s designs,
immortalizing processed soup
& a real dish?


#Micropoetry Monday: Love Story


She saw the American world as a stewardess,
the European world as a Navy officer,
but when she saw Max,
she saw the entire world in a man.

She was minimalist,
in her not-so-little-black dress;
he was a maximumist,
in his double-breasted,
3-piece suit,
& together,
they made 2.

Red, white, & blue had turned his heart purple
his eyesight dim, his limb
but he came home to a child
whose future been fighting for.

She was shampoo,
for she cleaned him up,
He was conditioner,
for he softened her,
tho’ they spent their nights
getting tangled and dirty.

She loved crosswords,
he, word searches,
& together,
they found the clues to the mystery
that was their unsolvable life.

#Micropoetry Monday: The Writer’s Life


He floated on the stream of consciousness,
narrating his way through choppy sentences,
dialoguing his way through longer ones,
becoming a playwright.

He was her rough draft when she married him,
her working draft during their marriage,
her final draft when they divorced—
heavily edited, for he was a man of much fewer words.

Every day is a poem,
every hour,
a line,
every moment,
an impression,
and oftentimes,
the title comes not
until the end.

She was given the crudest of pencils,
paper that was scrap;
she grew up hardscrabbling,
but what she could write was limitless.

Her birth was a drama,
her life, a comedy,
her death, a tragedy,
but life after death–
that was her happily ever after.


#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book


Their culture was foreign to me—
with their big families, their big love,
their absolutes over theories.
They were so damn sure of themselves.

I’d never know just when it was
Elder Roberts fell in love with me,
but I’d know the exact second,
like a knot on a chain,
when it was he fell out.

I saw in Elder Roberts a longing
that mirrored my own.
However, the love I had for David,
would lose me the love I had sown.

Over gumbo & greens,
we broke cornbread with the elders.
They were our friends—
one would become family,
the other, an enemy.

A Catholic nun was seen as the highest thing
a woman could achieve,
in Mormonism, a stay-at-home mom.
Both required submission under a man.

#Micropoetry Monday: Opposites


He was fact,
she was fiction,
& together,
they founded journalism.

For her, every day was a holiday;
for him, every day, a holy day,
but as they grew closer to each other,
they became what they were meant to be.

She was left brain,
he was right brain,
so when they worked together,
they knew not what the other did.

He wore his politics on his car,
she wore her religion around her neck,
& each believed one should trump the other,
but the wise saw the two were Siamese twins,
joined at the heart.

She was retro,
he was vintage,
& together,
they created a new modern.

Feature Story Ideas for a College Newspaper


I’ve been the Features Editor for a couple of months now at my local community college newspaper, and what I love about the Features section is that those stories don’t have a hard expiration date.  This suits me, as a mostly fiction writer.

Though some might struggle to come up with ideas for stories, I’ve found that keeping my ears open, staying up-to-date on the school’s home page, and getting involved in extracurricular activities is one of the easiest ways to do so.

Journalism isn’t just for writers, but also for graphic designers and marketers.  Every journalism student should be on the staff, because it will help you build your portfolio.  You’re not just doing assignments for a grade, but you’re producing a product that hopefully, people will read.  A degree means you did the work, but a portfolio shows potential employers what you can do.

If you still struggle with generating ideas, here are many that will help you get started and will hopefully lead you to coming up with your own:

1. Student Success Tips (10 long tips or 20 short tips; humor is always good).  Some editors prefer listicles, others, articles.

2. Volunteer column. You might find a contact through one of the clubs on campus because students who participate in extracurricular activities are more likely to donate their time. (http://www.volunteermatch.org/).

3. Easy ways to donate to charity (i.e. Amazon Smile) or corporations and companies that help students in the community or contribute to causes students care about.

4. Living Well (not limited to physical, but also financial, occupational, etc.) or Green Living (as there are many small things we can do to help the environment, or at least not contribute to destroying it).

5. Stories on student veterans, student parents, student married couples, international students, etc.  Everyone has a story.

6. Great jobs for students (with at least 3-5 quotes of working students on how they work-life-school balance).

7. Second generation PSC students (third would be even better); this would make a great in-depth story; it would also be interesting if mom and son, or father and daughter shared some of the same professors.

8. Helpful websites, TED talks, books available in the campus library, etc.

9. 10 Awesome Perks of Starting a Blog (I see a blog as an online portfolio, though I’m not sure many employers would agree).  Another tack would be on what students (especially those in the STEM fields) use as their creative outlet.

10. Health Benefits of Coffee.  (They do exist.)

11. Stress-reduction techniques.

12. Ramen noodle recipes.  (Must be cheap and creative.)

13. Student discounts and deals.

14. What I learned from _____ class.  (5-10 takeaways.)

15. Student success stories.  (Profiles on students who’ve been published outside of the college’s publications, who’ve won awards, or been recognized in some way by the local community.)

16. Scholarship and writing tips.

17. How to choose a major.

18. Variety of ways to use a liberal arts degree, a health information technology degree, etc.

19. Best electives to take.

20. Anatomy of a Resume.  (You might be able to make this humorous, but still be informative on what makes a great resume.)

21. Internships.  (This type of information is helpful to students who want to solidify their soft skills, have experience to put on their resume, and get letters of recommendation.)

22. The Federal Work-Study Program.  (Profile those who are participating, ask them what they’ve learned, and what advice they’d give to students seeking a position.)

23. Club Profiles.  (Go to a meeting and get 3-5 quotes from students.  Hopefully, club projects extend beyond the borders of the campus.)

24. How-To Article.  (How to extreme coupon, how to invest $10 a week, how to become a minimalist, etc.)

What’s more, feel free to check out other college newspapers online.  We learn more when we learn from one another.  Just always remember to “localize” the story.  If there’s something going on in town, find a student who is going or who is involved in some way.  Make it pertinent to the students.  Make it matter to them.