Friday, March 1, 2024

New Month, New Challenges

March is here once again. The ground hog's prediction for spring to come early is definitely coming true in Northern Virginia. The cherry blossom peak time for showcasing the white and pink bouquet of colors starts on March 23rd. Of course, this doesn't quite connect with our community's Potomac cruise to see the cherry blossoms on April 4th. So we won't see what nature offers in prime time but I will have a chance to take photos and enjoy the beauty of a lazy cruise ride and lunch. 

As I said last Tuesday in my Sneak Peek blog post, "It's time to take a peek at what will be during March's slice of life spree." But before I do that, I pause to step back to 2015 when I signed up for the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge. I am sure that you will get the picture of what happened during March back then. Yes, it was heavily snowing on Long Island, NY where I used to live. 

One goal this March will be to look into the past while being in the present. Photos and digital designs will inspire me to write heartnotes to nature, family, and friends. In case, you missed my ramblings about heartnotes click here. In my sneak peek post, the last stanza of my poem stated that I would be ready to share my theme today. Heartnotes it is! There will be small deliveries from my heart to my readership each day that I write.  You will find memes, nature photos, digital designs, and perhaps more family photos. All will be wrapped in poetry as a prelude to National Poetry Month in April. 

What is a heartnote?  See the above package and imagine this.

Fly across an indigo sky with me this March in search of mystical beauty or take a nature walk as I snap photos. Whatever delight there is outdoors this month, I desire to capture it. This past month, I spent most of my time indoors recuperating from a respiratory/sinus infection that does not want to remove itself from me. Perhaps, you will create your own heartnote and send it to me to showcase. We'll see what nature and life will offer. My notebook is ready.

Now, it is time to kiss the stars goodnight. I thank Laura Shovan for her fun 12th Annual February Poetry Project that she hosted. While I did not feel up to writing each day, I added several new drafts to my notebook. The game was on and all the players brought their best game plan in the form of a poem to Facebook. You probably guessed that the theme was about games. Each day, prompts were posted by different poets, and poems were created by each member. On my day of posting a prompt, I shared this. "Your mission today, should you choose to play, has to do with childhood playtime. Think back to the era when you were a child." I had fun that day reading all the poems that were written. 

Here is one poem that I never had a chance to unveil. It was based on a memory of a college friend who did travel to Woodstock and The Who's famous hit song, The Pinball Wizard. I found out that The Who were at  Woodstock singing in 1969. Years later, I saw the Tommy rock musical on Broadway with friends. This is what I created about The Who at Woodstock.


I am celebrating the beginning of the March Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge and the Poetry Friday Roundup hosted by my dear, long-distance friend, Linda Baie. Linda is sharing her acrostic poem, "Choice". Click here to read her acrostic poem that features questions for us to ponder. Then hop over to the Two Writing Teachers' community website for opening posts from around the globe. 

I look forward to reading blog posts throughout the weekend. 

Happy March 2024!

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Sneak Peek of March's Slice of Life Series

March is here once again and I hope the groundhog's prediction is correct. It wasn't just one groundhog but many in the Eastern section of the USA that announced spring will be early? 

Each March, I participate in the Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge by Two Writing Teachers. This marks the 17th year that the writing challenge has been in existence. The challenge provides slicers from around the globe the space to reflect, write, and meet up with colleagues. Find out more about this fun-filled daily challenge during March here.
Time to Write

take a peek
at what will be
during March's
slice of life spree

each writer will
pen a post
stretching words
that can evoke

successes, or

I am ready
to share my theme -
come back next week
you'll see more memes
©CVarsalona, 2024

As Baby Lila is almost ready to embark on her first crawl, I crawled into a writing moment with this sneak preview poem for the February 27, 2029, 17th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge.

Happy Slicing to my Slicer friends and thank you to my readers for your support and comments.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Loveuary's Emotional Ties

As one of the #PoetryPals, I'm joining the Poetry Sisters, Tanita, Laura, Mary Lee, Liz, Sara, Triciaand Kelly, for their February challenge.

This month the Poetry Sisters invited all writers to create epistolary poetry in the form of a love poem. Epistolary poems are, quite literally, poems that read as letters. As poems of direct address, they can be intimate and colloquial or formal and measured (Academy of American Poets). I decided to create a small bank of heartnotes (aka valentines) that tugged at my heartstrings and led me in different directions. 

I see love through my family as they share precious life moments, smiles, laughter, and joy. Ordinary moments bring us together to discover what love is. 


Love's Emotional Ties

This poem is dedicated to my 2nd grandgirl who has a bright smile

Childlove is the beginning of lasting friendships!
small poem
It is my hope that this little 4-year-old miss will grow in love to bring
continuous sunshine to those around her.

The poem below shares the love of little sisters who happen to be my grandgirls.
priceless treasure
like glistening shells
swishing in ocean waves
©CVarsalona, January 2024
Elfchen poem

Dear Me,
There have been six and a half years of being
a Grandma like my mother and Nonnie.
What have you learned?
There is a special love 
seated deep inside a heart.
It is a thumping, wondrous love
that offers more 
sweetness than chocolate and
warmth on cold winter days.
It is an intangible love
that melts hearts,
mends broken wings,
and floats in imaginative minds.
It is the purring of a gentle kitten,
the whoosh of baby's sleeptoy,
and the softness of a furry blanket.
It is the God-given gift
to Grandmothers who
cherish family life.
Love, Me
©CVarsalona, January 2024
epistolary poem, #PoetryPals

Grandma Love Is...

a gift
of enduring love
fountain of perpetual devotion
©CVarsalona, January 2024
Elfchen poem

Look, at me!
I love this french fry,
Mommy gave me.
Yummy in my tummy!
Do you love food
As much as I do!
Meme Poem, Created by Grandma,
©CVarsalona, January 2024
May love surround you and your family.
Is at
Tabatha Yeatts blog,
 "Open for Poetry Business".
Tabatha has a wonderful story poem about Scheherazade. Check it out.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Welcome to the Pre-Valentine Poetry Friday Roundup


Welcome to the Poetry Friday Roundup

As your host today, I invite you to pause and share the poetic goodness of the Poetry Friday community whose poets are always in harmony with one another. During these pre-Valentine days, let's remind ourselves to follow our hearts. 

"It (the heart) knows the way. Run in that direction." -Rumi 

This winter, many beautiful New Year Poetry Postcards have been sent by poet friends thanks to the endeavors of Jone Rush MacCulloch. Each time a postcard was delivered, my day was brightened. 

Patricia Franz, Linda Baie, Tabatha Yeatts, Gail Aldous 

Mary Lee Hahn, Joyce Uglow, Carol Labuzzetta, Linda Mitchell

Michelle Kogan, Molly Hogan, Marcie Flinchum Atkins, Margaret Simon (sticker)

Denise Krebs

💗 Exhale only love. - Rumi 💗


pause and observe

breathe in nature's fragrance

breathe out love

©CVarsalona, 2024


For those interested in sharing a Valentine, add your heartnote to your blog post.

Poetry Friday poets, writers, and bloggers, please add the link to your blog post below. May your Valentine's Day be filled with sweet thoughts and treats.


Be My Valentine!

Valentine's Day has always been a family day to pause and be grateful for love displayed and love given from the heart. For a couple of weeks, I've been under the weather with a lingering cold so this Valentine's Day was a different type of day. Only part of the house featured Valentine's decor with mementos from the past. The meal of choice, heart ravioli was postponed. Valentine heartnotes were on hold. Yet, the family was able to video chat with the grandgirls, watch them open Valentine cards from schoolmates, and eat a delicious-looking chocolate cake with raspberries. Sitting on my table were a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a stunning-looking card. The spirit of love endured.

My gift back to the family is different handmade heartnotes and a new date to celebrate family love. 
Lao Tzu's wisdom withstands time. 
Poetry postcards open the heart to lasting memories. Below are two more postcards that brightened my winter days. 

from Jone Rush MacCullock
from Robyn Hood Black

May the joy of heartnotes bring you winter cheer. If you missed last week when I hosted Poetry Friday, you can find more poetry heartnotes here. This week Margaret Simon hosts Poetry Friday. She offers two poems with contrasting thoughts. Love and grief stand side by side. 
Logo designed by Margaret Simon