Monday, April 30, 2018

Earth Day Request

On the last day of National Poetry Month, I am finding some humor in a writing challenge conjured up at the beginning of April by the ditty master herself, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. Being a last-minute slide-into a ditty challenge writer, I decided to give it a try. After all, the challenge was based on Matt Forrest Esenwine and Deborah Bruss' new book. 

Michelle writes:
Don’t Ask a Dinosaur is about a party that goes wildly awry when a pack of dinosaurs with very unique physical attributes attempt to help set up. Watch the book trailer HERE.

At the end of Michelle's interview with Matt and Deborah, the challenge was revealed:

Dinosaur on the loose. 
Poetry to introduce. 
Imagination gone wild.
Fit for a child!
(whose parents are environmentalists)
©CV, 2018

When I started writing, I wasn't sure what I would expect my dinosaur wanted to do. It turned out that he was an environmentalist and an advocist (a person who acts as both an advocate and an activist for a cause that is important to him-Urban Dictionary). I played around with some thoughts, came up with pure fantasy, and posted my offering on Michelle's April 2018 Padlet where you can see all of the ditty challenge poems.   

You can see the enlarged version of my animated Buncee here

A little imagination coupled with the Buncee creative platform made for a couple of fun afternoons of writing. 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Celebrating Springtime '18

Finally, spring has come to Long Island for a full week! It's been a week of celebrating all "things" related to spring: a changeover in closets, walks in the neighborhood, a fond remembrance of a trip to the boardwalk, and topped off with poetry writing. Lately, my umbrella and sunglasses take turns as the accessory of the day while my iPhone, always busy capturing nature, is a faithful companion. Here on Long Island, spring is a celebratory experience after a long #winterinspring phenomenon that led me to unveil my Winter Wonderland Gallery of Artistic Expressions

Now, the weather has settled into a spring pattern of sun and rain and so, I took the opportunity to send out an invitation to my spring gallery, Sense-sational Spring. All this talk of spring has inspired me to continue to write poetry and create digital art. Life is full. Even the birds have returned to their daily practice of awakening morning each spring day. 

"Spring is when life's alive in everything!" This quote from the 19th century poet, Christina Rossetti, has given rise to a flurry of digitals on social media. I couldn't resist using one of my favorite spring scenes of the preserve north of Sleepy Hollow, New York to create a digital inspiration. I hope this creation brings you a sense of peace and the interest to capture your own spring scenes.

For all the baseball fans, the season is upon us and even my grandbaby is enjoying spring at a ball game.

Are you feeling the spring-is-in-the-air love?

Only 2 more days to enjoy National Poetry Month with the amazing poetry that is happening on and off-line. You still have time to check out the poetry happenings at Jama Rattigan's 2018 National Poetry Month Kidlitosphere Events Roundup. Click here for the calendar. I know that I have some catching up to do myself.

Signing off with more #poetrylisciouspoetry creations in mind.

I  Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres at her site on the weekends and post at #celebratelu. What are you celebrating this weekend?

Friday, April 27, 2018

Spring Salutations with an Invitation to Write

It's the end of April, a time of renewal. Showers fall gently awakening flowers. Earth comes alive after the chill of winter and a unique weather phenomenon, #winterinspring. 

daybreak dusting
early morning surprise-
winter in april
Photo and Poem by Spiri Howard

Now at the end of April, #winterinspring has moved on, allowing springtime the space to restore life. Traditional April showers greet Long Island in between sunny days of warmer weather. Poets continue to write #poetryliciouspoetry as National Poetry Month draws to a close. The Northeast where I live craves color and warmth.

Laura Hill Timpanaro

It is time to dig deep into our soul to bloom and become a troubadour of nature. It is time to feel earth's call to action, engage your senses, re-energize your spirit, and restore a colorful lens to everyday life. 


As the earth salutes spring, I invite all to capture the beauty of the season with all five senses. Paint a canvas fresh with deep verdant green colors accented by a rainbow of florals. Light up a gallery of artistic expressions with nature photograph, artwork, poetry, inspirational thoughts, and music. 
Let's capture the renewal of life this spring and
send a myriad of artistic expressions
out into the universe.

Sense-sational Spring Gallery Awaits Your Offerings!

Be creative. Capture the splendors of springtime in a variety of ways:
  • Image poems - Superimpose an original poem on an image using a photo editing tool, like PicMonkeyFotoJet, or Canva
  • Audio reading of an original poem using SoundCloud, etc.
  • Collage, scrapbook art 
  • Original inspirational quote or one from a poet or philosopher that is superimposed on a photo 
  • Original nature photography in a picture postcard format
  • Original artwork (any format)
  • Playlist of springtime music linked to the songs or instrumental score
  • A Buncee using the Buncee platform
  • Video poem using iMovie, Animoto, or Magisto
  • Short videos

All submissions must:
  • Have your name and locale at the bottom
  • Be sized to 450 pixels in a jpeg or png format
  • Be sent to #Sense_sationalSpring and @cvarsalona at Twitter or cvarsalona at with the subject being Sense-sational Spring Gallery Offering

Deadline for Submission: May 31, 2018

Still Not Sure How to BeginYou can refer to last year's spring gallery of artistic expressions, Springsations, here to find mentor texts.

Student Voice for Sense-sational Spring Gallery

Please encourage your class and/or students to engage in this creative writing challenge that will amplify their voices and showcase their artistic talents. 

This invitation extends the experience of writing poetry beyond National Poetry Month because poetry is a YEAR-ROUND endeavor of creative expression. The challenge is full of choice options to amplify voice and integrates the arts, technology, and literacy. Have fun creating poetryliscious poetry.  the Poetry Friday Round-up with ARTSPEAK! Harlem Renaissance "Poems Come Lately"


Today, the Poetry Friday Round-up with ARTSPEAK! Harlem Renaissance "Poems Come Lately" by Irene Latham, children's book author and amazing poet is at Irene's blog site Live Your Poem.

Thank you to the Poetry Friday poets whose talented work graced the halls of my recently released Winter Wonderland Gallery of Artistic Expressions that can be found here

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Poetry Bliss

When the muse calls, word weaving follows and perhaps, if I am in the zone, a poem evolves. This is a euphoric experience for me. When this occurs, I am totally wrapped in a poetic moment that suspends time. I mindfully engage in the moment that leads to other gathering moments. 

What triggers this spurt of creativity? It can be a simple noticing, a sound that opens my day, or a text that I am reading. Whatever sends me into a write zone is a pleasurable experience. 

a sigh of bliss
a poetic kiss
fragrant grace
a happiness place
a beach kite
pure delight

What else has afforded me poetic bliss this month?

- On April 9, 2018, I enthusiastically moderated the #NYEDChat / #WonderChat combo convo, "Poetry Is for Everyone," with John MacLeod from Wonderopolis and my friends/guest poet hosts, Irene Latham, Laura Purdie Salas, and Charles Waters. 

  • The chat was an amazing roller coaster ride of poetry bliss and #poetrylove. I thanked everyone for their poetic hearts and conversations that floated into the Twittersphere. You can access the trending on Twitter conversation with resources gathered here.

-Yesterday on #EarthDay2018, I unveiled my Winter Wonderland Global Gallery of Artistic Expressions after a #winterinspring phenomenon occurred. 

  • Please consider taking a gallery walk through an array of vivid nature photographs, image poems, and inspirational quotes while listening to two original compositions, one from Kevin Hodgson and the other from Kat Healy. 
  • This gallery is a tribute to the majesty of Mother Earth during the winter season and the strength of poetic voice. Some of Two Writing Teachers slicers are showcased in the gallery that also features Poetry Friday writers; #stuvoice is clearly evident, as well as other voices from around the world. 
  • You can enter the gallery here to enjoy a virtual gallery walk during National Poetry Month. 

Each Tuesday, Two Writing Teachers offers Slice of Life Tuesday. I will meet-up with other writers there. Join me. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Winter Wonderland Gallery Unveiled

Global Gallery of Artistic Expressions
Designed by Carol Varsalona
featuring a Community of Reflective Writers

Etched in a canopy of frosted wonder or enveloped in a golden sunrise, winter blankets earth each year. This season, winter lingered longer than usual. Photographers, artists, and poets have raised their voices to bring awareness of the varying shades of winter to this gallery that reflects both the serenity and irony found in nature

I invite you to virtually step back into the season of winter to discover nature's artistry and stilled wonders at Winter Wonderland Gallery of Artistic Expressions. Join your host, Lady Winter, as she unveils bejeweled, crystalline landscapes, snow-covered mountains, brilliant sunrises, and glorious sunsets from around the world. While strolling through this gallery, be drawn into the visual experience, enjoy the music, especially the original compositions by Kat Healy and Kevin Hodgson, and feel the power of the poetic word as I honor National Poetry Month.  

    Be lulled by the beauty of winter 2018!
Find serenity in the stillness of winter.
Michael Hartnett, Montana
Listen to the original composition by Kevin  Hodgson.
Lucille Fisher, Massachusetts

Fall in love with the first snow.
The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical moment. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? -J.B. Priestley
Photo by Spiri Howard
Collaborative Poem, Country Road Resplendence, at Buncee here
Poetry by Melissa Chouinard-Jahant, Steve Kelley, Faige Meller, 
Chris Quinn, Valerie Tilton, Carol Varsalona

Video poem, First Snow 
Carol Varsalona
Be dazzled by the many shades of winter on the seasonal runway.
Be inspired by the glistening snow and winter scenes.

Bonnie Kaplan, NY
View Kiesha's Buncee here.

Follow Lady Winter around the globe as she uncovers nature's seasonal jewels.
Try creating an inspirational quote or poetry for one of the photos.  
Terje Akke, Prague

Kat Apel's view of winter in Australia

Rizza Joe Piccio, Manila, Philippines

Vincent Guth, Ireland

Lee Ann Spillane, Singapore

Be dazzled by the many shades of winter on the seasonal runway.

...and the torrential rains and grey skies also came this winter season.

Chouinard Jahant-"Raining Winter Day"-Texas
Be thrilled by the excitement of outdoor sports.

Josh created a Buncee for this gallery. You can see it here.

Michael Hartnett, Big Sur, Montana

Poetry is the gentle wonderings of the world calling us to unravel its beauty in words and images. - CVarsalona

Be Amazed at Winter's Sunrises and Sunsets 

Why sunrises are more amazing in the Winter:
Answer: See here.
Kevin Foley, Sunset in Ireland
Laura Hill Timpanero, Port Jefferson, Long Island
"He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter." - John Burroughs
Admire the variegated colors of winter.
 You can listen to Kat Healy's original song, "Winter", here.

Let us not forget that "winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is a time for home." -Elizabeth Sitwell

 Winter became a time for writing and amplifying voice this year.
The above Buncee was created for Laura Shovan's Ekphrastic Writing Project.
 Children's Corner Honoring #StuVoice

Margaret Simon's Class, featuring Austin, Louisiana

Faith, Louisiana

Leonie Bennett's Students, New Zealand
Snow Sculpture created by Kevin Foley's STEAM Students, Ireland
Suzi Day
Kat Apel, Australia

View Class Poems from Kindergarten to 5th Grade Classes in California, Massachusetts, & Montana

by @CitizensOwls, 5th Grade Young Poets from California
You can access the class' nineteen individual winter poems in the slide share here.

A Buncee by Wyman's Wonders, Kinders from Massachusetts above.
A Buncee by KB Kids, Kinders from Montana below.

This season, Lady Winter's whimsical nature prompted the trend of nor'easters announcing arrival- and quick departure-like layover flights. 

"A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky - unbidden -
and seems like a thing of wonder." - Susan Orlean
Pwilliams819Pam, Connecticut
"Winter is a season of recovery and preparation." -Paul Theroux
Enjoy listening to music for the winter season at my playlist.
Artists capture the spirit of winter!

Michelle Kogan, Chicago

Leia Cator, Alabama
"All art requires courage." -Anne Tucker

"...the color of winter is in our imagination." -Terri Guillemets

Inspired to Write? Try Postcard Poetry
reminiscent of early 20th Century postcards
This season, Lady Winter decided to wear her warm clothing longer than usual. Thus, the hashtag #winterinspring evolved.

Read about the new book in first person narrative, NIGHT GUARD by Synne Lea, offers a poem on why winter doesn't want to move on. 
(reviewed by Myra Garces-Bacsal)
Each year as winter turns into spring, the world anticipates an awakening.
When Lady Winter started her journey she called us
to notice and wonder,
to find peace in the stillness,
to listen soulfully to the sounds of nature,

and to wonder deeply about life.
Goodbye Lady Winter. Spring will now dress the world in verdant color patterns.

Thank you for sharing this incredibly beautiful compilation of the arts with me.
This gallery design has been a magical journey for me.
I hope you agree that if we notice and wonder more
our senses will grow sharper
and we will see the world
with a new lens.
The community of reflective writers has continued to grow since the first Reflect With Me Gallery of Artistic Expressions in March 2014.  I am grateful to all who offered their creativity and talents to this gallery. 

Adding Kat Apel as a Winter Wonderland Gallery Contributor 
Past Galleries
If you click on each title you will be directed to the gallery.
Lady Winter takes a final bow and waves goodbye because her #winterinspring journey is moving over for spring to renew the land.
Today is Earth Day 2018. 
Let's honor Mother Earth each day
 as we notice and wonder about the artistry of nature.
The Winter Wonderland Gallery is a tribute to National Poetry Month 2018.
Thank you for journeying with me and the gallery contributors as we showcased winter 2018 in its finery.