Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A to Z Challenge

For the A-Z challenge, we decided to post a new and original poem every day (yipes!)  Today, inspired by a wonderful teacher and friend, Juliet tackles the letter "I."

Instructor: Laurie's Way

She drags a battered bag on wheels,
Entering the room with quiet purpose.

We read our words,
Pouring out our story-selves,
Their lumpy births
Uneven but,
Stained with specks of sunlight.

She decorates the room with soft edges,
To make us safe.
It’s all right, she says.
Go on.

Her strength isn’t in the volume of her voice,
Or the swagger of her hips.

No, this teacher guides with,
Kindness and pearls of praise.
Under her direction,
Greening leaves sprout jeweled buds.

©2013 Juliet Bond all rights reserved


We’ve just been nominated for a Liebster Blog award by the very kind, Michelle over at  I had to explore what the heck that is but found the basics in Michelle’s blog post about her own nomination.

1.     Regina loves the great outdoors

2.     Juliet’s fantasy happy-place is a very clean room with extremely soft pillows and walls made of books.  If you know where that place is, I’d like to go to there.

3.     Regina and Juliet met at a founder’s workshop through Highlights.

4.     Both Regina and Juliet have three children.

5.     Regina loves poetry.

6.     Juliet also loves poetry but this is her first real attempt to write a lot of it and she is fully aware that some of it is total crappola.

7.     Juliet has published a picture book, stories in various short story collections, articles, blog posts and one children’s play.

8.     Regina is a published poet!
9.     Juliet works at Columbia College Chicago as an instructor in their Humanities Department.
10. Regina lives in the great state of Michigan way far, far away in the beautiful UP.
11. Regina and Juliet are new but enthusiastic bloggers, bravely and blindly feeling their way into the blogosphere.

Michelle’s Questions:

1.     Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?
a.     Juliet: For one weird year, my husband and I lived in Hollywood.  We decided that we should attend the Oscars as they were basically taking place in our backyard (which is a total figure of speech - Hollywood has no actual backyards.)  So at six months pregnant, I climbed a tree to see over a huge wall onto the red carpet.  As I watched, Dennis Rodman walked by in some outrageous getup. Then, my husband demanded that I “get the hell down from that tree.” 
I don’t even like basketball. 
b.     Regina: Met Tori Amos and shared some poetry
2.     Why did you start blogging?
a.     Juliet: A woman we met at Highlights began a group blog after our second workshop together.  Regina and I later decided to try to learn how to do this all on our own.  How are we doing?
b.     Regina: Yeah, what she said.
3.     What is your most likeable quality?
a.     Juliet: Oh, I hate talking about myself.  I get on my nerves.  Is that likeable or totally annoying?
b.     Regina: I wear my heart on my sleeve.
4.     What is one item you should really throw away, but probably never will.
a.     Juliet: Love letters from an ex boyfriend (sigh)
b.     Regina: I have this t-shirt and pair of jeans that should be worn by no one.
5.     If you could be anywhere in the world this New Year’s Eve, where would you choose and why?
a.     Juliet: As long as I am with family and friends, the place doesn’t matter (though Paris is VERY nice.)
b.     Regina: On a beach with a bonfire and good friends
6.     Summarize your outlook on life in six words
a.     Juliet: Mixed up hues. Lemon, blue blessings.
b.     Regina: Persistence, Grace, Joy, Grief, Survival, Poetry
7.     What event in the next few months are you most looking forward to?
a.     Juliet: A Benefit concert for COPE where I will sing in public for the first time in twenty years (okay, twenty-five) with some favorite old friends.
b.     Regina: A summer of bliss and gardening
8.     If you had a $100 gift card to spend at any store, where would you choose to spend it?
a.     Juliet:  I could seriously use some new sheets.
b.     Regina: A new pair of jeans and a t-shirt
9.     What cheers you up when you are having a bad day?
a.     Juliet: My husband, he can always make me smile.
b.     Regina: Chocolate and a long walk outside
10. What piece of advice would you give to a new blogger?
a.     Juliet: Um, I had no idea there even were comments on blogs, much less knew to read or respond or to return the favor of a response. So yeah, read the comments and then visit the blogger who left them – blog courtesy 101.
b.     Regina: Yeah, what she said.
11. If you could create a memorial to yourself in a city park, what and where would the memorial be?
a.     Juliet:  This one makes me think of Jane Addams.  Though she changed the world through the reform movement and though she won the Nobel Peace Prize, she asked that her tombstone simply say that she was associated with Hull House and the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom (an anti-war group that still exists today.)  So, along those lines, I think I’d want to be remembered for the groups I worked with rather than any one achievement (who achieves on their own anyway?)  And a statue or concrete memorial of some kind?   No, I’m sure that it would just make me look fat.
b.     Regina: A fountain would be nice. Oh a musical poetry fountain.

Next, we have to nominate bloggers who have less than 100 followers, for the Liebster Blog Award.   We have been hopping all over the place for the A-Z so this is a great chance to point out some good ones!  Here are our picks:

Ann Finklestein at Words and Pixels
Dani and Jax at Cover Girls
Amber Smith at The Furry Tales Chronicles
Dusty Drosche at Hoppy in First Grade
Grazona at Be Nice Follow Rules
The Ninja Librarian

Special Mention:  Juliet's favorite blog she's come across during the challenge?
What the F(eminist)

Last, these lucky winners have to respond to these
eleven questions.

1. Why write?
2. Favorite author and why?
3. Favorite book and why?
4. The meal you would eat while reading that book?
5. The question you would ask the author of that book?
6.  The way you might use that story in your own writing?
7. An excerpt from the book?
8. Favorite plot point in the book
9. Who you have recommended the book to?
10. The playlist you would create for this book?
11. The famous person you would like to give this book to and why?


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Cathrina. Are you a teacher?

  2. I was nominated too, but decided to leave my Liebster post until after A to B.


  3. Beautiful poem...I love the tenderness throughout and the final hope of green ;D

  4. Excellent poem.
    Thanks for passing by, much appreciated.


  5. First, I love the bio of you guys! I had to laugh at the foot fungus! You wonder some times how opposites attract, but it works! (Thank goodness!) Second thanks for dropping by my site, cuz I may not have found you as quickly.
    Third- the poem is great. We need to have mentors that nourish and help the flowers, leaves emerge. And lastly, congrats on your award! Thank you for the invite to drop by!Keep on writing!

  6. That sums up the teacher-pupil relationship for me. Wonderful poem.
    Thanks for dropping by my blog.
    Happy A-Zing! :)

  7. Juliet,

    I feel like I am watching the birth of a poet!
    "Pouring out our story-selves,
    Their lumpy births
    Uneven but,
    Stained with specks of sunlight."

    Love, love, love!

  8. Beautiful poem and congrats on the nomination!


    Christine London

    A-Z Challenge "I" is for Ice Cream ( )
    Christine's Amazon Author Central Page:
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  9. That's a beautiful tribute to a grand teacher.

    And thanks for the nomination! I,too, shall have to wait to deal with it until after A to Z!

    Rebecca at The Ninja Librarian

    1. No worries. It was a heftier task than I'd imagined but since Regina and I have each other, its all split up into manageable parts.

  10. I'm really not a poem person, as in I don't usually understand them. I did like the pretty words in this one though.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier.
    Happy A-Zing

  11. Thank you for my nominating my blog! I'm honored that you two like it. I'd like to say, though, that the 11 questions you came up with for me to answer are a lot harder than the 11 questions you answered. :-) You want me to name one favorite book. That's tough. I'll try! Thanks again.

  12. Instructor! What a great topic! I've had a couple duds over the years, but most of them have been fantastic. Keep up the lovely poetry.

    1. Those good ones make so much difference!

  13. I cant't tell you how many times I dragged that battered bag on wheels to my classes at a inner city school. Your poem brings back memories, good and bad. Thank you!

    1. If that was your modus operandi, my guess is that you brought a lot of care to kids who needed it.

  14. Lovely! New follower from A to Z.

  15. I've met some wonderful people through writers workshops and conferences, and I'm glad that you two got to meet through the Highlights workshop. I've heard about these workshops and am curious to check one of them out someday.

    1. You should, Cynthia. They are truly magical!

  16. Aww, that teacher sounds like a lovely, nurturing person. Congratulations on your blog award. The questions and answers were fun.

    1. She is! She is also an amazing writer. Check her out at

  17. Beautiful poem! Congratulations on your award!

  18. Everyone should have teacher like that.
    Congratulations on your award--well deserved.

  19. Nice poem. It made me remember a few of my favorite teachers.

    KC @ The Occasional Adventures of a Hermit & Oh Frog It

    1. Yeah, those good ones are such needles in a haystack:)

  20. Juliet, thank you for dropping by my blog. Much appreciated. Lovely poem!

  21. I really enjoyed this poem - well done!

  22. Great tribute to instructors. I had a few who influenced me, a few who scared the crap out of me, but will never forget those who made a difference.

    Great blog, thanks for stopping by mine!

  23. Oh, thinking back on so many great teachers over the years! Love the poem....are you on L? I'm way behind somehow then...I'm on K for today. Though, I'm a day behind, so just posted my J this morning (an excerpt from a short play) and will post K this afternoon.

    Hmmm, how'd I get that far behind? Ciao!

  24. I feel lucky to say that I've had teachers like this. They inspire for longer than the short time span that we're in their classes, don't they? I still carry mine with me.

  25. It was nice getting to know more about the two of you.

  26. It's amazing what a wonderful teacher can do. Beautiful poem, and congrats on your award!


  27. Hi, I'm stopping by on the A-Z Challenge.

  28. Thanks for visiting my blog today. I enjoyed your poem...I was a teacher once upon a time, and have a daughter who is a wonderful teacher. They can make all the difference. Good luck with the challenge!

  29. Lovely poem. Congrats on the award!