Tag Archives: challenge

Rapping It Up

Day 30 of the Nano Poblano (a.k.a. NaBloPoMo — National Blog Posting Month) challenge is finally here! Thanks for reading, thanks for writing, and thanks to the “cheer peppers” who made it all happen and cheered us on by “liking” our posts. I read the posts of my fellow bloggers religiously and learned so much from all of you.

I’m proud of myself for sticking with it, even though some days were a little rough. Somehow, I managed to eke out 30 different pieces, including:

  • two posts made within 15 minutes of midnight
  • one post consisting of only one sentence
  • two posts that were nothing but questions
  • one that included a video of me singing and playing guitar
  • a poem made up of 14 shorter haiku poems
  • many other posts, some with a bit of history, some just plain silly
  • no cat photos, and only one post with pictures of what I had for lunch

Even though I thoroughly enjoyed NanoPoblano, I’m looking forward to a little down time in December. (Did I just say down time in December?) This year, for the first time since I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for December to get here. I mean, I literally couldn’t wait. As soon as I returned home from New York yesterday, I changed both of my wall calendars to December without realizing that I was two days early.

There’s one thing I meant to post this month and didn’t. It’s a little embarrassing, but here goes: I don’t know how to rap. I don’t know much about it and I think I might be terrible at it. I’d like to learn, though, so that maybe I can use it in my songwriting projects. But how do you learn to rap? The same way you can learn almost anything these days: YouTube! I watched a few videos and I learned that some rappers (I think it’s called freestyle?) compose on the spot by thinking ahead to the end of the phrase before mentally writing the first line. I decided to try it, so I looked around the room for inspiration. I was in the kitchen. On the table was a glass, some cheese and crackers on a plate, and a vase of flowers. I grabbed my pad and pencil, and here’s the result. I may not win a Grammy, but if I make you smile it’s all worth it.

I had no support, I had no backers,
all I had going were these tasty crackers

I needed a genie to grant me three wishes
instead of all these glasses and dirty dishes

I wanted to be strong, I wanted magic powers
or maybe just a bunch of beautiful flowers

I had me some treble, I had me some bass
but I needed something else, like a flower vase

I asked that genie, pretty pretty please
can you bring me some money, or maybe just some cheese?

And on that note, I’m rapping up this edition of loristory. Happy December!

Featured image photo by Anita Peeples




The Magna What?

Two years ago, I entered my first poetry contest. I’m not much of a poet, and I know it, but I’m interested in poetry and I do have a tendency to wade into deep water and get in over my head. Well, these waters were deep indeed, and the current was strong. In fact, it carried me 800 years into the past, and, figuratively speaking, across the Atlantic Ocean. That’s because the contest was part of a London festival celebrating the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. The highlight of the event would be the reading of the winning poem (by the poet). I had never been to England. Game on.

The last time I remember anybody even mentioning the Magna Carta was maybe in my very dry high school World History class. I say maybe because I really don’t remember much about that class. I got B’s only because I knew how to study and cram for tests. I didn’t really start to appreciate history until much later. I had a lot of Googling to do if I was going to write any kind of a poem about the Magna Carta.

Well, Google I did. I didn’t win a prize, but the effort was worth it anyway. I learned something new, and I had fun doing it. If you want to learn more about the Magna Carta … well, it’s 2017. You know what to do.

And now for my poem.

At Runnymede

At Runnymede we made our stand
eight hundred years ago;
the rolling hills and River Thames
bore witness to it all.

We gathered in the meadow
with rebellion on our minds
and told King John he had no right
to act above the law.

“We’re nobles with a noble cause,
And free men, by the way!
Your taxes are exorbitant,
your punishments arcane.

The Archbishop has drafted
a more modern set of rules,
and what’s more, it’s in Latin
so it’s legal as can be!”

“I can’t accept your terms, you fools,”
said haughty old King John.
“The Pope’s in my back pocket,
so you haven’t got a prayer.”

Then he dismissed us with a wave,
but we would not be cowed
Instead, we grew more resolute
than ever, and declared,

“We’re mad as hell, you tyrant, you!
Divine rights are passé!
No longer will we acquiesce
to your outlandish schemes!

Our liberty is sacred,
but you are not, King John,
and if you dare to cross us
we will seize your lands at once!”

Reluctantly, the king accepted
our demands that day
with no intent to honor them —
but they survived his reign.

At Runnymede the River Thames
and rolling hills abide;
eight centuries have come and gone —
and Magna Carta stands!

© Lori Bonati, 2017

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So Many Questions

Dear Cheer Peppers,

What’s all this talk about Nano Poblano?

Why am I hearing about it just now?

Who are these peppers so chatty and cheerful?

Where do I upload my writing, and how?

One post a day for a month – are you crazy?

How can I manage to fit all that in?

What if I’m stranded on some desert island

Or dressing a turkey, or driving? What then?

Do I sound anxious? A bit apprehensive?

Am I afraid I’m not up to the task?

Yes, yes, and yes are my own honest answers

(To say otherwise would be too much to ask.)

Don’t get me wrong, I admire your focus

Your writing commitment is stunning and brave

But me, I’ll admit that I’m often quite scattered

Besides, I don’t think I have that much to say.

But hey, what the heck. I’m a sucker for challenge

Just dare me to do it and do it I’ll try

So I’m dipping my toe in the great Nano River

I’ll sink or I’ll swim but I won’t come out dry.

The water’s refreshing! I feel so much better!

Is that my reflection? And is that a smile?

I’m wading in now on the first of November

Please throw me a pencil; I’ll be here a while.

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Happy Nano Poblano Eve

Hello Halloween, goodbye sanity. Starting tomorrow, and for the next thirty days, I’ll be immersed in Nano Poblano. Wish me luck!

What is Nano Poblano, you ask? I asked myself the same question after stumbling upon it on the blogosphere about a month ago. Turns out, it’s a thing. A blogging thing. And it’s been going on for at least a few years. The short explanation is that bloggers challenge themselves to post every day during the month of November, instead of every once in a while when inspiration hits them. (The longer explanation by rarasaur, is here. It’s an interesting read.)

Nano Poblano is meant to help writers connect with other writers, hone their writing skills, and maybe — just maybe — attract a few interested readers who love reading their blog. That sounds good on paper, but writing thirty posts in thirty days may kill me (or destroy my marriage). I’m not sure I’ll be able to produce the goods. But, to quote Stuart Smalley (a.k.a. Senator Al Franken): “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and – gosh darn it – people like me!” At least that’s what my husband tells me. So If I’m still alive and married on November 30, I’ll just post a big smiley face on December 1.

What will YOU be doing in November?

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