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Cyndi MacMillan's Blog

About Cyndi MacMillan
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 I have been a member of Poetry soup since 2011. 


Though my forte is fiction, verse has always appealed to me. There is nothing like a play of words to rattle the ordinary, to tickle away the dust of stagnation. My favourite form is the contemporary sonnet, but I also enjoy free verse. Also, I love the zen experience of haiku, its seizure of a moment, how it can hold a universe in so few syllables. And I admit to a fondness for the Rondeau.




My life is simple, but busy. I’m a writer and stay at home mother. Days are full. 


Currently, I am working on a novel or ... ha ha... should I really say that the novel is working on me? Characters! They have a way of turning a world upside down.


There are some amazing poets on the soup. I am blessed to call many my friends ~~ Cyndi




MY NEW CONTEST... LIKE EATING A 30 ounze STEAK...CROWN ME, BABY, WITH A MOVIE!


Blog Posted:2/6/2014 4:19:00 AM



READ CAREFULLY, PLEASE


Write me a CONTEMPORARY CROWN OF SONNETS FOLLOWING THE RULES BELOW. If you TRY to follow the rules, I will award you a 1st to 3rd placement GUARANTEED. All those who try, repeat, TRY to write a CONTEMPORARY crown will receive a 1-3 placement. 

THEME:   CHOOSE ANY ONE OF THESE MOVIE/BOOKS – SOMETHING SHOULD SPARK SOME INTEREST. See hints below. It is easier than you think!!!!

1)    To kill a Mocking Bird

2)    Casablanca

3)    Roots

4)    The War of the Worlds  

5)    Jane Eyre

6)    The Diary of Anne Frank


7)    Any James Bond Movie and/or Book

8)    Hunger Games

9)    Harry Potter

10)                       Twilight

11)                       In the Heat of the Night

12)                       Interview with a Vampire


13)                       The Notebook

14)                       The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe

15)                       The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

16)                        The Da Vinci Code

17)                        The Hobbit

18)                        Fahrenheit 451


19)                       The Color Purple

20)                       I, Robot

21)                       Practical Magic

22)                       Chocolat

23)                       Black Beauty

24)                       Steel Magnolias

25)                       Possession

26)                       Watership Down



shawshank-redemption

27)                       Shawshank Redemption

28)                       Forest Gump

29)                       The Bridges of Madison County

30)                       The hunt for Red October

31)                       The Children of Men

32)                       The Amityville Horror

33)                       Doctor Zhivago

34)                       The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

35)                       Any of the Star Wars books/movies 



Some of you may have tried your hand at Debbie’s crown of sonnets… such a difficult task as the story was unknown, developed painstakingly from poet to poet and a large focus of that workshop was on meter and syllable count, as should be for the older classic crowns. A standing ovation to all who participated. Well done! Feel proud and walk tall! 

However, the contemporary crown allows for freer flow of lines, it is STRESS/free (pun very much intended) and is not in the least prissy about syllable counts.. counts can range, somewhere usually between 9 and 11 syllables per line, but I’ve read a few 8 and 13s, too. 

A crown is built of seven sonnets, 98 lines. The last line of the first sonnet becomes the first line of the second and on and on. The last line of the seventh sonnet is the first line of the first sonnet so it comes full circle.

 Found on http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Star_Wars

 

So……. Helpful hints on writing a CONTEMPORARY crown.

 

1)    Write YOUR first line knowing it will be YOUR last line, too. What are you trying to say?

 

 Sometimes, the first line can be the start of a case you are making for something or about someone, then the last line becomes the ‘closing argument’. Okay, say, you were writing about Marilyn Monroe… you start with her transformation from Norma Jean into the iconic blond bombshell… we would end with her death, right? So how would we begin and end so it comes full circle?  An image?

 

        “Posing nude on satin, farewell Norma Jean” 

        First stanza- her spread in  playboy, becoming Marilyn

        Last stanza- her tragic death, found nude in bed

 

2)    Make notes … form a plan, a blueprint (this will make it easier! PROMISE!)

 

If  I was to write a crown for the Wizard of Oz this would be my blueprint 

Sonnet 1 --- intro to characters, setting, conflict with Ms Gulch, running away

Sonnet 2- -- the twister, finding herself over the rainbow, dead witch

Sonnet 3- -- ruby slippers & good fairy, munchkins, yellow brick road, scarecrow

Sonnet 4--- the tin man, the lion, the forest, apples, scarecrow on fire

Sonnet 5--- poppy fields, snow, Emerald City, Meet Oz, Get the witch broom

Sonnet 6 --- Flying monkeys, saving Dorothy, Witch Melts, heart, brain, courage

Sonnet 7 – she returns home, sees everyone she loves, there is no place like home

 

Now, you have a blueprint.. you can see where you’re going and how you want to get there…

 

RULES THIS TIME. PLENTY. REMEMBER WIN IS GUARANTEED IF THESE ARE FOLLOWED.

 

1)Poem should contain metaphoric and figurative language. Stretch yourself. I would like to see layers in your writing.  

2)Crown must flow, carry the theme forward 

3)Remember to keep the language relevant to today.  

4)No forced rhymes, don’t turn a phrase into a mangled, senseless mess just to keep rhyme…  

5)Few, if any, perfect rhymes.. boring. I DO NOT WANT to see blue rhyme with true. Gimme blue/mood blue/skewer… There are off rhymes, near rhymes, slant rhymes, eye rhymes… here you go 

  6) http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples/examples-of-rhyme.html 

  7)Avoid overuse of monosyllables. Very yesterday. Never dumb-down! 

  8)No static syllable count, flow is paramount. Do not end stop each line with punctuation, use enjambment. End thoughts midline. If I see that every line has 10 syllables it will be placed third. It means you were counting fingers and/or thinking metrically. Focusing on that area will ONLY diminish the contemporary style. Loosen up, buttercup. Move with the times. I even get a whiff of meter.. it will place third.  

9)Use modifiers where needed 

10)Avoid cliché  

YES! THIS IS A SWEAT FEST. But lovely all the same.  

PS—willing to give help to those who ask. But this is your work! Yours to edit, if you choose…. or not.

You can do this! It’ll be like one of those 30 oz steak challenges … I just don’t have the T-shirt to give you… hmmmm… or maybe I should make one? LOL! 

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  1. Date: 2/7/2014 2:14:00 PM
    yaay, i'm allergic to steak so how can i partake of this lonnng poetic fete?... ok, soul sis, let me recover first from flu relapse and i'll get back to you... an ambitious, exciting contest only for the fearless... huggs!

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  1. Date: 2/6/2014 2:17:00 PM
    Hello sweet hatman. I'm building one. Started today, Double Oh, a crown by Puss y Galore.. ha ha... It isn't necessarily strict plot (I put that there to kind of ... hmmm... give a foundation, something for you guys to build on. It isn't a synopsis, per say, I'm looking for. I'm hoping to see poets capture the feel, mood, and tone of a movie or book, play with character, add lib where you may. Hey, even PARODY is welcome... (just saw Ruben grin and crack his knuckles) Peak at my Double Oh... voice and tone above all else, free movement...

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  1. Date: 2/6/2014 12:37:00 PM
    I love the idea, your movie selection, and your rules. For me, it's a real challenge ... I'm going "to try" to write one (one sonnet, not a crown! LOL) ... and see what happens. Now, a question: do we have to write "the plot" ...characters names, descriptions of places, step by step the sequence of events OR write a response to the movie ... through our perceptions, our thoughts ... "only" using the plot as a guide??

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  1. Date: 2/6/2014 9:21:00 AM
    No soup for me... I write metered automatically; it's in my DNA. I'd have to write it and then go back and screw it up. Anyway, you might want to instruct folks who don't have a premium account to post each sonnet separately, IN REVERSE ORDER. That way they will display in the proper sequence and can be read in order. Cheers, Roy

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/6/2014 9:31:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Ah, well, Roy... I think they can easily post 3 when they submit their poems... Maybe title it (as I did long ago) by saying xxxx, crown, part 1, xxxx, crown, part 2
  1. Date: 2/6/2014 8:47:00 AM
    I would like to do "Gladiator...."

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    Lindsey Avatar Catie Lindsey Date: 2/6/2014 9:07:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks! hugs, cate :)
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/6/2014 9:02:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    GO FOR IT! Awesome movie, full of moxie and grit... looking forward. No rush... I will ensure that all get enough time... hugs, Cyndi
  1. Date: 2/6/2014 8:30:00 AM
    EVERYONE::: If there is a movie you'd like to write about, let me know. Nothing too gory, no out and out sex scenes (stay within Soup t and C, puuuh-lease!) MORE THAN JUST A PLAY BY PLAY, I am hoping for... get to the heart of the matter.. things that weren't said... or start with yourself in the movie theatre... were you surprised? Terrified? Moved to tears? Did the characters feel REAL? Would you rewrite the ending? What if Bogart hadn't put her on the plane? And what is Atticus thinking when he gives his closing argument. Jump into his head.... Maybe its a love letter you're writing, Sonnet one... You're incorrigible, James, my double Oh,... HA HA.... if someone needs inspiration,Im here

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  1. Date: 2/6/2014 8:23:00 AM
    I have it open for two months. Not many are going to try this behemoth.. wish I could award a cash prize. Those who try deserve more than my lowly, lovely job, thanks... Advice, print off a summary of your fave movie up there from spoilers.com or the like, do the sonnet outline (as I wrote above about 1/2 hour) then bit by bit, when in the mood strikes, write a few lines here and there, cross off what you have done from your crown "blueprint" (this is line a fiction writer's outline, we do it all the time. Very helpful. Keeps the plot and helps inspiration) Just some thoughts, Andie...:) We have one computer here, too, it is shared. And my family comes first... You, too, I know.

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  1. Date: 2/6/2014 8:11:00 AM
    Cyndi, will the submit box even take our poems with that many lines? I have tried posting narratives that were not this long and got booted off and I had to do the narrative as part one and part two. Also, are you simple wanting a retelling of the movie's plot? Finally, the ones in Deb's contest were actually modern sonnet because they did not place great emphasis on meter, just the syllable count. So I guess they were half modern/half traditional. Maybe I will do a test run and try to post seven of my sonnets at once and see if it lets them post!! Don't know if I'd find time for this, but it sure sounds like a great endeavor.

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/6/2014 8:15:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Sigh, the statement below I meant, it can be done by non-premiums, too, by dividing the crown, entering one into the contest and letting me know where I can find/read the rest.
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/6/2014 8:13:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    If you are a premium sponsor they will post no problem, but I meant to add (thanks for reminding me) that it is as simple as entering half into the contest, with a note and the poet's name where I can find the other half. No probs! Yes, I've posted a crown here...
  1. Date: 2/6/2014 4:36:00 AM
    Have you ever thought, "Submit, Poem!" the poem cowers, tries to crawl from the whip, but can not. "WHO'S YOUR DADDY NOW, HUH, POEM? I'm in charge, here, naughty naughty verse. SUBMIT. NOW, KISS THE BOOT." LOL... okay... if you haven't ... yet... you may right after you finish writing a crown... cause either it's in charge or you are! Crowns. Not for wuzzies. LOL.. love ya guys. Anyone ready to step into that ring. Damn. Should have put Rocky up there!!!! ADRIIIIIIIIIIIIAN!

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My Past Blog Posts

 
I HAVE TO SHARE THIS... BEST ARTICLE ON FIGURATIVE WRITING EVER!!! Worth the read!!!
Date Posted: 8/22/2014 10:47:00 AM
THIS IS POETIC PROSE
Date Posted: 8/20/2014 9:28:00 AM
Death in Family
Date Posted: 7/23/2014 8:30:00 AM
A CHANGE REQUEST FOR MEMBER CONTEST WINNERS PAGE... Me... upsetting another applecart... or a good idea? Thoughts?
Date Posted: 7/22/2014 3:57:00 PM
GARDEN PARTY CONTEST WINNERS... YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!
Date Posted: 7/15/2014 9:57:00 PM
CONTEST JUDGES: A WAY TO FIND AN ABUSER
Date Posted: 7/15/2014 10:32:00 AM
NEW CONTEST: HARD SHELLS: TURTLE INSPIRED FREE VERSE
Date Posted: 7/13/2014 5:19:00 AM
LEATHERBACK BOY, FREE VERSE, CONTEST SOON TO FOLLOW
Date Posted: 7/11/2014 9:53:00 PM
SONNET TITLE FOUND..THANKS TO CHARMAINE... MINDING MANNERS
Date Posted: 6/11/2014 6:17:00 PM
THANK YOU FOR THE SONNET ENTRIES...short short blog
Date Posted: 6/9/2014 3:27:00 PM
TORRENT: A CONTEMPORARY SONNET, example for my contest
Date Posted: 6/7/2014 6:56:00 AM
NEW CONTEST- Garden Party: VERB-alized NOUN-sense with FLORAL accents. Hungry for summer!!!!
Date Posted: 6/4/2014 10:19:00 PM
UPDATE ON THE HELPLESS CONTEST-- My apologies to all. Exhaustion has hit the household- possible heat exhaustion
Date Posted: 5/29/2014 1:40:00 PM
GENITALS in PRINT, AN OPEN DIALOGUE
Date Posted: 5/27/2014 3:20:00 PM
CONTEMPORARY PUBLISHED HAI_KU TO SHARE
Date Posted: 5/21/2014 2:24:00 PM
UPDATE ON THE HELPLESS/KYRIELLE CONTEST - please check your entries
Date Posted: 5/16/2014 8:47:00 PM
A CARD FOR FRANCINE ROBERTS, who is recovering from a car accident!
Date Posted: 5/9/2014 8:10:00 PM
A WORD PAIRING POEM- THE CLEARING, PAIRINGS BY CARRIE, AE RIVENBANK, CALEB, RUBEN & ANDREA
Date Posted: 5/8/2014 10:21:00 PM
PROMPS FOR WORD PAIRINGS 2 - COME AND PLAY
Date Posted: 5/7/2014 8:50:00 PM
********PLAY WITH ORIGINAL WORD PAIRING***POEMS BUILT BY SOUPERS #1, 3 and 4
Date Posted: 5/6/2014 9:04:00 AM
THE BEST HOW TO WRITE POETRY ADVICE I'VE EVER HEARD. WORTH 20 of YOUR MINUTES. FANTASTIC!!!!!!
Date Posted: 5/5/2014 9:13:00 AM
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROSE AND POETRY. One piece of writing, three ways
Date Posted: 5/4/2014 12:50:00 PM
TRADITIONAL POETRY MARKETS FOR EILEEN AND OTHERS WHO LOVE RHYME
Date Posted: 5/3/2014 8:14:00 AM
A LOOK AT A LITERARY JOURNAL CONTEST, RULES and the WINNERS POEMS
Date Posted: 4/29/2014 8:37:00 PM
POP QUIZ HOT SHOTS... C'MON... LOVE 'EM, DISS 'EM, JUDGE 'EM, PLACE 'EM!!!
Date Posted: 4/28/2014 3:47:00 PM

My Poems

12345678
Date PostedPoem TitleFormCategories
8/25/2014LIFE WILL BE A HONEYMOONLyricparadise,passion,romantic
8/25/2014HOSTEL, QUEBEC CITY, 1978Free versehistory,places,
8/21/2014DEGREESSonnetbooks,sensual,words,
8/7/2014NEUTRALIZEDSonnetcolor,home,
7/17/2014CRADLEDTrioletbaby,love,
6/9/2014THE RETURNSonnetdepression,giving,life,lo
6/7/2014TORRENTSonnetcelebration,life,women,
4/21/2014LA MARQUISEFree versepsychological,
4/8/2014BUKOWSKI CONTESTFree versemoving on,power,teenage,
4/4/2014GINGHAM AND LACE, A BLITZ POEMVersedaughter,love,
4/4/2014NUDE, THIRTY DOLLARS, A BLITZVerseart,imagination,lost love
3/24/201450 GODSFree versegod,peace,philosophy,
3/15/2014WINTER IN PORTLANDFree versedepression,winter,
3/11/2014FREEDOM BLUESTail-rhymefreedom,
2/28/2014WELCOME TO THE BLUENOSEAcrosticfish,history,journey,sea,
2/25/2014PITY THE PIRANHAFree verseintrospection,people,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY, LINDA MARIE, EASTER WALK, 7th REPOSTRhymefamily,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY 6- DEDICATED TO LINDA MARIE, REPOSTRondeaufaith,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY 5 - FAMILY TREE, REPOST FOR LINDA MARIEVersefamily,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY 4- A REPOST DEDICATED TO LINDA MARIERhymefaith,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY 3- EASTER LILY, A REPOST FOR LINDA MARIEVerseeaster,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY 2-- A REPOST AND TRIBUTE TO LINDA MARIESestinaheaven,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY-- A REPOST FOR LINDA MARIE- WE MISS YOUVersefaith,
2/13/2014DOUBLE OH, A BOND CROWN, EXAMPLE FOR CONTESTCrown of Sonnetsfilm,sexy,
2/13/2014DOUBLE OH, A JAMES BOND CROWN OF SONNETS - 6 down 1 to go- SAMPLE FOR CONTESTCrown of Sonnetsadventure,film,sexy,
12345678

My Photos


Fav Poems

123
Poem TitleFormCategories
The Sowing Free versedevotion,
Ten Little ToesRhymedaughter,lifeold,old,,gra
Woodland RhapsodyQuatraininspirational
Contradicting KeatsSonnetintrospection,life
Surrender to LoveRhymeloveme,
A Totum Pole OdeConcretenative american,people,
MORE DREAMS TO ROWRhyme royalinspirational,life,
When the Tab Comes DueFree verseinspirational,introspecti
Lighting My Candle From WithinQuintain (English)caregiving,introspection,
The Kirk by the SeaCoupletnostalgia,religion,love,
Moonlight On The WardChokahealth,life,
Nocturnal PoetryRhymeimagination,life,poetry,
SlumberEpicdedication,epic,slam,
FROSTY NIGHT STROLLCoupletinspirational,seasons,
Our ThanksgivingLight Poetryholiday,
Tomorrow's GraceEthereepeace,
A New Star Shines Above HawaiiRhymededication,music,
Jesus, Our SaviorShapereligion,life,
Monarch of SummerHaibunanimals,devotion,inspirat
UntouchedRhymeforgiveness,me,me,
Midnight PearlsThan-Baukintrospection,love,
Beaucoup BloomsTerza Rimanature,spring,spring,
On Heaven's DoorwayNarrativeinspirational,life,care,c
WALKING ON FAITHVersefaith,for children,
BeachworldFree verseplaces,sea,sun,
123

Fav Poets

PoetCountry 
Debbie Guzzi United States Flag United States Read
Caryl Muzzey United States Flag United States Read
Andrea Dietrich United States Flag United States Read
Joe Flach United States Flag United States Read
nette onclaud Philippines Flag Philippines Read
Drake Eszes United States Flag United States Read
Mystic Rose Canada Flag Canada Read
mourning mist France Flag France Read
elizabeth wesley Canada Flag Canada Read
Rhonda Johnson-Saunders United States Flag United States Read
Ruben O. Argentina Flag Argentina Read
Carrie Richards United States Flag United States Read
kathryn collins United States Flag United States Read
Catie Lindsey United States Flag United States Read
craig cornish United States Flag United States Read
David Williams United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Charmaine Chircop Malta Flag Malta Read
Francine Roberts Canada Flag Canada Read
Eileen Manassian Lebanon Flag Lebanon Read
Poet Destroyer A United States Flag United States Read
Faye Gibson United States Flag United States Read