If I have to make Wanted posters, one of them would definitely say the words on this headline — Wanted: More Minutes in the Day!!! I have read that phrase so very often: so many books, so little time; and each time I had the same thought: so very true!! And as I — along with all the other truly awesome Cybils Awards Round 1 Judges heaves a huge sigh of relief that our job is done — I am looking at the list of books I had to leave unread. That TBR list has magically grown longer during these past few weeks, virtually numberless, but I will attempt to make a grain-of-sand-like dent there slowly, but surely. Until then, wanted: more minutes in the day it is!!
This is less of a poetic form than it is a philosophy, or a playful intersection of poetry and mathematics, or an examination of the limitless within limits, or verse + formula, or a repository of techniques to break any creative blocks; well, to be totally correct, it is a literary movement/group/organization/….!
So what is OULIPO?!
OULIPO is short for Ouvroir de Litterature Potentielle , or Workshop of Potential Literature, and was founded by French mathematician Francois de Lionnais and writer Raymond Queneau in 1960. The pair believed that poetry’s potential — when written in combination with math: with fun and within a formula — is limitless, with various results.
How to Write Using Oulipo?
No specific instructions at all really, since it depends upon what constraints poets decides to use to free their imaginations! Here are a few Oulipo techniques starting with the most popular ones (N+7, and snowball):
- N+7: Poets select any existing text/poem, and substitute/replace every noun in the poem with its 7th following noun in the dictionary of their choice.
- Snowball: Using this constraint, each successive word would be one letter longer; or each word one syllable longer; each line one word longer; or each stanza one line longer.
- Lipogram: Writing that excludes one or more letters. One type of a lipogram is called a prisoners’ constraint, called so from the way those in prison write so as to use as little of their limited paper supply as possible. They do this by omitting letters which rise above or below the line (like b,d,f,g,h,j,k,l,p,q,t, and y).
- And there are more techniques to check out as well
My Example (Constraint: Lack of More Minutes!)
Original: written using diminishing verse (read about it here)
Waiting on Breakfast
The eggs were waiting to be beat,
So we could have fluffy omelettes to eat.
I wondered where the beater is at?
My memory, it sure fits a sieve to a T.
Rewritten/after applying N+7:
The egomaniacs were waiting to be beauty,http://www.spoonbill.org/n+7/maketext.php
So we could have fluffy onslaughts to eat.
I wondered where the beaver is at?
My mentality, it sure fixations a signalman to a T.
On My Blog and the Home Front
I have not posted since my last Sunday Scribblings (two weeks ago!) but I do hope to make up for that soon as I catch up on reviewing all the wonderful books I read (most of them for the Cybils Awards).
As for the home front, we have a new adult in our family now! My son turned 18 last week and as we work on college applications together, I look back and wonder at where the time went by.. We spent part of the day outdoors by honoring veterans as we laid wreaths along with others as part of the annual Wreaths Across America event. It was certainly inspiring, heartwarming, and wonderful to be part of a (socially-distanced) group of people all saying thanks to those who deserve our thanks so much.
The baker in the family baked a cake for her brother and also made lemon bars at his request – both from scratch and all by herself (she wanted me to stay away in fact!); and I have to say, they were both totally yummilicious!!!
And of course, we tried to look for the great conjunction in the sky. While it was a little foggy the day of, the next day was a bit clearer. Here is one of the pics I managed to capture.. not the best but
On My Blog and Home Front
For my blog, I hope to catch on reviewing all the books I have read for Cybils and then some more; and also have other posts in mind as the new year begins soon.
This Week’s Celebrations
For this week, here are a few I wanted to mention…
- Pledge of Allegiance Day on the 28th of December
- Another day for those with a sweet tooth, December 28th is also National Chocolate Candy Day
- The last day of the year – December 31st – is one where you should try to work with No Interruptions (Day) and also the day to Make Up Your Mind!! And hopefully this will help me in getting More Minutes?!!
- And then there is the Universal Hour of Peace as we bid adieu to the old year and ring in the new year. Celebrated from 11:30 p.m. on December 31st to 12:30 a.m. on January 1st each year, this is to take a step toward a war-free world.
Cybils Awards Update
Whew!!! I am done with the official part of being a round 1 judge – read all the books that I possibly could in the past few weeks since I first announced I was a judge here; worked with the other round 1 judges to finalize a list of books from those we read; finished writing blurbs for those picks (writing assigned across all of us judges). Be sure to check out the Cybils website on January 1st to find out the finalists for each category.
We were 7 judges for the round 1 of nonfiction reading 222 books across ages – with about half of them in the elementary category and the other spread between middle grade and highschool/YA reads. Since every book needed at least two readers (and if possible, more), it was not necessary for all of us to read all 222; but each judge tried to do a fair amount of reading to give all the books due diligence. I managed to read (with some help from my teenagers) 173 of them.
You can look at the whole list here. While I had hoped to finish more of them, well, it was not an easy task, and I am hoping to finish reading most of them (except for a few that I have not been able to access anywhere) by week one of the coming year.
Reviews for the Cybils Awards nominations posted on my blog so far: 30ish (I have a few more drafted out, and of course soooo many more to write still). I will post those reviews in this coming week.
- Cybils Awards Nonfiction Roundup Post One
- Cybils Awards Nonfiction Roundup Post Two
- Cybils Awards Nonfiction Roundup Post Three
Wrapping up my Sunday Scribblings
So dear reader, this was it for my Sunday Scribblings and the Cybils Awards Update. I would love to hear your comments on my post(s), poetic Sunday section, and anything else. And which of these days do you plan to celebrate (or any other)? Also, I do look forward to reading your poems (if you have attempted one or the other forms so far?!) And what are your thoughts on needing more minutes?