Katie Staten

Life through a Literary Lens

Supporting Small Businesses

I just want to get some support to some online shops that my friends run, because getting a business started at the very beginning is hard and these people deserve some sales and some validation.

I know my niche here is poetry, so maybe I should do this in limerick form:

For all of you D&D nerds
who hang out here reading my words:
This person who’s nice
makes REALLY cool dice
so buy some, you awesome-ass turds

I’m very tired, but I’m doing my best. Check out my friend’s dice shop, Fate and Fortune Dice, HERE!

Metallic Pride
From the Fate and Fortune Dice web site – Metallic Pride set

But that’s not all!

Not long ago I was learning
My friend is real good at wood turning–
cups, butterflies, wands,
the list just goes on,
so buy if you’ve got cash for burning!

I’m going without caffeine the last few days but trust me, the products are of a higher quality than these poems. Check out my other friend’s wood turning shop, FaereFly’s Wooden Creations, HERE!

Photo from FaereFly’s Wooden Creations web site

The holiday season is the perfect time to support small businesses, and my friends definitely deserve the support. They work hard and I can vouch for their quality, passion, and professionalism. So if you’re looking for unique gifts (for the upcoming holidays, or any other occasion!), or just want to add to your own hoard of Nerd Stuff, please consider their shops!

Landscape

black and white abstract painting
Photo by Jakob Braun on Unsplash

You, hungry thunder
storm; you, apocalyptic
flood; and yet somehow
also the earth that’s flooding:
mountain shoulders, valley spine

and I imagine
rivulets of sweat coursing
down the narrow street
of your back, landscape rolling
under fingerprint landmarks


I wish I could say this poem was inspired by actual real life romance and sensual attraction, but it was actually inspired by a one-word prompt for Tanka Thursday and a celebrity crush daydream.

I probably shouldn’t have admitted that.

Anyway, as always you can check out more of my writing by following me here, on Facebook, and/or on Twitter, and can buy me a “coffee” (or just support my work in general) if you feel so inclined over at my virtual tip jar on Ko-Fi.

Tell me your favorite celebrity crushes and gush over them so I don’t feel like such a dweeb writing poetry about a pretty pretty man I’ll never meet. =P

Children’s Literature in (Profane) Review: The Big Orange Splot

“I remembered a story that promoted imagination; one that encouraged you to defy the expectations of those around you in order to let your creativity lift you closer to your dreams. I remembered an admirable man in the book’s main character, Mr. Plumbean: An eccentric but defiant painter with a love of lemonade and hammocks and, in retrospect, probably a lot of weed.

Imagine my surprise when, revisiting it with my daughter at the dawn of my fourth decade, I discovered something else in the book, something that resonated even more powerfully with me now than any “follow your dreams” message ever had in childhood: A giant middle finger to the very concept of a Home Owner’s Association. Oh yeah. That’s my **** right there.”

‘Sup guys! I know I still don’t post here as often as I wish I did, but that’s because I have gone against my better judgment for the millionth time and started yet another new blogging endeavor over on Medium.

While here I tend to stick to posting my poetry and my posts about literature, Medium is just kind of a hodge-podge of everything. Don’t worry, if you’re here specifically for my poetry, it’s not likely that you’ll miss out on any Exclusive Content by not keeping an eye on Medium–this is still my beloved home for my poetry and most other even vaguely literature-related blogging (should I ever get back to that).

But, well, I do try to keep this blog free of profanity. My Medium posts? Not so much.

So if you want to enjoy seeing a profanity-laden, glowing-but-ranting review of one of my favorite books from childhood,

CLICK HERE

to enjoy the full 900-ish words of that absurdity. If people like it, I’ll most likely make it a series–“Love You Forever” and “The Monster at the End of This Book” will be the next couple irreverent reviews I write.

I probably won’t cross-promote much stuff from Medium here, this being the exception because I wanted to share it with y’all without infecting this blog with my until-now-hidden propensity for vulgarities. But if you don’t want to miss out on what I’m doing over there, my Medium posts are typically shared to my Facebook and Twitter. As always, no obligation but if you’d like to support my writing financially, you can always visit my virtual tip jar over on Ko-Fi!

Happy reading!

Fine

Photograph of a Pathway in Forest
Photo by Artem Saranin from Pexels

This is the third time
she’s asked me about the drive,
and I’ve grown so tired
of describing the blue skies,
the descents down hillsides lined

with warmest colors
on a chilly afternoon,
the wind turning gold
leaves like the pages of gilt-
edged books, and I drown in guilt.

It isn’t her fault
that she’s become an hourglass.
I can see the sand
slipping behind soft lamplight
eyes. I sigh. “The drive was fine.”


I’ve been having a good time with weekly Tanka prompts on Twitter. Today’s was “forget” and OOPS I hurt myself a little with this one. But this is a feeling I’ve been grappling with for some time, so I probably needed this.

As always, you can keep up with my poetry and more on my Facebook or Twitter. If you like what I do and want to support my writing, I have a virtual tip jar over on Ko-Fi!

The 10,000 in Winter

Frozen Lake, Sunset, Winter, Snow, Mountains, Nature

a silver shimmer

eyeshadow on the heavy-

lidded lakes; thousands

of Minnesota eyes closed

earth hibernating ’til spring.

Nightmare

You open your throat

noiselessly, your scream no more

than a scratch: tickle

of a looming cough, or legs

and legs of something crawling.

A Dark and Stormy Night

1,788 Window Lightning Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Rain lashes windows

angrily, like teeth gnashing

in hunger. Again,

again, the sky rends and mends

itself with each lightning blade.


I almost started writing about snow, but I don’t think those of us in the colder regions of the northern hemisphere are quite ready to romanticize that stuff yet.

My plan was to stick with haiku, but tanka gives me juuuuust enough extra space to say everything I want to and is still a lot of fun to work in a short form with syllable constraints!

I am loving challenging myself to a short piece each day. It’s got me feeling more capable, so maybe I can start writing consistently again outside of NaPoWriMo. Don’t get me wrong though–I am still all in for NaPoWriMo as well come April!


As always, you can keep up with my poetry and more on my Facebook or Twitter. If you like what I do and want to support my writing, I have a virtual tip jar over on Ko-Fi!

Happy reading!

Autumn Leaves

2,378,509 Autumn Trees Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Matchbox woods alight
brilliant gold or blood-red,
too soon extinguished.
Cinders fall, still lit, to earth,
while bare claws scrape lonely sky.


I think I’m going to make it a habit to write a short poem a few times a week. If it takes off, I might just make it a weekly thing and post short form poetry on a specific date. I’ll save my longer form poetry (and even some shorter stuff I want to keep close to my chest) for potential publication, or for NaPoWriMo! What do you think?

Also, what’s autumn looking like where you are? I hope you’re having some hot tea, cider, or cocoa and nestled up with a good book.

As always you can keep up with me on Facebook and Twitter, and if you want to support my work, I have a virtual tip jar of sorts on Ko-Fi!

Bedtime

Helix Nebula - Wikipedia

Eyes like galaxies

ever seeking other worlds.

Sleep now, little stars.


My best friend and the reason I write, Cassandra Armstrong, has started a series of short, October-themed haiku over on her Medium page, and either I’m a copycat or she’s my constant inspiration. (Spoiler alert: It’s both.)

Check her out at the links above, and if you feel so inspired, you can always support me, the writer of this and other poems on this blog, at my digital tip jar over on Ko-Fi!

Today’s poem is about my daughter, but I may do some spooky-themed poetry soon too, just for funsies, while I try working on other projects I’ve kept on the back burner. Do you have any favorite autumn/Halloween themed poetry or writing? Or just a favorite Halloween ritual?

NaPoWriMo 2021 Wrap-Up

I meant to do this closer to May 1, but hey, life gets hectic and the ADHD gremlin that lives in my brain just wasn’t having the whole “sit down and write a coherent blog post” thing this week. Better late than never, right?

First off, I want to thank everyone who has been on the journey of NaPoWriMo with me this year. Whether you read everything I wrote, or just popped in to say hi once or twice; whether you commented regularly, or silently lurked in a corner; whether you were navigating your own writing, or just a reader along for the ride; I am so grateful to all of you who joined me last month in any capacity. Of course we don’t write just for an audience, but having so many people from all over the world to share my work with makes for so much more joy in the work.

I regret not being able to be as active in other peoples’ writing this year. Working from home, dealing with a very interesting phase of raising a toddler, and dealing with house-hunting has left me precious little brain power, so I was mostly an intermittent lurker. Next year, if things are even a little quieter, I’d love to do what I used to do and post recommendations of both published poetry and other NaPoWriMo participants’ work along with my own poems each day. But that’s to tackle next year.

For now, I just want to sit in my gratitude.

April 2021 provided my highest blog traffic for a single month to date. I don’t get a ton of traffic–that’s still barely in the thousands, to be honest–but it was great to see my viewership grow.

More exciting than that, I had people from 38 different countries view my blog last month! NaPoWriMo becoming a global event has been amazing and being able to connect with writers from so many different places and backgrounds is just incredible.

Add that to my own growth through NaPoWriMo and I think I can call this year’s event a resounding personal success. I know I comment every year on how much I’ve grown as a writer, but I have written some stuff I am really, REALLY proud of this year. I didn’t just complete the challenge. I completed it with energy, and passion, and for the first time in a long time, I completed it while genuinely feeling like a writer. I’ve rekindled the passion I always hope to find again when I start NaPoWriMo every year.

So what’s next?

Well, I am going to start working on a book of children’s poetry, and I might share some of that here. Experimenting with children’s poetry on the days when my brain just didn’t want to cooperate was an amazing way to remind myself not to take myself too seriously, and it gave me a way to share my passion with my daughter (who is currently working her way through some Shel Silverstein as well). I don’t think there’s a better way to be creative than to think like a child.

I may also start sharing some prompts that my daughter and I come up with together, so keep a look out for that! (If you want a head start, the first one is her suggestion to me yesterday: A poem about “all of the feelings,” that involves a moose playing board games. I haven’t written to that one yet, but I’m excited to start!)

And of course, I’m just going to keep writing in general. And god it feels good to say that.

In the meantime, I would like to now shift the focus of my audience (if I haven’t lost it by neglecting to write this wrap-up post for almost a week) to some projects of loved ones I’ve been meaning to share.

First, my best friend Cassandra is a wonderful author, poet, and editor, working on her debut novel. She is also offering editing services to those who need it! You can find her online here.

Another dear friend Dawn is a poet working on her debut chapbook Sex Ed. You can find information about that chapbook and her blog about her journey writing it here.

Finally, my husband’s band, St. George’s Folly, is working on their second album this summer! My husband himself wasn’t in the band yet for the first album, Along This Road, but it’s a great listen and if you like the sound I hope you stick around to see what their near future holds. You can find them online, as well as information on where to listen, here.

Please check all of them out if you like my poetry enough to trust my taste. If not…well, check them out anyway, because they’re probably more talented than I am.

Thanks again to everyone reading this and everyone who came with me for NaPoWriMo 2021. I will be back next year for another round, and in the meantime I’ll be active here as this ever-moving life allows me to be!