#NaPoWriMo Minus One – Ready to do this

#NaPoWriMo Minus One – Ready to do this

#NaPoWriMo Minus One – ready to write

#napowrimo minus one

#NaPoWriMo Minus One

I grew up with the Space Race. So, some of my fondest memories are NASA mission countdowns. T-minus one hour. T-minus fifteen minutes, where there was often a programmed hold. Launch Control could take one final check. The countdown at ten seconds. Then Liftoff!  While National Poetry Writing Month isn’t a space launch (like the Falcon Heavy in the image above), a countdown is appropriate.

Poetry thinking

I wrote down a couple of basic areas for writing. Baseball inspires me. Our reaction to the novel coronavirus slows that down, though. Additionally, it’s been a long time since the boys played at the playground. Still, memories. Thoughts. Maybe a pickup game for the Trio? Eleni might not comprehend the game.

Trains. All aspects of trains inspire verse. Trains have rhythm. They are focused. The rails open the tap of words. Freight trains? Passenger trains? Flatcars carrying military vehicles. Travelers, even in this time of lockdown. Passing cars offer sound cues as well as visual. Yeah, there will be trains.

Dragons. Verse provides a medium for new Dragons ideas. Air Dragons appear unexpectedly. Elemental Air is important in a port city.  Earth deserves more exploration. There’s always Water and Fire. (I better not let Eleni hear me take the Red Tribe’s name in vain!)

Dystopia. Dystopian ideas pop up regularly. So, less zombies, more other directions. We’ll see.

Write then type

My Noodler’s Ink and trusty BuJo stand ready. So, there’s something more, I don’t know, concrete, to putting verse to paper before putting it here. Writing flashback poems before they become bytes works for me. So, I’ll take that route.  While a handwritten manuscript for even a short story sounds cumbersome, a page or two or three of verse is just right. While it’s arguably double work, typing it up is essentially a second draft.

All these random thoughts, and I don’t have a clue what the first attempt will be!


#NaPoWriMo staying at home

#NaPoWriMo staying at home

#NaPoWriMo for 2020 while staying at home



I haven’t done National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) in a few years. I’ll be the first to admit that I suck at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). That’s November, and is a much bigger project. I don’t really relate to it because I don’t binge-write, then revise.

30 poems in 30 days

Now, this is something my short attention span can handle. I can write a few poems in a sitting, revise, then pick a couple for posting. When I traveled more, I sat at the bar in restaurants for dinner. I always carry my Bullet Journal or a pocket-sized notebook. Perfect for jotting down anything from quick notes to story ideas to verse.

Short verse

I prefer a simple style when writing verse. Something that’s visually evocative. Keep it simple, give the reader visual cues. Maybe even sound cues as well. I challenge myself this year to carry that a bit further. Maybe not dark-night-of-the-soul stuff, but longer treatments. If I start on a couple of ideas early in the month, they’ll be ready by the end of the project.


the NaPoWriMo website offers participants the opportunity to register their sites, so others can read. I plan to do that, as soon as this article goes live. I need to get away from “political twitter” for a bit, and this helps.

Social Media for #NaPoWriMo

I share this blog with my @EdwardBranley account on Da Twittah. I tweet from several accounts that reflect my multiple personalities. While a lot of what I write fits both the “professional/writer” account and @NOLAHistoryGuy, I like starting the fiction and verse here. So, if you don’t follow me on @EdwardBranley, feel free to add that one. I tweet anything from computer stuff to Star Trek to pop culture there.

Additionally, if you decide to do #NaPoWriMo, let me know, so I can cheer you on.


I use a plugin for SEO on WordPress, YOAST. NaPoWriMo posts will use that keyword and the date. So, that makes things look boring, but it keeps the search terms unique.

Two days to go! I’ll post preparation thoughts tomorrow.

Noodler’s Ink and Social Distancing

Noodler’s Ink and Social Distancing

Noodler’s Ink is my latest fountain pen dalliance.

noodler's ink

Noodler’s Ink

I enjoy writing with fountain pens. I like to keep three with me, one filled with black or blue ink, one with red, and a third with green or purple. Waterman ink works fine for me. A few weeks back, though, my friend Jeff mentioned buying some older pens at a show in Los Angeles. He also bought ink from a company I’d not heard of, Noodler’s. One of the inks he bought was “54th Massachusetts” blue.

My ears perked up, because Union uniforms at the time of the Southern Rebellion were a nice shade of blue. So, I bought a bottle.

noodler's ink

“54th Massachusetts” blue ink from Noodler’s.

The shade of blue is indeed nice!

The 54th Massachusetts

This regiment is the focus of the movie, “Glory.” The 1989 movie tells the story of the formation of the regiment, up through the Battle of Fort Wagner, one of the fortifications protecting the harbor at Charleston, SC. The 54th Massachusetts lost 270 of its approximately 600 members that day. So, I like the notion of thinking back on the sacrifices made by these men. I also think to the times I’ve stopped at the monument plaque on the wall of Boston Common that honors the regiment.

Social Distancing

noodler's ink

As a concept, working to flatten the curve on COVID-19 isn’t all that tough for me. Most of my teaching these days is via remote. So, I’m able to train up enterprise storage professionals without breathing on or touching them. My writing is usually a solo endeavor, with the exception of back-and-forth texting with Lady Duchess of the Red Pen. While I wouldn’t mind sharing a table with Lady Duchess, distance keeps me from breathing on her as well.

So, I’m doing my part here. I’ve never been big on crowds. Since I appreciate how much y’all will miss FQF, I’ll survive. Let’s hope keeping some distance between ourselves keeps us out of that overall two percent fatalities for this thing.