thoughts about the every single day challenge

So I actually posted poetry and stick figures (okay, not every poem had a stick figure) for a month solid.  I raised (as I write this) $160 for the ACLU–and wow, I knew we’d need them, but could not have imagined just how quickly we’d need them, sheesh–and I’d like to thank Debra, Jason, Laurel, Amy, and my anonymous donor for their support.  I didn’t know if I’d make any money, and I surpassed my goal.  You guys rock.

It was an interesting thing to do, writing something every day (well, nearly every day; there was a little Shakespeare in there, and some older stuff written ages ago) for posting.  I do my best to work on something–story, novel, etc–every day, though usually it’s more like 5 days out of 7.  But I don’t plan to post those immediately (or within a day or so–I scheduled all my posts because I knew that trying to cross-post every day would be stressful) or at all; this challenge required a lot less revision than I’m entirely comfortable with, especially for poetry.  I’m not a poet.

(I am also not a singer, and the fact that I now have a song on SoundCloud is slightly disconcerting, but I’m also very proud of myself for doing it!)

Still, I think there were some good poems in there.  A couple of them I feel happy with.  Some others I may come poke at again in the future (the Bowie poem still bothers me because it’s just not quite right, but it’s right enough that I want to get it there).  

I’d like to continue the spirit of Every Single Day for February.  It was a good habit to get into, so I want to take advantage of the momentum.  But … basically, I’m trying to revise my novel manuscript, and the challenge slowed that down.  (I only have so many hours in the day, sadly.)  So I’m going to see if I can revise every single day for the month of February.  I may post something about it, too, because the accountability was a good thing, but hat part …  maybe not every day.

That’s a personal goal, though, not a fundraiser.  Crowdrise does let you keep your fundraising page up and open indefinitely, so I think I’ll probably add a link to it on my various sidebars in case anyone feels the urge to donate that way.  And in a couple of months, I may do another one for a different group, so stay tuned.

And so, in conclusion, I hope you all enjoyed the poetry and the stick figures!  Thanks for reading and linking and reblogging and liking.  Stay safe out there, y’all, and do what you can to take care of yourself and the people around you.  

Poem by me.

It’s the end of the month!

Thank you to everyone who donated, liked, and reblogged/shared.  I raised $150 for the ACLU, which was over my goal and, as it happens, pretty good timing.  I have thoughts about the challenge, but I’ll probably wait to post them until tomorrow.

This is part of the Every Single Day Challenge, to raise money for the ACLU. You can donate any time–even though today’s the last one!–and if you can’t donate, please feel free to signal boost.

Bonus poem!

My friend Debra, who was also my first donor, demanded a sequel to the Single Dad Duck Poem, “with a happy ending!” And I am pretty sure we could all use a nice single-dad-duck-finding-happiness poem right about now.

Single Dad Duck, the Sequel

–for Debra

The difficulties of single duck parenthood
are many:
the duckling shouldn’t
eat discarded human food for every meal;
cats will try to eat him;
he must learn to swim,
and be groomed,
and nuzzled;
they both must stay
near their pond.

Some days single dad duck
remembers what it was like to fly
to other ponds, see
other ducks
sometimes squirrels
(the squirrels here are rude and
steal cookies from the duckling).
He watches the sky,
baby tucked under his wing and asleep,
and the local hawk
that flies circles and circles
lazy glory in the air.

One day the hawk
swoops low over the pond,
talons stretched out to catch … a fish.
The duckling is yards away,
there’s no threat,
but single dad duck squawks angrily anyway:
“Keep away from my kid!”
The hawk lands,
hobble-hops awkwardly across the ground
to the pond’s edge.
“I don’t eat duck, you’re too greasy.”
And single dad duck is surprised into a laugh.

They’re wary acquaintances first.
Getting to know each other.
Slow to trust.  Bonding over the jackassery of squirrels.
The duckling imprints fast on the hawk
and single dad duck worries at night
in case the hawk disappears, as birds of prey
are wont to do.  He could fly anywhere
on wings that strong; why would he stay
at their tiny, squirrel-ridden pond?

But he stays.
And he starts bringing things–
sticks and stuffing, snails,
small frogs, fruit.
The hawk chases away a squirrel
that tries to steal the duckling’s hot dog.
He makes a nest, awkwardly,
in between three rocks,
and shows it to single dad duck,
and tentatively butts his head, gentle,
against single dad duck’s shoulder.

And eventually, when the duckling is bigger,
they fly to other ponds together,
see other ducks,
and squirrels (still rude no matter where they live),
a couple of hawks,
but they come back to their nest
and tuck under each other’s wings
to sleep.

This is (a bonus!) part of the Every Single Day Challenge, to raise money for the ACLU. You can donate any time; if you can’t donate, please feel free to signal boost.