The Writer's Life

Creating Family Time with Our Words

Since I joined the outside realm of working people, home with the family has become a fleeting gift. My husband is attending his college courses during the day and working in the afternoons while our daughters are growing up and living their own lives. So whatever fleeting moment I have with them is a treasure I must find each day.

Today, I found myself in the thick of my series. I built an elaborate character map for my first novel, created additional scenes for the first book and subsequent books, and came up with what I think is the most brilliant idea of organizing my increasing cast of characters with each new book in the series – complete with bios!

When the girls came home from school, I continued to type away while they chatted about their day. Danni was proud of her 110% grade on a test, and Laura was eager to tell me about all the new dogs that arrived at the Humane Society. I would have missed it all if I hadn’t taken a moment to pause in my writing.

Instantly, I shut down my writing program, quickly researched poetry forms, and wrote up samples on 8 1/2” x 11” colored card stock. Then, I dug out my old magazines and plopped them in front of the girls. I told them we would create poetry and have fun doing it.

They were eager to start this new adventure and listened intently as I explained the process. First, we were to cut out words or phrases that caught our eye. A phrase could not be longer than four words, and we had to include the common two/three letter words everyone seems to forget, such as the, on, and, or, and to. We spent an hour looking for and cutting interesting words that resonated with us. Danni chose words like darkest, devious, and embrace. Laura’s words were big and bold, and she chose pink, secrets, and hell. And my words were more colorful, which included vibrant, crazies, and marriage.

Then, I explained the different variations of poetry using the four standard samples I had written up on colored paper – Haiku, Limerick, Couplet, and Free Verse. It was a sneaky approach to insert a poetry lesson into family time, but these girls loved every minute of it. We all agreed that Free Verse was the simplest form to use with our magazine clippings.

We spread our words before us and let the phrases pop into our heads. Then, we rearranged them on paper and taped or glued our finished product. It was fun trying to create a beautiful piece of art out of chaos, and each of us helped the other when we needed a word missing from our pile of clippings. We were able to spend time together and express ourselves in different ways.

The results were a couple of outstanding pieces of poetry with creative and lively words that pop off the page and a memory that will stay with us for a lifetime. Below is our poetry. Enjoy them, and then make memories with your loved ones today!





by Laura Elliott 

Starfire in the heart of evil
For a pink
Thrill ride to Hell
With no vampire mine.

Til the Break of Desperation
by Danielle Elliott

I realized what to do from the evil & the darkest desire of you.
It is not darkness,
It is more of a gray at play.
Demand a story to tell.
Spot the difference,
Embrace the paranormal rush of darkness.
Break the rules already.
My one and only devious dark enchantment is you.
Need I say more?

Flush Perfection Quietly
by Stacy N. Elliott

Storytime is a marriage of words
For a rainy day & family time madness.

It’s a blast to go to a bubbly world
After your sister offers a sparkle of crazies.

Life is simply a vibrant dream
Especially when love stains the heart with a beautiful smile.