Three Steps to Creating A Poetry Chatbook

September 7, 2016

You are reading that right – this post is about a Chatbook not exactly a chapbook. A fun project in  August which coincided with my birth month was to write  a lot of short form fragments and create a Chatbook of them.  Chatbook is a company  I saw advertised frequently on Instagram. The concept seemed painless, and I needed an easy way to display my poetry in the studio and gallery. 

Here’s how I made my Chatbook in three easy steps. 

1. Write. In my case, I used magnetic poetry tiles to compose my poems. I have various sets of them which are now all mixed together. 

Photo of Magnetic Studio Poem on Tin

2.  Instagram is a photo driven social media site with hashtags taking the driver’s seat. After I composed each poem I photographed and posted in no particular order. The key is whether you write by hand or compose by typing, Instagram responds to the photo you take of your work. Part of the fun of this process was to experiment with the various Instagram filters. 

You can write your poetry any way you want

3. Set-up a Chatbook account and follow the simple template with  their step-by-step instructions. It took me about 50 minutes to select the photos I liked and to add captions for the sixty poems I chose.

Chatbook on Display in Gallery

iInterior Pages

I sell my poetry in collages and cards and by having this small square book, I make it possible for customers to select a poem they like for inclusion in the work of their choice.  It takes little display area and is an inexpensive way to showcase some of the poems. 

There are probably cheaper ways to do this but for less than $20 this 60-page book is an attractive hardcover that has a professional feel.  You can select fewer pages and the cost is lower as well as choosing a paperback format instead of the hardcover one I chose. For my purposes, the hardcover $5 cost was well worth it.  The turnaround time was less than two weeks. 

Get writing. Get photographing. Make your own book. Happy creating. 

The Ultimate Oyster Trip to Virginia’s Eastern Shore

August 18, 2016

My grandfather had a secret oyster bed back in the forties and fifties. Only 3 people knew where it was and all are gone now. Sure wish I had written things down when I was a child.

Enjoy articles about the shore’s past as my family arrived there in mid-160O’s. Roots run deep on the peninsula.

Visit Virginia's Eastern Shore

There’s a lot more to oysters than just eating them

Oysters from Virginia’s Eastern Shore, plucked from the Atlantic Ocean on one side, and the Chesapeake Bay on the other, ship to restaurants around the world. Buy them at Whole Foods and order them at Grand Central Oyster Bar in Manhattan.

Head here to eat your fill, right from the source, of our delicious bivalve: You’ll find them raw, smoked, roasted, fried, stuffed with crab, and in chowders, pastries, sandwiches and salads.

But there’s more. Oysters played a central role in the culture here over centuries.  Since the first days of America, oysters brought generational wealth to savvy business people and provided a good living to many more. Oysters caused bloody and violent conflict and the infamous Oyster Wars.  In the 1980s, the Virginia oyster industry collapsed, devastating local economies. Fast forward to today. The Virginia Eastern Shore oyster and clam industry is one of the…

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Poets To Read – Wislawa Szymborska

July 17, 2016

Poets who should be on your list but probably aren’t could be a most extensive list. Once you discover Szymborska you will find yourself returning to her again and again.  Here, in prose, savor her perspective.  

 Cosmic Solitude

I admit that I find the question of life beyond Earth quite interesting, but still I’d prefer not to have it settled too quickly and definitively. For example, I’m cheered, not disappointed, by the…

Source: Wislawa Szymborska: Cosmic Solitude

Duned In In Delaware

September 23, 2014

the substance of a shadow in tall grass

Duned in in Delaware  Painting by ntaylorcollins (c)2014

Duned in in Delaware
Painting by ntaylorcollins (c)2014

I wrote this fragment a couple of years ago in a journal on one of those days when nature and I found harmony.  This past Sunday such harmony found me again at one of my favorite Delaware beaches, Bethany Beach.

I spent the day painting while my grandson had a grand time running in and out of the pounding surf and building various structures in the damp cool sand.  Gulls, kites, the small advertising plane with bright red banner in tow provided our overhead entertainment as clouds formed and reformed in an ever-less threatening array of rain clouds. For most of the day, the clouds dipped low enough to provide a hazy fog when mixed with the sea blues and grays.

Buried beyond the replenished dunes, housetops took on the muted colors of the day. Dune grasses struggle to keep a foothold and the low snow fencing help provide traction to the ever shifting sands. It used to be you could sit on the boardwalk or the seaward facing porches to a full view of the ocean.  The current dune situation is much higher than the boardwalk and the best view is from southern-end high rises or from the vantage point of the beach.

There was little hint of shadows in these tall grasses as the shifting clouds grayed the colors of the day.  As I captured this overcast mood on the houses, I was trying to decide if they are content to be nestled in behind the dune or whether they are standing on tiptoe peering over this powerful bulkhead.

If the past is any indication of the future, this dune will, too, soon pass. Or should that be — this dune will to soon pass… For now, I plan to get down there every possible day this fall to capture this fluid evanscent scene…

D A Y U M…

July 7, 2014

In the emergency room a few years ago, they said, “You probably have an aneurysm.”  

I remember – a sigh – I think it was me who did that. My only thought… This can’t be good.

This can’t be good. My first thought at this moment. 

A Medicare card arrived today. It has my name on it.  MY NAME… MY NAME on it.

It’s better than hearing you might have an aneurysm but…but…

But… I’m not ready to lose the baby in my boomer…


But...but... I'm not ready to lose the baby in my boomer...

But…but… I’m not ready to lose the baby in my boomer…

A Month of Poetry

April 8, 2014
2014 Poetry Month

2014 Poetry Month


For special writing projects, I keep a separate journal. This year for National Poetry Month I chose an old lined journal of 256 pages. It’s canvas with faux leather corners and spine with a red ribbon book mark.

Handwritten thoughts are still my choice of entry into the writing process. It’s totally a part of an analog process when doing the creative flow part. When it’s time to start editing, I become digital and work at my computer.

Not Writing. Book In My Head – Day 8

April 8, 2014

As I enter Day 8 of National Poetry Month, I’m up to page 36 in my journal. I start a new one each time I have a specific project I want to keep intact. Today’s selection is based on a philosopher of interest. I hope you check out his work.  Poetry, fire and closed spaces are a few topics he explores. 

We are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.  Gaston Bachelard


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