Category Archives: Collaborations

Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the 3:15 Experiment

I’m a bit at the eleventh hour here with this invitation (SINCE IT BEGINS TONIGHT), but truly, you could join the experiment at any time. And I wanted to write this invitation especially to those who don’t necessarily fancy themselves to be poets.

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Since August 1993, a shifting menagerie of writers has been waking up each night at 3:15 AM for the entire month of August to write. The original idea was:

to discover what connections would be made while writing separately, but together, at the same time for a month while under hypnagogic influences.

The experiment was so intriguing and inspiring it kept growing and morphing. Many writers have come to look forward to it every year. Many have created their own guidelines and experiments within the format. We love this as long as people maintain the point: to write in the hypnopompic/hypnagogic states (between sleeping and waking / waking and sleeping).

Anything posted to any “official” 3:15 publication or website maintains the RAW unedited material. Though many writers choose to publish their edited poems elsewhere. We like that, too.

To Join:

A facebook page to stay in communication during the month:

3:15 Facebook Page

Some samples from years past:

The 3:15 Experiment Website
Though not everyone chooses to post their poems (or even types them out).

And here is a thesis paper written by Gwendolyn Alley on the topic:

The 20th Anniversary of the 3:15 Experiment

My invitation to you comes in the form of a poem.

you don’t have to be a poet

to write poetry
my father built greenhouses
and filled them with orchids

I believe people are meant
to get along with each other

the Indian taxi driver waves
me into my turn
gives me the right
of way      as I cruise
the summer streets on my
hand-me-down bicycle

I stop at the Holy Cross Anglican Church
to write down that line
about my dad’s orchids
before it spills into the road
with my juggled thoughts
of the two cherub-faced Mormon boys
who came to my front door
struggling to respond
when I told them:

Think of the metaphor of the ocean
how we can be drops
yet still disappear
into the One
universal consciousness

before thanking them for their good work
and sending them on their way
tripping tongue-tied through the gate

no, you don’t have to be a poet
to write poetry
you just need to write
yourself
an open door

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Filed under Collaborations, do something different, poetry, The 3:15 Experiment, truth and beauty, writing exercises, writing life

from August 3:15 2008

I was cruising Art Predator’s blog (highly recommended as a worthy distraction) and was inspired by THIS ENTRY of one of the poems she wrote for last year’s 3:15 Experiment.

I grew DETERMINED to get the rest of my 2008 and 2009 3:15 poems typed up and logged on the the official 3:15 site!!!

As I was doing so, I came across this little goodie from Aug 2008. I don’t recall writing it, I don’t recall if it’s from a dream or a TV show or a conversation. I just thought it was really cool.

3:15 AM
August 25, 2008

pulling 3 monsters in a red wagon
no one knows how she found them
dead or how they were placed   she
was all grins    speechless but sparkling
we take her in     traumatized she speaks
not for 13 years

one day she is looking out the window
like a cat she has always been
cat-like      she turns and asks
what’s for lunch?   and
who is T.S. Elliot?
her afternoons measured     out
like spoons               her words
ring silvery in the living room
we pretend not to be shocked at
her sudden vocalization
egg salad we say
famous poet we say

she turns back to the window
I prefer tuna

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Filed under Collaborations, funny poop, poetry, The 3:15 Experiment

August 11, 2009 – 3:15 – Seattle, WA

I’ve been typing up my 3:15 poems from this year (uh, even though I haven’t even finished typing up the ones from LAST year…) and this one is my favourite so far. If you don’t know what the 3:15 Experiment is, check out our FACEBOOK group or check out the Poets sharing their work on the 3:15 Experiment site.

August 11

Seattle, WA

I bet          no one but insanity
knows what it’s like to run amok
Big eyes from the galaxy     upon
him, ghosts from     the recent
past.

If all our moments came back
to haunt us,     where would
they sleep?
Moments moping under the
accelerator, biding time in the kitchen
recipe for repetition
undisciplined action

Spectators
They think the only direction
to go is up.     Could be
right, so late in the game
But she’s not taking
any chances.  All edible agents
are drawn and quartered, distributed
w/out much fanfare.
placing the lower quarter of an
idea in his mouth, he declared
all originality sin.

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Filed under Collaborations, poetry, The 3:15 Experiment, writing exercises

Pick a Challenge, any Challenge

August is a fine time to work your creative mojo. Everyone’s doing it! And they’re doing it in the form of challenges and experiments. Below are a few that I recommend.

Please let me know if there are any more out there in the coming month/s and I’ll add them to the list.

The 3:15 Experiment

Anyone who follows my blog with any regularity knows that I participate in the annual 3:15 Experiment every year. Basically, a shifting menagerie of poets (and prose writers, actually) wakes up at 3:15 AM EACH morning during the month of August and writes. Our goal is to write while riding a 1/2 dream state. Magic happens. We have a Facebook Group now. Join us.

August Postcard Poetry Fest

Started by Paul Nelson and Lana Ayers, the Postcard Poetry Fest challenges you to send 31 postcard poems, one for each day of August. They START it NOW if you’d like to participate… and I’m not sure you still can, but you can go to their website or FACEBOOK group and ask.

The rules say that on July 27th (tomorrow!), you write an original poem right on a postcard and mail it to the person on the list below your name. Starting on August 1st, ideally in response to a card YOU receive, keep writing a poem a day on a postcard and mailing it to successive folks on the list until you’ve sent out 31 postcards. I’ve never participated but some year I think I’ll write my 3:15 poems on postcards. That would be fun.

10 shorts in 10 days

This is a little invention of my friend Tod McCoy and myself. It happens irregularly (whenever we feel like lighting a fire under our butts). We write either 10 short films or 10 pieces of micro fiction in 10 days. This August we’re writing short scripts. Anyone out there is welcome to join us. There is no official website and no official place to post them, although if you’d like to post them on your blog and send us a link, that’d be swell.

We’re starting on AUGUST 10 and running until August 19. The rules are simple: Write a short script (or story) per day. Badda bing, badda boom. In the past our short scripts have run about 3-6 pages (in standard format). If you wonder what I mean by micro fiction, check out any one of my 56 Flavours stories, most of which were written during a 10 day challenge.

The 3-Day Novel Contest

This contest has been running for 30 years. It wins. I’ve only participated once, but had a blast doing it. Some day I’ll dig out the novel and rewrite it. It happens over Labour Day weekend (Sept 5-7 this year). They also have a Facebook page. If you want to officially participate, and for a chance at fame and fortune, you have to register, which involves $50. If you just want the challenge of trying something new and don’t care about official registration, I suggest forming a group and holing up somewhere in a 24 hour coffee shop together. Oh, yeah, the object is to write a novel in 3 days.

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Filed under Calls for Submission, Collaborations, contests, flash fiction, inspirational poop, poetry, serious play, The 3:15 Experiment, writing exercises

3:15 August 3, 2002

The 2009 experiment is almost here. I’m feeling nostalgic. I’m posting one of my faves from experiments gone by…

Join the 3:15 Experiment Facebook Group to stay in the hypnagogic loop.

from August 3, 2002
Seattle, WA

cherry blossom midnight
sneaking spoons in the
dark hollow cherished
far too many words to
not describe my heart-break
it breaks itself you know
it erases its own glee
tumbling like laundry lists
believe that memory
believe that gesture
don’t believe your eyes

touch is like grapefruit
round and sensitive
the eyes     two
vulnerable moments
of now
my god doesn’t like
traffic lights

or marshmallows

my god knows something
about picket lines
and visits to the dentist

I want more of less
much more of less
dwindling down into a single
current of          sleep
not darkness          something
lucid and malleable

perhaps I am not a poet after all
perhaps           I am a

mailbox

There is no solution
to
this mathematics

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Filed under Collaborations, do something different, poetry, The 3:15 Experiment

Collaborative Poem on Qarrtsiluni

My comrades in collaboration and I have a poem up on Quarrtsiluni:

Arriving at Form : : 3:15 AM

What a great word “qarrtsiluni.” Apparently it’s an Iñupiaq word that means “sitting together in the darkness, waiting for something to burst.”

We’re still working on an audio collab to go with it. We’ve all made recordings of us reading the poem (we’re in different cities) and are playing around with it in our spare minutes.

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Filed under Collaborations, poetry, The 3:15 Experiment, writing exercises