Why I Love Poetry Forms

(but it does mean you first need to know where the lines are…)

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

Flipping through the pages of a poetry journal or seeing what pops up when you search for ‘poetry’ on Medium, you could be excused for thinking that rules and poetry make poor bedfellows.

Short lines or long, rhymes or no rhymes, standard-length stanzas or no stanzas at all, it seems like anything goes when it comes to what constitutes a poem. The endless possibilities and total flexibility of poetry are what make this particular form of written expression so much fun to write.

I’ve written plenty of free verse precisely because breaking free of any rules appeals to my rebellious…


Image: Nikki Tate

A thank-you poem to EMS teams everywhere


A Wide-Awake Writer Reflects

A review from the blanketed trenches

If only I could drop into a slumber that looks as peaceful as this one… Oh, wait — let me fire up my favourite podcast for those restless nights when I need someone to talk me off to dreamland. Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash

To be honest, I feel like a bit of a fraud reviewing the Sleep With Me Podcast. I’ve never actually made it to the end of an episode without — wait for it — falling asleep.

That’s actually a pretty strong recommendation if you think about it. The weird thing is, this podcast shouldn’t put anybody to sleep. It’s vaguely annoying, definitely strange, an acquired taste, not at all what I was expecting, and flipping effective.

Here’s what Sleep With Me is not. It’s not a meditation podcast where some dreamy voice tells you to take an elevator down to…


Honouring both the visual and written arts

Photo by David Edkins on Unsplash

I’m a visual person. I’m not sure why I didn't choose to be a visual artist as my primary means of creative expression, but I didn’t. I chose words and performance art, and sometimes photography (usually to accompany my words).

That said, I love visual art in all its incarnations - paintings, sculpture, quilts, pottery, mosaics photographs — it matters not. Standing in front of a piece of artwork is a full-body experience and I can lose myself for hours in a gallery or sculpture garden.

No wonder that I’m drawn to ekphrastic poetry, a form that takes a piece…


Follow Along as I Write a Picture Book Manuscript

It’s what you do with them that matters

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

I have a bazillion ideas. That doesn’t mean they are all good ideas, but trust me when I say that my brain is a noisy place to live.

Choosing one and then seeing it through to completion and eventual publication in book form can be (generally is) a long, convoluted process. Eventually, though, things sometimes come together and, voila, a book emerges at the other end of all the false starts and frustrations, trials and tribulations.


A Writer Reviews her New Tablet

My experience with reMarkable 2

For years, I’ve wanted to reduce the amount of paper I generate. Finally, I’ve found a tool that does exactly that. [Image: Nikki Tate]

Writing depressing stuff sucks. When the tough content is book-length, that means months of research, reading, thinking, ruminating, writing, organizing, reorganizing, editing, rewriting — and then more of the same.

One of the most heart-rending projects I took on was If a Tree Falls: The Global Impact of Deforestation. It was requested as a follow-up to Deep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our Planet, my earlier book in the same series. Deep Roots celebrates trees and all they contribute to our lives.


Mom Was Right: We Need to Look Out for Each Other

Why vaccinations matter

Photo by Steven Lasry on Unsplash

Back when I was growing up, occasionally my mom would encounter someone who didn’t want to vaccinate their kids. Without hesitation, she’d tug up her sleeve and try to lift her semi-paralyzed arm. “If there had been a polio vaccine when I was a child — do you think I would have taken it?”

One side of her body was weak and withered and her whole life she suffered from back pain, ankle pain (her weak muscles on her right side eventually required two surgeries to fuse the bones in her ankle to try to help support her), and wrist…


Look at us, getting all fancy! Thanks to Studio Dani for the new look! [Nikki Tate]

Hello, hello, Writers on Fire Fans!

It’s a little worrying when people take a long hard look at your logo and ask, “Are you writers burning in hell?” Um. No. That was not the intention of the flames behind the old Writers on Fire logo. That was a function of a writer (yes, me) grabbing the first Unsplash image that popped up after entering the search term ‘fire.’

Lesson learned. Writers write. Designers design.

Bit by bit we’ve been reorganizing and rebranding, swapping out the flaming old stuff and replacing it with stuff like this:


Let’s get to know each other

An everyday photo essay

Every now and then I enjoy posting a short photo essay in the ‘Five Things’ series. I LOVE it when others respond in kind (hint… hint).

We recently moved into an old house in Banff and one of my favourite rooms is the bathroom because, well… keep scrolling.

Old houses come with touches like this glass doorknob and a bona fide keyhole. Not that there’s a key to go with it — but, that doesn’t matter. There’s a new-fangled latch to secure the door. [Image: Nikki Tate]

Nikki Tate

Author, creativity coach, storyteller exploring the world living the dream Let’s talk writing — book a call: https://bit.ly/Call4Writers TheNexusGeneration.net

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