20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers

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A very unscientific poll: Which eBook reader do you use?


One photograph or 20 lines or less, every day.

Are you writing every day?  Or taking a photograph?  Or doing one creative act that stimulates your mind outside of the routine?

20 Lines a Day is about feeding that creative part of you, to keep you writing, even a little, every day.

Whether it’s a prompt, or an image that moves you, write it down and share it with us.  It does not have to be a finished work — not at all.  The point is to keep writing.

I’ll share an image today.  What will you share?



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If you are writing a book and considering self-publishing

Sable_BooksIn today’s publishing climate, many authors are turning away from traditional publishing houses because they wish to have more control over their own work.

We do all the work.  You retain control.

But it takes time just to research the other options, and they are many and varied, and can be confusing.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the decisions that need to be made, especially for those with little experience working with publishers and printers.

Continue reading


Sometimes it happens-

… so quietly that you don’t even realize it.  There was no alarm.  No bell.  Not even a ringing in your ears.  Nothing lets you know that the moment that just got by you was the one that you should have reached for and held onto.  That it won’t come back again, even if you beg.  That you are left in a permanent state of watching her walk away.

That’s okay, you tell yourself.  There will be another one.

You silently hope.  You wish it to be true.  You hope that life will be kind and you will keep on getting chances just like the one that kissed your cheek, then turned away.

The truth is, we never know, do we?

I am blessed by this community and by the gifts you share of yourself every day.  Coming here always makes me smile, and  I know I’m not the only one that feels that way.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Just took a peek at the stats, and while this is something I usually never do, it feels like a milestone and I thought I would share it with you.

Happy 50,000+ visitors to 20 Lines.  I thought I’d let you know.


Cheers, and happy everything,



With heavy heart

My dear friends and community,

This morning I am very sad to have to tell you that our dear friend and contributor weedlewom has left this life last week following a sudden illness and hospital stay.

Part of me didn’t want to believe it, I think, so I am a few days late with this news.

I was very lucky to know Susan in my own community here in North Carolina, as last August I’d joined her writers’ critique group that met once a month.  I will tell you that she was as gentle and magical a soul as you find her voice to be in her poetry.

I didn’t know her nearly well enough, but I hold each memory dear.  Rest in deepest peace, poet.

You can read the poems she shared with us here.

And take good care of each other out there, please.

With love,



April Poetry Challenge, Progress as of Day 5

Whew.  I’m going round and round with this poem, with its direction, with things I want to add and then later decide they don’t work.  Is this happening for anyone else?

This is where the poem opens after some refining:

After love, and you sleep.
I am formed to your back

broad and pale, the way lake
embraces the reflection of the moon.


… though I am not entirely happy with this.  I am trying to form the words and  to his back to meet the image head on, with (as Maggie will tell you) an economy of language, which is typically my style.  (In fact, Maggs, I have been trying to put more of myself into this poem and say more, rather than less, but we’ll see how that goes. — m.)

So if anyone thinks this reads oddly, please speak up, because my instincts are telling me that it reads like “broad and pale” are not precise enough when they move to the next line after a double break.  And while I will, at times, deliberately leave lines, images, moments in a poem open to interpretation, this opening image I want clear as a bell.

Thoughts/feedback/comments welcome.

And I hope you are enjoying spending the month with a poem as much as I am.

Cheers, and happy writing,




April Poetry Challenge — Day 1-5

Totally blown away and excited by all the interest in the April Poetry Challenge (courtesy of Richard Krawiec, please see the original post).  It’s time to check in.  If you are participating and a contributing member to 20 Lines, please post revisions as you see fit.

If you are part of our community of readers and participating in our challenge, please respond in the comments section of this post and let us know you’re checking in.

You may post your poem, a part of your poem, all of it or none, whatever you like.  We are glad you are joining us!

So make noise, share your progress, and let us know how it’s going!

As for me — I have started a poem and this is the first few lines:

After love, and you sleep
the full moon of your back
pale and strong under my hands

I will share some revisions publicly and the final version at the end of the month.   (It just occurred to me that it still might not be complete by then!  But I will promise to post the poem as it stands at that point nonetheless.)

Cheers, and happy writing,



Poetry Challenge for April

April is National Poetry Month

We’ve all heard of the a-poem-a-day challenges for April, or 30 Days, 30 Poems, but here is a unique challenge for the month of April to hone your skills as a writer and poet, introduced by Richard Krawiec, who himself is an enormously talented writer, poet, teacher and editor.  (Please read more about Richard here.)  I asked him if it would be alright to extend his challenge into our community.

Here’s the gist, in his words:

April is poetry month and there are all kinds of ‘write-a-poem-a-day’ contests.  I see the discipline of doing something like that, but I think the emphasis on producing a large number of poems is wrong – it shouldn’t be how many poems we write. One excellent poem is far more valuable than 30 decent poems.

So my challenge is this – for April start a poem on April 1 and revise it every day. 29 revisions of one poem.

Are  you in?  

I am, and to the extent that I can, will work on it publicly here, on 20 Lines.

If you wish to stay true to the 20 Lines format, write a few lines of it each day.  Or write several and then revise.  Or whatever works for you.  I am going to consciously compose and work the poem differently than I normally would, to see what happens.

You can share along the way, or at the end, or even not at all — but let me know if you’re going to be working on this — I’d love it if you’d join me.

Cheers, and happy writing,


Unbroken, by Pamela Wells

Walk around me

See me in pieces


Love me


But whole

Beneath your every step


Somewhere between the space

And time you gave

Of you and I


I found a larger frame to hold

Me, myself together

Come see my new picture


Celebrate my creation

A soul renewed

From my own design

Without need to mend

See me

Love myself whole

For I was never truly broken

© pjw march 2013

Pamela Wells

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Melissa Hassard:

Sharing this with everyone because it’s a new form for me and I thought you might like it, too. Plus, if you’re not familiar with dVerse, check them out!

Today, finally, is a poetry day, so maybe I’ll be able to tuck one here today too!
Cheers, and happy writing!


Originally posted on dVerse:

Good afternoon/evening/morning everyone, depending on which of the world’s time zones you are in. My name is Tony Maude and this is my first time presenting Form for All.

A couple of Saturdays ago Fred hosted An Evening of Short Verse, using his Poetics prompt to challenge us to write poems of 12 lines or fewer. Many of us chose to use all 12 lines, thus neatly avoiding the need to be too brief;– I know I did … smiles.

When considering traditional poetry forms, which is part of what we do in Form For All, it seems to me that we are somewhat prone to overlooking the various short forms that have been developed over the centuries. I’m sure we’ve all tried our hand at haiku – and it’s just about a year since Madeleine Begun Kane taught us how to write limericks, but most of us…

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Originally posted on :

Female Photographers only.  (Sorry, fellas.)

Women Writers of the Triad is looking for photography that we will use on our website and potentially other marketing pieces and we would love your help:

Photographers:  We are looking for photography to use throughout our site.  It might be a flower in bloom.  It might be a bank of roses.  We’ll know it when we see it.  Submit your flowers, skies, fields in bloom, or any other pieces that, to you, represent our mission of providing a nurturing place for women to write, learn to better their craft, and find their voice.  A safe place to bloom.

Your work and all credit and rights will forever remain with you.  If your piece or pieces are selected, you will receive credit wherever they are displayed along with links to your work.

Submission Process

E-mail your submissions to Women Writers of the…

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Winter Sunlight, by Susan Dean Wessells

Thin and pale
at morning,
like water
from melted ice
pooled along the walk.
How possible
that there is warmth
in this?
Growing in strength
throughout the day,
pouring through the window,
leading me to bask
and drowse
in focused heat.
Now strobing
through trees
on my afternoon drive,
this light strangely sharpened
in its daily course
toward night.
Susan Dean Wessells

Originally posted on Melissa I. Hassard:

I don’t know what to do with this shade of blue. It’s sticky. It leeches to my fingers and now the cherries taste funny and I cannot eat them. Instead I eat this blue by the spoonful. It feels like cotton, like wool on my tongue and tastes like iron and honeysuckle: pain. My pain. Yours. It doesn’t fill my stomach but my chest. When I speak, a blue vapor escapes my lips and people look at me funny, as if they know. It is the blue of howl, dusk, a faucet dripping when you are too tired to turn it off. Concrete floors. Clouds. Collars. Creek. Echo. Funk. Somewhere, somewhere between a swell of ocean and the blue of lips. The seam of a uniform. Fading delphinium. Almost but not quite Parker’s bluebird, wavering along a minor chord. If I listen long enough it dissolves into a pale, pale…

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