Workshop Transcript

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Rhyming Right

with Verla Kay



Verla: Wow....It's almost time to start, already!

Miriam_: I'm afraid I'm going to be kind of out of place tonight verla

Verla: why, miriam? Because you don't write in rhyme?

Miriam_: yes

Gail: I feel rhyme helps all writers. We can all benefit from writing our prose more poeticly.

Verla: Okay...we are about to start.

Verla: hold on while I set the topic

Gail: Hey, a good, big group!

Suzy-Q sets in the front set, between Gail and Miriam_.

Miriam_: sure sq. just to keep me from causing trouble

*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to Rhyming Right Workshop Now in Session

Suzy-Q hands Miriam_ some silly string.

Verla: lol Behave yourself, sq!

Miriam_: gracias sq

Suzy-Q: We get better aim from up here Miriam_

Suzy-Q: LOL

Gail: SQ always has that darn silly string. I had it in my hair last time.

Miriam_: got it covered

Suzy-Q hands a can to Gail. I got you the floresent stuff.

Suzy-Q raises her hand.

Verla: Okay...for those who don't know me, (Is there ANYONE who doesn't know me?)...

Verla: I'm Verla Kay. A soon-to-be published author of 4 rhyming picture books

Verla: That are being published by Putnam

Miriam_: clap! clap!

Suzy-Q: whistle, whistle!!!!

Verla: Thank you, Miriam and sq

Verla: Welcome to our weekly Kidlit Workshop. We ask that you hold all personal chit-chat until the hour is up, but Please! Feel free to join in the topic currently under discussion.

Verla: Okay...tonight's Workshop is Rhyming Right

Verla: Does anyone know why people want to write in rhyme?

A-Suen: good question!

Dani23: It seems easier?

Suzy-Q: they think it is easy

Gail: Rhyme is easily repeated by the child.

Miriam_: I like the way it sounds

Verla: okay...those are all good answers

Verla: anyone else?

Burg1: because its something they enjoyed reading (or being read to) as a kid

Suzy-Q: kids like thing that rhyme.

LailaK: i think it's like music, it touches the hearts

Verla: Right!

Verla: Stories in rhyme are FUN to read

Verla: Kids love them

Verla: And it's satisfying to write in rhyme...when it is done well

A-Suen: rhyme is part of our history

Verla: "trick" question...Why do editors say they don't want to see rhyming stories?

LindaSm: poorly written rhyme

Dani23: There are too many bad ones

_J_Waldrop: Because so many people do a terrible job

LindaSm: just like talking animals!

Gail: Because it is SO frequently done badly.

A-Suen: it's hard to critique

DonnaB2: Too many Dr. Seuss imitations, poorly done.

Verla: Exactly!

Verla: But..what IS bad rhyme? Does anyone know?

Dani23: No

A-Suen: off- rhyme, sing-song rhyme

Burg1: forced trying to find a word to rhyme with Watermelon

Gail: The meter and the rhyme is off.

_J_Waldrop: Usually when the words are forced and the meter is terrible

LindaSm: poor meter. forced words, lacking in rhythm...rhyme without reason

Burg1: <--likes rhyme without reason <G>

A-Suen: words that rhyme, but don't make sense

Dani23: I hate meter

A-Suen: it's just a tool

LailaK: how about the topic? would that affect why rhyme is rejected?

Verla: Yes, it would, laila

Verla: Those are all very good answers. Three of the main problems with rhyme are:

It doesn't flow smoothly.

It doesn't sound "right" when spoken out loud.

It doesn't tell a terrific story.

LindaSm: Telling a story is the important part...and the rhyme should sound like an afterthought

Verla: Right, Lin! Okay...Here's an example of BAD rhyme.


She forced her way into Peter's house,

And broke down the back door.

But after she tried to explain it to him,

She laughed 'cause she'd broken his fort.


Verla: Okay...why is that bad rhyme?

A-Suen: near rhyme

Verla: right, Asuen

Dani23: door and fort don't rhyme

Verla: Right! The words do not REALLY rhyme

Verla: what else?

LindaSm: meter is off ... nonsensical ... just plain yuk

A-Suen: the beats don't match

Verla: Right. There is no consistent, smooth "beat or rhythm"

Gail: The last line has a forced rhyme, and it doesn't WORK

Verla: right

Dani23: I can't hear meter in my head.

Verla: Right, dani

Verla: And also, the story doesn't make a lot of sense

LailaK: what's a meter?

Verla: That's the next question, laila

LindaSm: a beat is a meter laila

LindaSm: like a single syllable

Dani23: The only way I can tell a distress from an unstress is if you shout one and whisper the other

Dani23: I'm mentally deaf

Verla: The beat is one of the most important aspects of rhyming stories. If you write down the beat of your first verse, then use that same beat repeatedly throughout your story, you will usually find the story "flows" and really "works" in rhyme.

LindaSm: and make sure your meter base is simple enough to follow throughout the whole poem

Verla: right, lin

Dani23: Does this mean I can't do good rhyme?

Gail: Probably, Dani

Verla: Possibly, dani. but you will have to see for yourself.

LindaSm: Write perfect prose instead, Dani! But read a lot of poetry...that helps

A-Suen: when do you get to the beat, Verla - after you have the story idea in your head, or after you write out the first draft?

Verla: I usually have the beat in my head right from the beginning...and I will talk more about that later

A-Suen: ok :)

LindaSm: I can't imagine doing that you do it that way??? So interesting!

Verla: Okay...How do find the beat?

DonnaB2: Read it aloud.

Verla: YES! ALL rhymes MUST be read aloud to know if they are good or not.

LindaSm: meter plus sound plus accent

A-Suen: you feel it, you hear it in your head, you MARK it our on the page

Verla: Okay, let's take a common nursery rhyme and examine it


Mary had a little lamb,

DA da DA da DA da DA

Its fleece was white as snow,

da DA da DA da DA

And everywhere that Mary went,

da DA da DA da DA da DA

The lamb was sure to go.

da DA da DA da DA


A-Suen: stressed and unstressed syllables

LindaSm: 7,6,7,6 syllables

Verla: Right. Every other syllable in this rhyme has a natural BEAT or ACCENT. That's the rhythm of this rhyme

Verla: It follows a basic pattern...

Gail: Four groups in the 1st and third line. 3 groups in the second and forth.

Verla: Can you see it?

Dani23: Written out like that, yeah

Verla: I always "tap out" the beat, and sometimes write it out just like that, Dani, so I can check to make sure I'm not OFF somewhere in my rhythm.

LindaSm: Dani, add another word to the poem anywhere and you'll see what is meant by meter being off

A-Suen: I was tapping here, too! :)

LindaSm: Do you count syllables Verla? accents?

Verla: Yes, I do, lin

Verla: You normally cannot break the natural rhythm of a story without calling attention to the fact that you are rhyming - which zaps the reader out of the story and makes him aware of YOU, the author - something that is usually deadly to a story.

A-Suen: definitely!

Verla: Okay...Here is an example of BAD rhythm

Verla: Read it OUT LOUD. (Don't worry about what your family thinks....they already know that writers are half nuts...)

Mary had a little lamb,

Her lamb had wool that was white as snow.

And everywhere that Mary went,

The lamb followed her and would also go.


A-Suen: :(

DonnaB2: Ugh!

Verla: Yes...UGH is right!

Verla: That is BAD rhythm.

Dani23: syllables are off? (I'm alone anyway:->)

Verla: Right, Dani!

Dani23: 2 and 4 are too long?

A-Suen: the words don't flow

Verla: Right again....yes, Asuen

Verla: Okay...Now what makes rhyme GOOD?

A-Suen: it sounds like music

A-Suen: it flows

Verla: right, Asuen!

Miriam_: tells a story first then you realize it rhymes

LindaSm: It tells a story effortlessly

LindaSm: or seems that way!

_J_Waldrop: The words make sense...not just chosen because they rhyme

Verla: Right again...all of you.

Verla: Good rhyme is almost invisible to the story. It's there, but you hardly notice it. The STORY carries the reader along, and it's only later, if at all, that you notice it happens to rhyme. Good rhyme will ENHANCE your story, not be the major factor in it.

LindaSm: don't rhyme just to rhyme

Verla: Right again, lin.

Verla: Good rhyme flows with a steady beat, a rhythm, that never jars the reader out of the story. Its rhyming words make sense. It doesn't force words out of place, just to accommodate a rhyme. It seems to be effortless when read, and so natural and simple that the reader can't imagine the story being told in any other way.

A-Suen: and that's why it's so hard to write

Verla: Exactly, ASuen

Verla: is some GOOD rhyme. I hope I'm not stepping over the bounds of copyright laws here...

Verla: This rhyme is taken from Humpty Dumpty's magazine

Verla: They are just a few verses from a much longer poem

Gail: Be sure to give the author credit.

Verla: (that would be ME, Gail...This is my first story I ever had published.)

A-Suen: :)

There's an onion in my spinach,

And it makes me very sad,

'Cause I know I have to eat it,

Or my mom will get real mad.


There's a green bean in my dinner,

A large celery in my stew,

And my mother said to eat them,

So that's what I'll have to do.


Oh, my mother said to try it,

All this stuff that's on my plate,

And she says that I must sit here,

But it's really getting late.


Verla: Can you see how the beat and the rhythm stay consistent? How the story advances without being forced into unnatural rhyme? This is one of the signs of "good rhyme." Rhyme that can get published.

Verla: Again, you need to read it OUT LOUD.

A-Suen: what is the next line...

Verla: lol

NOTE: lol = Laughing Out Loud

Verla: It ends with the child enjoying the strange foods he/she had to taste, ASuen

A-Suen: ok :)

Miriam_: it was a story, not just a rhyme

Verla: Right, miriam. That's the point of GOOD rhyming stories. They are a STORY first and RHYME second.

Verla: Okay....what is "forced rhyme?" That is a phrase you hear a lot.

A-Suen: forced rhyme only rhymes if you pronounce it unnaturally

LindaSm: When you say something like, Billy is coming, said she!

DonnaB2: Unnatural word order in a sentence in order to get the right (rhyming) word at the end of the line (to rhyme with another line).

DonnaB2: Did that come out right?

LindaSm: yes, to force the rhyme to fit

Verla: Right, Donna. Exactly.

Verla: right!

Verla: Forced rhyme is when words are manipulated into unnatural forms in order to force a rhyming word to fall into the proper place in a rhyming story or when words are forced into a story just for the sake of the rhyme. For example, does your story line need to tell about how Joe climbed a tree? If you say, "Joe, a tree climbed up," just in order to make the line rhyme, that is "forced."

LindaSm: or when you rhyme a sentence that makes no sense

A-Suen: :(

Verla: yep

A-Suen: true!

LindaSm: Johnny got up out of bed, put on his shoes, the fly was dead

LindaSm: hahhahaha

LindaSm: That's forced rhyme

DonnaB2: LOL

Verla: Yes, UNLESS the fly plays an integral part of the story, lin....and this was the end of the story about Johnny and his fly

LindaSm: well, no...

LindaSm: hahaha

Verla: THEN that would make perfect sense.

A-Suen: that's what I was thinking... what's the punchline?

Verla: It all depends on the STORY line.

Verla: Each sentence should sound normal, and should NOT be "twisted" or "tweaked" into a strange-sounding form in order to get the rhyming word in the right place.

LindaSm: ok, ok Verla!! I'll write a dead fly poem!

A-Suen: LOL!

DonnaB2: I want to read the dead fly poem!

Verla: And it will SELL, too, if YOU write it, lin...I'm sure of it.

LindaSm: hahahaah

LindaSm: Thanks for the vote of confidence all

Verla: You MUST find rhymes that make sense in your story.

A-Suen: that's why they invented rhyming dictionaries, and the thesaurus - do you use one, Verla?

Verla: ABSOLUTELY, ASuen...As a matter of fact I have FOUR rhyming dictionaries. One at my bedside, one in my purse, one at the computer and one kicking around...

iriam_: you're prepared, verla

Dani23: your dictionary kicks?

A-Suen: I'm impressed!

Verla: I use them a LOT.

LindaSm: I only use one when I really get stuck

A-Suen: they're great for brainstorming

A-Suen: but you have to have a story first

LindaSm: Rhyming dictionary; Don't leave home without it.

Verla: When I want to say something in my story, I often just sit and scan through the words...looking for places that have two words that "fit" my story line.

A-Suen: yes!

Verla: Two words that will say what I want the story to say that rhyme. Then I build a verse around those two words. :-)

A-Suen: so you have the story first, and THEN you rhyme

Verla: That way, my story makes sense and the words rhyme. In that case, yes, Asuen.

Verla: Often I have to change my stories a lot after the first draft is done, in order to get the right words.

Verla: (Note: There are ALWAYS exceptions to every "rule" and in some cases, that unnatural order will be just perfect for a special story. But we are talking here about the average story.)

A-Suen: Hooray! That's what I was talking about with my storyboards, Linda

Verla: Another example of a forced rhyme would be when the accent of a word doesn't fall in the right place. In the following example, I have marked where the accents SHOULD be by putting a *STAR just before the accented syllables.


If you *always do what *seems just right,

But *no one seems to *care,

Then *jump around and *scream and yell,

Call*ing with all your *might.


As you can see, the word Calling has the accent on the wrong syllable. This creates "forced rhyme." You CAN read it right, but the rhythm is broken if you do and this is NOT good rhyme.

Verla: Read it out loud, and you should be able to see what I mean.

A-Suen: last line - it gives my cat a scare

A-Suen: 3rd line, I jump around and scream and yell

Verla: Great!

Verla: Every word that has more than one syllable in it has a "natural" accent on one part of the word or another.

Verla: When you are rhyming, you need to make sure that the accent falls NATURALLY where the BEAT of the rhythm needs to be

LindaSm: I think reading poetry can be very helpful to understand this...reading a lot of good stuff

A-Suen: the regular dictionary tells you where the accents go

LindaSm: and that accent, too...usually a double syllabled word can throw meter off

Verla: those are both GREAT comments, Lin and ASuen

Verla: And the rest of you...don't let these two monopolize us...jump in with comments and/or questions any time!

A-Suen: :)

LindaSm: We're both from texas ,Verla...BIG talkers

A-Suen: LOL!!!

Verla: LOL

Verla: Okay...there are some "warning signs" that your rhyme is not perfect.

Verla: Here are two of them...who can think of others?

1) You are getting nothing but form rejections on it.

2) When a professional critiqued it, they suggested that you write your story in prose instead.

LindaSm: Give your poem to someone who doesn't know how to read poetry and watch every mistake jump out at you....I keep my husband around for just this purpose

Verla: hehehheh. Cute, Lin.

Verla: Reading it out loud...and especially listening to someone ELSE who has never seen it before, read it out loud TO you, is extremely helpful

Verla: Okay, What are some indicators that your rhyme is "on target/good"?

LindaSm: good natural exact rhyme

Verla: yes, lin

Dani23: You get published!

Verla: Great, dani!

LindaSm: You get money!

Gail: I want money, too.

DonnaB2: Flow.

zzap: natural sentences

Verla: Right. All of those. And on a more immediate level, you are getting personalized rejections back from publishers on a regular basis for your rhyming stories

Verla: Also...You have had some of your rhyme critiqued by a professional poet or author who sells stories-in-rhyme or editor who publishes it and have gotten very positive comments on it.

Miriam_: does anyone have a couple of lines we could practice reading

Verla: Yes...who has a few lines to share?

LindaSm: I could give you an opening to a poem

Miriam_: go for it

mick: I do

Gail: Go Linda.

Verla: Okay, lin. Please do. Also tell us if this is done..or needs work. You too, Mick.


Little Edward sailed the seas,

On a frond of palm, by a summer breeze

and far below the slumber light

in the dewy mist of half moons night

all of good sense lay asleep

while Edward sailed the deep seas deep

Miriam_: very nice linda

A-Suen: AA BB CC

Verla: and Dani

A-Suen: 3 couplets

LindaSm: not a publishable one though




just then the doors crashed open

and everything got still

the tall green sheriff had arrived

a gherkin named Dill Bill

His guns were rather fuzzy --

two kiwi forty fives --

but when they were a' blazin they'd

cut onions down to chives


Verla: Oh, that is GREAT, Mick! It tells a fun story and is very good rhyme.

zzap: ditto

Verla: That is publishable, Mick.

mick: I'm hopin

LindaSm: Nice Mick!!

Gail: I liked it, mick.

zzap: VERY nice.

Verla: zap, did you have one to share?

Verla: A verse?

zzap: nah, mick's was great enough!

whatever: mick: you have a serious winner there.

mick blushes

whatever: I LIKED mick's :)

zzap: have you sent that poem anywhere?

mick: no, it's still first draft

mick: well first draft with a lot of erasures

mick: I need 2 more pages/stanzas to wrap it up

zzap: to wrap what up? Is it a much longer piece?

mick: picture book length

mick: I have 25 stanzas written 2 more is a guestimate

Verla: I only use 18-22 stanzas in my stories, mick.

mick: I'm sure I'll cut some... that's why I say 1st draft

Verla: Well, it's a darned good "first draft" mick.


Verla: Okay, Dani

Verla: Now you go...


Dani23: I have a continuation to a poem.

Dani23: But it doesn't fit the pattern of the beginning of the poem



One day the toad grew weary

For it's new home was dark and dreary

It tumbled about with every wheeze

and rumbled about with every sneeze


LindaSm: Nice dani

Verla: You have a good start on that one, Dani.

DonnaB2: Dani, too many syllables in the second line. Accent/beat is inconsistent.

A-Suen: dani - take out the "for" in the 2nd line

Verla: yes, A-suen

Dani23: Yeah, I think I saw that

whatever: dani: learn the difference between its and it's. I would reach for a rejection immediately. It doesn't matter how good the content is if the author can't speak basic English.

whatever: it's = it is

whatever: its = possessive

Dani23: something I always miss, whatever

whatever: oh, and dani? I'm not picking on you or anything, but if an editor ever gives you a criticism, especially a grammar criticism, never respond "something I always miss"...

NOTE: That makes it sound like you don't usually use good grammar. You want the editor to think (whether it's true or NOT! heheheheh) that you ALWAYS use perfect grammar and that THIS was just a single "slip of the mind..." It will give the editor a better opinion of you.

Verla: I wanted a little more variety in some of the words

A-Suen: sneeze and please rhyme

KarmaWilso: Of course if it's a first draft, we understand dani.

Dani23: yes, first draft

Verla: One day the toad grew weary,/Its home was dark and dreary.

Verla: It tumbled on with every wheeze and rumbled out with every sneeze

A-Suen: in and out could be fun!

Verla: That would have better rhythm, Dani. Can you feel it?

A-Suen: tumbled in- rumbled out

Verla: And YES! In and out WOULD be better, Asuen

Verla: I was just whipping that off the top of my head.

Miriam_: nice asuen

Dani23: Yes

A-Suen: thanks!

DonnaB2: Toads are fun, comical critters!

A-Suen: it sounds like an allergy poem!

A-Suen: just right for this time of year!

mick: the toad had grown so weak and weary/its home a house so dark and dreary?

Verla: Yes, this will be a FUN one, Dani. You should definitely work on this one...

A-Suen: yes

Dani23: It's the next verse - my poem about a girl who swallows a toad

Verla: Swallows a TOAD? Yikes.

Verla: lol

KarmaWilso: Okay, I came late, but I have one...

Gail: Go Karma!

DonnaB2: Can I be next, after Karma?

KarmaWilso: Yes Donna.

Verla: (We have to hurry...or I won't get to the end before the HOUR is up...but we can do more after the workshop...)

Verla: Okay...Is it true that rhyme is harder to sell than prose?

zap: no

Verla: Right, zap!

DonnaB2: Harder to figure out what publisher to send to since few of them will fess up to accepting rhyming stories.

Verla: It is NOT harder to sell...but it has to be ABSOLUTELY PERFECT in every way if it is going to sell.

A-Suen: and if it's NOT, they'll tell you so

zzap: lol, DonnaB2

Verla: Okay...If you really want to write stories-in-rhyme, what should you do? How should you start writing?

Dani23: write it in prose first?

Verla: I have done that on occasion, dani

A-Suen: I write the pictures out

Verla: As a matter of fact, I battled with Iron Horses for two years and go NOWHERE. I had over 85 verses written, but NO story line.

Verla: I finally gave up and decided I would have to write the story in prose. I started, and as soon as I had the first part written in prose, I realized if I pulled THIS verse and THAT verse and that other one over THERE, that I had a story. So Iron Horses was born.

Verla: Start by outlining your story.

Verla: Make sure you know where/when your story is going to begin, what you want to happen in it and where/how it will end.

KarmaWilso: Here's my first verse, to show you the basic scheme

KarmaWilso: Do I just type in the verse I'm having problems with?

Gail: Wait until after, Karma.

Verla: We will work on that as soon as I'm done, karma...I only

have three minutes left!

KarmaWilso: Sorry!!!

KarmaWilso: I'll just email verla privately, heh heh heh!!!

Gail: No, Karma. Then we will miss your poem.

Verla: No problem, Karma. In the chat room, we all know that what one person types sometimes comes up way after what someone else has just said, so it's kind of like one big huge "interruption" of each person's thoughts. Now, back to the end of the workshop....

NOTE: Back to the Workshop....

Verla: So you need to outline the story, find the rhyming "pattern" you want to use, then start writing the story.

A-Suen: ta-da!

Verla: To SELL, I recommend submitting to magazines first

Verla: Children's Better Health Institute loves doing poems and stories in rhyme

Verla: This publisher includes Turtle, Humpty Dumpty and Jack & Jill magazines, among others. If you send a manuscript to ONE of the magazines, it is considered for all six.


Verla: Don't settle for the first rhyme that comes out of your mind

Verla: Make it SING before you quit working with it

A-Suen: re-write, re-write, re-write


zzap: GOOD ones.

A-Suen: read them all, and you'll find the good ones

DonnaB2: I love Reeve Lindbergh's "There's a Cow in the Road."

Verla: Oh...I wanted to share this, too...

Verla: Use a rhyming dictionary

Verla: Get a GOOD rhyming dictionary! I highly recommend Random House Webster's Pocket Rhyming Dictionary. It fits easily in a pocket or purse, so you can carry it everywhere you go and is full of more than 30,000 wonderful rhyming words. The current list price for this marvelous little book is $6.99 in the United States and $9.95 in Canada.

Verla: Something that you may be interested in knowing, is that I have never attended a poetry "class." I have no formal training in poetry or verse. I don't know all the fancy terms that people who are trained poets use.

Dani23: I took a poetry class

Verla: Then you are way ahead of me, Dani!

Verla: What I DO have, is a natural "feel" for the beat and rhythm and sound of good rhyme. You get that, by reading lots of good rhyming stories.

Miriam_: you're a natural verla

DonnaB2: I can't wait to read your books, Verla.

Verla: Thank you, miriam & Donna

Verla: If you want to rhyme, read rhyming picture books. LOTS of them. Read Linda Rymill's new picture book, Good Knight.

Verla: It is an EXCELLENT example of wonderful rhyme that "works." Rhyme that tells a great story by enhancing it instead of "getting in the way" of the story.

Verla: And here's something else that may interest many of you. There seems to be a "swing" in rhyming picture books in the children's publishing world. I have noticed in the past few years that many more rhyming books are being published than in the recent past and many of these books are by new authors. This "trend," (if that is what it is) bodes well for all of us!

Verla: Okay...And now that you have the "essentials" of good rhyme, get out there and WRITE!


Verla: Done! And I'm only three minutes "overtime..."

Verla: the way....thank you all for coming!

Miriam_: you're welcome

Verla: Next week will be Adrianne, from Australia..on Publishing on the Net - be SURE to come for THAT workshop!

Verla bows low.....

Miriam_: clap! clap!

Suzy-Q: Well done Verla!

zzap: clapo clap clap

DonnaB2: Hooray, hoorah, huzzah!

whatever: *clap*

Suzy-Q shoots Verla with silly string.

DonnaB2: Toss the confetti.

zzap: clink clink

mick: the crowd roars... VERLA VERLA

_J_Waldrop: Excellent Verla

Miriam_ hits verla in the side of the head with green string

Dani23: whoo!!

A-Suen: yeah, Verla! brava!!!

_J_Waldrop: This will be a transcript we will want to read again and again

zzap: (and thanks, Verla, for your kind comment)

NOTE: zzap is really Linda Rymill, author of that wonderful picture book, Good Knight

Suzy-Q: Hi zzap!!!

whatever waves too........

Verla: Hey, you deserved the comment, zap

zzap: HI HO!

Verla: {{{{{{{{{{{{zap}}}}}}}}}}}}

NOTE: {{{{{this is a cyber hug}}}}}

Suzy-Q hand Verla the prized gourmet caramel apple, for a job well done

Verla: Thank you, SQ.


NOTE: Although the workshop "proper" ended "on the hour," because there was some very valuable information exchanged after the workshop during the "free chat" time, the pertinent parts of that free chat time are included with this transcript so that you can also benefit from that open discussion.


Verla: Okay...NOW...for those who can stay, let's work on those problem rhyme areas...Karma has one, and I think someone else said they did, too?

DonnaB2: Me, me!

DonnaB2: Where did Karma go?

Suzy-Q: I think she is having server trouble.

Verla: I think she got dumped. Darn. And we didn't get to look at her problem rhyme! Well, go ahead, Donna... you are next, I believe...

DonnaB2: Okay, here goes.



A once grand old house with a tall weather vane

Looms silent and dark at the end of our lane.

The windows are grimy, the black shutters hang,

The chimes on the porch sound a mournful clang, clang.


DonnaB2: That's it. Of course, it goes on and on.

zzap: interesting

Verla: Oh...that's GOOD so far, Donna...

whatever: you have good imagery

whatever: I can SEE it

Gail: I like it, Donna.

DonnaB2: Any problems? Does it flow?

Verla: I want another word in front of the first Clang, though...

Verla: cling-clang?

Verla: dull clang?

DonnaB2: Dull wouldn't work, we already have mournful.

Gail: cling-clang works.

DonnaB2: Do chimes cling clang?

Gail: Why not?

Verla: I don't think so Donna...

Verla: But I would like a new word there....something that enhances the sound and brings out the "flavor" of the house

Verla: This is where the thesaurus comes in!

DonnaB2: Thanks. How about - The chimes on the porch sound a sad, mournful clang.

Verla: A word that means: dusty, dirty, clanky,

DonnaB2: Or is sad too much like mournful in meaning?

whatever: a low mournful clang?

Burg1: how about melancoly?

Verla: Hmmmm. How about using bong in place of "sound?"

_J_Waldrop: How about The chimes on the porch ring a soft mournful clang?

DonnaB2: Lots of good suggestions.

DonnaB2: Melancholy would disturb the meter/accent.

Verla: Hmmm. I think that's too many syllables, yes, Donna

Burg1: My mistake, Donna, I missed the beginning

Burg1: <----staying quiet now

DonnaB2: Burg1, comments always welcome.

Verla: You do NOT have to stay quiet, burg!

Gail: Burg, speak up. Don't hold back!

Verla: Lots of ideas breed more ideas...which lead to the RIGHT ideas

Verla: the ones that WORK

whatever: verla: that's true!

Verla: That's what brainstorming is for

whatever: you should say that in a workshop

Verla: (I think I just DID, whatever! LOL!)

Burg1: Thanks. Could I have what you're working on from the top? It might help being me up to speed

DonnaB2: Burg, I don't want to monopolize the conversation any longer. Thanks for your offer to help. And thanks to everyone else for your suggestions as well.


mick: BTW Verla, I just found a new rhyming dictionary that is excellent. It includes slang and phrases

Verla: Great, mick! Tell us about it.

mick: The new comprehensive American rhyming dictionary

mick: by Sue Young - publisher Avon

Verla: thanks for sharing that with us, Mick.


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Verla Kay

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