My Thoughts About #OctPoWriMo and Attempting #NaNoWriMo

Jasmine Lowe

There were no awards given out at some beautiful ceremony, or trophies sitting high on top of pillars with my name engraved in the gold colored metal—but, I did it. I finished another writing challenge, and now I have pages of poems that I actually like, and some of them I even feel pretty proud of.

The 31-day blogging challenge to write a poem a day for the month of October was probably one of the best things I could have done to dip my feet back into the pool of poetry and kick start my writing for the rest of the year.

OctPoWriMo, or October Poem Writing Month, different from NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, which takes place in the month of April, encourages participants to push themselves and their writing and to explore poetry for another month out of the year.

This was my first year taking part in the challenge, and I’m hoping that this won’t be my last. I definitely feel as though I have been reconnected to poetry and that I was challenged in a way that would forge new habits in my writing and make sure I set aside time to grow and foster my skills.

I wanted to continue practicing these habits into the next month by attempting to complete the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. NaNoWriMo is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. Participants attempt to write a 50,000-word manuscript between November 1 and November 30.

I’ve attempted the challenge before, but I always stop midway through the month as the holidays approached and traveling got in the way. However, I’m hoping my recent accomplishment with OctPoWriMo will encourage me to stick with my plan to make more time to write every day.

I’ll see what I can do during the month of November, but I am planning on finishing the 50,000-word challenge even if it not accomplished in the 30-day time span. I may be a little late getting everything done, and I probably won’t receive a trophy after it is over, but I will have achieved what I have wanted to do anyway, and I will have solidified a great habit of making more time to write.


Life starts with a melody
Just be an instrument
Immersing in the beat
Flowing with the rhythm
Swinging with the music of life
Smelling every rose in the garden of love
To eternity

Sudha Reddy

Sudha Reddy

Sudha Reddy is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. She is a life-long seeker and learner whose parents taught her true happiness is in helping and sharing. Her life purpose is to decrease suffering in the world, in every possible way. Writing is one of her many activities for staying healthy. Sudha is a new member of WOK.


When food doesn’t have a taste.
My existence is a waste.
My face a fake smile I paste.
The pain won’t erase.

When shame has a face.
Contentment has no place.
My sanity I chase.
I’m losing this race.

How do I stop falling?

When my mind is reeling .
This world is not appealing.
The clock keeps ticking.
The tears are dripping.

When I’m not at my best.
Dark shadows cause unrest.
My soul I detest.
They say this is a test.

Breathe again.
How do I go on?

When my existence is frail.
My mind is a jail.
Misery is a special hell.
Will I live to tell a tale.

When I feel I’ll fade.
The devil is paid.
My bleak bed is made.
The cards are all played.

Take a minute to breathe.
Where do I go from here?

When my failings become an obsession.
My pain leads to aggression.
Life feels like oppression.
I sink deeper into my depression.

—Donnée Harris

Donnée Harris is a former reporter, novelist, blogger and a poet. She writes erotic romance novels and has published three novels including Prohibited: an erotic novel. She has a BA in Journalism from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana and is a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority.


It seemed the drops would never stop falling
Clouding my vision through an already fogged window

The focus of my view had always seemed relatively clear
Except for an occasional errant thought which like a hailstorm
Would blur my vision with disturbing frequency

Perhaps when this current downpour clears,
My clarity will once again return,
Cleansed by the shower of reality

—Nelson Varon

Nelson Varon

In addition to being a musician and a writer of song lyrics & poems, Nelson Varon was a NYC school teacher, the founder of Nelson Varon Organ Studios in NYC, a published songwriter & author of PlayNow Method For All Organs, feature articles for The Music Trades  magazine, and How to Open a Piano & Organ Store (a chapter in the industry publication, How To Open A Music Store) and the short story, Fixing Things.  He was also the founder, publisher & editor of The Music & Computer Educator magazine, and the founder of Kern Piano Mall, in Bakersfield.


Poetry sensualizes words
Like aromatic flowers
Attract pollenating birds
Aesthetic pithy thought showers
Draw readers in to bathe
Refreshed by each perceptive phrase

From arranged bouquets of sound
Stark images of allusions bloom
And symphonies of notions abound
Allowing all the freedom to assume
Divergent tunes that deliver the chance
For unique concepts to dance

—Dan Morgan

Dan Morgan

Native son locally raised and schooled.  Retired, teacher, businessman, sailor, laborer, student and dog companion, in reverse.  Previously: Pilot, skydiver, scuba diver, parasailer, skier, hiker, footballer, basketballer, at one time or another. Married too many times, divorced one time less.  Heart attack survivor. Now: camper, traveler, writer and rhymer.