Monday, December 30, 2019

PLAY IT AGAIN! with REAL TOADS

Dearest friends, poets, minstrels, bards, lovers of words and songs, I greet you as a founder member and Creative Manager of The Imaginary Garden with Real Toads for the last time.





I opened the gates of the Garden to all fellow bloggers on July 18, 2011 and after nearly a decade of being part of this amazing community of poets, writers, photographers and artists, who have all been teachers and students together, the time has come to say goodbye to an era of poetry challenges and prompts hosted by the Toads.


However, it would not be true to our Mission Statement if we left without a proper fare thee well, and with one last prompt, a retrospective of all the talent, inspiration and generous sharing of ideas, which made Real Toads a one of a kind creative space.

I invite you all to PLAY IT AGAIN! and AGAIN! and AGAIN!




MAGALY ~ 1 POEM 3 TITLES

MARGARET ~ SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL

SHERRY ~ WHAT WE SAVE SAVES US

SANAA ~ WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE

MARIAN ~ WEST OF ROME

SUSIE ~ AMBER ROSE TAMBLYN

KIM ~ PORTRAITURE

BJORN ~ MANIFESTO

IZY ~ CHEW THROUGH YOUR OWN CHAINS

ANMOL ~ YOU ARE A POET

ROMMY ~ JOB TITLE

ALTERNATIVELY ~ SELECT ANY PROMPT FROM THE ARCHIVES, TODAY OR TOMORROW OR THE NEXT DAY.... AND WRITE POEMS FOREVER!  

Please remember to include a link to the post you have chosen. The Linky will remain open and this post will be on the home page for the month of January. I invite you to return to write again and read the poems posted. 

Let us break all records for toad participation!!!

Although this may feel like an ending, let us think of it as a new beginning. The blogsite will not disappear completely, but remain as an archive and online reference site, hopefully to offer inspiration for many years to come. 
Anyone may contact me at theimaginarygarden@gmail.com or via DM on Instagram @skyloverpoetry. 


Please return tomorrow for the grande finale! 

A retrospective chat between Sherry, Marian and me so we can end things off in the fine spirit of togetherness in which this project started.




32 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is a bitter sweet day for me, most certainly. It is the end of a decade, the end of an era and the end of Real Toads, as a site which offers weekly prompts and incentives for writing. Early in January 2020, I will be repurposing the platform as a resource centre and archive, in the hopes that it will be a user-friendly site for contributors, seeking to access their articles and prompts, as well as for poets who are in need of inspiration in the future.
Here is a wealth of inspiration, easy to come by and always waiting to be reinvented by the imaginations of poets.

This Play It Again! is a reminder of some of the best prompts created by the last of the toads. We all hope that you will have fond memories of our Imaginary Garden, and that the friendships forged in this place will last a lifetime.

Kim M. Russell said...

I'm already so sad today, I don't know if I can manage tomorrow, Kerry.

Kerry O'Connor said...

All the tomorrows, Kim. This place has been such a comfort zone for me, but I believe the future is built upon all that is good in the past, and we are repaid in unforeseen ways, when we let go.

Kerry O'Connor said...

My first poem is written to Izy's prompt but I know I will be back to write to more.. maybe to all of them.

Brendan said...

An inspired final prompt, Kerry, one to linger with in love ... It has been such a great honor singing in this choir. The collective voice has been halcyon and so sustaining through an uphill slog of a life. Thanks for all of you for so many resonant memories.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Real Toads forever!!!!❤️❤️❤️

Marian said...

So much love and gratitude for the Imaginary Garden!!

hedgewitch said...

So much sadness in our world today, and this only adds. I have been expressing my gratitude and regret since I first heard this moment was coming, but I will reiterate that thanks to you again Kerry, and my deep respect for all you have done here. I will do my best to respond to this last prompt before this Janus week is over.

Kerry O'Connor said...

So true, Brendan. It has sustained us all through a trying decade.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Thank you, Joy. Your voice and knowledge of poetry has been a driving force in the blogosphere. I am happy to know that you are writing again so I may continue to be inspired by your immense talent.

Linda Lee Lyberg said...

I am so going to miss this place of learning, for Kerry that is exactly what you and the other toads have created. I am so grateful I found you when I did. May there be light on the road ahead for you and everyone!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Thank you, Linda. Your contribution to the collective creativity of the Imaginary Garden was always most welcome.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I echo the respect and sadness reflected here - Toads has been unique. I am so grateful to have had the privilege of writing with and reading with some of the finest poets online. A wonderful journey I will always be grateful for. I love that we can write to these prompts all of January. I will, for sure, as I am able. Sigh. I will miss Toads. Thank you to each one of you for the amazing journey we took together. And especially to you, Kerry, for your vision, your integrity and your inspiration.

Marian said...

So I posted some nice remarks about Real Toads on my Facebook page, along with my poem. Then tried to link to the Garden in a comment, in case any of my friends was interested to check it out. Am told that the Imaginary Garden goes against Facebook community standards. What?
GUFFAW. I guess maybe we should wear this as a badge of honor as our community here is full of beauty while Facebook is... not.
Geez.

Magaly Guerrero said...

Today seems full of goodbyes for me. And all of them bitter. I almost didn't post anything--I'm exhausted and tomorrow promises more work. But... I couldn't stay away from the last prompt. So, as always, Kerry, thank you so much for pulling my muse out of the mud.

Susie Clevenger said...

"And I was a Toad" Thank you Kerry for asking me to become a toad in this amazing garden. I grew so much here. You have lead us with heart and integrity. I am so glad we will have this amazing place to return to as it is archived for us and others who love poetry.

brudberg said...

Thank you so much for the time I have been a toad, and the opportunity to both write and inspire the rest of you... I so hope to continue to come a across you all in the future.

We are reaching the end of a decade, and I hope that there will be some good changes coming, and I hope that you are willing to continue to walk beside me.

I will get back to write for some of this prompts during the days to come.

brudberg said...

I have added my first poem to the prompt, but it's late and I will need to come back tomorrow and read.

Outlawyer said...

Dear Kerry, You have been the most magnificent hostess. I wish you well in all future endeavors. Your students are so lucky to have you. We have been too. k.

Fireblossom said...

I could not let this go by without writing for it, as Toads and my fellow Toads themselves have been integral to my creative life, and dear to me personally. Yes, I left a few months ahead of time, but I was and remain a Toad always.

I wrote for Susie's link.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, dear toads and friends. You have left me very tearful but also with a deep sense of accomplishment. Together we made the impossible possible, and we went out in style.
And I shall always be a toad!

RedCat said...

It feels strange to say I'll miss this since I only found it a third of a year ago, but it's true. At the same time it's comforting to see that I'm not the only one experiencing big life changes.

I really didn't have time to write yesterday or today, but my muse kept me awake until I had written. Such is the power of the prompts in this garden.

I wish you all a happy new year and hope to see your poetry in other places.

Rommy said...

I knew as busy as my end of the year was going to be, I was going to make time for this. Thank you all for making this such a memorable and special place to share poetry.

Revived Writer said...

Thank you for many years of fantastic prompts and good memories! I will be sure to write something for this and of course to read everyone's poems.

Mama Zen said...

I wrote for Kerry's Finding Voice prompt. I'm having trouble commenting on WordPress blogs, so I wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year here!

The Bizza said...

Thank you Real Toads. I won't forget how you all helped me grow as a writer. And this isn't goodbye... we'll all see each other out there. :)

Kerry O'Connor said...

Happy New Year! Here's to 2020, a new cycle begins!

My second poem, and first of the decade, comes with a wordlist and open invitation to anyone who would like to use the words in a poem and link up in comments.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I didn't think I would find time to post to this, and I so wanted to. Such a joyous, heartfelt invitation to celebrate this brilliant site one last time, with our poetry – or even several times in one month. Thanks for leaving the link open all January, which has enabled me to contribute something after all. And thank you, Kerry and everyone, yet again, for absolutely everything.

Paul John Dear said...

So long and Thanks for all the fish ;)
I have not been writing. Bloody obvious huh? I have however been travelling the globe and doing the work that makes my Heart sing it's true song. I'm sad to see the Toads hop on down the road but I understand the why. I had some of my finest moments here bit as writer and reader. Thank You All. I'm just at the end of a 10 hour road trip so will leave this and maybe link up a poem tomorrow. Luv n Peas. Paul xx

Kerry O'Connor said...

Thank you, Paul. I have fond memories of your Scribble It prompt. You added your voice to the garden when it was in full bloom.

Yvonne Osborne said...

I wrote for Sherry's "What We Save Saves Us" prompt. Happy New Year to everyone.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Thank you, Yvonne and RedCat for your poetic responses.
I will be returning periodically to read all poems linked, but for the sake of a wider audience I recommend earth-weal.com which has its first Open Link this weekend.