• Be Sonnetary!

    Why buy flowers that fade?
    A sonnet lasts forever!
  • Brief Bio

    Lester Smith is a 2-term past president of the WFOP, a 4-time Origins-winning game designer, and a former JavaScript teacher for the HWG. He works days as a Writer/Technologist for the educational publishing house Sebranek Inc, nights and weekends as president of Popcorn Press.

  • Meta

  • Halloween Project

    Funded! Popcorn Press's 6th annual Halloween celebration is now being edited.

  • d6xd6 RPG

    Role-play in your favorite authors' worlds! Automatic 5% preorder discount.

  • Fencing Poker Deck

  • Other Card Games…

    Monster Con card game
    Invasion of the Saucer People card game
    Wolf Man's Curse card game
  • Suggested Reading

  • Undying Games

    Dark Conspiracy roleplaying game
    now by 3Hombres
    Dragon Dice game
    now by SFR Inc.
  • Cons I’m Attending

  • Poetry

    George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron ByronIn 1985, a British Romantic Period Literature class changed my life. The poetry of Byron, Shelley, and Keats wakened in me a passion for writing. I determined to somehow make a career of it—and somehow feed my children.

    Since then I’ve worked exclusively in publishing, first for game companies, now in education. I also continue to write, study, and promote poetry. It’s my opinion that poetry used to belong to the people, until academics stole it. It’s high time to steal it back from them.

    A Valentine’s Day Sonnet for an Old Couple

    Lester Smith : February 14, 2014 5:36 pm : Announcements, Poetry
    White Rose

    (from ideas suggested by John Cochrane)

    The kids have left us. All the rooms upstairs
    are empty of their noise. All that remains
    are boxes in the attic—clothes, toy trains,
    some picture books and dolls, old teddy bears.

    Our friends are leaving. Some retiring south;
    others taking jobs too far away
    to visit much. A few, I’m sad to say,
    divorced, or dead—the words twist in my mouth.

    Our youth is gone: my hair, your girlish waist.
    We’ve garnered wrinkles with the passing years,
    the lines beside your eyes more laughs than tears—
    your beauty’s changed, but it can still be traced.

    They’ve left us here, two old caretakers of
    a different time—but one no better, Love.

    —Lester Smith

    Leave a response »

    Valentine Sonnet Draft – Stanza 1

    Lester Smith : February 14, 2014 12:22 pm : Announcements, Miscellany, Poetry
    Knit teddy bear
    Teddy bear photo by Pat

    Every professional writer knows that while ideas are exciting, drafting is work. Which is to say, I had planned to finish the entire draft of this poem yesterday, but the childish creative side dragged its feet. (Frankly, it got panicky and began avoiding the issue.) Fortunately, my more adult editorial side has learned some tricks over the years, like saying, “Okay, you don’t have to get it all done at once. Let’s just get a few lines put together and sleep on them. We can finish those in the car on the way to work tomorrow.”

    So I’m at the office now, and here’s the draft first stanza from the sonnet I promised John Cochrane for his wife. (See www.lestersmith.com/poetry for a history.)

    The kids have left us. All the rooms upstairs
    are empty of their noise. All that remains
    are boxes in the attic—clothes, toy trains,
    some picture books and dolls, old teddy bears.

    more »

    Leave a response »

    Valentine Sonnet Prewriting 2

    Lester Smith : February 12, 2014 10:49 pm : Announcements, Poetry

    Judge John HogmanAs Judge John Hodgman is fond of pointing out, “Specificity is the soul of narrative.” And in poetry perhaps more than anywhere, description becomes representative, suggesting meaning in ways straightforward statement cannot. (If you don’t believe me, compare Shelley’s “Ozymandias” to his friend Horace Smith’s.)

    So for the Valentine’s Day sonnet I’m preparing, based on John Cochrane’s thoughts about his marriage, each quatrain needs to provide details representative of its central idea. If I had more time, I’d interview John for details. But as an older guy who has faced and is facing the same, I’ll draw on my own experience. Here goes.

    Quatrain 1: Children Leaving
    • as in heading out for their own futures
    • as in leaving boxes of toys, books, and clothing in the attic or basement
    • leaving handmade Christmas ornaments & other art projects
    Quatrain 2: Friends Leaving
    • moving away for careers
    • some divorcing (pointing up the luck of our relationship)
    • some dying
    Quatrain 3: Youth Leaving
    This quatrain needs to reflect on both of us aging, a delicate subject.

    more »

    1 Comment »

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