Poetry Class at The Writing University, Iowa

I decided to take the free, online, six week class on How Writers Write Poetry, offered by The University of Iowa. I do so much duty writing these days, I feel like my creative chops are a little dry (ever get that feeling, writers? It’s a drag!). Anyway– so far it’s really been interesting to flip words around a bit and play with some exercises. I’m not a poet– at all– so this is a real creative challenge for me.

Our first exercise was led by one of my mentors in school, American poet Robert Hass. I highly recommend his books, Sun Under Wood and Time and Materials. He’s utterly brilliant and the most lovely man. We had to write four poetic sketches: one, two, three, and four line bits just to play with technique and get our ideas down. Here’s what I submitted to class this morning.

sugar cookies, death, and broken teeth: 1-4 series.


The coarse sugar cookie grits my teeth as I stare at the floor, waiting.


Two suits sit on the train.

Nodding at the air in agreement.


The left eye beamed brightly still.

Beneath the swelling and scars and smoke-stained nails.

Somewhere, under it all, she was there.


A hidden tongue on a chipped back tooth.

And pangs of want of the world.

He sits flat with his twisted jaw,

and wonders why she left.


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Come See Me Sometime

Ahoy hoy!

I’m sloooowly merging my blog worlds from the US and Japan, so if you want to see the latest, check out my other blog, cynthiapopper.com. 


Thank you for reading at Popper Creative. 


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Me,me,me. Copywriting vs. Citizen Journalism

I started writing for GaijinPot about a month ago and I have to say it’s a totally different kind of writing than I’m used to. I’m a copywriter by trade, which means my writing takes on the client’s voice. I write for your vision, your company, your brand. But op-eds or citizen journalism is about what goes on in my sick little brain. Let me put it this way… if you’ve been a back up singer whose job is to make the pop star look good, and then you get handed the center stage mic, one of two things will happen.

1) You’ll either wet yourself and run off stage or

2) You’ll go big, even if you suck, just to have your moment in the spotlight.

Not sure where I’m at just yet… but I’m loving it so far. :)

Check out my articles here. I’m writing weekly so stay tuned. :)


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Gets the ladies everytime – Imgur


Gets the ladies everytime – Imgur.

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Am I “Exotic”?

Thought Catalog:

Totally true!

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

In America, I do not stand out. In a country that has prided itself on being a “melting pot” for many years, the vast spectrum of skin tones, hair and eye colors, heights, and weights means that I am just another blue-eyed, dirty blonde-haired, slightly tall, average-framed, pale-skinned woman. There are thousands more like me. It’s an interesting oxymoron: because everyone is so different, your differences largely go unnoticed. I am the opposite of exotic. I am vanilla.

But not in Japan, where ninety-nine percent of the population is homogenous. (To be clear, I am not claiming that all Japanese people look alike. I’m only saying that when it comes to hair, eye, and skin color, the spectrum is much less varied.) Here, especially in the rural part of northern Honshu, where I live, I’m suddenly the one who sticks out. With the beginning of a new school year, there…

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Trade Tools: Get Mooing

Anyone who freelances knows that having a web presence is key… social plug-ins, community involvement, yadda yadda. But another detail that shows you’re the shit is having the right business cards. Especially here in Japan. (Hi. Yeah, I live in Japan now… but I still write for the U.S. so please don’t freak.) :)

Say hello to Moo. These are cards for creative people.


Mashup your info in fun ways with their templates or, design from scratch.  In my case, I just used my own photos. I model too, so to cover both worlds, I upload a couple of different versions of my CPC logo and a bunch of modeling shots. Each card has a different image (up to 100). Fonts, colors, backgrounds… I wrote my name in Japanese and in English, then put the usual contact and social stuff.


I use the mini-cards: 70mm x 28mm. I always get compliments from clients. Little is cute. It’s science.


Mini-card case holder in hot pink… has a key ring too if you’re into that sort of thing.

Instant portfolio the size of a card case– BOOM. Oh and the clincher? They’re on thick, 16 point card stock and cost less than twenty bucks. At moo.com.

They didn’t pay me to write this. :)

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The 25 Greatest Quotes About Writing

Thought Catalog:

I’m a huge fan of Thought Catalog. Add these quotes to your Random Awesomeness file. <3

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words. Mark Twain
I only achieve simplicity with enormous effort. Clarice Lispector
A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. Virginia Woolf
I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality. James Joyce
The first draft of anything is shit. Ernest Hemingway
Always be a poet, even in prose. Charles Baudelaire
Literature — creative literature — unconcerned with sex, is inconceivable. Gertrude Stein
If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it. Anaïs Nin
One can be absolutely truthful and sincere even though admittedly the…

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