alisa alering

Writer of fantasy and other fictions


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Blackout Poem: The Lost City

I love the idea that stories can be found lurking in unexpected places (like they’re just hanging out, nonchalantly whistling to themselves, thinking they’re getting away with it.)

Even more, I love exercises and prompts that trick me into writing. Combine the two with the formula Newspaper + Marker = Poetry and you get a blackout poem.

Poem-hunting (imagine me in a pith helmet, carrying a Sharpie-tipped spear) was supposed to be my reward for writing a first draft of a new story on Friday, but I didn’t get to it until today, sitting at the kitchen counter keeping an eye on a pot of boiling chick peas. There are worse ways to begin a new year than with the excavation of a previously undiscovered poem.

My poem was unearthed from the bottom half of page A18 of The New York Times, Friday, December 28, 2012.

New York Times, Dec. 28, 2012

The Lost City

In a city of missed connections, consider the map:
Lines stop and hop hopelessly out of view.
Clocks steal a weekday morning,
then back up the staircase to a different city.
Without music worth following, a language comes
Like two animals slinking up the steps, doubled by the wind.

To uncover your own hidden story you will need:

–1 copy of the New York Times or other pre-printed reading material
–1 fat black marker
–1 cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or other warming beverage of your choice

If you find one, send me a link in the comments, please!


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I Heart NYT Slideshows

This great slideshow on the NY Times site shows side-by-side photos of identical twins. It’s supposed to be about the effect of environmental factors (smoking, stress, extreme tanning) on the appearance of aging.

NY Times Slideshow of Ageing in Twins

NY Times Slideshow of Ageing in Twins

I don’t care so much about the scary implications about wrinkles and eyebags, but it is fascinating to go back and forth between two sames-that-are-not-the-same. It does something itchy to my brain.

These genuine twins photos (taken at Twins Days!) are like looking at computer-morphed images of the same person. Like the ones used for personality tests to see what traits you respond to in the opposite sex.

BBC Quiz - Find out whether your ideal partner is an introvert or an extrovert

BBC Quiz - Find out whether your ideal partner is an introvert or an extrovert

I like introverted, feminine dudes. Big surprise there.