Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Fib

One
Small,
Precise,
Poetic,
Spiraling mixture:
Math plus poetry yields the Fib.

What’s that, you ask? That’s the very first Fib I wrote. What’s a Fib? Well, first a little backstory….

At the 2005 SCBWI-LA Writer’s Day, poet-novelist Ron Koertge mentioned the idea of “warming up” each day by writing haiku. To paraphrase what he said, writing haiku keeps you in tune with the importance of word choice and how you can say so much with so little… with the goal being that subconsciously you will continue to be aware of both points whenever and whatever you write.

I was intrigued, but my geeky mind immediately began to churn. Why just haiku? I wanted something that required more precision. That led me to a six line, 20 syllable poem with a syllable count by line of 1/1/2/3/5/8 – the classic Fibonacci sequence. In short, start with 0 and 1, add them together to get your next number, then keep adding the last two numbers together for your next one. It’s a wonderful sequence, and it’s one that is repeated in nature (most famously in nautilus shells). Heck, some folks use it in knitting and music,… and, as much as I’d like to say I invented a new form of poetry, these sequences have been part of various poetic structures since before Fibonacci’s time. However, "the Fib" is my take on the idea, complete with a wicked cool name, if I say so myself.

I’ve found writing Fibs helpful, as they really do make me conscious of word choice in everything I write (which is particularly critical in my poetry, picture book manuscripts, and e-mails to Mom). Also, I’ve found kids respond well to the form, especially when they hear that “Ewww. Worms.” can be 1/3 of their poem. So, I think it’s time for the Fib to gain more exposure.

In another post, I’ll talk more about various Fib rules and guidelines and subsets (like Fibs that tell fibs!), but for now, I’m curious to hear what you think or see if any of you want to try your hand at writing Fibs … and hoping you all want to join me in spreading Fibbery around the web/in classrooms/wherever.

This
Post
Is now
Completed,
So, I gotta book.
See you all on the comments page.

(There are wonderful Fibs in the comments here, and if you look to the right you'll find links to other posts with even more Fibbery (such as the post cleverly named More Fibbery.) If you head on up to the top of the blog you'll find new Fibbish links, too. In short, feel free to poke around... and don't be shy about telling a Fib or two.)

(And now another update: a book deal (and that's no fib!))

(The BIG update: The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. - the novel that came to life because of this post - is now available wherever books are sold!)

433 comments:

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RONALDO RHUSSO said...

Fight

fib
fib fib
fib fib fib
fib fib fib fib fib
fib fib fib fib fib fib fib fib

Ronaldo Rhusso

Anonymous said...

I
write
haiku
But not in
seven-five-seven,
which is unsuited to English

those
who
write in
seven-five-seven
often write in "pidgin English"

like
most
haiku
writers I
tend to use fewer
than seventeen syllables

fibs
are
different:
they really seem to
work, although mine are really bad

'cos
I'm
just saying
what I want to say
in a stilted, fibbified way

Anonymous said...

and
my
last two
weren't even
in the right format:
please accept my apologies

Abaris said...

Did
You
go to
Mansfield State
and take calculus
about nineteen seventy eight?

Gregory K. said...

Whoa, Abaris - I don't recall if it was calculus, but I did sneak up to MSC and take a few classes... including math. So, uh, "hi, again!" I do hope you'll unveil (and shoot an email, at that)

zsazsu said...

Two-continent love

Here,
there,
between.
Atlantic ocean.
Across the age and space of I’s
counting the columns of Acropole with common eyes.

Patent Lawyer said...

You certainly seem to have a more active logical mind than I do! That said, I think it's brilliant how you're able to combine that mathematical mind with artistic pursuits.

Anonymous said...

Ode to the teacher

they
say
they love
me yet they
lie. Their behavior
says so much more than words can say
sleeping in, phones on, headphones it...what can I do
I cry, I plead, I smile, I beg. the only thing to do is to love them anyway

Anonymous said...

Great Joy of the Day

No
one
enjoys
waking up.
It's a painful job,
it tires the soul every day.
Turn the alarm clock off to stir trouble away, yes.
Why must we leave our sacred domain every single day of our "incredible" lives?

Anonymous said...

First
word
ever;
confusing.
it did not exist
just a bunch of sounds and letters
I understood the words perfectly fine, according to my ears
I was young and small, but I spoke many unknown words. Everyone just looked back, giggling.

Anonymous said...

Two
friends.
Two friends
becoming
something more than friends.
Liesel and Rudy are soulmates,
I believe. Why can't Liesel believe in it also?
These two friends, best friends, can have a future together, but not as friends, just something more.
How come they can't be together? Don't they have feelings for each other? Feelings they will never have for someone else but themselves.

Anonymous said...

Teacher Negotiations - By Anonymous
Nope
Can't
Lost it
My doggy ate it
I'm not kidding, OK?
No, I'm really not joking Mr. Hillman
Even I wouldn't joke about a summative this much
I'm sorry I don't have it today, but I can get it to you some time tomorrow

Anonymous said...

One
Ball,
One play,
A goal is needed,
Players fight for the ball every time,
Such a simple ball causes a huge fight in a game,
But when the ball passes by the goalkeeper people cheer and celebrate; it's a beautiful game.

Anonymous said...

Direct
Strong
is my punch
in Mr. Hillmans face
he then fell to the hard nasty ground
and cried so much because of his wound
I ran around and cheered for my victory I then joined him as he slept but because I wanted to.

Linda D said...

Taste
Eat
Savor
Chocolate
Melting on the tongue
One moment of true ecstasy.

Linda D said...



Sh!
Sh!
Be still.
Try to hear
the flowers growing,
birds warbling lovely notes of joy.

Linda D said...



Some
gifts
for you,
all from me --
love and loyalty,
tossed with kindness, smiles, and soft words.

Linda D said...




Books
poems
my friends
companions
always there for me
solace, joy, comfort--life to me.

Linda D said...




Baby
girl,
my child,
sleep gently
ere the winds blow strong
and cruel life shakes your innocence.

Linda D said...




Soft,
sweet,
gentle
are your words
as you caress me
in the lonely dark of midnight.

Linda D said...




Beach-
house,
refuge
by the sea
inviting me in
to contemplate the endless sea.

Linda D said...




Snow,
ice
so cold!
Give me sun
to warm these old bones--
I long to roll in grass sweet-green.

Linda D said...



"Mad"
"Nuts"
"Crazy"
So they say,
but he's my grandson.
Dear God, give me the strength to see!

Linda D said...



O
God,
master
of us all,
wisdom infinite,
I am like the blind seeking you.

Linda D said...



Sun-
light
shining
on all things,
unbiased and free
like God's love for you and for me.

Linda D said...



Sweet
life,
a gift,
mystery,
all seek to have it
though trying to grasp its meaning.

Linda D said...



Beach-
house,
refuge
by the sea
inviting me in
to contemplate eternity.

Linda D said...



Dance,
dance!
Be free.
Lose yourself
in frenzied movements
trying to be one with the world.

Linda D said...



Sing,
sing
freely,
openly
with your soul laid bare
letting show all the love you hold.

Linda D said...



Mind,
soul,
body--
all these three--
to integrate them
is the biggest challenge to me!

Linda D said...



Black,
dark
midnight,
time for sleep.
Why am I awake,
tossing about life's conundrums?

Linda D said...



Tears,
tears
dripping
on my bed
for those hopes and dreams
dearly held that ne'er came to head.

Linda D said...



White
teeth,
pink lips,
darting eyes:
a pretty picture, this.
Look past my graying hair; it's me!

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