In Colleen’s words: ‘This poem is created with a 2/4/6/8/2 syllable count for each of the five stanzas. The last stanza is where it gets interesting. You take line one from the first stanza, line two from the second stanza, etc. until you’ve created the last refrain.
I especially like this form because it combines the brevity of syllabic poetry into a longer verse poem that tells a story.’
This is inspired by my photo of the copse of trees. My daughters and I were taking a walk during lockdown. We’d often taken this walk before but this time we stumbled upon a different pathway to the left.
I hope you enjoyed the cinquain garland poem. I’ve never written one of those before. I liked how it told a story! When we drive everywhere we miss so much. It’s great to walk in nature and find little gems.
My new book is coming soon! It is currently with first draft beta readers. There may be some changes and a few more writers to add to the collection.
This Is Lockdown, is a compilation of my diaries during lockdown, plus short stories, flash fiction, and poetry.
The prompt words this week are: transition & harmony but we have to find synonyms for our poetry. For transition I chose – metamorphosis and for harmony – peaceful.
Recently, I went on a walk with my two daughter to the nearby river. We crossed a bridge over the lock, looking down I noticed a stone frog hidden under the ramparts of the concrete bridge. I’ve walked over that bridge but have never noticed it before. Perhaps, being a writer and a poet has made me more observant than most people – particularly during Lockdown!
I took an ‘instant’ video of the frog. But it was so swift and almost impossible to see.
My daughters walked ahead and didn’t see the frog. Next time, we walk over that bridge I will point it out to them. Unless of course I imagined it!
To balance out the good with the bad #10thingsIhate here are my #10thingsIlove.
1. Spending time with friends and family. There’s nothing quite like this, I’m definitely a social animal. Love going out for coffee, dinner or just hanging out at home with my family. Friends both on and offline are the best for supporting and encouraging you to pursue your dreams.
2. Eating tasty food. This just had to be on my list! LOL… I love food, any food, but especially spicy meals, as I grew up with a diet of Malaysian fare – my mum is from Kuching, Malaysia.
3. Travelling. Absolutely, would love to travel more. I grew up with a father who had a penchant for travel so this isn’t entirely surprising. Recently, I entered Dan Alatorre’s recent Word Weaver writing competition with the first chapter of my dad’s travelling adventures. Sorry, the competition is now closed, but Dan has a great blog so go follow! I’ve been to many places in the world but there are still many to explore.
4. Going to the Theatre to see drama and dance. Where would we be without the theatre to make our imaginings take form? I adore going to the Edinburgh Festival and try to go every year if I can. The buzz is fantastic.
5. Visiting Edinburgh to see my mum, dad, brother and extended family. Love Edinburgh, it is one of the best cities in the world Edinburgh ranked Second in the World for Quality of Life and is my home from home.
6. Writing prose and poetry, and reading books. Of course, this has to feature here. What has writing done for me? So much, it has given me such confidence, and so much enjoyment. I wish I had started writing decades ago! Reading books and going to Book Festivals ranks pretty highly up there on my favourite things to do. Books make me cry, they make me smile; they delight me. Where would we be without books? I daren’t contemplate such a fate. And book festivals, again, my favourite is the Edinburgh Book Festival
7. Tai Chi. I have been attending classes in Taoist Tai Chi for many years, and I love it. I find it helps me relax, keeps me balanced and gives me a terrific boost. I would recommend it. Start young and you’ll stay fit well into your old age! Start older and it will keep you young! It’s a win, win situation… Recently, we had a Tai Chi intensive at my local branch. Here’s the link to the Facebook page to see photos: Taoist Tai Chi Intensive in Cambridge. What’s a Tai Chi Intensive? It’s a special lesson when a particularly awesome instructor comes along to impart their knowledge to us Tai Chi enthusiasts. We partake of a bring and share lunch and generally have a lovely time.
Here’s the instructor considering what to teach us next:
8. Sea air and sunshine. These two I’ve combined, as I enjoy the seaside best when the weather is nice. If the sun is out, I can swim, (not in the UK!) sunbathe, eat an ice-cream, walk and explore. When it’s cold I still enjoy it, but I have to wrap up in many, many layers!
9. The blogging community. Have been a blast, so helpful, supportive and amazing. Love you! In fact I love you so much that I set up a special community on Facebook for authors/bloggers and bookish souls. Please do investigate and join …. Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club. My fellow administrators of the group areColleen Chesebro, and Debby Gies.
10. And last but not least, crystals and cats. I collect crystals and write about them too. My current manuscript is entitled: The Curse of Time – The Bloodstone. I intend to release this YA fantasy this summer. Cats, well I like their independence, and cats always seem to like me! Unfortunately, I don’t own one as both my husband and daughter are allergic but I get my fix over at Samantha Murdoch Blog. Samantha and I are good blogging friends and she has kindly been providing me with lots and lots of photos of her cat Lily who looks like the cat Shadow in my book.
Here are the latest photos of Samantha’s lovely cat Lily.
In life, there is always good and bad but it is always nice to end on a high note. There is much more to enthuse about when writing about what I love. The list could have gone on and on…
Today I’m joining in a new link up for me – Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. In her words: ‘Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “brake/break.” Use one, use them both, but whatever you do, enjoy!’ Here’s the link to join in: Linda Hill
Ritu from But I Smile Anyway and I were having a blogging chat about our kids exam nerves so that got me thinking that I’d like to write a post and a poem about that…The prompt words sounded pretty relevant to how I’m feeling at the moment. My youngest is going through her GCSE’s and this is such a trying time for her (and me!) as she suffers from exam anxiety. This dates back to her doing her SAT’s. She works so hard, and often I have to tell her to have a break! Well the upshot of this is she is well and truly exhausted and been pretty ill this morning at 6 am. So she needs to press on the brake a bit, slow down, focus less on the exam emotions regarding the exam she has just sat, and concentrate on getting ready and rested for the next one.
So with her in mind and all students taking exams at the moment here is a little GOOD LUCK poem with a crazy touch of humour to cheer you all up:
The Poor Invigilator Needs A Defibrilator
Factor in a break, a well-earned rest,
Press that brake pedal,
Breathe….. It helps to..
Fill your lungs as you count,
Whatever you do don’t vomit it out!
Can you imagine the mess you’d make?
The half-filled exam paper covered in puke,
Poor invigilator’s face turning stony,
Pulse weak, he’s having a bald-headed fit,
‘At least no one’s died,’ whispers some bright git.
Press that brake pedal,
Take a big breath in,
And let it all out,
Don’t rip the exam paper to shreds,
Heads turning as you run out for meds.
Press that brake pedal,
Take a big breath in,
And let it all out,
Don’t turn as white as a sheet,
Tip over your chair, and fall at the invigi’s feet.
This is a triple whammy post – a smile that knows no blogging boundaries, in fact this smile has been released into the atmosphere – it’s a soaring balloon of a smile!
I hope you like the quote that I wrote:
There’s nothing quite like a smile. It’ll brighten the day for you, and you and you. It’s infectious, a bug with no cure, so rush out and crack open a smile today. Don’t delay! Make it stay! Don’t delay! Make it Stay! Allow it to sashay, party and play…. Let it fly, float and frolic on your mischievous lips….
This Wednesday I’m doing this triple smiley post for Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday, Ronovan’s #BeWow, and Trent’s #TheWeeklySmile.
It’s true what they say about a smile, it is the universal language of happiness. So today, being that it is the end of the school term, and as of Wednesday afternoon I’m on holiday… Yippee…. I thought I’d test it out in the playground while I’m supervising the children and see what kind of response I get… Can you be firm but smiley? Is that possible? Would they pay attention if I tell them off/ask them to do something with a smile? This might be quite a challenge…
Well what happened?
I had a really bad sleep and I was feeling a bit grumpy and tired!! And not very smiley at all. Typical. The sun went behind a cloud and the day was cold, grey and overcast. But on the bright side it didn’t rain.
Luckily I managed a few smiles, no one was particularly naughty, at least I didn’t notice any behaviour that warranted telling off. But, I tend to be a pretty chilled out kind of lass and don’t get bothered by much. Though I did come across a few problems, there was a young girl on the verge of an asthma attack, another girl cut her knee, a boy complained someone hurt him, and there was the case of a book of puzzles left on the bench…… Who did it belong to? Why had it been left? A mystery in the making…….
Here are some wonderfully smiley quotes from The Fresh Quotes to get you in the smiley mood for half term….. or just to give you a bit of a lift mid week.
All people smile in the same language.
Use your smile to change the world don’t let the world change your smile.
You are never fully dressed without a smile.
A laugh is a smile that bursts.
The world always looks brighter from behind a smile.
Goodreads synopsis and Author Bio of Monsters Under Your Head:
Monsters Under Your Head is a poetry book about life in the words of someone who’s just as lost in it as you.
Chad Sugg’s first poetry book,Monsters Under Your Head, is often quoted to great lengths since its release thanks to the internet age. The book is one of two self-published poetry collections Chad has released over the past half-decade.
Chad was able to launch his poetry from the success of his musical career, where since 2004 he has been releasing original music under the moniker Backseat Goodbye, as well as most recently under his real name.
Do join in Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday and Ronovan’s BeWow:
I am very busy at the moment editing my book getting it ready for self publishing so with that in mind I will be doing some reblogs of posts that I have enjoyed. Today, its been a tough decision which to pick as there have been so many that I have enjoyed but after much thought I’d like to share with you author Ali Stegert’s inspiring post about young authors. Christopher Paolini started writing Eragon (2002) when he was 15…….. So age is no obstacle, young, old, we’re all in this together! Enjoy.. 🙂
Laughter’s the best indication of happiness ever invented! We can’t hope to laugh unless we are happy, and laughter has the most infectious quality to it.Happiness can’t exist without sadness, we wouldn’t know what happiness was unless we’d experienced its opposite. And of course there’s nothing like a kiss to make us happy.
If you haven’t read The Perks of Being A Wallflower then I’d recommend that you do. I read it ages ago in 2013 – perhaps I need to read it again – and I rated it 4 stars. Unfortunately I didn’t review, as I read it before I started writing reviews.
Here’s the Goodreads Synopsis:
Charlie is a freshman.
And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.
Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
This mother’s been playing around with a new theme. I’d love to hear what you think of it. Do let me know if you like it.
I took the header photo at Cromer this New Year and somehow the image ended up looking more like a painting than a photograph so I thought I’d feature it on my blog. The jumping image above is from Pixabay, and seems a fitting image for my Sunday message today: Those happiness vibes are on their way, jump for joy, Summer’s coming!
The lovely Suzie from Suzie Speaks https://suzie81speaks.com/ has a wonderful Sunday Hastag: #SundayBlogShare, on her twitter account @SundayBlogShare.
I will be following this #SundayBlogShare with a three day three quote challenge from Heena http://heenarathorep.com/ which will also be on the theme of happiness.. more about that soon.
My #SundayBlogShare is all about the many aspects of life that make me happy.
In no particular order:
Sunshine. Yes those rays awaken me out of my winter grumpiness. I just love you Mr. Sunshine. I’m not a winter person so when Spring arrives I sigh in relief, at last the Summer’s coming…
Beaches and the sea. I’ve always had a fondness for swimming, and beaches. This stems from childhood – I’d always be swimming, splashing around in an outdoor tropical pool, or a beach somewhere. I grew up in Hong Kong. My dad ‘s not your typical run of the mill Scot, he hates the cold weather so he did the unthinkable, he escaped abroad, and married my mother, a Malaysian lady many years his junior. Rascal! He’s always been a wanderer, in fact if he had been born today perhaps he’d have had his own travel blog! That’s a thought. A lot of my friends thought I had such a lucky time of it going to visit my dad in far off places, but I missed him when he was away. To name a few of the exotic destinations he’s worked in: The Middle East, Far East, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Caribbean, Africa, Senegal, Hong Kong… you get the idea.. Quite the adventurer..
Eating. Yes I love my grub, be it savoury or sweet, spicy, asian, or good old-fashioned shepherd’s pie.. I love it all. I might have a skinny body but my little rounded tummy proves it.
Family. Are so important to me my daughters are such a light in my life. I am so proud of them both, they’ve grown up to be such wonderful young women. I’ve been with my hubby since I was a teenager, can you believe that? Young love, it is the strongest, most passionate kind! The extended family are my rock too. I feel very blessed and fortunate to have such a lovely, close-knit family. We might not be perfect but we are always there for each other.
Mum. Being a mum is great and having a great mum is awesome. We mothers deserve a huge pat on the back.
Friends. Where would we be without our pals? Pretty lonely and miserable I’d say. My network of buddies include those I’ve known for too many years that I’d to care to admit to, friends I’ve met in Cambridge, and pals I’ve met through social media. You’re all fabulous.. Love you all.
Edinburgh. I love visiting Edinburgh – my old home town, that definitely makes me happy. My mum, dad, brother, and in-laws are still there, as are my old school pals! So it’s always nice to go back and see everyone. I particularly love to go up during the Edinburgh Book Festival, and The International Festival, which are both in August.
Books. I adore reading, how those printed words transport you to a very special place, stirring up your emotions, making you laugh, cry or shout in protest. There’s nothing that makes me happier than reading a particularly sad book!
Writing. Of course this would have to appear on my happiness list. The writing part gives me great joy as I create, but I have to say the editing is an altogether different experience, it is a troublesome kettle of unwieldy fish!
Theatre. Film. Dance. I love going to the theatre, and to dance shows. So whenever I can, I take the opportunity to go. Both of my daughters are keen too, my youngest is a dancer and my eldest has always been fond of drama. Each August I always make a bee-line for the Edinburgh International Festival. I’d love to go to the cinema more often – this is on my to do list – when I pop along I enjoy it so much.
Art. Photography. I love art, and photography. I’m not an artist, but I appreciate the value and beauty of artistic endeavours so much. I have developed quite an interest in photography which I hope to explore more in the future.
Cats. I love cats, but sadly I don’t own one, my husband is allegedly allergic… it’s a shame really. I could just see myself as one of those writers with my cute muse the cat.. I can see all my imaginery instagram photos… perhaps I could borrow one? Any offers? A black cat would be good, or a cool ginger one with bags of character…
Travelling. I love to travel to widen my horizons, though recently this has been difficult due to lack of funds.. !! Ah, having an eldest daughter at University has really cut into the household budget in a very nasty way.
Baking. I’m not really a savoury cook, unless it’s curries, or stir fries, those I can happily do. My hubby is better at roasts, meat and fish dishes. I tend to be more of a sweet cook. I love my puddings, cakes and biscuits…
Being a bit silly. I think I missed the ‘How To Be A Grown Up Workshop,’ so I’m still prone to being somewhat teenage-like at times. Personally I think that’s an asset if you want to be a children’s author. So no problems there.
Alternative Therapies. I have a fondness for aromatherapy oils, reflexology, and all those weird and wonderful therapies out there. I am also curious about the Zodiac, and the Chinese Zodiac too….
Crystals. I love crystals. The colours, different shapes and properties of crystals fascinate me.
Blogging. Goodness me I can’t believe I nearly forget to mention that! That would be remiss of me. Yes, I love blogging. It’s such a wonderful way to make friends with like-minded people from all over the world to share thoughts, feelings and observations. It’s the best.
Haiku. I’ve discovered that I love writing Haiku… If it wasn’t for my blog I’d never of thought of writing haiku. I’m so glad I did.
Jewellery. Another love of mine… how could I have left it to last? My favourites are earrings and bracelets. They can be costume jewellery, or more expensive, it doesn’t matter as long as they catch my eye! I hope I might be getting some little pieces for Mother’s Day.
Chilling. Relaxing and doing things my own sweet way makes me happy. I’m not one to rush through life, though I do hop about a bit.. My Chinese Zodiac sign is the rabbit!
Oops I have to confess that my moans outweigh my happy vibes! That doesn’t sound good…..Life is all about balance, so there you have it the Yin and the Yang of my happy dragon is somewhat overpowered by my stroppy, ferocious, dragon!
Perhaps you’d like to join in and do a Yin and a Yang post too about what makes you happy and what makes you sad and/or stroppy!
Have a very Happy Sunday everyone, and a Happy Mother’s Day too! I’m going out later for a coffee/lunch with my daughter… what are you all doing?
It’s been a while since I joined in Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday & Ronovan’s BeWow. I have a pretty good excuse as I have been editing my manuscript getting it ready for self publishing. With that in mind I’d like to do some quotes about this process. Editing is the hardest part of writing for me, the ideas flow fairly easily whilst getting the story down on paper but the editing is fraught with difficulties.
So today I’m taking a well deserved break, phew, and sharing some wonderful quotes with you about editing from some incredible authors, because I need that little spur to keep on going…. to push through the pain…
My favourite has to be this wonderful quote from Stephen King:
Brian’s wonderful post has a multitude of one liners which I have highlighted below in bold. These ones particularly made me laugh:
You wake up in the morning and you aren’t really sure who you are.
Tick. Sometimes I wake up and have this uncanny feeling that I am my mother…. apparently we looked the split image of each other when I was born. The older I get the more I seem to look like her….. Other times I get dead limbs…. you wake up and your body just isn’t living… your left arm or right arm, or whatever part of your anatomy has died a death. A sort of living nightmare of what it will be like scenario, scary, so in terror you slap that unresponsive limb until it submits. One slap just doesn’t do it so you really hammer at it until it gives in. Sigh…
Things hurt that shouldn’t
My knees creek. If I could oil them I would but sadly that isn’t an option. Oh and cramp, it strikes whenever it fancies. One evening I’d been grocery shopping. I backed my car into the drive and a vicious cramp struck with no warning. Thank goodness I wasn’t driving anywhere far. I jumped out of my car and did a little cramp jig, hopping about, hoping my neighbours wouldn’t spot me!
Your bladder has been secretively removed and replaced with a defective piece of crap made in China.
Yep, so true. I pee all the time, this is annoying especially when I am right in the middle of watching my favourite TV programme. I have to get up and pee. When I’m shopping I need to take a break at regular intervals to pee, etc. Then my daughter says: “You have to go again? You’ve just been mum.” Ah, the joys of youth, she just doesn’t have a clue what it is like to need the loo. Really need it. Sadly one day she will know….
Coffee = A Will to Live.
No. 4 on Brian’s list ain’t me! I’m still a youngster!!!
Okay that’s a bit of a joke but I can function without coffee in the morning… Nevertheless Brian’s words sum it up for so many: “For someone my age? The coffee stops me from taking your life when you ask an otherwise innocent question about how my day is going. Not kidding.”
Brian’s brilliant one-liner about coffee brought me back to a particular experience many years ago. My brother had travelled down from the rugged shores of Scotland, from the capital city Edinburgh, no less, to visit me in Cambridge. Everything went so well to begin with but ……the very next morning disaster struck. He greeted me looking a bit dishevelled and started riffling in my cupboards. His horrified expression suggested that he was getting more and more distressed. In a terrified howl he uttered the words he hoped he would never have to say: “Where is the ****ing coffee?” I can’t remember his exact words so I might be doing him a disservice here but an expletive or two might be in order to convey his sense of total utter outrage.
There was no coffee. Not a grain. Nada.
My heart sunk. I knew in that moment that the last grains had been mercilessly boiled, and drank the previous evening. What a terrible sister! As an avid morning tea drinker I had forgotten all about the coffee that my brother craved to kick start his day. His messy hair seemed to stand up in spikes of rising accusation. His face turned grey . He looked as if he wanted to take the word coffee and slice the ending off (coff…. ee,) to replace it with coffin. Mine. He began pacing to and fro, and then in one swift movement, he grabbed a cigarette, and made for the door. He tried to open this exit way barring his escape but it was locked. Oops. His turned back to me, eyes wild with fury. I rushed to get the key. I opened it. He slammed the door behind him. But if looks could kill I’d be dead. Past tense. Finito.
Shortly after he returned, caressing his precious coffee jar. He put the kettle on to boil. He poured that first exquisite cup, that elixir, he drank it, replenishing his soul.
I had been spared!
But my stress levels had hit the roof! I needed a calming herbal tea to recover.
Hope you liked my one-liner Wednesday!
I’m sure Brian and many of you morning coffee drinkers will identify with the sheer horror of such a disastrous moment!
If you’d like to join in with this regular Wednesday blog event here’s the link to Linda’s blog:
This might seem like a strange #BeWow post but my point is this: if you can take an unfortunate experience and turn it into a lesson then I do believe it can be a wonderful thing to do. I have never forgotten this experience. It is now indelibly stored in my memory in large exclamation marks…. !!!!
We all learn from our mistakes! We all make them, nobody’s perfect. We’re all on the same path, some young, some a little older than others but we are all walking our way towards the twilight of our lives. So let’s support each other. Laugh at the ups and downs and whatever you do next time you have a family member visiting make sure you don’t neglect them like I did. Little things can make their visit wonderful. Whatever you do don’t forget to have a full jar of coffee, a glass of their favourite wine or whatever creature comforts they crave. These little treasures really can be a lifeline to make them feel at home.
Here are three wonderful quotes about the undisputed joys of coffee: