Sunday, 3 July 2016

A little ray of hope



Overheard in the supermarket,

                        Little boy:    Look, Mummy, look!
                        Mum:             Yes, they’re lovely, but I can’t buy one today.
                        Little boy:    But books are GOOD!

I wanted to hug them both when, after a moment’s hesitation, the young mum put a picture book in her trolley.

Amidst all the doom and gloom in the news, it’s good to be reminded that the world hasn’t ended and there is still hope that we can help to make a bright future for younger generations.

* * *

(And because I’m determined to remain cheerful and optimistic, I won’t go into details about the problems I’m having with Blogger removing pictures from my two blogs. If this one or When I am Rich looks strange to you – please believe it’s not my fault!)

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Tweet!


I know I said I wouldn’t, but I’ve finally given in and set up a Twitter account. Not sure how much I’ll use it – I’m still at the bottom of the learning curve – but I’ve managed to find some of my blog followers on there and have signed up to follow them (at least I think I have if I clicked on the right buttons!)

If you’re on Twitter and I’ve missed you, do leave your Twitter name in the comments and I’ll follow you.

My Twitter name is @LindaDaunter.


Sunday, 22 May 2016

A Riddle


Q. What do you call a very heavy cold combined with hay fever and tinnitus?
A.  Writer’s block.

I’ve been struggling with it for ten days now!


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

NaPoWriMo – the verdict


Well, April – otherwise known as National Poetry Writing Month
or Global Poetry Writing Month – whizzed by much too fast.
I didn’t manage to create a new poem every day, but I did scribble down 17 very rough first drafts. That’s 17 more than I would have done without the help of the daily prompts and advice from NaPoWriMo.net

I may not have much to show from the month long challenge, but I did enjoy the experience and it has taught me a few things:

  • I don’t know enough about poetry writing to be able to judge my own work. No idea if any of it is any good.
  • My knowledge of modern poetry is very poor. (Must read more!)
  • Calling a poem ‘free’ when you can’t find a suitable rhyme is probably cheating.
  •  I much preferred trying to make poems within strict guidelines on syllable or word counts and rhyme patterns e.g. haiku, tritina, sonnet
  • I don’t think I’ll ever be able to call myself a poet, but I have great respect for those who do.  


I might try NaPoWriMo again next year, but May and June have to be ShoStoWriMos (Short Story Writing Months). I’ve just about reached the halfway point in my story collection for Alfie Dog Fiction and want to finish it asap!

Do you have any plans or goals for May?


Thursday, 28 April 2016

NaPoWriMo - what day is it?

My calendar tells me it’s the 28th day of April but after having a few days away (see my previous post), and then catching up with things at home, I’ve fallen behind with the Write a Poem a Day challenge. But I have been making a note of the daily optional prompts on NaPoWriMo.net, and my muse has been sending me random ideas to fit some of them.

The prompt for Day 18 was: a poem that incorporates the sound of home.
I started trying to write something about the sounds in my childhood home, and then in my present home, but it just wasn’t working. Then I asked one of my fictional characters what she remembered hearing in her home.

Home sounds

I hear my daddy laughing
rich as chocolate, loud as happy thunder.
I hear my mummy talking
light and tinkley, a pretty fairy voice.
I hear the sounds of cooking,
pans clunk, plates clatter, and spoons are scraping.
I listen for feet stepping,
who will come to read my story tonight?
I hear the phone ring, ringing,
Daddy’s ‘hello?’ and then Mummy’s ‘what’s wrong?’
I hear a door’s soft closing.
Nothing but hush. A bad feeling inside.

***

Day 20’s prompt was for: a kenning poem.
A kenning is a sort of riddle found in Norse sagas where the real name of an object or person is replaced with metaphors.

What am I?

Soft shuffler
Flat flopper
Sound muffler
Toe hugger
Cosy comforter
and, best of all,
Home welcomer!

(answers in the comments, please!) 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

A 'what if ' too many


‘What if ?’ must be the most useful phrase in a fiction writer’s toolkit. It can – and has – sparked all kinds of wonderful stories.

What if a young girl fell down a rabbit hole?
What if someone found a treasure map?
What if two lovers were kept apart by their families?
What if humans could travel to another planet?

But, in real life, it can be a very disturbing question.

We were planning a weekend visit to my 80-year-old aunt who lives in Wales (the other side of the country from us). I knew she wouldn’t be able to put us up overnight so, after checking she hadn’t made any other plans for that weekend, I told her I’d phone again after I’d arranged some accommodation, and tell her what time to expect us.

A few days later, I tried to call her in the early evening but she didn’t answer her phone. I assumed she must have gone out somewhere.

I tried again the next morning. No answer. Oh well, she was probably out shopping.

I called a couple of times in the afternoon. No answer. Perhaps she was in her garden or visiting a neighbour. But when she still wasn’t answering her phone that evening I began to feel uneasy.

I called my sister and asked if she’d heard anything from Auntie. She hadn’t, but said she would try phoning as well. Another day went by with neither of us being able to contact her.

   My mind filled with 'what if ’s'

What if she was ill?
What if she’d had an accident?
What if something had happened to her while she was away from home and no one knew who she was?
What if she’d suffered some kind of memory loss?
What if I couldn’t find out where she was?
What if she’d been kidnapped? Or abducted by aliens? Or …?

    NO! I had to ignore the ‘what if ’s’ and think logically!

The next morning, I called Auntie's doctor (in case she’d been taken into hospital), social services, and then the police. It was both a relief and a huge worry when they said they would send someone to her house straight away.

   There were more ‘what if ’s’ while I waited for news.

What if she didn’t answer the door?
What if the police had to break in?
What if she wasn’t there?
What if they found …?

And then my phone rang. It was Auntie. She was perfectly okay, although she’d been rather shocked when she’d answered a knock on her door and found two police officers there. The reason she hadn’t answered her phone was that she’d accidentally turned down the volume on it, so she hadn’t heard all that frantic ringing. (I’ve made sure she can’t do it again!)

I suppose all those 'what if ’s' might come in useful for future stories, but sometimes I wish I had a switch to turn down the volume on my imagination!

        

Thursday, 21 April 2016

NaPoWriMo catch-up

There are so many other distractions in my life at the moment that I’ve fallen way behind with the Write a Poem a Day challenge, but here are two more attempts:

When I saw the prompt for Day 14 – write a san san poem – I didn’t even attempt to do it. It seemed too complicated, and I didn’t have time for complicated! It’s a Chinese form that uses 3 repetitions of 3 terms or images, arranged in 8 lines which rhyme a-b-c-a-b-d-c-d

But after a couple of days, the following 3 phrases popped into my head

a free day     nothing to do     be myself


     I need a free day with nothing to do but rest
     and be myself. To do as I please with a free day
     having nothing to do, no deadlines, no plan,
     only a hope to be myself and to do my best
     no matter if I spend that time on work or play.
     But how can I steal a free day with nothing to do
     when my conscience nags me to do all I can?
     I need to learn to be myself, be something new.

***

Day 15’s prompt was: a poem that incorporates the idea of doubles
Again, I needed more than one day to even come up with an idea for a poem, let alone write it!

The Power of Two

Two is an even number
that smoothes out the oddness of one,
and makes a stable centre
for three, four, five and the rest.

Like yin and yang, night and day,
twos hold opposites, reflections
reversed no matter which way
they may be twisted or turned.

Two is a magic symbol
to bring good luck, make dreams come true,
to summon a miracle,
and even bind me with you.