A Great Result

On Thursday I said I was writing a poem inspired by an anniversary. Specifically it was a 20th anniversary celebration for a couple in my family.

I worked on the poem for a couple of weeks, which isn’t long for me and I felt a little worried that I wouldn’t reach an end point that made me happy.

However, I knew what I wanted to say, so it was just a case of finding the right words and style.

I say ‘just’; it’s not that easy, but I had a start point which is important for these very personal pieces.

I began by writing down the concepts in verse form, each stanza 6 lines long.  As I refined and reorganised the poem it took on a new form with a distinct repetition pattern.

The final form was five couplets, and one single line to start off. I had reached that style by Thursday when I took it to my writing group, so from then onwards it was simply about refining word choice.

I gave the poem to the couple on Saturday night, and although I will always see ways I could refine my work further I was happy with the result.  I think they were too: it is now a cover photo on Facebook!

I find writing for loved ones more demanding than other work – I think because it’s so important to find the right words for them as well as me. I don’t and can’t do it for every big event or celebration; this was the fifth specifically personal poem including two for funerals and the one I wrote for my own wedding!

There have been times when I planned to write but can’t get the right words or the right feeling. It will always be an exception to write something as a gift because it will always be an exception for the writing stars to align.

But when it works, and is enjoyed, it really is a great result for me.

Happy writing,



Slacking, But Working!

Firstly, sorry for the failure to post.  Internet issues, power cuts and early nights all got in the way.  I have yet to finish the book though, so you didn’t miss anything on Tuesday!

And although I have been slacking off here, I have been achieving in my writing.  Not only have I been working on a poem inspired by a significant anniversary (a poem I intend to pass on in due course) but I actually used my writing group support to improve and develop it.

I also put the pedal to the metal to get myself out and sharing by organising an open mike event.  I say organising, but really I just raised the idea with the right person and now it’s booked!

After a shaky writing time I am really pleased to get back on the right track.  In my writing group today I saw the payoff of a new approach and really feel positive about getting more poetry written.

Which is good, as I will need something to read at the open mike!

I am going to leave it there for today as I need to hit the hay pretty soon. Plus I still don’t trust my internet!

Happy writing,



Computer Says No…

Sorry but I am struggling with my internet connection today; it’s now just gone midnight and I haven’t been able to write a post. It’s the result of a lot of lightning and has been painfully unreliable for a few days.

Hopefully it will sort itself out tomorrow, once I reboot it.

In the meantime, have a great evening/morning and I will catch up with you when I am reliably back in the 21st century!

Happy writing



Other People’s Stories

I went out for a writing session today, looking for an hour of different scenery to refresh my mind.  My writing buddy unfortunately couldn’t make it so I took my husband along.  We both had projects to work on so it made sense to do it together.

But instead of writing, we started talking to people, and that talking led to more talking, and soon we were due to head back home without ever taking our notebooks out.

It could have been a wasted evening, but talking to people, learning their stories and sharing anecdotes was a joy.

Recently I sent two poems to a cousin of mine – one biographical and one autobiographical. I have been thinking about writing more in that style, as a counterpart to the more political pieces, and listening to funny stories and observations today made me decide to do it.

Everyone’s experience of life is unique and we all have a share of emotions and expectations. What better way to celebrate our shared humanity than immortalising moments in poetry, sharing them like gifts?

The next few months I just need to convince a few people to share moments that made them, them, and produce something that captures who they are.

No pressure!

Happy writing,



I didn’t know what to read next, when I was choosing my new book.  I have piles upon piles waiting for me, including some I have borrowed and need to return.  But it’s too hot to think too much, so I finally decided on another Margaret Atwood.  It’s not a dystopian future so that’s a change, at least!

What I wanted was a holiday read: a book I knew I would enjoy reading, that I could read fairly quickly but was a bit more complex than an airport book, if you know what I mean.  This is a pick for the reader me, more than the writer me.

I will let you know how it’s worked when I finish!

Happy reading,



Getting Together

As you will know by now, I am a fan of Margaret Atwood.  I first read her work in school when I studied The Handmaid’s Tale and have been reading and re-reading her work ever since.

When I saw that The Handmaid’s Tale was being televised I knew I had to watch.

It’s brutal, but it’s a reminder how easily we can lose hard-won freedoms.  Giving up a few freedoms here and there in the name of security from terror may seem a small price to pay but the problem is that you don’t know where it stops, and if it ever will.

This weekend, another response to terror was put forward: The Great Get Together.  This was a series of linked community events across the country, with the aim of encouraging friendliness and social cohesion. It was a celebration for Jo Cox, an MP murdered last year.

Focussing on what is good, I made my way to our local event, and it was lovely.  The sun was shining, there was a great spread, lots of people to talk with and it was a very positive way to spend an afternoon.

It was the kind of event I could imagine reading about in a chirpy romance or a 1950’s comedian the style of The Darling Buds of May. It was delightfully countrified!

I am working on a poem for next week’s writing group but I definitely want to revisit yesterday’s mix of nostalgia and reality in some way. Treating it as some sort of stand against oppression will be a challenge, but there’s no point making like too easy for myself.

That’s all for tonight. Have a safe and happy couple of days and I will be back on Tuesday.

Happy writing,





Last week I went to a private viewing at a small gallery.  My friend, the artist, also read some of his poetry during the event.

It’s always interesting to hear work by others but I do come away a little embarrassed that in the time I have known him he’s published 3 books, and I have not!

That’s why this post is titled ‘just write’: it’s a reminder. There’s no point worrying what other people are doing, you have to focus on your own work. You just have to get the words down.

I am working on something now, and I will give all my writing attention to that.  It’s far more constructive!

Give yourselves the time and space to write, it’s the best gift possible.

Happy writing,



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