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Posts Tagged ‘poems’

I’ve mentioned recently that because of health issues I’ve not really been up to writing: looking at a calendar today I see it’s over 12 weeks since I last put words on a page.

If I am not writing, I am not a writer – and 25% of the year not writing is a pretty massive chunk. It’s horrible to feel that writing is something I did, not something I do, so it’s time to make writing accessible again.

I will not set myself an unreachable target with regard to my novel. I have to accept that isn’t the way forward for now, and trust that what I have completed so far will stand the test of time – and if not, it just means it wasn’t the right story after all.

Instead I need to pick up writing again, in a positive way. I need to be a poet for a while.

It’s no secret here that I enjoy the art of writing poetry more than novels, and part of that is the way I have always used poetry to process thoughts and feelings.

More importantly for now, though, is that they give me a sense of achievement. I produce a rough stone of a first draft, of course – but with a little cutting, a little polish, they end up as shiny gems in my portfolio.

So that is where I will start: building some glitter into my barren writing life and getting back into the habit of being a writer.

I don’t want to be in the habit of not being one, after all!

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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It’s a long weekend for Easter here in the UK, and I have the next 4 days off work which is a good thing, because I am very tired and not feeling particularly full of the joys of spring.

I have quite a lot planned over the weekend, including time with family, friends and my husband, the reintroduction of chocolate and biscuits into my diet after 40 days off! and some writing, of course.

I found a great website today, which has given me a few rather quirky ideas to play about with over the next few days; it’s www.todayifoundout.com and I’ve already lost a couple of hours there.

But I also have a special project.

Every year over this break, I write some poetry.  I find a few hours of a special kind of quiet which doesn’t really happen at any other time, and it gives me an awareness of the world around me.  It’s good to connect with each moment.  It’s a kind of mindfulness that I can hold on to for hours, which is not that easy for me as a general rule: my mind is always active, especially when I want  it to slow down!

Poetry is a way to process my feelings, emotions and experiences but what I write in these quiet moments is often more raw.  I find myself accessing a more spiritual part of myself.

I know not all of you will have a particular religious leaning but hopefully you’ll understand that sense of existence within, and as part of, something more – the feeling of being a conduit for the words which come without strain or pressure.

That’s not to say they come perfectly, but they come naturally.  I never feel the need to seek out the right word to convey the emotion I want, because it’s already there, and writing it down allows me to feel that emotion.

It’s wonderful, and special, and I regret so many years not writing poetry, and not having these magical moments.

So I am going to rest up now, and be ready for them – I don’t want to miss any more.

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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At last, and many months after originally planned, I have completed the first draft of the whodunnit.  Hurrah, huzzah, yee haw and other cheering celebratory words!

Following a final push this evening to get the last 5000 or so words done, I feel like there should be a confetti cannon and party poppers, but I’m going to settle for a sleep…

I’ll let it settle now, and for the next few weeks I’ll concentrate on new poetry and re-reading the Family Tree novel to see if anything pokes me in the face as being annoying, out of character, melodramatic etc so I can revise it if required.  Then, it’s decision time on that.

For now though, I am ridiculously tired and need to turn my brain into the off position. Tomorrow will be a writing free day and then…

And then, I’ll start all over again.

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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Sometimes things in the world are just beyond my comprehension.  I find myself deeply saddened by decisions made, or feel as though I have no voice, no representative who sees the world as I do.

That’s when I write, of course.  But sometimes I can’t find the words, and have to seek out someone who can say what I want to say.

So I looked for poems that would make me feel less hopeless. and found one called Peace, by George Herbert, in which a man wanders in search of peace.  The third stanza struck me for its imagery:

Then went I to a garden, and did spy

A gallant flower

The crown Imperiall: sure, said I,

Peace at the root must dwell.

But when I digg’d, I saw a worm devoure

What show’d so well.

I can’t find the words for my own poem at the moment, although I am sure I will over the coming days.

It helps to have a little poetry inspiration to guide me.

Happy writing,

EJ

 

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This week felt good, writing-wise.

I got my Christmas poem done, just in time for publication of the local newsletter, and despite not a lot of time to refine it I was quite pleased with how it came out. It had a rhyme scheme which isn’t my usual thing but I thought would be better for the audience who would probably be more comfortable with that style than with blank verse. It also incorporated the ideas I wanted to convey about thinking of others and kindness to each other – it was a bit less subtle than I would normally like to be but I was time-limited and quite honestly I don’t know that subtlety would have worked in any case. It’s out there now, at any rate, and I hope it gets a few people thinking and a few more enquiries about the writing group.

I have also organised the first writing group Christmas meal – following the positive feedback on Thursday, it makes me feel quite proud of how far we’ve come!

So – what next? Well, I have a lot of work to do to get me back on track with the whodunnit; I really did stop completely with this when my nana got ill and I haven’t gone back to it. I want to get this completed before Christmas and move on to something else.

Specifically, I want to move on to my completed novel: re-read it, polish it where required, and decide on its future. I have an idea, a plan if you will, but it’s going to take a bit of time so I want a clear run at it. I don’t want the whodunnit hanging over it making me feel like I need to rush or that I have to split my attention.

I also want to review my poetry – I have a lot of bits of poems in folders and on my computer and I need to organise them into a proper portfolio of work, then start doing more open mike events and performances.

That’s probably my New Year Resolution in a nutshell – do more with the writing I’ve done!

So this has been a good week, because I’ve finished a piece and submitted it to the human gaze; I had a positive writing group; I made some writing decisions.  Next week, I need to have a good week closing in on the whodunnit ending so I can put it away and go back to my firstborn novel.

For the first week in ages I produced something in my writing time, and I want to build on the buzz that has given me.

Roll on next week!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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This week, I’ve been trying to get into the spirit of Christmas; a little early, but it’s due to the fact that I promised to write a poem for the local newsletter, a sort of advert for the writing group, and the deadline was this weekend. Well, I sweet-talked the editor into an extension (easily done, as I’m married to him!) so the deadline is Tuesday.

I know not everyone who reads this will celebrate or even mark Christmas, so saying I feel ‘Christmassy’ might not mean much. That made me think maybe I should write a poem about what being ‘Christmassy’ means to me.

So I did a little word association, and here’s what I came up with:

Butterfly tummy
Family
Friends
Sharing
Joy
Thoughtfulness
Cold noses
Twinkling lights
Charity
Welcoming
Excitement
Decorations
Carols
Traditions

I am sure over time other words will crop up, and people will feel different things, but this is at least a part of it for me.

Looking at this list, I noticed something important.  See those words I have highlighted?  Those words are about peace.

Those words are fundamentally a part of a peaceful worlds: being part of a community with family and friends; sharing what we have so people are safe and secure; being joyful and thankful for the positives in our lives.  Being thoughtful about others and about our own actions and responses.  Being charitable – this doesn’t just mean giving money out but also being kind and caring, giving the benefit of the doubt.  Welcoming others into our lives as new family, new friends.

Put aside the religion for a moment, if you can, and take away the veneer of commercialism that has made Christmas a slick advertisement for all the latest things.

What remains is an opportunity to focus on, and make time for, other people.

That’s the spirit I want to get into, and that’s the message I want my poem to convey.

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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This week I did some planning, although not as much as I’d intended, because I ended up building on something from last week and completing a really integral part of an interview. So I’m about 50% where I had hoped to be…

But in getting the interview structured and some of the crumbs tied in, and thinking through the plan (even if not in the detail I had intended) I feel like I can see the finishing line. This week coming will be all about tying up the loose ends of the story and twining them into a rope for the murderer to hang herself, metaphorically speaking.

I have also decided on a final scene complete with the last words of the story, and it feels good to have that. It’s something to work towards, and something to keep me focussed so I don’t go off on a tangent, as I so often do.

Next week I hope I’ll get the bulk of what’s left written and the week or so after will just be filling in a couple of blanks. That’s the plan, anyway – let’s hope there no banana skins on my path!

In other news – A couple of weeks ago, I shared some of my poems with another writer. He had kindly given me his poetry book, and I explained to him I was working on rhyming poetry as it wasn’t my usual style, but the ones I shared were blank verse. He told me, in effect, that poetry which doesn’t rhyme isn’t really poetry.

I don’t agree and simply shrugged this opinion off as irrelevant to my personal style. However, I shared the comments with a friend who has read some of my work and she was incredibly offended on my behalf.

This got me thinking about my own response.

I will never be able to make everyone happy, and the more I try, the more I lose my own voice. I have and will try all sorts of different styles because experimenting is fun, but every piece of writing has to be a reflection of me.

I ignore people who tell me what writing ‘should’ be – writing is many different things, and there really are no hard and fast rules.

We write because we have something we want to say, a force within us driving us to mark out our thoughts and ideas on paper. That force is like our own personal engine and if we let someone else tamper with its workings, who knows what damage they could do.

Yes, it can be helpful to learn the mechanics – but the time comes when we have to trust our engineering skills!

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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