Me being featured!

Today, I am writing about one of my posts being featured on someone elses blog. It is the first time one of my articles has been shared. I was flattered, honoured and it felt like a mini achievement.

NaPoWriMo: Day 26 – Senses

They chose my NaPoWriMo poem for day 26, titled Senses. This is a deep, personal and emotional poem inspired by a very dark period in my life when I was struggling internally.

Click here to check out my poem on their blog.

Stoner On a Roller Coaster

Firstly, she is a blogger that is not a stoner. She explains on her ‘about page’ how she came up with this name for her blog. Her blog is about raising awareness for mental health and getting people to talk about. She has gained a lot of support from people on the blogosphere.

If you haven’t checked her out yet, head over and give her a follow (see link for my poem on their blog).

I’d like to thank ‘Stoner’ for choosing my post to be shared on their blog. It really means a lot to me that you liked my writing enough to repost, especially a poem that I felt vulnerable in sharing as it was so personal and revealing. I hope it helped others who are in that dark place know they are not alone.

Being featured

I often feature other bloggers on my blog. If I see a well written article that will benefit my readers then I have to share. I love how easy Word Press makes this and credits the originator.

The articles are usually tips for writers but I have also shared useful How To makeup tutorials. I am also keeping my eye out for blogs on parenting.

If you know of any blogs I should be following so I can discover their content, please let me know and don’t be shy to sign post me to your own blog.

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Reflecting on NaPoWriMo

30 days of NaPoWriMo

These images are snippets from the 30 days of poems:

The challenge is over and I did it.  It’s time to reflect on how it went.

Three things I learnt:

  1. Reading the blog posts on has enabled me to learn so much and the prompts have challenged me to try things I wouldn’t have thought to do myself.
  2. I found posting every day a real challenge with my schedule, however, I was late only twice.  I’m really proud of what I achieved and can see the possibilities if I make time for my writing.
  3. Posting daily has increased my followers and engagement.  I hadn’t expected so much support – in fact, I feared I’d scare people off.  In addition, I have discovered new bloggers to follow.

Here are some statistics for you:

Most liked poem:  Day 15 – Grim Reaper (20 likes)


Most commented on poem:  Day 11 – Flipped (5 comments)


Most viewed poem:  Day 12 – Haibun (32 views)


Increase of followers

It was so unexpected and I wish I’d paid attention to how many followers I had before I started. Each day, I have gained a few new followers. Now, I have 100 plus!

Wattpad – Poetry Collection

I have been adding the poems to a book on Wattpad to create a collection. If you’d like to read them all in one place in full, please click here.

April poems.png

Would I do the challenge again?

I think I will give it another go in future but don’t think I will do it every year.  Poetry isn’t really my forte although I think it is a useful learning tool for any writer as it encourages you to think about your use of words and the English language.

I am relieved the challenge is over and the pressure of a daily post is off.  However, I am delighted at how much I produced and proved to myself that if I make time each day I can make progress on a project.  I want to apply that logic to complete another novel.  Novel writing has taken a back seat since starting my CIPD course at work so once that is finished in June, I am going to get back into novel writing.

I was pleasantly surprised by all the support from other poets and NaPoWriMo participants. I didn’t feel like I was doing the challenge alone. The increase of followers and engagement was unexpected but I am so happy to have connected with you all. Thank you – it helped keep me going.

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Day 30 – Paint

Claude Monet, Claude Monet

Why must you paint?

You could get a real job

Selling fruit and veg

There’s an opening at the grocer

Go put your application into Ed

If you have an eye for beauty

Why don’t you stock flowers

It would attract the lovely ladies

Perhaps you’ll find a wife

There is no money in art

You’ll be begging on the street

This is not the life I wish for you

Be a grocer on your feet

Put down your brush

Get cleaned up

Go find yourself a job

Claude Monet, Claude Monet

Why must you paint?


 Day 30’s challenge

For Day 30 the prompt is to write a poem ”that engages with a strange and fascinating fact. It could be an odd piece of history, an unusual bit of art trivia, or something just plain weird. While I cannot vouch for the actual accuracy of any of the facts presented at the links above (or any other facts you might use as inspiration!), I can tell you that there are definitely some poetic ideas here, just waiting for someone to use them.”

I followed the links with different unusual facts and I connected with this one on Claude Monet. Many creatives get told to get a ’real’ job, one that can pay the bills. When I saw Claude Monet’s dad wanted him to be a Grocer, I could hear him arguing with his son in my head.

Today, is the last day of April and NaPoWriMo 2018. I am so proud of myself for keeping up with the challenge to the end. I’m so thankful to all the people that have supported me with likes and comments, it was unexpected but really helpful. Thank you.


Day 27 – Tarot

Wrap it in a cloth

Keep it in a box

Cleanse it with a crystal quartz

A woman with a lion

Stands as a great force

Ready to take any challenge

Keep her life on course

With a hardworking ethos

She’ll get the job done

With a clear head and vision

It won’t take her long

Pressure to burn out

She wants it all at once

Needs time to be fruitful

Or she’ll feel like a dunce

With the lion in her corner

The right attitude to her goals

She can achieve anything

But must remember to have a hols

Wrap it in a cloth

Keep it in a box

Cleanse it with a crystal quartz


Day 27’s challenge

For Day 27 the prompt is ”we challenge you to pick a card (any card) from this online guide to the tarot, and then to write a poem inspired either by the card or by the images or ideas that are associated with it.”

A few years ago a work colleague gifted me a pack of Tarot cards and gave me a blue cloth to keep them safe. For this challenge, I decided to dig them out.

I then searched online to find out how to do a reading. I found this Basic 3 Card spread, gave it a go and used it as my inspiration for my poem today.

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Day 26 – Senses

Like a rain cloud that cannot be seen

You sense the threat of rain

Like energy in the air

Being sucked away from your being

You put on a brave face

To distract them from the shadows

Every breath is an effort

You feel like you’ve run a marathon

Living is like breaking nails

A tireless journey with no respite

Your desperate for the ending

To cut it short with a knife

Food tastes has no appeal

Like eating cotton wool

The weight on your shoulders

Feels like heavy boulders

Hearing others happy and laugh

You want to drown in a bath

Submerged under the watery bliss

Bubbles tickling your nose like a mother’s kiss

You can’t get out of bed

For the doctor to give you meds

Little pills to numb your feelings

Not really offering any healing

Don’t speak and lock your jaw

To others you slam your inner door

Like a fish in the desert

You don’t belong in this world

There’s something not coded right

Disconnected wires on a motherboard


Day 26’s challenge

For Day 26 the prompt is to write a poem “that includes images that engage all five senses. Try to be as concrete and exact as possible with the “feel” of what the poem invites the reader to see, smell, touch, taste and hear.”

At first, I was excited to write something exploring the senses but when I saw the examples I was blown away and intimidated. This challenge is more technical than I expected and I have just a few hours (or minutes in my bust schedule) to get something written…

Sadly, I am making this entry a day late.  I decided to write about mental health as I think it is tricky concept for those that have not experienced it to understand.  When I was struggling with issues myself, I really got into poetry and I felt it was a way I could express myself more easily.  I decided to be brave last October (for Mental Health Awareness month) and shared a collection of these to Wattpad in a book titled “Inner Demons“.

I promise I am in a much stronger place now.  I hope anyone that is struggling with their own demons can find hope in that, it is a battle but you can win.

Inner Demons
Inner Demons

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Day 25 – Warning

If Ally is your bestie

You will find her loyal to a fault

Even if you’re in the wrong

She will back you in a revolt

Unless that wrong is against her

Then you will find she won’t forget

So, never cross your Ally

Or you will be filled with regret

To keep your Ally happy

She likes lots of food

Don’t feed her anything spicy

It can cause her to explode

She likes real butter

And vinegar on most things

She has a sweet tooth

But prefers savoury things

If she does not get enough sleep

She becomes a grizzly monster

She can be very trusting

Therefore hates all imposters

She’s got a wild imagination

You could lose her to another world

If she doesn’t get time to write

There will be trouble to be told

She doesn’t thrive in direct sunlight

Keep her safe in a shady spot

If she turns red she needs Aloe Vera

You must not let her get too hot

If she gets a headache

It’s best to vacate the house

She will snap at any sound

Even the scurry of a mouse

She can be a little messy

But don’t call her out on that

She excels in other areas

So, Ally will make up for that

Ally is far from perfect

But looks for the silver lining

If you take good care of your Ally

You need not heed this warning


Day 25’s challenge

For Day 25 the prompt is to write a poem “that takes the form of a warning label . . . for yourself! (Mine definitely includes the statement: “Do Not Feed More Than Four Cookies Per Hour.””

Oh, this prompt sounds like fun. My hubby knows that I can be mean if I’m tired, hungry or have a headache. I also love vinegar and I’m very passionate about real food and don’t like impersonators (margarine, quorn and chocolate bars that are really biscuits).

Natalie Anne Collins (@NeoTheArtist)

The images in this article of me were taken by photographer Natalie Anne Collins and retains the copyright. She works in partnership with Neil Anthony Mason. To learn more about their work, click here.

Day 24 – Elegy

Sparkling blue, Crystal clear

Pure water sustained us all

Poisoned by chemicals, Choked by plastic

We took nature for granted

What if we thought to change

Questioned what goes down our drain

Cut down on waste and switched to eco

If we start now we could undo

Reduce your waste

Find green alternatives

Bring back our ocean

Of health, vitality and life


Day 24’s challenge

For Day 24 the prompt is “an elegy – a poem typically written in honor or memory of someone dead. But we’d like to challenge you to write an elegy that has a hopefulness to it. Need inspiration? You might look at W.H. Auden’s elegy for Yeats, which ends on a note suggesting that the great poet’s work will live on, inspiring others in years to come. Or perhaps this elegy by Mary Jo Bang, where the sadness is shot through with a sense of forgiveness on both sides.”

It felt strange to write a elegy for someone still here. With Earth Day recently taking place, my impact on the planet is at the forefront of my mind. The images of our seas plastic pollution is very disturbing and that is where I drew my inspiration for today’s poem.

If we carry on as we are then our beautiful oceans will be ruined. There is still time for us to change and turn the situation around. It’s not just for us but also the creatures we share our planet with. Water is vital to all our existence and it is beautiful.

Day 23 – Avicii

“My hands are tied but not tight enough

You’re the high that I can’t give up

Oh Lord, here we go”

Like a drug pumping through my veins

Here I am back again

Begging for you to take me there

Although we’re going nowhere

I know you are no good for me

Afterwards only pain will be

For this addiction I will bleed

Here to do the dirty deed

Do to me whatever you will

Make our sinful juices spill

Overdose my senses on you

Hit the spot the way do

Push me over the edge

Being with you is dangerous

Here for you to destroy me

Never will I be free

“My hands are tied but not tight enough

You’re the high that I can’t give up

Oh Lord, here we go”


Day 23’s challenge

For Day 23 the prompt is “And now for today’s (optional) prompt! Kate Greenstreet’s poetry is spare, but gives a very palpable sense of being spoken aloud – it reads like spoken language sounds. In our interview with her, she underscores this, stating that “when you hear it, you write it down.” Today, we challenge you to honor this idea with a poem based in sound. The poem, for example, could incorporate overheard language. Perhaps it could incorporate a song lyric in some way, or language from something often heard spoken aloud (a prayer, a pledge, the Girl Scout motto). Or you could use a regional or local phrase from your hometown that you don’t hear elsewhere, e.g. “that boy won’t amount to a pinch.”

I’ve always loved Avicii’s music and I was sad to hear he had passed this weekend. I hoped the news was a hoax but it is wasn’t. Today’s poem is using the lyrics from one of his songs.

Day 21 – Unrequited

Who was this handsome man

She saw him in his radiance

What was this strange feeling

He stole her resistance


She was drawn to him

His body was temptation

She had to have him

Without life didn’t bare living


He could not see her

Or return her feelings

He was not capable

No love only rejection


It broke her heart

To be invisible

The sound of pain

Tortured and unbearable


Left a haunting echo

Of a space never to fill

Where the unrequited love

Causes emptiness still


Day 21’s challenge

For Day 21 the prompt is “Brim provides us with several suggestions for generative writing exercises, and we’d like to challenge to today to tackle her third one, which is based in the myth of Narcissus. After reading the myth, try writing a poem that plays with the myth in some way. For example, you could imagine that imagine the water is speaking to you, the narcissus flower. Or you could write a poem in which the narcissus berates the Kardashians for stealing their neurosis. Or a poem that comments on the narcissism of our time, i.e. beauty and body obsession, etc..”

I’ve had a productive day today but away from the PC, leaving little time to put something together for todays prompt.

I think Echo’s story is one many have experienced. I’d bet everyone has wanted someone who doesn’t know they exist and dismisses them without realising the hurt caused. If you’ve not experienced that – lucky you.

The poem reminded me of one I wrote a few years ago titled ”My Universe”. Here it is:

My universe

He’s like reaching for the moon

Out of my league, out of my grasp

He’s become my whole universe

All consuming, lost in a love so vast

I’m floating, swimming, pink sky space

Glittering stars as bright as his eyes

Lost my way with no turning back

I lost control, I’m falling into black

I knew not to venture into the unknown

Stick to safe and what you know

Keep your feet firmly planted in the soil

Or be prepared for all consuming black holes

I don’t like feeling I have no control

Having someone I’d give my all

But now I can’t live without him

I’m lost in space and it’s all consuming

Day 20 – Rebel

Get in line

You must comply

Tick a box

On the form


Sorted lists

The Goverment

Control all of us


Break this mold

Be unique

Create something new

You can think

Free your mind

Ask questions

Be the difference

Be yourself


Day 20’s challenge

For Day 20 the prompt is “Our prompt for the day (optional as always) takes its cue from Notley’s rebelliousness, and asks you to write a poem that involves rebellion in some way. The speaker or subject of the poem could defy a rule or stricture that’s been placed on them, or the poem could begin by obeying a rule and then proceed to break it (for example, a poem that starts out in iambic pentameter, and then breaks into sprawling, unmetered lines). Or if you tend to write funny poems, you could rebel against yourself, and write something serious (or vice versa). Whatever approach you take, your poem hopefully will open a path beyond the standard, hum-drum ruts that every poet sometimes falls into.”

I work in education and one of the most frustrating things about the job is all the burreacracy and paperwork required by the goverment and the restrictions they apply. A hardworking student can’t finish early, a lazy student can’t fail (we fail if they don’t pass on time).

Everyone is tested the same way, despite everyone being unique. I don’t agree exams are right for everyone. Now the government would like to introduce a test to categorise students abilities before they even start their education (4 year olds)!

Can you imagine starting school and being told you are in the group of children predicted not to be capable of much – that sets you up for life. Yet, we know people often excel in different areas and learn in different ways, at different speeds.

Education is just one example of categories used to control and sort people. It’s not always bad but sometimes it’s not necessary and even harmful.

Today’s poem is about how we all are unique and we shouldn’t let anyone tell us who we are based on a box we are put in. Nobody should be compared to someone else. Especially not at the expense of their confidence.