For Day 17 the challenge was to write a poem “re-telling a family anecdote that has stuck with you over time. It could be the story of the time your Uncle Louis caught a home run ball, the time your Cousin May accidentally brought home a coyote and gave it a bath, thinking it was a stray dog, or something darker (or even sillier).”
There are plenty of tales of growing up. I have a younger brother and sister and we often played tricks on each other.
My sister, being the youngest, often got manipulated. She’s even take the blame for something we’d done if we encouraged her that our parents were undermining her capabilities to do it by being younger and she’d adamantly declare her responsibility and that she is big enough, I.e to reach the switch and turn off the hot water whilst mum was in the shower.
Sadly, our childhood was before social media and digital camera so I don’t have a picture of the three of us together. Tucked up in the attic we each have a photo album but it’s not easily accessible.
For Day 16 the challenge was to write a poem “that prominently features the idea of play. It could be a poem about a sport or game, a poem about people who play (or are playing a game), or even a poem in the form of the rules for a sport or game that you’ve just made up (sort of like Calvinball).”
When I first approached this task I thought of Peculiar Pets by Victoria Roberts. It’s a picture book about a little girl that wants a pet but her mum says “We’ll see” whenever she asks. The little girl creates pets out of bits and pieces around the home. It is a delightful read about a child’s imagination and creative play.
I thought about how parents spend a lot on toys, only for their child to be more fascinated by the box. For example, my son loves his cars. We’ve tried to engage him in other toys but he always returns to his Hot Wheels. The only toy that’s competed is his Kindle and balance bike. And in the summer I got a cheap broom from pound land to sweep the gravel back and my son found it and spent hours playing with it. It cost me £1!
I’m sure there are other parents that can relate to this poem. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
For Day 15, the challenge was to write “a poem in which a villain faces an unfortunate situation, and is revealed to be human (but still evil). Perhaps this could mean the witch from Hansel & Gretel has lost her beloved cat, and is going about the neighborhood sticking up heart-wrenching “Lost Cat” signs, but still finds human children delicious. Maybe Blackbeard the Pirate is lost at sea in an open boat, remembering how much he loved his grandmother (although he will still kill the first person dumb enough to scoop him from the waves).”
I’ve made it half way through, learnt more than I expected and feel motivated that I can make it to the end of 30 days.
In character development, I often spend as much time thinking about what motivates my villain (antagonist) as well as my MC. I think a well written Villain is as crucial as a well written MC.
My spin off novel from Drift, is Glide. It follows Kiara’s story and her heart break getting dumped and her struggle to accept she is enough. In Drift, she’s the rival love interest and the MC views her as being beautiful and perfect – I enjoyed exposing how insecure Kiara is despite how others perceive her.
For this, I feel I need to choose a Villain that is identifiable by most people. However, my favourite villains are well developed characters like Cat Woman or Poison Ivy who is a criminal but also has some good morales. I feel I need to think of one that is well known but only for their dark side… Grim Reaper.
For Day 14, the challenge was “And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Dream dictionaries have been around as long as people have had dreams. Interestingly, if you consult a few of them, they nearly always tend to have totally different things to say about specific objects or symbols. Dreams, unlike words themselves, don’t seem to be nicely definable! At any rate, today’s prompt is to write entries for an imaginary dream dictionary. Pick one (or more) of the following words, and write about what it means to dream of these things:
How can you write a definition as a poem? This idea seemed ludicrous and then… I was inspired by the tea cup.
I’ve always wanted an Alice in Wonderland tea party and almost had one as the theme for the baby’s ‘Gender Reveal’ party. I wanted that party to be about Noah getting a brother or sister (not about me). A blog post is coming next week on the party.
You may see as the poem gets more and more crazy a few wonderland themes sneak in.
For Day 13, the challenge was to write ” a poem in which the words or meaning of a familiar phrase get up-ended. For example, if you chose the phrase “A stitch in time saves nine,” you might reverse that into something like: “a broken thread; I’m late, so many lost.” Or “It’s raining cats and dogs” might prompt the phrase “Snakes and lizards evaporate into the sky.” Those are both rather haunting, strange images, and exploring them could provide you with an equally haunting, strange poem (or a funny one!)”
Today, you get two poems because I wrote “Bear in mind” on Opus a few years ago and I think it is perfect for this prompt. Opus was an iPhone app but is now a website called Opusia available for all to use. It is very popular with poets, although they welcome all types of writing.
However, I feel it cheating NaPoWriMo to use an already written poem. The challenge is to write a poem every day. So, ‘Beat around the bush’ is the poem for today’s prompt.
These phrases are called idioms. To discover more idioms, please visit www.smart-word.org.
Bear in mind
Bear in mind That’s what she said And in that moment He climbed into my head
His fur was brown The colour dull With not much space Pressed against my skull
He was not happy The grizzly chappie He could not get comfy For it was not roomy
How it got in there I’ll never know Through my ears Or up my nose
But once he was in He could not move So squashed in He couldn’t groove
Squished up he was Against my brain He began To complain
He moaned He groaned He infected me Soon I too was grumpy
I had to get him out Making me scream and shout As the sound left my mouth A little bear managed to get out
So bear in mind When you hear the phrase A grumpy bear Might get inside
But now he’s escaped And he is free Looking for more brains To be displeased
From smog filled cities to fresh salty air. A friendly place where everyone knows your name.
Tranquil pockets of landscaped gardens. A harbour of fishing boats bobbing and ringing.
Beach huts align the prom
Metal structures tower at the docks
Outskirts of rolling fields
Despite its impact on England’s trade, many don’t even know its name. The largest container port to feed the needs of the island.
With forests and wildlife and natural habitats. With a fort and seafront with amusements and bright lights.
Day 12’s challenge
For Day 12, the challenge was to write “a haibun that takes in the natural landscape of the place you live. It may be the high sierra, dusty plains, lush rainforest, or a suburbia of tiny, identical houses – but wherever you live, here’s your chance to bring it to life through the charming mix-and-match methodology of haibun.”
Well, today’s challenge feels very advance to me. I’ve never attempted a Haiku, let alone a Haibun. After reading the challenge, I realised I needed to do research whilst eating my breakfast – thank you for smartphones!
A Haibun is a style of poetry that combines prose with a Haiku poem. It often has a pattern, i.e. Prose, Haiku, Prose…
This then led me to ask the following two questions:
What is prose? Prose often uses the colourful language poetry is famous for. It’s beautiful, descriptive, deep and it will create visions and emotions in the reader. It doesn’t usually rhyme.
What is Haiku? Haiku is a style of poetry that is structured by syllables (number of sounds in a word). The structure has three lines. The first line will have five syllables, the second line will have seven syllables and the third line will have five syllables. It doesn’t usually rhyme.
Well, this style of poetry is outside my comfort zone completely! Firstly, I’ve never written this style and secondly, I like my poems to rhyme – he he.
But, I set myself this goal to do the NaPoWriMo challenge and I am not a quitter (without a fight), so here is my poem about my hometown.
I reached out to the local community for a photo I could use on my blog and Katherine Bozier kindly offered me a selection of pictures she has taken. A testimony to the culture, kindness and support of our town.
Here are some pics from my Instagram:
Growing up here, I thought the town was dull without much to do but I heard an advert for one of the caravan parks and was shocked at the end when I realised where it had described. As a mother, I now see the vastness of what this town has to offer – it’s a hidden gem.
Your fears are only as great at the power you grant them
Day 11’s challenge
For Day 11, the challenge was to write “a poem that addresses the future, answering the questions “What does y(our) future provide? What is your future state of mind? If you are a citizen of the “union” that is your body, what is your future “state of the union” address?”
I have interpreted today’s prompt as a poem on how you envision your future.
I’m good at setting myself goals and I’m ready for changes, I never expect anything. I find this challenge a little strange as none of us know our future and as a realist, I am accepting of what will be will be. Perhaps, I could write something exploring my optimistic dream or pessimistic nightmare. I hope you enjoy what I have created.
For Day 10 the challenge was to “write a poem of simultaneity – in which multiple things are happening at once.”
Well, today I’m not using the optional prompt because today is National Unicorn Day! Yes, this mythical beast has got its very own day because us Brits love unicorns. Maybe, if we all love enough, they’ll come out of hiding and spread their magic throughout the lands… I feel inspired.
Phew – caught up. Just two more thirds of this challenge to go…
For Day 9 the challenge was to “we challenge you today to write a poem in which something big and something small come together.”
Where did day 9 go?
My day vanished yesterday. I worked late. Then took longer getting my son to bed because he offered to tell me a bedtime story about a mermaid and it peaked my interest that 1. He had tried to think of something I’d like, 2. His tactics to stay up later and keep me with him. So, I humoured him and he told me a story with mermaids, spiders that steal keys and sharks that are friendly. Then I had a bath, watched an episode of Magicians and it was time to sleep – no time to write a poem had presented itself.
I had an idea to do something about a fairy and a dragon but the poem just didn’t happen…
It will be just as busy today but I am determined to catch-up. Here is my belated day 9 poem and I shall try my hardest to write another today for my day 10 poem… wish me luck…
For Day 8 the challenge was to “write poems in which mysterious and magical things occur. Your poem could take the form of a spell, for example, or simply describe an event that can’t be understood literally. Feel free to incorporate crystal balls, fauns, lightning storms, or whatever seems fierce and free and strange.”
I loved this challenge and had so many ideas, I couldn’t focus. I thought about a statute coming to life, that is the perfect manly figure, capturing the hearts of women but he can’t be touch or you’ll turn to stone and he has a graveyard of statues of women that hadn’t been able to resist him. I will save that story idea for another day…
Instead, I wrote the poem based on one of my favorite scenes from my novel Drift (querying as Jewel of the sea). The whole novel is on Wattpad for feedback and the chapters this poem relates to are titled 26. Don’t Tell and 27. Revelation.
The version I’m sending for query has been edited a lot and has different chapter names but I still value any feedback you can give me. The novel is marked private so only followers can view (to prevent pirate/mirror sites).
If you don’t have Wattpad, you’ll be pleased to know that I have posted the two chapters to my blog. Click here to read.