Below is a short poem I wrote in response to a challenge set by Maja at https://businessinrhyme.com. Visit her website and enjoy some of her lovely prose.
NaPWriMo: Day 5
Poetry prompt: What’s in the news today?
Pick one news headline and that can be something you really dislike; now write your own news that are quite the opposite, news you would like to hear or read in the newspaper, news in the form of poem or a story.
Headline – Russia blames rebels for Syria gassing
We are two
Friends not foe
Our breath as one
Pure air the prize.
I’ve been experimenting with the form of cinquain in poetry today. Poetry is not my natural writing model but I love reading it and today I have been told that my daughter has felt my grandchild kick for the first time so it seems a fun thing to try today. Feedback is welcome as I am always striving for improvement.
We have waited and yearned
for this moment of arrival.
This form of poetry has 5 lines
THE MAN IN THE PARK
through the wild night,
caring not for the others,
his spirit abandoned and free.
If I had a lot of time
I would offer up a rhyme.
Poetry is not my strength
My plots and thoughts need more length.
Forgive this poor attempt at prose
To the novel, this writer goes.
As happens in life, it is the unplanned events that can cause mayhem with far-reaching consequences. Writing experts advise us to tap in to life’s emotions and experiences to give our writing depth. What happens when these emotions are too painful?
A few months ago, I was looking forward to the wedding of my beloved daughter. We had negotiated the tricky minefields of which guests to invite, who should sit next to who, the role of the step-parents, etc. In fact, the wedding had been planned in detail and was about to be one of the highlights of my life.
Then, just over a week before the special day, my husband, my daughter’s stepfather, ended up in hospital with a serious illness. We entered a period of days divided between hospital visits and final wedding preparations, an emotional roller-coaster for anyone, and the way I coped was to separate my despair from my joy. Each emotion had its own compartment and had I opened them to write, I risked losing control.
Sadly, my husband was too ill to attend the wedding.
Now, weeks later, with my daughter happily married and my husband recovering, I am ready to search my soul but the shield remains. Perhaps it is there to protect me, but when I am writing a story about maternal love, it would be useful to resurrect some of those emotions I experienced as I made certain that my daughter had the most joyous day of her life.
At times like these, I long for an improved command of the language of poetry. Perhaps verse would allow me the vehicle to express the emotions of my summer.
This week I have been living in the land of no internet with a fractured communication pathway. This has left me time to focus on writing my novel. I discovered that my isolation has become a blessing in disguise as I have added more quality and bulk to my novel. This also meant that I was unable to respond to many of the lovely comments left in response to my work. Normally I do like to thank my readers for their feedback as I find it useful in assessing my strengths and weaknesses as a writer. In addition I like to acknowledge the time taken to give me that feedback and so I must apologize that I have been unable to give individual thanks this week.
I do think that it is appropriate to thank you, my readers, in this 100th post of mine.
I also thought that it may be useful to tell you of my writing plans this year. Currently I have a novel in progress. It is an investigative thriller and I hope to have it ready to submit to agents later this year. I like to write short stories and flash fiction to try to strengthen my writing skills, in particular my use of language, description and dialogue. In truth, I also love to tell a complete story in a few words; it suits my rather erratic brain. I will almost certainly continue writing in that form.
I think one of the great pleasures in my life is the ability to communicate with my fellow man, whether it be on paper or through personal interaction. Great stories come from life. My professional life as a nurse and midwife taught me that every one of us has a story to tell and I hope that you continue to enjoy mine.
Today many of my friends will be doing the Race for Life to raise money for local cancer sufferers.
Most of us will have been touched by loss of a loved one and for me it is a day for remembering those whom I have loved and are gone. As that wonderful poem by Mary Frye reminds us the wonderful memories that they gave us remain around us forever.
My first encounter with a writer’s group was in university many years ago and I have to say that it had a competitive edge which almost defeated the value of the peer review. I will always remember the pale faces on the days we presented our work. Some students were actually made ill by the strain.
Many years later, and with a change of career ambition, I returned to writing as a hobby. That was my second entry into the interesting world of the writer’s circle. The chairperson of the group had published one item and that was one more than the rest of us. Each of us took a turn to read out precious words and I would spend most of the session dreading my own moment of truth. Inevitably the feedback was positive, leaving me feeling full of self importance until I finally realised that such praise is not always constructive for making improvements.
Since then I have tried different groups, study methods and even subjecting my poor family to my work in an effort to find the perfect way to improve my writing. My favourite and the most useful has been the most recent attempt. During a Novel Writing Course I became part of a peer critiquing group in which we managed to give and receive honest, and therefore valuable, review.
My own personal development has given the maturity to accept critique and use it for improvement. I think that we should always consider a writer’s own confidence and maturity as a person when offering a critique. Sometimes, less is more and a writer will develop with tiny steps rather than all at once.
Have you had a good or bad experience in a writing group or circle? I would love to hear from you.