Sunday, 1 December 2013

Fairy tale

Though she is bounded by ‘brick fields’ – expanses of half-obliterated houses not cleared after the war – she enjoys their serenity away from the bustle of the shops, the ordnance factory nearby or the din of children in the school playground.  So after her daily visit to the greengrocer’s she puts away potatoes, cabbage and onions into the pantry and ventures out to walk as if she were a Bedouin searching for water in a desert.
An excerpt from my Adult Fairy Tale competition entry to Writing magazineI thought it would be fun to try a new genre and it was - but challenging to keep within the boundaries of a traditional form as well as the word count of 1500-1700 words.  
The story follows the trials of a family from the 2nd World War through into the 60s, wrapped up in a magical ending.
I'm glad I've had a go at this even if I don't get anywhere in the comp.  Ok, yes, I would like to see it win too!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Scrambled poem

Fairburn Ings RSPB reserve Yorkshire, England

Inspired by the UK Guardian newspaper's Poster Poems Found Poems online feature in August 2013, I composed a poem, further inspired by the Country Diary of August 2013 in the same paper, entitled Redstart. Tried to put in a link without success.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Partisan writing

How does your writing reflect your social and political views? And what do you think about the passing of a former prime minister of the UK? To answer the second question: I'm more interested in the injustices she created and how to oppose them. Polemics are not my thing these days but observation on what is and what needs changing sits in much of my writing so I would really recommend this thoughtful piece by Dinesh Allirajah who was my creative writing tutor on the Lancaster online course (not offered any more, sadly). It is a cogitation on the 80s - and particularly Blair Peach's killing, which I remember so well.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Brain error?

Bollards by National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Photo - Bollards - courtesy of the National Library 
of Ireland, on flickr Creative Commons
Do you ever wonder where your thinking has migrated? It could be my age, I do realise that.  But having put up a link to the Poetry School - who ran the poetry of protest workshop I attended, tutor Antony Dunn - I cannot now find any reference to the napowrimo.  So here is another link for the US site: nanowrimo to get your prompts on.

Thursday, 4 April 2013


Double publishing success is my excuse for two postings today.  My story, Longing, has at last found its niche on a Canadian ezine, commuterlit,  It might make your mouth water!
One or two poems should also appear in an e-anthology to be published by the Workers Educational Association, in the future. Our creative writing class, where I was a student, joined up with another to perform at this year's Headingley LitFest. The pieces we performed are to go into the anthology.  So watch this space.
Amendment: sadly this publication did not come to fruition.

I would love her

NaPoWriMo was born in 2003 but is being promoted by the  Poetry School, encouraging poets to write a poem a day in the month of April. Even if I don't write every day I've made a start here. A couple of weeks ago I climbed the steps to a lonely suburban station in northern England, in a snowy landscape. No one else was around apart from this figure on a seat. I did a double take, as did another woman who followed me on to the platform - we both laughed. Then and old friend appeared who I hadn't seen for about three years - a lovely surprise. She laughed too. Sadly my phone was out of battery, so no photo of the figure herself. Then the train came.


I would love her cold white stillness
on the platform seat. 
I would love to travel with her ticket
stuck in her like a receipt. 
I would love to cuddle her knowing
she is only a conceit.
I would love to sit with her
until she melted in my heat.

The snow woman looked so calm,
at the lonely station, so neat. 
Whose frozen hands had formed 
this fabulous feat?