#WritePhoto ‘Lucky!’ #FlashFiction #101words

The following Tanka was written in response to Sue Vincent’s weekly photo prompt. Join in or read other entries here!

Alice’s Lucky Day

Alice wasn’t enjoying the picnic.
Her cousins giggled and whispered behind her back until her mother made them include her in their games.
They grumbled and Chelsea said, “Count to a hundred, you’re It!”
Instead of chasing them, Alice wandered to the old stone bridge by the river.
Climbing down between the rocks, she heard a puppy whimpering and scratching its way out of a plastic bag floating in the deep waters.
When she returned, everyone fussed around her, waiting for their turn to hold the puppy.
“She’s called Lucky,” Alice told them, “because I rescued her on my lucky day.”   

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Photo from Pixabay

Happy weekend!

 

 

#WednesdayMotivation ‘Good Morning, Sunshine’ #Tanka #MorningMeditation #Mindfulness

I’m currently reading The Gift: Twelve Lessons to Save your life by Dr Edith Eva Eger and the words I read this morning inspired me to write this tanka.

Good morning, Sunshine

Look in the mirror, 
Say, “I love you”
Promise, “I’ll never leave you.”
Smile and hug yourself,
Now wash your happy face,
You are ready.

****

The Gift is indeed a gift of a book, to be read slowly and savour every word. I’m reading a few pages morning because I want to digest Edith’s wisdom slowly.

Here’s the paragraph which inspired me today. This is a piece of advice she gave a patient who was severely depressed.

“So start by getting up in the morning and going to the mirror. Look yourself in the eye and say, ‘I love you.’ Say, ‘I’m never going to leave you.’ Hug yourself. Kiss yourself. Try it!

And then keep showing up for yourself all day, every day.”

So easy and so incredibly powerful. Try it!

***

Have a wonderful day!

You deserve it!

#WritePhoto ‘Blackbird, Learn to Fly’ #Tanka

The following Tanka was written in response to Sue Vincent’s weekly photo prompt. Join in or read other entries here!

Sue’s picture prompt reminded me of the Beatles‘ song Blackbird, so here’s the Tanka inspired by both the song and the picture.

Blackbird, Learn to Fly

Crow perched on dry branch
Must mend broken wings to fly
All your life waiting
for this moment to be free
Longing to glide far away 

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Insecure Writers Support Group #IWSG ‘Blogging Friends’ #bookbloggers #amwriting @SCVincent

This post was written in response to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group monthly (first Wednesday of every month) blog hop to where writers express thoughts, doubts and concerns about our profession. By the way, all writers are invited to join in!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG

The awesome co-hosts for the February 3 posting of the IWSG are Louise – Fundy Blue , Jennifer Lane, Mary Aalgaard, Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon!

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February 3 question – Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?

When I started blogging in November 2013, I had no idea what I was doing! I had heard of blogs, of course, and I’d probably read some blog posts, but I’d never even thought of starting one.

An online writer friend I met through Goodreads told me every writer should have a blog, so I started looking into what blogs actually were and decided to give it a go, and I’m really glad I did.

Blogging and interacting with other bloggers has helped me improve and develop my writing career by improving my craft through writing blog posts and creative flash fiction, showcasing my writing and sharing opinions and work with other readers and writers. It has given me a window to the world and a direct connection to other readers, writers and bloggers.

I’ve met a lot of bloggers along the way, and there are a few who I consider my ‘blogging friends’. But first I’d like to briefly reflect on the term ‘Blogging friend’. What is a blogging friend?

My blogging friends share many characteristics of the friends I see face to face. They are both supportive and friendly, which means I can ask them for help and advice on the topics that brought us together, in my case, mainly books and writing. We often share other personal opinions and some aspects of our private lives, too. We regularly read and comment on our posts and our projects. I feel as if I know them, so if I ever physically met them, I’m sure we’d chat away about our common passion and everything else we could think of!

The only thing blogging friendships lack is physical interaction and after this epidemic, when 95% of the contact I have with friends and family is online or on my phone, I’d say physical contact is overrated!

Sue Vincent: A Very Special Blogger

Talking about blogging friends, I’d like to introduce you to a very special blogging friend, who she has thousands of followers and blogging friends and is well-loved by many bloggers: Sue Vincent.

I ‘met’ Sue in 2017 when I first took part in her weekly photo prompt challenge on her blog called #Writephoto.

#Writephoto is a great challenge because there is no word or genre limit, just a picture prompt to take you wherever your thoughts go!

Sue is a very supportive host who comments on all entries and reblogs as many as she can every week.

She has three Websites where she shares her poems (And I love her #midnighthaiku) flash fiction, short stories, guest posts, poetry, books, etc.:

Daily Echo

France & Vincent

The Silent Eye

Sue is struggling with a serious illness at present read more about that here, so she could do with love and support from the blogging community to which she has contributed so much over the years.

Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch Literary Community, another supportive online writing and blogging community, is organising The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic, including a Flash Fiction Event to celebrate and support Sue. Read all about it in H. R. R. Gorman’s post on behalf of the Rodeo Organization Team and take part.

Find out more about Sue here

Finally I’d like to share a poem I wrote this morning. Hoping you all have a wonderful Wednesday.

 

#WednesdayMotivation ‘Be Still’ #Tanka #MorningMeditation #Mindfulness

I’m currently reading Mindfulness: an eight-week plan for finding peace in a frantic world, by Mark Williams and Danny Penman, and I’m doing their recommended One-Minute Meditation throughout the day. This Tanka is what happened this morning, immediately after my one-minute meditation.

Image from Pixabay

Be Still

Watch grey clouds drift past,
wave goodbye, smile at blue sky
Sail on quiet lake,
Breathe, be still,
Welcome new day,
All is calm,
I am ready.

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You may think a minute is not enough, but I assure you it is. And one minute, several times a day adds up, so that some of the one-minute meditations will gradually become five-minutes or more. Priceless minutes during which we can be still, breathe and connect with ourselves. Try it! Follow the simple instructions below.

This ia a really simple one-minute meditation anyone can do at any time of the day, although I recommend you try it first thing in the morning, and regularly throughout the day, especially, but not only, when you may feel stressed.

Here’s how it goes:

1. Sit erect in a straight-backed chair. If possible, bring your back a little way from the rear of the chair so that your spine is self supporting. Your feet can be flat on the floor. Close your eyes or
lower your gaze.
2. Focus your attention on your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Stay in touch with the different sensations of each in-breath and each out-breath. Observe the breath without looking
for anything special to happen. There is no need to alter your
breathing in any way.
3. After a while your mind may wander. When you notice this,
gently bring your attention back to your breath, without giving
yourself a hard time—the act of realizing that your mind has
wandered and bringing your attention back without criticizing
yourself is central to the practice of mindfulness meditation.
4. Your mind may eventually become calm like a still pond—or it
may not. Even if you get a sense of absolute stillness, it may
only be fleeting. If you feel angry or exasperated, notice that this
may be fleeting too. Whatever happens, just allow it to be as it
is.
5. After a minute, let your eyes open and take in the room again.

****

The key is focussing on your breathing, trying to ignore any negative feelings, but if they appear, that’s fine, watch them drift away away across the sky like a cloud, and then see the blue sky and still lake they leave behind.

Mindfulness is about observation without criticism; being compassionate with yourself. You are worth it. You are enough. You are ready.

Picture from Pixabay

Have a wonderful day!

You deserve it!

#Poem ‘Half Lives’ #ThursdayInspiration

I was scrolling though the blogs I follow when I came across Lucysworks.com and I read her poetry contest prompt, which were the following lines from Pullitzer prize-winner, Wallace Stevens, and I was inspired at once.

“Elysia, these days, half earth, half mind;
Half-sun, half thinking of the sun; half sky,
Half desire for indifference about the sky.”

–– “Extracts From Addresses To The Academy of Fine Ideas.”

Well, here’s my poem, sorry it’s a bit dark, but that’s where the prompt took me this time. It would have suited Halloween! 

Half Lives 

You ask me what’s wrong,
‘I’m living half a life,
Trapped in half a world,
Surrounded by the others
Who are half dead.’
You point to the sun,
‘It’s whole, not half,’ you say,
And I’m wondering
How half of you can see it all,
When I know it’s torn in two,
Mutilated forever.
I remind you,
‘We can no longer be whole,
not now that we have half a mind.’
But you insist,
‘I love you as you are.’
You lie.
‘You don’t love him,
My other half,
The one facing the ashen ground
On the dark side of the moon.
He needs all your love, not half.’
Half of you cries and waves goodbye,
The other half holds my lifeless hand
In your mouldy fingers.
Two half corpses in two half graves.  

#IWSG Why do I write what I write? @TheIWSG #amwriting #WWWBlogs #amwriting

This post was written in response to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group monthly (first Wednesday of every month) blog hop to where writers express thoughts, doubts and concerns about our profession. By the way, all writers are invited to join in!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG

The awesome co-hosts for the November 4 posting of the IWSG are Jemi Fraser, Kim Lajevardi, L.G Keltner, Tyrean Martinson, and Rachna Chhabria!

November 4 question – Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.” Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?

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This is a question I rarely ask myself explicitly, but I do think about the answer, because so many people ask me, and on this occasion it’s the Insecure Writer’s question for the month, so I’ll do my best to reply.

As I understand it, this question has two parts, a) why I write and b) why I write what I write.

a) Why do I write?

I write because I can’t not write, the same as I can’t not think, or feel, or walk, or talk.

Once I learn to do something which is useful and rewarding, it becomes part of my life and I can’t unlearn it or undo it.

I can’t stop writing a poem when I see a beautiful image, or have an emotional thought, or memory.

I can’t help carrying a notebook and jotting down ideas for poems or scenes for my books, and I’m sure I’ll never stop doing it, in fact I shudder to think I could ever stop the creativity flowing through my mind.

Now to the second part of the question, b) why do I write what I write?

I write about topics which I feel strongly about. This doesn’t mean I’m on a mission to change or improve the world, I would never be so presumptuous, it just means that I write about what is significant for me.

I write poems because I love capturing my emotions with a few symbolic words and giving them an artistic shape and sound, based on syllables and rhythm or rhyme.

I write Victorian novels because I admire Victorian authors who gave me so many hours of joyful reading and inspiration, and in so doing, I offer them my humble tribute.

I write about Jane Eyre, because when I first read it in my early teens, it was the first novel that inspired me to even think about writing myself, and I’ve never been able to get Jane Eyre out of my mind.

I write my blog because I want to reach out to and communicate with other authors and readers. It’s thrilling to know I can ‘meet’ and interact with other people who I’d never be able to reach or talk to or read about in my day-today life, if I wasn’t an active blogger.

I could go on, and if we could sit and chat with a coffee, a tea, a beer or a glass of wine, depending on our mood and the time of day, we’d share more ideas and reasons, because I’d love to know why you write too, and of course, why you write what you write.

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to like and/or share and/or leave a comment 🙂

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#FridayPhoto ‘Walls’ #Photooftheday ‘Home Sweet Home’

Within city walls
Streets are calm,
Houses safe,
Home sweet home.

Cruel worlds lie beyond,
Banish pain,
Exile joy,
Home sweet home.

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Within These Walls Home Sweet Home.

As I was walking by the ancient walls of the city of Cordoba, first built by the Roman founders of the city, around the second century, and later reinforced by subsequent conquerors from central Europe, the Visigoths,  later Muslims from North Africa, and finally the Spanish Monarchs from the north of the country, I was wondering about our need to conquer and feel safe from subsequent conquerors.

We have been building walls around our houses and cities for centuries and and now, two thousand years on, we still need to feel safe. Now the enemy is a virus, not an army, but we still retreat back within our walls, because the safety we perceive in the prison of our own making, is more important than the  happiness we give up by not venturing outside.
Home sweet home.
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