No Good News January

So here is my writing update for the last couple of weeks – linking with Stephanie and her Writing Warriors updates here.

  • my ego suffered terribly after a few rejections of my poems last month – I know … I know – this is the way life goes but it made me question my writing skills/talent..or face lack thereof. Anyway, I am back, writing and poeting and I am determined to learn from my rejections. Lesson number one – do not send out your work too soon. Hold off if you can and review, review, get a second opinion, forget about the poem for a few weeks and then cut, cut, cut and review again!
  • I have drafted another poem as a result of my writing prompts- this time a Culinary Poem – this is how it starts:

Lament Home, London 2010

For the mothers left behind with their backs curved,

new moons of boiled potatoes upturned.

For the empty plates, laid out in the usual place.

(it is still work in progress so I am not disclosing more 😉

So dear readers, off to scribble some more verse and see you soon!

And the moral from this story is – yes, you will not always hear that you are the next Sylvia Plath/Ted Hughes but pick yourself up, write a poem about it (I did … it contains a lot of swearing – Sweary Poetry Therapy is very effective!) and move on.

For the love of poetry, keep writing!

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Ballad of My Epic Failure

I have a dream.  No, sorry, I had a dream.  The past tense is very much intentional, as once upon a time I had a dream and then mountains of laundry happened, dirty dishes piled up, dust rats and bunnies multiplied and had to be exterminated and don’t even get me started on The Great British Bake Off! 

Here comes a story of my epic failure told in not so epic rhymes…

There was a time when I thought that by the time I was 34

I would have conquered the literary world

With an opus, a lengthy poem or an intellectual play

In my head I was Jo Conrad of the modern day

So I started with the Great British Novel, the quickest way to get to the top

I bought a notebook, a careful choice of design and colour, and no one would stop

Me from disappearing into a dark cave with my Muse, only to years  later

Emerge pressing my Life’s Work to my chest, you haven’t seen a piece greater

Than this story of love, rain and crime in tune with the Scandi drama fashion

And I imagined that a man in a black suit, with a dodgy past and face pale and ashen

Would get me on a plane to L.A. to pick up my film rights and a hefty check

So I started writing – What the heck!

And when a half blank page mocked me two years into my typing

Full moon, a finished wine bottle and a fleeting thought proved that writing

Wasn’t an easy path to fame, fortune and at least one great award

So I considered other ways;  instead of weeping

I looked ahead and finished the flask, and said Oh Lord

It’s difficult and it hurts.  Also Proust, Tolstoy and Chekhov

Didn’t have the distractions of The Great British Bake Off

So I gave up on the novel but not the wine

And turned to poetry, the art so divine that I was pretty sure

My talents and my rhymes would have the allure of

The crème de la crème of the poetic scene

I searched for inspiration in chocolate and liqueur – Well, in moderation

I poured over Homer, some haikus and Shakespeare

And slept with a rhyming dictionary at my bed

And none the wiser, my Muse was gone, I whispered at dawn

Oh, heavens. No reply.  Then I heard a voice. Just shake your head

And get those metaphors out – this is what good poetry is about

I did.  I typed till my fingers bled

And I ran out of ink so I sat down to plan

How to get that Nobel Prize

It’s not that difficult to write a verse – you cut a sentence in two or three parts

Call them stanzas and find an arty title that no one comprehends

So you can only imagine, my sour surprise

That the Swedish Academy ignored my efforts and so did the other institutions of poetic arts

Oh come on you dinosaurs of Ars Poetica  – I can count syllables and throw in a good rhyme!

Discouraged and defeated I gave up on poetry but this is not how my saga ends because

Brought up in extraordinarily strict conditions and harsh winters  I knew how to survive

And would stumble towards the light at the end of this tunnel … so

I thought long and hard and tried to figure out how I was going to be famous

I met a friend who said Wait, I have a great idea, don’t you worry.

You can write a blog. It is nothing to be ashamed of and besides

Self-publication is in.  These are the times we live in, everyone confides

In the Internet instead of their friends and yearns to have a global audience.

I consulted my Gut, Heart and Conscience

And the verdict was – Go, you have nothing to lose

At first I was amazed, so many stars on the blogging universe

And with the first post out, first like and followers (friends and family)

I embarked on a new journey – could have been much worse

The only problem being – soon I was behind, not many people read

My stream of consciousness that Joyce would love to have written, it all led

To a slow death of my self –esteem, my hope and my lifetime dreams

You see, I don’t embroider and crochet and I don’t take snapshots of what I cook

I’m not a political animal and I don’t bother with messy play, look

All I want is to write about my days, my child and myself, not bad themes

For posts that take me ages to craft, in between changing nappies and watching the XFactor

Oh why don’t publishers notice my talents! I despaired as I replied to one detractor

That tried to sell me some fat busting drink

And 3 days into blogging and no bloody fame I was on the brink of

Closing the shop. Who cares if I do, who cares if I don’t?

I will never be a blinding star, not even a slow satellite on the bloggy firmament

But before I left I gave it one more chance and took a photo of a stale croissant

I blogged about slaving in the kitchen, I lamented

It’s tough to be the perfect mother, partner and part time worker

And with a new follower and two likes later

I saw a light of hope, a mere spark of faith that it wasn’t all in vain

So tomorrow I’ll post about a knitted kitten in the cyber domain

And who knows, maybe this ballad will be a hit

Although I now realise that the rhymes are frankly  …

Not very good