Monday, November 16, 2009

Random pic from our city travels

^ taken yesterday whilst walking around in the city. I thought it was a random shop window display.

Monday, October 19, 2009


^ Spot the spelling mistake. I laughed.

he's for sale!

^You can buy him for $6! I saw this whilst shopping with M. I had to laugh!

M and Portia

^ Portia and M. Our chooks are quite tame. M has trained Portia to sit on his arm. She sits quietly on his arm and doesn't try to get off. Portia is the tamest of all the chooks.
This particular time she was eager to keep eating. Usually she is quite happy to sit on his arm for a few minutes.

Unique find

^ I found this unique serviette holder at one one of the local op-shops yesterday. What a find! Cost 40 cents! I love the box it came in, vintage and cute.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Creative writing course week 2

This lesson we learned about some different poetry forms.

The forms that we learned were limerick, villanelle and haiku.
I knew how to do limerick and haiku, but had never heard of villanelle before.

Limerick and haiku are fairly easy, but villanelle is a bit more challenging.

An example of a limerick:

Once, while under the trees (A)
a dear lady sat drinking her teas (A)
out came the host (B)
they had a good toast (B)
but before they had a good squeeze (A)

Written by me.

It has a certain rhythm and rhyme to it.
There are two sets of rhyming couplets as shown and then the last line rhymes with the first two lines. There is also a songlike quality to the way it's read.

Haiku poems are very simple and short.
It is 3 lines long
The first line must use a nature or season word
There has to be one cutting or terminating word at the end of one of the lines
no rhyme or metaphor
The Japanese way of writing Haiku is the 5 - 7 - 5 syllable rule. However it is not necessary to stick to this rule in English Haiku.

Rain uncovers new dirt
heavy black clouds
thirsty plants refreshed

Written by me.

A Villanelle is six stanzas long, each stanza has 3 lines of poetry except for the last stanza. It is based around a rhyming couplet which is worked into the poem in a A B pattern. The last stanza consists of 4 lines with the last two lines being the base rhyming couplet.
There are five tercets (3 lines) and one concluding quatrain (4 lines).

It uses this form:

Refrain 1 (A1)
Line 2 (b)
Refrain 2 (A2)
Line 4 (a)
Line 5 (b)
Refrain 1 (A1)
Line 7 (a)
Line 8 (b)
Refrain 2 (A2)
Line 10 (a)
Line 11 (b)
Refrain 1 (A1)
Line 13 (a)
Line 14 (b)
Refrain 2 (A2)
Line 16 (a)
Line 17 (b)
Refrain 1 (A1)
Refrain 2 (A2)

An example.

  • Edwin Arlington Robinson's villanelle The House on the Hill was first published in The Globe in September 1894.
They are all gone away, (A1)
The House is shut and still, (b)
There is nothing more to say. (A2)
Through broken walls and gray (a)
The winds blow bleak and shrill. (b)
They are all gone away. (A2)
Nor is there one to-day (a)
To speak them good or ill: (b)
There is nothing more to say. (A2)
Why is it then we stray (a)
Around the sunken sill? (b)
They are all gone away, (A2)
And our poor fancy-play (a)
For them is wasted skill: (b)
There is nothing more to say. (A2)
There is ruin and decay (a)
In the House on the Hill: (b)
They are all gone away, (A1)
There is nothing more to say. (A2)
Source: wikipedia

I must confess I struggled with this form of poetry as I am not used to structured poetry and rhyming poetry. I write free verse poetry mostly.
However I am finding it to be an interesting style, one I think I will get better at as I learn more.

I have ordered a rhyming dictionary and a phrase thesaurus so that will definitely help me.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Creative writing course

I had my first lesson for the creative writing course. It was really good. I really enjoyed myself. The teacher/presenter did a good job too.
There were about 11 or 12 people in the group. There was only one male. Most were older - 40-60s age group. There was one girl that was around my age - we sort connected because of that and also because we didn't know anyone else. The others all seemed to know each other. Not that it mattered everyone was treated the same.

There were five writing exercises that we did.

The first one was we had to write whatever came to mind for five minutes. We had to use the sentence 'bring me the sunset in a cup' somewhere in the writing though.
This was alot of fun and I came up with all sorts of random things. After the 5 minutes was up we were given the choice to share our writings. Everyone did except for one person. As each person read their piece of writing; the group would respond positively. The group had a positive and relaxing atmosphere about it. Even though I didn't know anyone, I felt accept and not judged. It was quite unusual, but nice for a change.

The second one we were given a scenario and we had to write using that scenario. The scenario was; leaning against a tree listening to a storyteller tell a story. We had to write what the story was. We had 15 minutes to write whatever story we came up with. After the 15 minutes those that wanted shared their stories. Once again everyone was very accepting and enthusiastic about each persons story.

The third writing exercise was writing a poem - my forte! However we were given a list of words to incorporate into the poem. We had to use 5 out of the 7 words.
The words are:

We all shared our poems - each person had such different ideas and poems. I think mine was the darkest. I couldn't get past the word black - it kept bringing the rest of the words down.
here is my poem:

Wild black thoughts

On an emerald day

My sulky mood

Waits for nothing

I sit



Many thoughts

tumble over

red, purple and pink

there are too many


my sulky mood

on an emerald day

Wild black thoughts




must break free

The fourth writing exercise we were given a scenario where we were invisible and we had to write what we would do, say and listen to. It was quite a fun writing exercise. There were some funny stories that came out of it.

The fifth writing exercise was similar to the first. We had to write whatever came to mind. However there was no sentence we had to include.

We were also given homework - either keep working on one of the exercises/stories I have started or invent a character and write three journal entries that tell a story.

It was a very fun learning experience. I am so glad I signed up for it. I believe it will be one of the best things I have done.