Train in the Distance

ThinkTober

It may have escaped your notice that October starts on Sunday. A number of my art friends alerted me to a content prompt that takes place around this time: Inktober. This encourages artists to pick up a pen and paper and produce ‘traditional’ drawings… which one then reproduces virtually for promotion in an social media outlet of your choice. Understandably, there was a bit of fuss about this from those I know who are working exclusively in the medium of digital art… and it started me thinking. The thirty one prompts for the month are perfectly acceptable as words to use in… oh, let’s say Haiku.

Therefore, I’ve decided to produce my own version of Inktober, which starts on Sunday at 5pm BST.

promptlist

None of the prompt words here are longer than five syllables, so that’s perfect for the short form I’m now beginning to embrace like a long-lost sibling. However, instead of using digital as my medium, I will write these in (some form of) ink, on thirty one different types of media, before post the resultant poems on the new Internet of Words Instagram account. It shouldn’t need saying, but as I know how the Internet works it will be anyway: I’m not trying to rip off, disrespect or ridicule the original idea in any way, shape or form (I see the TM and respect that for what it means.) Instead, I am thinking outside the box that is presented, as to me it appears a tad restrictive to begin with.

This tends to produce my best ideas anyway.

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What this does is combine my poetry and make it… well, art (depending on the medium chosen) and provide a lovely project for me to do in what is my birthday month. I hope you’ll choose to follow this journey via Social media too. If anything it could be fun to see what I end up using as the media for my words… It also gives me the opportunity to flex creative muscles in a visual ‘environment’ and this is never going to be a bad thing.

Right now my daughter is spending a lot of time doing digital animation, and I appreciate the time and effort that goes into artwork far more than was ever the case. I spend too much time online to begin with, so making myself produce 31 different backgrounds for the haiku (and pushing myself to different locations as well as medium) is a challenge I am happy to grasp with both hands.

I look forward to hearing your feedback, and hopefully entertaining in the process.

All the Small Things

autumn schedule
Next week’s quite an exciting one for me as a poet, as the UK celebrates a National Poetry Day. Whilst lots of famous people are doing high profile stuff, I’ve decided to embrace the subject matter [Freedom] and produce a whole day’s worth of special pieces around that subject. Whilst the logo of the day is clearly considering the more high-profile aspects of the concept (doves do conjure up some very specific metaphors) I am making it a priority to examine and present some very personal interpretations. I’ve even gone so far as to register myself on the Official Website, which is a step into what might end up as a far larger Universe. You never know until you try.

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What this means therefore is that instead of a WiP Day (which is normally what happens on Thursdays) I’ll dedicate an entire day to writing ‘live’ and posting the results. There’ll also be a week’s worth of Haiku and Micropoetry on the subject, starting bright and early on the 25th. If you are a Patreon user/supporter, you’ll also want to keep your eyes peeled starting on Monday. In a desperate attempt to build tension and create mystery, I’ll say no more than that.

Because music is a very, VERY important part of my life (and lyrics are effectively poetry, right?) there’s also going to be a Freedom Playlist compiled and posted via YouTube. I’ve already got plenty of ideas for this, but if you want to add any suggestions in the comments, please feel free to do so.

So, until next week…

Fear :: Haiku and Micropoetry

Haiku is going to become quite important over the next six weeks or so. I’ll be filling everybody this time on the 22nd on what happens to the form in October (THERE’S A PLAN) plus the schedule for National Poetry Day on the 28th. Don’t worry about the Micropoetry, that’s getting its own special treatment for October too. For now, here’s this week’s work, on a subject very close to my heart.

Fear

Fear :: Haiku Edition

These are dark times, friend:
We fight fear on every side,
Resist the panic.

Look inside yourself:
Understand what drives a mind
To create issues.

Some is external,
Yes, out of your remit: but
Scope exists for change.

Be prepared to fail:
Going backwards: part of life
To then move forwards.

Fear is your fuel, take
Every chance to consume, then
Beat demons with thought.


Fear :: Micropoetry Edition

I sit alone
My world, oppressed
Time to stand up;
Issues redress.

No longer right
This sanguine stance:
The moment’s come,
Truth to advance.

Consume my fear
Without remorse;
Let confidence
Now run its course.

The future can
Be mine to place
Redefining
This vital space.

Fearing nothing,
Grasping all:
A chance to rise
After the fall.


 

The Phoenix :: Haiku and Micropoetry

The Phoenix.png

I’m a little late with this repost this week, for which I apologise, but it does finally mean the wheels of back-site organisation are working as intended. This will be the final spot from now on for the Twitter site’s Haiku and Micropoetry, and I’ll be attempting to write on a public prompt/own inspiration/public prompt basis from now on. This idea came from my good writing buddy @erynies on Twitter, and is based on this song:

This song is now on a playlist: it made for pretty decent poetry, and has served as a reminder of how useful other people’s words can be to inspire your own.

I hope you enjoy these works as a result.


The Phoenix :: Haiku Edition

The World goes to Hell:
Don’t let it kill you: rise up
Phoenix from ashes.

Set fire to the sky;
Become their inspiration
For a thousand songs.

Listen to this beat,
So many hearts: each one rings
As strident as yours.

Remix possible:
No more vintage misery,
Present victory.

Our joint battle cry,
There is still time: fight with me
Make sure day is ours.


The Phoenix :: Micropoetry Edition

When chaos reigns
You’re soaked right through
There is but one
Thing left to do:

Just reinvent
A thousand times
Existence new
In songs and rhymes.

The earth will burn
And from it rise
Your answers sought
For wiser eyes.

Now fly above
On Phoenix wings,
To reap rewards
That freedom brings.

Born again, life
Redefined: so
Take my hand
Away we go.


 

Still Alive

autumn schedule.png

My mini break seems a lifetime away, it must be said, after the last week, but I am now almost in a position to feel organised again. As a result, here’s the changed layout to the Website week as a result of the leaves on my Gym walk already beginning to change colour. It may not be September until Thursday, but Autumn is definitely on its way.

Monday

social-media-asides

The Great Social Media Experiment’s about to shift up a gear: as of midnight tonight my first legitimate ad campaign begins to run in an attempt to generate interest for Patreon. We’ll be following its progress, looking at how my attempts at engagement are going and continuing to demystify the sometimes murky practices within Social media.  I’m also widening the #GSME’s remit to cover a lot more stuff with general interest to those of you reading and using Twitter on a daily basis.

Tuesday

Origins

The Alt History Channel is shifting to Tuesdays, and with it comes the introduction of Great Fanfic Wot I have Wrote to pad out the fact my life’s not that interesting. Watch out for the first piece of fiction coming next week…

Write off (3)

Wednesday

Book of the Month

Yes, I KNOW I still don’t have titles up for September’s Book of the Month, but there is at least a text chosen, so that’s progress. 😀 This week’s task in what is a free Wednesday is to get an archive page up for the old Essays and Short stories.

Thursday

WiP Day.png

I’ve been struggling to get content up post essay days (as you know, brain dead after a  deadline) and it seems sensible to schedule in some breathing space amongst all the work so, from now on, Thursdays are my WIP days. This means making valuable time for novels, poetry and everything else I want to be working on but normally can’t find the opportunity to. If I make one day a week just for writing the stuff I love? How can this possibly be a bad thing?

PS: Don’t use this time to write more Bond fanfiction. WALK AWAY NOW.

FRIDAY

don't be afraid of the Dark . . .

This has become the day when I scrape my Haiku and Micropoetry off Twitter and stick it here, and hopefully this will also give more time to explain the reasoning and process behind my writing. We’ll see how that goes starting this Friday, and work from there.


That’s the schedule that will run from now until the end of October. We’ll have some special events for the UK’s National Poetry Day that happens in late September, and I’m intending to take a month out of the normal schedule completely in November to make NaNoWriMo really count for 2017. More details on those will be available closer to their start dates.

The plan remains to still take weekends off, but that may change depending on projects and desire. For now however, I have a contest deadline to hit with a 40 line poem by Thursday, so time to get back to work. I’ll see you back here bright and early tomorrow morning.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark :: Haiku and Micropoetry

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Here’s the second of two outstanding sets of poems from Twitter that I’ve missed during the holiday period. We’ll be back to full commentary and regular scheduled posting starting on Monday.


Don’t be Afraid of the Dark :: Haiku Edition

Fledgling, brave new world:
Science as everyone’s future,
But can we trust it?

Headway everything
To a point: what happens if
Wisdom runs amok?

When does great progress
Devolve: insidious fear
Overtake reason?

If we allow doubt
Ingress: chaos may swallow
All hard earned efforts.

Embrace the darkness:
No need to cower: unknowns
Become planned, hopeful.


Don’t be Afraid of the Dark :: Micropoetry Edition

Tick tock, now watch out,
The future’s about
A second away:
Each, every day.

No worries found here,
The path’s very clear:
Make a better life,
No trouble or strife.

You don’t need a brain
There’s nothing to gain:
Just try to be good
In your neighbourhood.

Help all, fellow man
As much as you can:
Learn new, better ways
To fill up the days.

Then when all is done
Think on what’s begun:
The future, defined
For all of Mankind.


Seasonal :: Haiku and Micropoetry

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Here’s the first of the two outstanding sets of poems from Twitter that I’ve missed during the holiday period. We’ll be back to full commentary and regular scheduled posting starting on Monday.


Seasonal :: Haiku Edition

Days will shorten now:
Begins the change; heralding
Autumnal beauty.

Summer’s reach shrinking:
Departs the stage: cue Harvest
Mellow fruitfulness.

Fragrant, burning leaves,
Fireworks blossom, bloom brightly.
Winter darkness, soon.

Before nights expand:
Take time to watch, reddish hues
Transform tree and bush.

Inevitable:
Each day passes: unchanging
Life continues still.


Seasonal :: Micropoetry Edition

My favourite time:
Ever shrinking days,
Indian Summer
Last warmth drifts away.

Autumn brings sharp change
The crispness of Fall:
Snuggle together,
In blanket or shawl.

Remind, if needed
The seasons move on:
Brightness at an end,
Warm evenings are gone.

My birthday arrives:
Another year passed.
Keep moving forwards;
Determined, steadfast.

The coming of change
As it does each year,
Redefine outlook
Objectives are clear.


Future Switch :: Haiku and Micropoetry

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With every week of archiving comes an increase in both satisfaction and enjoyment: these two latest creations are no different: let’s be honest, both sets of poems pretty much wrote themselves. The plan in September is to present a poll via Twitter for people to vote on a choice of prompt a week before it is due, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of working to another person’s prompt.

The future is on my mind a lot: not simply in a science fiction stylee, either. Current concern over increases in Global warming make for a fertile pile of potential topics to rifle through: both written in one sitting with what is now a prerequisite morning edit, and having had trouble doing that with next week’s sequence, it is becoming apparent that the advance option really is the better bet. If anything, it then gives me more chance to work on other projects during the week.

Without further ado, let’s get to it:


Future Switch :: Haiku Edition

Standing at crossroads:
So much now depends on science,
A future, switched on.

To trust those who know
Our Universe’s secrets,
Dictating this path.

Minds that are afraid,
Caught in a moment of small
Distrust, disbelief.

Thoughts must now open:
Ignore naysayers: embrace
Earth’s complex options.

The threat to life, more
Dangerous than inertia:
Promise better, now.


Future Switch :: Micropoetry Edition

Infinite possibility,
Stars as new homes.
Unbounded capability,
Shiny and chrome.

Looking ever forwards, future
Not yet advised:
Grasping limitless potential
Knowledge the prize.

Progress switched to overdrive, time
To take a stand
Expectation at its highest
Foretold, then planned.

Everybody has the chance to
Make ideas work;
Pull those heads out of the sand, soon:
Don’t be a jerk.

Think: focus on our goal ahead
Build better days;
Transform the planet’s future in
So many ways.


 

A Blank Page :: Haiku and Micropoetry

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This week’s poetry was a really fun thing to write, for several reasons. A lot of this has to do with the fact that as each seven days passes, I get better at doing this. I’m not going to start making assertions of expertise or competence however: there’s an awfully long way to go. The adage however that practice makes perfect is not only true for the exercise portion of my lifestyle: every new poem makes that portion of my brain a little more supple and flexible, and opens new possibilities. Picking a subject on a Sunday gives the opportunity for thoughts to percolate, and I think long term that doing that in advance and not inventing ideas on the fly will be the less stressful option, and may well produce the better rewards.

I’ll now let you decide whether the change in creation timescales produces a better result or not.


A Blank Page ::

Haiku Sequence

A blank page beckons:
Consider; possibilities
Tumble forth at will.

Will I write at once?
Perhaps: a break, moment to
Sit with pencil primed.

No, quickly write, or
Else momentum fades, let not
A moment be lost.

Exploding, I grasp
Ideas: concepts flying from
This mind ready, set.

Go and fill your page:
Let words become foundation
For story, now told.


A Blank Page ::

Micropoetry Sequence

Start with nothing:
Then, sit and wait.
Inspiration;
Out of the gate.

A sudden burst
To fill the page:
Intuition;
That comes with age.

My words will flow,
Fingers to screen:
Cerebration,
Conclusion seen.

From empty space,
An idea forms:
Fantastic thoughts,
Whilst brain still storms.

The final word,
My digits rest;
From nothing sprang
Story, progressed.


 

Change :: Micropoetry & Haiku

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Last week, I used one subject to act as the basis for both my scheduled morning and evening poetry Tweets on the Internet of Words account. The exercise worked pretty well, all told, and as a result I’ll be doing the same thing for next week’s sequences (subject matter to be decided over a cuppa and a low-fat brownie shortly.) What I’m finding most useful, in terms of writing, is having my mind in the same place in terms of the language I use. Knowing there is a subject matter allows me to make lists of words that act as starting points, metaphors and similes that can then be used either to build the basis of the work, or as means to act as ‘filler’ until the correct words appear.

This week, I think, is a new benchmark in terms of what I am capable of producing. These poems came off the back of a pretty fruitful period of work in both fiction and non-fiction too, and it is true what they say about productivity fuelling more of the same.

I hope you enjoy these two sequences presented complete.


Change and Growth :: Haiku Sequence

This seed inside, small
Start, so strong: germinating,
Life springs from within.

Spark explodes, massive
Detonation, point blossoms
Expanding ripples.

Self doubt evolving
Evaporates, forming vast
Mists of fertile thought.

Condensing clouds drift
Across mental plains, waiting
Ready to hold change.

I am growth, reborn:
Cycle of Fertility
Goddess of Renewal.


Change and Growth :: Micropoetry Sequence

Despite fatigue, I push
Understanding to change
Requires a mental strength
That transcends weight of life.

Whatever in my way
Tries to derail, there must
Be pause to think at length.
Grow; seek another path.

I am capable, of
Wondrous things: look beyond
Restrictions understood,
Then quietly cast aside.

My evolution, here
With pencil, pen, pixel
Transcends existing fear:
I can do this, and will.

The only limit, time
My imagination:
Catalyst, creating
Glorious change and growth.