Saturday, 30 October 2010

Halloween Poem

What self respecting writer can pass up Halloween as an excuse to write? Not me that's for sure! Written for my sister, Roxanne, I present my own version of Halloween Poetry for 2010:

All comes to life on Halloween night

Vampy ghouls to give a fright

Dracula’s kids all rampant riot

For sweets galore, they all shout it.

.

Galloping snakes, phantoms beware

Tonight you’ll get a really good scare,

You can’t escape by shutting your eyes

Otherwise you’re in for a nasty surprise

.

We the kids of Halloween night,

Have come to get our sweetie delight

Knock on the door and give a big scare

Toffee, jelly, we don’t care

.

We hit the streets in the thousands

Hiding within, our sneaky companions.

Dracula’s come out for adults alone,

With we the children, out for more.

.

So please don’t- lock up your door

We’d hate to trick you, oh what a bore!

We the kids of Halloween night

Have come to get our sweetie delight.

.

Trick or treat, we knock at your door

Adults beware of our Halloween song

For all comes to life on Halloween night

Dressed up as children to give a big fright.

Structure that Book!

Any work of art is a messy room at one point, but something such as a book needs order; draws for the titles, boxes for chapters, why should poetry be any different?

Taking prime example from Sylvia Plath’s ‘Ariel’, as I do a lot, we see how she opens it with the birth of her son, and ends with ‘edge’, being the final poem dictating death in Its entirety. Perhaps an easier way to depict this hieroglyph would be by taking example from the book I’m currently writing.

Chon-Ji, a narrative poetry book, dictates the creation of two beings, Earth, the mother, and Heaven, the son. I follow them exploring their individuality, and developing their vanity to the point of no return. It ends with the end of one life cycle and the beginning of the next, as the beginning does. By no means is it a feel good read, but it is certainly true on many levels.

So how do we edit such an eyesore to begin with, being the tidy room not the book? You first need to find its, as I call it, ‘grounding point’, what is the basis or reason for Its being? From there it’s simply a chain of events, and side thoughts progressing to the inevitable and all too soon, end. Naturally it is my own opinion, but I can not see how it could lead any writer far wrong.

There is of course, the well loved second method, of slap dash and hope for the best, but I feel, as do many other writers that writing reflects the life of the writer. Just as there is a spring before summer, childhood before old age, the book should have a definite start and beginning. If you intend to make a life of this choice you will look back in years to come and see how each book you wrote was a reflection of that point in your life. You may find you write about every day things, such as walking the dog, buying a newspaper, or philosophising a poetical narrative about the meaning of life, in short your writing reflects your nature.

Naturally this has set cogs turning in your head, as you pause from throwing your ideas, pal-mal into the closet and draws, you wonder, ‘what if there is a my way’.

Of course the answer is, you’re right! It is your miracle, so it reflects you, providing you’re not the lazy type. Starting with the middle and saying, ‘yep, that’ll do’ rather than acknowledging that it is you’re style, and having it in that order that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside.

So for your consideration: a messy room has an order to its habitant, writing should too.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Writing: Dreaming That First Draft

Dreaming up that first draft requires a lot of time, and the patience of a saint. We all have a real life outside of our imagination; if we could combine the two, there wouldn’t be a straight line in sight across the globe. To be a writer, having an over active imagination is an obvious must, but it is only one of the many traits a good scholar needs in his or her arsenal.

It becomes increasingly evident that good parents also make good writers, as long as the first need is met. Parenting is about having the patience of a saint, so is shaping and editing any piece of work, or even waiting for the idea. It’s been known for weeks or even months before that golden idea will hit. So always keep up with your real life because you never know when your fictional one will want to sweep you away.

How to bring your first draft into existence,

Poetry:

  • Build up a firm understanding of poetry in general
  • Experiment with poetical devices and forms
  • Imagery, symbolism and other theories, familiarise yourself with them!
  • never forget, the meter is almost more important than the words

Novel writing:

  • You can’t fluke it, you need to know what you’re doing
  • Set the scene, it must be as vivid for the reader as it is for you
  • Live in the world yourself, know about it and make all the notes you can
  • Keep your paragraphs in line, let the reader breathe.

I’ll end my little tips with my five writers golden rules (which have never let me down)

  1. No research is ever wasted, know your topic
  2. No such thing as bad criticism when it’s constructive
  3. Not everything has to have a deeper meaning, some like simplicity
  4. Patience, it always comes to you when you relax
  5. Even writers need down time, it means you can work all that bit harder.

With this very short, but hopefully helpful bundle of words, I hope to have guided or inspired someone out there to succeed at what I’ve devoted most of my life to already. Happy writing!

Friday, 15 October 2010

a swift update

It's been too long since my last update, and honestly I'm only posting from guilt of neglecting my duties. Illness as well as a complete wipe out of energy has left me withering, one would thing me an insect. The good news is that through two weeks of muddle fuddling and general cubuddling (yes my own coinage) I'm over half way through what's kept me away from here, the poetry book, ‘Chon-Ji’ - heaven and earth. It tells the tale of Chon and Ji, created by an unknown old man. Chon, the mother Earth creates Ji, her son.
She unfortunately can not curb her creative urges and this is when her creation fight back, corrupting her son until he leaves in search for immortality. With Greek inspiration I've striven to create a masterpiece, I hope I don't let myself, nor you readers down.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Free verse poem 2 Message in a bottle

Yes another adaption of the police's hit album, cheap, cliqué maybe, but inspired by real emotions. For someone who makes me wonder this ever hour of the day, I present my own adaption of this Free verse poem.

The waves are full of them

A glance sets off another.

That one could need a Gem

Or a hundred thousand to

Get to your beach wherever.

-------

So this is a rough sketch

The meaning is the same,

I’ve lit the match, writ the

Book, but I ask---

-------

Do you feel the same?

--------

I don’t know if I reach you

You’re so far gone, yet I

Sealed it very tight

And addressed to you my dear.

-----------

Will you ever reply?

----------

The mariner has read it,

I dare say a spaceman

Or two-

But yet none of those concern

More to me than you, you, you

I hope you see what I hath writ

----------

The suspense is too much, reply!

-----------

Lo it washes up on your shore,

Yet no answer to me befalls,

The look of concern wipes

Across your brow, and is replaced

With a smile.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Two Years in a Day

College, as any student will proclaim, the hardest learning curve one will partake in life; however why is it so hard? Is it the new material? We learn things every day, it’s human nature to want to grow in some shape or form: what makes this so different? Well you see, college has a significant ‘leg up’ on the competition of skills to be learned in life. It expects you to do in two years what it took five to grasp the basics of what you begged yourself to remember over five years.
How are we recommended to learn and understand the ‘Monstro,’ of information they lay upon us? Simply, balance your time and cram as much in as you can! Unfair? Personally I think so, however effective. The work on its own though any human can deal with, don’t believe me? Try a desk job.
What causes more students to break down in their second year is the applications to university, right from day one (or 272, if you count the first year) they expect you ready and willing to go. As in the famous words of Garfield the cat, who probably borrowed them from some other genius: ‘The spirit is willing, however the flesh is fat,’ in my case, I think that sums up the situation, at least metaphorically.
General opinion from teachers is rising that a third year should become statutory in colleges for preparation of the two years of intense study, (a foundation year if you will). Where a student can be taught all the basic skills they are going to need for whatever subject they will do, so it can be done to its best by everyone. I’m in agreement of this move, a little extra help in maths and learning techniques would have carried me a long way much further.
In short this foundation year would also include a basic introduction to several core subjects and new subjects for the students to have a ‘taster’ of in the hopes the drop out rate of new students will decrease.
As a student myself I feel too pushed to achieve my best, which I’m quite happy to do. There is no clear path to getting to where I want to go, yet too many ‘lighthouses in the fog’. Having to worry about; personal statements, my future finances, forms to continue receiving support form college, exam re-sits, future exam results, course research for universities is just too much to handle on my first day back!
Today I tried to cram two years of planning, theory and life into one day, tomorrow I will have to do it all over again, would you like to?

Friday, 10 September 2010

The Art of Literature

There are over a million words in the English language, probably to account for all the amazing things on this planet. Pick up any old book to get an example of this, they’re everywhere! To draw example to this; I’m currently reading Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, (and am loving it) in the first part I’ve found a whooping 23 new words. In my sister’s own reading book, supposedly for the still developing mind, there was another word that crossed my path.
It proves the point, reading with your children improves your own IQ, or at least your word power. Where does it leave use without children? Though Victorian literature, one of the richest sources of those shreds of gold, it’s not always the best place for them. I can account for myself while reading Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, it’s not fun when your knowledge of the polysyllabic arts is only basic. My advice for those studying English,, or those who just want to be more efficient with their word counts:

  • Learn a new language, maybe just the basics!
  • Don’t be afraid to pick up a children’s short story
  • Look for online dictionaries, one word a day goes a long way
  • Spice up your mouth, simply use a new word, see how your friends react
  • Music, it has many uses if you look in the right places

It’s been a long time between blogs, hopefully with a more structured day these will become more regular. And please, don’t count out decent poetry, it’s reading/ writing season, poetry will return.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The closest thing I'll ever get to fan mail

A friend recommended that I fill in the book meme, for a bit of fun, to let any readers or fans know a little more about me. I thought about it and concluded ‘this will be the closest I’ll get to fan mail,’

So I took her up on it. 55 questions related to my life of literature, any other questions, feel free to ask.


(just to note there is a formatting error on this page that wont allow me to edit the colour!)

1. Favourite childhood book?

It may not be classical literature, but it was in fact the Garfield pocket book series, ‘Here’s looking at you’ always sticks out in my memory.

2. What are you reading right now?

Perfume by Patrick Suskind

3. What books do you have on request at the library?

I don’t feel comfortable borrowing from libraries; deadlines are too much pressure, so my room is my own personal library.

4. Bad book habit?

Picking up attributes from the protagonist until the book is finished, which takes quite a while.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?

Nothing

6. Do you have an e-reader?

A what?

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?

One at a time, when I was younger I decided it was a huge demand on my memory to read several I never exceeded three.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?

Not really if I’m honest, but I wish it would encourage me to read more.

9. Least favourite book you read this year?

I can’t think of one, or see one on my shelves. I think I’ve been fortunate to not have read a bad one this year.

10. Favourite book you’ve read this year?

Oh, I’ve had an amazing year for books, December 26th to New Year I read Flowers for Algernon, it broke my heart, but this year perhaps the book thief, Marcus Zusak, it was amazing.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?

Maybe twice a year, or when I can get the genre, classical literature, I love reading it, but it is a great strain on my concentration and memory.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?

I have a wide variety of books in that, sci-fi, Dr who books got me started, so I suppose they’re worth mentioning, as well as poetry, obviously a great passion of mine.

13. Can you read on the bus?

I have a phobia of riding buses alone, so probably not.

14. Favourite place to read?

Well I find the corridor outside chemistry in college became a favourite this year; I spent hours there, maybe it will be when term starts.

15. What is your policy on book lending?

I’ve had too many bad experiences to share my books, my sister gives them away, some people vandalised them others stole them/lost them.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?

*Cringe* that’s barbaric!

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?

I’ve only done that in one book, and that was for an exam, I wasn’t happy about it either.

18. Not even with text books?

God no! Who’d be crazy enough to do that?!

19. What is your favourite language to read in?

Without a doubt English, I lack the ability to read proficiently in French

20. What makes you love a book?

I can’t really decide, I like something with a little lore, as in fantasy. In sci-fi I want characters to be real, and the technology to be explained. Though I find the ‘real person’ aspect a bit thing in what I read.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?

It must be amazing, especially for me to put my neck out recommending it.

22. Favourite genre?

Sci-fi though it’s a close tie to thriller, the kite runner and a thousand splendid suns, the genesis (guilty pleasures of mine)

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)

Graphic Novels, Battle Royal books are enjoyable, and there are some kingdom hearts books I’d love to flick through.

24. Favourite biography?

John Barrowman’s ‘Anything Goes’ was simply fabulous

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?

Not that I remember. Though I’m due to read one about poetry

26. Favourite cookbook?

My mum’s, there’s lost of yummy things in it, though the internet provides lots of great ideas too

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or nonfiction)?

The book thief it made me consider writing children’s stories.

28. Favourite reading snack?

Trying to kick the habit, though usually anything to hand

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.

I don’t think it ever has, I don’t read books when they first come out, much too expensive

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?

When they criticise my work, there’s a lot of talent to be desired yet.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?

I’m known for it, I’m difficult to lease with poetry, with stories if there’s a plot hole, I’ll find it.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?

French, no idea why, but I have the basics to why not?

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?

Vanity Fair, by William Thackeray what a way to kill brain cells, but I don’t regret reading it.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?

Vanity Fair, it’s huge, trust me

35. Favourite poet?

Sylvia Plath, she ignited my passion for poetry

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?

None, I’d never finish them

37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?

Never, but if I took any out it’d be always.

38. Favourite fictional character?

Wow, this one is rather hard. I admit I’ve become emotionally bonded with quite a few protagonists. Charlie Gordon, from lowers for Algernon, must be my favourite though, I feel me and him are similar in too many ways for comfort.

39. Favourite fictional villain?

The most clever in my opinion, and sadly most ruthless, who’s name I can’t remember, from the genesis secret.

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?

I’ve always been known to take Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban away with me, but now I bring whatever I’m reading, as well as a Garfield book for my sister.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.

I can go months without reading a book but the guilt settles in after a fortnight.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.

Pride and Prejudice, though I’m meaning to give it a second go later.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?

Everything.

44. Favourite film adaptation of a novel?

None I can think of, all have been disappointments

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?

Jane Eyre, or Harry Potter films, saddens me to see good sub plots wasted

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?

I imagine there was once I time I peaked at £100 but now I won’t spend more than £4

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?

Never, I just dive in, and hope for the best

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?

Failure to connect with the main character, it’d be like walking without the ground.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?

As I profess a modest library, yes, I do.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?

Keep, I know I’ll read them again one day.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?

No, just ones I don’t have the complete set for, or the much larger ones.

52. Name a book that made you angry.

I don’t think I can name one

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?

The book thief, it was a wonderful, get slightly saddening surprise.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?

The lovely bones, by Alice Sebold, it gave out the wrong message entirely, and the end really disappointed.

55. Favourite guilt-free, pleasure reading?

Garfield pocket books all the way!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Villanelle III

It's been some time since my last post, sorry, creative juices not flowing fast enough for the moment. Writing on my real life experience always produces something much more worthwhile to read in my opinion. So if it is not an assault to your eyes, here you go.

Heartbreak villanelle

I have done it once, twice again,
Split again, shards on the ground
I have broken that heart of mine.

Sealed away for years, the shame
priceless piece of dirt, ground bound
I have done it once, twice again,

Split it in two of course, my pain
Never factored in - all surround
I have broken that heart of mine.

Neither glue nor shoe pressing,
Power, at the pieces it frowned
I have done it once, twice again,

What a let down I am becoming
Dust of it, no longer accomplished
I have broken that heart of mine.

So where am I now? Starting
Again, remembering the pound -
I have done it once, twice again,
I have broken that heart of mine.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Free Verse poem one

Okay, I admit it, I've been super lazy this month, august is formally my detox month of the stress that the other 11 months drag me to. almost no work has been done, what so ever! However reading though myrestored edition of Sylvia Plath's Ariel. I've had inspiration once more, so here it is, untitled but somthing brief I've jotted down (Like most poems I write when I'm not trying to work:

Breach the seal surrounding my sanctity
Does it terrify?
The hollow shriek of long forgotten feet-
Still hanging by.
Into my passage you, the pilgrim sweeps
His little eye
Over my treasures so divine, tell me,
Do they beautify?

What remains of I? Why I can’t speak
I’ve never known you, for a second
Yet you know all my secrets, thinks I.
You always were so presumptuous.

Digging at my bedside these thirty-nine
Years, and of course six months, oh yes divine.
You never did answer me, when you
Saw my glassy glazed eyes.
Do I horrify?

Monday, 16 August 2010

The importance of being Earnest

Not just a great play of the 20th century, but also a fact of everyday life. I’ve neglected my duty to entertain you all for the last two weeks for personal, if not selfish reasons, so before I begin I ask you all to forgive me, and of course, hear me out.
I’ve spent the last two weeks in what the armature would refer to s a creative slump. In fact there is no end to the boundless expanses of my imagination, or a cap on my potential talents. Where have I been? My small but loyal, loving audience cry!
I have been doing three things I call back. Firstly I have been resting, it is an essential part of writing, no one can work indefinitely without stopping, and I am no exception. Truthfully ,my body determines by itself when and for how long I work, the brain just comes along for the ride.

Second and third points tie in directly together. I have been should searching. Yeah I know, philosophy nonsense. Well I have a great respect for philosophy, but this wasn’t in that context. Recently I have retaken an old love of mine, martial arts, I’m currently a 5th cup (blue stripe) in Taekwondo, and it remains a deep passion of mine. September 19th is my next grading date to earn my blue belt, what I have aimed forever years of study and training.
In this time I’ve been evaluating ’who I am’ and how I’ve grown to be myself. Dozens of people have made it into my ’role model’ list, bearing in mind, most of them English teachers, but also some friends and even my martial arts instructor have made the cut in my mind, these people have survived life, done what they love and are happy, how can complain I am trying to do the same!

I’ve also determined they are all amazing people for doing this, and that it was hard for them. Also I know for a fact, doing it alone, as I am is even harder; as any writer will tell you.
So in short this month my main point is, though I’m battered, bruised and incomplete in some aspects, with room to grow, improve; and certainly mature. Is that all these people; these wonderful, rough, intelligent, and thousands of other adjectives, and nouns, concrete and abstract, have made me who I am fighting to be and am already a little piece of.

Pretty darn amazing myself. And I know you all are too, just for being honest with yourselves.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Last of the Month

The end of my first quarter here, and I admit thought little progress sees to have been made. This month I’ve noticed that my efforts have not been in vain. It’s been a blast hearing from fans, old and new.
To recap this month, I’ve gone public with a few scribbled villanelles and some new, overall not too shabby.
My other achievement this month have been few, I’ve kept most public to Plurk, my home of happiness inside…well, my home. The completion of chapter 3 in my one day to be completed novel ‘Quest of the Monsters’ has kept me in the spirit of writing.

Overall my aim in the future is to complete more of my novel and to add more types of poetry here. Thanks all you’ve been inspirational.

Monday, 26 July 2010

De-stressing

Like everyone else I need to unwind from time to time. Whether it be by cooking, cleaning, exercising or even watching a film, it’s all good. Personally I don’t take days off for myself, obvious enough by my continuous complaints of fatigue and stress. However; today I’m pleased to say,

I took a day off to myself after a three day orgy of writing. Naturally I deserved it for completing another chapter of my novel, which by the way is making slow but sure progress for those interested.

My day off consisted of;
• 6 hours sleep
• 2 Films
• 2 hours of gardening
• Cooking lunch (honey and mustard glazed chicken)
• Cleaning
• And writing this blog post

So it seems I can not just ‘take a day off,’ maybe the rest of a workaholic is to do less demanding work, personally this is the least stressed I’ve been for months, and finally feel happy with the way things are going; a great achievement my closest friends will cry.

So, not to focus on word count; thankfully topping one hundred words, I leave with this thought, 'Today may be a peaceful one in my life, but tomorrow I’ts time to get back to the grind.'

Until next time, don’t forget to unwind.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Villanelle II

Well, After a short repose it certainly seems I was missed, so here by almost demand, is another villanelle I whipped together


Dawn

Moving on this night full of dread
The clap of our hearts beat as one
Because I can see daylight ahead

Yet now darkness is so all around
We must echo the night-song sung-
Moving on this night full of dread

I see the daylight, almost overhead
We must run, down this long tongue
Because I can see daylight ahead

The moon, she still smiles, half dead
But there, telling me what has rung.
Moving on this night full of dread

Head high, I see pale purples bled
Out of blue, and orange o’er sprung
Because I can see daylight ahead

We should know better than wed
The night, still as though we’re flung
Moving on this night full of dread
Because I can see daylight ahead

Friday, 9 July 2010

Monthly Forum

Well Forum number three, who knows where it could us. The wonders of Wales to the Ballads of old shakey (Shakespeare), enjoy. I look forward to any and all input.

this month a dedicate the poem 'This Be The Verse' by Philip Larkin' I feel it represnts a lot about me and my life.





They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

Villanelle I

This one's a lot less orthadox to the ones I usually write, but I like it nonetheless, hope you do too.

Gemstone Kiss

Your top lip has all the shine
Of the diamond pure pair (As-)
The bottom follows the rhyme

Just all I need clean divine
A look kills the despair. (As-)
The bottom follows the rhyme

All I asked was that it’s mine
But all told to me was ne’er. (As-)
The bottom follows the rhyme

So this night under the line
Of moon, shaming it there (As-)
The bottom follows the rhyme

First touch, I scratch you benign
But fail to see deeper scare (As-)
Your top lip has all the shine
The bottom follows the rhyme

Writer's tips: motivation

As my family and personal friends know, I’m a big sci-fi fanatic. I adore the old Voyager and star trek series, among many others. However what’s this doing in an article about writer’s tips? Before you ship me off to an institute I will explain, this article involves motivation and inspiration: two key things a writer can not be without.
There are many ways that writers energize themselves to create that liquid gold that fills our pages every day, caffeinated drinks. J.K. Rowling commented that she drank an excess of coffee while writing her award winning Harry Potter collection, and indeed I myself find this to be a good tool too. Journalists through the media are conveyed to drink an unhealthy amount of that dark liquid which a great many writers love.
However there are a million ways to find the energy, apart from staining your teeth and reeking of coffee beans all day. Here are my top 10 tips gathered from experience and deep thought.

  • High energy music, with extra speed
  • Coffee, preffered iced cappuccino
  • Excercise, a martial art coupled with aerobics
  • Sci-fi or fantasy films/ or of your own interest, prefered with a good script
  • A healthy appetite for literature


Here are my first five, obviously and wiz will know five more are to follow. First let me explain these five. These five so far are from my own experience, since putting these together I’ve had more energy than ever.
Following on with the list:

  • 10 hours of sleep a night
  • Minimal amounts of alcohol per week, if not at all
  • A little progress every day
  • A tidy room makes for a broadened mind

Plenty of distractions!

The last point sounds odd, how can distractions help you to progress? Simple! To ignore the distractions you must focus harder on the task in hand, meaning the most important thing on your schedule: writing.
If any of this has been helpful let me know, and I hope to share more of my experience with people soon.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

About Me part 2

There’s always a part two, if you didn’t guess, shame on you. No I kid, relax! The inspiration hit me as I remembered the old proverb, ‘Writers are not made, they are born,’ I have to give my honest opinion, forgive the language; BOLLOCKS.
Let me take you all back eleven years, I was aged seven, and a bit; of course. Never wanting to grow old, having fun with my small group of life long friends, as all children do. Being inspired every day just knowing I’d do something amazing when I was ready. However; aged seven in school, I was deemed border line retarded in English. Just think now, a single A level above all in the subject I was deemed less than satisfactory at.
To you and me they were small mistakes that could have been rectified in any child’s mind pretty sharpish. ‘Culd,’ instead of ‘could’ ‘wud,’ instead of ‘would’ in short, how the less adept spell today in order to ‘fit in’. I admit, I was young, and that teaching was still in a rather draconian phase in determining potential or even standards. My speciality then, was the sciences.
Ten years ago this year, I began my training to become a writer, I would love the vanity to say it to be impossible for any old child of eight to do as I did. But it’s not. I was very unremarkable at the time, unsupported and helpless, but I worked hard, at the very least my comprehension of spelling flourished, though that of grammar and punctuation made not change. Thankfully my grasp of grammar was prematurely achieved.
Fuelled by over a hundred television programs and my childhood games on the yard, my imagination was boundless, and still is thanks to my hermit lifestyle, and love of literature of all ages and genres. My skills bloomed in front of a computer screen, the art of plot and character outlining and building formulated in my mind as I puzzled for a few months each year. By the age of 14 astoundingly I had a draft over 100 pages long, and a Bard in the school eisteddfod in the year previously. It had been slow progress in a small pond but I created and shaped myself into the writer I am becoming. All that’s left is the energy to accomplish my greatest task: The novel.
Where am I today? See for yourself! Me, myself and I are astounded by my creations, which lay claim to fantastic tutoring, and patient friends. I hope for more time to amaze whoever stumbles upon me soon, the ideas are budding!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Badge of Honour

As most Plurkers know already, earning badges is one of the greatest appeals of Plurk, besides the people! So what I wonder is, is there a badge for everyone? The short answer is no.
But first lets consider all the types of badge there are, the creator of a Plurk community site badge, Nirvana badge, ones for profile views and number of invites, for Plurks and responses, and my own personal favourite, the translator badge; the only one I can’t attain!

One fault of Plurk; the little people need more help in contacting the Plurk Gods!

Not that I’m complaining, I’ll save that for my emails, for now I’m still fixated with attaining the one badge I can not get, the server seems to have looked me up and down and shouted, “Next Please” and turned away. Anyway if anyone can get that sorted or maybe recommend me for the badge I think I’m deserving of it.

Are some badges more worthy of working for than others? Depends on your favourite colour, taste in pictures and furthermore, your talents. Plurk has done a wonderful job at giving everyone the chance to earn at least two badges within a day, some encouragement for those lazy men and women everywhere!
In my opinion Plurk could still be improved badge wise by having ranked badges maybe, like military style, for me that would make it more interesting.

Also a badge for having Plurks with a certain number of responses would be shockingly fun, for other plurkers to compare, who knows someone just might make a million.

A final point on badge, which I’m sure everyone who has achieved 100 asks themselves, what next? The 100 Karma badge and smilies are a great bonus, but we want more! Or at least a way of keeping it at that Holy Grail of numbers, time to improve.

Finally a call to those proud bearers of the hacker badge, congrats on the badge, but it’s time to earn your title, get inventing, creating and improving, badges give us our title but we make Plurk our home.

Thank you all!

Friday, 4 June 2010

For Plurk

Plurk, the thoughts of a veteran Plurker

This is my first blog meant for a Plurk or at least potential Plurker audience. What can I say about my first year and now officially over a half years of being a loyal Plurker myself? Well only that it has been the best parts of my day, every day each time I connect.
This has been the place where I’ve met a variety of people with a multitude of interests; from writing to designing jewellery, computer programming and video shooting. I dare say this has been one character building experience I’d recommend to the world.
Plurk for me is unique in the respect it doesn’t just accommodate the needs of those who don’t speak English, French, Spanish or even mandarin. It encourages the all to join and mingle if they want! Not Facebook, Twitter nor My Yearbook offer such a feat, despite being worldwide.
I am also surprised Plurk has shown no evidence of seeking out celebrity endorsement or even trying to fleece one person out of a penny, which I’m eternally thankful for as I don’t have a penny to my own name.

So perhaps Plurk is the solution to everyone’s problems? No, though as a site where a mélange of cultures collide, peace is well maintained. My own best friend lives half way across the world and is Mexican, something I never envisioned as a child, though have no regrets about now.
I ask myself daily what I would do without Plurk, and my answer every time? Read a book, lie on my bed, everything that suggests my total boredom and search for friendship in the vast world I’d have not fathomed without the genius which is Plurk.
I suppose on a philosophical level, Plurk is its own world, or even a heaven to some, with its own Gods protecting the system, and users. And everyone whether they be white, green, blue, purple, brown, black, have one eye or three, whether they be a sadist or Hindu, catholic or Muslim, in Plurk those differences are shed from us all and we become only a Plurker.

Now, I don’t know about you, but if I were reading this and were not a member of Plurk, I would be signing up before I finished this article. Plurk has provided for me a family or friends; where else can you find that?
Finally I just want to thank Plurk and you all for being there for me, I’ll see you all soon.

Monthly Forum


After the booming void of last month I'm still determined there will be someone out there who has something to contribute to our shared knowledge, so here it is, Your second forum, Happy discussions.

First of The Month

June! Welcome to June, the month of birds singing, butterflies dive bombing and most importantly I'm sure you'll all agree; my 18th birthday.

So I thought I'd theme a few blogs this month, in light of me missing work so badly. The theme: food! the prettier and delicious the better.

Take a picture of something you make and post the recipe and the winning dish will be attempted by yours truly on his birthday. It can be traditional, fusion or just something you created yourself, personally I experiment, but my results are fabulous!

To wet the appetite I’ll show you my creations thus far.

Happy cooking, I mean reading.....
see you later

Friday, 28 May 2010

Sonnet VII

Back by what I'm sure was demand, or at least my imagination of one. I bring my seventh sonnet.
In case any reader is wondering (if there is any reader, for my vanity) there will be other forms of poetry soon, but we all need to practice to become perfect. Soon there will be some verity.


Viper

Bite, into the skin like the snake you are
Not caring for race, religion other
Things are not important you’d just rather
Take a piece of me without any care
For what you drain, blood, life in open air
Like the monster tyrant, deadly wielder
Open your jaw over my slight finger,
And take all that is mine never to share.

Knave, you are no snake not even deadly
But a pain in my side no less, deeper
Marks were given by your double remedy,
Far more scary than thee, in my finger.
Perhaps you are not the snake after all
You are only my own umbrella

Sonnet VI

Part two of my dunday trip in to creativity, an enjoyable tale to its close with this sonnet number 6. This one more to shakespeare's style. I hope you enjoy:

Refilling the pepper pot

This is a task of enormous measure
The general on the hill looks over
All the men he needs to send down under
In search of his valuable treasure-
Freedom, trapped in a bottle. The closure
He feels, sitting at his table never
Jumping the fence with his comrades, weather
Holding strong, constant downpour disclosure

Of the ranks, as the stock runs low. Fill up
The bottles again, the generals cry
We need more quickly. Fill them to the top
No time to whim, or feel guilt, fill them high.
There cries the martial, all done we can stop-
Just these bodies? We’ll soon use them all up.

Sonnet V

Somtimes inspiration can be found at the bottom of a bottle...of pepper nonetheless. This is one of two sonnets I felt made my weekend magical, let me know what you think.


Pepper

A small little thing that tickles the nose
Feels nothing compared to this thunder.
Clap. It is not that feather, nor the hinder
But the deadly snap of the falsehood rose
Prettying the plates, and garnishing those
Tight lipped salads who give nothing colder
Than a dry hello or the time. Pepper
Is not like the ice he waits, moves closer

And strikes that poor waiter right in the nose
Such a start that hot little man can make
In said nose. When does he stop? No one knows
But the waiter, who handles him can fake
No sign, but inside screaming, only prose
Helps the waiter survive pepper the snake.

Number Wonder

Hmm, three the magic number. In china considered lucky, coupled with the colour red (my favourite colour) I’d be set for life.

So what is your lucky number?

What number have you felt a strongest pull towards? We all have one; I just never expected mine to be odd, as I love things to balance.

So why have I had this mammoth of revelations concerning numbers? This pondering of mine hit me as once again I strayed into yet another sleepless night, thinking of my day and life’s great mysteries.

The number, my number is 3. Throughout my life it’s played an essential role and I didn’t notice it, not once. Here is why:

Primary school, in my final year I had three friends, not the closest of chums, but for me it was a start,

It would be three years before I would meet them again by chance, this time we would be reduced to a trio as one left the fold.

In the final phase of secondary education I would be torn between three friendship groups.

During the first three years I would overcome three tyrant bullies.

And of course, Sims 3 is my favourite of the trilogy

Msn, not what one would think of as causing such a deep reflection, but it reflected me perfectly, three favourite friends for so long, a secure feeling it gave me, a tripod of company. Once reduced there is a scrabble to replace the fallen comrade.

The average human is self sufficient, as long as three limbs fully functional, and intact.
A person can live three days without water, and three minutes without air.

My number seems to reflect me very well, I respond to a need, and always have at least one. I do not wish nor want for anything, a strange thing in a teenager.

They say a number reflects us all, what is yours?

Dear Diary

Ha, dear diary, it’s not something I personally keep, but today I felt, was worthy of note.

Last night

Possibly one of my worst attacks of insomnia in months occurred. I don’t think it’s entirely normal to have the head chef of your work place whispering in your ear as you try to sleep, even when he makes great food. Getting six hours sleep, you can imagine when I finally awoke, baggy eyed and sour faced, people were not as fortunate as the reader is, to escape my wrath.

Today

Fuelled with an awful nights non sleep, coupled with some maths revision and a plateful of guilt for causing misery to my best friend I looked forward with a heavy heart to a four hour gruelling shift. Yes I’m a teenager; we complain a lot, bear with me.

The life of a lowly waiter

Expected guests : 76
Expected stress :10/10

Hungry guests :12
My day :11/10


From the chef teaching to me how to do fancy prep with vegtables, to Drinking coffee while eating chips and my favourate kind of chicken (southern fried if anyone need know) I agree withthe statistics.
The statistics say it all really. The hardest part of my shift was refilling the salt and pepper pots which to be fair, should not be attempted by the faint hearted, or those who can’t handle their pepper.

But this mind bogglingly painful task of pepper sniffing gave me a revelation. So many possibilities opened up to me as my nasal passages felt more than just chilly peppered air flood them. It was inspiration, of no ordinary kind. It was the kind inspired by experience; to me, the best kind.

The future?

Will I write another dear diary? Who knows? Ask more interesting questions like will it snow in the arctic tomorrow, will the polar bears eat well tonight.
All I know for certain is, there are poems to be written and articles in the future, all you have to do is wait for me to draw enough breath to write them.

Article One


  • The fall of Icarus, not always thought of as serene. If you have a keen eye, the same applies to all art. For centuries there has been discord over the two simple, yet fundamental arguments; ‘what defines art?’ and ‘what makes good art?’ We all have different opinions; it’s only natural on a topic so varied.

    I remember a great writer once telling me this via email; ‘art is only good if it produces an emotional response,’ – Jeff Clark-Meads. Wonderful words of wisdom, ones I took to heart as I began my own career.

    It turns out, that creating the perfect piece of art it is not so simple like the perfect gourmet meal; a splash of aesthetic sauce, a dash of intelligence behind your words, and a generous peppering of the perfect craftsmanship. The final ingredient I’ve discovered to my own misfortune many-a-time. It takes a very long time to perfect naturally.

    Each of these three elements are mandatory to the perfect art, like a healthy diet, if you keep it balanced you create the perfect life, at least where your health is concerned, so why not do the same for your art?


    Backtrack
    But again, here I am talking about the perfect art; I’ve jumped the gun again! What justifies itself as art? I could give you a million things that are art or otherwise, that would be a waste of my time and yours.

    When conferencing with two very skilled scholars today I discovered ‘art’’ had more connotations than I ever dared dream; and might I add that’s pretty deep! The first gave me wonderful advice that only the truest piece of good advice I would never have thought of, one that will reflect in my future work if I’m lucky.

    She told me ‘ Joseph, there are three things that make ‘perfect art’ and art is not art without them’ and she went on to explain the three key ingredients to me, I was so blown away I even had to ask to be explained without the big words, a first I might add.

    The second, seasoned by the experience and more knowledge than I could ever contain explained that though these principles are important, art comes in more than just a written form, it is reflected by other forms of art. This I admit confused me for several hours. But finally I deduced that all forms of art, visual, audio even literary rely on one another purely fro existence, the purest symbiotic thing in existence.

    A Brief History On second thought, do they exist so harmoniously? Over the centuries particularly during the renascence we see the written word almost eclipsed my visual art, i.e. paintings, drawings, and so forth. If those few veterans of the written word had given in, I’d not be here to express my view now, to them, though long dead, I pledge my thanks.
    Shakespeare, where would we be toady without dear Will? The answer; crawling upon the face of the earth barely managing hello, our world leaders only half as smooth in their greased up talks, maybe not all good things come from great men then…
    But still it was he who brought back the written word to its height of glory, so powerful were his words, that they are still used and taught today.

    Art forms have been in a struggle for power since they were first created, in my opinion as cave drawings. Since then they have been crying out to survive scared to be sniffed out, like each of us without our lives.


    Art to Me

    Whole heartedly I agree with my lecturers, the three components, Aestheticism, intelligence and craftsmanship are the basic life breath and heartbeat to art.
    To apply it to what I know best; poetry:
    Blind emotion will never prove It’s fullest effect
    • Any art form must be carefully seasoned, i.e. it needs a balance of emotion, intelligence and to be streamlined, much like a car.
    • All art, no matter what, is created for a purpose, anyone who says different is full of ----

    Though now we talk of applying intelligence, should we turn it in to a maze?

    No of course not!

    When this though springs up on me, as it has done several times today, I picture a rose, and how I can not for the life of me draw one. It is far too intricate, but it is nonetheless beautiful, which is an unquestionable fact by anyone.
    Painting takes layers of paint, not only one and it is complete for the gallery, writing a novel or a poem can take up to 100 redrafts and rewrites, as some people, including myself could tell you.
    In the famous words of T.S Elliot – ‘there will be time for a hundred visions and revisions,’ true words, both intelligent and beautiful.

    Other Poets That Have Awed Me
    Seamus Heaney, of course his recollections of the years and his vivid ideas on many topics show intelligence boldly and elegant craftsmanship.

    Sylvia Plath, My favourite poet, and has been for some time now, her works such as ‘Words’, ‘Lady Lazarus’ and ‘Cut’ never pass me by without a moment of wonder.

    Emily Dickinson, She was a highly interesting influence to my work, combining all three elements in to a ballad meter, gave her elegance, the intelligence flowed as naturally as her emotion sparking words, which I soaked up with the bread of my soul.

    And finally, one I was reacquainted with today, W.H Auden, after many years this bad boy steps in, with The Fall of Icarus, and formed the solid basis of my first article; the poem, though not the only one, based on a picture.
    A Quick summary
    Finally let me wrap this up, you’ve been a great reader for surviving my long rant, and at the very least I hope you have gained something from all this.

    I’ve been writing for over a decade now, and already from writing this I feel a new enrichment that I hope will reflect in my future work, Art is what you make of it, but it is only art if it is perfect. Art is good, if you can incorporate everything, as if it’s a meal you never wish to forget.

    So, there it is: art on a plate!

    I hope to see you all very soon.