Tag Archives: rules

Slowing Down, Taking Stock

Things are stuttering along. It is, as before, a zig-zag course towards improvement and today, after submitting my first piece for some time, I am once again wondering why I bother writing.

I’m clear on magazine articles. I don’t do many of them, but I do it for the money.

Poetry is different. I’ve been sent one or two free copies of magazines and have had two certificates, but the rewards of writing poetry are mainly spiritual.

At the moment, I’m thinking of stopping submitting so much. I can dress this up as spiritual renewal or an issue of quality over quantity, but in truth, I’m just getting a bit fed up with some of the editors I have to deal with.

Most of them are brilliant (though even the brilliant ones often turn me down – nobody is perfect) with a positive attitude, open minds and helpful comments.

Others are a bit on the academic side and a touch prescriptive. I won’t get too specific, as they all work hard to produce the magazines we rely on, and I don’t want to criticise anyone personally. However, one or two seem to get their preferences mixed up with the “rules” of writing Japanese poetry forms. Even the various societies, with their panels of experts, don’t produce rules, just guides. These also often edit what I consider to be my voice. I write as I speak, and if I want to use an expression from the midlands of the UK, I don’t see why it needs to be ironed out by an American with an academic background in English.

Meanwhile, there is the group of editors who want to be excited by my submissions. I write about my life. It’s not exciting. I’m unlikely to display the qualities required by these editors.

I have limited time at the moment, and have decided to use it more wisely. One submission has gone. The other, with its manufactured false excitement and linguistic fireworks, will stay in the draft section. Eventually, as it matures, it will be used, or dismantled for use in other work.

But it won’t be sent out this week to curry favour with an editor who wants me to be something I’m not.

My Orange Parker Pen



When Alliteration Goes Bad . . .

I’m not sure what I’ve done, but I seem to have a new page when I start WP, giving me the chance to savour the whole WP experience. I don’t just a blog to write and people to see, I now have a few extra buttons and the sense that something random just happened. Good old WP, always something new and confusing.

We will be starting Numismatic Society meetings at the end of the summer, unless, of course, we have to cancel them again. It has been tricky organising speakers but the Secretary has done a sterling job (he is also the shop owner, so I have to say that) and some of the talks do look quite interesting. It will be nice to get back towards normal. It’s a big room and we don’t usually have more than 12 members attending, so social distancing won’t be a problem. The Banknote Society is also starting meetings but their Secretary has decided that they should limit it to ten members, and they have to apply for a place. I can see that causing some annoyance.

As I have said before – people who like making rules have lovedĀ  lockdown.

And that brings me onto the subject of alliteration. Apparently I have to practice it if I want to be a poet (another gem from that book I was telling you about). Unless you want to be a haiku poet, where alliteration and poetic devices are frowned upon. Well, that’s what they tell you. In fact some haiku editors are quite happy with alliteration. I’ve even seen it mentioned favourably when they have been picking their favourites. There is no consistency.

Anyway, as i left Julia at work I spotted two magpies in the road – clearly parent and child. The words “fat, fluffy fledgling” came to my mind, but they don’t work well, they are not alliterative, they are justĀ  tongue-twister about a flat fluffy fledgling or, more confusingly a fat fluffy fedgling. I really don’t know what’s wrong with it, but I can’t make it fit a poem, there’s just something wrong with the words. Strange, isn’t it?



Just a Quick Post

I went for a blood test this morning – got off to a slightly slow start as I don’t have to take Julia to work this morning, and nearly missed getting a car parking space. Mental note – remember that the spaces are just about gone by 7.30. Despite notices about it not being a car park for staff several members of staff in uniform were either arriving or leaving as I took the last available space.

Two women, talking about how to handle a booking system on a computer, walked straight into the hospital in front of me without pausing to put masks on. Looks like we are back to ignoring the rules, however, as it’s allowable to stage mass gatherings, despite the law, I don’t suppose you can blame them. Once you see one group treat the rules with contempt I suppose we all think we can do it too. It’s the Cumming’s Effect.

I’ve decided to take a neutral stance on the events in London, by the way. It would have been better if the Police hadn’t been so heavy-handed, but it would also have been better if there hadn’t been mass disobedience to the law. All that happens now is that the Police have to answer complaints and write reports instead of doing their job, while politicians posture and pressure groups make an issue of a personal tragedy. Nobody looks good as a result of this.

Meanwhile, I had a swift blood test but needed holes in both arms to find any.

The morning was quite different to the last test morning, just a few weeks ago. Last time the image I took away was a Dunnock singing its heart out in a sparkling silver birch against the backdrop of a bright blue sky. Today it was a Wood Pigeon cooing on a murky morning – grey bird, grey tree, grey sky.

Some days make it easier to be a poet than others.

(Sorry – the pigeon isn’t in a tree, but it was the first picture I came to as I scrolled down and I need to get off to work.)