A Novel Take – Day One – #NaPoWriMo2024

#NaPoWriMo24, Parenting, Relationships No Comments »

Hellooooo there, my lovely readers!!

 

Another April has dawned: busy and  in the school holidays… 😉 so I’ll jump right in with Maureen’s prompt from the NaPoWriMo site:

“Today, we’d like to challenge you to write – without consulting the book – a poem that recounts the plot, or some portion of the plot, of a novel that you remember having liked but that you haven’t read in a long time.”

One immediately sprang to mind, and said mind conjured a lot of images with it…I had flashes of the stairwell, for some reason, so I wonder if this book was made into a film I have watched, too? Or if the cover had a good picture on it…?  Phrases and scenes also came back to me quickly… I really should re-read it!

As I give away the plot here, I will put the name of the book muuuuch further down, so only those who don’t mind spoilers can see it (and those who think they recognise it from my descriptions can check if they’re right!)

 

Making unlikely friends,

With soap-coping around bed bugs,

I live in a letter.

Cradling my growing belly

And my secrets;

Turning from the white coat death

Toward bravery.

silhouette of pregnant lady

No man can truly claim me.

 

These friends fortify –

I gather my offspring

(And my hope-spring)

To my heart.

 

All due to shared stories,

And trust forged through walls:

Je suis retournée chez mes parents

 

Who knew how this missive should end?

 

Sound familiar at all?!

Take care, and I’ll catch you tomorrow!

 

Monty X

 

[pic is from Pixabay, here]

 

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

[Book: The L-shaped Room by Lynn Reid Banks]

Retraction  – #NaPoWriMo23 – Day 30

#NaPoWriMo23, Childhood, Random poetry 3 Comments »

Hiya 🙂

The last day of NaPoWriMo has dawned again…*sniff*

I have really enjoyed it this year – a trip down memory lane with the prompts, and the humour that has brought up for me – thank you to Maureen Thorson at the site for twenty years of this community and for giving me a challenge that definitely gets me thinking every April!

This was our final prompt:

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a palinode – a poem in which you retract a view or sentiment expressed in an earlier poem. For example, you might pick a poem you drafted earlier in the month and write a poem that contradicts or troubles it. This could be an interesting way to start working on a series of related poems. Alternatively, you could play around with the idea of a palinode by writing a poem in which the speaker says something like “I take it back” or otherwise abandons a prior position within the single poem.” [From here]

 

I looked back at some of my poetry from 2018 (my first NaPo ever) and came across this one about two brothers:

https://acomfykindofrestless.com/cross-words-napowrimo-2/

The younger brother in the above poem was grateful to his sibling, and looked up to him.  I then wondered how things would progress as they grew (now we’re six years down the line, and everything).

 

I take it back, Jake’s NOT my friend

He pokes and prods me with no end!

I used to love being his bro

He always had my back – no more!

He’ll tell you I’M annoying, but

I can’t do nuffin’, or he tuts!

Like High School’s cool and he’s the King

I work harder and everything!

He never lets me use his stuff

Or join his games – I’ve had enough!

I’ve a good mind to tell that Jo

he wants her phone number! And oh

the things I know! The dirt I keep!

Jake should be losing major sleep.

I swear to God I’m past my limit

One pic on Snapchat….

drop him in it…

 

And that’s a wrap, folks!! 30 poems written in a month (even if I didn’t always manage to get them up on my blog within the allotted days…) it always feels a bit weird when I leave April behind. 

Thank to to all those who have been on the journey with me this year, I’ve enjoyed your comments and encouragement, and of course the poetry I have read from other participants, as always 😊

Usually I write something here about hoping to be back on my blog in the next week etc – then somehow manage to toddle off into the sunset and only return for April poetry month again…so I’m not making any promises this year.  What I will say, however, is that I wrote a very ambitious plan for this year and writing (plus drawing) was definitely heavily featured for the darker months, so I’m optimistic 😉 I’ve also paid up this blog’s hosting etc until December 2024, so that’s also a good wee incentive!

Look after yourselves, keep doing what makes your heart happy, and I will endeavor to find my way back here before the year is out! (Subscribe to the blog if you want to be notified when I do wander past 😉)

Big hugs! Take care!

 

Monty X

[Image by Luisella Planeta LOVE PEACE 💛💙 from Pixabay ]

 

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Het Up – #NaPoWriMo23 – Day 25

#NaPoWriMo23, Other Poetry, Parenting 1 Comment »

Hellooooo 😉

It’s Day Twenty-Fiii-iiive…

 

“Begin by reading e e cummings’ poem [somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond]. This is a pretty classic love poem, so well-known that it has spawned at least one silly meme. Today’s prompt challenges you to also write a love poem, one that names at least one flower, contains one parenthetical statement, and in which at least some lines break in unusual places.” [from here]

 

I had fun writing this one, and it again began to take shape by using a word from the prompt 😉

 

[NB:  Scottish kids from where I did most of my growing up used to say “You’re Het!” if they caught you in a game of tig (tag).  That meant that you were now ‘it’, or the chaser. ]

 

I’m the parent-hetical

So stifling and logical

I’ll hasten you with prod-icals

(Run screaming from me, toddicals!)

I stalk

                 your bedrooms

                                                       nightly

Wrap you both up so tightly

Step

in

when

you’re

all

fight-ly

(Let your dandelions delight me).

I am summoned when you cry,

Or when you just don’t want to try;

Always assuring: “You’re the guy!!”

                                                             y.

                                                        k

I’ll praise hard effort to the s

 

I’m (annoyingly) just there

When you wish I didn’t care.

(I’m not bothered who will stare,

If there’s a lesson I can share.)

 

Cos I’m addicted to your strops,

And your crazy-hair-day ‘mops’ –

My motivation never stops,

Around you boys so

 

                                                           CALL THE COPS!!

 

A love poem of sorts to my cherubs, no?!  I mean look at the cuteness I lived with every day:

Youngest was 3 and Eldest was 6 here, on our hols to Castle Douglas in 2016. Eldest read to his brother a lot that holiday, and Youngest really appreciated it 🙂

 

See ya the morra 😉

 

Monty X

 

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Formative To Phobia – #NaPoWriMo23 – Day 19

#NaPoWriMo23, Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry 2 Comments »

Hi 🙂

It’s Day 19 of NaPoWriMo and I didn’t have to think too deeply for the answer to this prompt:

“For this challenge, start by reading Marlanda Dekine’s poem “My Grandma Told Stories or Cautionary Tales.” One common feature of childhood is the monsters. The ones under the bed or in the closet; the odd local monsters that other kids swear roam the creek at night, or that parents say wait to steal away naughty children that don’t go to bed on time. Now, cast your mind back to your own childhood and write a poem about something that scared you – or was used to scare you – and which still haunts you (if only a little bit) today.” [from here]

I spent my first few years in a multi-generational household 😉

 

When I was young

I sucked my thumb.

Not seen

then

as sensory input,

or self-soothing,

my Great Grandmother would

shout “MUSH!!”:

to remind me that said thumb

was saliva-soluble

past a certain

(undefined, but always close)

point.

 

Cobwebs congregated in my nostrils too,

apparently.

Luckily, I didn’t

dwell

on that image too much

until later in life.

(They were probably left

by the arachnids accused

of messing up my tresses

every time I’d woken

from deep sleep.)

 

Below are three pictures of my Great Grandmother (my maternal grandmother’s mum…).  The first is from circa the early 1920s with her family (two sisters, two brothers and her parents) she’s second from the left. The next picture would have been taken in late 1933/ early 1934 (if we assume the baby in her lap is my maternal Grandmother) and the third picture is as I knew her; it must have been taken in the early 1980s as we moved from that house in the summer of 1986, when I was 8 and a half, but she lived into her (and the early 19-)90s so I visited her into my teens.

 

 

I am glad there has been much more research into how we can build our children up so they are less ruled by fears, doubts about their appearance, and shame around honoring their own needs and interests that mean they may take longer than their peers to achieve milestones; or just may have diverse functional abilities in certain areas that they will need to work with for the rest of their lives. 

Child development and how our perceptions of ‘normal’ have evolved through the centuries is an area I never really tire of reading/hearing about.  It’s fascinating…but can also be very overwhelming, especially as a parent currently at the teen/tween stages (feeling like she is the receptacle for many generations’ first-hand accounts and child rearing examples) who ‘should’ know the best way to deal with any given situation by now, but inevitably fails a lot 😉 The more I parent, the more it becomes infinitely clear that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy, because each child is an individual – even in the womb! – and I am still growing and evolving, as is the society in which we live.

Annnyyyywaaay – catch you for Day 20!

 

Monty X

 

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Copyright © 2023  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

On Mothering – #NaPoWriMo23 – Day 13

#NaPoWriMo23, Mental Health, Other Poetry, Parenting, Random poetry No Comments »

Hello 🙂

“Now, try writing a short poem (or a few, if you’re inspired) that follows the beats of a classic joke. Emphasize the interplay between the form of the poem – such as the line breaks – and the punchline.” [from here]

 

Motherhood:

The season where

You add weight to the little things;

And lots of little things,

In their turn,

Tip the scales for you.

 

Take the above as you will 😉

 

Onwards, to Day 14! Where is this month going?!

 

Monty X

 

[Image by Myléne from Pixabay ]

 

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Copyright © 2023  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Cute Calamity – #NaPoWriMo23 – Day 11

#NaPoWriMo23, Parenting, Random poetry No Comments »

Hiya 😊

It’s Day 11 already!

“This prompt challenges you to play around with the idea of overheard language. First, take a look at Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “One Boy Told Me.”…Now,  write a poem that takes as its starting point something overheard that made you laugh, or something someone told you once that struck you as funny.” [from here]

 

“…an’ I fell oder

An’ I hurt my knee…

An’ it’s my favrit knee, you know?”

The big brown eyes tilt up,

With trust – complete conviction

That I’m going to make it better.

I watch as the little hands scrabble

To proffer the bloodied scratch,

And I ask if I can kiss

A patch just underneath.

The smile is instant,

Delighted,

There’s a small giggle as I

Plant my lips to undamaged soft skin.

Then we hunt for a plaster

And both grimace as we quickly dab

With a medicated wipe

Before the covering.

He takes my face in his palms,

Squeezing slightly,

Looks deep into my eyes:

“fank oo, mummy”

Then he changes out of nursery clothes

And back to homely garb.

 

Just a quick write today, but a sweet little memory that was on my mind yesterday whilst  supervising Youngest sorting through a box of random things to see whether he still wanted them in his room.  Our children are growing fast, it is so bittersweet going through all their stages with them!

Catch you tomorrow for NaPo Day 12 😊

 

Monty X

 

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Copyright © 2023  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Listless – #NaPoWriMo23 – Day 7

#NaPoWriMo23, Other Poetry, Parenting 1 Comment »

Hi!

“Start by reading James Tate’s poem “The List of Famous Hats.”  Now, write a poem that plays with the idea of a list” prompted Maureen for Day 7.

I have at least 4 “list” poems from previous NaPo years, here, here, here and hereBut I came back to a pet peeve of mine to write a list about today 😉

 

I suck at making pillows plump,

Sheet ironing? I slack,

A laundry mountain makes me slump

Line-hanging hurts my back.

 

I hate the faff of wall-dusting,

Brisk window-cleaning too;

It takes me hours to psych myself

To go and bleach a loo!

 

I’d rather read my Kindle books

Or poetry-prompt wrangle,

I’m not cut out for “housewifing”

My brain’s too bored to handle!

 

Sorry I am getting this up on the blog so late, it’s been a lovely sunshiney day here, and we ate out for breakfast and lunch, as it was Eldest’s thirteenth birthday.  Eldest seemed to enjoy himself, and it was fab getting to spend the day hanging out with him, his brother and hubby on this Easter Friday. Hubby has been off all week, so the kids have had lots of outings and time with him.   I love that all my menfolk like being together so much.

Hopefully I’ll come back a little earlier tomorrow for Day 8!

Take care,

Monty X

[Image by congerdesign from Pixabay ]

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

Gifted – #NaPoWriMo22 – Day 29

#NaPoWriMo22, Childhood, Mental Health, Other Poetry 2 Comments »

Hi 😊

 

Here we are on the second last day of Maureen’s poetry prompts, again!  My fifth year of writing a poem a day for the month of April is nearly at an end…I really do think it goes by faster every year.

 

“Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in which you muse on the gifts you received at birth — whether they are actual presents, like a teddy bear, or talents – like a good singing voice – or circumstances – like a kind older brother, as well as a “curse” you’ve lived with (your grandmother’s insistence on giving you a new and completely creepy porcelain doll for every birthday, a bad singing voice, etc.).” [ https://www.napowrimo.net/day-twenty-nine-8/]

 

Being in my mid-forties, and addled by hormones as I almost-permanently feel at the moment, I’m not sure these are very wise probes into how I think about my life.  But I tried to keep the poem from extending into several pages 😉

 

blonde child in a pretty dress walking away from the camera across grass

 

An innocent, taken to heart

Such a safe, auspicious start:

Many adults to flow between,

Her cute appeal seemed evergreen.

 

But all good roses have their thorns,

School and life can leave you torn

And, through the holes, we sometimes see

A darker core reality.

 

Though blessed with blonde and bouncy curls,

And soon creative bent unfurled;

So too did she often possess

Bottomless grief, hard to express.

 

This melancholy in her soul

Liked whit’ling at her hopes and goals;

Haunted this pretty, lively girl

And kept ‘potential’ in a whirl…

 

 

Last day of NaPoWriMo for 2022 tomorrow, meet you back here for that!

Take care, all 🙂

 

Monty X

[pic is from here]

 

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Brave? – #NaPoWriMo22 – Day 27

#NaPoWriMo22, Mental Health, Other Poetry, Parenting, Relationships No Comments »

Boo! 😉

Almost 4 solid weeks of writing poetry have passed, now!

 

 “Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a “duplex.” A “duplex” is a variation on the sonnet, developed by the poet Jericho Brown. Here’s one of his first “Duplex” poems, and here is a duplex written by the poet I.S. Jones. Like a typical sonnet, a duplex has fourteen lines. It’s organized into seven, two-line stanzas. The second line of the first stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the second stanza, the second line of the second stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the third stanza, and so on. The last line of the poem is the same as the first.” [from Day Twenty-Seven (napowrimo.net)]

 

Having looked into a few more of Brown’s poems, I see that he doesn’t always keep his line at the end identical to the first – see this poem. But, within that poem, he does make the repeated lines identical! So I decided to keep 10 syllables to each line, incorporate rough repeating lines, and make the last line pretty close to the first… 😉

So: what if I’d the sense to be so brave:

Not hatched some beautiful children at all?

 

 

silhouetted boys, a bigger one holding an umbrella over the smaller one

Children I love enough to stem beauty

Filtering through me; unbidden, flowing.

 

 

 

My filtered flow would delight readership,

Of strangers – thousands unhugged by my arms;

 

Arms now stripped of hug hanker by Covid

Only filled by the children I have spawned,

 

 

Childish toys, now, my ring of makeshift friends,

Marooned upon an island flecked with gold.

 

 

My golden years a way off, green behind;

These settling, middling, comfy-restless days.

 

 

My unsettling, and beautiful, entwined!

I’m wondering: in which sense that’s not brave…?

 

 

This is definitely not the easiest of poetic forms! I’ve tweaked and tampered a lot with this one since I started it just after lunch.  It was not a 15-minute wonder, that’s for sure.  I’m posting it before midnight so that I don’t keep myself awake tapping at it into the small hours!

Only 3 more days of NaPo to go!  Meet you here tomorrow 😉

 

 

Monty X

[pic is from here]

 

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Copyright © 2022  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 Swirly Love – #NaPoWriMo22 – Day 19

#NaPoWriMo22, Childhood, Other Poetry, Parenting 1 Comment »

Hi!

So, we are somehow on the 19th day of NaPoWriMo!!

 

“Today’s challenge is to write a poem that starts with a command.”  Day Nineteen (napowrimo.net)

drawing of a girl in a long dress

 

Just wear it!

You walk with me, and I think you are a goddess.

I love the twirl of the skirt,

the way that you float more

just crossing the street.

Hold my hand tight and let me marvel in your glow!

Let me study your patterns from my trolley perch,

As you flit back n forth,

Browsing supermarket shelves.

Let me see how sticky fingers add

my own unique designs.

Let me curl into the fabric,

as sleep

flutters at my lids.

Let me gently stroke the bodice in my dreams.

Let me revel in how skin and cotton meet at your shoulder

as you carry me to an early dinner

from the cocoon of my carseat;

and later to the bubbles in the bath,

and teddy on my pillow.

Let my last looks of the day

fall on you, in my favourite dress,

being all that you are.

Let your swirly skirt waft the remnants of your perfume

as you close my bedroom door,

and listen protectively for me through the night.

 

I’m feeling the need to dig out my copy of R. L. Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses again 😉

Take care, and I’ll come ‘see’ you all again tomorrow.

 

 

Monty X

[pic is from here]

 

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Copyright © 2022  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!