Showing posts from 2013

It's Time For a Short Story!

Tonight, I present to you the first in what I hope will be a series of posts - short story night! Inspired by this blog, I've been thinking about putting my stories on the blog. Hopefully this will help me to write more. Now, I'm rather new to the short story business, so please be gentle! The goal is to improve and become good at short fiction. I will probably write stories from about 500-1000 words. This one has 425 words.

So, without further ado, here is my first attempt!

The lake was his favourite place. There was an island in a middle, completely covered by a tree. He used to swim there and sit on the highest branch he could climb to, contemplating the world from above.

This morning there was a cold wind, and his mum had not wanted him to go, but he had insisted until she gave in. He had to be there today, to meet Nate. Nate was new and had no other friends but him. He was Nate's only friend, so he had to go and meet him.

He made some ham sandwiches and headed to the lak…

Sunday Sans Serendipity

Thursday may be the new Friday, but Sunday remains plain old Sunday. I suppose I have a bit of a problem with Sundays. They feel a bit like visiting older relatives when you are a child, when you're bored and the day drags on and there are only a few biscuits to snack on.. Yes some of my childhood was like that. I was very keen on tea-time (le quatre heures), and hence I hated the days I couldn't get one, and, on top of that, had nothing to do. I usually ended up reading a book I had already read many times before.

Sundays kind of feel like that to me. I want something to happen, I want to do things, but I usually sit around doing nothing and feeling bad about it, whilst the clock ticks forward and the feeling mounts. Isn't it weird how after about 1 pm, the day feels finished? Then, some Sundays, things happen, and it feels like visiting old relatives, but your cousins are there too, and you get up to all sorts of tricks and feel sad to leave. This is why I am not a big …

Perusing Polish Poetry

I haven't been spending much time on poetry outside of my university course in the past few months. Two days ago, however, I was searching articles on jstor, for my essay, when a title jumped out at me. It was about a poet named Henrikas Radauskas. I had never heard of him, so did a quick research. And quick it was - there isn't that much information about him in English, apart from the usual stuff about personal life, and books published.

Henrikas Radauskas was born in Poland, but his family moved back to Lithuania after WWI.
I found a web page with some of his poems translated into English. I read a few of them, and straight away felt an interest. It's rather strange, the way the poetry journey goes sometimes. I've often had trouble with English poets, trying to become interested, trying to understand.. It's not always easy. But here I was, reading translated poems by a Polish/Lithuanian writer, and I wanted to read more.

I find it fascinating, the way we intera…

10 Questions

I was 'tagged' by this blog. Normally you answer the questions at the end, then make up new ones, but I won't be tagging anyone - I just really liked these questions. However feel free to use these questions on your own blog.

1. What in your opinion do you think YA (or fiction in general) needs more of?

Right, to be honest, I probably don't read enough YA to know what's missing, but I'd say fiction in general could do with more.. honest harsh realities? Something like that. People with problems - not to make the book exciting or give it a plot, but to show the truth of it. Mental illnesses that aren't linked with murders, kidnappings, violence.. There are already books with those topics, but I don't think it would hurt to have more depressive, bipolar, socially anxious main characters. But it would have to be done properly.

2. What is something you would absolutely love to see a book about? (Be specific if possible!)

Hmm.. Tough one. I'm not too sure, s…

Writing Woes

This week I have yet again been confronted with a question about my abilities: am I just not 'meant' to write fiction? Is it somehow just not possible for me? This has been a recurring question in my life, though perhaps only for the past six years or so - it could possibly be longer but I'm not entirely sure my memory of my pre-teen years are reliable. I can say with great certainty that I did not always feel that way - I remember writing one of my favourite stories when I was 11, and being proud of it for a very long time.
Now it seems to have become some sort of fight, with fiction constantly winning, and me constantly asking for a rematch. So what does the fact that I can't give up say about me, my writing abilities? I'm not too sure, to be honest. Perhaps I should accept defeat. I do not have this problem with non-fiction, and even poetry (which I struggled with for a while, feeling as though I'd never 'get it'). Now, I'm not saying my poetry …

Storm of Century or Storm of Ideas?

A huge storm is headed this way, it seems. It hasn't arrived yet, and has already been described as the 'storm of the century'.

The wind has been rather strong today, already. And I've been staying at home, thinking about how much I want to write, without knowing what to write about. Now and then I looked out the open window to observe the surroundings. A branch fell off our tree. The wind blew in my face but it wasn't cold. In a way, it was all rather exciting. There's something rather awe-inspiring about strong winds.. Without the damage, of course - but observing the effects on nature is interesting.

I've been wanting to write some poetry, but I'm not finding a lot of time for editing - editing poetry is definitely not an easy task for me, so you could say I'm avoiding it..

I've been toying with another idea I had - writing a short instalment of a story once a fortnight, maybe once a month, depending on how busy I am. I've already startin…

Colouring a Friday Evening - Postcard Gallery

"The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls." -Pablo Picasso

Postcards now available for purchase.

We're All In The Same Boat - National Poetry Day Pickings

National Poetry Day is nearly over already. The theme this year was 'water', and I have shared a couple of watery poems on my page, and will now share some more here.
I hope you all had fun today - possibly some of you attended poetry events. I didn't go anywhere this year, but I still had some poetry fun at home. Without further ado, here are the poems I picked:

First in line is Seamus Heaney's Storm On The Island.
A very watery poem, but hold on to your hats - it's no breezy sailing.. (ha..ha..)

Next up is Edward Lear's The Owl and the Pussy-cat.
I'm very serious. It's a water poem (well, all right, not all of it...), but it is fun.

And finally, T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land
There is a lot of water in there! In part 'III. The Fire Sermon', there are quite a few lines about the Thames - oh, I love the Thames! 

I wish I could have picked more poems, but oh, I don't know enough watery ones! I will make more of an effort, I promise. I did h…

Visiting Battersea Power Station

This weekend was London Open House, and one of the buildings open to the public was Battersea Power Station. Love it or hate it, it is an iconic building. Pink Floyd used it as cover art, and recently it appeared in a Sherlock episode.. I am using these two examples because they interest me personally, but of course it featured in other films - Hitchcock's Sabotage, for example.  BPS, as I like to affectionately call it, is seemingly a magnet for all types of artists. Personally, I painted it for one of my graded art pieces in college. It pops up in the painting of an artist friend of mine.Michael Collins takes some exciting pictures of it.. There is something for everyone. Being busy all day yesterday, I only had today left to go. As I got ready this morning, I was told there was a five hour queue - I nearly gave up on the idea. Finally I did set off, and it all turned out pretty well. The queue went through Battersea Park, so we were sandwiched between greenery and the river. H…

An Olfactory Memory Opens New Thoughts

Stormy skies in Alabama
Autumn is in the air - I can smell it. Olfactory memories are probably the sharpest ones I experience. A certain smell will whisk me away from the present moment, and I'll land, confusingly, at a crossroads of intermingled thoughts. Often, it is not a distinctive memory I have; rather, a feeling - or the memory of a feeling. Now and then a memory will be locatable in time with varying precision. And then, the more confusing part: an olfactory memory of an olfactory memory. Two places in time, interwoven, tangled. Our minds are such complex places!

This morning I was partly here and partly somewhere in 2010, by the Thames - sometime later I was projected to a different country and more than a decade back in time. A memory I had not accessed previously through smell. It was all so new, so different - I feel different. This time in my life is strange and exciting, and new, all so new - it is as if I am on a bridge between my teen years and my future - I am gro…

In Which I Get a Taste of Canada

Hello all!

Today I am writing this post from Texas. It is my first day here, and also the first time I set foot in America, so all in all I'm pretty excited. It is only morning and already rather hot, but I can't wait to use the swimming pool and go see new places.

Travelling here was not as bad as I had expected - I usually get quite bad travel anxiety, but I was remarkably calm once I'd arrived early at the airport. All went smoothly, bag checking, security checking, etc.
The plane was an Air Canada one, which I was happy about.. For my new readers who might not yet know, I have loved Canada since I was 16; at the time it was nearly an obsession.
So I found my seat in the plane, a window seat, and there were not many people so I had two seats for myself, which would come in handy later. I made myself comfortable with my neck pillow and the plane pillow and once the safety announcements had been made, I watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding. For the first time, believe it or n…

Not Otter Nonsense

Good day to all! (It's actually nearly 1 am here, but oh well.) I was doodling a lot yesterday, trying to get the perfect drawing (still haven't found it!) and finally felt comfortable enough to use my watercolours. This is an otter!  And it represents me! Isn't that just adorable? Unless you hate otters, in which case.. Sorry? I'm not really an otter, if that helps? (Do you like tigers?)

Uh, but Kerridwen!! I hear you exclaim. Your blog is called The Tiger's Sterne! Explain please?

Yes, yes I shall. You see, I have quite an unusual name. This name has a rather long meaning behind it,  it's all Welsh legends and stories - often with the name being spelt 'Ceridwen'. Well, in pretty much all version of the stories,  Ceridwen gets a bit annoyed with someone and chases him, at one point turning herself into an otter. Voila.

Here's the wiki entry on Ceridwen if you want a better explanation.

My kingdom for a horse..?

I hope to update the blog in the upcoming week. In the meantime, here's a horse, playing what I hope looks like a banjo. Enjoy!

Poetry For The Homesick

So it's already a week since I wrote my last NaPoWriMo poem, and I'm already relapsing back into, well.. nothing! I will try working on my poems but I do need a bit of time to read them with a fresh mind. I do not, however, want to let this blog become silent again! So tonight I have a poem for you. Not a poetry challenge one, just a regular poem.

Poetry For The Homesick Love Song of a City I Hate Ireland was a welcome breath After months of stifled air all around. The river was my water and the Irish sun stretched my roots. The dark side to this growth Was a previously unknown side effect. Not advertised on the mountains.
After three days of life The return was unavoidable. Then the problems start - allergies. A side effect of Wicklow,  the river Liffey and Irish air.
I was allergic to you. My love, my life. We've had our problems, I've Loved and hated you, But I can't see me living without You.
And now, now I cannot stand this This staleness, this asphyxiation. You…

#24 - Sleep Pyramid

My attempt at an ethere.. Sleep eludes me mostly because I don't go to bed at regular times.. oops.. --
Sleep Eludes me More, these days. My dreams last longer When the morning arrives, fast. Suddenly I am comfortable and cosy, Now I really could sleep for hours! Alas! My alarm clock simply does not agree. I moan and sigh and toss and turn, groggily. "I should go to bed earlier!" I promise and fail.

#23 - Blue Mountains (A Triolet)

Attempt at a triolet, a form which I find difficult but want to be better at. Prompt here.
The mountains stretch across the land The river's mouth amongst the clouds I wish that I could understand The mountains. Stretch across the land, Blue mountains upon where you stand, Safe from the problems and the crowds. The mountains stretch. Across the land, The river's mouth, amongst the clouds.

#22 - Difference

Used this prompt again. I love languages, so this prompt appeals to me!
Auttakaa minua! I cannot travel This road alone. Regarde le ciel. Grey like the eyes Of your long-lost friend. Så sorgligt.
Vieni con me To the land of secrets Behind the sléibhte. There, I know, Hides your truth. Perhaps even the door of حب

#21 - Erasure

For this poem I used the 'erasure' prompt from NaPo. Can you guess which poem I used? 
Breeding lilacs, mixing Memory with spring rain. Covering life with A shower of sunlight And coffee. Children out on a sled, frightened In the mountains.
You cannot say where the sun beats the dry stone. There is something different from Your shadow at morning Or at evening, rising in a handful of dust. Hyacinths Speak, and knew nothing.  Light, silence. Cold pearls I do not find Under the fog  In your garden.

Poem used: 'The Wasteland' by T.S. Eliot.

#20 - I Wandered Lonely As A Pillow

A silly poem inspired by Absolute Radio's task of the night: Replace a word of a song with 'pillow'. I did it with a poem.. 
I Wandered Lonely As A Pillow
I wandered lonely as a pillow That floats upon the bouncy sheets, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host of soft and squishy cushions. Beside the bed, against the wall A pile of them, a pile so tall.
I wandered lonely as a pillow Amongst a crowd and pile of cushions.

#19 - The Secret of The Blue Mountains

Attempt at a prose poem. Ireland, again..

Blue mountains spread in the distance, a place where the keys are hiding. Silently I watch them. They stretch under the sun and under rolling clouds, puffed with pride. There I feel your presence would be felt, and I wish I could travel the earthy paths too, smelling the Fresh grassy air and touching skies. I'd pick a wildflower and examine it in my palm. I'd let the wind tangle my hair. I couldn't go, though, and it remains a mystery to me, much information waiting to be uncovered. I couldn't fix it, yet.

#18 - Ireland Arrival

Today I came back from my weekend in Ireland. I hope to get a few more poems from that experience, but here is one for now.

Éire, we're here, breathing  Cobalt breeze. The mountains Stretch under the sun. Sléibhte Chill Mhantáin. Sun in our eyes as we Drive to our temporary homes. The streets are quiet - Sound of wind.  Wicklow peeking behind rows Of tidy silent houses.

#17 - This Is Just To Say

A little bit of fun.. Well, it's slightly strange humour!
This Is Just To Say
This is just to say I did not miss you  One little bit When you were away. Actually, we had a party And your dog was invited.

#16 - Poem For The Broken Hearted

I am not sure what I did here.. Even my own poetry mystifies me!

Shared with Poets United


Poem For The Broken Hearted

I'm writing poetry and thinking of you. Sometimes I see you around the river Until you fade away - a memory. I liked your hair tonight You always look great, I'm not just saying that. I see you in touches of blue I feel then things will be better Honestly, I'm nearly crazy - You were always right - So now I just wait - Wait, wait for what?
For now I'll just remember These months won't last forever And I long for the summer. I'll meet you in the sunshine Between cups of tea and drinks Amongst trees and in the dusty streets. When we walk and walk and The day seems to last forever - A lazy evening, and then - September. It was then that we braved the river The air was warm - an Indian summer.
The streets are marked by you The poems carry a line A mark, a voice of you. It's not crazy, is it, To feel this way? Don't blame me but Blame my heart. Wretched heart.
Still, you and…

#15 - This Poem is Really Ridiculous

"Choose a word or phrase you find yourself saying often (e.g. like, totally, hate, really, kind of) and write a poem using it as much as possible" - Prompt found here
Ridiculous. It's, like, really ridiculous. Really ridiculous like, really. Isn't it? Isn't it ridiculous, really? I like that, really I like it, though It's really ridiculous like, really I really mean it, really I do I like ridiculous, really.

#14 - The Poetry Library Corner

I was in a bookshop earlier today and read a bit of a book about writing poetry. The author suggested to write only 50 words , and then turn them into a poem. So I tried this tonight.

She hides In a quiet corner of the Poetry Library, gathering Her thoughts As the wind blows across the river And the orchestra plays nearby. People mill about but she is well hidden, Sitting on a red cushion in the corner. Safe and warm Whilst the music washes over her.

#13 - I Am The Hockey Puck

Prompt found here
I Am The Hockey Puck
I am the hockey puck You whack across the rink. I slide gracefully yet Forcefully.
I am the small object Without which no Game could be won.
I am the puck which Sailed past the goalie's knee Right into the net.
You can thank me later.

#12 - When A Door Closes A Window Breaks

Used no prompt, had no idea what the poem would be about till I wrote it. Experiment. I hope this sparks ideas for 'real', good poetry in the next few months.
When A Door Closes A Window Breaks
Lost keys Found under floorboards. Window is broken Handle is stuck - Open a door instead.
Behind the pane I  See blue. No access. Through the door I go Too slow - Nobody there just Dusty paths.
I'll just walk on till We meet.

#11 - In Case of Over-Thinking

Trying to catch up a bit by forgetting about perfectionism as much as possible.. Used this prompt.
In Case of Over-thinking
Open a door or a window Or both. Smell the air - Can you hear the birds?
Walk to the bathroom Turn off all taps - That is your mind. Turn it all off.
Call her. I mean it. Tell her now not just Up there in your head. Or write it out. Your call.
If all else fails? I don't know.
I'll think about it.

#10 - Don't Paint This Black

Today's prompt is from the PAD challenge.

Don't Paint This Black
Why do clouds stay so long in the sky When the sun could come out instead? Why does this phone stay so silent When you could be calling it instead? What is this feeling I have, so intense? Where does this pain come from, Why won't it go?
You should be there tonight Through the lens and on the screens You should hear me tonight In the tubes and under the boards But the presence I hope for Does not appear or even seem to Exist.
Ridiculous; This colour I feel. It's not even black it's not even grey It's bright and it's yellow and orange And sometimes a bit brown I'll admit. Searing. Like hot flashes on a poker. Malleable metal.  So please, do what you do best and Re-shape me before I grow cold.

#9 - Inner Thoughts of a Writer

OK, I have no idea what just happened here. This was a little 'stream of consciousness' style.. I followed this prompt and wrote this poem whilst doing something else. Hey there's probably some meaning in there anyway!
Inner Thoughts of a Writer 
Massive rooms all around Two dogs sit in the kitchen One is black one is grey. Don't cry tonight Don't you cry, Hold on to that thought Little girl, tonight.
Huge bridges around us The water's grey and brown Very cold, very deep But the sky is clear  The air is brisk Feel the calm.

#8.2 - Untitled

For this poem I've actually used day seven's prompt from NaPoWriMo.
This is going to be fixed. Listen carefully, take notes. You'll get out of this. There's no 'hopefully', it's true. No more cast down looks. Chin up and get to work. Can't you see it's your battle?

#8.1 - The Messy Ploughman (N+3)

This poem is from The Poetry School's prompt of the day: Use the N+3 rule to rewrite a poem. I used this site to generate my N+3 poem. I'll be writing another day 8 poem since this one is mostly for fun.
Perhaps Not All Is Over 

Empty slough screens messy ploughman 
Silent mouthwash from angered zap  Broken heartbreak, from the start -  Get too close, you lose.  No use, not for us.

#7 - Sevenling

My attempt at a sevenling, following this prompt.

Down the valley We found you, A bird and a flute.
Singing by the river By the willow trees and Fields of magnolias.
I woke up too quickly.

#6 - These Things They Say

Poem six is based on this prompt.
These Things They Say
I'm fine. I won't be long now I've Just left the house I'm On my way I'm In the bus and Nearly there. I'm Stuck in traffic and the Road is blocked I Feel so tired and Am so stressed my Boss is a jerk and My kids are a pain I Hate this place. I Need a holiday I'll Start eating healthy and Get to the gym I'm Starting a new hobby.. Poetry, maybe?

#5 - Perhaps Not All Is Over

Finally, here is day five's poem. Five lines of five words.
Perhaps Not All Is Over
Empty slot screams messy plot Silent mouth from angered youth Broken heart, from the start - Get too close, you lose. No use, not for us.

#4 - Lightly Seared On The Reality Grill

From NaPoWriMo's prompt four. From an Iain M. Banks spaceship name.. Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill I've been lightly seared On the reality grill again. Last night that was but Still I feel the pain and heat. Oh, the reality grill Leaves angry tiger stripes On what was once unperturbed skin. Lightly seared, I was -lightly, yes - but oh!  So many times seared On the reality grill. How stupid of me - I never learn - End up again on that grill Ended up on that reality grill again When, again, last night I spoke and Then, again - hope died.. Without hope I was left On the reality grill again. Lightly seared. Heavily scarred.