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Reflecting on life, blogging and writing on International Bloggers’ Day

At the beginning of 2021 I picked the word ‘Focus’ for my word of the year. At first I kept reminding myself to focus on one thing at a time and to keep my goals in sight. Recently I realised I had forgotten about the word, but am finding that I am developing new habits. One is to eat less in an attempt to lose a little weight and help my hip and knee joints!

I am also trying to spend less time on my computer. A writing friend, Deborah Jenkins, blogged about whether life interferes with writing or writing with life. I had perhaps reached a stage during lockdown where life was put on hold, while I wrote!

Now with lockdown having eased somewhat I am doing more outside the home. There is less temptation to go online, although there is always my phone…

I have also set myself some goals in the house and garden, which will take time away from writing, but may also provide some new ideas.

The reason I missed two weekend posts on this blog was a lack of prompts. I am aware that there were more important things in Linda Kruschke’s life than setting poetry challenges. Her return to blogging resulted in a more personal poem from me.

Meanwhile there is a poetry competition I wish to enter this month. I have been working on my entries for it. I also entered a limerick competition for the Evesham Festival of Words.

The A to Z Road Trip, which I signed up for, is another project I have been neglecting. Perhaps I need to add it specifically to my to-do list. Does anyone else forget to look at their to-do lists? I make mine at times when I know I have a lot to do and at other times when I am uncertain what to do. They give me some motivation, but then I stop looking at them.

I have been enjoying working with writing friends on posts for their blog tours to promote new books.

One of my new habits is to read less. While Goodreads is encouraging everyone to read more, I have decided that I need to be more active with gardening, spring-cleaning and to read less. You may have noticed that my latest bookish posts have included a single book rather than several. I have a backlog of books to write about, though.

With arthritis affecting my thumbs I have taken a break from knitting. My sewing projects have been more masks. Even when they stop being essential, there are probably times when they will be useful in the future. I find that they help prevent my hay fever, but I cannot always wear my specs with a mask. Fortunately I can see reasonably well without them, but if it is sunny I need the light-sensitive lenses, which are also helpful for hay fever and protect my eyes.

Then there is email correspondence with friends to keep up with. While people have not been mixing socially this has been particularly important.

It is seven months since I have been more than five or six miles from home. Our walks have all been done without travelling to a starting point by car or train.

There is still uncertainty in the UK about when it will be ‘safe’ to reduce the measures put in place to prevent the spread of Covid. It makes scheduling in-person meetings for any purpose difficult. An announcement from the UK government is expected the day this post will be published.

I continue to spend time in Bible reading and prayer every morning in my quiet time before breakfast. I also try to find time to play the piano, mainly playing worship songs or classical music.

In a few weeks time I’ll have been blogging for 9 years. Blogging, and particularly reading other people’s blogs, has taught me a great deal. I have learned more history and geography, more about life in other countries, found new books to read and made new online friends, some of whom I met in person before 2020. Then there are the allocated days for so many causes!

I was alerted via Twitter to International Bloggers’ Day by an A to Z Challenge participant, Narayana Rao.

The bloggers I have mentioned in this post are in the UK, the US and India – international bloggers!

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Quintilla paint chip challenge

This week’s Paint chip challenge from Linda Krushcke is for quintillas. Do visit her blog to see the the definition of quintilla, the colours and her poem for this challenge.

She writes:

‘Today we’ll be writing one or more quintillas.

‘Your challenge is to write at least one stanza in the quintilla form. You can certainly write more if you like, but one well-crafted quintilla is all I’m asking.

‘I was inspired by the requirement of five lines to only give you five paint chip words and phrases to work with.

‘Those words and phrases are robin’s egg, jade, The Scarlet Letter, slow, and goldfish. I would like you to use at least two of these in your quintilla. If you can use them as your rhyme words, all the better. But you could also pick one to be your title but not use it in the actual poem. The possibilities aren’t endless, but there are more than a few.’

One of these paint chips resonated with me this week. Incidentally, the robin we see in the UK is completely different from the American one.

Slow process

A picture I saw on Twitter
Showed some robin’s eggs in a nest
In a hiking boot, but I guessed
That boot’s owner was not sitter-
In-chief. Birds incubate eggs best.

Please click on the link below to see the original tweet, which inspired this poem.

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Idyll paint chip poem

Sea foam on a bridge and beck

Sea foam in the foreground with distant arable fields

This week Linda Kruschke’s challenge is to write an Idyll. For the dictionary definitions, colours and her poem please click here. She writes:

Today your challenge is to write your own idyll, according to any of the three definitions provided by the poetry dictionary

The paint chip words and phrases you have to work with are sprig of mintmoon walkwaterfallscarecrowsea foamsaffron, and forget-me-not. I’d like you to use at least five of these words and phrases in your idyll.

 

 

Coastal countryside

In the northern British countryside scarecrows are rarely seen.
Mostly made for festivals or National Trust properties,
They have been given funny names* or represent celebrities.
The windswept arable fields change from ploughed brown to green.

Along the edge of the growing crop wild flowers germinate.
They look quite small and insignificant by the swaying stalks;
Field pansy, forget-me-not, shepherd’s purse and more brighten our walks.
After a storm sea foam leaves the coast in a strange state.

Sea foam glistening white clings to the cliffs as the tide ebbs.
Seen from afar it might be thought to be a waterfall.
Red saffron-coloured sandstone makes many an attractive wall.
On the walls plants grow, snails shelter and spiders build webs.

* I once met a blogging scarecrow with a funny name at Wordsworth’s House and Garden in Cockermouth. Read about our first meeting here.