Friday, September 29, 2023

Friday Writings #96: What, for you, conjures up Home?



I recently posted on facebook a photo of a country scene (the one below, near Wagga Wagga in NSW, Australia) which made one of my fb friends feel a twinge of homesickness for the country where she grew up – in this very area – reminding her, she said, of ‘the smell of dried grass.’


I told her that while I understand that sudden longing sparked by reminders of one’s childhood home, for me, having grown up in Tasmania, it’s more likely to be the smell of wet grass, or the sight of rainwater dripping off the end of a fern. (This photo of tree ferns in a Tasmania rainforest, which I found on Unsplash is by Arwen Jayne.)

One of my old friends, the late Australian poet Joyce Lee, often wrote pieces nostalgic for the vast plains of her Wimmera childhood, the memory of which sustained her decades later. Indeed, her first published book was called Plain Dreaming. Again, for me it’s vastly different: I love to be surrounded by mountains as I was in my youth (and happily am once more, in my age).

Do you too find that your sensual memories of the place you grew up in, when sparked, arouse that kind of nostalgia, at once sharp and comforting? Or did you perhaps live somewhere you couldn’t wait to get away from, to find a more nurturing home elsewhere?

The prompt for this week: Please tell us: what, for you, conjures up Home?


One post per person, maximum word count 369. You may give us poetry or prose, old or new. You can write to the prompt or not, as you choose. Link, below, to that particular post on your blog. Please read other people's posts too and if possible leave some appreciative comments. (We all thrive on encouragement.)

If you have any messages for the team, or to the group, please add them in the Comments space below. Please do check the group comments some time; often they are messages to / from particular individuals, indicating difficulty accessing someone's blog to read.

Next week, the indomitable Magaly will invite us to find inspiration in October.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Friday Writings #95: Losing Track of Time


Hello, Word Artists and Admirers! September seemed to go by in a blink for me. My hectic work project load may have contributed to that feeling. Or it might be the whirlwind attention my muses have been giving me while working on a novel. Either way, it feels like only yesterday I when I was eying up bathing suits, while today I was reaching for my favorite purple cardigan.

For this week's optional prompt, may I suggest the phrase "losing track of time." You don't have to use the exact phrase, but the idea should be in there somewhere. I'm taking prose and poetry, fiction and non-fiction. The pieces should be 369 words or fewer, and one entry per person please.

Next week, Rosemary will ask what feels like home to you.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Friday Writings #94: Storm, Ink, Love

Greetings, my dear poets and storytellers. I hope you and your muse are doing well. I’m currently recovering from an immune system flare up and my muse is just annoyed—she keeps wanting more than my flesh and bones and I can provide. All right, my muse just glared at me inside my head, so I shan’t tell you more about her issues (she’s sensitive *cough*).

Let’s move on to today’s optional prompt instead: write poetry or prose which includes the words storm, ink, and love. The words can be used in any order or form. So, be stormy, have inky thoughts, feel extra loving and such… 


Required: Post the response on your blog. Add the direct link to your post to Mister Linky. One post per person, please, 369 words maximum (excluding title), for prose and for poetry.

Optional: You may share an old or a new piece, in poetry or prose, and you may write to the prompt or to a topic of your choosing. If you wish to say hello or have any questions, leave a note in the comments section below.

Requested (not compulsory but strongly recommended): Visit other writers and storytellers. Read their contributions. Share your thoughts on their words.

for next week, Rommy will invite us to work with the idea of “losing track of time(the phrase doesn’t have to be used, but the idea should be part of your poetry or prose).


Friday, September 8, 2023

Friday Writings #93: Scent of a Poem

Hello, Word Artists and Admirers! Ever notice how some scents just bring you back to a specific time or place? Although I don’t eat it much at all these days, the smell of sausage cooking reminds me of Sunday mornings when I was growing up and my mom having a little time to make a hearty breakfast before heading off to mass. Some scents can also evoke very specific feelings too. For instance, the scent released when water first touches matcha always makes me feel relaxed.

For today’s optional prompt, I invite you to incorporate the sense of smell somewhere into your piece. I'm taking poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction. Just be sure to keep your entries to 369 words or fewer and one entry per person. 

Next week, Magaly will invite you to create poetry or prose which includes the following words: storm, ink, love.

Friday, September 1, 2023

Friday Writings #92: Triumph or Disaster?

Hello again, dear Wordsmiths!

India’s recent moon landing not only succeeded, it became the first ever landing at the moon’s South Pole. What a triumph, eh?

Well, it inspired in me the following:

A new moon landing.
I think of the debris
littering Everest.

I posted that to my Facebook page and the responses included considerable understanding and agreement. I learned that I was far from the only one to have such a reaction to the news. And yes, I do see that there are pros and cons, one of the pros being how much we are learning about the moon from this particular expedition. It’s not just about conquest, as the Everest climbs often seem to be.  My little verse was not a thought-out argument so much as a spontaneous knee-jerk.

Photo by Ganapathy Kumar on Unsplash

It got me thinking about different ways of seeing the same event, according to one’s perspective, so many times in the course of our lives. I remembered, too, how often in my own life an apparent disaster has turned out to be a blessing in disguise – but it usually takes some time for that to show up: we see it in hindsight.

The words from Kipling’s famous poem, If, started repeating in my brain:

If you can meet with triumph and disaster
and treat those two impostors just the same …

(You can read the whole poem here. The crux of it is that If you can do all the things Kipling lists, … you’ll be a Man, my son! He meant, of course, ‘you’ll be a worthy human being.’ Forgive Kipling; he was of his time and didn’t know not to be patriarchal – had no concept of that, let alone what was wrong about it.)

So, for this week’s optional prompt, I thought you might like to consider the phrase, or question,
triumph or disaster?’ and respond to it in whatever way occurs to you. Or you may choose to ignore the prompt and share any other piece of your writing.


Post the response to your blog, and provide us with a link to that post in the Mister Linky space below. One post per person, please, 369 words maximum (excluding title).

You may share old or new pieces, in poetry or prose, and you may write to the prompt or ignore it.
To say hello, or anything else on your mind, you may leave a note in the comments section below.

Requested (not compulsory but strongly recommended):
Do have a read of each other’s work and leave encouraging comments, when you can! 

Attention please!

(Yes, I’m posting out of our usual sequence, which is in alphabetical order of Magaly, Rommy, Rosemary. That’s because I’m officially Coordinator and get to be the one to make this big housekeeping announcement.)

Over the months we’ve tightened one of the guidelines and relaxed others. We didn’t make any big announcements earlier, thinking our wording each week would make it clear. But some people have been uncertain about what we’re asking, so –

We ask you to keep both poetry and prose to 369 words maximum. It’s a random number – we just happen to like the number 3 and multiples thereof. Setting a limit is so that asking you to read a number of pieces in a week doesn’t become an imposition. We used to say this only about prose, because most often it’s the prose pieces which can become lengthy. But some poems need to be long, too. We decided it was unfair to prose writers if we didn’t also put a limit on the poems linked to Friday Writings. (If you love someone’s work so much that you don’t want to miss out on their longer writings – which we know can be very rewarding – we encourage you to sign up to follow their blog.)

We used to ask for only new writing in response to the prompt. That’s because many of us like the impetus of responding to a prompt to get us writing new stuff. But I imagine we all know the experience of realising how beautifully a particular prompt may suit something we’ve already written. So we now make ‘old or new’ a general guideline, whether you’re responding to the prompt or not.

As for the non-compulsory request (which used to be stated as compulsory in the group’s past) –

1) We’re trying to build a sense of community here, not just a ‘show and tell’ site, and (for me at least) it does feel like that: a space both safe and welcoming, where also we have room to stretch our writerly muscles, and where over time the other participants come to feel like old friends.

2) I think one of the ways we learn and grow is by reading each other’s writing. To acquire a full appreciation of another writer’s voice can take time and repeated exposure.

3) However, we do lead busy lives, and some of us have serious health issues. It’s not always possible to look at what everyone else has written every week. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t – or if you get to something ‘eventually’ rather than rushing it. 

It’s always a sweet surprise for me when people comment on one of my pieces weeks after I’ve shared it here. It tells me they have made sure to get to it in their own time, rather than miss it altogether just because they couldn’t fit it into the same week.

I'm also aware that for some of us it's all we can do to write at all, even though we also very much need the fulfilment and release – and that this site creates valuable provision for that. And that's fine with me too. I'll read you even if you don't read me. (I see it as part of my job as Coordinator anyway, but also reading good poetry is one of my great pleasures.) Others feel discouraged if there isn't reciprocation and choose to structure their reading accordingly. It's a free choice; we all need to do what works best for us.

Now, in case you've forgotten the prompt after wading through all that, it's 'triumph or disaster?' Happy writing! And reading! May you triumph!

Next week, the sparkling Rommy will invite us to incorporate a description of a scent into our pieces.