Friday, December 15, 2023

Friday Writings #107: You Did It!

Hello, word artists and admirers! Welcome to the last Friday Writings of 2023. Don't worry, we won't be gone long. We'll be back in 2024 after our usual yearly break. From all of us at Poets and Storytellers United, we hope your end of year celebrations are full of fun and that 2024 is filled with wonderful possibilities.

So for the last optional prompt of 2023, I would like to suggest writing about a time when you weren’t sure if you could (or wanted to) do something, but you ended up doing it anyway. Poetry and prose are welcome, as is fiction and non-fiction. Just remember, one post per person and please keep the word count to 369 or fewer.

Our official restart date is January 5, 2024, when Rosemary will ask us to consider the word 'Beginning' – write anything to do with that word/idea, or perhaps share something which is in itself a beginning.


Friday, December 8, 2023

Friday Writings #106: Seasonal Readings

I enjoy reading with the seasons. And my reading list is never long enough, even on days when a slightly hysterical voice in my head, howls, “When exactly are we supposed to find the time to read all these books!?” I don’t listen to that not-so-little voice (you shouldn’t either), there is always time for reading. Really. I mean, who needs sleep?

With that thought in mind (not the one about not needing sleep, but the one about reading), for today’s optional prompt, my dear poets and storytellers, I invite to write poetry or prose which contains the full title of a book you are reading or plan to read this December.

Do you have a December reading list? If so, do share it in the comments. Here is mine:

- Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett

- Krampus: The Yule Lore, by BROM

- What You Need to Be Warm, by Neil Gaiman

- Christmas and Other Horrors: An Anthology of Solstice Horror, edited by Ellen Datlow

- Dead List: The December Files, by Jesse Sprague

- The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror, by Christopher Moore

- Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker, by Gregory Maguire

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

Optional: You may share old or new pieces, in poetry or prose, and you may write to the prompt or to a topic of your choosing.

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

for next week, our Rommy will invite us to write about a time when we weren’t sure if we could (or wanted to) do something, but we ended up doing it anyway.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Friday Writings #105: ‘Starry, Starry Night’

Hello again, dear Wordsmiths!

Apologies that I have not been participating here for the last couple of weeks. Perhaps I’ll catch up over the next little while, on your own participation at least, as I do enjoy reading your writings.

As Magaly told you a couple of weeks ago, I was focused on preparing for the launch of my ‘Pentridge trilogy’ (or as some of my friends are calling it, a trifecta!). It started with a memoir, now called Breaking into Pentridge Prison: Memories of Darkness and Light, which many of you were kind enough to read in first draft last year, as a series of blog posts.  In the Acknowledgments in the now-published book, I thank, among others: 

My on-line friends from the blogging community Poets and Storytellers United, who were the first to see any of it, when it was still incomplete, and whose kind and useful comments not only helped me keep going but also showed me what more I needed to include or clarify.

As those of you on Facebook already know, I accompanied this volume with a new edition of Blood from Stone, the prison poetry anthology first published in 1982, and a small chapbook of my own poems, a spin-off from the memoir, Letters to a Dead Man. 

I decided to self-publish. This, of course, requires a lot of extra work!  Anyway, the launch was perfectly lovely – and I’m glad I’ve come out the other side of it. You can read more on my website:

So, enough about me.

When Rommy asked me last week for a preview of this week’s prompt, I was so caught up in book launch preparations, I confess I had not given it a thought! But I had just been listening to Don McLean singing ‘Starry, Starry Night,’ his lovely song, at once sad and celebratory, about artist Vincent Van Gogh – a favourite of mine (the song or the artist? – both!).

Hence, your optional prompt this week is to be inspired by the song, ‘Starry, Starry Night,’ and/or by Vincent Van Gogh himself. 

You may give us poetry or prose, old or new, 369 words or fewer, one post per person – or you may choose to ignore this prompt and write about something else altogether.

As always, post it to your blog, add the link to that post in Mister Linky below, and do have look at what others are writing and leave whatever encouraging comments you are moved to make.

Next week, Magaly will invite us to write poetry or prose which includes the full title of a book we are reading or plan to read this December.