Friday, January 26, 2024

Friday Writings #111: What would your ghost come back for?


  Greetings, dear Wordsmiths.



I'm inspired today by re-reading Walter de la Mare's Fare Well: a poem which has captured my imagination since I first encountered it in my teens. Exhorting its readers, in beautiful, musical rhythms, to appreciate the beauties of the world while they have life to do so, it asserts that it's  the appreciation of previous viewers which bestows that beauty, and that ours will do so for people to come.

It's not so much that rather complex conclusion which has me love the poem; it's more the list of lovely things which the poet has cherished in the natural world, which he ardently desires shall live on for others after him to enjoy too. 

These days we contemplate a world which may be ending, at  least for human life – indeed has already seen the extinction of many other forms of life. But at this point we don't know for sure that our world will end, indeed can't know until / unless we're still around to witness that happen. Reversal of the process may seem unlikely, but is not yet certain to be impossible. Governments may seem slow to take the necessary steps, but many scientists are working hard on possible solutions and already putting some into practice, e.g. researching ways to deal with plastic pollution in the oceans.

Meanwhile, there are still many beauties, many joys, many delights to cherish. 

All this got me pondering. Imagining that the world might go on forever after all, or at least for a very long time to come, yes I'd hope that people to come would love it as I have done – but I also like to imagine how lovely it would be to visit it again myself, as a disembodied spirit, to re-experience favourite things, favourite places (a beautiful landscapes, a loved old home ...) or even favourite people? Will you join me in this nostalgic fantasy??


I had trouble finding any ghost pictures freely available. Instead, I'm using 
one of my own photos of the kind of beauty I'd love to be able to revisit.

I'm thinking of a pleasurable, private kind of 'haunting,' undetectable to the living. But perhaps some of you would like to come back to redress old wrongs? Or maybe stop wars? Prevent disease? Or even enact revenge on someone, if only by scaring them witless?

For this week's optional prompt, please let your mind wander among such possibilities and tell
us, if you were to come back as a ghost after you die, what place or person or situation would you most like to haunt – er,  revisit?


Please post your writing to your blog and link us in (below) to that post. Only one post per person, please, of 369 words or fewer, old or new, poetry or prose, on topic or not.  You may link to us on your blog too, and leave us a message below if you wish.

Next week, Magaly will invite us to write poetry or prose that includes a silver lining, or an advantage that comes from a difficult or unpleasant situation.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Friday Writings #110: Fascinating!


Hello, word artists and admirers! I hope your new year has gotten off to a good start. Mine was busy, but interesting. There was a ton more socializing than usual, which meant lots of conversation. I like speaking to people with interests different than my own. Sometimes they share some really cool bits of information that fascinate me or get me thinking.

So for this week's optional prompt I invite you to write about some obscure bit of knowledge that fascinates you. Your piece can be poetry or prose, fiction or non-fiction. Just keep all entries to 369 words or fewer and one entry per person, please.

Next week, Rosemary will ask: If you were to come back as a ghost after you die, what place or person would you most like to haunt – er,  revisit?


Friday, January 12, 2024

Friday Writings #109: Rizz

I was told that my “words are retro”. This happened after I confessed to a friend (and her 19-year-old child) that I didn’t think I’ve ever used any of the terms Oxford University shortlisted for 2023: Swiftie, de-influencing, beige flag, rizz, heat dome, prompt, parasocial, situationship. You’re probably saying, “But Magaly darling, you use the word “prompt” every week!” Well, not really—my prompt usage has little to do with AI.

So, in order to de-retro my words a bit, for today’s prompt, dear Poets and Storytellers, my vintage vocabulary and I invite you to write poetry or prose which includes the Oxford word of the year for 2023: rizz, an informal noun, defined as “style, charm, or attractiveness; the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner.”

Required: Post the response to your blog, and add the direct link to that post to Mr. Linky. One post per person, please, 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 dearest, and not nosy at all, Rommy will invite us to write about an obscure bit of knowledge that fascinates us.

Friday, January 5, 2024

Friday Writings #108: Beginning


Happy New Year, dear Wordsmiths!  I hope you have all been having an excellent time as the old year ended and this new one began.

Looking at various things about the state of the world, I’m sure we are all dreaming of and praying for some serious new beginnings!

‘Beginning’ is a pretty obvious topic at this time, but perhaps it’s more complex than we think. I like these quotations, which suggest that beginnings are all bound up with endings and vice-versa:

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. – Seneca.

Everything must have a beginning … and that beginning must be linked to something that went before. – Mary Shelley.

The beginning is the promise of the end. – Henry Ward Beecher.

This idea of endings and beginnings being entwined clearly applies not only at the start of a new year, but also to many other things in life. 

What sort of endings and/or beginnings have you been experiencing?

For myself, and for some others here, there is the mighty effort of having completed a major writing project. And in some cases plunging into the next!

I’ve also had a year of friends dying. All those friendships had lasted decades. I remember their fine beginnings very well. And everything in between.

At 84, I guess I’m officially long-lived. I suppose I must expect that some people will go sooner – though one of the friends who left in 2023 was in her nineties, and I’m happy to say she LIVED until she died. Actually, when I think about it, that applies to all of them, whatever their age (including one who was not yet old). So perhaps neither the beginning nor the end matters as much as the middle?

And yet, beginning can be vital. 

My favourite quote from Tolkien, which Google reminds me Aragorn says in The Two Towers, is:

There are some things it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark.

I'll give the last word to actor Jodie Whittaker, quoting one of her most famous characters, Doctor Who, on the subject of regeneration:

Everything ends, and that's always sad. But everything begins again, and that's always happy.

So, my friends, I look forward to your new beginnings in writing, and to our beginning this new year here together.

For your optional prompt this week, please let the idea of Beginning inspire you. You might write about that idea, or perhaps share a piece which in itself constitutes a beginning of some kind. Or of course you are free to choose some other topic altogether, to share with us this time.


You may share poetry or prose, old or new. 

Link us (below) to that post on your blog; one post per person, please.

If possible, do visit other participants and leave encouraging comments as applicable. 

You may talk to us in the comments section below, too.

Next week, our intrepid Magaly will invite us to write poetry or prose which includes the Oxford word of the year for 2023: rizz, an informal noun, defined as ‘style, charm, or attractiveness; the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner’.