Thursday, 14 October 2010

Beware of Acorns

So, autumn's here with all her wondrous russets, golds and bronzes. Shall we write a poem to celebrate her beauty? Shall we set our latest short story in an arch of canopied branches, dripping with bracelets of honey-coloured leaves?
Having read the papers this morning, what we should actually be doing is erecting signs underneath trees, warning passers-by that acorns, conkers etc may fall on them!! Health and safety gone mad! They'll be stopping us from growing roses next, due to their dangerous thorns!
Please stop this madness and enjoy the changing seasons.
I think it's a corn-y idea!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A Whoosh of Memory

I joined Nottingham Writers' Studio last week, a new writing group. Unfortunately I wasn't free to attend their workshop, but I met up with several members at a poetry reading event at Waterstones. After cakes, hot chocolate and some beautiful poetry (not necessarily in that order), I walked to The Lace Market with two other writers.
I love the beautiful ornate buildings in The Lace Market. The writers' studio is in one of these such buildings. What I wasn't expecting though, was the rush of memories that invaded me as we walked up the spiral staircase to the second floor. The bitter-sweet pungent smell of old wood reminded me of being a young girl, making my way up a dark, cool, spiral staircase to ballet class each Saturday morning. As I walked the spiral staircase to the writers' studio, the evocative smells took me back to the days of pink leotards, pony tails and scuffed ballet shoes. Like a fading perfume, the patinaed wood whooshed me back through the years. A heady, almost acidic fragrance.
It's wonderful how aromas can conjure up a particular place, time or person. When writing a scene in my novel, I love to introduce the sense of smell. Whether it be mown grass, a roasting chicken or wood smoke, it adds another layer to the picture I'm trying to paint with words.
As well as aging wood, the perfume of the flowering redcurrant bush always transports me back to my childhood garden. Smelling the heady fat pink blossoms each summer, I can almost feel the sunshine on my bare legs as a ten year old.
Hope you like my poem about my favourite flowering blossom.

Pink With Pleasure

Underneath the silver birch
They'd hang, pink with pleasure,
Blossoms blushing
Full and frothing.
Beneath the birch's lolling boughs
I'd read, or sing or dream.
Looking through the dappled light
To pale bare skies
Where contrails paint across the blue.
As a child, so many days
Spent beneath the verdant boughs
Embracing their beauty.
And today
When many years have passed,
I smell their fragrance
And remember
And smile.

Angela Barton

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The Art Of Procrastination.

Occasionally it's difficult to keep motivated when it comes to writing. I can't always think creatively when work is piling up, the dog's sick or the accountant is chasing me for a meeting. I've regularly been entering competitions for my writing group (which I'm delighted to say I've come 1st, 2nd and 3rd in recent months) but procrastination has been order of the day when it comes to my second novel, Sugar and Spite.
I know I must pin myself to the chair and write, irrespective of the day to day irritations which halt my creative flow! The thing is, if I do tell myself to ignore the dishwasher and washing machine and sit down to drag a few hard-thought words out, then before I know it, I've written 500 - 1,000 words. The very action of forcing myself to sit down in a wordless mist, enables the fog to clear and the words to flow.
So, it is with this in mind that I'm decorating the room my eldest son has recently vacated. My first chick has flown the nest. (Two more to go!!) If I have my own writing room, surrounded by my reference books, pens, pads etc, I won't be looking guiltily at the washing machine or dish-washer. Nor can I see the pathetic pleading eyes of my two spaniels, trying to guilt me into taking them on a walk!
Just writing about it, makes me want to get on with Sugar and Spite! : )

White Canvass

White Canvass

The bare blue sky stretches and beams
Upon an upturned face.
A child's tongue, tasting the tingle
Of snowflakes.
Diamante blanket cocoons in winter white.
A stunning silence
Hiding beneath its chilly softness.
The child squeals with glee
Folowing a constellation of tiny footprints.
Robin or sparrow?
Now flown,
Darting and flapping to the ice-frilled branches,
Viewing silent drifts and snow-laced fences.
Winter's clarity hides all flaws.
Broken gates, peeling paint, a rusty hinge
Vanished beneath a weight of white.
A clear canvass for footsteps to paint,
Or to crack mirrored puddles
Beneath their tread.

Angela Barton