A bumper fun post of Valentine’s poetry

Welcome to another romantic Valentine’s celebration! And here is a compendium of all my favourite Valentine’s poems (most of them written by moi) to give you a smile or six. Enjoy.

Take my heart its yours on a plate / Keep it till you learn how to punctuate.

Roses are red, violets are blue
Sorry I’m snotty, but I’ve got the flu. (NB: not coronavirus.)

Roses are red, violets are blue
Please put the seat down when you’ve used the loo. [Read more…]

An, er, alternative Christmas quiz

Much as we all love to play games during the Holidays … I don’t know about you but I get heartily fed up with Monopoly, Christmas quizzes about the names of all Santa’s reindeer, and trying to laugh at the feeble jokes implanted into Christmas crackers.

Santa indicating the correct way to the North Pole after having been let down by his Sat Nav and found himself returned to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Here, then, is a short quiz you and your folks might like to play instead of the pedestrian old stuff. I have tried very hard to keep it Safe For Work but just in case, don’t print this out and show it to your five-year-old, OK? And the answers are not rigid: creativity and rudeness should probably score higher.

The HTWB Alternative Christmas Quiz: the questions

[Read more…]

A very Happy Christmas with some lesser-known but beautiful carols

Here’s wishing you the happiest of Christmases from me and the panel of worldwide writing experts who make up HTWB. [As well as my office staff of Furballs LaWoof, Pippin, Mousey (dogs), Kitten and Jeremy (cats.)]

My three favourite Christmas carols: hope you like them!

Gaudete

How’s your Latin? [Read more…]

Writing not just about, but WITH mental health issues

This is Mental Health Awareness Week as the media have been screaming out at us. How do you feel about the fact that mental health has been, up until recently, swept under social carpets and is now just emerging from the dustpans as an “OK” subject to talk about?

writers and mental health

As a writer, when you start scratching the surface of your own mental health you are likely to find a few worrying things lurking there.

Not for me to slag off science, PC commentators, Royal Family members and all the others who are hopping up on to the mental health bandwagons. No, bitchy though I am, these people are doing a great job in de-horrifying our views of mental health problems.

Writers and other creatives are almost expected to be a “bit loopy”

[Read more…]

Writing to someone who just lost a loved one

If you are on the point of facing the loss of a loved one, or just have, or you know someone who is doing so … you might find this blank verse poem helpful.

bereavement

No matter what a loved one has or will have left you for you to cherish, what matters is not what that is, but how you use it

I wrote it the other night because a wonderful family I know are about to lose their mother, who has been a friend of mine for many years. I’m not sure if this poem can reach out to that family, or indeed whether this would be appropriate now anyway.
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For more articles on how to write about bereavement and other difficult, painful experiences, click here.
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You can only judge by what would you might find helpful in the circumstances and in mine, yes – I will. I just hope others may find similar comfort from it.

Your loved one’s legacy

It’s not about what might have been
It’s about what has been
It’s about understanding what has been [Read more…]

Writing about Notre Dame – now that the fire’s out

If you were affected by the fire in Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral earlier this week, you might find this poem (not humorous this time) interesting as it looks at some of the controversy that now surrounds the whole repair issue.

Poem about Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame’s religion hurts.

Notre Dame:
Now that the fire’s out,
have we lit another one – or more?

Notre Dame, you icon, you
So many centuries now burned
History can’t know what to do
Now the flames have left you spurned.

Didn’t take long for the trolls
To smear and slag you off that day
Just minutes while your carcass falls
While modern bitterness held sway. [Read more…]

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