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Poetry Day with Hoops a Dayzee

For Poetry Day my friend the poet, hula hooper, and secret mermaid Hoops a Dayzee has written this exclusively for us – enjoy! 

I don't think there really ever was a particular point,

That I realised I was a poet, 

I have always loved to play with words, 

And never been afraid to show it. 

Maybe I learned from my teachers at school, 

Or my Uncle Dave who is really cool. 

He writes a lot and I love his work, 

Never fails to make me giggle with all his quirk. 

But as long as I can remember i have loved to rhyme, 

Sorry I cannot pinpoint a particular time. 

 

I hate to say it but I don't read that much, 

I like my poems to have a personal touch. 

My inspiration comes from within myself, 

And rarely from a book on a dusty shelf.

 

I think I must be rather self-centred

As some humour and darkness comes when my soul I have entered. 

I love to make people smile and laugh, 

But sometimes my mood gets a little bit dark. 

Current events also inspire us, 

And it doesn't get much darker than this killer virus. 

So the mood of my poetry really depends, 

On the mood I am in and on current events. 

 

I know when a poem is complete, my friend, 

By a feeling I get when it comes to the end. 

Its like putting together pieces of a jigsaw, 

There is an empty space where I know it needs more. 

But when all the words are in the right place, 

I get a warm feeling and a smile on my face. 

 

Sometimes I get words going round in my head, 

Or I'll think about a subject that needs to be read. 

Funny events will occur that can't go unheard,

Things happen to me that are rather absurd, 

So I write down my thoughts and take it from there, 

And some of them I cannot help but share. 

 

Just do it. Put a pen to paper and write with your mind, 

The results will surprise you, I think you will find. 

Think of a subject and take it from there, 

Anything from a spider to what happened at the fair.

You will no doubt write and then scribble bits out, 

But that's what the process is all about. 

The best advice I can give is 'just play around' , 

The words you are looking for are there to be found. 

Throw in a rhyme, a palindrome or a pun. 

Enjoy the process and have some fun. 

Pictures For Writing Prompts

For all those who access their inspiration visually, here are some picture writing prompts, work through them one by one.

Sometimes it is a better idea to choose a picture that unsettles you, or that you do not like.

 

dance hall ww2

fallen tree trunk

train bournemouth

indeginous dancer

derelict house

coping with grief

Cinereous vVulture

farm from above

dungeon entrance

crumpled paper

Royal Marines

old map of norfolk

car on fire

sinking boat

people in snow

Noah Purifoy

 

Dio De Los Muertos

arizona stampede wild horses

feline hyperesthesia syndrome

vintage-mugshots

knitting

mossy jungle

 

I’m inspired by

I read a lot, but there are two writers that I have to pay homage to, for teaching me one of the most valuable lessons in being a writer. Find  your own voice.

This is exactly what David Sedaris and Barbara Comys did for me, and this is all about how they inspired me with their style, wit, and candour; and you never know, they might do the same for you.

Regarding Style, both of my inspirations write in the way that someone might really speak. Not in tangles or high falutin language; which has it’s place of course, they both write in the every-day accessible language that anyone might use.

But, they use those familiar words in such a way that they sing, and carry you along. Yes, I’m that enthusiastic.

You only have to listen to David Sedaris read a story once to forever hear him reading his stories to you, and that’s serious skill. You know you are getting the authentic David. It’s him through and through, he makes it easy to imagine what it would be like hang out with him, to listen to him discussing a television programme, or what we need on our shopping list, or whose turn it is to do the housework.

And that’s something I aspired to from the first moment I read his work, that my voice will become my signature style.

The first Barbara Comys book I read was ‘Sisters by a river’, how I love that book.  It wasn’t written in a classic style, instead being more of a collection of anecdotes, which is exactly how my own brain tends to think. I totally bought into book, and it was only much, much later I found out it it wasn't a memoir, that it was in fact a novel with autobiographical undertones.

So, if you have ever seen me say it was a autobiography there you go, I was sort of wrong, but that’s the power of the book. Barbara writes the extremely dark parts of the story with such a light touch that you can chose not to even see the horrors if you don't want to.  If you have never read her work, get yourself a copy of any of her works, believe me you won’t regret it.     

Regarding Wit, you only have to see David Sedaris book titles ‘Dress your family in corduroy and denim’, ‘Let’s explore diabetes with owls’, ‘me talk pretty one day’, ‘Squirrel seeks chipmunk’.  To name just a few, to know that you are in for a comedic treat. 

What I particularly like is that the title doesn’t necessarily tell you everything, or in some cases anything at all, about what the book is actually about, I love that.  And yes, that did inspire me when naming my first book Down With Frogs.

Once you get into David's books you have such comments as “I hate you' she said to me one afternoon. 'I really, really hate you.' Call me sensitive, but I couldn't help but take it personally.” David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day.  And “Boys who spent their weekends making banana nut muffins did not, as a rule, excel in the art of hand-to-hand combat.” David Sedaris, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

See simple but highly intelligent and effective.

Barbara can be a bit more edgy with her humour, but it’s female, and it works ‘I had a kind of idea if you controlled your mind and said “I won’t have any babies” very hard, they most likely wouldn’t come. I thought that was what was meant by birth-control’ Barbara Comys, Our Spoons Came From Woolworths.

With regard to candour, now this can be a tricky quality to write with. You may want to hold something of yourself back, and that’s fine. But not only do people respond to someone putting it all out there, if you write without putting your heart into it, it shows; and it just doesn’t work. 

That kind of bouncing along the surface might appeal to some readers, but something about it won’t ‘feel’ right, especially if you write about a subject you haven’t lived without really researching it.

This isn’t about adding detail for the sake of it. When I say candour, I am talking about truthfulness, sincerity and integrity.  And both David and Barbara have this is bucket loads, both write about their own families to a degree. David's family really cannot have any secrets left, having been written about in all their wonderful, monstrous and endearing beauty. And if you want to know what it’s like going for a colonoscopy read Calypso.

Barbara on the other hand used her family and husband's as inspiration, using the difficult and traumatic from her life to give her characters life, and an emotional connection to the reader.

The message I hope you to takeaway from this, is that other authors are not your competition, your measuring stick, or a reason not to write. They can be your inspiration, and your teachers.  All good writers read, without exception, so renew your library ticket, visit your local bookshop, or get online and fill up your ereader. Get yourself something to read, and read widely from your genre. 

Let me know what you have been reading and if you have been inspired.

TTFN Eden :-)