Saturday, November 20, 2010

Poetry Prompt: Treasures

Not the pirate and island kind we usually associate with the word. But the things you would grab from your 'hypothetically' burning home before you ran out of the door. They can only be what you can carry in two hands, or in your pockets; things that won't slow you down or hinder your escape. Things that will comfort you when you realise you have lost everything else.

Let's not include people or pets; let's take it as a given that everyone you love is safe.

So, you have less that two minutes before you have to be out of that door. What calls to you?

They can be real things, or they can be invented or imaginary. They can be concrete or abstract. What matters is not factual accuracy but emotional truth. We must make our readers FEEL that it IS true.

Write well.
L x

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Hungry Writer

I've started a new writing project based around food - you can take a look at the most recent blog posts here. Although, as Molly Wizenberg says, Food is never just food. It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, and who we want to be.  If you'd like to keep in touch with my weekly memoirs, you can become a Hungry Reader and follow the blog.

So, I wondered if you'd like to join me for a bite to eat, or something to drink, for this prompt?

Free write around the idea of food. Think of the food of your childhood, your likes and dislikes now, about the first ever restaurant meal you ate. What are the colours of food that attract you? Do you remember the first time you got drunk? Have you ever been in a situation where someone has fed you, or provided you with food because you were unable to do it for yourself? Have you ever grown your own food? Can you describe the first sip of cold beer, or champagne, or hot tea? Let your mind have a free rein - allow it to take you wherever it wants to go.

I never expected to write the following poem. I don't know where it came from... I definitely don't know a man like this! But the images arose during a free writing session. It's good to surprise ourselves sometimes.


Skinny women order his fish
fried in low-cholesterol oil,
batter as crisp and sheer as glass.
He teases them about goose-fat,
the slip of it, how it dimples
under fingertips, at the right point
of tenderness how it gives
to the tip of a tongue.

He dreams of women
whose flesh parts for him
like lard – their overlap, the spill
and pleat of them, his hands skating
over their suety gleam, their excess
rejoicing under his palms.

from Learning How to Fall

Write well.
L x

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Of Love and Hope

Before I post a prompt this month I wanted to let everyone know about Of Love and Hope, an anthology of poetry in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Care, two UK charities working to prevent and treat the disease as well as support families who have been affected by it. I'm proud to have a poem in here alongside an astonishing list of internationally known writers and celebrities. 

I was 30 when I had breast cancer and fortunate enough to find it in the early stages. But so many women have fought much harder battles than I ever had to.

The anthology is available through Amazon in the UK (click on the title above), from branches of Blackwell's and Waterstone's, and also directly from the editor, Deborah Gaye: deborahgaye at blueyonder dot co dot uk (replacing at and dot with the appropriate symbols).

Thank you.