Friday, June 29, 2012

I Love Limericks!

I'm sure almost everyone in the English speaking world knows that the limerick is a kind of funny poem. The limerick hails back to Ireland and it is thought to have been around from the 14 century. It's a popular form, and many a funny limerick has been shared by friends over a drink or three!

This limerick is possible the most famous limerick of all, although I suspect the ending for this, the original, may differ from the one told in the pub.
There once was a man from Nantucket,
Who kept all of his cash in a bucket,
But his daughter, named Nan,
Ran away with a man,
And as for the bucket, Nantucket.


As you can see from this poem, the limerick has five lines, with lines 1, 2 and 5 having the same rhyme, and lines 3 and 4 rhyming.
The lines with the first rhyme have 3 beats, or stresses, each line, and the lines with the second rhyme have two beats per line.

So these are the rules for writing a limerick, they have 5 lines, they rhyme in a particular way, and they have a certain number of beats or stresses for each line.

Simple, isn't it? Why not think of someone or something you want to write a funny poem about, and get started!

The Society of Smiling Scribes will be holding their first meeting on 5 July at the Mallala Hotel, 1.30pm. We will be having a workshop on writing the limerick, and we will be having lots of fun! Come join us if you can! (bring pen and paper)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Poetry Group in Mallala area

There's a new poetry group now in the Mallala region. The group is a part of Adelaide Plains Poets inc. (APPI), the poetry group that run an annual poetry competition. 

The purpose of this small group, named 'Society of Smiling Scribes', is to bring smiles to the faces of all who come across it. We will be writing limericks, and other forms of funny poetry, and sharing our fun stuff as widely as possible!

The first meeting of the group will have a workshop about writing limericks, the rules, the history and so on. Writing will be shared and critiqued, and no-one will be allowed to be negative. Failed attempts on the day are only limericks in progress, and with editing, they can be made better!

If you live within driving distance of the Mallala district, and you can afford the gold coin donation to attend, please come along to the Mallala Hotel on 5 July 2012. The workshop begins at 1.30pm, if you want to dine first, arrive early. The Mallala Hotel has wonderful food available at very reasonable prices.

I'm looking forward to seeing you there!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Poetry doesn't have to be tragic!

I'm a positive kind of person. My friends will possibly confirm this - I never complain too much about things. I tend to take what life hands to me, and if it's not good, I keep looking at it until I can see something good in it. Big black clouds bring the rain we need sometimes, and they bring beautiful rainbows too. That's the sort of thing I see, almost every day.

I was thinking about not much a few days ago, and had a sudden idea about a poetry group I'd love to belong to - a group of poets who all think positive things, and write lots of happy and funny poetry. The sort of poetry you snigger over when you read it, the sort of poetry you wish you'd learned at school, instead of that bloody thing with the daffodils.

I thought about this for half of the day, then I thought of an appropriate name for this wonderful group, if it ever came into existence. Then I decided it wasn't IF it came into existence, but WHEN it came into existence. And I want that time to be soon!

The name I want for the group is Society of Smiling Scribes. I want us to meet and write limericks, funny epitaphs, cinquain, acrostic and lots of other kinds of fun and funny poems. There will be a kind of rule about being positive and happy when you're at a meeting, and perhaps the same when you leave the group meetings too. Smiles will be many and shared easily with all.

I'd like this group to be close enough to where I live that I can afford to go every time, and I want it to be a group that meets regularly, depending on what group members decide. Are you interested in this group? If you are interested, and you live anywhere near the Mallala/Gawler districts, get in contact with me and we can meet up! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My MS Memoir

Well, I've begun writing my memoir on my new life, living with my new disease, MS (multiple sclerosis). I sent a copy of the prologue to my new mentor a few days ago, and I'll get some feedback from her the next time we meet up, in a few week's time.

Just to make it all a little more interesting, I've decided to include prose and verse in this memoir, including some poems I've already written about things that have been important in my first couple of years of living with MS. I love poetry, writing verse helps me to work through my thoughts.

The writing of this memoir will be a thing I don't do totally on my own. My mentor, Ray Tyndale will be there with me, and so will lots of people who are living their lives with MS too. I hope to get in contact with people to find out about the things they'd like to know, and the things that have helped them, too.

Having a disease that can impact on a person's mobility can be devastating. If you can't travel on your own, and can't find someone to help you, I can barely begin to understand how it might feel. Personally, I'm doing well. I can still drive, walk a little bit and so on. I'm able to use my fingers and my voice, so communication is relatively simple.

It's not that good for some sufferers though. I hope my memoir, once it's written and released out into the world, will be able to offer some hope and help to everyone who wants to know more about the MS life. If nothing else, I hope my memoir will help people to explain to their loved ones, friends and/or carers, what their life is like.

If you have anything you think could or should be in my book, please let me know! I'll do my best to include it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

On Meeting My Mentor In Person

This morning I went to the Sarah's Sisters Cafe in Semaphore to meet with my poetry mentor, Dr Ray Tyndale, for the first time. I'd been told Ray was a lovely person, and I was completely thrilled to be able to confirm this! We seemed to get on extremely well, and covered lots of ground in this important initial meeting.

The project I will be working on with Ray is my memoir about my new disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS). That's the easy part. The tricky part is that I want to write my memoir in a combination of prose and verse. The verse part is why I wanted to be able to have Ray involved, to help me to get the verse right. I've written another blog post about this, celebrating my success in the grant application process, to pay for Ray to be my mentor.

Now that Ray and I have met, and chatted about what I want this memoir to be, it feels like this is really going to happen. I'm getting even more excited! I shared a little bit of this meeting I had with Ray this morning, with the people at the meeting I was at in the afternoon. This meeting was with a committee of people involved in the MS Society SA & NT. They were excited for me, and one lady asked when I would have this book out. I said, without hesitation, late next year. 

Was that brave, stupid or ridiculous? I think a bit brave, but also a bit truthful - I certainly feel like I can get this done in time, and have the book out in time for Christmas next year. It's going to be the perfect Chrissie present for someone you know who has MS! Every library should have a copy!

Now I have to write the first chapter before I next meet with Ray, and I'll find out her thoughts on the poetry I've given her to see what I've written in the past. I hope it goes well. If she has any thoughts on improvement, I feel sure I can trust Ray to be kind, but wise with it. This kind of relationship must be one built with trust.