The Library

IMG_2849A trip out to the Library was where it all began.
Imagination fired once more, mind running off again.
I looked at rows of books and piled some on the floor.
Hoped for peace and quiet, from ladies starting to jaw.
But I sat there and persisted, blocking out all other noise.
Although futile I resisted, children playing with the toys.
Wrapped up in a book or two, whilst they began to play.
There’s still a story to get lost, and while away the day.
Old books have been “Withdrawn” and are on sale by the door,
Pick a book not knowing, what it has in store.
Whether factual or a thriller, there’s so much there to choose.
A lover or a killer at only 20p, what have you got to lose?
Carpets torn and tattered, bookshelves empty and bare.
It’s hard to get excited, when there’s hardly any there.
But as you search among them and seize upon your choice,
You’ve finally seen one which matches your own voice.
There seems to be a moment, in which you dare to hope.
That when finding inspiration, there is always scope.
Take a moment get stuck in, spirited far away,
To other places far and wide, in corners of your day.
And as you are transported, off to another world,
You think of tales and they as they became unfurled.
What people are in there and their stories to be told,
Fact or fiction in this space, you’ll surely find pure gold.

This was inspired by my research trip to the library the other day. See In the name of Research, The Library and Books of Poetry  Photos: Morguefile.com

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In the name of Research, The Library and Books of Poetry

So since Today was a pretty grey day and I had some errands to run, I found myself walking past where I used to work years ago to visit the very unassuming library to do a bit of actual research, I was in a nearby town close to the family home.

Two things happened today, I ventured out to do stuff and in doing so, I put on a smart shirt, some perfume and some heels along with my jeans and a leather jacket, did hair and make up and felt like I had returned to the land of the living for the day. I refused to let the debilitating headache which has plagued for a week get the best of me today and now that the shakes have stopped (almost) I decided to get things done…

So having not got any answers as to how many poems in a book is a good idea. I thought I would flick through the shelves and look at the children and adult poetry sections there for inspiration or to at least figure that bit out.

I located one of the librarians who gave me directions to the bottom shelf, where I was faced with the grand sum of less than 2ft of one shelf with poetry books.  Hmm, I thought nervously, (and more than a little hopefully) maybe poetry is such a great thing that all the books are out.  Alas no, this was all they had, I hoped that my choice of genre was not a bad one after all.  That is not really going to light up my life is it, about 20 books!  Dismayed I sat cross legged on the floor, I opened the first book, the rough carpet under me since there was no sign of a comfy chair on which to sit and I was not going to be emptying the meagre shelf just for a look. I hoped that no-one would tread on me in their stampede on their way past to the craft afternoon which was just about to start and rather wished I had made the journey to the other old library, where I used to go as a child after all. Now that was all that you want a library to be. It was beautiful old building with solid wooden panels and shelves and you could lose several hours there with a good book looking out over some lovely gardens. Or perhaps the one in the nearest town to me, which is huge and has regular exhibitions and lots of seating.  But there I was for a a short time transported back to a world which reminded me that I love reading and if the floor is the only place to sit, it really didn’t matter.

I picked up the first book, which was a collection of the poetry that used to be on the underground. I was quite surprised that the book was over 300 pages deep, but then had large widely spaced text, small poems, one to a page or more and lots of chapter pages too, so a lot of that was information and credits.  There were over 100 poems though.  So if I am going to follow that route then I will need to write a few more and include all the ones I have already written.  

I picked up another book, of Love poems the contents slightly less at just under 200 pages, with about 20 of them being allocated to indexing and notes.

I found a few which only had 30-40 poems in them and some of them were also very short so it seems that there is a whole host of ways to go.

The things I noticed from my little bit of research about this is;

All the books listed the poems, in the index by the first line of the poem. 

Only some of them listed the poems by name.

They were not split into subject matter.

They were randomly included in each book.

Most had less than 180 pages including the indexes and afterward.

Almost anything goes…

So it seems that although there are no hard and fast rules about which way to go, for any of you who like me, are on the route to your first book of poetry, I hope this little list helps you out.

What struck me though was the bizarre mixture of poetry which jumped off the page and stuck in my head as I left there.  Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf by Roald Dahl, Still I Rise, by Maya Angelou and The Tyger by William Blake, all so vastly different.

I may have to visit the other libraries anyway all in the name of research of course! to see what else I can find out. I feel my research is incomplete, plus it will give me the opportunity to read a few more books and see what exhibitions are happening locally. Now who could pass up an opportunity like that.  Plus, I enjoy the silence with which to read, it makes the memories last so much longer without distractions. The silence was definitely missing in today’s library, there was noise and bustle and things going on, along with a loud conversation between the librarians about recycling and composting bags and how many of them they are selling at the moment.  Perhaps I am recalling times gone by, a flashback to the past, when libraries were a place for peace and quiet.  Perhaps it was that this was a small community library that they were holding events in the midst of it, so should I be seeking that serenity elsewhere?

 

Writing up the Past and A Pair of Shoes.

In the last few weeks I have been working on a novel, which relates to aspects of my past, so I have been digging deeply without trying to let it swallow me up. It has been difficult to both recall and write about. So the novel itself may be a long way off. Although I have started writing, I have been relying upon memories which have not all been easy to dig up again and so dealing with the demons which inevitably come out to play in the process. All whilst trying to maintain the status quo and a happy home life. It has been a bit of a strain and the posts over the past couple of weeks have been up and down along with my emotions and thoughts.

It feels quite cathartic to have finally typed up all my poems which have languished in the loft all these years, after finding them last week. There would have been 40 of them. A nice round number (and I do like those) if there weren’t two missing, perhaps I threw them away in disgust a reminder of a love that once was, but that is unlikely. I wrote an index of them all along with the dates they were written, even approximately if I didn’t know the actual one. There are bound to be others kicking about in notebooks, handbags etc which I may find years from now, the one I wrote for my friends wedding still eludes me, along with the other items which I have yet to find. I fear moving in case one of the items I have been searching for, gets disposed of, so I will continue to hunt for it until I can find it again, although that may take some time. Meanwhile, whatever gets thinned out is getting checked over very thoroughly for that piece of jewellery until it turns up.

I have tried really hard to not judge myself too harshly since I started to go through them, whilst muttering “Gullible child” under my breath quite a lot. The facts of the matter are that I wrote all of these during the ages of 16-20 and I was young and sometimes very foolish back then. There are a lot about my “Loves” from way back then. At least I can rest assured that I have grown up a lot since then. It’s funny how the inner voice conversations go though, when you read something going back that far about yourself. I found myself thinking about my transformation over the past year or so and telling myself, “Who are you trying to Kid, you are still the same person as when you wrote them“, whilst arguing the fact with my inner voice. I am not! (she shouts like a five year old, almost stamping her foot) Lots of years have gone by and I know that I have learned a lot, however it has not been a joyful few days and quite emotional and I have probably been rather teenager like at times. Just wanting to get it done in the single minded way, which isn’t really fair. So I have also been trying hard to get other things done for the family too, so that they aren’t left out. However I have still been able to relate to the person I was when I wrote them, not the ones which are about the Loves in my life, but about the feelings instead.

I will share only some of them, others’ I have deemed “not fit for consumption,” so will stay where they are, I resisted the urge to edit the hell out of them although some of them have been slightly tweaked, they are raw like I was back when they were written and they would lose their integrity and make them something new. Maybe that would be a good thing after all, but as yet I am undecided.

Anyway, here’s one I wrote and do want to share with you, It‘s called A Pair of Shoes, I wrote it 23 years ago. I laughed when I read it again, thinking that even way back then, I loved a metaphor. The shoes did actually exist, now if only I could remember which ones they were….

A Pair of Shoes

At the moment, I feel like a pair of shoes…. 

I bought them two years ago.
They’ve been in the box ever since.
I like them.
But I’ve never actually “Needed” them.
They might be useful at some point.
Occasionally I take them out and look at them.
I didn’t want to get rid of them.
Sometimes I try them on for size and they’re comfortable.
Then I put them away,
Until next time.

 

Lost work or When Mercury goes Retrograde

It’s frustrating isn’t it, when you search the depths of your PC, your files etc, only to find that it is gone….
Is it another hazard of the planet Mercury going retrograde. When the planetary movement destroys the work which was not backed up properly, or fries your technology. Of course, that is not the actual description as to what happens, except that invariably does. To much clasping of hands to the side of the head and Oh No’s!

I do believe that it IS a real phenomena, it happens so regularly and goes on for weeks. Every quarter and lasts for around 3 weeks at a time. Where suddenly Pcs’ Phones & TV’s begin to play up. It affects communication but not just online causing havoc in your life, especially to the unprepared.
Thankfully the internet can offer you a warning of the impending doom that is on it’s way and for the next few weeks you’d better hang on tight, but there is good news, the current one is due to finish on 22nd and not return until late August apparently.

At least the knowledge of it’s existence serves to advise you that you are not losing your marbles and that you can stop pulling your hair out. My reason for writing this… Well, I have been caught out on a few occasions with this. Lately I have begun to back up my Laptops to an enormous external drive. But having done that with every file I can find, I still can’t find it…

There have been a few things I have lost over the past few months, which have caused me great distress and whichever “Safe Place” I have put them in they have yet to materialise from. But the aforementioned IT, was from about 10 years ago, when I wrote a short story. I can remember sitting at the computer, no laptop back then for a very long day, then going back to edit it the next day. I was quite pleased with the end result, although I never sent it off anywhere to be published. It was on an ancient PC, at one such time, the PC began to “play up” again and I subsequently lost a lot of my files from it along with a hard drive. I relied upon a back up on the PC and it failed me, but I wonder if I did actually manage to save it, if only I could remember what it was called.

Recently my thoughts keep returning to the story that I wrote. I cannot remember the whole thing, but the character’s name and backline are in my head, so often right now that I felt that I should search for it again. Since all my old backups are now on this one drive. I also have another just in case I am dealt a further cruel blow, I’m being careful now.

I am now gathering up my work form the years gone by. I refer to myself as a new writer since I have not openly written or published anything until recently. However it occurred to me that I have been a part time writer for many years. I have poems, short stories, ideas for books, allsorts of things. I remember that I was writing a book when I was fifteen. I wonder what happened to that? It must have gone adrift in the 13 house moves since then. Thrown away to start again, or is it hiding again in storage which may never be uncovered, awaiting the day when it is cleared and someone may either find it and destroy it, or decide to finish it and publish it.

So, it may be that I have actually been a writer for years. Not a failed on, just a not ready to launch yet one…

My valentines cards to my partner have often contained poems of love, I wish I’d written all the poems down elsewhere, but I’m sure that in the grand sort out, they will turn up in the cards, since we tend to keep them with the lovely words we have written. I thought about updating my website, my social media with my current choice of work experience. Maybe that unscheduled time off which forced me to be the person underneath all the rest of it that I am, can come out to play, learn to dance as my words do, off the page.
Maybe I have finally embraced what IS meant to be after all these years, the writer who was hidden underneath. Watch out world. Here I come….

As my writing persona takes me to a whole new level in my life, I am grateful for the new opportunity I have seized with both hands. For the new experiences it has opened my eyes to and the people I am “meeting” along the way, via social media and the fact that this year, I WILL publish my first book.

I haven’t been sitting idle, and stopped banging my head against the wall whilst I tried to figure out the next step forward for me. I have begun to do what has been there all along. I am happy. Everyone knows that writers have no money until their big break, right? So we pared back, hunkered down, stayed in and stuck together. I have gained strength from the process and we live a simple life again at the moment.

Who Will Buy? In the words of Oliver Twist..

It’s inspiration that we find in the strangest of places, today this tune and a couple of lines of it have been going around my head.

In the words of Oliver Twist…

Who will buy
This wonderful morning?
Such a sky
You never did see!

Who will tie
It up with a ribbon
And put it in a box for me?

So I could see it at my leisure
Whenever things go wrong
And I would keep it as a treasure
To last my whole life long.

Who will buy
This wonderful feeling?
I’m so high
I swear I could fly.

Me, oh my!
I don’t want to lose it
So what am I to do
To keep the sky so blue?
There must be someone who will buy…

I set myself a goal when I began writing this blog and post my own brand of poetry here. Finally, I would be doing something that I wanted to do.  That special thing, ME TIME! and who knows, somewhere along the way, someone might like it and read it.

To all those of you who have so far brightened my days with your likes and comments, it is appreciated more than you could know.  To the people who follow this blog, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, you give me a reason (and boy, do I love one of those) to go on with it.

So, I set about it.  Putting my thoughts on paper, (or laptop) random things, poems, feelings, photos etc and here we are, a few months later, although early days, I am making progress on to my next goal.

When I reach 100 poems that I have written, I will self-publish a book of poetry.  Some you will have seen here, some you will not. (After all, I have to hold something back) Like one last card to my chest, I sometimes get fed up with being the proverbial open book. So once I reach that 100, I’m actually almost there… Yay! I will start to select the few that will end up in my first book and I will have reached that goal.

I have a name, a format and a question…. Who will buy?  Then another, If it ever makes it to proper print, (hard copy) then should I wrap it up in a ribbon?

Since I am planning to self publish this book, I’d love to have a physical book for people to have, hold and share. If any other bloggers here have had any success in getting donations towards hard copy publishing and can give me any advice, it would be much appreciated.

For those of you who may now have the tune whizzing around your head, here’s a link to the words.  Who Will Buy… From Oliver Twist, by Lionel Bart