Something Different

While responding to some picture prompts yesterday, as research and practise  for writing children’s fiction,  I was inspired to respond in a way I didn’t expect.  My intention has always been to continue to write poems but to begin to write stories for children.   Who knows, one day I might do what many authors have done and that I admire greatly, and that is to write a story in rhyme.   The first author I think of in this case is Julia Donaldson.  A talented lady!

With regard to my fiction, I realised that I needed to do a bit of research before I attempted another story.   I wrote a story recently that showed good promise but there were gaps in the structure and the plot.  I need to read more for my intended audience.  The rainbow magic series has proved a valuable source.

I am a little blocked when trying to write children’s stories at the moment. It’s as though my confidence has wavered.  But I will be back.  In the meantime, whilst looking on PInterest, I found some poems about fairies. As you might have read, I want my stories to include a fantasy element such as elves, fairies and gnomes.  I have been totally inspired by some of the pictures I have collected so far.   It was  when I came across the poems that I decided to have a go at writing my own poem on the subject. I seem to be on a bit of a roll with my poems lately so when responding to the picture below (which is not mine and I hope whoever took this beautiful photo does not mind me sharing it on this blog) I decided to respond with a poem.  I have included the picture too so you can see my inspiration.

IMG_1594

Here is the poem:

There is a little tree
Where all the gnomes play
There’s lots for them to do
Even when skies are grey

The gnomes have a little rope
On which they like to play
They have a few thick branches
On which they like to sway

They have some little mushrooms
They jump from one to the other
And when it starts to rain
They run underneath for cover

And when night breaks
They go through the tiny door
And climb into their beds and dream
Of places they want to explore

And in the morning they rise
From their little gnome beds
And fun ideas of what to do today
Soon fill their little gnome heads

Jen Elvy

So what do you think?

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

My verdict:

Well I surprised myself with this one. I assumed I could only write poems about family and things in my life.  I never dreamt I would even try something like this.  For a first effort I’m actually pleased with it.  The simple language and rhyme hopefully lends itself to a younger audience and I hope it would capture their imagination.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and as I said your feedback is welcomed and appreciated.

See you soon,

Jen xx

New Beginnings and Reflecting on Memories.

Hi all!

I have quite a collection to share with you today.  Most unusual as productivity has slowed down a little lately but I had a bit of a queue of poems I wanted to write and happily, I managed to write them all.

Perseverance has been the key lately. Sometimes I am finding that the rhymes aren’t flowing as easily as they once were.  Yes, it is true that a poem doesn’t have to rhyme but rhyming is my structure and unless I keep the pattern tight, my non rhyming poems end up as prose written as a poem.  Not to say I won’t try non-rhyming again one day.

The first of my poems I want to share is one that evoked a strong response on my facebook page.  It seemed many mums could relate to the subject matter and it wasn’t just me experiencing the emotions.  Fearing that I would forget.  Thank you to all who shared and commented.  Your support means more than you will ever know.

The idea came when watching my two boys as they play and explore the world.  We have our five year old, just leaving reception (more on that later) having completed his first year at school, and our nearly 2 year old,  finding his way in the world and on the edge of talking. (hopefully, I do love it when they learn to speak).   It upsets me a bit that although we have lots of  photos and videos of our eldest as a toddler, I just can’t picture him that little anymore.  Maybe because the toddler in the family is now our youngest and he is the one I see as our little one. Nevertheless I just want to lock up all the memories forever.  I know some will fade with time and some I might forget altogether one day and that scares me.  I love that I keep a diary so I can hold on to these memories and I think I do still remember more than I think.   These memories are precious and holding on to them is important.   So here is the poem, dedicated to both of the boys.

 

Children grow so quickly
Time goes by so fast
So many lovely memories
From times gone past

I hope I’ll always remember
When you were very small
Your little wobbly steps
And when you first kicked a ball

I hope I’ll always remember
The way you toddled about
Your husky little giggle
Your sweet little pout

I hope I’ll always be able
To see that little face
When someday you are in
A more grown up place

I’m looking forward to things to come
But I’m scared that I will forget
The precious times when you were small,
The day when we first met

We have a million photographs
And videos we view with pride
But it gets so hard to see
The pictures in our mind

I want to collect these moments
And lock them all away
So that I can relive them
Every single day

 

Jen Elvy

As I said, many related to this poem, which showed, of course that I wasn’t alone in wanting to treasure the memories and keep them fresh.  I think it is fitting as well as the end of the school year has arrived and children will soon be moving up to the next class.

This brings me to my next poem about our eldest child.  As I said, he’s completed his first year of school and we think he’s done so well.   That shy little boy we once knew is disappearing and in his place, a more confident and assured little boy is emerging.  He’s made some good friends and they will remain his companions as he grows and progresses through the school.  This is the main message of the poem.  I wanted to give a sense that they will grow together, learn together, explore together.  He is not alone in his journey with a supportive family and lovely friends by his side.   So here is my poem for Kyle.

Time for Year One

Your reception year is over
Can’t believe how you’ve grown
You’ve learned so much
And time has really flown

                       It’s time for you and your classmates
                                         To move up to Year One
                       You’ll have lots of new adventures
                                         It’s going to be such fun                                            r

Your solid little friendship group
Will be with you all the way
They’ll be right beside you
As you work and as you play

So enjoy Year One my lovely boy
And do your very best
But in the meantime, summer is here
And you can have a rest

 

Jen Elvy

I had fun with the wording and rhyming of this one!! It was a slow process but with this and other poems I am sharing today I followed a simple rule, If a rhyme doesn’t work change the word order or find a new way of saying what you want to say.  It is not easy and highly frustrating at times, but as I said the key is to keep going and you get there in the end.  And another golden rule to follow is to take a break and come back to it the next day.  I am pleased with the end result. It flows nicely and I think I’ve rounded it off well.   That’s always been something I’ve had to think more about, an ending that rounds off the poem.

Now we move to our youngest son, Sam.  He turns two at the end of August and he’s changed so much since I last wrote a poem about him.  I wanted to capture the little boy he is now.  So without further ado,  `Here is my poem for Sam.

Approaching the Twos

At nearly two years old
You’re a lovely little boy
Happy when you’re playing
With a push along toy

You have that mischievious giggle
You destroy everything in your path
You love to play with your animals
Especially your ducks in the bath

You love a story now
You often bring us a book
And now rather than chewing it
You like to take a look

When you are cross and tired
You’re not afraid to show it
You still love your food
But you also like to throw it

Your little noises show
You are almost ready to speak
But in the meantime
You simply like to squeak

We love you little Sammy,
Everything about you
And I think it’s fair to say
That we wouldn’t be without you

Jen Elvy

 

The poem captures him more or less as he is now, a cheeky little boy with a husky laugh,  into everything and always on the move.   There were some rhymes there that wrote themselves, such a speak and squeak and throw it and show it but others didn’t come as easily.  I actually jiggled the verses around a bit before finishing as I felt the verse about him speaking and squeaking should come near the end.  Then of course, the closing verse. I knew I wanted to basically say that we wouldn’t be without him, that he completes our family.  I just had to find the rhymes to go with them.   It didn’t prove too difficult in the end.  Again, perseverance! Keep at it!

 

My fourth and final poem is a tribute to my lovely Dad on what would have been his 97th birthday.  I love that I can use poetry now to mark these days when before I was lost as to how to pay tribute to him.  I thought of him, I felt a bit sad, but I always felt there was something more I could do, so I value the opportunity to put my feelings into a poem.  So here it is, Dad. My poem for your special day.

To Dad, on your 97th Birthday

Not a day goes by when I don’t
Think of my lovely dad
Of all the love you gave us
And the happy times we had
Today it’s your birthday
And although you’re no longer here
I’m sending you love and good wishes
As I know that you are near
The sun is shining today
Heaven is sending a smile
So today I’ll sit some place
And remember you for a while

As if I could ever forget
Happy birthday Dad

Xxxx

Jen Elvy

The title is a homage to my mum, who, for years wrote in my cards “To Jenny on your xth birthday” (where x was of course my age) I’ve only just thought of that idea and it did make me smile.  The first few lines came easily.  I stalled a bit on the next bit, searching for the right tone, but I think what I produced was quite fitting as I never feel Dad is far away.  And I love the bit about heaven sending a smile as I’m not the best at symbolism.   Yes the sun was out during the morning but it rained later on so maybe it could have been a brief hello smile from Dad. Well you never know!  The last couple of lines are important although they don’t fit in with the rhyming structure.  I will never forget Dad and I think of him every day.   And every year on his birthday and anniversary too, I intend to write a poem.  I will write about him on other days if the muse strikes but rest assured he is always in my thoughts, even when, as he himself said, life takes over.

x x x x x x

Thank you for reading and for your continued support.

Jen

xxx

 

Father’s Day Poems – a little late – oopsy!

Hi all. For father’s day this year, I decided to throw caution to the wind and do a homemade card from the boys to their Daddy.  I wrote a poem to put inside that was shorter than last year’s effort but still very fitting.  The boys added their handprints and it made a lovely little card. Especially considering that Kyle, my eldest wrote the greeting on the front.   I will do something more artistic next year but here is the card. IMG_1465.JPG

And here is the poem I wrote my dear hubby for father’s day, on behalf of myself and our lovely boys:

A spirited little mini-you who wants to learn
And a toddler who wants to see the world burn
A father who guides them as they grow
And loves them like they will never know
A mother, eternally thankful and glad
That her kids have such a wonderful Dad

Jen Elvy

Short but sweet and Dan loved the poem and the card.   The first line celebrates how much our eldest son is like his Dad and how he’s getting so independent minded and curious about the world.  The second line celebrates our little hurricane. Our youngest son. Our clumsy, loveable, early rising son.  After Sam woke us early yet again one morning, Dan once commented that “he wants to see the world burn” which is a quote from a batman film.  It seemed very appropriate at the time! And it’s sort of stuck with our little Sam.

The rest of the poem speaks for itself and we do feel very lucky to have Dan in our lives.  More than he will ever know.

I wrote another Father’s Day poem.  I wanted to address the fathers we celebrate on Fathers day.  The hard working, the long distant but dedicated and the dearly departed.  The latter of course, includes my own Dad who was a loving and devoted Dad in every way.   He was sadly missed this Father’s day, as he is every day.

Here is my Father’s Day Poem:

Your Day

To all the fathers who work so hard
Who love their children wholly and unconditionally
This day is for you

To all the fathers who want to be there every day
But cannot
But carry their children in their heart
This day is for you

To all the fathers that are no longer with us
Who we remember so fondly
And miss so sorely
Every single day
We raise a glass to you
This day will be yours always
Wherever you may be

Jen Elvy

I felt it more appropriate to write a poem dedicated to all father’s this year and within it is my tribute to my dear husband and also my Dad.  Both men have taught me so much about life and parenthood.  Both men are wonderful fathers.  Dan is there for us every single day and loves us unconditionally.   Dad will always be with us and is never far away.   xxxx

So here’s to all the dads.  All our heroes.

xxxx Jen xxx

 

 

A Pledge

Hi everyone,

Back again for another blog.  Today I bring you a new poem and a bit about what I’ve been doing towards my storywriting goal (and I do say a bit as it’s work in progress).  An exciting time for my writing!

So I thought, after so long I’d better write another poem and after considerable thought the idea came to me to extend a small rhyme I’d written about a little birthday present I had bought myself.  My new running shoes.  It’s not the shoes themselves that I’m writing about but what they represent. A new start.  The first step to hopefully a more healthier and fitter me.   Here are my new running shoes, funded by birthday money from my lovely in-laws.

IMG_1373I posted this picture to facebook on Saturday with a mini rhyme to say thank you for the money and to show them and others what I had bought.  I don’t make a habit of thanking people via social media but it seemed fitting in this case.   While I was settling little Sam last night I came up with an extension to the little rhyme I’d written, detailing my goal in full. Honestly, I owe half of my poetry repetoire, if not more, to my youngest son’s bedtime settling time.  It must be the quiet, calming atmosphere that just allows me to relax and unwind and play with some ideas. I love doing this without the pressure of putting pen to paper, or rather fingers to keyboard, as is more often the case.

So I will let my poem explain my pledge:

It was my birthday earlier in the week
And amongst all my wonderful treats
My lovely in-laws for my special day
Kindly sent some money my way
And rather than sweeties and chocolate bics
I spent it on something that will keep me fit
These new running shoes are a symbol of how
I’m going to stop being a lazy fat cow
I once said to a friend “I don’t do running”
I have since tried and the results have been stunning
But like an alcoholic returning to the source
I’ve always gone back to eating like a horse
I’ve been using my babies as an excuse
But it’s really not their fault my clothes don’t feel loose
The sweets and chocolate are my downfall
Or anything containing any sugar at all
But now I’m gaining back control
And going with the feelings in my soul
I may never be a perfect size ten
But I’d quite like to be slim again
It won’t be all misery and starvation
The key is everything in moderation
So with the help of these running shoes and self discipline too
I’ll become the slim person that you once knew

Jen Elvy

And just like that, my drive begins.  I must admit, although the run didn’t happen tonight because of the rain, things are starting to shift already.  I’m resisting sweet things more than usual and it’s come so suddenly.  Like I’ve gone from no will power to a considerable amount.  Usually when I diet it is when the results are showing that my willpower improves or when I up the excercise but I’m finding myself able to resist sweet things more often. In fact it’s a case that I don’t fancy them so resisting is easy.   Take this afternoon for example.   I visited the bakery near where I was working and usually, along with the savoury, I would almost always pick out a cake.  In fact it was a compulsion.  Must Have Cake!!!! But today? Not one part of me, wanted a cake.  It was freaky.  Like someone had flicked a switch inside me.  A positive sign but rather unsettling! Long may it continue!

I hope you enjoy the poem. I liked how the ideas and rhyme flowed.   And some of you might identify with the ideas.  The eternal struggle of dieting.  Hoping to succeeed this time. I have done it a few times now and I can do it again.  I will keep you posted.

In other news… I haven’t had a chance to write any more  children’s stories but I have been gathering inspiration and ideas.  My Pinterest “children’s writing” board is gathering momentum (flilling with pictures of fairy gardens and pretty inspirational pictures that are getting me fired up to write more. I just love Pinterest.  I also have a board of children’s books that I want to read as research and I have a couple of other children’s chapter books on loan from the library.  Maybe I will raid my collection at my mum’s house another time.  Not to mention charity shops and Baggins, a local second hand bookshop.  And I’m keeping an eye out in schools that I’m working in and will be noting down some titles of books that might prove helpful!

Watching Ben and Holly with the boys has also been a good source of inspiration! And lots of fun! And a welcome break from our friend Peppa Pig!

I will keep you posted on all fronts and will be posting some Father’s Day poems in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, thanks for reading and see you soon,

Jen xx

A New Direction

Hi all,

Work has been mad and I’ve been tired but I’ve started working on some Father’s day material and other bits.   However, today I am sharing something slightly different.

A few months ago, a friend of mine shared a job on facebook that had been advertised by Twinkl, a resource website for teachers.  The site has been widely used by schools at which I’ve worked and they were advertising for content writers, in particualar writers who could write stories for ages 3-8.

I did consider it for a while but quickly dismissed it on the grounds that, although I’ve said ‘never say never’ when it comes to writing for children, it just hasn’t been high on the agenda.  I thanked my friend kindly for thinking of me and moved on.

But then something happened……

For the past few months I’ve been teaching and supporting Year 2 ( 6-7 year olds), helping to prepare them for their SATs. (statutory assesssments for the end of their age phase)   One morning, while helping the children write stories and having read a longer story by one particular member of the class, who had put together his own book,  I had a little spark of inspiration.  I wanted to write stories for these children. I wanted to inspire them to write, provide a role model for their own story writing as well as encouraging them to read for their own enjoyment.  Could I write for children? I thought.  I hadn’t really attempted any children’s fiction.  When I used to write stories it was for teens or adults and I’d never really had the desire to reach the children’s market.  Until then….

Since then I’ve started to research the children’s market and read some stories aimed at children about 6 or 7, maybe a bit older.  Some of these are stories the children have been reading to me!  It wasn’t until a few evenings ago that I actually went for it and wrote a children’s story.  I knew I wanted my stories to have an element of adventure and fantasy.   Having been inspired by a nature trail I went on with my mum and the boys,  I have latched onto the idea of elves and fairies.

The idea actually struck me when I was putting Sam to bed.  I knew I wanted part of the story to be set in Benidorm as I loved the setting and wanted to write about it again but I also knew that the character was going to be transported to another world.  Then, just like with my poems, the story started to form in my head. So when I got downstairs I got it all down.

Having written it, I left it for a couple of days before I edited. When I read it back, I was quite pleased with it for a first story and particularly liked the fantasy parts.  It probably still needs a lot of work but in the interest of putting it out there, I shared it with some lovely friends on a facebook group I am in.  They are a wonderfully supportive bunch of mums who have children the same age as my eldest (and some have older or younger children)  They are also all teachers so I thought they would be a fab first audience.  I got some great feedback and it has given me the encouragement I need to share it on this blog.

So, dear readers, I give you my first children’s story, yet to be titled:

It was a warm, sunny afternoon in Benidorm.   The palm trees were waving in the summer breeze and children splashed in the hotel swimming pool.  Everyone was in high spirits.  Everyone, it seemed, except for Charlie.  Charlie was annoyed.  Charlie was frustrated.  Whatever he did he always seemed to get in trouble, “Calm down Charlie,” they would say. “Don’t do that to your brother! ” “Stop throwing your ball in the pool Charlie!”     And yet his brother, his little nine month old brother, Ted, could do no wrong.  He was floating adorably around on his baby float,  mum and dad smiling fondly and spinning him around.  He was getting admiring looks from other people in the hotel. 

But look at him, Charlie thought, gazing at his brother He is quite a cutie.  Charlie decided to join his brother, so with an almighty splash he jumped into the toddler pool. 

But all he got was his mum’s sigh. “Charlie! No!” You are getting water in your brother’s eyes! Do you want to blind him?” Jeez, thought Charlie, I only wanted to play with him! And what’s this about blinding him? That will never happen!  His parents were too much sometimes. 

With a scowl, he emerged from the toddler pool and turned to the bigger pool.  it looked so appealing right now, the blue water shimmering in the sunshine.  He took a deep breath and jumped in there instead. 

But then something unusual happened….

Instead of the cool water of the swimming pool, his legs made contact with much warmer water.  Not hot, just warmer than the pool should be. He felt a force pulling him under water, but instead of panic, he felt very calm. Not just because he knew he could swim under water but also because the force wasn’t a rush but rather a calm gentle flow.   

Charlie emerged from the water but he wasn’t in the hotel pool anymore.  He appeared to be in the middle of a lake.  A very calm, blue lake.  There were lily pads close to the bank of the water and he could see frogs hopping from one to the other.   

How did I get here? Charlie thought? What is happening?

He heard a tiny voice “Swim over here young man”   

Where was it coming from? Charlie spun around in the water and he couldn’t believe his eyes. There on the lily pad sat a tiny man with white hair and a white beard. 

“Come over here, child” the voice said again.  It did appear to be coming from this tiny being.

Slowly, Charlie swam towards him.   He wasn’t afraid, but slightly wary. 

“Hello young man,” said the tiny man,  ‘My name is Cedric and I am be your elf guardian” 

Elf guardian?  What on earth is going on?  thought Charlie.  But he said nothing and let the man go on,

“I”ve been sent here by chief Elf to bring you a special message but I cannot talk to you when you are so much bigger than me.  So I am going to give you a little drink and you will shrink to my size”

“Huh?” was all Charlie could say.

“You mustn’t worry, young one” Cedric said.  “You will grow back all too soon and return to your family but first you must hear this message” ‘

“O.,,kay…” Charlie said, slowly. 

“We will begin instantly, we have no time to waste, your parents will be worried.”

“That’s a lie,” said Charlie. “They are too busy with Ted to care where I am” 

Charlie expected, almost hoped, that Cedric would tell him this was nonsense and of course his parents cared, but Cedric simply nodded sympathetically.

“Sit down, Charlie,”

“Wait, how do you know my name?”

“Never mind that, Sit down on the bank. Relax”   Charlie did as he was told and was handed a tiny cup that suddenly grew to normal size when he took it. 

“Wow!” gasped Charlie “How did you do that?”   Cedric winked and motioned for Charlie to take a sip and as he did, sure enough, Charlie shrunk to the same size, or maybe a bit smaller than Cedric and found himself sitting on a lily pad beside him. 

“Perfect,” said Cedric, “Now lets get on,  Do you recognise this baby?”  And before Charlie could ask “What baby?” an image of a baby appeared in the clear blue lake.  It was so clear and Charlie did recognise the baby, at least he thought he did. 

“It’s my brother”  he told Cedric. Rather embarrassingly, tears sprang to his eyes. He quickly wiped them away.  Cedric shook his head.

“No, Charlie,” he said. “that’s you,”

“But it looks like..”   Cedric smiled

“Exactly like your brother! two peas in a pod. Now look at this one”   Charlie was about to ask  this little elf man why he thought he and his brother were peas but now was not the time.  He saw another image in the lake.  It was his mum and dad.  And a baby again. Was it Ted or him? he wasn’t sure.  But then he looked closer and realised that, yes, the baby was him.  They were on holiday somewhere sunny on a beach..  His mum and dad looked a bit different. Younger maybe? But they looked happy. Very happy. They were hugging him. They looked like they really loved him.  That was then, Charlie thought. They didn’t love him now.   Charlie began to cry.   

“Dear, dear child”  Cedric said, handing him a little handkerchief “What on earth is the matter?”

“My mummy and daddy loved me then,” he explained.  He had no idea why he was suddenly  calling them mummy and daddy again. They’d been mum and dad since he’d turned six. 

“But that is simply not true!” said the kind little elf.  “When you were a baby they used to protect you from harm just as they try to protect your little brother. And you see they still do protect you.  But in a different way. They know that you are older now.  You still need protecting, don’t you. But not in the same way as little Ted.  Look at how much you can do now”  Charlie thought about this.

“i can run really fast, I can jump really high and I can swim on my own. I had lessons and everything”   Cedric smiled and nodded.

‘That’s right, Charlie,” he said “but your brother can’t do these things, he can’t even walk yet, can he?”

“He’s only a baby,” Charlie said, protectively.

“Exactly” Cedric said, “So you see, your parents do love you. They just know they need to guide Ted a little bit more at this stage.  And they know what a big boy you are. But you still have so much to learn, dear boy and that is what they are trying to do. Guide you in the right way in life”

Charlie nodded, slowiy beginning to understand.

“I’m missing my parents,”  he said “I must get back, they might tell me off for being away so long”

“They will not know that you have gone, Charlie. but that is because no time has passed in the real world.  When you go back you will have only just jumped into the pool.’

“Wow,” said Charlie once again. 

“Now I will give you your drink and you can grow back and swim back to the centre of the lake and then soon you will find yourself back with your family, enjoying your holiday.  Charlie sipped the drink that he was given and just as Cedric said, he grew back to his normal size. 

“Awesome!” he gasped. “thanks!”  Cedric smiled and waved to Charlie.  Charlie waved back and swam to the centre of the lake.   He bobbed his head under water and once again felt the gentle flow and then he was back in Benidorm, emerging from the water.   He caught his mum’s eye. She smiled

“Wow! What a jump Charlie!” she said.  Charlie grinned from ear to ear. He swam over to the toddler pool and climbed in, approaching his mum, giving her the biggest cuddle.   His mum kissed him on the head.  He released his mum and gently ruffled his brother’s blonde hair.

“I love my brother’ he said.

Jen Elvy

So there you have it.   Please let me know what you think. I hope you like it.  I will write many more, I’m sure. This is just the start.

I liked writing about a problem to which a child can relate and adding a fantasy element and I’m wondering whether to continue with a similar formula or set my stories entirely in a fantasy world.

Maybe I’ll do a bit of both but what I do know is I’ve gone fairyland mad and I’ve got a new board on Pinterest with some beautiful photos to inspire me.    I will also take some photos when out and about of scenes and landscapes that inspire me.

I want to continue with my poems and maybe write a rhyming story one day but for now, I’m all fired up to write children’s fiction too and I hope you will join me on my journey.

I leave you with this photo I took on our nature trail that was a great source of inspiration for this story and hopefully subsequent stories.

FullSizeRender

Until next time

Jen xx

Time Flies

Yes it certainly does and it seems that it’s been a while since I posted last.  I think I need some kind of routine to this so at least once a week I will try and sit down and write something, even if it’s just writing practice to begin with.   I haven’t come up with anything whilst out and about so I think I should commit to setting some time aside.  That is a work in progress.

I will begin by saying a big THANK YOU.  As some of you know, I now have a facebook page as I thought it might be nice to showcase some of my work on social media.  I have been flattered by the response so far so thank you to everyone who has liked my page.  Your support means so much! xxx Also, last night I published my latest poem on my page and it’s had an amazing response so thank you so much if you liked, commented or shared.  It means so much.  I’m just so glad that you enjoyed the poem.

I will share the poem with you here and tell you a bit about the writing process and how it came about.  I will round up with some tips/advice for fellow writers.

So without further ado, here is the poem:

Time Flies 

Sometimes I sit and
Just watch you play
Knowing you won’t be
So little one day.

I take in your face
And your wispy blonde hair,
Your little button nose
And your blue eyed stare

One day your face will change
You’ll lose your baby ways
Chatter will turn to word
And word will turn to phrase

I can’t wait to watch you
Learn more and more through play
And I really want to hear
What you have to say

But I want to live in the moment
I want this phase to last
Why must time
Always go by so fast?

Jen Elvy

 

I hope you enjoyed the poem and I’m sure many of you can relate.   It’s that conflict between wanting to just freeze time and keep them little but also knowing that you can’t wait to see them change and grow. And maybe there’s a little phase that you secretly want to hurry along, like the suffering of teething, that stage where you have to follow them around everywhere because you never know what they are going to get up to next.   I remember being in the park with the boys after school, before Sam could walk and I said to some of the mums “It will be lovely when Sam can walk around so he can enjoy the park more.”  He used to crawl around the park and I’d be constantly fearful of children treading on his fingers or reluctant to let him crawl if the ground was wet.  Then he learned to walk and now he’s an established walker.  I was right. He can enjoy the park and wander around happily.  However we are now on the following closely on his tail” phase where he’s everywhere and into everything. I love to see my baby explore, I really do.  I just sometimes wish he’d explore in a more cautious way! But of course, I know that’s impossible and for now I am happy to follow my little cannonball, make sure he doesn’t get in any scrapes and keep him out of harms way.   I am treasuring this phase because in no time he will be as old as Kyle and I will find it hard to imagine him being so little, just as I do with Kyle now.  (We have our home videos though, which are lovely)

But my main point is that half of me is like ooh I can’t wait til he can talk, walk without the buggy, sense dangers ahead of him, etc but the other half just wants to keep him this size forever.  With each stage, will come new challenges and I know we have lots to look forward to but at the same time, oooh my baby won’t be my baby for much longer.  Am I ready?

So those strong emotions, I knew I could use for a poem. I was searching around for a subject matter and then, like a bulb lighting up in my head, I was like, hello? You know this nostalgia vs anticipation feeling you have? Go with it! It’s good.  I finally had time the other night to sit and read some poetry and then try and write something too.  I read poetry about toddlers and I think the poems I read really set the scene for the poem above. They were all on the “I won’t always be this small,” theme so it was perfect.

I started by writing the first verse, which was more or less the first verse you see in the poem, give or take a couple of words.  Then the rest of the verses that I wrote were actually not my best work.   They didn’t match up to the powerful message in the first verse.  I realised this especially after a day or two, after I’d left them and then come back. A fresh pair of eyes is vital sometimes.

When I reviewed my writing, I found that I loved the first verse so I kept it, and started the other verses again.  The poem didn’t come too easily as I wanted to strike the right tone.   I’m quite proud of the second verse as description is not usually my forte, but I followed the old saying, keep it simple! And I think it works quite well, don’t you?

Unlike some of the other poems I have written, I actually spent quite a lot of time deliberating over different rhymes because nothing seemed to sound the way I wanted it to, but I persevered and in the end, I got there.  I had a poem I was happy with.   I had a rough idea of the struture and that came quite naturally.  I knew what I wanted to say. I just needed to find the right way to convey the message and find the right rhymes that didn’t sound forced.

But as I say, I’m pleased with the end result and I’m so glad so many of you enjoyed it too.

My  tips for fellow writers that emerge directly from this poem are:

  • Persevere – keep going, don’t give up.  If necessary leave the poem overnight and see how you feel in the morning but keep at it and don’t give up.
  • If you have an idea, just go for it. Just write.  You can change what you write later. Edit, polish, whatever. Just make a start and you will hopefully find that the words start to flow.
  • If not happy, don’t be afraid to start from scratch.  I have said this in previous blog posts.  Please don’t delete the original work as it could form the basis for the edited version but if things aren’t flowing start again from the point at which you thought it was working.
  • Take a break and then come back A fresh pair of eyes can be very positive and if you feel things aren’t going right or you simply feel you might have a first draft but it needs a bit of work, feel free to stop, take a break and review it when you come back.  But the important thing is MAKE SURE YOU COME BACK! (refer to first tip)

Thats about all from me tonight, except to say that if you would like to read some of my work before it is published on here and (and some that may not be) and keep up to date with goings on, feel free to like my facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Jens-Poems-219679815178017/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Hope the above link works, if not I will amend. The title of the page is simply “Jen’s Poems”

Thank you all again for your continued support.

Jen xx

 

All Things Bright and Benidorm

Hi all,

Just back from a lovely family holiday in Benidorm, Spain.  Have you been there? Its fab! It’s got this amazing home away from home quality.  We went when our eldest was a baby but this time we were a family of four. Going back with two children to revisit old memories and make some more was brilliant and I was quite emotional at times as it all seemed so surreal.  Coincidentally  we stayed at the same hotel as last time. It is now under new management and it’s had a refurb and we agreed it has changed for the better.

I could do a whole new blog post about the holiday but my post today will focus on the holiday from a writer’s point of view.  I have suffered from writers block in the past but being on holiday in a new environment, surrounded by palm trees, sandy beaches and the like, never fails to inspire me. It’s hard to explain but it inspries me even if I can’t quite put it into words.   The new thing this time was that I am writing poetry on a kind of regular basis so I had a way I know I could put my inspiration across.

One problem though, description isn’t exactly my forte so place poems pose a bit of a problem. But I’m encouraged by the fact that I can try and always edit and improve later.  With this first poem, I feel I am just getting started with writing about Benidorm.  I fell in love with the place even more the second time around and with this poem I feel like I was just scratching the surface. I was pleased wiht the outcome and that I managed to write a poem about a place I loved.

I will first share the poem and then tell you how it came together.

 

How nice it is to be back in Benidorm
Where the beaches are sandy and the weather is warm
The sun always shines and the palm trees
Gently dance in the summer breeze
The high rise blocks stand tall and proud
The sky is clear, there’s no sign of a cloud
Through the streets we love to explore
Bars and pubs and shops and more
And at the end of the day, with aching feet
It’s great to be back in our hotel suite
Looking over the balcony at the amazing view
Waiting for tomorrow and adventures new

Jen Elvy

More often than not, I start my poems with the first line and work my way down to the close. This time it was a bit different. The last few lines actually came to me first.  To begin with I had the word treat to rhyme with suite but when we had a particularly long walk one evening, I changed it to aching feet.  I love exploring new places and having an evening walk to work off holiday food sins, so believe me it was a satisfying ache.  It was, however, very satisfying to sit down and relax afterwards. From being back at the hotel suite, it felt natural to lead on to talking about the view from the balcony, which was breathtaking. Then from view, I got new adventures, or “adventures new” to close the poem. It seemed a fitting close point to talk about being back at base at the end of the day, looking out over the city, anticipating the next day’s adventures.

So I had the end, now to work out how to start.  I came up with the first few lines during a walk back from a sea life park, Mundomar, in the blazing heat. I love composing poems in my head whilst walking along.  It seems less pressure than writing them straight down on paper or on the screen.  I can juggle words around in my head as much as I want, in a relaxed state of mind.  My editing head is on but my critique head is not in action.  On the walk I got as far as the line “The sky is clear, there’s no sign of a cloud”   I’m sure Benidorm has it’s overcast days but at the time of composition, there was a lovely clear blue sky.   It was now a case of connecting the first lines with the closing section I’d already composed.  I could have written so much more but in the end I only needed a couple of lines that covered the exploration aspect before going on to the closing two couplets.   I am pleased with the outcome and it shows that you can start a poem at any point. Just because you have the first couple of lines, does that mean that it has to be the opening of your poem?  Not necessarily. In the case of this poem, the closing lines that I composed first were always going to be closing lines and it happened that the poem came to me in this order.   With other poems, this might not be so clear cut but that doesn’t mean that you can’t play around with the poem a bit, adding lines at the start or in the middle, or changing the order of the lines.  Maybe this is something I can look into in future poems.

As I said, I could write so much more about Benidorm but I hope you enjoyed my first attempt to capture the city in poetry.

Thank you for reading,

Jen xx