A Poem for Bedtime – Learning To Talk

Just wanted to share this one:

 

Learning to Talk

You like to have a chatter
Before you go to sleep
Making sure in your head
Your new sounds you keep
You listen to the way we talk
The rhythm and the tone
Knowing one day you will speak
All on your own
You’ll get there in your own time
There really is no rush
And when you don’t get words quite right
We won’t make a fuss
We’ll enjoy your mispronunciations
Your special words for things
This is how you’ll learn, my love
It’s where it all begins

Jen Elvy

This poem is of course about our littlest son, Sam as he is experimenting with speech now and likes to have a little chatter before he goes to sleep.  It’s a joy to listen to and I look forward to the journey ahead.

My tip for this post is :

Write about the special moments in your life.

Night night,

Jen xx

 

 

 

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Children’s Poetry: Unicorns I love them!

Hi all,

Excuse the cheesy title. It is reference to a cute character in a well loved film in our house. Can you guess?  Yes that’s right Despicable Me.  And the character is Agnes who is mad about unicorns and sings a little song about them, hence my title.

I have loved writing about elves and fairies and all things magical.   I was a little worried after publishing the last one that the poems were getting a bit “samey” My husband agreed that this may be the case and suggested unicorns as they seem to be popular in the media at the moment.  Even in Cold Feet a character expressed their admiration for a unicorn keyring.   So I thought I’d bear that in mind.

I still fully indend to write about elves and fairies again but maybe some of them could be from a different angle or taking a different approach.   It’s been about a week since I last wrote a poem and so I felt quite fired up yesterday to write another one.  I chose Unicorns as the topic and I thought, OK, where do I start.  To find out how this poem came about, feel free to read on:

 

Mad About Unicorns 

My sister loves the creatures with horns
Commonly known as unicorns

It makes her go all soft and dreamy
To imagine their fur all white and creamy

With curly horns like ice cream cones
“I want one as a pet,” she always moans

Mum says they’re magic but I don’t believe her
And I don’t see the point in trying to deceive her

But then again, ok I suppose I’ll play along
As long as she quits with that silly unicorn song

She’s unicorn mad,  that much is true
But as long as she’s happy, what can you do?

Jen Elvy

 

So to prepare for this poem I did a bit of word association.  Most will be familiar, but in case you’re not, what you do is you take a word, in this case Unicorns and write down/think of the first words that come into your head.   In this case there was: horns, dreamy, white, magical.  Then immediately I started to come up with rhymes, like I observed the rhyming words : horns and uncorns, and after dreamy, I immediately thought of creamy, as in creamy white.  I was chuffed that already I was thinking in rhyme.   Then I thought of the idea of a child writing about their younger sister.  I’m not quite sure how I came up with that one, to be honest.  But the poem developed from there.

When I wrote about the unicorn song, that bit was inspired by the film but it didn’t necessarily apply to the song in the film.  Perhaps there was another song that the sister sings.

I got a little bit stuck for ideas half way through so I took a little break and then continued to think.  I thought the sibling narrator, (could easily be a sister or brother) could decide to play along a bit and decide that as long as the sister is happy, then who is he (or she) to say what the sister can or can’t like.  There you get the sense of love for the little sister. That’s right, I’ve decided the unicorn mad sister is definitely a younger sibling.

So my tip is:

Let the ideas flow by playing Word Association.

It definitely got me started on my unicorn poem.

Once finished I wanted to find a picture of a unicorn on PINterest to use on this blog, and also my facebook page.   Ideally I wanted to try the text on top of the picture but I didn’t have the right editing app that could do that (on Moldiv you can only add a few words)  so I posted the text and the picture one after the other, (but still on the same post)

This morning, however I found an app.  It is called Bazaart and it was free.   I found I could easily add text to pictures using that app.  Here is the unicorn poem with text on image:

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Pleased with my work, I tried it on a couple of other poems of mine. On ‘Down the Forest Stream’ I found the picture was too bright for the text to show up but I found that if I shuffled the verses around a bit, it worked with “Fairy Party” :

IMG_2010

Hope you like the finished products and that you enjoyed the Unicorn poem.

Thanks for reading,

Jen xx

Children’s poetry: my latest work 

Hi everyone,

Today I want to share my latest children’s poetry.  Both start with an image! I just can’t help but love using pictures to fire my imagination!

There’s a party going on 
Behind the magic door
With elves and fairies,
Pixies and more

They have fairy food
More delicious than ever
Especially to be enjoyed
As a feast all together 

There’s a pink unicorn cake
And special fairy bread
But the magic only works 
If you use the special spread 

Anyone not fairy sized 
Cannot join in the fun 
Humans cannot fit through the door
It simply cannot be done 

So if you’re free this evening 
And you happen to be fairy-sized
Come to the tree with the fairy door
And you’ll be pleasantly surprised 

Jen Elvy

Down the Forest Stream

Down the forest stream
A magical land can be found
If you listen carefully 
You’ll hear the gentle sound
Of fairies whispering to each other
In the summer breeze 
Of elves cleaning and tidying
And scrubbing on their knees
Make your way along the stream 
Be careful of the prickles
And eventually you might just feel
The tiniest of fairy tickles 

Jen Elvy

The second poem came to me just now when I was making notes on my Pinterest pictures trying to practise my powers of description using a word bank I have created. I saw this picture and the poem just came to me! I love it when that happens!

About that word bank: I have been reading Fairy themed books for research and collecting some lovely words and phrases from them so I decided to make a word bank of fairy/magical themed words.  I created categories: nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs.  I started writing them longhand in my writing journal but ended up typing the whole thing up into a Pages document and I’ve yet to tidy it up with text boxes.  I’m hoping to use the word bank for reference when writing poems and stories. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

So today’s writing tip is:

Create a word bank of words you collect from your reading.

The word bank will be useful when you are writing and you need some new vocabulary.

Done this already? Let me know in the comments and how it’s worked out for you.

Thanks for reading and hope you like my latest ramblings

Jen x

Broken Sleep: Using Strong Emotions

So this morning, in the midst of severe sleep deprivation I wrote this poem, which I actually started in the early hours:

 

Broken Sleep

I can’t remember a time
When I didn’t have broken sleep
Its getting quite hard to bear
A brave face I can no longer keep

I love my little babies
I’m blessed to have them, it’s true
But I long to start each day
Feeling refreshed and new 

I yawn the whole day through 
I need matchsticks for my eyes
I pretend to be okay with it
But I can’t keep up the disguise 

I know this won’t be forever 
And one day he’ll sleep through
In the meantime I’m constantly shattered
What am I to do? 

Jen Elvy

 

The poem says it all really.  Ever since becoming a mum nearly six years ago! (I know! I can’t believe it either!) I’ve always had broken sleep in some form of another.  My eldest settled and really started to sleep better just as my youngest was born! Timing eh!

Some nights have been better than others but some have been terrible. Last night was one of those where I was up for a good couple of hours solid with my little wakeful two year old. We think that he’s about to master talking and this milestone is on his mind and keeping him awake.  Something has to explain his wide open eyes at silly o’clock in the morning.

Needless to say, this morning I was a mess.  Tired, emotional, you name it.  I decided to use these powerful emotions to write a poem.  As I was using these emotions as a springboard, the writing flowed nicely and I didn’t struggle at all.  In the past I have used huge rushes of love  to drive my poetry and this morning I was reminded that I can use the rushes of not so nice feelings to guide me as well. I don’t know, I’ve always avoided it as I haven’t felt in the right frame of mind to write.  This morning, I was able to express my feelings through my poem.  I found it rather healing.

So my top tip is:

Never be afraid to use strong emotions to write poetry.

This could even be applied to prose and stories too.  I think it makes the whole writing process flow naturally.

I was also aware that the poem would speak to other mums as sleep deprived as I am. That is the beauty of poetry.  It can reach out to people.

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed the poem.

Jen xxx

Starting from Scratch: Sammy’s 2nd Birthday

So the day is finally here, well almost.  Our little boy, our second born is about to turn two.

Here is his birthday poem:

 

Second Birthday

This a is a birthday message
To a special little boy
Who makes us laugh every day
And fills our hearts with joy

He was born on the last day of August
On a rainy bank holiday
You could hear his first cries
From very far away

He had a fussy first few months
He was always full of cold
But this started to turn around
From when he was about six months old

He discovered he could sit up
And see the world upright
He could sit and play so happily
It was such a joyful sight

Imagine the freedom he felt at ten months
When he first learned to crawl
And when he took those first wobbly steps
His zombie walk amused us all

He had it all in his second winter
Stomach bug, chicken pox and the flu
How he coped with all that
I haven’t got a clue

But he came through the other side
And enjoyed a holiday in the sun
He played on the beach with his brother
He had so much holiday fun

The time has gone so fast
And now he’s about to turn two
And so on your birthday, my darling boy
This is my message to you:

You completed a happy family
You’re special in every way
And so I send you so much love
On this, your second birthday. 

Jen Elvy

 

So I came to my task a few weeks ago, to write my boy a birthday poem.  I was thinking “How am I going to do this in a way I haven’t done it before?” Not so long before I had written his 22/23 month poem detailing how much he’d changed in the last few months. I didn’t want to repeat myself with his birthday poem.  When I first thought of reviewing the last year, I wasn’t sure I could pull it off.  I finally wrote a few lines which initially I was quite pleased with.  But then, reviewing it a day or so later, the lines just didn’t work and the rhythm? very unsteady.  I played around with it a bit but then became blocked and frustrated.

So I decided to leave those failing lines and start again. It was the best decision ever.  The result is what you see now, a little tale of his time with us, talking about when he first walked, crawled, saw the world upright.  It just seemed to work.

So my writing tip today is:

Don’t be afraid to start from scratch if things aren’t working. 

I talked about starting from scratch in an earlier blog post and I would still highly recommend this technique if you feel that things just aren’t happening.  This does not mean delete what you have done so far, as some ideas from the original may still be useful.  In fact once, in my haste, I did delete something I didn’t like, only to think it wasn’t all that bad later on and wish I’d kept it.  So never delete!! What I do is just press return on the keyboard a couple of times and just start the process from scratch.

Nothing was more satisfying than when I’d finished the poem, knowing that I’d waded through the waters of writers block to produce something of which I was proud.  I hope you enjoyed the poem.

Thank you for your continued support.

Jen xxx

Children’s Poetry: The Demise of the Goblins

Hi all,

This is my latest children’s fantasy poem:

A plan was hatched in a grotto one day
To try to scare the goblins away
Those fearsome creatures were at it again
Trying to make it eternally rain

But the elves and fairies
They knew what to do
They needed to form
One big solid crew

To stick together
Through thick and thin
And make sure the gruesome
Goblins never win

So in the garden grotto
In the dead of night
They decided to give
The goblins a fright

To teach them a lesson
They’d never forget
A plan that would be
Their cleverest yet

They raided their cupboards
They searched their shelves
And made costumes to dress up
As goblins themselves

They said to the goblins
“We’ll do whatever you say”
But just when the goblins thought
They had got their own way

They did the spell backwards
To suit their own gain
To make sure it would never
Ever, ever, rain

The sun would now shine
Forever more
The goblins cowered
And fell to the floor

Jen Elvy

The inspiration from this poem came from a picture saved on Pinterest, as with my other children’s poems to date.   I love collecting these pictures, they are inspiring and help to capture my imagination.

This poem started with a picture of a garden grotto. I imagined a plan being hatched in this grotto.  Being inspired by the fantasy world as I am at the moment.  (I actually find Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom fascinating!)  I made it about elves, fairies and goblins, even though the table in the grotto appears to be human sized.  I feel that straying to the fantasy world means that I moved quite far away from the original point of inspiration so when you see the picture you may be surprised that this picture led me to the poem but this is the wonder of the imagination.  Sometimes I stay quite close to the original picture, for example with my enchanted house poem, you read the poem and you can see clearly how the house led to the poem.  And I have a lovely little picture of a fairy adventure playground that I want to use at some point in the same way.

Picture prompts are very versatile and it’s amazing what you can produce from them.

An author visited a school I was teaching some time ago and spoke about the value of using pictures as a starting point and this inspired me greatly, only it took a few years before I tried the same thing myself.  The last thing I expected to come out of it was children’s poetry.

Thank you for reading, and here is the image:

 

Jen xx

grotto

Continuing the Fantasy Theme

Hi everyone,

I’ve enjoyed taking a different direction with my poetry, altering my target audience.  I still fully intend to write poetry on the family theme as well.  I wrote a poem for a friend last week and I am currently working on Sam’s birthday poem.  That is going to be hard. I’ve written so much about him that I’m in danger of repeating myself!

However, I enjoyed writing the last fantasy poem.  I feel that poetry is a good form for me as it keeps structure tight and stops me going off on a tangent.   And I discovered with my next children’s poem that maybe I could write a rhyming story afterall.  It came easier than I thought.  It was another response to a picture prompt but the picture was the starting point and didn’t contribute a lot to the writing of the poem so I will not share the picture on this occasion.  I will tell you that it was a woodland house surrounded by a dense forest.  It provided a starting point of inspiration for the poem, which tells a little story. Here it is :

Fairy Adventure 

Outside a little house
In a deep dark wood
Elegant and dainty
A little fairy stood

As I got closer
She asked me my name
She sprinkled fairy dust
So our sizes were the same

She then ran away
And I followed after
As I approached her
I could hear her laughter

When I caught up
She whispered to me
“I live over there
In that little tree”

So off we went
To her fairy house
And there we saw
A tiny fairy mouse

“His name is Timmy,”
She said to me
And then she said
“Will you stay for tea?”

So we ate fairy cakes
And strawberry ice cream
We chatted for hours
It felt like a dream

But just when I was
Having such fun
She said “Look at the time,
You must run”

She magic’d me back
To my normal size
When she opened the door
I couldn’t believe my eyes

I was back home
In my very own room
I hope I have another
Fairy adventure soon

Jen Elvy

 

I was surprised how naturally it seemed to come and I can’t quite believe I’ve wrtitten a narrative poem for children.  I have a growing collection of pictures on PINterest I can use for inspiration so I hope I can write more in the near future.

The next poem I want to share, I will share along with the picture as it acts as the focal point for the poem as well as the starting point so I feel I need to share it.  At first I wasn’t sure where to go with it.  I panicked, already afraid of my work being “samey” and I was lacking new ideas.   I looked at this picture:

IMG_1627

and thought, Where can I go with this, where I haven’t gone before? Who lives in this house? What happens?  After much pondering and a few little ideas, I decided to go with the ‘Who lives here?’ angle:

Enchanted House 

Who lives in the enchanted house?
Is it a little gnome with a pet mouse?
Or is it where fairies come home to bed
To sleep off the magic and rest their heads?

Who lives in the house with the red pointy roof?
Is it the elf who seems quite aloof?
And hides away among many a tree?
Is that why nobody’s ever been to tea? 

Who lives in the house with ivy around the walls?
Is it where the goblins come when evening falls?
Or where the fairies gather to learn their magic spells?
I know that someone knows the truth but no one ever tells!

Jen Elvy

 

I am pleased with the end result. I was able to use all the little ideas that I thought didn’t have enough weight to carry the poem but served as lines in the poem that capture the imagination.

Now the challenge is to continue to come up with fresh ideas and increasing my reading of fairy stories and poems will ultimately help.  If you have any feedback to offer, it would be very much appreciated.

I hope you enjoy reading these poems as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Until next time,

Jen xx