It’s all in a book

Let me talk about the importance of books and reading. You might think the book in your bag is not all that but let me try to change your mind.
When I was at Primary School, i was not the most avid reader. In fact, you probably wouldn’t have seen me with a book. It wasn’t something I did for pleasure. Maybe it was having learnt to read through the Peter and Jane reading scheme meant that reading did not equal enjoyment for me.

5b OUT IN THE SUN Vintage Ladybird Book Keywords Matt Hardback Peter and  Jane Circa 1968

So come Year Six most of my writing was underlined in red pen by the teacher due to the poor spelling. At Parents’ Evening, my teacher (Mr Patchett) told my mother I needed to read more to help my spelling. My mother promptly passed the message onto me, with strong emphasis. So the next day, I searched the classroom bookshelf for a book until I chanced on The Otterbury Incident by Cecil Day-Lewis.

The Otterbury Incident - Wikipedia

It was about two gangs of boys who team up to help raise money for a friend. There were cunning tricks and battles with crooks. It was brilliant. So I read it again. And again. And again. After that, I thought “I’ll try something else,” and the reading bug was born within me. That book changed my life.

Governments need to celebrate the power of books. Libraries should be given all the funds they need. Schools given grants for author visits. WORLD BOOK DAY should be everyday.

POEM: Words

Words are watching you
They gather your thoughts
They tell your secrets
They spread lies
and state truths
They can break a heart
They ruin friendships
or destroy an evening
Beware words
They can imprison you
or set you free

This poem came about as I was mindlessly watching tv and thinking of the impact that certain people’s words have had on others. It got me thinking about the power of words and how easily they can be misused to create harm.

POEM: We Go A Wandering

Photo by  Abhinav Narayan 


It is interesting how the mind works. I haven’t written any new poems for a while or posted on here but thought it was about time I did. So what to write. I decided on a poem but my brain was empty of ideas. So I went to bed having written nothing.
A bad nights sleep. I kept waking up. I woke up at 3AM, wide awake. So I decided to listen to a Frank Skinner podcast on poetry. The poet he was referencing had written a poem using ABC structure so I thought “I’ll try that!”. Then I fell happily asleep.
It was that time when you are half-awake, half-dreaming. I was dreaming of people walking in the countryside and a song/poem filled the air. I came to. The words still clear in my head. I wrote them down. I wasn’t sure of some of the words – did they even exist. I checked. Yes, they did. I had written a poem in my sleep state using real words I didn’t think I knew. How strange!
So here is that short poem.

Here we go a wandering
A trundling
A trolling
Here we go a wandering
In the glade

Trundling = to move in a wagon; to roll along
Trolling = to say in full, rolling voice

STORY: The Breakdown

The driver looked at Colin with a hopeful face.
‘Can you fix it?’
Colin looked down at the engine and scratched his head. There was a maze of pipes, wires, and tubes of liquid. This really wasn’t his area of expertise.
‘It’s just that it’s new and I borrowed it from dad. I can’t take it back broken,’ the driver pleaded.
‘I’m not sure I’m the right person.’
‘Pleassee. You just got to help.’
Colin felt pity for the young driver. He had been in that situation once. Maybe there was something he could do. It was a long shot.
‘Have you tried switching it off and on again?’
The driver perked up, leant over his dash, and flicked a switch. The engine died to a silence. Then he flicked the switch again. Lights came on. There was a gentle rumble as it sprung into life.
‘It worked! Oh thank you. I knew you were the person to ask.’
The driver hopped into his seat, wound up the window and gave cheerful wave.
Colin stood back by his IT van as the driver and machine flew into the sky.

POEM: Man In The Moon

Half moon

 

There was a man in the moon,
Who switched the lights off too soon,
Day turned to night,
All people in fright,
Running in fear of the doom.

 

This type of poem is called a limerick.  It was made popular by Edward Lear in the 19th centurty. I just love these types of poems. They are great fun to write because of the clear structure and rhyme pattern. 

A limerick has five lines with a clear AABBA rhyme pattern:

There was a man in the moon, A
Who switched the lights off too soon, A
Day turned to night, B
All people in fright, B
Running in fear of the doom. A

and a da-de-da-de-da, da-de-da-de-da, de-da-de-da, de-da-de-da, da-de-da-de-da rhythm to it.

Why don’t you have a go?

There are more examples here: https://www.brownielocks.com/kidlimericks.html

Write-30 No.62

Write 30

Free Choice.

Write about anything you want. It could be about your day, about a TV programme, a computer game, in fact anything you want.

STUCK?   Try this idea: The hardest thing I have ever done is…

What is Write – 30?
Write – 30 is a daily activity where you write non-stop for twenty minutes then check and edit your work for 10 minutes. You will be asked to write about different subjects and in different forms.

The writing should be done on lined paper in pencil if possible. Edit and check the work in pen. If you don’t have paper and pencil, use what you can. Even a computer.

Finding it difficult? What you can do to help:

  • Always sit/work in the same place
  • Always use the same writing tools
  • Always turn the TV off
  • No talking – it distracts thinking
  • Always listen to the same piece of classical music when writing.
  • Always set yourself a goal: count the number of words. Try to beat that number the following day.

Write-30 No.61

Man and woman sitting on white box

Nightmare.

What is the worst nightmare you ever had? Where did events take place? Were you in it? How did you feel during it? How did you feel after it?

STUCK?   Try this story starter:
It was the worst nightmare I ever had EVER! Worse than the one about the monster under the bed. Even worse than that time…

What’s next?

What is Write – 30?
Write – 30 is a daily activity where you write non-stop for twenty minutes then check and edit your work for 10 minutes. You will be asked to write about different subjects and in different forms.

The writing should be done on lined paper in pencil if possible. Edit and check the work in pen. If you don’t have paper and pencil, use what you can. Even a computer.

Finding it difficult? What you can do to help:

  • Always sit/work in the same place
  • Always use the same writing tools
  • Always turn the TV off
  • No talking – it distracts thinking
  • Always listen to the same piece of classical music when writing.
  • Always set yourself a goal: count the number of words. Try to beat that number the following day.

Write-30 No.60

Man and woman sitting at table

Spell Binding.

Imagine your parents are wizards and witches and you are told never to go down to the cellar. What happens when you sneak down? What happens when you open their spell book?

STUCK?   Try this story starter:
We had always been told never to go down to the cellar, Fantasima and I, but like all kids told never to do something by their parents that just made you want to do it, to find out what all the fuss was about, what the big secret is. And our parents already had a fairly big secret. Dad is a Wizard (Grade 2) and mum a witch (Grade 1 with honours) so whatever was down there would be good.
It was their fault really. They shouldn’t have left us alone to go to a friends’ house for a coffee and cake. I know it was only for an hour but a lot can happen in an hour. It wasn’t my idea to go down there, I swear, it was Fantasima. But of course she would not get blamed, never the youngest.
Anyway, she had sneaked the key down and came to me and said, with that mischievous twinkle in her eye, waving the key before me, ‘What do you think?’

What happens next?

DID YOU KNOW? There is a book about a couple of children transported to another world called Narnia by magical rings. It is called The Magician’s Nephew by C.S.Lewis.

What is Write – 30?
Write – 30 is a daily activity where you write non-stop for twenty minutes then check and edit your work for 10 minutes. You will be asked to write about different subjects and in different forms.

The writing should be done on lined paper in pencil if possible. Edit and check the work in pen. If you don’t have paper and pencil, use what you can. Even a computer.

Finding it difficult? What you can do to help:

  • Always sit/work in the same place
  • Always use the same writing tools
  • Always turn the TV off
  • No talking – it distracts thinking
  • Always listen to the same piece of classical music when writing.
  • Always set yourself a goal: count the number of words. Try to beat that number the following day.

Write-30 No.59

man, woman, and children on sofa

The Inspection.

Imagine the government makes a rule that all families must be inspected once a year by Home Inspectors. What would they make of your family? What comments would they write about each person in your family? Who would get top marks?

STUCK?   Try this starter:
When I expected the family I was quite shocked. I found the eldest child in their bedroom…

What happens next?

What is Write – 30?
Write – 30 is a daily activity where you write non-stop for twenty minutes then check and edit your work for 10 minutes. You will be asked to write about different subjects and in different forms.

The writing should be done on lined paper in pencil if possible. Edit and check the work in pen. If you don’t have paper and pencil, use what you can. Even a computer.

Finding it difficult? What you can do to help:

  • Always sit/work in the same place
  • Always use the same writing tools
  • Always turn the TV off
  • No talking – it distracts thinking
  • Always listen to the same piece of classical music when writing.
  • Always set yourself a goal: count the number of words. Try to beat that number the following day.

Write-30 No.58

Man standing on black rock formation during night time

Perfect World.

What would your perfect world look like? What would be in it? How would the people behave? Where would everyone live? What would a normal day be like?

STUCK?   Try this story starter:
Lots of people have different ideas about what the perfect world would be like. If I was in charge, the supreme boss of Earth, then everything would be…

What happens next?

What is Write – 30?
Write – 30 is a daily activity where you write non-stop for twenty minutes then check and edit your work for 10 minutes. You will be asked to write about different subjects and in different forms.

The writing should be done on lined paper in pencil if possible. Edit and check the work in pen. If you don’t have paper and pencil, use what you can. Even a computer.

Finding it difficult? What you can do to help:

  • Always sit/work in the same place
  • Always use the same writing tools
  • Always turn the TV off
  • No talking – it distracts thinking
  • Always listen to the same piece of classical music when writing.
  • Always set yourself a goal: count the number of words. Try to beat that number the following day.