Wild Words Festival 2022

So Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th June is the Wild Words Festival in Cuffley, Hertforshire. I am on stage Friday at 4:30pm and I must say I am really looking forward to it.

I have been sifting through my children’s poems to find daft ones, silly ones, disgusting ones to share to warm the audience up before we get onto the serious business of wishes.

Wishes are so important to stories. Without them many things would not happen. Events would not take place and characters would not be motivated to do something. Of course, the problem with making a wish is that usually something goes wrong as Billy found out Wishbone Billy.

If you can make the festival, do say high and do let me know what you thought of my books if you bought them. I always love to find out from children what they think. If you can’t make the Wish Wonder you will probably find me hanging out in the festival’s bookshop buying more books when I really shouldn’t. I have so many to read already!

Anyway, whatever you are doing over the weekend don’t forget to take time to find a quiet space and make a wish. Maybe just a small one. You never know who might be listening.

More about Elves

He was always a bad acorn.

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A BAD ACORN

  In a land far away, in a very cold place, a place colder than your fridge, far colder than eating six ice-creams in snow or even colder still than sticking your tongue to an icy pole on winter’s day, is the Surprising Forest.

  In the Surprising Forest is tall oak tree after oak tree after oak tree after…you get the idea. And every Autumn the acorns fall to the ground to be picked up and stored by the Little Fluff Squirrels. Now, when Winter comes, the Little Fluff Squirrels hid away from the cold to protect their little toesies and spend their time snoring their heads off.

  And when spring comes, those same Little Fluff Squirrels finally get out of bed and go get something to eat. The Little Fluff Squirrels usually find most of the acorns they have stored away in their hidey places and goggle them up. The lazy, greedy pigs! But some acorns, just a few of the special emerald green acorns are forgotten. There they lie, waiting for the first full moon of Spring. And when it arrives, reflecting its majikal light onto the forest floor, little elves hatch out of the acorns like ugly chicks from eggs. But here’s the strangest thing: every single one of them is fully grown; a little man, with long beards and everything. This is true. I swear to you, no lie.

  But when the Bad Elf was born things were different. When his acorn fell, no Little Fluff Squirrels wanted to touch it – they hid from it! It lay there, in its bleak place, alone. Not a wonderful, emerald green colour but a dark, dark black. A black so dark that if you peered at it, you would feel like you were falling, down, down, down forever.

  So there it lay. Untouched. Waiting.

  Waiting for the moon to shine. And when it did shine, the acorn cracked open like knuckles and a dreadful smell oozed out of it, across the forest floor, turning any fallen leaves to dust and the forest to silence.

  Out rose the Bad Elf, a fully grown little man, with a long beard and eyes of flame. This was the beginning of Bob.

Book Birthday

I’m pleased to announce the launch of BAD ELF. This is now available from Amazon for £5.99.

About the book: A fantastical journey with elves, bears, some well-known fairy tale characters, and Father Christmas!

Most elves are happy, kind and love working for Santa making Christmas toys for good little girls and good little boys.
But not Bob.
He’s bad with a capital B-A-D.
And he is fed up. He is fed up with reindeers and making toys for that stupid red-clothed idiot. So he runs away.

Join Bob on his search to find a new job away from the North Pole in a world full of wacky, eccentric characters that will have you laughing out loud.

Available here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1739868501/

POEM: Grandma is a fossil

My grandma is a fossil
Or so I have been told
She lies upon her bed
With teeth mainly gold

She doesn’t move much
But lies gathering dust
As still as a great stone
With a lip of tea crust

Gonna be a scientist
Get a spade and dig her up
With a brush I’ll be careful
To push away the muck

My great fossil grandma
Would get me on the news
People would line up outside
Standing in their twos

This poem came about as I needed a poem about fossils. I remembered the phrase ‘Grandma is an old fossil’ so it got me thinking about how old people are similar to fossils and what could happen if you treated them as one. I composed this one in my heard driving home.

POEM: Pants

New pants are on the scene
Have you ever seen something so supreme?
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday’s best
With a label upon its crest
A symbol of the snuggly feel
That you get from a Sunday meal
Everything in its right place
Puts a smile upon your face
Jump to the left
Hop to the right
With these pants
I’m full of might
I can do anything
In red pants of glory

I got thinking of the time when I was young and we got new clothes. The excitement, particularly of new pants. Bigger pants. They seemed to symbolise growing in age and becoming an older boy.



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 century. 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.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.54

Boy in black crew neck shirt

Thief.

You have taken something that wasn’t yours and then lied about it to your parents. What did you take? Why did you take it? What have you done with it? What are you thinking?

STUCK?   Try this story starter:
I know I shouldn’t have done it. It felt wrong as soon as I had. But Kevin deserved it. It was there and I needed it.
Mr Jenkins had sent me back to the class to get my packed lunch. I had forgotten it as usual. That was when I saw it on Kevin’s desk. Just sat there. For anyone to take.

What happens next?

DID YOU KNOW? There is story called The Balaclava Story by George Layton about a boy who steals a balaclava from someone at school. It is brilliant.

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.48

super carrot copy

Super Carrot.

Imagine you were a person who turned into a super carrot. How did it happen? What would your super powers be? What would you do? Of course, every superhero needs a nemesis so what is yours?

STUCK?   Try this story starter:
Jamie knew she shouldn’t eat any more carrots. She was always eating them. Her mother warned, “If you eat any more you’ll turn orange and turn into one.” But that was just her mum joking, wasn’t it.
Jamie was walking home along Hobart Street. She had had a particularly bad day at school so reached in her pocket and pulled out an emergency carrot. She had eaten lots today. More than normal. But one more wouldn’t hurt. She took a bite and …

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.