Sunday, 31 July 2016

Ode To The Sea

Ode To The Sea
A Poem by Patricia Wood

The steady beat of the ocean's heart,
Pounding, swashing rhythmically,
Intermingled with the melancholy, distant call of the gulls,
A sound so sad, so solitary, Near and yet far.
Those gulls of prey
Circling, hovering in the cloud-filled sky
Seeking food.
The life from the sea.
O deep endless waves,
Why tread your path of heartbreak and destruction?
Your revenge for your irreplaceable loss to ma?
Or is it a plea from your lonely wintry sands
For the sun, the breeze, and the people who have deserted you?

Think not of our misgivings
As they are as essential to us
As the daily ebb of the tide is to you.
Think of those long, summer days
When the sun blazed through the clear, yet hazy sky,
And children ran barefoot through your warm amber sands;
When your gentle, even tempered waves cooled their hot bodies,
When people lay on tattered towels, hiding behind multi-coloured shades, clad in pretty beachwear and plastic straw hats.
When laughter rang through your silent, friendly inviting beaches
Where flasks of drink, tea cups, bags were in abundance
Those young and old lovers walked hand in hand
And the cool breeze caressed the waters.

Such happy times with lovely memories,
Never far from our minds.
Remember the happy things, you vengeful thunderous sea,
As you pound impatiently against the stony shores.
Sen back your fiery steeds of foam.
Beware, you shores,
Of the waves that hope to engulf your sands.

Be patient, be calm,
O mighty waters,
Your time is gone
But your time shall come again.
©️Patricia Wood/Lorraine Poulter  1978

Today-the day before the bank holiday

What a day!!!!
I had the whole day planned. A few hours in my Shed writing, a walk with the dogs, maybe a bit of gardening. So far the only bit achieved was an afternoon walk with the dogs. The rest of the day was lost to the dilemma of how to cope with no water entering the house. That's right. About 2pm we discovered no water was coming through the taps. After the initial panic we contacted a local plumber who announced on inspection that the pump was fine but there could be a problem with the electrics, which he was unable to sort.
Who do you call on a Sunday afternoon without any hope of contacting anyone to come out until Tuesday because of the Bank Holiday tomorrow.
I put out a note on Facebook for anyone local to contact us with details of anyone who could help. Four hours later no one has replied, probably gone away for the weekend.
So took out Golden pages and found a 24 hour plumber-electrician.He cannot come out until tomorrow.
So a trip to Aldi to stock up on water and some milk for a much needed coffee.

Saturday, 30 July 2016


I read somewhere that most ordinary of people are capable of the most extraordinary actions. As we all presume to be ordinary we are therefore have the ability to find the extraordinary which is in us all. Be special and strive to find that extraordinary within every day.

Pause for thought

We can never take people at face value. We do not know their story and even when we are aware of their story it is from their point of view. In making friendships we learn to accommodate the other person's failings in the hope that they will accommodate ours. We overlook the disappointments in the relationship because they alone do not make up the friendship. Give, take, compromise and a lot of love bring us to our friends. With luck we get it right and they stay.

Friday, 29 July 2016

I am writing this because I can never work out whether or how this situation came about. Last year I invited two separate friends to meet up one afternoon. Both declined with excuses of other things to do. Fair enough. I later discovered that they had lied to me and actually met up without me. I was hurt and could not understand why the need for the deceit. They could not understand my reaction to their deceit and one went so far as to explain to me that I did not understand what had happened because "I was not Irish". Neither apologised nor considered they needed to apologise for the deceit and expect me to do so for getting cross with the situation. I did apologise for my part but they did not reciprocate. In fact they were quite happy for me to shoulder the blame for what happened when in fact I was the victim-not a word I  like but it is all there is. The disagreement has never solved itself. The friendships are broken and lost.
I don't think I will ever understand what basically happened. But it made the basis for a story, The Grand High Witch.

Patricia Wood

The previous two poems were written when I was still at school with dreams of becoming a writer. They were published in a book called Modern Poets 1978. Life intervened with many personal demons haunting my existence for many years which prevented me from pursuing a career in in my first love-writing.

Why Are Seasons Seasons? by Patricia Wood

Why do trees stand bare in winter,
Looking forlorn amidst the wind and snow/
Why do flowers die in winter
Leaving room for weeds to grow?
Why do birds migrate in winter
To sunny land?
Why do ponds freeze in winter
So that no lilies or fish may be seen?
Why are the streets so bare in winter
Except at Christmas?
Why does the sky cloud up in winter
To hide the watery sun?

When spring comes, why are people so busy
In tidying their homes?
When spring comes, why to buds on the trees shoot,
Coating them in a green blanket?
When spring comes why do flowers grow
In colours bright and grey?
When spring comes why do birds sing
Filling the air with music?
When spring comes, why do clouds thin
To open up a blue sky?
©️Patricia Wood 1978

Shadows of the Mind by Patricia Wood

The Party was over
I was alone in the dark empty street.
No lights were on,
No cars drove past,
No lights were on in the houses.
Just me, alone, in the eerie stillness of the night.
Each step I took was echoed instantaneously,
As i someone was behind me.
I stopped dead, then looked behind.
There was no one there.
I was suddenly aware that a thick darkness had surrounded me.
There was no way out!
I turned and started walking, only at a faster pace.
Those echoing footsteps lingered on.
I felt eyes watching every step I took.
I looked frantically to see what was there.
Suddenly I realised my footsteps were accompanied by some shuffling.
I looked and saw the ghostly figure of a man loom up.
Terrified I turned and ran,
For fear of what lurked in those shadows had taken over me.
But how was I to know that these were only
Shadows of the mind?
©️Patricia Wood 1978 in the book Modern Poets

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Satnav by Pam Ayres

This little poem has been sent to me from a friend un the U.K. It is by the lovely Pam Ayres. Last year my family and I went to France and had a wonderful time. However on landing from the ferry the Satnav failed. Took us 2 hours to get out of Cherbourg. We bought a new one. However this satnav proved it was no better. On driving from Paris to Cherbourg to go home we set the satnav to avoid toll roads. We had six hours to make what is normally a 2-3 hour drive. It led us through the countryside and we saw some beautiful villages. All the time it was counting down the kilometres. It was coming up to 40 kms from Cherbourg and instead of seaside houses we were in the middle of areas and acres of ploughed fields with not a living creature in sight. Not even a rabbit. Realizing we had a problem we switched off the satnav and continued to drive. About 20 minutes later we came across a road sign. Tours 23 and Angers 24 . We were 350kms from Cherbourg! And there was no denying we were going to miss the ferry home. Anyway it soured our opinion of the reliability of them.

Satnav – A new poem by Pam Ayres

I have a little Satnav, it sits there in my car. 
A Satnav is a driver's friend it tells you where you are. I have a little Satnav, i've had it all my life. It's better than the normal ones, my Satnav is my wife.
It gives me full instructions, especially how to drive "It's sixty miles an hour", it says, "You're doing sixty five". It tells me when to stop and start, and when to use the brake And tells me that it's never ever, safe to overtake.
It tells me when a light is red, and when it goes to green It seems to know instinctively, just when to intervene. It lists the vehicles just in front, and all those to the rear. And taking this into account, it specifies my gear.
I'm sure no other driver, has so helpful a device. For when we leave and lock the car, it still gives its advice. It fills me up with counselling, each journey's pretty fraught. So why don't I exchange it, and get a quieter sort?
Ah well, you see, it cleans the house, makes sure I'm properly fed. It washes all my shirts and things, and keeps me warm in bed!
Despite all these advantages, and my tendency to scoff, I only wish that now and then, I could turn the bugger off.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Rainy Days by Dr S. K. Sudhinde

I first joined a writing group in Ballincollig in 2014 under the wonderful guidance and encouragement of Jim O'Leary. While attending the group a shy doctor from India attended. He wrote poems that were personal to him about his faith and love, and developed his own personal philosophy. I have just found a copy of one of his poems called Rainy Days which I shall write down here.
Rainy Days by Dr S. K. Sudhinde
Frequent rainy days, best days for respite
Such days need love, making takin are despite
Feelings of gladness, enjoyment to abide
All petty works always to keep aside.
Drizzling rains, air makes quieter,
Generates affection, love to endear
Heart to heart, eye to eye unclear
Making intimacy more easier
Pains, agony, fear not there
Attain happiness, ecstasy as clever
Have fruitful humorous life
With friends, faithful wife
Enjoy taking, gossiping each other
Making life as Eden garden ever
Enjoy life here on Earth
Love, faithfulness, no dearth
©️Dr S. K. Sudhinde

Monday, 18 July 2016

Some pointers on finding an agent

Lots of handy hints from Carol Blake at the Bantry Literary Festival today about the search for a literary agent.

  1. Research the websites of the agent you are looking at. Check that they are interested in your genre of writing.
  2. Most agencies will refuse to represent books of short stories
  3. There are only a few agencies that handle academic writing.
  4. Turn down publishers who do not use agents
  5. There is no standard contract so if going ahead without an agent join the Society of Authors who will read through the contract and place any offer in context of others. 
  6. Prepare a platform-web page, social media, Facebook
  7. Join a genre group such as Romance Novel Association (R.N.A.), Crime Writers Association (C.W.A), Historical Writers Association (H.W.A)
  8. Read submission guidelines carefully and use them
  9. Send material requested only-synopsis, first 2-3 chapters
  10. No gimmicks
  11. Synopsis is a summary of the book, the main character and where the story is going. Include the ending. Mention the genre, plot, any social media used by author to promote their work, any competition shortlisting or wins
  12. Agents read slowly
  13. Spell the agent's name correctly
  14. Do not pitch at a literary festival or over the breakfast table
  15. Mention a series of books if written
  16. Edit, edit, edit.
  17. Do not re submit if rejected
  18. E mail to follow up a submission
  19. Mention submissions to other agencies
  20. Inform them if accepting another agency's offer

Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Theredin Sagas

Thorde and Mayodin
A Short Story
Lorraine Poulter

      Thorde stretched. His arms reached skywards, his mouth gaped in a cavernous yawn, showing every one of those evenly spaced teeth. Most of his face was hidden by a tangled white beard; a long thick mane of hair that smothered the flesh of his lower flesh of his round stubborn face. The flesh taht lived above the beard was ruddy, dry, red and around his eyes was wrinkled right up to his forehead. Beneath his horned helmet was a shock of equally grey hair as full and knotted as his beard.

       He shook his head and stirred his sluggish mind into wakefulness. He rapidly scanned the stony rock strewn path that wound it way around the desolate mountainside. It was clear.
        A cold wind swept past, filled with flakes of snow. He rubbed his frozen hands, wishing his pride had allowed him to wear the wooollen underwear his wife was keen for him to wear. “Don’t want you catching cold,” she said. He brushed her aside.
       “The battle will keep me warm.” Thorde said. bracingly. It appalled him to think that should he fall at the hands of Mayodin this day, what indiginities his body would be subjected to. And his spirit could not contain the dread of laughter from his enemy at the sight of winter woollies beneath his chain mail.

      The wind howled, carrying on its crest the sounds of the voices in the village below. The cold, stiff armour that covered his chilled body reminded him why he was here. Above his head eager carrion vied for his bones.

      Thorde raised his eyes and before him the countenance of Mayodin appeared. His red hair and beard ever red against the dull blue grey of the mountain. Like Thorde, being of the same, if distant lineage, he was short and round. His belly covered in silvered armour, carrying aloft in one hand a sword and in the other a shield.

      Thorde froze and bent his knees. He fixed Mayodin with a stare, eyes meeting across the rift of battle, their beings poised to fight. As was the tradition, they had braved the wicked mountain road, had climbed the path of treachery to meet head to head, face to face.

       “I see you, Mayodin. “ Thorde roared above the wind. “Are you ready to meet your fate?”
       “I see you too, Thorde,” Mayodin called back.

      They stood rigid, fixed on each other. The breath escaping in icy clouds. Thorde raised his shield yet did not move. His heart though stout pounded in his chest. The cold sweat of fear was not upon him yet its scent was over him. He did not fear death. He had prepared to meet with the Gods of Oldin in the days previous. He had made his peace with them and had been sent on his way with their blessing. He feared not the act of dying. He feared dishonour.

        For years previous Mayodin and Thorde had traded verbal swipes and small incursions across the borders of their lands. Both defying the other, goading each other into the arena of war. Yet neither fully prepared to take that final step into combat. 

     Thorde bit his dry lip, his face partially hid by the helmet that covered his head and chin wondering how things had come to this. 

       Unhappy as neighbours, Thorde and Mayodin had provoked each other with petty incursions and theft of lands. Mayodin stole and acre in teh South while Thorde took an hectare. So it had gone on for centuries. Occasionally they had reached the point of all out war, and instead of trading wounds they traded insults. Many. 

      Mayodin was ill tempered and proud. He ruled his kingdom with tantrums and stomping of feet. His own designated kingdom, crowned upon him on his exile from Theredin as a child. He was the son of Grimm, the then king of Theredin. His rule was marked be war, by vile cruelty to anyone who showed or uttered any dissent. When Thorde as a young adult, the prince in waiting took the chance to usurp Grimm, he wasted no time. In a virtulally bloodless coup, Grimm and his family were driven from Theredin to the Outlands, beyond the murky, swamplands of Theredin. A banishment severe and yet not so severe to the mind of a dwarf. For indeed, despite the bleakness of the land, the harshness of the weather, it was a land rich in mining. Mining, the life soure of every dwarf. Beneath the treacherous fields lay a wealth of precious jewels and minerals ready to be mined. 

        Years of mining, years of wealth, of taming the wilderness that was their home did litte to appease the anger and humiliation of the manner in which they arrived.

        Mayodin was a creature of business. The business of war held no interest for him and he knew little on how to conduct himself in these matters. His rule was governed by endless compromise, by the lack of fire in his blood to defend all her owned and all his people owned. He was spoiled by wealth. He could buy all he needed and he did with much more besides. 

      However his court were not of his thinking. They sought revenge on Grimm’s departure from Theredin. They were fired by the rage of their forefathers, now either dead or too old to carry through their actions. The younger court demanded their idle king became the dwarf he was destined to be. Even at the cost of his own life.

      The removal of Grimm, with no other family, left Thorde in line to the throne of Theredin. And he took the crown with both hands and placed it firmly on his own head. The king.

       Here they were. Both caught in the power of the moment, both defiant, both rapt in their prize of winning. For the first time, they were here to battle to the very end. Only one could live.

      Thorde raised his sword. He felt its weight to the point of his arms ached. Neither moved.

      A shoal of rocks fell from the mountain to the path. Dust rose and shroued them in coarse gloom and for a minute neither had sight of each other. A flash of hope crossed both minds that maybe the other had run from the line of battle. A hope that was dashed on clearing.

        Mayodin lunged forward. His voice screaming. His foosteps thundering over the path as though the tiny chap was weighed by something greater, more physical than the task ahead. “For honour!” he roared as he bore down on Thorde.

       Thorde caught the weight of the blow with his own sword, not without buckling beneath the strength and power that bore down on him.  The impact reverberated down his arms and body. 

      The clash of their swords brought a flash of brilliant blue light to streak across the sky.

      He pushed Mayodin back, who stumbled yet  quickly regained his balance.  “The honour is mine!” Thorde called back. Thorde swung his sword, crashing against Mayodin’s breast plate. Another flash of light lit up the sky on impact. Mayodin gasped and buckled. He straightened and quickly thrust his sword at Thorde’s helmetted head. Another crash of blue light.       

      Their footsteps boomed and rumbled across the valley below where rain fell heavily. The villagers gathered their young ones and ran inside. 

     Thunder roared and lightning streaked.

Theredin Sagas-Thorde and Mayodin ©️Lorraine Poulter 2016




Thursday, 14 July 2016

Bantry Literary Festival

Just found among my e mails the tickets for Meet the Literary Agent at the Bantry Literary Festival. Big surprise as I had forgotten about it. Looks like we are going. Yay!
A new short story "Thorde the Terrible" will be ready for reading by Sunday. The tale of a pair bickering rulers who are forced to face their most dreaded enemies in battle-each other.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Hi Everyone
     Good to be back on the internet and the page is back to normal. Been busy in the mean time with Merlin's Keep and a short story. Soon to be on the blog page. Thanks for checking the page. Your support is much appreciated.