In hushed tones he wrote

Let today be productive
Allow the writing be constructive.

Write all thoughts down
Don’t just converse.

Writing couplets, is not like pulling teeth
Think razor sharp mind.

10am: coffee brewed
Beethoven on the turntable.

Viewed through the window pane
Softly, snow flakes tumble from the heavens.

Ravens quarrel over scraps
A symphony of noise.

Two wagtails, in time beak tap the window
Seeking shelter?

Snow flakes then turns to rain drops
Listen, as it speaks to the roof.

Observing, hearing natures varied notes
Makes one glad to be alive.
(c) Chris Black. February 2018.


Word Drought??

C. J. Black
Writing 101, Day Twenty: The things we treasure??
For our final Assignment, tell the tale of your most prized possession. If you’re up for a twist, go long –
Experiment with long form and push yourself to write more than usual.
(I am not one for prized possessions/Family heirlooms/walking through flea markets in search of ‘valuables’
Or childhood mementos – ‘too long ago’)

I’m sitting here at my writing desk scratching my head for ’le mot juste’ to kick off my last post – suddenly ‘light bulb time’ – the word ‘exhilaration’ springs to mind – you know that feeling? I’ve achieved something, a month ago I did not think possible, thanks to all associated with Writing 101 ‘The Assignment’
A word of thanks is also due to all BLOGGERS who assisted in helping me push the boat out just that little bit further.
Not being a hoarder Per Se or a collector of artefacts, leaving aside my mini library and prized record collection, I rummaged through, for want of a better choice of words – my back catalogue.
I thought, in my wisdom that marrying these two pieces together would be an appropriate way for me to sign off – some might think that it is taking the easy way out – cheating a little maybe?
But that is ok too – we all have the right to an opinion – is that not what makes the world go around?
So this is it friends, if our paths don’t happen to cross again, it was great to have your company throughout the month of June 2014.
I’m plum out of ideas as to what to write about
You might say I am suffering from the thing they call word drought
Honestly I can’t think of a single thing to say
I’m felling proper ghastly, like I’m beginning to decay
How am I supposed to write when no ideas come?
I guess that is akin to getting a sound from a hollow drum
But there really is no mileage in this so called self-pity
Get yourself back to the task in hand, back to the Nitty Gritty
No point in sitting around with a hang dog face
Put something down on the page – you’ll soon pick up the pace
Why not write a piece on not being able to write
Eventually you’ll appear from that darkness and you will see the light
You’ll be surprised, what persistence can achieve
You can once again raise from the ashes – once again believe
It’s not as uncommon as you may think to hit that brick wall
You will write again you know, you will answer that call.

Writing has always been an integral part of my life. Throughout my working years it was a necessity, while in later years it became a pleasure to write, in no way is it now a chore.
Hopefully to others the results of my scribbling is not a bore?
I could never class myself as a writer Per Se. I have attempted to write flash fiction pieces, short stories, I won’t say I have failed miserably, I’ll leave that for others more educated to comment on.
What I can say in truth is the feeling of relief when a piece is finished is palpable, but like the taste of a good wine, it will leave you wanting to write more, an addiction you might say.
I guess all who write have a routine they try religiously to stick with, that way the brain is primed to go to work when the switch is flicked.
In my case I find it much easier to write late at night, long hand – which I enjoy – then take to the keyboard early in the morning – which I am not wholly enamoured with – but it must be done.
As with all writers, I guess the ambition is to have a book published, some are exceptionally lucky to have numerous publications to their credit.
I would be in no way jealous of their achievements, in fact I hereby publicly congratulate them on their achievement.
It must be a wonderful feeling to know that you can make a living out of something that is a joy to wake up to each morning.
We are so lucky to be living in the era of modern technology, I dread to think of what it must have been like way back before the invention of the typewriter, pen or pencil, now we curse and swear if the printer runs out of ink!
But different horses for different courses, they knew no different back then – in years to come the possibility is, someone will devise an instrument where the writer will sit and dictate and the machine will do the typing or perhaps that idea is too far-fetched?
But they did put a man on the moon didn’t they?
Did the person who invented the wheel ever think we would get to where we are now at?
But you cannot stop progress which is a good thing I guess.
Writers of eloquence can weave a patchwork quilt of words, those who post here are no exception, and I have learned so much thanks to those who follow my simple offerings.
I dare not even attempt to mention names, but I would urge you to check out my posts – not for what I have posted, but to catch up on those who I dare not single out for fear of offending any of the subscribers.
As you have probably gathered if you have dropped by to sample my wares, I do not take easily to writing without breaking into rhyme, but this had to be said, who knows where it might lead?
But I won’t be holding my breath, so I urge you the reader not to hold yours. You could be quite purple in the face before the likes of this appears again.
Back to the simple task of writing a few lines of poetry.
Thank you again for following.
It would not be the same fun if no one came knocking on the door, to visit the poetry orchard and other musings.
C. J. Black©β
Saturday, 28 June 2014

We never mixed with the Jones’s

C. J. Black.
Writing 101, Day Nineteen:
Don’t stop the rockin’
Today is free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash talking, and no second guessing: Just go.
Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing around with but think is too silly to post.
(This is an idea I have been playing around with – don’t think it’s too silly to post)

It was Thursday I was miserably broke, walking the aisles of the supermarket looking for bargains.
Bargains such as, soon to be out of date meats, out of date yogurts – in fact anything edible that my small budget could cover.
I was trying hard to supress the tears welling up in my eyes, fear of embarrassing myself in front of all those passing, with shopping trolley’s, overflowing with items they probably did not require – but you could not be seen with the bare minimum, people might talk.
Things hadn’t been easy since we both lost our jobs.
Bills still arrived, a roof had to be kept over our head, some things just never changed.
Appearances had to be kept up – people might talk.
We sold one of the cars – what was the point?
There was just the two of us, we confined ourselves to one room with the exception that is, of the kitchen.
Where we dined most nights by candle light, very romantic you might think – the real reason being they had switched off the power to the house.
We took turns cooking on the one ring gas cooker.
Conserving as best we could the contents of that precious gas cylinder, keeping all doors closed also conserved the heat.
Our middle class existence was a far cry from how we were reared.
Back then, neighbours were friends, all looked out for one another, paying regular visits, when going to visit you brought a little something to have with the tea.
The visits were brief, but long enough for both parties to recognise the need for keeping in touch.
Living the middle class life was nothing like that.
You barely knew your neighbours, you got a glance of them coming and going to their place of employment.
Their weekends were busy ferrying their 2.5 family hither and thither.
It was either basketball, swimming, football or drama.
There appeared to the naked eye at any rate, little family bonding.
It was mostly a case of keeping up with the Jones’s.
We continued to keep ourselves to ourselves, never trying to show signs of prosperity we could not afford.
Then like wildfire word spread.
The word on everyone’s lips-repossession.
Over a short period of time we found ourselves living in what was then labelled a ghost estate.
Luckily we both carried the wise words of parents and those who went before us through into our adult lives – take care of the penny’s and the pounds will take care of themselves.
Even though it was a hard slog we kept our powder dry, eventually the cloud with the silver lining appeared.
We were able to fill in the black hole.
Those who were too busy keeping up with the Jones’s, their black hole just got deeper and deeper.
C. J. Black©β Thursday, 26 June 2014

Memories, Memories.

C. J. Black
Writing 101, Day Eighteen:
Hone your point of view.
Craft a story from the perspective of a 12 year old observing it all.
For your twist, focus on specific character qualities, drawing from elements we’ve worked on in this course, like voice and dialogue.
Today’s prompt: write the story in the first person, told by a 12 year old.

It’s that time of year again – summer holidays, feeling of great relief.
When hundreds of children rush out through the gates of ‘hell’
Flinging school bags high into the air.
Three months of sunshine (even on rainy days) to be savoured.
Counting down the hours until it was time to go to the bus station – destination – ‘Summer House’
Total relaxation, not a mention of homework or rising early to be on time.
The FEAR factor was now non-existent, you could be yourself, communicate with adults – not be afraid of the SOUND of your OWN VOICE.
Schoolbag buried in a corner now LOST to memory but it would in time be FOUND.
Sitting on the bus as it started on its four hour journey, the lady opposite appeared engrossed in a rather large folder she was thumbing through.
Suddenly crocodile tears began to fall from her eyes, this 12 year old could see she was sobbing without making a sound.
This went on for quite a while – the bus driver pulled in to collect some more passengers allowing those out who wished to stretch their legs as he called it.
The lady left the bus, leaving behind her folder.
Being 12 years old, not well up in the ways of the world, curiosity won out.
The folder was rescued from the seat the lady had vacated.
It turned out to be pages of letters which were in joined up writing which could not be read or understood by a 12 year old – black and white photographs and lots and lots of negatives.
At 12 years of age it made no sense that old letters, photographs and negatives could upset a person so much.
So engrossed in the contents of the folder it went unnoticed that the bus was again filling up, when the lady sat back into her seat, politely asking for her folder to be returned.
Manners were something this 12 year old learned the hard way got you out of more holes than it got you into.
Gingerly the folder was closed and handed back to the lady – with a question only an innocent 12 year old would ask.
Is there much more in that folder that will make you cry?
The lady smiled a gentle smile, telling the 12 year old they were tears of joy not sadness.
The photographs were of long deceased relatives and friends of her family, letters of their lives, loves, describing times spent home and away.
She was on her way to meet both young and old for a family reunion.
Explaining to this 12 year old, to relish the innocence of youth as there was no comparison to being elderly with more years behind her than she had in front of her.
She began to reminisce of being 12 years old, which she explained mad her sadder than the contents of the folder could ever do.
The bus journey ended way too soon for this 12 year old – who on reaching the safety of his ‘Summer House’ had a wonderful story to tell to anyone willing to listen, during his glorious 3 months of summer sunshine, before returning to ‘real life’ and the dreaded return to ‘hell’
The happy/sad remembrances of this now aged 12 year old boy.
C. J. Black©β
Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Redundant Feeling

C. J. Black
Writing 101, Day Seventeen:
Your Personality on a page.
We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of?
Address one of your worst fears.
Today’s twist: Write this in a distinct style from your own.

Probably because I never participated in sport to any great extent, I can wonder out loud how it feels to be substituted.
Here you are giving your all for the team, in your head they are performing to their full potential but are never going to win the encounter, then out of the blue just quarter the way into the second half and without any prior discussion, but after some consultation with a third party the manager decides it’s you, yes you, who they see as the weak link.
They flash your number up for all to see, makes no matter whether the crowd is sparse or perhaps in their thousands the gut feeling must be still the same – humiliation –

You make the long walk to the substitutes bench area, on the way, you hear the ringing cheers from the terraces, you reach the bench area, arms are put around you, you are congratulated, slapped on the back, comforting words are spoken then you are told – go get an early shower!!!!!!!!!!

Off you go, game still in progress, confused in your head by the antics of all that has gone on both on and off the field in what seemed like an eternity to you but was just in the space of several minutes. It’s not a shower you want but a discussion with your shrink – why me you wonder, depending what code of sport you were playing there were any number of players who could have been called ashore.

You return after freshening up to find that the person who was deemed better to fill your boots has been shown a straight red, you drop your head into your hands in a show of desperation for all concerned but really you have a comforting smile and thinking – yes there is a God.

The question must be asked, and I don’t know if there is an answer to satisfy the mind of the person who has been substituted, sacked or made redundant depending on the code in which you toiled –

Who deems themselves to be in a position and suggest to know that it is you who are the cog in the wheel who no matter how much it is oiled are the one who is the problem, after all unless they wrote, produced & directed the script even then is their decision deemed to be correct?

C. J. Black©β
Tuesday, 24 June 2014

From me and my ‘Ego’

C. J. Black.
It is high time I paid respect to those of you who follow, Like and comment.
To say that I am overwhelmed is putting it mildly, to think my scribbling generates this much attention amazes me.
So thank you kindly for your support from all corners of the world, it is great meeting you, here’s wishing you all continued success with whatever line of writing you are following, it will take me time, but I will eventually catch up and I’m sure enjoy and learn from the wisdom of your words.
C. J. Black©β
23/06/2014 10:35:55

Hone that voice of yours.

C. J. Black.
Writing 101, Day Fifteen:
I have never been one for taking life that seriously that ‘events’ lent themselves as being part of my lifestyle –
I pick and choose what I should or should not attend – the ‘hard sell’ and talk of ‘freebies’ turn me off rather than the opposite.
Consequently, Day Fifteen’s Assignment – You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart will be cancelled forever, was never going to be a runner in my eyes.
I hope the tone of my voice comes over loud and clear?
A reply to Writing 101, Day Fifteen: Your Voice Will Find You, has been formulated.
C. J. Black©β
Saturday, 21 June 2014

All pure speculation.

C. J. Black.
Writing 101, Day Fourteen Assignment: To Whom It May Concern, pick the nearest book and flip to page 29, what jumps out at you? Start there, and try a twist: write in the form of a letter.

Page 29 opened, first word to catch the eye – speculated.
I speculated with myself what to write about, thinking I might write a constructive piece is probably sheer speculation on my part?
Take the word speculated, must go and check its true meaning.
To gain any advantage in writing a piece worthy of the reader’s time, I guess one must speculate to accumulate.
The dictionary definition of the word speculated is not something to be speculated upon, but must be defined properly.
Those who beg to differ are but speculators.
Could I have ever speculated when opening page 29 of A Voyage round John Mortimer, The authorised biography, by Valerie Grove, that I would get so much mileage from the word speculated?
You are right in your thinking that it was nigh improbable.
But there you are it can be done in winsome fashion I speculate?
I’m rounding off now, you will be glad to know I’ve speculated way too much, but before I go, the dictionary definition of the word speculated, you may wish to know is – you’ve guessed right, not in my dictionary.
Yours, in the art of speculation and scribbling,
C. J. Black©β
19/06/2014 23:16:31

Opened my writing desk, there it was.

C. J. Black.
I never ever dreamed all those years ago
That writing would play a big part in my life –
Then I fortunately FOUND, what’s referred to as my MOJO.
I was, way back then like the proverbial fish out of water –
Wondering, what was going on?
Never thinking in this literally world that I could belong.
Not, that even now would I be that presumptuous-
But believing at all times that everything has its purpose
I locked myself away in this private world, in total wonderment
Hunting through the alphabet following the scent
Finding letters along the way, time could never be considered misspent.
Everything that was laid down could never be perceived as proper ‘writing’
Such as what you are now reading – which is in bad need of thorough editing
But it is written to prove a point, that anything in this world is possible
We all can, with assistance, overcome the most awkward of obstacle
Signing up for this Assignment – Writing 101, for me was ploughing virgin ground
Feeling vindicated in myself that I had undoubtedly FOUND
The ‘artist’ that is within all of us, which some refer to as your MOJO
So roll that dice or if you prefer give it a solid throw
Don’t wait for the IT to happen, it doesn’t happen that way I believe
Sit down put your thoughts on paper, consider the masterpiece you may conceive.
C. J. Black©β
Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Old Timer.

C. J. Black.
Write a post inspired by a real life conversation. Writing 101 Day Twelve Assignment (Virtual) Dark Clouds On The Horizon.
He stood leaning on the wooden fencing drinking in the bright multi-colours of a field in full bloom, festooned with wild flowers, purple, red, orange in fact all the colours of the rainbow and then some.
Years of hard graft now a comfort in old age, flowers were his passion, whether growing wild or in his hot houses, people came from far and near to purchase – shrubs, potted plants, flowers to adorn graves, wedding bouquets, flowers for all occasions, he had return visitors year on year placing orders, for the ceremonies held in grave yards throughout the county and bordering counties, his personality, as much as his flowers was also an attraction.
Living alone, the business was becoming not so much a burden, in as much as it was a hobby, as well as earning him a good living it gave him something to get up for each breaking dawn.
The arthritis, now that was a problem – bending, stooping, his hands were beginning to stiffen up, all this playing on his mind was no help as he was also becoming forgetful day by day which was frustrating, leave something out of my hand he’d say and spend half an hour looking for it, only to find I already planted it earlier, it was getting close to decision time, but no one could make the decision for me, they could give me all the advice they wanted but at the end of the day it was I who had to make the choice, so here I am standing, leaning on this wooden fence pondering my life or what I have left of it, what should I do? Where would I go? one sure fact I could not stay around and either see the business bought and then raised to the ground or on a daily basis watch people come and go as though nothing had changed, house and property would have to go on the market as a single lot, a chapter of my life closed but not forgotten, the thought is actually breaking my heart my life for sixty years gone with the drop of a hammer, what have I to look forward to? A future without flowers in it is not what I ever anticipated, now it is becoming a reality.
Feeling tired and emotional, he retired for one last night in his own house, in his own bed.
They placed a wreath of his own flowers on his grave two days after the sale.
C. J. Black©β