I know how JK Rowling must have felt…

I know how JK Rowling must have felt…

 

when she first heard the musical score to her Harry Potter film.

I’ve always wondered how it must feel to not only have your novel published, or to have global success, but to hear an orchestra play the theme tune encompassing the landscape and emotions of your story.

As a fan of the Halle Orchestra, I’m always moved when I hear John Williams’ “Hedwig’s Theme” and its magical melody cut through the reverent silence of The Bridgewater Hall. To be the author of the story and hear the music must be of another dimension entirely.

But now I have had a brief glimpse into this emotional experience.

This morning, as I drove into work, I turned on the CD player and listened to a track composed in response to a poem I wrote entitled “Wild Horses”. The ludicrously talented surrealist painter, composer and polymath Mark Sheeky has composed, performed, illustrated and created the CD “Music Of Poetic Objects” and there on track 6 is my lowly poem transformed into captivating music.

Earlier this year, my poetry group Write Out Loud based at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery, collaborated with the resident Art’s Guild and with Mark, to create an exhibition of Ekphrasis Towers. Put very simply, the poets wrote poems based on objects they had a special attachment to, the sculptors and painters of the Guild then created works of art based upon the poems. The poets then wrote more poems in response to the sculptures and paintings thereby building a “tower”. Finally, Mark selected objects and poems to compose music to.

I was honoured when one of my poems was selected and also intrigued to hear what Mark would produce based on feelings evoked by the poems “condensed and re-expressed” When I was handed the CD with its beautiful cover artwork and booklet pages, I was amazed at its elegance, although this shouldn’t have been a surprise.

Write Out Loud had previously been asked by Mark to take part in his 21st Century Surrealism Exhibition. We wrote poems based on Mark’s paintings without knowing the title or inspiration for each piece. We wrote “blind,” if you like. This was our first venture into Ekphrastic poetry as a group and an experience that generated such excitement and enthusiasm we knew we would have to explore the activity more. Mark’s artwork is so dramatic yet sensitive, so bold yet with woven with intricate subtleties, it was a pleasure to study his work in such detail. Having the freedom to express emotions generated and imagined backstories to the origins was incredibly liberating and inspiring.

So although heard through my modest car speakers, whilst embroiled in a hellish commute, rather than sitting in a luxurious orchestral hall, time stood still and I was held captivated. The traffic melted away, the grey tarmac disappeared and for that brief 5 minutes a Savannah sunset appeared with hooves thundering across a desert plain, dust flying and hearts beating. It was a dream come true, an ambition realised as my thoughts transferred to another and were expressed anew. Definitely an “other-world” experience. Mark I cannot thank you enough for the pleasure you have brought.

I look forward to future collaborations which I do hear whispered within the Art Gallery halls…

zebra stampede

Wild Horses

A wind borne scent triggers primal instincts.

Survival screams through constricted veins

hooves thunder, pulses race

legs tangle in the stampede.

Disembodied by adrenaline they run

across the Savannah Plain

aware if caught, they may ascend to the next.

A black and white dust cloud rises

against a burning umber backdrop.

Wild horses pray

this sunset wont be their last

 

Music Of Poetic Objects by Mark Sheeky is available from his website via this link: Music Of Poetic Objects

For more information about Write Out Loud please visit their website @ write out loud

Special thanks also to John Keane Ekphrastic Towers Exhibition Curator for “herding cats” whilst gathering poems from the poets and to Katherine Rosati of Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery for her endless energy in coordinating events.

 

Advertisements

Dear Deer

Come close my dear,

and I will tell

the tale of a dear deer

(with a tiny tail)

who sadly didn’t fare too well.

He died at the fair

when he decided to try

a new fur dye he’d seen.

Flowing around the unique horn

of a unicorn was

a rainbow mane,

unicorn hair

when along came

a bare-faced bear

who had an aloof air,

(perhaps of a heir bear).

He added too much dye

and I declare!

It burnt the dear deer’s eyes!

You see, the no-eyed deer

he could not see

so ran and ran

and damn,

he ran into a dam,

that broke,

he choked.

For four hours he tried

to survive….

When he finally passed

we sang for hours and hours

hymns for him

that dyed dear deer

of ours who died.

hymns

Day 14 of Napowrimo saw a challenge that I had to read up on to understand;

write a poem that incorporates homophones, homographs, and homonyms, or otherwise makes productive use of English’s ridiculously complex spelling rules and opportunities for mis-hearings and mis-readings.

I hope I have achieved the objective?

Vision Board for 2019

Activate Your Vision Board 2019 ImageActivate Your Vision Board for 2019  

by local author Nicola Hulme

Get excited! It’s time to focus on what you want.

Following the sell-out success of previous years’ Vision Board Workshops, I’m delighted to offer you two New Year dates:

  • Saturday 12th January, 2019 at 10.30pm – 1.30pm or
  • Saturday 19th January, 2019 at 12.30pm – 3.30pm

at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery

Using a Vision Board literally changed my life; I became an author, a poet, a public speaker, a workshop leader, personal effectiveness trainer, found a new man and a new home too. My life is filled with abundance and it started with a Vision Board.

Let me share this process with you. You don’t need experience and all materials are provided. I’ll show you how simple creating a board is, before revealing how to activate the board to use it to its full potential – therefore unlocking yours!

Put a fire in your belly in 2019 – get excited – positive change is coming.

Book now to secure your place: Tickets £25 Car parking is free

Book your ticket here – Eventbrite

*Places are limited so book early using the Eventbrite link to avoid disappointment.

Take stock of what is happening in your life and dream of improvements you’d like to see. We are so busy in everyday life we forget to stop and look at the direction we are heading in. A vision board allows us to create our ideal world, and identify the things that truly matter.

I’ve been using a vision board for the last 8 years with some breath-taking results. My studies into personal effectiveness over the past 20 years allow me to call on expert theories to support and enhance this technique.

Let me guide you through the steps to make this simple tool effective in your life.

Held in Stockport’s beautiful Art Gallery, it’s a perfect setting to appreciate how powerful visual images can be.

Let’s make 2019 a fabulous year for you.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to message me via Facebook or Twitter

Facebook: Nicola Hulme – Author

Twitter: @nichulmeauthor

Mobile: 07817324294

FAQs

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Please feel free to message me via Facebook or Twitter

What’s the refund policy?

I have a no refund policy for very good reason; I want the room filled with positive people who are committed to making things happen in their life. This positive energy helps everyone in the group and ensures the workshop is a success. It starts with a commitment to turn up 🙂

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No, I will have a list of names on the day

Is my registration fee or ticket transferable?

There are two workshop dates available in Jan 2019, if there is space on another date I will try and accommodate you where I can.

From new girl to “writer”

A creative breakthrough at my local writing group; promotion from “new girl” status to “meeting chair” albeit for one session only (for now, but I can dream!)

blog24

Is this validation that my writing and knowledge has reached a point worthy of sharing with other writers? If so, couldn’t be more thrilled!

Last year, I joined a writing group; Stockport Writers, based at the very beautiful Stockport Hatworks Museum. We meet once a month to write with various prompts to help stir the creative juices. 

blog6

One of the charms of this writing group is it’s ever-changing attendee list. Some group members have been attending since the group first formed, others have joined over the past year; some new members are just beginning their writing journey.

Each writer has their own unique skill set, genre, preferred writing style. From the impact of short stories, to the challenge of a novel, everyone has their own path. Whether editor or poet, college student or student of life, who writes purely for the pleasure in doing so, all are welcome. It’s a magical mix.

blog 112.jpg

Each month, a writer leads the group through the session; from free-writing warm up, to a reading of last month’s homework (or any other piece) through to the use of prompts, followed by more readings, and finally the closing prompt or exercise to close.

When I was asked to step up to the role at next month’s meeting, I was honoured to do so. It’s an absolute privilege.

blog19

Now all I need to do is come up with a plan of what topics we can cover. Errrrmmmmm…

Any ideas from fellow writers? 

Success; I Did It! Napowrimo 2017 (with a short sprint to the finish line!)

It’s the last day of Napowrimo. It’s the last day of my first year and first attempt of the Napowrimo challenge. I was doing so well throughout April, submitting a poem each day, until the last few days. Life got in the way as it tends to do and I was distracted. However, I’m not a girl to give up so easily, once a gauntlet has been thrown down, so here on my final Napowrimo post, you will find not 1, not 2, not even 3 but 4 poems, which complete the challenge.

Day 27 – on Day 30

The Prompt: Write a poem that explores your sense of taste.

My Response:

Heaven In A Tea Cup

blog9

First the crunch satisfies.

The chocolate drops close my eyes,

as pleasure begins to rise

and swirls around inside me.

A cup of tea to wash down

the jewel in this perfect crown.

No greater pleasure is found

than a cookie and a cup of tea.

Day 28 – on Day 30

The Prompt: Write a poem using Skeltonic verse.

My Response:

Never Give Up

blog5

Napowrimo has almost ended.

During April my mind has bended.

My honour now must be defended,

as I finish these final days.

The last three days, I’ve lagged behind.

I must complete the final deadline.

Whether or not it actually rhymes,

I don’t think anyone actually minds!

Day 29 – on Day 30

The Prompt: Take one of your favorite poems and find a very specific, concrete noun in it. For example, if your favorite poem is this verse of Emily Dickinson’s, you might choose the word “stones” or “spectre.” After you’ve chosen your word, put the original poem away and spend five minutes free-writing associations – other nouns, adjectives, etc. Then use your original word and the results of your free-writing as the building blocks for a new poem.

My Response:

(From To Autumn, by John Keats, the word “mists”)

bee

 

The mist lies above the lawn,

hovering; a spectral form.

Beautiful yet surreal scene,

mystic haze, a ghostly dream.

 

Day 30 – on Day 30

The Prompt: Write a poem about something that happens again and again

My Response:

Sweet Addiction

blog5

Again and again

I give in

to temptation.

All it takes is

a mere suggestion,

of sweet treats.

Destroys all

my good intentions.

I can’t resist 

the taste sensation.

 

That’s it. 30 poems written in 30 days. Would I do it again? Maybe. I need a lie down before I think about answering that. Were the poems any good? Some have potential, some need to be filed under “rubbish” immediately. It’s been a fantastic experience and I have learnt a lot. The main lesson, is that a good poem takes time. A first draft to meet a deadline is fine, but to produce something good needs time to ruminate, cogitate and deliberate. Poetry can’t be rushed.

Now for that lie down. 

Georgic

Day 22 Napowrimo Challenge

The Prompt:

In honor of Earth Day, I’d like to challenge you to write a georgic. The original georgic poem was written by Virgil, and while it was ostensibly a practical and instructional guide regarding agricultural concerns, it also offers political commentary on the use of land in the wake of war. The georgic was revived by British poets in the eighteenth century, when the use of land was changing both due to the increased use of enlightenment farming techniques and due to political realignments such as the union of England, Scotland, and Wales.

Your Georgic could be a simple set of instructions on how to grow or care for something, but it could also incorporate larger themes as to how land should be used (or not used), or for what purposes.

My Response:

Nature

Each blade of grass cools and cushions naked summer feet.

Pure daisy petals inspire children to form chains for halos and crowns.

Scented blousy roses tempt lovers to give away unguarded hearts.

Sage and stately trees steadfastly raise their arms in worship,

whilst housing birds, squirrels and bugs.

blog 21

Their roots protecting foxes, badgers and rabbits

in bracken covered burrows and mossy dens.

The bluebells delicate and snowdrops hardy,

the clinging ivy, sheltering scurrying insects,

all withstand the extremes of each season, weathered yet thriving.

Opening and closing in response to the sun,

reaching skyward in praise.

None needs man’s intervention.

Man takes the fruits of their labour to feed his own.

Frustrated that nature is not abundant enough,

not convenient enough, not quick enough

to satisfy man’s demands, he violates the earth.

bee

Tearing up nature, he manipulates and reforms the land

into ordered geometrical design;

to contain more production in a single acre,

to harness and harvest every last ounce nature can provide.

Like a caged tiger pacing, sleeping, repeating,

b;og7

she churns out crops, silently awaiting freedom.

She survives captivity and molestation.

When man has gone, she will flourish once more,

using his decomposed body as nutrients to feed the soil.

The largest, most dominant predators fall,

swallowed up and fossilised by the ground they once trampled.

 

blog 112

The roses arise more fragrant.

The bees produce a sweeter honey.

 

 

Lost socks

A later post than usual; today my son turned 5 years old, so birthday cake, balloons and presents stopped Napowrimo play. Normal service will resume soon. 

It’s Day 13 and the challenging prompt for today was:

The ghazal. The form was originally developed in Arabic and Persian poetry, but has become increasingly used in English, after being popularized by poets including Agha Shahid Ali. A ghazal is formed of couplets, each of which is its own complete statement. Both lined of the first couplet end with the same phrase or end-word, and that end-word is also repeated at the end of each couplet. If you’re really feeling inspired, you can also attempt to incorporate internal rhymes and a reference to your own name in the final couplet.

My response:

Have you seen my socks?

blog6

“Have you seen my socks?

They are not here. I need some clean socks”

“What kind of socks are you looking for;

Sports socks, work socks, “going out” socks?”

blog21

“The black ones!”

“Is that black sports socks, black work socks or black “going out” socks?”

“Damn it woman, I’m going to be late!

The Black work socks! I need the black work socks!”

blog12

“And did you put those lost black work socks in the wash?

Or are they the dirty, black, thrown-on-the-bathroom-floor socks?”

“I put them in the wash basket!

The ones on the bathroom floor are sports socks.”

blog7

“Here they are, in front of your nose;

the lost black work socks that Nic had to wash and put-in-your-drawer socks.”

 

“Next”

Anxiety, fear, uncertainty and the biological response, provided the subject matter for today’s poetic exploration. The techniques investigated were assonance and alliteration. 

The Prompt: Napowrimo Challenge, Day 12: 

Today, I’d like you to write a poem that explicitly incorporates alliteration (the use of repeated consonant sounds) and assonance (the use of repeated vowel sounds). This doesn’t mean necessarily limiting yourself to a few consonants or vowels, although it could. Even relatively restrained alliteration and assonance can help tighten a poem, with the sounds reinforcing the sense.

My response:

“Next”

blog13

Waiting, pacing, anticipating.

Heart pitter patters.

Stomach flutters, stutters, churns, churns.

Nerves tingle, tangle, jangle.

Eyes wide.

Face flushed, cheeks blushed.

Tension taut in throat, choke.

Blood pounds round ears.

Teetering tears.

“Next”

blog6

 

Blood, blood everywhere!

With a slightly gothic twist, here is my response to the Napowrimo challenge on Day 11

The Prompt: the Bop. The invention of poet Afaa Michael Weaver, the Bop is a kind of combination sonnet + song. Like a Shakespearan sonnet, it introduces, discusses, and then solves (or fails to solve) a problem. Like a song, it relies on refrains and repetition. In the basic Bop poem, a six-line stanza introduces the problem, and is followed by a one-line refrain. The next, eight-line stanza discusses and develops the problem, and is again followed by the one-line refrain. Then, another six-line stanza resolves or concludes the problem, and is again followed by the refrain.

blog7

Midday Feast

It’s 11 am and I can’t sleep.

I’ve tossed and turned for hours.

My stomach growls, gurgles, groans.

It pleads with me, begs me to feed the need.

I’m coffin bound, I can’t roam around.

In this light how do I find my next victim?

Blood, Blood everywhere and not a drop to drink.

blog6

I could bang on the wood, yell for help,

In the hope the prey comes to me.

As they enter the gloom, a quick puncture wound

I can almost taste them now.

Perhaps I can find a cover, to shield my skin

venture out in the midday sun?

Sneak up from behind, grab a quick bite.

Oh for a pint or two! Right now a kitten would do!

Blood, Blood everywhere and not a drop to drink.

blog3

But I have no cover, nothing I can use

So I lie prostrate in this box.

Its 2017, you would think I would learn

To prepare for this eventuality.

But I am a man. I don’t have a plan.

I shall just have to wither away, until dark marks the end of day.

Blood, Blood everywhere and not a drop to drink.

 

Napowrimo guilt!

I felt I hadn’t tried hard enough for Day 9! So here is Day 9, nine lines, one more time.(I’m not convinced it’s any better!)

Quick Tidy

blog

Family are on their way!  

Grab the hoover. Pick up crumbs.

Plump up cushions. Quick room spray. 

Hasty tidy when guests come. 

blog 13

Fill the rolls in both loos.

Open the doors, let air in. 

Have we got milk for brews? 

Have you emptied all the bins?

Breathe, smile, “Do come in”