February is here! I may be writing this with a storm swirling round outside but, with January behind us, I can’t help but think brighter days are close at hand. I’m also glad to report that the cold, dark days of last month did not seem to dampen general creativity in the blogosphere – I’ve just been reading through a huge (virtual) pile of poetry and prose that you’ve all been producing! So, grab yourself some tea and biscuits (it’s February, remember, so time to ease up on those January diets a little bit) and let me make some reading recommendations.
A New Year brought with it plenty of ideas for the future, with many of us planning to write more fiction, finish that novel or pen more poetry. Rebecca at Futures summed up these hopes and dreams in her poem ‘String to my Bow‘, while Lisa’s Life wrote some perfect rhyming couplets about the possibilities a new year holds. Meanwhile, Victoria at Verily Victoria Vocalises reminded us there are new opportunities in every day.
Writing plans and goals also motivated some of us to try new creative challenges, with Nikki Young Writes trying some free writing about a small but memorable moment in her life, and Susie from Glasgow Dragonfly writing a short piece based on the idea ‘watch a stranger, search their face, write what you see’ – a great way to get inspiration! Meanwhile, over at Writing Bubble I wrote a ten line story about a struggling artist, Cara at Oh We Do Love To Be successfully tried her hand at a villanelle poem about the sad death of David Bowie and Antonia from 38 To 39 wrote a tiny but mighty story based on a prompt from a special book.
Of course, in the BritMums community, parenting often features in our creative outpourings and this month was no different. Carol at Virtually Allsorts wrote about playing with her daughter (kids always have the best ideas!), Vai Chin wrote a great poem about all the questions her son asks her and Louise at Little Hearts Big Love wrote a brilliant version of The Gruffalo’s Child after seeing the stage show of it with her daughters. I also loved a post from Stranger In A Strange Land which was written from the perspective of a newborn baby (a very bright, wry baby!) and one by Catching The Magic whose touching poem was about painting with her mother and daughter – three generations in one burst of creativity!
There were also some fabulous pieces on the effect that pregnancy and parenting has on our bodies with Nicole at The Brightness Of These Days writing a hilarious poem ‘SOS, I’ve Lost My Breasts‘, which Teacup Toria followed up with ‘What the Heck?!‘, a great poem about her post-motherhood body. Over on her new blog, Nicole then wrote ‘I’m Shouty Mum, Hear Me ROAR!‘ which had me nodding and giggling along. It’s true: our bodies may have changed and we can’t always be perfect parents, but we love our kids and we try our best – this was a sentiment expressed in all these poems that was also perfectly described in a touching piece of flash fiction from Alice at The Filling Glass.
The parent–child relationship wasn’t the only one to feature – Mrs Tee Pot wrote a lovely poem for her step-dad, Frazzled Mum posted the latest extract from a story (which may become a novel) focussing on friendship and Sara from Mum Turned Mom wrote a beautiful poem about how it feels to be with the people we love. Meanwhile, Lucy at The Parent Game made me laugh with her poem about what her husband might be hiding in the loft, Jo at Fifty-something Fruitcake wrote a poignant poem about the pain of lost love and, going through a tough time herself, Becky from Diary Of A Fat Bottomed Girl wrote a touching poem about the kindness we can all show each other and the difference it makes.
Phew, see? Talk about a creative month! If you’re a writer or poet yourself (whether amateur, pro or just ‘having a go’) and want to share any of your work, Prose For Thought over at Verily Victoria Vocalises is a great linky. For inspiration I particularly love The Prompt at Mum Turned Mom and if you want to talk writing with a supportive community, you’re welcome to link up with ‘What I’m Writing‘ on my blog, Writing Bubble.
I’ll leave you with this wonderful spoken-word poem by Rachael at Writing. People. Poetry, entitled “Why I Write“. I found it very moving and I’m sure it will resonate with many other writers out there. Victoria will be back with next month’s round-up so until then, happy reading and writing!