Life in Poetry reading, writing, reflecting

Life in Poetry reading, writing, reflecting
April showers bring May flowers

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

⌗WEP-IWSG Challenge, Wednesday 11th December 2019, FOOTPRINTS, TRANSITIONS.


Welcome to the last contributions of the year to the Write... Edit ... Publish and Insecure Writers Support Group Challenge.

if you would like to know more about this Challenge and maybe sign up for next year start here then here

This Month, the last entry of the year is FOOTPRINTS

Thank you to Laura, Denise and Tyrean for making this month's challenge possible.
The WINNER of the DECEMBER Challenge will be offered a critique by multi-published author J.L. Campbell, on 3 chapters of a novel in progress, or a completed short story.

NOW, without further ado, here is my contribution for FOOTPRINTS.
This Flash is a follow-up on the OCTOBER Challenge Horrible Harvest, TRICK OR TREAT, which you can read or re-read HERE


Robert, hunched over his desk, was listening to the snow rushing at the panes which left intricate lace crystals. He was poring through newspaper clippings on the Web. Halloween had come and gone. The usual frights and brawls splayed over the pages. Not a hint of exploded pumpkins .
Teresa appeared in the doorway.

' Dad, Dad, look what I found on Instagram ! '
She stuck the phone in front of his nose.
' What am I looking at ? '
' Read, look at the pics.'
' Holy Ghost ! '
' You said it.'

There on the screen was a clear photo of eight of the outlandish creatures they had seen on Halloween Night, dancing below a starry sky. In the middle, a blur of firefly-like small pods hovered. The caption read : Crazy spectacle in Hill wood,⌗BanderaTexas, ⌗11/20/19, ⌗SallyEvenbrite.

' You have to contact her.'
' Already sent a poke.'
' Ask her how she found them, ask for details. Did they have ten arms and legs ? Did she see lightening bolts ? What ... ? '
' Slow down Dad, here she is.'

Sally had appeared on the phone.

' Gosh Teresa, I thought I had gone crazy. You're the first hit I got.'
' We're coming to Texas to visit family for Thanksgiving. Will you be around ? '
' You bet, no way I'm going out of town now. Text me as soon as you get here and we'll go to the clearing together.'
' Yeah ! Great ! I'll try and bring my buddies Paul and Tim along. They were there with me on Halloween. I'm bursting ! '
' Me too, so long.'

The same afternoon on Terry's battered couch, Tim and Paul were studying the pics.

' Wow, this is crazy. It has happened somewhere else.'
' You reckon they're all over the country ? ' 
' All over the planet, more likely, Tim. Why would they just choose two places, if it's an invasion.'
' An invasion ! Christ ! '
' Now, let's not get ahead of ourselves,' Robert interjected, ' We haven't got a clue why they're here, what they want. They might be peaceful for all we know.'
' Shouldn't we take this to the authorities ? ' suggested Paul.
' Fat chance. First, they wouldn't believe us.  Then we have to investigate further, now that we're not the only ones to have seen them.' Teresa enjoined.
' I would tend to agree with Terry, let's keep it quiet for the moment. meet up with Sally in Bandera and take it from there,' sided Robert.


Sally was a redhead covered in freckles which stood out from exposure to the Texas sun. She was standing in the middle of the dirt track leading into Hillwood.

' Look,  here are some footprints that they must've left. See the big toe and then the smooth curve, the round heel and nothing in between,' she pointed out to Terry, Robert, Tim and Paul gathered round, squinting their eyes against the midday glare.

' They lead that way. Is that where the clearing is ? '
' Yeah, about a quarter of a mile through the brush.'
' Let's go see,' chorused Paul and Tim.

The clearing was bare except for a star of scorched earth.

' Exactly how it was in Maine. The star-shaped circle burnt into the ground,' contributed Robert.
' Can you stay till the next full moon ? That's when they seem to come out. If two sightings make a pattern,' asked Sally.
' You bet, we have to see this through,' agreed Teresa.


The night sky was cloud-spattered. The white orb dipped in and out, the stars joining in the cosmic dance. When Robert, Sally, Terry, Paul and Tim snuck behind the trees, the dark blue beings were already crouched in their positions. The sound that rose from the gneiss boulder was deeper than the one they had heard in October, haunting and ominous. The firelights erupted from a crack, shot around the twelve translucent heads, then, with lightening speed, something unexpected happened. A tiny balloon of pea pods zapped to within an inch of Sally's forehead. She glided upwards towards the stone, hypnotised. The sitting creatures circled her and touched her arms and legs with their thumbs and fingerless palms sending waves of lights all over her body. Four more bubbles bolted and grasped Terry, Tim, Robert and Paul in their spell drawing them into the fray. The humans, open-mouthed, speechless, vibrated in the caresses of pure energy.

' Yoki cum staka. Yoki cum staka ...' chanted the little blue people.
' Welcome in our midst.' The words translated themselves effortlessly. Neither the blue people, nor our friends had spoken a word.

' Cum luk pata, lanot colam oka. Kala ov kluk.'
' We are with you on the blue planet, to help you transition, like we have in the past.'
' Transition to what ?' thought Teresa.
' Colam oka malaïa kata song pata.'
' Transition to a species who respects life on the planet.'

' Luk pata kono asurot molona Oba.'
' The blue planet is very important to the whole of the Universe.'
' Lanort colum ov kluk. Cum Tola. Cum Fo.'
' We have helped you in the past. With tools and with fire.'

In a wink, the assembly disappeared beyond the clouds with these lingering words:
' Asam ot  bala Alpha. Asam Alpha.'
' We will spread the word to the worthy.'

Once shaken from their daze, Sally broke the silence:

' Let me get this straight. They live on Earth. They have helped humans before. They communicated directly with their minds. And nobody has ever noticed !'

' Sounds improbable. Near impossible that there are no recorded sightings in stone at least,' added Robert.
' Crazy,' Tim qualified it.
' Cool,' wondered Paul.
' Well at least they have answered one simple question,' stated Robert.
' Simple !' boomed Teresa.

' I think we can agree that their aim is to contact humans around the world and help them act upon  the future of all species on this planet. The authorities will have no part in it.'
' I guess they're not worthy enough,' chuckled Paul, as though drunk.
' At least we agree with them on that,' joined in Teresa, lightheaded.
' Wow, I have to sit down, this is mind boggling ,' collapsed Tim.

As they left the wood, their dreamy minds were ablaze with ideas and plans to make sure every living thing enjoyed this world for thousands of years to come. They would avoid treading in the footsteps of their forebears.


2001, A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick, 1968, extract The Dawn of Man, here
scenario co-written by Arthur C. Clarke while shooting in progress.

Arthur C. Clarke,  2010 ( written 1982  ); 2061 ( 1988  ); 3001 ( 1997  ).
films adapted from novels.
Some interesting things but not as good. It needed two genius minds working together to come up with the masterpiece : 2001 A Space Odyssey.

Starman, David Bowie, 1972, here

The Doors, Strange Days, People are Strange here
                                           When the Music's over here

Sunrise July 2013

Full Moon June 2019

 Gneiss Rock

Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the story.
Please leave a comment or a FCA and I will be sure to reply. Looking forward to reading your take on Footprints. Have a Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

⌗IWSG, Wednesday 4th December 2019, Monthly Question.

Welcome to the last monthly post of the year 2019.
Merry Christmas and all that ....
May 2020 be as inspiring and fruitful.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.


Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

if you would like to join us, please sign up here

Remember, the question is optional! 

December 4 question - Let's play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve? 

The awesome co-hosts for the December 4 posting of the IWSG are Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, Fundy Blue, and Tyrean Martinson!

My response.

My first dream or goal would be to publish my first Poetry Collection From the Shadows.
It's ready, it's finished, edited, approved, read by writers and non-writers. It was submitted as part of the Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Competition last March. Unfortunately, it wasn't even long-listed. Disappointment gave way to frustration, then inertia. My next move will be to submit it to publishers outside of a competition ... when I summon up enough courage, drive and find openings.
I read and wrote a review on Goodreads and Amazon for the published second collection of a fellow poet (who had sought me out). The author, as part of the deal, was supposed to read my pamphlet, offer feedback and suggest publishers. However, he did not keep his end of the bargain, despite repeated solicitations. I was hurt and angry. I should suggest he join the Insecure Writers Support Group so he sees how things are done in the writing community. Obviously, he has no idea what a code of honour is.

If and when I publish this first collection, I will enjoy launching it in England and travelling on a book tour of independent bookshops in England, in France and maybe in the States. Three poems have already appeared in magazines in England ( 1 in Paragram Winter 2014, 2 in Orbis August 2015), one for sure and maybe two will be published in the 2020 Spring Anthology of Poetica Publishing in the States.

My Novel in Progress, started in 2005, is a very long way off from being completed. So this is more of a life's work-as-a-writer dream. Just hope I'll see the day and reap the benefits. I will be very happy and proud if it is published either in England, Cameroon or the States (see my IWSG post of March 2019). I would very much like to tour bookshops in these countries. However, I need to go back to Cameroon to write parts of it there, on location. I hope it will bring communities together, enable people with different backgrounds and cultures to meet and interact. Maybe share their love of books, their world curiosity and even become friends. I would like to publish it in English but would love to publish it in a bilingual version French/English.

Other works in progress include three independent poetic tales on childhood for child and adult readers. These are all in French and I am currently trying to find an illustrator. Very hard task. I have acquaintances who are interested but currently busy with other tasks. My daughter would be willing, and there might be an opening there as she is currently in between jobs. I have a painter neighbour (watercolours mostly) whom I could ask but she usually paints pictures from life or photos. So if I get too impatient, I'll have to learn to draw them myself. I have ideas but my hands just don't possess the necessary skills. Or I could submit them to a publisher without illustrations and let them take care of it. I haven't made the move of submitting them yet. I feel very insecure when writing in French, though I've been doing it for a long time and have received positive feedback.

Another dream of mine is to gather a collection of short stories together or maybe a novella with related stories turned into chapters, as if they had been serialised in a paper, or have them serialised in a magazine, Dickens' style. I have always admired this way of publishing.

It would also be a great joy to publish some essays: reflections on reading, writing and the World ... Very ambitious.

The satisfaction and pride in making theses dreams come true would be all mine. My close family are already proud of my writing and offer praise/ support regularly. Many long-time, non-writer friends, not so much : I'm a laughing stock with my writing, when they don't simply ignore this aspect of my life most of the time. Very hurtful, not to be acknowledged for who I am.
For my mother-in-law, I don't amount to anything and will never be good enough for her son, or my own children for that matter, whatever I do. I could save the whole wide world, she would still find fault : asshole ! sorry, but not sorry. It drives me nuts, and has been a burden in my life for the past 35 years ...

Dreams keep me alive. However 2019 has been a very happy and fulfilling year writing wise : meeting new bloggers, writers, friends who never fail to boost my morale and creativity. Thank you.

Under The Silver Lake , 2018, with Andrew Garfield trailer here

Storm Boy, 2019, with Geoffrey Rush, Jai Courtney here

Les Filles du Soleil by Eva Husson (conflict journalist) here and English subtitles here

This is Us, Season 4  September trailer   Episode 1, Strangers here    Episode 9, So long Marianne,  here                     BEWARE  SPOILERS

Tears for Fears, The Hurting, 1983, here

Le Pigeonnier

Elie du Bois, November 2019

Thank you for visiting. Please feel free to comment, like, dislike, agree, discuss and I will be sure to reply. After a week of sunny frost, we have swung back to a warm, wet December. Off to Malta for some late year sun before winter sets in.