Life in Poetry reading, writing, reflecting

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

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

⌗IWSG-Wednesday July 7th- Really ? What Indeed ?

  Thank you to all my followers on Blogger and Wordpress for their support and praise for my poem Trapped by the Undertow, published 1st May 2021 on Bandit Fiction.com  Read More section Poetry.

See post, beginning of May, entitled Trapped by the Undertow, Bandit Fiction.

And for their encouragement on the publication of my poem CARTHAGE in ORBIS quarterly Literary Journal June 2021, Issue 196. Subscriptions on Orbis.com


Welcome to

Another writing day for the Insecure Writers' Support Group




Congratulations to Alex Cavanaugh (ninja captain himself and founder of the IWSG) on the publication of his novel CassaDark , release: April 2022. Pre-orders open , see his post on Blogger.


Please give us your news and comment on other blogs participating this month, offering advice and comfort to all the writers out there, grinding away....and who keep writing no matter what.

A LARGE HURRAH for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Let's keep it alive and thriving.

The question as usual is optional.


July 7 question - What would make you quit writing?


The awesome co-hosts for the July 7 posting of the IWSG are Pat Garcia, Victoria Marie Lees, and Louise – Fundy Blue!


The question as usual is optional, but also as most times, I choose to offer my take on it. I may sometimes shrug and change direction, but I'm not a quitter.

Well this question is certainly a catcher ! Stumble, trip, maybe....but always get up and onwards, to the last breath.

Cut off my hands, sew my mouth shut.... terminate my brain, now that would certainly do the trick.


Like breathing, writing is an essential part of my being and character: making up stories, describing my surroundings and experiences poetically, likewise. Book reviews are also starting to be my thing too. The joy of sharing writing that whispered beyond the pages to hidden corners of your soul, or caused a special string to twang, is becoming on par with creative writing.

So why stop ?

Although the output can seem enormous compared to slim publications, I have always thought that the reward lay first and foremost in the creating and writing. It is a question of keeping a good balance between what you write and how much rejections and bad criticism you are willing and tough enough to take. I will quote my good pen buddy, here, "I'm glad I'm not famous", Yvette Carol, after an open air conference she attended this year by one of New Zealand's leading novelists, Neil Gaiman.

The craft of writing for me is : painting a scene, sharing emotions and ideas; finding just the right word to convey all these; playing with expressions, metaphors, rhythm and rhyme; how the words sit on the page; the voice in my head, insights, a muse, the subconscious, a mood , who knows ? Maybe reader and writer alike could offer some answers.

If ever there are moments of despair, self-doubt and sometimes just pure laziness, the words and stories keep rolling and bugging me until I can set them free on a stage, launching them to live a destiny all their own as characters, settings, dialogues or poetry. Babes flown from the nest of my mind, to be replaced by newborn thoughts which will, most probably than not, find a way to surprise and enchant me, again and again.

©susanbauryrouchard


Thank you for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment and I will be sure to reply.


My latest photos. JARDINS DES MARTELS, special Fête des Lotus, Japanese Garden near Toulouse France, July 2021


©susanbauryrouchard



early start after thunderstorm



cosy ceramic houses for little creatures



natural sculptures of water after the rain in lotus leaves





coquille St Jacques !


One day, the Peacock got in the way, while cementing the path.

ever since, he's taken to the top branches of the cedar tree and entertains us with his throaty music.

In full bloom, a wedding cake heart.


Can't do without the temples and deities to look over the gardens






But let's not forget our woodland friends


nor the pond under the weeping willow, to catch our breath,


where the carp lurks and Mr Toad, sitting on the bed, sipping air through a hollow reed,
is waiting, patiently, for Beatrix Potter to invite him to tea on the moss beside the trunk of the tree.


Behold, the sun has come by and the turtle family is drying out on their wooden ledge next to the unfinished Italian basins' fountains.


A last foray into the bamboo wood and it's time to take our bow. Time to wander back along hilly lanes to our homes after a rewarding day, the first of hopefully a new decade.
©susanbauryrouchard


What a wonderful world Louis Armstrong

Thursday, 17 June 2021

⌗WEP-June2021- Submerged by a Wave of Relief

 Welcome to another post from the Write, Edit Publish blogging community.

 If you would like to know more about the WEP Challenge and how to participate

 visit here






Thank you to Denise Covey and all the WEP team for this opportunity.


Submerged by a Wave of Relief


"Ouch". The screwdriver had glanced on the skin between nail and thumb. A vermillion pearl pooled. He stuck his thumb in his mouth and sucked. "Damn". He was putting the final touches on the new wireless radio set, he had constructed from scratch. On his first, he had needed, pre-war : copper wires, bolts and screws; dials, a bulb, a needle and finally the framing. Today, he used slightly more modern materials but the method was the same.

    The first of six screws  to close the lid fast was always the trickiest. Pressing down with his left palm and forearm, at the same time, he inserted the screw with his right thumb and forefinger; he really needed a third hand. The screwdriver lay on the wooden workbench biding its time, before it was set into action.

    Grandpa Albert, still tending to the nick on his skin, took out the screw, lifted the lid and swore again. The afternoon light streamed in through the dirty pane from the back common; bees were dancing around the new-born yellow petals of the gorse bushes. The lid joined the screwdriver on the workbench, both abandoned for the time being. The planked door of the garage behind him, creaked invitingly. He brushed down his hands on his apron, hung it on its peg and followed the beckoning cool sea breeze out of his shed. Dust, mixed with sand, coated his old coupé car, bought secondhand and fixed up between odd jobs. The green paintwork captured the reverberating sun and glared reproachfully into his eyes.

    He turned the corner and gathered up his tobacco pouch and pipe from the stool by the wooden wall, then sat down. His back rested on the the overgrown and invading ivy. The match fizzed as he sucked on the stem to fire up, his thumb, still smarting, and the heel of his hand firmly holding the polished cup of the pipe. Albert inhaled, brief puffs at first, so the leaves caught; then he released his grip and the reassuring aroma rose straight into the late afternoon air. No draft in his niche. He exhaled with a sigh of pleasure, well earned. A squabble of blue tits pricked at his ears and he turned his head towards the laurel bushes separating the square of back garden from the dirt track leading to the common. The birds suddenly flew off, startled, each taking a different trajectory, up towards the streaks of clouds above Albert's head. 'It will probably rain tonight', he thought. A bell tingled in the road, down beyond the front part of the house, 'the landlady has a visitor'.

    Grandpa Albert's thoughts drifted back to memories of his childhood: his father in his workshop in Hackney. He could see him, as clearly as yesterday, fiddling with bicycle frames, hoses, tires, wheel spokes; Albert chuckled: he imagined him pinching one of his fingers while adjusting a bolt and screw. He would beckon to his son and say: "Don't just stand there, hand me that cloth. mind you run it under the tap first, you silly lad."

    A frown appeared on Albert's brow and he looked up at the sky again: fluffy clouds were now drifting further inland, chased by the tide. "May rain, early morning", he muttered. To the North, they were building up, dark grey, over the downs. Showers, if they were to come, would catch house wives unawares, as they scrambled to yank the clothes from the lines, grab at the pegs and drop them in the basket, before pattering quickly inside before the first drops. Albert was enjoying his pipe.

    His daydream was shattered by the clatter of tiny shapes on the steps from the house, then the rapid thumping on wood, as his youngest grand-daughter, still with boy-length hair around her ears, climbed up the slope to the garden and grabbed the swing; she then settled her bottom on the nail-ridden seat, all in an arc of a swoop. 'Blimey', thought Albert, 'what's she got under her bonnet !' the little girl was oblivious to his presence, intent on her play-goal. She soaked in the sun, the salty mixture of cool and stimulating air, the tobacco smoke, all up like a sponge, all senses alert.

    Pushing off from the ground, her frail, long arms strongly gripping the ropes, she sailed away into one of her adventures, of which she was the sole keeper, humming some tune or other that Albert, far removed from her land, didn't recognise. He shrugged, slightly annoyed at having his peace and quiet interrupted, and watched on as she swung up and down, up and down, like a pendulum gaining momentum. Grandpa Albert, as her pace picked up, what with the smoke and the lingering taste of blood from his thumb, started to feel giddy. However, nothing could seemingly destroy the child's rhythm and energy.

    "Not too high, dear, you'll fall off", said Albert, half mumbling between puffs. Higher and higher, the child rose, as if she hadn't heard, or maybe she hadn't.

    "Be careful", he bellowed.

She turned her head sharply towards the shed behind her; the ropes twisted in her left hand and she lost her balance, flying from the swing. She landed in the rockery, smack onto stone, earth; crushing flowers, all in an instant. Albert had stood up, stepped forward, too late: the grandchild's knees were scrapped clean and starting to ooze. She let out a yelp, followed by a flow of tears and cries. Grandpa Albert drew forward to her side and picked her up by both arms: "stupid, stupid girl".

    Just as sister, mother and grandmother burst up the slope, having emerged from the house, as if by magic, the little girl's lungs pushed out a loud wail, enough to wake the hedgehogs. The sister grabbed the freed swing, the mother knelt to brush down her daughter, tut-tutting and soothing at the same time. She then took hold of her hand and led her, still crying and protesting back to the house to clean and bandage the knobby knees. Grandpa Albert's wife didn't utter a word, arms crossed; bent down to evaluate the damage, shook her head then glanced sharply at him, a downward smile on pursed lips, sighing. She then turned away and followed the drama back down the steps, confident that the older child on the swing, now, could be left to her own devices and Albert's care.

    Albert looked at his other little charge, just sitting there, and sat back down onto his stool. He picked up his pipe and lit it once more. As he drew in his breath, a wave of relief surged, then subsided in his breast. No harm come, this time; though, he could expect a dressing down that evening in bed.

©susanbauryrouchard   FCA   1140 words.

    

Thank you for reading. All comments welcome.    

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

⌗IWSG-Wednesday 2nd June 2021,

 Thank you to all my followers on Blogger and Wordpress for their support and praise for my poem Trapped by the Undertow, published 1st May 2021 on Bandit Fiction.com  Read More section Poetry.

See post, beginning of May, entitled Trapped by the Undertow, Bandit Fiction.

And for the publication of my poem CARTHAGE in ORBIS quarterly Literary Magazine June 2021, Issue 196.


Another writing day for the Insecure Writers Support Group




finally managed to catch the setting sun on the ocean.





Thank you to Alex J Cavanaugh for his patience and hard work

Every month, The IWSG 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. Please try to visit other blogs/sites on the master list, you may inspire/help others or find some outstanding insights into life and writing.


to find out more go to the Home page here
or sign-up, here

Remember, the question is optional!

some news:


Special heads up to Yvette Carol, check out her article "I'm Happy I'm not Neil Gaiman", on her website. And also discover her full trilogy of fantasy fiction for children (New Zealand culture and legends all woven into an exciting tale of heroes, villains, anti-heroes ... and in-betweens) with original ink drawings.


In French, we have a saying: "Vivons cachés, vivons heureux"


Keep small presses alive, visit CINNAMON PRESS.com based in Wales, for new pamphlets/chapbooks, short stories collections and novels. Visit ORBIS Literary Journal (co.uk) to see what they have to offer: subsciptions, submissions, poetry, translations, reviews....
my poem Carthage will be appearing in their June Issue 196.



Now for today's reflections.

To friends and family or writing workshops, I may show/ or read out poems or flash fiction before shelving and thoroughly editing.
When blogging in a secure environment, I may show drafts with slight edits or major cuts concerning flash fiction or poems.
When submitting, the short stories or poems have been written, shelved, edited, re-edited countless times. That's how insecure I sometimes feel.

if some ideas are taken, remodelled, added to, re-edited... and find their own way into print, then that's just how the cookie crumbles.... as the "Dude" or his "gardian angel/philosopher" might put it.

That's all folks for today.... please revisit some of the 60's-to-70's Tom and Jerry cartoons and fill the air with laughter to alleviate the general atmosphere...

Wishing you an exciting and fruitful month of writing.

Susan Rouchard.

my photos of the French Basque Coast,
morning light.









Wednesday, 5 May 2021

⌗IWSG-May 2021- Thoughts for the day.

 Thank you to all my followers on Blogger and Wordpress for their support and praise for my poem Trapped by the Undertow, published 1st May 2021 on Bandit Fiction.com  Read More section Poetry.

See post, beginning of May, entitled Trapped by the Undertow, Bandit Fiction.


Another writing day for the Insecure Writers Support Group

Congratulations for all the A to Z participants and those who managed to finish, follow the roadtrip and more; also to the WEP participants for April 2021, quite a feat. Hopefully, I will be able to write a piece for June. This year Inspiration from Art.






Thank you to Alex J Cavanaugh for his patience and hard work

Every month, The IWSG 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. Please try to visit other blogs/sites on the master list, you may inspire/help others or find some outstanding insights into life.

to find out more go to the Home page here
or sign-up, here

Remember, the question is optional!

The awesome co-hosts for the May 5 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, PJ Colando, Tonja Drecker, Sadira Stone, and Cathrina Constantine!

May 5 question - Has any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn't expect? If so, did it surprise you?

Thoughts for the day,


Every day, a writer thinks, be it night or day, come shine or rain.

As soon as the thought, becoming an idea pops through our minds, we quickly jot it down on paper in a notebook at hand/diary/smartphone..... before it slips from our mind. 

Because, let's face it: we usually have more pressing things to do: get ready for our day job; get the children ready for school; take care of someone else, do the housework, shop, eat, sleep....

So these thoughts or ideas forming themselves in our heads, grow, change, are deformed, pile up if they are not written down.... even to be thrown away afterwards, discarded, torn up .... But then again, the most important ones have sunk back down into the unconscious, most often than not... to be sorted later .....or not.

What we finally manage to show to the world is sometimes very far from the original inspiration which was triggered by an event, something we saw, tasted, heard, touched, read... To please the world we go through all these stages of rewriting, editing, sending-off, being rejected, accepted, re-editing... or marketing.

Our readers are first readers foremost: family and friends, who aren't necessarily interested in what you would like to show the world. So in a community of bloggers the kind support and exclamations or praise are always welcome... even if they come as a surprise sometimes. Because it is a pleasant surprise, like someone knocking at the door, a delivery man with a package from someone special.


Those were my thoughts for the day.

Wishing you a pleasant month of writing.

Susan B. Rouchard

My poem Trapped by the Undertow was published on BanditFiction.com under the section Read More Project, Poetry on first of May.

(see my previous post).


photos from the garden:










Thank you for visiting and please feel free to respond and I will do the upmost to reply within a reasonable delay.

Monday, 3 May 2021

#BanditFictionmagazine-Published-Trapped by the Undertow.

 Dear readers,

On first of May , my poem Trapped by the Undertow was published on Bandit Fiction, online magazine, Read More, Poetry.

Check it out.

Some beautiful and compelling Poetry and Short Fiction to read every day , on the site.

Enjoy


https://banditfiction.com/2021/05/01/trapped-by-the-undertow-by-susan-rouchard/


http://lifeinpoetry.home.blog/2021/05/03/bandit-fiction-published-trapped-by-the-undertow-by-author-life-in-poetry/



Tuesday, 6 April 2021

⌗IWSG- Wednesday 7th April 2021-Freedom and Risk.

Dear writing buddies, 

Welcome to another post for the Insecure Writers Support Group.

If you would like to know more about the IWSG visit here



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. 

Remember, the question is optional!

April 7 question - Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

The awesome co-hosts for the April 7 posting of the IWSG are PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton!

 


Freedom and Risk


When writing, I write first and foremost , by experience: write what you know as fact. That is my foundation, my stepping stones on which I build a bridge to the other side: creativity.

Some facts comes from knowledge in history, geography, science, nature (checked in specialised books, maps). Others come from what I have lived, seen with my own eyes, felt by touch or emotions, smelt. When I walk around in my neighbourhood, towns where I have lived, towns where I am visiting; I observe, take pictures, breath in the air, talk with people for whom this place is home.

My poetry reflects mostly these aspects of my writing; but can lead to reflections, opinions and even narratives which keeps the lines together through patterns and imagery.

In prose, my short stories and my novel in progress, rest confidently on the foundation stated above and take their roots in direct and personal experience. Although what flowers above ground blossoms out of pure imagination. When telling a story, the elaboration of plot lines and the sculpting of characters are loosely based on experience, then flow into fictional films in my mind's eye. Then, I just write down what my brain shows me through moving images and voiced exchanges. Settings stem from photographs, taken myself or dated photographs from the past with precise captions; or from paintings (usually after 14th century in Europe; much earlier if from Asia, the Middle East or African continent).

Notwithstanding, when the genres involve fantasy or science-fiction (including anticipatory), my narratives can take surprising turns based on legends or my personal deep beliefs, insights and what I have learnt along the way: my hopeful imaginings for a better world.

The heart dictates foremost, then whatever I am writing unfolds according to my ideals. The freedom to leave sad memories behind.

Dark plot lines can surface at times, stemming from sentiments of injustice or anger when I look around me at the world we live in. For the rest, my actions speak.

Idiosyncratic or experimental writing does not always play in my favour. However, I believe my true audience is out there, even though few and far between. Some I have met, others have reviewed me favourably in magazines. Those to come, I just hope to touch their hearts; bring them laughs, joy, comfort and solace.

Freedom over compromise, any day, so no best-sellers in sight ... Edits always welcome to enable me to be read more widely.

Susan Rouchard.





Thank you for your attention and Happy April IWSG posting.

All comments welcome and I will be sure to reply and enjoy a conversation.

Congratulations to all the A to Z and WEP administrators & participants this month.

Take care and keep writing.

in confinement again in Toulouse.


My photos for the month taken in and around my garden.