a mind-reading villanelle

Second-guessing makes me lose my own mind.

Yet I spend my life seeking approval from outside.

Pleasing others is a fault in my design.


I’ve begun projects then ended up frozen,

unable to complete an abandoned idea.

Second-guessing makes me lose my own mind.


Reading minds is a skill I think I’ve mastered

but it leaves my creative output empty.

Pleasing others is a fault in my design.


I’d love to roam free in the land of imagination

freeing my thoughts to dance on the page.

But second-guessing makes me lose my own mind.


I can’t take the critic, it pierces and bleeds

my fragile self to the point I submit.

Pleasing others is a fault in my design.


I’ve spent my life waiting for the outside judge

to give a thumbs-up to my latest fudge.

Second guessing makes me lose my own mind.

Pleasing others is a fault in my design.


NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 5: write a poem in the form of a villanelle

the wall around her heart

It began with bricks, I guess,

built from the abuse above.

The big-smile baby knew no more,

no less. But she had no floor

or roof or wall, her

boundaries spliced,

her ego nil.

Her cement did set quite early.

It took years to even see that.

Dreams of locks not working

haunt the trusting times.

The little girl got trapped

with owning, booing crap.

To escape takes more than hair.

Say ‘boo’ to the witch that’s there.

This poem is number 24 in a month’s worth of poems for NaPoWriMo.

Inspired by today’s theme of masonry, mine is a Jung-inspired take on Rapunzel.

A poem for urban sunflowers

inktuition urban sunflowers

My thoughts are grey and hurried.

My heels click a pavement rhythm

that’s awfully fast and fed-up.

My true self easily gets buried

in the soil of daily hum.

I often forget to look up.

But why always so worried?

When I lift my eyes from my glum,

I see yellow and smiles erupt

with petals and hearts a flurry.

They’re the sun I yearn to become:

my game plan now feels upped.

A poem for a sunbathing bunny

inktuition 'sunbathing bunny'While at rest

arms behind head,

this ultra-loved toy bunny

is a hilarious throughbred.

By night he’s a cuddly must.

By day he seems a player.

His cool little laidback stance

leaves some grown-ups nonplussed.

But the little girl who cuddles him,

hugs with joy and trust,

whether he’s catching some welcome rays

or being there with love.

That song that’s stuck in your head? Tune into its true message

Tune into that intrusive music in your head to hear what it's got to say. (pic:istockphoto.com/SilverV)

Tune into that intrusive music in your head to hear what it’s got to say. (pic:istockphoto.com/SilverV)

Oh, it’s SO annoying. Your head can’t switch off the replays of the most popular song on the radio you heard before dropping the kids off at school, driving to work, or running an errand. The catchy tune and chorus stick in your head ALL DAY. You think you hate the song, but the melody bounces around in your brain and chatters into your ears like your new best mate.

But apparently the tune that bangs on your eardrums all day  – the so-called ‘earworm’ – is a song you actually know and like, according to psychologists from Western Washington University. Intrusive songs are most likely to turn up their volume when we’re relaxed and doing downtime activities like walking (or maybe the washing up) as well as when we’ve got a lot to do (like homework) and our minds are prone to wander. Annoying songs can creep in then, but are less likely to invade our ears when we’re focused on tough mental jobs and our minds are fully engaged. (If you’d really like to zap an annoying song from your inner playlist, here’s an article on how to get a song out of your head).

But how about a deeper viewpoint? What if the song that’s stuck is trying to communicate something else? What if the only way for your soul to get a message through to you on a particular day is by annoying you with seemingly inane lyrics and by banging your auditory door down with a song that has a deeper meaning for you? Listen in closely to hear what that repetitive chorus might be whispering to you.

When I need inspiration or insight, I trust that the lyrics from a song – popular or otherwise – will spring into my head. It’s a form of clairaudience, where intuition can guide me in a way that’s most meaningful for me that day. The message may not always be profound, but then symbols (visual or auditory) are often clever and subtle and need you to pay attention, interpret and trust them.

So, next time you can’t get words or music out of your head, remember to take note. It could be your inner voice trying to tell you something. Don’t drown it out.


Why I think my best writing has nothing to do with me at all

I kind of hate to say this, but I think my best writing comes from another place totally beyond my control, my life, my consciousness. I’m talking about the kind of writing I read back the next day and think ‘where the **** did that come from?!’ (in a good way, I mean).

My flashes of inspiration come from a dark cave of pedestrian writing. (pic: istockphoto.com/rozbyshaka)

I know I have flashes of brilliance in my creative writing: times when I’m in awe of the written word to convey a feeling, a moment, a heartbeat. But those flashes are little chinks of light in what can sometimes feel like a dark cave of inane drivel and self-obsessed tosh.

Getting out of the way

I’ve realised that my best writing comes when I Continue reading

Why World Book Day is for life, not just for one day

Are your books for life, or just for one day? (image is a screen grab from http://www.worldbookday.com)

My eight-year-old daughter begs me for a story every night. It’s a treat for her to be read to – especially if I agree to read the books of her babyhood, but perhaps changing the voice, the tense, the direction and even the names of the character to spice it up a bit.

I’ve been reading to her – not always out loud, sometimes in my head – since she was first conceived. It never entered my mind that a child of mine wouldn’t want to hear stories read to her, and for her imagination to be fired.

I hadn’t planned any particular learning outcome from sharing my passion for stories with my little girl, but as it turns out she always gets Continue reading

writing lessons from my autumn garden

Let your writing bear fruit.

I was struck today by two great sayings that I always use to remind myself that I need to stay focused on my goal: namely, to finish writing my novel and get it published.

The first saying is: “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment”; the second: “nature abhors a vacuum”.

The two came together today when my husband and I started tackling our back garden, which had taken on a jungly life of its own after the rain and sunshine of the last couple of months. Continue reading

catch your creativity by letting it go

I’ve often wondered how people can do ‘structured’ creative thinking and come up with ideas on demand, because I find that my inspiration comes when I least expect it and when I’m nowhere near a pen to write things down – like when I’m driving, washing my hair, or brushing my teeth.

If someone demanded a brilliant idea from me at knifepoint I doubt I’d be able to deliver, because creative thought somehow deserts me when I’m under pressure.

Yet this is the way the creative brain is meant to work, according to an article New Insights on the Creative Brain in Psychology Today.

The secret to creativity is not thinking and thinking and forcing a thought to emerge, but to Continue reading