Photos by Sarah, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Rise

Rising in the sky over Melbourne…

Prompt: Dutch Goes The Photo, Tuesday Photo Challenge, Week 108 – Rise

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A-Z Challenge, Challenges by Sarah

Reflections on the A-Z Challenge

This was my first time participating in the A-Z Challenge. I must say, I completely underestimated how much work it would be, but boy oh boy, what a sense of accomplishment I feel now I’m finished. My theme was “Anxiety” and some had doubts (myself included!) that this topic was broad enough to carry the load of 26 letters. But it was. Above and beyond.

What I discovered from exploring Anxiety from A-Z, is that it isn’t all bad! While it can be debilitating, soul-crushing and interfere with many aspects of life; it also brings with it, motivation, incredible friendship and support, and a determination to, if not overcome it, at least develop the skills to manage and live with it.

I was at first, reluctant (and a little embarrassed), to share my struggle with the blogging community however, this was overcome early on in the challenge with the wonderful, supportive comments I received on my posts. Some even chose to share, or reveal their own experiences, which reminded me, I am not alone in this journey.

For the challenge, I chose to write using the Haibun poetry form. Haibun appeals to me because I can combine short prose (usually my musings) before adding a Haiku to add to and support the prose. I enjoy Haiku immensely because of the restricted syllable count and the brevity of the poem. Every word needs to count! I feel I developed my skills writing Haibun through participation in the challenge, and believe it was the right form for the theme.

In terms of traffic to my blog, I didn’t notice a huge difference. I gained a couple more followers and had a few regulars who stopped by my posts, which was so lovely and something I truly valued. However, my main purpose for participation in the challenge, was not so much for increasing my stats, but rather, to try and express all the feelings and confusion surrounding my anxiety at the moment. As mentioned in my posts, my anxiety comes and goes. It just so happened it was peaking when I started the challenge, and interestingly, receding when I finished. Coincidence? Or cathartic? Who knows! Whatever it was, the writing around this theme from A-Z has helped me start to make some sense of it all.

I wanted to thank those who regularly visited and commented on my A-Z posts – in particular Iain Kelly at http://iainkellywriting.wordpress.com/, and syncwithdeep at http://syncwithdeep.wordpress.com/. I truly appreciated you stopping by and checking in throughout the challenge. It helped keep me motivated and know that someone was out there reading!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading other A-Z participants’ posts. It was so interesting to see the variety of themes and approaches people used. It certainly broadened my knowledge and appreciation for the wonderful writers out there.

I would definitely participate in the A-Z challenge again. Thank goodness I have 11 months to think of a new theme! Thank you to the organisers at the A-Z Challenge for hosting and facilitating the challenge. I know it would’ve been a lot of work coordinating it all and ensuring things ran as smoothly as they did.

Below, I have collated a “round up” of all my posts for the A-Z Challenge:

A is for Anxiety
B is for Broken
C is for Comfort
D is for Depression
E is for Excellence
F is for Friendship
G is for Gratitude
H is for Hope
I is for Indecision
J is for Jitters
K is for Kindness
L is for Lonely
M is for Mindful
N is for Nagging
O is for Objective
P is for Psychologist
Q is for Quiet
R is for Ruminating
S is for Self-Talk
T is for Terror
U is for Understanding
V is for Various
W is for Wellbeing
X is for Xenial
Y is for Yield
Z is for Zest

As always, thanks for stopping by, and taking the time to read. If you like what you see please drop me a “like” or comment to let me know.

Scribblings by Sarah

Break Ups – Top 25 “What Not To Do”

The list below is compiled on things I have done myself, or seen my friends and family do, after a break up (I know! CRINGE, right?!).

The list is by no means conclusive but rather, outlines things that may:

  • make you feel better in the short term, but really, just make you stoop to a whole new level that’s beneath you
  • make you feel FAR worse
  • diminish your already wounded self-esteem, and
  • prolong the process of accepting the break up and moving on.

What NOT to do:

  1. Egg their car
  2. Egg their house
  3. Deny no. 1 & 2 when called on it
  4. Create a “Dial a Loser” poster with their photo and phone number on it and put it up in key places around their town
  5. Write a revenge/hate song and play it to all their friends
  6. Beg for them to take you back
  7. Damage their property
  8. Harass them at their place of work
  9. Steal their things
  10. Defame them
  11. Log onto their Facebook account and delete all their friends
  12. Log onto their Facebook account and post embarrassing status updates
  13. Sign them up for embarrassing email spam (e.g penis enlargement, Viagra)
  14. Sleep with their best friend
  15. Sleep with their brother / sister
  16. Stalk them
  17. Stalk their new partner
  18. Try to “accidentally” run into them around your old hangouts
  19. Lose weight or reinvent yourself to try and get them back
  20. Call and/or text them
  21. Hold onto hope they realise they’ve made a mistake
  22. Stay friends with mutual friends
  23. Keep them on your Facebook / Instagram / Twitter
  24. Stay “friends”
  25. Anything that causes you lose your dignity and/or power

What you SHOULD do:
Remember, it’s called a break up, because it was broken. Count your losses, cut all ties and communication, and walk away.

Moving on and finding happiness is the best way to truly get over a break up…

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Sunday Writing Prompt – Breakups

Stories by Sarah

Quiescent

My Fitbit vibrated against my wrist. “Let’s go for 250!” it invited. Clearly, it was unhappy with my quiescence. I looked at the clock and realised I had indeed, been sitting in front of the computer for over an hour. I was surprised. Time had passed so quickly, yet yielded little in return.

I cursed the blinking cursor, briefly wondering if that’s why it was called that. I smiled at the idea of others cursing their cursors. I got up, stretched my legs, circling the room until my Fitbit vibrated with satisfaction.

Suddenly, an idea came! I sat down and commenced writing for Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt…

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #53 – Quiescent

Other, Poetry by Sarah

Space Oddity Clarity Pyramid

Earth
Planet
Ground control.
This is Major Tom.
There’s nothing I can do.
In a most peculiar way,
“We are sitting in a tin can”.

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Music Challenge, #27 – Space Oddity; and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Lucky Dip, 5 May 2018

Other, Poetry by Sarah

Lone

LONE.
Itself
excluded.
Sun beams on flower,
blooming despite the weeds.
Tall it grows, rising above.
“With shadows, you’re never alone”

By Sarah ©2018

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Image credit arcaion via Pixabay

Author’s Note: Clarity Pyramid

The Clarity Pyramid is a poetry form designed and constructed by Jerry P. Quinn.

A Clarity Pyramid is a poem consisting of two triplets and a single line (7 lines in all). Usually, this poem is center aligned when displayed.

The first triplet has 1, 2, and 3 syllables. The title of the poem is the one-syllable word of the first triplet, which is displayed in all capital letters. This line is followed by a two-syllable line, and then a three-syllable line, both of which clarify the definition of the poem, or are synonyms for the title.

The second triplet has 5, 6, and 7 syllables. Its design is based around a life event contained within the triplet which helps give a poetic view or outlook on the first line (title).

The last line is 8 syllables, and is in quotations as this line contains a quote that defines the first word (title).

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Lucky Dip, 5 May 2018

Stories by Sarah

Car Wash

This rain is really coming down hard! she thought, I can barely see the lines! She craned her neck, and gripped the steering wheel tightly, trying to stay in her lane. Suddenly, bright red lights flared in front of her. She slammed her foot on the brake pedal but it was too late. The car slid on the wet black coming to rest, in the back of the car in front of her. She pulled over, and got out of the car to talk to the other driver. Relief washed over her as she realised it was her husband!

By Sarah ©2018

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Image credit tookapic via Pixabay

Prompt: Carrot Ranch, Flash Fiction – May 3, 2018. Task – In 99 words (no more, no less) use a line in your story. You can think of the variation of the word meaning, or you can think of visual references. Go where the prompt leads.

Challenges by Sarah, Mindlovemisery's Menagerie - Saturday Mix

Saturday Mix – Lucky Dip, 5 May 2018

Needing some clarity with this week’s challenge…

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

Welcome to the Saturday Mix, 5 May 2018 – Lucky Dip!

For this week’s Lucky Dip, I have reached into my mystery bag and pulled out a Clarity Pyramid. The topic is up to you!

You may be thinking to yourself, What on earth is a Clarity Pyramid?

Luckily, Shadow Poetry has an explanation…

Clarity Pyramid

The Clarity Pyramid is a poetry form designed and constructed by Jerry P. Quinn.

A Clarity Pyramid is a poem consisting of two triplets and a single line (7 lines in all). Usually, this poem is center aligned when displayed.

The first triplet has 1, 2, and 3 syllables. The title of the poem is the one-syllable word of the first triplet, which is displayed in all capital letters. This line is followed by a two-syllable line, and then a three-syllable line, both of which clarify the definition of the poem, or…

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Photos by Sarah, Thursday Doors

Brown Brothers Winery

Brown Brothers is one of Australia’s leading family-owned wine companies. They have been making wine in Milawa, Victoria for 125 years. The cellar door is about 10 minutes from my house and I recently visited it with my friends from out of town. I not only found some yummy wine but some cute, rustic doors as well…

Prompt: Norm 2.0, Thursday Doors – May 3, 2018

Daily Post Weekly Challenge, Photos by Sarah

Unlikely

It’s unlikely the owner of this car will be driving it again! This pic was snapped during a flood in my town. An unsuspecting young lady parked in her usual spot before heading to work, oblivious to the numerous flood warnings being broadcast. I’m curious why she never noticed she had the whole car park to herself! The second photo shows the vehicle about fifteen minutes later – you can only just see the roof! The flood water rose unbelievably fast (and the ducks are loving it)!

Prompt: Daily Post, Weekly Photo Challenge – Unlikely

Photos by Sarah, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

I snapped this amazing photo on my recent trip to New Zealand. My sister and I had just come out of some torrential rain through Lewis Pass on the South Island, rounded the corner and found this….I guess the lighting and timing was just right!

Prompt: Dutch Goes The Photo, Tuesday Photo Challenge, Week 107 – Trip

Other, Poetry by Sarah

This Is Me

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Image credit Marcia King Art

This is me.
Can’t you see?
Just how happy I can be.
But under glee,
can’t you see?
Equal measures of misery.
The inner banshee,
longs to be free.
Restrained only by my courtesy,
Never the truth will you see.
My mind a clutter of debris,
masked by smiles of frivolity.
I want to flee,
Go crazy.
But this is me.
Can’t you see?
A detainee to my personality.

By Sarah ©2018

Author’s Note: In September 2017, my artist friend Marcia King started a ‘Profile Picture Project’. This project involved her offering everyone on her personal Facebook page a hand drawn profile picture for their facebook or social media accounts. 192 people in total chose to participate. The profile picture is in most cases a picture of them but in some cases their children or pets. Those people will also received the personalised drawing she did for them for free. It was an extremely generous and inspiring challenge, and one I feel honoured to have been part of. You can find out more at: https://www.facebook.com/Marciakingartwork/

#marciakingart

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge #212

Challenges by Sarah, Poetry by Sarah

Reflections on NaPoWriMo

I can’t believe I made it! A poem a day for the whole month of April (otherwise known as National Poetry Writing Month or NaPoWriMo for short). I felt I was being a little ambitious tackling both the A-Z Challenge and NaPoWriMo in the same month, however, I not only tackled; I have succeeded and completed BOTH challenges. I feel an immense sense of pride for the writing I have achieved this month. In particular, for the poetry I have written. I undertook Suzanne Olivante’s Photo Challenge as my Prompt basis for NaPoWriMo and she delivered some unbelievable and inspiring images for writing.

One of the things I am most pleased about, is the variety of NEW poetry forms I have been able to experiment with. I have discovered I LOVE to write Nonet and Rondolet, and have refined my skills when working with Fibonacci and Tanka. I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute, and even on days when I was time poor, still managed to whip something up that I was reasonably proud of!

My top five favourite poems that I wrote for NaPoWriMo, are (in no particular order):

  • Glimpses
  • Autumn Pleiades
  • With Me
  • Drip-Stone
  • Glimmering Dew

I have included a summary of all of my poems for the month of April 2018, with the poetry form given in parentheses beside the title:

  1. Glimpses (Elfje)
  2. Be Brave (Fibonacci)
  3. Cold (Haiku/Senryu)
  4. D is for Depression (Haibun)
  5. Ignite (Cinquain)
  6. Fearsome Lady (Tanka)
  7. Busy City (Triolet)
  8. Beneath The Cloudy Skies (Triquain)
  9. Epiphany (Pantoum)
  10. Sweet (Haiku/Senryu)
  11. Darkness of the Deep (Tanka)
  12. Autumn Pleiades (Pleiades)
  13. L is for Lonely (Haibun)
  14. Glimmering Dew (Rondolet)
  15. Brickhead (Haiku/Senryu)
  16. Future Paths (Fibonacci)
  17. Bee Fun (Haiku/Senryu)
  18. Missteps (Tanka)
  19. Nothing But Tracks (Fibonacci)
  20. Emerald Dust (Tanka)
  21. Swan Dance (Haiku/Senryu)
  22. Roots (Nonet)
  23. With Me (Nonet)
  24. Drip-Stone (Mirror Sestet)
  25. Beat (Haiku/Senryu)
  26. First Blush (Tanka)
  27. Fly Away (Fibonacci)
  28. Close (Nonet)
  29. Sunshine in a Glass (Haiku/Senryu)
  30. Abandoned (Mirror Poem)

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

I also want to extend a massive THANK YOU to Suzanne Olivante for organising the image prompts. I truly appreciate the work she put into running the challenge, and highly recommend you check out her blog at: Suzanne Olivante Poetry

Other, Poetry by Sarah

Abandoned

Abandoned.
Broken I lie,
awaiting ravages of time.
Whispers echoed along forgotten hallways.
Shadows dancing, creating patterns.
Haunting memories.
~Bereft~
Memories haunting.
Patterns creating dancing shadows.
Hallways forgotten along echoed whispers.
Time of ravages awaiting,
Lie I broken.
Abandoned.

By Sarah ©2018

Author’s Note: Palindrome Poetry is also known as Mirrored Poetry. A palindrome, by definition, is a word, phrase, verse, sentence, or even poem that reads the same forward or backward. It stems from the Greek word palindromos: palin, meaning again, and dromos, meaning a running. Combining the two together, the Greek meaning gives us, running back again

Prompt: Olivante Poetry, #NaPoWriMo 2018 – Day 30

A-Z Challenge, Challenges by Sarah, Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

Z is for Zest

Despite grappling with the many challenges anxiety has thrown at me over the years, I have realised the importance of trying to maintain a zest for life. I will share some things I have found to be helpful. Reducing your daily stress can work miracles on your zest for life, as can changing the way you look at a situation. Diet and exercise also play an important role, releasing “happiness hormones” and regulating the fight/flight response triggered by anxiety. A good night’s sleep can work miracles when it comes to your mood and efficiency level for the day. But most of all, learning to handle difficult situations and developing coping strategies, plays a large part in maintaining your zest for life. To recap, hold onto your “zest” by:

  • Practicing Relaxation Techniques. It is important to find ways to relieve the muscle tension caused by anxiety.
  • Exercise & Diet: Any type of regular exercise is very effective in relieving stress.
  • Talking It Out: If you are feeling isolated because of anxiety, there are options for discussing how you are feeling.

Take positive steps.
Don’t let anxiety take
away zest for life.

By Sarah ©2018

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Image credit jill111 via Pixabay

Prompt: A-Z Challenge, 30 April 2018 – Z

Other, Poetry by Sarah

Emergence

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Image credit Peter Finger via Unsplash

Paths laid before us are works in progress,
Never certain of where they may lead us.
Make choices carefully, beyond redress,
For we, in this world, are superfluous.
There’s a pestilence that we must discuss,
and upon your soul weighs a heavy scourge.
Don’t let it reveal itself like a cuss,
Own it, and in truth let yourself be purged.
When transgressions of past, on you converge,
You can choose to abdicate, or emerge.

By Sarah ©2018

Author’s Note: The Decuain (pronounced deck•won), created by Shelley A. Cephas, is a short poem made up of 10 lines, which can be written on any subject. There are 10 syllables per line and the poem is written in iambic pentameter. There are 3 set choices of rhyme scheme:

ababbcbcaa, ababbcbcbb, or ababbcbccc

For a longer Decuain poem, add more stanzas for a double, triple, quatruple, etc. Decuain.

Source: Shadow Poetry Editors, accessed 29 April, 2018

Prompt: Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #52 – Emergence; Poetry Challenge – Write a 10 line rhyming poem (the pattern of rhyming / form / structure is your choice) on the theme of transformation and emergence.

Challenges by Sarah, Mindlovemisery's Menagerie - Saturday Mix

Saturday Mix – Opposing Forces, 28 April 2018

Opposites day for our Saturday Mix today…

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

Welcome to the Saturday Mix, 28 April 2018!

This week we are dipping our toes into the pool of OPPOSITES. Our challenge is all about “opposing forces” and the use of antithesis in our writing. You will need to use the two opposing words in your response – which can be poetry or prose.

Our words this week are:

– suburb and city centre

– repair and damage

You may be asking yourself, How can I use antithetical statements in my writing?

Luckily, Kat from Literary Devices has some examples for you.

Common Antithesis Examples
Some famous antithetical statements have become part of our everyday speech and are frequently used in arguments and discussions. Below is the list of some antithetical statements:

You are easy on the eyes, but hard on the heart.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.
Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real

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