Up, Running and,er, Winning!

‘Take it easy and writers.... write!’That was the advice from fellow blogger and Novel Racer, Lisa Ratcliffe in her final blog. Lisa’s posts shone with a zest and a love for life even when she was so terribly ill. I’ve thought about Lisa a lot this week, and the family she left behind. In one of her last posts she wondered how many books she might have written if she’d ‘let it fly rather than immediately believing it to be crap and binning it’. It certainly struck a chord with me. So, I’ve got on with it; FTT is back out in the world and I’ve been getting on with some OU work. Letting fly with poetry has been very hard and I’m still circling warily round my next assignment but here’s a piece I wrote for a tutorial based on a photograph of a mother showing her daughter how to knit. The rules were that only two adjectives were allowed and no more than 30 minutes to be spent writing it (ok, I ran over on that by five minutes as it was so hard to let myself go in the time.)

Casting On
A lightning flash of silver needles
pierce the cloud of wool.
Twisting the mist into a waterfall,
she glimpses another storm warning
on her daughter’s face.

Small hands paddle,
scoop up net and needles, slippery as
mackerels in the basket of her lap
where stitches fall.
Knit one, purl one. Together they catch them.

It’s not brilliant but it did show me that you can put something together in 30 mins – now all I have to do is write the assignment. Gulp!

And sometimes when you let fly... it works!
Honno Welsh Women’s Press recently ran a competition to tell a ‘Coming of Age’ story in one sentence. I went for a run this morning and when I got in I checked the Honno site but couldn’t see my name in the ‘highly commended’ – that was because I was the winner!! Yay!
There is a currently a typo on the site which Honno are going to fix tomorrow, so there’s an ‘a’ where an ‘I’ should be... but if you want to take a look...
it's here.

Today's painting is 'Dinas and Carn Ingli from the sea' (a view I know a little too well!) by Tom Tomos.


Milla said…
well done, Chris, just what you need, a spot of good news, a boost and the prospect of a string of nice shiny parcels coming through the post. Congrats!
Elizabethd said…
Congratulations!! just what you needed!
How sad for you to lose such a friend.
JJ said…
Fantastic news Chris, well done.
mountainear said…
Congratulations on your Honno achievement. Wishing you similar success with FTT. I know you'll do it.
Fennie said…
Yes, congrats from me too. It's so amazing what you can do with a deadline that I think they should hand them out free on the NHS!
bradan said…
Congratulations, Chris! One day we will be saying that for FTT, too.

Sorry to hear about your friend.
Debs said…
That's so beautiful, I'm not surprised you won. Many congratulations.

Love the poem. I couldn't write that if you gave me a week to do it.
Mummy said…
Congrats Chris! I love the poem too. Reading your post has reminded me that I wrote a poem as I was drifting off to sleep last night, I can't however remember any of it, or what it was about. My last thoughts before drifting off to sleep were....I really need to write this down. I hope it comes back to me sometime :(
I read Lisa's blog, what a woman she was. Sad sad sad that she is gone.
(And your poem is gorgeous... write some more!)
lampworkbeader said…
Brilliant! Well done you.
love the poem Chris, still struggling to leave the whimsical here! Congrats re the one liner and sorry about the loss of a friend.
Frances said…
Hello Chris, and congratulations on your win.

Your poem went right from the screen to my heart and a long ago memory of sitting with my great aunt.

Please accept my sympathy on the loss of your friend. She surely does sound like a very inspiring person.

Best wishes for more writing and more excellent responses to that writing. xo
Lane said…
Lovely poem Chris and your winning line is just perfect. Congratulations.

I'm sure Lisa would be thrilled to bits for you. x
countrymummy said…
Hi - knitting is one of my favourite things, along with writing and poetry. A lucky find for me. Thank you.
Hi Chris,

Congratulations.! how wonderful, I love your Poem.

So sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.

Best of luck with more writing Chris.

Preseli Mags said…
Congratulations! It's about time you had some good news (and a nice prize too!)
ChrisH said…
Milla, yes, I am really looking forwards to lots of lovely books.

Elizabeth, thanks. And to all of you who have expressed sympathy about Lisa, I was never fortunate enough to meet Lisa but I met her as a blogging friend... or as Lisa put it, 'a whisper in the ether', but I was very engaged by her vibrant, warm posts and longed for her to beat the terrible odds that were stacked against her. Her zest for life touched me deeply.

JJ, thank you.
Mountaineer, thanks for your faith.
Fennie. So true about deadlines!!
Bradan, thank you - will have to hold a purple party if that happens!
Debs - yeah you could! Give yourself a scary 30 min deadline and see what happens!
Mummy, if I was doing everything you're doing at the moment, I wouldn't be able to remember my name!
Ladybird, Lisa managed to touch a lot of people in her too short life. I feel for her family.
Lampie, shucks! Thank you!
SBS, it's a b*gger isn't it? So far I've produced ONE couplet... only another 38 lines to go then!
Frances, that's a very kind thing to say. Thank you.
Lane, thank you - I think we'll all be doing it for Lisa now.
Countrymummy, thanks for dropping by and for your kind comment.
Mags, thank you. It IS a nice prize so I'm very happy! (we have the marauding hordes next week but I haven't forgotten coffee!)
elizabethm said…
How great to win a prize and books at that! love your one sentence too.
Flowerpot said…
Brilliant news Chris - I'm so pleased for you! And keep sending out FTT - you'll get there.
wordtryst said…
So nice of you to drop by my blog, Chris. Congrats on the win; it was deserved, easily the best of the bunch and very poignant.

Oh, and you're a poet too! :)
muddyboots said…
well done! excellent news!! xx
LittleBrownDog said…
I really love that knitting poem, Chris, and I'm so glad to hear about your winning, which I hope has boosted your confidence again. Off now to check out your story...

x x x
nimblejacks said…
Wow Chris wll done! Ah but now you'll have to find the time to read the Year's worth of books!!!! Can you jog and read all at the same time?:D
Pondside said…
Wowee, Chris - what a post.
First, sorry to hear about the loss of a friend - not matter how we make them they are precious.
Your poem was lovely - don't downplay it. Any mother who's sat patiently helping little hands to make the stitches will gulp on reading your poem.
Congrats on the one liner - you're on a roll........
KittyB said…
Chris - clever! And a good pome too.
ChrisH said…
Elizabeth, thank you - very excited about the books.
Flowerpot - We'll get there, you mean! Let's just keep picking ourselves up until someone catches us!
Wordtryst... I'm going to yours after seeing Hunk of the Month! Thanks for the nice comment.
Muddyboots, much appreciated, Thanks
LBD, thank you, dear heart.
Nimblejacks - that sounds like a very good time saving idea, I do hope you'll come and visit me in hospital!
Pondside, how very kind you are, and a true friend across the pond.
Kitty, watch out or I'll do another pome!
Fiona said…
Your thoughts on Lisa are very true and moving.

I disagreed, your poem is brilliant. And how good are you to have been tackling TMA3. I love poetry but hasn't it all been cold, disecting everything? For me,it's taken the joy of out it. Roll on the next section.
ChrisH said…
Fiona, I'm certainly finding this bit very challenging... and the more I've taken poetry to bits the harder I'm finding it putting it together again!
BT said…
Well done you, that's fantastic. I thought you definitely deserved to win, your sentence was shorter, concise and so meaningful.

So sorry about Lisa. Awful.

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