Haiku-a-day: day 41 of 365

 

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Haiku…

The red sky at night
signals the Shepherd’s delight
Fine weather warning!


Inspiration… I saw a beautiful red sky this evening, as I was driving home from work. It gave me an idea for today’s Haiku.

Apparently, the old saying, ‘Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning,’ first appeared in the bible in the Gospel of Matthew.

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OMG – Sandra is nearly on time

This is an activity from the A215 Creative Writing Course that I’m doing with the OU. It involves writing a story based on a woman in crisis (Sandra). It is written in third-person limited and is from the point of view of her husband (James). It is an exercise in structure: the narrative has a beginning, a middle and an end (Activity 10.1). Sandra also features in ‘Sandra at the solicitor’s‘ and Sandra visits a Marriage Guidance Counsellor.

Sandra has always been late. In fact, that trait started at a very young age: she arrived a week later than expected in the delivery room at Glasgow General; after putting her mother through a twelve hour labour. The ginger haired minx had to be dragged out with forceps, before announcing her late arrival with a rendition of eardrum shattering shrills. Lateness was a habitual trait that followed her around: every school report said the same thing, ‘Sandra excels at her school work, but her punctuality needs to be improved.’ At least as a University student, she could blame part of the lateness on the partying-lifestyle.

‘Who needs breakfast? That’s for wimps,’ was something she always retorted whenever the opportunity afforded itself. Luckily for her, Paracetamol and Lucozade were affordable on a student budget.

It’s now twenty years since University and she hasn’t changed a bit.

‘Hi James. Sorry I’m late, I’ve been at the solicitors to sign the final papers,’ she said.

‘Hi Sandra. Don’t worry about it. After twenty years, I’d be more surprised if you were on time.’

She quickly glanced over, before lowering her eyes and giving out a sigh.

‘We should have tried harder, James. I certainly know that I should have.’

This wasn’t like her at all: being dominant and having the last word in an argument was her forte. Her BA (Hons) in Law and subsequent training to become a barrister had helped to hone her skills. In all fairness, however, did it really have to come down to this awful state of affairs? It’s hard not to agree with her argument: the end of twenty years of marriage is nothing to be proud of.

‘I agree Sandra. You should have. I find it somewhat ironic, however, that your finally being civil towards me has happened today, of all days – when it’s too late to make a difference.’

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Haiku-a-day: day 40 of 365

 

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Haiku…

Echoey silence
Replaces joyful chanting
Loyal fans, now dumb!


Inspiration… The last minute winner in a football (soccer) match, that destroys the home team fans’  morale, is the choice for today’s Haiku. Over the years I’ve witnessed this a few times.

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Donna, the soldier’s wife

This is an activity from the A215 Creative Writing Course that I’m doing with the OU. It involves creating a backstory in relation to a character, followed by creating a passage of dialogue involving that character. The final part involves combining the backstory and dialogue (showing and telling) to produce a single narrative (Activity 9.9).

Part A: Use the character that you created in Activity 9.2 and write a paragraph in summary of their backstory and key elements about them.

Donna Bennett is the wife of Sergeant John Bennett, a bomb disposal technician in the 33 Engineer Regiment, whose unenviable task over the past month has been to clear incendiary devices in the Afghan Civil War.

Like many of the soldiers’ wives living at Carver Barracks, Saffron Walden, the 32 year-old, auburn haired, buxom Donna is thankful for the caring support offered by the other wives who also have loved ones fighting in Afghanistan. Today, Donna is particularly anxious. The constant feeling of helplessness and worrying if he is going to come back alive and uninjured is way too much to bear. There is something really important that she needs to tell him. As she contemplates John’s whereabouts, she fights against the negative thoughts that are attempting to enter her psyche, and reminds herself that no news is good news. After all, it’s only been a few days since he last phoned.

Part B: Write a page of dialogue involving the character (using up to 200 words). Try to create a subtext, an atmosphere or some implied information for your reader, beyond what the words of the dialogue explicitly say.

Donna decides that dwelling on negatives thoughts won’t make anyone feel better, and given her situation, that’s the last thing that she needs.

Out of nowhere a cool breeze blows in through the open window, carrying with it the scent of canteen food, which instantly makes Donna hold her hand to her mouth and rush into the bathroom. As she swills with mouthwash, a voice shouts, ‘Let me in Donna. It’s me, Gemma.’

‘I’m coming, hang on a minute.’

‘What took you so long? I’ve been knocking for ages,’ says Gemma.

‘Sorry! I was in the bathroom. Besides, I’ve been distracted since coming back from the Doctor’s, yesterday.’

‘Nothing serious I hope?’

‘Oh, no, nothing to worry about. I’ve not been feeling well, lately. I needed to get the okay from the doc.’

‘Are you sure it’s nothing serious?’ says Gemma, as she pays close attention to Donna’s every word.

‘It’s nothing life threatening. The doctor advised me to discuss it with John first, seeing as he is partly responsible.’

‘Ah ah,’ says Gemma, as she knowingly grins at Donna.

‘Is is that obvious?’

Donna suddenly feels tired and hopes that her friend doesn’t stay too long.

Part C: Combine the two passages, so the backstory and dialogue are mixed. Try to drip-feed the backstory into the narrative, so it doesn’t all come at once.

Donna is the wife of Sergeant John Bennett, a bomb disposal technician in the 33 Engineer Regiment, whose unenviable task over the past month has been to clear incendiary devices in the Afghan Civil War.

Today, Donna is particularly anxious. The constant worrying if he is going to come back alive and uninjured is way too much to bear, but she decides that negatives thoughts won’t make anyone feel better, especially given her condition.

Out of nowhere a cool breeze blows in through the open window, carrying with it the scent of canteen food, which instantly makes Donna hold her hand to her mouth and rush into the bathroom.

As she swills with mouthwash, a voice shouts, ‘Let me in. It’s me, Gemma.’

Like many of the soldiers’ wives living at Carver Barracks, Saffron Walden, the 32 year-old, buxom Donna is thankful for the support offered by the other wives.

‘What took you so long? I’ve been knocking for ages,’ says Gemma.

‘Sorry! I was in the bathroom. Besides, I’ve been distracted since coming back from the Doctor’s, yesterday.’

‘Are you sure it’s nothing serious?’ says Gemma, as she pays close attention to Donna’s every word.

‘It’s nothing life threatening. The doctor advised me to discuss it with John first, seeing as he is partly responsible.’

Donna suddenly feels tired and hopes that her friend doesn’t stay too long. As she contemplates John’s whereabouts, she reminds herself that no news is good news. After all, it’s only been a few days since he last phoned.

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Haiku-a-day: day 39 of 365

 

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Haiku…

Watery Haven:
home of aqueous loving
swimmers with Speedos


Inspiration… I decided to go swimming today, instead of sweating it out on the X-trainer. It was a win win situation: exercise and a wash at the same time 🙂

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Haiku-a-day: day 38 of 365

 

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Haiku…

Tiny drops of ice
Condensed vapour floating high
Duvet of cloud cover


Inspiration… I live in the UK … clouds aren’t exactly a rarity 🙂

As a kid, I used to love watching clouds and seeing imaginary monsters form from the fluffy whiteness. Despite the fact that they produce copious rain showers, the shapes and forms still fascinate me.

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Haiku-a-day: day 37 of 365

 

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Haiku…

The cunning Red Fox
Omnivorous small mammal
with long bushy tail


Inspiration… I saw a fox in a field, earlier today, as I was stuck in traffic (for a change) while some roadworks are taking place. I was quite surprised because it actually came within about 50 ft of my car. I’ve never understood those barbaric morons that hunt these  wonderful creatures, in the name of sport!!!

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