2017 April PAD Challenge Day 1: ‘Odd Hours’ #aprpad

wine-time

So here we go with the first day of this year’s April PAD Challenge! I will be posting a poem each day in April, derived from the prompts given at the Writer’s Digest website – of course some days may see me catching up with the previous days, but we’ll see how we go. Anyway! This is Day 1’s offering for you, the title you may notice referencing something I have previously reviewed on my blog 😉 Enjoy!

Day 1’s prompt: ‘Write a reminiscing poem’.

Odd Hours

Remembering the good times
Shared over a bottle of wine
That invariably led to another,
Fuelling our lunacy and laughter,
All part of the mutual language we spoke,
Littered frivolously with inside jokes
And a touch of tasteful crudity,
Only occasionally veering into vulgarity.

I recall nights like those with fondness
Where we embraced our oddness
Well into the smallest hours
That truly unique bond of ours.

And should you wish to reminisce further to last year:

Last year’s poem for Day 1: ‘What Makes a Fool’

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

The Power of Music and Rain (A Moment of Reflection)

music-and-rain

Now this post may seem a bit random at first, but I felt compelled to write it after walking home from work this afternoon. I just find it fascinating the things that can make you feel better when you’ve been feeling low, and the good vibes that suddenly start flowing through you. Now I understand I am at the risk of sounding a bit new-age and hippyish (‘Right on, man!’), but please bear with me as I describe my sudden epiphany today…

So I’ve been feeling a little depressed and/or stressed out as of late. It comes and goes, but when its at its worst I just feel awful, like a rock that just wants to lie there and not do anything or deal with anybody at all. I’ve tried various meditation techniques to try and help myself, and also have been reading the rather fabulous book Frazzled by Ruby Wax – who once upon a time was someone I absolutely couldn’t stand and found rather irritating, but I have to take my hat off for her for the good work she has done around mental health awareness. It’s no mean feat to write a book attempting to help those afflicted by stress and depression and yet be a humourous read at the same time, but she certainly manages it effortlessly.

It’s been a great help to me and calmed the rather erratic pressure cooker that is my brain somewhat. I’ve always been a mildly anxious person but lately all my worries feel like they’ve been dialled up to 11 – whether I’m writing enough, whether I’m being sociable enough, whether my friends and/or family really like me or not, whether I’m relaxing enough, whether I’m making enough time for myself, whether some random thing I said a week ago made me sound stupid or not, etc. Stupid, silly things. But it’s only after I have a near-enough meltdown about one of these that I realise just how ridiculous I’m being. It’s an extremely vicious cycle, and one I’m still trying to fully break free from.

So, cut to today at work. During a free moment I was sitting having a coffee and listening to the radio, when a familar song came on. I knew it, but couldn’t for the life of me remember who it was by. Of course, in this (debatedly) wonderful age we live in, I was able to whi out my smartphone and ‘Shazam’ it. And it turned out it was ‘Sit Down’ by James. As it turned out, I already had another of theirs on my phone, ‘Born of Frustration’, which I had obtained via the Shazam method as well at some undetermined point of time. The reason the songs were familar to me was because my Dad had been a fan of them, and I’d heard them many a time on the tape player on many a car ride in my childhood. So that already made me think of simpler, more innocent times. Noticing the link to buy their ‘Best Of’ album that both of these tracks were included on, I bit the bullet and thought ‘Why not’ – it was only £6.99 after all!

So when I left work to walk home (a half-hour walk- I really should get around to learning to drive one of these days), I found it was raining quite hard out there. Cursing myself for not thinking to bring my umbrella, I still got my headphones out (as I generally do walking to and from work) and stuck the album on as that journey’s musical accompaniment. And as I did, other tracks suddenly lit a spark in my memory as well, such as ‘She’s a Star’ and ‘Tomorrow’. It was a nice little escape to nostalgia after a long day. The lyrics of the latter particularly struck a chord with me and were a nice reassuring balm for my wittering, worrying old brain – ‘Gotta keep faith that your path will change/Gotta keep faith that your love will change tomorrow’ – a mantra that kept me (literally) pushing through the rain and on my way. I didn’t even mind the rain – I let myself feel every drop, basking in it, smiling to myself – it’s quite possible that I made myself look rather strange to anyone passing by – but I didn’t particuarly care. I suddenly had a fresh outlook on everything, maybe things aren’t so bad after all, things can only get better from here, who cares that it’s raining etc. I was feeling something after being somewhat on autopilot for what felt like the longest time. And it was through the combination of music and rain, of all things. I almost had to stop myself from just standing there dancing and singing in it.

And I think it’s a very real danger for all of us – even if you aren’t feeling stressed, depressed, or both – it’s all too easy to fall into this ‘autopilot’ and find yourself not enjoying or appreciating anything – it’s a requirement, in my eyes, to let yourself go every now and then. Listen to that old song that you haven’t heard in years. Stop a minute to look at the scenery around you. Walk a different way for once. In fact, I’m tempted to apply it to my writing – just stop thinking about it so much and see what words came out, as I have rather ended up doing with this post, to be completely honest.

I’ll be sure to let you know how I progress with the ‘sorting myself out’ thing. Maybe recently turning 30 is part of what’s causing these feelings (surely I’m too young to have a mid-life crisis already?) But today was a turning point for me, when I really wasn’t expecting it. You know what? I think it’ll all work out okay in the end. It almost always does.

With love and best wishes

Stu

Check out my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

Weds poetry prompt: ‘One Day’

wakingup

Today’s prompt: Write a ‘one’ poem.

One Day

One day we’ll wake up
With a clear plan in mind
To conquer days yet to come;
To tackle the trials of tomorrow,
The worries of coming weeks,
Nagging concerns of next month,
Crippling fears for future years,
And only one lifetime to prepare.
Eventually, it all comes together
In a time span not entirely clear,
So we wait for the elusive date
In which we awake content
And free from this frenzied state,
One day.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

Weds poetry prompt: ‘Dreaming in Grey’

sleeping-man

Today’s prompt: Write a dream poem.

Dreaming in Grey

I’d long to tell you thrilling tales
Of adventures laced with danger,
Full of magic and ferocious dragons,
But it may disappoint you to learn
That my dreams more often come
In a rather mundane flavour instead.

They star the same old faces
That I see while still awake,
Just cast into different roles
And thrust to other places,
Merely a tedious rearranging
Of my daily hours in reality.

Even my so-called nightmares
Are simply petty material concerns,
The looming terror of late payments
And long-crippling stresses
That mutate into lurking spiders
Just waiting to leap at my sleeping face.

Maybe as a child my dreams were made
Of much more exciting things than this,
Now I’m grown, they simply reaffirm
My fears so wretchedly ordinary,
But I still faintly hope that one night,
Sleep will show me wild fantasies again.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

‘Precious’

precious

(A poem written from a prompt as part of 2015’s April PAD Challenge from Writer’s Digest – the prompt being to pick an adjective, make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

Precious

What lies next to us each night,
What we hold tightly in our hands,
What we gaze at with misty eyes,
What we slavishly smell and savour,
What we taste with trembling tongue,
What we hear in the sweetest tones,
What we shall treasure most of all,
What desires within will drive us to,
What we shall tirelessly protect,
Those things so precious to us.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, available NOW for download as an eBook on Amazon. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

Monday Musings: Does Facebook enhance or diminish social interaction?

facebookchart

Ever since its launch way back in 2004, Facebook has been touted as a tool to help you ‘stay connected’ with friends, as well as making new ones. In fact the website itself claims that its mission is to ‘give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected’ . However, I would argue that it often does the exact opposite of this – if anything, it can often disconnect us from the ‘real world’. Equally, it can give us a rather distorted and twisted view of it.
For example several people post status updates that are self-deprecating; a typical ‘woe is me’ declaration clearly intended to bait sympathetic comments from friends in response (‘I’m so useless’, ‘I’m so ugly and no one loves me’ etc.). Even if these are genuine cries for help from people suffering from depression, Facebook is probably not the best channel to seek guidance from! There are also posts similar to these that are vague enough to prompt the ‘What’s wrong’ or ‘Are you ok?’ responses, which the original poster will generally respond with ‘Nothing, don’t worry about it’ or something to that effect – when of course they really mean the opposite and intend it as a cue for the concerned private messages to start flooding in.

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What to Expect in Future Updates!

to-do-list-tools

Okay, so I admit I’ve been slacking a bit on this blog lately (I’ve mainly been posting the poems that result from the ‘Wednesday Poetry Prompts’ over on the Writer’s Digest site), this is due to a number of reasons/flimsy excuses: work, tiredness and a general lack of motivation lately, etc (which I’m trying to work on), so this is just a quick post to give you an idea of what to expect in future installments from the Scribblings of Stu – and posting this as a kind of ‘to do list’ will hopefully give me that much needed motivation/kick up the bum. So then – future plans:

  • Continue working on the Pokemon Go-inspired short story I posted a while back (and think of a title) – that is, if people liked what I’d written so far? I’d also be very keen to actually finish a short story, as this is still something I have yet to achieve.
  • In the same spirit, resume work on a short story I started and have had on the back burner for a long while, with the tentative title of ‘Dead Flowers in the Window’ – without giving too much away, it involves talking cats and parallel universes. Sound intriguing? (or downright nutty perhaps) I might post this in installments on the blog if there is enough interest)
  • Put together a new writing timetable so that I actually have time set aside within the week to work on this blog – in particular I want to make the ‘Monday Musings’ posts I kind-of-sort-of-started a regular thing (again, if people liked the ones I have shared so far)
  • As I’ve mentioned before, I am also working on a novel currently, entitled ‘Searching for Sunset’ – I may begin posting extracts from this (or at least the opening chapter) in order to get some feedback and critiques.

So that’s what to expect from me in the hopefully very-near future! Oh and also, before I sign off, something I’m very excited about:

Until next time,

Stu x

Check out my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, available NOW for download as an eBook on Amazon. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M