‘Blue Monday’ /Writing Resolutions so far!

bluemondayyearinreview

So today is ‘Blue Monday’
Or so they say,
Hang on, who is ‘they’ anyway?
Why, a purveyor of sunny holidays,
Who are hoping you’ll pay to fly far away
To keep post-Christmas blues at bay.

I mean, they must be right,
We must escape those cold, dreary nights
By giving ourselves that fleeting high
Of booking some random flight,
Run away to the heat, and hide;
Unfulfilled resolutions, out of sight, out of mind.

Today marks a day of which the concept I was not previously aware of, ‘Blue Monday’  ; supposedly the most depressing day of the year, according to various factors. As you can surmise from reading the linked Wikipedia article, the ‘calculation’ is largely based on absolute nonsense, inspiring me to write the slightly cheeky poem you see above. Yes, it is raining outside here in the UK today and in all honesty I rather would be on a beach somewhere, but it is also my day off, meaning that I have been able to get some writing done and look into potential submissions while my cat sleeps on my lap, coffee still within my reach. Doesn’t sound like too bad a day to me! Reading about the ‘failed New Year’s resolution’ factor, however, did prompt me to have a look at my previous post, detailing my writing new year’s resolutions for 2018, to see how I was getting on so far…

  1. Produce more content for the blog

Well, I’d say this post was a good start, seeing as it is not a Wednesday Poetry prompt nor part of any Poem-a-Day challenge. I do still need to figure out exactly what I want to post regularly on this blog though. Perhaps Mondays can continue to be pensive musings like this one…

2. Establish more of a presence on social media/online in general

This is something I’m still working on, trying to motivate myself to post something or at least engage with others daily, and also get things going on my Youtube channel (which already has a few videos of me performing – check them out!)

3. Submit more poetry for publication and competitions/put another poetry collection together

This is basically what I’ve spent most of this morning looking into! I think I’ve found somewhere to submit my 2015 and 2016 November Poem-a-Day Chapbooks (and the 2017 one has been submitted for that year’s competition), and I’ve also began the process of putting together a second full-length collection, with the intention to submit somewhere for publication – likely collating poems together around the theme of mental health, which I have discussed before as being a recurring theme in a lot of my work. So I will be very busy on that front 🙂

4. Continue being active in the Open Mic/Spoken Word circuit

I’ve already put myself forward to perform at this event in March, and there will be other events I hope to perform at as well 🙂

5. Work on my novel, as well as the short stories I have on the back burner…

…Still working on this! I need to figure out a healthy poetry/prose balance in my life…

6. Read more!

I am starting to get into the habit of winding down with a book before I go to bed in the evenings (instead of looking at a screen…), meaning I have been a lot more productive in my reading since Christmas. I intend to keep this up…

7. Start that other blog I’ve been meaning to for ages…

Shenmue_series_logo

My blog around a video game series that has became a great passion of mine is making steady progress. I have a domain set up, and have started work on content steadily. Expect to see it live by the end of the month, or in early February, hopefully 🙂

So yeah, not doing so bad too far, I think! Hope fellow writers out there are beating those January blues and keeping productive too!

Check out my debut 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

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‘Leave the Past Behind’ / Nov PAD Challenge 2017 chosen poems

barefoot-hike

So following on from my previous post about the Nov PAD Challenge, I am now nearing completion of the ‘next steps’ and submission for the competition, having now selected the poems for inclusion and revising parts here and there. One poem that saw a lot of revision and re-working was ‘Leaves of Change’, now titled ‘Leave the Past Behind’ , which I present for your perusal today. Change is indeed something that ended up becoming a running theme through the poems, leading me to choose the title of the overall chapbook as ‘Changing Lanes’ – though this may be subject to change (ha!) if I think something else fits better before the final deadline of 15th January for submission.

Anyway! Here is the revised poem originally written for Day 19:

Leave the Past Behind

Summer sheds her dress
As we speed past dying trees
Driving to our next life;
We witness once-green leaves
Wither to sallow, sickly browns,
Sinking slowly into the ground.
But through less cynical eyes
They are perhaps turned gold
Still shimmering in the wind,
To then join a crunching carpet brimming
With abundant possibilities.
We stop here, so we may start anew,
Meaningless cloth is cast aside,
A cold breeze breathes upon our bare skin
As we run care-free through the leaves;
We then share chilled wind’s embrace
Allowing our dreams to lead the way
In the journey to a happier place.

***

And, these are the 15 poems from the 30 day challenge that were ultimately chosen for inclusion, in the chosen order:

  1. Say Something If You’re There (Day 9)
  2. What I Meant to Say (Day 17)
  3. Waking Dissonance (Day 14)
  4. Chasing the Light (Day 26)
  5. New Day (Day 1)
  6. This Life TBD (Day 12)
  7. Sapphire City (Day 13)
  8. Nameless Roads (Day 10)
  9. Reality [Remixed] (Day 25)
  10. Stranger Souls (Day 15)
  11. The Map of the Sky (Day 6)
  12. New You, Before a New Day (Day 29)
  13. Leave the Past Behind (see above – originally ‘Leaves of Change written for Day 19)
  14. Preface to Another Life (Day 23)
  15. Remembered by the Words (Day 24)

Anyone else still currently deliberating their poem choices/title for the challenge? I do find it fascinating to see what it leaves me with every year, definitely a great motivator for writing poetry…

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</a

Weds poetry prompt: ‘The Calming Code’

peace-stones

This week’s prompt: Write a ‘password’ poem

The Calming Code

Just what is the password
To a peaceful existence?
What is the secret combination
To serenity and contentment?
What are the elusive letters
When once arranged together
In a certain, yet arbitrary manner,
Will assemble into that mystic key
Which unlocks the calm thought lost in me?
Whether it be some soothing mantra
Or a cryptic lyric within life’s song,
The search for it keeps me strong;
Striving past incorrect guesses
By dreaming of future successes,
I am determined to crack the code
That enlightened souls already know.

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</a

Weds poetry prompt: ‘A Quiet Hill’

mountains-man-standing-peak

This week’s prompt: Write an ‘elevated’ poem.

Last one for 2017! A new year’s resolution of mine is to post more content here, as I realise the last few posts have just been Wednesday poetry prompts – you can partly thank my laptop’s hard-drive dying for that, but now with it replaced and back in action there is no excuse, so watch this space in 2018 🙂

A Quiet Hill

The world makes more sense
Atop this quiet hill,
People are but tiny dots,
Their words indistinct, unheard,
So that here, above, alone
There is no distraction in the wind,
Simply my own thoughts
Echoing in an unjudging valley.
They are free, unentangled
From the cold, hard detail
That still awaits there on the ground.
Up here I can stop to contemplate,
Watching the clouds pass by
As I form my future’s shape,
Or I could simply remain in this ether,
Sat on my solitary mound
As constant watcher and guardian
Of the precious silence I’ve found,
Certain it will never slip away
Into the ocean of cacophonous days.

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</a

Weds poetry prompt: ‘Empty Glass’

empty-glass

This week’s prompt: Write a ‘It made sense at the time’ poem.

Empty Glass

It made sense at the time
To pour so many hours
Into that inviting glass
Seemingly designed for me
To fill with my energy,
But now I am left thirsty
After donating so much
Of myself, my precious time
To not get a single drop in return.
I stagger lifeless and dry
In the desert I find myself in,
Dragging myself to the present
Where I can claw time back
And invest it more wisely
Into a new glass, of generosity
That won’t devour me whole.

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</a

2017 Nov PAD Chapbook Challenge Day 29 – ‘New You, Before a New Day’

self-reflect

Today’s prompt: Write a ‘response’ poem

Now this prompt could be taken in a number of ways; however, I found the suggestion given on the page to be an interesting one -to write a ‘response’ to one of the poems previously written for this month’s challenge, especially as we are now nearing the end. I opted to write a response to the poem I wrote for Day 1, ‘New Day. Has anyone else ever attempted to write something like this in answer to their previous poem before, or taken the option for today’s prompt? It’s intriguing in that you are essentially talking to yourself, and as I discovered a little self-reflection and events in your life can lead you to question your previous words. At any rate, here is my response to my first poem of the challenge:

New You, Before a New Day

I know this ‘new day’ you speak of,
The fabled time when everything
Falls effectively into place
And life is all tidily arranged,
But these ‘old worries’ of yours
Will surely follow you there
If you don’t begin anew as well.

Perhaps I should more clearly explain,
You see, this so-called stress and strain
Has grown from your own brain,
It is your response to life’s difficulties
That has stifled your creativity,
Because of your constant proclivity
To allow anger to ravage you so intimately.

I do not wish to dispirit you,
But merely make implicit to you
That the root of this perceived ruin
Lies somewhere deep within you,
And that change must occur
For this ‘new day’ to be a solid reflection
Of a truly unclouded mind and intention.

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</a

2017 Nov PAD Chapbook Challenge Day 26 – ‘Chasing the Light’

green-eyes

Today’s prompt: Write a ‘shine’ poem.

Chasing the Light

My spirit hasn’t gone out,
Its just dimmed a little bit,
So I dawdle on in the half-dark,
Trying to recall the feeling
Of full-lit awe and wonder
Before my mind went under
And to this shade of numbness.
But the memory of that light
Wills me to walk on and fight
And escape the empty of nights,
Reclaim that lustre lost to time,
So once again dulled eyes may shine.

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</a