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You're sitting there staring at the plain piece of paper.  It's staring right back at you. Pen in hand (because you've convinced yourself you can't be creative with the computer) - poised - ready, waiting for that first word. But it doesn't come!


Bet we can all relate to that feeling.  I don't know about everyone else - but there are certain things which I know, work for me.


First, I just write down random words relating to the topic.  If it's a poem - I'll just pick words which rhyme (I write for kids) so the words don't have to be too complicated.


Numbers.  Wonderful invention.  I write the numbers 1 through 10 down my page.  Then an idea next to each number which relates to my chosen topic.  THAT's it.  It gets me started.  Once you have your 10 points - you can start expanding.  Guess it's a bit like oil painting.  You need to do what's called a "wash" on the white canvas so you're not faced with a blank wall.


Years ago, I wrote a poem - I'd love to share with you all - here goes:


An ant tripped and fell

As he walked across my screen -

He paused for a moment

And then I heard him scream.

He stamped his little feet

Up and down on every word -

Then slowly stopped and stared at me

And this is what I heard:

"You typed them there on purpose,

You didn't care a bit,

Not even an apos-tro-phe

Upon which I could sit.

No commas,

Not one full stop

To rest my weary head" -

And then he paused to catch his breath,

I typed

But he was ..... dead!


I recall clearly when I wrote this and for whom.  It was at a time I was working as a freelance writer for the Reserve Bank of Australia and they'd asked for something.  So I gave them this.  

PS I do love ants - and animals - but you know how it is as a writer - the word's just had to rhyme! Sorry! 

Jacqui Taub

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Replies to This Discussion

I'm not sure if you are talking writing a book. When I write posts for my blog or the other sites I write for I often use a photo of my kids, a photo of something random I took a picture of, or an image. The image gives me the inspiration to write the post.
I really love your idea. It's great to share inspirational thoughts. I write nonsense stories for children, 3-7 and nonsense verse for older children. My life's work.
Jacqui - that is hilarious!! I know my biggest challenge is actually forcing myself to sit in front of the computer and focus. Once I do that (no easy feat) words tend to come. Whether they are good words or not, who knows... I remember once reading a novel about a writer who literally chained herself to her desk for four hours a day, and then some kind of alarm system would open the lock... fictional, but it probably comes from something real!

Love it! In fact, I'm off to Australia in a couple of weeks for a publicity/promotion tour to launch my Waussie books. I'm going away with my children and grandchildren, one of whom is 3, and we've rented a house on the lake. I'm considering chaining him to the porch. You're an inspiration, Peryl. keep up the great work. I've also been reading great things about you, too!

Speaking of inspriation! I'd love to start a group of like-writers who specialise in nonsense poetry and the like. We should get together - just keep writing - then submit the lot to a publisher down the track. Find ourselves an illustrator (of course - from our interested, unemployed brilliantly creative and talented blogging artists - Call the book "The Bloggers' Nonsense Book" - and there you go!

What do you think? regards Jacqui
I LOVE this idea Jacqui!! I'm in.
Okay Heather. Let's see how many people we can get involved in this project. It's going to be great fun because - NO MATTER WHAT - WE'LL BE PUBLISHED by us - and that's the best kind of publisher around, so far as I'm concerned.

Just to let you in on my so-called, what appears to be "success" with the publication of my 6 Waussie books. I've published them myself. Yup! Couldn't find anyone to do it for me. So after zillions of letters "we really think they're great, but they do not fit into our present list" - I published myself. Check out my site - we're about to launch the books - March. Just so you know I do have some experience in the publishing world and the world of literary rejections. But this was my first attempt!

Never done anything like this though. We'll need to think it through. I'm absolutely serious about this. It's going to be FANTASTIC! We want everyone involved, please. The aim - to put out a greatly, talented & gifted literary, nonsense book - for children, written by those who know best! MOTHERS!!!!! Talented Mums!

Let's go for it!

There'll be certain criteria you have to fill
1. You have to KNOW that you're good, and funny; and
2 you have to have at least one, if not more, rejections behind you, in order to qualify! What do you think?
I haven't attempted nonsense poetry, but I love the idea - I'm up for a challenge! And I'm darn funny and people tell me no all the time ;).

This is sooooo cool Peryl. I was hoping you'd be interested! I have a feeling we're going to have lots of fun with this and I have lots of ideas how it could work. I'd love some more ideas from you and Heather, about how to set this up. I'm very excited about the potential of motivating talented writers and this will be a fantastic way to get their work out there.
Let's put our heads together - you, Heather and myself and start motivating other moms to start writing nonsense for our Moms' Bloggers Nonsense 'Book' of Poetry for Children". Any other ideas for titles? Obviusly, it won't be a book - but one never knows where it could lead to. Especially if we get some really great pieces together.

Can't wait and looking forward to hearing from everyone ......
I wouldn't even know where to begin to organize this! I already have some poems that I wrote several years ago that I can dig up. Maybe we can start another discussion here explaining your idea. Should we email each other the poems or post them?

This is all new territory for me, and since I've never had anything published, I'm probably not the one to look to here for leadership. But I'm a very good follower! keep me posted on your ideas.

It's totally new territory for me, too, Heather. Let's try both. I'm working on the premise that it's fun to see your work in print and letting others read it also. My idea really, was to start a group of writers who focused on nonsense poetry for children. It's a very difficult genre and it happens to be my pet love. So here goes -

ANYONE out there who writes fun, nonsense verse for children which they feel is printable and will bring enjoyment to our readers, this is' the place to send it. If there are enough interested poets out there - we may eventually even have something worth presenting to a publisher! You never know. In the meantime - everyone should indicate their work is their copyright.

Let's see how this works, Heather. Start posting! I'm looking forward to reading your work. I'll post mine up from time to time, also. Jacqui
Jacqui, I'm not quite sure what exactly you're looking for, but here's something I wrote a few years ago...

What Did You Hide In My Chicken Pot Pie?

What did you hide
Deep, deep inside
My chicken pot pie?
Don't tell a lie!
So what's in there?
Clumps of dog hair?
Grandma's gold ring?
A ball of string?
Wispy mouse tails?
Small slimy snails?
Strips of duct tape?
Superman's cape?
What's that I see?
Chopped celery.
Carrots and peas.
Some shredded cheese.
Diced potatoes.
Hey, I like those!
Maybe just a taste...
Can't let it go to waste.

Thoughts? Go ahead, hit me with criticism. I can take it.

Heather, I think this is really funny! And sounds like the sort of thing I loved as a kid. I don't know if anyone here read Dennis Lee's Alligator Pie, I think it's Canadian, but it reminds me of that. Love it, Heather!



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