Recapping my Aims; Pockets

So. For a while now, I’ve been struggling with this. I’ve been posting nearly twice a week, and in order to maintain that pace, I’ve been slowly but surely looting my collection of pre-written poems and stories. It’s reached a point now where, while I still have a bit of a reservoir of older, unposted poems, I can tell that I’m not blogging in a way that’s going to work. Sooner or later, I’ll completely run out of old material, and then I’ll get frustrated, and when I’m frustrated with my writing, I don’t write.

So the first thing I’m going to do is cancel my overdue pieces. According to my calculations, I owe… 3? I think? pieces of creative writing to this blog. And working behind schedule was stressful and unproductive. So I now don’t have a backlog to worry about.

And now, while I’m considering reducing my output to once a week, I won’t make that change just yet. For now, I have to continue on two posts a week. However, as I have occasionally done before, it doesn’t always have to be new pieces of writing by me. I think I still have a LOT to learn about how to write, so some of these posts are going to be about things I’ve learnt on technique and different writing styles.

So let’s kick off with these two beauties:


What have I got in my pocket?
What have I got in my pocket?

Alive without breath,
As cold as death;
Never thirsty, ever drinking,
All in mail never clinking.



Alan Lee - The Hobbit - 19 - Riddles in the darkVoice it cries,
Wingless  flutters,
Toothless bites,
Mouthless mutters.



Ooooh. Dark and mysterious, no? If you don’t know where these are from, these are two of my favourite riddles from Tolkien’s The Hobbit, when Gollum and Bilbo challenge one another to a battle of wits which, ultimately, Bilbo wins by being more than a bit cheaty, thus setting Gollum up to permanently want his money* back. If you don’t know or can’t remember the answers, please have a good think about them first, before you check the answers in the comments. If you still don’t know, I recommend you don’t solve them now, and come back later, rather than cheat.

I know, I love cheating too, but the sensation of solving a riddle is so much fun. And that, in reality, is what I’ve been trying to capture with my riddles. To be able to create something that makes someone think is great in itself. To create something that makes you think and, if you solve, it, make you briefly very happy and pleased with yourself is extra special. Which is why I won’t give up on my crazy Riddle Poetry plan.

I think this is plenty for today, especially as I already have superb ideas for a few more posts to come. I hope that my absences and my lack of new work don’t stop you reading.

See you Mid-Week.

logic puzzles



Hello Loyal (and disloyal) Blog Readers!

It’s been a slow week. A lethargic week. A week, not coincidentally, where I put aside lots of time to write. Maybe I’m spending too much time waiting for inspiration in front of a computer screen, and not enough time travelling, or walking, with a notebook, waiting for ideas. I also think I need to go back to readng short stories.

Anyway, I needed to get more writing done this week, as I’m going to visit friends in Leeds and Scotland and pop on up to the Edinburgh Fringe this coming week. Ideally, I’d get well ahead with my writing and set up the blog so it releases the new posts on the days when they are due, therefore keeping up with the deadlines and giving myself a bit of time off to socialise at laugh at some comedies. Surely, that’s when I’ll get all my best ideas, right?

Okay, so I still owe this site one story or poem from my backlog of unwritten posts. However, I’d prefer not to put up anything too rusty or incomplete, so I shall keep that in an “IOU” box, and just give you the one for today:  another riddle poem. I’d like to get a lot more of these done, so I would really like suggestions on this – make them as silly or as sensible as you like. Preferably things not famously riddled before. I especially like the idea of giving something inanimate a human voice, emotions, and some kind of character. That way, while the solution is a “thing”, it’s also an aspect of human nature, or a moral, or message, or satire, or in some way, valuable on two levels. Riddle poems, of course, do make it very hard for me to stick up pictures…. Ah well, this poem shall go without one.


Ice in first.
There till the end,
Pealing for attention.

Then, layer by layer,
I build, ever growing,
Ever changing, ever swirling,
Impression on impression
Onto rocks below.

I am formed by the saccharine,
The sour, the mundane,
And the unusual.

But if they ever stop mixing,
I will fuse and be one,
And the taste I leave on your lips
Will always be the same.

Haiku and “Save Point”

Hey all.

It’s the weekend, and I’m locking myself into what has become my “office”, where my desk is some big planks of wood across the snooker table in the room that has all our old games and books from childhood. Still, it works quite well – I have internet, but only JUST, so I can check my emails but any silly TV shows would take hours to load, so I mostly don’t bother.

While I’ve been more productive at my 1,500 piece jigsaw and trying to get my head around cryptic crosswords than I have writing, I have done a bit of work. However, most of it has been on as-yet unfinished works. First off on my catch-up day is a little riddle haiku I came up with in Bristol last weekend. It only works, unfortunately, if you pronounce “ordinary” “ord-en-ree”… you know, the ordenree pronunciation of ordenree (ordinarily). “ord-en-airy” messes the rhythm. Admittedly, I could choose a different word, but now I’ve typed all that, I won’t bother.

abig clue that I couldn't resist



Searching ordinary art

for spatters of irony;

sneaky graffiti.



As before, answers in the comments. Not sure, but I think this one’s harder than the last, and I doubt American readers will get it…. but we’ll see.


Second up – computer games. This poem has gone through quite a lot of incarnations, and hopefully, it’ll go through a few more soon. Somehow, it’s managed to turn loosely into a sonnet today. Don’t know how that happened. Anyway, here it is:

aDungeon Siege

Save Point

Here, I retreat from real life (RL)
to realistic, from decisions to
I swap chores for quests and
homework for spellbooks.
Here, the people are glad when I come.
They ask for help, I oblige;
I raise one point of Charisma.
It’s not quite happiness, not quite
an answer, but a stall for time –
life goes on hold as the game does,
a pause button for a sullen dinner,
then I escape into the fantastic
to gain valuable experience.;title;0


If I do make up that final backdated post today – and there’s a reasonable chance of that, by the way – I think it would be better in a separate post. So it’s easier to find things when you’re going back through my old posts. See you soon, and feel free to comment.