My Uncle’s Allotment

image by Kurt Bouda on Pixabay
My Uncle’s Allotment

Small surface plot but

almost two thousand miles deep.

Impressive garden!

When I was small we didn’t own land but we were ‘allotted’ a small garden to grow vegetables and flowers if we didn’t have a backyard. I have many fond memories of times planting and harvesting with my great-aunts and uncles. They grew most of their own vegetables. My job was to shell the peas. I giggled every time one popped!

‘Til next time–I hope you can recall some pleasant childhood memories.

Lynne

The Client and The Coach

A free verse poem
image by StockSnap on Pixabay

“Life coaches can help you clarify your goals, identify the obstacles holding you back, and then come up with strategies for overcoming each obstacle.”

verywellmind.com

I used to be a life coach and found enormous satisfaction in helping people realize their potential. Although I still coach occasionally, I no longer have an office practice. Now I enjoy writing—especially poetry.

The Client and The Coach

She sits across from me in the straight-backed chair

fidgeting with a string on her jacket

her long orange-streaked hair falling over her face

as she answers my questions.

Young mother of two with questions of her own

she’s here to find answers but I have none.

What she doesn’t understand yet, is that

all the answers are already within her.

I tell her I can help her find them.

Her head slowly rises from the slump,

brow lines deepen.

She asks how she can possibly have the answers already.

I close my notebook and smile.

’Til next time, I hope you’re feeling good about your future and on the path to fulfilling your dreams.

Lynne

Morning in the Garden

Free verse poem

I live in a rural area in Ontario where the autumn weather is much like that of my childhood years in England, damp and often dismal. I have a long driveway leading to the main road where I can see for about half a mile in either direction and sound carries on still mornings.

The Morning Mist by Ray Majoran in Compassion Gallery — used by permission

(100% of profits from Compassion Gallery goes to charities around the world. I’m not an affiliate, just an admirer of beautiful photography)

Morning in the Garden

Air hangs grey and heavy in the early mist

like a cloud of damp smoke

Cold droplets soak my skin and chill my bones

It’s a dismal morning in the garden

Only tap-tap-tapping on the old weathered oak

penetrates the thick air

a vague memory of a poem from long ago

pulling my thoughts down to the soaked earth

Like intertwined ribbons through the trees

bands of gold and orange begin to float effortlessly

chasing the grey over the hill out of sight

heaviness dissipates and warmth melts the cold inside

School children call to each other down the road

Blue Jay and Robin search for a tasty snack

while chipmunks and squirrels echo the chatter of the children

It’s a good morning in the garden after all.


‘Til next time–I hope your walks in nature are always pleasant.

Blessings,

Lynne

Plot Twist – I’ve Switched My Focus

Hello, Friends!
LynneCollier 20220219sqWhat’s New!
My Medium writing has taken off and I’m really enjoying it. I write for 4 publications and, of course, my own Life at White Rose Shire! So, I won’t be blogging much on WordPress for a while. I’d like to invite you to follow my work on Medium using this link to sign up for my new newsletters there. Medium Newsletter
Recent post
“What God Really Wants” is from my list of Christian Poetry on Medium. I answer the question of what God really wants from us in a self-reflective free verse poem.
You can read it here.
bag-1851097 640Free to Writers (or friends of writers)
Before I close down the newsletters here, I hope you downloaded all the writing resources from earlier. You can still get them from my WordPress website. Use this link–Free Writer Resources and if you think you’d like to write for Medium too, come join me by using this link. See you there!
Blessings,
Lynne

HAIKU POETRY–The Style & Simplicity

Writing Haiku

My last post was about black-out poetry, a technique I learned from Austin Kleon’s book “Steal Like An Artist.” Today I’m going to try another technique which I learned from taking a Masterclass with Billy Collins. His suggestion was to take an ordinary everyday item and find inspiration in it. Being a Brit kid from the last century and a big Corrie fan, I chose a teabag.

teabag image by Lynne Collier

Haiku

I’ve been feeling the need for focus lately and what better form of poetry for narrowing down the words to as few as possible than to write a Haiku poem?

Poets over the decades have waffled on the exact rules of writing Haiku. The traditional Japanese Haiku is a three-line poem with a 5/7/5 syllable count, often focusing on images from nature, emphasizing simplicity and clarity of expression.

A modern Haiku poem is not required to, and generally does not, rhyme–although it can at the poet’s discretion. In other words, it’s all up to the writer how they want to approach it.

The set rule of 5/7/5 syllables still needs to be adhered to and spelling needs to be accurate, but all other punctuation and grammar are poetic license (pun intended).

So here’s my Haiku poem from my teabag–

WAXING

Liquid dries and leaves–

A breakfast roll, crescent moon?

–Pacman’s gaping mouth

On days when I can’t focus enough to write, I like to jot down a short poem to help bring me back to concentrate on my work. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I see a particularly interesting dust bunny that could be my next masterpiece.

Til next time, remember you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

~ Lynne

WRITING POETRY: Black-Out Style

Black-Out Style

As I focus more on writing poetry, I’m devouring poems by great writers past and present. I’m currently reading:

Eye of the Beholder by Luci Shaw

Conspiracy of Light by D. S. Martin

Bronte Sisters Poetry by Amazon

This week I also added The Steal Like an Artist Journal by Austin Kleon to my list. He’s a brilliant Creative who astonishes me by his way of encouraging artists of all mediums to delve into artistic bins of untapped ideas and brilliance.

Each page is an exercise to stretch the grey matter to its limits of reality and see things through a different lens. One such exercise is the ‘Black-Out’ approach to writing poetry. An exercise I’ve found most intriguing. I wanted to share my ‘stolen’ discovery with you.

Here’s what he asks of the reader on this particular page:

“Black out one word at a time until you are left with a poem.”

He gives a writing sample to practice on in case you don’t have anything handy but I write mostly Scripture-inspired poetry so I chose to black-out a passage from the book of Revelation.

Revelation 3:15-18, New International Version (NIV)

15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Here are the words that spoke to me–

Deeds   cold   hot

either.

Lukewarm

neither.

Spit out!

Rich   wealth   need.

Realize

wretched   pitiful

poor  

blind   naked.

Gold   refined   in

Fire.

Cover   shameful  

nakedness.

Salve   eyes

See

Even without any revising I think this is a solid start to a good poem.

Have you tried this method? 

Let me know in the comments.

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

~ Lynne

(A quick word–I’m a Canadian Amazon affiliate so I receive a small fee from Amazon for outbound clicks and purchases which helps me to pay for my website. Thank you 😊)

NEW WORKBOOK FOR NONFICTION WRITERS

Hello there.

I’m excited to announce my new workbook for nonfiction writers!


WHAT IS CREATIVE NONFICTION?
“A factual narrative presented in the form of a story so as to entertain the reader.” –Wikipedia

Have you ever read a historical book or a contemporary article that was simply full of facts but had you dozing off after the first few pages?

I created this workbook for writers who want to write a nonfiction book from a creative perspective and offer a factual story that doesn’t put their reader to sleep.

I hope it will help you as an author to write your fantastic book with confidence and have fun too. The workbook/planner is a download that you can print out and use for all your nonfiction writing.

Included in the workbook:

  • Ideal Reader Profile
  • Genre List
  • Crafting Your Premise
  • Crafting Your Summary
  • Chapter Ideas
  • Genres
  • 5 Inspirational Posters for your workspace
  • Character Profiles
  • Character Development
  • Setting Worksheets
  • Scene List Worksheets
  • Story Arc
  • Research Worksheets
  • Author Bio Worksheet
  • Checklist
  • Creating a Book Cover
  • Launching, Marketing & Promoting and more…

Not sure if your book idea fits the Creative Nonfiction genre? Here’s a list from the workbook. It may surprise you to see your story idea in there.

Nonfiction Genres that can be written creatively

  • Biography – a narrative of a person’s life as told to someone else or from research.
  • Autobiography – when the author is also the main subject, and the book spans many years.
  • Memoir – a true story focused on particular events—usually the author’s own stories.
  • Narrative nonfiction – factual information about a significant event presented in a format that tells a true story.
  • Personal essays — expressing a subjective opinion about a topic.
  • Literary journalism – personal diaries or career logs.
  • Self-help book  – informational to help readers solve personal problems and could lend to being written with a memoir aspect.
  • Textbook – a how-to book teaching a specific subject with personal experiences in creative form.

I have a series of workbooks in my White Rose Writers Etsy shop that help writers who want to write a nonfiction book–

The From-To Writing Method — which show how to use social media platforms you may already have to create your books using a quick and easy method. They include a writing schedule for writing a nonfiction book in just 10 hours or a novel in 30 days.

  • From Blog to Book
  • From Muse to Memoir
  • From Post to Published
  • From Pin to Print
  • From Tweet to Tutorial

And here’s a handy 15% OFF COUPON if anything in the shop interests you.

If you have any questions, please leave me a comment or message me at the shop.

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Lynne

RESCUED. REDEEMED. RESTORED. part 2

My Parents as Teens in West Yorkshire in the 1950’s

– part 2 of my memoir “RESCUED. REDEEMED. RESTORED”

My parents were teenagers when they met. Two young kids from a small town in West Yorkshire, England. Theirs was a small town full of woollen mills and factories. Where most people eked out a small wage and dreams were even smaller. No one dared have lofty ideas of world travel and fame. Their thoughts were on paying rent and buying enough food for the day. Entertainment was a couple of beers at the local pub and, if they were fortunate enough to be able to save a few shillings, a bus trip to the seaside at Bank Holiday time.

Lyndon was seventeen. A young merchant seaman. The son of a coal merchant and a housekeeper. ‘Coal merchant’ may be a tad misleading if you envisioned a smart businessman in a suit, sitting behind a mahogany desk in a downtown office. My grandfather, Arthur, rode a horse and cart down the cobbled back streets, delivering coal to residents. He collected the coal from a depot in huge bags and tipped it into a hole at the back of the house (if there was a back of the house). The hole had a grate that he’d remove and replace when he’d done. The hole led to the cold, damp cellar. Then off he’d go to the next-door neighbour’s house to do the same. The horse dutifully stepping slowly down the tar-covered street. At the end of the day, they’d trot down to the field at the bottom of the row houses. The weary horse would be fed and patted, and told she was a ‘good lass’ before the weary old man shuffled home. It was a hard life, as were many in the small town in the Pennines.

photo by Terry Sayers on Pixabay

Grandad Calvert also owned many single-car garages and rented those to residents of the row houses. Quite often, there would be a row of houses followed by a row of toilets, followed by a row of garages as time progressed. The houses were attached, often without a back door because there was another row of houses attached at the back. These were often referred to as ‘one-up one-down’ homes. The row of toilets were the same, back to back. Not a lot of privacy, and newspapers for toilet paper. At least we had an advantage during the Covid pandemic. We remembered what we learned as children–use the stock market page!

My father didn’t live with Grandad Calvert. When he was home from his tour of duty he lived with his mother, Edith, a housekeeper, and her sister, Ada, who didn’t work at the time. I don’t know if Ada ever had a job. I know the women worked the factories during the war effort but I don’t know if she worked anywhere after that. Funny how children just don’t feel the need to ask. Now, as an older woman myself, I wish I’d asked more while I still could.

~read the first episode of RESCUED. REDEEMED. RESTORED here~

And you can find more photos of 1950s England on my Pinterest board including a photo of an outdoor loo!

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Lynne

A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

If you followed my work during NaNoWriMo 2019, you’ll maybe remember my novel was about lies and deception in a small Canadian town. The story follows a middle-aged woman (my unlikely hero) and the local church community. Hence the title of my blog A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing. I published my novel last October.

I’d like to share with you the talent of my wonderful artist, Gustavo Ruiz, who created the perfect expression of my antagonist. Just look at those eyes! This image is one of the introductory pages of the novel.

A wolf in sheep's skin
art by Gustavo Ruiz

“ABUNDANT LIFE” is now available on Amazon.

Want to read some of scenes from the first draft? They’re in Book Bites. In the rough. Unedited or revised.

Til next time, know you’re loved by the One who created you in His image.

~ Lynne

RESCUED-REDEEMED-RESTORED

This Is My Story

This is my story. A story of God’s awesome power to rescue, redeem and restore. And His immeasurable love.

I’ve struggled with writing my memoir for many years. I’m finally taking a course about it and I’ll share some of my first draft with you. Not complete chapters but maybe a scene or two. And not much editing. This is the messy draft. The final draft may take a while…

Writing the story of my life seemed a little daunting, if not overwhelming, staring at the blank screen. After all, I’ve lived many years. So many stories to tell. But I set out to, above all else, tell the theme of my life. And I think the three words at the beginning convey that well.

As I sit here at my desk, fingers poised over the keyboard, I wonder how I will write this story of mine. I’m just an ordinary person, not a celebrity or politician that I have vast amounts of knowledge or scathing, deep secrets to shed on the world. But maybe you’ve had enough of that by now and my story will bring you back from the chaos even for one brief moment in time. Back to a place of reflection on the simple fact that God is here. He always is. He always has been. He hasn’t forgotten any of us and He isn’t content for us to be swept away in the torrent of disparity and hopelessness.

RESCUED   REDEEMED   RESTORED

Image of a girl on a swing over water
photo by Susan Cipriano, Pixabay

When I was a young child, I always had a strange fascination with death. Not that I was a violent person—far from it—but that death held a mystery no one seemed to be able to adequately explain. It crept into my thoughts when I least expected it and took up residence in the recesses of my mind.

My walk to school as a 5-year-old was past the graveyard of a church. It was a pleasant walk on the other side of the hand-made stone wall with English ivy creeping slowly across the cracks. But I didn’t walk with the other children where the graves were hidden. No, I walked on the inside, between the headstones, careful not to step on a grave and be disrespectful. Reading the names and dates and how the people who had gone before died, I learned about history. Even though I was still new to reading and I’m sure got it wrong many times, I was still fascinated by the quotes and bible verses chiselled on the headstones. And there was often a smushed toad to poke with a stick.

I used the spending money I received from my grandparents to buy trading cards about ‘The War of The Worlds’ and ‘Zombies’. When other eight-year-old girls were collecting fancy hairclips and cards of famous singers and ballerinas, I was fascinated by cards depicted decapitations by alien machinery and bodies rising from graves. Never the less, I was thought of a gentle soul in every way–and kind. Everyone said I would give away my last sweetie.

–This is a little backstory of my early years. An introduction to my life then. (I no longer collect horror cards but I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead!) Some things haven’t changed.

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

~ Lynne

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