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#Weekly Tanka Prompt #Poetry Challenge – Week 80 – Nature & Peace

Ponder the nature

of the words of the sages,

and gain inner peace

savouring each measured step

aids the pursuit  of your goal



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Rainforest Connection: Using smartphones to save the rainforest

Small ideas that can have large effects, another idea to be applauded

Life & Soul Magazine

Rainforest Connection is helping rangers to protect rainforests from illegal deforestation by turning old smartphones into solar-powered lookouts, which are able to detect the noise of chainsaws and so allowing for intervention  in real time.

Rainforest Connection use technology and big data to enable on-the-ground partners to save the world’s most threatened rainforests and habitats.

Installed in the trees, the RFCx device consists of an old mobile phone equipped with microphones that capture ambient sounds up to 1 km around. A homemade solar panel system, also made from recycled materials, feeds the RFCx despite the shade under the canopy.

When the sound of a chainsaw is detected, the phone sends an alert to a server that sends an email and an SMS to the rangers, who can then get the logging stopped.

Illegal deforestation is a gateway activity to clearing rainforest, one of the primary causes of climate change. According to…

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Confessions of a Bibliophile

This all rings so true, as if the writer had borrowed my head and let it do the talking. Magic.

The Write Stuff

I like books. I have a few. Okay, quite a lot of books have found a home with me over the years.

I like books for what’s on the inside, yet I admit to judging books by their covers. A bad cover or title can be hard to get past.

I like real books, the ones that don’t have a lowercase /e/ or /i/ associated with them, ones with pages and ink, books that hold some memories of trees.

I buy books. I buy professional books that inform my teaching. I buy books that are recommended to me by others, or books whose author I know I like, or books that just seem interesting, that maybe leap off the shelf at me. I like to buy in local bookstores, and do. I also buy from online second hand book dealers who probably get some of their inventory from the brick…

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Writing Monthly Flash Fiction – Guest Post by, Jemima Pett…

A little tale thatcould turn into someting big, read and enjoy, as I did.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Here we are, halfway through January already! This year the Ape has encouraged me in my idea of writing monthly Flash Fiction based on one of Danielle English’s illustrations.

Dani is my wonderful cover illustrator, and we’re also related. When I brought out my first book she was just finished her graduate degree in design and illustration, so it sort of came together. She’s now done well over a dozen covers for me, since we revamped the first four in 2015 when I brought new paperbacks out. I think they’re brilliant, but of course, I’m biased!

So, for the first in a series of flash fiction posts—which will connect to each other, although probably not quite a serial—I’m using this illustration, of a small creature dashing through the woods. I chose to set it in Erebor, a fantasy land I thought I invented last year when I used the…

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Philip Larkin (Forerunners)

Fifteen minutes of heaven.

Underfoot Poetry

Thanks to Daniel Paul Marshall for selecting the nine poems below from Philip Larkin, as well as for the following comments. Be sure to check out his blog for his own poetry, essays and photography, as well as another piece on Larkin.

Larkin was a poet I knew more about than I had read. In university I’d read quite a number of essays on him, thanks to my access to JSTOR and flicked through the The Whitsun Weddings in the library. But I was more interested in him as a character. I’d seen Love & Death in Hull, an early documentary, which had impressed me & I highly recommend. His dower, austere gloom, a rain cloud following him about wherever he traipsed, his laconic, grey speech – his whole demeanour like a leaky tap. 

It wasn’t until one of my funerary visits back to England a couple of years…

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Ocean themed haiku wanted …

A chance to get your rendition of this popular short form to a wider audience, Basho would approve I’m sure.


I am looking for haiku that capture a single, vivid image in words.

I like snapshots frozen in time, conjuring something visual or audible or tactile that can be conveyed to the reader in just 17 syllables.

I like haiku that use the English language in an interesting way and that include juxtaposition and/or contrasts, looking at objects in a new, refreshing way.

I am looking for haiku that stand alone and say what they need to say by themselves without the need of a picture. I want the words themselves to convey a picture.

Whether you are a beginner or a pro, each haiku will be considered individually on its own merits. Please check your haiku contains the correct amount of syllables on each line before you email them to me.

Please note that I do not post photographs as it slows the blog down. I am unlikely…

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Thursday photo prompt – Crow #writephoto by Sue Vincent


Old black crow you sit there
high up in the tree
if only you could share with us
what your eyes and mind now see,
Would it be a litany
of straight flown paths to home
or disappearing woodland trees
and other tales of woe.
Would you ask what is the yellow sea
that you never knew before
why on each horizon appear
houses by the score.
your world and mine is changing
it can never be the same
some call it evolution
or progress to it’s shame.


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RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #183 Magic&Hope

Our hope for magic

promised on the silver screen

is seldom fulfilled

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Crafting the very short story #amwriting

Really like the four act structure layout as shown in this fine article

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

During the month of January I will be exploring the many aspects of the craft of writing short, salable works. I periodically discuss the importance writing to build stock for submissions to magazines, anthologies, or contests. However, many authors have difficulty keeping a story short, and there is an art to it.

Some authors are naturally skilled at this, so if you are one of those lucky people, this may be of no interest to you, but thank you for stopping by!

So, now we get down to business. First up is the short story, works that are 2,000 to around 7,000 words in length.

First, decide what length you want to write to—if you have no specific contest in mind, 2000 to 4000 is a good all purpose length that will fit into most submission guidelines. For those of you who have trouble writing short works for contests and anthologies…

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‘The Squat Pen Rests’ Short Story Writing Competition

Quills at the ready, the start of a new year, new opportunities, so perhaps this is the kick-start you need after the festive lull.



 Grab your hats, coats, shoes and socks and be sure to wipe your calendars clean for the evening of Friday 26th January 2018.


Because on that night ‘The Squat Pen Rests’ Short Story Spoken Word Event will be barrelling into the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, with a freshly sharpened pencil clamped between its teeth, and brandishing a proper-fancy gaggle of fabulous stories for anyone brave enough to pitch up and listen.

Six  super-fine short story writers will duke it out in front of a live audience to find out who will be crowned the very first ever ‘The Squat Pen Rests’ Writing Competition Champion of the World!

There will be prizes, live music, a bar, some occasional bawdiness and, of course, those six spoken word performers who will have travelled from far and wide (maybe even further) in pursuit of the Holy Grail that is ‘The Squat…

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