Sunday, 20 March 2011

TMA05 finally sorted!

Having had a long week (overdid it completely last weekend, laid up with silly migraine until Thursday) I have finally worked on the three poems needed for the TMA. For those of you not part of the Open University, this TMA (if you are daft enough to hand in poetry) requires you to write 80-100 lines of poetry that must be in the form of villanelles, sestinas, pantoums or sonnets. Plus the 750 words of a commentary. I've been writing much more free poems (I don't like rhyming much anyway) so two sestinas and a pantoum were hard work. I threw away a lot of stuff that didn't quite work, too. This is one of the pantoums that didn't make the grade:

 Sitting on the Slates

We sat, on slated steps, to watch the light
fade into bat colours, greyed,
misting with midges in smoky flight,
the swallows on their last pass stayed,

faded into bat colours, greyed
the orange glow tinting the limewashed walls,
the swallows in their last pass stayed,
screaming their summery calls.

The orange glow tinting the lime washed walls
reddens the windows, reflecting gulls
screaming their summery calls,
who shrieked and gossiped round dory hulls.

Redden the windows, reflecting gulls,
pull in fishnets glowing with stars,
to shriek and gossip round dory hulls,
by tide etched shore in sandy bars.

Pulled in fishnets glow with stars
bats stream out from under the eaves
by tide-etched shores in sandy bars
salt air adrift, bedewing the leaves

bats stream out from under the eaves
pipistrelles bathe in supersonic air
salt air adrift, bedewing the leaves
as we sit, cooling, on the garden stair.

Pipistrelles bathe in supersonic air,
fading into bat colours, greyed,
as we sat, cooling, on the garden stair.
We sat, on slated steps, to watch the light.

The book is back on again, having thrashed out a new sequence for the scenes and put them in chapters. I now have an extra POV (point of view) character who has three chapters of action no-one else can see. I also have a few chapters where the action switches from one character to the other with changes in POV. Now I'm working on writing up each chapter plan into a big overall plan, and the process is sparking ideas for the writing too. A new first chapter is writing itself in my head - I'd better write it down while it's fresh! My week is looking fairly busy with things on every day until Saturday but then I've got a few days off before heading back to Devon at the following weekend.


  1. Love the poem. Glad to hear things are on track. Love Bear x

  2. Well done, sounds as though you are making good progress.