Chiaroscuro – dVerse Meeting the Bar

It’s been a very long time (yes, I keep on saying that, I know), but I’ve been itching to get back into contributing (and therefore supporting) the wonderful dVerse Poets Pub.

Last night’s Meeting the Bar, hosted by the lovely Peter all the way from Australia, was all about sound. Let’s do a sound check, testing, testing, 1.2,3! What sounds do we hear when we write? Do they resonate, do they amplify the meaning of the words and the subject matter? I love playing with sound, whether it’s following a well-known (or less well-known) poetic patters, or by going full free-form.

Why not take part yourself? Pop over to the Meeting the Bar post, have a read, see what you think and dive in!

Here’s my contribution, which I hope you enjoy – Chiaroscuro.

He fell foul of the rule
the fool
he drooled over her –
slender, tall, willowy
of the opposite gender.

Taking advantage
of the gloom in the room,
the shade and the shadow, 
the gap

the break

the chance he would take to
throw his fate to the wind

The wind that ruffled his
waiting wife’s feathers
arousing the rage
unleashing the tiger – 
the cage
was no match
for the scratch of his nails 
marking 
his paramour’s back.

Illicit
Complicit
Guilty as charged.

A word you have to look up – SoCS Oct 17/2020

It’s been a very long while. I’ve been away from my blog, away from the social media circus but am dipping my toe in. I’m focusing on my work in progress novel (editing stage!), but feel the need to exercise my literary, wordy brain a little differently. What better way than a bit of Stream of Consciousness Saturday, courtesy of the lovely Linda?

This week the prompt is, as you can tell from the title, a word you have to look up. Here’s my contribution. And you’re welcome to the tiny insight into my workaday world…

*****

This is so dull, but it’s the word that came to mind, so here it is.

Cedent, or, is it cedant? Believe me, if it wasn’t for my job, I doubt this word would ever cause me any trouble, because I would never use it!

A cedent (or cedant) is ‘a party in an insurance contract who passes the financial obligation for certain potential losses to the insurer. In return for bearing a particular risk of loss, the cedent pays an insurance premium’ (thank you, Investopedia). Of course we all have some familiarity with this as insurance is something that is part of every day (adult) life, it’s just that most of us don’t think in insurance language on a day to day basis.

As it happens, neither spelling is incorrect. I am also pretty decent at spelling (autocorrect in texting notwithstanding!). This causes its own problems because then you have to commit to spelling it consistently every time you use it. I suffer with this. I may write an email or a document and use the word consistently throughout, but then the next time I write this infuriating word, I have to check how I wrote it last time. And then colleagues may spell it differently to me and then we have to have the discussion as to which one should be adopted as the company style. Believe me, the fun is never ending…

Decay

As I mentioned last week, the editing process for my work in progress novel came to a halt round about the beginning of lockdown here in the UK. I know I’m not alone in suddenly feeling like I just couldn’t be creative, at least not in a literary way.

I felt like the words had been sucked out of me, also not uncommon in what is now known as ‘these unprecedented times’. However, peculiar to my novel was the oh so ironic title of…

ANTI-VIRUS

Now, whilst my novel is set in the UK and takes place in a pandemic-type setting, the central plot isn’t about the pandemic itself (not really), nor is it about finding a cure (well, maybe it is), nor is about the heroic survival of a selection of characters against the odds (although perhaps it is). There is jeopardy, there is intrigue, there are twists and turns and characters who turn out to be, well, wrong in the head, but

IT’S NOT ABOUT A PANDEMIC! (EVEN THOUGH IT IS, KIND OF)

Sorry for shouting. It’s just that I had to do this to myself (in my head, I don’t actually shout at myself) in order not to let my novel shrivel up and die and become a largely insignificant – in the grand scheme of things – casualty of 2020. As you can probably tell, it’s complicated. I just didn’t have the energy to explain it back in March, April, May when things were really bad here (although not Anti-Virus bad).

That, dear reader, saved my novel, or at least meant that I felt connected enough to return to my literary offspring before the end of the year. It also meant that my pandemic era, government-approved, one hour walks turned into treasure hunts – if you consider treasure to be sinister, ugly broken things that are menacing in monochrome. Luckily I do. Also luckily I live in a city where there are pockets of these places tucked away, if you look hard enough. I am nosey and curious, so I have found them. I also found a new source this morning, a full seven months later, which pleases me immensely.

I know that this post is somewhat a reiteration of last week’s, but it’s important to me. I look to my left and I can see that I have increased my word count in the editing process. That, in this case, is a good thing. I mostly wrote Anti-Virus on my commutes to and from work, so in hour long snippets. This meant the writing was quite spare and my chapters were more like scenes – in-fact it read a bit like a screenplay. The extra 10,000 words (so far) are contextual so that there is more description of the world in which my characters exist. Not so much that there’s no room for imagination, but enough so that it doesn’t read as if everything is happening in an empty space.

I’M EXCITED!

Next week I’ll move on from the ‘thank God I didn’t let my novel die’ phase. But I’ll still be hunting for more photographic treasure, you can be sure of that!