Sorta-Sonnets…can I write one?

You might have heard that over on Whispers and Echoes, we currently have a very special open call: Sorta-Sonnets from Guest Editor, Bartholomew Barker.

The call has been open for a few weeks now (and closes on the 24th June 2022), and since then I’ve been wondering if I am able to write one. Those who have been here a while will know I do try and write some poetry, mainly free verse, sometimes haikus. And I have been lucky enough to have had some of my poetry published. However, I have never in my life written a sonnet. But can I write a sorta-sonnet?

I’m going to try.

Bartholomew Barker explained in the submissions call post what the rules are for a sorta-sonnet:

  • 14 line poem
  • under 100 words
  • no rhyme

Nice. Simple. Clear instructions. And best of all, there’s no need to get to grips with a particular meter and rhyming scheme. It sounds do-able…

So here’s my first attempt at a sorta-sonnet:

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These Words

I craft worlds out of words
That only exist in my head
These words build cities and
Grow gardens, make history as
Well as bake cakes
These words that create
Transform into people, with
Thoughts and actions all their own
And so my words become theirs
Or is it the other way around?
These words...their voices
My craft...their art
My daydreams...their adventures
All inside my head

The Power of Little Things

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You’ll find them in the liminal spaces

The cracks in the pavement

Where the sea meets the shore

Those places between

Here and there

Whispering words from another place

Where the dark gives birth to the light

Where dreams are born

Hope’s hunting ground

Where those who dwell in the margins

Unseen, unheard, unnoticed

Can make thunder with a single breath

And enchantment is carried on the wind

And rain drenches the land in blessing

Where songs are spells

Where paintings on cave walls

And carvings in stone

And drawings made in sand and soil

Tell tales of the future

Where emptiness, waiting to be filled,

Is the cauldron of inspiration

And a blink of an eye

Holds the secrets to all creation

July’s Camp NaNoWriMo

I absolutely failed at April’s Camp NaNoWriMo. Completely. I have no words and no excuses, it just didn’t happen for me. But I won’t dwell on the past, but instead look forward to July’s Camp… (If you want to learn more about NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo here’s the link to the site: https://nanowrimo.org/)

I’ve already decided I am going to participate, which is quite novel for me. Usually, it’s a last minute decision, often with only a slight nod towards planning. But this time, I have weeks to prepare! Yay! (Famous last words…?)

If you read my Tolkien Tuesday post from a few weeks ago, you might remember that I posted it a day late because I was putting together my step-by-step novel outlining process. Well that turned into a 17 page workbook, the premise of which is to create a full story outline in less than day. This is for my shorter outlining process. I do have another one which is much longer and much more in-depth, but this one I find is also good for novellas and short stories, as well as for reacquainting myself with a story I’ve taken a break from, one that perhaps lacked a certain depth in planning 🙂

So, in the weeks running up to Camp, I will be working through this workbook, which I’m really looking forward to (I know that probably sounds strange).

On a different note, I think I have managed to catch-up on the all comments I was behind with. So yay again!

Who is this new organised Sammi? I have no idea but I like her 🙂

Anyone else considering joining in with Camp NaNo in July? Let me know in the comments.

You can find me over on the NaNoWriMo website by searching for my username: Sammi Cox

Mysticism in the Mundane

I collect tea dust and biscuit crumbs

Letting them gather in the bottom

Of jar and tin

Like sacred ingredients for a magic spell I don’t know

Sometimes I stand and stare at these grains of mundane makings

For there is no awe there

Just puzzlement, mystification

One morning, with the dew still clinging to the leaves outside,

As the first rays of the sun are just beginning to enlighten my little world

I finally ask myself, “Why? What are they for?”

And I hear a voice soft and calm, like a rainfall of moon and starlight at midnight, whispering,

“Wait and see, my pretty, wait and see.”

A Little Morning Madness (acrostic)

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Standing still

Pondering possibilities

Overactive imagination

Turns sense into nonsense

Lucidity, debatable

Ingenuity, unlikely

Gathering wool, always

High hopes

To achieve


Written for: Weekend Writing Prompt #259 – Spotlight | Word count: 21

A little bit of nonsense poetry this Saturday, inspired by (and putting under the spotlight) my ability to think and overthink, to dream and then dream away the day, to procrastinate over things until I’ve lost interest in them, to waste time wondering instead of just doing, to chase new stories in my head instead of finding out how the old ones end… 🙂

A Little Publication News…

I am pleased to share my piece of flash fiction, “Peace, Prosperity and Prophecy”, has been included in the latest anthology released by Iron Faerie Publishing. Thanks so much to Stacey Jaine McIntosh for choosing to include it.

Here’s the Amazon description for Alder & Ebony:

Alder and Ebony is a compilation of fantasy drabbles and flash fiction from authors worldwide.
Within its pages you will find enchanting stories of myth, legends and fairytales woven throughout.
Dive into the magic and wonder of these 50+ tales in Volume Three.

You can find it here.

About Peace, Prosperity and Prophecy

A shooting star: the sign they had been waiting for. Death and life are as entwined as peace, prosperity and prophecy on the night a lady surrounded by mages rides out to meet her destiny.

Part of this story, literally only a couple of sentences, had sat waiting for years in a file on my PC, in the hope that one day I might complete it. And I must say, this is one of those occasions that I am glad I waited to finish it, waited for the right story to come to me.

I enjoyed writing this one so much, and I am absolutely certain that if I had the time, and not so many WIPs on the go, I would expand it into a full-length novel because I’m intrigued by the briefest of glimpses of both the setting and the characters that can be afforded in so short a story. And this is why I love flash fiction so…

Thanks again to Iron Faerie Publishing, and thank you for reading 🙂

How Not To Defuse An Argument

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“You great big…flummox!’ she hissed.

“You know that’s not the proper use of the word, right?” She was angry and I knew such a comment would only make things worse.

Her face reddened. “What?”

“You called me a “flummox” as if it was an insult, but it means to baffle. Bewilder.”

“Your point?”

“Your grasp of the English language is not what it should be.”

We had now entered dangerous territory. After all, my degree was in physics and hers was in English Literature.

She glared. I could see her jaw clenching and unclenching. “Would you have been happier if I had dropped an expletive?”

“I suppose it depends on which one.”

The plate she was holding smashed on the floor at her feet. It was time to make my exit.


Written for: Weekend Writing Prompt # 247 | Word count: 131 words

So, a few weeks late in posting this, though it was written the weekend of the prompt. Also, well over the word count…never mind…

NaNoWriMo 2021 – How did it go?

So NaNoWriMo is over for another year… 😦

Well done to everyone who participated. Even if you only wrote 1 new word for your WIP, it’s 1 more word than you started with!

I hit 50,000 words on the final day. This year my aim was to wrap up a few WIPs that needed finishing, and my self set challenge was not to move on from one project until it the draft was completed. Did I succeed with this? Partly, which I’m counting as a win. This is why: 5 WIPs completed, 4 had a sizeable amount of work done on them, and one of my novel WIPs has been restructured. Woohoo!

It feels good to get some of those unfinished projects finished. And now I’ve got finishing fever. That novel that has been restructured will be my focus project for December. And, that first draft should be finished by the end of the year. Fingers-crossed.

Along with my writing goal for December, I’m already thinking about what I want to focus on in 2022. I have a few ideas: there are some WIPs I want to finish, some sequels to stories already written are calling to me, as well as some books I’ve already outlined, and some new ideas too…If you haven’t guessed it by now, I want to write ALL the stories 🙂

If you participated in NaNo this year, how did you find it? Did you reach your goal? Has anyone else started thinking about writing plans for 2022 yet? Do you have any writing goals for December?

NaNoWriMo 2021

It’s mid-October, so naturally my mind has turned to this year’s NaNoWriMo. For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, where writers challenge themselves to write 50,000 words over 30 days just for the fun of it!

And, when I signed into the website to announce my project for 2021, I realised that this year will be the tenth time I’ve participated in the challenge. Woohoo!

So what am I working on this year? There is always a part of me that wants to start a new writing project for NaNo. I can’t help it. I’m a serial starter, who suffers severely from an over-abundance of inspiration. Yes, I want to write ALL the stories. But…I know I can’t start another story when I have so many WIPs. Sigh.

For the past two NaNo’s I have turned my attention to completing projects (or, at the very least, making progress on on-going projects), and this year will be no different. Here’s the project summary I uploaded to the site, along with this year’s project front cover:

I’ve a list of half-finished projects that I want to complete…some are short stories, some are collections of flash fiction, poetry and short stories, whilst others are novels and novellas…my aim is finish some of them…as many as I can over the course of November.

My one rule: not to move on to the next project until I’ve finished the one I’ve been working on.

The first step…to decide which projects I’ll be adding to my short list 🙂

No edited words will be counted towards my total word count, only new words written in November. That should give me the opportunity to finish a handful of projects – I hope!

So, over the next few days, I’m going to be working on this short list. But…I have decided that, because this will be my third NaNo in a row where I try and wrap up projects, next year I will rewards myself with being able to start something new. Yay! I’m excited already!

Are you doing NaNo this year? If yes, what are you working on? You can find my NaNo profile by searching for “Sammi Cox” under the “Find Buddies” section of the site. Then we can be buddies 😀

Another NaNo question: groups. I’ve yet to join in / participate with any groups over on the NaNo site (except for the private cabin our little wordpress-based writing group had a few years ago – Go Plot Bunnies!). What are your thoughts on these groups? Do you find them helpful and supportive – or not? Or have you yet to join a group? Maybe you don’t want to, don’t have time for one, or haven’t find the right one…I would love to hear your views.

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2021 – Update

An update on my Camp NaNoWriMo Project, accompanied by random yet soothing photos…

Not surprisingly, given my easily distracted mind at present, I haven’t written a poem and piece of flash fiction every day of July so far for my Camp NaNo challenge. I have however, already smashed my writing goal and have a combined total of 15 new poems and pieces of flash fiction.

My goal was 3100 words in total. I’m currently at 3510. Yay. My aim at the moment is to take the pressure off, to not make myself write on this project if I don’t feel like it. I have been writing other things (I’ve being planning a couple of novels and writing chapters for a handful of WIPs), and I do feel this is enough, which is new for me.

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Usually, I’m determined to push myself, to ramp up the pressure, until I have completed such-an-such a thing, for the simple reason I said I would do it, and if I didn’t, I would feel the failure considerably for not having done so.

So, am I going to have 31 poems and 31 pieces of flash fictions written by the 31st? No. But that’s ok.

Perhaps I would feel differently if I hadn’t hit the word goal? May be. But it doesn’t matter. Along with accepting that I am not going to complete this challenge in the given the timeframe, I’ve decided to turn this into a longer term project. This collection will have a combined total of 62 poems and mini stories at some point in the future, I just don’t know when.

And I’m content with that.

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