Poems, Prizes and Plans

Sherri Matthews, idiosyncratic and lovely blogger, snuggled in her summerhouse has tagged me for a couple of bloggy thingies, namely:
1. The 777 challenge requires you go to Page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 lines in a blog post; and
2. ‘Love Ten Sentences‘ for which I have to write a poem about love within ten sentences.

Go look up Sherri (did I really just type that? Go check her blog is what I meant) here.

Then Ula, self confessed broccoli addict nominated me for an award – the Liebster – and asked some questions:

1.What is your favorite food? (One of my university lecturers told us that food always connects us. I agree.)
2.What motivated you to start your blog?
3.What types of blog posts do you enjoy writing? Reading?
4.What does your typical day look like?
5.What is one of your talents?
6.Who inspires you? Who are your heroes?
7.What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
8.If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
9.What is your favorite way to self-care after a long day?
10.What makes you smile?

Off you go and have a look at her blog. A passion for green Brassica based florets is not a pre-requirement.

Both these two kind, giving if misguided ladies feel I am deserving of such honours and for all this I am touched.

Before moving on with the detail I will make a confession. While I don’t say it anywhere in my blog, I don’t really feel comfortable with accepting awards, much as I am grateful to be offered them. One reason, well two. The first is, as I say, I am undeserving – a personal opinion which in this case happens to be right. Two, for me the onward transmission requirements makes them slightly chain letterish so I have forsworn that aspect. I hope Sherri and Ula will forgive me if this particular genetic line stops here.

Ok. So, let’s start with Sherri and no. 1. above. She has asked for an extract from my sequel to Dead Flies (if you are interested in my first – and so far only published – book you’ll find a link in the widget bar to the right) even though, strictly that is in the pending heap while I write more of my on line book, Buster and Moo that is being published in weekly instalments (check it out here). So, pandering to Sherri, here is the extract from

The Last Will of Sven Andersen

“Where are you?”

“In that Tower on Bishopsgate. Bout the millionth floor. You won’t believe it but they’ve left a plate of Penguins in the middle of the table.”

“Penguins?”

“Not the sea birds, moron. The chocolate biscuits.”

“I knew that. So drinks on you.” For some reason I hesitate. “Gloria says she’ll come and add her congratulations.”

As you may gather from the cultural reference to Penguin chocolate biscuits (‘Pick up a  P-p-p-penguin’ here) – do they still exist? This is not set in the present day but in 1981. Harry Spittle, the hero from Dead Flies has finished university and decided to become a solicitor. He has started his legal training – what were called articles back then – with a small London firm. Life is so-so for Harry (isn’t it always) when he encounters his old nemesis, Sven Andersen, son of a New Forest gangster who Harry crosses in book one. The title tells you why Sven has sought him out but you’ll have to read the book to find out why and what happens as a result.

This little vignette is a conversation between  Harry and his oldest and bestest friend and now flatmate Gary Dobbin. This extract, out of context, sounds rather surreal and perhaps that is how it is meant to be. You will have to buy the book, won’t you?

Let’s leave Sherri’s second challenge for now and move onto Ula’s questions. So…

1.What is your favorite food? (One of my university lecturers told us that food always connects us. I agree.)

I’ve posed the question of myself several times before, mostly like this: ‘If I was on death’s row what would my last meal be?’ The answer hasn’t changed. Baked potato, sliced in half and fluffed, dollop of butter, grated cheddar cheese and Heinz beans with a side salad and cup of builder’s tea with milk.

2.What motivated you to start your blog?

My MA tutor mentioned it was a good first step before publication if I self published; I’d also followed Anne Goodwin’s blog for a while and loved the engagement she had with her readers so I thought, why not? 

3.What types of blog posts do you enjoy writing?

As those close to me would tell you my top two favourites subjects are (1) me and (2) my family. Anything that directly or more like, Tangentally brings me or them to the party is what I love.

 Reading?

Pretty much anything; prompt and challenges inspire and depress me equally but usually inspire; writing and publishing advice; people with humour to share; people who share stories about themselves that touch on life’s absurdities; people who tell me about the different worlds out there.

4.What does your typical day look like?

Now I’ve Dun Lawerin’ I don’t have one. Each day will have as a component (1) walk Dog (2) cook – I love cooking (3) reading and writing blogs (4) ideally writing more of my books. Several times a week I help at a local youth club where I chair the trustees as well as volunteer. I enjoy theatre, ditto cinema. The garden calls me to its bosom on a regular basis.

5.What is one of your talents?

I laugh at most things; taking myself or anyone else seriously is a thing of the past.

6.Who inspires you?

People who succeed against the odds and remain cheerful while they do it.

Who are your heroes?

On a personal level my uncle Ted who has been my inspiration to remain positive whatever is thrown at you and my humdinger of a wife, the Textiliste for remaining sanguine under the most enormous provocation from my stupidities and vanities. Globally the usual suspects I imagine: Mandala, Tim Berners-Lee – oh I could go on..

7.What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I really really enjoyed my bungee jump and now want to skydive…. but maybe they wouldn’t be surprised.

8.If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?

Here, London SE21 – best place in the world (the presence of the Textiliste may have something to do with that).

9.What is your favorite way to self-care after a long day?

Eat, snooze in front of the sport on the telly with Dog on my chest and a tincture of blogging before bed.

10.What makes you smile?

The ridiculous, the absurd, the rude. This sort of thing

PrickHisBoil

And so back to Sheri’s challenge. A Love lullaby? 10 sentences? Well how’s this for love’s sonnet?

Ephemeral Love

(1) Love is a drug. (2) The unprescribable kind,

Whose root is in chemicals, base and refined.

(3) The body secretes, and the heart is a’flutter,

Blinding the eye, stilling tongues with a stutter.

(4) Rational beasts, that’s what we say are we men,

Bearing as symbols our brush and our pen.

(5) Still we believe we can capture love’s core

On canvas and card, just one scratch little more.

(6) A picture, a word and it’s there for longevity.

(7) We are serious. (8) These images preserved for posterity.

(9) But love is a mood, a scent; it’s not open to snare.

(10) It will go in a flash; one puff, it’s thin air.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in Blog hopping, miscellany, poems, poetry, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Poems, Prizes and Plans

  1. Sacha Black says:

    I’m glad you wrote this post, because I need to do one with three awards in it, and I wasn’t sure if you would ‘do’ the response required for nomination! so now I know you will this won’t be the last type of post you have to do!

    Bungee…Sky dive…. oh dear I can’t think of anything worst! far too risky for me! :p I take my hat off to you though.

    p.s. slap a bit of raw onion on the tatty, and I am all over that death row meal!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Annecdotist says:

    Your extract is great, as is the sonnet, Sherri’s challenges have worked perfectly for you. As for the last meal, how about a sprig of broccoli on it in honour of your sponsor? Purple sprouting should be ready in a couple of weeks if the pigeons haven’t demolished them first!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the questions/answers and poem (skipped the excerpt as I’m still in the middle of your first book and don’t want anything spoiled). Stop being so self-deprecating (says the pot to the kettle). You deserve these.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Rachel M says:

    Great post. I enjoyed reading this very much. I think you’ve got the same sense of humour as me. You might find this one funny:

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Ula says:

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Maybe you should leave the decision of whether or not you deserve to be given awards to those giving them. I know what you mean that they feel a bit like chain letters, but they do mean something – someone reads your work and likes it.
    Heights terrify my, so I can’t imagine the appeal of bungee jumping or sky diving. Imagine all the broken bones.
    I love your talent. It’s a good one and the only way to stay sane. It’s something I’m working on as I take things in life way too seriously, especially broccoli 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Autism Mom says:

    I leave the jumping from heights, baked potato, and naughty comics to you, my friend, and I will take your excerpt, poetry, and agree with those asserting that the accolades offered you are deserved. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Charli Mills says:

    The juxtaposition of the absurd boil cartoon and your Ephemeral Love will have a lasting impact! Lovely recognition from two lovely bloggers!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Norah says:

    Of course you are deserving. Why else would those two lovely bloggers bestow the honours upon you? It was lovely to find out a few more tidbits of Geoff-isms. Always a delight to peek through a chink in the curtains. I look forward to finding out what happens to Harry Spittle next. It was lovely to have a little teaser for it. Your poem is lovely, of course, but I do agree with Charli about its juxtaposition! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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