Fave from the Grave…

Halloween

Pumpkin pie is a must

Along with cobwebs and dust

With lanterns alight, bowls of sweets you cannot eat.

Children come, their faces aglow

Doorbells ring, sweets to go

Painted witches, ghosts and ghouls

Could be your nightmare has come to call.

Strange entities look back at you

Or has your mother-in-law arrived at last?

Doorbell rings, don’t let them in

They’re not just children, disguised within.

A night when ghosts roam the land

Who can tell what stands without?

Is it sweets they want, or your soul to take?

Don’t let them in, blow your lantern out…

When Anita wrote this stunning Halloween poem, I just knew I had to do something special with it. When I read it aloud, it sounded so dramatic and creepy, the idea of creating a video trailer with it seemed a really good idea.

Now, I have made a few trailers in my time, but I am not an expert by any means. Most of the ones I made for our books are pretty basic, as understanding all the complicated instructions sometimes had me running screaming from the building!

So, knowing how much fun I have had in the past, I really threw myself a curve ball by wanting to make this video more stunningly complicated than anything I tried before, with moving images, spooky music and narration.

This is how I have achieved some really wonderful things in my life. I get an idea, and in no time at all, I can see the finished item in my head and I will move Heaven and high water to bring whatever it is, to life. This is what was happening right then with my idea for a trailer.

I discovered that Pixaby.com has free video clips, so I collected a good selection of suitably dark and spooky ones. Then I visited YouTube and their audio library. I found some very similar music to the Halloween film. My dream was taking shape!

With my first trailer efforts, I used Movie Maker and as my teachers used to say, “Could do better!” So I knew there was nothing else for it, I would have to learn how to master the finer points if I hoped to create a masterpiece.

I watched so many tutorials on YouTube and wrote copious amounts of notes and bit by bit, I learned the basics.

This was a month ago. I knew I needed time to practice, as nothing happens in much of a hurry around here, but wasn’t prepared for just how long it would take. Time and again, I tried to get it right and time and again I failed miserably.

Trouble was, it didn’t look that hard. But, and this is what always happens to me and anything to do with technology, it never quite seems to work for me. I get lots of nearly’s and almost’s, but like most people, this would never be good enough for me.

I learned how to shorten the clips and move them about. I added a title page and one for the credits at the end. I had my music and knew what to do with it. All that was left to do was plug in my microphone and narrate the poem.

This took several attempts as something kept stopping my voice from registering.  Much later, I managed it, but when I played it back, parts of my voice were missing.

I was on the verge of pulling my hair out by then, so I closed everything down and walked away. This procedure seemed to go on for days and I was no nearer perfection than I was at the beginning.

I don’t compromise easily, but in desperation, I tried Photo Story.  This system only allows static images, not exactly what I wanted, but I tried anyway.

I also tried Movie Maker again, but the result was the same.

My dream was fading.

In the end, I conceded a temporary defeat and posted the poem on our blog.

My determination has not dimmed though. I will keep trying to conquer Movie Maker or something similar, and hopefully, future trailers will be better.

Help with Self-Hosting?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I have been avoiding tackling this problem for a while now, but the time has come… as the walrus once said. I know it must be now, for I have started blitzing the house, cleaning things that haven’t been touched in months, and that is never a good sign.

For someone who wages war with technology daily, we are actually contemplating the nightmare job of changing our blog/website.

We have been here on WP for 9 years and reasonably content, but our media usage is running at 84% and soon we will be forced to upgrade to Business.

But we don’t really want to.

WP has been good for us but there are some annoying shortcomings. The lack of Google Analytics and better SEO, for a start. Then being unable to use any plug ins and restricted to our choice of themes.

Thing is, I’m not sure if my ageing brain will cope with the mandatory hassle to transfer to a self-hosted WP. I have heard it can be a nightmare and I have enough brain melts (hissy fits) every time we are plagued with the upgrading tinkering going on, and a change of this magnitude might just be the straw that breaks this camel’s back! Surely, it can’t be too difficult?

I mean, just how complicated is it?

And what happens to this blog and the content?  Does it all transfer, or will I have to start from scratch?

Is there a way I can tell if someone has self-hosted, so I can have a look?

And most important of all, would you recommend doing it?

As I have been thinking about this for a while now, I have come up with a possible solution. I am sure that some of our followers have already made this transition and could share a few dos and don’ts with us.

All feedback regarding this ambitious or very stupid plan will be VERY welcome…

MLMM ~ Wordle #242 and Thursday Prompt Host

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

I believe in the other side
Whether you can see it or not
It is always there, like dust motes
That float, no matter
how many times you clean the house?
As you walk through the room
You see them,
caught in a light beam from the window.
You never feel them touch your cheek
Unlike the remote seduction
That had me lip biting, dizzy with feelings
I cannot define, my breath shallow
Body tremble, shattering sound
The supply of pleasure beyond words
Behind the mask, a guttural sound
A voice full of gravel
Shattering all illusion
I am awake now…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Double Down… A Very Unusual Poem

Image by jplenio from Pixabay

Double Down

The distant echo of your voice calling me home
      Across fields of new mown hay
I turn my head away, I do not want to go
       Your soft whisper follows, I feel your longing
I am not ready to take up an angelic post
       Snow white feathers would not suit me
Or God forbid, the other place where coal is needed
      Did I slip into a place where the forked one gave me a large spade?
I love you still, alas I have much to do
      All the things that frightened you, I understand
There are mountains to climb where you would not go
      Your fear of the unknown kept you locked inside
There are snow slopes calling, louder than your echo
       Do you now have eternity to roam?

© Anita Dawes 2021


Is this one poem, or three? What do you think?

The Sunday Whirl ~ #Wordle 490 #Poetry

I try to run right through the storm
To hide. I am a failure, a fraud
I have been too proud
Thinking myself smarter than the rest
I am brought low by the company I keep
I do not speak up, to say how I feel
I am craven, a coward in disguise
I have not joined in the treason they speak of
Yet I am complicit as I sit and listen to their plans
In the end, their words of sedition do not excite me
I do not have the energy for rebellion
There is no branch for me to hang my hat on…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Games… #Poetry

Image by Prettysleepy from Pixabay

Games…

here I am in my trusty silver steed
My favourite four-legged friend sitting beside me
I tip my top hat to a lady passing
I have thrown a four, stopping before chance
I can hear the trains at Fenchurch street
Speeding, I narrowly miss a spell in jail
I would have lost the chance to collect two hundred
The wait to get out of jail would be too long
I continue my journey through Regent Street
One of my favourite places to stop and look around
I can see hotels being built
People having sold their houses, now thinking big
In the distance, Mayfair, one of the most lucrative places
To build your first million…

© anita dawes 2020

What is wrong with this picture?

I had gone down to the bottom of our garden (sorry, our jungle) and was on my hands and knees, trying to remove the mystery plant (see link) from our sadly overgrown patio.

It turned out to have exceptionally long tap roots which I didn’t want to break, so I hardly noticed when Anita walked up to me.

” What’s wrong with this picture, Jaye?”

I looked up to see what she was on about. She was staring at the trees behind me. I followed her gaze and once my brain engaged, I couldn’t make out what was missing. What wasn’t I seeing?

Normally, there is a thick, almost impenetrable stand of trees at the end of our garden, but now, there was a rather large gap.

I could see straight through to the houses behind.

“what the…”

“I think someone has stolen a tree…”

“Don’t be daft. Who would steal it… and how?”

“God knows, but it’s not there, is it. So where in the blue blazes has it gone?”

I managed to persuade my knees to stand up and we made our way past the other trees, coming up to the gap from the other side.

“Bloody hell!”

From this angle we could see that the tree wasn’t missing. It had simply become weary of standing upright and had slid sideways, lying almost horizontal.

The base of the tree had rotted, and the recent strong winds had done the rest.

Now, I still do most of my gardening stunts, but this tree was at least ten feet tall, so I didn’t fancy my chances. 

So I reported it to the landlord and passed the problem on to them…

Here’s hoping everyone has a super dooper weekend!