The Passionate and Whimsical Poet of Penzance

This week, before I go on a wireless vacation, I’m delighted to showcase the talents of a gentleman known OwainGlyn.128.348405to thousands of devoted fans as Owain Glyn.  Not only is he one of the most prolific poets I’ve ever run across but his work spans the emotional spectrum from romantic sonnets to whimsy and scathing diatribes against politicians to anything that “fits in a sock drawer” (a collection he calls Miss Sellanious).  Although he is revered on Wattpad (the free-read site where I first ran into him) and could easily rest on his laurels, he still finds the time to read and comment on literally hundreds of poems and stories of all genres every day! One of his poetry collections, Windswept, has just been published by Outer Banks. Here are some early reviews:

Windswept Front CoverWelsh writer Owain Glyn has brought us a collection of poetry worthy of his homeland Windswept is exquisite, you will want to keep it by your bedside for years to come. – V.L. Sloan
Windswept is awash with words that appear simple but work like magic. This is poetry that Tom, Dick, and Harriet (And I) can read, and enjoy. It connects with us, and has the power to transform us. – Colm Herron
Owain Glyn’s Windswept brings to mind the great romantic poetry of the nineteenth century. It’s nuances eloquently displayed through the shifting winds that have swept through heart of this wonderful poet. – Lisa Cole Allen

And now meet Glyn Hockey!

JTT:  Greetings my friend! Congratulations on the publication of Windswept!  I’m looking forward to soaking in a bubbly bath, drinking champagne and reading your beautiful poems by candlelight.  (And then maybe a little hanky panky later with the hubby) Here is one of my favorites:

What would you do
If I turned up on your doorstep
At two in the morning
Dressed only in my violin?
You know,
The one without a bow
That I play in the metro
Tunnel,
Surrounded by funnel web spiders.
I don’t stay,
Because they say
It’s illegal,
And anyway
I can’t play.
This is nonsense
Of course,
Just like
The pantomime horse
On my bedroom wall.
All I really want to say,
Is what would you do
If I turned up on your doorstep
At two in the morning
Dressed only in my violin?
Would you send me away?
Because I can’t play?

The thing I love about your poems is they never seem stretched, you know what I mean?  It’s as though you just sat down, held a pen in your hand and the words arranged themselves brilliantly on the page.  No effort, no sweat. 

7879977-100-k473391GH: Ah, I only wish it were that simple. I start with an idea that I hand write, I leave it to settle for a few days before I return to it. if I still think it has merit I will produce a word document that I can edit and play with. A few days later I will return to it again, only if I am still happy, will I post it.

JTT:  I think I’ve forgotten how to write by hand! Aside from the fact that you live in Penzance on the coast of Cornwall and have a grandson named Jack who you’re urging on to naughtiness, all I know about you is from Tag it A-Z:

  • You’re allergic to royalty, politicians and tax collectors so you only eat them sparingly on rare occasions.
  • You love cake so much that you plan to be buried in a large chocolate eclair.
  • Apparently you wear underwear only when you expect to be run over by a bus.

Any other revealing things we should know about you?

GH: I guess my sense of humour reflects my interest in life, it is also a defence mechanism that helps me to see that not all is as bad as it may appear. I am an animal lover, (being Welsh that sheepmeans a strong emphasis on sheep) and a follower of Rugby Union, (Welsh Rugby Union)  I consider all the years spent residing in England as missionary work.

JTT:   I guess it was a sacrifice you had to make! I enjoyed England although I never want to drive there again.  For readers who know little (or nothing) about Wattpad, it’s very common on that site for writers to work together on collections – sometimes romantic, sometimes silly, sometimes holiday themed.  You’ve participated in a couple, my favorite being9502915-80-k283346 your The Whole Cole collaboration with a writer known as @knightwriter.    It’s a tit-for-tat between Old King Cole and his homicidal wife Alice. When you were working on it did you ask your wife and beloved mother-in-law (about whom you speak so sweetly) to act out scenes?  (you know – to get inspired…)

GH:  I had considered my mother-in- law for role play but she was far too busy teaching Ghengis Khan some basic manners.

JTT:  Glad to hear she’s keeping busy! From the silly to the very very serious, three of your collections, Armageddon, Marta, and the World According to Owain, address the many injustices in the world, leading you in one poem to ask:

“So, my question,
if man is forged in the image of God,
is he or she as perverse as we?” 

In other poems (War, for example) you expose a deep contempt for government institutions :

“I am war,
the whore of your government,
I ride my black steed among you,
at their invitation.”

Do you think there’s any hope for this world of ours? 

GH: There is much darkness in this world of ours, but there are shafts of light too. Conflicts are not caused by the many, but by the few. If we all learn the meaning of a few words; tolerance, compassion, empathy, we have a chance. We need to celebrate our differences, not use them as barriers.

JTT:  Sigh.  You’re so right.  I really wish we could go on forever but I know you’re busy with the release so let’s conclude with a final question about Wattpad.  The openness of 7235951-80-k466149the site has led people to post just about anything, which has resulted in toes being stepped on, gripes about the software they’re using, and the airing of personal health issues which can be difficult to “vote” on.  As a former “ambassador” (community advisor) you’ve tried to remind people to be civil and to remember that it is a free site. Do you think eventually they will begin monitoring content more closely than they currently do?  For those people who are not familiar with Wattpad, what would you like to say about your experience?

GH: Wattpad has the capacity to be a wonderful place, it allows writers of all levels of competency to interact. None of us becomes a master overnight, it takes practice, and encouragement. Wattpad, and its users are a microcosm of wider humanity. Yes, there are glitches more than I would like, but with a platform this size some problems are inevitable.

JTT:  I’m always amazed by the generosity of other writers on that site.  You’re absolutely right – despite a few problems, it’s a great place to mingle.  

Thanks again for taking the time to be here with me. I really appreciate it.  Releasing a book can be an extremely trying time. I had to hire a caretaker to strap me into a straight jacket (which made for a very interesting release party!) Then, as the reviews came in, post release anxieties descended on me like evil flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz!   “Did I release too early? Too late?”  To save you from such a fate, I’d like to point you to the best advice I’ve come across regarding life in general and fame in particular:

“If you compare yourself to others, never look upwards, you will get dizzy and invariably disappointed.  Always look downwards, that way you can make sure your feet are firmly on the ground and pointed in the right direction.”  – Owain Glyn, Advice to My Sons

My friends, I have only touched on the depth of this man’s talents.  You can read some of his poems on Wattpad for free but maybe not for long! OwainGlyn on Wattpad

For a limited time you can order a copy  directly from the publisher for $9.99 click Windswept – Poems of Love. Bring some love into your life!

See you all in a week!

I might change my mind!

Generally I don’t read much into a blood moon.  I’ve seen a few and, while spectacular and often magical, nothing earth shaking happened.  Life went on as before.  Time did not stop. But the sight I saw from my back deck this afternoon got me thinking maybe I was wrong.  Just to be safe, I’m not going to squash the next ant that comes crawling across the table.

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I almost blinded myself getting this shot.  I’m sure it’s just a halo caused by the overcast sky and not an omen of impending doom but the air outside is muggy and even though it’s a Sunday afternoon the sound of children playing is oddly missing.  I came back inside and watched the Pope.

By the way, I believe the small blue object to the left and below the sun was caused by the camera and not a space ship coming to take us away but who knows.

IMG_0778As you can see from the above, it’s getting closer! Hopefully we’ll all be here tomorrow but if not, well, it’s been swell knowing you!

The Aussie Salute

Update from my zany friend Carol on her horse trek in the outback.

September 25, 2015

Left Woodlands camp this a.m. Into Norseman for fuel and food and water. Norseman is very small town named for a horse that reputedly discovered gold.

th-3{Note from Jan: That must have been a mighty smart horse! I googled Norseman – according to Wikipedia, the town of Norseman was founded in August 1894 by Lawrence Sinclair, his brother George Sinclair, and Jack Alsopp who discovered a rich gold reef and named it after a horse named Hardy Norseman.}  

It felt weird being out of the woods.  Faucet, flush toilet, paper towels all seemed wildly extravagant. But I sure enjoyed the grocery store.

th-1Woodlands was our harshest camp site. Hot hot hot  w flies that never stop harassing u.  Many species of ants that bite. One poison deadly snake that did not bother us.

You have to wear a veil to keep the flies off ur face.

hatswcorksAussie insect repellant.

{Google Note: A search for “Australian flies” brought up “Aussie Salute.” The bush fly in Australia (Musca vetustissima) is attracted to bodily fluids such as sweat, nasal mucus, saliva, blood and eyes. The Aussie Salute is actually a swat. If you don’t know how to do it correctly you must wear either a hat with corks dangling from the rim or a veil or the flies won’t stop pestering you.  Of course, the wine helps too.}


We split off from Diane and r heading south to Esperance. Spending tonight in a caravan park in Salmon Gums. Took a shower! Ahhh. 

{Google Note;  Salmon Gums is a grove of eucalyptus trees whose bark is salmon colored. I have no idea if Diane is a person or place.}  

Still I regret leaving the woods and G says no more wilderness camps. Probably. Looking forward to seeing  the coast. Hope to swim.

Note from Jan:  The G she refers to is a horse woman in her eighties. So far Carol’s trip is not tempting me to camp in the outback!  How about you?  Getting tempted?

Carol in Oz, Episode 1

Carol

Carol in the creek for some reason: “Hot damn, that water’s cold!”

Nothing my friend Carol does surprises me though often I’m left scratching my head and vowing to never again get involved in any of her shitteries (being stranded at three in the morning outside a hospital after a horse kicked her in not one but both legs comes to mind!). I’m sure she’s felt the same about me from time to time. But long ago I realized: friends are like condiments. You need a combination of the spicy and the sweet. Sometimes you need a jolt of tabasco and a wild ride through the mix-master to make a memorable meal. Besides, she’s a clever and amusing writer, generous and loving towards her friends and quite a hoot to hang out with (unless she’s getting you into trouble).

(shitterie – a Carol-made-up term generally meaning a misunderstanding that ends up tussles and tantrums!)

CarolTopofMount

“What’s taking you so dang long Jan?” (Carol on the ridge prancing around while I’m huffing and puffing to get caught up!)

Anyway, her latest adventure is a ten day trek through the Australian outback with a couple of elderly horse women. Since these jaunts generally result in some amusing tales I’ve asked her if I can share them with my blog readers and she said yes.  So everyone – welcome the first episode of Carol in Oz  (via her friend Griselda’s iPad, thus the shortcuts):

Good morning,
We r packed except for final items and will leave around 10 after breakfast, run and showers. Taking loads of food and big containers of water. 
We r headed into a huge reserve called the great western woodlands. G. has a book on it which I’ve been reading. Natural areas w all sorts geology plants animal life but also gold mines and grazing. 
It’s cold this morning!  The neighbour is bringing me all sorts of large mens clothing to borrow bc he is worried I will freeze. 
Still waiting for unlock code to use my phone. Will keep msgs  minimal while using G,s iPad, she has data limits and pics or calls can eat that up fast.  
We r taking iPad and my phone in case the code comes and I can make it work on my own. Connections available only when we r near towns I think. Will b gone roughly 10 days. 
Will use a roo (kangaroo) as there r no alligators in my vicinity.  So far anyhow…
Wish me luck. My dear old bod is likely to b challenged
🎲🎲🎲🎲🎲🎲

According to the Nature Conservatory, the Great Western Woodlands in southwestern Australia is “a blossoming bullseye of biodiversity.”   I’m not sure what Carol plans to do with the roo – I guess we’ll have to wait until the ladies are near civilization to find out.

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The Great Western Woodland, picture from the Nature Conservatory

#ThursdayDoors: Mont St Michel

France2005 101I snapped this picture while climbing up to the abbey of Mont St Michel.  I believe the door was level and that I was on a steep staircase but I had drunken a quart of hard cider for lunch so anything is possible.

Mont St Michel is one of my favorite places in France although many people (hubby among them) feel it’s become just another typical tourist trap, cheap trinkets, over-priced food and crowded lookouts.

France2005 128

Harbor of Grand Camp Maisy

While in France we stayed in the small town of Grand Camp Maisy, a fishing village somewhat off the beaten path.

MtSteMichel2

Rising from the salt flats.

The Mont is over an hour’s drive from Grand Camp Maisy but it was well worth it!

MtStMichel

The view from the top – surrounded by mud until the tide comes in!

#ThursdayDoors is the brain child of Norm Frampton. Check out what people are sharing today!