Readers reign supreme and you cannot tell them they’re wrong

Photo by Min An from Pexels

In an open discussion about writing that I attended, a contentious point remained rooted in my mind.

A resource speaker said, in essence, that writers should sometimes deviate from what the readers expect to read. Readers, he stated, could get tired of reading, for example, funny stories.

He added that readers would not mind when a tearjerker of a story is included in a short-story magazine.

I was still new in the writing profession, but what the speaker said lingered in my mind. I did not quite buy the idea that he suggested.

It wasn’t a puzzle where the speaker…

Merry in the Dog House

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

THE day that my mother got married was also the day that I thought I’d be free of my “important duty”. Their wedding was very simple: it was held at the local civil registry office, and the basic ceremony was performed by the lady civil registrar.

My mother wore an ankle-length chiffon beige dress that she made herself. Barry wore an old, ill-fitting dark suit.

As per his instruction, my mother made for me for the occasion a pink-and-white flower print frock. …

Life is a celebration of vibrant rainbows so stop writing in whiny ampersands and start living with no full stops

Image by Please Don’t sell My Artwork AS IS from Pixabay

From the morning you deign to get up to pick up your pen
The words you write, even punctuations, are packed with pain.
The images you make are cleaved in serrated commas of whine
While fogged pictures you forged show nothing will ever be fine.

Each line you wed to sentences in your vamped up paragraphs
Drips of colonic apostrophes of resentment akin to autographs.
Acidic asterisks that are there, like the brackets of shrill ill will
Could not dash or hyphenate the misery you want us to feel.

But the us, alas, finally pulled in a flash of point…

Have you eaten placenta in a fruit smoothie shortly after giving birth?

Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay

The Myth

My mother gave birth to me when she was only 15 years old. A wizened midwife attended to my mother’s home birth. Home was the ancestral house of my maternal grandparents.

The midwife buried the placenta with pen and blank paper in the garden. The midwife told my mother and her parents that, that act would make the newborn intelligent, maybe even a writer, when she grew up.

This was revealed to me when I was already a published book author. My grandparents had already passed away by this time. …

Rescue dogs were flown to the UK from Kabul while 68 shelter staff were left behind

Thor, a rescue dog from Bosnia, playing in the snow during his first winter in the UK; photo credit to Vivien Allen

Before the Covid pandemic, my daughter and her partner adopted Thor, a rescue dog from Bosnia. I thought that was great. Their Siberian Husky, Loki, would have a companion and playmate.

If there’s a will there will always be a way

Weeds (near bottom, far right) are regarded as useless and ugly but they cannot be seen as lacking in will to grow against all odds. Photo credit: Josephine Crispin

When there’s no will
Are you just over the hill?
When there’s no hope
Will you just weep and mope?

What is it with people
Who, with a whiff of wind, fall
See a short hurdle as a wall
And think of lump as a knoll.

Far better to be a bird
With will and hope like a laird
With bird-brain uses its wings
Hunting for food, with will it clings.

Merry + Barry = Happy Together?

Merry and her mother flew to Auckland. What does the future hold for Merry, Midnyte’s best friend? (Photo by eddie chuachoonhui from Pexels)

BUT this salve did nothing to lessen my anxiety when the time came for me and my mother to travel. I felt light-headed throughout the trip from Angeles City to the airport in Manila. We were in a commuter van, not in a passenger bus.

If not for my mother’s stern warning not to vomit, I would have done so. In the process, I thought I would die from the discomfort I felt, feeling nauseous but trying heroically not to unleash the heaving from my stomach.

Barry, my mother’s fiancé — and my secret future husband when I turn eighteen

What has it got to do with reviving the dead?

Image by valentin hintikka from Pixabay

The clustered crimson berries of the rowan tree remind me of a tiff with someone on Facebook, of all places. It’s the last thing I’d ever want — put on display a clash of belief on social media, and against a person who is not a stranger.

How public could that be?

But it came about involving me and a relative — who is a kind person, by the way. His kindness is no secret to everyone who knows him.

It just happened that we disagreed on something important; and for the life of me, no way will I surrender…

Write with money in mind

Photo by John McArthur on Unsplash

Every now and then, I come across this advice: write for the love of writing. This is disquieting, especially when this suggestion is directed towards those who have just started their writing journey.

Write for the love of writing? Bah! What a brick wall of blather!

I might have suggested early on in my blog, Creative Writing for Beginners, to practice writing for the love of writing. Practice is the operative word here.

This piece of advice, to do practice writing for the love of writing, is specific to those who are just thinking of, or simply considering, writing as…

Happy family memories of brambling are made of these

Blackberries are rich in anti-oxidants, promoting the healthy tightening of tissue; thus, skin is less likely to sag and wrinkle. Nicholas Culpeper, an English herbalist from the 1600s, recommended the use of blackberry leaves as black hair dye. (Image by Andrew Wilson from Pixabay)

Foraging (n): the acquisition of food by hunting, fishing, or the gathering of plant matter
Forage (v): to wander in search of forage or food

FORAGING is a word that I have once, long ago, associated with animals:

  • fox foraging in farms for frogs, rabbits, birds;
  • badgers foraging for lizards, eggs, earthworms, berries;
  • wild pigs foraging for nuts, bulbs, green plants.

You get the picture of my earlier misconception.

Fun in foraging

Ordinary people like us can forage, too. This activity is not exclusive to chefs or owners of one of the world’s best bed-and-breakfast guesthouse.

In England and Wales, you can pick…

Josephine Crispin

Published author, editor, storyteller; her books are available on Amazon Kindle and some on

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store