Greetings all! All Fools’ Day or April Fools’ Day is a day for mischievous yet lighthearted prank-playing. In honor of this day, I’d like to share a playful limerick with you. As you know, a limerick is a five-line poem with a specific rhyming format. Limericks may be witty, satirical, or sometimes obscene in a humorous way. This four-stanza poem started off with the first stanza written by Cleveland W. Gibson, a talented British author. Following his lead, the other three were written by me.
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|10||Cleveland W. ..|
Meet the Toff
From London Town came the Toff,
A man who had the WhoopingCough,
Up came his guts every day,
Too pale to talk, nothing to say,
Then he sneezed-BANG- and his leg fell off.
There was a gal named Sandy
Her drawings were quite dandy
Cleve wanted Toff
With his leg flung off
But no pen was handy.
Cleve persisted, please draw this fellow
He can be red, green or even yellow
Don't be shy
Just tell me why
You can't sketch Toff sallow?
Sandra shook her head no
She had no scanner ready to go
Instead she wrote a poem
And sent it to Cleve's home
Hoping he'd accept the poem and let the sketch go!
The poem is interesting and funny because it reveals not only the character of Toff, but the personalities of and exchange between Cleveland and myself. For example, it reveals the fact that I draw, Cleveland’s persistence that I draw Toff, my refusal, and decision to write a poem instead which refers back to the limerick itself.
This is an exercise or game you can play with your fellow writers. It can be done in a poem format where each person contributes a stanza. Or it can be done in a writers’ circle where each person writes the first paragraph of a story, hands the page to the next person and he or she writes another section and so on until the stories are finished. I recommend no more than six or seven sections per story otherwise it gets too complicated. The final entries should wrap up each storyline.
It’s important to stress there’s no right or wrong in this game. But you are bound to get a few smirks or laughs.
So under the topic of games, what is my idiom of the month? “To stay ahead of the game” is important in writing. Writing is a competitive market. Knowledge of current events and continually educating yourself keeps you sharp and in top form to write. Newspapers are not only great sources of information but also generate emotional responses and intellectual opinions. I would say watching certain television shows or movies can influence the way you write. Be a thinker first, then go and write.
Early in my writing, I wrote several science fiction stories, but soon I realized my plots were not original ones but common ones. In retrospect, doing some research would have gone a long way. Reading is an important part of developing your craft because it keeps you up to date on what’s been covered before and expands your perspective.
By using your library card or going online, you can research a topic before forging into writing a piece. Check for accuracy of your information. Find out interesting facts. Look for a new angle.
As I close, I’d like to thank Cleveland for allowing me to share his poem. I recommend his book Moondust, a collection of suspenseful surreal stories and Billabongo, his fantasy novel. He creates intriguing plots and his writing is smooth and entertaining to read. Please check out my review of his work under Book Reviews. By the way, he’s a member of litdotorg too.