Tag Archives: writing

It’s Piglet’s Seven Year Blogiversary – Looking Back

Photocredit: Pixababy.com

I’ve just been notified by WordPress it’s my seven year anniversary. Have I really been blogging that long? My goodness, how time flies! Unfortunately, due to my admin interests at writingforums.com I neglected my blog and lost touch with my blogging buddies for several years. Now I click through my blogroll and most of those listed are either on hiatus or their blog has disappeared. Methinks it’s time to update my blogroll.

Looking back we seemed more of a family then. We interacted more on blog posts and left thoughtful comments and took a genuine interest in other bloggers such as what was growing in the garden, recipes shared, books published and read, life and love, laughter and family. Is blogging the same now?

My first real blogging buddies were (in not particular order)
1. What’s Bugging Me Today a lovely lady who went by the name of ClassyRose. We corresponded every day then in early 2011 she completely disappeared. I’d love to know what happened to her.
2. The RedNeckPrincess. She’s still blogging but you can no longer comment on posts. Donna’s humour is priceless!
3. PassionateAboutPets – Barb’s Blog has disappeared. Barb lives in Australia and regulary left comments on my my blog
4. Dave Farmer. Yay! Dave is still blogging and has now published his Zombie novel, The Range. Congrats, Dave!
5. Spirit Lights The Way. Nancy is still blogging and her posts always make me stop and think.
6. Sarsm – Blogs about life! Great to ee shee is stillactive.
7. Joys of Creating I love EC’s Blog! Full of craft and gardening tips!
8. Granny1947 – Everyday life in South Africa. IT’s good to see Granny is still posting and commenting.
9. Sammy’s Colourful World Sami is Portuguese and moved to Australia. I met up with Sami when she was visiting her family in Portugal. Hopefully we will meet up again at some point. Sami blogs about Aussie life.
10. Local Heart Global Soul Love this blog about life and travel.
11. Seashell by the Seashore – Seashell has not posted for a loooong time.
12. What about your saucepans Lindsey blogs about life in the Dominican Republic
13. Ouch! My Back Hurts – Irish life and humour

There are many, MANY more… these are just a few.

From tiny acorns…

I created PigletinPortugal, thanks to my daughter and her blog Piglet in France. I’d left lots of comments on her blog and when she was over on holiday she showed me how to create my own blog, upload photos and a host of other useful tips. I was a technophobe so it was quite a challenge!

During the seven years I have published 346 posts, received nearly 11,000 comments and 455,677 views from all over the world.

This was my very first post.

Yummy Carrot Cake

My favourite Carrot Cake

Suffering from stage fright I could not think of anything to post so I shared a recipe.

Two of the most controversial posts I made were

Dogs on beaches – please “scoop their poop”

Beaches are not toilets. Please scoop the poop.

Please scoop the poop

Please scoop the poop











Is Bullfighting Wrong?

This post attracted 116 comments and a poll which attracted over 1700 votes.

The iconic silhouette of the Osborne Bull in Spain

The iconic silhouette of the Osborne Bull in Spain












As a new blogger it was a great feeling to see my stats rocket and all the comments I received.

Gazanias in January

Gazania in January

Gazania in January











I can’t seem to find the other post. But I do remember a blogger plagiarised my post complete with all the comments!


A Turkish “Experience” in France which had eighty two comments!

Have you ever used a Turkish Loo?

Turkish Loo experience in France

Hold on for dear life!

Frozen Condoms in France

How do you explain to your daughter’s mother-in-law’s mother who can’t speak English, and my French does not extend to the finer points of condoms, why I am stabbing a frozen condom?

Nurse recommends frozen condom

Nurse recommends frozen condom

Pilates on the Beach

Pilates on the beach is not as ‘Zen’ as it seems especially when you are wearing suncream.

PILATES on the beach is NOT zen

PILATES on the beach is NOT zen

So raises glass to the next seven years!





Found Poetry: 10 Day Poetry Challenge – Day 7

It’s day seven of the WordPress ‘Ten Day Poetry’ challenge. Today we were asked to write or should I say create a ‘Found’ poem. What is a Found poem? You may well ask, and I can tell you it is far harder than it looks!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Found poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry (a literary equivalent of a collage[1]) by making changes in spacing and lines, or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning. The resulting poem([1]) can be defined as either treated: changed in a profound and systematic manner; or untreated: virtually unchanged from the order, syntax and meaning of the original.

Have you tried creating a ‘Found’ Poem? This was my attempt using the Senryu form which is human Haiku.

The Biblical sun
hung above caraçao sea .
last cocktails enjoyed.

The original source was a travel article from a Sainsbury’s magazine. I selected a page at random then scratched out words that were of no interest.

Yes, it is a mess!


If you write poetry and are looking for an active and friendly community, why not visit WritingForums.com and join our enthusiastic band of poets and have some fun!
Check us out

Poetry Challenge: Day 6 – Enjambment (Mind Maggots)

It’s day six of the WordPress ten day poetry challenge and my creative enthusiasm is beginning to ebb. Today’s challenge is ‘enjambment’ which (as per the WordPress defintion is

Enjambment is all about the arrangement of words on the screen (or page, as the case may be), and how that arrangement affects the pace of our reading. The term may sound like a mouthful. But what it describes is a really simple phenomenon: when a grammatical sentence stretches from one line of verse to the next.

I have also included some extra spacing to add a breath pause to give the reader time to reflect. Unfortunately, I am unable to illustrate this properly due to formatting limitations.

Hope it works!


wriggle through the ears
into the mind
and growl
inside the head

Their teeth gnawing,
gnawing at dignity
at reason

The rotting flesh
chewed to the bone of sanity
venom spews from slack mouth


in response.

The stench of betrayal
too much to bear.


If you are interested in poetry and looking for an active and friendly community, why not join WritingForums.com and join our band of poets and have some fun!
Check us out

Piglet and Poetry – Kindles and Dinosaurs

Although I’ve always enjoyed writing poetry it was not until I joined a Writing Forum that I discovered my hidden passion. Much to my amazement I also discovered there are many different forms of poetry. To be honest, I’m secretly an old dinosaur at heart and much prefer poetry which rhymes – probably a throwback to my schooldays.

Unfortunately, the more poetry I read the less I understand and the more frustrated I become. On reading and researching the topic I also discovered, much to my frustration, many poems have neither rhyme nor reason. What message, if any, is the poet trying to convey? Shoot me if you want but many of the poems I read are little more than a jiggled list of metaphors and cryptic clues. Maybe it’s just me as I tend to view this type of poetry as I would an abstract painting. Those in the know are in raptures while the unwashed mortals, such as myself, scratches  head in bemused confusion.

As they say: “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” so I’ve bought a selection of “How to Write Poetry” books.  (OK, you can laugh,  I have broad shoulders.)

Poetry for Dummies
The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry
How Poetry Works by Phil Roberts

The learning process will be an interesting journey…

My lesson this week from The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry is Metre (Meter).

Poetry’s rhythm is organized.

The life of a poem is measured in regular heartbeats.
The name for those heartbeats is metre.

My first exercise is Iambic Pentameter.

Yep, I can see you squealing and hot-footing it off to the hills already…

Before you run please check out my first attempt!  I would be grateful of critique, yays – nays and even comments which say: don’t quit your day job.

Kindles and Dinosaurs

How can a Kindle be a treasured friend?
This plastic book with no pages to bend.
Not torn, dog-eared, nor stained with salty tears.
Margins pencilled with notes from passing years.

They won’t change my mind or feelings cajole
For this plastic usurper with no soul.
They say it’s great, but I don’t understand.
This Kindle book in our house is now banned!

You’re not listening, I say: Real books are fine!
I don’t care for Kindle’s latest design.
Gizmos and gadgets don’t interest me
I like the feel of a real book, you see.

I huff as my battle with words is lost,
What price a Kindle with the hidden cost?
Will libraries be a thing of the past
As Kindles advance and the die is cast?

Friends give me their best “I-know-it-all” look
As they chant: Kindles now replace the book.
I sigh, mindful of all the friends I’ve read.
I’ll stay a dinosaur, and books aren’t dead!’


Useful Links
Poetic Forms & Techniques

Please feel free to recommend further links.

The Next Big Thing

Firstly, I’d like to thank Deirdre of Didi’s Press who tagged me in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. The person tagged simply answers 10 questions about their next novel and then tags 3-5 other authors. I’m not sure I qualify as I’m still writing my first, yet alone “next” novel, but I thought, hell why not!

Deirdre is also in the throes of writing her first novel “Birthmark”, and like me successfully completed the NaNoWriMo challenge last November.

Is there a wrong or right way to write a novel? I don’t know, but thanks to the challenge I “hit the ground running” so did not have time to procrastinate and become bogged down agonizing over the process. I’ve learned a lot by just doing and although I’ve made mistakes I’m still enjoying the journey.

What is the working title of your book?

Dreams have no boundaries

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Listening to people talk about their lives and then adding my own creative twist and at times humour.

What genre does your book fall under?

I guess my book would fall loosely into the genre of Romance and Travel.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I can see a Penélope Cruz playing the main character and then a younger version of Richard Gear, and Brad Pitt (with long hair) playing the other key characters.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

The story of a woman’s courage to escape from the heartache of her everyday life and follow her dreams while maintaining her sense of humour.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Once I’ve completed my novel and have found someone to edit it, I will then research and consider the various options. At the moment I’ve no idea about either!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I took up the NaNoWriMo challenge without any prior writing experience so I had no preconceived idea of what to expect or how long a novel would take to write. So how long to complete the first draft of the manuscript? I don’t know. I’ve now written about 70,000 words and the story has taken a new twist which has led me down the proverbial rabbit hole. The plot could potentially take two totally different directions and I’m still hovering on the threshold of indecision as to which path to take.

As I’m still procrastinating down said rabbit hole I will probably write two different endings and then see which one works best! I have set myself a deadline of 9 months which takes me to me to the end of August to finish my first draft with potentially two different endings. Is this achievable? I don’t know but at least I can try. I’ve nothing to lose!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I rarely read romantic novels as I’m more of a John Grisham or Nicolas Evans fan. However, a friend lent me a couple of Romantic novels to get me in the “mood” and compare writing styles. However, the writing styles of the authors were like chalk and cheese. One was raunchy, had a simple plot with very little in the way of descriptive passages while the other more complex both in plot and writing style, but I enjoyed both for different reasons. So as for comparing my story to another in this genre, I really can’t say.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My husband, family and friends nagged me to write a book and a fellow blogger Dave Farmer inspired me to take up the NaNoWriMo challenge. However, it was the weekend Creative Writing course with Anne Aylor which gave me the confidence. I used the “Stream of Consciousness” technique I discovered on the course to complete my NaNoWriMo challenge. Using this technique meant my thoughts flowed easily as I disciplined myself to write without continually stopping to correct different passages. This will come later.

What else about the book might piqué the reader’s interest?

When we have a dream sometimes it only takes courage to make it come true. Do you have the courage to fulfil your dream?

To continue on The Next Big Thing tag, here are five budding authors who deserve recognition. Please check out their blogs!

Dave Farmer whose ongoing support has inspired me to write and believe in myself. Dave Blogs at Dave Farmer. “Wordsmith & Lifetime member of Imaginationland! Writing is my passion, from flash fiction to novellas. I’m working on my novel, The Range – a story of survival, friendship & courage. Every time I sit down to write I look forward to reaching The Zone, that place where words flow from mind to hand and everything slips into place. When I’m not writing I blog about the world around me, what drives me crazy, what makes me laugh and where I find unexpected slivers of inspiration.”

Robyn Oyeniyi who blogs at Love versus Goliath, has chronicled her battle with the Australian government to be reunited with her husband. Robyn has written a memoir of her experience, LOVE VERSUS GOLIATH, telling the true story of how she was nearly forced to flee her homeland to be with the man she loved, and how she fought back, battled a government and won. Robyn is planning to epublish LOVE VERSUS GOLIATH this month!

Lindsay de Feliz who blogs at What about your saucepans?. Born bred and educated in the UK, Lindsay walked away from a successful career to start a new life as a scuba living instructor. Arriving in the Dominican Republic embracing a new life, culture, climate and language, little did she know how much impact this Caribbean island would have on her life. She married a Dominican, becoming a step mother to three young boys and she and he husband determined to make a difference to the lives of the poorer Dominicans and Haitians. They could never have imagined where the journey would take them as they fought corruption and double-dealing. What about your saucepans? is her story and is due to be published in 3 months.

Here’s to my NaNoWriMo buddy
Sarah who kept me going through NaNoWriMo as we worked at the same speed and followed each others progress. Sarah blogs at Sarsm’s Blog.

and finally
Elizabeth Obih-Frank who blogs at Positive Kismet

A Great Sense of Achievement


Sometimes we set ourselves personal goals swept away on the crest of a wave by a moments reckless enthusiasm or, as in my case on this occasion, after a glass or three of cheap heady red wine. We believe anything is possible if we put our minds to it and of course it is if the goal is realistic.

The NANoWriMo was for me one of those moments.Thank goodness I did not decide to become a brain surgeon or walk to Kathmandu or even Timbuktu for charity. (Checking the spelling it’s the fist time in fifty..her hum years I realised that Timbuktu is an actual place!)

So fellow bloggers and followers, the Queen of waffle achieved her goal with over 50,000 words in twenty-nine days and life returns to normal, or whatever normal is in this land of sunshine and bureaucracy. However, I still have so much more to write to complete the book but at least I can set my own realistic pace. The NaNoWriMo challenge gave me a great start so my next challenge is to complete the book and ho hum…the dreaded DIET!
Yes, Piglet D.I.E.T!

Here’s to my blogging buddies who are also NaNoWriMo Winners.
Dave Farmer, ElizO of Mirth and Motivation and Sarsm

NaNoWriMo – Day 16

NaNoWriMo Day 16

NaNoWriMo Day 16

It’s day sixteen of the NaNoWriMo and we are now over half way through the challenge and although weary at times I’m still determined to succeed. However, little did I know when I committed to NaNoWriMo that I would travel to France thereby losing two days travelling,  unable to write as my adorable baby granddaughter thinks grandma is her best toy, and then she kindly gave me her cold so I ended up at the doctors who diagnosed I had a chest infection and bronchitis.

Now safely home I’m battling to make up my word count, but at times it feels like I’m climbing Everest. Not that I’ve ever tried climbing a mountain you understand, but I can imagine the effort. If you look at the graph above it actually does resemble mountaineering as the line is on a steep upward gradient. Now if you imagine turning the graph round the other way and count down…perhaps phycologically 50,000 words would not seem such an uphill task and less daunting. I know drink less red wine Piglet, and more water.

I’ve now notched up just over 20,000 words and am only about 6500 words behind target. The words flow but as they say “The mind is willing but the body weak”. People ask why attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Why? This story has lain dormant in the recesses of my mind for a long time, so why not? It’s only a matter of discipline.

Here’s to my NaNoWriMo buddies Dave Farmer, Anne O’Connell and Sarsm whose impressive word count has spurred me on!