Friday, 21 March 2014

A New Poem - Faded Flowers

At last I have something I can feel good about. I was writing my last post, a piece about my surname and its origin at the dining room table, and from time to time glanced up at a vase of flowers in front of me. A busy weekend meant that it had not been thrown out although some of the more delicate blooms were past their best.

before I had finished, I had a few words swirling around my head and decided that it would be worth spending a little time putting a few ideas down on paper (well on my laptop screen anyway) and perhaps keep it for future use. The next day I came across it again, and settled down to write this poem. I changed a few lines and very quickly the whole nature of the piece changed, and this poem started to come together.

I know that all the books and articles talk about editing and putting things away for awhile and re-editing but I have always been quite impatient with writing poems and lyrics. Maybe that's why I always feel that I should make changes everytime I read my older work. But Where does the process stop?

Anyway, here is the full poem as it stands:

Faded Flowers by John Dyhouse

A vase of dying flowers,

Sits on the windowsill.

Sadly waiting, bleached, forlorn

Now simply treated with such scorn

A faded memory.

I know the scent, that emanates

From across the silent room.

A cross between mown grass, and decay

At the ending of another day

A wasted memory.

A present once accepted

A gift with love and care;

But now they sit, neglected

Forgotten and rejected.

Redundant memory.

Sign of a soured relationship.

A metaphor perceived,

A troubled life, a rift

Don't let the feelings drift

Don't waste that memory.

The flowers now cannot be saved

Too late, just throw them out.

But carefully consider how

Think about your life right now,

Is it right to disavow;

retain that memory

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

A Short Piece Of Prose (normal service will be resumed as soon a possible)

I wrote this in response to a short writing exercise in a new group on Facebook, The CreateYourself Writing Workshop.

I had had this on my mind for sometime and a couple of things came together, so here it is whilst I am again finding difficulty  scheduling time for poetry.

The Dyhouse Family Name

I was asked yesterday where my surname came from; my wife has always asked about the name when we have been to craft shows or passed shops offering to print out histories of family names. However to no avail.

 I considered doing a little research once upon a time but found the free trial period on one of the largest genealogy sites to be particularly unhelpful and decided not to carry on with paid research. I found records for my parents but nothing helpful or definite for their family members. Maybe it was me I don't know? However I did not find the site useful enough to pay their inflated prices.

 As a carrot to make me return and pay the membership fee for the site, they e-mailed me (of course!) with a history of my family name, which I later found for free on a completely different site, crafty! This is almost the only data I have managed to find on the subject. Although I have had more than one query from Dyhouse's living in the US. But I have no information about a member of the family emigrating to the states.

 It seems that if you want to do any on-line research in this popular hobby, you have to pay for the privilege. I do not pay for information on the internet, unless I am sure what I am paying for. I do not throw hard-earned money after possibilities.

 It seems that one possibility is that it dates back to 1576 (or thereabouts) and comes from an alternative to the Welsh name Dai or David. This itself is derived from Hebrew.

 A second possibility is that the name is from a location in Shropshire, UK; Dayhouse or Lower Dayhouse. The earliest records of the name in Shropshire date from 1169 and mention a Henry Deyose.

 Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

 I am surprised that no mention is made of the possibility that the name came from the garment or cloth making industries where early cottage industries must have made use of a special place for dyeing cloth, etc. Maybe it was too common; though of course we have surnames like Butcher, Farmer, Tailor, Baker, etc.

A fuller history is available from the source:

Friday, 14 March 2014

Published My First Book Of Poetry

I have finally done it!

I struggled through the process at CreateSpace, the site owned by Amazon to publish my first poetry book. I am waiting anxiously to see a proof copy before it goes on sale.

I say I struggled, but really the process itself is quite simple however I have always struggled with the images which accompany my poems. I originally posted copies of my first three ebooks on Scribd anad made them freely available for download. I have also embedded them into posts on this blog in the past. The images did not create a problem either on line or in printed copies.

They are mostly my own photographs which are at a resolution of 72dpi, but they are large so need to be considerably reduced for the ebooks. However, CreateSpace prints books at 300dpi and so rejected the intial images. I had to create images which were reduced but by a smaller amount for the createSpace proofs. hence I want to see how they really look.

Next time it should be much easier, having understood the issues. Or I could simply publish without the supporting images, which I don't really want to do.

I have selected my second volume (as published on Scribd) to be my first on Amazon. I have my reasons. However, I will be making the Scribd ebooks available for a fee once the physical books appear on Amazon. The e-books contain 37 - 40 pages but some of that is photos and notes about why I wrote a particular poem. If you want a copy of the ebooks then head over to Scibd and download soon whilst they are still free.

I don't honestly believe I will sell many copies of these books, although there are a couple of useful non-fiction books which are already written and which I will be adding to before publishing as physical books. I have higher hopes with these.

I would love to have a decent physical copy of the poetry books in my hands however, call it vanity but I do love books and have a large library. Much to the chagrin of my long-suffering wife.

I will mention this again when I get the proof copy of that first book, so don't forget. If you are interested, head over to Scribd and download whilst still free.