Words That Burn + Poems About Identity And Two Big Announcements!

As part of my home school curriculum, I am doing a project called Words That Burn. It was launched by Amnesty International and is aimed at teaching young people about human rights, whilst encouraging them in their creative writing, mainly poetry. Learning at its best, in my view.

So, today I wanted to share a poem that we had to analyse in my project. It’s a really powerful and beautiful piece by spoken word artist Dean Atta, on the topic of identity. After that, we had to write our own poem, about our identity.

However, before we go into all of that exciting stuff, I have an important announcement to make! 🙂 You can now go vote for the nominees in Megan’s Part 1 of the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards! I am literally jumping up and down right now because I WAS NOMINATED IN TWO CATEGORIES! Wow, I never expected that.  Anyway, go vote! And good luck! *proceeds to dance around the room*

Okay, so coming back to the poem. I present, I Come From by Dean Atta.

I come from shepherd’s pie and Sunday roast
Jerk chicken and stuffed vine leaves
I come from travelling through my taste buds but loving where I live

I come from a home that some would call broken
I come from D.I.Y. that never got done
I come from waiting by the phone for him to call

I come from waving the white flag to loneliness
I come from the rainbow flag and the union jack
I come from a British passport and an ever-ready suitcase

I come from jet fuel and fresh coconut water
I come from crossing oceans to find myself
I come from deep issues and shallow solutions

I come from a limited vocabulary but an unrestricted imagination
I come from a decent education and a marvellous mother
I come from being given permission to dream but choosing to wake up instead

I come from wherever I lay my head
I come from unanswered questions and unread books
Unnoticed effort and undelivered apologies and thanks

I come from who I trust and who I have left
I come from last year and last year and I don’t notice how I’ve changed
I come from looking in the mirror and looking online to find myself

I come from stories, myths, legends and folk tales
I come from lullabies and pop songs, Hip Hop and poetry
I come from griots, grandmothers and her-story tellers

I come from published words and strangers’ smiles
I come from my own pen but I see people torn apart like paper
Each a story or poem that never made it into a book.

I just love love love some of the lines in this, they’re so poignant. “waving the white flag to loneliness” “crossing oceans to find myself” “being given permission to dream, but choosing to wake up instead” I could go on and on and on. Seriously

Now comes the challenging part. I had to write a poem like his: an I come from….. poem. So I sat down and made a list of the things that have shaped my identity and then crafted them into this poem.

I Come From by Gracie Chick

I come from words springing from emptiness,

I come from the pages of a book, 

I come from misty mornings in my mind and conversations long into the night,

I come from the flames of a candle and the glowing embers of a campfire

I come from struggles and determination and an overwhelming desire for true friendship. 

I come from missing the sunrise and waiting all day for it to set.

I come from craving beauty in a world I want to change, 

I come from tears and discontentment, 

I come from dreaming big

I come from two amazing hearts that never lose faith. 

I come from wanting more than black and white

I come from music that no one else hears and stories that no one else sees,

or writes.

I come from a river of ink and a land of where the honey is too sticky and sweet and the milk soured long ago.

Hope that made sense to you guys! Now, the big question is……

Where do you come from???

Please answer in the comments, debating is more than welcome!

And now, time for the second big announcement. Some of you might remember reading my discussion post on makeup a few weeks ago. If so, you’ll probably recall that I included a section detailing the thoughts of many different teens throughout the blogosphere. The result was amazing and everyone really got into the discussion element of it. So, I was thinking I’d make this a regular thing. If you’re interested in contributing your opinions to these future discussion posts, please drop me an email at graciechick29@gmail.com

Then, whenever I need your thoughts, I’ll send out an email (probably monthly) and you can reply with your contributions. This is aimed mainly at teens, but if you’re older or younger and would still like to participate, feel free. Also, if you sign up, you don’t have to participate very time. If you’re ever too busy or just don’t want to contribute that’s totally fine.  Hoping to see lots of interest in this!

What did you think of Dean Atta’s Poem? What about mine? Complete this sentence: I come from…

Are you going to sign up to give your opinions in my future discussion posts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Extracts From My Journal + The Best Of 2017 Blog Awards Have Arrived Again (Yay!!!)

30th November 2017

It’s a proven scientific fact that any energy that keeps getting larger and larger will eventually explode. For example, friction will  eventually burst into flames. Well, there’s friction in my mind right now.

My Mum called it emotional turmoil, my Dad called it being lost, but I think friction is a good word at the moment. I’ve already burst into flames a few times, the energy always seems to die down, simmer quietly for a little while and then begin to build up until, you guessed it, I explode again with emotion again. Most of the time I don’t even know what causes all of these feelings. 

I need to look towards my future, focus on the positives that lie ahead and stop clinging onto the negatives of the here and the now. Being sad and discontent never made anyone’s life better, I’ve got to take action. 

2nd December 2017

Today I went to see Wonder at the cinema. As the scenes from my favourite book flashed past my eyes, I immersed myself in the story, rediscovering the powerful themes that run through it. Many of them are relevant to my life right now – being different, going to school, fitting in, standing out, real friendships, finding your place in this world, staying true to who you are. 

In all of the characters that I’ve known and loved for so long, I suddenly saw myself. When I read the book (and I must have read it 100 times, no kidding) I am an observer in Auggie, Via, Miranda, Jack Will, Julian, Summer, Justin and everyone else’s lives. However, watching the movie made me see their story in a different light. I felt like I was there, I was part of it.

I was Via, struggling with friendships. I was Miranda, just trying to fit in with the crowd, wanting to be liked. I was Summer, trying to be a good friend and Jack Will, trying but not always succeeding.There are no words for how much I loved this movie and how much of an impact it had on me. 
4th December 2017

I went to my teen yoga class today. Although I’m not flexible enough to do half of the poses I still love it. It’s amazing for relaxation, concentration, exercise and the releasing of stress. 

My yoga teacher, Luna, says that in yoga thoughts are like clouds, we let them drift by without holding onto them. You go into your body and just observe your mind. It makes you less anxious and stressed plus it helps you concentrate on your thoughts and make more sense of them. This was great for me, for someone who’s brain is especially active and often anxious, it helped me chill out and bring things into perspective. </

In other news from the life of Gracie Chick, my prize for when I cam runner-up in a poetry competition arrived. I received a certificate and a small bundle of writing supplies (a notepad, two pencils, one pen and a bookmark). Exciting! 🙂 


I’ve also been really into cooking with foraged goodies. This time of year is brilliant for wild food and I’ve been making the most of the abundance of it on the farm where I live. 

</I made this delicious lunch for my family, it’s a chickweed and lettuce salad with a berry vinegar dressing and crumbled parmesan on toast. It was SO good. 

</A yummy snack of roasted burdock root chips sprinkled with sesame seeds. Okay, I hope you enjoyed that little peek into my life at the moment. I felt like doing an update and I wanted to be honest.<Now, I have an exciting announcement to make ~ Megan is hosting the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards for the third year in a row! By taking the survey now, you can vote for all the amazing blogs and posts out there that you’ve particularly loved. So, what are you waiting for? Go VOTE!

What’s going on in your life at the moment? Don’t be afraid of honesty, I often am and it never makes you feel better when you bottle it up. You can send me an email if you feel like talking. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Oh, and will you vote in the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards? 

The Perfectly Imperfect Tag ~ A Guest Post By Aqsa!

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Today I am honoured to host the creation of an inspiring new tag by my amazing blogging friend Aqsa . *fanfare* I asked her if she wanted to do a guest post and she came up with something as brilliant as this. Totally typical. Anyways, it is with great pleasure that I share with you The Perfectly Imperfect Tag! Here’s the link to it on Aqsa’s blog:

via The Perfectly Imperfect Tag: My Blogging Campaign/Featured Guest Post! – Aqsa Says What? — Aqsa Says What?

Expect my participation within the near future!

Wishing this tag the best of luck! Hope it spreads all around the blogosphere…..!

Remember Me

Remember me as I was before things changed and took a lifelong pause. Remember the me that was so sure that life could be shaped the me that was pure. Remember me back when we did not think that in a blink things would be so different I did not know what this meant. Remember […]

via Remember Me — Elsie L.M.C

I read this post and just had to share it. It is authored by the wonderful Elsie L.M.C, an inspiring blogger who genuinely cares about others. She wrote this poem about Alzheimer’s, a disease that affects so many of our older generation. It focuses on the fact that we so often judge people on who they are now, caught in an inescapable mess of muddled memories, sometimes unable to communicate or interact with others. But we forget about the person they used to be and still are, deep inside.

Me and my family cared for a 96-year-old gentleman for seven months and he had dementia, so I know what its like. It can be confusing, saddening and frustrating for everyone. But that just makes the moments when he smiled or laughed even more special and joyful. We need to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s, so I have shared Elsie’s post with you today. Please enjoy….

 

The Writer’s Ink Challenge

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Hey guys! I was nominated by the amazing Saanvi @ One Notebook,One Pen And Me for The Writing Ink Challenge. So thanks so much to her!

I am really excited to do this as writing is my main passion in life. As a writer I extremely dislike clichés (anyone else?), but I can honestly say that writing is one thing I couldn’t live without. It is my way of expressing myself and being myself and I can’t imagine not being able to dig into my bank of inspiration and imagination and then into my vocabulary to find the right words to tell a story.

Now, onto the rules:

  • Thank the writer who nominated you (that’s you Saanvi, so much appreciation. It means the world!)
  • Answer the amazing writing-related questions. Cannot wait!
  • Nominate at least five writers/bloggers to do the tag. Warning: I know too many awesome people who would eagerly accept this challenge to nominate only five.

The Questions

When did you first start writing?

In all the photos of me growing up from a baby to a toddler to a kid to the thirteen year old I am now, you can never see my face. Why? Simply because it’s always stuck in a book. My love of words has fuelled my desire to write and I have been writing since I can remember. 

Have you always been interested in writing?

Yes, I have many other interests, but writing is the most important to me. Without it I don’t know what sort of person I’d be, it is so much a part of my personality, it fuels my confidence and it allows me to grow and be myself whilst doing something that feels like magic to me.

Why do you like writing?

My mind is filled with beautiful ideas, with characters good and evil and intriguing. My life is a story, a memory, an echo. I have to let it out onto paper or it will swallow me into its depths. No, I am its master, I will create it and then I will control it, not become a part of it. It is a part of me. 

I hope that makes sense for it is the reason writing is personally incredible for me. I also love it because it means I can share and connect with others, transport them into my world for a fleeting moment. Make them feel how I feel through the character. Show them things perhaps they never saw before.

What genre do you write in?

I think my style is quite unique. I enjoy to weave stories with a lot of emotion. I would say I mainly write realistic, yet creative fiction with poetry mixed in when I feel like it! 

Do you write poetry?

Yup! I love how something so short can be so powerful. I actually started my own campaign combining poetry with changing the world. I’m still looking for new participants so click here to find out more.

Have you ever written a story with a friend?

No, sadly not. I find the idea quite strange actually, it would certainly be a challenge. Has anyone else ever done this? 

How do you write your stories? First tense or second? Past tense or present?

I try to think of what will suit the piece, what will enhance it. I often write in the present tense, it is my go to form. Most of the time I just write what’s in my mind and see where it leads me. Someone once told me never to change tense during a piece of writing. Top tip there! 

Where do you see yourself writing-related in one month? One year? Ten years?

In one month I hope that I will have experienced many more things to write about and add to my ever-lasting bank of ideas. I hope to share many more with you all on this blog too!

In a year, I want to have met many other writers who I will be able to continue my wordy journey with. We’ll advise and support each other and exchange ideas and experiences.

Ten years is a long time to look ahead, but I know I’ll still be writing. Write on forever!!! 

Right, that’s done! Now for my nominees:

Rainbow Girl @ The Fabulous Rainbow Blog

Aqsa @ Aqsa Says What?

Little Helper @ Thoughts In Life

Elsie L.M.C

Emma @ Book Emma

Sumzoe @ The Unshackled Thoughts Of A Dreamer

Mintie Freshie

Adoma @ Girl From Ghana

Grace @ From The Tip Of Grace’s Pen

Grace @ The Girl Upstairs

Mirra @ A Young Writer’s Dream

Okay, I hope all of you guys are able to do the challenge and enjoy it! I also want to remind all you fellow writers of my writing competition that you have until May 1st to enter! Please, please, please submit a piece! I can’t wait to reveal the winners, but first I need more entries from you, wonderful writerly bloggers! Click here now to read more and submit your entry.

Goodbye for now and looking forward to reading all your posts!

Gracie

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TheCramm Award

I was nominated by the incredible Aqsa for this inspiring and slightly different award. It is called the Cramm Award because an amazing young blogger called Liv created this website called theCramm. It’s whole desire is to make current affairs more understandable and interesting for young adults and teens. So a huge thank you to both Aqsa and Liv!

Now, the rules:

  • Include a bit  about who created this award (with a link to the website)
  • Mention the person who nominated you
  • Share three things that motivate you to blog
  • Share three people who inspire you to blog
  • Share one thing you hope to do to improve the world
  • Answer your challenge question
  • Nominate 10+ bloggers and give them a cool challenge question

Here it goes!

Three Things That Motivate Me To Blog

First and foremost, the world. The purpose of A Light In The Darkness is to be a light and help others through my passion: words and stories. There is so much to write about, good and bad. Everything sparks my interest and I try to combine my loves of writing and making the world a better place together to create a recipe for positive change.

Inspiration. Recently I wrote this in one of my many works of fiction:

I am a writer, I feed off of the crazy inspiration that wells up inside me, demanding to be pinned onto paper. So when I can’t write,  I don’t know who I am. I begin to feel like a sort of spirit of a past writer, who wanders with all purpose lost. Who seeks a new identity.

Lastly, it probably has to be the thought of the impact I, an ordinary teen girl, could have on the planet if I keep writing. I hope people read my posts and are inspired, motivated, filled with hope and light. I really want my tiny, humble blog to reach out to people all over our earth, from all races, religions, backgrounds and cultures.

Three People Who Inspire Me To Blog

My Dad. My Dad teaches me and explains things to me. He encourages me, but he also challenges me. My Dad wants to contribute to making a better world and he wants me to help him on his journey. He was the one who came up with the idea of my blog name: A Light In The Darkness. Dad always told me about the people who are like lighthouses, the ones who guide others away from the treacherous rocks and into the safety of the light.  Dad talks to me and makes sure I understand everything in the world. I am so grateful for having him as my chief source of research and also as my biggest supporter. When you read my posts in future, remember that he is always there, behind the scenes…..

My Mum too. She always reads through posts and casts her valuable opinion, whether or not I listen to it is another question! But she’s always right. She always encourages me with my writing and assures me that I have a gift, but she also lets me know when I’m not meeting my potential, which I really appreciate. She plays a lot of the same roles as my Dad, teaching me, answering my never-ending stream of questions and much more. i love her so much.  Mum is another essential member of my ‘behind the scenes’ blogging team.

Then there are all the other people who inspire me in my life, in big and small ways. Whether it’s Malala Yousafzai standing up for girl’s education or just a conversation I have with one of my friends, even the tiniest thing can set off a whole train of thoughts in my mind. I am so glad that the world is full of opportunities to be inspired. I am thankful for each and every thing that captures my attention and forces me to write something to raise awareness and do it justice.

One Thing I Want To Do To Improve The World 

There are so many things in the world that need changing and I often wonder how I can make a difference. Everywhere I look there are problems and tragic situations. It’s so difficult for me to even know where to begin.

One thing that’s always on my mind is how I can make a direct difference to people’s lives. I often feel like blogging about the world isn’t enough to do anything of any real meaning.

I have moments where I’ve been watching the news and I’m ready to board an aeroplane and fly to Africa, but my parents always tell me that I’m 13 and that it would be crazy. I might be able to help a few people, but people need more than just food and water, they need the rest of the world to stop thinking about themselves and start sharing what they have with others.

So I’ll keep writing, hoping that I’m changing attitudes and perspectives for the better. I am doing something that I love and am good at and, bit by bit, I am helping to make the world a much more peaceful and fair place.

All in all, I want to change people’s minds, make them think and hopefully take action. I want to draw people together and show them the truth.

Aqsa’s Challenge Question For Me

If you were to have 3 wishes to change the world, what would you wish for?

Well, first of all I would abolish greed. Greed causes wars and conflicts, destroys people’s lives and relationships. It is a terrible force for evil and it lives within all of us. Greed was the reason people kept slaves, the reason why a person would kill a whole other race of people. Our history is riddled with it and although we can’t erase that, we can learn our lesson and begin again.

Secondly, I would wish for people to suddenly wake up and realise what we are doing to our planet and its people.  Because we can’t change unless we acknowledge that we were wrong.

Lastly I would wish that all people could live without fear, oppression, war, poverty, discrimination and injustice in their lives. That everyone was happy and content. This is my overall wish for the world.

My Challenge Question For My Nominees

If you could team up with someone to create a movement for change, who would it be, why would it be them and what would your movement focus on? 

My Nominees!

Em

Fizzy

Arya and Shruti

Thoughts In Life

Misty

RubixCube

Mintiefreshie

Megan

Asha

Chithra

Elsie L.M.C

If I haven’t tagged you feel free to nominate yourself! Let me know if you do so I can read your answers! If I have nominated and you’d rather not do this award, then no worries. Enjoy……!

 

 

 

Spreading The Message Of Peace

Today I thought I would share something that I found inspiring. This post was written by my amazing blogging friend Aqsa from Aqsa Says What? Head over to her blog and leave her a comment because her words are completely true. She is a teen trying to make a difference, just like me.

So, without further ado, here is her short, but powerful post:

Hi everyone! Aqsa here, and it’s seriously been a LONG time since I’ve posted a quote rant, so I’ll be posting one today 😊. I hope that this inspires to be positive or motivates you for the day! Keep following your dreams, because I haven’t stopped following mine. Aqsa ❤

via Quote Rant #10 — Aqsa Says What?

Tackling Racism With Haikus

A haiku is a Japanese poem consisting of three lines, the first is five syllables, the second is seven and the third is five again, as you can see above. For such a short poem, they have the capacity to be very powerful.

Poetry is a way of using words to express something. Words can change people’s lives and destroy people’s lives, they have so much potential. If only we can use words to beat terrible things that exist in the world, like racism. Words can do more than any amount of fighting, wars and conflict just cause more hate. Words can turn hearts around. We can employ poetry to raise awareness of, and eventually conquer, racism.

Let’s start a campaign called Tackling Racism With Haikus. Come on guys. I think we could do this. We may not be able to wipe racism off of the face of the earth, but I think we can make a change. So everyone who is reading this now, please go and write a haiku in the name of anti-racism. If you have blog, post it on that and ask your followers to write one too. If you like you can reblog this post and raise awareness.

You know, being bloggers, we have a really amazing tool at our disposal. We have A VOICE! So we should use it to do something good and worthwhile. Don’t worry if you’ve never written a poem in your life or if you think you’re not that good. It’s the thought that counts. Let me know in the comments if you’ve written one and I’ll check it out. Also don’t hesitate to ask any questions.

Right, I’ll start.

You don’t understand
how colour doesn’t matter,
it fades in the end……..