At my local writer's group, the fantastic Story Traders, a great homework was set last time, which asked us to take a newspaper headline and use it as the starting point for a piece of writing.
I found this intriguing one in the Independent: "Virgin Mary no longer welcome." I've used it as the first line of a poem. Poetry isn't something that comes easily to me, and I think this needs a lot of work, but here is my baseline:
Virgin Mary no longer welcome.
Stable up for rent.
Joseph has gone down the pub,
and the angel's halo is bent.
Kid's prefer their X Box,
Dad's too busy at work.
Amazonians are rushed off their feet,
Grandma's learnt to twek!
Again we mourn the passing
of a Christmas that was perfect.
Solid Christian values,
You really couldn't fault it.
Mince pies and Christmas pudding,
turkey crown and cranberry sauce.
Listening to the Queen's speech,
watching Inspector Morse.
So, let's pause and take a moment
to remember why we're here.
Don't have to be religious, but Christmas time is near.
Let's make sure to spend time with our loved ones,
and give help to those who need it.
Raise a glass to all who've passed,
and a future that we dream of.
Karen lives and works in Bridport Dorset. She is currently working on her third book in the Abbotsbury Series, books for children aged 8-12.