Jólakötturinn – The Icelandic Yule Cat

My So Called Christmas Life

I’m back good people. Did anyone miss me? Well…miss me or not,here I am! Today we’ll discuss Jólakötturinn, the Icelandic Yule cat. Okay…so I haven’t the slightest idea how to pronounce that but I’m sure one of my 3 followers will. No? No Icelandic followers? Just two bots and my mom? I guess I will just refer to him/her/it as “the Icelandic Yule Cat or YC”.

YC is bigger than a house but is said to quietly prowl the dark streets and peer into windows on Christmas Eve. It will eat those that did not receive new clothes. Seems reasonable that this happens and that no one tries to kill it. I can just imagine the people of Iceland seeing this huge beast and then scurrying off while looking at the ground, pretending not to notice it eating a child or knocking over things with it’s large tail. Nothing to see…

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10 Revision Ideas for National Poetry Revision Month – guest blog post rewind by Diane Lockward #NaPoWriMo

Trish Hopkinson

Click Cover for AmazonI’m posting here the Craft Tip I contributed to my craft book, The Crafty Poet II: A Portable Workshop. You might find it helpful as you work on new poems this month. You might also find it useful for working on poems you wrote months, or even years, ago. Enjoy! And prosper!

Craft Tip #29: Making More of Revision

During revision discussions, we poets hear a lot about compression, reducing clutter, and cutting out the non-essential. Who hasn’t sat in a poetry class or workshop and been told that less is more? So when someone tells us to add more, to expand, to keep going, we might be hesitant to pay attention.

But we should pay attention. The less-is-more principle is often good advice, but it’s not always good advice. As I once heard Mark Doty say, Sometimes more is more.

Too often we start revising and hacking…

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One Day

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April 27, 2019 · 3:21 pm

My Name is Abasia

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April 20, 2019 · 3:41 pm

One Thing

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April 17, 2019 · 10:58 pm

Garbage Can

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April 15, 2019 · 9:25 pm

Hope Dream

Last night, total kleptomania, I tucked 
the universe down in my shorts then I ran
–scattering rogue, fleeing the scene, flat out quick. 
No one was looking. 

Soon I found a back street fog to slip into.
Home-free, I caught clawing cimmerian sounds
–that bopping cats do scratching doors wanting in. 
Got me to thinking, 

were those dream kittens? That’s when I checked my pants. 
The universe was not there. I had dropped it. 
And that’s when I began to wonder, what’s now 
keeping me running? 

Physics? I thought I knew gravity, how to 
suspend whims; we can’t be spontaneous till 
we get our shit done. Our scale, mass, magnitude,
like poems, had meaning. 

And love, its buoyancy, its stretchiness, its 
cool hell; thought I knew clouds, like Joni Mitchell,
but now with life’s illusions lost, what were clouds? 
Everything? Nothing? 

The universe–all of space, time, planets, stars, 
galaxies, all the matter and energy,
known and unknown spacial events–gone,
no longer happening.  

All, I’m sorry for losing the universe 
in a dream. I will try to snooze better in 
the future–-if there is a tomorrow in 
this dream. Here’s hoping. 

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New Music of the Day – CLXXIV: Fill Me Up – Amilia K Spicer

Dancing About Architecture

12208422_1065755913455581_3507079851417193879_nIf the term “Americana” conjures clichéd images of long, dusty highways, clapboard churches and hoedowns in truck stop bars, then you need Amilia K Spicer in your ears…and indeed your life! Whilst blending the heartland sounds of America – lilting country grooves, folky acoustica and a gentle but persistently driving rock beat – there is another, less tangible quality at work, one that breezes through the spaces between, one that is built from more elemental and primal qualities.

Yes, you can boogie the night away to the song’s jaunty goodness but as the video visualises, this is music that communes with nature that wallows in the fact that America may be a young country in respect of its society but its land is ancient.

They say that every place, every wood, every hill, every stream has a song in it if only you are silent and respectful enough to be…

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How to Be Your Own Best Poetry Editor – guest blog post by Lisa Young

Trish Hopkinson

Sometimes you get to a certain point and you just don’t know what to do with a poem. You might have many drafts and you don’t know what’s working anymore. You’ve lost perspective. And on top of that, maybe you’re surrounded by a whole bunch of other discarded poems that aren’t working either and you’re getting different critiques and you don’t know who to believe and you’ve kind of lost your mind.

I’m going to give you an exercise to help you deal with that situation.

Many people say one of the best ways to deepen your craft is to read in your genre, so in this case, go out there and read poetry. But I’m going to make it a little more specific in order to help you be your own best poetry editor.

Exercise: Read three different literary magazines and find a poem in each one of them that…

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Festive Haggis Recipes for your Christmas Feast

Haggis UK


Fancy adding some Scottish spice to Christmas Day? Here are some traditional and more innovative takes on festive haggis dishes, complete with links to recipes and famed Scottish foods that will work a treat around the turkey.


Haggis sausage rolls Haggis sausage rolls are a greater winter warmer, and work well as canapes on Christmas Day.

Vegetarian Haggis and Mustard Bites

Whip up these dinky morsels created by Jacqueline Meldrum and serve them as canapes with your pre-dinner drinks. All you need is haggis, puff pastry, and wholegrain mustard (perhaps with added whisky to add a little zip)

Serve with a malt and redcurrant dipping sauce.


Turkey with haggis stuffing by Delicious Magazine Turkey with haggis stuffing by Delicious Magazine

Haggis Stuffed Turkey

Combine good quality haggis with apple, sage and fresh breadcrumbs to add rich earthy flavours to your Christmas roast.



Warm Vegetarian Haggis Salad
This warm vegetarian salad is a fresh and flavoursome alternative…

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