Niamh Clune

Environment, poetry, comment, children's books,

Story Corner With Dr. NanaPlum: The Lechlade Festival

Dr.NanaPlum Amazing Books For Children ~ making an appearance at Lechlade!Lechlade is here again! And I will be reading some of my stories written in verse in their poetry tent. Here is a snippet from Is The Sky Sad?…This one is not in verse, but it DOES have a definite rhythm. And the wonderful Gretchen Del Rio will be illustrating it! And it comes straight from Nana’s heart to you!

Snippet from Is The Sky Sad?

“The purple path seemed to snake round and round. It was very hard work climbing, even though she was taking it slowly; even though she followed only one stepping stone at a time; even though winding round the mountain made the climb less steep than if she had tried to climb directly upwards; even though, at times, she was sure that the path was actually the coils of a snake and just as slithery.

Around and around. Would the path eat her? Would her climb ever come to a satisfactory end? Sure enough, without being eaten, she suddenly found herself on the mountain’s summit. It was still raining and had been, the whole time. It did not seem odd that she stood on top of a mountain. She didn’t want to look down, so she looked straight ahead. In front of her was a very strange tree with words growing on it. They chattered and argued and whispered, and some of them even shrieked! Yes! No! Why! Not! Me! You! Won’t! Will! Should! Shouldn’t! Do! Don’t! Light! Dark! Fear! Courage! Bad! Good! Night! Day! Happy! Sad! Start! Stop! These were just a few of the words rustling and squabbling in the breeze that jingled-jangled them all about.

Lily liked the sound of some of the words. She did not like the sound of others. Not quite knowing what to do next, she waited. But nothing happened. “Choose!” This word seemed suddenly louder than the others.

“Must I choose one of you?” she asked.

The tree rustled, and words clamoured for attention, “Yes!”  “No!” “Maybe!” “Possibly!” “Probably!” “Uncertainly!” “Certainly!” “Likely!” “Unlikely!”


Copyright Niamh Clune 2014

About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books.

6 comments on “Story Corner With Dr. NanaPlum: The Lechlade Festival

  1. Patricia Tilton
    May 14, 2014

    Easy to get lost in the rhythm of the story as it winds upward. Love the uncertainty with the word play. Nice touch.


    • ontheplumtree
      May 14, 2014

      Thankyou, Patricia. Yes! I love Word Play and having uncertainty for interest… It’s a trait of Irish writers.


  2. thiskidreviewsbooks
    May 14, 2014

    This sounds like a great event! 🙂 Wish I could be there!


  3. Jenean Gilstrap
    May 15, 2014

    what a wonderful and beautiful snippet of things to come! love the word tree concept – but to choose….to choose…


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