Friday, May 17, 2024

Play and fail

I've been reading the book, Shakespeare - the man who pays the rent over the last several days. In it Brendan O'Hea interviews Judi Dench on the Shakespearian roles she's played over her career. It's full of insights into character, acting, rehearsing, understanding how people behave and much more, along with a few sniffy moments from Dench when O'Hea asks a difficult question or makes what seems to her to be a squishy statement. 

I've made a  note of two particular comments I appreciated, though I could have copied dozens more. 

On page 216 she responds to a comment from O'Hea, who says, 

Sinead Cusack once said: ‘Acting is the shy person’s revenge on the world.’  

Dench responds: ‘Absolutely true. I couldn’t agree more. What a brilliant thing to say. Much easier for a shy person to walk out onstage pretending to be someone else than to enter a room full of people at a party as themselves.’

The last sentence was what most struck a chord with me. When I did some acting over a period of ten years or so I found it interesting that I could get up on stage and perform with ease when I was playing a different person. If asked to get up and make a speech, or present something as myself, or walk into a room full of people and be the centre of attention, I became nervous and stammery. In other words the real me doesn't like to show off. Once I'm hidden behind a character, I'm happy to be as big a show off as the next man. 

The other comment relates to all manner of creative tasks, including the writing of books. On page 226 Dench talks about the director Trevor Nunn, after a general discussion of how it was to work with different directors:

'No, give me Trevor Nunn any day. I’ve seen Trevor speechless with laughter in the rehearsal room, and it only makes you dare to do more. Dare to do things that may be outrageously wrong. But at least try them. Get them out of your system. And also that kind of relationship engenders playfulness and invention. Because you can’t be creative if you’re frightened and anxious. You have to be allowed to laugh and play and fail.'

You have to be allowed to laugh and play and fail. As a writer you have to allow yourself to laugh at your work, to play with it, and to fail - and start again. No writer worth his or her salt can afford to take their own writing too seriously. 

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Progress again!

 Finally I’m making better progress on my current book, and it’s very satisfying to be doing so.

I had to go back to the beginning and start again. This didn’t mean I dumped everything I’d previously written, it meant that I got the focus right: now the main character isn’t just narrating the story, as he was before, but the story is focused on him as well.

He doesn’t just do ‘stuff’ in the story – the story doesn’t exist without his actions, and in fact we’ve learned that he’s the cause of something in the plot he wasn’t even aware of in the previous two drafts.

Is all the material I wrote previously thrown out the window? Nope. I’ve just spent the last couple of days revising a chunk of the previous material because I’ve reached the point where it’s being sewn back in. It’s not being sewn in as it was, but with the new or different earlier chapters taken into account.

With some regret the major opening incident in the two earlier drafts has been removed. But with it in place there was too much collapsing of ‘buildings’ going on, and in the first instance, without any point. It was an exciting way to start, but it didn’t connect with the rest of the story.

It’s important to remember, as you read this, that I’m still no more than a few chapters into the book. The most chapters I’ve written in any draft has been seven. Many of the ideas and characters that arose out of the writing have survived and will be used as I move forward.

I opened my file the other morning to find a letter from some of the characters saying they’re grateful that the author has taken the time to consider their concerns, and that he’s attempting to wind a stronger story around them.

Just kidding…

Children making a sandcastle, Brighton Beach, South Australia. 

What has a sandcastle got to do with the story? Find out in due course. 

Photo: The History Trust of South Australia, Wikimedia Commons 

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Goodbye, DailyQuordlePoem - I think!

Joshua Ryan
Around April 2022 a tweet suggesting writing a Daily Quordle Poem appeared on Twitter (or X, if you prefer the simpler title). Whether the idea came from Kyle Edwards or David Wright, I’m not sure, but the aim was to take the four words that were the solutions to the Quordle puzzle of the previous day and use them as the first words on each line in a four-line poem.

These are the original rules as set out on Twitter.

This form’s rules:

Write a poem, lines starting with yesterday’s Quordle words (don’t “spoil” today’s Quordle for others).

In one tweet!

Use the #DailyQuordlePoem hashtag.

Have fun playing to get the words!

Initially a bunch of people were involved. Some dropped off quickly, some stayed longer before vanishing, and a few remained until late 2023 or early 2024.

The form appealed to me, and I could play around with it since there was no big gatekeeper saying I couldn’t. So sometimes I used the four words at the ends of the lines. Sometimes, if I got a day behind, I combined the words from the two days into one poem, some at the front, some at the back, mixing and matching as it suited. (Which usually broke the second rule above.)

Some poets had used the Quordle words as part of another word, or in different ways played around in their use of them. I adopted most of these techniques as well.

Somewhere along the line David Wright ( set up, and would give us yesterday’s words onsite so that we didn’t have to go and find them. (Or do the Quordle itself to find them, which I found a bit time-consuming.)

By 2024 David would sometimes get behind posting the words, and we might get four or five days’ worth altogether. So I wrote several ‘long form’ Quordle poems, using all the words from those days in four line stanzas.

To challenge myself more with the four-line poem, I’d put the words in alphabetical order. When the long form ones came along, I’d put all the words in alphabetical order, thus forcing myself to be as creative as possible with a restriction. And it worked.

But by this time there was hardly anyone else writing the poems, and David had pointed me to a website where I could pick up yesterday’s words on my own. Occasionally he’d catch up and post two or three poems at a time, but obviously life took over and he became too busy. I carried on, only taking a break when I went overseas in April of 2024.

Finally it became a bit lonely being the only person visible on the site, and a couple of days ago, after trying to write a Quordle poem or two and feeling quite dissatisfied with them, I decided it was perhaps time for me to call it a day as well. Previously the restrictions of the form had inspired creativity. Now it just wasn’t working.

The good things about the Quordle poem were its short form, its given words as starting points, its flexibility. Working at one of the poems for a quarter of an hour was a good way to stimulate the brain for other writing work.

I’m sorry to leave, but there’s not really anyone else to talk to anymore. And seeing others being challenged by the words was stimulating. Maybe there'll be a revival at some point...

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Fast versus slow


I’m currently reading a biography of Terry Pratchett called Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes. It’s written by his former Personal Assistant, Rob Wilkins. The writing is excellent, all the more helped by Wilkins’ close association with him and his love of Pratchett’s writing.

I’ve been focusing a lot in these recent blog posts on slow writing. The only time Pratchett could have been considered slow in his writing was in his late teens/early twenties when he not only worked full-time (mostly as a journalist) but also, once married (quite early) he and his wife were into all manner of hobbies, particularly in the gardening line. During this period he only wrote three books, spread out over several years.

And then suddenly, when he decided to make writing into a career (although he didn’t quit full-time work for several years after that) his writing went from slow to super-fast. He could turn out two adult books a year, and often wrote kids’ books as well. In the end he produced forty-one Discworld novels, and at least thirty-five other books.

However, there were innumerable editions of many of these books, plus adaptations as plays, TV series, calendars, figurines – you name it. He kept an eye on almost everything that was produced.

He attended book-signings, sci-fi conferences and many other events. He wrote to set office hours, and though he and Wilkins had time to ‘play’ within those hours, he seldom took time off that wasn’t work related.

Should I, or you, emulate Pratchett’s output? I know I can’t (I’m too old, for one thing, and started too late) and I suspect few other people would work to the same high energy level, even if they were full-time writers.

Does it matter? Nope. We should work at the level where we produce good work. Forget these writing books that push us more and more into producing two or three books a year. Work to your own level, your own pace. If that includes times when work just doesn’t get done, that’s okay. Life interrupts everyone. Aim to get something done as often as you can, and be content. An unhappy writer doesn’t produce good work.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Taking a lesson from the past

 Still struggling to get moving after being overseas. It’s not the fault of ‘overseas’ but just a lethargy that seems to have taken over after I’d recovered from jet lag and general tiredness. Did I mention that on one part of the trip I was awake for something like forty hours straight, including the 17-hour trip from Dallas to Sydney?

Anyway, yesterday I read back through some notes I made on my previous book, the one that was published late last year. The file was entitled: Notes on The Counterfeit Queen - if I were to start from scratch.

That file was written in 2019, four years before the book got published. So, if you think you’re a slow writer, you can see that I can be a really slow writer.

Anyway, it turned out to be a more encouraging document than I’d have guessed. It showed me that even if my method is slow, it produces results.

In this document there’s a lot of discussion of what I’d already written as a draft, showing the so-called First Draft wasn’t really a draft at all but merely a framework for the real discussion with myself that took place once I’d got some material to work with.

This is where a lot of writing instruction books fall down, for me: they assume you can sit down and write up an idea and turn it into an outline, with character biographies and themes and a proper ending all set up and ready to go.

I don’t find this realistic at all. To produce a real draft I need much more than an outline produced ‘cold.’ I need a ‘draft’ in which things happen, in which characters appear that I didn’t know existed, in which all sorts of clues arise as to what might happen in the story (even though I don’t appreciate that at the time). This draft may wind up being seven or eight or ten chapters long. By that time I know I’ve got a sort of story, but it’s a story without its proper shape. Things may happen, but I don’t necessarily know why. And everything may change.

By the time I realise I need to stop and take stock in relation to this draft, I may have done a lot of work on it. It may still regard itself as the real First Draft.

But now that I do have something to work on I discuss it and discuss it with myself – driving myself crazy in the process. I attempt to iron out all sorts of plot problems that have become apparent, and in due course find myself writing an entirely new version. This may use elements from the original, but may not be anything like the original.

Sometimes this whole process may have to happen more than once, as it did with The Counterfeit Queen. Which is daunting to contemplate.

But what I realised, again, from that Notes on The Counterfeit Queen file, was that all sorts of new ideas came into the picture through the discussions, and weak and pathetic ones quietly retired. Many of these new ideas actually became part of the final book, even though in the discussion I still hadn’t necessarily got a handle on how they’d work - or whether they’d work.  

Last night my wife and I watched a new film on Netflix called Ticket to Paradise. In spite of the fact that it starred George Clooney and Julia Roberts, it was dull, and the characters these two played were initially ugly people without any endearing qualities. It never improved.

I wondered afterwards if the script wasn’t written in the way that many writing books suggest: get an idea, outline the characters, the storyline, the ending, etc. Get it all off the ground as quickly as possible.

The result is evident. Nothing shines in this movie. In spite of it being a comedy, almost nothing is funny apart from a couple of scenes with Lucas Bravo as an airline pilot, who after being bitten by a snake, gets some delightful off-the-wall lines as a result of his thinking being affected by his medication. The romantic reconciliation is hurriedly sorted out in the last section of the movie and doesn’t feel real. It proves yet again that even the best actors in the business do far better if they have a literate and intelligent script to work on. One that has been written and discussed and rewritten and discussed until it really works.

Like my book.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Coming back home

Coming into Manly Beach, Sydney, on the ferry. 

 An overseas trip is great, especially if you’re catching up with grandchildren you’ve never seen face to face before.

It’s not so good when it completely takes your attention away from a work in progress, and you come home feeling you have to start from scratch.

Which is what’s happened in my case. All my creative energy has gone into getting to know little people I’ve never met before, or ones who are now several years older than the last time I saw them. Or spending spurts of time in unfamiliar cities, finding my way around them. Or sitting long hours in airports surrounded by thousands of people I don’t know and will never know.

It’s a week since my wife and I returned home, and the creative brain is still saying I’m too tired, I’m jet-lagged, I can’t be bothered…let me sleep!

No doubt many travellers recover from long flights and unfamiliar places in a day or three. I’m not quite as young as I was – who is? – and for me and my wife, the recovery process has seemed much longer than we’d have expected.

So what to do? Submit to procrastination or work out a way to make some progress again? The lazy brain would be happy to go with the former. The soul that’s made of sterner stuff says something along the lines of ‘seize the day’ and makes me uncomfortable if I dare to lay my head down for a moment or two.

So…I can say to myself:

'One option is to read through the draft as it stands. Make notes. Say what you like, what you hate. Remind yourself that before you left for overseas you were already thinking that what you have in hand isn’t the way to go and that a rewrite of these early chapters is necessary.

Don’t berate yourself. Life always gets in the way of creativity.

Do say, as you sit down and scroll yet again through Twitter-cum-X that you didn’t miss the news while you were away, so why do you need to know so much about it now?

There’ll always be news. There won’t always be time to create.'

Friday, March 15, 2024

Don't press

 In my WIP I have at least two major issues I need to deal with before I can move forward. The temptation is to dig and dig at the problem in order to make the solution come out of where it’s hiding in the subconscious. If that’s what it’s doing.

I’ve worked on both issues, jotting notes down about them, thinking about them while walking and so on. No solution has yet appeared. Not a workable one anyway. I have to be willing to say to myself: ‘This isn’t the answer – yet.’

I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Shadow of a Doubt again last night. This will be the third time I’ve seen it. Quieter in its menace than some of Hitchcock’s movies, it nevertheless has a very menacing character at its centrem played by Joseph Cotton. One of the other actors in the film is Hume Cronyn. This was his first movie, and he went on to make a second with Hitchcock, Lifeboat. He also contributed to the scripts of two others, Rope and Under Capricorn.

In the superb Hitchcock biography by Patrick McGilligan, Cronyn talks about working on the script of Rope with the director. What Hitchcock had to say to him is relevant to the subject I began this post with. 

Early on in the working relationship I discovered a curious trick of his,’ said Cronyn. ‘We would be discussing some story point with great intensity, trembling on the edge of a solution to the problem at hand, when Hitch would suddenly lean back in his chair and say, ‘Hume, have you heard the story of the travelling salesman and the farmer’s daughter?’ I would look at him blankly and he would proceed to tell it with great relish, frequently commenting on the story’s characters, the nature of the humour involved, and the philosophical demonstration implied. That makes it sound as though the stories might be profound or at least witty. They were neither. They were generally seventh-grade jokes of the sniggery school, and frequently infantile.’

One day, Cronyn asked the director challengingly: ‘Why do you do that?’

‘Do what?’ asked Hitchcock.

‘Stop to tell jokes at a crucial juncture.’

‘It’s not so critical – it’s only a film.’

‘But we were just about to find a solution to the problem…I can’t even remember what it was now.’

‘Good. We were pressing…You never get it when you press.’

Cronyn said later that he never forgot ‘that little piece of philosophy’ Hitchcock offered, ‘either as an actor or as a sometime writer.’

 What Hitchcock is saying is that making a big fuss about trying to find the solution, hammering away at it in frustration, doesn’t work. ‘Don’t press,’ he says.

It’s like trying to remember someone’s name – and at my time of life I can forget the names of my grandchildren, or very good friends, or relations I’ve known since childhood. Pressing on the matter and trying to grind yourself into remembering doesn’t work. Forget the name and talk about other things, read a book, or write on some other topic. The name will suddenly appear.

I was going over some of the Psalms of Ascent this morning. I memorised these a long time ago and they remain with me to this day. Occasionally, however, a word or phrase will go AWOL, or drop out of sight. The immediate reaction is to think ‘I’m forgetting this Psalm.’ No I’m not. It's only the fact that the brain hasn’t done any work on this Psalm for some time, and so it has to collect all the information together again, which may take a moment, or a minute, or five minutes.

That word that’s gone missing will suddenly appear, even if I’m already in the middle of the next Psalm.

Which is to say, that the solution to a writing problem will suddenly appear. However with something like writing, something that requires creativity, it may take not minutes, but days.

Be patient. Don’t press.

 The quotation from the book, Alfred Hitchcock – a lifein darkness and light – by Patrick McGilligan, comes from pages 402-3 of the 2003 Paperback edition by John Wiley and Sons Ltd. The photograph of Hume Cronyn is courtesy of The Movie Database. 

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Having a cold but still getting some work done

 Last four days I’ve had a cold. Started Sunday and then shifted between suddenly feeling better and just as suddenly feeling quite unwell. Monday, for instance, after expecting to have a runny nose and cough, I had next to nothing, and I thought maybe what started on Sunday evening wasn’t going to amount to much.

And then Tuesday arrived and I wasn’t well at all – yup, just a cold. I know.

And Wednesday (yesterday) came and I started cancelling things I had to do yesterday as well as today.

And of course, just to keep me on the hop, I’ve felt really well today. Could have done all the things I’d cancelled.

So I did some pruning of a rose that had gone crazy and thinks reaching for the sky is a good look for roses. Helped my wife clean up the remaining tomato plants – which have done their dash – and deposited the used soil and dying plants in the compost. (Yes, you can compost tomato plants, as I discovered at the age of 78. Also potato plants. My mother, who did the garden in our previous house, mostly, had always said this was a no-no.

Watered the plants in the garden. So far the Council hasn’t imposed any water restrictions, which is a bit of a surprise because we’re having a kind of drought - in the sense that we haven’t had any substantial rain for some weeks. Our plants have been okay, but the grass has turned a strange shade of yellowy-brown.

In the Botanic Gardens, the duck pond has been reduced to half its size. The little stream that seems to run out of nowhere has stopped. I’m told it’s been turned off in the meantime because it’s actually a man-made tributary running off the Oamaru Creek, as I discovered today. I’d been wondering what its origin was in the three years we’ve lived here.

The gardeners in the Gardens are watering the grass, because it’s going the same colour as ours, and everyone else’s.

And I’m not doing much on furthering the book. Yet, during the course of the week, I did come up with an interesting name for my main villain. I won’t share it with you at this point, because I’m not convinced it’s the right name. A bit too fancy, perhaps.

I did some more thinking about why the calamity that happens at the beginning of the book comes about. Still haven’t decided on this, though I did have fun reading up on some possible things that could have happened. Actual scientific or practical things; not just magical ones.

And I looked further into whether my current narrator has any reason to be the main character. At this point he’s not giving it much get up and go – apart from rescuing another character  in spite of his lack of bravery. But he’s a bit too much of an observer. This is obviously going to have to change, or he may find himself in a minor role.

And I made a kind of timeline of events that mostly happen before the book begins. These needed to be in my head, even if they don’t make it into the book itself.

All this stuff is important. The book can’t move forward without a good deal of thinking at this stage. Having given myself a number of problems to solve I have to solve them. Keeping on writing in a pantser sort of way may bring solutions to light. Or it may just leave me with a flabby draft.

In my last book, after three false starts involving a number of chapters that either got dumped or transmogrified in some way into the book that eventually got published, I found that there were always points where the creative writing had to stop, or else a lot more digital paper would be wasted.

And even though writing on its own is enjoyable, it’s equally possible to get enjoyment out of thinking about how to get your characters out of tricky spots, or to find out why they’ve done what they’ve done, or what the history of certain events is, and much more.

It’s not as ‘easy’ as writing scintillating dialogue and dramatic description, but it gives an underpinning to the work that will stand it in good stead.

I had a cold for the last couple of days. Now my nose is running and I have a bit of a cough. I've been going to work spreading my germs and now I'm going to get the blame when every one else gets the cold. The cough medicine is not mine - I just found it on top of the fridge and thought I'd throw it in the picture. 

Photo: Jason Rogers

Monday, March 11, 2024

Foreign Correspondent re-viewed & Mr and Mrs Smith noted

 Back in 2012 I wrote a post on my favourite Hitchcockmovies. I came across it again this morning after checking to see if I’d ever mentioned Foreign Correspondent, which stars Joel McCrea and Laraine Day, and was released early in 1940, in this blog. I had, with fondness.

I watched the movie on You Tube last night (Spanish subtitles included) and it remains an absorbing movie - with some absurdities. Not unusual for Hitchcock. Though it was shot in the States, it has a large cast of Brits; many of them had been in Hollywood for some years. The movie shifts from the US to Holland to London and back. It’s full of studio ‘exteriors’ - most of them wonderfully done, like the full-scale windmill set against a painted backdrop of the Dutch countryside, and of course, the ocean in the climax of the movie.

I mentioned in my previous post that there was a great scene shot from above of dozens of umbrellas, with the hero hiding amongst them. In fact, it’s an assassin who escapes through them, causing first one umbrella then another to shift in what is otherwise a settled sea of covers. The assassination scene is brilliant: first there’s the odd meeting of McCrea with ‘Van Meer’ who for some reason doesn’t recognise him; it’s only later we understand that it’s a stand-in lookalike for the old peacemaker, a stand-in who gets shot for his pains. 'Van Meer' tumbles down the steps while the assassin, supposedly a photographer, smashes his camera to the ground and begins his escape. This involves other people getting shot in a busy street, cars and trams everywhere, mothers, children, and George Sanders (playing the absurdly-named ffolliott – his name is given an equally absurd explanation) who happens to have Laraine Day in his car, and who then gives chase with McCrea on board.

The subsequent car chase is both full of Hitchcock humour and real suspense. In one completely irrelevant scene, an old Dutchman is trying to cross the road. A car comes whizzing round the corner. He steps back, tries again. Same result. Beautifully-timed, as an increasing number of vehicles appear, and the man narrowly avoids being hit time and again before giving up.

This all leads to a long sequence in which McCrea investigates people doing skulduggery inside the windmill. He continually managing to stay just out of sight – even though at one point his overcoat gets caught in the machinery. He manages to get himself out of it just before it’s chewed up.

There’s a great deal else that’s excellent – the plane crash into the sea that occurs at the end is terrific, and the way various unnamed actors have their moment in the limelight both in this scene and in others. Or the attempted murder up on a very high church tower. This one has a troupe of schoolboys involved for a minute or two, adding to the edginess of what’s about to happen – especially as there’s a broken bit of tower off to one side waiting to be repaired.

In a much earlier scene Hitchcock has a couple of children jokingly stealing the hero’s hat. It occurred to me that in his early films in the US he still had children involved as he had in his British movies. Often they were quite forward children, like the strong-minded Dutch girl in this movie, who translates McCrea’s English to the police. They were often relaxed about doing things adults would have a fit seeing them do these days. But in his later US movies, it’s rare to see a child. Apart from The Trouble With Harry, which features a young boy who finds the body, there isn’t any of the same ilk as the earlier kids.

Anyway, thank you, You Tube, and the people who upload older movies. Especially when the copies are as clean and bright as when they were first shown.

Poster for the film courtesy of The Criterion Collection 

Update 12.3.24: I found that Hitchcock's Mr and Mrs Smith is also available (sans subtitles) on You Tube, and watched it last night. By all accounts it was done more as a courtesy to the female star, Carole Lombard, than because Hitchcock was desperate to do it. And why would he be? It was so far out his normal range that it's not surprising it comes across as competently-directed but little else. 

The script is funny-ish, but not outstanding; Lombard and her co-star, Robert Montgomery expend a great deal of energy, but the thing rarely lights up. One of the few scenes that made me laugh involved Gene Raymond, who, on discovering that the other two are technically not married because of a legal glitch, makes his play for Lombard. He gets a cold, Lombard plies him with whiskey, and the result is a man who, being teetotal normally, suddenly walks and talks like an automaton, sits by bending the wrong bits first, stands likewise, and on going to step up from one level to another notes that his foot decides this isn't a good idea. Raymond plays it for all its worth. 

It's not that Hitchcock couldn't do comedy - most of him films have comic scenes or characters - but the 'screwball comedy' type of movie just wasn't up his alley. 


Friday, March 08, 2024

Ways to keep the brain exercising

 My wife and I are going to the USA from late March to mid-April, to see our son and his wife and their four children. We haven’t seen the two youngest children face to face before, so we’re looking forward to that. The youngest will be about three months old when we arrive, so it’ll be nice to handle a baby again – haven’t done that with any of our family babies for some years now.

I haven’t travelled such a long distance since 2012, so I’m having to get my brain into gear to deal with a couple of long flights. My wife, on the other hand, has been to the UK several times in the last couple of decades. She seems to cope with travelling in a matter of fact way, which is great.

And there’s a great deal more fiddling around with phones and devices this time – far more than I did on previous trips. Thankfully my wife is now experienced in the quirks of dealing with these things. On my own I would have had no idea what I was doing.

Thus, just over two weeks out from leaving, things feel a bit like they’re in limbo round here. People keep saying ‘you’ll be looking forward to it’ and I keep having this kind of blank in front of me. I think it’s partly a way of coping with the travelling. I’m happy to get to a place. Getting there, particularly by plane, isn’t my favourite part.

So it’s not easy to get on and work on the book at present. But writing these blog posts helps – they’re a way of getting the fingers into gear before tackling the vagaries of the book itself.

And another help has been writing Daily Quordle Poems. I started doing this in mid-2022. DQPs are four-line poems that take the four words from the Daily Quordle puzzle and use them as the starting words of each line. The poems may be serious, they may rhyme or not rhyme, they may be witty or funny or odd. The writer has the choice.

I’ve done DQPs that have the key word at the end of the line. Or two at the beginning of the first two lines and two at the end. Since the rules aren’t so strict that you have to stick to them in a Pharisaic way, I’ve played around quite a bit.

And at one point, because the person who was letting us know what the words were got a bit behind, I’ve written poems of twelve or sixteen or twenty lines, all with the Quordle words (usually in alphabetical order, just to add to the mix) as the first words or each line.

There are some 1800 posts on the official site – – from a variety of writers.

Check a few of them out. Or try your hand at one for own entertainment.  

Here are a couple of mine from the past:

LIPID ain’t limpid, like your limpid eyes, my dear.
TULIP ain’t two lips, though you have two, it’s clear.
MUCUS ain’t music, though your words are music to my ears. But…

SPADEs is trumps, so it’s clear, hear this in your ears, I win again, my dear.

and this is a catch-up one with two days' worth of words:

DINER, perusing the racing guide, at LUNCH, in a
TRICE, changes his mind re the HORSE, whose
STYLE is in a state of SULLY after
COYLY losing not just the bettor’s shirt but his INGOT.