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Please note: I am currently having a break from writing this monthly newsletter. You can read back on all previous issues in the tabs 2014, 2015, and 2016.

#28 – August 2016

On Publishing

This month I received my first payment for a poem. After a Study of Lizards, originally published in Axolotl, was published in the first issue of Into the Void. I was paid a token amount and was very happy about it!

I also had three other poems published this month. Paperbark was published in The Literary Nest, Black Widow in Rose Red Review, and The Long Summer was published in Grey Sparrow Journal.

On Writing

This month Helen Mort sent Lisa and I a copy of her new collection of poems, No Map Could Show Them, which we were thrilled to receive. Many of the poems are inspired by mountain climbing, especially female climbers. There is a focus on the strength of women, which is very powerful.

There was a lot I enjoyed about Helen’s collection. I really loved her poem Loutro. There is a lingering force in the poem that reflects the harshness of life there. I also really enjoyed the strength of Sherpa, as well as the poem, Lil’s Last Word, and its line ‘Nothing touches Hull except the sea’. Overall, all the poems relate well to the title, and emphasise the resolve and vision required to live ‘without a map’.

On Travelling

We have been in Drama, northern Greece, for the whole month of July. On arrival, we were greeted with a fridge and pantry full of all we needed to start our stay here. This included a whole tray of home-grown tomatoes, homemade olive oil and olives, a spinach and cheese pie, homemade frozen chocolate treats, wine, fruit, and a basil and marjoram plant. The owners, Nikos and Roula, had gone out of their way to make us feel welcome.

We have a small but clean and fully-equipped modern apartment, just outside the city centre. It’s our best accommodation yet, as it’s peaceful and we have all the comforts we need. We have a supermarket, as well as the Thursday bazaar, only a few steps away. The markets sprawl throughout the old Turkish streets, with lots of fruit, vegetables, nuts and affordable clothing and homewares.

Surprisingly, the name ‘Drama’ has nothing to do with the theatre. It comes from the word ‘hydrama’, which means an abundance of water. Two of the city parks have lots of small lakes, and you can see water bubbling up in them. In the past, the town was actually named Hydrama.

In our first couple of weeks, there was a festival here. We attended a traditional Ponti dancing event (Ponti are the Greeks who were forcefully repatriated from the Black Sea coast in Turkey early last century). We also saw a play showing a typical Ponti wedding, and a traditional Greek puppet show. Not only was this all free, but all events were well attended.

We’ve met some wonderful people here, including the local tailor, Panayiotis. Lisa had some alterations to do, and Panayiotis did it all for free. We came to him three times, and he even said we could bring more. He would not take money from us, even though he has told us many times that there’s no business! Now we’ve made a habit of visiting him to share coffee and sweets.

Till next month, live authentically and write with integrity.

14 thoughts on “Newsletter

  1. Hey, Ion ~

    Still feeling the love from the Writers Institute as well. So glad the inspiration has led to this newsletter – now I can follow your adventures, too! Congrats on your publication news! Positive energy builds on positive energy and we create, positively.

    Keep on a positive path (right beside ya!) ~ Kathleen D. Tresemer

    • Hi Kathleen

      Thanks for your supportive comments. Am enjoying writing the newsletter and continue to feel inspired by the Writers’ Institute. Great to hear from you.



  2. Hi, Ion!

    Reading your newsletter brought me much enjoyment. Your journey is an inspirational one. Experiencing such diverse cultures, first hand, must be quite exhilarating! I sense your environmental concern, as well. These magnificent places should be at their utmost natural states to extend their earthly beauty. It’s in sadness to see, through your eyes, the deplorable conditions among the peoples and the landscapes in, Lovina. I wish you two, safe, and joyous travels!

    Sincerely, blue angel – k …

    • Hi K!

      There is certainly a lot going on when travelling. Overall it is rewarding but there are a lot of challenges along the way. Thank you for your kind thoughts and reflections.



  3. So glad I got to meet you two before you left Coffs 🙂 I’m going to travel vicariously through your travels for a while, I suspect. A link to your blog has been added to the Coffs group’s April newsletter, so you may have a few of us check in on you. And now that Lisa and I have linked up on that Book of Faces, I’ll be able to keep up with you both. Enjoy the travels!
    I’m also so glad I’ve had the chance to read some of your poetry. Beautiful. I look forward to reading much more.
    Robyn (in Coffs)

  4. Hi Ion
    Ta for checking out my blog.You’ll see I have a poem created for the Canvas Poetry online course!
    I had a great walking hol in Crete many yrs ago!

    • Thanks, Erik. I look forward to reading your nature and spiritual poetry, as well as all your creative work! Crete is great for walks. Good to see you here! Cheers

  5. Hi Ion! How exciting it is for your first off-line poetry group experience to be so intimate and by boat only to get there!! That’s thrilling in itself. Happy birthday to your newsletter too! Oh, and the Olive Tree! Wow, 3,000 yrs. old that is utterly amazing! I get such a thrill of following you guys along on your journey. So, glad you didn’t run out of petro! 🙂

    Looking forward to more – K

    • Thanks, K! I’m really looking forward to the poetry course. I’ve been thinking about doing something like this for a few years now. Visiting the olive tree was amazing! It was located in a small village surrounded by greenery, so it felt extra special. We also had a beautiful Mountain Tea in the quiet cafe there. It’s great that you’re getting a thrill following our journey! We’re loving our journey too, and I’m really enjoying writing about it in the Poetry newsletter. Thanks for your support! 🙂 Cheers


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