Originally posted on The Fires Inside:

OK, my last “give me a word” poem for a little while! Had to make sure I honored “First Night Design” who reached out from a different time zone with “inexorably.” Off I go!

The waves roll in
As surely as they roll out,
Never a doubt,
Like the sun and the moon
And me and you
And the whole word, too
Towards that one place
That we each see
That place where we all are,
Inexorably . . .

Rising Hawk

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Originally posted on juxtaposed:

Monday’s lie is bare of face
Tuesday’s lie sets out its case
Wednesday’s lie is scare all fools
Thursday’s lie invents the tools
Friday’s lie is for profit with menace
Saturday’s lie enjoys playing tennis
But the lie that is born on the Seventh Day
Doth bless all the rest with contempt anyway.

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Take care and keep laughing!


Sea Fever by John Masefield 1878–1967

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking,

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Take care and keep laughing!


Inspired by the exquisite paintings of Janet Weight Reed, whose running motif is the hummingbird, I have used the same background as in Seagull Sonata to showcase this rather splendid hummingbird (Mdf on Wikimedia Commons).

Sell Art Online


Take care and keep laughing!


Originally posted on Bitter Literature:

I’ve already written that I’m a Rhys fan; it’s a love that has survived my reading all five of her novels. Good Morning, Midnight is the last, which means there are no more Jean Rhys novels, ever. Which is sad.

But not as sad as a Rhys novel. If your novel is autobiographical and V. S. Naipaul likes it, you’re in trouble. Sasha Jensen does what Rhys heroines do: wanders Paris and London, suffering from other people and her memories. Very little happens in a Rhys novel, but events aren’t really necessary. Imagine Seinfeld and the gang as broke, peripatetic alcoholics, so that every awkward social interaction is emotionally devastating and a potential threat. Rhys was brilliant at making each sentence carry a full load: there’s no fat, no detail without consequence, and no consequence that doesn’t resonate, because none can be forgotten.

Finishing up the set, I had the thought that…

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First Night Design:

As I’ve just sold another postcard of Birdcage Blossom, I thought you might like to see one of the original posts relating to this collage from two years ago. Whenever I look at it, I find myself amazed that it was me who created it!

Originally posted on First Night Design:

Following on from the last post, this is the birdcage image on a pillow.

Background from Astrid’s Artistic Efforts, flowers, birdcage and French typography from The Graphics Fairy.

Take care and keep laughing.

About Sarah & First Night Design

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I created Seagull Sonata with a photograph from Wikimedia and applied several textures, including one by Kerstin Frank, to produce a digital watercolour.

Hark to the whimper of the seagull.
He weeps because he’s not an ea-gull.
Suppose you were, you silly seagull.
Could you explain it to your she-gull?

Ogden Nash
Photography Prints

Take care and keep laughing!


Pink Flamingo is my latest piece, which I’ve just uploaded to my new gallery at Crated. I hope you like it.

Take care and keep laughing!


Available at Redbubble on cards, prints, cushions, tote bags and cases

“Don’t judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.” Native American saying

Walk two moons
In my shoes.

Accept, don’t ‘tolerate’
The black, white or brown.
Love, don’t hate
The different, the down.

Praise, don’t diminish
Your neighbour or friend.
Why such a scrimmage?
This has to end.

It’s peace we all want,
Not hatred and war
Open your eyes:
Enough. No more!

Walk two moons
In my shoes.


Take care and keep laughing!


Originally posted on First Night Design:

Proserpina in Pluto's Palace

Proserpina in Pluto’s Palace by First Night Vintage

“I shall not touch it, I assure you,” said she. Thus runs the quote for this illustration by the American artist Virginia Frances Sterrett that depicts the goddess Proserpina in Pluto’s palace rejecting his offer of pomegranate seeds. The illustration was one of several undertaken by Sterrett for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s adaptation of six Greek myths. These were published by the Penn Publishing Company in 1921 as Tanglewood Tales. The Pomegranate Seeds recounts the tale of Roman goddess Proserpina, or Persephone in Greece, and how she ultimately succumbs, thus creating seasonal changes. Like all myths, there are various versions. If you want to find out more, click here. To read about the life of Virginia Frances Sterrett, who had barely reached her 30s before tuberculosis cut her down, click here.

The image comes from  the Old Book Art Gallery

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Penn Station, Manhattan

Penn Station, Manhattan

With thanks to Art Lark

Take care and keep laughing!


Originally posted on JoUnwin:



I love getting post.  I love getting signed contracts, proof copies, invitations to parties… and I love receiving unsolicited submissions, because there is always the possibility that one of them is going to change the course of my career (and the author’s, obviously!)

I don’t think I’m alone amongst Literary Agents when I say that the working day starts the moment I wake up and check my phone for overnight emails from abroad, or early risers, or night owls – and there are always several.  I’m certainly not alone when I say that the working day ends when I turn off my bedside light.  

If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I absolutely love my job, but there is never enough time.  I would love to be able to hold down a full time job, and read four or more novels a night, but sadly that is not possible.  I have a…

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First Night Design:

An oldie but a goodie!

Originally posted on First Night Design:

I’ve been having a great deal of fun making these messenger bags that are now sold by Zazzle!  The bag I’m featuring today would be perfect as a very special first night present for friends in the Theatre, whether amateur or professional.  There are also all kinds of  accessories to add to the bag, from cross straps and drop pockets to moleskin notebooks.

The illustration is from the inside pages of my original theatre programme for Gilbert & Sullivan‘s The Gondoliers, produced by D’Oyly Carte at the Savoy Theatre in 1889.  The quote is a classic theatre saying and can be customized to suit or removed entirely.

Watch out for the next bag which will be the same as above but with a white background.

Take care and keep laughing!


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First Night Design

Welcome to the First Night Design blog. I hope you enjoy your visit. I love getting your comments and, while I may not always be able to respond because of ill-health, rest assured I read everything and much appreciate your likes. Thank you.

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