Monthly Archives: May 2014

Review of May – Tech fail!

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I used the tech app for the 1st time. This was supposed to automatically post on 31st May!

Better late, than never!

Enjoy!

 

Another fantastic month in my writing world! apple coffee

Biggest lesson – be gentle and forgiving on yourself, keep trying but don’t run yourself ragged, it diminishes creative energy and can affect long-term health!

 

Blog

I was delighted to find my creative writing HOW TO articles have been linked on a High School Website, the blog has experienced an increase of traffic and hopefully the students have picked up some new knowledge.

We now have 742 followers, that’s an extra 28 people who have found the fountain this month, happy splashing!

 

Projects

I am still participating in 52, although recently have not had the time to read a lot of the poems or comment, I have also left most of my own writing offline, I am not sure I can catch up with the posts but I am determined to see it through for the year, no matter how busy I get.

There is an exciting meeting taking place soon and we may get the chance to perform as part of a festival.

Naked Lungs asked Spoken Word artists to take part in a Pop Up Poetry event as part of a Literature Festival in the Autumn, I have applied. Fingers crossed.

 

Events

I had a mini tour of events at the beginning of the month (which completely wore me out and pushed me to my limits), it was a great experience with some fantastic events and I met new performers. 11 days, 10 gigs (1 day off from all writing and performing), 3 Counties!

The first day was a Stanza Extravaganza as my local stanza group took over PFL *Poetry For Lunch Рin the amphitheatre at the Library of Birmingham. Read all about it here PFL PFLB11

I experienced my first every SLAM – it was the first slam organised by Fergus McGonigal for Kidderminster Creatives, held at the BHG. I was asked to take part, make up the numbers, I knew my material and performance wasn’t necessarily right for SLAM – Maggie Doyle who was the eventual winner proved that you don’t have to recite poetry from memory, although I did learn my set. Which makes me proud of myself and allowed me the freedom to PERFORM the poem rather than read it dramatically.KC Poetry Slam 4th May

There was a prize for every participant, so I wasn’t upset being knocked out in the 1st round, all the semi- finalists were slam champions, laureates and published poets (I am only 1 of these ūüėČ )! It was great fun and I would not hesitate to take part in another – as long as it was small and local. Not yet ready to play with the big boys, nor might I ever be. Maggie told me that she has one slam poem – she won with it – it might be worth me writing just 1! (For next time…)

Read all about it here SLAM   KC SLAM

Tim Scarborough and I collaborated for the 2nd time to perform percussion and poetry at Photogiraffe’s final exhibition, Abstract Elements. Our set received a very positive reaction – including possible future bookings, people said it looked/ felt like we had performed together lots – think we may have found some creative synchronicity! We probably should think about a name for the act! AE7

It was great fun and I enjoyed meeting new acts and listening to the diverse range of acts. The Warehouse Café (Vegan) hosted the event in Birmingham and we all paid for a buffet, which was lovely food! Abstract Elements

I returned to Ludlow to experience Deborah Alma/ Jean Atkin’s night, The Poetry Lounge in the Sitting Room. It is a long way to go for a 2 hour event but the writer’s are so talented and I got to listen to Andrew Frusk who I had met at Wenlock Poetry Festival. Read all about it HERE

sitting room

The next night I went to Malvern and once again was introduced to some new faces as well as enjoying the sets of Adrian Mealing and Dizraeli, who has changed my opinion of beat poetry. confab cab Confab Cabaret

speakeasy1 Following Confab Cabaret I went to SpeakEasy and enjoyed seeing new acts and Matt Windle. AF Harrold head lined. I was able to perform too. It was a great night. SpeakEasy

Friday saw Poetry and Pollination РWorcs LitFest and Ledbury Poetry Festival- I performed some newly written poems about bees. My set when down well. Poetry & Pollination Ledbury PF

This was the last event in my epic 10 days, 11 gigs (and working pretty much full time) run! There are some events I have missed this month as I needed to conserve energy for real world things too Рlet completing flat sale, securing work, celebrating birthdays etc.

Tim Scarborough and I collaborated on our 3rd set *with the theme of Body Hair – for Mouth and Music. We had a 4 hour rehearsal which resulted in lots of co-written and co-edited poetry being created around the theme – including a moustache tribute for Jonny Fluffypunk, we had great fun with a theme which originally made our hairs stand on end in fear!

 M&M moustache mm

We then took a medley of all our sets to Birmingham to perform at Spoken Word at The Ort, our set was thoroughly enjoyed by a room full of appreciative audience members! Spoken Word Z Andrea Smith Tim

 

Sadly this month a bunch of Birmingham poets are saying goodbye to someone who spends a lot of time on the scene. Someone who threatened to give up poetry and then got accepted to take her one woman show to the Free Fringe Festival at Edinburgh this Summer, someone who can never escape poetry because it will find her. Someone who has decided to continue her travels across Asia and wanted to leave with one last massive party. Carys Jones – known on the circuit as Carysmatic (Jones) organised bands and acts to perform and enjoy each other’s work at a goodbye bash. I accepted the invite and worked on two new poems written about Carys. It was my Dad’s birthday on the same day, it is not a tradition to see him on his actual birthday, typically this year we¬†were contacted over the possibility of a¬†birthday meal.

Southway (an electro duo who Carys knows had travelled up from London to be there) – they were amazing.

southway

Read all about it and Andrew Owen’s Book Launch – Portraits of Prose here

On Thursday Andrew Owens launched his short story collection, published by Black Pear Press, he invited performers to take part in this event. It was great celebrating with him and he even had a cake! I as flattered to open the event with my set.

andrew Owens

After the book launch I took the Bank Holiday weekend off and went down to Dorset with friends, the main reason was to go to River Cottage and a food festival there – Mr G and I met Hugh and got our book signed, you can read about this adventure in the same post as the goodbyes and book launch (link above).

I was inspired by River Cottage and plan to use a programme to scrap journal a weekend collection – something has to be said about the cricket pate & caterpillar pate that was bought!

It was a great weekend and so good to get away – because we bought the house last year, we had no holiday.

The rest of my week off was supposed to be spent in my poetry skin but there was so much to do getting the house straight, sorting car insurance, MOTs, Dr appointments etc. not to mention a squeeze of poetry performances, workshops and events.

It is definitely not downhill for the rest of the month!

I originally planned to go to four gigs in the last week of May, I thought I could manage as I wasn’t working, but sometimes you have to listen to your body and soul and I was too exhausted to manage. Poetry For Lunch was taken over by the cast of Summer and it is a long way to go on the off chance you can perform. The photos look amazing, but my car wasn’t back from MOT in time to get across to the city, instead I caught up with old friends and had a few hours off relaxing! My car passed¬†the MOT! The mirror that someone kindly knocked off as they drove up my street has been replaced. (At my expense!) York’s Bakery hosted Ddotti Bluebell’s Spoken Word night at the end of the month (30th) and I had originally hoped to perform my Bee poems there. Unfortunately, I thought I had booked a spot and I hadn’t – in the end I decided I was too tired for the city journey and spent the time writing new material – something I REALLY need to do.

I managed to make Poetry Bites at the beginning of the week and had a fabulous night, a lot of the open floor spots were filled with brilliant poems and a few stories, it was great to hear James Sheard read at length and I loved meeting Roy Marshall and talking to him about my old haunt of Leicester, where all this spoken word began. Jacqui Rowe hosted a great evening and I shared a couple of poems which had positive and encouraging reactions.

Read all about it Poetry Bites

© 2014 KGC

© 2014 KGC

I also managed to get to 42 in Worcester on Wednesday evening, it was another amazing night of talented wordsmiths taking to the stage, many of the poets branched out to prose and the standard was extremely high.

42 may  Drummonds 42 read all about the night for yourselves!

 

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Poetry For Lunch – Stanza Group – Library of Birmingham Amphitheatre

Poetry Slam Kidderminster Creatives – BHG

Abstract Elements РPhotogiraffe Exhibition Launch  РThe Warehouse Café

Poetry in the Lounge –¬†Met Andrew Fusek ¬†Peters

Confab Cabaret – Olivers: Disraeli

SpeakEasy – Old Recifying House: A. F Harrold

Poetry & Pollination – The Hive – Ledbury Poetry Festival & Worcester LitFest: Sarah James

Writing West Midlands/ Assistant Writer  РCreative Writing Group: Ian MacLeod

Mouth & Music РBHG: Jonny Fluffypunk & Four Tart Harmony

Spoken Word at The Ort

Writing West Midlands/ Assistant Writer  РCreative Writing Group: Jean Atkin (cover)

Carysmatic Farewell Bash – Vertu Bar

Andrew Owens Book Launch – Black Pear Press

Poetry Bites РKitchen Garden Café: Roy Marshall, James Sheard.

Drummonds 42

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inkspill notebook

I have spent most of May filling in my writing diary for June – with the Worcester LITFEST there is plenty going on, I am also scheduled to work full time during the LITFEST and am missing out on some great events during the day. It looks to be a busy month, I may take a bit of a backseat with performing, go and enjoy others perform. There are several clashes which I am gutted about between the cities (a foot in each camp) and some big decisions need to be made. WLF&F logo conceptsSLAM or Poetry Garden Party – Worcester Laureate at the Guildhall (of which 3 poetry friends are finalists) or performing with Tim Scarborough in Birmingham, this decision has been made already, I am off to the announcement of the new poet laureate!

 

Submissions:

Raving Beauties – Bloodaxe books celebrating women’s bodies in a compassionate way.

WLF – Flash Fiction Competition for the Festival (made the deadline with 4 minutes to go)!

I¬†managed to obtain a review copy of Sarah Hymas’s latest pamphlet¬†– LOOK OUT FOR THE REVIEW ON A WRITERS FOUNTAIN NEXT MONTH!¬†

notepad-pencil

 

Events:

Grayson Perry Exhibition

Rehearsals with Tim Scarborough for Abstract Elements – Photogiraffe exhibition

Stanza meeting

I continued working for WWM – Writing West Midlands – as Assistant Writer (which I am doing next academic year also) in Worcester with Ian MacLeod, I also had the opportunity to work with Jean Atkin and her group this month, I have another date for June. It is a good experience to spend some time in other writing groups.

© 2014 Jean Atkin

© 2014 Jean Atkin

WWM

 

In other news …. My Flat¬†finally SOLD, we visited Dorset and Devon with friends, went to a Food Festival at River Cottage, met and chatted to Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, my car passed its MOT, I recovered from a chest infection¬†and found myself a new hairdresser.

Friday Fictioneers – The Perfect Place

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It has been ages since I had a chance to write for any online/blog writing challenges, I am looking forward to trying to manage my 100 words this week for FF – Friday Fictioneers.

Join in and check out the challenge at Rochelle’s blog. Click the icon friday-fictioneers¬†don’t forget to read the RULES.

 

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright -Jennifer Pendergast

 

PHOTO PROMPT
Copyright –Jennifer Pendergast¬†scalpel

They leant the bikes against the wall where the others were.

‚ÄúIt‚Äôs the perfect place to film.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúWe‚Äôll struggle getting the equipment up, there‚Äôs no room for the van.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúWe don‚Äôt need it, we‚Äôd cycle again.‚ÄĚ Adele sighed.

Stephen always picked holes in her ideas, no matter how good they were.

‚ÄúI‚Äôll phone them.‚ÄĚ she said, finding the perfect excuse to turn away.

Stephen made a quick sketch.

 

‚ÄúThey won‚Äôt do it. They say it‚Äôs haunted.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúWhat rubbish!‚ÄĚ

The pair got back on their bikes, Stephen glanced up and saw the windows were open. He knew he’d drawn them shut.

There’s Still Time to Join Writing 101!

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There’s Still Time to Join Writing 101!

I am going to give this a go – with everything else happening in June I may not manage a daily post, but I will do as many as I can! Join in too – if you have time! Registration is still open.

The Daily Post

The next Blogging U. challenge,¬†Writing 101, kicks off Monday ‚ÄĒ so if you‚Äôve been thinking about registering, you‚Äôve still got a few more days to hop off the fence and sign on!

Writing 101: Building a Blogging Habit is a write-every-day challenge designed to help you create a writing habit, publish posts that mesh with your blog’s focus, and push you a bit as a writer. It’s also a great way to make new friends and find new favorite reads. All bloggers are welcome, whether you use WordPress.com, are self-hosted, or use another platform entirely.

Here’s how it works:

  • We‚Äôll post a new writing assignment¬†just for¬†Writing 101¬†each weekday in June on¬†The Daily Post. Assignments will publish at 10:00 AM EST (14:00 PM GMT). You can follow¬†The Daily Post¬†to get assignment notifications.
  • There are no weekend assignments ‚ÄĒ you‚Äôre free to expand‚Ķ

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Andrew Owens’s Book Launch In Sketches by Sue Thompson

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andrew Owens

I usually post every event separately, when I saw Andrew Owens on Wednesday night at 42, I apologised as his launch news was featured last week in a catch up post. You can read it here

Andrew had a fair crowd at his launch, including family and other local performers who came to celebrate without taking to the stage. I think it is a generous idea to ask others to perform. I had no idea I was going to open the event, it was a privilege to do so.

Sue Thompson, came to enjoy the event and was busy sketching every performer along the way.

All these pictures are © 2014 Sue Thompson

Here’s a taste – myself and the whole cast! Check the link at the end to see the rest of her artwork on the 42 Blog!

Andrew O Book Launch Sue Thompson

Sue Thompson Sketches Andrew Owens Book Launch Sue T

 

Drummonds 42 – Elves, Pixies, Witches and Warlocks

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I wrote a piece especially for 42 this month, it was a bit of a rush because I spent the morning dealing with car insurance and the afternoon washing my car (caked in mud from River Cottage) before its MOT. 42

I tried to stick to the theme, wrote a very short fairy poem and then after researching got side-tracked by folklore. I became engrossed in discovering new knowledge of stories, traditions and superstition.

42 may

I started by trying to write a poem, it turned into prose and ended up a narrative poem. I was unsure about performing it as it is the first draft, but feedback was positive and it was an enjoyable experience.

I had a great night –¬†quite a few poets turned their hands to prose and there were people who haven’t been for a while – it was good to see a mixed crowd¬†and a bigger audience.

Then at the end of the night I was told that Sue Thompson (who was at Andrew Owens’s book launch) had posted her final artwork online, I couldn’t wait to check it out, I was sitting at her table so was lucky enough to see some preliminary sketches. They are great – look out for them on a new post.

The next 42 is a Worcester LitFest special and I am happy to have one of the eight floor spots. WLF&F logo concepts

Booming Stats!

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Whoahoo! Stats are booming!

Your blog, awritersfountain, appears to be getting more traffic than usual!

42 hourly views

2 hourly views on average

 

I discovered the reason is one of my articles on HOW TO WRITE…. has been linked on a High School website – here’s hoping we can make short story writers of you all!¬† inkspill with stars

Poetry Bites At The Kitchen Garden Cafe

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© 2014 gastrocard.co.uk

© 2014 gastrocard.co.uk

Poetry Bites was a superb start to a week in my poetry skin. I was delighted to see Tessa Lowe, Chris Fewings & David Calcutt there again, all performing. The main guests were Roy Marshall & James Sheard, who I recently discovered (before tonight) lectures in Creative Writing at Keele University. Roy and I talked about Leicester in the interval, as that is where I discovered performance poetry, creative writing courses & the spoken word.

© 2014 KGC

© 2014 KGC

It was a warm atmosphere, jacqui Jacqui Rowe started the night with Larkin, I am a fan of Larkin and enjoyed dipping into the evening this way.

 

Anthony R Owens (who headlines next month along with Matt Windle) came to soak up some poetry and treat us to a taster and a poem hot off the ink of his pen. The floor spots were all filled and an enjoyable mix of work was read. I performed ‘Your Gift’ and ‘Touched’ and received positive feedback and encouragement to send one of them off to competition, I will pursue. Thanks Deborah Alma!

Seeing Roy Marshall perform a range of works, chatting to him & buying his book was great. You can buy it too! Click the link.

The Sun Bathers

sun bathers

James Sheard, with his dry wit, was a treat to hear at length too. He has shared one or two poems at The Poetry Lounge in the Sitting Room before, but to hear some from a collection he soon hopes will be published was a treat. James¬†Sheard‚Äôs collection ‚ÄėScattering Eva‚Äô¬†(Cape, 2005) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for best first collection. His poems appear in the¬† anthology
‚ÄėIdentity Parade‚Äô (Bloodaxe, 2010)

I have had a superb night!

A Week of Work, Goodbyes, Book Launches, Selling Property and Holidays!

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Last week I took a backseat with gigging and only attended 2 events, more for the friends involved than a night out. I was working full time pretty much and needed some energy for our weekend away.

Here’s a quick catch up from the past week.

Last Wednesday evening I went to the Vertu Bar in the Jewellery Quarter to say goodbye¬†to ‘Carys Matic’ Jones. Carys has now reached Bangkok ¬†safely and is about to spend an unknown amount¬†of time in Thailand.

vertu-bar-photo-created in birmingham

© 2014 Created in Birmingham

 

It was my dad’s birthday the same day, but I can¬†catch¬†up with my dad this week, Carys was only having the one Goodbye Bash. She¬†piggybacked the event on an already existing acoustic night and invited all her performing friends to come and take to the stage. I wrote 2 poems especially for her filled with wanderlust and descriptions of bravery and strength. carys

Carys made this photo collage of the evening. Southway were an amazing electro duet, friends of hers from London, they came up to play her party and then went off to the Hare and Hounds – they have been booked to come back to Birmingham and are currently in Bristol – watch out for them, they are beyond lively and great fun!

southway

© 2014 Carys Jones

 

Everyone had a great night, lots of energy in the room and Carys herself couldn’t stop smiling!

© 2014 Samuel Francis

© 2014 Samuel Francis

 

The following evening saw me journeying to Worcester on a mad chain of errands, work, then tutoring, then back to my flat to remove a dining table, then to the estate agents to drop off keys for the property then off to the book launch.

Andrew Owens writes prose ‘not poetry’ (a joke for any followers who were also at the launch) – his short stories and flash fiction are well known in this region. He invited us to guest spot at his book launch, which is very generous, there was a real sense of us celebrating Black Pear Press Publishing his book. We had 5 minute slots, I felt very under-prepared after the busy week/ day I had had I had to¬†find material on my phone. I shared a freewrite, one of my FWF posts (need to get back to that challenge again!) – people liked it but it was a short 300 word flash, I could have performed a poem or 2 as well. I opened the event and had no idea of time, it was all a bit panicky for me. It was lovely though to see so many friends perform, Andrew, like me, gets around these events and there were performers from a wide range of the region.

I had some great feedback on my story during the interval including from the publishing team at Black Pear Press.

Great atmosphere and CAKE! And I got to hear some new stories as well as buying a signed copy of his book!

andrew Owens

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Andrew Owens

 

On Friday (after 12 long weeks and lots of unexpected additional expenses) I finally completed on the flat, the exchange of contracts happened and everything was handed over and completed before I finished work. I spent some time on Friday night playing with the money on the screen – but now everyone has been paid back it isn’t a lot! However, I no longer have the expense of maintaining 2 homes and should be due a rebate on some of the mortgage payment too! (Good job because my car has its MOT and insurance to be paid for this week!)

I went to the flat for the last time Thursday night and woke up Friday morning, knowing it was no longer mine! Strange – but I have had nearly a year to let it go…. time is a great healer – just relieved it can be loved again and managed to catch up with a few of the neighbours again too.

flat

 

On Saturday Mr G and I were up early to go away with friends down to Dorset/ Devon to visit River Cottage for a Food Festival. We have been there a few times over the past few years but it has NEVER taken so long to get there!

5 Hours in standstill traffic on the motorway!journey

We had a great time when we actually managed to get there though. There was a Cider Festival we happened upon the first night. The sun had come out by Sunday and River Cottage! It was amazing, we got to meet Hugh, tell him about our allotment and garden and get his autograph. He was chatty and lovely. We had seen him previously there but not to talk to. hugh We have photos of ourselves with him too!

We had a great time with our friends. Everyone has been so busy these past few years it has been a while since we had a chance to catch up properly. We had a couple of evenings out dining and on the last day we were going to go to the beach, worried it would be another long journey back, we opted to leave and follow the others home.

A great weekend ended with some take-out burgers, a few hours in the garden, a cider and then a power nap that lasted all night! I have now caught up with my sleep – ready for a week in my poetry skin, starting with Poetry Bites tonight.

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