Daily Archives: June 2, 2014

Angie Belcher – Don’t Miss Her Edinburgh Show!

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Angie Belcher Last night was a real treat, I went to watch Angie Belcher testing out her Edinburgh show, ‘Settle Down’ at The Boars Head Gallery (BHG), Kidderminster.

She is a stand up, (not a stand up Manager for a tanning salon) and a poet. She has supported John Hegley – which as far as I am concerned makes Angie a success!

Angie (her own website)

I love discovering new acts and Angie is someone I will be looking out for in the future, she is based in Bristol, UK and regularly performs at festivals. Look out for her and buy a ticket if you get a chance (even the £8.00 proper ones), go and see her. You will laugh, that is guaranteed.

A great mix of poetry and stand up. A great combination of talent and a very funny set.

 

The poems are ones you sit there listening to, wishing you had written yourself. Her humour witty and wide appealing not one mention of Women’s Lib…the men in the audience enjoyed it as much as the women.

A great show – Enjoy it Edinburgh! 1 scottish poet

Angie Belcher was supported by Heather Wastie who treated us to a 20 minute set. Inspired by Angie, Heather tried to find which poems of hers included rude words – which is funny because language is something Heather keeps on the clean side of. There was audience participation from the off and later a chance for us to choreograph our own actions for a chorus of another poem. A great way to warm the room up ready for Angie Belcher to take to the mic.

And all for the bargain price of £3.00! I had a great night!

RELATED LINKS

Kidderminster Creatives

 

Jean Atkin- Workshop at Acton Scott Historic Farm

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After having three days off from all events and writing, I was really looking forward to this workshop. I had quite an early start (for a Sunday) and a lovely drive across to Shropshire. It is a beautiful motorway-less journey, lanes, greenery and pretty villages. My SATNAV helped me find the right car park and I could see the others waiting at Reception.

I knew all of the course participants apart from Deb and Paul, having met the others at events over the past year or so. I no longer feel nervous about workshops, which is good because they should be a pleasure.

It was a great workshop, lots of writing achieved and a great tour of the farm. I have taken lots of photos and videos and hope to complete a collection of poems from this.

It was great to see the Poetry Fence and Poet’s Hut for real.

Jean Atkin is organising a celebration of the farm poetry and her residency there next month, I hope to go and share some of the poems which get written from this workshop.

Poetry Workshop best mr

RELATED LINKS:

Workshop

Writing 101 – Building a Blogging Habit

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Brought to you from THE DAILY POST Writing 101

 

JUST WRITE

In this inaugural assignment, let’s loosen up and just write. We’re so excited you’ve joined us — let’s get started!

I am very excited, the weekends are unprompted so we have 20 days of writing activities ahead, they are also cite Natalie Goldberg, who I love, her books gave me my first nervous strokes into the waters of writing beyond poetry.

Last year I put myself through so much study; workshops, day events, toolkits, lectures, online courses – this year I have concentrated on producing work and the study has taken a back seat, spurred on by my workshop this weekend I am ready to give over to this daily event and will do my best to post daily regardless of work and weekday busyness!

Oh, look… a new SHINY badge! writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2

dividercolleen mullaney

You write because you have an idea in your mind that feels so genuine, so important, so true. And yet, by the time this idea passes through the different filters of your mind, and into your hand, and onto the page or computer screen — it becomes distorted, and it’s been diminished. The writing you end up with is an approximation, if you’re lucky, of whatever it was you really wanted to say.

– Author Khaled Hosseini, “How to Write,” the Atlantic

 

To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.

Keep typing (or scribbling, if you prefer to handwrite for this exercise) until your twenty minutes are up. It doesn’t matter if what you write is incomplete, or nonsense, or not worthy of the “Publish” button.

And for your first twist? Publish this stream-of-consciousness post on your blog.

dividercolleen mullaney

The sun is shining through the blinds, which are shut, the brightness plays havoc with my eyes, squinting at the computer screen doesn’t help. I can hear traffic on the road, cars racing home before rush hour begins, although it is Monday, at the beginning of the week the traffic jams start around 4pm.

I have spent the whole day feeling washed out and glazed over, tired. I had an early enough night but woke at 5:30 this morning, before the larks I think! I couldn’t get back to sleep and it was after 7:30 before I set my alarm for quarter past eight. I woke up at 10.

I panicked as I was expected to take hold of a delivery and also I knew I had the whole day to write and sort the kitchen and I wanted an early start. I have been treading through treacle ever since.

The delivery came, two sun loungers with multi-coloured stripy mattresses, ready to relax on this summer, or hopefully before, if the weather picks up. The weather last week was particularly dreadful. I had the week off work, typically my plans to sun myself outside for the week were scuppered! The first weekend of the holidays my friends and I all took off to the South coast – in torrential rain and Bank Holiday nose-to-bumper traffic, the epic journey took over 5 hours of driving and it was over 4 before I unfolded my body, stopped driving and got out of the car. I realise anybody reading this from larger countries will think nothing of this journey but we can get to Scotland in seven hours and this journey took more than double the time it should have.

We had a great time but it wasn’t a long enough break, although I was happy I didn’t have to go back to work on Tuesday, like everyone else. Have only had a few days to relax since though. So busy, always so busy. I think it’s better that way, it keeps my mind off things, stops me thinking too deeply.

After spending the day alone writing (and cleaning), I am now adjusting to sharing the room again. The TV remote is in action and the channels are being flicked faster than I can type. The TV programme chosen is one that I won’t worry about missing from our (almost always full) planner. I find it hard to focus on free writing when there is a script and visuals that I can see just over the top of the laptop.

It is a film.

I love films. Love relaxing ready to watch one at home. Feet up on the settee ready for a whole world to open up around you, going places without ever having to move. I like them in cinemas too, the sheer luxury of it as it has become an expensive night out. We have a surround sound system but it’s not Dolby or attached to the walls and to have popcorn, we’d have to microwave it first.

My fingers tap lighter on the keys, so the narrative can be heard, I wouldn’t be able to watch a film with some tip, tapping away. It’s funny what affects some people has no impact on others. And yet sometimes if we are both watching something, even a shuffling foot can burst his audio visual bubble of focus.

I am aware of time now, I have been checking without stopping typing two or three times, I can glance down to the computer clock. But now it reads 17:05 and I know I have just 5 minutes of this un-interrupted free write left. I find it easier to free write by hand, something about the flow of ink, but I realised that part of the point of this assignment was to post our free writes and I know it would take me at least the same time again to type it up and I have a kitchen to finish cleaning. There is another load of washing up and rubbish to get rid of after a busy weekend. I managed to almost get on top of the laundry. Funny how there is only ever a window of a few hours before you are no longer ON TOP of the washing again!

In the last few minutes I find it amazing that this post is now over 1000 words (including the prompt itself) – we can work all day to get this many words written. Whether any of it will be useful is another question.

Leave your thoughts, I would love to hear which bits of this free write stand out and speak to you. I am going to read some from fellow Blogging /Writing 101 students when I have finished.

The clock tells me it is 17:10 – my 20 minutes is done. Deep breath now as I hit PUBLISH!

 

dividercolleen mullaney

Diaries, Deadlines, Determination: A Very Rare Writing Day!

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plannerThis morning I had the exciting task of waiting in (whilst the sun shone) for a delivery! Mr G and I have finally bought the sun loungers we spent last summer dreaming about. With the garden practically finished and summer on the way (I hope!) it seemed like it was about time we treated ourselves! They are still packaged up but the cushions look comfy, we have resisted buying sun loungers from all the shops we have seen them in. Frustrating though that was, I am glad we waited now.

All we need is the sunshine, which according to the forecasts has now disappeared again until the tail end of next week.

I have taken today as a writing day (and with the exception of a few household chores, neglected over the weekend), I plan to do just that.Jean Atkin’s Writing Workshop yesterday, at Acton Scott Historic Working Farm* has reawoken the poet/writer inside me with some vigour. * I have reblogged Jean’s own post and will write about this workshop soon. Poetry Workshop best mr

So far today;

  • I have updated my writing diary and list of websites to research/surf.
  • Realised I don’t have a free weekend until August now!
  • Resisted logging into social media.
  • Checked emails in one of the inboxes.
  • Searched out opportunities and ideas for the future.
  • Made a chronological list of all the writing I need to be getting on with.

This week I have a wonderful week of being entertained. The poetry events I am attending are not ones where I have to perform. Tomorrow night (Tuesday) I am going to check out The Tea Project at the MAC, tickets have already SOLD OUT! It sounds exciting and Lorna Meehan is performing some pop up poetry. I fear I may be the oldest attendee having read their manifesto and target audience and realised the artists themselves are fresh out of university…. I know I will still enjoy it.

Then on Thursday we have the last of three events organised with Ledbury Poetry Festival and Worcester LitFest, a group of us are heading out for a poetry night out to listen to Carol Ann Duffy. poetry and place

 

I did have a stanza meeting *the last one clashed with a performance and spoken word night organised by Nadia Kingsley and David Calcutt. This month clashes with something that Mr G has organised (Jimi Hendrix/ Cream Cover band) should be a smashing night out. But means my latest poetic work will remain unedited, may have to call on my Buddy Group.

Then on Sunday Hayley Frances finishes the project in Stratford, Page Talk and has invited us to the RSC Theatre to watch the showcase event. Exciting, I have given up voluntary stewarding and a special Tshirt to attend the event *if i have enough energy left by the tail end of the weekend.

As we have just had half term (and it was rather action packed) and I am tired and in need of breaking back in gently (and have 1 less mortgage to pay from now on) – I am only working my 3 contracted days this week. I look forward to another day in my writing skin on Friday.

write tips

Today’s Tips:

Be organised (believe me I am the least organised person in the world),

make a plan and stick to it,

map things out and approach deadlines chronologically if you can, giving time to the most pressing elements of your list,

go easy on yourself.

Reward yourself if you achieve your daily goal(s).

Keep all audio/visual equipment OFF (unless it helps you write)!

Keep it small. Keep it simple and enjoy. ENJOY!

 

 

I have managed to squeeze about 5 hours out of my writing day (dang chores!) in this time I have made a list of possible outlets for submission, looked at subscriber competitions for June/ July, added 3 blogs to WordPress (other people’s not creating anymore of my own… I have plans for a website I need to develop in the Summer), read 4 online e-magazines, (well the poetry sections), have scribbled frantically over this week’s pages in the writing diary, made a timetable blocking out time I can work on what this week – something I will need to do for the rest of the month. I have already decided I may be unable to attend Hayley’s event this Sunday, I think I am going to need the writing time!

Now I plan on catching up with blog posts before the next 3 days of work and poet-ing takes me away from the laptop!