Monthly Archives: June 2014

My Writing Life: News

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Yesterday I had no internet connection! This is an offline post I wrote:

Mr G and I went out on Sunday, for treats and garden/house shopping, after a lovely morning together, (on the last free Sunday I have for about 5 weeks) I popped onto the blog to leave a few posts… low and behold, the phone lines were down in my town… last time I remember this was after a storm many years ago… cannot believe it in the 21st Century, but there you go no internet.

I have decided to write all my posts offline ready to post and go out with Mr G for a lovely Steak meal and forget all about the world I could access… where some very important news was waiting for me in my inbox!

I am very excited about all the wonderful things happening to me right now in the world of writing.

Firstly, at the end of May I applied to Naked Lungs to take part in a pop up poetry event at the next Birmingham Literature Festival this year in October. It is a paid gig too! WOWZERS! Typically they have been inundated with creatives applying to be part of this half hour event, so we have been invited to meet/interview with them to discuss our proposals. blf logo

Unfortunately, it was a day I was working full time, I emailed with possible solutions to this problem, then late last week the agency rang and my days got changed about into 2 half days, freeing up potential time on Monday and Tuesday, I now need to decide which slot will be better for me, traffic-wise I guess Tuesday morning is the better option, just hope I can get to work on time! (I received confirmation today my interview is Tuesday morning.)

It is exciting and I hope it provides an opportunity.

Secondly, it is the 4th Worcester LitFest & Fringe starting at the end of this week and I am happy to announce my involvement.

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I have been asked to take part in the Pop Up Poets event on Sunday 22nd, it looks great fun.

WLF 42

I am also one of eight performers who will take to the stage at 42, have to get some dark poetry ready for that set. I think my recent poem about Martha Graham, written for the 52 project may be a suitable starting point. Maybe I will dust the Zombie poem off for another outing.

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The SpeakEasy Worcs LitFest special was originally invited guests only, I was one of the poets asked to do a 6 minute set. I am looking forward to both of these events and the headline acts.

I am busily involved in other open mic events and workshop/ performances right up until the end of June. Living the dream… 8 months in!

There are even more exciting events taking place in July.

I am performing on stage with The Poetry Army – Brainfruit, in my hometown and also hope to attend the pre-show workshop if Writing West Midlands can find cover for the Worcester group.  poetryarmy

I am attending the Born Free Anthology Book Launch, reading my poems from the book, along with others at various venues in Birmingham, starting with The Ort, where I was hoping to perform with Tim Scarborough again but he has other commitments for the rest of the Summer on Fridays and can’t manage it. I am performing a solo set instead. born free

Tim and I hadn’t actually seen each other for weeks as we were both performing individually for the last Mouth and Music. Where he performed an incredible set of poetry written about his late wife, poems I was honoured to help him edit. Not that they needed much work. We decided mm that we will collaborate for the next Mouth and Music on the theme of Summer. I look forward to squeezing some rehearsal time in!

I am going back to Acton Scott Farm to take part in a celebratory afternoon of Jean Atkin’s residency, including reading some ASF poetry from the workshop day. acton Where I also hope to finally buy my copy of DIP by Andrew Fusek Peters.

I am going to Stratford-Upon-Avon, where Jo Bell is the resident poet for the annual Literature Festival, she has organised a 52 picnic, where there will be so many of us hoping to perform we will be selected from a raffle to perform our 52 poems.

I have been so busy this year that I haven’t always managed to write my weekly poem in time to submit it to the 52 group, I have however, tried to catch up, I still have a few missing weeks and I really miss reading other people’s poetry because you learn so much, I hope to catch up with it this summer. Morning-Sun-mit

AND excitedly I share news that came after this was written and will have a post of its own. I got published!

 

Another Action Packed Week!

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I have a busy schedule between now and August, none more so than the next few weeks. WLF&F logo concepts

This week I have a meeting*  – Confab Cabaret – The beginning of WLF Worcester LitFest, starting with the New Poet Laureate being announced – event at the Guildhall, on Saturday I am missing Ruth Stacey’s  workshop ‘Native American Myths, Story Telling and Poetry.’ I wanted to attend but am already committed to covering the Writing West Midlands group with Jean Atkin over in Kidderminster. On Sunday I am going to be a Pop Up Poet on the ‘Pop Up Poets’ Bus Tour for WLF and then later in the afternoon am heading over to Birmingham for Tessa Lowe’s Poets With Passion at the Sahara Restaurant.

In addition to this I am working EVERYDAY – although 3 of them are half days. work

I am also working on several writing projects/ submissions for the end of month deadline. And I will be reviewing Sarah Hymas’s new pamphlet.

 

Writing 101- Week 2: Day 7 Give & Take

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Catching up with this past week of Blogging 101 after a week filled by work, gigs and book launches.

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Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.

Remember those “compare and contrast” essays in composition class, in which you’re forced to create a clunky juxtaposition of two arguments? Just because that particular form was a bore doesn’t mean that opposition has no place in your writing.

Bringing together two different things — from the abstract and the inanimate to the living and breathing — creates a natural source of tension, and conflict drives writing forward. It makes your reader want to continue to the next sentence, to the next page. So, focus on your two starkly different siblings, or your competing love for tacos and macarons, or whether thoughts are more powerful than words, or…you get the idea.

Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers — your call!

If you’d like more guidance, check out these ten tips on writing solid dialogue. In case you’re intimidated by dialogue tags — all those “he said,” “she whispered,” etc., here’s a useful overview.

Emulating people’s speech in written form takes practice, and creating two distinct voices could help you see (and hear) the different factors that play into the way we speak, from our diction and accent to our vocabulary and (creative?) use of grammar. (We’ll discuss the topic of voice more formally later in the course; for now, take a stab at writing dialogue on your own.)

 

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Deadlines vs Doing everything/anything else

“I am important. Crucial.” said Deadline.

“I know you are, but when you’re around everything else seems quite pressing and a lot more appealing.” said Everything Else.

“Charming!”

“Well it’s true, suddenly even the washing up seems like an exciting proposition.”

“But you still make room to do the right thing in the end.”

“Of course, you are not someone we want to ignore.”

“Well, you won’t gain anything if you do.”

“Tell me something I don’t know. You are able to make many forgotten emotions rise to the surface!”

“Like what?”

“Frustration mainly, although…” Everything Else hesitated.

“Yes?”

“I do find you exciting.”

“Exciting? Wow!” Deadline said smiling. “Do you think you’re the only one?”

“No I think you make a lot of people feel like that.”

“You will make me blush!”

“The time not to focus on you is when concentration is low, mistakes will happen. Like the time I tried to beat you just before a world cup match.”

“What happened?” asked Deadline.

“Well I won, unlike my Country.”

“So what was the problem?”

“I submitted the document without my personal details.”

“So you met me but messed up all the same?”

“Yes, unfortunately.”

My Weekly Jaunt to (Virtual) College: Writing 101 #Week 2 Day 6: Character

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I knew when I signed up for this month’s daily post challenge that I would inevitably fall behind the deadlines, this means that I can’t share my links as the threads have closed on the mothersite! However, bear with me, I am posting the challenges in this evening before the football!

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Day 6: A Character Building Experience

Today, you’ll write about the most interesting person you’ve met in 2014. In your twist, develop and shape your portrait further in a character study.

Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?

Our stories are inevitably linked to the people around us. We are social creatures: from the family members and friends who’ve known us since childhood, to the coworkers, service providers, and strangers who populate our world (and, at times, leave an unexpected mark on us).

Today, write a post focusing on one — or more — of the people that have recently entered your life, and tell us how your narratives intersected. It can be your new partner, your newborn child, or the friendly barista whose real story you’d love to learn (or imagine), or any other person you’ve met for the first time in the past year.

Today’s twist: Turn your post into a character study.

In displaying the psychology of your characters, minute particulars are essential. God save us from vague generalizations!

– Anton Chekhov, Letter to Alexander Chekhov; May 10, 1886

Describing people — whether real or fictional — in a way that channels their true essence is an invaluable skill for any writer. Through the careful accumulation of details, great authors morph their words into vivid, flesh-and-bones creations in our minds. How can you go about shaping your portrait of a person? Some ideas to explore:

Don’t just list their features. Tell us something about how their physical appearance shapes the way they act and engage with others. For example, see how the author of this moving photo essay, which documents the final weeks of a woman dying of cancer, captures the kernel of the woman’s spirit with a short, masterful statement:

Her eyes told stories that her voice didn’t have the power to articulate and she had a kindness that immediately made me feel like we had been friends for years.

Give us a glimpse of what makes this person unique. We all have our own quirks, mannerisms, and individual gestures, both physical and linguistic. If you’re looking for inspiration, read this blogger’s portrait of her French host family — after reading the first two paragraphs, you already have intimate knowledge of who these people are and what drives them.

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There are so many people to choose from, I would write about my solicitor who opened up conversation about my writing and has since recommended some writing sites to me. He seemed genuinely interested in the work I do as a writer even after I told him there is no money in it. I could write about countless headliners and writers I have met this year at events and festivals. I could write about my friend’s son who is now suddenly two and so when meeting him again was like a stranger to me, a wonderfully articulate, playful one! The endless stream of new people I meet through work…. and to think I questioned whether I had met anybody new this year when I first saw this prompt!

I have chosen.

Our paths crossed through poetry, back in the year. She was new to the whole idea and yet confident enough to come and talk to us after the show, it reminded me of theatre and how people would come to the Stage Door, because her questions were in awe and yet a few short months later she had become a master.

Tutored those less confident and created a character all of her own. A character whose wardrobe has taken over an entire room at home.

The first thing I ever noticed was her blonde hair and leather, next how tiny she was, not short but incredibly slender, she has one of those bodies that God just gives out occasionally I thought when I first met her, I have since found out about her ice-cream diet and zumba habit! I think what most people noticed in the early days was her blonde hair and figure, male and female. Now (in character) I think they will notice the hairpiece first, the tall pantomime/Regency style wig that provides a platform for all manor of props, adds several feet to her stature and seems to have a life of its own. The body now is scantily clad, I admire the confidence to perform in less than a poetry dress… then I think if God had given me that body I would dress it with love too.

In those early days she learnt a lot, collected contacts like china figures, knew what she was doing, or maybe she didn’t and it all just evolved and happened. She came far fast, in the super highway lane, doing even more gigs than me. Her act crossed the lines between performance art and poetry and later comedy, the character has taken on a life of its own.

I wonder about the people who have only met the character – what they must think. I know the girl underneath, some of her backstory. The edges are hidden well and with reason, but I am proud that she trusts me with the truth and she can.

She came to mind as the most interesting and unique person I have met this year, although parts of my own past run parallel and I know there is a whole world of identical stories out there, I had never known someone with such strength. Many of us build it back up over time, she seemed to be armed with it. Boudicca. I already know she will be okay and from all of the darkness has come this new, new lease of life. She had never performed or written poetry before and here she is doing both amazingly well!

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Photograph Tara Buckley – The Tea Project

Whenever we talk her eyes are wide and listening, she is someone who can (despite the odds) grab hold of life’s lighter moments and sails away on calm waters when all around her lies noise and carnage, she seems to rise above and come out shining. This is probably not how she feels or sees her own life.

She has an exciting energy and there is always a frantic sharing of tales as we catch up with each others lives beyond the social media updates and gig lists. She is fun. A fun-loving person who has brought lots of light into my world!

Vlad Mackevic’s Open Mic; Frightening, Funny, Foolish – Friday 13th

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Last night I went to York’s Bakery, it has been ages since I performed in Birmingham and I was looking forward to reuniting with my friends, Vlad Mackevic (who I met at Mouth & Music a few months ago) decided to host a Friday 13th evening of Spoken Word and Music. I only found out about it a few days ago and eagerly watched the list of who was joining and it was lovely to see that I knew many of them.

The bakery was busy with the post-evening rush when we started, despite the ‘atmospheric noise of coffee machines’ it was a good evening and I look forward to the next one, in the Coffee Lounge – which I think has a separate space for performing if it is the one I am thinking about.

Lots of poets took to the stage and the evening was finished off with music from Superlicious Ms T.

I enjoyed looking through my file for the darker pieces, chose something dark, something weird (and a bit yukky) and something scary. My Zombie Poem (written for theme for 42) had an outing again – I hadn’t imagined it would fit into a reading more than once a year! Femi, asked how many poems I was reading and begged for a 4th one – Vlad took my plea from the stage to do 4 – I read my poem about Martha Graham (her depression) written for last week’s 52. It is quite long to read and difficult when competing over noise.

Vlad

 

I enjoyed the evening! Others did too.

Tessa Lowe wrote a poem about the full moon – which won’t fall on Friday the 13th again until 2049 and by then she will be 103! Glyn Phillips wrote about Friday the 13th in a very humorous poem, the performers were;

Neth Brown,

Olufemi Abidogun,

Tessa Lowe,

Sabina Luciana Tcaciuc,

Chris Akers,

Nina Lewis,

CabdiQani Osman Hassann

Jasmine Gardosi,

Ines McDonald,

Andrea Smith as Swingerella,

Martin Spruce,

Glyn Phillips

The Supercilious Ms T and her Band of Pleasure Dandies.

I don’t have photos of every performance awaiting some professional shots, here’s a flavour from my phone!

 Vlad Femi Femi Vlad Chris  Chris

vlad Jasmine Jasmine Vlad Tessa Tessa

                                                                                                                                               Vlad Swing    Swingerella

 Vlad Glyn Glyn Vlad Super Ms T Supercilious Ms T

     Vlad1 and Vlad himself!

Poet Laureate Book Launch – Barred

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Thursday night was the book launch of Tim Cranmore’s volume of poetry, he is coming to the end of his Laureateship, the new Poet Laureate of Worcester will be announced on the 20th June at the Guildhall, I am attending this ceremony, I have 4 friends in the final. I have turned down the opportunity to perform in Birmingham to go and support the finalists and also to have a different experience.

Tim Cranmore is a poet with a sense of humour (read his write up for this event*) and also a talented musician/ vegetable player – he can make a carrot sound like a piccolo!

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Worcestershire Poet Laureate, Tim Cranmore, launches his book of poetry ‘Barred’ at the Old Rec with support from members of Worcester Writers’ Circle who perform ‘Chatterton’ a series of poems based on Henry Wallis’s painting ‘The Death of Lord Chatterton’ by Polly Robinson.

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His new book is called Barred (play on words, Bard and all that) he performed many of the poems you will find in this book, it was a great night. Tim’s book is published by Black Pear Press and he was kind enough to invite Polly Robinson to promote her latest pamphlet, ‘Chatterton’. I missed her performing it at 42 as I was in Birmingham at Saints and Sinners the same evening.

She had asked members of Worcester Writers’ Circle to read the different parts, it was a grand reading.

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Award winning novelist, Carrie Rubin said, ‘Chatterton – A Series of Poems explores loved ones’ possible reactions to young Thomas Chatterton’s death, using Henry Wallis’s painting Death of Lord Thomas Chatterton as a launching point. The verses are wonderfully visceral, and I enjoyed learning about this tragic young lad. The poem by “The Mother” about broke my heart. Only Ms. Robinson could get me to read a collection of themed poems. And I’m so glad I did!’

Chris Moran wrote to say, ‘Just to let you know your books arrived and I have totally devoured mine! I shall read it again and again. I’m looking forward to sending it to my friend in America…’

Poet Alex Carr-Malcolm said, ‘If you haven’t already ordered a copy, I can thoroughly recommend this collection. What a unique idea to look at many viewpoints. Each with their own take on the life and death of Chatterton. Beautiful poetry, an anthology that you will delve into again and again. Thought provoking and profound – a must for every collection.’

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imagesCAJBX1JQ(not actual price)

 

Both books are available here;

Barred

 

Chatterton

A limited first edition of 50 copies of this pamphlet signed by the author.

UK postage: Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

Non-UK postage:

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*

Tim Cranmore

 

 

WLF – Worcester LitFest kicks off on the 20th June and I can’t wait to get involved!

Mouth & Music Tuesday 10th: New Material – Great Night!

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Another wonderful evening of spoken word and music. The theme this week was ‘adjectives’, I wrote my poems late on Monday night, using lists of adjectives for the initial stimuli.

They went down well, one serious one about mental health and a humorous one about form filling.

MM june I had seen Peter Wyton at Confab Cabaret earlier this year, a funny Gloucester poet, he has published a number of books and is a prize-winning poet who has appeared at Cheltenham Literature Festival, Glastonbury and Ledbury. He also reached the final of Radio 4’s first Poetry Slam.

Bethany Weimers was great, she is doing a tour of the area at the moment, Merlin her partner is a painter and Tim Scarborough and Suz Winspear are now the proud owners of personalised artwork, them performing. Sadly I was on before he picked up his paintbrush! I would have loved to buy one, that would have made my night.

This month we even had a write up on the Mouth and Music page, traditionally it has just been the headliners who feature in the review. Chuffed with this mention, so am pasting the review here;

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Every M&M has its own character because each one is a unique combination of people. Last night had a really special quality to it. At least half of the 14 open mic-ers performed something brand new and there was some cracking humorous stuff from Nina Lewis, Mike Alma and Fergus McGonigal in particular. Billy Spakemon drew us into his dark Black Country tale and Tim Scarborough brought his own recorded backing for a very moving, personal piece. Thanks to all open mic performers for adding to the mix and apologies to Suz who hadn’t been warned about the Cinderella chimes ….

Featured poet Peter Wyton gave us a splendid set which was hilarious throughout. He had us hanging on every word. Bethany Weimers drew us into her delicate guitar playing and expressive singing. Her songs are intensely powerful and intimate. Both she and Peter stood near the audience, foregoing stage and mic and this enhanced a feeling of ‘sharing’ rather than ‘performing’.

Bethany’s partner Merlin was busy secretly sketching throughout the evening. Suz and Tim are now proud owners of brilliantly evocative drawings of themselves in action on stage. Merlin also gave us the drawing below. Thanks Merlin! (Merlin Porter Arts)

As an experiment, we put Bethany on midway through the second half. It seemed to work. This meant that Peter Williams’ beautiful song somehow echoed the mood created by Bethany. Peter will be our featured musician in October. Sarah finished with a poem heralding next month’s theme – Summer! Thanks to everyone who was there last night. See you in July!

© Mouth & Music (Wastie/Tamar) June 2014

 

RELATED LINKS

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Bethany Weimer

© Peter Williams June 2014

 

MONDAY! Monday! On Writing and Time Management.

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Monday rolls around all too quickly, HALLOWEEN 2011 081 you know I made the assumption that connecting back into a much missed creative life would take away the Sunday Slump of the rat race and the Manic out of Monday… how wrong I was. A lot of the internal struggle is created by the fact that the writing isn’t paying (yet) and so to keep my house, car, life (like many writers) I still have an evolving career/ day job.

If the tax man is reading this – YOU OWE ME MONEY – lots £100’s on a tax rebate….. would be helpful to receive that soon – believe me I doubt they read the blog (big brother paranoia) but when I tried to contact them through the website and calling I just got an automated message telling me if I was owed money they would know and would be dealing with it — then it automatically HUNG UP! Now this may be true but I tend to be a little unlucky with bureaucratic red tape and things that may take a few months usually roll on for years if my names and codes are attached to it! imagesCAEEZNXM

Anyway back to the post. I have had a productive morning, waking early on my writing day, doing some laundry (despite the rain which is supposedly clearing by dinner time!), starting my diet and exercise regime ready to not be uncomfortable in my skin at my brother’s wedding this Autumn and in the hope I fit back into some of my dresses this summer. By the time I logged on it was 10:30, I felt guilty and then I THREW AWAY that negative feeling, I could have slept in until 10! alarm-clock

So I made a start (as I always do) at the beginning of a writing day, by making a list. A set of goals, jobs to do, things to research, write, read.

paper-notesI am well disciplined and stay off social media until there is a break point or after the list has been completed is better. Breaks tend to elongate without you realising once you are trapped in the social media bubble. The way I see it is I wouldn’t have access if I was at work. I am at work (writing) – I have no access. My brain is so easy to kid!

Sometimes (depending what is on the list) time gets rolling fast and it will be time to pack up before I have ticked off the 1st two items. I do NOT worry. The post-it list is stuck in my writing diary, ready with the starting point if my next writing session.

Today’s list consists of research and writing. Plus I had a few business emails to read/ respond to. That’s the biggest surprise I think in writing, the fact that ADMIN takes up so much time. It took ages to flag up the emails, despite using designated email addresses for different areas.

to do I have currently applied for a pop-up performance arranged by Naked Lungs for this year’s Birmingham Literature Festival, have 2 – 4 short stories to complete (2 this week if I can) and several poems to write, some to follow up the workshop at Acton Scott Farm with Jean Atkin, some for a performance tomorrow night (1st one in 13 days, took a bit of a break!), some for this weekend and others to catch up on other projects I have only had time to dip in and out of. I also have my first official book review to write (for which I was paid, a complimentary copy of the poetry pamphlet)!

I have 14 websites to looks at/research, a character to create from a world I know very little about (eek!), I have a scratch night I probably won’t make pencilled in* and a book launch. This weekend is the Writing West Midlands Creative Writing Group and a deadline for some written submissions.

* Conserving energy (and petrol) WLF – Worcester LitFest in a fortnight and lots going on before then too. Plus I now have to fit EXERCISE into the schedule – and don’t suggest parking and striding to the gigs – I get red faced after about 3 minutes and would need a shower when I arrived and most venues have no dressing rooms or facilities!

So I had best get on with my list! imagesCAISM7Z5

 

Time Management:

  • Split chunks of time, I find not being to prescriptive works well (in my day job, things have to fit in allocated slots of time) and it feels good to break free! I started at 10:30 and said I could have a break in an hour, that kind of thing.

 

  • Know what you need to do, get your head down and try to do it.

 

  • I say try because creativity cannot be forced or pushed, some days it comes easier than others. So the true TIME management falls in making sure there is time to complete your projects when you have those duff days. This is usually a 4 day buffer at least, depending on length of editing/ proofing time.

 

  • I always try to get things written in time to give it some rest and a look over/ edit before submission – this is usually a period of a week if you have enough time to do this it can be beneficial.

 

  • Keep your unfinished list to know where your starting point is next time.

 

  • If you can that starting point should be part way through something -or the start of a task based on researching or something you can get into straight away. The problem with starting with your next writing job is the possibility you will be staring at a blank screen for some of the time.

 

  • Try not to lose focus. I often set alarms on my phone, that way I don’t even have to glance at the onscreen clock anyway.

 

  • Try to ease the pressure off. You are your Boss, it is always beneficial to get on with the Boss right?

 

  • And just like real work (unless you work in Health or Education/ Public Sector) take some breaks and give yourself treats and incentives for reaching target! Not food though – you don’t want a writer’s (saggy) bottom!

 

Good Luck! Green-Clovers-Vector-Illustration

PS I used part of my break to write this – I am now walking away from the screen!

The Tea Project MAC Tuesday 3rd June

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TTP

N Lewis © 2014

mac I had a fantastic time at the Tea Project, the greatest feat was the build up of mystery around this event, no matter where you searched online there was the sizzle and no sausage, I guessed it would be an immersive audience participation performance but beyond that really had no idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tara Buckley © 2014

I did see some photos of artists painting the palettes  and yet in my head I still envisaged us around tables in the MAC café, with a performance akin to speed dating with teapots, I am glad that TTP was so much more than this.

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Our invitation was equally tantalising;

Cannon Hill Café Announcement

Tiny Lion presents
The Tea Project
A playful exploration of the everyday ritual.

Dear human, you are invited to an intimate performance workshop, blending mindfulness with talking and tea-drinking. The Tea Project will host an event as part of the Cannon Hill Café series at mac birmingham Tuesday 3rd June 2014 | 7:30pm |

In a world of take away coffees, city living, and social disconnect: The Tea Project discovers the power of simply stopping to experience the momentIn life, we are always humans doing, we rarely get the opportunity to be a human being

———–

AND FREE TEA AND CAKE! It would be silly to refuse and Lorna Meehan was treating people to poetry in between the two shows in the foyer (where they had a free cupcake on entry)! Talk about sweet delights. They also had a guitarist playing Matthew Socci who sounded very good and managed to be heard over the general pre-performance buzz of artistic types gathering.

tara buckley behind tea project

Tara Buckley © 2014

During the show I hadn’t banked on getting as emotionally tied into this piece as I was. Entering late at night to drink caffeine after a long, stressful first day back at work after the break, I carried all the tensions of the day. I had no idea that the show included mindfulness techniques and it was partly due to these activities that the audience ended up feeling transported.

As I left for home I was so chilled out. Was it really only Jasmine tea? (Of course it was!) Plus the power of performance. I was so laid back, I took a turning too early and ended up having to detour across the city to get home!

I loved it – and I usually (as you know) drink coffee!

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© Tiny Lion The Tea Project 2014

Artwork by: Jason “Skitzhope” Bennett & Stephane “Madboy” Spiteri

The Tea Project is an active artistic experience using tea as a tool to connect communities and generate discussion. You are invited to share a moment with friends and strangers alike, playfully exploring the everyday ritual that breaks down barriers, encourages anecdotal storytelling and allows us to focus on the present. What do you think you could solve over a cup of tea? This immersive evening is a fantastic investigation into how an audience can create theatre, and was devised by creative practitioners Tiny Lion (Tara Buckley and Lyndsay Price) as part of mac’s Creative Space residency.

© mac birmingham 2014

tara buckley the tea project

Artists Background

Tara Buckley and Lyndsay Price met at University, while studying Community and Applied Theatre at Birmingham School of Acting, recent graduates they applied for a Creative Residency at the MAC, Lyndsay describes it as the ‘perfect bridge between studying and employment’. It offers them an important stage in their professional development and will, no doubt, lead to further opportunities in the future. Their residency ran from November 2013 to March 2014. Lyndsay Price1 Lyndsay Price Tara Buckley end Tara Buckley

“The Next Generation Creative Space Residency is produced by mac birmingham. It provides three emerging artists with the opportunity to develop their creative practice. The residency enables artists to research and develop an idea in a nurturing environment. It offers the recipient 12 weeks’ worth of access to the arts centre’s rehearsal space and facilities, £300 to spend on developing your creative business, £300 to spend on working with an artist, 3 days of creative business training, continuous mentoring and an opportunity for a public showing of work at the end of the residency.” Lyndsay Price (Director)

The Tea Project was one of many events in #NextGenBrum project organised by the mac.

tara buckley tea project

Tara Buckley © 2014

What I enjoyed the most was the flashback to my own graduate works, the collaborations and resulting shows and spectacles, very much in the light of TTP, if only we had had such funding and opportunity to support us back then (in the dark ages!), I love the fact that – ahem! Many years later, this kind of creativity still has its place and its stage!

I don’t want to describe the whole event as it may spoil what you experience in a Tiny Lion show in the future. Tara and Lyndsay are currently bidding for Arts Funding to do more with this project in the wider community. This event will have given them plenty of feedback and ideas on ways they could shape this project in the future. The Tea Project itself had a pilot show in one of the studio spaces in The MAC, prior to this event. During their development Tiny Lion showcased a number of trail performance workshops to a variety of audience members.

The best moments (other than tea and cake) were the mindfulness activities, and the subtle ways they made us let go throughout the performance. I loved what they had done to set the space in the café, the artistically covered palettes (c/o Visual artists working hard) and the matching tea sets. I liked the places it took me in my mind and the PAGE of poetry ideas TTP ideas I went home with, along with the gift every audience member was given before leaving.

 

If you get a chance Tiny Lion will not disappoint and any invite with free CAKE should ALWAYS be accepted!

 

It is clear that the artists are taking all the steps they need for great success… and like the perfect cup of tea, need time to steep, allow the fragrance to become strong. They will succeed, I have no doubt, I think they already have!

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Now I need to go and boil the kettle.

RELATED LINKS
Tea Project Blog

Slanely Street

June – Week 1 – Teaser

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WritingIcon21I have been busy actually WRITING this week, hence my effort to stay offline, I have managed to produce and submit some new work and am currently writing as a result of the Workshop with Jean Atkin and the Tea Project with Tara Buckley. I have also spent some time researching websites and preparing to write more material for submission, now a week away from deadline. c69c85988308231c4c0be770a1011a33

I have also enjoyed some time off from performing Spoken Word, my first gig is next week that will be after nearly a fortnight away from the mic.

I have blog posts to write (which I hope to post tomorrow) – especially reviewing the Tea Project and meeting Carol Ann Duffy, last Thursday.

Mr G and I spent last night out watching Voodoo Rooms, Jimi Hendrix Experience/ Cream cover band. It was a good night out.

I have also recently organised to review Sarah Hymas and her latest Poetry Pamphlet which I have read several times, need time to format a proper review. WATCH THIS SPACE!